Democrat


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More About Me


There won't any personal web site. It does not fit in my budget. So I will include whatever information I planned for that web site onto this page.

Physical Traits

I am 5'9" tall. I weigh about 165 pounds. I have blue eyes. My hair is balding or baldish. I color what I have left a dark blond or light brown color. I have trouble seeing distant objects. I sometimes wear eyeglasses for distance viewing. I sometimes wear a hearing aid in my right ear.
















                                                                                                             May 11, 2015 Monday

                                                                                                                


My Voice


My voice is not too loud. It is somewhat nasal. I've had two operations on my palate. The first one was when I was two years old when I had trouble swallowing my food. The second one in 2005 was more cosmetic than medical. I wanted to reduce the nasality in my voice.  The operation was not effective in doing this. I was told by my ear-throat-nose doctor that the space between my palate and throat is large and needs to be filled in to help reduce the nasality. I did not undergo this operation.

I am not aware of the nasality of my voice when I am speaking.  When I am speaking, to my ears, I sound like everybody else. I found out how bad I sound when I was 7 or 8 years old in second grade. My mother transferred me to a public school where I attended a speech therapy class. In that class, I heard my voice on a tape recorder. The speech therapy class was of no help. In fact, my mother said I sounded worse. I went back to my other school at Holy Name of Jesus. In the eighth grade, the class was given a project in history. We were to pair up and put on a short play. My friend Michael Kowalski and I paired up. He did most of the talking. He had me "sleeping." Then he "woke" me up. And my one line was, "Oh, yes. I agree." And he kept talking while I pretended to do some writing. In another project, the teacher tape recorded the compositions we wrote and read to the class. I thought some of the kids had bad voices, but after hearing everyone's voices played back on the tape including my own, in my opinion, mine was the worst. In 9th grade, I was in a Lain class. The teacher put on a play, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. I tried out a few lines for the teacher. He asked me if there was anyway I could get my mouth filled in somehow. I was given the role of the Roman senator Cina. Cina has three lines in the play. One line was taken away from me. My two lines were, "Casca, you will be the first to raise his hand against Caesar. We will follow," and "Oh, Caesar!" We put on two plays in the auditorium, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, so that every class in the school saw our play. In the first play, when I said my lines, a lot of people laughed. In the second play, I spoke my lines louder, and only half as many people laughed. The next day, one guy told me I sounded like I had marbles in my mouth.

As an adult, searching the job market, I was careful to avoid those clerical jobs that involved phone work because I knew I had a lousy voice. One time, job opportunities were so scarce that I applied for a customer service rep job. Then I received a call from the company for an interview. After 5 seconds of listening to me, the lady hung up on me.

Not only is my voice nasal, but sometimes I am mistaken for a woman. A lot of times, these sales people would call me on the phone and would call me "ma'am." When I was giving my presentation at the 2000 New Hampshire primary in Concord, I was so nervous and tense. that my voice became really high pitched as I talked about partial birth abortion and the colonization of Mars. In the 2008 New Hampshire primary, I was still a little nervous when I gave my presentation in Nashua. But my voice didn't take off like it did eight years ago, and I spoke about the dangers our country faces in my normal voice.

I tried improving my voice by attending two classes at Erie Community College in Amherst, NY. One was Public Speaking and the other was Drama I. In the Public Speaking class, when giving their comments, each of the students were careful not to criticize the speaker for fear they would be criticized in return. In the Drama I class, the students gave their comments in writing rather than verbally. Two of the criticisms I received was that I did not speak loud enough, and that I did not make eye contact with some of them.

Another problem I have, unlike Mr. 44th President, is pronouncing my esses. Which leads me to my next topic, which is:


My Mouth


When I was five years old, I was hit by a car. I was coming from the corner store and was crossing the street when I was hit by a car. I was out like a light for two weeks. When I woke up, I had no idea what happened. My parents told me I was hit by a car. My front teeth were all bashed out. Those were my baby teeth, so that shouldn't have been a big deal. But I had these anti-love ideas in my head. I thought kissing was stupid, so I sucked my lips in. I didn't want lips like Ricky Nelson. I also like sucking my cheeks into my mouth. Also, on the one side of my mouth, food would taste better, so I would eat most of my food on the right side. As a skinny boy, I was developing a large adams apple, which I didn't like. But I did the wrong thing--I was pulling in my chin when I should have been sticking it out. All those bad oral habits brought me a set of braces for my teeth starting when I was 9 years old. Because my mouth was small, I had to have six teeth pulled out before I could be fitted with braces. Four of those teeth were my baby teeth, but two teeth were my second teeth. I hated those braces. They were ugly. And they hurt. The orthodontist made them sharp so that they would cut the inside of my mouth and cause bleeding. This was so that I wouldn't suck my cheeks into my mouth. State funding for my braces ran out when I was 16. The orthodontist was going to leave the braces on, but I wanted them off. So he took them off. About a week later, my one front tooth started folding over my other front tooth. I still had no bit on my back teeth. They were starting to recede under my gums. One of my wisdom teeth receded on its side. I went to a dentist when I had an infection in my left back lower tooth. The dentist wanted me to go to an oral surgeon and have all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out. I never had that done. I used vitamin c to get rid of my infection. As I said, I have trouble pronouncing my esses. I have to pulled my lower jaw forward so that my front lower and upper teeth meet to make the ess sound. My teeth are really ugly, so I keep my mouth shut and try hard not to show my teeth. They've always been a yellowish color or a dull white color. Now they are wearing out and some of them look brown.


I use to have a bad habit of biting my lips. I was doing this in high school and up until recently. Some of my high school pictures show where I tore the skin off my lip. My lips were dry most of the time. I would sometimes use lip balm or vasoline. It was a vicious cycle. My lips were dry; I would bite them; they would start healing; they felt dry and cracked; so I would start biting them again. I don’t seem to have that problem anymore. It might be because I had to change my diet.


March 17, 2016 Thursday. I was scheduled to have an oral surgeon take out three teeth last November at Erie County Medical Center. The three teeth are the lower left wisdom tooth, the lower right wisdom tooth and the molar next to the lower right wisdom tooth. I was suppose to be covered under some kind of hospital plan, but a few days before the surgery, I received a call from ECMC saying I wasn’t going to be covered by the hospital plan, and that I need to pay over $700 for the procedure. I canceled my appointment. In the meantime, I was able to control the infection in my left wisdom tooth so that it no longer caught the attention of my dentist. But I did have to have the right wisdom tooth and the molar next to it pulled out. I was able to have this done at University Pediatric Dentistry in downtown Buffalo this morning under Medicare. So now I have six teeth missing, or, only 26 teeth remaining.

VOICES

Once I graduated from Holy Name, I went to Genesee-Humboldt Junior High School (Number 91) for my 9th grade; and then I went to Kensington High School for my sophomore, junior and senior years. I went to speech therapy classes in School 91 and in my sophomore year at Kensington. In Kensington, my speech teacher once asked me if I ever wanted to break out of my quiet state, to let it out and just explode. I don’t remember what I told her, but I do let it out sometimes by impersonating other people. This might also sometimes be called mocking other people. I really shouldn’t mock other people because I don’t like to be mocked; there’s a God up above, and He will judge us if we mock another person. We are all sons and daughters of Noah, and so we shouldn’t mock each other. I don’t do voice impersonations too much anymore because I live in a quiet neighborhood and can’t make too much noise. So I’m out of practice.

Some the voices I like to do, or use to do, are Elvis Presley, John Wayne, ALF, Chubby Checker, little Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison of The Doors, and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. I mentioned that I am mistaken many times for a woman when I’m on the phone. I like to do women’s voices and girls' voices. I can do an old gramma’s voice.


More About My Voice


One other interesting thing when I was in that speech therapy class  at Kensington is the time when I read or recited one sentence. In the middle of that sentence, I said one word differently. The face of the classmate guy who was there with me lit up when I said that one word. Then he became indifferent when I finished the rest of the sentence. My speech therapy teacher told me about that one word and how I spoke it clearly and correctly. Unfortunately, I don't remember the sentence or the word. So, anyway, there may be a way for me to correct my speech without undergoing more surgery.


RIGHT SHOULDER BIRTH DEFECT

When I was a boy, I realized that I was left handed when I threw a baseball while most boys were right handed. It was hard to throw with my right arm, so that‘s why I was left handed. I thought that was the why most boys are right handed, because it’s just as hard for them to throw with their left hand as it is hard for me to throw with my right hand. But that wasn’t the whole answer. There was something wrong with my right shoulder and right arm. The humerus bone was not in the proper position; and the bone was shorter, about 3 inches shorter than the left humerus. My father took me to a bone specialist who said he could operate on it to put the bone in the proper place, but he would have to cut through some muscles and then tie the bone to my shoulder which would result in limited mobility. Plus, he said, the arm would look shorter than it already does now. He said I am okay now, but in the future it will give me problems. It will start hurting. And so at that time, I will need an operation.

The shoulder and arm problem didn’t bother me in my 20s and 30s. I was doing some weight lifting. I even did some extra exercises to build up my right shoulder to make my problem less noticeable. I could do presses. I use to press up to 120 pounds when I was still 35 years old. But my lower back started to give out. Now, at the age of 66, I am lucky to press 30 pounds over my head after working my way up from 5 pounds. A few years ago, I went to see another bone specialist. He refused to do any surgery on it because he said he might sever an artery in the process and kill me. So, even though 40 years have passed since I saw the first bone specialist, medical science has not come up with a better solution. In fact, it seems it has gone backwards. Fortunately, my right shoulder has not given me the problem which the first bone specialist predicted would happen, except for the lower back problem which I mentioned.

Sometimes, some bold guy will notice the difference between my left shoulder and my right shoulder, and he will put his hand on my right shoulder to feel how weird it is. I don’t like that. Sometimes, in response, I will extend my arm laterally to bring whatever muscles I have there into position so that it does not look or feel different.

Keep your hands off of my right shoulder, bold people.

SKIN CANCER

I like to go out in the sun when it’s warm and try to get a nice tan. I envy guys, especially blue-eyed guys, who have really dark tans. One blue-eyed neighbor of mine Mark is really dark. He says he uses baby oil on his skin to keep the moisture in. I don't use anything except a little baby oil around my eyes. I burn easily, but I time myself. I spend 10 minutes on my front, then 10 minutes on my side, then 10 minutes on my back, and then 10 minutes on my other side. Not only do I sun bathe myself for the looks, but sunbathing is suppose to be healthy for you, too. Sunshine provides us with the vitamin d we need to help our immune system ward off sickness and disease.

This year, I am now a little wary about going under the sun. There is this small sore on the left side of my forehead which refuses to heal. Sometimes, there’s a scab on it. Sometimes, there’s a little blood on my bed where I lay my head while I sleep. My apartment is located in a rural area where there are deer, skunks, and supposedly even bears roaming around. There are also many insects and spiders. I thought maybe I was being bitten by a spider, and, being bitten in the same part of my head while I was sleeping at night. These “bites” have been plaguing me for a year or two or maybe longer. This year, it dawned on me--this is a sore that refuses to heal. A sore that refuses to heal is cancer. So I started taking capsules of graviola that I had on hand which is suppose to cure cancer. It comes from the graviola plant that's grown in South America. It tastes like asparagus. And it's suppose to be 1000 times more effective than chemotherapy. Unlike chemotherapy, it attacks only cancer cells. When I ran out it, I ordered some more. And it was working for a while. The sore was getting smaller and smaller, and the skin on the surface of the sore was drying up and pealing away, which meant that it was healing. But it got to a point where it no longer was getting smaller. It stopped healing. And then it started bleeding again. I told my primary physician about it. He referred me to a cosmetologist who took a sample of the sore and sent it to Roswell Cancer Research Center. The results were affirmative. It is a skin cancer sore. I am scheduled for surgery in July to have it removed. In the meantime, I am trying out another anti-cancer remedy to see if that works. It's a small tube of white cream that has acid in it. The acid stings for a few minutes as it helps the medication penetrate to the cancer problem. According to the literature that came with it, it's suppose to heal the skin after 12 weeks of usage. I started on May 26th; so the last day of application would be August 15. Right now, the problem area looks bad with raw skin a little over one half inch in diameter. I have to reapply the medication and cover it with a new band aid every twelve hours.


















September 9, 2015 Wednesday. I have two videos for comparison. These are my first two videos. The second video shows deeper lines in my face, which is why I try not to yawn. The second one shows the struggle I had reading and speaking at the same time. The first video shows my more natural talking voice.


The home remedy did not work. The sore seemed to be getting bigger rather than smaller. I stopped applying the cream after the 12-week period. The sore was healing. There's was a scab on the sore which fell off after a few days. And the old skin was flaking and peeling off. I felt that the home remedy had done its job after all. I went to my appointment at the Buffalo Medical Center on Wednesday, Sept. the 2nd, and I argued with the doctor that the skin cancer was gone. He kept saying no, that the cancer was still there. So I had the surgery done. I think he used a laser because there was an odor of burnt skin. Stitches were sewn to close up the wound. They were removed today.


November 10, 2015 Tuesday. Today I went to my appointment at the Cosmetic Vein & Laser Center in Williamsville NY as follow up to my surgery. I was told I have a black mole on my back. I am to come in for another appointment a year from now.


November 17, 2016 Thursday. I went to my appointment and was found to have a cancerous sore on the right side of my chest. I am to stay out of the sun from now on. I need to apply sun screen whenever I go outside to protect my skin from the sun.

November 29. I went in to Cosmetic Vein & Laser Center to have the cancerous sore removed. I have an appointment to come in a year from now.

TWO HEART ATTACKS

My father died when he was 59 years old in 1977. (My mother died nine days before her 94th birthday in 2008.) He was a smoker. He could not give it up. He even said that the damage was done, and so there was no reason to give up smoking. Not only that, he led a sedentary life. In the last year of his life, he was mostly in bed sleeping for 20 hours a day. He would get up, go to the bathroom, have something to eat, watch a little TV, and then go back to bed and sleep for another 20 hours.

In contrast, I tried to stay healthy and fit. I would take long walks, bike rides, and jogs each day. I would do weight lifting. I would do pushups. And, as I said before, I would lay out in the sun and soak up all that vitamin d. I never smoked. The trouble was my diet. I tried to eat a healthy diet which included drinking skim milk, but I would fall back to eating sweets, and candy, and donuts, and cookies, and cakes, and ice cream.

One day, in August of 2008, I had a heart attack. I don’t remember what I was doing that day before I had a heart attack. My neighbor Mark said I took a bike ride. I was inside the apartment when I felt a lot of pain in my heart. I went out to Mark and he took me to the hospital (St. Joseph‘s). The doctors all gathered around me, from what I was told. They couldn’t figure out what was killing me. I was told later that my heart stopped and that I was resuscitated. I was then transferred to a heart hospital (Buffalo Mercy). I slowly recovered without surgery and after a few weeks, I was sent home. I was placed on at least nine medications.

I want to thank the doctors and staff at St. Joseph's Hospital for bringing me back to life.


In April 2010, I was slipping back to a dangerous diet. I was eating ice cream everyday. While I was doing my walking and jogging exercises, I noticed that I was getting tired very quickly. My left arm and my chest felt numb. So I called up my primary physician and told the nurse what my symptoms were. She told me to check into a hospital right away. So I went back to St. Joseph’s. They told me I had blocked arteries. One of them was 100% blocked; another was 94% blocked; and another was 54% blocked. Something like that. Maybe only two arteries were blocked. I had to have open heart surgery to have the blockage removed or bypassed. The pain was terrible after I got out of surgery. I remember telling a friend that I would never want to go through this again. One time, I went to a restaurant with another friend for dinner. When I opened the door, it was like my chest was tearing a part. Since that time, I have been very careful about what I eat, or rather, what I don’t eat. I still eat candy, but it’s only dark chocolate candy. I might have a donut once a week. I might have a piece of cake once a month. I drink green tea instead of skim milk. My primary physician told me to stay away from pizza because it has too much oil. He told me to eat oat meal cereal. That’s what I have for breakfast with a banana. Instead of sugar, I use sugar in the raw. I drink sugarless juices like Juicy Juice and apple juice. I try eating raw vegetables and fruits. My cardiologist says I’m improving. My primary physician says I’m improving. So now, I am only taking three prescription drugs instead of nine.


October 29, 2015 Thursday. Today I went to my appointment at the Buffalo Cardiology and Pulmonary Associates in Williamsville NY. My doctor said I have a low heart ejection fraction.  My next appointment is in April.

I still watch my diet but I cheat a lot. I have a McDonald's meal once while with chocolate milk shake and French fries. I sometimes buy a chocolate ice cream cone at the mall. Lately I have been doing errands for my neighbors and have been seen buying some pork products. I eat the pepperoni off of the pizzas, but that's about it. I haven't been eating any pork products other than pepperoni from the pizzas.

I haven't been doing too many pushups lately because I hurt my left wrist, and it hurts more after I do pushups. I have been doing some slant pushups which are pushups that I do on the stairway.


March 29, 2018 Thursday. I went to my appointment last Monday to see my primary care physician at Cleveland Hill Medical Group. He said my cholesterol level is high. I explained to him that I am still eating too many sweets. I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate fudge brownies. I told him I will not eat anymore brownies. So when I went to the grocery store, I took two bags of chocolate chip cookies. I really need to be careful. I am watching my weight. I was told my weight is 167 pounds. My stature is slightly less than before. I am now 5 feet 8 ¾ inches tall. I haven’t been doing much weight lifting. I do 50 lbs. of bench pressing, 3 sets, 8 reps. If I do any presses or squats, it’s no more than with 20 lbs. I try to do my 30-minute walking exercise everyday. When the weather improves, I would like to do more jogging. I usually do 2 sets of pushups, 4 reps each day.

HOBBIES


Exercising - I use to do 65 pushups when I was in high school. When I was 35, I could only do 22. A few years ago, I was doing 12 pushups. Today, I am only doing 8 pushups, two sets, about 6 times a week.

I use to press 120 pounds when I was 35 years old. I could do 80 pounds back in 1992 when I was 43 years old. Today, I have to start with broom stick and collars that weight 5 pounds. I do one set and two reps. Then I keep adding 2 1/2 lbs. until I lift 30 or maybe 40 pounds over my head. I do this once a week.

Correction: I am having problems with my right shoulder. I can't press much more that 20 pounds right now. There's too much soreness.

I don't remember what my maximum lift was for bench presses was when I was in my 20s and 30s. I use to work out with 80 pounds when I was 43. Today, I work out with 45  pounds. I do three sets. Right now I'm doing 8 reps. I add 5 pounds to the right side of the barbell because of my right shoulder and shorter right arm. I do this once a week.

I try to walk or walk and jog at least 30 minutes every day. When I jog, I count with my right foot every time it hits the ground until I count 220 steps. Then I walk until I come to a certain lamp post in my backyard. I usually do four laps.

I start with a 20 pounds for squats. I do 4 reps, 1 set. I add 5 pounds for each set until I lift 60 pounds.

I also do two lateral exercises with 3 lbs. and 5 lbs., 20 reps, 1 set. And I do toe stands with 20 pounds, 20 reps, 1 set. Once a week.

Once in a while, I take long bicycle rides.


Reading - I like to read self improvement books and articles. I read magazines and articles on current events. I like to read and watch TV shows about our space program. I use to read the Bible everyday. I would read a page from five different sections of the Bible.


Chess - My father taught me how to play chess when I was around 6 or 7 years old. I was able to win most of the games we played when I was a teenager. After he died, I didn't have anyone to play chess with. It was only after Bobby Fischer made chess popular that I started to play chess again. I play mostly on the computer. I have two computer chess games. I am a member of the United States Chess Federation and compete in the local chess tournaments. My current (July 12, 2015) rating is 1382. My rating was above 1400 when I attended a chess tournament at Bishop Timon in Buffalo in October 2015. But now it is down to 1350.


Last weekend, (Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, 2016) I went to downtown Rochester to play at the Strong Museum of Play in the 38th Marchand Open Chess Tournament. I haven’t been practicing my chess very much in the last two or three months. My rating has fallen to 1293. I won 3 games and lost two in Rochester.


April 1 and 2, 2017 Saturday and Sunday. I went to the Marchand Chess Tournament at the Strong Museum of Play. My rating is now only 1215. I lost three games to unrated young men. I won two games from older men who were rated 1025 and 1200.
One guy told me that a chess player can never play any better after he has played for eight years. That’s quite challenge. I told him I would play at least 5 games of chess on the computer everyday and learn some chess traps. I read of an 11-year old girl who is almost a grand master. She plays 10 hours a day. But maybe it's not worth it. I think life is more than playing chess 10 hours everyday.


May 20, 2017 Saturday. I went to the Wolverine Chess Tournament at Niagara Falls High School in Niagara Falls. My rating is down again to 1200. I lost the first two games and won the last two games. The first players was unrated. He was in his thirties. The second player was in his forties or fifties. He was the highest rated player in the tournament. The third player was a young boy about 12 years old. And the last player was about 18 years old.

June 17, 2017 Saturday. The Juneteenth Chess Tournament was held today at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. I lost all three of my games. The fourth game was a BYE for me. I am so disappointed because I practiced all week on my computer. I feel like giving up, but maybe I will stick with it a little while longer.


July 15, 2017 Saturday. I attended the 2017 Can-Am (Canadian-American) Chess Tournament held at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. Like last month, it was an Open tournament in which the weaker players and the stronger players played each other until the two strongest players would play for the prize. I lost my first game to one of the best players. I won my second game from a young man. I lost my third game to a middle aged man. And I won my fourth and last game from a young man. Maybe I’ll do better next time.

August 19, 2017 Saturday. I attended the 2017 Pawn Master Chess Tournament at Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. This is the continuation or part 2 of 3 of the Can-Am Chess Tournament that started last month. We had our Canadian guests here. My rating is still 1200. I lost the 1st round to a guy who was over 1700. I lost the 2nd round to a guy who was over 1600. I won the 3rd round from a guy who was under 900. And I won the 4th and last round from a guy who was over 1200. The 1st and 4th round were against middle-aged white-haired guys. The 2nd and 3rd round were against younger guys.

September 16, 2017 Saturday. The third Can-Am Chess Tournament was held at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. I lost three of four games. One game was a BYE, but I was still playing a young pre-teen man. Though I won the game, it still counted as a win for him as well as for me because it was a BYE. I am still not going to bed early enough; and I am still not practicing my chess game on the computer enough.

August 19, 2017 Saturday. I attended the 2017 Pawn Master Chess Tournament at Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. This is the continuation or part 2 of 3 of the Can-Am Chess Tournament that started last month. We had our Canadian guests here. My rating is still 1200. I lost the 1st round to a guy who was over 1700. I lost the 2nd round to a guy who was over 1600. I won the 3rd round from a guy who was under 900. And I won the 4th and last round from a guy who was over 1200. The 1st and 4th round were against middle-aged white-haired guys. The 2nd and 3rd round were against younger guys.

September 16, 2017 Saturday. The third Can-Am Chess Tournament was held at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. I lost three of four games. One game was a BYE, but I was still playing a young pre-teen man. Though I won the game, it still counted as a win for him as well as for me because it was a BYE. I am still not going to bed early enough; and I am still not practicing my chess game on the computer enough.

November 21, 2017 Saturday. I attended the 2017 Peace Bridge International Tournament at Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. We had two sections along the scholastic section. One was the Open Section; the other was the Under 1500 Section. I was in the Under 1500 Section. My rating was 1222. I was one of the top rated players in my section. Nevertheless, I only won two games out of four. All three of my opponents were young men. Their ratings were: 1) 444; 2) 1271; 3) 1154; and 184. My rating might go down because I lost to the guy whose rating was 1154. I have still not adjusted myself to getting up in the morning. I stay up late to watch Star Trek, The Outer Limits, and Fox News. That may have been the reason why I made one or more stupid mistakes. I have started playing a new chess program on the Internet which I hope will sharpen my skills for the next tournament. We’ll see.


December 16, 2017 Saturday. I attended the USS Little Rock Chess Tournament at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. I didn’t do any better than last month. I am still staying up too late; and I have not been practicing my chess game enough lately. I lost my first game to a Hispanic man (2031), the highest rated player. I lost my second game for the first time ever to a female, a 14-year old girl (779). I won my 3rd game from a guy who is in his 50s or 60s (1642). I won the last game from a guy in his late teens (721).


I am happy for Danielle, the 14-year old girl. She was the only female participating in the tournament. She has been playing chess for at least two years now, as far as I know. I played her once before about a year ago (December 17, 2016). We were sort of helping each other then.

Girls and women don’t stay in the chess tournaments very long. One woman was playing for a few months, then stopped coming. That was over two years ago. Another girl played in the tournaments for two or more months, then she stopped coming. Two women showed up at one chess tournament, but after that, they were never seen again. Danielle came from the scholastic section. Then she played in the Under 1400 section. Then she went back to the scholastic section. Last Saturday, she not only beat me (1200) but also another guy (1201) who was one point higher in rating than me. Her rating should soar to 1201 or better after last Saturdays tournament. I hope Danielle keeps on playing in the tournaments, and I wish her continued success--not against me, though. Look out Judit Polgar! The new queen of chess is coming!

http://www.knightsof64.com/








January 20, 2018 Saturday. Today I went to the Winterfest Chess Tournament at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. I played four games; and I lost four games. My buddy Dave said I need more practice.


February 17, 2018 Saturday. Today I went to the 2018 Alliance Winter Festival Chess Tournament at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. My rating is 1213. I played four game in the Under 1500 section. I lost the 2nd round to the highest player who is close to my age. The three players were rated under 500. They were all young men. I won Second Prize.


March 17, 2018 Saturday. Today, I went to the Marchand Chess Tournament in Rochester, New York. I played all young men. I won the first game from an unrated player. I lost the second game to one of our highest rated players. I lost the third game to an unrated player. There are two more game tomorrow. After that, I’m not sure if I want to go to anymore chess tournaments unless I do well with my computer chess game.

March 18, 2018 Sunday. I went to Rochester to play the last two games. I won the first game from a young man (unrated). I almost lost the last game to an 11-year old boy (rating: 990). The game ended in a stalemate.
Most of us chess players play for the prize money. The 1st prize for the Open Section was $3000. The 1st prize for the U1400 Section in which I was playing was $500. Boy, would I’d like to win that money! I mean, oh dear, I’m turning into a money lover--a greedy, covetous money lover. The Lord must be very displeased with me. But Paul mentioned in Philippians 3:14 about pressing “towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” So how would we know about prizes if we didn’t have contests?
I had a mind to stay home and not bother making another trip to Rochester with no hope of winning any money. It’s a waste of time and gasoline. Quite a few chess players drop out of the tournament after they lose one or two games. But I once read in my personal notebook on some past tournaments from which I dropped out. Then I wonder, “Aw, why didn’t I play the last two games?” That’s the only reason why I went back to Rochester.
Ben, the 11-year old boy who I played to a stalemate said he’s been playing chess for only one year. He plays on the computer. Maybe that’s the inspiration I need for future chess tournaments.
I was thinking I should go to a Scrabble tournament. That’s more appealing to me.

​May 19, 2018 Saturday. Today I went to the May Armed Forces 2018 Chess Tournament at Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. We played three games. There was only one section, the Open Section with 14 players. I played the 1st game to draw with a young Colombian man (unrated). I won the 2nd from a young Asian Indian girl (under 700). I lost the 3rd game to gentleman about my age (over 1800).


​June 16, 2018 Saturday. Today I played in the 2018 USCF Springfest Open Chess Tournament at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. My rating is still 1200. There were three games in the Open Section. I lost the 1st game to my buddy Dave (1792). I never won a game from him out of the four games we played in the past. My hopes for breaking that losing streak were dashed when I lost my queen early in the contest. I drew the 2nd game with a new guy, a young man named Aaron (952). I lost to Glenn (1408). I use to beat him in the past. But today and the last two games were won by him. I must confess I did not practice much for this tournament. I hoping with a prayer and some luck I could get through. I am not sure I want to put in a lot of time and practice for the next tournament. Maybe I will stay home.


August 18, 2018 Saturday. I attended the Queen Of Soul Memorial Chess Tournament at the Main Place Mall in downtown Buffalo. My rating is still 1200. We played three games. I stalemated the first game with an older guy with a rating of over 1800. I lost the second round to a young man who was new and unrated. I won the last game from a big young black man who was also unrated.


​Scrabble -

I have been playing Scrabble since I was a young boy. My parents brought home a Scrabble game. When my father passed away, my mother and I continued to play Scrabble almost every night. I was the better player; I won two out of every three games we played. When she passed away, I only played occasionally with a few friends. I was able to download  a game of Scrabble to play against the computer. The highest level I attained was Intermediate. The difficulty in going against the higher levels is that the computer used a lot of “cheat words.” Those are words we normally don’t use in our everyday language. One such example is the word, “qi.” It’s a Chinese word which means one’s personal glow. There are other words like “xi”, “ki,” and “mm.” Not only that, the computer at this level is very stingy about giving you a place to play. If this is the way the game is played in the tournaments, I’d rather not bother. But I might enter a Scrabble tournament just out of curiosity. So far (May 23), I have been to four Scrabble meetings. Three were at the Family Tree Restaurant on Bailey Avenue in Amherst; and two were at Wegman’s Supermarket on the 2nd floor on Alberta Drive in Amherst.

Last Thursday, April 4, 2019, I went to my first Scrabble tournament that was held at the Kenmore Baptist Church. I did not have great expectations. I have been playing at the Scrabble meetings at the Family Tree Restaurant and also at Wegman's on Alberta Drive in Amherst; and I know there are some very good Scrabble players who are very hard to beat. And that's why I lost all three games. All of my opponents were ladies. We used time clocks just like the ones at the chess tournaments. The first lady I played with was someone from one of the Scrabble meetings. There were two other people I knew from the Scrabble meetings. From the Scrabble tournament, I became aware of a Scrabble club. Maybe I might become a member of the Scrabble club. I still enjoy going to the Scrabble meetings at Family Tree Restaurant and Wegman's.


Exercising, Diet and Health Update

July 2, 2016 Saturday
I have not been able to keep up my weekly exercise regimen like last year. I seldom do squats. I hardly do any presses. I still do bench presses once a week. I am lifting a slightly lighter barbell. It is 42 pounds. But I am doing more reps; I am doing 13 reps at the present time. I am still doing my daily walking and jogging exercises; but I am doing more walking and less jogging. My diet is not too good. I am falling back on sweets like dark chocolate candy, white cake with white frosting, and an ice cream cone, along with salty foods like popcorn and potato chips, It’s been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, I have not been eating any apples lately. I drink a lot of apple juice. I don't know if that is really healthy.

I had two teeth pulled on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th of this year. I tried in vain to find a dentist who could save my teeth. One dentist said I had run out of time; that I must have the teeth pulled because infection had started to set in. So I had the lower right wisdom tooth pulled along with the tooth next to it that it was impacting and creating a large cavity.

In mid April, I came down with a cold (the virus) in which I was unable to throw off quickly. I was down with a coughing cold with no appetite week after week until the end of May.

Last September 29th, I sprained my left wrist while working on the bathroom shower curtain. I was trying to close one of the rings. It was very painful. I had to stop doing most of my exercising including my pushups. As the wrist became less sore, I started doing pushups on the stairway - slant pushups, as I call them. I have been doing, on occasion, 2 sets of slant pushups, 12 reps. I just started doing some regular pushups. I am doing 3 pushups a week.


December 14, 2016 Wednesday, I took a nap on the couch around 10:30 PM. When I woke up, I had to go to the bathroom which is passed by bedroom. I did not turn the light on when I went into my bedroom. As a result, I did not see the slippers that I stepped on. I lost my balance and fell down--hitting my left shin on my dumbbell. From the accident, I received a large swelling at the site of the impact. And since Wednesday, the 21st, my lower leg is discolored and swollen including my foot. This has caused a lot of pain, and I frequently walk with a limp. I went to see my primary physician. They sent me to have the injury scanned. Then they told me I have no broken bones. I am to see my doctor on Tuesday, December 27th. Regardless of what he tells me or does to me, I feel this injury will take two or more months to heal. I’ve had accidents in which I fell off my bicycle. It takes a long time for an injury like that to heal.

December 27, 2016 Tuesday. I went to see my primary physician at Cleveland Hill Medical Group. He said I should have put ice on the bump as soon as possible after the accident. The pharmacist at Tops told me to apply ice to the bump every day for ten minutes. I am taking anti-biotic pills as well as pain killers.
One other problem I am having is my weight. I was weighed at Cleveland Hill Medical Group at 170 pounds last week. This week, I weigh 172 pounds. I told one of the nurses about my concern. She asked me if I am watching my diet and doing any exercising. I said no. She said that’s why I have a problem.

February 16, 2017 Thursday. My injury is slowly healing. I started doing my jogging two days ago. My shin feels slightly sore to the touch; and there is a slight swelling.


May 19, 2017 Friday. April 13, 2017 was my 68th birthday. I am recovering from my injuries. I am able to do half of my jogging exercise. I found that I am still able to do presses with a barbell. I start with a bare 20-pound barbell and work my way up to 30 pounds. I am able to do my pushups, but I only do two sets of two pushups. I do some squats and bench presses, but not every week. I am still struggling with my diet. I am eating too many snacks such as white cake and fudge brownies. I am not eating the foods I should eat such as oatmeal cereal and vegetables. My weight is still up to 170 pounds. I have been staying out of the sun as much as possible, but I don’t like the idea of avoiding exposure to the sun while some of my friends come back from vacation with a nice tan.


June 28, 2017 Wednesday. I have been in poor health with the stomach flu since Sunday. I have not and will not likely to post anything new to my web site until I get better.

July 2, 2017 Sunday. I am feeling a little better. I had severe stomach problems. I thought it was the flu. My doctor told me to take milk of magnesia. I tried other remedies. I tried drinking prune juice. I took vitamin c. I took a little baking soda. And I even fasted for 33 hours. I am convinced that the problem was something spoiled that I ate for dessert.


November 24, 2017 Friday. My poor diet and lack of exercising is still a problem. I went to my primary doctor, my cardiologist, my dermatologist, my eye doctor, and my urologist recently. I don’t have any skin cancer or any other cancer. I have some problems with my prostate. My eye problems are stable. My cardiologist says my heart is weak, and that I need to take a higher dosage of lisinopril. I have been resuming my pushups. I could only do two pushups at first. Now, I can do three pushups. I bench press 50 pounds once a week, 10 reps. I sometimes do squats with 20 pounds and maybe up to 40 pounds. I usually do my 30-minute walking exercise each day. I feel very tired after my weight lifting, and so I do a lot of sleeping and resting.


December 25, 2017 Monday. Since yesterday, and since the time I’ve injured my wrist, I have been able to do four pushups. Today, I did 4 slow pushups, two sets. I also bench pressed 50 pounds up to 11 reps, two sets.


April, Friday the 13th, 2018
Happy Birthday to me! I am 69 years old today.
Actually, I’m not too happy about that.
Lately, have been in poor health. It’s all because I want to be healthy. I was out walking and jogging in the cold weather. I came down with the coughs, lost my appetite, had the chills, and felt achy. Hopefully, I have returned to health. I started doing my 4 pushups again. If I am still sick in the morning, then I will continue to fast. I have been fasting the past few days. My weight is down to 160 pounds.
I’ve had several birthdays which fell on Friday the Thirteenth. I was 13 years old on Friday the 13th, 1962 while attending Holy Name school. I was working at Harlequin in downtown Buffalo in 1990 when one lady asked me when my birthday is. I told her it’s Friday the Thirteen. She didn’t know the answer. I told her there’s only two Friday the Thirteenths this year. The other one is in July. I was working at NVS in 2001 when I celebrated my birthday on Friday the Thirteen. When I came into the office, a young man named Chris said, "Happy Birthday, Michael." I smiled and thanked him. He wasn't smiling. Chris and I were never fond of each other. By wishing me a happy birthday, I suspect he was actually saying, "Happy Friday the Thirteen."
One of our presidents, Thomas Jefferson, was born on April 13th. The one quote I remember from Thomas Jefferson is about our freedom of the press and freedom of speech in which he said, "If I had to choose between a nation without newspapers or a nation without a government, I would not hesitate to choose the latter." If Thomas Jefferson were alive today and saw how our local newspapers, radio, TV, and the Internet have been swallowed up by giant corporations, I think he would hesitate at least just a little bit.
My birthday is like New Year’s Day to me. I make some resolutions to fight old problems and to engage in hobbies and activities to help improve myself.

Friday the Thirteenth is bad luck day. I always try to be extra careful on Friday the Thirteenth. After it’s over, I would say, “That wasn’t so bad after all.”
I hope everyone has a safe Friday the Thirteenth.


January 11, 2019 Friday. I went to my primary doctor at the Cleveland Hil Medical Group in Cheektowaga NY on Wednesday, Sept. 26th, 2018. The doctor told me my cholesterol level is high. I went to my skin specialist at the Cosmetic Vein & Laser Center in Williamsville NY on Nov. 27th, 2018 Tues. She said my skin is dry on my forehead. 
I still eat a lot of junk food, particularly chocolate chip cookies. I also eat potato chips and microwave popcorn. I feel tired often. I hardly do any jogging. My weight is up to 170 pounds. My weight lifting exercising and pushup exercising is about the same as it was on March 29th, 2018. 


STROKE
January 30, 2019 Wednesday. I got up in the morning with considerable awkwardness in my left arm. I slowly gained normalcy in it as the day wore on.
January 31, 2019 Thursday. I decided to do some vacuum cleaning in the living room. After moving the TV cabinet away from the wall, and then back to the wall, I felt numbness in my left hand. That made me call my primary physician Dr. Steven Becker of the Cleveland Hill Medical Center. He told me I had a stroke and recommended that I go to a hospital. After finishing my vacuum cleaning, I called 911 who sent an ambulance to take me to St. Joseph's Hospital.

I was given a CAT scan. Then I was transferred to Sister's Hospital (Sisters of Charity Hospital, Buffalo, NY - where I was born 69 years ago) to undergo a MRI scan. The MRI revealed that I suffered a minor stroke on the right side of my brain. Which means that there might be some paralysis on my left side. After careful examination, the doctors and nurses could find no discernible impairment. I was released from the hospital around 5 PM Saturday, February 2nd.

The Cause
I suspect the cause of the stroke was one or both of two things: 
1) My diet - The last thing I ate before I went to the hospital was potato chips. When I saw Dr. Becker after I came home, he said my stroke was the result of high cholesterol--eating chocolate chip cookies and other junk food.
 2) Snow Shoveling - I told one nurse at the hospital that I had been doing a lot of snow shoveling during the past few days; and that this could be the reason why I had a stroke. She said that was only speculation. However, after I left the hospital, my friend who picked me up and took me home said he was told at the hospital that I am not to do anymore snow shoveling.

The End Of My Life?
I hope to live to see the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus which I believe will be in the year 2027. But maybe I won't live that long. There was a two-page bulletin near my bed in the hospital. It said if a person has a stroke, he will definitely have another stroke. It is somewhat humbling and very scary that I could be facing death (again) in the coming days, weeks or months ahead.
 I will do my best to avoid junk food, especially chocolate chip cookies.

​​February 14, 2019 Thursday. I went to see one of my cardiologists at Buffalo Medical Group. She thinks that there was some abnormal beating of my heart which created blood clods which the heart sent up to the brain which resulted in a stroke. When I asked, she said I should not do anymore snow shoveling. She said the cold weather restricts the veins in the body which puts a strain on the heart. I am to go back to the clinic on February 27th where I will be fitted with a heart monitor that I will be wearing until April 4th.

March 14, 2019 Thursday. I have been wearing a heart monitor since February 27th. There are three electrodes attached to my chest. I have received a supply of electrodes (made in Canada) so that I can replace them every two days. The electrodes are wired to a monitor that hangs from my neck. The monitor gives out signals to a smartphone. The monitor is energized by a AA battery that has to be replaced every day with the supply of Communist Red Chinese AA batteries I was given. The smartphone tells me how much energy is left in the AA battery and how much energy is left in the smartphone. 

​March 27, 2019 Wednesday. I went to see Dr. Becker at the Cleveland Hill Medical Group. He said the blood test I had a week ago shows that I have high cholesterol. My cholesterol level should be 70. It is 139. I've read that high cholesterol can result in a stroke. So I will be extra careful about what I eat. I finished my last chocolate chip cookie Saturday, March 30. 

March 29, 2019 Friday. Today I was instructed from the smartphone that my heart monitoring test is over, and that I am to put the entire heart monitoring kit in its case and placed inside a postage-paid envelope to be promptly shipped back to Florida. That I did and put it out for the mail lady to take. 

April 4, 2019 Thursday. I went to my appointment at the Buffalo Medical Group in follow up for the heart monitor test. Dr. Cobler told me everything looked good. She wants me to go back to taking atorvastatin (Lipitor) to fight my high cholestrol. I told her I want to take something more natural like garlic. Also said I want to read up on atorvastatin and alternative medicines. I am to see her again next year, Thursday, April the 9th. 


April 13, 2019 Saturday.
It's birthday time for me again. I am now 70 years old. Oh, no! Well, it's better than the alternative from what I've heard. My mother was 93 when she passed away. Maybe I can expect 23 years of life before my time comes. Hopefully the Lord Jesus will return to earth soon so that He will give me a young immortal body that will never grow old or die. I am trying to stay active. I try to do my 30-minute walking exercise everyday. I've just started to do four pushups yesterday. I was only doing three pushups before then. I plan to do some bike riding when the weather improves. I took a ride on my bike last week for a little over 20 minutes. I haven't been reading my Bible lately. I want to get into a habit of doing that. I also want to start or continue with 3 or 4 hobbies. 

​​

THE CURE FOR ACNE
Keep Your Hands Off Your Face.
I have seen the faces of a few young people behind the counter in some the stores I’ve visited recently. They are plagued with a case of skin blemishes on their faces. I feel their pain because I use to be plagued with skin blemishes in my younger days. I still have problems on my nose because I often blow my nose. I remember being bothered by skin problems when I was in eighth grade. I think I had skin problems before that, too. I had skin problems in high school. And when I was in Canton, New York attending Canton ATC SUNY, I had some problems with skin blemishes there, too. I tried a lot of skin medications such as Noxema, Strydex, and Clearasil. My mother even asked one of my doctors at the Children’s Hospital what I could do about that. He told me to use Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. I tried using that for a while, but it seemed to make the problem worse. It was when I was in my twenties or thirties that I realized that putting my hands to my face is what causes most of my problems. That makes sense. We all know that our hands are covered with germs from all the things we touch around us. We handle our books; we handled our remote controllers; we handle our cell phones and smart phones. We even touch the floor sometimes. We wouldn’t think of putting our hands in our mouths because we would be putting germs into our bodies, and we would likely get sick by doing that. So it makes sense that if you put your hands to your face, your skin would get sick and so acne will result. Diet is also a factor. Certain oily foods like French fries and maybe popcorn and potato chips doesn’t help our complexion. But I am sure that, by far, putting one’s hand to the face is the leading cause of skin blemishes.


April 13, 2019 Saturday.



PREOCCUPATIONS AND OTHER DISTRACTIONS

February 11, 2016 Thursday. Some of the useless activities that take up a lot of my time are playing Klondike solitaire, Free Cell solitaire, and Spider solitaire on my computer. I try to limit myself to no more than 20 games a day. Up until last week, I’ve been spending a lot of time corresponding with what I knew was a Russian bride scam artist. Her name is Assem Syzdykova of Ayagoz, Kazakhstan. She is 28 years old with long brown hair, blue eyes, standing between 5’6” and 5’7” tall. She likes traveling, spear fishing, swimming, skiing, singing, playing the guitar, and knitting. She’s a dentist. She doesn’t have a computer; she had to use the one where she works to correspond with me Monday thru Friday. She has a phone, but she can’t talk to me from way over there. She would send me her photos and I would send her mine. Since I am almost 67 years old, when she saw my photos and told me I was handsome, I knew she was lying. We kept exchanging letters and photos. I wanted to know how the end would turn out. My first scam correspondence was with a woman named Natalya. That was two or three years ago. She ended up saying she was coming to me, but she was stuck in Moscow. She had a one-way airplane ticket, but was told she needed a two-way airplane ticket. She asked me for $600 to help her pay for the two-way airplane ticket. I say no; so the letters stopped. I’ve had about 3 or 4 Russian scams who didn’t correspond with me very long. The previous scammer was named

Liliya Alecseeva of
6 Solnechnaya
Desnyansky, Russia 243356

I had hoped to find her address on an Internet map. Instead, I learned that this address was a scam address. I told her what I found out and called her a Russian phony baloney. She didn’t write anymore letters to me.

Then I started getting Assem’s letters. There was one letter she wrote that had two words that rang a bell. Those two words were: "severe boss." I checked the two words with the letters I saved from Liliya. I was amazed. There were more than two words that were similar. Most of the letter Assem wrote to me was exactly what Liliya wrote to me two months earlier even though they supposedly live in two different cities in two different countries. Here are the two letters. I have colored the parts that are almost exactly the same.

From Liliya:

November 18, 2015 Wednesday

Hi my Michael! I waited for your letter with fear and with pleasure at the
same time! And I am very happy to receive your letter! I am ready to jump and
dance, laugh and sing songs! And the reason - you Michael! Thank you for your
letter and your thoughts.

Computers very expensive here. Besides I understand nothing in
computers and I have no even phone in my home. Therefore I never
thought of buying of a computer. I lived all my life without a computer
and never felt need in a computer. Though should admit that now I regret
that I have no opportunity to write to you at any time.
Now concerning plans. I want to arrive to you not for couple of days, I
want to live with you. Really you have not understood that I have fallen in
love with you as the little girl? I would like to marry you. But unfortunately
term of my visa not big, all half a year. I do not want to enter the conflict to
the law. If you want I will remain with you the maximum time. But we should
think of the future. When I will arrive to you we will make an application on
the visa of the bride. We will do many photo and we will convince your
government that we love each other. Then possibly they will ask me to return
back to Russia. But for us it will not be strong test. I will return to Russia.
I will sell property and the house if you wish. Then when I get approval from
your government, I will return back to you. And we will be happy together.
But to begin with we should live together small time. You agree? Maybe I you
not will to arrange and you expel me in a week. Smile. But I think that such will
not be. And we will be happy till last days.
Every day I think - what my friend Michael will tell me today, what
mood he will have today? And as soon as I get free minute, I rush to accounting
department to find out if you have written to me or not. And when I receive
your letter, I start to smile from ear to ear anticipating the best time of my
day - time when I read your letter and when I write to you the all my thoughts.
These are the most important minutes of my day. And these minutes I don't hear
anything and I don't see anything except of lines and paragraphs which in my
mind will be transformed into small movie, movie about you, my dear Michael.
And you cannot imagine at all how it wonderfully! Sometimes I think, what would
be if I have not found the boldness in myself to write you? What would be if I
didn't believe that I can find a man in such a way? I always want to think that
I the courageous woman, but I feel that actually it is not so. I am ready to
give my life for the sake of person who are close and dear for me, I am ready
to donate my well-being for the sake of well-being of other person but when I
think of myself, I often become timid and all my boldness disperses like the
fire's smoke. I am often afraid to make something, to take some step simply
because of fear that it will be an incorrect step. I am often afraid to ask
people about anything simply because of fear to get the negative answer. Not
always, but it happens. What would happen, if you have not answered my first
letter? Nothing would happen! And grey monotonous days again would lie on a way
of my life by infinite impenetrable veil. Do you want to know what I did today?
First off, I should tell that I slept with a smile on my face! At least when I
have woken up and have looked at the mirror, I have noticed that I smile! Then,
I cleaned a teeth and I had smile! Then, I jog and I smiled as if actually I
watched funny movie. Then, I have cooked a breakfast and drank a coffee with a
smile on my face! Then, I have come to clinic, and I could not hide my smile. I
was ready to laugh and I at all had no desire to work! It is a very bad symptom
for the doctor! (Smile). Everything around have seemed to me a beautiful and
wonderful. And even the severe boss, when have seen that I look at him and I
smile, he began to survey himself attentively and even have come near to the
mirror to see if anything wrong! He has thought that something wrong with his
clothes! All the day I work with smile on my face! Irina looks at me and smiles
as well. Of course she understands the reason, and it makes her happy as well!
And when time of sleep will come, I will lie in my bed with the same smile on
my face! And if you till now have not understood why I smile, I will tell you!
I smile because I think of you, Michael! And it brings joy! I am so happy that
I have in my life such a man as you! Thank you that you are in my life! I have
to go. Now I will not have a lot of time after work because after work I will
have one more working day! (Smile). You may ask what I mean? The preparation
for my trip! You cannot imagine at all how many deals I must do for our
meeting! I even have asked the boss to reduce my working day or to allow me to
take some hours off in the middle of day to make some things, because after 5
pm not all departments works! Of course now I should work in the days off to
have more of free time at week-days. But thoughts about our meeting give me
force and energy! I am sure that everything will be perfectly! I will wait your
letter! Please, write me because I need your letters and support more than
ever!
Your Liliya!

From Assem:

January 22, 2016 Friday 2:57 AM

Hi my Michael! I waited for your letter with fear and with pleasure
at the same time!
And I am very happy to receive your letter! I am ready
to jump and dance, laugh and sing songs! And the reason - you Michael!
Thank you for your letter and your thoughts.
I am so happy that we can meet.
Now I have the ocean of emotions and I do not know what to say.
I am worried very much. I hope very much that we can perfectly spend
time together. I am only afraid, that if we meet, I will ask so many
questions and chatter unceasingly, that you soon will escape from me.
My vacation will begin approximately in two weeks. At this time I can
arrive to you. But unfortunately the schedule of my vacation is not flexible.
Therefore I hope you will be glad to meet me at this time. If you have not
enough time, I will be happy all the same. I will be happy in any case.
It is better to wait when you will come from work, than to sit in my
apartment and to know that nobody will come!!! Duration of my vacation is
34 workdays. But quantity of days which I can spent with you depends on
when I will get my vacation and when I will order the ticket. However at
desire I can prolong vacation at own expense. But I at all would not want
to leave you :) How many days do you want to be with me? I think preparations
for travel will be about two weeks. Complexity of approval of the papers,
visa will be reduced to a minimum as I will have petitions and characteristics
from a work place, from respected organizations and legal people;
guarantee documents and various sorts of the information and inquiry,
which will be given to commissions I will get the petition and a
testimonial from Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan! Except of that
I will pay for preparation for the commission.
Every day I think - what my friend Michael will tell me today, what mood he
will have today? And as soon as I get a free minute, I rush to analyses's
room to find out if you have written to me or not. And when I receive
your letter, I start to smile from ear to ear anticipating the best time of
my day - time when I read your letter and when I write to you the all my
thoughts. These are the most important minutes of my day. And these minutes
I don't hear anything and I don't see anything except of lines and
paragraphs which in my mind will be transformed into small movies, movies
about you, my dear Michael. And you cannot imagine at all how it's wonderful!
Sometimes I think, what would happen if I have not found the boldness in myself
to write you? What would happen if I didn't believe that I could find a man in
such a way? I always want to think that I'm a courageous woman, but I feel
that actually it is not so. I am ready to give my life for the sake of
person who is close and dear for me, I am ready to donate my well-being
for the sake of well-being of another person but when I think of myself, I
often become timid and all my boldness disperses like the fire's smoke.
I am often afraid to make something, to take some step simply because of
fear that it will be an incorrect step. I am often afraid to ask people
about anything simply because of fear to get the negative answer.
Not always, but it happens. What would happen, if you have not
answered my letter? Nothing would happen! And grey monotonous days again would
lie on a way of my life by infinite impenetrable veil. Do you want to know
what I did today? Firstly, I should tell you that I slept with a smile on my face!
At least when I woke up and looked at the mirror, I noticed
that I was smiling! Then, I cleaned teeth and I had a smile! Then, I jog and I
smiled as if actually I watched funny movie. Then, I cooked
breakfast and drank a coffee with a smile on my face! Then, I came to
clinic, and I could not hide my smile. I was ready to laugh and I at all
had no desire to work! It is a very bad symptom for the pharmacist! :)
Everything around seemed me beautiful and wonderful. And even the
severe boss, when saw that I look at him and I smiled, he began to
survey himself attentively and even came near to the mirror to see if
anything wrong! He thought that something was wrong with his clothes! All
the day I worked with the smile on my face! Amanda looks at me and smiles as well.
Of course she understands the reason, and it makes her happy as well! And
when time of sleep comes, I will lie in my bed with the same smile on
my face! And if you till now have not understood why I smile, I will tell you!
I smile because I think of you, Michael! And it brings me joy! I am so happy
that I have in my life such a man as you! Thank you that you are in my life!
I have to go. Now I will not have a lot of time after work because after
work I will have one more working day!:) You may ask what I mean?
The preparation for my trip! You cannot imagine at all how many deals I
must do for our meeting! I even have asked the boss to reduce my working
day or to allow me to take some hours off in the middle of day to make some
things, because after 5pm not all departments work! Of course now I should
work in the days off to have more of free time on week-days. But thoughts
about our meeting give me force and energy! I am sure that everything will
be perfect! I will wait for your letter! Please, write me because I need your
letters and support more than ever!

With Love and Kisses!
Always your Assem!

I have been trying to find other evidence that Assem is a scam. I tried looking for her photos among the known scammers. I’ve tried matching her name with known scammers. I tried matching some of the lines of her letters to see if I can prove her to be a scam, but I came up empty.


Here are some more pictures of her:























































































The story comes to an end after her apartment was burglarized. Her valued historical icons were all stolen. In spite of this, she proceeds with her plans to visit me. She takes a train to Astana, the capital, where she will take a plane to Moscow, then to NYC, and then here to Buffalo. I told her about the problem some Russian women have when they try to visit America--they need a two-way airplane ticket, but they only have a one-way ticket. And that’s what happened to Assem Syzdykova because she’s nothing but a Russian scam. She only had a one-way ticket and she needed my help to buy a two-way ticket. She wanted me to send her $493. I told her I wanted her to answer some questions before I trust her with that money. Maybe I was lying. After all, how can you trust someone who you know is a scam? Because I was still wishing and hoping. That’s how strong these scams are. You know they are a lie, but you keep wishing they might be true. I asked her for her address, her phone number, and her religion. She never answered my questions. I even asked her why she couldn’t use her own credit card. Doesn’t everybody, especially travelers, have a credit card? No answers. She stopped writing to me. And that’s what hurts the most. You miss those letters, and you miss those photographs that she use to send you everyday.

I did not send her any money.

Both these women wrote and said they were going to marry me.

I have done a little research into these Russian bride scam artists. The most disturbing thing about them is that they are all men. It is men who are sending out these love letters supposedly from beautiful lonely Russian women. It is men who are telling you they love you. It is men who read your love letters that tell them you love them. They are all men.

If there is a real woman behind those letters who wants to come to America, she is most likely to pick a man who is her own age with a good income and who is the best looking guy of the whole bunch. If you’re like me, that’s not you.

This gal should be on TV or in the movies, not on a Russian bride scam site.



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michaelskok.com web site


In April or May 2016, I took off the words "For President" on my Home page. I agree with most of Donald Trump's goals for America to make America great again. I do not wish to be considered an opponent of Mr. Trump by running as a write-in candidate. I was thinking of running for some other political office in the future, but so far, I have no definitive plans.


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Promise

July 28, 2016 Thursday. I made a promise that I would devote at least 5 minutes to my web site each and every day. I have been neglectful of this promise. I wish to rededicate myself to this promise. There is a lot of work that I wish to do. There’s still the part about the crucifixion of Jesus that I haven’t finished. There’s the End of the World section that is far from finish. I wish to add more sections to my site. I would like to add more information about the Armstrongs. I want to tell about what it will be like during Jesus’ one thousand year reign. There’s a lot that has happened this month that I would like to comment about. I apologize for my lack of zeal.


“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous, therefore, and repent,” (Revelations 3:19), says the Lord Jesus to us modern Christians, the Church of Laodicea.


September 8, 2016 Thursday. I missed two days of not posting anything to my web site. I’ve been distracted most of the time. This is one my greatest fears. Jesus told a parable that’s in two of the gospels about the sower who sowed seeds on the ground (Matthew 13:3-9; Luke 8:5-8). “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock. And as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns. And the thorns sprang up with and choked it. And other fell on good ground and sprang up and bare fruit an hundredfold.” And when he had said these things, he cried, “He that has ears to hear let him hear.” Jesus explained the meaning of the parable. He said, “Those by the way side are they that hear. Then comes the devil and takes away the word out of their hearts lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are those which when they hear receive the word with joy, and these have no root, which for a while believe and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they which when they have heard go forth and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life and bring no fruit to perfection. And the other fell on good ground and sprang up and bare fruit an hundredfold.“ The one that I think is me is the seed that fell among thorns but are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life. I think most of us in modern America fall into that category.

I’ve been working on my web site late at night. That’s when I start getting sleepy and can’t think very clearly. So from now on I will try to start working on my web site earlier in the day. (May 19, 2017) I still do all my publishing around midnight.


July 17, 2018 Tuesday. My web site is nearly completed. I need to finish my page on Mars and also do a little “cleaning up” of past articles. I will not be spending much time on my web site. It is too much pressure trying to meet a deadline each day.


January 3, 2019 Thursday. I am going back to my promise of spending at least five minutes a day on my website. I was incorrect to give myself time to do more research and to be free from the pressure of a deadline. I found that I became lazy and even indifferent. Right now, I think my web site is a mess, and that I need to do a lot of work on it.


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MY APOLOGIES

In his farewell address, George Washington confessed that he may have made quit a number of unintentional errors. He said.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors.

I, too, like all of us, have committed many errors. Many of them still give me pain when I bring them to mind.



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HISTORIC EVENTS IN MY LIFE



Alaska 


Alaska was admitted to the union on January 3, 1959. I was in 2nd grade at Public School No. 80 then. Two older boys came into the classroom and wanted to know if any of us wanted to buy a new 49-star American flag. My dad was on strike, so, unfortunately, we couldn’t afford it. 
When I was in 4th grade at Holy Name, we were learning about the states in the United States. The teacher asked each of us which state would we rather live in other than New York. One guy named Richard said he would like to live in Alaska. The reason why is so that he could play in the snow. I thought that was crazy. We have plenty of snow here in Buffalo to play in. In some parts of Alaska, the snow is 22 feet deep. That’s a lot of snow to play in.

Over the years I became intrigued about Alaska. In high school during my study period, I drew a map of northern Alaska and imagined a large city on Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean. I would also draw lines from one Alaskan town to another that would represent railroad tracks. And I would draw one or two lines from Alaska through Canada to the lower 48 states. I would still like to be able to travel to Alaska by train from Buffalo.

​​To me, Alaska is not just the largest state in the United States separated by Canada, it is like another United States of America. It is 1/5th or 20% the size of the rest of the USA. If it’s population were in exact proportion to its land area to the rest of the USA, it would have 60 million people.

​My knowledge of Alaska was acquired first through our studies in grade school. Then I went to the public library and took out books on Alaska. Later on, I subscribed to Alaska Magazine for several years. I still have many of the old issues. 

I often thought about moving to Alaska. Through Alaska Magazine, I’ve learned of a small Christian community near Juneau that I might go to. 



Hawaii


December 7, 1941 Sunday. My mother said she was listening to the radio at 2 o’clock in the afternoon when they announced that the Japanese were attacking Pearl Harbor.
August 21, 1959. Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the Union. When I asked my mother where Hawaii is, she told me it’s in South America. I looked at a map of South America, but I couldn’t find it. My father said it is in the Pacific Ocean. When I saw it on the map, I was disappointed. It’s so little. The other states out west are big like Alaska, California, Montana and Texas. But Hawaii is so little.

Not to worry. Hawaii is getting bigger. That’s what I saw on TV one time in which one of Hawaii’s volcanoes poured lava into the sea which increased the area of the United States by several hundred acres. That’s wonderful!. On the other hand, I’ve also read that Hawaii is slowly eroding into the sea so that after a few thousand years, there won’t be anything left of Hawaii. Oh, no! That’s terrible!

​I often thought about making Hawaii bigger by crushing some mountains in Alaska, and shipping the dirt to Hawaii, and dumping it along the coasts to increase its land area. 


The Kennedy Assassination


November 22, 1963, Friday, Holy Name of Jesus School, Buffalo, New York. 
I was sitting in my eighth grade classroom on the second floor. I sat in the 1st row, the 2nd seat about 3 feet from the wall and 8 feet from the door. Theresa sat in front of me. Adrianne sat behind me. Michael Kowalski sat in the 3rd row in the 4th or 5th seat. Tom Janas sat in the 1st seat in the 2nd row.
It was 2:00 PM. Only one more hour before we were to be let out of school to enjoy the weekend. Tonight I could watch one of my favorite TV shows, The Great Adventure, which was about  reenactments of American historical events. Sister Clare Frances was teaching us our English lesson. English and Grammar are boring. 
There was a knock on the door. That was good. Any interruption of class study by a knock on the door is welcome. Sister Clare Francis went to the door. When she came away from the door, she told the class that President Kennedy had been shot. I was shocked. I suppose all of us were shocked. “Shocked” and “unbelief” were words that were spoken and heard all that weekend. It seemed so primitive. How could such a thing happen in the 20th century? Kathy Wild, one of the smart pretty girls, asked Sister Clare Frances about the protective bubble, or the secret service agents, or some other question like that. Sister Clare Frances asked the class if anyone had a radio. Of course none of us had a radio. If any of us were caught with a radio, we would be severely punished. Gregory Bilski told the teacher that he could go home and get a radio because he lives just across the street. He was allowed to get it. While he was gone, there came the dreaded knock on the door. One of the students said, “Oh-oh.“ I think it was Tom Janas. Sister Clare Frances went to the door. When she came back, she announced to the class that President Kennedy is dead. Rage filled my mind. This is IMPOSSIBLE! This is UNREAL!! How could God let this happen? JFK was a Roman Catholic, a member of the One True Church. How could God let this happen to him?


Years later, I learned about President Kennedy’s extra marital affairs. I could see why God took him. I wondered why He didn’t take other presidents like Bill Clinton who also had extra martial affairs. However, after reading this website, it seems like JFK’s womanizing problems were worse than Bill Clinton’s except for the two rapes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/10/16/john-f-kennedys-final-days-reveal-a-man-who-craved-excitement/#99b18375f311


Gregory Bilski came back with his transistor radio. He told the teacher that Kennedy is dead. She said to him, “Yes, we know.” Some of the students in the class laughed. I found that disgusting. I wondered how long it would be before I started smiling and laughing again. We had questions but no answers. We didn’t know who did it. Sister Clare Frances had the class stand and say some prayers for President Kennedy. We said the same old standard Catholic prayers that we, “Pray for us sinners.” We were suppose to pray--Sister Clare Frances raised her voice in sharp rebuke, “JOHN KENNEDY!” I and some of the guys went to the lockers in back of the room for our coats to leave early to be on our posts. I was a patrol guard by the light in front of the church on Bailey Avenue with Mrs. Brown, the patrol guard woman. Trauma is a very strange thing. I am not sure what happened by the lockers. One of the guys, Jim Jackabowski,  hit me. I hit him back saying, “Why did you hit me?“ He hit me again and said, “You hit me first.“ We both looked at each other with the eyes of two tigers. Then I realized I was still in the classroom. I looked behind me at Sister Clare Frances. She was looking at me. I looked at her for about three seconds to see if she was going to say or do anything. Sister Clare Frances was a very restrained nun compared to some of the other nuns. She never hit any of us and she seldom raised her voice. But I left the classroom thankful that I was still alive. Jim and I weren’t friends or enemies. We were two good guys who were involved in an accident. Nothing else happened between us after that. I’m sure if Kennedy’s demise had not occurred, the accident would never had happened. 
As I and the other guys were going down the stairs, I said to Paul Grinowski, who I was friendly with, that Kennedy should be canonized. He said, “Canonized a what?” I said to myself, “What do you mean, ‘Canonize a what? What the hell do you think I mean?” I replied, “A saint.” I don’t think I heard what his answer was. He was one of our smart students, so maybe I should have explained myself better. But that’s what the definition of “canonize” in the dictionary means. It means, “to declare a dead person a saint.”
 
At the crossing light, Mrs. Brown said to me about President Kennedy, “That’s terrible, isn’t it?” I said, “Yes.” The first students to be let out of school were the older students in grades 4 to 8. Then the younger students in the first, second and third grades were let out. They were laughing and joking: “I know who killed President Kennedy. The butler did it.” One little first grader came up to Mrs. Brown and told her, “Mrs. Brown, I know who killed President Kennedy. The butler did it.” Mrs. Brown bent down to him and said, “I bet he didn’t. Ha, ha, ha, ha.” The little student laughed with her. Mrs. Brown bent back up and said to the lady standing next to her, “They don’t understand.” The lady agreed, “They don’t understand.” One nice-looking third grader with a crew cut and brown eyes said to me, “Hey, guard. I know who killed President Kennedy. The butler did it.” I told him to s--- u- (be quiet).  After all the students were let out, I waited around for Michael Kowalski. I saw him go into the church. I didn’t bother to go in. “What good are all those prayers going to do for President Kennedy now?“ I thought. 

Years later, I read in the Bible about David’s baby son in II Samuel 12:21-23, who the Lord said was to die. Then said his servants to him, “What thing is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while it was alive, but when the child was dead, you rose and ate bread.” And he said, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me that the child may live?’ But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return.” We each have our own way of mourning, I suppose. Even David’s own servants were surprised by what he did. 

So I walked home alone. My parents and I watched the news on TV. That’s all that was on TV was the news for the next three days. There was no “The Great Adventure” that Friday night. Even the Canadian radio stations across the border were playing funeral music. We still didn’t know who shot President Kennedy. The Dallas police questioned a few suspects, but they let them go. Then a police officer was shot and killed while questioning a suspect. The suspect ran into a movie theater. He tried to shoot and kill another police officer, but his gun misfired. He was subdued and taken into custody. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.


During the Vietnam War, a father lost his son in battle over there. He wrote about the intense anguish he felt over the death of his son. He said he had trouble falling asleep at night, but when he did fall asleep, it was like a curse. Because when he woke up, he had to face the cold hard fact again that his son had been killed. It was like dying all over again inside. That’s the way I felt the morning after the assassination of President Kennedy. I thought it was bad dream. But no, it’s real. President Kennedy really is dead.


Frank McGee, the NBC newsman spoke a truth. He told about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death--that wherever you were on that day when you heard that announcement, you will remember that day for as long as you live. And he said that it’s safe to say that wherever you were when you heard the announcement of President Kennedy’s death, you will remember this day for as long as you live.
I remember that day, Frank. I remember.



The Shooting of President Ronald Reagan


In contrast, it is hard for me to remember the day of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan twenty years later. President Reagan was shot in Washington, D.C. by John Hinckley. I don’t know the exact year; and I am not sure of the month nor the day nor the date without looking this information up. The first thing I remember about that day was that I was driving. I have to try to remember: Where was I driving from? I was driving home from a school called the Equal Opportunity Center in downtown Buffalo where I was learning keypunching. I stopped at my local gas station on Walden and Burgard to fill up on gasoline. The attendant who was filling my gas tank was a nice-looking blond, blue-eyed young man. I asked him if he heard about President Ronald Reagan being shot. He told me he heard the news that some shots were fired at him, but that they missed him. I told him he was hit. That’s about it. JFK was a beloved president. Almost everyone liked him and were very sad when he died. “It’s like losing a member of the family,“ some said. But there were many who did not like Ronald Reagan. When I went back to school the next day, one of the teachers there said, “He (John Hinckley) muffed it. He muffed it” I guess he’d rather see Ronald Reagan dead. If Ronald Reagan had died, would that teacher really have been happy? And what about me? Would I have remembered as much of that day as I did about the day JFK was assassinated?



The Beatles


As a pop music fan in the 1960s, I would listen to the radio stations a lot to enjoy the latest rock tunes. I would also check the Top Thirty Charts to see how each song was doing in popularity. In January 1964, a new group known as The Beatles showed up on the charts with their song "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" which was listed around the number 20 spot. It was quite different from the other British music we accustomed to hearing. We were use to hearing British song artists like Dusty Springfield singing "I Only Want To Be With You," and "Wishin' And Hopin'". They were dignified songs and respectful songs. We didn't expect anything less from the British until the Beatles came along. When I heard, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," I said to myself, "The British are becoming hip."
In the Sunday morning newspaper, we would get the Parade Magazine. In one Sunday's edition of Parade Magazine (or American Weekly) in January 1964 was the story about the Beatles and how they were the sensation of England. The girls were screaming at them; and some of them were even fainting before them and being carried off by the British bobbies. When I saw the pictures and read the story, I thought, "As the British girls were screaming and fainting before the Beatles, so will the Americans girls be screaming and fainting before the Beatles. That was an easy guess. They sure did. When the Beatles came to America, that was the beginning of Beatlemania and the British Invasion. 

The Beatles appeared the first time on American television on the Ed Sullivan Show. They sang four songs--two at the beginning of the show and two and the end of the show. And the American girls were certainly noisy. The TV cameraman focused in on the face of one lady in her middle ages with white or blond hair. (It was hard to tell with those black & white TV sets we were watching back then.) This poor lady showed how distressing it was to be in an auditorium filled with screaming teenage girls. She had wrinkles in her forehead and wrinkles in between her eyes as she was high browing and frowning at the same time.

Ed Sullivan had a certain way of saying "The Beatles" that made my mother try to mimic him. Ed Sullivan would say, "The BEE-tles." My mother would exaggerate that all out of proportion by say "The BEt-les."
The next day (Monday) in class, Sister Clare Frances took a poll of the class. She first asked how many of us watched Bishop McNulty on TV yesterday. Mine and a few other hands went up. Then she asked how many of us watched the Beatles. Mine and (maybe) everybody else's hands went up. Sister Clare Frances was quietly yet firmly disappointed in us. 

​I thought the Beatles were heaven sent in a way. We lost President Kennedy less than two months before. He was young, nice looking, and well-liked. In his place, we now had President Johnson, who was not as young, not as nice looking, and not as well liked. The appearance of the Beatles took away much of the hurt we felt after losing President Kennedy.
Sister Clare Frances was gracious as well as curious about the Beatles. She could hear all the girls screaming, but didn't know what the Beatles really sounded like. Obviously, nuns weren't allowed to listen to WKBW or any other rock and roll radio station. So one of the girls brought in her collection of 45 RPM Beatle records, and Sister Clare Frances played them on the school phonograph to give a listen during class time. On one of the records, "I Saw Her Standing There," she accidentally skipped over the very beginning where Paul McCartney says, "One, two, three, BAH!!!" The students told her about that. So she complied, and played the song at the very beginning. When she heard that, she smiled and had this, "What in the world" expression on her face. We all laughed. After she was through listening to the records, she commented that they sing good but that she didn't like all that commotion.
Another time, Sister Mary Ellen of the second grade had two students who were dressed with Beatles wigs (more like black Russian fur hats) carrying toy guitars and lip syncing to a Beatle song on the record player. Before they came in, Sister Clare Frances urged us to be polite by smiling and laughing occasionally. Which we did. Whenever the Beatles went "Wooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo," they would shake their heads just like the real Beatles do. And we would give them a laugh. That went on for about a minute. Then Sister Mary Ellen smiled and took her "Beatle" band with her.

My father was a big Beatle hater. He didn't like all that screaming. He didn't want me buying any Beatle records. I refused to buy any. Later on, I did buy some. I would have bought one of their records sooner than later. That one was the one that started with the words, "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you. Tomorrow I'll miss you." My mother liked that song, too. We went out to a Grant's department store to look for it. We went through all the Beatle 45's, but couldn't find it. We asked the lady clerk in the store about that Beatle song "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you. Tomorrow I'll miss you." The lady couldn't find it either. So she asked an eleven year old boy about the Beatle song, "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you. Tomorrow I'll miss you." The boy said, "It's All My Loving, and it's on an album." My mother and I didn't want to buy the whole darn album, so we left the store.

​Besides all that screaming, crying, and fainting, another reason for hating the Beatles were all those songs that were being played ABOUT the Beatles. I can think of four of them:
1) We Love You Beatles by The Carefrees
2) Ringo For President by The Young World Singers
3) Ringo by Lorne Greene, the movie star who played the father Ben Cartwright on the popular Western TV series Bonanza. This record was not a song, but a saga of the Old West about an outlaw named Ringo. It was the Number One record on the charts for two or three weeks.
4) My Boy Friend Got A Beatle Haircut by Donna Lynn.

​Not just her boy friend got a Beatle haircut, but a lot of guys started to make their hair look just like the Beatles. Oddly, one guy in my seventh grade class, Jim Jakabowski, was wearing the Beatle look a year before the Beatles were even known here in America. The teacher told the class that she didn't think boys should have bangs. "Bangs are for girls," she said. So the next day, Jim Jakabowski came to class with his hair combed back.
I didn't wear my hair down my forehead until I started my sophomore year at Kensington High School in 1965 when I was sixteen. Some guys wore their hair
















even longer. You might see a few male rock groups of the 60s and early 70s wearing long hair in the back just like women. It is good to see that this was only a passing fad, and that men are now wearing their hair shorter again. (I Corinthians 11:14)

​About The Author
In November 1992, I went to Lockport to be interviewed for a job as a typist for an author. The author was Geoffrey Guiliano (pronounced: Jeffrey Julie-ano). He showed me what kind of books he writes. They were Beatle books. Geoffrey Guiliano of Lockport NY was the world famous author of Beatle books. 
We agreed on the wage for which I would work. He would also give me a few bucks for gasoline for the rather lengthy trip from Cheektowaga (pronounced: CHICK'-toe-waw'-ga) to Lockport. 

I would be working at his home which was a big two-story house on Market Street that faces the historic Erie Canal which runs through the city of Lockport. The office was located on the second floor next to the den. Geoffrey Guiliano was proud of his home. He was especially proud of his new wide staircase that leads from the first floor to the second floor.
Along with him, there also lived his family with his lovely wife Brenda, his only son Devon, his oldest daughter (don't remember her name), the younger daughter Avalon, and his youngest daughter India. He also had a talking bird, I think his name was Chico, that could say, "BRENDA!" And he had large dog that looked something like a Hungarian sheep dog. The last member of his household was his cleaning lady. I think her name was Mary. She was about 20 years old, slender, kind of nice looking, with long brown hair, about 5 feet 5 inches with skin blemishes that spoiled her beauty. She looked sad most of the time. The darkest side of this family was that Jeff also mentioned his brother. He told me his brother was a homosexual and that he died of AIDS. Geoffrey has a bizarre sense of humor, but at the time, I really believed him when he told me his brother died of AIDS. I don't know if that was true or not.

One of the first things Geoffry Guillano told me when I started working for him was that he would never fire me. He said I would quit when I knew it was time to leave. He also said that nobody stays here very long. 
Jeff treated me well as an employee, yet I was very intimidated by him. Most of the time when he was on the telephone he would yell and curse--using the F word frequently. In contrast, his wife Brenda was very quiet, sweet and kind. I would prefer to talk to Brenda rather than Jeff. 

As a typist, my job would to be listen to the cassette tapes of the Beatles, and then type that into the computer using WordPerfect 5.1 (or 5.2 or whatever). I also had WordPerfect at home on my computer. I gained knowledge of WordPerfect by going through the entire workbook that was included with the WordPerfect program I purchased. I would say that my knowledge of WordPerfect exceeded that of Jeff and Brenda. I was not only their typist but also their WordPerfect teacher.
One of the first documents I was working on required me to type out the name of each person that was speaking. When Jeff checked on my work, he saw that I had shortened the names of the speakers. He wanted the names written out in full. When he came back to check on me the second time, he saw that I had continued to type the names in the shortened form. He reminded me what he told me before. I said to him that I thought I would continue to use the shortened names; then at the end of the document, I would use the WordPefect feature of Search and Replace; and that would changed the shortened form of the names into the longer form of the names in a few seconds. He said, "Cool." When I was finished with the document, I performed the Search and Replace feature to quickly change the entire document to the way Jeff wanted it. He was pleased.
Soon after that, I was working on a document in which I used a few format codes. Then I went home for the night. Around 8 PM, Brenda called me and said the document was all messed up. They transferred the document to another file, and now there's no format. I tried to explain that when they transferred the document to another file, they lose the format codes. Even though I was talking to Brenda, I was really nervous. I kept saying, "Is everything all right now?" About a minute later, they understood what I was saying, and that they were okay.  
From reading all the letters and listening to the tapes they had on the Beatles, I learned that Geoffry was only 15 years old when the Beatles allowed him into their company to be interviewed by him. He was in awe of Paul McCartney who stared at him right in the eyes. And I was in awe of Jeff because he sat near Paul McCartney and had looked at him in the eyes. One day I was doing a document on the Beatles in the office and was typing all these nasty things about the Beatles. I was thinking: This guy had the rare privilege of sitting next to, looking at, and talking with the greatest entertainers in the history of the rock and roll world; and now he's throwing mud at them. Jeff was sitting nearby in the office. I said to him, "If you write all these nasty things about the Beatles, they're not going to like you." He simply shrugged his shoulders.

​Another document I worked on wasn't about the Beatles or anybody else. It was something like one or two pages of poetry with a lot of dirty words including the F word, the S word, and a few other colorful words. I had it in my heart to delete them all. When I told Brenda about them, she said it's what our readers like. It's what sells books. It's how we make money.
Jeff and Brenda called themselves hippies. I asked Jeff how could they call themselves hippies when hippies believe in love, peace, freedom, and have a distain for materialism. He answered me, "We're GREEDY hippies."
A lot of hippies smoke pot and do drugs. I didn't notice Jeff or Brenda doing any of that. In fact, the opposite was true. At least three times Jeff had come to me holding a sign and reading it to me: "Thank you for not smoking."
Besides popcorn, one of my favorite foods is turkey. Ever since I was a little boy, I enjoyed having turkey. When I was as young as 6 or 7, my mother taught me how to say what sounds like, "Sed-a-tem poo-we-ka," which is Hungarian for "I like turkey." When I worked for Jeff, I would slice a hamburger bun with seseme seeds and buttered it. Then I would place one or two slices of turkey breast luncheon meat on it along with lettuce and tomatoes; and I would take that for my lunch everyday. One time, Jeff was on the phone and I heard him say that they were vegetarians. They don't like the idea of killing and eating a poor defenseless creature. After he got off the phone, he saw me having my lunch and asked what I was eating. I told him, "It's a delicious poor defenseless creature type sandwich." He liked that answer. He asked me that again on another day. I told him, "I'm having another delicious poor defenseless creature type sandwich." I asked him if he mind me eating meat in his house. He said no. He told me about a vegetarian store in Lockport that had meat flavored food made out of soy beans. He said I should stop in and take a look. I never bothered. I have some allergy to orange vegetables and maybe soy beans. So I'd rather not bother.

​How Did They Do It? The Beatles had hit after hit each and every month. ​Almost every song they put out had the names Lennon and McCartney as the writers. From what I just learned recently (2019), none of the Beatles could read or write music. I read that Paul or John told us how they compose music. One them whistles a few notes; then the other one whistles a few more notes back. They keep doing that until they get a complete song. John Lennon's sister described how quickly the Beatles came up with a song. She said the four of them were jamming and making noises with their guitars and drums. She leaves them and comes back in two hours. She finds that they are now playing a new song that went on to become another Number One song--Day Tripper. Another explanation could be what I heard on a Beatle tape at Geoffrey Guillano's house. They received a lot of new music on cassette tapes from donors which the Beatles store in a closet. The Beatles say those cassette tapes are collecting dust because they don't use them. I suspect that's not quite true. I bet they blew the dust off of them, played them, and turned them into Number One hits. I betcha. 

Religion - With a name like Geoffrey Guillano, I assumed he was Italian. Most Italians are Catholic; so I assumed Geoffrey Guillano use to be Catholic, but that he converted to Hinduism or some other religion of India like the Beatles once did. I didn't ask him about his religion, but I did tell him a little bit about mine. I told him that Christianity is about becoming part of God's Family. He was wide-eyed when I was telling him that, but I took the expression on his face to mean that as a former Catholic, he heard that all before, so it meant nothing to him. So, one more time, Geoffrey; this is what I believe Christianity is all about in Armstrong's way of explaining it: God the Father is reproducing Himself through us. He is making us His very own sons and daughters just like Jesus Christ is His son, to be all powerful like Jesus Christ, to shine as bright or brighter than the sun just like Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus Christ is God, so will we become God.
And another thing, Geoffry. When you leave Christianity, you are leaving your Savior who paid for your sins. You have to pay for your own sins. And the penalty for sin is death. Instead of eternal life, you will have the second death and eternal death. 

Dancing - One time, Geoffrey Guillano wanted me to dance for him. No music, no dancing partner. He just wanted me to dance for him. I had no problem showing a few dance steps in my brand new work shoes to Kevin, my co-worker at SUNYAB in Amherst, six years before. But with Geoffrey and the fact that he has a dead homosexual brother, I was worried: Is this guy bi? I did not dance for him. 

Getting Physical - When I started working for Jeff, he said as we got to know each other better, we would be yelling and swearing at each other. I never yelled or swore at him. I don't think he ever yelled or swore at me. But being Italian, he was naturally physical. He would take a few jabs, or punches or love tabs at me. He would do the same to Mary. Maybe not punches, but I think he pulled on her bra strap one time and made her say, "Nooooo." One time, when I was leaving at the end of the day, he was really banging on me. That made me mad and so I went after him. He went inside the house and locked the door. I picked up some snow and threw two or three snowballs at his door. Then I left.

Star Trek - Jeff, Brenda, and I were big fans of Star Trek. The TV series "Star Trek The Next Generation" was showing at that time. Jeff would ask me every once in a while, "Is Geordi smart?" Brenda one time asked me about the episode, "The Dyson's Sphere." She didn't know what it was about. I told her it was about a solar system in which the aliens enclosed their sun in a huge globe so that they could capture all the energy of that sun. 
Jeff and I would talk like the Borg or like robots. He would say, "You-will-be-as-sim-i-lat-ed." I would answer, "I-do-not-want-to-be-Jew-ish." I wasn't anti-Jewish. It was something personal from a broken relationship. 
One time Jeff and I were talking like robots when he got a phone call. He was yelling and cursing as he usually does on the phone. After he got off the phone, I said to him, "You-talk-like-a-hu-man." He resumed his robot talk and said, "I-have-that-cap-a-bil-it-y." 

From My Notebook - Starting in 1995, I recorded my work days in minute detail. So, since I worked for Geoffrey Guillano before 1995, I only have a few scant notes that I made in my personal notebook. Most of my entries are about the numbers of hours I worked and how much I was paid. I received a total of eight checks while working for Jeff. 
Here are some of the other things I've written:

* November 25, 1992 Wednesday was my first day on the job.  My wage was sufficient to pay the bills and put gasoline in my car. As long as I worked enough hours, I was getting enough money to be happy where I was. Jeff told me that he was his one and only employer, and that he didn't want me looking around for another job. I was okay with that. I turned down a job from a temp service (TAD) on November 30. 1992. I did follow through for a job on WordPerfect for which I sent my resume on Nov. the 17th. But I didn't get the job. 

* December 6, 1992 Sunday. I worked for Jeff for five hours doing electrical work. I don't remember what I did. He wanted me connect the wires to the switches so that one stays hot all the time, and another turns on one lamp. I do not think I helped him with that. He had two electrical cables running in the same direction. I questioned why he did that. Then he told me that he and Brenda are going to Florida tomorrow for eight days. He would have me work on an Indian diet plan. 
* December 11, 1992 Friday. Jeff sent me new work in the mail. 
After that, work and pay were scarce. I didn't have work until December 18. I worked on the 18th and the 19th for a total of 9 hours and 40 minutes.
* December 21, 1992 Monday. Brenda called and told me not to come in until next Monday because Jeff is having publishers coming in the house all during the week. No work for a whole week meant no pay. So I started calling up temp agencies for work.
* December 28, 1992 Monday. I worked 5 1/4 hours. I gave candy to three of Jeff's children. Jeff gave me a copy of his book on Paul McCartney. He previously gave me a copy of his book on George Harrison which I helped to type out.

* December 28, 1992 Monday. I worked 5 1/4 hours. I gave candy to Jeff's three children. Jeff gave me a copy of his book on Paul McCartney. He preveiously gave me a copy of his book on George Harrison which I helped to type out.
* December 29, 1992 Tuesday. Brenda called and said not to come in because Jeff is going out of town. Then she called again to say Jeff's trip has been cancelled, and that I should come in at 12:30. I gave a cassette toy (whatever that is) to their youngest daughter India. My mother gave me Christmas cookies to take over to them.

* January 4, 1993 Friday. Jeff gave me work to do at home so that my mother could use the car.

(t.b.c.)



The Vietnam War

When I was in the eighth grade in the years 1963 and 1964, we learned about Communism and how it had taken over Russia, China, North Korea, Eastern Europe, Cuba, and now Vietnam. The Communists were bad people. There is no freedom in the lands they take over. They kill a lot of people who resist them. There is no voting. And they don't like Catholics or other Christians because the Communists don't believe in God. 

Another thing that our teacher at Holy Name taught us was that the communists want to conquer the world. They are careful how they do that. They are willing to be patient unlike the Nazis and the Japanese Warlords. They will take over little countries like Hungary, Poland, North Korea. They have taken over big countries like Russia and China. Their present goal is to take over the Indochina peninsula. Their ultimate goal is India. After they take over the Indochina peninsula, they can strike India with their navies and armies from the Indochina peninsula. Southeast Asia is very important to India in more ways that one. It provides India with a large supply of rice. The supreme goal of the communists is Eurasia. Eurasia contains the majority of the land on earth and also the majority of the people of earth. Once Eurasia is under communist control, what's left? There's still a lot of little countries left. One by one, these little countries will fall under communism until the United States is surrounded by a sea of communist countries. 

We were told that Vietnam was divided into two parts. North Vietnam was communist. South Vietnam was free. Those who lived in North Vietnam could move to South Vietnam if they didn't like communism. And those who lived in South Vietnam could move to North Vietnam if they didn't like freedom. There were many from North Vietnam who made the trip to South Vietnam because they didn't like communism. Those who went to North Vietnam were the Viet Cong; and they went there for further training so that they could fight against South Vietnam and bring it under communism. Some of the Vietnamese from the North who were fleeing communism had trouble making it into South Vietnam. One of them came across two North Vietnamese soldiers at the border. They smashed his legs with the butts of their rifles. He had to make it to freedom by crawling there. We were also told about a Catholic priest who had the two fingers he used to bless the people cut off by the communists.  

During my years in high school, America's involvement in Vietnam grew and grew. From advisers to actual fighting men, from a handful of troops to over a half million Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force personnel, the Vietnam War became one of our greatest wars. It also was the most divisive war. Many of our own troops couldn't understand what they were doing there. One soldier did know what he was doing there and said, "-- --- ----- -- --- ----- ----- ------ ---- ------- ---- ---- -- -- ----" He was fighting for their freedom.
The Vietnam War was suppose to be a limited war with limited objectives. We were not there for total victory. This was because we learned our lesson in the Korean War. In the Korean War, we tried to win all of Korea. But in the end, we only won half of Korea. We didn't want that to happen in Vietnam. We didn't want Communist Red Chinese intervention. So we were willing to settle for only half of Vietnam from the very beginning of the war. 
My sophomore history teacher at Kensington High School, Mr. Millard, agreed with that policy. It should be a middle-of-the-road war in which we should simply defend South Vietnam and not try to defeat North Vietnam. I did not like the idea of a limited war. A soldier who pays the ultimate sacrifice should not have to do so for the sake of a limited war. Such limited wars should be fought by a voluntary army and/or by mercenaries. I thought we should have attacked North Vietnam on the ground as well as from the air. At the very least, we should have occupied the narrow stretch of land between the DMZ and Vinh.

My buddy Michael Kowalski and I were classmates at Holy Name of Jesus elementary school. But we went to different high schools as the war in Vietnam heated up. When we got together one time, I asked him what he thought of the war in Vietnam. He said a priest told his class that we should mind our own business. I was somewhat disappointed in that answer.

Another Catholic who deeply disappointed me on his stand on Vietnam was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. I use to watch his TV show every Sunday. On one program, he was venting his wrath against communism and was working up to a fever pitch eruption near the end of his oration. He likened the communists to pigs and was prophesying their end by saying, "...like PIGS to be PUSHED into the sea and DROWNED!!!"  A few years later, he was advocating an American pullout from Vietnam. Apparently, the communists would have to wait some other time when they will be pushed into the sea and drowned.

A Personal Matter
"If that's the way you feel about the Vietnam War, why don't you enlist in the Army and fight over there?"
That's what one teacher (Mr. Joe Butch) once asked me in about those same words. I really thought about enlisting in the Army after I graduated from Kensington High School. I really had a rough time there. I was sort of depressed. I didn't care about my grades. I use to be a pretty good student at Genesee Humboldt Junior High School-No. 91 with an average grade of the upper 80s. But in Kensington, my grades fell to the 70s and even 60s. I felt uncertain of about my life. Why am I here? What good am I? Maybe if I went to Vietnam and survived, then I would know that God has a reason for me to live, and that He has some plan for me. 

After I graduated from high school, the idea of joining the Army and fighting in Vietnam didn't really appeal to me. Why fight and possibly die in a limited war for limited objectives? My parents weren't too supportive of me going into the military. My mother told me that I didn't like it when I was in Kensington High School; and that if I go into the Army, it will be even worse. I was willing to answer the call of my country if I was drafted, but my father had other ideas. He had me make out applications to various colleges. Most of them wrote back saying I didn't have enough high school credits. There was one college that offered a non-credit one year course in Electrical Construction in Canton, New York near the St. Lawrence River. So I was at Canton ATC SUNY for one semester. I spent a great deal of time on cross-country running instead of my studies. It was a very bad mistake. Michael Kowalski warned me about that. He told me to "save it." Another mistake was having a color TV with cable to watch all my favorite TV shows like Star Trek, Time Tunnel, and Batman cartoons. I did try to find help from the college library, but the course was too technical; it was just too much. And my heart wasn't in it. (A few years later, when I took up Color TV Repair, I was studying basic electronics in which electricity was compared to a flowing river and water pipes. I was able to understand electricity and electronics with that analogy.)
So I came back home and the Vietnam War was still being waged. What kept me from being drafted was that my father had his bone specialist doctor write a letter to the Selective Service telling them about my right arm shoulder birth defect and that I am a weak (I resented that!) man. The Selective Service then reclassified me as 4-F. (I tried to enlist in the Navy in 1977. But my father passed away; and so my mother did not want me leaving her to join the Navy. In 1983, I was 34 and it was my last chance before I was too old to join the military. I tried to enlist in the Navy. I took the ABSCAB test and did very well in it. Then I took the physical but failed it. It was because of my right shoulder deformity and also because I failed the hearing test.)

President Johnson was feeling the pressure of constant war protests both on the college campuses and in the news media. The war in Vietnam was becoming a poltical hot potato. It is for this reason that he announced in March of 1968 that he wasn't going to seek another second term as president. He urged the North Vietnamese to come to the peace table. The North Vietnamese did come to the peace table, but there was no peace. The Communists dragged their heels. They knew America's patience was wearing thin. As Ho Chi Minh once said, "You will kill 10 of us, and we will kill one of you. And in the end, you will get tired of it." America has no staying power. They were tired of the weekly GI death toll in Vietnam. When the Paris Peace Treaty was signed, America agreed to withdraw all of its troops while the North Vietnamese were allowed to keep their troops in South Vietnam. I thought this was wrong and foolish.

So I started searching for answers by reading newspapers, magazines, and watching TV programs. I finally saw a TV program on Sunday morning called the World Tomorrow with Garner Ted Armstrong. It was actually the last 15 minutes of the second part of his discussion on Vietnam. He mentioned what former President Eisenhower said about conducting the war. There were three points: 1) Never get involved in a land war in Asia. In Asia, life is cheap; while in America, life is sacred. 2) If you do get involved in a war, make sure you amass all your forces together. 3) Your only goal in the war is total victory. 

Garner Ted Armstrong also offered the booklet, "The United States and the British Commonwealth In Prophecy." I ordered that and received my copy. I was also given a free subscription to The Plain Truth Magazine. In the booklet, his father Herbert W. Armstrong explained that the British Commonwealth and the United States are the Tribe of Joseph. They received the blessings promised by God to Abraham, Issac and Jacob of national greatness starting in 1800. After World War II, God started to take those blessings away. Great Britain lost much of their empire. The United States nearly lost the war in Korea. And now, little North Vietnam is holding our great power at bay. God has broken the pride of our power as He said He would in Leviticus 26:19.

Another prophecy made by the Armstrong church that is found in the Bible is about the current Middle East crisis. It is found in Zechariah 12:2-3 where it says: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people round about when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
Using that scripture, the Armstrong church predicted that the War in Vietnam would pale into insignificance compared to the Middle East crisis. It would become a major headache for the US and the Western nations. And that is true. We don't hear anything about Vietnam anymore. Most of the news overseas has to do with Israel and the Arab countries.  


THE SPACE PROGRAM
The Space Age began early in my life when I couldn't tell the difference between fantasy and reality. There was a space show on TV called Rocky Jones: Space Ranger that I use to watch every Saturday morning. Rocky, Vena, Bobby, and Winky would fly to the planets in our solar system and the nearby stars in their rocketship. This was back in 1954.

One time, I went to the corner grocery store. A guy named Francis, one year older than me, was telling the store owner after looking at the newspaper, that he didn't believe Russia landed a man on the moon. I was astonished. Weren't we already flying space ships to the other planets just like on my favorite Saturday morning TV show?

The Space Age began with the launch of Spudnik by Russia (or the USSR) on October 4, 1957. Many claim to see it pass overhead. One neighber of ours said, "It would go on. Then it would go off. Then it would go on. Then it would go off." In my opinion, that sounds like an airplane.
Then the Russians sent the first human in orbit around the earth. As the cosmonaut flew over the Italian peninsula and the Vatican City, he uttered this blasphemy, "I see no God up here. Where is God? There is no God."
When America finally entered into space age by putting Alan Shephard in space, Michael Kowalski told me that there is a big difference between the Russian spacecraft and the American spacecraft. He said the Russian spacecraft is controlled entirely on the ground. The Russian cosmonaut is merely a passenger in a robot ship. Whereas the American spacecraft is controlled by the astronaut. 

The one American manned space mission from Project Mercury that I remembered the most was that of John Glenn. When he first entered his capsule, the launch was scrubbed. The second time he entered his capsule, the launch was scrubbed. The third time he sat in his capsule, the launch was scrubbed. It was scrubbed because of a fuel leak. It was scrubbed because of a pressure leak. It was scrubbed because of bad weather. When he finally entered space, I was truly amazed. I thought he would never get off the ground. Our gym teacher at Holy Name had the news of John Glenn's space flight on TV. So we boys spent the whole gym period standing lined up watching and listening how great an event this was instead of going through a workout or playing dodge ball.

After his days as an astronaut, John Glenn seriously considered running as a US Senator. As a Democrat, he supported a woman's "right" to abortion. This was a mystery to me. As an astronaut, he ultimate goal was to find life in outer space on another planet. The tiniest microbe of life would have been hailed as the greatest discovery of all time. Yet, he was okay with a woman's right to snuff out little innocent human life here on earth.

Next came Project Gemini in which two astronauts were launched into space. They practiced rendevous and docking which is an important part of the Apollo moon landing program. There were some mishaps. One of them was where the space capsule was tumbling out of control. Astronaut Neil Armstrong had to use the retro rockets to stablize the spacecraft. This brought an end to their mission, and the two astronauts shortly made a splashdown. This incident was covered on national TV and preemptied our favorite TV shows that night. 

The Apollo Program started out in tragedy. The three astronauts (Gus Grissom, Robert Chaffee, and Ed White) died in a pure oxygen fire in their capsule as they were in training. A TV newsman said it is hoped that they died quickly and painlessly. But their last voice recordings told us otherwise. One of them shouted, "Let us out of here." And there were screams as they roasted in the fire. Improvements were made to prevent such a reoccurrance. The astronauts spacesuits were made out of inflammable material. Their hatch could be opened in 5 seconds.

The Apollo space capsule had been atop a Saturn 1 rocket. The investigation into the disaster had delayed the program. To keep on schedule of landing a man on the moon before the end of the decade, NASA had to test and use its Saturn 5 rockets. 

​The Apollo space capsule had been atop a Saturn 1 rocket. The investigation into the disaster had delayed the program. To keep on schedule of landing a man on the moon before the end of the decade, NASA had to test and use its Saturn 5 rockets. 
Apollo 8 was the third manned space flight to take off on a Saturn 5 rocket on December 21, 1968. It headed for the moon and circled the moon ten times before returning to the earth. My father and I watched this space spectacular on TV. It was quite an event. We had Santa Claus. We had the Christmas tree. And now we had Apollo 8 circling around the moon with the astronauts reading from the Bible.

It was only seven months later that Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. I was in my bedroom watching the images on TV after midnight.

The landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Tranquility Base ended the race to the moon between the United States and the Soviet Union. The stars did not favor the USA according the Jean Dixon. She is the prophet who predicted President John Kennedy's assassination and also Robert Kennedy's assassination. She predicted the Soviet Union (or Russia) would be the first to land a man on the moon.

​While the first American was walking on the moon, and during moon walks by other astronauts, there were lamentations about one thing or another. One young woman said we should be spending our money on helping the poor and needy rather than sending men to the moon. There were questions like: If we can send a man to the moon, why can't we cure cancer or the common cold?

While the moon landings were taking place, one time I was next door visiting my friend. We got into a silly argument. So I told him, "The next thing you will be telling me is that there are people walking around on the moon." We looked up in the sky at the moon. Yes, there really are people walking around on the moon.

​The next step for America in space was the Space Shuttle program. It was actually anti-climatic to the Apollo program. The Space Shuttle would fly into orbit, circle the globe, and come back down. We've done that before. The only difference was that more astronauts were going up into space at one time than ever before. Also, the Space Shuttle would be landing on land instead of splashing down in the ocean after each mission. One local radio talk show host said we should slow everything down; we are going too fast. The Space Shuttle that flew was already a result of cutting back and not going too fast. The original design of the Space Shuttle rocket was to have it piggyback on a larger space plane that was mounted on top of the rocket. Instead, it was scaled down so that there was no larger space plane. The Space Shuttle would be mounted on the side of the main fuel tank. The Challenger disaster proved how dangerous this concept was. The main fuel tank exploded, and it took along with it the Space Shuttle and the lives of seven astronauts.

The Space Shuttle served its purpose as a reusable space craft. It also served to launch large payloads into orbit--notably the Hubble Space Telescope and parts of the International Space Station. 

The Space Shuttle was suppose to make space flight routine. That's what my teacher predicted back when I was in Holy Name School. She said space flight would be so commonplace someday that we wouldn't even bother to watch it on TV anymore. And that's how it was when the Challenger disaster struck. I first heard about the Challenger disaster from my mother who heard about it from our neighbor upstairs who was watching TV. My mother seemed angry with me when she asked me why I wasn't watching the Space Shuttle launch. The answer was--it was just another Space Shuttle launch. 

​That's what our astronauts didn't like. They didn't like the fact that they were going up in space in the shuttle for several orbits and then returning to earth. They would rather go to Mars. 

​The space station and the space shuttle programs have been plagued with troubles from the beginning. The Space Shuttle was suppose to service Skylab. But Skylab fell out of orbit and crashed into Australia before the Space Shuttle could get off the ground. When the Space Shuttle did get off the ground, it was more or less a space craft without a mission. When the International Space Station was built, the Space Shuttle fleet was retired. The ISS became more or less a space station without a purpose.

The God Factor - God is the Creator of heaven and earth. He has given us the earth to rule over and care for. But He has not given us rulership over outer space--at least not yet. At the time of the Apollo 13 moon launch, I was still in Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God. Apollo 13 took off on Saturday which I consider then to be the Sabbath. The Command Module of Apollo 13 was named Odyssey and the Lunar Module was named Aquarius. This all seemed anti-God to me--a Christian who kept the Ten Commandments. The astronauts took off on a Saturday which was suppose to the Sabbath of the Bible. Like many of our other rockets and space crafts such as Jupiter, Mercury, Atlas, Titan, Gemini, and Saturn, they were honoring false pagan gods instead of the True Creator God of the Universe.

It is still my belief that the problems that beset Apollo 13 and all other failed space missions is that we have chosen to ignore God. We should humbly ask God for His protection and blessings as we explore space.

It might be supposed that Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God were superpatriots, ultranationists, and supporters of a strong anti-communistic US military policy that would help us to achieve our rightful place as the number one superpower according to what God has ordained in the Bible. In fact, looking at title on the front cover of their book, "The United States and the British Commonwealth In Prophecy," you would think the USA was only one or two steps away from establishing colonies and states in Europe, Asia and Africa just like Great Britain did. This was not the case. When I had Worldwide Church of God minister Mr. Sell in my home, I asked what we (the US) should do in Vietnam. I thought that was an easy question. I expected him to parrot what Garner Ted Armstrong told us on his TV show when he mentioned President Eisenhower--we should go for total victory. Instead, he said, "That question is impossible to answer." I think I asked him why, but I don't remember his answer. He must have said something like that the church is a ministry of love and peace rather than an instructor on how to knock off your enemy. 
In one of his Sabbath sermons, Mr. Sell told us how he went with a young man who was a church member before the Selective Service committee to explain why he could not take up arms and fight in the military. He was a conscientious objector. Mr. Sell sat by while the young man did all the talking. Afterwards, Mr. Sell told the judge that yes, this is what we believe according to the Bible.
After the withdrawal of American troops and the fall of South Vietnam, Garner Ted Armstrong told us on his TV show, "Congress started the war, but the PEOPLE (who elected pacifists and leftists to congress to stop all funding of the war) ended it." There was a big satisfying smirk on Garner Ted Armstrong's face after he said that.


The ARAB ISRAELI CONFLICT
Like the USA, the people of Israel had to fight for their freedom after they declared their independence in 1948. 
In 1967, Gamal Abdel Nassar, president of Egypt, was the leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world thanks to arms he acquired from the Soviet Union. He closed Israel's access to the Gulf of Aqaba and the port of Elath. He also removed the UN peacekeeping forces from the Egypt-Israel boundary. These were acts of war which made Israel call up its reserves. This put an enormous strain on their economy. Israel cannot afford to be on a war time status for very long. It was my feeling at the time that there would be concessions, and after that, things would return to normal. Instead, when I went to my history class at Kensington High School one day, the teacher (Miss Anne Reagan) told us there is war.

At home, I noticed my father was watching the news on TV. I told him he never paid much attention to the Vietnam War, so why is he now watching the Israeli-Arab war? He said, "This one's going like nobody's business."
The master architect of this going-like-nobody's business 6-day war was General Moshe Dayan. It would have been nice if he could have come up with a plan for the USA to win the war in Vietnam in six days. But when he visited Vietnam, he didn't have any suggestions. He said we were doing everything that could be done.

The Yom Kippur War - In the late summer - early autumn of 1973, I was in Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God, and we were celebrating one of the holy feasts of God that was in the Bible--namely Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement. At the Holy Sabbath meeting, we were told by the minister that Satan tries to attack God's people, the church. When he can't destroy them, he will go after someone else like the State of Israel. And that's what he did. He had Egypt make war on Israel at the time when they were in the middle of their sacred fast. It was an anxious time for me. I went down to Mt. Pocono in Pennsylvania for our observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Ben, one of my roommates at the cabin we were staying, said, "I wouldn't worry about it." He wouldn't worry about it?!!! Why not? Didn't he realize this could be the end of the world? We could be stranded here! Our lives could end here! After the Feast ended, I was sure glad to be home again.