It’s time to pick up your prescription medications, and you want to save a little money. You’ve always used the same name-brand drugs, but you’re thinking about trying less-expensive ones. The question is — are generic drugs just pale imitations of superior name-brand medications? Name-brand medicines must cost more for a reason, right? Well, not necessarily.
For a generic drug to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they must meet some exacting standards. Generally, they must work the same as the name-brand medications. When the FDA approves a generic medication, it ensures the drug has the same active ingredients, strength, and quality as the name-brand medication. Both must also have the same dosage, way of being taken, and levels of stability, effectiveness, and safety. So, when you get a generic drug, you get the same benefits provided by the brand-name drug. This allows many people to switch from one to the other easily.
“Generic medicines use the same active ingredients as the brand-name medicines and work the same way, so they have the same risks and benefits as the brand-name medicines.” — U.S. FDA
There are a few differences between brand-name and generic drugs, but they’re mostly minor ones. Specifically, the FDA allows these drugs to differ in their inactive ingredients (which have no therapeutic effect). Inactive ingredients can slightly affect absorption rate (though the FDA requires the difference to be minimal), and change a drug’s look, including its size, color, shape, and packaging. Importantly, it also allows them to differ in cost, which can make prescription drugs more affordable for those on a budget.
Since generics are the same as name-brands in every way that seems to matter, how are they so much (80 to 85 percent on average) cheaper? This has less to do with why they’re so cheap and more about why name-brands are so expensive. Unlike generic drug manufacturers, name-brand companies pay for developing and testing the medication, which can cost more than $2.5 billion. To make up for this cost, name-brand companies charge more. The FDA also grants name-brand companies a patent protection exclusivity for seven years. Once this period is up, the FDA allows one generic to enter the market, which is usually less expensive than the brand-name drug. After six months, other companies can jump in. The resulting competition then lowers the drug price further.
Since generic drugs are less expensive, they’re often favored by insurance plans offering prescription drug coverage, including Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. These plans usually put generics in lower tiers than their name-brand counterparts in a plan’s formulary, which means they cost less.
Using less expensive drugs can also help you avoid the coverage gap (or “donut hole”) in Medicare drug plans. In the gap, Medicare covers 56 percent of generic drug costs; you pay the 44 percent that’s left. The percentage you pay will drop annually until 2020, when it’s 25 percent.
In 2016, generic medications saved people $253 billion around the country! Using them can be a great way to save money on prescription meds you may need. Before switching your medications, though, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor. This way, you can understand the full scope of what you need and what you’re getting. They’ll also know if there are inactive ingredients in different drugs to which you may be allergic.
If you’re eligible for Medicare, you have another way you may be able to save on out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications. A Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan may help cover the cost of your medications. Connect with a licensed insurance sales agent near you who can guide you through the process.
Copyright © 2018 Ritter Insurance Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.
Did your computer ever lock up, freeze, crash, or display the dreaded "blue screen of death" with some cryptic error message? This sort of problem can be devilishly difficult to diagnose, because many things can cause a computer to crash. A computer crash can take the form of a complete power down, an unexpected restart, the “Blue Screen of Death”, a screen freeze, or even a temporary halt that mysteriously resolves itself. In some cases, just restarting the computer will get you going again. But chances are, you haven't really solved the problem. Here are some of the more common reasons your computer will crash.
HEAT: An overheated processor (CPU) which is the “nervous system” for your computer will shut down without warning, to avoid damage. Heat can build up because a cooling fan is not working or is clogged with dust or pet hair. Hard drives (the “brain”) are also temperature sensitive, and motherboards (the “bones” of your computer) and RAM memory (“short-term memory”) can become flaky when temperatures inside a desktop or laptop computer rise above normal. Periodically opening the case and blowing out all the parts with a can of compressed air would may solve the problem. If the cooling fan is making funny noises, replacing it may help to fix the problem completely. There are several free utilities that monitor temperatures and fan speeds within your computer. Installing one of them will help you monitor your computers heat problems.
SOFTWARE ERRORS: If crashes occur only when you’re using a specific software application, that’s the first place to look for problems. Sometimes a software bug causes a crash when a certain operation is attempted. Check the software maker’s website for any updates that may fix your problem. It's also a good idea to “scan” your computer with a trusted utilities program to ensure that all your software is up to date with the latest security patches. Occasionally, software may become corrupted or “scrambled” causing crashes too. If software updates don’t fix your problem, you may have to remove and then re-install the corrupted software.
HARD DRIVE ERRORS are another potential cause of computer crashes. A problem with your hard drive doesn't necessarily mean that it needs to be replaced. There are a variety of factors that can cause files to become damaged or lost. Human error, malware, and poorly designed software are all possibilities. In the case of a hard drive problem, it’s probably best to get “professional” help from a reputable computer repair shop. Attempting to “fix” the hard drive yourself could result in the loss of all your data. So, get help rather than risk the loss of all your photos, financial records, etc.
MALWARE: Viruses and other forms of malware often causes computer crashes. In fact, some malware is written to do just that. Running a full scan with one or more good anti-malware tools is a good thing to do when crashes occur at random. Ask a trusted retailer about getting the right anti-malware program for your computer. New units often come with their own programs already built in their systems.
DEVICE DRIVERS: Outdated device drivers (programs designed specifically to help your “devices” such as a printer to function properly) can cause crashes. Sometimes simply plugging a new device into a USB port can cause a system crash. Drivers usually work fine until you install a new operating system or a major update to an existing operating system, such as a “Service Pack”. If you start suffering crashes after an operating system change, updating the drivers for your printer, scanner, CD/DVD drive, external hard drive and other peripheral devices may solve the problem. The best place to look for new device drivers is the vendor's website. Stay away from "driver update" websites and downloadable programs that offer to scan your system and supply new drivers.
FLAKY MEMORY: It’s rare for RAM (random access or “short term”) memory to go bad, but it can be a cause of computer crashes. Sometimes a RAM chip with a "bad spot" will work fine, until a software program attempts to use that portion of memory.
FAILING POWER SUPPLY: Unexpected restarts can also be a sign of a failing power supply. When someone has tried everything else, and their computer is still glitching at seemingly random times, it may be time for a new power supply. Fortunately, power supplies are cheap and easy to replace yourself. Search “How to Replace Your Computer's Power Supply” for some helpful tips.
If your problem is software-related, there's a free program called “WhoCrashed” that you can run after experiencing a system crash, unexpected shutdown/reset, or "blue screen of death" event. “WhoCrashed” will analyze your Windows system, report on the most likely cause of your problem, and offer suggestions on how to fix the problem.
This is a message from Harvey Rosenblum:
Hey, Netflix users, have you been paying $10.99 for your service? I just learned that when Netflix increased their rates, they failed to tell people that they had defaulted to a "2-set category" at $10.99 per month. In other words, with this plan, you could have two TV sets hooked up making it possible to view different Netflix broadcasts at the same time. I have used never used two-set viewing.
In discussion with my son, I found out he was paying $7.99. He told me I must have the "two-set viewing" option. After going into my account on Netflix, I noted I did have two-set viewing. I immediately changed it to one-set at the lower cost of $7.99.
Talking to a number of my friends, it seems this is a commonly assumed user error. They have all done what I did and changed to the lower rate they should have had all along.
NEW SCHOOL BUDGET ANNOUNCED APRIL 10, 2018
Good wishes go out to Carol (Loudon) Steller who was hospitalized recently for a misadventure during a routine medical procedure which resulted in a serious blood loss and the need for multiple transfusions over a week-long hospitalization. After emergency treatment and recuperation, Carol is now fully recovered and happy to be back at home. Glad you're feeling better, Carol!
Microsoft Security Programs
Compromised Due to Security Gap
Microsoft’s security programs, including Windows Defender, are suffering from a major security vulnerability. The security gap can be found inthe Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (MMPE), and if it goes unfixed, allows hackers to do significant damage to personal computers. For the vulnerability to be exploited, hackers must do the following:
Once again, the ability of a hacker to access your personal computer and the information it contains depends on how diligent you are when it comes to “opening the door” to these criminals. NEVER download or open a file sent to you from an unknown or unsecure source. If you don’t recognize the sender or, if you have ANY doubts as to the authenticity of an email or “instant” messages, DO NOT OPEN the file and DELETE IT immediately. Genuine websites do not routinely send you files to be opened without contacting you first to obtain your consent. If you still have doubts, you can always contact the website provider to authenticate the message and to make sure you are a recognized customer of theirs. Keep in mind, some of these fake websites can look quite authentic, but don’t be fooled. If you have any doubts, simply delete the message, without reading it, to protect yourself. If you have a “spam filter” set up for your email messages, delete all the messages collected in that mailbox without opening them. They are most probably “phishing expeditions” from illegal hackers!
So, this isn’t exactly a one trick pony. There are a few hoops the hackers would need to jump through to get to their end goal. However, it’s not impossible and the severity of the problem should not be underestimated. This malware effects several Microsoft anti-virus and anti-spyware programs, including:
Microsoft claims users of these programs do not need to do anything. Microsoft has issued a patch for the security gap, which should apply itself automatically. Windows systems with the engine version 1.1.14700.5 or later are protected from the vulnerability. To verify that your system has updated, you may follow the instructions below:
If you are running a version earlier than Windows 7, you are encouraged to update. All Windows Defender updates take place through your Windows Update feature. Therefore, if you have those disabled, the updates have likely not taken place. To manually update, tap the Windows key on your keyboard, then type “Windows Update” and click the “Enter” key. From there you click on the “Check for Updates” button. If updates are needed, follow the prompts.
NOTE: All users who are running a third-party security solution such as PCMatic or other proprietary security application and have Windows Defender disabled are NOT impacted by this vulnerability.
A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.
The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?"
"No, I had to stop drinking years ago," the homeless man replied.
"Will you spend this on green fees at a golf course instead of food?" the man asked.
"Are you NUTS!" replied the homeless man. "I haven't played golf in 20 years!"
"Well," said the man, "I'm not going to give you money. Instead, I'm going to take you home for a hot shower and a terrific dinner cooked by my wife."
The homeless man was astounded. "Won't your wife be furious with you for doing that?
The man replied, "That's okay. It's important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up drinking and golf."
If you want to stay as fit as possible well into your 80s, the answer may be as simple as standing on your own two feet. New research shows that a standing-exercise program is more effective for older adults than commonly used seated exercises.
In a recent study, the nearly 300 participants who were an average age of 80, took part in a standing-exercise program were, on conclusion, able to walk faster and farther than those in a seated-exercise program, researchers reported. The standing program used was designed to enhance the motor skills and muscle control needed for walking. It included a warm-up, stepping patterns, walking patterns, strengthening and cool-down components. The seated-exercise program was done with participants seated. It focused on strength, endurance and flexibility, and included a warm-up, arm and leg strength exercises, aerobic activities and a cool-down.
Those in the standing-exercise program showed a small increase in their speed and distance in walking for 6 minutes, while those in the seated-exercise class didn't show as much improvement. Among those who took part in the study, many had several chronic conditions and impaired mobility. Approximately one-third reported a fear of falling and had a history of falls.
For the study, researchers randomly assigned 32 independent living facilities, senior apartment buildings and senior community centers to the standing-exercise program or to the seated-exercise program. In the 16 sites assigned to the standing-exercise program, 152 people took part. In the sites selected for the seated-exercise program, 146 participated, according to the report.
For both programs, participants were aged 65 or older, able to walk independently with a speed of at least one mile per hour and were medically stable. In each program, classes were 50 minutes long and were given twice a week for 12 weeks. All had 10 or fewer people per class.
In all, 142 people completed the standing program, and 139 completed the seated program. Attendance at the seated class was better than at the standing classes (65 percent versus 50 percent), according to researchers. In addition, those in the standing-exercise classes were more likely to experience falls, fatigue and pain. None of these occurred in the seated-exercise classes, the researchers found.
The report from this study was published online Aug. 14 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Aging interferes with the ability to balance. It becomes less keen, so programs like these can slow the changes brought on by age and sharpen our balance skills, which can be challenging from a seated position.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve thinking skills, mood, sleep, circulation and social activity, as well as reduced risks for falls and chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Aging well includes regular exercise in whatever way someone is motivated to participate. Walking, tai chi, dance, strength training and sports -- such as paddle ball, tennis or swimming -- are all wonderful ways to help boost health, fitness and quality of life.
For more on aging and exercise, visit the U.S. National Institute on Aging.
SOURCES: Jennifer Brach, Ph.D., P.T., associate professor, department of physical therapy, University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., senior clinical nutritionist, exercise physiologist, New York University Medical Center, New York City; Aug. 14, 2017, JAMA Internal Medicine, online
Using your computer's power button (P/B) improperly, or pulling the plug, can lead to serious data loss and damage to your machine. By pulling the plug or forcing a power-off by holding down the P/B, you risk corrupting data on your hard drive and damaging hardware.
Turning off or shutting down a computer is not at all like turning off a light bulb, or even a moderately complex piece of electronics. Turning off a computer is a process. You start the shutdown process using the “Start” or “Power” icon. Even though we still refer to it as the “Start” button, Microsoft changed its appearance to have a more generic look after the “XP version” of Windows. Even so, in Windows 10, there is still a process to shutting down which must be followed to avoid creating unnecessary problems with your machine.
What happens between clicking on “Shut Down” and the power going off? The short answer is: a lot of geeky magic. In fact, a lot of important geeky magic. Programs are closed, files are saved, information that was kept in memory is written to disk, hardware is turned off in the proper sequence, and more. A lot of important bookkeeping and clean-up work happens as part of the process of shutting down … important bookkeeping and cleanup work you want to happen.
Although you want to avoid having to interfere with this process described above, sometimes using the actual P/B on the computer is OK. However, use it wisely. Here’s where it gets confusing. On most systems, pressing the P/B briefly is more or less equivalent to using the Start menu to shut down your computer. What’s important is that you hold it down no longer than one second. If you’re holding it down longer, you’re causing your machine to act differently. But, if you press the P/B briefly and see the system begin its process of shutting down, then you’re probably OK to continue to do that.
One caveat: The P/B may shut down your computer properly, or it may put it into hibernate or sleep. Check the P/B settings in the Control Panel to adjust that setting.
If, when you press the P/B, the computer shuts down immediately — as in “the blink of an eye” — don’t do that again. That’s the same as pulling the plug, which is bad. Also, if you hold the P/B down for five or 10 seconds until the computer turns off, this is not OK either. That’s like just pulling the power plug. It completely bypasses the process of shutting down and can result in serious problems. If you shut down your computer this way regularly, stop it because you are almost begging your computer to corrupt the data stored on its hard drive including all those family pictures or special recipes you wanted to save.
The long-hold power-off functionality present in most computers is actually something built into the machine’s hardware and is meant only as a last resort. As far as the hardware is concerned, it’s almost identical to pulling the plug or removing the battery. If you find this is the only way you can turn off your computer, something is wrong. The Start menu approach should always work. If it does not — for example, if your computer never shuts down when you try using the proper “Shut Down” icon — that’s a problem that needs to be resolved, rather than risk data loss every time you force your computer to turn off.
When you unplug your desktop computer, remove the battery and power cord from your laptop, or long-hold the P/B to force a computer to stop, you’re taking action outside of the operating system’s control. This applies no matter what operating system you’re running. Even when you’re doing nothing with your computer, it’s always doing something when it’s turned on. In fact, it’s often doing quite a lot. Files are opening, programs are running, the disk may be accessing data, and more might be happening even when you’re not using the machine. It’s almost impossible to predict exactly what is running at any given time, and therein lies the problem.
Let’s say one of your installed programs is updating something. It’s probably doing so by accessing and writing data to the hard disk in your machine. It doesn’t have to be something you’re doing; it could be some other program, like your anti-malware tools, system indexing tools, or something else running in the “background” on your machine. If you suddenly remove the power in the middle of that operation, any one or more of the following may happen:
Nothing – you got lucky and the activity completed because it’s so darned quick. This is probably the most common case, but it leads to a false sense of safety.
A partial failure – the file that was being written is incomplete. Depending on the program writing the file, this can be a benign problem or, it can show up as a major problem the next time that program tries to access that file.
Minor/major failure – the “file system directory entry” that locates the file that was being written could be incorrectly or partially updated, if that’s what the computer was writing when you pulled the plug. Again, this can be benign, but in the extreme case, it can render the file system corrupt and you can lose not only the file that was being written, but large numbers of other files on the disk. This is bad – very bad.
Major/fatal failure – the disk drive could be interrupted in the middle of writing a sector of information directly to the hard disk media. This could result in errors to that sector of the disk and nearby information in other files. This could require a full “CHKDSK /R” command to repair, or, in the worst case, more advanced disk recovery and maintenance. Fortunately, with modern drives, this is rare, but it is a risk you take every time you fail to shut your computer down using the proper process.
By now you should understand just pulling the plug or forcing a shutdown of your computer outside of the normal process is not a good idea. In fact, it is a bad idea and should be used only as a last resort. And then, your next step should be to get help immediately in order to determine the underlying problem that necessitated this extreme action.
Each of us experiences many anniversaries in our lifetimes.
We celebrate the anniversary of our respective birthdays. We may share a celebratory wedding anniversary event with a spouse. We might be part of a reunion in recognition of our graduation from high school or college. Or, we may also be a part of helping others by participating in celebrations of their life events. Special days and dates throughout the year mark important events in each of our lives.
Often, these events involve a fair amount of planning. We look forward to our birthdays and often plan something special to celebrate the day. We invest in making sure our wedding anniversaries are remembered and commemorated. We share our excitement with friends in anticipation of seeing old classmates at a reunion celebration. We lovingly participate in planned events for the benefit of friends. We do all these things with eagerness and excitement.
But, there is one “anniversary” that slips by each year without any recognition. It comes and goes quietly and unnoticed. It makes no demand for planning so, typically, none is offered. In each year that passes, the “anniversary” of our own death comes and goes. It is an anniversary that, in the end, will be known only to others. It is a day when all our other anniversaries will stop. It is a day unknown to us, but despite its stealth, it is one for which a plan can be made.
National Healthcare Decisions Day is designated as April 16th this year. It is a day on which we can all focus on planning for life’s eventuality. National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. However, we need not wait until then to begin the process for end-of-life planning.
Such planning should begin at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit—with the people we love, before it’s too late. Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.
Sharing your wishes for end-of-life care can bring you closer to the people about whom you care and love. Doing this is important when you consider the facts taken from several; public surveys completed in 2012 and 2013.
If you are among the majority who believe end-of-life planning is important, but you’re also in the lesser percentage who have not taken the steps toward getting it done, there are many resources out there. The following is a partial list of information sources:
So, if you haven’t done so already, now is the time. Regardless of your age, that one silent anniversary confronts every one of us every year. And, even though the date is uncertain, planning is still possible.
Let’s get started.
As the New Year begins, it is a good time to do some planning and organizing. Here is a suggestion for putting your affairs in order courtesy of our “Honorary Class of 1962 Orator”, Harvey Rosenblum. We think it should be shared.
The doctor, after a careful examination of his patient, sighed and said, "I've got some bad news. You have cancer, and you'd best put your affairs in order." The woman was, of course, shocked, but managed to compose herself and walk calmly into the waiting room where her daughter had been waiting.
"Well, daughter, we women celebrate when things are good, and we should also celebrate when things don't go so well. In this case, things aren't well. I have cancer. So, let's head to the club and have a martini." After 3 or 4 martinis, the two were feeling somewhat less somber. Oh, at first there were tears, then there were some laughs, and then more martinis.
Eventually, the two were approached by some of the newly-diagnosed woman's old friends, who were curious as to what the two were celebrating. The woman told her friends they were drinking to her impending end.
"I've been diagnosed with AIDS," she said. The friends were aghast, gave the woman their condolences and beat an awkward and hasty retreat.
After the friends left, the woman's daughter leaned over and whispered, "Momma, I thought you said you were dying of cancer, and you just told your friends you were dying of AIDS! Why, on earth, did you do that?"
"Because I don't want any of those crones sleeping with your father after I'm gone. And, THAT, my dear, is what is called ‘putting your affairs in order!’"
In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30, the feast day of St. Andrew. The season of Advent lasts through Christmas Eve, or December 24. When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, it is the last or fourth Sunday of Advent. In Eastern Orthodox churches, which use the Julian calendar, Advent begins earlier, on November 15, and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.
Historians estimate that Advent, which derives from the Latin word for “coming”, has been celebrated since the fourth century. The period originally began as a time for converts to Christianity to prepare for baptism, but is now more commonly associated with the anticipation of the anniversary of Christ’s birth on December 25th.
One widely-recognized and commonly-utilized feature of Advent is a specially-designed calendar. These Advent calendars typically don’t follow the period of Advent described above. Instead, they begin on December 1st and mark the 24 days before Christmas. Today, most Advent calendars include “doors” that open to reveal an image, Bible verse, or a token “prize” such as a piece of chocolate or, small toy. The tradition dates to the mid-19th century, when German Protestants made chalk marks on doors or lit candles to count the days leading up to Christmas.
Gerhard Lang is widely considered the producer of the first printed Advent calendar in the early 1900s. Around the same time, a German newspaper included an Advent calendar insert as a gift to its readers. Lang’s calendar was inspired by one that his mother had made for him and featured 24 colored pictures that attached to a piece of cardboard. Lang modified his calendars to include the little doors that are a staple of most Advent calendars today and they became a commercial success in Germany. Production stopped due to a cardboard shortage during World War II, but resumed soon after, with Richard Sellmer emerging as the leading producer of commercial Advent calendars.
Dwight D. Eisenhower is often credited for the proliferation of the Advent calendar tradition in the United States. During his presidency, Eisenhower was photographed opening an Advent calendar with his grandchildren and the photo ran in several national newspapers.
One of the most expensive Advent calendars to ever hit the shelves was a four-foot, Christmas-tree shaped structure carved from burr elm and walnut wood available through Harrods in 2007. Each of the $50,000 calendar’s 24 compartments housed a piece of organic chocolate from Green & Black, with proceeds going to support cocoa farmers in Belize.
A building in Gloucester, England’s King’s Square was transformed into the world’s first largest Advent calendar several years ago. The interactive calendar, which turned one of the city’s major eyesores into a giant, ribbon-tied Christmas present, was designed to promote local businesses during the busiest shopping season of the year. Beginning December 1, a new window was opened every day, revealing the logo of a different city business that offered specials until Christmas.
Here’s a piece of Obamania memorabilia you may have missed: did you know there was an “Obama Advent calendar”? The $18 keepsake included caricatures of John Edwards (“The Red-faced Reindeer”), Jesse Jackson (“The Nutcracker”), Bill Ayers (“Frosty the Weatherman”), and others of equal notoriety. Naturally, Michelle and Barack Obama were behind the door on the 25th. No lack of self-esteem there apparently.
For those who may not have heard the news, Joan Jasper Smith (spouse of classmate Len Smith), was suddenly overcome the day after our reunion event. She was hospitalized locally and later transported closer to their home in Pennsylvania. Thanks to Carol Steller, the here is the latest update on Joan’s condition as of 12/12/17:
“I thought our classmates would want to hear how Joan is doing after her stroke the day after our reunion.
I spoke with Len, her husband, (also our classmate) yesterday/Saturday the 9th. He informed me that she is now home and has slightly improved in her ability to move her right arm and leg. She can walk slowly, using a walker. Talking is still difficult for her. She still has a long way to go and that involves '1 on 1' physical therapy. Len is there for her and helping her in every way. Their neighbors and church friends are being very helpful and supportive, too.
If you would like to send her/them a card of encouragement, their address is: 1346 Five Points Rd., Indiana, PA 15701. Thank you for your attention and prayers for them.
Best Wishes to you all, Carol”
For those looking to "re-connect" with memories of people, places and things at this special time of year, here are a couple of Facebook pages which may help you find what you are seeking.
The first is a "general knowledge " page that offers a glimpse of the past in terms of things which aren't around anymore. In fact, it's called "Things That Aren't There Anymore - South Jersey Edition".
The other Facebook page is more specific to those with ties to Freehold. Many of you may already be familiar with this page, but for those who are not, it's called "If From Freehold You Remember....".
Now, go take a walk down memory lane...
It’s that time of year. You are now in the month when it seems there is far more on your “to do list” than time will allow you to complete before the end of the year. A time when you fall into bed at night exhausted from all that fills your waking hours just before the holidays. It’s a time when you will tend to socialize more, spend more, do more, eat more and sleep less than you should. It’s a time when you tend to busy yourself in the interest of others while ignoring your own well-being. Here are a few simple suggestions to help you deal with the stress and get through these next few magical, but often maddening, weeks.
1. Give yourself permission.
It is natural to feel guilty, irresponsible or even selfish when you think of putting yourself first. So, you need to consciously give yourself “permission”. Allow yourself to do what it is that you want to do and not necessarily what you think you should do. If you want to say “no” to a certain event, or “no” to overspending on gifts, or “no” to hosting an event, give yourself the right to do what is best for you. This is the essence of self-care. Learning to value the importance of setting boundaries is a big step in the right direction toward well-being. Work at slowing down from the hustle and bustle and ask yourself, what do I want to gain during the holiday season this year? What do I value most? What type of traditions are important to me? How can I make that happen? The answers to these questions will make up your personal "gift list".
2. Use your senses
We don’t often think about our own senses, but they can be important avenues for self-care. For example, think of the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven, this smell alone can bring back specific and pleasant memories. Perhaps it will remind you of a certain, special time in your life. When we invoke our senses, we experience things on different levels. Think of ways to include sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing into your self-care. Enjoy those special aromas. Take the time to watch an old favorite movie. Listen to your choice of music. Contemplate all the sounds around you. Take a walk outside. Take the time to experiment with ways to incorporate your senses during the day. This will help you to relax and re-charge.
3. Try to avoid the “hustle and bustle” of the season.
The best approach to help you avoid the commotion is to have a plan. Try to designate specific time frames for the tasks that you want to complete or the functions that you want to attend. This will give you time for mental preparation, allowing you a better chance at not feeling overwhelmed. The malls and stores are extremely active at certain times of the day and week. If possible, plan your shopping time during quieter hours, such as weekday mornings. Do more of your shopping “online” in the privacy of your home to avoid crowds all together. When you do plan to be out in the crowds, calm your mind and body before going. Realize that you don’t have to rush. Take your time and enjoy the shopping process. Often, by changing your perspective of the situation, you can approach your “to do list” feeling more in control and, therefore, calmer. You do not need to become part of the holiday frenzy.
4. Do things in moderation.
This is the time of the year where it is easy to over-indulge. It’s easy to neglect healthy eating. Again, planning your menu in advance helps keep you on target with your nutritional needs. Sleeping patterns may be altered as you have more activity in your days. So, plan your day’s routine to include an hour for a nap or “quiet time”. Do your research before you go shopping. Without advanced preparation, over-spending on gifts for those on your list can cause you to fall into the trap of unnecessary extravagance and delayed stress when the credit card bills hit your mailbox next month. So, don’t just make a list, be sure to check it twice before you leave the house.
5. Let go of expectations.
The holidays, particularly Christmas, can be a set-up for unrealistic expectations. It seems a “magical” time of year and you dream of the perfect holiday. Perfection, however, comes at a price. When you stress over the desire to make everything “just right”, you cause yourself unnecessary anxiety. When all doesn’t go according to plan, you risk a struggle with depression. The sharp increase in crisis hotline calls during the seasonal holidays is a clear indication of the stress that too many experience because of too many or too unrealistic expectations. Incidents of domestic violence also increase during the holiday season. Not everyone you meet is having a “Merry Christmas.” Perhaps, you are one who tends to struggle. The repeated recalling of negative past experiences, the loss of or dwelling on memories of lost loved ones, the loss of a job or financial difficulty all tend to heighten stress during this time of year. One of the best ways to take care of yourself during this emotionally trying time, is to work at letting go of your expectations of the perfect family with the perfect tree while hosting the perfect parties with the perfect gifts. This type of unrealistic thinking can extremely damaging. Instead, work at letting go of false illusions of what you think the holidays should be and focus on celebrating the reality of the moment...with all its flaws. No matter where you are in your life this year, take care of yourself. Practice self-care abundantly during this holiday season…and beyond.
Now the Thanksgiving holiday is here, can "Black Friday" be far behind?
Judging by the image shown, the following statistics seem quite plausible.
1. It is estimated that nearly 8 million computer-users will visit Amazon.com on Black Friday alone.
2. Walmart will see nearly 4.5 million visitors on their site.
3. Best Buy will see just under 4 million visitors.
4. The Target and Apple websites will see just under 3 million each all on Black Friday.
5. Roughly 1 out of every 3 Americans will actually venture out to shop on Black Friday (see photo insert).
6. Almost 25% of those Black Friday shoppers will "camp out" overnight in front of their merchant of choice to get the "early-bird specials" offered by many of the "big box stores".
7. In 2015, nearly 70 billion dollars was spent on Black Friday alone and the average amount spent per person during the whole of the holiday shopping season (November and December) was approximately $800. For 2017, it is expected the average shopper will spend estimated $1000.
So, that's what all those folks are doing out there on the highways!
After posting the following on our personal Facebook page, the response was so positive, we decided to share it here.
"To All of Our Family and Friends,
The quality of being thankful and showing appreciation is called “gratitude”. It is a mindful acknowledgment of all we have been given. When we focus on the abundance in our lives, we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment.
If we let it, expressing gratitude becomes a rewarding habit that affirms grace in each of us. It lets us celebrate today rather than always looking for the next accomplishment or possession to come into our lives. It is a reminder that one can always find a reason to be glad.
On the eve of our traditional holiday, we pause to express our thankfulness and love to all of you who have touched our lives in so many very special ways...Happy Thanksgiving!"
Ashley and Tom Simms
Traditional Antivirus Solutions Fail 40% of the Time! If you are reading this post, then the information contained in it applies to you!
A recent study found approximately 40% of computer-users who had a "traditional" antivirus in place during the first six months of 2017, experienced a "malware" (software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems) attack. "Traditional" antivirus programs include a majority of those currently on the market. They are considered "traditional" because they are software programs that utilize "blacklist technology"which only blocks "known" malware threats. Therefore, all unknown files are allowed access to your computer and to execute their functions. This is a serious issue because new variations of malware are released daily, meaning any effort to keep the blacklist updated is impossible.
Instead of constantly trying to chase down the newly-developed malware programs, an alternative approach should be taken. This alternative solution is called a "whitelist" Instead of only blocking known malware programs, a "whitelist" security application only allows trusted security solutions to execute. Therefore, new and unknown malicious software variants are blocked from running; thus, maintaining the highest level of security available. This "default deny approach" has been proven by experts to be far more successful in malware prevention and detection.
Currently, very few antivirus solutions are utilizing the application whitelist approach. Included on that short-list is one called "PC Matic" which has been using a "whitelist" approach since 2011. So, if your current malware protection does not offer a "whitelist option, you may want to consider changing your service provider. Instead of waiting for the next malware attack, stay protected with an an-malware solution that focuses on prevention instead of remediation.
Halloween is one of our most popular holidays, but what's the real story behind this yearly event?
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of All Hallows' Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve,] is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed. It is not to be confused with All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died
Reaching further back, Halloween has traditions in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. The festival was celebrated in what is now Great Britain to mark the end of harvest time and the beginning of the new year. The two-day event began at sundown on October 31. The ancient Celts believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain, thereby making it a good time to communicate with the deceased and to divine the future. Samhain is Gaelic for "summer's end," a day to bid good-bye to warmth and light as day length shortens.
Following the triumph of the Holy Roman Empire over Celt-occupied lands in the 1st century A.D., the Romans incorporated many of the Celtic traditions, including Samhain, with their own. Eight hundred years later, the Roman Catholic Church further modified Samhain, designating November 1 as All Saints' Day, in honor of all Catholic saints. This day was formerly known as Allhallowmas, hallow meaning to sanctify, or make holy. All Saints' Day is known in England as All Hallows' Day. The evening before, October 31, is known as All Hallows' Eve, the origin of the American word Halloween!
If All Saints brings out winter,
St. Martin brings out Indian summer.
In later years, the Irish used hollowed-out, candlelit turnips carved with a demon's face to frighten away spirits. When Irish immigrants in the 1840s found few turnips in the United States, they used the more plentiful pumpkins instead
For those who browse and/or shop on Amazon, watch out for this SCAM! If you are targeted, the message shown on this page, or one like it, will appear in your email inbox
This "phishing" scam contains a fraudulent Amazon email claiming that Amazon has detected an unauthorized attempt to reset the password on your Amazon account. A six-digit code is provided along with instructions to call a phone number to "verify your identity".
Many online Amazon users have reported receiving this "phish" over the past month. Some have even called the listed phone number. They have reported their calls were answered by individuals speaking with "thick Indian accents" who then attempted to direct them to a web site where they were asked to provide even more personal security information.
As of this writing, no detailed information about the fraudulent web site, or the information requested is available. But, it's a safe bet it's either an elaborate "user credentials phishing scam", or a "tech-support scam" where the bad guys inform the user he or she must download a program to "clean" his or her PC. In fact, the program is a "RAT" (remote access trojan) which only steals more personal data.
Be careful out there. The web can be a tricky place sometimes.
Well, the party is over. The music has stopped. All that remains are fond memories of old friends and good times.
The FRHS Class of '62 55th Year Reunion weekend has passed. We hope those of you who participated in the events during the weekend enjoyed your time together with old friends. Those of you who couldn't be there this time, the reunion committee is already talking about our 60th year event!
The highlight of the weekend was the dinner/dance held on Saturday, October 14th, at the American Hotel in Freehold. We are pleased to let you know, this website has both a copy of the PowerPoint presentation which was presented during the evening on Saturday along with an album of many select photographs taken during the evening.
Simply "click" on the menu option for the "Photo Gallery" appearing on the right side of this page. A new page will open and you can select either the PowerPoint or the Reunion album to view the images. Depending on the type of computer systems you are using, you may be able to view the photos in a "slide-show" format. If not, you can open each album and scroll through the images.
We hope you enjoy the memories...
Well, the big weekend is here! FRHS Class of '62 55th Year Reunion events are underway with the dinner/dance high- light event set for tonight at the American Hotel.
To help get those who are attending in the mood and to re-kindle old memories for those who are unable to attend, here's a little video for you to watch. It only takes a few minutes...just click on the link below and enjoy! (If the link does not open automatically, copy and paste it into your browser search window.)
Thanks to Harvey Rosenblum for sharing!
Only one week away! FRHS Class of '62 - 55th Year Reunion. October 13, 14, 15, 2017. Includes Friday night pizza party, Saturday night dinner/dance at the American Hotel in Freehold, and Sunday brunch at the hotel. See you there!
THE BACK NINE
You know ... time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is - the back nine of my life and it catches me by surprise. How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first hole and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it is. My friends are retired and getting gray. They move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me, but I see the great change. Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant. but like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd become.
Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Because if I don't nap of my own free will...I just fall asleep where I sit!
And so...now I enter this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did! But, at least I know, that though I'm on the back nine, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this earth...it's over and a new adventure will begin!
Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.
So, if you're not on the back nine yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you're on the back nine or not!
You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life....so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!
"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY! HAVE A GREAT DAY! Remember: It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
Lastly, consider these thoughts:
So, stay well, "Old Friend!" Send this on to other "Old Friends!" and let them smile with you. It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.
Today is the oldest you've ever been; yet the youngest you'll ever be, so enjoy this day while it lasts. Do not regret growing older - it is a privilege denied to many.
What’s the latest, you ask? For those who have been following along, here’s the most recent episode of “The Days of Our (Equifax)Lives”.
Equifax is a huge company that calculates credit scores based on personal info like your Social Security number and address. Kind of a big deal since your credit score determines whether you're eligible for loans, jobs, mortgages and the like. They get this information from your bank and/or credit card company. Equifax then uses it to create your full credit report.
Last week, Equifax said that earlier this year, hackers got into their system which contained the personal data of around 143 million people. That means Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdays, and credit card numbers. The company apparently knew about this “hack” as early as July, but didn't say anything until now. Oh, and by the way, three Equifax executives sold blocks of their shares in the company right before the hack became public. Certainly, an ethical no-no if not downright illegal. So, now the FBI is investigating, and the Senate has juuuuust a few questions.
If you have concerns, you can visit their site (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/) to see if you have been effected. If you were, experts say you might want to freeze your credit - basically lock down access to your credit files. This blocks anyone trying to do something like apply for a credit card in your name. Equifax says it'll let you do this for free for the next 30 days. How nice of them. Make sure you read all the fine print because there are limits and consequences if you sign up.
Just remember: this is one of the worst data hacks ever, and it might have some pretty long-term consequences for millions of Americans. That means there are probably a lot of episodes of this soap opera to go.
The "deadline" is fast-approaching. September 22nd is just over one
week away. Time to send in your reservation for any part or all of our
55th-year reunion weekend. Don't miss out!
Here's an updated list of confirmed guests who will be at the gala events -
Arnie and Paula Jukel
Bill and Deborah Boyce
Carol Loudon Steller and Rick Steller
Cheryl Faragalli Knolmayer and Joel Knolmayer
Cheryl Fracalossy Tracy and John Signorin
Don and Nancy Ollwerther
Faye Ostrander Hunsinger
Fran Congro Trojan and Dave Trojan
George and Marilyn Beck
Gordon and Lynn Wells
Ida Donahay Devlin
Jack and Maggie Kurtz
Jeffrey and Susan Hyman
Joan Jasper Smith and Leonard Smith
John and Cathy Thompson
Judy Warner Myers
Julie Helms Gawron and Walt Gawron
Kathleen Harsche Soden and William Bracey
Linda Nielsen Boyce and Hartson Boyce
Marion Honey Ehlin Brummel and Leo Brummel
Patricia McIlvaine Venti
Paul and Karen Hugus
Ray and Donna Naylor
Raymond and Barbara Stolz
Richard and Linda Van Pelt
Robert and Leslie Stewart
Ruth Kerwin Kluin and Dieter Kluin
Tom and Ashley Simms
William and Jilda Torres
(YOUR NAME HERE!)
IRS Issues Ransomware Warning After Malicious Tax Email is Distributed
IRS Releases a Ransomware Warning to All Taxpayers
The IRS has issued a new ransomware warning to all taxpayers. Cyber criminals have begun sending out malicious email campaigns with a “message” from the IRS and FBI. According to the email, taxpayers must download a questionnaire regarding changes to the laws governing tax compliance. However, it is not a questionnaire at all. Instead, the user downloads a ransomware "bug" instead of a legitimate notice from the IRS. A sample of the suspect email is shown above.
In a statement to Forbes magazine, IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, said, “People should stay vigilant against email scams that try to impersonate the IRS and other agencies that try to lure you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. People with a tax issue won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call.”
If you have already clicked to download the “questionnaire”, do not pay the ransom demand. Paying the ransom is never a guarantee you will get your data back, and it only reinforces the criminal behavior. Instead, immediately report any ransomware attempt or attack to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.IC3.gov. You should also forward any IRS-themed scams to [email protected]
Just a reminder! If you haven't mailed in your reservation for our upcoming 55th year Reunion Weekend, there's still time to let us know you're planning to attend.
Don't forget to tell us which events you'll be attending...the Friday (October 13th) pizza party ... the Saturday (October 14th) dinner/dance ... or, the Sunday (October 15th) brunch. Also, please enclose payment for your selected events.
Looking forward to seeing you! Be well and party on!
And now, more high-tech news….
Yesterday, European Union (EU) officials slapped Google with a $2.7 billion fine for “unfair business practices”.
This action was based on the way in which Google responds when someone searches for a product or service online. When a query is made, Google's shopping service spits out selected results at the top of the page. (If you didn’t already know, be aware that Google makes “cash money” from the companies whose products are featured.) The EU has alleged Google is giving itself a “leg up” by prominently featuring its own shopping service results instead of results from other comparison sites. This is illegal under antitrust laws. So now, Google is supposed to pay up and change its promotional ways. Google says it's just trying to be helpful for shoppers and might appeal the decision.
This was the largest fine ever in an EU antitrust case. It could lead to more crackdowns on the tech industry, especially when it comes to how web services promote their own products.
How much do you know about internet security? You may know more than you realize.
Click on the link below and take a brief quiz to find out more!
The NY State Department of Motor Vehicles is warning about a phishing scam where drivers in New York are being targeted. The fake notices being received by email message accuse unaware drivers of not paying traffic citations and they have 48 hours to pay a fine or have their driver's license revoked. This may happen in your state as well, so this is your heads-up.
The NY DMV alerted motorists that the scam is just bait to entice them to click on a “payment” link that will in turn infect their workstation with malware. The DMV does not know how many people have been affected, but Owen McShane, director of investigations at New York State DMV, said calls came in from New York City, Albany and Syracuse.
According to the New York DMV, "The malware being inserted on personal computers came in two categories. The first simply placed a tracking tool on the victim's computer to see what websites were visited; and the second, more nefarious, attempted to acquire a variety of personally identifiable information, such as names, Social Security numbers, date of birth and credit card information. There are several red flags that show the email is a scam. Most obviously is the fact the supplied ‘payment link’ lead to a site without an ‘NY.gov’ URL.
“The Department of Motor Vehicles does not send emails urging motorists to pay traffic tickets within 48 hours or lose your license,” said Terri Egan, DMV deputy executive commissioner, in a statement.
This scam is like one that hit the state about 18 months ago. The DMV is often used as bait in phishing attacks. Most previous attacks only lasted for 24 to 48 hours and this attack seems to have ended in New York at this point, but this means that the bad guys have simply moved on to other states with this attack.
Be alert for fake emails that look like they come from your local police or State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) claiming you have a traffic violation. Remember that citations are never emailed with links in them, or sent out with an email attachment. If you should receive one of these emails, report the scam to your local police department.
Over the weekend, computer hackers invaded systems on a global scale.
On Friday, unknown hackers carried out the biggest cyber-attack ever. These hackers infected hundreds of thousands of computers in over 150 countries.
How did this happen, you ask? By emailing everyone malware (aka: computer-speak for software designed to damage computers) called “WannaCry”. The program was allegedly stolen from the National Security Agency and it only affects Microsoft Windows systems. Once “WannaCry” gains access to a PC, it locks all the files it finds. The hackers then asked each user to cough up hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of dollars in ransom to unlock their data.
One of the biggest victims was Britain’s National Health Service. Dozens of hospitals hit by the malware were forced to cancel operations and redirect ambulances to other hospitals. The malware also spread to FedEx in the US, one of Germany’s largest train operators, Russian banks, and more. But the US wasn’t as badly hit as other countries because a cyber-security expert was able to slow the spread of the malware before it could do much damage here.
If you’re running a Mac, you’ll be fine. But if you’re using a PC, be careful, and check that you’ve updated to the latest operating system. After the attack, Microsoft announced a quick fix for computers running its older operating systems. Bottom line: open your emails with a side of skepticism and a great deal of caution.
It’s still unclear who was behind these attacks and what their intentions were aside from the money. But experts say things could get worse today as more people switch on their work computers here in the US. Also, there’s a concern the hackers might be ready to release “WannaCry 2.0”. If that’s the case, you will want to cry.
While the official holiday is still three weeks away and we busy ourselves with plans for trips to the shore, travel abroad, or a road-trip to visit far away relatives and friends, it's not too soon to think about the meaning of the upcoming holiday weekend which signals the official start of summer.
In actual terms, Memorial Day was originally known as the Decoration Day and was intended to honor Union army soldiers who died during the Civil War. It was later re-named Memorial Day in recognition of all the soldiers from both the Union and Confederate armies who died during the conflict. Today, this federal and public holiday serves as tribute to the deceased veterans of all the wars that have been fought by American forces.
The first Decoration Day was celebrated on May 30, 1868. After it was decided to deem Memorial Day as a federal holiday, it was also decided holiday would be commemorated on the last Monday of May each year.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is
a day of remembering the men and women who died while in military service. Veterans Day, on the other hand, celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans both living and dead.
Well, the FRHS Class of 1962 Reunion Committee continues its work on planning for the 55th year class reunion to be held October 13th, 14th, and 15th of this year. This post will serve as final call for ideas and suggestions to help make the event a success. Please feel free to submit suggestions via this website, on the class Facebook page or, by e-mail to [email protected]
But, hurry as registration packets are being prepared for mailing. The Reunion Committee's next meeting will be held on May 25th at which time all the details will be finalized. So, get your ideas in prior to that date. Thanks!
Phone: (888) 225-5322
TTY: (888) 835-5322 Videophone: 1-844-432-2275
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509 [email protected]
For Immediate ReleaseCONSUMER ALERT: 'CAN YOU HEAR ME' SCAMS Phone Fraudsters Recording Consumers’ Voice Responses
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2017 - The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to be on the lookout for scam callers seeking to get victims to say the word “yes” during a call and later use a recording of the response to authorize unwanted charges on the victim's utility or credit card account. According to complaints the FCC has received and public news reports, the fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organizations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call, such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer.
The scam begins when a consumer answers a call and the person at the end of the line asks, “Can you hear me?” The caller then records the consumer's "Yes" response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone.
If you receive this type of call, immediately hang up. If you have already responded to this type of call, review all of your statements such as those from your bank, credit card lender, or telephone company for unauthorized charges. If you notice unauthorized charges on these and other types of statements, you have likely been a victim of “cramming”.
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should immediately report the incident to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker and to the FCC Consumer Help Center.
Consumers should always be on alert for telephone scams. The following tips can help ward off unwanted calls and scams:
• Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
• If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents.
• If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.
• Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robo-call blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robo-call blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.
• Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry.
As the Agency that implements and enforces the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the FCC reviews all consumer complaints. The Agency will continue, when appropriate, to issue consumer alerts based on those complaints and other public information related to possible scams and frauds in hopes of informing and empowering consumers..###
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC www.fcc.gov/office-media-relations
Come April 7, your iPhones, iPads, and Macs may be at the mercy of the Turkish Crime Family — unless Apple pays a ransom.
The villainous group (who nobody has heard of until now) has threatened to remotely wipe at least 200 million Apple devices unless the company pays extortion of $75,000-$100,000. In this matter, Apple has latitude: By paying in “Bitcoin” — the global criminal currency of choice — it would, as it were, be getting a “discount”. If Apple chooses to pay the piper in iTunes gift cards, however (yes, seriously), the demand is 33% higher to presumably make up for the cost of money-laundering all those easy-to-trace gift cards.
It seems highly unlikely Apple has any intention of paying anything to this group – allegedly, Apple responded to the group with the simple statement of “we do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law,” which is really the only possible answer to such a demand. Paying any small amount of extortion would only serve to prompt other people to make similar demands.
How can we protect ourselves? Well, Apple could (and probably has) put in place some mitigation. One smart move would be to limit how many self-service wipes can be conducted per day without a human reviewing the activity patterns and making sure that they’re legitimate. Or everyone who uses an Apple device could change their iCloud password to something unique and then enable two-factor authentication.
The one thing you need to use is a unique password for your ‘master’ accounts – your email and your iCloud/Google account – since these accounts grant access to so many others. For your iCloud/Google account, this also includes the potential for someone who gets the password to lock, erase, or disable your phone or computer.
On top of having a unique password, the second thing you should do is turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) for your Apple ID. If you have a remotely recent Apple device, you should have the ability to turn on 2FA. Once you’ve turned on 2FA, anybody who does get your password can’t do anything with it unless they also have access to one of your other enrolled 2FA devices. It’s a simple security best practice.
Using a unique password and turning on 2FA for the accounts and services you really care about can help keep you safe. While nothing is 100% safe from the Turkish Crime Family, it would be a real surprise if they were able to bypass 2FA on Apple accounts.
This information was taken from a LinkedIn article as written by Greg Leffler, Senior Technology Editor.
You know what that means. It’s the sticker on your yogurt that has yesterday’s date on it. Even so, don’t toss it. The average American family throws out about $2,200 worth of food every year (or so the latest estimates say) and most of it is probably still good. “Sell by” dates are a manufacturer’s way of guessing at the “freshness” of food. They have nothing to do with safety. So, stick to the “smell test” instead.
According to a National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report, approximately two-thirds of Americans’ food waste occurs mainly because food isn't used before it spoils. In other words, too many of us may be overloading our grocery store shopping carts and then using only portions for recipes without properly saving the rest.
The final third of our food waste comes from a couple key things. First, we're cooking and serving too much food, then scrapping what's left on our plates into the garbage. We also often don't understand what the "sell by" and "use by" dates on containers of milk, butter or mayonnaise really mean. The NRDC and Harvard University found that 90 percent of Americans throw out food because we believe those labels indicate that the food expires, or is unsafe to eat afterwards—which isn't necessarily true.
Broken down, $2,200 worth of food waste per year is around $180 wasted every month. That's money that isn't being put toward other priorities—like paying down debt, saving for retirement, or investing for your children's college education. Add that up over 10 years, and that's $22,000 you have literally thrown away.
To help you save some of that “trash money”, here are some simple things you can do to stop wasting food:
1. Create meal plans
If you don't know what you're cooking, how will you know what to buy? Save yourself money and extra trips to the grocery store by making a weekly meal plan to ensure you're buying only what you'll need and use. Don't forget the “leftovers” by factoring those in to make sure they don't end up rotting in the back of your fridge. Take them to work for lunch, use them to make a different recipe, or freeze them for future meals.
2. Freeze it
If you can't eat food that will spoil soon, consider freezing it. Fruits and vegetables can be easily chopped and frozen. Use frozen fruits in smoothies, shakes or when making sorbet. Frozen herbs in oil can be thrown right into the pan or pot for cooking. Frozen vegetables can also be used in smoothies or juices.
3. Conduct fridge check-ins
Every day or two, check to see whether anything is starting to go bad or get overripe. Utilize one bin in your fridge for new produce, and in the other keep older produce that you know you need to be using up. Keep track of the things that routinely end up going bad as you might be buying too much of them.
4. Understand expiration and sell-by dates
Yogurt doesn't immediately go bad at midnight on the date printed on the cover. Nor does bread go moldy on its "sell-by" date. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), companies use these dates to guess at the freshness of the food, and they are not related to safety. Companies generally tend to be conservative in their estimates, and the USDA suggests you check the food to see if it looks or smells "off" or sour.
5. Store food properly
Onions shouldn't be stored in the fridge, or that tomatoes last longer and are less likely to be mealy if you leave them on the counter. When storing produce in the fridge, consider things that will wilt—like spinach or kale in a drawer with high humidity. Things that rot quickly should go into a drawer with low humidity settings.
6. Use everything
Do you throw away beet greens? Don't! You can add them to salads, soups and veggie burgers. You can also use the stalks of kale in green smoothies or the bones from roasted chicken to make chicken stock. Broccoli stalks are great peeled and served right along with steamed broccoli florets. They can also be blended or finely chopped into sauces to add extra nutrients and fiber.
7. Don't over-serve
You might be tempted to give your family, friends and guests big portions of food, but those generous servings will likely just end up in the trash. Allow people to serve themselves or give everyone smaller, more manageable portions.
As you make these changes and become better at using the food you buy, you'll find that your grocery bills will decrease significantly. Also, be proud that you're doing your part to reduce food waste. It's estimated that reducing food waste by 15 percent could help feed 25 million more Americans—and divert millions of tons of food from the landfill.
The FRHS Class of 1962 55th Reunion is just around the corner! It will be held on the weekend October 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2017. The selected venue is the American Hotel in Freehold for both the Saturday Dinner/Dance and the Sunday Brunch events. A “Pizza-fest” will be held on Friday night at the Elks Club also in Freehold.
The Reunion Committee has been meeting regularly to plan reunion activities. It is our wish to provide opportunities for as many of our classmates as possible to get together with old friends during this weekend event.
As part of the work to help our classmates “re-visit” high school days, we are looking for old photographs of people, places and things having to do with Freehold and Freehold Regional High School from the late 1950’s through the mid - 1960’s. If you are willing to share such images by posting them to this website page, your generosity would be greatly appreciated. If you are hesitant to post your pictures publicly, but would still like to share them, you many forward copies to [email protected] instead.
Please note, all copies of images shared may be utilized on our class website, FRHS62.com and/or in other public display formats as deemed appropriate by the FRHS Class of 1962 Reunion Committee members for entertainment and educational purposes only. Credits will be given for each image used if requested by its owner at the time of submission.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your pictures!
FRHS Class of 1962
A “post” appeared on my Facebook page this morning which seemed to suggest I could, by making a pre-formatted comment on my personal page regarding “privacy”, prevent Facebook ownership from using my postings for their own purposes. It is a post which I have seen multiple times previously and which tends to appear now and again under names I do not recognize. Please be advised, if you find something similar on your personal page, it is a “hoax”. Do not be alarmed, it is misleading and incorrect information.
The “fake post” usually starts out by saying something like, “I got this from a lawyer” and goes on to suggest steps you can take to protect your privacy as a Facebook user. That’s assuming you have a concern in the first place. By the way, the post I saw this morning has disappeared from my activity so, I am assuming the originator realized his error and deleted the post.
You can research these kinds of postings on Snopes.com or any of the other “fact-checking” services out there. But, you must also remember, by using Facebook, you have already agreed as to which of your “privacy rights” you are conceding and how Facebook may use your information. The details may be found in the “end-user agreement” which you accepted at the time you signed up as a Facebook participant. It clearly outlines what Facebook and you may or may not do relative to your use of the site. If you didn’t read it then, you probably should now.
It's a new year and the members of the FRHS Class of 1962 Reunion Committee wish everyone a happy and healthy 2017.
As the Committee continues its work on planning for our 55th year reunion, we wish to remind everyone to submit their ideas and suggestions to help us make the event a success. Please feel free to submit any suggestions to us via this website, on our Facebook page or, by e-mail message to at [email protected]
Remember, the event is scheduled for the weekend of October 13, 14, and 15, 2017. As details are confirmed, we will update the weekend calendar.
The Reunion Committee's next meeting will be held on January 19th so, get your ideas in prior to that date. Your input is valuable and we want to hear from you!
The FRHS Class of 1962 Reunion Committee held its regular meeting on Thursday, December 8th, to further the discussion and planning of our 55th year class reunion. While not all the details are finalized, the date and location are set!
The FRHS Class of 1962 will celebrate its 55th year reunion on the weekend of October 13, 14, and 15, 2017. The Friday night “pizza party” will be held at the Elks Club in Freehold. The Saturday night dinner/dance will be held at the American Hotel. And, there will also be a Sunday brunch at the hotel on the morning of the 15th. Further details of these reunion events will be posted as they are confirmed.
As always, the highlight event will be the dinner/dance on Saturday night. The Committee members are working hard on plans for the evening’s activities. If you are interested in helping with the “raffles” which will be conducted that evening, your gifts and donations are welcome! If you would like to donate a gift to be included in the raffle baskets, please reply to this message. Or, you may contact any one of the Committee members directly. If you know someone in your community who you think might be willing to help us out, a “letter of introduction” is available for your convenience. Please email us at [email protected] to obtain a copy of this letter.
The Committee also wishes to thank those who have already submitted comments and suggestions to help improve the “reunion experience” for all our classmates. Committee members are anxious to hear from you if you would like to share your ideas and haven’t yet done so. Feel free to post a message on this website or post a comment on the class Facebook page. If you haven’t yet signed-up on our class website, please do so. There is no cost to register.
If you are in touch with others from the Class of 1962, please help us by assuring they have seen this message. If we do not have their contact information, please encourage them to contact us so we can be sure to include them on all future mailings.
The next Committee meeting is scheduled for January 19, 2017, weather permitting. So, get your ideas, suggestions, and donation commitments to us by that date if at all possible. Until then, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best of the New Year!
Vivian Kamin Dooren
Julie Helms Gawron
Ruth Kerwin Kluin
Jack and Maggie Kurtz
Judith Warner Myers
Don and Nancy Ollwerther
Cheryl Fracalossy Tracy
Frances Congro Trojan
Black Friday is this week. That means the holidays and the holiday shopping season will be have officially begun. Now if you’re like a lot of other people, you will try to avoid the crowds and shop online from the comfort of your own home. However, if you aren’t careful, doing so can be risky. So, here are some tips for protecting yourself and your cash:
1. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many computer crooks know now is the time to target online shoppers and they will use intriguing “deals” to generate “clicks”. Whether it is ads offering free products, or a “new” website that has the best deals out there, chances are you’ll never receive the product or the service, but you will be a victim of a stolen identity instead.
2. Look out for fake delivery confirmation emails. These typically contain “malware” (as in software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems) and can compromise your computer. If you ordered online, it is best to go directly to the website from which you purchased your item, obtain your package tracking number from that site, and then go to the appropriate delivery service website (UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.) to track your package.
3. Social media sites have become a popular platform to target potential customers. Be on the lookout for fake ads, coupons, or freebies offered. This goes for emails offering prizes or gift cards too! Many times, not only will these “deals” result in hackers stealing your payment information, but also could include computer-damaging malware intended to “infect” your computer.
4. Avoid using “public” Wi-Fi stations (as in a location which allows computers, smartphones, or other devices to connect to the Internet or communicate with one another wirelessly while within the area covered). This means, don’t ever do your online shopping while sipping your pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks or similar public locations. Get your coffee to go, and shop from your couch! Using public Wii’s are NOT secure which leaves the door wide open to computer hackers.
5. If you shop online, use a credit card not your bank account. That way, if your information is stolen the cyber criminals are not tying up your personal funds from your checking or savings account.
Just remember to be wise anytime you are using your computer. And, don’t make this coming Friday a real “black day” for you and your money.
Through the one hundred years and 25 presidential elections which have been held in the United States since the end of World War I, the percentage of eligible voters who turned out to submit their ballots has only averaged 55% over that period. In other words, barely more than one-half of all those who could have voted did vote. Despite all efforts to expand voter rights and encourage voter participation, we, in this country have consistently demonstrated an embarrassing level of apathy when it comes to picking a president. By way of comparison, the percentages of registered voters who participated in Sweden’s 2014 elections exceeded 85%. Mexico recorded more than 63% participation in 2012 and Australia’s voter participation exceeded 91% just this year. Moreover and contrary to all the current candidates’ accusations and innuendos regarding “voter suppression” by the opposing party, it appears there has only been one “party” guilty of suppressing votes…and that’s the individual voter him or herself.
So, get out and VOTE!
Well, the planning has begun!
The FRHS Class of 1962 Reunion Committee recently met for the first time since our last event to begin planning for our 55th year reunion. Yes, next year will be our 55th since graduation!
Those who volunteered as members of the Reunion Committee include Cheryl Fracalossy Tracy, Judy Warner Myers, Fran Conro Trojan, Maggie and Jack Kurtz, John Thompson, Julie Helms Gawron, Carol Steller Loudon, George Beck, Carol Zlotkin, Ruth Ann Kerwin Kluin, Vivian Kamin Dooren, Tom Simms and Don Ollwerther.
Keep watching this site for on-going updates and information you will need in order to make your plans to attend. Also, please utilize this website to leave your suggestions and ideas for improving the reunion experience for all our classmates. We welcome your input!
We will be sending out email updates as well. If you do not receive our email messages, please provide your current email address by leaving us a message on this site.
We also post to our Facebook "page". Simply open Facebook and search "Freehold Regional High School Class of 1962". You are welcome to view and post comments there.
So, keep watching. Keep in touch. Keep your fellow classmates informed about us. Most of all, keep well.
The cold weather season is approaching and even the professionals are predicting some severe weather this winter depending upon where in the country you live. (For detailed information, please see http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/winter-weather)
The following are some valuable “tips” for seniors intended to help prepare for the cold weather.
· When outdoors, remember to dress warmly. Wear loose fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth when they touch each other. Always wear a hat to protect against heat loss since about 30% of body heat loss is through the top of the head. Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.
· To avoid slips and falls, wear boots that are non-skid. If you use a cane, replace the rubber tip before it is worn smooth or it will become slippery, especially when it gets wet.
· Keep your thermostat set to at least 65 degrees to prevent hypothermia. When the temperature remains at 65, even if you are not at home, you can help to prevent freezing pipes by maintaining a high enough temperature within your walls.
· Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and buying an updated one as necessary.
· Outdoor winter tasks such a shoveling snow take more energy than most people think, especially because cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up the body. Also, take frequent breaks.
· Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone. But it is especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits -- or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. Also, make sure your “road-side assistance” membership is up-to-date in case of emergencies.
· Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Longer power outages can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer so keep a supply of non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold on hand. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around a lot to raise your body temperature. Check out this winter weather checklist from the CDC to make sure you have everything you may need.
· Because people spend more time indoors and may eat a smaller variety of foods, nutritional deficits -- especially Vitamin D deficiency -- can be a problem. Nicole Morrissey, a registered dietician in southwest Michigan, recommends consuming foods that are fortified with Vitamin D, such as milk, grains and seafood options like tuna and salmon
· Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible; even a short, daily phone call can make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends, where each person looks in on one or two others daily.
Don't Forget Your Pets!!
· Try to keep dogs and cats indoors during the winter, especially when it is bitterly cold.
· If your pet does go outside, make sure all your pets wear collars with your current contact information on identification tags.
· If you walk your dog on sidewalks that have been treated with de-icer, make sure to wash the dog's paws when you get home; the chemicals can irritate the skin.
· Most outdoor pets need to be brought inside when the weather turns cold. The ones that can stay outdoors should be given shelter that is warm and dry, plus additional food for extra energy.
· Make sure all animals have access to clean, fresh water that is not frozen.
· Brush their coats frequently to prevent moisture from collecting.
The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help. If you need to clear your property of snow and ice, don't hesitate to ask a family member or neighbor, or hire a professional. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor's appointments. Many communities have shuttle services specifically for seniors. Don't be afraid to reach out for help.
So you’re tired, no…exhausted from the dirty politics, name-calling, personal attacks, and incessant drivel being repeated, re-played, dissected, interpreted (most often, incorrectly) on almost every media outlet, you say? So, you’ve tuned out, turned off, and may have even decided to stay home on November 8th? Here’s something you may want to consider…
There will be other names on the ballot. They’re your congressional lawmakers and local officials - and what they do arguably affects your day-to-day life a lot more than whoever ends up in the White House would. Plus, there’s the chance the balance of power in Congress could shift this year. So, just as in many other situations, what happens at the local level MATTERS.
IN MEMORY OF
A Memorial Service for classmate John Redmond will be held at the Higgins Memorial Home located at 20 Center Street in Freehold, N.J. on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 11AM to 1PM.
Malware, a “malicious” software intended to damage/disable a computer or computer systems, could be placed on thousands of computers with a single search warrant, if Congress does not block the changes made to Rule 41 by December 1, 2016.
To be honest, when I initially read this I had two thoughts. First, I am not doing anything wrong so, if the government wants to “search” my computer they can. Second, if the government really wanted to “search” something, they would find a way anyhow.
Rule 41’s legal nuances are complex and numerous. However, it is clear that the amendment goes beyond the scope of a straight-forward procedural change. This is a substantive transformation of the way investigations (as in searches) are to be conducted, considerably extending the powers of law enforcement agencies. Moreover, the rule amendments are cloaked in a “procedural process”, thus bypassing public debate. These changes introduce a minefield of complications into the legal landscape and should be considered carefully:
• Ambiguous language – as it stands, the amendments utilize broad language that can be interpreted to allow invasive hacking and even government access of private networks.
• Mass hacking – a reported 30 percent of computers worldwide could be infected by malware, and a portion would be subject to search under the change. The amendment would allow access to computers all over the world, including those operated by journalists, whistleblowers, military personnel, lawmakers, and corporate executives.
• International implications – the amendments would enable law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, to hack computers outside of the United States. Extra-territorial hacking would not only violate the rights of people outside the United States, but also place a strain on relations between countries.
After giving this issue more thought, I have a few more concerns than I did initially. What can malware that’s been installed on users’ PCs do? If these are users who are suspected of a crime, that is one thing. However, thousands of computers that could be impacted may not be those under suspicion. So, why infect these computers with malware? I am in no way working for or against the CIA, a Special Ops Unit, or any other investigative agency for the government, but I do think we need to think this through a little more before the changes to Rule 41 are allowed to go into effect.
Installing malware on innocent third-party computers could have unintended effects. What if something goes wrong and the malware installed shuts down main computer systems or particular programs contained in them? If it’s one person, under suspicion, that is one thing. But, we aren’t talking about one person, we’re talking about potentially thousands, or tens of thousands of people. More than likely, we’re talking about businesses. What would you do if your business’s systems were shut down for a week, a day, or even an hour because of some infectious malware placed on your computer by the federal government?
Let’s keep going. What if one of these infected systems was in a medical facility? We have all heard about the “ransomware attacks” that have shut down operations at hospitals and clinics, so who is to say something like that couldn’t happen under Rule 41? Now, before anyone gets too antsy, I am in no way saying our government will use the malware maliciously. What I am saying is, mistakes can happen. Coding issues can occur. Do we really want to risk innocent people’s lives and livelihoods because for the sake of convenience in executing an FBI search warrant? Let’s just think this thing through a little more before anyone gets hurt, shall we?
You can learn more at www.accessnow.org/rule41.
The fall season is approaching and, with it, the concurrent start of the “flu season”. Moreover, if it’s that time again, it also means Medicare enrollment is right around the corner. But, first things first.
The seasonal flu shot is a yearly vaccine administered to protect against the flu, or influenza. In the United States, flu shots are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu can be a very serious illness, especially in young children, ADULTS AGES 65 AND OLDER, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women. According to the CDC, the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and family from the flu.
Strains of the flu virus are constantly changing, so a new flu vaccine is made each year. Scientists make the vaccine before flu season starts by predicting which flu strains are likely to be the most common during the upcoming season.
Flu shots protect against three or four strains of flu virus. Trivalent flu vaccines protect against two influenza A strains, H1N1 and H3N2, and one influenza B strain. Quadrivalent flu vaccines — offered for the first time in the 2013-2014 flu season — protect against the same strains as the trivalent vaccine, as well as an extra influenza B virus.
In addition to the standard dose flu vaccine given with a needle, flu shots are available in several different forms, including a high-dose version for those ages 65 and older, a small-needle version (intradermal flu vaccine) for people ages 18 to 64, an egg-free version that's grown in animal cells rather than hen's eggs and is approved for people ages 4 and older, and a nasal spray, which is approved for healthy people ages 2 to 49. There is also a needle-free flu shot, delivered by a so-called jet injector, which uses a high-pressure stream of fluid to inject the vaccine, the CDC says. It is approved for adults ages 18 to 64.
During the 2016 to 2017 flu season, it's projected that between 157 million and 168 million doses of injectable flu vaccine will be available, according to the CDC. Of special note this season, the flu nasal spray is NOT recommended for anyone. This decision was based on new data showing that the nasal spray was not very effective at preventing flu from 2013 to 2016, the CDC says
There are also new recommendations for flu shots in people with egg allergies. Previously, the CDC had recommended that people with egg allergies be observed for 30 minutes after receiving a flu shot, but this is no longer recommended. People who have experienced hives as their ONLY allergic reaction to eggs can get any flu vaccine that is licensed for their age group and health status, the CDC says. People who've had severe allergic reaction to eggs, including angioedema (swelling of the skin) and difficulty breathing, can also receive any flu vaccine that is licensed for their age group and health status. However, for these people, the vaccine should be administered in a medical setting (such as a hospital, clinic or doctor's office), and it should be given by a health care provider who can recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
Start of the flu season is uncertain, so it is recommended that people get their flu shot in early fall, preferably by the end of October. Flu activity typically peaks in January or February. Most flu vaccine is given before Thanksgiving, but people can still get their shot throughout the winter months. Each season's flu shot expires in June of that year so, it is "too late" to get a flu vaccine after March, unless a person is traveling to the Southern Hemisphere (where their flu season will just be starting).
The effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine depends upon several factors, including how well the flu strains in the vaccine match the strains in circulation. Some studies show that when strains in the vaccine are a good match with the ones that are circulating, vaccinated individuals are 60 percent less likely to catch the flu than people who aren't vaccinated, according to the CDC. Flu vaccine effectiveness can also vary depending on the person being vaccinated — the vaccine tends to work best in healthy adults and older children, and LESS WELL in older adults. After vaccination, it takes a person about two weeks to build up immunity against the flu.
Other studies suggest that individuals who do get sick develop less serve symptoms if they are vaccinated. A 2013 study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that people who got the flu shot were less likely to be hospitalized with the flu.
There are some studies that suggest the high dose flu vaccine provides better protection in older adults. The high dose flu vaccine contains four times the dose of the standard vaccine. A 2014 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the high dose vaccine provides 24 percent more protection against flu than the standard dose.
According to the CDC, mild side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever, and aches. Only about 1 percent to 2 percent of people who get a flu shot will have fever as a side effect.
Rare but serious side effects can occur, including allergic reactions. Symptoms of serious side effects include difficulty breathing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, racing heart, dizziness and high fever. If you experience serious side effects, you should seek medical care immediately, the CDC says.
The viruses in the flu shot are killed, so people cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. However, because it takes about two weeks for people to build up immunity after they get the flu vaccine, some people may catch the flu shortly after their vaccinated, if they are exposed to the flu during this time period. Some people may also mistakenly attribute symptoms of a cold to the vaccine.
You should not get the flu vaccine if you have a high fever (You should wait until the fever is gone.)
However, if you have minor illness, like a mild cold or a headache, you can still get a flu shot. The vaccine does not exacerbate these conditions.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to offer medical advice.
The following information is being shared in the interest of helping all our classmates from Freehold Regional High School remain safe during these hot days of summer.
Older adults need to be more careful of overheating in the hot weather months because their bodies don’t cope well with high temperatures and they’re also more likely to be dehydrated. In a recent University of Chicago Medical Center study, it was shown 40% of heat-related deaths in the U.S. were among people over 65.
Reasons seniors are more vulnerable to heat include:
1. Their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature.
2. Chronic medical conditions can change their body responses to heat.
3. Prescription medicines can impair their body’s ability to regulate temperature or could actually prevent sweating.
Here are some practical “tips” for helping you to stay cool during the hottest of days:
1. Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day (don’t rely on feeling thirsty!) and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
2. Eat cooling snacks like homemade popsicles (with cupcake liner as drip catcher), frozen peas, or slightly frozen grapes. Chilled watermelon is also a great hot weather snack.
3. Eat light, cold meals like chicken or pasta
salad instead of heavy, hot dishes like pot roast.
4. Place a cool washcloth on the back of the neck and a pan of cool water close by to periodically re-cool the towel.
5. Sit with feet in a pan of cool (but not too cold) water.
6. Keep the house as cool as possible by keeping shades closed during the hottest part of the day and using inexpensive solar curtains.
7. Wear layers of lightweight clothing in light colored cotton so it’s easy to adjust to the temperature throughout the day.
8. Visit a public cooling center like a recreation center, senior center, library, coffee shop, or shopping mall.
9. Take a cool shower, bath, or washcloth wipe-down. For maximum cooling, keep the water just below body temperature.
10. Cover up with a flexible ice blanket — genius product!
Bonus tip: If the heat is unbearable, consider renting an air conditioning unit until the heat wave subsides.
These stay-cool tips should keep you safe and comfortable in the heat. But in extreme weather, it’s always important to be alert for the warning signs of heat stroke. If, for any reason, you are not feeling well during the hot weather, seek help immediately.
John William Redmond Jr., age 72, died at home on June 5, 2016 following a series of illnesses. He is survived by his wife, Loretta Redmond and two children, daughter, Lara Wehmeyer (Son-in-law Paul Wehmeyer) and son, John William Redmond Ill (Daughter-in-law Antoinette Redmond). He also leaves behind six granddaughters, Katie Wehmeyer and Jessica, Julia, Sophia, Natasha and Rachel Redmond. He is also survived by his sister, Margaret Redmond.
John was born to John and Catherine(Conaty) Redmond on February 4th, 1944 in Neptune, NJ. He grew up in Howell, NJ.
He graduated Freehold Regional High School with the Class of 1962. He married his High School sweetheart Loretta Zebroski on October 29th, 1966 and was married for 49 years.
He worked for Rittenhouse Lincoln Mercury at the age of 19 where he worked until he was 56 years old receiving many awards as a top salesman in the East Coast in the position of Automotive Manager of the Parts Department.
He was a veteran of the United States Army where he served in the Army Reserves for six years as a Drill Sargent First Class. He began his Basic Training at Fort Dix and then his unit was moved to Fort Polk, LA and then Drill Sargent training at Fort Hancock, NJ.
He lived and raised his family in Brick Township, NJ from 1973 to 2000 where he coached Little and Senior League Baseball. He was a lifetime New York Yankee fan. He was also a strong supportor of Brick High School Football where his daughter was a cheerleader and son played football and basketball.
He relocated to Florida in 2000 where he began a small business working at Flea Markets throughout Central Florida for the next 16 years. It was very successful and he will be missed by the vendors and customers who returned every year to see him.
The free Windows 10 upgrade offer expires at
midnight on July 29, 2016. After this, if you chose to upgrade, you will have
to pay. How much remains to be seen.
If you are currently a user of Windows 8.1 Update or Windows 7 Service Pack 1, and your computer supports this new version of Windows, you should have already received the free upgrade notification via the “Get Windows 10” alert. If you are using any other version of Windows, this free upgrade will probably not work.
Most of you may have upgraded to Windows 10 already, while some of you may be unsure. If you are sure that you do not want to take advantage of this free upgrade offer, Microsoft is now offering you the option to decline the free offer, with the click of a button. Once you click this button, you will not be offered the free upgrade again.
If you have upgraded to Windows 10, good for you as Windows 10 has a lot to offer – and it’s always a good idea to be on the latest version of any software. Also, as in the past, support for older versions of Windows operating systems (OS) may go away.
The Las Vegas man who admitted to sending tens of millions of spam messages on Facebook was sentenced this week to 30 months in prison, the Department of Justice announced.
Sanford Wallace, 47, will begin serving his sentence in September, followed by a five-year period of supervised release. On top of his 2.5-year prison term, he was ordered to pay $310,628.55 in restitution.
The sentence comes after Wallace, aka the "Spam King," pleaded guilty in August 2015 to one count of fraud and one count of criminal contempt related to his Facebook spamming activities. In his plea agreement, Wallace admitted he compromised 500,000 Facebook accounts from November 2008 through March 2009 and used them to send more than 27 million spam messages through the social network's servers.
According to the Justice Department, Wallace "illegally obtained, stored, and exploited" Facebook user account information, and earned money directing users to other websites.
He set up a fictitious Facebook account in the name of "David Frederix," then created an automated process to sign into other people's accounts, retrieve a list of their friends, and send a message to each of them. The messages were designed to trick users into visiting a website, where they were asked to enter their personal information before being redirected to an affiliate site.
Worse yet, he accessed Facebook's own computer network three different times in 2008 and 2009 to send out hundreds of thousands of spam messages. Facebook sued Wallace and two other spammers in 2009 and that same year won $711 million in damages, the second-largest in history for an action brought under the federal CAN-SPAM Act.
The case was then referred to the US Attorney's Office for possible criminal charges, which resulted in the 2011 indictment. That same year, Wallace turned himself in to the FBI.
The FRHS Class of 1961 has announced its 55th year reunion to be held in September of this year. The Reunion Committee has completed plans for the 3-day event which is scheduled for September 9th, 10th and 11th, 2016.
As part of the festivities, a golf tournament, a Friday night "meet & greet", a co-ed bowling "tournament", a day at the 'Squan beach, and a Saturday evening dinner/dance are planned.
Invitations will soon be in the mail to all those 1961 classmates for whom addresses are available. If you, or anyone you know, were a member of this class and you do not receive an invitation within the next few weeks, please contact Rich Kane either by e-mail at [email protected] or by regular mail at Class of '61, PO Box 6161, Freehold, NJ 07728 with your current contact information.
Best wishes for a successful event to the FRHS Class of 1961!
Every year, millions of Americans watch the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, and this spring will be no exception. The horse race called “the most exciting two minutes in sports” will be conducted at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, Saturday.
A 1.25-mile race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds, the Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously running sporting event in the U.S., one steeped in tradition. The Derby was founded in 1875 by Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of the famous explorer William Clark, who was inspired by the horse racing he had seen in Europe, according to the Derby’s official website. The inaugural event featured 15 horses running 1.5 miles in front of a crowd of about 10,000.
Over time, the Kentucky Derby has gone through a number of changes, but it remains one of the most popular sporting events in the U.S. As many around the country prepare to place bets and root for their favorite horses, here are some of the most important and interesting facts about the Derby.
1. The Kentucky Derby is also called “The Run for the Roses” because the winning horse is draped with a handmade garland of roses.
2. The Derby has taken place every year, even during times of war and the Great Depression.
4. Winning the Triple Crown is a physically taxing feat because it requires a horse to be victorious in all three races, which take place within about a month. In the long history of the series, only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown.
5. Just 20 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby each year. More than 21,000 thoroughbred foals were born in the U.S. in 2013, according to America’s Best Racing, which means that less than one-tenth of 1 percent of them will get to compete in the Derby.
6. It costs at least $50,600 to enter a horse in the Derby — and more in the event certain deadlines are missed.
7. The mint julep is the traditional drink at the race.
8. Racegoers typically consume about 127,000 mint juleps over the course of the Kentucky Derby weekend each year, according to America’s Best Racing.
9. Nineteen Derby winners have had names that begin with the letter “S,” making it the most successful winning initial. Horses whose names start with the letter “Z” have a higher rate of success, but only seven such horses have competed in the race.
10. People bet $194,271,295 on the Kentucky Derby last year.
11. The winner of the Derby gets a $2 million prize, and six other races with prize money totaling $2.15 million will also be held at Churchill Downs Saturday.
12. A big feature of Kentucky Derby day is the hat parade, and this tradition of wearing colorful, elaborate hats has only grown over time. Some participants don elegant and expensive headwear, while others opt for humorous hats to grab attention. And there are those who believe there is a causal relationship between fancy hats and lucky bets.
13. In the entire history of the Derby, only three winners have been fillies, or female horses.
14. Since 1956, the race itself has been preceded by two weeks of events and parties known as the Kentucky Derby Festival.
15. No Derby has ever been postponed because of bad weather.
16. Live coverage of the Kentucky Derby this year will be broadcast on NBC 4-7 p.m. EDT. About 16 million people watched its broadcast last year.
Hospice: A Practical Option
The referral of patients to hospice care in their last months of life needs to shift from being a matter of “choice” to a more practical approach recognizing that hospice achieves better outcomes for patients with advanced disease. Until recently, most physicians have tended to present the hospice alternative as a “philosophic option” rather than a truly practical one. The reason for this is because many physicians still do not well understand the services and benefits provided by hospice. Additionally, in this current ever-changing healthcare environment, it is imperative for the consumer to understand what services are available.
Included in the identified “better outcomes”, it has been demonstrated in study after study, patients in hospice are more likely to:
• Receive better symptom control, especially where pain is an issue.
• Be provided with more practical and needed support services.
• Receive more emotional and spiritual support for themselves and their families.
• Say they feel “more respected”.
• Tend to be more “participatory” in their own care options.
• Report their care as “excellent” compared with those not enrolled in hospice.
It is important for all of us, including physicians, to understand and communicate the value of hospice services in helping patients and families achieve their personal goals in the last months of life and not necessarily those of the healthcare providers. Patients and families need to know:
• Regular and frequent visits from all members of the hospice care team are standard in the plan of care.
• Practical, “hands-on” support and care is provided and tailored to individual needs.
• Information about what to expect and how to manage each step along the journey is provided by the hospice team.
• Hospice is a Medicare benefit and is also covered by most private insurances.
• Their physician of choice can continue to be part of the team and guide their care.
The optimal time for consolidating the full medical, psychosocial and spiritual support offered by hospice is 80 to 90 days. Yet, for nearly 35% of patients referred to hospice in 2013, they actually received hospice care for less than one week. Reasons for this seem apparent:
• Physician discomfort with introducing the topic of hospice. To do this effectively requires a solid understanding of hospice/palliative care which many physicians do not have. Many doctors hold to the belief that patients may “give up hope” and die more quickly if referred to hospice. To the contrary, the bulk of the research data indicates patients who receive hospice care have a better sense of “hopefulness” and, in many cases, live longer than those who are not referred.
• Prognostic uncertainty – many physicians labor under the misconception they are somehow “held responsible” if a patient should live longer than expected while receiving hospice care. In fact, there is no such penalty for referring a patient "too soon" as long as the patient meets the required criteria for hospice. If, at the time of the referral, the physician’s best judgment is the patient’s prognosis is six months or less if the disease runs its expected course, the patient is eligible for hospice and will remain so as the illness worsens. It is the hospice organization’s responsibility to monitor and accurately report the patient’s ongoing condition status in order to determine continued hospice eligibility. Of course, the physician and the family will be continually apprised of the patient’s status.
In short, the most frequently reported patient/family “complaint” is “we did not hear about hospice soon enough”. To overcome this barrier to care, it is essential to get the word out. If you would like to know more about hospice benefits available to you, please contact your local hospice organization or the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) at http://www.nhpco.org/find-hospice or (703) 837 - 1500.
The off – shore law firm, Mossack Fonseca, experienced a data breach that compromised 11.5 million records…
What may well rank as one of the biggest hacks in history, led to 11.5 million records being leaked from one of the largest off – shore law firms, Mossack Fonseca. These records included off – shore account information for some of the most powerful people in the world. Just one of the people affected by this hack was Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. The information taken also shows how the law firm was helping clients evade taxes, avoid sanctions, and launder funds.
There are concerns this hack shows the true capacity of insider threats. However, at this time, the root of the hack is still unknown. It could have been an insider hack, a phishing scheme, or malware. The Vice President of Cybersecurity for PC Pitstop, a division of PC Matic, made the following statement to Global Security Magazine:
“…if you want to keep something confidential, don’t put it on a computer specifically one connected to the Internet. The very second you do that, you can assume the data can be purloined.”
Makes one feel quite vulnerable, doesn't it?
Do you think you will never be a resident in a nursing home? You're probably right — but just not for the reasons you may be thinking. The fact is, as baby boomers approach retirement age, there will be less and less nursing-home space available.
Here are some points you may want to ponder:
1. The Census Bureau reported that in 2006, there were 78.6 million boomers in the U.S. Many of them will turn 70 by 2020. By 2030, about 20 percent of the nation's population will be 65 and over. That compares with 13 percent right now.
2. So we are aging, and the problem becomes how we will care for all these people. To that point, from 2000 to 2009 the total number of nursing homes in the U.S. decreased by 9 percent. Additionally, from 2007 to 2011 new construction of nursing-home units decreased by 33 percent.
3. The bottom line is, there simply will not be enough beds to serve an aging population.
Fear you'll outlive your assets? We have all heard the stories about an aging parent, loved one or friend having to be administered into a skilled nursing home. The thought that it may one day happen to us sends a shiver down our spine. It is something that no one wants to think about, and for many of us who are in the throes of planning for retirement, this possibility is usually met with a shrug and the response that "I will never go into a place like that."
Believe it or not, that response is a lot closer to the truth than many of us have ever imagined, and the rationale is based on three hard truths: the basic law of supply and demand, demographics and the nation's lack of health-care providers.
There were roughly 15,642 nursing facilities in the U.S. in 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. This may appear to be plenty, but the total number of beds in these facilities stood at about 1.66 million in 2012. Of the 76 million baby boomers who are heading toward retirement, roughly 70 percent … may need some form of long-term care.
And when we look at the occupancy rate, things get a bit scarier. In 2012, the occupancy rate stood at close to 89 percent, with roughly 1.36 million beds being occupied. The question that begs to be asked is: Will this occupancy rate increase or decrease?
This brings us to the second reason why you probably won't set foot in a long-term care facility. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, of the 76 million baby boomers who are heading toward retirement, roughly 70 percent (about 54 million people) will need some form of long-term care, with close to 13 million of those needing a stay of longer than three years in a skilled nursing facility. With an occupancy rate of 89 percent — leaving fewer than 300,000 beds available across the country — how will these 13 million people find a way into those vacant beds?
This leads us to the third major issue we will face as the largest segment of our population ages, and that is the nation's lack of health-care providers. The simple solution may just be to open more facilities, but even that entails hurdles that our demographics dictate we can't simply hop over, and not just for fear of breaking a hip.
According to the American Medical Association, this country is facing a shortage of physicians. Due to enrollment levels in our colleges and universities being capped at the same rates we had in 1993, there just aren't enough to be on staff to write prescriptions and provide medically necessary care in the facilities across the U.S. today, let alone be enough to open up even more facilities.
This shortage of caregivers unfortunately doesn't end with just physicians, as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing is reporting that "over the next 20 years, the average age of RNs will increase and the workforce will plateau as RNs retire." This is precisely why the Bureau of Health Professions projected back in 2005 that the nursing shortage will worsen, and this nation may ultimately see a shortfall of 800,000 nurses by 2020.
For LTC procrastinators, the chances of you personally stepping foot, or being wheeled into, a nursing facility may indeed seem pretty slim. And those who have opted to put this issue on the back burner may find themselves completely shut out as administrators at these skilled nursing facilities will have the option of selecting those who can afford the care versus those who can't.
— Dan McGrath, co-founder of Jester Financial Technology
As many as one in five older adults experience mental health concerns that are not a normal part of aging – the most common of which are anxiety or mood disorders including depression. In most cases, these mental health issues respond well to treatment. Sadly, far too often older adults do not seek or receive the help they need. Undiagnosed and untreated, mental health illnesses have serious implications for older adults and their loved ones. That’s why it’s important to understand these “10 Facts You Need to Know About Mental Health and Aging.”
Mental health problems are not a normal part of aging. While older adults may experience many losses, deep sadness that lingers may signal clinical depression. Similarly, an anxiety disorder is different from normal worries.
• One in four American adults has a diagnosable mental disorder during any one year.
• About six percent of older adults have a diagnosable depressive illness.
Mental health is as important as physical health. Good mental health contributes greatly to an overall feeling of well-being. Untreated mental health disorders in older adults can lead to diminished functioning, substance abuse, poor quality of life, and increased mortality. Research shows mental illness can slow healing from physical illnesses.
Healthy older adults can continue to thrive, grow, and enjoy life! Reading, walking, and socializing are just a few of the activities that many individuals enjoy at any age. Exercising your mind and body, and maintaining social connections are good for your mental health, too.
Mental health problems are a risk for older adults, regardless of history. While some adults go through life managing a chronic mental illness, mental health problems can also appear late in life. Sometimes mental health deteriorates in response to a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, arthritis, or diabetes, and even some medications. Older adults without a history of substance abuse may abuse medications, alcohol, or drugs.
Suicide is a risk among older adults. Older adults have the highest suicide rate in the country.
• Those aged 85 and over have the highest suicide rate; those aged 75 to 84 have the second highest.
• Older adults’ suicide attempts are more lethal. For those 65 and older, there is one suicide for every four attempts compared to one suicide for every 20 attempts for all other age groups.
These symptoms call for consultation with a health care professional:
• Sadness that has lasted longer than two weeks.
• Consistent worries about issues such as money, family and health.
• Consistent trouble sleeping or concentrating
• Frequent trouble remembering things or feeling confused in familiar places
• Have more than one alcoholic drink a day or take more medication than prescribed.
Older adults can be helped with the same success as younger people. Eighty percent of older adults recovered from depression after receiving treatment that included both psychotherapy and anti-depressant medication.
Our health system is not adequately helping older adults with mental disorders. Medicare covers 80 percent of a physical health problem, but only 50 percent of a mental health problem. This is a barrier to treatment for many people.
• Researchers estimate that up to 63 percent of older adults with a mental disorder do not receive the services they need.
• 75 percent of those who commit suicide have visited a primary care physician within a month of their suicide.
Misdiagnosis and avoidance are common. Primary care physicians fail to diagnose depression 50 percent of the time.
• Only half of older adults who discuss specific mental health problems with a physician receive any treatment.
Older adults have unique mental health care needs. Changing bodies and chemistry, changes in family and friendships, and changes in living situations all have an effect on mental health and need to be considered in treatment.
Sometimes helping solve basic problems, like transportation, can lower stress, improve community connections, and improve outlook and mood.
If older adults take several medications for a variety of illnesses, drug interactions and side effects can affect mood and behavior.
From “Ten Facts About Mental Health and Aging.”, Older Women’s League (OWL); 1-800-825-3695; www.owl-national.org.
Recently, the website received a request for information from Mr. James C. Wallace, Jr. However, his contact information was incomplete and there is no email address available. This message is intended as a request for Mr. Wallace to re-submit his inquiry with either an active email or complete mailing address. Mr. Wallace is also permitted to "post" to the website once he has registered as an active member of the site. Thank you.
Cyber-attacks continue to be on the rise, and according to trusted sources, these are the biggest cyber security threats of 2016:
Mobile device attacks
Online extortion and “hacktivism”
Password recovery scams
Digital attacks causing physical damage
Internet of Things (IoT) leading to cyber attacks
Mobile attacks have been on the rise recently due to our increased use and reliance on mobile devices. By using certain applications to store your personal information, you may be setting yourself up for a mobile attack. It is best to keep your personal data off your mobile devices entirely, but if you choose to keep payment information on your mobile devices, make sure you are not putting all of the data in one place. By doing so, if your device is hacked the scammers have a one-stop-shop to all of your information.
Online extortion and hacktivism, also known as ransomware has become increasingly popular. In the last few weeks there have been stories of ransomware attacks at hospitals and school districts. Unfortunately, the ransomware left servers completely useless without any way to obtain the lost data without the encryption key. For these two examples, both paid the ransomware to obtain the keys so they could get back into their files. It is understandable, in these two cases, they needed to get their information back; however, by paying the hackers, their behavior is being rewarded and the likelihood of continued attacks increases.
Password recovery scams are related to phishing scams. Once the hackers gain access to your email account they can recover your password and compromise your account.
Digital attacks are not only an invasive way to obtain your personal data, but could also lead to physical damage to your devices. The act of backing up your data is critical in all of these attacks, but is particularly important when your device is rendered useless.
IoT, or things that have WiFi or Bluetooth capabilities, are potential cyber-attack targets. Many of these things, (eg: smart TVs, refrigerators, cars, etc.) don’t have a direct security software program to protect them from attacks, meaning the protection from a data breach is limited.
So what can you do to keep your information safe? We encourage you to back-up your data. You also need to be sure that your back-ups are current, and are encryption free. You should also be sure not to use the same password for different accounts. It is also encouraged that you change your password every 30-60 days. These passwords should have various authentication components, such as using capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and other features such as #, $, % etc.
You should also be sure to keep your device software up-to-date. Many times, if there are security holes, they will be patched during updates. If you are neglecting these updates you could be leaving yourself open for attack. Lastly, be sure to use security software for all applicable devices.
Courtesy of Joan Collins, the following link will open a special video. Enjoy!
At the request of the FRHS Class of 1961, the following information is being shared:
More information to follow.
An emergency physician’s beautifully written and agonizingly empathic account of “how we used to die” starkly contrasted with how most people die now in our death-defying, death-dealing military-industrial "medicopharmaceuticalized"culture.
I know you love me — now let me die
Jan 16, 2016
by Louis Profeta, M.D.
In the old days, she would be propped up on a comfy pillow, in fresh cleaned sheets under the corner window where she would in days gone past watch her children play. Soup would boil on the stove just in case she felt like a sip or two. Perhaps the radio softly played Al Jolson or Glenn Miller, flowers sat on the nightstand, and family quietly came and went. These were her last days. Spent with familiar sounds, in a familiar room, with familiar smells that gave her a final chance to summon memories that will help carry her away. She might have offered a hint of a smile or a soft squeeze of the hand but it was all right if she didn’t. She lost her own words to tell us that it’s OK to just let her die, but she trusted us to be her voice and we took that trust to heart.
You see, that’s how she used to die. We saw our elderly different then.
We could still look at her face and deep into her eyes and see the shadows of a soft, clean, vibrantly innocent child playing on a porch somewhere in the Midwest during the 1920s perhaps. A small rag doll dances and flays as she clutches it in her hand. She laughs with her barefoot brother, who is clad in overalls, as he chases her around the yard with a grasshopper on his finger. She screams and giggles. Her father watches from the porch in a wooden rocker, laughing while mom gently scolds her brother.
We could see her taking a ride for the first time in an automobile, a small pickup with wooden panels driven by a young man with wavy curls. He smiles gently at her while she sits staring at the road ahead; a fleeting wisp of a smile gives her away. Her hands are folded in her lap, clutching a small beaded purse.
We could see her standing in a small church. She is dressed in white cotton, holding hands with the young man, and saying, “I do.” Her mom watches with tearful eyes. Her dad has since passed. Her new husband lifts her across the threshold, holding her tight. He promises to love and care for her forever. Her life is enriched and happy.
We could see her cradling her infant, cooking breakfast, hanging sheets, loving her family, sending her husband off to war, and her child to school.
We could see her welcoming her husband back from battle with a hug that lasts the rest of his life. She buries him on a Saturday under an elm, next to her father. She marries off her child and spends her later years volunteering at church functions before her mind starts to fade and the years take their toll and God says:
“It’s time to come home.”
This is how we used to see her before we became blinded by the endless tones of monitors and whirrs of machines, buzzers, buttons and tubes that can add five years to a shell of a body that was entrusted to us and should have been allowed to pass quietly propped up in a corner room, under a window, scents of homemade soup in case she wanted a sip.
You see now we can breathe for her, eat for her and even pee for her. Once you have those three things covered she can, instead of being gently cradled under that corner window, be placed in a nursing home and penned in cage of bed rails and soft restraints meant to “keep her safe.”
She can be fed a steady diet of Ensure through a tube directly into her stomach and she can be kept alive until her limbs contract and her skin thins so much that a simple bump into that bed rail can literally open her up until her exposed tendons are staring into the eyes of an eager medical student looking for a chance to sew. She can be kept alive until her bladder is chronically infected, until antibiotic resistant diarrhea flows and pools in her diaper so much that it erodes her buttocks. The fat padding around her tailbone and hips are consumed and ulcers open up exposing the underlying bone, which now becomes ripe for infection.
We now are in a time of medicine where we will take that small child running through the yard, being chased by her brother with a grasshopper on his finger, and imprison her in a shell that does not come close to radiating the life of what she once had. We stopped seeing her, not intentionally perhaps, but we stopped.
This is not meant as a condemnation of the family of these patients or to question their love or motives, but it is meant be an indictment of a system that now herds these families down dead-end roads and prods them into believing that this is the new norm and that somehow the old ways were the wrong ways and this is how we show our love.
A day does not go by where my partners don’t look at each other and say, “How do we stop this madness? How do we get people to let their loved ones die?”
I’ve been practicing emergency medicine for close to a quarter of a century now and I’ve cared for countless thousands of elderly patients. I, like many of my colleagues, have come to realize that while we are developing more and more ways to extend life, we have also provided water and nutrients to a forest of unrealistic expectations that have real-time consequences for those frail bodies that have been entrusted to us.
This transition to doing more and more did not just happen on a specific day in some month of some year. Our end-of-life psyche has slowly devolved and shifted and a few generations have passed since the onset of the Industrial Revolution of medicine. Now we are trapped. We have accumulated so many options, drugs, stents, tubes, FDA-approved snake oils and procedures that there is no way we can throw a blanket over all our elderly and come to a consensus as to what constitutes inappropriate and excessive care. We cannot separate out those things meant to simply prolong life from those meant to prolong quality life.
Nearly 50 percent of the elderly US population now die in nursing homes or hospitals. When they do finally pass, they are often surrounded by teams of us doctors and nurses, medical students, respiratory therapists and countless other health care providers pounding on their chests, breaking their ribs, burrowing large IV lines into burned-out veins and plunging tubes into swollen and bleeding airways. We never say much as we frantically try to save the life we know we can’t save or perhaps silently hope we don’t save. When it’s finally over and the last heart beat blips across the screen and we survey the clutter of bloody gloves, wrappers, masks and needles that now litter the room, you may catch a glimpse as we bow our heads in shame, fearful perhaps that someday we may have to stand in front of God as he looks down upon us and says, “what in the hell were you thinking?”
When it comes time for us to be called home, those of us in the know will pray that when we gaze down upon our last breath we will be grateful that our own doctors and families chose to do what they should instead of what they could and with that we will close our eyes to familiar sounds in a familiar room, a fleeting smile and a final soft squeeze of a familiar hand.
Dr. Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He’s God.
Having someone else (like a not-so-friendly neighbor) tap into your internet connection is more than just an inconvenience. It not only uses up your bandwidth (a synonym for capacity in terms of the specific rate and designated frequencies at and on which data is transferred from one point to another) thus slowing your service, it also puts you at a couple of different kinds of risks. The biggest risk is liability. What it boils down to is that you, as the owner of your internet connection, are responsible for what happens on and through your internet connection.
If the activity is legitimate stuff, obviously, it’s not a problem. However, if it’s things like downloading movies illegally then you could be contacted by the authorities even though you’re not the one actually doing it. Maybe it’s your grandkids. Or, maybe it’s that unfriendly neighbor who’s piggybacking on your internet connection…without your consent.
Another problem you could have when someone accesses your internet connection without your knowledge is performance. All of a sudden, your internet connection becomes very, very slow because the unauthorized user is hogging all of your bandwidth. Remember, it’s a limited resource.
Another problem you might experience has to do with data caps. When you are using your internet service, bytes of data are exchanged between your computer and the internet. Your service provider monitors this data transfer activity. If you’ve got a “capped connection” (one which limits you to a predetermined amount, measured in gigabytes, of data per month) you will incur additional charges for exceeding your “cap”… and some of these charges can be fairly steep. So, if somebody comes along and, without your permission and/or knowledge, starts making massive downloads on your connection, you are responsible for paying not only your regular bill but also any overage charges which may apply.
A very quick rule of thumb is that if you bring up a machine that has a wireless connection, say your laptop or your phone, and you suddenly start seeing other people’s internet access points or, other people’s wireless connections in your settings, then they can see yours. It’s that simple.
Your router (a device in your home system that forwards data packets between your device(s) and the internet much like a “traffic cop” directing the flow of traffic) is typically a point of vulnerability. If you have an “open Wi-Fi hotspot” (that is, the ability to connect your computer to the internet without having it wired to your router), you may be quite vulnerable. If there is no password required to connect to the internet, or if you are using a form of encryption or a password that has not been changed from your device manufacturer’s default settings, you may be vulnerable. In fact, many routers with wireless capability come with a stock password that any outsider could just Google to find out and, thereby, gain access to your personal network.
If you have this kind of router or wireless access point, you should take steps to secure your router and internet access. Specifically, when it comes to your wireless connection, make certain that you have a WPA2 password on your wireless connection. You can find out how to do this by reviewing the instructions that came with your router or, by contacting your internet service provider for help in securing your personal network.
Once you have changed your password, only you can access the internet using the new password. This means your neighbor won’t know the new password and won’t be able to use your internet connection without your permission. Secondly, by putting a WPA2 password on your wireless connection, that wireless connection becomes encrypted and nobody can “listen in” to what is being transmitted over that connection.
By the way, a WPA2 password is what you want. WPA will do in a pinch, but most routers today support WPA2, which is a stronger and more secure encryption of your connection. You won’t notice any performance difference. The only thing you’ll have to do the first time you connect your computer or your device to your wireless access point or wireless router, is to enter the password that you selected.
As always, make sure you use a good password. It doesn’t have to be super-duper secure but, it should be a password of at least 8 and, preferably, 10-12 characters. It should be one that’s easy to remember but, stay away from birthdates and by all means, not your Social Security number.
So, bottom line, please secure your router. This will help to make your wireless connection secure so that somebody else doesn’t use your internet connection when you’re not expecting it and certainly when you’re not giving them permission.
Click on the following link for information which may help you manage your medications:
Internet safety is a concern for anyone who uses a computer. Here are some helpful applications which may help keep you safe online. Click on the link below...
A few classmates had inquired about the PowerPoint presentation that was shown during our recent Reunion dinner/dance. For those who have Microsoft Office PowerPoint capability on your computers, the following link will run the presentation for you. For those who don't have MS Office, it may run using a generic application. Good luck!