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To be human is to be Damaged

To Be Human Is To be Damaged

To Be Human Is To be Damaged 5120 2880 Jason Stadtlander

When I write a story and create a protagonist, it’s easy to create a hero. Someone flawless that comes sweeping in to save the day with superpowers or a methodical detective that can solve any case. But, readers don’t fall in love with the flawless. We can’t relate to that. It wasn’t the fact that superman could fly across the world in a minute or pick up an entire building that made him alluring. It was his vulnerabilities. The fact that kryptonite could damage him or his heart could be broken by Louis Lane. There isn’t a superhero (or a super villain) out there who didn’t have a flaw.

We need those flaws. We have those flaws. Every single one of us. True, small children likely have fewer flaws, but it is part of human growth – part of growing up to accumulate these flaws. The older I get, the more I realize that we are all damaged, all of us. It is how we choose to embrace our damage, understand what is under our own skin and use it to better ourselves rather than allow it to rot us – that truly defines who we are and how we connect with others.

Those who claim they are not damaged have simply not come face to face with their own damage and have not come to understand what that damage is.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the damage is necessarily something catastrophic. It could be something as small as a bullying incident early in your life that causes an unknown level of anxiety or a fall when you were a child that you forgot about that causes a fear of heights. Damage is damage. Coming to terms with our own damage (in public or in private) is extremely important, and it really is the only way to move forward in life. There are some people I know that wear their damage on their face but have never come to terms with it and may live their entire life without ever understanding it themselves. Yet, others I know finally came to terms with their damage when they were in their 80s and 90s. We all live life on our terms, and we all live through our damage on our own terms.

The most important element to gain from this is that our damage is key. It makes us interesting, unique, often relatable, and sometimes holds us back. When you walk down the street and look at that person in the crowd that seems so well put together and overconfident. Just know, it’s only a face they are wearing, and they may just be better at hiding their damage. Show a little love and help where you can.

The Homeless Angel

The Homeless Angel

The Homeless Angel 2121 1414 Jason Stadtlander

The Homeless AngelThe cold, rainy day penetrated deeply into the body and soul of all Bostonians who endured it. Like so many others, the man walked, umbrella in hand through the courthouse plaza. His Aldo shoes traipsed through the small puddles that coalesced in the cracks of the pavers and mortar. He had his backpack which contained his laptop and a few journals slung over one shoulder, his coffee cup was in the other hand. Walking briskly he glanced over, didn’t want to, but glanced over nonetheless at the weathered woman that lay against the granite wall, covered in a recycled wool blanket, huddled against the cold. Something moved beneath the blanket and the man wondered if it were a dog or a child. Given the age of the woman, the man believed it to be a dog. For a moment as brief as a breath, he wondered how she had come to sleep along the building. Curious about how someone goes down a road that their entire life is now that of a homeless woman, simply existing. Beside her was a flask of some type in a paper bag. The man scoffed and rolled his eyes. It was clear to him that no one cared to help the woman or felt they could, and as sad as it was, it was reality.

No sooner had the thought entered his mind, it was gone again. The man’s phone vibrated on his hip, he holstered his coffee cup in a compartment on his backpack and pulled out his phone. It was a text message from his wife, “Next time you get the children ready for school, make sure you give them mittens. Be a father.”

Their relations had been tenuous for the past year and his blood boiled at the statement his wife had just texted. He began texting her back an appropriate response as he stepped onto a crosswalk at New Chardon Street. Halfway through “How dare you accu…” he heard a sliding sound and a sharp pain hit him in the left leg. Looking up at the bumper that had just collided with him, his iPhone went flying into the air as the rest of his body hit the hood of the car with full force. The entire event took place in a second, but all seemed to move in slow motion. The man saw his backpack flying into the air and falling toward the passenger side of the car as his own body rolled off the hood and in front of the car. He stared up at the pointed roof of the courthouse as it loomed over him and raindrops magnified like saucers, hit his eyeball. The man couldn’t breathe, couldn’t scream. He lost consciousness.


All was black.


His lungs were forced full of air and the air escaped. Again, his lungs forced themselves to expand and exhaled. His chest hurt with each forced breath. Vaguely he felt pressure on his chest as something pressed hard against him. A muffled woman’s voice yelled “Call 911!”

The man could hear another man say “I didn’t see him. Oh, God! Why didn’t he see me?”

More pressure on his chest, it hurt. All was still black. Fingers against his throat, he coughed and breathed a little on his own. “Shhh, stay still.” the woman said softly into his ear, “It’s okay, I’ve got you.”

The man felt his head lifted a little and something soft was laid beneath it. My coat? “Can you hear me? What is your name?” she asked.

“Alan.” he said weakly, his vision still black.

“I’m Ally. I’ll stay right here with you.” Despite the fact that Alan couldn’t feel anything but pain in most of his body, he could make out the warm hand holding his. The darkness consumed him and he was unconscious again.

His vision still black, a voice faded back in, “Alan, you have to stay with me. The paramedics will be here in a moment.” Now he could smell something. Rubbing alcohol? Vodka? People were talking all around him but he saw no faces, only heard Ally clearly. Time was fragmented. Suddenly he was on a gurney in an ambulance. His vision faded in and a man was administering an IV into his hand.

“Stay still, we’re on our way to MGH.”

Alan blacked out again.

Opening his eyes, bright, blurry light pierced his vision and he closed his eyes again. “…severe concussion. The damage to his leg is severe. We need to get him in for surgery as soon…” someone said and once again he faded into the unconscious depths of the dead ocean.

Much later, Alan awoke in a hospital room, his head pounding and his chest and leg on fire. He slowly looked to the right and left and saw his wife on an iPad next to his bed. It was dark outside his window. “What happened?” he asked weakly.

She looked up, mild concern on her face. “A car hit you as you crossed the street. You need to pay attention.”

“Where’s Ally?”

“Who’s Ally?”

“I don’t know. Someone that helped me at the accident.”

“I have no idea.” she replied “I’m going to go get Stephen and Cindy. They’re in the waiting room.”

She got up and left. A moment later Alan saw an unkempt old woman in a worn grey sweatshirt come into the room. She seemed vaguely familiar. It took a moment, but Alan finally recognized her, the homeless woman in the blankets by the courthouse. “How are you feeling?” she asked in the same soft voice he had heard at the accident.

He knew her right away by her voice. “Ally?” he asked.

She nodded.

“You, you helped me,” Alan said as a doctor walked into the room.

“Actually, she saved you.” the doctor said. “Ally here gave you CPR until the paramedics arrived.”

A tear rolled down Alan’s face. “I don’t know what to say.” he stammered.

She walked over to his bed and patted his hand. “Just take care of your family. That’s thanks enough.” the woman turned and walked toward the door. At the door, she paused, turned back for a moment “and for God’s sake, stay off your phone when you’re walking.”

Weeks later, Alan was again, walking through the courthouse, this time with a cane. He saw Ally sitting, huddled in the cold and he stopped. He walked over to her and sat down beside her. Half asleep, she awoke and looked at him and smiled “Alan.”

He placed a hand on her shoulder and handed her his fresh cup of coffee. “Can I help you find someplace warm to stay?”

“No. Thank you. Jack isn’t allowed in a shelter and I won’t part with him.” She lifted the wool blanket to show a scruffy mutt underneath.

Alan smiled and said “Okay.” He looked around at all the people going back and forth, doing their ‘busy’ work. A few people glanced at him and Ally on the side of the courthouse, but no one looked for long. “Ally, with all these people going about, when I got hurt, it was you who came to help me. Why?”

“You needed me, and I was here.” she smiled.

Alan slowly nodded. “Yes, you were. I promise to stop and talk to you every day from now on. If you ever need a meal or something to drink, let me know.” and he hugged her.


If you know someone that is homeless or to help the homeless in Boston, go to: http://mahomeless.org/get-help

For homeless assistance in other areas of the United States, go to: http://nationalhomeless.org/

MBR System Recovery Partition

Adjusting the MBR (SRP) partition in Windows 7 to prepare for Windows 10 Upgrade

Adjusting the MBR (SRP) partition in Windows 7 to prepare for Windows 10 Upgrade 639 479 Jason Stadtlander

As many of you may be aware, I am in IT by trade and recently many people have been trying to perform the free upgrade to Windows 10 that is being offered by Microsoft until July 1, 2016.

One problem many people run into is not having enough space on the System Recovery Partition (SRP) which is a special little 100MB space on your hard drive that Windows uses for storing special boot files in case your operating system has problems.

The following will show you how to free up space on your SRP so that you can perform the operating system upgrade to Windows 10. Keep in mind, this is a sensitive partition, so be sure to follow exactly as I have outlined below and you should be fine. I have tested this and it works perfectly. Usually it will free up an additional 40-50MB of space.



This makes a permanent, but small, increase in the available space of the SRP (system recovery partition).

Prepare the Recovery Partition and Backup Permissions

  1. Press the Windows key + R. In the Run window that comes up, type msc and press Enter.
  2. Select the partition marked System Reserve. Press-and-hold or right-click on it.
  3. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. Choose Add.
  5. Enter Y for the drive letter.
  6. Tap or click OK.
  7. From the Start menu, search for cmd. Right-click Command Prompt from the search results, and select Run as administrator.
  8. In the command prompt, type Y: and hit enter to switch to that drive.
  9. Type the following and press enter: takeown /d y /r /f .
    You must include the space and the period after the “f”, or the command will not work properly.
  10. Type icacls Y:\ /save %systemdrive%\SysResrvBU.txt /t to back up the current permissions.
  11. Type whoami and press Enter, and then record the user name.
  12. Type the following command:
    icacls . /grant <username you got from whoami>:F /t and press Enter.
    Note: Do not put a space between the username and “:F”, or the command won’t work.

Truncate the NTFS Log

  1. Check the size of the NTFS Log first. From the Command Prompt, type the following and press Enter: chkdsk /L Y:
    1. If the size is less than 5000KB, you do not need to truncate the file.
  2. To truncate the file, type the following and press Enter: chkdsk /L:5000 /X /F

Restore permissions

  1. Press the Windows Key (windows key) + R
  2. Enter the %systemdrive%\SysResrvBU.txt file and press Enter.
  3. A notepad or other text editor application should open with the contents of the file. On the first line you will notice that it’s blank. Enter a single “.” (without the quotes) and save the file.
    NOTE: Because it’s on the system drive, you might have to save it elsewhere and then copy and paste it to the system drive location manually.
  4. Close the text editor and go back to the command prompt that you have open.
  5. Type the following command: icacls Y:\ /restore %systemdrive%\SysResrvBU.txt /c /t and press Enter.
    1. A message may display indicating some files failed while processing – this is normal as these files have been deleted subsequent to backing them up.
    2. If the amount of successful files is none, then the command was executed incorrectly; you must have some files successfully processed before continuing.
  6. Adjust the ACL back to System by typing the following:
    icacls . /grant system:f /t and press Enter.
  7. Set the owner of the drive back to System by typing the following command:
    icacls Y: /setowner SYSTEM /t /c and press Enter.
  8. Go back to Disk Management and Refresh the data to confirm if the SRP now has a greater percentage of free space. If so, the drive letter can be removed at this point.
  9. Right-click the System Reserved Partition.
  10. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  11. Choose the Y:
  12. Select Remove.
  13. Click OK.


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