Foreward

This is a Red Pill Zone. "You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." This site also contains language and opinions that may consign you to the 9th Circle of Hell for reading. You Have Been Warned

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COPD Flareups and Dependencies

Well last week was certainly one for the books. My Computer crashed and I had to rebuild it out of parts, which are getting thin on the ground as this is an old machine running XP. As part of my treatment regime I walk and lay around my house with a cannula pumping oxygen into my lungs at a rate of 2 liters per minute. I am getting good moving around and not getting the hose tangled up. Hell, I am just getting to the point where I wake up with the cannula still in place.

Therein creeps up the first dependency. Going places without that oxy shortens the time available to do things outside the house. Having to pump up with the magic drugs to get ready for road trips which are much shorter in time and distance is a drag. I feel okay at rest, but as soon as I move around breathing becomes problematic. Being clean and sober for 28 years does not minimize the whole cycle of dependency. Intellectually I know that this is different than being a drunk and a dope fiend, but emotionally it grinds on my brain.

Last Saturday morning I had a flareup, which is an inability to breathe despite my regular regime of meds. Basically a flareup is your lungs tighten up to the point where you literally are panting like a dog and cannot catch your breath. (Humidity is a big factor in COPD, as you feel that you are breathing in cotton balls) Ended making my first and hopefully my last 911 call. The Firemen were stellar in getting me stabilized for transport. Went to a New ER for treatment. 7 hours later I came home, still breathing slow, but regular.

Sunday I woke up to find my dog Walnut died,(she had been with me for 13 years) so I ended up in the ER again, but my regular one.(yeah I know how weird that sounds, just like the sitcom Cheers ‘where everybody knows your name)A friend came and drove me there. I used to drive myself, and hope I can continue to do that in the future.

The ER regime includes a dose of Magnesium sulfate, which works to relax the smooth muscles, aka your lungs. Also are steroids which help in getting the lungs to relax and work. This is usually good for a couple of days of really good breathing so I can get stuff done around the house. Depending on the results of blood tests, sometimes a course of antibiotics are added.

One of the standard diagnostic tools are x-rays of the lungs. X-Ray imaging is electronic now. No more developing of film and waiting to dry before looking at images on a light box. The shot becomes an image file that can be viewed immediately.

(Tech Tip: COPD has a tendency to lengthen the lungs, so tell the x-ray tech to use ‘portrait; over ‘landscape’ will help capture the lungs in one image vs 2.)

Part of my new lifestyle includes the ‘good’ parking next to shops, and being one of those folks riding around the grocery store in the motorized carts. Which is good news. The not so good news is that my limits on activity become shorter over time.

Early in my internet life when I was actively building websites, dreaming of sitting in front of the keyboard in my bathrobe and making money was the plan. That didn’t last very long, as anybody who is still active can tell you. Well now I am retired in front of the keyboard in my bathrobe.

Bur hey, I am still on the green side of things:)

The COPD Lifestyle

A little over a year ago, my daughter drug my ass down to the local ER. I have been having what I thought was just a little problem breathing from years of smoking, plaster dust, drywall, solvents, taping dust, and other contaminants that I have been around over the years of remodeling.

Well it turns out that what I have is a as one ER doc put it, “a Crazy Sick case of COPD.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is a major cause of disability, and it’s the third leading cause of death in the United States. Currently, millions of people are diagnosed with COPD. Many more people may have the disease and not even know it.

COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit your ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent you from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of yourself.

Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older adults. The disease isn’t passed from person to person—you can’t catch it from someone else.

COPD has no cure yet, and doctors don’t know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs. However, treatments and lifestyle changes can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease.
Source National Institute of Health

Basic activities are about all I have left these days. Going for groceries for example requires many drugs, forethought and way more time than I ever thought you could spend in a store.

I have a cabinet full of drugs, to keep me breathing and my heart going.

This is the new me.
cannula
The cannula is connected to an Oxygen Concentrator.
oxyconcentrator
This machine scrubs nitrogen out of the air and delivers it to me attached to a 50′ cord allowing me to walk around my house and do things. It is amazing how much better you can think and do things when you are actually getting enough oxygen in your system.

For treatments we have this machine the Nebulizer.

nebulizer
the “neb works with a mask to pump albuterol suspension into your lungs to get whats left of your lungs to accept oxygen. This I use every four hours.
I have other drugs that are once a day, twice a day, and the semi-familiar ‘rescue inhaler’. I also have a portable oxygen tank like the girl on Bates Motel, but I don’t go out long that much anymore.
More time for the web.


If ever there was a good excuse to quit smoking this ranks close to the top.

The Internet Explained and Endangered

There are a lot of ideas about what the internet is. This is probably the best explanation out here.

The internet thrives based on the flow of information. You want information to flow more broadly, rather than to hoard it. Historical economics is based on worlds of scarcity, and in worlds of scarcity it makes sense to hoard resources, as they are valuable by themselves. Yet, in worlds of abundance you want the opposite. You want abundant or infinite resources to flow freely because they do something special: they increase the value of everything else around them.

Mike Masnick Tech Dirt 03/05/2015

We can embrace the original peer to peer design of the internet, or sink into a quagmire of thought control promoted by companies whose goal is to own you.

The poster child for the new control is Facebook’s Internet.org. Doc Searls notes:

Internet.org calls itself “a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, non-profits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have Internet access.” But what it offers is not the Internet, but a sphinctered fraction of it: Facebook plus a few chosen others.

Doc Searls

Over at Wired is this article about the folks who are the recipients of this Zuckerberg largesse questioning and rejecting Internet.org.
Backlash Against Facebook’s Free Internet Service Grows

The Last thing we need is to welcome newcomers to the web through Facebook.

Quote and Notes

Quote of the day

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. — James Baldwin

Notes:
Facebook Down…Who you gonna Call?
911 calls about Facebook Outage
Gonna have to revisit the idea that the internet makes you smarter.

Browser Fingerprinting
Yet another privacy invasion brought to you by folks who should know better.
Browser Fingerprints: A Big Privacy Threat
Panopticlick EFF.org
Browser Fingerprinting and Online Privacy. We know who you are!

there will be more….

Product Lust

I am getting older and the 19” inch LED monitors just aren’t cutting it.
I already have a 42 inch Visio I bought for 1400.00 bucks about 7 years ago. It has been my main monitor for 2 years since I cut the cable.

This is the new model.
e420i-b0-2_1

I really need one of these. And at 450.00 bucks it is a steal.

Maybe I will get lucky and one will show up at my door.

The Internet of things 1999

Back in 1999 I penned a piece called
Web TV and Set Top Boxes Back then we had programs not apps, email was king, and you didn’t need an antenna box to watch television

Let’s take a moment and expand on the internet appliance paradigm.

7:30 AM

You wake up in the morning feeling like you have been devoured by Godzilla and crapped off a cliff. You crawl to the bathroom and grab the Medic Alert Internet Appliance…… You insert it into the proper orifice(the sharp sensation you feel is the bloodwork probe), it dials up your doctor, and sends it’s information to his Doctor 2000 program which, compares your symptoms against the database for you.

It thinks you have the flu. You need drugs. It writes a prescription, emails it to the pharmacy, which fills the prescription, and sends Harry, the delivery boy to your house, with the life saving chemicals. Since you belong to a (MCO)managed care organization, they receive an email to their database, notifying them that you are sick again, and will adjust your premium accordingly.

7:35 AM

Also in the bloodwork was a high blood alcohol content reading, (We know it was a retirement party), but the Doctor 2000 program flags your file, and an email is sent to the nearest AA chapter, which dials your house with a prerecorded message urging you to attend the next meeting which is starting in 15 min.

7:50 AM

The knocking on your door is Harry from the drugstore with your prescription. Since the drugstore is delivering, it has already wired the bill to your MCO, which has sucked the deductible out of your bank account, as well as the next premium increase. Your MCO file is flagged and you receive an email asking if you have dealt with your alcohol problem.

8:00AM

Your television turns on and adjusts the volume up as you are still puking your guts out. Your set top box screams you’ve got mail! It is a commercial from the drugstore thanking you for shopping, and offering you more products to help you get back on track. Another window opens up in your tv, from the Medic Alert Internet Appliance Company offering to send you the Upgraded Medic Alert 2001 appliance. Since you have not responded in 30 seconds to this offer, it is shipped instantly(just like the book clubs) and your bank account is debited for the first of 300 EZ payments. Your Medic Alert has determined that you are still barfing, so it tells the House to open the door and directs Harry to your location.

Harry administers the life giving products and helps you back to your bed.

8:01AM

The medic Alert has determined that there is virus particles on the floor,(yes, you are a bad shot), and emails the Daisy House Keepers, to come and clean your bathroom. Your pantry is queried and you are found to be woefully lacking in the proper disinfectants to ensure your recovery. An emergency email is sent to your grocery store for the products needed to abate this Now a Biological Hazard Cleanup. These products are dispatched at once! Again your bank account is debited for this.

8:10AM

There is a knock on the door. It is Daisy to Clean. Your house permits her to enter. Her pager goes off. It is a alert that this is not a mop and glow situation, but HazMat. The house directs here to the kitchen, to wait for the delivery from the grocery store. The coffee pot starts and the house offers her a cup of coffee while she waits. Meanwhile, since the situation has changed from her original dispatch, her time and material program starts the meter running.

Since she has met Harry, he is brought into the loop regarding your Hazmat Cleanup, he grabs his palmtop and emails the drugstore for gloves, gowns, shoe covers, and Biohazard ”DO NOT CROSS” tape. This flags the drugstore program, which by law must report this group of products as a Bio Hazard, emailing the Health Department.

8:20AM

There is another knock at the door. It is the grocery store with cleaning supplies and a loaf of bread. (you were running low)

8:40AM

There is another knock at the door. It is the Health dept. Biohazard Response Team. They are all wearing Level 4 Racal BioHazard suits, as the email the received said that your flu virus had not been classified at the time of dispatch.

8:45AM

Your TV goes off again with new messages from Daisy, the grocery store, (Your printer starts printing money saving coupons), Notification from the Health Dept. regarding your Biohazard, and notifying you that your neighbors on both sides have been emailed regarding the developing situation in your house.

The Biohazard Team sets up an Isolation unit in your kitchen to test Daisy and Harry for Possible Infection.

The team leader enters your bedroom to interview you to determine the possible cause and source of your illness.

But you are in the bathroom again.

8:50AM

Your TV goes off again with new messages from the drugstore (More money saving coupons) and your doctor. You have an appointment at the Clinic at 9:30AM

9:30AM

The drugstore has delivered your cleaning supplies, and the cleanup begins.

9:45AM

Your tv goes off again with a message from your doctor rescheduling your appointment in 2 weeks. Another message arrives from your MCO cancelling your coverage due to the fact you did not make your doctor appointment, nor did you request the appointment in writing 5 business days prior. Your personal Lawyer 2000 program files suit in court to overturn this decision.

10:00 AM

Your Lawyer 2000 program informs you that your suit was denied.

The new Medic Alert 2001 arrives. The Biohazard team leader plugs it in. It retests you and alerts the doctor 2000 program that new information has arrived. The new information states that you have a hangover from the party last night, (elevated alcohol levels) and not the flu as previously thought.

Since you no longer have medical coverage, your bank account is debited 300.00 for the consultation, 600.00 for lab work and 300.00 for paperwork. Your Finance 2000 program notifies you that your checking account is overdrawn. Your bank account has kicked in the overdraft protection feature of your account and sucked your savings dry.

You are Still short. Your Finance 2000 Program applies for a loan to cover the shortfall and to cover the returned check charges. The Banker 2000 program in reviewing your recent banking activities, grants you the loan by placing a lein on your house, car and computer.

10:05 AM

Your house 2000 program informs you that the medic alert 2000 had a software bug that caused bogus results. It informs the Lawyer 2000 program which starts suing everone in sight. But your lawyer 2000 program requires office expenses up front.

It examines your finances and determines you need money. It arranges with the bank to put your house car and computer up for Auction.

10:10AM

Your tv opens up new windows and informs you that your house, car and computer have sold! You are still short, as the proceeds did not cover your outstanding debts.

10:11AM

Your lawyer 2000 programs files bankruptcy protection on your behalf. Too late. another software bug.

10:15AM

The Police arrive. Daisy is arrested for unpaid parking tickets. Harry is given a clean bill of health and goes back to work.

11:00AM

The new owners attempt to enter, but cannot because the health dept. has not recalled the Biohazard alert. It’s there, but due to the increased message traffic across the net, the message is stuck waiting to send. Their Lawyer 2000 program sues for breach of contract.

NOON.

Your headache is gone, your house is clean and gone, your car and computer are gone. Your last emails are from the Employment service, the bank, the lawyer 2000 program informing you that all of your suits have been denied, and Welcome messages from the 20 new creditors you have acquired in the course of this mornings events.

Waiting outside are your new AA friends, and the neighbors carrying torches and yard inplements screaming ” that’s the guy with the Internet House”!
Behind them are Process Servers to collect money on behalf of your 20 new creditors.
The Police have returned with a number of warrants for your arrest on charges ranging from disturbing the peace to wire fraud.

But, you have many dollars in money saving coupons.

The Internet of “Things” is the Jonestown of Privacy

The latest lunacy to arrive for the internet is the Internet of Things. Things being any device that takes electricity and can be equipped with a wireless transceiver.
I’m not sure who coined it, nor do I care, as it has to be the single dumbest meme since Social Networking.

Social Networking is the Jonestown of the Advertising Industry.

The Internet of Things theory is we interconnect our computers and or ‘smart’ phones with every other appliance and gadget we own. Really? Status updates from your appliances, car and TV?

Google’s Nest Labs which makes Thermostats and smoke alarms is the poster child for this lunacy. Here we have a device with an LED display that can be programmed to allegedly save you money by learning your habits and patterns, and stop unnecessary heating and cooling. Having an ‘app’ on your phone to play with your thermostat is just a bit nuts. Most folks look at their thermostat twice a year, during heating and cooling seasons.

The first problem with this is your house is probably not airtight, and its construction negates any ‘savings’ you may achieve. Raising the temperature when you are not home and lowering it before you arrive is a nice theory, and the electric companies make a compelling case for setting your temps higher.
(You can live life at 79 degrees in the summer) The problem comes in the physics of temperature control. By raising and or lowering your temps, your HVAC unit has to work much harder to control this swing, negating any ‘savings’.

Being WiFi enabled just gives hackers another opening into your life either by war driving or compromising your smart phone. To add insult to injury having the phone company flogging these products on their sites and the information traveling over their networks just adds another bit of surveillance information that gets passed along to three letter agencies.

SMART TV’s are Back in the News again. I have written about this before. The latest revelations concern any brand of Smart TV sold that is compatible with the new HbbTV standard (short for hybrid broadcast-broadband) which is giving advertisers a gigantic pulsing erection to TARGET you with Messages. This is not some obscure hack only discussed in hacker forums, but is a real threat.

From Forbes comes this nugget
“Broadcasters and advertisers have been eager to use the HbbTV to target ads more precisely and add interactive content, polls, shopping and apps, to home viewers. But millions of TV sets would be vulnerable to hackers with the right gear, as long as the sets are receiving an over-the-air digital broadcast signal.”
Source Forbes.com

Now if your TV is connected to your home network, or smart phone your life is gonna be basically over.

The Internet of Things is not content to screw around with your house, they also want to fuck up your driving as well.

GM whose first foray into automotive spyware interactive driving was OnStar, billed as a safety feature originally. Their latest brainchild is an app that lets you scan a license plate, then text the driver.

New ways to practice road rage.

the creep factor is enormous..
……
Hi Hal I noticed you have a large pack of toilet paper in your back seat, Would like us to come and check out your plumbing?
…..

Hey baby, how about pulling over at the rest stop?
….

Hello Hal. This is the Onstar dispute resolution APP. We noticed that You texted another driver about an un-signaled lane change, would you like us to help you resolve this?
…..

Hello Hal. Your last text to another driver contained threats regarding bodily harm. The Police have been notified and your car will be shut down in 30 seconds, so please move to the shoulder and await the authorities.
…..

To add insult to injury having the phone company transmitting this information over their networks just adds another bit of surveillance information that gets passed along to three letter agencies.

One important point that is not mentioned by the IOT weenies is every electrical device has an OFF Switch.

The Internet of Things is the Jonestown of Privacy

28 Years Clean and Sober

Just a reminder that drug and alcohol addiction does not have be the center of one’s universe. Besides the idea of the new BBC Reality show I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse would not be nearly as funny.

I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse follows the 8 contestants as they begin an apocalyptic adventure trapped together in a shopping mall, surrounded by the walking dead. The contestants must live by their wits, make difficult decisions, and use urban survival tactics. Their ultimate goal is to avoid the lethal bite of a zombie and stay alive. The series requires teamwork but how many of the contestants will have what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse?

If you really are concerned with the Zombie Apocalypse, National Geographic who is not known for flights of fancy or science fiction offers this look at the reality of such an event.

Meanwhile it remains, One day at a time.

Surveillance as a business model is the only thing that makes a site like Facebook possible.

I have been on the internet probably longer than majority of current folks today have had pubic hair. Some of the promises of universal access, universal information and something for everyone, like left handed pipe fitters who enjoy hamsters, is coming, but at a cost that is risking everyone’s privacy, safety and security.

If you want to understand how fucked up the internet is today, READ THIS.

Yeah it is this bad.

P.S. The title of this posting is a take away from the author Maciej Ceglowski posting from the link above. If you missed it here it is again. READ THIS.

Reading Rainbow Funding

Reading Rainbow is something for kids to combat illiteracy.

Anything that promotes Literacy is a good thing.

Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere.

Kickstarter Link

Reading Rainbow the site.