Happy Birthday to me

11 years ago (less 9 days) I had a stroke that I will never completely recover from.

34 years ago we went to the hospital for the birth of my first child, who was born 3 days later.

50 years ago, that summer men landed on the moon and the Mets won the pennant.

61 years ago, my mother missed attending the Giants game because I wanted to be born. (And she never let me forget it!)

birthday cake photo
Photo by normanack

Merry Christmas!

Portlandia got its wish for a white Christmas.  There’s snow on the ground and ice on the pavement.

My Christmas came 2 days early. My oldest daughter & her fiance hosted a Christmas dinner for family.  It was great to be able to share the celebration with kids & grandkids.  I didn’t ask for much this year, mostly pictures of my kids.  But I was surprised by the two presents I did get, both very thoughtful.  and I did get some pictures, so that was good too.

I hope that your holidays were everything you wanted them to be…

The difference between courage & desperation

This week while chatting with my therapist, she repeatedly tried to compliment my courage in facing several challenges. But she & I had different perspectives of the same situations. Where she saw courage, I knew it was only desperation.   I finally got my point across using the classic 80’s movie “Officer and a Gentleman” where Richard Gere’s character is being harassed by his drill instructor to drop out. He breaks down, crying out “I’ve got no place else to go.  This is it!”  I’ve felt that way several times since the stroke- I have to be able to eat. I have to get up & stand on my own.  I have to be able to walk around the house.  I have to be able to put my brace & shoes on.  I have no place else to go.  This is it!  So I have to do whatever’s necessary to be able to do these things.  It’s not a matter of courage but of desperation.  The alternative is too scary to even think about.

A sigh of relief all across the internet…

If I understand the reports correctly, the FCC voted on Thursday that broadband ISPs were common carriers that could be regulated using Title II.  The importance of this decision can’t be overstated.  The internet is what it is today because it has been left alone to grow independent from governmental or commercial regulation or interference.

If ISPs were allowed to use their captive markets to monetize delivery of content, it would have harmed not just the customers of the ISPs but the entire ecosystem of the internet.  The internet is probably the purest example we have ever had of a truly market driven economy anywhere and anywhen.  The success of any idea is determined directly by consumers.

While Thursday’s decision by the FCC is reassuring, the internet faces other threats which we have to continue to be vigilant for.  The growth and success of the recent Arab Spring movement is directly connected to the internet.  But other governments continue to try to manipulate the internet to further their own interests; most significantly, the governments of China, the US and North Korea have attacked internet users and continue to do so.  We need to rebuff the efforts of these governments and protect this valuable global resource.