Saturday, July 21, 2007

Damn virus

7/21/07 Saturday
Woke up with a splitting headache, the kind that can keep me in bed if it gets worse. It’s not at the level where my eyes are so sensitive to light I must darken the room and every little sound grates, at least not yet. Sounds like I am describing a hangover doesn’t it. So many parallels with TBI and my days of drinking and drugs that it’s uncanny. Almost like a punishment for those times of rebellion.

Anyway, I was up till after three this morning working on this laptop because it caught some kind of downloader virus. My expired Norton antivirus still comes on and scans this computer after it asks me to renew the subscription and it detected this virus but was unable or unwilling to remove it. So I went online to see what was available for free to fix this. The virus was using my E mail address to send out lots of E mails as evidenced by about fifty notices of undeliverable E mails to addresses I wasn’t familiar with, many of them in German or some other language. I figure I picked this thing up through an E mail I opened in because of that.

So going online I first checked my E mail and saw one of the regular notices from Microsoft regarding updates. Opening that up the first item was their new anti spyware virus program that’s supposed to do other stuff as well to make the computer run better. It was free so I decided to download it. That was at 10:30 or so. What a pain in the ass. It took forever as the PC card was working at just a little above dial up speed and disconnected several times. Plus there was a constant series of windows coming up asking for me to make decisions to continue. Finally I got it done so ran it and the program failed to find the downloader Norton had detected. I may have gotten rid of it when I used the restore function to return the computer to an earlier. I don’t know so to be sure I am now downloading the AVG program that is a thirty day free trial to see how that works. I used their product before with success plus they won an award for 2007 for computer security. We purchased Webroot’s Spysweeper program last year but only the cheaper spy version without the anti-virus feature. That works well and is also highly rated in the reviews so perhaps I’ll upgrade it. Won’t cost much to just add the anti-virus feature.

So I didn’t get much sleep and also didn’t get to post what I wrote yesterday to explain the “I’m not a Christian” comment I made on Thursday’s post. AVG is downloading as I write this so I will go back and review what I wrote, finding and changing the inevitable mistakes I make and making it clearer. I always seem to see better the next day. Sometimes I just don’t agree with what I thought the day before, another evidence of how I can get off track about things when this brain gnaws at what is bothering me.

I really need to finish the essay I started on the results of TBI that includes lots of the research and quotes from doctors and scientists to help others understand how things can be. I’ll throw up an example of these sometimes subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) aberrances in how this brain sees things. These are cover letters for resume’s I was sending out while in St. Louis after my release from the hospital. Not only did I want to find work and get out from my brother’s grasp when he was only giving me twenty bucks a week to eat on, but I honestly thought I could walk into a corporation and get a high executive position. When my brother tried to explain these cover letters, and the resume’s they were attached to, were not good I argued with him. “I’ve read hundreds of resumes from people applying to work for my companies so I know what a good resume is” I would say, probably angrily. The point is that this complex brain has a delicate series of balances that are easily disturbed. Just think about the changes we see when a child hits puberty or a woman menopause and those are normal parts of human life so imagine the problems that come when the entire brain has been shook up. This is why it is vital that folks talk with me or anyone else with TBI. It helps us understand when our thinking goes off base, at least sometimes it does. I now can see how bad these cover letters are but at the time I wrote them was convinced they were the best things written and argued that. The fact that my brother didn’t try to reason but just said it was stupid and I was stupid didn’t help me receive what he was saying. So here are the cover letters

Cover letter 1
I know you will find this to be one of the most unusual resumes you will see. The reason you will have the opportunity to obtain a man of my talent and drive is this, in October of 2001 I was in a car accident that put me in a coma. While in that state my divorce was finalized, my companies foundered, and they were sold along with all my personal assets at auction. The proceeds were used to settle the terms of the divorce and to settle debts incurred while I was hospitalized.
I am now fully recovered. You will find that I have a powerful positive attitude that is contagious and that I am an above average communicator who loves life and cares about people.
Bob Westbrook
Cover letter 2
While it is obvious that I have been successful I am hesitant to reveal my salary history. I have been told so many times” We can’t afford you” that I have become gun shy. I will say this, my income has at times been in the six figure range. The reason that should not scare you in considering this application is also the circumstances that will give some fortunate company the opportunity to obtain a man with my talent and background. While driving to Texas to visit relatives I was in a car accident. I was in a coma for two months and was hospitalized for a total of five months. During that time my companies foundered, my divorce was finalized, and my assets were sold at auction to pay debts incurred during my hospitalization and to settle the terms of my divorce. I still have the powerful positive attitude that helped me achieve the goals I had set before. I have spent the last few months regaining my strength and am now ready to rebuild a life. I desire a long term career that offers future growth based on performance.
Are you that fortunate company??
I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Bob Westbrook
Part of what is notable in this is how I got some facts wrong. Confabulation is a common issue with TBI as we often fill in the gaps of damaged memory as best we can, unwittingly inventing things we believe are true. I was in the coma only one month and hospitalized for two. I did have an auction but it happened immediately after 9/11 so was poorly attended and pretty much a disaster. I didn’t sign the divorce till the day before my car accident on November 15. This illustrates the confusion I had. Hell, when ABC aired their Toledo’s John Doe story on me I even had my age wrong.

Steve and Janie brought the guy over who will install our kitchen cabinets this afternoon. I wasn’t in real good shape as I had put in the new screen for our kitchen door. There was nothing physically hard about that from the standpoint of lifting and stuff. It’s just that I had to bend over the door as it set on saw horses. That’s what kills me. Just bending over a little kills my back and really hikes up the pain level. I can lift something heavy with much less repercussions.

So I was hurting pretty bad when they got here and was not real speedy as far as brain function goes. Having conversation at these times is not easy. When Steve asked me a question I had a hard time processing it and coming up with an answer. I ended up grabbing my hoe and going out to chop weeds as they looked over the kitchen and discussed things. Janie came out and asked if I was mad at her. Not even in the least. I explained that among other things TBI has an affect on the facial expressions so I might look angry when I wasn’t at all. That and the fact that I am more comfortable alone when in pain and slow.

We will probably meet them for lunch tomorrow after church. The AVG program found seventy three “Threats” on this laptop and the Trojan that caused all this. Microsoft’s program didn’t find diddly squat. I’ll probably uninstall that because it will probably just congest things up.

I’m pretty tired. Laying down to help the back pain so will nap a bit.

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