Short essays by Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., the author of TING AND I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO, USA), available from outskirtspress.com/tingandi, Barnes and Noble [bn.com], and Amazon [amazon.com], in paperback or ebook formats. Please visit us at tingandi.com for more information.
Being raised by a single
mom in the poorest neighborhoods of the South Bronx with my brother and sister
was not entirely the most frustrating part of my childhood.
I have to say that the
biggest frustration in my life so far has been coming to America on a vacation
visa at the age of nine, not knowing why we were here, or when we could go back
When we arrived here in
1974, I did not know a speck of English, nor what snow was. I didn’t even know
that we were about to meet my real mom.
A little background on
I was born in the
Dominican Republic, where I lived with my
dad, stepmom and three siblings. There was no love felt
from the stepmom, but I did feel love from my dad when he was around,
which wasn’t often.
My dad was an
entrepreneur, and as far as I can tell, we were financially well off: we had a
maid, a cook, fancy cars, and many employees.
My father died three
years after I arrived in America, and I know of
no inheritance money. Perhaps writing this sounds cold, but when
you’re growing up hungry, moving from building to building due to
constant eviction, or forced out of condemned buildings, a
better life is all you think about. Yes, even at twelve years of age.
Luckily, at twelve,
I was able to land a newspaper route. I made about $7.50 a week delivering
the New York Daily News, and other than enduring the
occasional muggings, I loved that job…because every penny I earned was getting
me closer to my independence. As I grew older, I worked at a hardware store,
grocery stores, and other part time jobs as I attended school.
Major disagreements with
my mother (I didn’t appreciate the beatings) and dealing with my kleptomaniac
brother made it difficult to live a peaceful life, At age eighteen, I
I was barely able to
afford rent, food, clothing, etc., so I looked for a better-paying job.
Not knowing what I
know now, and having no guidance, I pounded the pavement in the nicest
neighborhoods I knew in Manhattan, NY.
Having held a job
in a grocery store since the age of 16, I figured that the next step upwards
was working at a supermarket.
After walking for hours
from supermarket to supermarket, I landed a job at a Red Apple
Supermarket at 72nd Street and Amsterdam Ave. in
If you’re wondering why
I didn’t simply search closer to home, the answer is simple. Starting
out, I took a job at a local mini-market for a week. The first
time I took the day off, there was a robbery, and the clerk was shot dead. I took
that as a hint: perhaps I should quit and not test my luck again.
There are many stories I
can share about working the overnight shift at Red Apple. For instance, one New
Year’s Eve, we were locked in to replenish the store; my partner fell down the
food transport belt and lost his ear, and we had to wait until the morning
because our emergency contacts did not pick up the phone. We were afraid to
lose our jobs if we called the authorities, so we waited. Yes, I was legal in
the country at the time, in case you were wondering.
I’m not sure
if we were naïve, or simply stupid.
I didn’t last much
longer at that job; I knew that there was something better for me. I was not
just driven by lack of finances. I was driven by the knowledge that there was
something much better out there. I just didn’t know what it was.
and I looked. I answered a newspaper ad from an employment
agency. The agency tested me, prepared me, and showed me how to dress better
and shave the fuzz from my face. They sent me on three interviews. I got two
offers. I chose E.F. Hutton as my first corporate job. The job was in the Wall
Street area, and I knew that I was finally on the right track because I
could now afford to pay the rent on time every time. I was eating better,
bought a car, dressed better, and most importantly, started to live life.
I was around twenty or
twenty-one then. I’m fifty-two now. There have been many ups and
downs in my life from then until now. I am married, have two children that
have never experienced the depth of poverty that I was exposed to,
and I hope that I have prepared them enough so that they never will.
My son has finished
his four years at Hofstra University and is successfully living life
on his own terms. He and I have a great relationship. My daughter is finishing
up her second year in college, and I couldn’t ask for a better daughter. I love
them both very much, and our relationships continue to flourish.
As a parent, I can say
that all the frustrations I have experienced in life have all been
worth it to get to the point where my family is right now.
There are still a few
challenges to overcome, and that’s a story for another book.
My message to
all who have posted and will post on FrustratedWithLife.com is this:
Look beyond yourself.
Focus on a better future, even if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
The people that
frustrate you, the challenges that frustrate you, the relationships that
frustrate you, anything that frustrates you, these are just specks on
your timeline. The future is yours to accomplish anything you wish.
Choose to accomplish.
Choose to live life on your terms without infringing on anyone else’s.
Choose to live life on
purpose, with purpose.
Edison R. Guzman
Excerpted from FRUSTRATED
WITH LIFE? You Are Not Alone, ebook by Edison R. Guzman and
Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., available online from amazon.com.
Jorge P. Newbery has many impressive accomplishments, starting early as a seven-year-old newspaper delivery boy, participating successfully in long-distance bike races and in marathons, owning over 100 buildings in Ohio, and moving to his current position as founder and CEO of American Homeowner Preservation "a socially responsible hedge fund which purchases nonperforming mortgages from banks at big discounts, then shares the discounts with families to settle their mortgages at terms many borrowers find 'too good to be true.'" Basically, he now gets his money from helping the downtrodden screw their creditors. Newbery's next book is DEBT CLEANSE: HOW TO SETTLE YOUR DEBTS FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR (AND NOT PAY SOME AT ALL). This is 21st-century heroism, not going bankrupt, but finding another way not to pay. I admire his persistence and talents and appreciate how well the book is written. It is inspiring in showing how hard work can produce surprising results. It is disappointing in the author's goals, which are largely self-serving, though he seems oblivious to this. He does take responsibility for his failure as well as his successes. *** Mine is a minority opinion of this well-received book at amazon.com. Reviews of BURN ZONES
I struggled through Binary
Physics, impressed with the author’s brilliance, dismayed at the
disagreements with much of contemporary physics, unsure whether this was a
breakthrough or more of a breakdown on Zilberberg’s part. It was often hard
reading. At times, it warranted five stars for creativity and merely one for
lucidity, though some of the topics are arcane.
Time as the Fourth Dimension, “Depth”
Let’s start with his view of time, as a quantized fourth
dimension, “depth,” with individual units that are about ten to the minus 50th
power of a second, 1/10**50 s, a decimal with 49 zeros and then a 1. A wave
passing through a location would have a series of Existences (1) and
Placeholders (0). The highest frequency pure wave would be 01010101… over the
units of “depth” (“time” from here on). A wave or half that frequency would be
01001001… These are frequencies in the range of 10**50 (ten to the fiftieth
power) Hz (= per second), whereas gamma rays (the highest-frequency waves we
know of) are 10**19 Hz, much lower in frequency. As with Fourier analysis, the
greater the range of frequencies you can use to compose a particular signal,
the more accurately you can replicate it, so having a range up to 10*50 Hz
gives lots of leeway, which is needed…because the time series of 0s
(Placeholders) and 1s (Existences) is what everything is made of.
Existences, Placeholders, and the Real World
We can compose any electromagnetic signal with our 0s and
1s up to 10**50 Hz. How do we get mass? From obstructions, the bunching up of
Existences that cannot move freely. A pure wave, 010101…, in the next “turn” (a
unit akin to time), becomes (moving to the right) 001010…, as the Existences
occupy the Placeholder positions. However, the pattern 0110110… cannot shift fully
freely one turn to the next because an Existence cannot move to where there is
already an Existence, so we have 0101101… and the change is experienced as
resistance. In Binary Physics, motion is inherently at the speed of light but
mass gets in the way, so that work is done not moving mass, but removing
obstruction and thus producing apparent acceleration.
Perception is Reality
“Apparent acceleration”? Well, it is not clear to what
extent what we perceive is real, according to Binary Physics. What we perceive
as motion, BP tells us is extinction
in one location and creation in an adjoining location (also quantized, like
time), which looks like motion of an entity.
Yes, location is quantized, also: the universe is in some sense granular, with
Zilberberg estimating the spatial quantum at about 1/10**42 meter. The size of
a proton is generally stated to be 1/10**15 meter or 27 orders of magnitude
larger. The “cells” of the universe are tiny in comparison with physical
Quantum mechanics has prepared us for quantization of
physical properties like energy, and angular momentum, so quantizing time does
not come as such a big surprise, especially when it is so fine-grained at
1/10**50 of a second. Similarly, locational cells are extraordinarily small.
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle indicates that the product of energy and
time uncertainty is greater than Heisenberg’s small constant, also true for the
product of momentum uncertainty and positional uncertainty; perhaps the
“graininess” of the universe in time and space contributes to the lack of
precision in these products.
Effect Following Cause?
What does come as a surprise is BP’s statement “the future influences the present no less than the
past, and the past is constantly changing….” This contradicts basic tents of
science. We do not accept that the cause happens after the effect.
Two-Dimensional Analogue: The Game of Life
The two-dimensional analogy made by BP is with The Game of Life, where
squares in a grid are given initial values of 0 or 1 (visually white or black)
and then are required to change or stay the same during a series of time steps,
where their existence (1, black) is determined by a set of rules generally
dependent on what their “neighbors” are. On a square grid, each square would
have four full-neighbors, one on each side, and another four part-neighbors,
one on each corner. Depending on the rules and the starting conditions, rather
life-like patterns and behavior can emerge. BP analogizes this to
Existences and Placeholders in eight dimensions, a familiar three plus time
(depth), plus four more, which extra four I won’t explain and do not find
Ten Rules to Supplement the Axioms
Much of the book describes how Existences and Placeholders and
cells in space and time can be understood to explain motion and gravity. A
weakness here, in my estimation, is the adoption of The Ten Rules of Private
Binary Physics. I’d prefer fewer rules. The need for these seems like the
addition of the epicycles to the old Ptolemaic view of the solar system to be
able to explain eclipses and “retrograde” motion. Occam’s Razor needs to be
Another disagreement I have is with the idea of a multitude
(infinite?)of universes, to explain how this particular one is capable of
having human life. Yes, the anthropic principle is persuasive to me: this
universe is too well suited to our existence to be just a coincidence.
Zilberberg believes in God the Creator, as I do, so there is no need for this
multiverse hypothesis. I like that he thinks God would create something that
has the virtues that God has, while allowing (somehow!) for us to choose
between right and wrong.
Goals, Awareness, Consciousness
Zilberberg discusses in depth the degree to which systems
can be goal-seeking and even aware and conscious, and I defer to his greater
knowledge and more extensive contemplation of these issues.
Sources and Methods
The author is clearly brilliant and well-informed. His
sources and inspirations range from thinkers Dawkins and Hawking and Harari to
films The Matrix and Back to the Future. Nevertheless, I
concluded that much was mistaken, much was unclear or repetitious. This was
hard going. With almost no equations, it is hard to follow some arguments to
assure oneself of their validity.
Profound or Profoundly Wrong?
As I read the reviews on Amazon that have preceded mine, I
am unsettled by how few of the reviewers have the scientific background to
examine Binary Physics in depth. I
found BP challenging myself. despite
my own education (A.B., physics, Cornell, 1964; M.S., physics, Penn State,
1969; Ph.D., engineering, Harvard, 1974) and three decades of technical
I recall how impressed I was in my youth in the 1960s by
the iconoclastic works of the genius Immanuel Velikovski, works such as Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval, both of which were
closely argued, well documented…and now considered to be mostly wrong (see The
Velikovski Controversy). I fear this may turn out to be the case
for much of Binary Physics. What
survives such scrutiny may be of real value, however.
“Saints preserve us,” said Mrs. Jervis, there’s fungus among us.” Somewhat of
an alarmist, Mrs. Jervis also proclaimed, “There’s malaria in the area.” So
went an old comedy routine.
Mrs. Jervis may have been wrong about malaria, but likely
right about toe fungus. There’s a lot of it.
She didn’t say, no one would say, “TGIF…thank goodness, it’s
Toe fungus is not very funny. It’s ugly and can lead to
It doesn’t take much to make feet ugly. Our feet are rarely
our most attractive feature. Feet are
rarely as attractive as faces. Note that the Internet has FaceBook but no FeetsBook.
“the joy of victory and the tragedy of da feet.”
are often unattractive, and fungus can make them ugly.
fungus comes in three stages, ranging from nearly invisible
damage in the nail in Stage 1 to truly ugly discoloring, thickening, and
warping of the toenail in Stage 3.
fungal colony has achieved Stage 3. Oh, do I have ugly big toe toenails!
Discolored, misshaped, fungus-infected, these babies I do not show in public.
Yellow, brittle, deformed nails…argh!
am not alone.
adults in our country have similar fungal infections. Once you
get infected, you tend to stay infected. The fungus victims accumulate.
The infections are not
painful, but they occasionally can
lead to infection by other organisms that are more detrimental to health
and welfare. The toes are still useful, a comedian would say they are not a toe-tal loss.
we get them? From other people, from the water on the
floors in shared bathing areas.
you prevent them? Wash and dry your feet often, try to keep them
dry. Use flip-flops or shoes in public showers.
Dry your feet and put them in clean, dry footwear.
they persist? They love warm, moist, dark areas…like our
toes in our shoes.
No good ones.
for five minutes per day in 50/50
vinegar/water. It kills some, bleaches some. It is boring, but beneficial.
What’s not boring, however, is what happens if, as I did, you add bleach to this mixture, releasing
chlorine gas that can be deadly. I did this one morning. Fortunately, I
noticed a strange feeling right away in my nose and throat and threw that
polish is a cover-up that does not stop the nail thickening and
warping. I am not a toenail polish
kind of guy, however.
creams, ointments are not very effective either [show bottle]. I’ve used
religiously three different anti-fungal concoctions over the past decade or so.
I’m not certain they helped, though perhaps they get partial credit for keeping
elephants out of our home.
claimed to be more effective, but with more serious side effects. Think of
those advertised acne cures that clear your skin but might kill you. I’m not
being studied, but the jury is out. Lasers are high-tech. Even hot lasers are
cool. Their effectiveness in dispute.
do some cutting and some grinding. For me, Medicare
foots most of the bill. I wish mine would get a toe truck and make house calls.
I tell you about this? You are likely to become infected. You will
want to be alert. You will want to start treatment earlier than I did. You may
not want to make the mistake I describe next. Then again, maybe you will.
morning recently, my mind was on other things, and I was
treating my toes after a shower and a boring five-minute soak with vinegar and
water. Two little bottles with applicators were on my desktop: Terpenicol
prescription lotion for my toes and Wite-Out correction fluid for my prose. Without
my glasses, I reached for my prescription topical ointment bottle and started
to put the white liquid on with the little brush, when I realized that I had
mistakenly picked up the bottle of Wite-Out correction fluid on the table and
was applying it to my right big toe. It looked surprisingly good. I covered the
been a month since this treatment mistake. I have returned to my
former routine, using the prescription lotion, not the correction fluid. Eventually,
the correction fluid coating wore off, but I think this right big toe treated
with correction fluid looks better than the left one, conventionally treated.
Perhaps I’ll apply for a patent.
Furthermore, I decided to
tell the story at Toastmasters.
Maybe I’ll even become…a Toes-Master!
At least I wasn’t like the guy who was so poor at dressing
himself, he had to write “TGIF” on
his shoes. His “TGIF” stood for “Toes Go in
took a lot of willpower, but I finally gave up dieting.”
is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best
care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
More than half of Americans have chronic
health problems according to a 2016 Emory University study.
Chapter 9: Health
A comedian claimed he saw a tombstone inscribed, “I told you I
was sick!” Sadly, several of the bloggers below tell of mystery illnesses for
which they are getting little help. #309 has been sick for 5 years, and he is
going bald, and his girlfriend left him, and the company he worked for has
closed down. #446 fears the cause of her terrible headaches is an incurable
neurological disease, and yet she cannot get any sympathy…she ends up crying in
A quarter of us will die of cancer, and #75 was just so
diagnosed. The father of #337 is dying of cancer, too, and the insurance
company will not pay for a treatment that might be beneficial: “I hope
everything burns one day,” writes his son.
#121 is too depressed for a mere 750 characters to explain it,
and #34 is simply sick and tired of being sick and tired.
We are all under a death sentence. With exercise and diet and
prudent risk-avoidance, we can delay that date…if we don’t get hit by a car,
like my sister’s oncologist and like my mother’s ophthalmologist. Even doctors
Our choices in life are often constrained by age, gender, race,
talent, location, era, finances, time, and especially health. If you are
healthy, enjoy yourself while you can! If you are sick, you deserve our
compassion and our understanding of your frustration.
At least we have modern medicine and modern conveniences to make
our lives longer and more pleasant. Centuries ago, Hobbes wrote about human
life in the wild, without civilization, as being “solitary, poor, nasty,
brutish, and short.” Short seems to have been the good part.
Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph. D.
allergic to dust :-(
I go in to the dentist for a really bad tooth ache, and they tell me that I
need $4,000 worth of work...and the insurance company only covers $175. WTF???
people shouldn't be allowed to give diet advice just sayin
am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all of the time
out today that I have cancer
struggling to free myself from depression, but every time I feel like Ive
reached that silver lining, the ground under me crumbles and Im back in the
hole I fell in before. I just want out. I want stability, health, balance.
Thats all. Im trying hard to regain my health, to refocus on my studies, to be
diligent in my job, but I hate the fact that 1 event trips me up so easily. I
want to change the way I think. I want to be stronger. I need to leave the
environment Im in. However, I cant escape. I just dont want to go back to that
time where I was so far gone. I dont want to go back to the hospital, feeling
that hopelessness, the shame, the guilt, the emptiness. I thought I could vent
here, but 750 characters just isnt enough...
am losing my patience now.i am suffering from which disease even i dont know.
Since 5 years i am consulting doctor and 1 tine operated also but still the
same nothing good. I am feed up with this stomach problem. Sometime it feels
that i should end my life. That not all along with this problem i started
losing my hair from all over the body at an early age. My gf dumped me. My
office shut down leaving me unemployed. My life is simply become hell there is
no way of hope i see. What should i do? I dont know. I am just suffing all of
this day to day....
father is dying from cancer and he only has 2 months to live. This isn't what's
frustrating me, and I use the work frustrated very lightly because there is
nothing in the world to describe what I feel right now. He has two months to
live because the insurance company wouldn't pay for it and we didn't have the
money to pay for it. How in the fuck does a piece of paper dictate life and
death for a human being. Where have we gone so wrong that currency has fucking
superceded a life. My dad is going to be dead in December because a company
decided his life wasn't worth paying for. My dad worked hard, he never messed
around, and he always did what he could to be there for us. There is no goddamn
justice in this world and there never has been, and if there was a god, it
either died a long time ago or its the most sadistic being to ever come into
existence. Maybe thats the most frustrating notion of all, that despite what
religion and the media want you to believe, there is no fairness or karmic
justice done. He's going to die, and the CEO of the company is still going to
be a rich motherfucker at the end of the day. I hope everything burns one day.
I m 26 yr old mother of 2 yr baby girl. After my delievery their was not even a
single day when i felt that today i m felling fine. Since last two years. I am
getting low day by day. I went in depression i am having chest pain i have
regular headache problem. i m scared of all these my situation thats why i m
not able to sleep properly . Now days because of underweight problem i am
feeling so weak. I m not able to live my life normally. I m just frstrated from
my life. I dont know why i am living???
have horrible headaches that make me fall over bc they hurt so much, horrible
stomach issues with like cramps and diarrhea and I went to physical therapy and
they told me I’m weak and all this and stuff and said I might have this disease
called ehlers-danlos syndrome because he said a lot of me is hyper mobile so
now I match almost all the symptoms and I don’t have my next neurology
appointment until December and I also have anxiety so I’m stressing about it
because all my life I’ve always told my parents there is something wrong with
me and they never believed me and now every night for the past week and
probably the weeks to come I’ve been sobbing in the shower so nobody will hear
me!! I cry so hard that nothing comes out but huffs and I have to do PT
stretches and strengthening exercises that make me cry because I’m so weak. I
don’t know how many more days I can stand to be waiting anxiously until I find
out I have an incurable disease that could put me in a wheelchair.. Thanks a
lot world another great strike for me NOT IM SO ANGRY AND SAD AND GRRRR IM JUST
SO DONE RN
Excerpted from Guzman and Cooper (2017), FRUSTRATED WITH LIFE? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! based on years of blog entries at http://FrustratedWithLife.com. The book is available in paperback at amazon.com.