The things I wish I had said at her funeral.

My mother passed away on February 9th, 2017. She had not been in great health, but her death was still unexpected, it was a swift epileptic seizure, that left everyone in shock. I drove to Las Vegas the next day, and we began the funeral planning and grieving process.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t in shock the entire time. I went through the entire week with a sense of nausea and weakness. Many of us turned inward, and did not share our grief as openly as perhaps we could have, or perhaps should have, but the death of such a loving person comes as such a devastation that sometimes there is little other recourse. When it came time for me to speak at her service, I did  not do her justice. There were so many things I wish I had said, both while she was alive, and at her funeral, so I will try to say them here.

When I remember her, I remember most her kind voice, and kind face. Growing up with her as my mother, it was easy to confuse her personality with motherhood, and a quintessential sense of mothering, but now I can see that that wasn’t entirely correct, she was just a good and kind person. She had a kindness that everyone could see, animals and children seemed to notice it most acutely, but most adults could see it as well.

She loved books, and words, and her love of those things spilled over to me, and she made me into a reader. I am grateful that we shared this personality trait, it gave us many moments where we could share bits and pieces of of books that had touched our hearts, and we shared the sense of gladness that comes from having a kindred spirit to share those kinds of things with.

Looking back on my time with her, and what I know of her life, there are so many wonderful things about her worth mentioning, but I think the thing I will remember most is her laugh, and her sense of humor. Her laugh was a frenetic and uncontrollable thing, that would send her on a tear that sometimes made you worry if she was going to be able to breathe. Her laugh overpowered her, and often left her with tears, but you had to be careful because it would often return to her before she had caught her breathe and went into another fit of laughter before she was through, and then again, until at times she stopped only out of shear exhaustion. In terms of her sense of humor, she was a goof. She loved dumb jokes, usually the dumber the better, and that is not to say she didn’t appreciate clever humor, but I don’t think anything could make her laugh as much as the “Airplane” movies and “Police Squad” shows did.  The “surely you can’t be serious” and “don’t call me Shirley” joke will be funny from now until the end of time, and I owe that to her. It’s strange how it doesn’t occur to you to thank someone for a wonderful gift like that.

She was very diligent and studious. For a time she had a job at 7-11, and she earned a reputation for being honest and hard-working, that got her promoted to assistant manager and manager very quickly. She never got the opportunity to finish college, but I will always remember the way she studied during the times she tried to go to school, and her knowledge was invaluable to me when I was going. I remember that she loved Biology, and that she got good grades in that class. I spent time looking through her physiology books, and remember that I became the strange kind of kid that says on Valentines day “you know, that’s not what the heart really looks like.” When it came to words, she was better than any thesaurus. I don’t think there was ever a single  time that I asked her and she didn’t know the meaning of some word or another. To me at least, she seemed to be an expert in meaning, and not just the meaning of words. She was my compass for meaning in the deepest sense of the word.

It is the nature of sorrow that we are tempted to let it taint and color the nature of things around it, and indeed, sometimes it seems that she had a sorrowful life. It is sad to think of the condition and circumstances of her death, or that at times she seemed to drift away to some other place, but none of that is fair to the life she lived and the kind of person she was. She was bright and intelligent, deeply caring and full of laughter. She loved her sons more than life itself, and she never once stopped hoping and caring for them.

I think the most important lessons she taught me was that being kind and gentle is not weakness. I think many people had a hard time understanding the way that she lived her life, by answering anger and cruelty with kindness and gentleness, but it turns out that only the strongest kind of people can live that kind of life. When it comes to how we live our lives and the values we stand by, she went out a winner. She finished her life without turning mean, cruel, greedy, petty or spiteful.

All the best things I have in myself, I have from you, Mom. I love you, and I pray that I can live my life being half as good a person as you were.

 

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TNM Chess Night

https://lichess.org/embed/CWKPadl4?theme=auto&bg=auto
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Learn from your mistakes | Blog • lichess.org

60f63ed62b38b64265a551ffdcec29340ad8c258_stairsNew feature: train tactics from your own games

Source: Learn from your mistakes | Blog • lichess.org

Lichess.org is the world’s best chess site, they are light years ahead of chess.com, and it’s FREE!

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Love This!

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Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India – F-3 P-2, India | Atlas Obscura

A lake with hundreds of ancient skeletons surrounding it. The surprise is what killed them…

Source: Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India – F-3 P-2, India | Atlas Obscura

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Installing OpenVPN + PIA on Debian Jessie

So I started using the vpn service Private Internet Access, and I am very pleased with them, but their downloadable software is mainly for Ubuntu, and often does not work well with other distros. So I found instructions on PIA’s website about how to make it work for virtually any Linux. I love Debian, so here we go!

first you will need to install openvpn, either from source, or by package manager, on Debian systems the command to do this is:

sudo apt-get install openvpn

Once that installs, you will need to download a package from the PIA website that contains openvpn config files for various network routes.

cd /etc/openvpn

Then download the file with the command:

sudo wget https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/openvpn/openvpn.zip

Extract those files with:

sudo unzip openvpn.zip

view the files, and decide which one is best for you to use, based on where you are with the command:

ls -l

Then use some variant of the command sudo openvpn ‘config-filename-goes-here.ovpn’
where config-filename is the ovpn config file you chose based on location, I used US WEST.ovpn, so my command was:

sudo openvpn 'US West.ovpn'

please note the single quotes, you will need them in order to avoid using escape characters for the space between US and West.

Please note, that it is best to issue this command from inside the /etc/openvpn directory in order to make it easier for openvpn to easily access other needed files.

begin

Then, it will ask you for your PIA assigned username, and your self assigned password from when you signed up for an account at PIA.

username-password

Hit Enter…

complete

If it does not crash or give an error message about process terminated, you will have the above screen, with the Initialization Sequence Completed, then you are logged onto the vpn network and are protected.

Personally I like to leave the process open and floating in the terminal window, and do other command work in another terminal window. I like this mainly because if I ever need a rapid disconnect, I can just go into the terminal in question, and hit CTRL+C.

If you wish to verify if you are protected you can do so at the PIA website, you should see something like this when you load up that page…

protected

and you are running vpn on Debian Jessie through PIA.

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Bitcoin

It seems that Economic uncertainty and currency instability may be they forces rocket propelling us into the Digital Currency Age much sooner than we expected.

China has been aggressively buying bitcoin during its times of economic instability.

Venezuela’s currency was collapsing,  and bitcoin price suddenly surged as a result.

Due to Trump’s election, the stock market is surging, but so is the price of bitcoin, so it seems there are equal parts optimist and pessimist investing in the American economy,

and we can’t really have any idea what that means, but it can never be a good sign when  large portion of the wealthy start securing their fortunes in a private and digital safe haven.

Oh and let us not forget about the Brexit, it seems the amount of Euros being transferred into bitcoin is surging as well.

http://www.cryptocoincharts.info/pair/btc/usd/bitfinex/10-days

XBT
1
Bitcoins
Flag of USD
USD
715.63
1 XBT = 715.629 USD
Flag of EUR
EUR
660.66
1 XBT = 660.657 EUR
Flag of GBP
GBP
567.94
1 XBT = 567.941 GBP
Flag of CAD
CAD
967.05
1 XBT = 967.049 CAD
Flag of AUD
AUD
947.22
1 XBT = 947.222 AUD
Flag of RUB
RUB
47,245.10
1 XBT = 47245.1 RUB
Flag of JPY
JPY
76,332.50
1 XBT = 76332.5 JPY
Flag of INR
INR
48,459.70
1 XBT = 48459.7 INR
Flag of BGN
BGN
1,288.35
1 XBT = 1288.35 BGN
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