Words to live by, literally: Charles McConathy on Staying Healthy

Just back from a brief staycation (it’s so lovely in Seattle this time of year) and I found an old post with a few words from the great but late Charles McConathy. Charles was one of the first people to befriend me in the CA tech industry. He founded the very successful and admired MicroNet and was one of the most helpful and konwledgeable people I’d met. 
Charles died after a battle with colon cancer in 2004. A month or so before he died, he posted the following message on what he’d learned about staying healthy, which included this summary:
“… it is easier to avoid disease than it is to treat it. Do everything you can to protect your health.”
More from the tech point of view when I get back to the office. So little to talk about and so much time.
Scratch that, reverse… 😉

Subject: [FCP-L] OT: Oprah – September 1, 2004 Segment
Date: September 7, 2004 11:27:10 AM EDT

Do any of know how to get in touch with Oprah group to see if its possible get a tape of the September 1, 2004 segment which I think was based on Healing from the Heart with Mehmet Oz M.D. or if any of you taped it could I get a copy. I have some people I need to share it. Unlike Dr. Phil, Oprah does not offer tapes. Oprah does offer transcripts but that is not the same as a real live video. This doctor showed various organs of the body and how they get diseased and most revealing was his showing what body fat looks like and that some people might have 20 or 30 pounds in their system. I saw the above segment while in the hospital. I was was very impressed.

During my illness with colon and liver cancer I have had time to read and learn more about ways to protect one’s health. Remember it is better to pay the grocer and the gym than to pay the doctor. And it is easier to avoid disease than it is to treat it. Cancer and diabetes are rampant. Do everything you can to protect your health. It is not easy to eat right but its well worth the effort – especially when you consider that a cancer patient will run up bills between $400,000 and $700,000. I thank God I have Medicare that covers much of my costs. But now there is some new bills going through to limit the amount for cancer patients. This could leave some without medial treatment.

As you study and read about health you will find a lot of confusing information in books and on the internet. But if you continue to study you will find a thread of truth that is right for you. One group says don’t use soy products and the other might say they are great. After reading and thinking I tend go with soy products since asians have used them for years and have much less cancer than we do in the USA.

Below is a list of items that I feel can improve most people’s health…

• If you have an illness Trust in God and never give up hope – take time each day for devotion
• Stress – find ways to reduce stress – very important
• Rest – try to get two hours of your nightly sleep before midnight
• Avoid sugar, coffee, soft drinks, and snack foods – read the labels
• Exercise – at a very minimum walk a mile a day
• Lose weight if needed – be careful of low carb diets like Atkins – they might work now but could have other long term issues
• If you smoke – STOP – Cancer of the lungs is serious – as seen on the Oprah segment first hand
• Take a sack lunch to work versus going for fast food
• Get 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day – good for Vitamin D that helps absorption of vitamins
• Keep a window open day and night for fresh air – disease does not thrive in oxygen
• Drink pure water – try to drink 64 ounces a day of pure water – without chlorine or fluoride – I drink spring water
• Be aware of the effects of mercury in your system – avoid certain fish
• Eat more raw foods – cooked food tends to kill enzymes – try to get organically grown produce when possible
• Learn about enzymes and how important they are to your health
• Use flax seed oil on salads with lemon juice – avoid iceberg lettuce – use darker leaf vegatables
• Eat more berries and fruits such bananas, apples, apricots, peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and mellon
• Include almonds, sun flower seeds, and cashews in your diet
• Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking
• Use sea salt vs table salt
• Eat less packaged and fried foods
• Drink freshly made vegetable juices – such as blends of carrot, apple, beet, celery, spinach, onion, and garlic
• Avoid or reduce animal fat in your diet – eat more fish or chicken vs beef or pork
• Use almond, soy, or rice milk vs cow milk – cow milk often has hormones and other issues
• Be very careful of the chemicals you use in your home or work
• Study your personal need of supplemental vitamins and minerals
• Have your blood tested – I go to a Natural Doctor that shows me my blood cells on a monitor – very revealing
• Learn to test your silva and urine using PH paper – easy to do – better to be 6 to 7 PH vs acidic – cancer likes acidic
• Depending on your age – get a colonoscopy every five years and regular check ups
• Learn about parasites and yeast and how they affect you
• Remember that a lot of diseases start in the colon and liver – learn how to cleanse your colon and liver
• Learn how to boost your immune system through foods, vitamins, minerals, and herbs

Try researching subjects on Google…its amazing what you can find.

Thanks for your help,

Charles F. McConathy


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Six months and Google still doesn’t believe I’m me: the troubles with “real” identities

Remember when I noted that after three months, the nameless folks at Google insisted I wasn’t me ?

Well, I’ve been suspended by Google…

“Your profile has been suspended.

“It appears that the name you entered does not comply with the Google+ Names Policy.

“The Names Policy requires that you use the name that you are commonly referred to in real life in your profile. Nicknames, previous names, and so on, should be entered in the Other Names section of the profile. Profiles are limited to individuals; use Google+ Pages for businesses and other entities.”

In other words, I do not comply. 😉

After all these months, I’ve not been able to reach anyone in Google’s customer service department (do they have one?) or been contacted by the company for more information. I can’t even comment on the issue when raised on Google Plus, as raised by Mike Elgan.

Oh, well.

As I noted previously, perhaps Google should Bing it. Similar results on Google’s search site, too. To be frank, I was “M3” long before Google was, well Google,. And even then, I wonder if Google had tried to register their name, they’d be denied as it wasn’t their name wasn’t correct (see googol). And it’s been the subjuect of web humour and discussion as noted here and here. 

danah boyd wrote in her post about the the value of pseudonymity that “enforcing “real names” policies in online spaces is an abuse of power.” Since then, we have seen several high profile examples that have come to light, where both pseudonyms as well as real-life names were wantonly eradicated as Google enforced its “real names” policy.

As eloquently put by my friend, Jon Pincus,a few months ago when Plus was referred to a still being in the pilot phase…

“Meanwhile, back on the nymwars front, several of the people on the suggested users list have names that violate the guidelines.  It really highlights the inconsistency of Google’s policies: Dj ASHBA and Chamillionaire the Ceo are ok; Doc Popular, Technogran, and Kaliya IdentityWoman aren’t.  50 Cent and Jennifer 8. Lee are cool; M3 Sweatt isn’t. Once again, to quote Vic, there’s still a ways to go.”

True dat.
With a nod to my friend, Oliver, as I’m unable to get on + with the name that I am commonly referred to in real life, I transliterated it. Perhaps now someone at Google will approve it. 😉
More at
Given Vic Gundotra’s first name is Vivek, I wonder if his profile would’ve been denied? Or perhaps he’s leading the way on the use of ‘nyms, as they’re called. 😉 

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Top 10 little known Microsoft facts

A little fun on the shuttle today, via Twitter…

Top 10 little known Microsoft facts:

# 10: There is no building 7, but Devs like to schedule meetings with new PMs there

# 9: Xbox was originally “Microsoft Interactive Audio Video Multiformat Entertainment System 2000” 😉

# 8: Microsoft’s leadership in tech slogan, code-named t-shirts was recently lost to Old Navy

# 7: Microsoft Mice are built by actual mice!

# 6: @CraigyFerg’s new robot sidekick beat out three Microsoft robots: J, M3 and K7

# 5: I’m actually an autoresponding, Alexa-like MSR project. How’s that for innovation? 😉

# 4: @ckindel’s new start up? confidential but I bet it has something to do with the new Tin Tin movie

# 3: @mrelph was originally a member of Canada’s Department H, working with Wolverine

# 2: yes, we have excellent engineering systems, and cricket bats are used to closely manage schedules

And the number one little known Microsoft factoid:

# 1: one way to solve the debt crisis? Get @fxshaw: he does “the numbers”! (See


Tags: Friday Link, humour, commercial

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Humour: A Fun Volkswagen Commercial featuring Darth Vader

A little humour today, just before Superbowl Sunday: this commercial from Volkswagen featuring a diminutive Darth Vader on a seemingly normal Saturday afternoon.

I have seen our own son pull the same head fake at the end of the commercial when faced with a reaction to his use of The Force on our cat and other immoveable objects. (Thanks, Lisa and David)

Tags: Friday Link, humour, Darth Vader, Star Wars , commercial

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Andy Grove: On Innovation, Manufacturing


MP900321177[1]This week I discussed with associates at work how Andy Grove is right: if lose manufacturing capability & understanding and you break the chain of experience & innovation (as posted here on BusinessWeek).  The article from Grove hit quite a chord with people in business, particularly tech. So much is gleaned from the act of building that if you fail to understand the value of manufacturing – something that people think is only as important as the monetary value – that without it you miss much of the innovation process.

Take one such inventor prior to the adoption of off-shore production: the incandescent light bulb. This invention had a history dating back to 1850, when Joseph Swan started his work building a light bulb. Thomas Edison started his work in the late 1870’s building on the work Swan had started in his effort to bring electric light to the UK. (Not to mention the fierce competition between Edison and George Westinghouse on the light bulb.)

Edison and his staff of scientists were tinkerers: what would have happened had he off-shored the manufacturing of the first imperfect but somewhat practical light bulb designs? Would Edison and Westinghouse have come up with the refinements needed to perfect the invention? 

Probably not. 

When a product is seen as a commodity, do we lose sight that many of these so called commodities provide the building blocks for new products that can spring new fields of products? Grove is right in that when we lose manufacturing capability and understanding, we break the chain of experience.

Just a thought for a Friday afternoon. Now I’m off to dig out the Legos and ErectorSet for my boys, in addition to their Kodu skills.

Tags: Thomas Edison, Andy Grove, innovation.

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