• So you're wondering, “What happened?” •

Does it seem that something you never believed would happen has happened? Are you stridently discontent with the general outcome of the U.S.A.'s national elections?

I move this up. This text has been on here for a while, but you may have not scrolled down far enough.

I shall comment on the National Security Agency - PRISM spying program. I am glad more people have finally learned about this scheme. It still is not a partisan issue. Sen. Rand Paul has many cohesive positions, but when he tries to pin the NSA spying program on Pres. Barack Obama; the impartial adjudication of his claim is, "Liar, liar, pants on fire."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted this timeline of how and when it was implemented. [If you didn't click through, it began in 2005, under guess whose administration.]
Spying on everybody's telephone calls, E-Mail messages, and World-Wide Web surfing is wrong. A basic tenet of American jurisprudence has been catastrophically flopped!
"Innocent until proven guilty"
has become
"Guilty unless proved innocent"

So now the Republicans are in charge of the government. Do you count on them to dismantle the spying program? How insensate are you? Merely the subjects (| targets) shall change. To whom?

Anybody and everybody who can be identified out in the streets protesting the administration.

People, you need to realize that demonstrating may make you temporarily feel better, but it is not going to accomplish what you desire. You need to organize and elect people to public office who subscribe to the same positions as you.
I am not blameless in this either, but too many of the rest of you have been avoiding your civic duty. You need to spend more time investigating the issues and the people who will treat those issues the way you wish they were (| are), and much less time paying attention to the Kardashians, or what took place on an episode of Game Of Thrones!
The next nominee to the United States Supreme Court will be so reactionary, he will make Justice Anton Scalia seem ‘moderate’. With the Republicans in charge of both houses of Congress, they shall get whatever they want. Changes will occur.

What else should you do? I will remind you that I am on the side of privacy and anonymity, which is what all these spying programs want to take away from you. You can hang on to this. But it takes diligent work; which seemingly a lot of you do not want to enact.

Educating on-line denizens who want to maintain a level of on-line privacy is an activity engaged in for scores of legitimate reasons. To herd them into the camp with the less than ½ of 1% who misuse this knowledge is a gross insult.
The judicious use of W-WW based E-Mail (such as VFEmail), along with configuration in your browser of an anonymous proxy from a country other than the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., a member state of the European Union, or the usage of Tor, disabling JavaScript|ActiveX® in that browser, and | or using NoScript as much as possible, can enable you to maintain much of your on-line privacy.
It is work. It is harder since Firefox occluded the method to let you disable JavaScript|ActiveX®. (You have to poke into "about:config". Firefox will squeal when you do this. The browser variables you need to toggle to false are javascript.enabled, and pref.advanced.javascript.disable_button.advanced.)

You may not know that I have a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois @ Chicago. This is my foundation when I state that the U.S.A. would be much better off if the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees had been Martin O'Malley and John Kasich.
(I offer that this retroactively proves Hillary Clinton would not have won the 2008 election.)

Bernie Sanders is a populist person. I salute him for what he has done and in what he believes. But had he gotten the nomination, I offer we would have seen a result along the lines of George McGovern [1972] or Walter Mondale [1984]. Enough people who had not done their homework though Barack Obama was a socialist. B. Sanders would be perceived as much more socialistic. To sum it up, I must scribe he ‘spoiled’ the campaign of M. O'Malley.

While hardly anybody noticed; an anniversary passed. March 2016 demarcated my twentieth year on the Internet and the World-Wide Web.
I believe I have never notated just how I (& dad, for that matter) got out here back in March 1996. I'll do that now.

The story goes back to 1993. Do recall that I had begun sending my articles for David Vowell's {& Soccer Solidarity's} monthly "Inside Soccer" zine via a Commodore 64 Color BBS network. There were network nodes near both Chicago & Baltimore. As you might have read, in February 1994, I gave money to the System Operator of the Smoking Mirror Bulletin Board System [BBS]. It was being hosted on a Commodore Amiga computer. The SysOp met me (& a bunch of other Smoking Mirror BBS users) at Connie's Pizza in Bridgeport one February Saturday afternoon. He told me, "Since I do not have a lot of content for 8-bit Commodore users, I have set up an E-Mail account for you so you can go to Usenet and access comp.sys.cbm." {I hear you out there. I did not utter, "What is E-Mail? What is Usenet?"}
In June, a now-defunct magazine aimed at beer homebrewers, titled "Brewing Techniques", ran an article on what was then available on the Internet for homebrewers. The key paragraph though, was when it mentioned how to get to the Internet if you did not have access to the Internet. It turned out that there was a World-Wide Web site which kept track of Internet Service Providers.(!) It had a domain name of "thelist.com".

In Chicago (in 1994-95), not every Chicago Public Library branch had Internet access. I think it was limited to the main one downtown, and the regional branch libraries. But this was a fairly high point for America on-Line, and amidst all its own content, semi-occluded, was a portal to the Internet. Thelist.com was one of the few W-WW sites it let you reach. My father had an account on AoL. Seemingly, he was intrigued by what else was out here. So he put me in charge of investigating other ISPs beyond AoL. But I should inform you that in 1994, there was no such thing as unlimited hours. Each AoL account was allocated a specific number of hours. If you ran over, you were disconnected and you couldn't get back on-line until the start of the next month.

Note the context of the time span. By then, I was getting deeper and deeper into the machinations of the Chicago POWER indoor soccer team. It was getting more of my effort than finding another way to the Internet. It took being extruded from the POWER franchise in October 1995 to repurpose the ISP search to a more prominent slot. {As you may know, I was readmitted to the core by mid-December 1995, ostensibly due to the rumor that the franchise was about to be sold to a solo businessman.}

In late January 1996, I told dad I wanted to use his computer to look for an ISP. (While I was still using my Commodore 64, it could only reach the other BBS'. It was not well suited for reaching the Internet, including landing on Usenet [I had learned there was a Usenet group which also had information about ISPs.].) Thelist.com had options which let you look for ISPs with Points of Presence (POPs) in your local telephone calling area.
This was something of which I had an advantage. I had the Ameritech print list of which telephone prefices it considered to be in my “A” (< 8 miles - untimed calls), “B” (8-15 miles - charged by the minute), “C” (16-23 miles - local toll calls), & “D” (24+ miles, local toll calls) calling zones. I could search for ISPs in not just area code 312, but 708, 847, and the soon-to-be split-off 773 area code.

I had two underlying precepts to which I was determined to adhere. I did not want to pay a ‘setup’ fee, and I wanted an ISP domained in ".net". If I recall this correctly, I found eight potential ISPs for us. The comparison amongst them whittled them down to the eventual champion: Netwave.net.
As it happened, this was a superb choice for us. Netwave.net offered each account allocated so-many MBs of server space for the monthly fee, and it was a tolerant ISP as to what it would allow you to store on your server space.
I did not put up the Chicago POWER memorial archive until 1998. When I did, I discovered there was a Netwave webring. I signed on for that. Then, I learned that one of the other sites on the Netwave webring was somebody's pictures of activities at Nudes-A-Poppin' expositions in Indiana. Wow. (The Internet Archive's ‘Wayback Machine’ can unearth many of these primordial W-WW pages, but probably none of the pictures. Type "netwave.net" into the search box.)

Getting on the World-Wide Web paid off swiftly. A POWER home game (v. Kansas City ATTACK) had been sold to a promoter in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was to occur at the Verdun Auditorium on Sunday, 10 March 1996. I managed to find key travel and transit W-WW sites showing where was the Verdun Auditorium, the transit route to Dorval Airport, and how to manuever the Montreal underground walkways.
[As for the game: We fell behind 8-nil; came all the way back {with people in the stands rooting for us!} to level at 8-8 {& recollect that all our “good” players had been traded away on Tuesday}; and then the ATTACK got a 2-point and a 3-point goal {v. our 6th attacker} to win 13-8.] (I had to complete the official N.P.S.L. scoresheet, without any assistance from Jim Egan.) But what I most distinctly remember is the amazed look on players' faces when, without anything but the name and address of the restaurant where the post-game meal was being served, I turned up as they were being served. (Yes, I was served.) (I had a passable street map and the transit map. I just did not get a ride with them then.)

Undoubtedly, the high point of getting out here on the Internet in 1996 was being able to vote on the official promulgation of rec.arts.movies.erotica. Look at the tabulation of the votes and espy my "YES" cry.

We lasted on Netwave until September 2001. I did have us signed up with another ISP on the 1st. But I thought I had lost my Chicago POWER pages when Netwave faded away. It was only when Leo Laporte tipped me off to the ‘Wayback Machine’ on an episode of ZDTV's "The Screen Savers" that I rediscovered them.

I think that pretty much tells you how it began. If you have any more questions about this, contact me. There is an E-Mail address buried in the source code of this page.

My father, Peter, passed away ay 7:53 am on Wednesday, 14 October 2015. It was an acute myocardial infarction (a|k|a: a heart attack).
On Saturday, the 10th, he was not feeling well. He had me rub vaporing salve on his chest & back. But he ultimately asked me to drive him to the hospital. I tweeted this.
I drove the 1987 Chevrolet Sprint. No incidents with either the car, or him. We got there. We entered via the professional building. I parked the Sprint in the covered garage. Dad found a wheelchair and sat in it.
I rolled us over to Outpatient Services. A clerk there told us to go to the Emergency Room. Down an elevator, and through an outward opening door, we were in the E.R. We were assigned room #8. An E.R. nurse had a handful of forms to be signed. She remarked that I could sign them if he was not feeling sufficient, but Dad signed all of them. A little later, he complained about pain transmitting from his back to his chest. He told me to go get a doctor to inspect him. I walked around the E.R., and found an E.R. physician. He inspected dad. He left the room. Another doctor entered the room and inspected him. He left the room. A third doctor entered the room and inspected him. Adverse events seemingly began occurring.
A nurse came in with a crash cart. IVs were begun on dad's right arm. A computer monitor in room #8 began logging what was being injected into dad's body. I was sitting in a chair two feet away from his left arm, and my jaw began dropping.
When everybody who had hooked up an IV tube to dad had exited room #8, I walked up for a closer glance at the computer monitor. Amongst other drug compounds known chiefly by doctors & nurses, dad was administered something with which I was familiar: Morphine, and nitroglycerin! He had had a slight heart attack.

In the span of about three hours, dad had gone from conscious and responsive, to sedated and on a respirator.
I contacted relatives and friends on Sunday morning, because when I got back to the domicile here, it was quite late on Saturday night, and I did not want to make their night restless.
I stayed at home on Sunday to answer the incoming calls. On Monday, when I went to the intensive care unit at Resurrection Hosp., he had rebounded to the extent that he asked me to bring his teeth the next time.

Sorrowfully, when I visited Resurrection on Tuesday {I had not intended to visit on Tuesday, but an I.C.U. nurse telephoned here and asked for my presence to sign a consent form for a heart operation for Wednesday morning.}, I walked close to his bed, and showed him his teeth, and said, "Here are your teeth."
I did not receive a coherent reply.
I signed the consent form for the operation.

Gauging that the operation would occur on Wednesday morning, I would opt to not visit Resurrection because he would not be in condition to have any semblance of a conversation.
But I received another telephone call from Resurrection on Wednesday morning at 8:15 am. It wanted me to go there because it had an important announcement for me.
I figured this was the enervation decision. As I had a hasty breakfast {I am seldom awake at 8:15 am.}, I tweeted this, and this, and finally this.

If you seek the speech I made at dad's post-funeral banquet, it is here.

Through other means, I have discerned why my SnipURL URL shorteners were killed. Microsoft's©® Bing search engine decided these pages should not be found. It removed my bookmark pages for being ‘nothing but a list of links’, and therefore, spam. I had been using that SnipURL for over seven years! Yet now, Microsoft©® decides it should not be found?! What is the main function of a bookmark page? To provide swift link capability to a spectrum of World-Wide Web sites. This seems to be the equivalent of not mentioning any grocery stores in a food publication because ‘It is nothing but items to purchase’. Besides, a human being looking at the pages would certainly notice each link had an annotation of what could be accomplished by going to that page.
Can I contact Microsoft©® and request a review of its decision? Yes, I hear you chortling out there. I agree. Microsoft©® never changes its mind.
Google™ (or StartPage™) finds my pages. Use it. [Nonetheless, I shall leave IXQuick on the regular bookmark page should you feel the urge to search via Bing.]
There is nothing I can do about genuine spammers who put a link to these pages on their genuinely spammy pages. (They are generally trying to sell knock-off pharmaceuticals. They believe that by linking to a huge number of W-WW pages, those pages' webmasters | janitors will reciprocally link back to them.) But their actions should not cause my URLs, or my URL shorteners, to disappear from any search engine.

It is time to toss out all the former verbiage on this W-WW page and put up the data which is more relevant to me, and to you.
I have interests in my life which span the arc from widely-held and desirable to deplorable and infernal. This is me. If anybody has a contention with this, you do not need to have anything to do with me, and I shall strive to avoid having any semblance of an association with you.

But for some people, this laissez-faire precept is insufficient in their sad and sorry lives. They feel a compulsion to role-play a “higher creature” while on Earth.

This caused me to change my most-frequently-used E-Mail address' signature to:

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” - Steven Weinberg

Frankly, these humans have been so conjured by religion, they have lost the ability to cohesively comprehend logic. If somehow, one of them lands on this W-WW page, I shall be as explicit as I can:

If you kill me, you shall not go to heaven, or whatever is the name of your desired afterlife venue.
Those besides you who tell you it is permitted to kill me also shall not go to heaven.

After those interruptions, I shall go back to a more general description of what is occurring in my life.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up the travel bug. This was not inherited from either mom or dad. I will attribute this to my Uncle Willy [R.I.P. January 2014], who worked for the Chicago Transit Authority. [But he actually was initially hired as a bus driver by the Chicago Motor Coach Company, four months before it was bought by the CTA.] They were not the traveling type, even though dad worked for the Chicago & North Western Railway. (Dad's supplemental income checks were from the Railroad Retirement Board, a Federal agency created before the Social Security Administration.)
I matriculated at the Univ. of Illinois - Chicago {Circle}, so I never left the area for that. The only other spot in the entire U.S.A. with which I had some familiarity was southern California, thanks to trips there in 1978 & 1979 with close cousins [& sons of Uncle Willy] Jerry [now lives in Park Ridge, IL.] and Ron [now lives in Corona Del Mar, CA.].
I passed a driving exam in Illinois in 1974, but after one year, I didn't renew my driver's license because I did not have an auto, and was more interested saving money for buying records by riding transit.
It took relocating to southern California in February 1981 to inject the quest to realize other cultures into my bloodstream.

Mom had her first stroke in September 2008. We did not know it was a stroke at that time. That Friday was one of the wettest in Chicago weather history. When she went out to the garage to feed the alley cats, we thought she was staying in it until the rain let up. When I went out into it and found her lying on the ground between the two autos parked therein [I had to go get dad because I couldn't pick her up by myself.], our prognosis was she had fallen and concussed herself against an auto, or on the concrete floor. But during one night of twitching and almost falling out of bed, 9-1-1 was called. She was brought to Resurrection Hospital at Central Ave. & Addison St. It was there we learned she had had a stroke.
If you explore the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine [my ISP username was "pudgym30a"], you should find versions of these index.html pages annotating what was occurring contemporaneously.
We hired a home nurse for her [10 hours a day, 6 days a week]. Dad was seeing doctors at the big Resurrection Medical Center on W. Talcott Ave. On Thursday, 6 August 2009, while dad and I were at one of his regularly-scheduled doctor appointments, mom had another stroke. When we arrived back at the domicile {We had bought dinner for her.}, the nurse told us she threw up and was sitting catatonically on the couch thereafter. A Chicago Fire Dept. ambulance was again called. She was brought to ‘small Res’ at Addison St. & Central Ave. [Presence has since sold it off.] where the prognosis was terminal. We opted to enervate. She passed away on Friday, 7 August 2009 at 8:30 pm, with eight people in attendance.

I believe that paragraph should answer the affiliated question of "What happened to your mother?". Let me utter one more time that I loved mom too. But there was definitely a constrained relationship between her and I, compounded significantly by our bedrooms being only 15 feet apart. If you want more details as to what that encompassed, you can ask me in person when and if you meet me (& if you are not one of those ‘religious’ types whom I decry above, you should).

While I am discussing other family members' health [or the lack thereof], let me tell you about mine. In a trait I highly suspect was ingrained from mom's side [she was distrustful of doctors and medicine], I never actually had a health plan. If something critical arose, I would go to a walk-in clinic like Physicians ImmediateCare® and have somebody there prescribe something for it. The prescriptions I currently carry are

  1. Ventolin HFA 90 mcg inhaler - this is in case I get a less-acute asthma attack. It is a situational inhaler.
  2. Triamcinolone acetonide cream USP ½% - A few years ago, when I attempted to whack all the weeds in the domicile's back yard; although I was wearing gloves, I managed to somehow encounter a strident attack of eczema on my hands. To be honest, my hands looked like they had freckles breaking out. When this gets too harsh appearing, I rub this on my hands and wrists.
But with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, things had to change. They have. On the good side, I could no longer be denied coverage for bronchial asthma due to a prior history of it. On the coarse side, I needed to sign up for a plan. I am with a true plan now.

For the second time in two years, the 1987 Chevrolet Sprint had to have its manual transmission replaced. This year, it was operable, but going into first gear from a standing stop was questionable. Then, it began losing the ability to shift into reverse. I shopped for groceries with it when necessary, but it did not inspire confidence for other motor journeys.
Trans-O-Matic on west Irving Park Rd. was recommended, but its chief employee did not really want to work on it. I found Steve, formerly of Transtastic, now operating out of Eurotech @ 4008 N. Ravenswood Ave., near the Brown Line “L” Irving Park station. The transmission was obtained (on a second try) from Car Monkeys on the World-Wide Web.
The Sprint is back in the garage here. It has performed well. I drove it to and from Springfield, IL. in June 2016 for the American Breweriana Association's annual meeting, and again in June 2017 when it was in Canton, OH.(!)

I am down to just "Mirko" inside here now. Mirko is a cute, female, black & beige mottled cat. I haven't learned of or viewed any soccer teams with black & beige colors; so I opted to name her after the player who scored our Championship-Winning-Goal in 1991: Mirko Castillo. Mirko Castillo was brought back to Chicago one evening in January 2011 when that season's indoor soccer franchise [the Chicago RIOT] had "Chicago indoor soccer heritage night". He learned (and glimpsed a picture thereof) about the cat named after him.
Mirko has been neutered (by the Anti-Cruelty Society via its “trap, neuter, & return” program).
When I am away from here, I hire a cat sitter from Andrea for Animals.

I have to be a little more subtle talking about future trips. Because when I am not here, there is nobody here except Mirko, and she is not an attack cat.
The domicile is in urgent need of a thorough cleaning. I need a recycling dumpster and perhaps 8 - 16 people to help me toss all this junk, and move the remnant furniture. Dad's clothes will eventually go to the Brown Elephant Resale Shop in Chicago. Of more concern is all the canned foodstuffs which, for the most part, were purchased prior to September 2008. I never learned how to cook. But it bristles me to think that food should be trashed.

I will halt with my introduction here. If you wish to know more about me (to which I am willing to admit), you can click here. Otherwise, note beneath the additional World-Wide Web pages I maintain. You may also wish to follow me on Twitter as "pudgym29"; but contemplate that I tweet on it about everything I enjoy, some of which you may find concupiscible.

Here are other World-Wide Web pages I maintain =

Figure an effective response.