Bake the cake, design the dress

by CynthiaYockey on January 15, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump will begin his presidency as a uniter, having managed to bring conservatives and progressives together on the subject of discrimination in public accommodations. These are businesses and facilities open to the public, such as bakeries, florist shops, professional photographers, and fashion designers. It turns out that conservative conniptions intended to assert a religious right to refuse services for same-sex marriages has provided progressive fashion designers with a rationale to vow never to design clothes for First Lady-elect Melania Trump and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

Sadly, this new unity is not going to make government any smaller because it reveals that federal and most state civil rights laws are a couple of protected categories short: sexual orientation and political affiliation.

However, David French at National Review Online, tries to make hay out of this new unity to promote discrimination against lesbians and gays in public accommodations by trying to turn them into an idea and provide protection to people with poor boundaries, while wrongly claiming gays already are a protected class (boldface mine):

Consider the parallels [between conservative and progressive rationales for discriminating in public accommodations]. Photographers, bakers, and florists are using their individual artistic talents not just to document but to celebrate an event. Many of them enter their profession to express their own views about “beauty” and do their work to glorify God. Their art is their best tool for “communicating their world vision.”

But all too many on the Left just don’t care. All that matters is that they refused to use their artistic talents for a gay couple. And aren’t LGBT people protected from discrimination? But wait, aren’t Melania and Ivanka also women? And aren’t women a protected class under nondiscrimination law also? You begin to see the silliness of the argument. Yes, Melania and Ivanka are women, but that’s incidental and irrelevant compared with their political identity. The designers aren’t refusing to dress the Trumps because of their gender but because of their presumed worldview. Similarly, when a baker or florist works with gay men and women all the time and just draws the line when they’re asked to help celebrate a same-sex wedding, they’re objecting to a particular idea, not refusing service based on status. If a black baker refuses to bake a Confederate-flag cake, is he refusing because of the race of the customer or the symbolism of the flag?

First of all, French is saying that people must be allowed to approve of their customers and may refuse to serve them if they don’t. If their objections are religious, they may pick and choose the tenets they enforce. Thus, they are to be allowed to refuse service on the basis of one behavior their religion condemns, same-sex marriage, while serving others, for example, fornicators, adulterers, and the divorced. Their refusal is a declaration of belief in the inequality of lesbians and gays and their right to impose it. This gives their religion the force of civil law by protecting them when they refuse to provide goods or services for same-sex marriages. Religion trumps the rights of lesbians and gays to equality. On top of that, the assertion that bakers, photographers, and fashion designers are participating in an event and providing approval of it just seems like poor boundaries (translation: crazy). They’re doing their jobs and getting money in exchange. That is not participating.

About the hypothetical black baker and Confederate flag: it is not a pertinent analogy because the baker’s only legal objections are political, not religious. The pertinent idea of same-sex marriage is whether religions can determine the right to equality of lesbians and gays. So the question is whether religions get the backing of the government to declare lesbians and gays unequal and therefore unworthy of service.

French also asks rhetorically, “And aren’t LGBT people protected from discrimination?” No, LGBT people are NOT protected from discrimination throughout the United States.

Regarding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, lesbians and gays have only one federally protected unalienable (can’t be voted away by majority rule) right: same-sex marriage, due to the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Lesbians and gays have zero federal civil rights to public accommodations, employment, and housing. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders only have civil rights, subject to majority rule, to public accommodations, employment, and housing, at the state level.

It is important to understand that “LGBT” describes four very different groups with different claims to protection from discrimination. Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are grouped together under sexual orientation. Transgenderism in discrimination laws is euphemistically called “gender identity” or “gender identity, gender expression.” (“Gender identity” refers to the belief that one is the opposite sex to one’s biological sex. “Gender expression” means dressing or appearing like stereotypes of the opposite sex.) It is appropriate that sexual orientation and gender identity are treated differently in discrimination laws because transgenderism is a mental illness (often a constellation of various mental illnesses), while sexual orientation is not.

One example of why transgender people must be treated differently in anti-discrimination laws is that their quest for the right to public accommodations would allow intact men to expose their genitals in women’s locker rooms. (Did you know that most transgender fake women aka men keep their male genitals? And are sexually attracted to women?) Transgenders consider it prejudice for women to object to naked men exposing their genitals in spaces where they also must disrobe.

To digress for a moment, the legal remedy for this conflict that conservatives have overlooked so far is to pass constitutional amendments and laws defining sex to be both determined at conception and immutable, and to require that males must use male restrooms, etc., regardless of how they are dressed, while banning women who pretend to be men, or dress like men, from women’s spaces since they are indistinguishable from men.

Returning to the lack of discrimination protections, the following 28 states allow discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people in public accommodations, employment, and housing: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.

The following 17 states and Washington, D.C., ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, employment, and housing: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

There are five states that provide different discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation than gender identity:

  • In 2015, Utah provided protection from discrimination in employment and housing on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is still lawful in Utah.
  • Massachusetts bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and housing. It also bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations. Discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of gender identity is permitted.
  • New Hampshire, New York, and Wisconsin ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations, employment, and housing. They permit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public accommodations and housing.

Here’s a summary tally of the states with discrimination protections:

  • 22 states and Washington, D.C., ban discrimination in employment and housing on the basis of sexual orientation (lesbians, gays, bisexuals)
  • 21 states and Washington, D.C., ban discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation (22 minus Utah = 21)
  • 17 states and Washington, D.C., ban discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of gender identity (the same 17 listed above)
  • 18 states and Washington, D.C., ban discrimination in both employment and housing on the basis of gender identity (17 plus Massachusetts = 18)
  • 23 states and Washington, D.C., ban discrimination in employment on the basis of gender identity (17 plus New Hampshire, New York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Utah = 23).

In other words, most lesbians and gays live in states where they have no protection from discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing. So if they exercise their federal right to marry, they can be refused all the goods and services for their ceremony and reception, and then be fired and thrown out of their homes by their landlord.

Religion was correctly rejected as the argument for denying the right to same-sex marriage. It ought not prevail when it comes to denying access to public accommodations, employment, and housing on the basis of sexual orientation. It is not needed at all to justify laws limiting the rights of transgenders. Conservatives arguing that your religion allows you to refuse services to express your disapproval now find that progressives are happy to claim the same argument transposed to political affiliation. However, when would-be totalitarians embrace your argument that purported to protect a liberty, it is the opposite of vindication and instead reveals its true nature. When it comes to sexual orientation and political affiliation, personal or religious approval has nothing to do with the right to public accommodations, employment, or housing.

Bake the cake. Design the dress.

Hit the tip jar: If I can raise at least $3,115 by Monday, January 16, I will use it to attend the Creating Change Conference being held by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Philadelphia from January 18-22 and report on the truth about the transgender agenda. You need to know what transgenders really think about women, their drive to recruit children, and their success in silencing any opposition. There are now eight states considering bathroom bills to protect the privacy of women. In March or April, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a case involving transgender bathroom access, G.G. v. Gloucester School Board.

Click on the “Donate” button below because you want to keep men in dresses out of the ladies’ room!





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Today is my seventh blogiversary

by CynthiaYockey on January 12, 2017

I’ll be back soon.

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Glass double doors.

These are the doors that need to be replaced with steel ones for better security. If you would like to make it safer for me to speak out about Islam and gays, the lies of the trans movement about what it means to be female, and to support the Second Amendment, please click here to donate to my GoFundMe campaign.

 

In the wee hours of June 12, a lone American gunman with a Muslim name on a mission to destroy gays entered the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and left 50 people dead and 53 wounded. It is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

This is a wake-up call for leftist gays and lesbians in the month that is the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, triggered by a police raid that was the last straw for patrons of the gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village. Gays stood up, and fought back. The Stonewall riots are considered the watershed event that inspired the modern gay equality movement.

Already the usual progressive voices are working hard to suppress awareness of the teachings of Islam as the shooter’s motive and to call for confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. But the fact is that killing gays is bedrock Islam: “With homosexuals, it’s the same,” he said. “Out of compassion, let’s get rid of [kill] them now.”

And the truth is that gun-free zones are the most powerful magnets for mass shootings.

To fight back this time, progressive lesbians and gays need conservative lesbians and gays like me to show them why and how.

I’ve spent most of the last 32 years providing end-of-life care for my late life partner, my best friend in the 1990s, my mother, my foster sister, and my father. The death rate for longterm caregivers is 1 in 3, rising to 2 in 3 around age 67. I’m 62. So I’m used to doing a dangerous job.

Now that my father has died, I must create a career for myself. I’ve chosen being an author, blogger, and activist with the primary purpose of exposing the lies of the transsexual movement and stopping their aggressions on the rights of girls, women, and the definition of what it is to be female. I also will be writing about gays and Islam, illegal immigration, and the Second Amendment (I earned the Jr. NRA rank of Expert Sharpshooter in the 1960s). But I have a problem. I will be throwing stones from behind glass doors.

This mass shooting of gays for being gay has convinced me that I don’t have the time to earn the money to replace the glass doors of my new home with steel ones. I had to get the double doors of my father’s home replaced. It’s more money than I can come up with in a reasonable time. sdTo be safe, I need to ask for help. So I have created a GoFundMe campaign to replace my doors. If this mass shooting has filled you with a desire to do something positive, please donate to make it safer for me to write and speak up. Thank you.

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The first time I saw two women kissing onscreen in a scene played for their love of one another, as well as their passion, I experienced such a flood of light and warmth in my heart that it lasted for days. I had to wonder if TV, movies, advertisements, which leave me cold, have that effect on straight people all the time, because they portray straight relationships. I expect that can be a two-edged sword, but overall, it seems very lucky to me.

So you might think that a show like “The ‘L’ Word” would have opened up a new world for me. And it did: the world of shutting down completely during romantic lesbian scenes on the first viewing because there was nearly a one-to-one ratio of the scenes being shot from angles that deliberately reduced their emotional power, or the couple was interrupted in some way that shattered the promised arc of emotional connection. (Sarah Shahi played “Carmen” in “The ‘L’ Word,” and deserves praise for putting her heart into the role.)

There’s added incentive not to get too attached to any lesbians in TV or film: “kill the lesbian” syndrome. This is closely related to “kill the quadriplegic” syndrome now in the news because (spoiler alert) the new movie “Me Before You” has a wealthy quadriplegic man find a worthy woman who reciprocates his love, but he goes through with his planned assisted suicide due to his disabilities. Both syndromes are caused by the inability of screenwriters to imagine their subjects having happy lives. So they will build up to a happily-ever-after moment, then drop the hammer.

I find both syndromes irksome because I am a lesbian who had a quadriplegic life partner. She had multiple sclerosis and could still walk with assistance when we met, but later became paralyzed and then quadriplegic. I was 12 years and four months younger than she was. When we met, it took me all of four days to decide I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Next I had to prove to her I’d read up on what I was getting into, and that I needed her at least as much as she needed me. And then we had over 20 happy years together, despite great adversity, so don’t tell me fairy tale romances don’t happen to lesbians and people with disabilities.

Our success wasn’t just because we had all the important things in common. She had the most amazing gaze of love, which always filled my heart with joy. Now it’s going on 12 years since she died. In that time, I’ve felt that my heart had dried and cracked and would not easily open again to love.

Then Amy Acker as Root poured out her terawatt gaze of love on Sarah Shahi’s character of Shaw at the end of the episode “Sotto Voce,” in “Person of Interest,” and Shaw stoically acknowledged it. Out of nowhere, the floodgates of my heart opened. Light poured into my body. My heart became open and warm, no longer dry and cracked. In just a few seconds, my heart became healed and ready for the love of the rest of my life.

I am a late comer to “Person of Interest.” I enjoyed Sarah Shahi’s work in “Fairly Legal” and when it was cancelled I noticed she was in “Person of Interest,” but I found it hard to follow the show without knowing its backstory. I stopped watching because she didn’t have many scenes then. But when I needed something to watch in January to keep me awake in my vigils over my father when he was dying, I found “Person of Interest” on Netflix and viewed it from the beginning on my iPad.

“Person of Interest” began with the premise that a billionaire, Harold Finch, single-handedly programmed software he calls The Machine, which is an all-knowing artificial intelligence that can synthesize surveillance data from thousands of sources and predict terrorism and other premeditated crimes. Resenting that the government only uses The Machine to protect its own interests by fighting terrorism, while letting “irrelevant” people suffer preventable deaths, Finch has gathered a team to prevent the premeditated crimes against or by a “person of interest” whose identity is sent to him by The Machine. But by the time Acker and Shahi were fully on board, it had morphed into a sci-fi show with The Machine battling a similar machine called Samaritan, which is bent on using its powers to impose a supposedly benign tyranny.

Acker plays Samantha “Root” Groves, a hacker who is the analog interface to The Machine and speaks with Her (!) directly. Acker brings a depth and range of emotion to the role that is mesmerizing to watch: an amazing mix of fey brilliance, sardonic glee, humor, and grim determination. She’s a joyful warrior who strides into battle firing pistols in both hands. She’s also a skilled chameleon, handling with wry aplomb the humorous range of identities The Machine assigns to Root to keep her identity hidden from Samaritan. And it will be a long time before anyone matches Acker’s badassery in the car chase that leads to Root’s death.

From their first moments together onscreen, when Root flirts with Shaw as she prepares to torture her, Acker and Shahi have a powerful chemistry together. Shahi plays Sameen Shaw, who was an ISA government assassin taking out “relevant” threats on orders from The Machine. Shaw is a sociopath, capable of few emotions. The restrictions on Shaw’s range of emotions would sink a lesser actress, but Shahi wisely digs in and goes deep instead, giving Shaw an ironic sense of humor, and profound stoicism coupled with boundless courage. This makes the contrast when Shaw finally acknowledges she reciprocates Root’s attraction by kissing her all the more an engaging and astonishing revelation. Acker and Shahi later use that chemistry to have the funniest and most romantic banter during a shoot-out ever. Although for my money, their most endearing moment is when Root takes Shaw’s hand and says it’s the first time she ever felt she belonged.

While I’m primarily concerned with Acker and Shahi because they played the lesbian characters in “Person of Interest,” show creator Jonathan Nolan and his writers made the straight female characters of Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and Zoe Morgan (Paige Turco), just as strong. Henson and Turco were brilliant in portraying them.

Every day there’s something I want to write about here, but I haven’t because I write from the heart. With my heart feeling dried up and sore, it was just too hard. But Root gazed at Shaw with love and Shaw answered her gaze with all the love she could manage. I can’t thank Acker and Shahi enough. My heart is healed. I can love again. I can write again.

And I want to praise and thank Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi here because of the following passage in the book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, by “Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams. He is writing about the effect that words of praise from an instructor had on a woman who could barely get out a few words in her first effort to speak in their Dale Carnegie course. The instructor said, “Wow! That was brave!” (boldfacing mine):

There are several things to learn from this story. The most important is the transformative power of praise versus the corrosive impact of criticism. I’ve had a number of occasions since then to test the powers of praise, and I find it an amazing force, especially for adults. Children are accustomed to a continual stream of criticisms and praise, but adults can go weeks without a compliment while enduring criticism both at work and at home. Adults are starved for a kind word. When you understand the power of honest praise (as opposed to bullshitting, flattery, and sucking up), you realize that withholding it borders on the immoral. If you see something that impresses you, a decent respect to humanity insists you voice your praise.

‘Wow, that was brave,’ is the best and cleanest example I’ve seen in which looking at something in a different way changes everything. When the instructor switched our focus from the student’s poor speaking performance to her bravery, everything changed. Positivity is far more than a mental preference. It changes your brain, literally, and it changes the people around you. It’s the nearest thing we have to magic.

I would love for Hollywood to stop with the “kill the lesbian,” “kill the quadriplegic” stories and learn how to imagine the happily-ever-afters of our lives. I see I have a duty to tell my own story to show them how.

But right now, to encourage Hollywood down that road, the most important thing I can do is to say thank you to Amy Acker, Sarah Shahi, Jonathan Nolan, and the writers of “Person of Interest.” You told a lesbian love story and thereby healed my heart. I am profoundly grateful. Thank you.

 

 

 

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Last night my friend Stacy McCain was suspended from Twitter with no warning or explanation or any apparent path to appeal. Surely it is just a coincidence that this happened shortly after Twitter created a Star Chamber, ahem, Ministry of Truth, no, that’s not it: a Trust and Safety Council, and appointed as a member a frequent target of Stacy’s anti-feminist and pro-Gamergate critiques, Anita Sarkeesian, feminist and anti-Gamergater.

There is no First Amendment issue here because Twitter is a corporation, not the government, so it has the right to suspend, ban, and censor its subscribers. But it is a poor business model to do it secretly and as a type of gaslighting, to push a political agenda, as Twitter does, which elevates progressive points of view while suppressing those of conservatives. Conservatives are right to be outraged. Specifically, Twitter has been doing the following:

  • Removing the checkmark showing an account authentically belongs to a prominent person, as happened recently to Milo Yiannopoulos, who is @nero on Twitter.
  • Shadow banning: keeping lists of accounts that are white listed or black listed, and hiding the black listed ones so they do not appear in search results.
  • Suppressing certain trending hashtags, such as #FreeStacy, by turning off autocomplete for them.

Thanks to the above practices, Twitter is revealing its transformation from social media platform to cult. The best conservative response would be to build a better mousetrap. But right now, feminists, it’s time to toughen up, buttercup, and win by the strength of your arguments rather than your power to silence your opposition: #FreeStacy.

P.S. If you aren’t winning by the strength of your arguments, it means you need to discard them and get better ones, not seize the power to control or destroy the people you can’t persuade.

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Hubert P. Yockey works on a 60-inch cyclotron. Photo from the National Archives Catalog taken by Donald Cooksey, 7/26/1949.

Hubert P. Yockey works on a 60-inch cyclotron. Photo from the National Archives Catalog taken by Donald Cooksey, 7/26/1949.

Right now I am sitting next to the bed of my 99-year-old dad, Hubert P. Yockey, and for the next few hours or days, he is still one of the last living nuclear physicists of the Manhattan Project. He shortened the war with Japan by improving the design of the Calutron, the machine used at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to separate uranium for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. After over 20 happy years caring for my late life partner, who died of complications of multiple sclerosis in 2004, I came back home in October 2006 to live with my dad and provide his care. But I need help from my friends to do my last service for him. I need to ask for donations to cover the cost of a budget cremation for him. My goal is $2,050 $1,275.

I know there are people who think I should have saved up this amount in that time, or my dad should have. Long story short, by the time I’d conquered various health problems and it looked like I could figure out how to make some money while caring for Dad, the level of care that he needed changed and made that impossible. For the last few years, I’ve had to stick very close to him when he was awake and get up two or more times a night to keep him alive. But it was worth it. My father is a wonderful man and very pleasant company.

As an example of his kind nature, a few years ago I volunteered to put a lot of music and videos onto a friend’s iPad to entertain her during her dialysis sessions. I wound up working about 30 hours straight because one video just would not convert to a playable format. Then I had to take Dad to a game played by our local minor league baseball team since we had season tickets. On the way, I explained my marathon session mastering the iPad. Dad immediately became very sympathetic, and replied, “Oh yes, it was just like that for me–when I was learning to use the cyclotron.” (I still think his equating his mastery of the cyclotron and mine of the iPad is one of the funniest things anyone has ever said to me.)

To be able to share all the photos I want of my dad’s Manhattan Project days and my last year with him, taking him on adventures, I’m linking a Facebook post I’ve made public.

If it is comfortable for you to help me out, please click the PayPal button below. I’m using PayPal because funds are available the fastest from it. My father is going much faster than I expected. The funds donated will go into a special bank account I’ve set up for my father’s care. Thank you.

UPDATE, 2/20/2016, Sat.: My beloved father, the center of my life since I moved back home to care for him in 2006, passed away on January 31 with me at his side. Thanks to my blogger friends who linked this post and their kind and generous readers, I was able to pay for my father’s cremation. For the first few days after Dad died, I stayed in my usual hypervigilance mode. I felt like Wile E. Coyote for the few moments he remains suspended in mid-air after he runs off the cliff. And then I crashed into catatonia and sleeping in my late life partner’s lift recliner chair. In the last day or two I crossed over into searing pain and periodic sobbing. Dad was happiest going out for rides in the car, so driving is the worst because I miss him so much. His wheelchair lived in the trunk of every car I’ve driven since I moved home. Opening the trunk now and seeing it empty reminds me he’s gone and I get hit with waves of pain. The bottom line is I’m doing the best I can, but my heart has been ripped out of my chest and I’m finding it hard to get much done without it. But it is a big priority for me to write my thank-you e-mails to every donor. Please be patient with me for a few more days. Thank you.




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Jenny Lawson is ‘Furiously Happy’

by CynthiaYockey on April 17, 2015

 

Ro-Ro, a 20-year-old calico cat, reposes on a seed warming mat in front of thriving young heirloom tomato seedlings. I am including this recent photo for its gloom-dispelling power.

Ro-Ro, a 20-year-old calico cat, reposes on a seed warming mat in front of thriving young heirloom tomato seedlings. I am including this recent photo for its gloom-dispelling power.

I stopped writing this blog regularly after the November 2010 elections for a few reasons. First, as a new conservative, I was stunned and angry to learn that social conservatives run as fiscal conservatives but govern primarily to advance their religious agenda. I was in the process of losing weight, which took my sense of humor and patience with it. I didn’t want to spoil my brand by losing my temper. Second, I didn’t see how blogging would help me make enough money to live on or get me a good job after my father passes on. I do now, but I didn’t then. Third, I couldn’t figure out how to keep every post I considered writing about my personal life and challenges from sounding like a suicide note.

But a couple of friends and my therapist (thanks, Obamacare!) have encouraged me to do the writing I refuse to do for my own sake for others who are facing similar challenges. So I am taking the plunge. It will be awhile before I can tell the story in any organized way. For now it’s enough to dive in.

In addition to not writing, I stopped following the blogs of many of my online friends because I couldn’t be on the computer and look after my dad. And it’s not a great thing to do what I’m doing now: writing after seeing Dad to bed. That’s because I have to be awake when he’s awake, so to get enough sleep I have to have the same sleep schedule.

But being back at the computer tonight, I see my friend Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, has her second book coming out, Furiously Happy, about her struggles with mental illness and suicidal ideation. She’s learned from writing her blog and first book that she has attracted a tribe with similar challenges, many of whom have told her she has inspired them to live when they were actively planning their suicide.

I should mention that longterm caregivers like me often are living their suicide, since it’s an occupation with a death rate of one in three who do not survive the loved one they’re caring for, rising to two in three after age 66. I’m 61. I’ve been doing end-of-life care for loved ones since 1984, starting with my late life partner of over 20 years. I suspect the ones that die are taken by illnesses caused or exacerbated by overwhelm, isolation, exhaustion, fear, worry, lack and sadness. So it’s worth your life in that kind of situation to figure out how to overcome those challenges. I’ve come through relatively unscathed and have a thing or two to say about how I’ve done it.

What I relate to about Jenny’s new book is how frightened she felt of telling her story because that is how scared I’ve been of telling mine. But in the last month, I’ve gotten emotional support from a therapist and a couple of friends that has given me the courage to start writing again and tell my story. I don’t know if my writing will save anyone else’s life, but right now it will save mine.

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Beauregard doing tech support

by CynthiaYockey on April 17, 2015



Gray cat named Beauregard is sleeping stretched out and looking most serene.

Beauregard the second helps troubleshoot the Dropcam that kept disconnecting.



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Why is my Dropcam disconnected?

by CynthiaYockey on April 16, 2015

My father has obstructive sleep apnea, so it is dangerous for him to fall asleep in his recliner chair away from his respirator. And when he is sleeping in his bed, I need to be able to check on him without walking in the room and waking him up. So I have one Dropcam Pro by his bed and another one by his recliner in the living room.

After seeing Dad to bed, one of the last things I do before going to sleep is check on him with the Dropcam app on my iPhone. Last night the bedroom Dropcam reported it was disconnected. I stayed up another two hours doing unsuccessful troubleshooting: unplugging the USB cable from the Dropcam, unplugging the USB cable from the power outlet, turning off the router, unplugging the router, and using the settings in the iPhone app to connect to the camera and to my wifi network. Nothing worked.

This afternoon I called Dropcam’s tech support. The rep ran diagnostics, which checked out. My wifi signal was fine. Then she had me switch the USB cable. The Dropcam still would connect for a second, then disconnect. Finally she elevated me to a higher level of tech support, a nice young man who ran more diagnostics and found the problem: my ISP’s router changed channels automatically to get a better signal, but the Dropcam can’t connect with all the router’s channel options. I had to call my ISP to get them to set the router to the Dropcam’s preferred channel. This solution is not in any of Dropcam’s online tech support forum pages. This problem is something I hope Dropcam fixes immediately because seriously, when routers are built to change channels to get a better signal, why isn’t the Dropcam built to be compatible with that?

It was late in the afternoon by the time I’d gotten the Dropcam working again, but I’d promised my father ice cream at our favorite local dairy. I splurged and got us bowls of cream of crab soup and biscuits with butter, too, and I think they were the best I’ve ever tasted. We ate in the car, which is more comfortable and safe for Dad, and looked out over the farm fields and listened to “Prairie Home Companion” podcasts on a Bluetooth speaker. One of my end-of-life care secrets for getting my loved ones to live longer is to make their lives so happy they want to live. I’m glad to have the technology that helps me do it.

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My dad is 99 today

by CynthiaYockey on April 15, 2015

Hubert P. Yockey with a chocolate birthday cake with numeral candles for his 99th birthday.

Hubert P. Yockey

My dad, Hubert P. Yockey, turned 99 today, April 15, 2015. He’s one of the last surviving nuclear physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project (at Oak Ridge, Tennessee). He has a book in print by Cambridge University Press: Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life. Dad’s current ambition is to live to at least 100. I am resuming writing my blog by telling the story of how I am helping him accomplish that goal.

I’ll elaborate more in the next few days. What I want to do today is just jump back in.

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