Lonely Star, Always Far

Lonely Star, Always Far


Ubuntu – A Computer Operating System / An Approach To World Peace!

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a free computer operating system and a philosophy of human kindness and cooperation.  It has produced a miracle in both areas that is worth understanding.   It has the potential to help establish world peace as a model for human cooperation.  Read this article and learn why!

Ubuntu as a Free Computer operating system (OS):   Only 40 paid programmers work for Canonical Ltd., which is responsible for coordinating thousands  of volunteer programmers and developers from around the world who create and maintain Ubuntu.  Ubuntu is an operating system, like windows, but many consider it far better.  Unlike Windows it is Free and most of the software you would ever need to install on it is Also Free!  For 99% of my work, I have not used windows in years; I use Ubuntu!  Just like your smartphone can download thousands of free apps for Ubuntu. Consider a few that I use that are totally free (but the equivalent for windows might cost thousands of dollars):

  • Audacity – a full music / sound recording editing studio on your desktop
  • GIMP – An image manipulation program that lets you create and modify pictures like Photoshop
  • Browsers: Chrome, Opera or FireFox and many others
  • Libreoffice – An office suite much like Microsoft Office but completely free
  • Rhythmbox – an excellent music organizer and player
  • BackUps –  With BackUps you can copy your current computer’s music, images, programs and settings and in Re-Create it on ANY NEW COMPUTER effortlessly!
  • Here are six things that Ubuntu does better than windows

How is it possible that thousands of brilliant programmers worldwide donate their time, skills and knowledge for free for you?

Ubuntu is sponsored by the UK-based company Canonical Ltd., owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical generates revenue by selling technical support and services related to Ubuntu, while the operating system itself is entirely free of charge. The Ubuntu project is entirely committed to the principles of free software development; people are encouraged to use free software, improve it, and pass it on (its code is available so anyone can modify and improve it and share it anew)!   In other words,  other than a small financially self sustaining leadership group, Canonical,  Ubuntu is a miracle of human cooperation by thousands of gifted people across the world who work as a team to improve the quality of human life for all of us!

Pictured here to the right of this text  is some of the team at a gathering for volunteer developers.

Ubuntu as a way of life — Archbishop Desmond Tutu offered a definition of Ubuntu in a 1999 book:  A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

Tutu further explained Ubuntu in 2008:

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu is the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. The philosophy of Ubuntu has influenced many world wide.  For example: The Peace Project,   The Peace Education Project and there is more to come.

Human Cooperation

As human beings, the Judeo-Christian bible reminds us that we struggle with two forces.  One is the physical desire to selfishly seek wealth and power that does not create value for society (such as might come from rebuilding a city or creating jobs) while the other side is the more spiritual side that recognizes the Creator’s plan for all of humanity to live in harmony and peace.   From the Judeo-Christian viewpoint we recognize Abraham as the near “perfect man” who taught us how to live in harmony by example of the way he lived.  Ubuntu like Abraham, does not deny the accumulation of wealth and power as long as it is used for the betterment of all.  Could we ever achieve that goal?  The stories of Ubuntu, as shared above, hint at this possibility.
It is always difficult to educate people while keeping them awake. Years of college has attuned me timelesssearchto identifying people who are sitting upright in chairs with open eyes and still in deep sleep.

 It is far better to entertain, as Walt Disney said, with the hopes of educating then to educate with the hope of entertaining.  Much of my Sci-fi,  Sci-fantasy writings deal with questions of the potential for people living by the principles of Ubuntu. I explore, through adventure and imagination, what could happen if we learn to live in harmony (Ubuntu) and if not. I am constantly reminded as I write of the potential for human harmony as all my writing, research, social communication etc is done with the reliable results of the people who believe in Ubuntu, on an Ubuntu powered computer.

Janr Ssor

The Power Of A Female Smile. And, How To Avoid Divorce!

At a MeetUp conversation group, the other day, amongst 12 different faces, one new one, stood out as unusually beautiful, even though age had weathered this gift of  female birthright. There was somethingmature-857525_1280

special about her smile, to me.  A subconsciously sensed, but consciously unrecalled message in her smile reminded me of something warm and positive.  It was something I knew well, but could not or did not want to recall.  To a writer, like me, it was fascinating and would linger well beyond the two hours at Panera. Not that this smile was just for me, not at all.  This pretty lady shared her smile and eye contact with nearly every person she spoke to. That too was a notable, magical gift, she had acquired. Something moms teach their daughters when they wordlessly remind them of how much stronger they, with their smiles and eye contact, are than men.  In sales we are taught about body language.  As it turns out, body language and the emotion behind the words is 90% of what sells the customer, not the facts and the figures.  A smile and warm eyes is 90%!

There were 3 men (me included) and 9 women at this meetup that Marvin had helped organize; this is what happens statistically when you are 70.  Of course the magical gentleness of smooth facial contours, defined sexy, muscular limbs and blossoming floral lips had now evaded most all attending; yet, a smile was apparently ageless! I have often wondered and pondered the power of a female smile.  So did my subconscious in the middle of the night 3 days later when it woke me up to know what it had discovered. Google’s crawler bots should only be so good!

What our minds can do is just beyond anything a computer can do now or in the near future. For your “sleeping” mentality to be able to sort through a lifetime of  visual experience,  find a match, its contextual physical and emotional experience and resurrect them from the past is beyond my comprehension; yet,  it happens all the time and did for me.  I recalled the fine smile lines and shapes her facial features formed when she smiled. It was clearly that of a long unseen female friend I had not run into in half a lifetime. A friend with whom I had experienced nothing but the positive. Even the eye contact that came with the smile, was that of this lady too.

When I awoke in the night I thought about this smile and the warm friendly eye contact.  I recalled the positive memories of this lady I had known.  We never lived together but went dancing occasionally and talked over dinner now and then.  It was always joyful.  How can you forget what is always inspiring?  How deeply it engraves its image in your mind and your heart!  It amazed me, but I am old enough to understand reality.  Living together is far different from casual friendship.   Perhaps that is a reason for married couples to make sure they smile lots more often and especially to share brief but warm eye contact that says “I love you, I want you.”

I read a great short story the other day posted at  The story was about love,  about the 5 love languages and how to overcome relationship challenges.  A smile and eye contact, I believe, belong most strongly to the love language of physical touch, but they certainly relate to all the love languages as they are universal.  So why do I talk about a female smile and not a male one? They are in fact both powerful.  Nevertheless, a female smile is far more powerful.  When your mind is capable of reaching down into the near infinite depth of your experience in life and resurrecting a long dead memory just from a smile, it tells you something. It reminds me of something I learned in my medical studies of child development.  At birth a child’s eyes are focused at about 1 to 2 feet. Everything beyond is a blur. For quite a while infants cannot change focus.  Babies who are nursing, focus on Mom’s face and they cannot do otherwise. Is it any wonder that,  for most healthy men, the experience of a female smile reminds them of contentment, peace, tranquility and security?  An infant’s mind, which is, in my conception, photographic in memory, is over and over associating a female smile with everything wonderful about nursing, physical warmth and gentle touch, assuming life at that time is not a disaster for mom.  The power of a female smile is ingrained in men and women as strongly as any possible repeated hypnotic experience can be!

How does this bear on avoiding divorce?  In my experience as a doctor for 44 years, I heard sad stories from many beautiful (in their 40’s) women getting divorced.  I often asked or they offered why.  They needed someone to listen and I tried to make myself available.  It was more often than not, that their husbands had had an affair with a younger lady. Husbands would give up beautiful sexy wives and the joys of family and children just for romance with a younger woman! It blew my mind.   Then it occurred to me, it was not that simple.  Though the women were beautiful to me, perhaps they love-google-search-labled-forresusehad lost their magic in the eyes of their husbands?   I thought long about my experience and the fact that I too was married for a second time; though in my case I had not had an affair. Then it occurred to me, perhaps the women had forgotten to smile when the lady by the “water cooler” at work made a real effort to smile. Perhaps the husband had forgotten to smile and look into his wife’s eyes with love.  This simple technique, if coming from the heart with honesty, is likely the most powerful deterrent to divorce and disloyalty.  I also love one of my patient’s rules for staying married happily.  It goes like this: “if you have an argument and are angry, give it 10 seconds of anger and then forget it forever!”  It is a teaching in the bible that anger and resentment to others destroys ourselves and love.  It is why the bible teaches us to love everyone around us, especially our families.  It is not that we are taught to love for their benefit, but for ours!  Those who cling to anger and resentment in a relationship are clinging to destruction!

It is nice to feel the warmth of a familiar smile and warm eyes.  Like the sun on a Florida morning warming your back as you walk from the cool ocean waters, it is always welcome. It is important in marriage and relationships you value to remember that the sun shines in many places at once. It is important to remember that if another’s smile seems too entrancing, then you need to work on igniting the fires of love at home.  Consider starting with a smile and remember why you love your partner when you look them in the eyes.

………. Janr Ssor



Feelings, Friends, Fancy And Love

deathofafriend I wonder if as you reach your late 60’s you start to think more about “feelings” and less from your head?  My second optician, who was a friend for 35 years, and 10 years younger than me, just died of cancer tonight.  I knew it was coming but it is still surrealistic. I am pondering lots more, as I become more conscious of my age and the loss of friends, if I made good decisions? I did in being his friend and am thankful he was mine.
     We all make decisions where our head overrules our heart and I wonder if that is the best we can do?  I have always believed it but began to doubt it 20 or 30 years later. Not that I know that the alternative was better. I just wondered,  what if?
I am experimenting with communicating, in writing, more from my heart and less from my head.  It has made me think a lot more about the touching emails, I have received over the years from friends,  both men and women.  I wrote an essay on feelings,  as experienced by a long married man, seeing his wife leaving for a 5 day trip to Fla  to do some work at their vacation home. It was an attempt at more feelings and less intellectualism but it ended up being both.  I thought it was an honest projection of what it might be like and what the implications are.  I have been divorced once and married now twice so I have learned something, I hope.
A week after writing the essay,  I was thinking about an email from an old college girl friend (45 years ago) who said dating in the 60'sshe was trying to share more of her feelings with old friends but not ready to do so yet.  Then thinking about her email comment,  I looked at the one picture I have of her, at that age, and tried to recall if she looked like that.  On my computer,  I tried to enhance it to look more like what my memory struggled to recall.  It took about 20 minutes and then I went to sleep, unsatisfied with my foggy memory and the still somewhat unfamiliar photo.
I had a lot of interesting dreams that night. I saw, symbolically,  the relationship I had with this pretty red haired lady, and an  “old girl friend” that I had dated a bit before meeting my wife.  There was a third one too but, I cannot recall who the third one was as it was a dream state. As a result of these symbolic images, I now better understand my feelings for all of them, in the past and now in the present.
Despite what some people claim,  I find that it is hard to believe that, years later,  you don’t still love the people you have truly loved.  I suspect that deep in my heart I still love them as much as I did then.  What is interesting is that I can be truly be happy for them being with the partners they chose,  which I could not have felt for them years ago.  It is now like being their brother rather than a lover.  Would you not be happy for your sister if she married someone perfect for her? Well, that is my experience or so I think it is.
There is also the lady I left a year before I met my wife.  It is fascinating to me that I made the right intellectual decision leaving her.  But like my college girl friend, she was my best friend in a time when I needed a special friend.  I talked to her by phone a few times months ago and I tried to learn why she looks at life so differently than I do. That was of course why I left her. I mention her in my previous essay above as she was the lady who was in real estate. She did not believe in marriage commitments and I did and still do.
I think I have always been a bit of a “boring” intellectual, who finds work, books, and time alone to learn, great fun while people were more of a  challenge, as few shared my  interests. I have gotten better however from a diversion in life spent selling products almost door to door, for 5 years. I learned to “be” more relatable and even enjoy almost anyone I meet, at least for short time spans.
  memoriesIt is an interesting time in my life, a time to try to understand “relationships.”  I am sure I will not ever understand relationships but I will understand more about them. I have never valued money greatly. I did not know until recently what I really valued.  You cannot take money with you,  but I believe you can take memories you are proud of and happy with.  I will joyously celebrate that wealth which I have acquired.

Your Soul Or Your “Replay” Button!

It was about 15 years ago, in a near blizzard, that my wife, I and our two small puppies (my wife’s children) were driving down Rt 22 south toward Pawling NY.  The digital dashboard on my Cadillac Deville began to pantomime the car’s slow death by no-gas.  I had seen this coming but each gas station I passed had closed early because of the storm.  Suddenly an “idiot light”, I had never seen,  shouted  loudly from my, now neon,  flashing dashboard.  It said,  ‘Short Range” over and over!   It was describing the end of the numerical countdown snowstormthat had sped my heart up.  The upcoming gas station was closed and my braking to see the sign started my car sliding. I quickly recovered and began frantically praying as we headed towards Pawling.  I knew God could hear one prayer as well as a thousand repetitions but I needed a mantra to calm my growing apprehensions.

My headlights had become cones of illuminated snow as I saw the signs for a  gas station in Patterson, that had a brightly lit sign.  I pulled in to the vacant pumps, pressed the gas release button on my dash and hopped out gleefully to fill my tank.

As I approached the car with the fuel gun in hand, I noted that the fueling door was closed!  I thumbed the button in the car repeatedly but the door stayed shut.  Just then I noted the lights being turned out in the station office and my heart again began to race.  I tried prying the door open with my finger and a silver quarter from my pocket to no avail.  A teenager came out of the station to tell me what I knew, the station was closing.  I asked for help and he said, he did not know how to help.  He then told me his mom was picking him up in a few  minutes and I had to complete my purchase now!

I explained my situation, the wife, dogs, blizzard and warning light but his eyes were blank as if he had not heard me.  His ride pulled up slowly from the other direction and he said, ‘I have to close now!”  I repeated my concern and asked that he wait and help but his eyes remained nearly unfocused as if staring at a TV set. As I tried to pull some emergency release in the trunk.  the lights around me dimmed as he locked the ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????station door.  As if I was not there, he climbed into his warm awaiting car and drove off leaving us to become a ghostly memory fading in the heavy snow.  It then occurred to me, he had probably pushed the replay button in his mind and so our insignificant danger was reset and his mind’s conscience cleared.

I never got the door open and just had to pray my mantra all the way home. Fortunately the Cadillac designers had programmed a margin of error into the warning and we made it home, up the small mountain in Patterson NY.

The next day I called the owner of the station, whom I had never met. I explained my experience in that frightening stormy night. To my surprise I heard Dale Carnegie’s unknown brother express his concern and desire to compensate me any way possible for my challenge at his station.  He further explained how he would speak to the new hire and see that he understood what he had done so casually.  I then received a gift card in compensation by mail with a hand written note.  This was clearly a man I wanted to meet.  Despite the soulless child who closed the door in my face here was the antithesis in warm human form.  I did return to this gas station and get to know the owner.  I absolutely had to meet someone who could show so much warmth and concern for a stranger over nothing more than a cooper phone wire.  It turned out we are friends many years later.

Your soul or your replay button, could be a digital devils demand.  However there is a way to escape, books!  How do books prevent the death of a soul?  Think for a moment. When the new generation communicates by smart phone, computer, tablet, text, email or “face time”  how different is the experience from a video rotarygame?  How easily can the boundaries between the physical world and the imaginary one become blurred? When the young man left us so casually that evening, it occurred to me that he had simply pressed “REPLAY” in his mind and left without a concern for us.  Had he read books,  like Dale Carnegie’s, become involved in community service groups like Rotary, as the gas station owner was,  his “replay” button would have vanished, boundaries would be clear and the pain of others real.

In an era of replay buttons on every social media other than face to face communications, a book,  Dale Carnegie’s  “How To Win Friends and Influence People”  and a community service membership  card should be required of every growing child.   Not after they have committed a crime as a way of re-education and restitution but as part of the school curriculum when they are beginning to read to learn, in 3rd grade! Humanity can be great if we have a connection to our soul; but,  if it this connection is served by the “replay” button,  it may never be regained again.


What If We All Did This?

Yesterday I was talking on the cell to my daughter who lives in Fla.  She always seems to be going shopping to a food store when I call her.  This time she claimed she was not, but it was not 100% accurate.   I found out she was going to a dollar store where she could find lots of great buys on inexpensive canned, meat, chicken and veggies.Foodbox2

She and her husband, like most Americans,  have been hurt by the economy but they have not in anyway forgotten about how fortunate they are to be economically Okay. Between the two of them they have at least 6 different jobs or businesses they are running to be Okay but they never complain.  Instead they go every month to stores like this particular store and buy food that is canned and not perishable at great sales prices.  Then they pack them up in bags and keep them in their cars.  When they see a person who looks needy,  has a sign “willing to work for food,”  etc. they stop and give them a gift of food.  If  it is a person with children they give them several.

Many of us go on our way each day worrying about ourselves and our families.  It is easy to forget about what is out of sight. I was very proud of my daughter for having a plan of action to not forget, a plan of action that she has carried out for a long time, a plan of giving back for God’s gifts.

What I was most proud of her for,  was her ethics, compassion and effort.  If the CEO’s of  most of corporate America had an ounce of her humanity in their souls, America would not be where it is.  If congressmen cared about people as she does, rather than their “fat” lifetime benefits and re-election, we would not be where we are today.  We would be where we were when my dad and your dad won world war II by caring enough to march into a hail of gunfire on Normandy.  They did this to free the world and protect us all from the tyrants that now are disguised as American Leaders.  No wonder Americans polled would rather have cockroaches in their house then congressmen.StatueLiberty

I have traveled around America when I was in sales for 5 years of my life.  America has great people, many who like my daughter care about others.  We do have hope for a recovery and a future. We just need to call in Orkin to get the vermin out of Washington, banks and corporations.  Then we can find people with souls, hearts and the connection to each other that inspired France to give us the lady of the harbor.


we opted against san loco (on 160 n 4th street) to get something more authentic at the taco truck on the side of n6th. – 28 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

Janr’s intro:   Frankie Leone’s words, like Rit dye, drip down in rainbows of darkness to tie dye your soul.  Like Dali’s paintings, their  surrealistic twists and turns add depth to your dream of reality.  Each charcoal shaded stroke takes you deeper into his soul, your soul and the pain and passion you thought you erased when you showered.  Read it on “Borough Of Lost Boys.”


we opted against san loco (on 160 n 4th street) to get something more authentic at the taco truck on the side of n6th. – 28 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys).