Monday, January 31, 2005
Please swing over there and take the poll. If the past few days have actually moved thinking people in a new direction, this is where it will be indicated.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
If you are sharing a similar experience, why not get ahead of the curve by sending out this link to all your well meaning friends.
The author of that article is Lea MacDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I have a vast amount of respect for his methods and his abilities. If you feel the same way, please make an effort to let him know.
The hands down best company I have ever done business with is Costco. I have renewed my annual membership fee every December for way more than twenty years because no one I know (or have ever heard of) has had a less than satisfactory experience at the hands of a Costco employee.
I also shop on Costco.com because anything I purchase that disappoints me in any way can be returned to the nearest Costco store with absolutely no resistance involved. They will ask you why you want to return a purchase, but any reason is good enough for them.
The way Costco treats their employees is another story (for another time), but should be used as a model for any company seeking loyalty from the labor force and the shopping public.
I am extremely concerned about the availability of quality follow-up service on purchases I make... especially if the purchase cost is $100.00 or more. When it comes to big ticket items, I have to go with the company that has the best reputation or has given me good service in the past. It only takes one bad experience to drive me into the wanton aisles of a competitor.
Knowing that many companies are now outsourcing their Customer Service work, this article from rense.com (via what really happened) makes me wonder where the major retail companies managed to take such a radical wrong turn.
If accountability is the thorn in StarTek's side integrity is its Achilles heel. In a written evaluation of StarTek's business principals weighted against current practice a former StarTek management employee gave them a score of ten out of one-hundred. He wrote "Integrity-- This is where I feel the management team is struggling the most. Decisions on a site level, get made without, what appears to be, taking constructive input from the other departments possessing a make-it-happen, attitude. Preparation for change needs to be a focus. Input from those that are affected by the change needs to be taken into deeper consideration as opposed to putting out fires after the fact. False promises get thrown around, the things will change, cliché has become a standard - some form of stability should be in place. People are given promotions, based on unknown criteria, without the benefit of a proper, ethical job bid to determine if there are other suitable candidates available. Information is distributed one way, and changed on a whim. Again, structure is needed in order to achieve goals. Knee-jerk reactions to situations should be minimal, and stronger preparations for what if, should be taken into consideration."
Thursday, January 27, 2005
(Excerpt from sfbayview.com)
Bernklau continued, “This malady (from uranium munitions), that thousands of our military have suffered and died from, has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. The terrible truth is now being revealed.”
He added, “Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in GW1 (the first Gulf War), of them, 11,000 are now dead! By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on Permanent Medical Disability. This astounding number of ‘Disabled Vets’ means that a decade later, 56% of those soldiers who served have some form of permanent medical problems!” The disability rate for the wars of the last century was 5 percent; it was higher, 10 percent, in Viet Nam.
“The VA Secretary (Principi) was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,” wrote Bernklau. “He, and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, (it) ... is far too big to hide or to cover up!”
Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the nuclear process, whether military or for energy, and the US has huge piles of it. Though depleted, it is still highly radioactive. DU was introduced in weaponry during the first Gulf War. Initially, DU was used to form tank-penetrating rounds. These were about six inches long and had the feature of penetrating the heavy metal in tanks. Because of its density, depleted uranium was also used in tanks and protective armor for soldiers. Due to its relatively low levels of radioactivity, depleted uranium was considered fairly harmless (it is also used in golf clubs) and the Pentagon has repeatedly denied any danger from its use, even though its original research into the military application of du stated clearly the dangers to personnel.
However, when exploded, depleted uranium releases a highly radioactive gas; tiny alpha particles are easily inhaled into the lungs. When Gulf War veterans returned home, many of them became mysteriously ill, with symptoms highly suggestive of radiation sickness. Thanks to the work of Gulf War veterans like Doug Rokke and Dan Fahey, and many dedicated activists, the dangers of depleted uranium are now well known, but the Pentagon continues to defend its use.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
This article (found via rense.com) discusses Depleted Uranium. If you aren't familiar what it is or how it has been addressed by the free governments of the world, please take a look.
It is required reading.
After getting back on line late yesterday, I had that recurring daydream about having vast sums of money and how my computing life would change as a result. Since I haven't completely emerged from that state of mind, this horoscope seems like a quick bounce-back from the Universe:
GEMINI (May 21–June 20): In 1718, a top Lutheran official in Eisenach, Germany, sent a letter to the town administrators of nearby Ostheim-vor-der-Rhoen, mandating them to choose a new priest for the local congregation. Due to human error, the mail didn't arrive until 2004, too late to fulfill its function. I regard this as an apt metaphor for a scenario that will soon unfold in your life, Gemini. You too will finally receive a long-delayed delivery. Unlike the German message that was 286 years tardy, however, yours won't be completely useless. On the contrary, it might be curiously fresh. In the big picture, its seemingly belated arrival may even be perfect timing.
You can look at yours here.
I wonder what "not completely useless" might indicate.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Instead of posting what I thought was so wonderful (there were actually numerous things) I should just tell you to go find them yourself...you can't miss them...just don't get lost in there.
I was handed a mission (from my part time employer) two days ago... a mission that should have taken half a day... and I am only now getting back to the level of time wasting I worked all my life to achieve. I can actually turn any four hour job into a two dayer, but it is a different type of time wasting when you are keyboarding.
The last thing I remember (before being gainfully interrupted) was posting a comment to Karlo (Swerve Left again) that took multiple attempts and an awful lot of time. I kept getting an error message which I attributed to the agonizing length of time my dial up was stretching the effort out to... and I never got an indication that the comment had published until I finally returned to the post I was commenting on, and there it was.
So...I finally made the call for a high speed hook up, which will be in place early next week. I have no doubt that even my work will seem to go faster from then on.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
One of the steps I took was to secure a permanent mail box at Yahoo so the transition from where I am at to wherever I am going will be less traumatic, if not seamless.
I sent an address change to most of my favorite people (I am still sending them out in case you didn't get one), and the response was almost like having Christmas all over again so soon. I have been receiving notes from people I haven't heard from for (a long time), and it is absolutely wonderful.
Gwen is residing in Mexico and her daily life is usually shared through an occaisional e-mail to her friends and family, but it has been a while since one of those came through...so it was great to hear from her. I know she and Tom have purchased a house which they are working hard to turn into a home... and I am anxious to hear more about that.
Chuck and Marsha have been full time RVers since they retired a few years ago, and they also keep in touch through a chronological description of events (as they have lived them). They are very spiritual people (which is one of the reasons I Love and enjoy them so much) with an extended family that would most likely fill any stadium in this great country. I know Marsha is shaking her head at that one, but when you never turn your back on anyone...
There have been many other responses from friends and family... both of my brothers, a nephew, friends no longer living where they were when we last communicated, and one piece of junk mail that Yahoo was kind enough to stick into a bulk mail folder from where I can send it to a digital death.
Isn't life absolutely wonderful?
Monday, January 17, 2005
- We would be working hard to ensure the quality of life for everyone on the planet.
- We would be working hard to ensure the quality of the planet.
- We would be led and represented by men and women of honor and integrity.
- Education would be free to anyone interested enough to bring their own container.
- GW would still be screwing up businesses in Texas.
- We would be looking forward to the second inaugural of Martin Luther King Jr.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Robert Cohen: Let's play some more trivia with you, Mike. We know breast cancer -- what country has the highest rate of heart disease?
Mike Adams: Well, I'm still thinking the United States.
Robert Cohen: Nope! Denmark, Norway, Holland and Sweden --
you're going to get it sooner or later! Bone disease, heart disease, breast
cancer -- see where are we going with this? -- highest rates of dairy consumption. We're seeing absolute correlations between these diseases and dairy consumption, and I can give you the reason. We have much more than just national epidemiological studies -- we have mechanisms by which these diseases occur, in breast cancer and every cancer, thousands of things cause cancer. Every time we pick up a newspaper there's a new thing identified as causing cancer.
But thousands of things cause it -- once you get it in your body, one thing makes it
grow, and the one thing that makes it grow is the most powerful growth hormone you make in your body called insulin growth factor. And remarkably, the greatest miracle of science, of nature, is that this hormone in a cow's body and in a human body is identical. As a matter of fact, out of 4700 different species of mammal and hundreds of millions of different proteins in nature, there's only one hormone in the entire animal kingdom that is identical between two species -- human and cow IGF-1, which has been called the key factor in the growth and proliferation of breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, every human cancer.
Friday, January 14, 2005
I haven't been blogging very long at all, but I have been journaling off and on for years. I try to do my journaling as soon as I am up and have my first cup of coffee in hand. It forces me to focus inward, which seems to gather my energy and give me a controlled start in my day, whereas, starting my day in a hurry and without that focus usually means my energy will be scattered, and my day will be filled with false starts and few finishes.
When the 2004 political season began, I was leaning more toward Dennis Kucinich than any other candidate because Dennis seemed to verbalize my thoughts and feelings. I happen to think he is one of the few true progressives left in American Politics. He is original, intelligent, and has more integrity in his little finger than the entire (R) political machine combined.
Now that we have had a second helping of the war on terrorism, and dessert is probably on the drawing board, it is interesting to look back at The Department of Peace concept that Dennis introduced... and Marianne Williamson continues to support and promote.
These are good people trying to do good things... Maybe it is time.
Last year Mr. Novak had failed to fully disclose - until others in the press called him on it - that his son is the director of marketing for Regnery, the company that published "Unfit for Command," the Swift boat veterans' anti-Kerry screed that Mr. Novak flogged relentlessly on CNN and elsewhere throughout the campaign. Nor had he fully disclosed, as Mary Jacoby of Salon reported, that Regnery's owner also publishes his subscription newsletter ($297 a year). Nor has Mr. Novak fully disclosed why he has so far eluded any censure in the federal investigation of his outing of a C.I.A. operative, Valerie Plame, while two other reporters, Judith Miller of The Times and Matt Cooper of Time, are facing possible prison terms in the same case. In this context, Mr. Novak's "full disclosure" of his friendship with Mr. Williams is so anomalous that it raised many more questions than it answers.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Providence renewed Johnston's policies covering her home and car because they don't cover libel or slander from her political activities, Groves said. But it would not renew her $1 million umbrella policy, which, as its name suggests, kicks in for claims not covered by the narrower policies.
This information is probably good to know, however, I would really like to see some studies that isolate consumers of organically raised and processed meats versus the meat that has been in the marketplace during this 20 year study.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
I spend a lot of time reading other people's blogs, but I seldom take the time to comment. I am, however, frequently moved by some of the things people write. I will take the time to let them know in the future.
It is always a pleasant read when I stumble onto someone sharing their personal thoughts in a way that creates those sympathetic vibrations... whether happy or frustrating.
Thanks again Katharine.
I have been around Military people most of my life, so I know that the desire to succeed becomes a separate, highly functioning portion of their brain regardless of their length of service. Their personal goals and desires are as varied as any segment of society, but their knowledge, skills and abilities as a group are incomparable.
My political thought process has always been greatly affected by which party or candidate I felt would do the best job for the currently serving and the veterans. I guess I have been fooled way more often than not.
This article from The New Yorker (via Art and Letters Daily... see sidebar link) says a lot about Military people, and their knowledge, skills and abilities. It also says a lot about people who think being in charge makes one capable.
It remains to be seen whether its appetite for learning the lessons of Iraq will extend to analyzing how it got into such a war in the first place. When General Shinseki failed to persuade Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to allocate more troops to the initial effort, he appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where, under cover of answering a senators question, he went public with his estimate that the war would require several hundred thousand troops. His move failed. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz called Shinsekis estimate wildly off the mark, and the Army invaded Iraq with about a hundred thousand soldiers.
Speak like a conservative is one of the best entries I have read lately, and the massive number of comments that follow are equally worth the read.
My practice of trying to put myself in the other person's shoes doesn't work very well when it comes to racism because I have never been discriminated against. Speak like a conservative (in concert with the resulting comments) actually helps me understand a little better...thanks Steve.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
The "panel" was just two guys as qualified for the job as they are for landing the space shuttle: Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi.
When erroneous and/or biased information leads us to a choice that can adversely affect the health and future of our loved ones (perhaps for generations to come), what possible recourse do we have...?
This story, which is a follow up on yesterday regarding the Fox News and Monsanto issue, gives us a teeny bit of hope. Perhaps we will see the beginning of a new responsibility at the FCC.
Hormones injected into the beef we eat is another issue that should be of great interest, so arm yourselves with a little knowledge.
I don't want to beat this to death, but if you are currently unaware of these food safety issues, don't expect the mainstream media to enlighten you any time soon.
Monday, January 10, 2005
In light of the information recently reported about how the FDA seems to be too close to the large drug manufacturers, I would like to go back to something that has been written and talked about virtually every day for years (occasionally in the mainstream media), and that is the safety of our food supply.
This story about Patrick Hicks of Colton, California (posted on rense.com) talks about the possibility of his death being from a variant of the wasting disease caused by eating tainted beef.
Pay particular attention to the actions taken by Public Health Officials.
This article, "Why Eat Organic Meat?", contains information that every person providing for a family (especially a family with children) should know and understand.
This website is full of interesting articles and great information about where your food should be coming from starting tomorrow.
I am really proud that I got through this without mentioning Monsanto or Fox News once.
Everyone needs a cause to fight for... access to safe and healthy food is a good pick.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
The Supersonics are well worth every minute spent watching them this season (and I am), but the team that really gets my level of excitement up is the Mariners.
I have a feeling that the winds of change are going to blow very hard around and through the Seahawks Organization this coming off-season, but what has been happening with the Mariners as they attempt to patch up a few cracks and apply a fresh coat of "get it done" prior to spring training?
We will hit the diamond with a lot of new faces this year, and with a lot of familiar faces. There is no doubt some changes were necessary, have been made, and more are coming.
From a strictly mathematical viewpoint it goes like this:
What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.
How about achieving 103%?
What makes up 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
Then: H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
and K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
And, B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.
A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that while hard work and knowledge will get you close, and attitude will get you there, it's the bullshit and ass kissing that will put you over the top.
Note: If I had know this years ago, I might still be married.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
As a former shipyard worker with documented pleural thickening of the lung lining, I don't believe I should seek compensation until it is certain that my health will be adversely affected. On the other hand, I certainly don't want my ability to seek compensation taken off the table for any reason.
When it becomes known or suspected that a product in wide industrial use is causing illness and death through exposure to the work force, and the bottom line of the manufacturer is more important than acting on that knowledge to reverse or halt the situation... the manufacturer should be liable.
No amount of monetary award can change the outcome of asbestosis, but I subscribe to the misery loving company premise.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 Lobbyists for Eli Lilly & Company, the
pharmaceutical giant, did not have much luck when they made the rounds on
Capitol Hill earlier this year, seeking protection from lawsuits over a
preservative in vaccines. Senator Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, tucked a
provision into a bill that went nowhere. When lawmakers rebuffed a request to
slip language into domestic security legislation, a Lilly spokesman said, the
company gave up.
Now, in a Washington whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie, the
provision has been resurrected and become law, as part of the domestic security
legislation signed on Monday by President Bush. Yet in a city where politicians
have perfected the art of claiming credit for deeds large and small, not a
single member of Congress or the Bush administration will admit to being the
author of the Lilly rider. (READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE)
Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive double-pane energy efficient kind....But this week I got a call from the contractor complaining that his work had been completed a whole year ago and I had yet to pay for them....
Boy oh boy, did we go around!! Just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid...So, I proceeded to tell him just what his fast talking sales guy had told me last year...that in one year the windows would pay for themselves....
There was silence on the other end of the line, so I just hung up and I have not heard back...Guess I won that stupid argument....
Okay, so it isn't a lot of snow... but it counts.
I don't plan to do much driving today, and since it is Saturday, most people can stay indoors and enjoy the warmth of whatever artificial heat source they are lucky enough to have. I have a fireplace insert, but nothing to burn in it at the moment. The only time that really bothers me is when the power goes out, and my natural gas furnace quits doing its thing.
Fortunately, the power is still on, and the Seahawks will be too.
Friday, January 07, 2005
This one kinda reminds me of myself.... I have a closet full of unopened boxes of sports cards and absolutely no idea what they might be worth.
It all started when I purchased some unique sets of Griffey Jr. cards (in the early 90s) as birthday gifts for two of my sports minded friends. Their obvious delight and ensuing conversation (which included speculation on possible future worth) led me to think I was dabbling in a worthwhile area.
It took about four years and countless thousands of dollars to realize I didn't know what the hell I was into (for a number of reasons probably familiar to novice collectors), so I decided to let some time gather between my last purchase and my next. I now realize that the entire collecting racket is designed in favor of everyone involved but me in descending order from the card manufacturer on down.
I realize there are scrupulous dealers out there who are in it for the sheer joy of breathing the same air as people who share their love of sports cards, and I cherish them... however, I have yet to make that next purchase.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Moore said he was told all the deaths were caused by inhaling chlorine
fumes, except for the engineer of the moving train, who died in the crash.
With everything else we have pissed and moaned about this past year, I am beginning to pay attention to the argument about facilities and industries that need to be better protected by our Homeland Security dollars.
Accidents definitely do happen.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
If you happen to find yourself in Gig Harbor, check out this great little book store.
We haven't seen any snow around here yet, but there is a rumor that it is going to arrive this coming week end. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
This interesting site has some eye-catching tarot art.
Steven Wright asks "What happens if you get scared half to death twice?"
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
The US government has so far pledged $350m to the victims of the tsunami, and the UK government £50m ($96m). The US has spent $148 billion on the Iraq war and the UK £6bn ($11.5bn). The war has been running for 656 days. This means that the money pledged for the tsunami disaster by the United States is the equivalent of one and a half day's spending in Iraq. The money the UK has given equates to five and a half days of our involvement in the war.
The link at the bottom of the article is also worth a look.
I can still remember the vast amount of money that was donated to the victims of 9/11 fund. I can also remember the controversies regarding how the money was going to be distributed, who was qualified to receive a share, and why it was taking such a long time to happen.
There isn't any question in MY mind about the generosity of people in a crisis situation. I can only hope that every dollar donated has the intended impact where it is most needed.
I am almost ashamed that it takes a crisis to remind me that I do have the ability to share some of what I have, and I should be doing it as often as possible in my local community.
Seeing the outpouring of Love and generosity that is currently taking place makes me wonder how we can possibly overlook the poverty and hunger that resides just around (almost) every American corner (almost) every day.
Monday, January 03, 2005
My next door neighbor just brought me some home made jellies for letting her walk my dog. I have a feeling that this is a winner for me however you look at it. My dog is a yellow lab with more energy than a Texas oil well, so she needs to have her out and about time. Since I am not daily faithful about taking her out, it is really nice to have a neighbor happy to do that. In addition, I am not the guy you would expect to see putting up jams or jellies, but I really do enjoy having them on the table when it is time to eat.
We are finally feeling the cold around the Puget Sound area. I'm not sure how cold it got last night, but my little pond in the back yard had a sheet of ice on it this morning, and I would have had to scrape the windshield if I was still going to work in the morning (I sure don't miss that part). I know we will get some snow one of these days, but it never comes down like it did every year when I was a kid (you know, uphill both ways to school and all that). I guess if I want to see a lot of snow, I'll have to move to California.
I hope you are getting the January weather you wanted.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
I managed to muddle my way through part of Blogroller, but I still have to put a heading in for my links list. I might be trying to go too fast, but it holds my attention and there is so much to learn.
I don't make resolutions coming into a new year but I do make a few new plans... one being to study a new language (Spanish). Now that I am trying to understand something about HTML, I guess I can change my plan to two new languages.
I was pleased to note that there are so many Spanish blogs out there... when I get to that endeavor, I will have a place to practice communicating.
Have a great week.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Port Angeles sunset
Okay, I think I am beginning to get this figured out.
This picture was taken from the Victoria Express after some friends and I returned from a trip to the Royal British Columbia Museum to view the Eternal Egypt exhibit (which was absolutely worth the trip). The exhibit information is no longer on the museum website because the exhibit ended in October 2004.
Anyway, now that I think I have this picture thing figured out, I will get more active with my camera.
I have neglected a lot of football today, so it is time to stop abusing my eyes with the computer screen (and start with the television screen).
I have been reading my brains out in the Blogger Help Files trying to climatize my vocabulary and come to an understanding about where to go next. Boy, talk about opportunities... except for the currently quantifiable limits, they are boundless.
Excuse me while I experiment...
This is probably a good time to talk about things like putting the clothes you wore to the big bash last night into the laundry because they reek of what seemed like a good idea at the time. In the process, you find a piece of cocktail napkin in your pocket or stocking with a phone number written on it (and heart doodles and heavy underlining) but you have no memory of how you aquired it.
The only option available by now (you certainly wouldn't throw it away) is to plug the number into this Reverse Phone Directory and see what you come up with. If you can actually accomplish that, my experiment has been a success and I can get back to my reading.
I sincerely hope you are beginning this new day by being thoughtful of yourself and those closest to you.