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Ken Starks
Executive Director at
Executive Director at


Well, this has been a long time in coming. Much longer than it should have. For reasons not clear to me, I don't seem to have access to The Blog of helios any longer, so I'll post here. A lot has happened in my life in the past year and many of you deserve to know about it. Yes, it's been a while and it's been for good reason so I'll get to it.

Just over a year ago...a clear spring day at the shop. I was going about business as usual when it happened. Not like on TV or the movies. It wasn't a wide-eyed clutching at the chest. No staggering or gasping for air. It was like a vice had pressed my jaw shut. My face went numb and everything turned extremely bright. I made my way to the desk and sat, trying to control my breathing. Eventually, the pressure on my face lifted and the pounding in my head slowed to a dull headache. When I felt I could, I drove myself to the ER here in Taylor.

Blood pressure was 219/111 but heart rate was 62. EKG was negative but after 3 hours, my blood pressure was still at stroke level. 5 hours later, my blood pressure returned to normal ranges and I was released with a referral to a cardiologist. I went home and probably made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I didn't say anything to Diane. Not then. The day was as normal as any other.

The Cardio diagnosed me with resistant hypertension and arrhythmia and at that point, I didn't have any other choice but to tell Diane. Let me explain my hesitancy. I am all she has. Diane is a survivor of two strokes and chronic kidney disease and I am her lifeline....literally, I am her lifeline. The last thing I wanted was to worry her about my health or well being, since she relies upon me solely.

Some of you know, some don't...I have been on a pain management program since finishing radiation treatment. A significant portion of my lower throat did not heal from the radiation treatments and I was in constant pain from those burns. A nasty cocktail of Fentnyl and Oxycodone kept me at a level by which I could function but last year, I informed my doctor that I no longer wanted to maintain that level of medication. I spent the next 8 months "tapering" from the narcotics. I'm not even going to attempt to describe that process in detail. It sucks the life out of you. depression like I have never imagined seemed to crush me and it took abnormally strong will just to shower and maintain basic levels of normalcy, whatever I perceived those to be.Those first 3 months were hell on earth for me. My doctors concur that it was more than likely the stress of that withdrawal that triggered my cardio event. Medications and diet have pretty much taken care of those problems.

I wasn't completely inactive. I spent three or four days a week visiting the homes of Reglue kids, updating or upgrading their machines. I forwarded email to Evie so she could monitor everything coming in and she would visit me daily to have me sign any paperwork, deposit checks and respond to pertinent emails. It wasn't until last month that I discovered that a large number of those emails ended up in a spam folder. I had inadvertently set the filters to high so if you have emailed me and I did not respond, please know that I am now going through those and trying to get things caught up. For those of you who thought I was ignoring you, you have my sincerest apologies.

I am back to work full time, albeit with a brand new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Don't panic....I'm not. My doctor has assured me that I will die of a number of other causes aside from this latest of my cancer collections. It's slow-growing and I am being monitored quarterly for any significant changes. I'm not worried about it, so you shouldn't be as well. My doctor has assured me that I will die of any number of things before this cancer even begins to become a threat.

Until I can get my blogger problems figured out, I would appreciate you passing this along within your circles. Reglue is still operational and has been since my illness. I simply took care of the easiest parts of it as best I could. I'll be posting here a number of times a week as there are many things to catch up upon. I may even start a new blog if I cannot find out the reasons I am no longer associated with my own. And to those who have supported me and my project, thank you for your faith and kindness. I assure you I will remain worthy of it.

All Righty Then...
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From The Desk of - wow-that-was-so-2009.....

I ran across a deb file for the menu app "Gnomenu" a couple of days ago and figured what the hell, let's do it. AFAIAC, Gnomenu is the slickest menu app ever, even if it is a bit vista-ish. It installed fine on Cinnamon 18.whatever, but there is no trace of it as a menu item or applet.

Here's the link if you care to tinker with it. I've never had a successful install eat an application.

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Installed this self-refurbished i5 quad core for a single mom of three kids today . She works 2 jobs and can never seem to afford a computer for her kids. We're working on funding for internet.
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For the 99.9 people on my lists that are smarter than me. Is there any good reason that there isn't some sort of geosynchronous satellite loitering over South Korea, armed with something that can knock down any ICBM fired from NK? Not interested in politics or who should have done what and when. I simply want to know the reasons we don't have something like that, or maybe we do. State secrets are secret for a reason I guess.
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You may have already heard... The Capitol of North Korea has been evacuated. This ain't good.
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I was only supposed to be there for 20 minutes, picking up a new walker for Diane. I was on Highway 79 and IH 35, parked and facing the feeder road when I began to notice. One, two, then 10 then 30...I counted 71 in the 25 minutes as I sat in my car and watched. Trucks and cars, some pulling multiple trailers or car haulers; heading south on Interstate 35 through Round Rock Texas.

All of them pulling boats. Most of them the Texas bass fishing type of boat, but some larger. One, hauling a pontoon party boat pulled off the freeway and shoehorned his rig into the convenience store next to the parking lot where I was parked. I put my car in gear and pulled up behind the guys in the black 1 ton 1999 ford Dually. I approached the guy with his hand on the gas pump and introduced myself and asked where he was going.

He looked at me from under the bill of his "Navy and Proud" ball cap.

"Houston." he replied.

I looked at his boat, not needing any further explanation.

"That's a big boat", I said, looking back at him.

"There's a lot of people need'n help".

With that, he pulled the fuel nozzle from his truck and told his son to go get them something to drink.

"We got a long drive ahead so we better get at it".

I nodded and shook his hand, thanking him. He shrugged, shaking my hand in return. "No doubt someone would do it for us."

I turned to walk away then thought to ask. "Where you guys coming from?" He spit between the gas pumps before opening his squeaky truck door.

"Fort Worth."

It's 220 miles from Fort Worth to Austin. It's another 170 miles from Austin to Houston. They would end up spending days there, living on that boat and eating only from the provisions brought along for the trip, Included on the packed boat was a single unit porta-potty.

You know all those Texas-tough stories about how strong and resilient people from Texas are?" They're rarely exaggerations or urban legend stories. For people in the Lone Star State, it's a way of life. Lend a hand when needed, and then go on about your business. Nothing much even worth talking about afterward.

Even if you have to spend your own money and drive 800 miles round trip to do so.
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Do you know what's making you sick? Are your doctor's making sure they are correct in their diagnosis? For many of you, I am guessing not. I spent a lot of time, trying to decide if I would share this. When it comes down to it, I really didn't have a choice. This could, potentially change someone's life, albeit a relative few. But change it in extremely meaningful ways.
Just. Get. Up
Just. Get. Up
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Go get some coffee. Let's talk. Sometimes, it's important to remember the seemingly little things, when faced with the big ones. I've mentioned this story in the past, but not as completely as it should have been told.

Science will never prove it, it's probably against their best collective interests to do so, but I contend that giving love is as important as receiving it, especially if you are going through the horrible experiences we, as those may suffer; have endured.

Diane's little Dee Dee girl had been her best friend for 13 years. Shih-tzu dogs are pure love stuffed into lots of hair and attitude. Aside from my own experiences, I have never seen such a bond of love and trust between a dog and a person. They absolutely lived for each other and the joy they found in mutual company was almost humbling.

Toward the end of her 13th year, Dee Dee suffered liver failure and it became obvious that keeping her around would be the cruelest thing anyone could even conceive doing. We gave her the deep sleep pill our vet supplied and then made the 25 mile trip to his home, as it was after hours. Dee Dee didn't feel the sting of the IV going into her leg. The last thing she remembered, her mommy gave her a treat and she took a nap. Diane wept in great, wailing gulps and her pain seemed to fuel itself. She was almost unable to function for the next month,

Diane said never again. Never would she allow herself such life-changing, soul crushing pain. Ever.

But as time goes on, we remember that love is indeed another life-changing thing. It is a joy and a force that pushes our lives along in harmony with someone else. We decided to go to the Williamson County Animal Shelter and find that one.

Diane and I both have previously agreed....we won't pick out the cutest or the most playful...the one that does tricks. We will take the one that sits at the back of the kennel, shaking with fear and cringing at the caretaker coming in at meal time or for grooming.

First kennel, first dog run,

There he was,huddled in the corner of the cage, shaking and refusing to even acknowledge Diane's coaxing. He coexisted with two other dogs that had been removed from the home of a mentally ill man. A man that is now committed for life.

As she spent time trying to get this little soul to even look at her, I walked up and down the dog runs, touching wet noses that stuck out of the mesh fencing, watching litter mates play and looking for someone that needed us..,from the very center of their existence, to be rescued.

Turns out I didn't have to look farther than that first kennel on that first run.
His name is Malachi and he had spent the first 5 years of his life, living under a bed. Living in fear of a mentally-unstable man and 4 other much larger and aggressive dogs. He had been physically beaten and alternatively ignored and starved. The only time he came out from under the bed was when everyone else was asleep. He ate the scraps left over from the other dogs, drank from the toilet and learned to eat his own waste so as not to be beaten for messing on the floor.

The shelter advised against Malachi. He was considered unadaptable as he had been returned to the shelter twice. Diane cannot bend or stoop as she walks with a walking device and she asked me to take him from the cage. I spoke to him softly as I crawled on my hand and knees to him. I didn't touch him at first...I laid next to him and gently touched his head and ears. I whispered nonsense into his ear and promised him that no one would ever hurt him again.

After 10 minutes, he allowed me to scoop my hand under him and I pulled him tight to my chest, I walked on my knees and out of the kennel. Diane took him from me and held him close. One of the kennel keepers came around the corner and advised us that we were not to enter the kennel as Malachi had bitten a number of caregivers. Diane smiled at her and turned her back as we made our way to the adaption offices.

Paperwork and a scared-out-of-his-little-mind little Kairn Terrier. Paperwork done, we took the small harness and put it on Malachi. With leash snapped, he tentatively followed us out the door and to the car.

He pawed and clawed at the window, even as Diane held and comforted him. He messed in her lap and whimpered for the whole trip. We walked him into the house and unsnapped the leash as he began to smell the smell of doggies past, he looked up at me.

"You're home pal. It's us against the world. Make the best of it."

With that he crapped on the floor and made for the closest bed and squirmed his way under it.

Weeks it took. Weeks of love and treats. Of soft voices and promises of nothing but love Oh, and bacon. Bacon. In the end it was the smell of freshly cooked and cooled bacon. "Love conquers all?" Yeah, if you include bacon.

October 26th, it will be one year since we brought Malachi home. And make no mistake, he is home. He still jumps and cowers at loud noises or slammed doors but he recovers quickly. It's like, "oh yeah....that's cool."

And the damnedest thing? I don't think I thought about my cancer or somewhat debilitating condition more than a couple of times since Malachi came home. At least now without cause. He was a cowering little spirit, living in a cold, uncaring, unloving world.

See what love can do.
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Edit - dumb shit reigns. Ran cat 6 from spectrum modem/router and problem solved. Updating driver and firmware for wireless router and wireless system device. Man what a cf.

Let me update this.

​ I'm in a jam and I need some help. My neighbor has the win 10 kmode exception not handled and I am trying to get to safe mode but the pass phrase used in regular start up is reported as incorrect when safe mode login is attempted. Any ideas? There is no driver noted in the error.

But this is where I am coming close to owing my neighbor a new computer. Even when I find the convoluted orangutan-coded method for getting a password to work in safe mode, the kmode exception error locks the computer up within 3 minutes. With all the crap he has on this machine, it takes that long to get to a stable desktop. I cannot install the software Microsoft advises to use, I don't have time before it locks up again. They admit this has been an ongoing "issue" can I use another Win10 computer to make the usb/DVD recovery medium?

Any advise from windows guru +Ed Tittel​​​​
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From Planet HDR, this is gorgeous +Adelphe BACHELET

Eblouissante / Brilliant

📷 Nikon D5300 🔍 Tamron Macro 90 mm 💻 Lightroom 5.7 + HDR Efex Pro 2

© Adelphe Bachelet, Adelphe Photographies
🌍 Mon Site :
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