Saturday, September 7, 2019

What Happens When You Die?

Just FYI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvdY_5iXPrU

My comments as follows:

While attempting self-hypnosis as a teenager, I had a weird out of body experience that I don't think that I will ever be able to repeat. I felt like I was floating above my body. I was completely comfortable and lacked any feeling of pressure anywhere on my body. I felt warm like wrapped in a blanket. My mind was devoid of any thought, but I started to become aware that something weird was going on and therefore had a brief instant of panic. It was at that moment I had the sensation of rushing back into my body and I awoke with a start.

I was not dead or dying. I think that I achieved some sort of altered state of consciousness similar to sleep or hypnosis. This has nothing to do with the afterlife.

As I have gotten older, I have been more likely to have states at night where I feel like I am both half asleep and half awake. I have actually had dreams while feeling like I was half awake. Then I wake before falling asleep again.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Fwd: Laramie Wyoming

FYI


---------- Forwarded message ---------

Albert Nelms

Sun, Jul 14, 12:17 PM (1 day ago)
to me
Driving downhill on unknown curvy roads is dangerous, cliffs or no cliffs.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Steve Kusaba
Date: Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 11:47 PM
Subject: Re: Laramie Wyoming
To: John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com>


Your first letter was more correct. There are many deadly cliff drops from west of Laramie to Cheyenne. The roads form dry ice too, you can spin out of control and many people have died falling off the cliff. Also, the road from Laramie, south to Fort Collins is one of the most deadly in the nation (in winter in particular) with an impressive array of deadly crashes. Sometimes its smart to take those roads 15 miles an hour and arrive very late but alive.

I was driving from the east to Cheyenne and the road spun me out on its pure black ice surface, I was spinning around and around and was lucky that A. There were no cars near by and B. I wasn't on the other side with the cliffs.

On Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 9:02 AM John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com> wrote:
The reality is there are probably no cliffs to drive off of.   I have seen youtube videos of the area, and in the daytime the roads don't look that bad. However, I didn't know that.  What I knew was that I was driving downhill in the dark with mountainous terrain on a curvey road where I couldn't see where I was going.

On Sat, Jul 13, 2019 at 11:53 PM John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com> wrote:
Laramie Wyoming is an interesting place that is kind of a footnote in my life. About 26.5 years ago I moved to Salt Lake City by packing everything that would fit into my tiny Toyota Tercel.

The trip from Cheyenne to Laramie is mostly uphill as you drive west into the Rocky Mountains. It was dark, and at that time it was also very foggy and a severe winter storm was also predicted. I was hearing predictions that the state police might close the interstate, so I decided to stop in Laramie and find a hotel rather than risk driving any farther. Where I stopped was close to the University of Wyoming. Laramie is a college town. I stopped someplace and had a chance to chat with some college students.

A little over 22 years later I moved back. My moving strategy was the same because I only took what I could fit in my 2000 Grand Marquis. I stopped briefly in Laramie, and the place I stopped wasn't quite the same. It looked more redneck in a country-western sort of way. It was probably a different part of town. I saw the sunset from Laramie.

However, as I headed east from Laramie toward Cheyenne, I ran into this incredibly dense fog. This was like my experience driving the same road 22 years earlier. However, the difference was that I was driving downhill on a very curvey road and the visibility was terrible. I was pretty nervous because I thought that if I were to overshoot a curve I could easily drive off a cliff. I slowed down quite a bit, but then I got passed by an orange VW Beetle going at a pretty good speed. I decided to follow the Beetle because I assumed that he knew where he was going. I figured that if I stayed back at the right distance I would watch him take the curves, and besides, if he drove off a cliff I would have some warning.





--

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Re: Laramie Wyoming

The reality is there are probably no cliffs to drive off of.   I have seen youtube videos of the area, and in the daytime the roads don't look that bad. However, I didn't know that.  What I knew was that I was driving downhill in the dark with mountainous terrain on a curvey road where I couldn't see where I was going.

On Sat, Jul 13, 2019 at 11:53 PM John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com> wrote:
Laramie Wyoming is an interesting place that is kind of a footnote in my life. About 26.5 years ago I moved to Salt Lake City by packing everything that would fit into my tiny Toyota Tercel.

The trip from Cheyenne to Laramie is mostly uphill as you drive west into the Rocky Mountains. It was dark, and at that time it was also very foggy and a severe winter storm was also predicted. I was hearing predictions that the state police might close the interstate, so I decided to stop in Laramie and find a hotel rather than risk driving any farther. Where I stopped was close to the University of Wyoming. Laramie is a college town. I stopped someplace and had a chance to chat with some college students.

A little over 22 years later I moved back. My moving strategy was the same because I only took what I could fit in my 2000 Grand Marquis. I stopped briefly in Laramie, and the place I stopped wasn't quite the same. It looked more redneck in a country-western sort of way. It was probably a different part of town. I saw the sunset from Laramie.

However, as I headed east from Laramie toward Cheyenne, I ran into this incredibly dense fog. This was like my experience driving the same road 22 years earlier. However, the difference was that I was driving downhill on a very curvey road and my visibility was terrible. I was pretty nervous because I thought that if I were to overshoot a curve I could easily drive off a cliff. I slowed down quite a bit, but then I got passed by an orange VW Beatle going at a pretty good speed. I decided to follow the Beatle because I assumed that he knew where he was going. I figured that if I stayed back at the right distance I would watch him take the curves, and besides, if he drove off a cliff I would have some warning.


--
Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com


--

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Laramie Wyoming

Laramie Wyoming is an interesting place that is kind of a footnote in my life. About 26.5 years ago I moved to Salt Lake City by packing everything that would fit into my tiny Toyota Tercel.

The trip from Cheyenne to Laramie is mostly uphill as you drive west into the Rocky Mountains. It was dark, and at that time it was also very foggy and a severe winter storm was also predicted. I was hearing predictions that the state police might close the interstate, so I decided to stop in Laramie and find a hotel rather than risk driving any farther. Where I stopped was close to the University of Wyoming. Laramie is a college town. I stopped someplace and had a chance to chat with some college students.

A little over 22 years later I moved back. My moving strategy was the same because I only took what I could fit in my 2000 Grand Marquis. I stopped briefly in Laramie, and the place I stopped wasn't quite the same. It looked more redneck in a country-western sort of way. It was probably a different part of town. I saw the sunset from Laramie.

However, as I headed east from Laramie toward Cheyenne, I ran into this incredibly dense fog. This was like my experience driving the same road 22 years earlier. However, the difference was that I was driving downhill on a very curvey road and my visibility was terrible. I was pretty nervous because I thought that if I were to overshoot a curve I could easily drive off a cliff. I slowed down quite a bit, but then I got passed by an orange VW Beatle going at a pretty good speed. I decided to follow the Beatle because I assumed that he knew where he was going. I figured that if I stayed back at the right distance I would watch him take the curves, and besides, if he drove off a cliff I would have some warning.


--
Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Re: iMac purchase

As far as my actual travel time is concerned, this was a bigger hassle than I expected.  It started with major road construction on an interstate forcing me onto a crowded state road for about 30 miles.  What I thought would be an hour and 40 minutes took 2 hours, which is not too big of a deal.  However, the return trip added an additional 40 minute minutes because of a big wreck on the interstate in Cincinnati.

I have driven in many large cities, but I found the traffic in Cincinnati to be a little more intimidating than most.  I am used to Indianapolis, which can be a challenge for me, but Cincinnati seemed worse.

The purchase of the computer went without a hitch.  We met at a Starbucks.  The seller was nice and set the computer up.  I tested several things on the computer, all of which worked fine.  The entire process took ten minutes.

-- 

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 1:10 AM
Subject: iMac purchase/Forest Fair Village
To: 

I'm going to Cincinnati tomorrow to buy a used iMac.  I am driving 100 minutes and meeting a guy in a Starbucks north of Cincinnati.  I called the Starbucks store to ask if it is okay to do our transaction there.

It is out of my way, but I heavily researched the market and this appears to be one of the best deals I can get.  I'm paying $1150 for a 2017 27" iMac.   The same thing "refurbished" from Apple with a warranty is about $300 more.  I was originally looking at a 2015 model in Louisville that I negotiated $750 on, but I decided that the 2017 model was not only newer but a significant upgrade.

If I wanted a better processor and better graphics card, I'm looking at $1700 and 150-minute drive.  If money were no object I would consider this, but what I am getting is a big step up from what I already have.  (My current late-2009 iMac is dying rapidly and is too expensive to repair.)     So it is a compromise between price and performance.  I consider the model I'm getting "good enough".   

All the computers I looked at appear to be in good shape.  Almost everybody told me that the computer was low use.  Almost everybody wanted something else after buying an iMac.  The model I'm buying is one that the guy purchased for his "ex" last year and he wants to get rid of it.

I  would not buy a Mac at all except for my desire to write iPhone apps.  The following videos illustrate how horrible they are to repair.


What I would rather do is build a new computer using the powerful chips that AMD is releasing in July. 

I noticed a "classic" videogame arcade on the map in Cincinnati.  I was curious about what games they have and if they have Donkey Kong.  I play this game up to once a day on my PC using emulation, but I wanted to see if they had the real thing.  They don't.  I called them.

This arcade is in a mostly abandoned mall, which has an apocalyptic feel to it.  I am considering stopping by since it is on my way, but I'll probably skip it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Fair_Village


Saturday, June 22, 2019

iMac

When I purchased a top of the line iMac in March 2010, I paid quite a lot of money for it, but my rationale was that it should last a long time, preferably till the end of the decade.

I tend to be a heavy user. I do tasks that are processor intensive. They used to say that computers were meant to be left on all the time, so I left mine on all the time. This is probably bad advice. The chickens have come home to roost. I recently paid to have the iMac cleaned out because it was full of dust and badly overheating. (This is a problem with all-in-one-computers, plus they tend to overheat anyway. Laptops can also have problems with overheating.) However, I have 4 major components either failing or about to fail, and the high cost of repair makes it look like it is time to get a different computer.

  

--

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Friday, May 24, 2019

I wrote this on Facebook

Of all the chess players that I have known, the name that sticks out the most is "Steve".  I have known so many Steves who play chess, in both Indiana and Utah. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, April 26, 2019

Thursday night

Thursday night I left chess club early to go see Avengers Endgame. This was a strange experience because there was no parking available in the huge theater parking lot. Every spot was taken and multiple cars were driving up and down the lanes looking for a place to park.

This was a problem because I had allowed myself barely enough time to catch the beginning of the movie after the previews had rolled.

I parked a block away in the middle of the Walmart parking lot, and I could see a bunch of other people doing the same. I then had to hurry in the rain to get to the theater. As I entered the theater I pulled out my ticket that I had already purchased, but nobody inside was checking tickets. It was fairly crowded and the movie was playing on five screens. I found my theater just as they were playing the spot that says, "And now enjoy the show!"

The only comparable experience was on December 17nth, 2015, when the first Star Wars movie in 10.5 years, The Force Awakens, premiered on a Thursday night. I had also left the chess club early, and I literally got the last parking spot after much searching.

I was worried that I might get a ticket or something, but there were no consequences for parking at Walmart. I was also worried about walking back in the dark at 11:10 at night, but I wasn't the only one.

--

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Lawnmower

Today I bought a push lawnmower. My yard needed it badly. I had not mowed a lawn in 36 years. For the last 20 years, which is as long as I have owned my own home, I always paid people to do it. However, in my retirement, it was a cost-benefit analysis. It will take about 10 mows to pay for the lawn mower and gas, considering the money I will save.

Between my front yard and back yard is a gate too narrow for a riding lawnmower to fit through, otherwise, I would have gotten one.

--

Songs of my youth come back to haunt me.

Maybe you wouldn't understand this. I found myself humming "Prepare Ye." Forty-two years ago this had deep religious significance for me, but I outgrew such notions about 35 years ago. Most of "Godspell" is not that interesting, but a couple of the songs are musically interesting, at least to me, because they meant a great deal to me a long time ago. I think that "Prepare Ye" and "Day by Day" are interesting songs, even if the message no longer has any meaning to me.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How Far Are The Nearest Stars?

When this guy goes on his road trip, the first thing I thought was that it looked like Salt Lake City.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCSIXLIzhzk

Speaking of Idaho, I took one trip to the relatively small town of Pocatello to play in a chess tournament.  It was 172 miles away.  I love Salt Lake City, but it is hundreds of miles away from other major cities.  Las Vegas is 420 miles away.  Denver is 520 miles, and so is Reno Nevada. Boise is 340 miles.

Friday, March 15, 2019

My old house in Salt Lake City on Google street view



The same:  Rose bushes on the left.  White railings. White shutters. Metal door.  Air conditioner that I had installed.

However, things change.

Gone:  Delapolated garage on the right behind the house, apparently.  I can't see it clearly.   Strawberry plants in the flower beds next to house. Raised stone flower bed with lamp post next to walkway.  White mailbox next to walkway close to the house.

Added:  Bushes in parking strip. Bushes in flower beds next to the house.  Stone flower beds next to sidewalk with mulch and bushes, with a dark mailbox close to sidewalk.  Two trees in front yard.  Stones around the flower beds close to the house and along rose garden on the left.  Politically liberal sign and a rainbow banner on the railing.

The front yard previously had a much simpler look that was all grass except for the rose garden on the left, the raised stone flower bed next to the walkway and the mailbox next to the walkway close to the house.  The only picture I could find was this one:



I see weeds in the driveway and sidewalk that I used to spray all the time.

I can't tell, but it looks like along the right wall they may have covered that area with rocks.  That would be a big improvement, because it was previously a dirt strip where nothing but weeds would grow, because if the sprinkler system can't reach it, nothing grows there.  That's how Utah is.  Without the sprinkler system, everything dies.  You can see some brown grass next to the driveway, which means that they might not be getting full coverage with the sprinkler system.   I got frustrated with the underground sprinkler system, because mine would break almost every year.  I was constantly paying for repairs.

--

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Giuseppe Zangara

Zangara plays a significant role in the background provided for Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. The 1962 alternate history novel, set after an Axis victory in World War II, uses the premise that Zangara succeeded in assassinating FDR as its point of divergence. 

Just finished the 3rd season of The Man In the High Castle on Amazon Prime.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Baconator Fries

Wendy's iPhone app gives discount coupons. Got free Baconator Fries with purchase. I got a coffee. It has melted cheese, and bits of bacon. Not bad. Not great.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Trivia

Some interesting trivia that I recently learned:

Bit = Binary Digit.
Pixel = Picture element.
Thursday is named after the Viking god Thor, because Thor in old English was "Thunor" and somehow from that we got "Thursday", meaning Thor's Day.  

So come play chess on Thor's Day at the Columbus Chess Club.

http://columbuschessclub.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Sugarhouse shopping district in Salt Lake City

It has been almost 4 years since I left Salt Lake City. I was curious about the Sugarhouse shopping district, because they were in the process tearing down and rebuilding part of it when I left. I used to work a video game programming job on the second floor of a massive building (2144 South Highland Drive) where the lower floor was all shops. That building has been torn down for over a decade, but they were slow to rebuild because of the 2008 economic crisis. When I left Salt Lake City it was just a big hole in the ground.

I see on Google street view that this area is completely rebuilt with new shops. They have also added multiple apartment buildings close by, which they were just starting to build when I left.

The small building where my barber conducted his business is now gone. He was over 70 and he knew that eventually he was going to be forced out. He said that he would retire at that point because it wasn't worth the trouble to start again.

I liked living in Sugarhouse. I liked having access to all the shops. I even liked working in Sugarhouse and I miss the way it used to be.  One of friends tells me that it is not as walkable anymore, with heavier traffic and insufficient parking.

--
Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Copy of my Facebook post from 2 years ago today.

Events in recent years have impressed upon me the fragility of human life. I have lost friends, family, and associates. This happens with greater frequency as we get older, because most everyone we know is getting older too. However, I have also seen young people die from accidents. For example, a young couple I worked with were hiking in the mountains during a storm and were killed by lightning.

Cancer has claimed the lives of a few people I know.

What can we do about? I think that the first rule of living should be, "Don't do stupid stuff." Stupid stuff can get you killed. Don't take unnecessary risks. Obey the law. Don't do drugs. Drive defensively. Obey the speed limit. Keep your vehicle, especially your tires, properly maintained.

Keep fire extinguishers and working smoke detectors in your home. Get at least two carbon monoxide detectors, because if both alarms go off at the same time then you know it is not just a defective detector. This happened to me, but I also know a whole family that got carbon monoxide poisoning and had to be treated at the hospital.

I think that the second rule of living should be, "Take reasonable steps to protect your health." Don't smoke. Drink in moderation or not at all. Eat as healthy as you can. Consume more plant based foods and less red meat. Eat fewer processed foods and more fresh foods. Exercise.

By the way, there is much research to indicate that sugar is very bad for you and addictive. For this reason, I don't keep any sweets in my home, otherwise I know I would eat them.

This is all common sense, but humans in general have a tendency to ignore common sense. We think that nothing bad will happen to us, but I have seen bad things happen to too many people. There is potential disaster around every corner. This is the reality we live in.

--
Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas

Sometimes Christmas is much hustle and bustle, but it is also an opportunity to express our love and affection for all those we care about.

Here is wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

--

Saturday, December 15, 2018

My old neighborhood : Teen shot, 1 in custody in officer-involved shooting in Whiteland

Begin forwarded message:

From: Albert Nelms 
Date: December 15, 2018 at 7:42:22 AM EST
To: John Coffey 
Subject: Teen shot, 1 in custody in officer-involved shooting in Whiteland

Glad you "escaped" the violence in your old subdivision. 17 yr old teen shot multiple times by police at Harvest Meadow Way last night (?). The story is making headlines today.