Wednesday, March 26, 2014



I know I have been mostly absent from this round of #ROW80. JC has had heart chronic trouble, now leaning into the acute and I suspect that the Medical-Industrial Complex in this here United States does not give one good Goddamn about that fact. The man is 67 years old and is not in the best of health. What he HAS done is owned a business and paid taxes for 40 years and he is entitled to Medicare and a Supplemental Insurance plan that cares for him and will not put every fucking roadblock in our paths when it comes to getting him treated.

In December, he was admitted to Tampa General Hospital for pneumonia. It was scary for me; it always is. He's gone and I'm by myself and it's just weird. When he's home, he's a rather quiet, and benign presence, watching TV, or sitting on our front porch, or spending time with Alex. He overeats, at times, but who doesn't? He's diabetic and I get on him when he eats too many treats, but the man deserves some pleasures in life. We spend time talking and laughing and take walks when he's up to it. The point is, he's a human being and he deserves to be treated as such, with all the dignity and compassion one would treat a person, no matter what the age or condition of his health.

When he was in TGH for pneumonia, we were both sick with something that was not the flu; I kicked it, which was odd, because I had COPD, which I manage diligently, but I am 58 and in good shape. I quit smoking at age 54; I was sick with congestive heart failure, and malnutrition and could not walk. After another blood transfusion of 6 pints, in 2010 (I had one in 2004) and being told I would not walk again (I was either going to walk, or take myself out, and when someone tells me i am NOT going to do something, I prove them wrong) I re-learned how to walk and walk quite well. I manage my COPD very well too, and thus was able to kick this lung infection on my own, but JC's lungs are weak because of his heart.

By the time I got him into the hospital, which took two days of Alex and I pleading and nagging, his kidneys were starting to fail, which told me that he was starting to die. It is so frightening to hear that, but it was so hard to get him to go; men can be so stubborn. He was there about 2 days; they ran intravenous antibiotics and sent him home with a 10-day supply of a sulfa-based drug. He was supposed to have a follow-up x-ray for the pneumonia, but the supplemental insurance company denied that. We plowed on.

JC, a wonderful, funny, caring human being; not to be tossed aside like garbage and certainly worth more than 511.00 a month! When did we start putting a dollar value on lives?

JC seemed to be getting a little better, but was complaining about nausea and stomach pains. He mentioned this to his Primacy Care Physician (PCP) who kept changing his stomach medicine and his blood pressure medicine, which was making him feel sick. He was going through nausea and dizziness, but with all the medicine the doctors have prescribed for him, it's hard to tell what is a real symptom and what is being brought on by the medication. I have a PCP whose overall goal (and mine) is to lessen the number and dosages of medicines I am on, and I haven't felt better in decades. I should mention at this juncture, that JC and I both have the same supplemental insurance company.

Anyway, on February 24th, JC had an appointment with a Gastroenterologist, who after taking his vitals, said, "I'm not going to run any endoscopies on you until you get a clearance from you PCP. I don't think you're heart is up for this." When JC called me to tell me this, I naturally hit the roof, and told him, "You need to go to the ER, RIGHT NOW!" Of course, he didn't and he came on home. I enlisted Alex's help and we got him into the hospital the following day. The cardiologists ran some tests and found that he needed a catheterization, which they can run through the wrist now. However, the blockage and a previous stent were so calcified, that they were unable to bust their way through, so we were left the medicinal option, to start, before attempting a bypass. 

All well and good, up to this point and I understand these things; I worked in a Teaching Hospital for several years. It may be more apt to say, "I asked a lot of questions in a Teaching Hospital for several years," because while I was supposed to be working, I was actually busy learning, because all of that shit's fascinating, and those doctors (from the Latin docere, "to teach, instruct, or point out.") were eager to answer my questions, even if I wasn't a Medical Student! I learned a lot, and not just about the body and the body's systems, but about various treatments of diseases and conditions and what avenues are taken before the surgeons step in. But, I digress.

The medicinal option, since the stent one didn't work, includes a  protocol of channel blocker medicines and a blood-pressure medication and one medication that we have moved heaven and earth to get approved for JC, and have been blocked every step of the way. Since he has been home from the hospital, I have spoken to Medicare, his supplemental insurance plan innumerable times. I have talked to the hospital, innumerable times. When I went there for my own infected eye, I talked to them. We are unable to get this one drug. I have done research on it, and it is VITAL to his treatment and preventing a much, much more expensive and dangerous, heart bypass. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY????

The facts are these: Here are the 3 drugs he is currently taking to treat the blockage in his heart:

Plavix,  used to inhibit blood clots in coronary artery disease. 

Imdur, used to prevent angina pectoris cause by coronary artery disease.
Amlodipine is a long-acting calcium channel-blocker used to lower blood pressure and to treat anginal chest pain. Like other channel-blockers, it does so by relaxing arterial smooth muscles, which decreases total peripheral resistance and therefore reduces blood pressure.[1]

The last drug that we are completely unable to make any headway with through any agency, be it insurance, doctor, hospital, or Medicare, has a website that OFFERS financial assistance for payment for the drug. 

Ranexa, or Ranolazine

The drug is to be used in CONJUNCTION with his amlodipine and offers the best chance of breaking open the current blockage in his heart, with the EXCEPTION of a heart bypass and is a fuck-ton bunch of money less expensive than a heart bypass! Let me repeat that, a FUCK-TON! Although the drug is a whopping 511.00 a month for 60 500mg pills, that is far, far cheaper than the cost of a one, two, three, four, or five-bypass surgery of the heart!

What in the name of Blue Jesus are the Insurance Companies thinking? Apparently, not much at all, because these are the same Goddamned wizards who told me, AFTER a "Pharmaceutical consultation" that I was taking topamax for seizures, when I distinctly told them I took it for bipolar. I DO NOT have seizures, although now may be a good time to start. Un-fucking-believable! 

They have not only denied JC's appeal for his Ranexa, they have sent along a not-so-helpful "What To Do" letter. Take a look at the following:

Even with my less than artful assistance, you should be able to tell that the supplemental insurance company has provided the 3rd party name of the Arbitrator, the street address, P. O. Box, but no City, State nor Zip Code. I suppose I could do a reverse-search and am quite skilled at doing so, as I am in the business of practicing the dark art of finding things and people who wish to remain hidden, but really, Insurance-Company-Medical-Industrial-Pharmaceutical Complex? Do I have to do your fucking job for you? Or should I just go ahead and launch a cyber-attack on you and fuck up your systems? That is also within the realm of the possible. I am capable of many things and my patience is being pushed to the limit. 

You all, on the other hand, seem to be practicing the fine art of obfuscation, pass-the-hot potato, it's-not-my-job, I'll-get-back-to-you-in-a-day, oh-it's-the-heart, of course! it's important! and then NEVER being heard from again. Alex and I, JC and I, and I, myself have spent countless hours on the phone, running to TGH trying to get the ONE Goddamned drug Ranexa (that works with the other 3 drugs COMBINED) approved so that JC can see a cardiologist in ANOTHER county, because? Because, our Supplemental-fucking-Insurance DOESN'T have a cardiologist in our Network in THIS fucking county! Unreal! This is goddamned Florida, where the median age is 187!

I am on the young age of the scale here in Florida and yet, our supplemental insurance plan doesn't have one measly cardiologist in Hillsborough County! JC has to go to Hernando County to see a Cardiologist on the Fourth of April, who will tell him "Sorry, I can't do anything for you, because you're not taking Renaxa!" How fucked up is this?

I cannot tell you how freaking, goddamned livid I am over this! It was bad enough when I had to wait two years for Medicare to kick in, AFTER I was declared fully disabled, and Florida Medicaid is next to useless, because, I had to incur 960.00 in medical bills EVERY month, before Medicaid would pay a dime. I was only getting 1160.00 a month; what was I supposed to live on? 

I am NOT going to game an already broken system, so I suffered with Parkinsonism, and COPD, doing the best I could with a very shrewd PCP and a great psychiatrist. I had assholes for neurologists who did more to get me Baker-Acted (yeah, you, A. C. Gipson) then they helped and when I found one that helped, I hung on to her like gold. Dr. Deborah Burke is the primary reason, I am able to do everything I could prior to my overt e.t. onset. That system is already fucked up beyond repair, so why make it worse?

When I got my Medicare, I faced a different set of challenges, because I am NOT 65, but they are workable and my goal has been to get healthy and stay there, primarily for myself, but because this system is so goddamned horrible! JC should lack for nothing and the fact that he worked for over forty years and paid his taxes should mean something! When people get old and sick, it's not time to throw them out into the garbage. I feel like yelling "Attention Must Be Paid!" This is unconscionable and people should notice this and care, because it's not just JC.

It's not just JC, or me. It will happen to anyone who gets caught up in this system. I was not always homeless. I had a home and a husband. I left the husband to preserve my health. With the paltry divorce settlement, I tried to buy another house; it was a rent-to-own and the owners went bankrupt. I lost 30k and spent two years trying to save the house. The bank took it. I worked from a house I rented, as I could no longer drive. I ended up homeless, sick and in a shelter, after 2 months hospitalization. I received my SSDI after a record 5 months, which is practically unheard of. 

The point I am trying to make is this; this is not a rarity. This is not unusual. This can happen to anybody. Everyone is abled at some point in their lives; for some, the dis- part just comes a bit quicker. What is so wrong about this is the non-action and the corruption within the system. I am appalled at what we have experienced with this. JC has recently gotten hearing aids at 3,000.00 a pop. No fuss, no muss. These are not necessary to maintain his life; his quality of life, yes. I will grant you that, but being deaf will not kill him, since he's not out killing bison for the family dinner. 

Lack of heart medicine will kill him, or you, or your father, or mother, or me. This is ridiculous. To have to go through this kind of run-around for ANY drug is stupid. But I think I may have found a way to shorten the red-tape. While running around and looking for the symptoms and treatments of chronic angina, I ran across this site and called these people at I spoke with David and explained what we all had gone through to me again. Since we had already done it, we're at the part, where we just fill out the forms, the doctor signs and faxes them back to the Pharmaceutical company.

Believe it or not, you do have to go through ALL of the Appeals and Denials, up to the final part, where you write the appeal to the address (non-address?) above. He assured me that if I get the forms filled out and signed by JC's primary and faxed to him, they will pick up the cost of the drug, and JC will have an out-of-pocket cost of 5.00 per month. Which I will do, stat. As encouraging and so much better as it made me feel (I was in tears) it was also disheartening because my own doctor, in another network, has been doing this for me for over 2 years. I will get this done for JC and get him transferred over to my network; it should be noted that over this whole ordeal, his primary doctor just up and left him, with no word that she was leaving. 

IF you ever have a situation come up like this, I urge you to go firstly, to the drug manufacturer's website and see if they do not have a coupon. In some cases, you can print out a coupon to be used with prescription, until a required authorization is given. If anyone has any questions, or thinks I can be of any guidance, don't hesitate to contact me. I've learned a little bit swinging around on these ropes! Good luck! 

UPDATE:  JC's PCP approved his medication, Ranexa on 3/27/2014, a full month after his discharge from TGH. This should never have been an issue to begin with, because my PCP, Dr. Satya Kurakula, routinely signs off on my pre-authorizations for my COPD medications, as does my psychiatrist. This indicates to me that, of course, his PCP does not care, so after JC sees his cardiologist, who is in Hernando County on the 4th of April, we will be entertaining the idea of transferring him to a new PCP, preferably to my PCP! For everyone who responded on Facebook, I thank you for your kind wishes, love and support. JC stood by me when I had to wait for two years for my Medicare to kick in and for my diagnosis for parkinsonism and during my "celebration" of Mental Awareness Month in March of 2012, which was, um. . . rather interesting! But then, that is what unconditional love is. . . I'm just glad it worked out and I didn't have to go and take any doctors hostage, or have the screaming-meemies and have poor JC have to call the TPD and Fire Rescue. He's got enough on his plate right now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Firstly, it's been so long since I did anything with #ROW80, they probably think I don't care, or I've died, although I know Cateartios knows I'm still floating around, as does Alberta Ross, (I hope) as I do try to give shout-outs to my #ROW80 peeps on the #FF when I remember to do them. It has been frantical around here, in some good ways and in some not so good ways. I guess what God giveth with one hand, he taketh with the other. Rather heavy-handed sounding that; let's just go with 4 steps forward, 2 1/2 steps back. . .

To begin with, JC had a heart attack, and not one of these sudden, stop-you-in-your-tracks-fall-down kind of myocardial infarctions, but the kind that are more like a slow-moving decrepitude, with mild distress, that seems like tummy ills, pneumonia, and a few hospital stays. The fact that he is less than compliant with his meds makes it even more difficult to work with him, but he is 67 years old, and at this juncture, my main focus is his comfort and for him to know that he is loved beyond reason -- something he has never had, and which everyone is entitled to -- so, writing has taken a back seat to this; surely understandable. We do what we can and and getting him to walk and take his meds and laugh at stupid stuff like "World's Dumbest ____________ " and play with Mama is good enough. He's a peach and I get to hear his stories.

Like about the time JC and Mr. Cantrell were a' settin' on the porch of the General Store in Snyder, Texas and Mr. Cantrell happened to mention that he'd bought himself a new huntin' dog. "How'd she do?" JC asked, in that Sam Elliott drawl of his. "Waahll, it went lahk this. . ." Mr. Cantrell said. "We ahll got aout inta tha clearin' and let them dawgs outta the back a' thet truck. . ." He paused for a bit, and looked off into the distance as if remembering a long-lost wife, or the sinking of the Titanic, and then went on, "All o' them dawgs went one way, 'cept thet thar new dawg, she went a' high-tailin' it t'other way. . ." He paused, and gazed off again, then shook his head and grinned. "Thet thar hound jus' kep' on a-goin'. . . I could still hear her a-bayin' in tha distance, after sunset, and tha next mornin', when I went back ta callin' her. Stupidest hound I ever bought. . . " JC said she never did come home, but once in a while, it was rumored that she could be heard yapping in the distance in far and sundry places.

The other things of note that have occurred are helping my co-host, the great DamyantiG with the A-to-Z Challenge 2014, that starts on April 1. For those not in the know, it is a challenge that starts on April 1, with the letter A and ends on April 30 with the letter Z. Sundays are exempt, so every letter of the alphabet is covered in 26 days. There are themes and non-themes and all sorts of ways to participate. If you've never done it and you are a blogger, I highly recommend it. You'll get a chance to get in the groove of writing daily posts; short and snappy and eye-catching! You'll also get a chance to visit other blogs and make new friends. Leaving comments is important! Interaction within this thriving community can only help you and you'll not find a better, more generous and giving group of people than writers!

I should mention that I have an actual THEME this year! Last year, I came up with some kind of half-baked idea that I needed to make a spreadsheet -- I'm shocked that I didn't write a relational database! -- with all of the letters in a row and the topics I had already picked out, listed in the columns. I believe my intention was to fill out all this bullshit and hand it in to Arlee Bird who started the A-to-Z Challenge for a grade, or something. But that all became moot, when I hit the letter "B". The reason is, I had chosen "Bravery" or something equally blah, so I wrote on "Beethoven" and his 3rd symphony, which turned out to be a big hit. It was something I had analyzed in college and it's a masterpiece and a bridge between the Classical era and the Romantic era in about 16 measures; with a bit of near-syncopation close to the finale. To say Ludwig was way ahead of his time, is an understatement. His string quartets and piano etudes boggle the mind in their forward-thinking approach to composition.

Anyway, my theme this year is HUMOR AND HUMORISTS. This idea came to me while I was hanging out in the ER with a massive eye infection. Just another one of those things that my body likes to do; stand up and say "YOU'RE NOT 25 ANYMORE!" More of a nuisance than anything and one of these stubborn things that required medicine that makes me sicker than hell, but hey! At least I don't look like something out of a Lon Chaney movie, any more. But last night, I got into one of those "Red Zone" laughter modes, the kind were you just know if you go up to that next level, it's apoplexy and hysteria and probably a burst blood vessel in your head.

The subject matter started with a bunch of Unintentially Hilarious Propaganda Posters from Written by Jacopo Della Quercia, it starts off mildly, but gets cranked up by around poster #6, and I start that kind of wheezing laugh. I'm feeling pretty helpless and like jelly. JC has been asleep, but he wakes up to find out just what is so damned funny. So, I read the commentary and we crack-wise over this nonsense. I go from here to "Lost in Translation: 20 Baffling Foreign Movie Posters" and the "Red Zone" revs up again. It's not just that the pictures are so mystifyingly bizarre; it's that most of them have almost nothing to do with the original movie. So the writer, Jay Thomas, helpfully interprets what he thinks went on when the posters were created. What Jay thinks went on is damn funny indeed.

I have spent my life being the world's Straight Man. I am at my best riffing off stuff other people say. For example, I think I won Andi-Roo over when she tweeted something about "loving the idea of elevensies" and I responded with "I do twelvesies, onesies, all the way to sleepsies. . ." My brand of humor is reactive, not proactive. This probably has more to do with the fact that my parents were both hysterically funny and I am very, very literal and logical. I am whimsical, but only in my own head; in short, a mess. Now, I have to run to the grocery store and some food. 

Friday, March 21, 2014


I had to think about this whole theme thing, long and hard. You see, last year, I jumped into this challenge at the last minute, kind of like the way I jumped into NaNoWriMo in 2012. A-to-Z, 2013 turned out spectacularly for me, in that I actually finished the damned thing! I did not finish NaNoWriMo in 2012, but quit a mere 1637 words into it, because at the time I was trying to cope with severe and untreated symptoms of Parkinsonism, or essential tremor, – another movement disorder that is closely related to Parkinson's Disease – which was making my life an unmitigated hell. I was still sans treatment at the time of the A-to-Z challenge, but was undergoing testing, after finding this neat-o neurologist at the Parkinson's Center of Excellence on the campus of USF. It's been an arduous journey and is not yet done, but I'm digressing, and I want to remain on point. Suffice it to say, I am being treated and it helps; it's not a cure, but I'm feeling much better and the tremors and pain and all the other assorted psychological aspects of the disease have abated. I'm still crazier than hell, but I know what to do about it.

I finished last year, by dint of keeping my posts short and snappy and just having fun with reading others' posts and commenting. When the most awesome Damyanti announced that she was co-hosting again this year and looking for assistants, I jumped on board. Damyanti has been a magnificent presence at the A-to-Z challenge that was started by our own Arlee Bird, several years ago. As I have become a larger presence in the blogging world, I find myself becoming part of a larger community that spans the globe and that, all by itself, is pretty terrific!

It also didn't hurt that I actually finished NaNoWriMo 2013 this year and have a manuscript, albeit, an unpolished one to show for my efforts. But that's a story for another day. This is not about the other blogging communities (shout out to IWSG, ROW80 and Blog Blitz!) but our A-to-Z Challenge; 26 letters of the alphabet in 26 days! A post for each letter, every day, with the exceptions of Sundays, during the month of April.

So, without further ado, and since I am on the team that is responsible for the assistance and creation of “themes” for people who are having issues with letters (“Q”, “X”, and “Z” are the usual culprits) I will reveal my theme: HUMOR AND HUMORISTS.

Yep, it came to me yesterday, while I was sitting in the ER waiting room for about the eleventy-billionth time – please name your next wing after me, TGH – with another stupid eye problem, that HUMOR AND HUMORISTS is the perfect theme for me!

I've got to be the only person in the world (well, maybe not the only one) that is legally blind, and has Parkinsonism so severe, that at times, when I make a taco salad, it looks like a piñata exploded in the kitchen. I have no depth perception, so everything is the same size. A mouse the size of a canoe ran through my bedroom, recently, where my computers are, and I almost jumped into the closet. When JC wanted to know what in Sam Hill was going on, I told him I was practicing the dance steps for “What Does the Fox Say?” So he bought me a Leopard Hat and Shirt at the Dollar Store and now I'm gonna have to learn the damned thing. “Ring-ding-ding-ding-a-ding-ding-ding!”

But at least I'm not the only person in this house that does stupid stuff. During the Olympics, we were looking at the news, and the sports announcer in Sochi, Russia for no discernible reason, helpfully mentioned that there was snow in every state of the United States, except Florida. We were watching some Olympics; ice-skating, where every routine was skated to Tchaikovsky, blaringly and hollowly, with echoes that lasted for eons, so that the music became just a huge A-minor smear. The only way I knew the piece was over, was when the people on the ice were no longer twirling, or falling down.

Then, we watched some more Olympics. Curling, with the Norwegians and their pants; all looking like someone was on one hell of a bad acid trip during the designing, or else the athletes raided their grandmothers' quilting bins and did a one-off. They were sporting colors that don't exist in nature, or at least on this planet. Ten minutes of this and I'm thinking that cleaning the house isn't such a bad idea.

Cut to the local news. The sports comes on; thank God the Norwegians and their Dayglo pants aren't part of this broadcast. JC pipes up, “I hear that there's snow in every state except Florida.” I look over at Alex, and we both just lose it. JC listens to us howl and yawp like hyenas for a few minutes and then asks what is so funny. We tell him, “We were here when the guy said there is snow in every state except Florida!” And off we went again. JC makes it worse when he says, “I didn't hear that!” Oh. Jesus. Stop. Now. Now. Because, I'm in the Red Zone of Laughter; the kind of laughing where you may have apoplexy and get a hernia. JC is hard of hearing and he finally catches on and gets into the moment and he has that sort of hearty laughter that makes you laugh, even if you don't know what in the hell is going on.

Laughing is good for the soul and is certainly good for the body; it helps to release endorphins and they are good for nerve endings. I make it a rule to laugh as much as possible, but kindly. Never cruelly, or at the expense of someone else. God has given us the capacity to do many things and there is no injunction against humor and laughter in any religion or faith, culture or nationality that I know of.

Some of my posts will be on funny topics; some will be on funny writers, present and past. Last year, I started out this challenge with an honest-to-God spreadsheet with all of the letters A, B, C, and so on, with the topics listed. I think I had this half-assed notion that I was going to fill it out and hand it in to Arlee Bird for a grade at the end of the challenge, or something. I had a topic picked for each letter, but that went out the window the second day of the challenge, when I wrote about Beethoven and his 3rd Symphony, instead of Bravery. I'm glad I did so. I may have a theme picked out, but I have no earthly clue what I'm going to do for the letter “A”, but I've got a few days to think about it. It'll come to me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


courtesy of: Sky-roxorz-815

 A true computer geek's dream. Scramble-o-translator, anime and Base 2 inference; it doesn't get any better than this!

No, this isn't a real Microsoft error message, although it makes as much sense as many of them that I've seen. Strings of numbers, cow-faces and fractured computer-jargon spit out by a hard-wired processor trying to make sense of some idiot coding created by the current Mongol-Horde School method, or Tilt-A-Whirl, where everyone code and compiles and uploads to a "cloud". Which used to be a "WAN" and then turned into a bunch of servers tied together. Now, your iPad can write code and upload it to a "Cloud" where other idiots are busily writing code on Atari 64s or in Linux on Quad Cores or in OS/2 on home-built farms and somehow, it sort of works, if you don't mind glitches, Do Loops, getting disconnected and losing your files, or having them turned into Frankendocs. It's a wonder the translators work. Ah, technology! Ain't she grand! And when I get tired of trying to unsnarl some of Google's finer messes, just so I can write a goddamned post, I can step away from the 21st century and back to the 19th century and play Richard Strauss on my viola. That at least, still works!

The reason I have to write this here post and all my other posts in Fire Fox, as opposed to Chrome now, is that I refuse to use the "Chrome Drive" to upload my pictures. It's a fucking hassle and I have a stock base of pictures that I use. I would ditch Chrome altogether, except that there's this whole social media thing going on, called Twitter and Twitter don't do FF, and so on. Nobody plays with FF very well anymore, so I write my posts here, just so I can add my pictures; call me a Luddite, but it's another stupid step I don't need. I did the Picasa thing and I'm tired of jumping through Chrome's and by extension, Google's hoops. I had an issue with my profile for 6 weeks. Their solution? DISABLE AVG!!!!!! GOOGLE, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?!?!??!?

I haunted their forums, tried a variety of all of their fixes and finally hit on the correct fix for multiple profiles, and guess what? I AIN'T TELLIN' THE BASTARDS A THING! IT'S MY SECRET!! NYAH, NYAH, NYAH!! It had nothing to do with deleting my users folder or any of the thousand other variations on that tune and DISABLING AVG DIDN'T WORK, EITHER! So, bite me, Google!

But, what I really wanted to talk about today was how to download an application that you would like to use and that you know is safe. There is a correct and simple way to do this, and I'm going to walk you through the process for a nifty little gem called MoffCalc. They have just released v2.0 and we'll use that. I've used their free version for years, and it's far superior to Microsoft's Calculator, because it has a "tape" that displays, and that is the sole reason that it's a better thing than Microsoft's version. It is also scalable, so for people with impaired vision (like moi) can make the thing huge, so that I don't have to guess at the numbers. 

Anyway, to start, make sure you are logged in as ADMINISTRATOR on your Windows account and that you have UAC privileges turned on.

1.  Go to "Start" in the lower left-hand corner, click on "Control Panel" and "All Control Panel Items" then "User Accounts" to make sure you're account has full Administrator privileges.

2. Go to the website, to download the program you want to install, if need be. I went to the MoffCalc website, found here

It's gotten popular since I first started using it, and now, with this newest version, you can purchase a license for v2.0 for 19.99! But the free version is wonderful.

You can even download and try both; I selected the second one, as I have the first. 

3. Go ahead and save the file to your download folder or on your desktop.

4. Now, go to our old friend "Task Manager" by right-mouse clicking on your Task Bar, or using <Ctrl> + <Alt> + <Del> and choosing "Task Manager" from the list given. Close any unnecessary programs. While this is not crucial for MoffCalc, it should be done out of habit for any program you install, as it lessens the chance of corrupting any common, or *.dll files.

5. Find your selected download, and highlight, do a right-mouse click on it and before opening, or running, SCAN with AVG, or MALWAREBYTES. Again, MoffCalc is a trusted site, but so is JAVA and it has a storied history of Trojan-infested downloads, so always protect yourself and do this. If you're still unsure after the scan, don't run the installation.

Clicking on the Setup icon will launch the Wizard. It will set it up and give you the choice to "register" or pay, or try free for 30 days.

That's all there is to it! I love the fact that it has a tape like this:

so that you can go scroll back up the tape and check your work!

March 21st is looming! Come and join us this Thursday night, March 13, at 8 pm, EDT on Twitter, #AZChat! @DamyantiG is hosting for the A-to-Z Challenge Chat and we'll all be there to answer your questions!

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Where the Cable Cars really DO go half-way to the stars. . .

A few weeks back, I got my panties in a wad, because some idiot hax0r came up with a terrible scheme to “spoof” the public and buy his stuff, which was worthless and bug-ridden and a security threat. While that in itself was not particularly dangerous, his method for doing so was, and I, being ever alert to such chicanery, decided to start “Tech Tuesdays” for people who aren’t necessarily all that familiar with what’s under the hood of the family time-waster. 

There’s a reason for this; I live in a strange neighborhood, that’s one-half ‘bangers and ‘hos and the other half sweet grannies and their grandkids. Then, there are folks like me, who have, shall we say, “interesting and storied pasts” and live rather comfortably between the two. My business partner is a former DOD employee who mustered out after the start of the second Gulf War. He’s my hardware guru. I have been in the business long enough and traveled the back alleys and by-ways of the computer universe to keep abreast of the threats and oddities and transmogrifications of various software worms, viruses and Trojans to keep the little old grannies and their kiddies safe.

I host a network called “FBI Surveillance Van” for all the would-be internet thieves near me (It's protected by a hexi-decimal cypher, so unless Einstein has been reincarnated as a crackhead, I'm safe) . The CIA is going to be setting up shop soon. I love to keep ‘em guessing. Anyway, after the nasty “spoof” found here, I decided it would be a nice thing if I just put up some simple things for folks to help keep their own systems free of mice, lice, tics and bugs. I can’t help you with Microsoft; it’s a giant bug-patch, all unto itself. I don’t touch Apple. It’s a JAVA nest of Hell and I hate their processors. Call me a Luddite, but I use no smart-phone, however, I’m home most of the time.

Today, I wanted to talk about what happens when something just stops, goes into a business loop, contemplates it's navel, refuses to run, or crash completely, and just sits there, eating up your CPU, or Central Processing Unit. This is where all of the instructions are carried out; the literal brain of your computer. You can have the cleanest, leanest, meanest system in the world and if your Candy Crush Client (why?) seizes up, you are going to sit there until Doomsday, waiting for the bitch to do anything. I don't care of you have an AMD Quad Core or an INTEL hoo-ha processor, that brain is going to churn and churn over some stupid command, caught in an endless, infinite, "do loop"

While not necessarily the fault of the gaming code within Candy Crush, certain outside elements on your system itself, will produce "do loop" results. Or, knowing Candy Crush, it's just shitty programming (again, why?). The one executable command will repeat into infinity, unless you, the weary and aging user, step in to halt the bitch. 

Here are the simple steps for that; I actually used SETI@home for the demonstration, because, they are astronomers, not programmers, and after you make SETI 'snooze', there is no way to halt the client. In my case, I 'snooze' first, because I do NOT want to corrupt my data, so I suspend the operation:

Once I see that red bar to the left of SETI@home v7, I know my work is saved and I can continue.

courtesy: Photoplasty        
Unlike Scotty here; the poor bastard in the Transporter never knew what hit him.

Aight! Fun time over! Now, do a RIGHT mouse click on your Windows task bar at the bottom of your screen, or at the side. You're going to be looking for "Task Manager".

It works in Windows Vista and 7. To get to it in Windows XP, use keyboard strokes <CTRL> + <ALT> + <DEL> at the same time, and select "Task Manager". I don't know nothin' about no Windows 8. Windows 8 looks like a pretend OS. Screw Microsoft. 

Windows Task Manager Processes screen shows all of the "threads" of the applications you are running, or more aptly, not running at the time. Look for your offender and highlight it. Click "End Process".

You will always see this message; if you clicked on something else by mistake, and the process is crucial to the running of your system, Windows will NOT allow the killing of the thread to take place!

Once I "kill" the boinc.exe process, all subordinate processes will die as well. You can do the same with Chrome, or any application, but ALWAYS kill the *.exe. It is a cleaner way to exit the program and you lessen the chance of corrupting any *.dll files or any other subordinate files. 
That's all there is to it. Of course, if it happens continually, shoot me a line, or try closing other programs before running whatever it is that freezes on you. I can't help you with your Candy Crush addiction. Level 70? My, my, my, my, my.

Don't forget! March 21st is the date for the Great Theme Reveal! The A-to-Z Challenge is almost upon us and you don't want to be caught theme-less! Check us out at #teamDamyanti on  the A-to-Z Challenge Blog! I am one of the fabulous Damyanti's assistant's this year, along with my great team members, Vidya Sury, Anna Tan, Samantha Geary-Jones, Guilie Castillo Oriard, Csenge Zalka, and Jemima Pett, who at this very moment has a post about her own Theme Reveal!


Thursday, March 6, 2014


Poor #ROW80; they probably wonder if I'm still alive. #IWSG is more than likely under the assumption that I'm some mass hallucination. I wonder myself. At least Damyanti of #teamDamyanti is aware that I am a real person; sort of. . .

I honestly meant to be on-the-ball this month; really. But once again, life happened, and as is my wont I tend to be secretive, when I most likely shouldn't be. Blame it on Asperger syndrome, being an only child, hating most of the human race, being shy, having low self-esteem, high self-esteen or knowing that interaction with most of the hoi-polloi ends in tears, regret, shattered dreams and on occasion, spilt blood; not mine, but theirs and one begins to understand why I am rather comfortable with my own company and ill at ease with people I do not know. 

Thanks to Mr. Jesse Libecap and and the entire Roo family for my wake-up call today!

So, what does this have to do with missing my #IWSG check in? JC had to be put into the hospital again, and this time it was for his heart. What should have been done months ago, and was ignored by his primary care physician, finally caught up to him. It was discovered by his Gastroenterologist, who flat-out told him that he would not perform and endoscopy on him until his heart issue had cleared up. My railing at JC over the phone whilst in the G.E. doctor's office did nothing, because he is a stubborn man. Alex's hollering did nothing. So, we let him come home. This was February 24, 2014.

We finally got him to the hospital on February 26, 2014, when I refused to speak to him for 2 days. I turned my back. Every other gambit had failed, but this. JC has had little love or interaction in his life, but I knew this was one thing he could not bear. I stopped interacting with him at all. He would walk into a room; I would walk out. It tore me up inside, and yes, it was cruel, but it worked. He gave in and went to the hospital. Alex and I visited him and made him laugh; JC and I are never angry with one another for long; there is too much love and we have cared for one another through so much, but I am not ready to let him go. As I told him, "I'm not through making you miserable in my attempts to make you experience happiness!"

The amazing thing is, the human body is hard to kill. The heart catheterization did not have the desired results, so for now, the doctors are using a combination of medicines to break up the calcified stent and the surrounding plaque. If this does not work, then, they will be forced to do a surgical bypass. Good thing I remembered all of that crap from the good doctors at the University of Michigan hospital, almost 40 years ago. 

JC seems to have weathered it well, better than his princess of a cat, Mama, and myself. Mama, of course looked for him constantly, and with him gone, she was forced by me to remain inside the entire time. No half-ajar doors, where she has the run of in-and-out; it is far too dangerous a neighborhood, with me here by myself to leave any door open. So, for about five days, I chased her around, with a spray bottle and picked up the stuff she knocked down. I didn't sleep well, and wouldn't have anyway, with JC gone. My Parkinsonism, requires lots and lots of sleep, and when I don't get it, I find that the Primodone, while helpful, still leaves me fatigued. The muscles on the right side of my body seem to have been weakened and my right eye-lid starts to droop. A lovely sight, I'm sure. 

Before my 2nd eye surgery, I could sorta do this. If this came in blue, I'd totally own it.

So, after JC was home, and we had settled in, I took off up to our favorite Sweetbay/WinnDixie to get his medicines. In spite of what I said, I am amazingly strong and a good 2-mile walk was what I needed to blow out some of the tension and anxiety. The muggers have learned to leave me alone after their last botched attempt, so I am safe. I grabbed the meds and a few items and stuffed them into my backpack in the front of the store.

Whilst doing so, I knocked over this poor gent's bike with my cane. I felt terrible and hoped I hadn't hurt it. I was trying to pick it up and I heard "Hey! That's my bike! Don't be takin' my stuff!" I whirled around and said, "I'm so sorry mister! I knocked it down! I hope I didn't hurt it!" He saw my cane and pack and bags, and asked "Could you wait here while I get my stuff?" I said "Sure! I'd be happy to!" He went back inside and got his things and came back, saying "Lawdy, lawdy, they put the grapes on the bottom, then the eggs and the canned goods on top!" He got it all arranged, as I was arranging my stuff.

Where I live, the bicycle is the primo method of transportation, unless you're a drug dealer or a pimp. The gent's bike didn't have quite this much stuff, but he had several 6-packs of water, a dozen eggs, grapes and canned goods on his handlebars. I've seen some contraptions in my time, running up and down Nebraska Ave., 33602, 33605, and some really, really fine looking rolling iron that is not owned by the upstanding citizens or V. M. Ybor.

Then he looked at me and said, "Can I help you to your car?" Then, he looked again, at my cane and glasses, and said, "Oh." This isn't the first time I've been asked this. "Nah, I'm taking the bus," I said. "Okay, well have a great day, and thanks!" He started to peddle away, and stopped and started laughing. "I forgot to unlock my bike!" I looked at him. "I have that effect on people. I sow confusion, wherever I go. It's my confuse-a-what™ and I'm really good at it." He said, "I can see that. Goodbye" Off he went.

I just made it to my bus and got home. I showed JC all of the items that he could make for himself that were easily fixed and heart-healthy. I gave him his meds and realized that I was so tired I could hardly move. Alex and I had made egg salad with 35 eggs that the church had provided on Sunday, so I had a sandwich and laid down for a nap at 3:30 pm on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. I woke up, today, at 2:10 pm. Yep, I was tired and that was some nap. JC is comfortable and seems willing to do what the doctors are asking of him; I hope he complies. Only he can do that; I am the most compliant patient on earth. I am non-compliant in every other aspect of my life; and oh yes, I do challenge my doctors. But, being compliant and going along and trusting everyone, got me to this point where I have nothing to retire on; after helping husbands get degrees and all. You hear me, Lithia? I will outlive JC; my health is much better now than it was 25 years ago, but my attitude is much, much worse in regards to "letting things go". I will fight for JC and I will fight for myself, as well.

A reminder! Theme Reveal for the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge is March 21, 2014. The Sign up is here. I am part of #teamDamyanti and our goal is to assist you in choosing a "theme" for your A-to-Z Challenge, 2014!