hankrules2011

A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Posts Tagged ‘health’

Folding@Home – Joint The Fight Against COVID-19

Posted by Scott Holstad on May 8, 2020

Want to join the fight against COVID-19 & don’t know how cause you’re not a doctor, scientist, etc.? There’s a great way anyone can help. You can donate unused computing power from your computer to Folding@Home, a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, focusing on disease research including COVID-19. “The problems we’re solving require so many computer calculations & the FAH software allows you to share your unused computer power, so we can research more possible cures.” (Distributed computing is defined on their FAQ.) Anyone with a computer can join at no cost except pennies on utility bills. F@H is also interested in multicore, multi-GPU rigs, though any computer is fine. I have a custom designed & custom built PC with an 18-core/36-thread i9-9980XE & multiple NVIDIA GPUs. I started folding Tuesday AM & my first Work Unit was done in 4 minutes. Since then, I’ve added two more rigs to form “TeamScott” (Join Me!) & I plan to add more. In 2+ days, I’ve done 61 Work Units for 72,806 points, putting us at 44,675 out 252,943 teams! It feels great to contribute & it will for you too. Anyone can participate along with organisations like Cisco, AMD, CERN, Intel, NVIDIA, Microsoft, etc. Go here: https://foldingathome.org/. Their FAQ, which is pretty helpful, can be found here: https://bit.ly/3dqxemk. Hope to see you there!

 

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Governors reopening their states are endangering American lives

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 23, 2020

I ran across this excellent article I wish I had written by Jill Filipovic on CNN. For those of you who feel the few Republican governors who are doing this are doing so prematurely and stupidly and thus unnecessarily risking the lives of their respective states’s citizens, this article will more than confirm that belief. For those of you who think this is a GREAT idea and long overdue, I beg you to read this, as well as my previous post, to gain a better understanding of the risks you’ll take with yourself, your families and the lives of others who come into contact with you. Strongly recommended.

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Some Hard Facts and Words about COVID-19, the U.S. Response and What Actual Reality Is and Will Be

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 23, 2020

This 3,000 word article was published on Medium yesterday. It contains a lot of information, statistics and cold realities most Americans haven’t been told and aren’t aware of. Recommended reading for those who feel frustrated by the denials, inconsistencies, lies and hypocrisy coming out of our federal government, among others. THIS LINK will take you to the article. Feel free to share and/or comment. Thanks.

 

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“The Liar Tweets Tonight”: A Song Parody

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 22, 2020

Considering everything that’s going on these days and the fact that the person most responsible for this mess in the US is using nearly every waking minute of each day trying to shift blame to anyone else, anywhere, and accept no responsibility — unless it’s bullshit lies about positive stuff he claims he did — I thought this short Roy Zimmerman video starring a bunch of funny, albeit pissed off Americans of all ages all over the country, is in order, so hopefully anyone seeing this may find some humor in it. If you don’t because you actually support that orange SOB criminal, then piss off because you’re just as big of a dumb ass traitor as he and his ilk are!

 

The Liar Tweets Tonight

 

by Roy Zimmerman and The ReZisters, featuring Sandy Riccardi. Made in collaboration with the Raging Grannies of Mendocino.

 

Stay safe and remain cautious, all. It’s only going to get rougher…

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We Just Bought A New House and We’re Moving!

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 24, 2019

We have been house hunting all year in another primary region of the country for several different reasons, and I initially thought it would and should turn out to be quick and easy, but it’s been the most hellish house buying/moving experience of my life! Because of things like my poor health and my wife’s busy schedule, we simply couldn’t work out the logistics of a long trip, so we’ve been doing this remotely, which I’ve never done before. It’s really way too long of a story to tell, but we looked in a 3 state area for the whole year, and it has been the worst and toughest year of our lives! But we finally closed on a house a couple of weeks ago, and we’ll be moving to Pennsylvania in two weeks. I’d love to tell the story, but it would take too long and I don’t have the time or energy. So this will be another photo blog, with picks of the house we’re going to be moving into. It’s not what we started out looking for, it’s not ideal, we would probably prefer a number of things it lacks, but for here and now, it was the right place in the right location at the right price, and it’s actually a nice little house, I think, although I do cringe at the idea of downsizing. Heh. We’ll be living in a TINY community in the middle of the state, north of Baltimore, in between Pittsburgh and Philly, so there are many reasons why that’s an ideal location for us, which I won’t go very deeply into, but basically my health is so bad that numerous specialists have given up on my health even being MANAGED, let alone treated here in Chattanooga, the state itself, and even the entire region and I’ve been repeatedly advised to move to one of the following places: Mayo Clinic (Minnesota), Cleveland Clinic or Johns Hopkins (Baltimore). And since Gretchen is from Maryland and her family all live there and since she worked in Baltimore, and it and DC nearby, and they have a much better job market than here, and she’s also excited about seeing old friends and more, it just makes sense. (Frankly, it’s time for us to leave the South.) Additionally, this will be about a one hour commute for her to Baltimore, or if she could find a closer job, we’re 20 minutes from Gettysburg, 10 minutes from Hanover, 30 minutes from York, 45 minutes from Harrisburg, an hour and a half from DC, an hour and a half from Philly, and it’s more to Pittsburgh, but in the event Johns Hopkins can’t handle all of my issues, both Pittsburgh and Philly have top hospitals in some my areas (neurology, neuroscience) that could serve as backups or supplements. So as much as I would like to describe how insanely nuts this year has been, what we’ve had to go through to make this work, and how grueling this has been for us, I simply don’t have the time or energy to describe it and write more than I am here, so I’m going to go ahead and mainly post some pics of the new house we’ll be moving into in early December.

First, a few basics: It is a small, older two-story colonial (built in 1930) that we think is fairly attractive. It’s got three bedrooms and one bathroom, a nice covered front porch, small but nice back deck, small level yard, lovely real original hardwood floors with a pleasant and good sized living room, dining room and kitchen. Upstairs, the master bedroom is uniquely shaped, but not a bad size and has a door leading out to a back upper story covered balcony. The other bedrooms are somewhat small, but they fit the house and we knew we’d have to downsize. There’s a very large unfinished basement that will provide excellent storage and if we ever get the funds to partially or fully finish it, the listed “living space” square footage will shoot up tremendously because the literal square footage is actually over 900 more square feet than the listed livable square footage. We didn’t have many requirements and were forced to lower our expectations because Maryland (our original intended location) is such an expensive state to live in, and we wouldn’t have had many options, and yet even in podunk PA, in the neighboring county, the property taxes were just insane! We’ve been spoiled in Chattanooga, because the taxes are the lowest we’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen monster ones in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Phoenix and Malibu, but all the time we were looking at regular sized, regular priced (cheap even) houses in that county, I kept asking the realtors WHY a 1800 square foot house with three bedrooms and one bathroom that runs about $220K-$250K would have property taxes of $6000, $8000, even $11000 and $13000 a year?!? There? Manhattan? Sure! Newport Beach? Sure! Santa Barbara? Of course. But what the hell is in the sticks that is such a big draw that people are dying to move there and pay those kind of property taxes for a generic rural area??? That’s nuts! I offended some people by asking that question about some place no one has ever heard of, that has no draw at all to merit robbing people like that – why?!? In any event, this house’s taxes are much more than we’re used to, but less than the examples I gave and for that area, about average. Even though we didn’t have many requirements, most of the houses in that area are very old. I knew that because I spent a decade living in that state as a young boy and I can recall all of the many houses from the 1830s and 1790s, etc. So almost none of these houses have any AC at all — and I get massively hot. Also, I prefer gas heat, and most had electric. We also prefer city water and sewer, and of course, most were on wells and septic tanks. BUT, this house has gas heat, central AC and is on public water and sewer, so YAY, that makes a big difference to us. There’s so much more, but I have very poor health and am tied up in trying to make arrangements with movers, auto transport services, utility companies, and all the details that go with this, so I’m just going to move on to the pics. The only other thing I’ll mention is that the house is located in Adams County, PA, where the county seat is historic Gettysburg. Our town is the fourth largest (of 18) “borough” in the county with a massive population of all of 3,000 people, making it the second smallest place I will ever have lived. It’s called McSherrystown (Borough) and it’s old and cute. And here’s something we really like! No crime. Like none. During  this century, no murders, rapes, assaults, one arson every other year, two robberies, and fewer than 75 thefts total for the whole damn century! The “city” has a police force of FOUR! Hell, that’s how many cops got killed on my block in LA every night when I lived in 18th Street Gang Territory, as well as when I was in North Long Beach (and dozens of other places there and elsewhere). Since we’ve been crime victims multiple times, this matters greatly to us. You may not be impressed with this house and it won’t be the nicest and will be the smallest I’ve ever lived in, but we do like it, think it’s attractive and it has some really nice features, and since every place has its pros and cons, we’re happy to have found this after 11 hard months of work trying to get a house and we’re especially happy to have gotten it for so much less than most others anywhere around there and others we were considering.

 

1. Our new house, front from street.

 

 

2. An angled street view of the front of our new house.

 

 

3. A different angled street view of the front of our new house.

 

 

4. The foyer. Needs a touch up here and there, but otherwise nice and in good condition with access to all of the important parts of the house.

 

 

5. The well lit, open living room with a lovely opening to the large formal dining room next to it. Original hardwood. Lots of windows. Good size. This is especially important to me as I have serious mobility issues due to my health, and so I spend the majority of my time on the ground floor, and so obviously the living room.

 

 

 

 

6. Another vantage point of the living room.

 

 

7. From the living room looking into the foyer.

 

8. Spacious cheery formal dining room!

 

 

9. Dining room, looking into the kitchen and the living room.

 

 

10. Spacious kitchen. This honestly isn’t our favorite, but we looked at so many houses throughout three states that we saw every kind, size, style imaginable and while this lacks the cupboard and counter space we would really prefer, it’s MUCH better and massively larger than the one in the house we had signed an agreement to purchase the previous month, only to have the inspector find so many “invisible” problems that the likely repair bills would likely have been in the six figures alone — and so we walked. That house seemed very nice, was quite large, but had the tiniest, most useless kitchen we’d ever seen, so we’ll take this present one any day over the former. Hey, can’t get everything you want, right? It’ll be good.

 

 

10. Kitchen facing entrances to other rooms.

 

 

11. One of the bedrooms.

 

 

12. A (small) second bedroom.

 

 

13. The master bedroom. Oddly narrow and long, but still pretty nice, we think.

 

 

14. Another view of the master bedroom.

 

 

15. The back deck with small, level back yard and a decent shed in the background. I’m not much of a “deck” person, but I’m actually pretty happy about this one, because our current one — which we’ve had to have ripped up, torn down and rebuilt twice in five years at great expense — is SO incredibly high off the ground, and the stairs so steep and vertically challenging with small, narrow steps, that it’s completely unusable for me, while this should be, so maybe I’ll actually become a “deck” person…

 

 

15. The back of the house. The cool thing about this photo is the funky thing I didn’t show in previous pictures. If you look up toward the top floor, you’ll see that the master bedroom has a door that opens on to a fairly decent, comfortable covered balcony, which is a little unusual, but we think it’s pretty cool.

 

I won’t bore you with any more house photos. It’s just that I literally have no one to show, and even though it’s probable that no one will even see it here online, at least I’m getting to attempt to show some photos of our new house, so it would be nice to know if anyone saw this post. As I said, it’s been a demanding, exhausting, draining, frustrating, infuriating, tiring, impossible, expensive as hell year culminating in finally finding a house we could buy, but now the end of it all is finally getting near and we’ll (hopefully) finally be able to sit down, take a breath and relax in a couple of months. Unreal year. For so many more reasons not mentioned here.

Well, enough of that. I’m going to post a few final pics I got off the Net of a few parts of town so you can see how tiny and quaint it is. I won’t label each of them like I did for the house, but the one of the church is of the town’s Catholic church, and the biggest one around, while the one of the diner shows the only restaurant they have, and the hilarious one of their police car is of the only one in town for the four police officers to share while not having to do a darn thing about the near total lack of crime. LOL! Thanks for indulging me, if anyone did. We’ll be moving in a couple of weeks. Catch ya on the other side…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A “Major” Status Update

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 18, 2019

I published this article on LinkedIn today. I thought I would share it here. If you wish to see it at the source, you can find it on my LinkedIn profile. However, I’m going to republish the piece in its entirety here, since not everyone has a LI account and some would not be able to read it.

 

A “Major” Status Update

 

Hello. I’ve decided it is long past time to write a personal status update with explanations about several issues regarding myself, our business, and my goings on here on LinkedIn. Sorry for taking so long. My last update was in September (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/major-changes-scott-holstad/) and a lot has happened since then, and I frankly haven’t had the time to write another until now – and many of you have been inquiring into my status, so I feel I owe you a promised explanation.

As many of you know, I’ve had some severe health problems for awhile, which worsened considerably last year, resulting in three near-death experiences, ample time spent in and at various hospitals, countless tests, procedures, medications, etc. In November, several things occurred which resulted in a number of injuries, for which I’ve had to undergo more tests and past and future surgeries. What I didn’t realize was there apparently was more under the surface, which when added to some pre-existing conditions and issues, resulted in new and worsening symptoms that didn’t initially make much sense, but which accelerated at a shockingly fast pace, week by week. I won’t list most symptoms, but suffice it to say that among them were signs of increased cognitive impairment. That actually isn’t entirely new, but the rate of progression was astonishing, compared to previously, and new symptoms were disturbing and confusing.

Typically, I started researching like crazy, about anything remotely associated with these symptoms, and a pattern started to emerge, which when added to a series of events dating back to at least 2016, chronologically showed evidence of growing problems. Indeed, I was diagnosed with a particular condition as far back as 2017 and put on some strong medication. I was overseen by several specialists, but that was largely put on the backburner last year when I “died” in June, and then with the chaos that followed.

In any event, I began to figure things out in January, started making more notes, and came up with not one, but two related conditions, which when one considered the symptoms, the ways in which such conditions emerged, and events in my life that chronologically matched periods of memory impairments and numerous other issues, really made sense. I developed a detailed theory and discussed it with my wife, who was resistant. I wrote a lengthy logical document detailing what I just mentioned, gave it to her and she was finally convinced. I then met with doctors, discussed this/these with them, gave them the information, and they agreed with my self-assessment/diagnosis. So, I’ve been put on some new medication and I was given some information, advice, and an outlook which wasn’t very … optimistic. The potential exists that I am in an advanced stage of this/these conditions, generally related to cognitive impairment, potentially quite severe. I’m sure you can figure things out for yourselves. I have an appointment for far more extensive testing soon. We’ll know better then what we’re looking at. At this point, the doctors currently overseeing me have generally given me six months to two years to live, with a strong emphasis on the former. Basically, they said it would be surprising for me to see 2020. I haven’t told my elderly mother, nor has my wife told her family. We’re discussing this with no one. Only my doctors know anything, and I want to keep it that way. Of course, anything is possible and further testing may show these specialists are wrong, or at least their prognosis is off base. But I’m pretty convinced. I’ve been keenly aware of my progressively worsening state on a daily basis, and my wife admits that she too has observed me worsening regularly since December. I’m looking at an incurable, irreversible, terminal condition. I’ve never been afraid of death. I’ve come so close to death in so many ways over my lifetime that I simply have no fear. I DO fear a few ways to die. For instance, I never relished the notion of crashing to earth in a plane. And like my parents, none of us wanted to ever get something like Alzheimer’s (who does?). Whatever the case, one rarely gets to choose what method, what time, under what conditions. For most, it just happens when it happens. So my concerns now are to take care of details for my wife and her future, do whatever is necessary to slow down and stop working, to shut down the company (Yes, I intend to shut down WireMe Designs, LLC sometime this year.), and to try and make it day to day. For many months now, my life has radically changed. My usual habits and patterns have been altered. Now, I am constantly fatigued, but I often can’t sleep at all and will go 48 and 72+ hours without sleep before having a night where I sleep to 11:30 the nexmorning. I’m also a lot weaker, more prone to falls, and have been having more trouble walking. I’ve used a cane for some time, but doctors insisted in late 2018 that I start using a walker, which has really taught me humility. Severe stomach problems have also returned, notably severe nausea, incredibly extreme pain, and often an inability to eat at all; there are days I simply don’t eat. Furthermore, I have suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia Type 2 for a decade, as well as many serious back conditions, resulting in dozens of surgeries. For years, I’ve lived daily with indescribable pain, and it impacted me terribly the first two years, but I came to adapt to a large degree, and my pain tolerance level is actually extremely high by most accounts. However, my pain is greater than ever and my entire body hurts nearly constantly, and now most of my days consist of attempting to do some necessary things, now very difficult, and then of simply existing, at various time, barely cognizant. I shut down my Facebook account and am no longer active on virtually any social media except LinkedIn, and my time here has decreased. And as many of you have found out, it’s nearly impossible for me to reply to the large number of messages and emails I regularly receive. I’m having to limit my interactions because my window of opportunity for daily productivity has been radically shortened. So forgive me if it seems like I’m ignoring you because it’s not that I don’t want to interact with you – I’m just very limited now. So, I’ll do what I can to keep sharing relevant articles, posting commentary, writing the occasional article, and I’ll keep making connections with people, but I can’t do what I’ve typically done in the past, and that’s give significant time, energy or effort to any project or favor requests that come my way. With many apologies. So, I wrote more than I intended, but I felt like after all this time, I owed an explanation, and I needed to explain my current and future status, as well as that of the company’s. I appreciate everyone in my network and those who follow me, and I appreciate any support thrown my way. You have my gratitude. I’ll probably be on here less than normal, but I’ll try to get on regularly for as long as possible. Cheers to you!

Scott Holstad

April 18, 2019

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