Alaboutnothing Official Blog

March 10, 2017

Quit Smoking the Easy Way Part 1

xsmokingI am happy to report that last January marks 4 years since I last smoked a cigarette. An accomplishment I am very proud of and I am going to share with others who are attempting to quit smoking but struggling with the task. So if you are a non-smoker you might move on to another site, but then again you might wish to share this site to someone you know that is attempting to quit smoking.
I found that when I decided to quit, created the intention to quit smoking, and focused on the task at hand the solutions came my way quickly.

I was smoking one pack a day at the time, and I was going though a severe chest cold which seemed to a fairly regular event at back then. I also had been smoking for over five decades, yes folks, more than fifty years without ever seriously attempting to quit. So here is my solution to quitting which turned out to be easier than expected.

First I met a doctor that had organized a group of folks that under her supervision had quit smoking using a medication named Wellbutrin. The instructions were one pill a day for three days and then start with two pills a day and continue to smoke. When the third day arrived I had already cut down from 20 to 15 cigarettes a day. I found that I had a reaction to taking the second pill and the doctor said to just stay with the one a day. Within 10 days I was at 3 cigarettes a day and seemed to get stuck at three.

Then one day I was on my Facebook page when I saw a symbol on the right side that was a cigarette with a red crossed “X” over it. I stared at the symbol because I never click on those “pages you need to visit” symbols, but I went with a gut feeling and clicked on it. I then went to a page about quitting smoking by Alan Carr and it led me to a PDF download of a book named “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” written by Alan Carr in 1985. I downloaded the file and read the book in one sitting. I have not smoked a cigarette since completing the book. (Thank you Allen)

Click here for a link to the Quit smoking site PDF File

What this book did for me was to point out that all the thoughts about why I liked smoking or why that cigarette with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning tasted so good, or yeah there is a chance of getting cancer, but not me, etc. The answer is those thoughts are coming from your ADDICTION! Yes your addiction is pointing out how much you enjoy smoking and how special you are for smoking without any issues and of course you are so special that cancer is not an option.

So the actual quitting was easy. I found the tough part was about 2-3 weeks later when I felt an urge for a cigarette when a situation occurred that when I was smoking, would smoke a cigarette. I have talked with other people who said this was the part that when they felt some stress, they automatically went back to smoking thinking they would attempt to quit at a later date. My though was “I did not quit smoking to go right back to it!” So what I did was I immediately noticed the situation that was causing the urge and then stopped what I was doing. I sat down and started a simple meditation where I focused on my in and out breath knowing that the urge would pass in about 20 seconds. Sure enough, it did and the next time the same situation came up the urge was non-existent. I did this ever time I had the smoking urge and eventually it was a rare event.

These days focusing on your breathing during a meditation is called “Mindfulness Meditation” and classes on how to do Mindfulness Mediation are being offered by most hospitals across the country (For a fee). If you are luck enough to live in or near Redwood City California the Insight Meditation Center offers classes for free (Donations are accepted). Check their web site for more information

Click here for a link to Insight Meditation Center Redwood City California

If you are interested in on-line classes here is a link to the Google Mindfulness online course, yes folks, Goggle has a course on mindfulness and from what we understand they support their employees in using this method to meditate. You even get a certificate when you complete the course.

Click here for Google Link

We have nothing else to talk about at this time, but we invite you to post a comment if you would like more information or have a question or two. Be sure to include your email address and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as we can. Also if you don’t want your comment made public, please include a “NOT”.

NOTHING is better than a smoke free environment!”

February 1, 2017

Lincare – Respiratory Specialists – UPDATE on Portable Unit

lincarelogoWe just received a phone call from my sister in Sedona and she reported that the portable unit she has been waiting for a year and one half was just delivered to her house.  As soon as we heard a celebration broke out on both ends of the phone line.  We want to thank Dan for his participation in getting this feat accomplished and to all of you who stopped by to read this post.

You might think you just read the post, but by reading the post your energy was added to the energy already engaged in pursuing a resolution.

To Lincare we say, finally thank you and if you had any business sense you would promote Dan (District Manager) to VP at least.

My sister is beyond blissful.  This portable unit gives her freedom to travel around the world or just on short trips.  We wish you all out there in cyberland could hear her voice and the happiness of being free from the heavy unit she has been coping with.

We have nothing else to report at this time except to say >>> Namaste

If you have a few minutes to watch a U tube video about “Love is the New Religion” by Brian Piergrossi you might find this to be the new Spiritual Revolution:

<     LOVE IS THE NEW RELIGION     >

 

January 23, 2017

Lincare – Respiratory Specialists – Consumer Alert

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 4:02 pm
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lincarelogoOne of the things that really “bugs” me is when a medical facility takes advantage of a patient looking to them for their help.  We have a list of issues and we are starting with this one today because even though it’s about one person’s issue, it might help others going through the same thing.

I have a sister that lives in Sedona AZ and she has a pulmonary issue that requires her being on oxygen.  A year and a half ago her doctor (Mayo Clinic PHX) put her in contact with Lincare so she could get a portable oxygen unit.  All the approvals have been done and Lincare sent a concentrator to her home for her to use while she waits for the portable unit to arrive.  They said about 6 weeks.  They said 6 weeks ONE and ONE HALF years ago.  Just today my sister talked with Dan, a District Manager and he said 6 weeks.  I asked, “Why don’t you go somewhere else?” Get this folks, when she signed up ONE and ONE HALF years ago they locked he into a 5 year contract.  This is supposed to protect her against them cancelling, but to me it looks like a really nice medical scam, which probably should be brought up to the MEDICARE folks.  If they are billing MEDICARE for the portable unit and not delivering, then the FEDS might want to talk with Dan and / or probably some higher up the corporate ladder.  (Lincare is billing MEDICARE monthly)

I told her to call a lawyer and maybe this will light a fire under their butt to get it done.  The biggest problem for my sister is the concentrator is too heavy to lug around and she will be traveling abroad soon and only the portable unit can be taken on an airplane.  She told Dan about this and he stuck with the 6 weeks anyway.

So we are reaching out to any of you out there in cyberland to take a few minutes and email the Lincare Media Department and see if they can help my sister out?

Lincare media dept email address:             < Click here for email address >

They might want a name, but how many Lincare customers live in Sedona AZ?  If there is more than one then they have a bigger problem than being reported here.

Please do mention this post if you choose.  We will be following up on this in the coming weeks or as long as it takes to get resolution.

Licacare Web Site Address:                     < Click here for Lincare web site >

Note that they have a mission statement and you might ask when they intend on living up to the mission statement?

If you are you are a lawyer that knows how to resolve this issue, please take a few minutes and post a comment with your name and phone number of email where you can be reached.

We have nothing else to report at this time except to say that the Uber Journal series will be updated later this week.

 Namaste

January 7, 2017

My Uber Journey Journal Entry – New Year 2017

Filed under: UBER Journey — alaboutnothing @ 1:35 am
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uber_logoWell folks, we saw a article that said the Uber will be giving about 15 million rides over New Years Eve and we made sure we were part of it.  It proved to be an interesting experience and we even did some research prior.  We found the between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM we were taking party goers to the various parties through out this area.  Then we took a few hours off and started driving again at around 1:00 AM.  All of these trips were taking many happy and one fairly “woozy” passenger home from the parties.  As usual we met some awesome folks and had some great conversations.

New Years Day Revelation —  I don’t know if it was because this was the first day of a new year, but it seems that two Prius drivers broke out of the normal slow speed syndrome and decided to live on the wild side.  I was on I-280 doing about 5 MPH over the 65 MPH speed limit when a Silver Prius passed me like I was standing still.  I was stunned when I realized when had just happened.  I figured that it would never happen again, so I gave a chuckle and drove on.  Then later, I was on the Dumbarton Bridge doing the posted 55 MPH when a Blue Prius passed me doing about 65 mph.  Now we were double stunned.  We thought maybe 2017 marked the start of some secret rule that the Prius community should start speeding, but that came to and end when I had to swerve around a Prius doing 45 MPH in the 55 MPH zone.  Still an amazing start to 2017 we must say.

Google Alert – We had a passenger (Denali) today that we picked up at Facebook and it turns out that Denali just had completed an interview and was seriously looking for a new position.  We asked Denali if Google was on the list and Denali said that she was waiting for Google to get back to her, but late next week she was going to an interview down in Venice Beach.  So to GOOGLE we say “Hey! Denali is a Northern California Native and is well qualified based on my conversation I think Denali would fit nicely in the Google community.  We can’t let a So Cal company steal Northern California techie talent.”  It’s now on you Google, don’t blow this.

Driver-less Car Conversation – The driver-less car conversation goes on and now the question has arisen that if all the cars are built identical then they will all perform the same.  We thought a great test would be to take some of these vehicles to a drag strip and race them against each other.  If they are all in fact the same, then the final race result will always be a tie.

New Uber Driver Alert – Hey Nigel get it done!

We have nothing else to report at this time, but we will be posting the Google result on the Denali interview later this week.  We are in the middle of starting a Twitter movement to get Starbuck’s or any other coffee café to give San Francisco Uber drivers a discount.  (Peet’s Coffee are you listening?)

December 24, 2016

My Uber Journey Journal Entry – Christmas 2016

Filed under: UBER Journey — alaboutnothing @ 8:44 pm
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uber_chopperIt’s finally here, Christmas 2016 and we would like to send out holiday greetings and many blessings to all of our friends and we are happy to include all the Uber riders we have had the honor to serve in the last few months.  It sure has been a journey and we are enjoying every moment and we hope they are also enjoying.

It’s been busy the last few weeks with the holiday parties and travel to places all over the world.

UBER News Flash —  A Toyota Prius was seen and tracked doing 67 MPH in a 65 MPH speed zone!  Yes, I could hardly believe my eyes when I look at me odometer and saw the Prius was 2 MPH faster than the speed limit.  I then checked the plates and found them to be from Canada.  Aha!  I waved as I passed them and thought “Maybe 60 liters per kilometer is doable by Canadians.”

We are still surprised by the riders we pick up and how up-beat everyone is.  The conversations are always a learning experience and no matter what age, it’s always an exchange of ideas and culture.  One common subject of conversation lately has been the “Driver-less” cars.  Since California is demanding Uber get the proper permits and such, Uber has decided to go elsewhere for testing.  We still see the Google cars on the roadways, so they must have complied.  So far the common agreement by many passengers is that they would not want to ride in one yet, even with a driver along just in case.  Most do agree that using “Driverless” semi-trucks across the countries roadways is a great ides, but cars not yet.  The conflict is mainly that mixing driverless cars and cars with drivers is like mixing oil and water.

Uber Newbie Alert — Recently we have heard rumors that there are actually people who don’t understand how the Uber experience works.  Yes, I was shocked too, and then I experienced a call for a ride by an Uber “Newbie”.  Here is what happened – I received a pick up alert and when I accepted I saw that the pick was at Rosewood Hotel a place we pick up riders often.  So I was about 5 miles away at the Stanford Mall and we headed toward Sand Hill road on my way for the pickup, when my phone rang.  I pulled over to answer and when I said “Hello”, I immediately heard “Where are you?” No identification, but the voice sounded like a friend of mine so I said, “At the Stanford Mall on my way to a pick up”.  Then I heard, “How come you are not here and when will you be here?”  I was now confused so I said, “Who is this?”.  The answer was, “Ms Chou and I am waiting at the Rosewood Hotel and you should have been here by now!”  Then she asked “How long until you get here?” I said, “About 10 to 15 minutes depending on the traffic.”  I added that I just received the pickup notice about 20 seconds ago and I was now on my way.  Then she said again, “You should be here now and I don’t want to wait that long so I am going to cancel and call someone else.”  I said, “Okay, that is your choice and the only way I can get there now is to call Scottie from Star-Trek” and have him beam over, but that is an extra fee.” (DUH).  15 minutes later I get another pickup alert for Ms Chou and accept it, knowing that a phone call was imminent and sure enough here she was again.  She said, “Why did you accept this ride request?”  I said, because if I did not it would go on my Uber record as a cancellation and I did not want that to happen.”  She then said, “Just turn off your phone.”  I said, “You should know that you are not the only person in the universe using Uber and I was waiting for the next trip.” She then hung up.  (Probably called Lyft or a cab)

** Uber-Up  — So to Ms Chou (And any other Uber newbie) I dedicate how to Use the Uber APP instructions once you send the request.  Just know that an Uber driver will be receiving the request for pick up and you can see at the lower right of your screen how  many minutes away the driver is and this will update as the driver get closer.  Also when the drive arrives you will be notified that he/she/it has arrived and is waiting.  You have 2 minutes to confirm, and if you don’t the driver has the option to cancel.  That’s it!  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist and 99.9999% of the population has figured this out, and now you know also.

Something I have on order is a dash-cam.  I want to capture the “I own that real-estate lane changers” on video and then post on here.  I have also seen a few close call accidents and figured that if I had one on video it might help the police is solving the case.  Once I was stopped at a red light and a car from behind me swerved around me and sped away through a busy intersection.  I was amazed no one hit him/her/it as they went through and down the street.  So when I get it installed I will be posting some test videos.

We have nothing at add except “Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!”

** Update – Our new catch phrase will be “Uber-Up” for people who have not used Uber.

December 13, 2016

My Uber Journey Journal Entry 1 (MUJJ for short)

Filed under: UBER Journey — alaboutnothing @ 5:00 pm
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uber_logo  If you are considering becoming an Uber driver once you are approved all you need is a smart phone and a car phone holder.  The car phone holder we first stared using was a cheap one that just suctioned cupped to the window.  It worked at first, but because there wasn’t any support, it would vibrate and that made it hard to read.  After a few weeks of bending it to where we wanted to see the phone screen better, it became unmanageable, so we tossed it.  The next one was much better because it has a support leg that rested on the dashboard.  No more messing around because once we set it up, it stayed in place.

Something else is to be sure to get a phone charger and keep the phone charging the entire time.  If you don’t and you are on a trip and the phone goes dead you go in to “Uber-Land”, which in not someplace you want to go.  Even though you don’t see it, the trip continues and Uber knows where you are going and how long the ride is.  Once the time exceeds the ride length it starts to deduct from the total ride amount and when it gets down to zero, it starts billing you for the ride.  Not somewhere you want to go because it will continue billing you until you can complete the ride, and that may take hours.  One of the Uber drivers this happen to, told me it cost him $1,000.00, and hours of working it out with Uber get the charges removed.  (This entire explanation is bogus, but we wanted to make sure you were paying attention).  Keep the phone changed and no worry.

It would also be a big help to you to meet some local Uber drivers so you can get the “feel” of where you will be driving.  Some locals require a license to operate on their premises.  My friend filled me in on some tricks like on a drop off in San Francisco when leaving the city, always use I-280 south because you can almost guarantee that US 101 will be a parking lot.  (Of course it depends on the time of day).  When in the city if you get lost, just find Van Ness and it will take you to US 1010 / I-280.  (I ask Siri).

Road Rule — When driving we have never seen a Toyota Prius going the speed limit or exceeding the speed limit.  They are always going 5 MPH or lower than the speed limit and sometimes even in the high speed left lane.  Yes folks, I have discussed this with numerous passengers and they all agree the Prius folks have their own agenda.  We did some research and found a study from the University of Aguilera (Fake name) that showed that if a Prious owner filled up the car three times and all three times the average miles per gallon came up less than 60 miles per gallon as advertised the owner went into a severe depression with low self esteem disorder.  Yes folks, they could be in therapy for years or until they get rid of the Prius or consistently get 60 miles per gallon.  (Unknown to them the kid next door is siphoning their gas into his car so they will never get the 60 MPG).   The only other explanation is back when gas went to $5.00 + per gallon these people all ran out and bought Prius’s and paid more than the going price.  Now that gas is less than $3.00 they are all pissed and are making the other drivers (us) miserable, even though it was on them for being in the panic mode.

Road Rule — They are some drivers that think just because they turn on their blinkers they have the right to change lanes even though there is only a foot between you and the car in front of you.  Yes, they think they own that foot and they are going to take it now.  We think the state of California should pass a proposition that allows us to shoot the illegal lane changer with a paint ball gun numerous times.  (Red, White, & Blue preferred) This will mark the car and alert the other legal drivers to be warned, this guy is out to score real-estate on the road.  (We will make this part of “calexit”).

Road Rule – When the City Taxi Cab Service drives bye and the driver is waving his hand with the “Uber is number 1 middle finger salute” we always return the wave with a peace sign and a really big smile.  Those guys are just a bunch of jokers and even though their mouth is moving, we assume they are sending their blessings.

So, are you excited about getting out there and Ubering?  We keep track of the countries our passengers come from and now we can add Bulgaria, Sweden, Russia, and Taiwan to our list.  All the trips were great conversations with the last one late night with Fred from Google.  He was going from Palo Alto to north San Francisco so we had time to chat.  He also said that he had called an Uber driver before me and when the guy showed up he refused to take Fred home.  Unreal!  We said we would report the driver to Uber, but it was his choice.  I had a few questions and how we were first introduced to Google way back in 1999 when they were on University Avenue where my friend and I went upstairs because we saw the light on and we met all the Google folks.  Then we talked about mindfulness medication and that Google actually has a Manager of Mindfulness on staff along with meditation rooms.  I said I wanted that job and I could start immediately.  We pointed out to Fred about the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City and that we took a course every Wednesday for 6 weeks and that the audio for the course along with all teachings at the center are available on line for free at the “Insight Meditation Center Web Site”.

Finally, if we called Uber for a ride and the guy showed up and refused to take us where we wanted to go we would not only report the driver, we would whip out our paint gun and paint the driver and his car in patriotic RED, WHITE, and BLUE.  Then wave Uber is #1 as we dial another Uber dude.

We have nothing to add at this time except we are heading out because it’s “Uber Time”.

December 5, 2016

My Uber Journey — The Start

uber_logoWe are back and loaded with about a thousand pounds (hash tags) of notes starting a new phase of AAN posts.

About three months ago we started driving for Uber.  At first we were a bit fearful about it because throughout entire career (50+ years) we were software developers and manual labor was not part of the job description, so we researched it until we found everything we needed.  One of our limitations was we did not own car that could be used, but then we found a way to lease a car from Uber, and overall it’s a great deal.  (Limitation eliminated).  We won’t go into details because we don’t know if this option is in all the cities across the US.  You need to check in your area.

Once we decided to go ahead everything simply fell in place in just a few days.  When it came time to go get the car, we did an Uber ride and the guy (Old friend) who picked me up had been doing Uber for 3 years so we chatted the entire way and he gave me some great tips.  We used his driver id as a referral so when I hit me 100 ride we both got a great bonus.  It was funny, because just when I completed my 100th passenger ride within a few minutes he called me.  We weren’t keeping count so it was a surprise.  The 1st words we heard were “I am dancing around my chair because you just completed 100 rides!”  I laughed and said “Wow, already!” Sure enough my bonus had been deposited.  I said, “We need to meet and celebrate at Starbuck’s in a few days.” (We did).

Once we picked the car and signed the paperwork we were on our way to an awesome experience.  We call it a journey because this feels like a new part of our life, a life extension so to say.  One of the parts of being a software developer the last 10 years was that we mainly worked from home over the web.  It is convenient, but the part of doing software for me is the people contact not only solving issues by coding.  (The phone is not the same a face to face).

So this was the main reason that got us past our fear, and when we completed the 1st pick-up and drop-off, the fear disappeared in a heart beat.  We knew this is exactly what I will be doing for a long time to come.

Here we are in the San Francisco Bay area where Facebook HQ, Google HQ, Apple HQ, Uber HQ, and about a zillion other “.com” companies reside and of course Stanford University.  Then there is the diversity of people from all over the world coming to visit and to live or go to school.  Yes folks, this is an awesome journey.  I can only quote Emma from New Zealand who was visiting her daughter on her way back home.  She said “This is an exchange in cultures and a sharing of ideas between people of the world.”  (She nailed it)  It’s a matter of talking directly to another human, not via text, but with eye contact and feeling and sharing our energy.  Of course many things we share are common, but the uniqueness is the icing on the cake.

We plan to document my Uber journey with observations I make along the way.  For example Uber does not push for rider’s tips on a completed ride, but we once picked up a Stanford Student at Trader Joe’s and when we dropped her off she gave me a banana as a tip.  Know what?  We were hungry so we peeled it right there and started eating it as we thanked her.

So now when we start my day we get in the car and take a few deep breaths and think. “Who are we going to meet today and what new places will we be discovering?”  It is always a surprise we must say.

We would suggest to you all out there in cyberland that if you enjoy people, have some rime on your hands, that instead of becoming a couch potato try out Uber or at least research it and see if it fits you.  If you decide to do it please use my driver Id. as a reference (5ZZEQH3UUE) when you fill out the online application.  We will both share a nice bonus when you complete your 100 trips.

We have read some “bad” things about Uber, but in my opinion it’s great.  Not perfect, but they always updating the driver application, and their support has been very good.  What they do need is some formal online training.  There are some U-Tube video’s that are okay, but we would suggest maybe in the major cities a one day seminar covering how the “ap” works and answering questions.  We am still finding new stuff.

We have nothing to ad at this time but maybe someday you will visit the Bay are and when you do an Uber ride we will pick you up.  If any of you have a question please leaves a comment and we will get back to you.

 

August 24, 2016

Italian Earthquake 2016

Filed under: General Nothing — alaboutnothing @ 2:18 pm
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ital_flag

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family’s touched by the earthquake.

We have nothing to add but will follow this story via CNN.

August 17, 2016

MAPIE – West Chicago Illinois — Employment Issue

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 8:31 pm
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MAPAIThe following post (Below) was by one of my friends on Facebook and I have known her bother for more than 40 years.

My brother was recently diagnosed with cancer. The day before his treatment started he had a massive stoke, which left him with left-sided paralysis and has delayed his cancer treatment. His employer, Mapei in West Chicago, just sent him a letter denying his short-term disability, terminating his employment, and ending his insurance. If anybody can recommend legal aid or a lawyer that does pro bono work, please let me know. We want to know if this is legal.

I suggested filing a complaint with the EEOC (Federal) or any Illinois Department that deals with Employment issues.

If you are a lawyer that specializes in ILL Employment issues please leave a comment with your name and phone number where you can be reached.  I will pass all comments on to the folks needing the assistance.  If anyone out there in cyberland wants to suggest a specific possible solution, please leave a comment.

We have nothing to add except that this is total BS on MAPEI’s part and we need to do the right thing.  Corporate MAPEI is in Milan Italy and we are reaching out to them also.

July 12, 2016

Time for a Great Leap for Mankind – USA

Filed under: Back in the Day — alaboutnothing @ 10:57 am
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world_peace

The following is from a post on Facebook by a friend Steve Greenberg and I agree 1,000% with what he said:

Food For Thought #5 – I was not yet 5 years old when Martin Luther was killed, I was not yet 6 when we landed on the moon. I grew up in a world in which science and technology is cool and everyone expects to work hard to move us ALL forward. As a society it is our common goal to break down the barriers and create true equality. I grew up in a small, diverse town in which we all were aware of the older generation’s prejudices, but we didn’t share them. I remember the cold war in which we lived in the constant fear of mutual destruction. I remember unsafe cars and foods, rampant pollution, high murder rates, Vietnam and Watergate, oil embargo and crashed economy. We have made a lot of progress, but there is a long way to go. Let’s live up to Martin Luther King’ vision and get to the Promised Land- it is now within reach. Let’s follow the example of that “Great Leap for Mankind” and make Great Leaps of our own forward to where all know we should and can be. It’s right over that next hill….

We have nothing to add except to all Peace and let’s take the leap!

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