MRSA, HERPES and LYME DISEASE, what you need to know about bio-films.

3

The biofilm life cycle in three steps: attachment,

growth of colonies (development), and periodic

detachment of planktonic cells.

The biofilm life cycle in three steps: attachment,
growth of colonies (development), and periodic
detachment of planktonic cells.

There is little doubt that we live in a complex environment with more things to think about then we care to list.  Due to my recent bout with Lyme disease and an earlier run-in with MRSA I was forced to become informed about some new topics.  I am going to be the proverbial Boll Weevil and throw one more issue into your life you need to be aware of: BIO-FILMS.

Lyme disease                  Herpes
MRSA Staph                    Hepatitis
Fibromyalgia                   HIV and Aids
Chronic Fatigue               Shingles
Allergies

Above is a list of the bacteria that are considered to be in a class of human disease that is able to protect itself from antibiotics by enveloping itself in an impermeable layer, ie: bio-film.  I am sure you have heard of many of them.  The standard treatment for many of these ailments is large doses of antibiotics for long periods of time.  The problem with this treatment is that this class of diseases are able to hide behind a wall of fibrin and debris and simply uncloaks to do their damage when the drug regimen has ended. The prescribing of antibiotics may be repeated numerous times thus destroying the body’s natural flora which makes the body more vulnerable each time the drugs are used.  A simple analogy is your backyard garden.  If you are foolish enough to spray your garden with a herbicide, take notice of the first things that grows back: weeds!  Your gut is very similar, when you kill all the good natural bacteria in your stomach by taking antibiotics, guess what grows back first, the bad bacteria!  This is why it is important to take a probiotic in conjunction with antibiotics.  I could go on and on about this topic but a simple click on the link below will get you started in a possible cure for some of these diseases.

The link below is only one viewpoint on this problem but it seems to reflect a general consensus of the new thinking on these old problems.  If you call this company and ask to speak to Allen, he is a wealth of information on this subject. This is one of many articles I have written on health as I am learning slowly about the life skills of eating and caring for the body.  It is up to you to learn and understand the health issues you face through life and although the medical community is often times the answer to your problem, in the new world there is a plethora of information available to you.  If you have questions on this topic, please respond to the blog.  If you do not wish your information to be published, I will honor your request. If you do not wish to use this site you can send an email to streisel@frontiernet.net.

Live long and prosper!

http://www.ppt-health.com

The shortest day of the year!

images

On December 21 at 10:44 UTC ( 3:44 a.m. EST),  we experience the shortest period of daylight of the year, which we call Winter Solstice.  That means that the northern hemisphere of the earth is more tilted (23 degrees) away from the sun than any other time of the year.  Many people believe that the earth is farther away from the sun on December 21st, but this is not true.  The distance from the sun is not related to the seasons, since the distance changes over millions of years of time  At this particular moment in time, the sun is closer during the winter in the northern hemisphere.  If you were living in Australia, the sun would also be closer at this time, but the tilt of the earth in the Southern Hemisphere makes it summer there now.

Although Christians celebrate December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ, few claim any knowledge of the exact day he was born.  So maybe I have come up with the reason we celebrate Christmas close to the longest, coldest, most depressing night of the year: to help us through the long cold winter! Just think, what is Christmas?  This is the time when the days are short and the wind is cold, so why not brighten up the world with Christmas lights and joy?  What a great idea!  Since people are depressed about the weather and lack of daylight, they may be more prone to buy lots of gifts in an attempt to improve their mood.  This will also help the economy by employing lots of people, as shoppers try to cure their Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by spending money.

Throw into this mix the celebration of the New Year seven days later and you have a long length of time to celebrate in all kinds of ways.  We surround ourselves with lots of Christmas lights and seasonal joy to help us through this deary time of the year.

So I, in the wake of all this depressing stuff, along with a short earth science lesson,  would like to wish everybody a merry Christmas and a happy new year!  Oh, yeah, the most important thing is that the days are getting longer now!

My Christmas story

A Christmas story told again and again and….

 

This is one of my favorite stories and it helps me remember what Christmas is really about. If you read it last year or the year before, read it again and if you are new to my blog, I hope you enjoy this touching story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You can find Naotaka Maehara on Facebook. Maybe someday parents will sit around the fire and read this to there children…or maybe not…

Naotaka Maehara arriving in Augusta

The other day my friend Steve Bailes called me up to ask if I would be interested in housing a young man from Japan for the evening. He is riding his bike across America, having left from Vancouver 70 days ago. He was coming from Clarksburg and would arrive on Saturday if things worked out. I agreed, and contacted Nao (pronounced NOW which is short for Naotaka Maehara) by email to invited him to stay with us for the evening. He replied that he would like to stay with us Saturday evening. The next two days were interesting as I stayed in contact as much as possible via e-mail. If you remember, this past Wednesday and Thursday we experienced our first major snow fall of the season so Nao was right in the middle of it with the continental divide directly in front of him. To make a long, involved story shorter, he made it across the mountains to our home by 4pm on Saturday. I quickly suggested he take a bath to get warm. He agreed and headed for the bathroom. About an hour later he emerged, hungry, relaxed and anxious to get to know us. Steve had asked if he could come over and meet Nao so I suggested that we do dinner ; at about 6pm Steve and Terry arrived. It was one of those magical evenings that happen so rarely. We talked, exchanged stories and ate until we were ready to pop. Nao turned out to be charming, pleasant and a very gracious guest. I will remember the evening for a long time. With my fading memory that could be months from now. After dinner, us guys went down stairs to give Nao’s bike some tender loving care, which it needed badly. We reattached the front racks, cleaned and oiled the chain, pumped up the tires, and gave it a quick inspection. Later Nao and I went upstairs to spend almost two hours planning his route to New York City. He was ready for his journey to continue in the morning. After I went to bed, Sue stayed up until midnight talking with Nao about who knows what.

Resting after dinner

Relaxing after dinner

The morning came; Nao had several bowls of cereal and began to ready himself and his bike for his journey to New York City where he was scheduled to arrive on December 23. We created a Skype connection so that he could contact us with his computer, if needed. Shortly thereafter, Nao headed down the driveway.

After Nao had left, we found a note in his bedroom. In the note was a twenty-dollar bill. At first I considered getting in the car and catching him to give back the money but after reading the note I decided not to. This is written in Nao’s own words. He has only been learning English for three years. I’m impressed!

“I met woman in that time. (this is before he met us) She listened my serious talking and gave this $20 to me. She gave money and I received money. And also I received her kindness. She said, “I can’t help you now, but use this money and stay in hotel.

I want you guys (me) receive this $20. I mean it is not a staying fee, it means a woman’s kindness.”

I will keep this twenty and pass it forward when the time comes. Experiences like this one only intensify my belief that life is about the people you meet and the memories you take from those meeting. My only hope is that someday I will get to see Nao again!

The new kid in town, Mr Computer

images

There is a new kid in town who is competing for control of many aspects of human existence.  So that we can give him/her a personal touch, I will call him/her CALI (Computer Aided Life Intelligence).  Ever since man bit into the proverbial apple, he has been in the control seat.  He decided when he wanted to go to war, how much he wanted to pollute the environment, how crazy he wanted to drive, at what temperature his refrigerator should be, how much soda he wanted in his cup, and countless other day-to-day decisions.  Well, I am here to tell you we are on the verge of a new age when man will, very subtly at first, and completely so, in the distant future, be governed by CALI.  You may know CALI by another name: the computer, the internet, the cloud or maybe even the boss.  This heartless, soulless entity is creeping into every aspect of our lives.  With the use of special glasses, CALI has even entered the sacred bedroom with interactive video capabilities that might push our current notions of sex to the back burner.  Our cars will, in the not too distant future, be driven by CALI, and we will just be passengers along for the ride.  I wrote about this a year ago.  I believe that CALI could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year so that auto accidents would be an historic footnote soon to be forgotten.  Of course, nothing is perfect, and occasionally someone would have a car accident and maybe even die, but that would be rare.  When someone does die in a car wreck, it would be front-page news, and everyone would talk about the horrific consequences of a computer mistake with little regard to the fact that before CALI, millions of people were maimed or killed in auto accidents.

I love my computer and my smart-phone has become an indispensable part of my lifestyle, but I feel increasingly uncomfortable with the current and potential direction these technological marvels will take us. When I walk down a street I watch a majority of folks’ total attention glued to their phone, oblivious to the happenings of the world around them.  I remember the old days when folks would observe happily the world in all its complexity and beauty.  It almost seems as if the on-line community, which is nothing more than an extension of CALI, is doing anything it can do to suck up every valuable spare moment of free time we have.  There is little time for many people to think or dream if they are constantly bombarded with text messages, You Tube videos and video games.

Computers have become an integral part of human communication.  It all began when people were able to talk on the telephone, then morphed into the sending of emails and then was followed by texting. Now, we have numerous versions of digital communication including Facebook, twitter and many others. It has become hip to not talk to your fellow-man in person but to send a message through some type of digital interface.  Face-to-face verbal communication is an important part of human behavior so that it is hard to picture the world without it, but I believe that is where we are going.  One example of newer technology is the refinement of computer speech recognition.  Lately I have received phone calls from what is referred to as ROBOCALLS that are computers mimicking human conversation quite well.  Sometimes it takes a few moments to determine that it is a computer talking to you rather than a human voice. You can have some fun by saying random things to the computer and confusing it; usually this leads to the termination of the call.  Another area that is evolving rapidly is the use of artificial intelligence in warfare.  For me, this is by far the scariest scenario I have run accross.  Imagine computers making decisions about what to attack or blow up.

phone-people

So couple all these ideas with our increasing dependence on computers and the advent of artificial intelligence, and we earthlings are quite possibly on the verge of a brave new world.  This makes one wonder just where our world is headed.  There are numerous sci-fi renditions of the outcome of these new technologies.  The truth is, no one has any idea where we are going, or if it is a good or bad direction.  We can only imagine what the future holds for us, and anyone who says differently is only guessing.

How Frontier Communication controls my life

index

I just attempted to check my email and spent a long time waiting for one lone picture to download.  While I sat there contemplating my life, married to Frontier, I wondered what other people with functional internet must be doing with their spare time.  I have told most of my internet-savvy friends who live out of Frontier’s domain not to send me any YouTube videos, attachments, photos, documents or anything that requires even a small amount of bandwidth or speed.  I purchased a BlueRay disc player a while ago so I could download movies from NetFlix and, guess what happened?  Yeah, you guessed it, my internet was too slow to download movies.  If I were to become ambitious and wished to start a company, I would not be able to use my computer in the Frontier network because it is far too slow.  If someone wanted to send me a large file, they would have to find another way to get it to me, like maybe The Pony Express or the USPS, both of which might be faster than Frontier.

Many sites, which are now located in the CLOUD (that means, everything is kept on another server rather than your own) require decent data speeds to operate properly.  All of our banking, retail sites and informational sites are located in the cloud which makes it easier to keep them secure.  This also makes it harder for us Frontier customers to access them.

I listen to West Virginia politicians talk about the need for businesses to come to West Virginia and then wonder what would motivate a company to come to a state with one of the worst education systems, worst internet accessibility and worst infrastructure in the entire country.  Yeah, that’s where I want to put my company!  I hope you understand I am being sarcastic. Sometimes I wonder what these people are thinking; better yet, if they are thinking….

I have hurt myself again

I have always been told: when one plays real hard he/she will eventually get hurt.  Lately I have been working (playing) very hard here at the homestead.  I had to move about 150, 80 pound blocks and dig out by hand several tons of dirt and rock along the house footer to fix a pool waterline leak.  I envisioned the dirt falling in on me and burying me in a self-dug tomb but noooo; that would have been too easy.  Next, I have just purchased over 2000 pavers so I can finish the driveway; they are calling out my name!   As part of my agenda I’ve replaced the pool liner which suffered from the wrath of my grandson last fall when he decided to pole vault on said vinyl liner.  Throw into this mix, repairing the pool surface which became damaged from the monsoon season we just emerged from.  Then nature decided to throw some voodoo at me when one of those damn, invisible ticks took a bite out of me and gave me Lyme disease.  So, after all of that stuff, I picked up a canoe, hurt my back and should the gods continue to plague my life, I may require surgery to fix it.  It was quite humorous to watch me maneuvering around on my cane.  It reminds me of an old riddle I once heard: What moves around on four legs, then two and finally three?  The answer is-a man.  When he is a baby he crawls on all four, when he is a man, he walks on two and when he is old, he uses a cane.  I guess I am in the old man stage now.  Hopefully, I will recover.

I have learned not to make stupid statements like, “What else can go wrong?”  The last time I said that, a big rock came up from a truck in front of my car and broke the windshield, so that is something I will keep to myself in the future and never think those words again.  Needless to say, I am a little worried as to what else could happen to me. Life has a way of surprising us with good and bad things that one never would have expected.  After writing all those scary,  doomsday blogs over the last few weeks, I thought I would just go out on a limb and write about my crazy life in hopes of providing a little humor for yours,  in case some of you are experiencing a little down luck.  It is our nature to find humor in the pain of others, so I thought I might share a few of my struggles with you in the hope of improving your day.

Good news!  I received a shot in my back that has help me recover from the back injury.  In fact, I started feeling better right away.  I don’t need that old cane anymore.  So, if you think about me, think positive thoughts and maybe my body will absorb them and recover quicker and you will have the joy of thinking that maybe you helped some poor old guy.

May the force be with you!

My letter to President Obama about The Affordable Care Act.

Dear Mr President

I would like to begin this letter expressing my boundless admiration for the job you have done as President.  I have been in constant praise of your even temperament in the face of unrelenting personal attacks and constant barrages launched at you and your administration from the right.  I have told many of my friends that I am in awe of the way you handle these attacks, much like Kane did in one of my favorite TV shows, Kung Fu.  Sometimes I even think you may have grown up watching that show, as I did, and adopted his life view.

So I am writing this letter with mixed feelings and hope you understand why.  Your work in getting the Affordable  Care Act enacted will go down in history as one of the most important acts in our country’s history!  As I see it, it is the beginning of moving our country into the modern world with affordable medical care for all, along with most developed countries.  I know that this program is in its infancy and needs continued improvement, but there is a particular aspect of this program that worries me more than others: the cost that this is placing on the middle class.  As I talk to my friends and neighbors who are paying, in my opinion, much too much for their private health insurance, I am seeing a trend that is very disturbing.  The cost of insurance for these individuals is approaching levels that are simply beyond their reach. For example, today I talked to a friend who is a  farrier who must purchase his own health insurance for his wife and himself.  He has a $2500 deductible and is paying $1347 a month!  He told me that he has never met the deductible and so is paying out-of-pocket for all his medical needs!  I asked him if a higher deductible were applied, would it help?; he said emphatically, “NO.”  You and I, Mr President, who are on government insurance programs, do not experience this problem as so many like him do.  My friend, although he continues to find the money to make these payments, is being stretched close to his financial limits.  I am talking about middle class America, not the Trumps of the world. I feel certain you would agree with this.

On a more practical and current note, the present belief of many middle Americans is that the Affordable Care Act must be eliminated or replaced.  Much of this fear and uncertainty emanates from the enormous expense middle class individuals are being forced to pay.  At this point in time I understand there is little you can do to correct the problem, but this will certainly be a hurdle that Secretary Clinton will have to navigate in the coming years.  It would also make a great political opportunity for her to use her many skills to address.  I understand that you may very well never see this letter; nevertheless it is my hope that you may, because I believe your heart is always in the right place. I feel that you believe that Americans deserve to have much better health care at a price that will not do damage to their life-style, their sense of security and the well-being of their family.

I am sending this letter to you as well as posting it on my Blog, which is found in our local newspaper at http://www.hampshirereview.com under blogs and Cosmic Charley.  Again, thank you for doing an outstanding job as President of our great country.  I will miss you and your family.