Pain and Sickness Are Death in Slow Motion

Do you remember the TV show called “The Six Million Dollar Man”? The 1970’s show was about an astronaut who had bio-implants that gave him super-human type powers! Little did I realize that one day my husband would receive computerized implants!

In April 2004 I brought home my own bionic man!

My husband had received a diagnosis of “severe spinal cord injury with a spinal tear” and was told to sit still and rest for 1-2 years. Given a 5-pound weight limit and no hope for recovery, the doctors loaded him up with Oxycontin, Percocet, Morphine, and a few other heavy-duty painkillers – all at levels normally reserved for the terminally ill – and wished us good luck.

His final surgery for the year was an experiment to implant an electronic neurostimulator from the top of his back and down to his hip. Neurostimulators were becoming common in those days but no one had yet successfully implanted the apparatus into the region of the thoracic spine, we were told.

The theory is, you shoot controlled electric currents into the spinal cord to shut off the pain. Cauterizing local nerves also served to help shut off the pain, theoretically. The computerized battery was designed to control the current on both sides of the spine and could be dialed up or down by the patient.

The neurostimulator was to become yet another failed experiment that would forever impact our lives.

Making our way down the 401 from Bakersfield to California my husband went into out-patient surgery (yes, out-patient!) to have his back opened up and wires implanted along his spine, from top to bottom. In the middle, near the source of the injury, a junction box was installed that served to conduct electricity to the wires. Into his hip was implanted a computerized battery that was operated by a control unit with all kinds of fancy buttons.

Arriving in the recovery room, the doctor passed a box to me and told me to read the instructions, while a nurse handed out a yellow sheet of paper with standard surgical recovery procedures and then told me to bring my pickup to the front door.

This was the 9th surgical procedure, so I just did what I was told.

With the nurse’s help I lifted my husband out of the wheelchair and propped him up in the passenger seat, very droopy from anesthetic. I hit the 401 and we returned to Bakersfield.

At home I opened up the box and curiously inspected a gray control panel with a lot of buttons… similar to a PlayStation controller. What in the world? I asked my heavily sedated husband, “Did anyone show you how to use this thing?” Blurry eyed, he said he didn’t remember a thing.

Okay… if all else fails, read the instructions. Needless to say, it was all Greek to me. So we played with it. Controlling the electricity levels, he would have sensations of electricity alternatively jolting through his legs and out his feet… or hands… or even certain personal parts.

It was a bit odd, as I discovered I could make my husband hop, skip, and dance!

We finally resorted to going in to see a specialist, where a company representative arrived to teach us how to use the control unit. Hooking Randy up to his computer, he began properly programming the control panel. Using his computer mouse to determine the appropriate places to shoot electricity, my husband performed like a puppet for the technician. Click the mouse and my husband’s hand jumped. Click the mouse again and his feet reacted. Click the mouse again and my husband was yelling, “You’re making me wet my pants!”

There were times when so much electricity would shoot through his feet that it was like he was disco dancing. It was fun for a few months, but then body fluids filled the battery and shorted out the whole system! Determined to beat the system, we elected for more surgery. This time they tweaked the junction box, excavated the battery from the back of his hip, drained it out, and then re-implanted it into the front of his abdomen. Fuzzy from surgery, the technician tested the electronics and, satisfied with Randy’s responses, flew back to Colorado!

I pulled my pickup truck to the hospital, grabbed my dazed husband, and we left for home…. little realizing something was amiss. They forgot to turn on the computer! A week later they flew the technician back and she turned on the power. We finally left California and returned home to the mountains of Northwestern Montana.

Randy was still using a wheelchair, but it wasn’t working very well on the rocky ground. I’d see his empty wheelchair and then rush to go find him, hoping he hadn’t fallen down anyplace too hard to get him out of. I ordered two canes for him and he began dragging himself around the farm for short distances. But it was like having a 200-pound toddler to watch!

Randy was not one to sit for more than a few minutes. One day I lost track of him only to discover him limping out of the woods, totally drenched in sweat, the sweat of pure terror! In a drug-induced daze he had wandered too far out and had met up with fresh grizzly bear tracks and the sounds of a very large animal in the brush. One cane has broken in half and the other was severely bent out of shape. It’s amazing he got out of the woods in time!

The neurostimulator was too delicate for antics like that, and it broke shortly after that incident. By then our cobra insurance had run out and for the next two years we had no medical intervention except for appointments with the local physician, a country doctor, who said he could do nothing for Randy’s back except prescribe drugs.

There seemed to be no end to pain and suffering in sight!

Without the neurostimulator, Randy’s pain level shot up to the moon and we again experienced tortured nights of screams and groans. Sleep deprivation, the constant crises, and knowing that apart from a miracle our lives would never recover was like a dark cloud enveloping us day in and day out.

Living with a “bionic man” was so appropriate because all along Randy had been treated by his employers as little more than a machine… so much so, that my husband had begun to believe it and act like it! His significance and identity came directly from his work and how well he could out-perform most other men. But as anyone knows, who lives with an addict, especially an addict with ADHD, a former bull-rider, bull-fighter, and Motocross racer, wild-lands firefighter, assistant fire chief, logger, rodeo clown, and basically anything ‘on the edge’… it’s a setup for emotional disaster!

Unfortunately, when life gets that tough, we often blame the loved ones in our most intimate relationships.

The movie, “8 Seconds” is one of the best stories about this dynamic, especially in the life of a bull rider, that I’ve ever seen. It’s a great story and really helps me to understand my husband!

Many marriages cannot withstand the stress of chronic pain without some sort of medical and psychological intervention.

Randy and I had lost everything and our grief had yet to be processed. When you’re living on adrenaline for years how do you stop and rest? When you’ve lost your health coverage how do you afford medical or psychological intervention? When all you know is work, how do you change?

Even at church there seemed to be few solutions.

People loved us and cared about us, but they just didn’t understand! Randy would come home from a back surgery, such as the implantation of the neurostimulator with dozens of staples up and down his spine, and the very same church leaders who prayed for him during the surgery would come up and slap his back, welcoming him back to church that week! It was crazy. I felt like I had to be his bodyguard but I so often trusted people to ‘know’ what was happening, when in reality many people hide from things they cannot understand or control… it scares them.

If you know someone in your family, or if you have been in severe chronic pain or disease, you probably understand the need of people around you for you to be ‘normal’ and if you’re like Randy, you probably suck it up and wear a mask for as long as you can. Then, when you come home, you rip off the mask and let out all the pain… and if you’re like me, you are probably the nearest shock-absorber.

Without resting and taking your troubles to God, how can you address the tremendous grief and the pain of loss?

The best we could do, and what turned out to be the very best solution of all, was to find every bit of Beauty, Truth, Humor, and Joy we could every day.

We continued to dream and to pursue BIG dreams. I learned to unleash my creativity and pursue time for ME. Taking walks in the wilderness were a big way for me to tap into God’s peace. There was a looping mountain road behind our house that went UP the mountain on a fairly good incline. I would carry my heavy load of worries and troubles with me, beating out my pain with a fast clip up the mountain path. Near the top there was a slight dip in the road where a very careful middle-aged woman could sit down and rest for a minute. Then I would stand up high on this ridge overlooking our home and also the entire valley… a place where one could see with eyes like an eagle’s for many miles.

This was a sacred space – a place I only went with a very serious type of prayer in mind.

Shouting aloud, crying, and with the grace to ask for all of Heaven to be my witness, I made promises and vows to God that I would never give up. In fact, I prayed more dangerous prayers and asked God to send us to the most hurting, to the most broken… to do with our lives WHATEVER He wanted.

Then, having laid down my heavy load, I would skip and sing back down the mountain and pick up my work once again. Many times before I hit the end of the path I would have a clear idea of the next step. It was on one such day that I immediately entered the house and found my ideal business. I joined a team of like-minded people and, in the company of these great people, I began to thrive. Personal development was at the forefront of our learning curve while at the same time we honed our business skills.

I entered into personal coaching with Dani Johnson, of A Call to Freedom, Int’l, and within a year my sales pipeline was kicking out fairly well. For the first time in a long time, I could take my mind off of the constant crises and pain and focus in a positive direction.

My soul was healing and the numbness that I had used to protect my heart from all the pain and constant crisis began to melt.

As soon as my own healing began, something in my husband cracked and in his own pain he began getting very angry. Years later he would apologize for those days, saying, “Sue, you didn’t do anything wrong. I was just afraid if you got too strong and independent that you would leave me.”

His worst fear was that I would leave him, and in his broken condition, who would take care of him? Despite constant assurance that I was for him and not against him, the pain was having its way and my freedom to pursue business was tested in every which way. Nevertheless, he was very much for me… it was just this inner battle he had to deal with every day.

In Steven Pressfield’s book, “The Art of War,” he defines resistance as anything within you that will kick in to sabotage your efforts at anything having to do with the work you were created to accomplish in this world.

We must be ruthless with such an enemy and the best way to defeat it is to move in the opposite spirit, to do what does NOT come naturally.

As we beat back the resistance within us and begin to blossom and flow in our God-given identity and destiny, it automatically triggers those around us to panic. For when they see us having success battling our own demons, it lays a responsibility on them to slay their own fears… At that point in time, for me to move forward meant leaving Randy behind (emotionally and spiritually). And sometimes, when a person is not ready to grow and mature, it’s best for us to keep moving onward and upward. At first glance it seems pitiless. When in reality, it’s the only way we can help save another person’s life. We must first be healthy and strong enough ourselves!

We have to save ourselves, first, and then we can show by our example the way for others to follow and help them along from there.

Nevertheless, our lives were about to shift once again in ways that would forever change us. A brochure for a healing conference arrived in the mail and we signed up for it that very day! A few weeks later were traveling to British Columbia with one goal in mind: the complete healing of Randy’s spine. It was our only hope!

Randy had made a vow and he sealed it by not bringing enough pain medication to last the weekend. He told me, “If God doesn’t heal me then you can just put me in the ground!” The first day was really great but no healing. The second day was wonderful but just as Randy got in front of the speaker to receive prayer, they had to close down the service and empty the building! The third day was discouraging and Randy began to lose hope. It took about a half dozen of us to push him to the front to receive prayer. John Arnott was the speaker and he didn’t care about speaking so much as he wanted those in chronic pain – specifically those who had been in chronic pain for many years – to come to the front.

We finally pushed and tugged Randy forward. Later he confided that he wasn’t certain which fear was the greatest… that he would be healed or that he wouldn’t be healed! After all, a lot of people go to healing conferences and they don’t get healed. And really, when you see people fall down and claim to be healed, are they really healed or is it a bunch of emotionalism and hype, or worse? We were about to find out.

The actual moment of healing was recorded on tape and then produced into a DVD called “Miracles, the Randy McKenzie Story”. I was there watching but my husband was so short I couldn’t see anything with all the people in front of me. Then suddenly John Arnott was asking if anyone had come with Randy and for that someone to please come up front. Randy was stretching and bending, doing things that would normally have sliced the muscles and tissues in his back, with all the wires. My husband was crying and then suddenly he picked me up in his arms and began twirling me around!

He always told me that when God healed him, the first thing he would do is pick me up in his arms, and he kept his promise!

From somewhere to my right a voice was saying, “Honey, you’ve got your husband back!”

The whole world fell away as Randy and I just held each other, until the voice spoke again and said, “Well, I think we’ll just let them have their own private moment here!” I peeked out from having buried my head in Randy’s shoulder and John Arnott was handing me a microphone. Oh dear! I just said the first thing that came to my head, because it was the sum total of all Randy and I had been praying about over the years.

And that’s when our lives changed, irreversibly, once again. Not only had God removed my husband’s pain but when we put hands on his back he could feel our hands, whereas before they had cauterized so many nerves that his back had become numb. As if that weren’t enough, Randy had run out of pain meds and could not have taken any if he had wanted to… this was literally his last chance.

He slept for the first time that night – all night long! And never once suffered a symptom of withdrawal.

His doctor, during follow up after the conference, told him he should have died simply from going cold turkey off those prescriptions!

I don’t know what shocked us more: the injury or the healing. I think the healing. And that’s when the conference leaders sent a film crew to our house and began filming a drama/documentary in our living room and local area. We really didn’t want to be part of the movie and had no idea why anyone would want to film an ordinary family who lived in the wilderness and had made pretty much every mistake known to man. But a little ways up the mountain, in a sacred space, where the host of Heaven had been witness, some prayers echoed down to me, “We’ll go wherever you want us to go. We just want to touch the lives of the most hurt, the most broken, the most needy….” So we said yes and just trusted God.

I want to share what I feel is the most important lesson of this story: Steven Pressfield, in “The Art of War,” nails it on the head.

Some quotes from Steven Pressfield:

Our job: “Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”

Our greatest fear: “Fear that we will succeed… we fear discovering we are more than we think we are…. We know that if we embrace our ideals, we must prove worthy of them.”

Steven shares an illustration demonstrating the power of our choices over the human spirit. When, our of fear (or Resistance), we choose to limit or diminish ourselves, to that extent our human spirit is diminished. What results can take forms such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, being accident-prone, and a number of other maladies both physical and psychological.

When a person overcomes Resistance and slays the giants of their own personal fears, many times the physical or emotional form of the weakness goes into remission or disappears.

I don’t know what happened to Randy when the pain disappeared (miracles are mysteries), taking with it all addictions to pain medications, but I do have a sense of what happened when the third and most debilitating injury occurred. Through a lifetime of performance mentality, expressed as workaholism, Randy endured one broken relationship after another.

With a broken heart he was limping through life and despite his great physical strength and determination, the buried dreams, identity, and destiny were simply an expression of his buried spirit… and the death-defying accidents (the petroleum-coke accident being only one of the three accidents/miracles) were physical expressions of the inner working of death in his innermost being. I believe, as Steven Pressfield advocates, that Randy’s innermost being was being issued a challenge to “Wake Up”!

His walk to the front of the church symbolized his willingness to awaken and to arise. The man praying, John Arnott, was simply an instrument being used by a loving Father in Heaven, to assist the broken man to rise up and to receive the good gifts his Father wanted to give him.

Pain and sickness are simply death in slow motion. Accidents and injuries and suicide attempts are just more obvious and quicker expressions of the same malady.

Do you know of someone who is sick much of the time, accident-prone, or depressed? We cannot give health evaluations or advice, but in a world where sickness and disease are on the rise in a 1st World Country such as the USA, it seems wise for us to become detectives and search our own hearts for any places where we have given up our dreams, where we have settled for less, where we have put on masks and tried to please other people, or anyplace where we feel stuck.

There is a master plan, a thread that weaves our lives together and knits us into wholeness. We see the bottom side, all threads crisscrossing each other and looking like a chaotic mess. But God sees the topside and skillfully and masterfully weaves each thread, even the dark threads, in our lives in such a way that we each have the potential and abundant resources to fulfill our destinies.

What do you enjoy most doing? If you could do anything in the world today, or be anywhere in the world, with anyone in the world… who would you be with, where would you be, and doing what? If it’s not where you currently are or doing what you are doing now, what steps can you take to make a course correction?

We can’t change ourselves or anyone else. We can only make one decision at a time, one prayer at a time, and get rid of anything that would stand in the way or create resistance. We don’t battle against people – they are not our problem. We battle against Resistance, our fears. I wish I could stand here and tell you that our battles are over and done with. In some ways, they are only just beginning! Little did we realize that our greatest battles were just around the corner!

Are You Ready to Consider Greener and Easier Ways to Reduce Energy Costs?

ENERGY SAVINGS IN HOME

Here are some ideas that are low cost or no cost at all

• Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.

• Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher are drying cycle.

• Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.

• Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment not in use as they will use several watts when not “on.”

• Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.

• Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.

• Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.

• Air dry clothes.

• Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.

• Drive sensibly; aggressive driving such as speeding, and rapid acceleration and braking, wastes fuel.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Visit energysavers.gov

Find out how a family reduced annual energy costs and carbon footprints in half! There is an article in MOTHER EARTH NEWS called “8 Easy Projects for instant Energy Savings”

If you find you have already made your home as energy efficient as possible and you still have high electrical bills, you need to consider DIY SOLAR PANELS FOR YOUR HOME.

WHAT IS SOLAR ELECTRICITY AND WHY CONSIDER DIY INSTALLATION OF SOLAR PANELS

It is generation of electricity from the power of the sun via photovoltaic cells. Without getting very scientific, the solar panel power generating unit is a kind of small power generating system that converts direct sunlight into electricity using solar cells and panels – the direct sunlight is fuel.

Here are a few reasons as to why you might consider creating your own affordable DIY polar panel project:

Relatively inexpensive to do

Save hundreds of dollars every time you get your electrical bill

Great for the environment as there is a reduction of CO2 carbon emissions

Spend savings on other important things in your life

Installed renewable energy system in your premises will increase the value of your property significantly

Installed DIY solar panels provide extra source of security should grid failure or power outages occur

You might consider starting with smaller DIY solar panel projects and build on that – smaller projects have limited exposure to electricity and you might feel safer.

Cost and Maintenance of Solar Panels

For a lot of us, commercial installation is a very expensive project as well as hiring a licensed electrician.

Depending where you live, there may be some tax credits available but these involve strict guidelines for the installation and inspections.

You need to find out about replacement and repair costs as well as proper maintenance.

Solar cells are often described by the percentage of converted power referred to as power conversion efficiency. This efficiency depends on the processing technology used to make the solar cell.

Solar cell technology differs from one another bases first of all on materials used to make the cells and secondly on the processing technology used to fabricate the solar cell. Silicon wafers solar cells account for about 85% of the photovoltaic market.

In renewable energy technologies the major cost is the initial purchase cost and this price doesn’t vary over the period of time the system is used. However, conventional generating systems (utility company) uses time of operation as a major cost component. You get quotes prices for energy (power x time) not just power. Usage cost is more during peak periods. A solar array provided two benefits – first of all it produces electricity during peak periods thus reducing overall consumption of grid electricity.

If you can look at John Farrell’s article called “Hourly Electricity Pricing Boosts Value of Distributed Solar by 33 percent”. appearing in CleanTechnica.com.

There is a great article about how several communities in more than one state found a way to reduce the cost of installing a larger solar panel setup. “Pallets of PV: Communities Purchase Solar and Drive Down Costs Together” found in Renewable Energy Project Finance. That can be found at financere.nrel.gov/finance.

All of the great details, including how to set up your own program, are laid out in “The Solarize Guidebook: A Community Guide to Collective Purchasing of Residential PV Systems,” released in May 2012. This roadmap is for state and local governments and community leaders wanting to create a program to buy PV in bulk. It describes how Solarize Portland executed its program, explains how other neighborhoods across the United States are building off their efforts, and describes the steps needed to have a successful campaign in six months or less.

BUILDING YOUR DIY SOLAR PANELS CAN SAVE YOU 50% OR MORE ON YOUR MONTHLY ENERGY BILLS!

PREPARE TO INSTALL YOUR AFFORDABLE DIY SOLAR PANELS!

You might think this project might take weeks, right?

With the right information, preparation and instructions, you can do this in one weekend!

Do you have pliers, screwdrivers, DC meter and solder available to you?

Next the planning – decide how much power you will want to generate and plan your work area and time you have available.

The best instructional systems come with video guides and detailed illustrations that go with a complete, very detailed instruction manual. Your training should have a video that shows you each and every step – one being built before your very eyes!

http://www.greenerdiyaffordablehomeprojects.com

Closer To Truth: The Brain And The Mind

There is an ongoing PBS TV series (also several books and also a website) called “Closer To Truth”. It is hosted by neuroscientist Robert Lawrence Kuhn. He’s featured in one-on-one interviews and panel discussions with the cream of the cream of today’s cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, theologians, psychologists, etc. on all of the Big Questions surrounding a trilogy of broad topics – Cosmos; Consciousness; Meaning. The trilogy collectively dealt with reality, space and time, mind and consciousness, aliens, theology and on and on and on. Here are a few of my comments on one of the general topics covered, subjects dealing with the brain and the mind.

What Things are Conscious?

Consciousness is just awareness. It includes awareness of your immediate environment as in that clap of thunder. It includes awareness of the state of your body as in I’m hungry or I’m tired or my knee hurts. It includes awareness of what’s on your mind as in will he ask me to marry him on our date tonight. In that sense, all living things have consciousness since all cells have to be aware of at least the state of their immediate environment and respond accordingly. So all living things are conscious, albeit to varying degrees. However, if I apply that statement, “to be aware of at least the state of their immediate environment and respond accordingly”, then I would have to acknowledge that the fundamental particles are conscious (and have some degree of free will in their response). I’ll just cite one example for the sake of being brief. An electron gun fires an electron at two side-by-side slits. If one or the other slit is open, the electron will pass through and impact in one spot on a detector screen opposite. If both slits are open, the electron will go through both slits by shape-shifting into a wave, interfering with itself (as waves tend to do) but the detector screen opposite will still record the impact of a particle. However, if one slit is open, then many electrons fired one after another will pass through that one slit and will hit that one or very near that one lone spot on the detector screen. If both slits are open, although each individual electron that passes through both slits simultaneously (as an apparent wave) will be recorded as hitting one and only one spot on the detector screen as it morphs from particle to wave and back to particle again, the sum total of many electron hits will show the smear or spread of a classic wave interference pattern, even if one electron is fired and hence recorded on the detector screen before the next electron is fired. Now the implication is that any one electron is conscious and aware of whether one slit or both slits are open, and its behaviour changes accordingly. Further, all electrons are aware of what all the other electrons did and where they impacted before it became its turn. In other words, an electron heading towards both slits being open, not only is aware of that fact, but seemingly knows when it morphs back into an electron after having passed through both slits at the same time, not to impact exactly where the previous electron impacted, but to pick a choose an impact point that will uphold the wave interference pattern. What things are conscious? Maybe at the most fundamental level all things are conscious.

Why a Mind-Body Problem?

Is there a mind-body problem? Is the physical (body and brain) and the mental (mind) really two entirely separate and apart things each governed by differing laws, principles and relationships? Probably not, because that might suggest that the mind has an independent existence separate and apart from the body and brain. Can the mind exist independently of the body/brain? Can the body/brain exist independently of the mind? Well the mind cannot exist independently of the body and the brain. Destroy the body; destroy the brain and what are you left with? I very much doubt your mind is still intact and wondering where the body and brain got to. On the other hand, you can be mind-dead due to extensive disease or injury to the brain or brain chemistry, yet both the brain and the body can be externally supported on life support and thus be technically alive. But there is no mind to be had although the brain and the body are artificially being kept ticking over. Should the body and the brain end up recovering following such heroic medical efforts that doesn’t mean that the mind will reappear. How many cases have there been of life support being terminated because even though the brain and body can be technically kept alive almost indefinitely, there is no hope that the mind will ever come back. So, the mind is 100% dependent on the functioning brain and body; the body and the brain is not dependent on the viability of an intact and fully functioning mind. The mind and the body are linked with the mind subservient to the body/brain. The mind has no separate and apart existence.

Are Brain and Mind the Same Thing?

The mind and the brain are not synonymous. The brain can exert control over the body in areas that the mind can’t as in that autonomous nervous system which makes sure your heart beats and your lungs breathe while your mind sleeps. In fact your mind often does a disconnect and not just when you sleep but when you lose consciousness for any reason, say passing out for lack of oxygen. However, your brain is on duty, on the job, 24/7/52. Even if your mind is wide awake, your mind, your self-awareness, cannot will your heart to stop beating or your lungs to stop breathing. Your mind has no final say in denying feeling thirsty or hungry or tired. The brain ultimately rules the roost. The brain obviously exists and functions even when the mind is in limbo-land; but the mind is never on the job while the brain is in limbo-land. No brain equals no mind, but no mind doesn’t translate into no brain. That’s a no-brainer!

Does Brain Make Mind?

I think that it is relatively easy to conceive of a brain without a mind but relatively difficult to conceive of a mind existing without a brain. Mind is associated with awareness in general and self-awareness in particular, including all those sorts of things referred to like sensations, thoughts, cognitions, intentions and feelings. However, when you are asleep, or passed out drunk, or knocked unconscious, or under anaesthesia while under the knife, your mind is in never-never-land. Yet one would be rather hard-pressed to suggest that your brain was in never-never-land while asleep, drunk, etc. If the brain should be destroyed, well the mind goes too, but as I’ve already pointed out, lack of mind doesn’t mean lack of brain. So, the brain and the mind are certainly linked with the mind subservient to the brain. So, does the brain make a mind? Well the mind can’t make the brain!

Anything Non-physical about the Mind?

To my way of thinking, the term “non-physical” implies that there isn’t any matter or energy involved in whatever you are applying non-physical to. The mind is generated by the electrical (energy) and chemical (matter) processes of the brain. If you cease all electrical and chemically induced brain activity, well that’s a pretty good definition of being brain dead, and therefore biologically dead unless an artificial source of chemicals and electricity is applied to keep the body ticking over, as in being on life support. Regardless, if you are brain dead, you are mind dead. If there was something non-physical about mental activity then presumably the mind could still be ticking over inside a dead brain. Why does that strike me as being unlikely in the extreme? Maybe that’s because it is unlikely in the extreme.

What’s the Meaning of Consciousness?

Consciousness has meaning, or at least meaning in an evolutionary sense; in a survival-of-the-fittest sense; as a consequence of natural selection. Consciousness is awareness. If you are not conscious then you have no awareness, and if you have no awareness or consciousness of what’s going on around you, then the odds are pretty high that you are not going to be passing on your genes to the next generation. Consciousness might have started out as a random accident; but that consciousness should still exist today means you don’t need philosophical jargon or metaphysical waffle to explain consciousness. Charles Darwin did that job for you over 150 years ago.

What’s the Essence of Consciousness?

The essence of consciousness is awareness. In fact IMHO the two words are synonymous. That awareness could be three-fold. Firstly, you are conscious or aware of your external environment. You see the lightning; you hear the thunder; you feel the wind; you smell dinner cooking; you taste the food. Secondly you are conscious of, or aware of, the state of your body. Your heart is beating rapidly; you have acid indigestion; you are sleepy; your nose is itchy. Lastly, you are conscious of, or aware of, the inner workings of your mind that come to the fore. You are depressed at the ever ongoing gloomy, cold and damp winter weather. You grieve over the death of your pet. You think that you’d better start to get dinner on the stove. You imagine all of the goodies you are going to buy at the start of the mid-season sales. So, a trilogy of facets of reality (environment, body, and mind) that requires your attention and therefore has your awareness, is the essence of your consciousness.

Does Consciousness have Purpose?

Does consciousness have a purpose? You better believe it! Consciousness is just awareness, an awareness of the external environment, an awareness of the body, and awareness of the mind. When it comes to coping with all that life throws at you, and I don’t mean just humans and just now, but all life forms that have survived, even thrived throughout geological time, then awareness is a must part of your arsenal. If an organism has no consciousness, no awareness of what is going on around and inside of it, it is not going to survive, and therefore hardly thrive, for very long. If there is prey or predators in your immediate environment, you need to be conscious of that. If your body tells you it’s time to mate, you’d better be aware of that too or else you aren’t going to pass on your genes. If your sensory apparatus alerts you to danger, then your mind has to decide to fight or make flight. An organism’s very ability to survive is totally dependent on it having some degree of consciousness or awareness. Survival, that’s the purpose of consciousness.

Does Human Consciousness have Special Purpose?

The phrase “special purpose” implies some sort of direction or design imposed on our consciousness. Purpose might be the result of natural selection, more likely as not our consciousness increases the prospects for survival and thus the ability to pass on our genetics to the next generation, but “special” purpose is heads and shoulders above that concept. Perhaps, if we ‘live’ as simulated beings in a Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe, then we have been programmed with a special purpose consciousness in order to perpetuate the existence of simulations. We are the Supreme Programmer’s way of creating further simulations on down the line, much like the chicken is an egg’s way of creating more eggs.

Is Consciousness an Illusion?

Is consciousness an illusion? Well, if it is, you’re not going to survive and thrive for very long. Consciousness is your awareness, awareness of the state of your current environment, awareness of the state of your body in the here and now, and awareness of your current and ongoing mental state. If your external environment is an illusion, if your body is an illusion then I guess you are just a brain-in-a-vat since at least your current mental state cannot be illusionary – “I think therefore I am” I believe is the relevant quote. You respond to what your awareness tells you (that’s self-awareness) as in it is raining outside so up goes the umbrella; I keep yawning so maybe I should get some shut-eye; I hate my next door neighbour so I’m going next door and shoot him. My variation on the famous quote is therefore “I respond, therefore I am.” If you think (awareness) and if you respond (self-awareness) then it’s rather unlikely that you are giving rise to thoughts or actions that are in response to illusionary stimuli. If the stimuli isn’t illusionary, then your awareness of it, your consciousness, isn’t illusionary either.

Why did Consciousness Emerge?

Although it would appear that when coming to terms with quantum physics one needs to deal with the apparent consciousness (or awareness) possessed by the elementary particles, and thus one could argue that consciousness emerged at the very Big Bang beginning, I’ll ignore that and just assign consciousness as an emergent property of life which is pretty much what the consensus is. Now I equate consciousness with awareness. Any unicellular critter or cell that emerged from any sort of primeval soup had to emerge with awareness intact; as part of the biochemical apparatus of that living structure, or else. Survival of the fittest started in earnest from the very beginnings or origins of life, or nearly from the start, once life-forms had to start eating other life-forms, which is to say when the nutrients of the primeval soup were depleted. These first unicellular critters had to be aware that there were nutrients to be had in the primeval soup, then aware that other critters were potential prey or predators. If they did not emerge with that awareness, or consciousness, they did not survive, far less thrive. So, it is not surprising that consciousness, or awareness, emerged nearly cheek-by-jowl with the very first life forms. Awareness has survival value even now, just as it was in the beginning.

Quantum Physics of Consciousness

There are micro happenings that are just too small to have any significant impact in the macro realm. A baseball that hits the outfield wall out in Yankee Stadium isn’t going to destroy the ballpark. Photons of light have energy but if you go out into the sunlight you are rather unlikely to be knocked flat on your back. You may have a wave-function but nobody is likely to see you in two places, or see you both dead and alive, at the same time. If the Earth went down a Black Hole, the Black Hole would consider the Earth just another minor cosmic snack. If one person runs in the opposite direction to the Earth’s spin, the world still goes on turning as it should. And so it is with consciousness. The chemistry, the chemicals, the physiological structures that ultimately control consciousness are too much in the macro realm for quantum effects to have much, if any, effect.

Is Consciousness Entirely Physical?

Yes, consciousness is entirely physical. The proof of that pudding is that you can change the state of your consciousness via the intake of physical substances. Such substances include well known drugs, both legal and illegal. So can certain foods. A lack of oxygen will alter your consciousness state of play. A physical disease can change your state of consciousness; ditto a physical injury such as one resulting in amnesia. A change in your physical or body chemistry including your brain will change the state of your consciousness, as in going to sleep. Sleep can be induced via an anaesthetic which is surely a physical substance. Getting away from humans, you’d be hard pressed to say that a cat under the influence of catnip has the same state of consciousness as a cat not under the influence of catnip.

Does Consciousness Cause the Cosmos 1?

Assuming that the cosmos is not a simulation but a really real place, and assuming that only living things exhibit consciousness, then consciousness played no part in the creation, or even the early evolution of the cosmos. If the Big Bang event scenario is correct, even in the broadest context, then immediately post Big bang, and probably for quite some time thereafter, the cosmos was not even close to being a Goldilocks Universe and thus the cosmos was devoid of life and devoid of consciousness. Immediately pre Big Bang, assuming a before the Big Bang (which I do), the conditions would also not have been suitable for life, as say in any Big Crunch that would of eventuated just before the Big Bang. Any time close to that Big Bang event, on either side of that Big Bang event, is not a time any intelligent and conscious life forms would want to find themselves in. As we note in the movies, and in real warfare, any time that bomb is about to go off is a good time to head in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, in space-time either side of the Big Bang event, there may not have been any other direction to head into. And so the odds suggest no life and no consciousness pre Big Bang as well as post Big Bang and thus consciousness played no role in and around the Big Bang event.

Does Consciousness Cause the Cosmos 2?

One possible form of reality is that life, the universe and everything is a wetware simulation. It might be that you have imagined or dreamed or daydreamed up the entire cosmos from scratch and that all reality just exists in your mind; in your consciousness or perhaps subconscious. Or, perhaps someone (or something) else has consciously or perhaps subconsciously dreamed up life, the universe and everything and you are a part of their mentally-generated reality. I’m not sure how this possibility could ever be disproved, so in theory, maybe a consciousness did cause the cosmos. Now as long as that entity that contains that consciousness doesn’t wake up or decide to invent a different cosmos, then all is right with the cosmos we virtually inhabit.

Must the Universe Contain Consciousness?

Must the [rest of the] universe contain consciousness? Absolutely not, any more than the rest of the universe MUST contain other extraterrestrial life forms. Life on Planet Earth, or at least a lot of life on Planet Earth, has consciousness. But, that could be a one-off fluke. You can’t argue consciousness being a bit of a universal property throughout the cosmos from a statistical sample of one. The universe can contain consciousness since some terrestrial life forms exhibit consciousness, like ourselves, but that doesn’t mean it MUST contain consciousness across the cosmic board. An extraterrestrial life form like a virus on the Planet Zork may not of necessity exhibit any consciousness. It might be hard to argue that a virus exhibits consciousness, and viruses could well be distributed throughout the cosmos via that seeding process known as panspermia.

Is the Universe Fine-Tuned for Consciousness?

That consciousness exists means the universe must be fine-tuned enough to allow consciousness to emerge from those basic laws, principles and relationships that rule the cosmic roost. However, consciousness is not inevitable. There was a time in the cosmos when life, hence mind, hence consciousness did not exist, so consciousness did not spring into existence nanoseconds after the Big Bang event. We only have one example in the entirety of the vast cosmos of consciousness existing, so consciousness may well be a fluke. It’s hard to extrapolate from a statistical sample of one. There wouldn’t appear to be any other form of consciousness anywhere else in our solar system so it’s difficult to argue that consciousness is universal or built into the fabric of the cosmos. Just because there is one green apple in a barrel of red apples doesn’t mean the barrel was required to contain any green apples.

Powers of the Subconscious

Truth be known, I believe that the subconscious is a far more mysterious realm of the mind or of the brain than consciousness. I’m in total awe of what the subconscious accomplishes, and not just in the human species but any species that has even the most basic rudiments of a neural network system.

Can the Mind Heal the Body?

Normally the body heals the body. If you suffer a bruise, a scratch, a pulled muscle, a broken bone, or get a headache, over time the body heals the body, albeit it takes longer the older you get. There are of course situations where it is beyond the body’s ability to heal the body and for that one then usually requires externally applied specialized chemical (as in pharmaceuticals) and/or physical (as in surgical) treatments. Sometimes nothing chemical or physical can heal the body. Ultimately healing, even post-surgery, is a function of natural body chemistry (like blood clotting) or of chemistry that is taken into the body (like prescription drugs) or of changes of body chemistry induced by the mind. The mind – chemistry connection is a two-way street. Chemistry can influence the workings of the mind; the mind can influence body chemistry. But when all else fails, is there mind over matter? Can the mind heal the body without resorting to chemistry? Is there such a thing as the healing power of positive thinking that doesn’t involve matter and energy? Probably not, and for two reasons. The healing process involves physical things (like drugs) acting on physical things (like body tissues). Non-physical things cannot influence physical things. A non-physical Wednesday cannot have any control over whether a physical thunderstorm will or will not happen. The second thing is that people still die even though all of their mental powers have been brought to bear on that not happening. You suffer from terminal cancer. No natural body chemistry, no prescription drugs, no surgery is going to change that. The power of your mind is not going to change that. You suffer a major heart attack and your heart stops beating. No amount of wishful thinking is going to make things better and re-start your heart, only something physical is going to come to your rescue in time. If the mind alone could heal the body when all else fails, there wouldn’t be any logical reason why you should ever die. Clearly everyone who has ever died has had a mind and probably would have applied that mind in a last ditch effort to prevent their demise. It doesn’t work that way.

How does Memory Work?

How does memory work? I haven’t a clue! What I am certain of is that somehow memory must be an emergent property of chemistry. There are many different types of chemistry. There is soil chemistry. There is food and cooking chemistry. There is liver chemistry, and blood chemistry, respiration chemistry and the chemistry that digests your food. There is the entire petrochemical industry. There is the entire pharmaceutical industry obviously based around chemistry. There is the chemistry of photosynthesis. There is mineralogy. There is the chemistry of metallurgy. There are dozens of forms of chemistry. None of those other forms of chemistry ever result in the emergent property of memory. Then there is the chemistry that’s part and parcel of the neurosciences. Somehow that type of chemistry ends up determining an emergent phenomena of memory. But there’s a bit more to it than that. Various products of chemistry have been deliberately given a fixed memory, like a film-strip, a CD or DVD, a magnetic tape, even a book or hieroglyphs. But that memory is absolutely fixed. The film or the CD or the book plays the same from start to finish no matter how many times you watch or hear the contents. There is one other emergent property associated with biological memory, and that is creativity. You can take a piece of music on a CD. The CD’s memory plays the music in a fixed absolute way again and again. Now take that same piece of music that’s part of your memory. You can in your mind speed up the piece of music, slow it down, hum it in a different key, change the notes or the lyrics if you wish. So chemistry, brain chemistry, not only gives you memory but also creativity based on those memories. How the heck atoms and molecules can do that is IMHO one of the Big Questions yet to be given a satisfactory answer.

What is Self-Awareness?

Awareness is the same as consciousness. It just means that you are aware of your surroundings. Your surroundings include the environment external to yourself which you perceive via your five senses. It could mean internal awareness of the state of your body. It could mean being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and related. So you are aware or conscious of the fact that it is really hot inside your home. You might be aware or conscious that you have a headache. You could be aware or conscious that you are worried about your car being low on gas. Self-awareness is being aware or conscious of those various facets that have registered and that are specific to you and then acting on them. It’s my variation on the famous saying – I respond therefore I am.

You might be aware that many people maybe hot, have a headache, and need to refuel their car, but self-awareness acknowledges those facets of your surroundings as they apply to just you. Self-awareness then enables you, and only you, to take direct action to deal with those facets that have arisen in your awareness, or at least deal with them if you are able to. You might not be able to deal with someone else’s headache or even want to, which in itself is a self-awareness reaction. So, your self-awareness that you are hot translates into you turning on the air conditioner. Your self-awareness that you have a headache translates into taking a couple of aspirin. Your self-awareness that your car needs to be replenished with gasoline translates into taking the car to the service station and topping up the tank with fuel. So, self-awareness is acting on what your awareness or consciousness is telling you.

What are Altered States of Consciousness?

Normal consciousness, whatever normal actually means, is a reflection of your brain chemistry. The proof of that pudding is that a change in your brain chemistry, and that includes changes induced by meditation, sleeping, disease and injury as well as by drugs of any type including those in the foods you eat, will change your normal consciousness to something other than normal consciousness, albeit at times by so little an amount that it is hardly apparent. Altered states of consciousness are just variations on the theme of normal consciousness, part of the consciousness continuum. Just like you have the electromagnetic spectrum that goes from very short wavelengths to very long wavelengths you have a range of states of consciousness. What goes gamma-ray wavelengths tell us about the ‘normal’ visible range of wavelengths or the range of radio wavelengths? They are all are the same, but different, but not different in principle. All the range of wavelengths just sort of gradually merge from one label (gamma-ray) into the other (visible) and the next (radio). So one altered state of consciousness merges into another state if the brain chemistry is tweaked, and perhaps there is no really defined or definable normal state of consciousness – every state of consciousness can be considered an altered state of consciousness relative to every other state. All states of consciousness are the same, but different, but not different in principle.

Does Consciousness Lead to God?

It is difficult to decide that issue about consciousness alone or awareness in isolation leading to belief or non-belief in a supernatural deity because humans are subjected to all sorts of other influences on the subject like books and parents and teachers and how the general culture you are immersed in has slanted the issue. America is a religious country and has in general a low tolerance for atheists; Muslim dominated countries even more so, while Europeans tend to be way more tolerant. So, to decide the issue, one needs to take another closely related species that has consciousness and observe if that species exhibits any sorts of behaviour that would be suggestive that they have belief in a god and a spirit world on their mind. That sort of observation might be relevant regardless whether or not God is responsible for consciousness since clearly even if He is, that relationship hasn’t translated or eventuated or taken hold as a universal belief in that God in all and sundry. I certainly haven’t observed any sort of behaviour in my many cats over the years that would be suggestive that they have the concept of a deity or a spirit world or an afterlife on the brain, and I would argue that they on the other hand do exhibit consciousness. Perhaps some behavioural scientists who work with primates either in the laboratory and/or in the wild might be able to shed some light on this.

How to Plan and Organize a Move

You’ve decided to move into a new house, and all of a sudden reality hits you! Where did all this stuff come from? How am I going to get it packed and moved? Is everything going to fit in the new house? I don’t know where to begin!

Packing and relocating can be overwhelming, to say the least. Before you grab the packing boxes, take a moment to get your thoughts in order. A clear, well thought out plan and checklist can make the difference between chaos and manageable chaos.

Don’t tackle the whole house at one time – this will never work, and you will only get more confused and frustrated. Start with one room or one closet. Begin with an uncluttered, open, area of the room. Designate three separate categories: Don’t Use/Does Not Fit/Out Of Style category; Broken/Does Not Work/Do Not Need category; and Keep This category.

Remove items from closets, drawers, or other storage areas one at a time! Once you place it on one of the category piles, it stays there. You will be amazed how quickly the ‘Don’t Need’ stack grows. The Don’t Use or Need items can be donated to charitable organizations, get rid of things in the Broken/Do Not Need category, and pack the Keep items. Once you conquer one room, what to keep and what to get rid decisions are amazingly easy and enjoyable.

Four to Six Weeks Prior to Moving Day:
Get price estimations/quotes from, at least, three moving companies. Choose and set a packing and pick up date as soon as possible.

Tell the post office about your move and date you will be leaving. You can get a Change of Address form on line or at your local post office.

Call friends, relatives, businesses, doctors, and any others that need to know you are moving.

Make a services list. You may have more, but some, or all, of the following may be useful:
Contact Public Utilities:
Electrical, gas, water, telephone, sewer, trash, cable/satellite, and fuel (oil/gas)

Update Medical and Insurance:
Doctor(s), dentist, accountant, lawyer, broker, and insurance agency

Cancel or forward Newspapers and Magazines:
Newspapers, magazines, newsletters, professional journals

Cancel or Change Personal Services:
Pharmacy, dry cleaner, lawn service, bank/finance companies, credit card companies, auto finance company(s), laundry service, and memberships in community or health clubs
Health Club

Notify Government Agencies of Your Status Change:
Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Administration, State/Federal Tax Bureau, City/County Tax Assessor, and/or Veterans Administration

Get rid of miscellaneous and junk items:
If you haven’t donated all those Don’t Need items, have a garage sale sooner than later! You will not only save money on packing and weight charges, but you will put some jingle in your pockets!

If any items do not sell, donate them to charitable organizations, and get a receipt for tax deductions. And, the items will be picked up by many charity organizations.

Lessen the amount of perishable and frozen foods in your kitchen. Buy only things that will be eaten before moving day.

Two-Three Weeks Before Moving Day:
Notify the moving coordinator if your anticipated inventories change (more or less), and if the moving date needs to be rescheduled. Be sure to give your contact information to the moving agent, and let them know where they can contact you at your new location.

Notify the moving company of any additional pick ups or stops, for additional items.

Check prices with a few vehicle transporting companies if you’re planning to ship a vehicle(s) to the new location. Ask if the vehicle must be delivered to them, or if they will pick it up at your location.

Prepare Your Family:
Visit some of your favorite places before leaving the area.
Throw a going-away party, informal dinner, or barbecue for your friends and family.
Reserve hotel rooms and/or airline tickets early.
If you plan to drive to your new residence, have your vehicle serviced prior to the the trip, and map the routes you plan to take.

Prepare Your Household Items:
Federal law requires that flammables, such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, and poisons must be disposed of properly. Drain the fuel from lawn mowers and other machinery that is to be transported. Take partially used cans of oil, paint, paint-thinner, bleach, combustibles, and chemicals to a hazardous disposal facility. Check with the moving company about what items can and cannot be shipped.

Have propane tanks properly disposed.

Prepare or have a service technician service your appliances for shipping.

Call utility company and schedule a time/date to disconnect utilities.

Have rugs and draperies professionally cleaned.

Get written appraisals for valuable items (jewelry or antiques), and keep them with you.

Don’t wax or apply oil to wooden antiques before moving. Some products cause the wood to soften. Your furniture can be marred by the furniture padding used by movers.

Do not have your upholstered furniture cleaned before moving. If the furniture must be stored, mold can build up on fabrics and filling by moisture remaining in the upholstery.

One-Two Weeks Before Moving Day:

Pets and Plants:
Be sure your pets immunizations are up to date. Pick up pet’s health records from your veterinarian. Securely attach identification and rabies tags to your pet’s collar.

Have your pet travel in your vehicle or ship them by air transportation. Consider boarding your pet(s) at your destination, or keep them in their travel kennels, until you are settled in your new home. Pets may be frightened by unfamiliar surroundings, or worse, your pets could wander outside because doors are left open when your furniture and household goods are delivered to your new home. Don’t take the chance of losing your pet. Also, keep an eye on your feline friends when unpacking boxes. Cats love to hide under the paper, and could be thrown out with the trash!

One Day Before Moving Day:
Point out fragile items to the packers. Identify or put all items that are not to be packed, or moved, in a closed room. Tell the packers that they are not to go in this room. This is also a safe place for pets to be during the packing day.

If you are doing your own packing, mark where the box is to be placed in your new home, i.e., living room, master bedroom, kitchen, etc. It’s also a good idea to indicate the types of items inside the box, for instance, bath towels, bedding, holiday ornaments, or pots and pans. Everything must be packed, boxed, labeled, and sealed before the mover arrives. Boxes will be checked, by the van (truck) driver, to be sure they are secure and closed properly.

Unplug all electronic appliances 24-hours in advance of the move, so they will be room temperature on moving day. This includes home computers, stereos, and audio/video equipment. Some movers do not transport computer equipment, so be sure to ask about transportation requirements/restrictions prior to moving day.

Last Minute Details:
Check closets, cabinets, and storage areas for any overlooked articles.

It is your responsibility to have mechanical and electrical equipment serviced for shipping before the moving van arrives. If you fail to have an item serviced, the van operator may load and haul the item, but the inventory sheet will be marked as “Not Serviced.” And, in essence, they are not responsible for damages to the item.

Moving Day:
It is your responsibility to make sure all of your items are loaded on the truck, be prepared to be on the premises until everything is loaded. Take a final tour of the house. You will be asked to read and sign the inventory sheet. Be sure to get and keep a copy of the inventory sheet(s) with you, in a safe place. This is the only proof you will receive to verify your items were picked up and are in transport.

Read and sign the Bill of Lading/Freight Bill.

Read and sign the declared valuation statement.

Read and sign the High-Value Inventory form, whether or not items of extraordinary value are included in the shipment. If applicable to your shipment, you will also need to sign and date the “Extraordinary (Unusual) Value Article Declaration” area on the Bill of Lading.

Make sure the van operator has the correct destination address. Provide phone numbers to the van operator, so you can be reached regarding arrival time of your household goods.

Do not have your home phone service disconnected prior to moving day.

Take Another Last Look Around:
Check to see if the water has been turned off?
Check to see if the furnace and air conditioner are shut off?
Turn off all light switches.
Have arrangements been made to have utilities disconnected?
Are windows shut and locked?
Have you given the house keys to your broker, new owners, or landlord?

The Day Your Household Goods Arrive!
Be available to accept delivery. If you cannot be there personally, notify the carrier who is authorized to accept delivery and pay the carrier’s charges.

On the day of delivery, the van operator will contact you, by phone, to let you know when they will be at your location. Most companies deliver within two-hours of notification.

Check your items as they are unloaded. If there are changes in the condition of the property from what was noted on the inventory, or if there are items missing, annotate the discrepancies on the van operator’s inventory sheet. By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of the items as shown. Report any loss or damage to your move coordinator.

The movers will place the furniture where you want, including rugs and setting up beds that were disassembled by the mover, at the origin. Decide were you want the furniture placed before it’s delivered, because the mover is not obligated to rearrange your furniture after placement! Remember, mattresses will not be unpacked by the mover. Appliances can be installed, for an additional charge, but arrangements need to be made prior to the delivery day.

Attach a floor plan or room name, for instance, master bedroom or dining room, to a room door or entrance, so items will be put in the room indicated on the box.

Keep your copies of the inventory sheet(s) and other documents. You will need them to verify moving expenses when filing your federal income tax return.

Allow television sets, other electronic equipment, and major appliances to adjust to room temperature before using; a rule of thumb is 24 hours.

One Week After Your Move:
Tell the new post office to begin mail delivery.

Register your vehicle(s), and transfer your driver’s license.

You may want to set up an appointment with a local lawyer, to discuss differences in state laws for wills, property transfers, investments, home/auto insurance, and taxes. Most laws become effective when residency is established in the new state and city.

Relocating is a big job, and some of this information might be helpful. But, it’s not unnatural for something to be overlooked, lost, broken, or misplaced, even with the best of plans and organization.

Emotional stress and physical exhaustion cause, even the most easy-going person, to go a bit crazy! Patience and accepting the fact that things will not return to normal in one day, cannot be emphasized enough! Expect that unpacking mountains of boxes, and reestablishing your castle will be an ongoing project for several days, even weeks! But, it will happen.

State Farm Home Owner Insurance Quote

If you have a home business and need a home owner insurance quote, consider getting your home owner insurance quote from State Farm. As long as you purchase enough home owner insurance to adequately protect your home as well as your home business, you will be safe; however, making sure you have enough home owner insurance for both your home and your home business is just the start. You must take a few more steps throughout the duration of your home owner insurance policy to make sure your home business is thoroughly covered with your State Farm home owner insurance policy.

First, make sure you have taken proper inventory of your home business’ equipment. Include computers, printers, fax machines, copy machines, shredders, scanners, and any other expensive electronic equipment, as well as filing cabinets, desks, and chairs. These are the pieces of equipment you will need to list in the event your home business becomes damaged in some way, so it is extremely important not to forget anything. Also, keep your inventory up to date, and notify your State Farm home owner insurance agent so he or she can make the necessary changes to your State Farm home owner insurance policy.

Next, consider investing in protection devices such as lighting protection systems and electrical surge devices. You can contact a contractor for more information about these kinds of protection.

Finally, keep your State Farm home owner insurance quote low by taking your own precautions. Install a safety alarm system. Record the serial numbers of all business office equipment you purchase. Buy a large safe and store all smaller, expensive office equipment in it when you’re not in the office. If you are willing, consider bolting your larger office equipment to the floor, such as desks, safes, and copy machines.

Take these steps before you get your State Farm home owner insurance quote, and maintain them to keep that quote low.