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Showing posts from 2009

Who Shops on Black Friday?

Half of CNN's readers do NOT shop on Black Friday

I was checking the news on CNN.com and saw the top 10 deals for Black Friday. I don't shop on Black Friday, and haven't done so in over 15 years.

They also have a poll asking how much people will spend on black Friday, with the lowest dollar amount being $0.

Amazingly, 52% of CNN's readers (online) will not spend one red cent the day after Thanksgiving, which begs the question, who does choose this day to shop? What type of people are willing to literally fight for a spot in the checkout line to save a few bucks?

I'm a thrifty shopper, but the idea of being in a mob does not entice me, even if they're giving merchandise away.

By the way, if you are shopping tomorrow, Target has a great deal on an LCD 32 inch HDTV for only $246, which is half price.

Be safe shoppers!

Galileo's Fingers Found

One of my favorite quotes by Galileo is...
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
In ancient times, parts of bodies were kept as relics and were believed to hold special powers, especially those of the martyred saints.

This is how Galileo's fingers came to be amputated after his death.  The fingers were cut off 300 years ago, and disappeared over 100 years ago. They were the fingers that would have held his pen.

Galileo's fingers have been missing for many years, but suddenly showed up at an auction and now will be in a museum in Florence, Italy, according to museum director Paolo Galluzzi. There is also some DNA testing that will be done.
"(Galileo) was persecuted by the Catholic Church for advocating the theory that the earth circles the sun, rather than the other way around. The Inquisition forced him to recant, and jailed him in 1634."
There truly is nothing new under…

Journalism We Can Trust

Journalism we can trust, does it still exist?

How do we know if we can trust a reporter?

Simple.

If you can tell how the reporter "feels" about something, then he/she has failed to be a true reporter, which is an objective reporter, and therefore you can't trust them.

Journalism once was about reporting "just the facts, ma'am."

Sadly, no matter which television news channel you support by your viewing minutes or hours, none of them can be trusted all of the time.

Most of the reporters are entertainers, not journalists.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glen Beck are all being paid to stir up controversy, not report on the news.

Same thing goes for the people over at the other news channels, but I don't know their names, so obviously they are not as good at it as the ones I've mentioned.

The only reporters I follow with any sense of the possibility of true reporting are John King and Anderson Cooper at CNN. I also enjoy Charlie Gibson on ABC news, mos…

Twitter Premium Services

Twitter premium services which may be offered before this year ends, will in no way affect the average twitter user.

The discussed fees that will be coming in the near future are specifically for tracking and analyzing success at Twitter. So, if you aren't trying to sell something, or trying to recruit people into something, you should have no need of this new feature.

However, if you're one of the big dogs currently promoting on Twitter, these premium services will help gage your marketing efforts.
Twitter


Here's the full story.


Why Must we Have War?

Someone much older and wiser than myself asked this question today, "Why must we have war?"

My immediate response was, "How can we not?"

If you were raised on the Bible, you know that strife and murder entered into the picture with Cain and Abel. That was a very long time ago.

What was the cause? Jealousy. Or power. I call it pure envy.

We must have war to protect the freedom of the people inhabiting the world.

If we, as a nation, decided to stop participating in wars for, let's say, 10 years, what would happen? Suppose that no matter what, we would flat out refuse to fight or take police or military action outside of our homeland for the next ten years.

What would have happened if we had not joined the fight against Hitler?

It is my belief that if America refuses to "get involved," then we are literally opening the door for future dictators, tyrants and maniacs to "spread their wings."

Eventually, they would become so powerful that we would…

Where does your blog live?

As a web designer and hosting provider, I have often "tried" to explain where a website and other online date is stored and how it is accessed.

Rarely have I been able to convey the concept properly.

It was simple enough to explain a domain name by comparing it to a street address. Explaining exactly where the website data is stored and how it is accessed is quite another thing altogether.

Once, I was wrongly accused of all kinds of fraudulent activity, simply because my client was able to look up the information on their domain at another domain registrar's website. I was never able to make them understand that anyone can look up who owns a domain name - and so I lost the client. No problem. Good riddance.

Today I read an excellent article at CNN.com by John D. Rudder, explaining the "Online Cloud." I highly recommend it if you've ever wondered about this stuff.

Here's the link: A trip into the secret, online 'cloud'

First time home buyers tax credit

There's so much information and mis-information going around about the first time buyer's house tax credit, that I thought I would list the facts, as they stand right now.

Currently, the tax credit is for first time home buyers.

The purchased home must be closed on between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.

(A new bill is being proposed that would extend the deadline until April of 2010).

Now, to take advantage of the FULL $8,000 house credit:

The home buyer must have an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly. (These limits would be raised slightly if the new extension bill passes.) However, those who had more income than the specified amount allowed, could still qualify for a partial tax credit. The home must have been purchased for less than $800,000.The home must be your principal or primary residence.The home cannot be purchased from an ancestor, descendant or spouse.The tax credit is only for purchased homes, not homes …

Rights in America

Every time they start to take away one of our rights here in America... they start with what seems to be a "small" thing. This "small" thing promises to make life better for everyone.

Example 1 : Car insurance - We are forced to buy car insurance to take care of our car and anyone else's car that we might damage (I have never been in wreck and I'm 55 yrs old). This forced automobile insurance has cost me a small fortune - and I have never used it - thank God.

The forced auto insurance was about protecting money and property.

Why weren't we outraged over that?

Example 2 : Tobacco Use - Everyone has been happy that most places are now tobacco free. This at least had to do with protecting our health. But now, at least in some areas, they are talking about making it illegal to smoke outside on your own property.

This is taking things too far.

What's next?

Forced health insurance. Pay it (if you can afford it, and "they" will decide who …

Free Software to Download

Rick Broida over at Cnet.com recently alerted us to a few totally free sofware downloads that will be expiring soon.

IOBit Security 360 Pro - ranked 4 out of 5 stars by users, free until November 11th.

WinX DVD Author - free until October 31st. Turn your video files into DVDs.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (for students only) "Microsoft's DreamSpark program is offering this new Windows Server release to eligible high school and college students."

Read more about it here - news.cnet.com


Jane Doe in NY

Jane Doe is alive, but has no memory. She was found on October 9th, and still no one has shown up to claim her as a relative.

Very strange.

I can't help but wonder if she might have run away with someone a couple of years ago who later deserted her, and then maybe some awful things happened to her. The kinds of things that caused her mind to "freeze" and protect her from the memories.

Here's the link... maybe someone will recognize her soon.

Women pay more for private health insurance

This is an ongoing problem in the US... women consistently have to pay more for private health insurance. Guess it's still a man's world after all.

We're not asking for special treatment, just equal treatment.

Women pay 30-40% more on the private insurance market as men. Common pregnancy and c-sections are considered "pre-existing conditions." And in some states, insurers can even deny coverage to victims of domestic violence.The bills before Congress will guarantee, once and for all, that women are treated fairly and equitably by insurers.

Let's call for an end to discrimination against women by health insurance companies.

Take your ticket now ladies (and gentlemen!).

SEIU.org/ticket


Church Hypocrisy

We visited another new church this morning. All the churches that we've visited are quite large, offering at least 2 Sunday morning services each week. This one offered 3 and we went to the last one, which started at 11 am. We heard that this one had an active college group, which is what we are looking for. My daughter has not lost her interest in church activities just because she graduated high school and is now attending college. I am amazed at the lack of support this age group receives from most churches - which is nada.

We had to drive by two locations to find the church, because the internet had two addresses. I guess they have changed locations recently. So we were late, but we could hear the music and we walked in and sat near the back.

I was quite impressed by the number of ministries they are involved in. Apparently, this was a Sunday of "recruitment" for volunteers for their many programs and we heard about each one of them. They participate in many local m…

Health Reform Facts

The health reform plan that the senate panel has approved for presentation to the full house and senate is not as bad as many people would have us believe.

In fact, I think it's the best plan so far.

I am tired of so many people telling me what it's going to do, which is basically a worst possible nightmare scenario, so here are a few of the facts as listed on CNN.

This healthcare reform bill would:
subsidize insurance for poorer Americans
establish nonprofit health care cooperatives (I assume this would be reduced fee clinics)
cap annual out-of-pocket expenses
prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions
create health insurance exchanges to make it easier for small groups and individuals to purchase coverage
impose a new tax on high-end health care policies known as "Cadillac" plans
impose fees on drug and insurance companies, medical device manufacturers and other industries tied to the health care sector
require those who can afford it to…

Swine Flu

This first part is an update on swine flu from the post I did yesterday. According to "some" experts, NO flu vaccines work anyway, so if you don't usually take the flu vaccine, you probably have nothing to worry about.

Here's part of the story:

If vaccines really worked to save lives, then the more people you vaccinate, the lower death rates you should see, right? But that's not the case. Back in 1989, only 15 percent of over-65 people got vaccinated against the flu. But today, thanks to the big vaccine push, over 65 percent are vaccinated. And yet, amazingly, death rates among the elderly have not gone down during the flu season. In fact, they've gone up!
Read the full story here. (Examiner.com)

Yesterday's post on Swine Flu:

My daughter and I received word that her great aunt passed away last Friday, from Swine Flu.

This is the first person I actually know to have died from it. My grandson has already had it, and a great-niece has had it, and thank God b…

Hike in Arizona

My daughter finally got to go on a hike...
her first since we arrived in Arizona!

She's loving it!

Blessings

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, don't they?

A couple of days ago a tenant moved out of our complex and left his microwave. The manager, who has been such a BIG help - God Bless Her! - offered it to us - free.

The views are awesome in Arizona... here's a photo when we were driving south from Flagstaff...


A New Life

It's been a week of rest, work and blessings as we got settled into our new apartment. My daughter and I took off from SC and moved to Arizona with only what would fit inside our SUV... call us crazy... lots of people did.

I actually agreed that it was a pretty unusual thing to do, but I was also very excited to be on a new adventure at this time in my life. I feel blessed that my daughter wanted me to join her on this quest.

We lived in a motel for a little over 3 weeks, which depleted our money terribly. Finding a place to live was much more of a chore than I had anticipated. But, finally, we found a place and moved our clothes, dishes, tv and computer into it.

That's when we discovered that it is not at all unusual for people to just leave all of their belongings behind and start anew somewhere else. The manager here said it happens all the time. Maybe it's unique to Arizona, I don't know. It's a little disappointing in one way, and a relief in another way, to f…

Miracle or Tragedy

Today I read a news line from WIS TV in Columbia, SC, (on facebook) reporting that a Mother who was ill with H1N1 (swine flu) had given birth to a healthy baby, and then died.

While it was a sad and tragic story, my mind immediately went to the strength of the story. This young Mother, with God's help I'm sure, was somehow able to live long enough to bring her child into this world, before she allowed this terrible virus to consume her life.

What a victory!

I hope that the child is told of the strength of his/her Mother... the strength that kept her alive long enough to give the world the best gift she could... her child - and what a special child this must be.

Sometimes the greatest miracles are born out of tragedy.

God bless the child!

Things Change

There was once a fellow who was running around town gasping for breath, his eyes bulging out. This went on for a while until he finally decided that he needed to see a doctor. He went to a doctor, who examined him thoroughly. When the doctor finished his examination, he looked at his patient sadly and said, "I really don't know what's wrong with you, but I can tell you that if things continue the way they've been going, you have only two or three months to live."

The man leaves his doctor's office and heads home to do some serious thinking. He decides that if his life is going to be this shortened, he has a whole lot of living to do in the time left. He started spending money like a madman, traveling all over the place trying to squeeze everything he could out of his last weeks on earth.

One day, he entered a clothing shop and told the clerk, "I need fourteen shirts and I need them all with a 14 1/2 inch neck and a 32 inch sleeve." The cle…
Finally in our apartment! Should have internet Tuesday. Life is Good!

Google Books Project

Search Engine Wars - All the OTHERS are uniting to fight Google's new plan to provide books online.

The technology heavyweights have all signed up to the Open Book Alliance, which will oppose Google's crusade to make digital copies of as many printed books as possible.

A wide cross-section of libraries, colleges and authors have endorsed Google's book settlement.

Google argues that the settlement will be a boon for consumers, who will have easier access to potentially valuable information now gathering dust in remote library shelves.

And, Google says, authors and publishers will be able to make more money from out-of-print books.

Read the full story.

My Life According to Barry Manilow

My life according to Barry Manilow

This was so much fun!

It lifted my spirits to read the finished product.

Consider Yourself TAGGED!

INSTRUCTIONS: Using only song names from ONE BAND OR ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 12 (or a million) people you like. You can't use the band I used. Do not repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Re-post as "My Life According to (BAND NAME)."


Are you a male or female?
She's A Star

Describe yourself:
Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again

How do you feel:
Where Do I Go From Here

Describe where you currently live:
Somewhere Down The Road

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Copa Cabana

Your favorite form of transportation:
Ships

Your best friend is:
Flashy Lady

Your favorite color:
Blue

What's the weather like:
I Made It Through The Rain

Favorite time of day:
Somewhere In The Night

If your life was a t.v. show, what would it be called:
Friends

What is life to you:
It's A Miracle

Your fear:
Can't Smile Wi…

Living with Critics

How do you live with critics?

When someone is being critical of you, what quality or virtue do you need to develop to have peace of mind?

Tolerance, forgiveness, or assertiveness for defense?

I think I vote for tolerance, after trying diplomacy to come to a mutual understanding, which failed. Yet, tolerance doesn't really help one deal with the person in question.

Perhaps forgiveness would be the most lofty of choices, but if they continue in their criticisms and attacks, and do not ask for forgiveness, then is it even truly possible to completely forgive someone? How can you forgive an on-going attack? Shouldn't it end before you forgive? Is is even possible to continue forgiveness perpetually while in the process of being attacked?

Assertiveness to defend one's self is the most obvious answer for me, but the defense is really useless. Why should you have to defend yourself for your personal views, or for something you did not do?

Where is Peace to be found?

"Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding."
~ Albert Einstein

Wonder what Einstein and other such philosophers might have said about those who refuse to communicate - refuse to attempt understanding?

For instance, how can one live in peace, if their neighbor attacks them - if such a neighbor has no desire to understand - then, where is peace to be found?

Is the peaceful neighbor destined to martyrdom... in order to preserve peace?

Yes, the faithful can have peace in their hearts... that is not in question.

True peace of community, nation and world... that is the question.

Back in the writer's saddle

What is it that makes some of us bloggers, especially myself, take a month or two off now and again? It isn't something I plan to do, but it inevitably happens a couple of times a year.

Perhaps it's because I go through periods of time when I would do more ranting and venting than is really necessary, and I worry about offending my readers, or saying something that I might regret in hindsight.

Sometimes it's just because my part-time job is wearing me down and I am so tired that I don't have the will to write... (even though my doc says I shouldn't work, the dear folks at the SS office feel differently, and so I do what I can).

Sometimes it's because of the financial stress which takes over my mind and my life... living a month away from homelessness on a month to month basis can wear you down quickly.

Whatever it is, I am now back with a clear mind, or at least a clearer mind than I have had the past two months.

Writing is good therapy, so I'm throwing away …

Wordless Wednesday

My daughter enjoying a Sunday afternoon at Atalaya.

Feather

This photo taken by my daughter reminds me how tiny and insignificant we are in the big scheme of things...

unless...

we think out-of-the-box and take the time to do those things that truly matter, those things that make us stop and think...

like capturing the beauty of an otherwise obscure feather as it floats to the river.Blogged with the Flock Browser

Global Warming - Majority of Scientists agree

Doran and Kendall Zimmerman conclude that "the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes." The challenge now, they write, is how to effectively communicate this to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists.

At least 70 skeptical scientists are meeting in New York City this week to dispute that humans are contributing to global warming. Wow, 70 of them. No doubt, conservatives will rally to sing their praises, pretending that they have a large consensus among scientists, which they do not.

Total attendance at the event, sponsored by the Heartland Institute, is expected to be around 800, but as you can see (via the links below), very few of them are experts in the field.

Meanwhile, a recent survey of over 3,000 earth scientists shows that 82 percent of them believe that human a…

Use the band-aid

America needs a miracle, but all we have is band-aids, so USE the band-aid!

Yesterday I just couldn't believe what I was hearing from Republicans... they were claiming to be cooperating when it was perfectly obvious to the majority of Americans that they were simply playing bipartisan politics as usual.

The stimulus package - money for Education would not create new jobs?

Hmmm, maybe not. What about saving jobs, isn't that equally important?

In our school district, up to 100 positions will be cut for the next school year. I already know of one teacher who will be losing her position without further funding. She is not losing her position based on merit either, these layoffs are being based on seniority.

State aid - cannot be overseen properly? wouldn't create new jobs?

This statement I find particularly funny in light of the lack of oversight on the stimulus package passed during President Bush's last days in office.

I don't know about where you live, but in this town, p…

Plumbing woes - Help!

Plumbing woes... what makes the toilet NOT fill up with water in the back, so that it can flush?

Since last night, we have been having this problem and I cannot for the life of me figure it out. The water just barely drips into the back part where the water is stored. It takes hours for it to fill, and even then it will not deliver a full forced flush. Everything looks fine - no kinks in the chain, etc., but then again, I do not truly know how things should look.

Everything else is draining fine, well, the tub is a little slower than usual, but that's all.

If the problem were a clogged line, then the toilet would run over, correct?

Any possible solutions would be welcomed as I do not have the money for a plumber.

The Celibate Life of Ants

Could this be another life lesson from the ants?

The queen ant is the only ant allowed to reproduce. The others are forced to remain celibate and work for the good of all.

All ants that are caught in the act, or even thinking about the act, are attacked by the other ants.

It's true!

Apparently, an ant that is feeling romantic emits an odor that is easily detectable by the other ants. The scientists that conducted this experiment actually dabbed a bit of the aroma on some unsuspecting ants and then placed them back inside the colony, and they were attacked.

The only time the ant colony experiences "free love" is when the queen ant dies.

"The idea that social harmony is dependent on strict systems to prevent and punish cheating seems to apply to most successful societies," Liebig explained in a comment released with his paper. Regardless of the genome, in matters of sex, nature still appears to prefer us not to stray.

Read the full story at Time.com.

Free Uninstaller

Totally free, no adware or spyware...

Includes: Junk Files Cleaner, Windows Tools, Auto Run Manager, Browsers Cleaner, MS Office Cleaner, Windows Cleaner, Evidence Remover and Unrecoverable Delete tools! You can reach all these tools from "Tools" tool bar button of Revo Uninstaller.

After installing this free uninstaller, I found several updating applications were running at startup for software I rarely use. Just a click in the box (to uncheck it), and it is disabled using the "Auto Run Manager."

Another cool benefit is that this software runs on older computers with less ram.

I am hoping to finally and completely uninstall Microsoft Office 2007 which is causing me problems since the demo expired.

Download it here: http://www.revouninstaller.com

Give-a-way of the Day

Missing the Farm

Have you ever dreamed of the country life? You know, a farm, lots of land, chickens, goats, etc. It's a nice life. I lived it for about five years.

Sometimes I miss the farm.

One of the cool and sometimes not so cool, things about living miles away from town, was that we always had a new supply of pets. People just love to dump their unwanted pets on country roads. We usually found homes for most of the dogs, but we kept almost all of the cats. We already had three dogs, so keeping more just wasn't practical.

I had about two dozen cats and kittens at one point, all of whom came running to walk with me down the lane to the mailbox every day. It was such fun. We built a large deck out back and they all ate happily... their own private picnic... as if the deck was built just for them.

I am rambling on about this because I read a post over at "Life On a Southern Farm" which brought back all the memories. It's a wonderful post, complete with photos of the hatching chicks…

Live long and prosper

As I was reading more material concerning the law of attraction, ho'oponopono and other inspirational modalities of healing and prospering, I couldn't help but think of the words of Leonard Nimoy's character, Mr. Spock, on Star Trek... "Live long and prosper."

Then suddenly I had my own little rhyme. I rather like it, and I can remember it easily. It helps put perspective not only on how we should handle prosperity, but also on how we should handle those not-so-great, stressful periods of life.

Flow through prosperity
and it will flow through you.

Flow through severity
and it will be subdued.

The most important thing is to love, because love binds everything in perfect harmony. (Paraphrase of Colossians 3.14, New Testament)

I plan to shine in '09, how 'bout you?