Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blog about cancer

I have recently changed my listening patterns while driving to and from work and have been tuning to my local NPR radio station. Today, they mentioned this blog: NPR: My Cancer by Leroy Sievers. I encourage everyone to read it. It reminded me so much of Tracey's struggles with the disease. In your daily routines, please include a warm thought for all that are fighting cancer, probably one of the most hideous diseases humanity has has to face. One of the saddest aspects of cancer is that the medical treatments used on cancer patients are as damaging to the body as the cancer itself.

For those that may have missed it, there is another incredible story of cancer struggles I blogged earlier.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Memo from God

How many times we forget to be grateful for what we have? Please read this story and I think you will agree that we need to remember to be thankful:

Heart 'n Souls: Collection of inspirational and motivational stories - Memo from God

Many years ago I learned an acronym (BAG) that has stuck with me:

Blessings — remember your blessings; someone always has it worse than you do!
Accomplishments — you have done so much already; use that knowledge to push you through the hard times.
Goals — keep your goals close at hand and work on them constantly; dreams and goals are what make humans superior to other animal species.

So carry your BAG with you at all times — it will serve you well!

A Keeper

This was sent to me as an email — I have simply copied the words here so that I can share them with all of you:

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.
Their best friends lived barely a wave away.
I can see them now, Dad in trousers, work shirt and a hat;
and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other.
It was the time for fixing things: a curtain rod, the kitchen radio,
screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.
All that re-fixing, re-heating leftovers, renewing;
I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence.
Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But when my mother died,
and I was standing in that clear morning light in the warmth of the hospital room,
I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away … never to return.
So … while we have it, it's best we love it … and care for it …
and fix it when it's broken … and heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage … and old cars …
and children with bad report cards …
dogs and cats with bad hips …
and aging parents … and grandparents.
We keep them because they are worth it,
because we are worth it.
Some things we keep, like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important,
like people we know who are special … and so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thinks I am a 'keeper,'
so I've sent it to the people I think of in the same way …
Now it's your turn to send this to those people that are 'keepers' in your life.
Good friends are like stars … you don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I would like to share another Firefox extension called ScribeFire.

For anyone that writes a blog, you will truly appreciate this extension. For the longest time I used another blogging tool called w.bloggar and loved it. But it has some shortcomings that I overcame through ScribeFire. The first one is the proper placement of the blog article title; w.bloggar inserts it as a sub-title within the article, while ScribeFire adds it as a full title. Perhaps this is a minor point, but it matters for the proper display of blog articles in the index. Most importantly, I had connectivity issues with w.bloggar at my work location due to firewall limitations, but ScribeFire works perfectly all the time.

ScribeFire allows you to add several blogs and post to all of them independently. You can retrieve and edit previous posts. You can add pictures and videos easily; it even allows you to quickly search YouTube directly for relevant materials. You can use ScribeFire as a partial window at the bottom of your Firefox window, as a separate tab inside the browser, or as a separate window altogether.

All in all, I could not ask for a better blogging tool! To add this tool to Firefox visit the ScribeFire add on webpage.

Feel the love

IE Tab for Firefox

I would like to share with all of you some technical stuff; it is a very nice add-on to Firefox called IE Tab.

I have been a fan of Firefox for many years now. I think it is a superior browser in many respects. It not only appealed to me in my favoring of an underdog, but also for its flexibility, added security and many other features. If you have not tried Firefox yet I think you should!

One of the facts users of Firefox face is that some websites do not render well in that browser because they use code specifically designed for Internet Explorer. The solution: IE Tab. This is an add-on that allows Firefox to display pages using the rendering engine that IE employs. A word of caution: the latest version of IE Tab (1.5.20080310) only works with Firefox 3, which was just released. If you run the previous official version of Firefox then you can load version of IE Tab.

Once you install this add-on and restart Firefox you will have some new tricks up your sleeve. Right-click on any Firefox tab and you can switch the rendering engine from Firefox to IE and back. Under the "Tools" menu you now have an "IE Tab Options" selection that allows you to configure Firefox so that it will use the IE engine automatically for specific websites. For example, you can tell IE Tab to launch all pages from the http://** to load in Firefox using the IE engine (just because Microsoft really likes you to use IE and not other browsers). Note the * wildcard character that will help load Microsoft subdomains (such as

As with any technical tips and tricks, please use this at your own risk; always backup your system before making significant changes. Enjoy using Firefox and IE Tab!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Visualize more and think less

Visualize more and think less.
Your life is not a game of chess.

See more, feel more, love more,
That is the way to unlock the door.

Smile, and feel your heart beat faster,
When you visualize you are the master.

Source: Andy Dooley

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Amazing photo and courage

At first I thought this was a PhotoShop-altered image, but maybe it is not. Maybe it is just an awesome demonstration of courage. Judge for yourself.

Digital Cameras: Why You Should Carry a Digital Camera At All Times

Keep track of time the easy way!

I am always on the lookout for nice applications that can make a difference in the way I do things. I came across this one yesterday:

New TaskBlaze Freeware: Precise - Outlook Compatible Tracking » Persistence Unlimited - Goal Setting Blog
TaskBlaze is a small, fast, efficient and easy to use application that keeps accurate track of your time dedicated to your tasks.

And it does this fantastically well! Give it a try!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Funny: Grandma goes to court

Grandma goes to court
Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?'

She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, ' Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

20 Ways To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.

3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

6. In the memo field of all your checks, write 'For marijuana'.

7. Finish all your sentences with 'in accordance with the prophecy'.

9. Skip down the hall rather than walk and see how many looks you get.

8. Make your own and insert here. :-)

10. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

11. Specify that your drive-through order is 'to go'.

12. Sing along at the opera.

14. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.

15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you have a headache.

17. When the money comes out the ATM, scream 'I won! I won!'

18. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling 'Run for your lives! They're loose!'

19. Tell your children over dinner, 'Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.'

20. And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity: share this with someone to make them smile.

Visualize: Smiling Faces

The latest from Andy Dooley:

Visualize smiling faces everywhere you go,
By doing this you will get into the flow.

Your power of attraction will literally double,
And you can avoid all kinds of trouble.

Source: Andy Dooley

Ford Escape Prototype PHEV Can Deliver 88MPG

This is a excellent start -- five years too late … and I repeat, where is the 1984 Honda Civic 1300FE-class vehicles that provided us with 60 MPG on the highway?

Ford Escape Prototype PHEV Can Deliver 88MPG

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The farse of "security"

I came across this blog entry detailing the newly instituted search policy in the Los Angeles Metrolink:

Los Angeles Metrolink abolishes the Fourth Amendment, begins bogus "random bag searches" - Boing Boing

From one of the comments made to the blog:
Next up: Random home searches. Why not? To hell with the Constitution. Bend it until it breaks. We the people must be protected.

But, really, this should not surprise anyone, Many of us have been writing about the fallacy of security at the expense of liberty. In my opinion, Benjamin Franklin said it best:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

The Los Angeles Metrolink policy is ridiculous by its implementation — read the article and you will see why. Their policy is no different than that implemented in many stores (Wal-Mart, Sam's, etc.) that can subject anyone to a search and do so regularly. Nor is it different than any airport where you stop being a citizen and become a suspect the moment you dare drive into the airport property.

It is time for all citizens to voice their concerns with, and opposition to, these policies. The current administration has done great harm to our way of life in the name of national security. We are dangerously close to a complete police state — in many respects the police state is already in place. The government has used fear, intimidation and our apathy to pass laws and implement procedures that clearly are unconstitutional and violate the principles our nation was founded on.

The saddest part is that the erosion of our constitutional rights has done little to increase the security of our citizens.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Here is an interesting article on LifeLock (and other similar services):

The Pros and Cons of LifeLock
LifeLock, one of the companies that offers identity-theft protection in the United States, has been taking quite a beating recently. They're being sued by credit bureaus, competitors and lawyers in several states that are launching class action lawsuits. And the stories in the media ... it's like a piranha feeding frenzy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Saving for College

I wanted to share this link with all parents with kids:
The internet guide to funding college and Section 529 college savings plans.

Eye opening fact: I have to save about $800 per child per month in order to pay for their college education. Ouch! Who has that kind of money? That is $1600 per month for my single-income household! Of course, that does not take into consideration the possible availability of financial assistance when they get to college, but still …


As most of you know, I rarely comment on areas of spiritual nature simply out of respect for the many different belief systems adopted by people I love and care for. It is not that I expect to offend anyone — I believe in the open acceptance of everyone's choices as it comes to spirituality and religion. As such, it was rewarding to come across this website:

Beliefnet offers features on religion, spirituality, faith, health, prayer, the Bible, holistic lifestyle, and more.

I really like this website because it accomplishes a goal that seems unreachable in real life: bring all people of all faiths together in an environment that nurtures mutual understanding and support. I particularly enjoyed the Belief-O-Matic test that tries to find what church you are mostly aligned with based on your beliefs. It was pretty accurate for me.

The site goes beyond religion or spirituality to very practical subjects, such as weight loss.
Chances are you’ve heard about the Laws of Attraction. The basic concept is that you attract into your life whatever you think about. Positive thoughts and beliefs create a positive life; negative thoughts and beliefs attract negativity.

One sure way to get those positive vibes swirling out there is to be attracted to yourself, in a healthy and self-affirming way (not in a narcissistic, oh my goodness, I’m the greatest ever, where’s the mirror – I need to look at myself again - kind of way). Truthfully, if you aren’t attracted to you, if you don’t fully recognize your qualities and embrace yourself, how attractive could you possibly be to the universe.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Scottish Canals

At the beginning there were two canals: Canal Forth and Clyde was built in 1777, between harbors Grangemouth and Falkirk connecting Glasgow with west cost of Scotland. Canal Union between Falkirk and Edinburgh was finished in 1822. Because of geographical difficulties, which created a difference of elevation, the two canals were connected by 11 locks.

In 1963, after 150 years of existence of this water way with 11 locks, the construction of a huge water carousel started. This extraordinary idea was finished in 2002 and became a symbol of Scotland. This invention saves not only time but also energy. It is known as the Falkirk Wheel.

This is the only rotational boat transporter in the world. It has two arms and each arm forms a kind of huge tub filled with water. Boats enter the tub, then the tub locks up and the huge arm starts rotating.

Closing the gate, regulation of level of water and “tubs” rotation takes less that 15 minutes.

The “tubs” are filled according the Archimedes’ Law, so the weight of “tubs” is balanced. To open the upper and lower lock and turn the whole system by 180 degrees they need an engine of 22.5 kW which uses only 1.5 kWh.

Additional information: Falkirk Wheel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia