30 September 2009

RENEW International For Spiritual Renewal

In these times of economic uncertainty, possible job loss, foreclosures and other unpredictable events, your morale and spirit can really take a beating. To help people in good and bad times, RENEW International reaches out to millions of people in the United States and thousands of others world wide. They have touched lives in 23 countries, across 6 continents and in 44 languages.

RENEW International focuses on spiritual renewal in the Catholic tradition as a ministry. Empowering individuals and communities to encounter God in everyday life, people strengthen and share their faith. In their 28 year history, they have revitalized parish life in over 150 dioceses in the United States.

Programs and materials are provided to a dioceses by RENEW International to help them meet their annual goals. Their RENEW Theology on Tap reaches out to Catholics in their 20's and 30's both married and single. They use informal discussions in various settings to empower the young. RENEW Worldwide is a 3 year renewal process that is offered to parishes outside the U.S. This enables them to minister to those who are suffering from oppression, war and poverty.

29 September 2009

Amos Tamam: Man With a Vision

If you're looking for someone who is a forward thinker, then you've found that person in Amos Tamam. After training as an electrical engineer at Tel Aviv University, Amos came to the United States in the early 1980's looking for a new start. He landed a job in New York thus beginning his association with taxicabs.

Now, as CEO of Verifone Transportation Systems, Inc. Amos Tamam is an industry leader providing the technology and systems that enable taxicabs to accept credit card payments. After his start which began with the servicing and repair of cabs, Amos then worked on taxi meters and systems to improve fleet and fuel management for taxicab fleet owners.

His innovation of having a credit card accepted as payment for a taxi ride is a concept that helps insure the driver's safety. Besides the added advantage this gives to the passengers, drivers won't be carrying as much cash which means the likelihood of being robbed is less. Amos Tamam has made this possible with his innovative forward thinking that made his vision happen.

The Numbers Game

Remember the old television series Cheers where the theme-song said that "everyone knows your name"? Yes: it's very important to remember people's names (also it's one sign that you're really not getting older if you can remember things like that) but knowing numbers is equally important. Have you ever had an emergency in the dark hours of night when being able to see your house number quickly and clearly is mandatory? You're waiting for an ambulance, police car or fire truck to arrive when you notice that you either have no numbers on the outside of your house or if you do, they're tiny, small or faded?

With a Whitehall Address Plaque this won't happen. People will be able to see your home address during the day and at night with a reflective address plaque. These plaques are made from rust free recycled aluminium with weather resistant sign grade reflective paints. There are many color choices and combinations of colors available. The standard size address plaque fits all homes and horizontal and vertical designs are another option.

Eight years ago, my husband had a fatal heart attack and as usually happens it was at night. When I went outside to look for the ambulance, I realized that although I had house numbers they were very small. and I wasn't sure they could be seen well. My only hope for the emergency crews to find my house was by turning on the outside house light. If I'd have had a Whitehall Address Plaque, I could have avoided the additional stress at this terrible time.

Do yourself a favor and check out all the Whitehall Address Plaques that are available. Do this for yourself and others. Names can also be put on the plaques which help people know they're at the right house. Beside the reflective address plaques there are also lawn markers, decorative, commemorative and wall mounted plaques. All have a special paint process with many color choices that are can withstand the harshest of climates. The illuminated address plaques are designed to meet local "911" emergency standards.

27 September 2009

Sak Narwal: a man of many facets

If you're looking for a man of many talents, Sakwinder (Sak) Narwal's name is one that pops up.

A man who enjoys fishing in various places, Sak Narwal does it all. He fishes for sharks off Montauk Point (NY) or landlocked salmon in Lake George. He fishes for bass in Dixon Lake (CA) and brook trout in Roscoe (NY).

As a "catch and release" fisherman, Sak Narwal has gone to some of the most beautiful settings in the world. His interest started at a young age and he wants to know everything about the fish he catches, and their environment. Owning hundreds of lures and rods, Sak is truly dedicated to his enthusiasm for fishing. His ideal day is catching a fish on a "beautiful body of water".

Trying to fish every week, Sak Narwal will fish the Florida Keys (looking for tarpon bonefish) stopping at Little Torch Key, Sugarloaf Key, Big Pine Key and other islands. Sak enjoys mangrove islands and well protected bays and deep channels as it gives the effect of both hunting and fishing.

Fly fishing, sight fishing or any other type, makes a fisherman very happy.

SelectAFlush and Fundraising Go Green

Are you just flushing money down the drain every time your toilet is used?

With a dual flush toilet, you'll save money every time. You have two options to choose from: "rinse flush" or "full flush". With the SelectAFlush dual flush kit, any current toilet can be converted to this system. This lets you save money and help the environment at the same time. A family of 7 can save approximately 18,000 gallons of water a year (equal to a swimming pool of water).

Another fabulous use of this system is as a fundraiser. YES!! Fundraising. Tired of the cookies, candy, trail mix, popcorn etc. that many groups and organizations are trying to sell? With school and group budgets being sliced into, what better way than to help fund your after school program?

Families are becoming more aware of the importance of being kind to the environment than ever and by using the SelectAFlush dual flush kit as a fund raising tool to help fund your scouts, you and the group will both "go green" by raising money and helping the environment. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the success your group or organization has with this product.

Oh No: It's That Time Of Year Again !!!

It's getting to be that time of year again. Have to put away the floaties, water toys, prep the swimming pool for the ice, snow, sleet and whatever "Old-Man Winter " decides to throw our way. At least some of us do: (hear my sigh of envy for people in warm climates?). Started cutting down my gardens already as we get very unpredictable weather here in Michigan and never really know when the first frost will be coming.

One of the things to do is make sure there's enough good, dry firewood for those long, romantic nights I envision (yea right: me and the cat.) Fortunately, I started looking earlier and found a Woodhaven Firewood Rack that allows me to have a good store of dry, bug-free wood. I got one of the smaller sizes. There was a great selection to choose from. The firewood racks come in seven sizes ranging from three feet (1/8 cord) to sixteen feet (1 cord). With the smaller size, it's very convenient to have in the house. The larger sizes are very adaptable to the outdoors for fire pits etc. and they all come with free short covers that descend 12 " from the top of the wood. This cover allows air to circulate through the wood keeping it mildew free. The lower construction keeps the wood off the ground again helping with air circulation.

Every Woodhaven Firewood Rack is made from solid materials with durable construction of steel tubing that's arc welded. Each steel firewood rack is guaranteed for 10 years.

Storing wood all year long for winter indoor use can help you save on utility prices. Weather you chop your own wood or buy it, you can be filling the Woodhaven Firewood Rack all year round. Having and using an indoor fireplace can help you save on utility costs while offering a beautiful setting. If you're a propane gas, natural gas or an electric heat user, there's the dreaded question of "What will I be paying this month"? As in past years, we know these costs are only going to go higher and higher and some of the price increases are truly shocking.

Happy winter preparations and good luck to all of us in the cold months ahead!

25 September 2009

Blog Television Partnered With Direct Sat TV

In today's economy, you want to get the best deals that are out there. One of the hottest deals around is Direct TV. There are packages tailored to everyone's viewing choice.

Not everyone is interested in high definition television but for the viewers who want a better detailed picture and higher sound quality, then DirectTV is the way to go. HBO, starz and the sports pack are some of the available channels that can be included into viewing packages.

Along with fabulous television viewing at great prices, you may be eligible to receive a free HD DVR Receiver upgrade ($199.99 value) free from Directv. You'll be able to pause, rewind live television and record your favorite shows. Worried that you might not be able to work the Receiver? Easy as pie: click the remote once to record an episode, whole season or to just skip the commercials.

What are you waiting for? Use their toll free number to get stared on watching high quality television now.

Carl Sgro: Online Reputation Management Businessman and Humanitarian

As a businessman with over 25 years experience, Carl Sgro has made his mark on the Internet and in the field of technology. Carl's focus on Internet based companies has grown to extensive work with search engine marketing.

Working as a SEM and SEO specialist searching for solutions, Carl Sgro has worked with clients in healthcare field, real estate and retail industries. One thing that Carl passes on to everyone is claiming your own name on the Internet. With identity theft and fraud running rampant, he stresses the importance of owning your own name.

An avid bass fisherman who studies their habits and behaviors, Carl Sgro and his wife fish up and down the eastern coast of the United States. His involvement in working with children has included helping set up a "Take a Kid Fishing" program.

Carl Sgro is definitely a man on the move.

24 September 2009

Marketing Communications Has Solutions

Are you looking for a system that is cost effective and has the latest technical support resources for IPC trading systems? Then you've found it.

Market Commmunications, LLC is your answer. The staff consists of skilled engineers, technicians, sales and customer support. Technicians receive training on a regular basis and everyone works with a "customer first" attitude which has helped the company in their rapid growth. The company has expanded. With diversified solution options, it has a variety of specific voice platforms that include: IPC, BT America, Shoretel IP and Nice.

No matter what type of business you have, Market Communications has the technology solutions ready to take you to the next level. With the best available products, systems and services, you, as the customer, will be provided with the most cost effective solutions.

Olive Oil: a key part of the Mediterranean Diet

Olive oil, a major part of the Mediterranean Diet (see 8/25/09 post) is a natural juice that preserves the taste, aroma, and vitamins of the olive fruit. It can be consumed, as-is, freshly pressed. Some olive tress that are hundreds of years old continue to bear fruit.

Once olives have been picked, they need to be processed immediately or the acidic level will climb too high which affects the flavor. Cleaned olives are run through a press that turns them into a paste. The paste is subjected to the malaxation process (slow mixing so that droplets of oil begin to adhere to other droplets). The paste is put under pressure to get the liquid oil along with water from the fruit. Olive oil is separated from the water which is discarded. When bottled, less than 1% acidic levels result in extra virgin olive oil that is rich and intense in flavor. Olive oil with higher acidic level is referred to as virgin.

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL ("good cholesterol").

Extra virgin olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed. Olive oil has helpful benefit on ulcers and gastritis. Also, Spanish research suggests that olive oil in a diet may help prevent colon cancer.

95% of the olive trees cultivated world wide are in the Mediterranean region with most of the production coming from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Near East. In 2002, Spain contributed about 45%of the world's production and in 2006, Turkey accounted for 5% of the world's production.

Greece (see 6/26/09 post) devotes 60% of its cultivated land to olive growing. It's the world's top producer of black olives and has more variety of olives that any other country. It is 3rd in world olive production. About half of the Greek olive oil production is exported yearly with exports mainly going to Europe (Italy in particular). The Republic of South Africa, also a producer of extra virgin olive oil, is seeing an increase in demand for their product.

22 September 2009

Shop Til You Drop

Love to shop in the comfort of your own home for "everything your heart desires"? From accessories to computers, babies & toddlers, automotive, electronics, jewelery & watches, clothing and a zillion things more, you've just found the perfect on-line store. ShopWiki (uk) is the place for you. You can even shop for your cat or dog and possibly your goldfish.

If you're a woman who likes parties and dressing up, then this is the web-site for you. Whether you're looking for that special outfit for a formal or semi-formal occasion, you'll be pleased at the large selection. You'll be able to find out what is "in" in formal wear. Suggestions are given on the type of outfit and accessories for everything from a black tie affair to a dinner party. You'll get recommendations on the type of shoe, clutch or purse, shawl or wrap along with jewelry ideas that will really pull your perfect outfit for your perfect night together.

Your search for clothing whether semi-formal or casual will also end at this site. Pant suit or dress? Colors or patterns? Silk or satin? Strapless or spaghetti strap? Sandals or pumps? What are the new trends going to be? Should I stick with the classic designs and styles? So many fashion questions, but you'll find all your answers at ShopWiki (uk).

If I Won The Lottery

I'm like everyone else: daydreaming about the things I would do with the zillions of dollars I'd win in a lottery. The first thing I would do would be to hire a live-in masseuse (he'd be blond, gorgeous and named Sven). Then I'd hire a live-in hairdresser. The third thing I would do would be to buy a house on a tropical island (or possibly buy the whole island).

Once I had my fabulous retreat, I'd buy a fire pit table from California Outdoor Concepts. Like the one in the picture, all their products are distinctive and well crafted. The tables can be customized to fit your needs and include bar height and dining height tables with many options.

The fire pit tables from California Outdoor Concepts are made from glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC). This material is strong, lightweight and moisture resistant as well as being environmentally friendly. You can use gas logs or tumbled fire glass. All of their fire pits can be adapted for natural gas or a propane tank. Covers and accessories are available so that you can make your outdoor fire pit or fire pit table your own.

All the patio furniture and fire pits by California Outdoor Concepts are designed for beauty and durability. The company, located in Southern California has taken outdoor living to the highest quality with the lifestyle of the customer foremost in all they do.

20 September 2009

Blood Donations Are Needed

There is always a need for blood donation especially around the holidays as there are more vehicle accidents and the need increases considerably. But every day, there is someone somewhere who needs blood. Currently only 3 out of 10 Americans donate blood.

For information or to donate, contact your local American Red Cross or visit www.givelife.org or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543)

Are All Fireplaces Created Equal?

Nope! All fireplaces are not the same. Every holiday, the famous story "Twas The Night Before Christmas" is re-read or re-told thousands of times. The line about "stockings hung by the chimney with care" is very important to little children who are waiting for Santa Claus to visit them. Perennial favorites Calvin and Hobbes' "Lazy Sunday Book" shows them relaxing in front of a fire place. There are many other stories that take place around a fireplace.

Most people think of fireplaces as indoor items only. An outdoor fireplace is not something that usually comes to mind; people usually think in terms of grills. Some of the fireplaces that I've looked at have a pullout cooking option so you can have the best of both worlds.

The Blue Rhino outdoor fireplace (see pix of round fireplace) has this feature which allows it to be used as a barbecue also. Made of cast iron with a 4 log capacity it's portability is an added convenience. At this time of year it can be used for tailgating at football games, end of summer picnics or at campsites. The round shape and screening allows it be enjoyed all the way around and keeps wayward sparks. within the unit. The chimney at the top also prevents sparks from flying.

The square outdoor fireplace also brings warmth and beauty to the great outdoors. Made of heavy duty steel, it has a large swing-out door giving easy and safe access for removing ashes. With these portable outdoor fireplaces, the amount of time spent outside can be extended into the cooler months.

19 September 2009

Luxury with McDowell Mountain Ranch Real Estate

You don't have to win the lottery to live in luxury at McDowell Mountain Ranch. The Ranch, opened to the public in 1995 is a 3,200 acre community that fits every one's lifestyle.

McDowell Mountain Ranch Real Estate presents a community of 4,000 homes that are individualized. Among the amenities are 25 clubs, pools, playgrounds, tennis courts and a variety of children's activities. There are paved and natural trails also.

The Ranch, adjacent to the McDowell Sonoran Desert Preserve, is easily accessible to the Scottsdale Arabian Library, WestWorld and the Sanctuary Golf Course along with other areas and activities of interest.

This is truly Southwest living at its finest.

17 September 2009

Maine Coon Cats

Daffy (short for Daphne) is my 8 year old Maine Coon cat. I think the breed is fabulous. She loves egg salad, likes to sleep in the bath tub and will occasionally watch football on TV with me.

Maine Coons have been on this continent since colonial days and probably came over with the first settlers. One legend is that Maine Coons are descendants of long-haired cats owned by Marie Antoinette. The story goes that she had packed her belongings and cats for the boat trip to America. She was beheaded before she was able to make the trip but supposedly, her cats set sail and landed in Maine. The Coons are America's oldest natural long-haired breed.

Large in size and muscular with wide-set legs and eyes, Coons have heavy shaggy coats with longer hair on the stomach, flanks and tail. Maine Coons come in many colors and patterns including black, white, orange, blue and cream.

They are known for their gentleness and friendliness and are especially good with children and other pets. Despite their size, these cats don't make a lot of noise. A quiet meow is all they usually use.

Maine Coons are especially fond of water. Their coat is water resistant and requires combing only 2-3 times a week to prevent matting. They have tufted ears and an extra long flowing tail and are sturdy, healthy and very adaptable.

16 September 2009

My "Bucket List"

Remember the movie "The Bucket List" that was out a couple of years ago starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman? It was about 2 older men who had terminal illnesses. They made a list of the things they wanted to do before the died and together they started working on the list. Well, I made my own bucket list after seeing the movie. The first thing I did was get a tattoo (see 6/29/09 post). Another item I was able to cross off my list was swimming with dolphins last summer in the Bahamas (see 6/14/09 post).

Recently, I found a web site that sells garden wind chimes. They have one that I fell in love with at first sight: a dolphin wind chime. This was too good to pass up. Wind chimes are one of my favorite garden decorations and swimming with dolphins was one of the best experiences I ever had. Needless to say, this was a match made in Heaven.

I looked at all the other styles of garden wind chimes that are available and really liked what I saw. There is a large variety made from many materials including aluminum chimes that are pre-tuned to a specific tone, bamboo wind chimes that copy the sounds of rain or exotic drums and copper and glass chimes. There are also capiz seashell garden wind chimes . The company (Outdora) also carries hanging gongs, wind bells and pewter chimes.

The fun part of their site is that you can listen to "audio samples" of the garden wind chimes when you shop online. You'll hear all of the varying tones that go with the different and unique chimes. Enjoy the relaxing way that Nature moves the chimes in a gentle breeze.

14 September 2009

Luxurious Lodging in the United Arab Emirates

You don't have to be a billionaire or a millionaire to stay in luxury while traveling. If you have a stopover in Dubai, you'll be able to stay in upscale lodging by booking with Cheaperthanhotels.com. a new, easy to use booking website in the United Arab Emirates. By booking with this site, you're guaranteed the lowest prices in the most popular places.

Along with useful information on Dubai, you'll get excellent accommodations and discounted last minute deals. Also, because of discounted travel with Etihad Airways, established in 2003, and Emirates Airline, a major airline in the Middle East and national airline of Dubai, airline travel has increased considerably and great air travel deals are being quickly grabbed up.

If your looking for 5 stars in Abu Dhabi, you'll get it with the limitless activities from mountain climbing to diving sites to bargaining in the souks and nightclubbing. You can surf in the sand dunes and bargain for Persian rugs. The fun is endless.

Smart Drivers Know RepairPal

Whether you car is old or new, RepairPal.com is for you. Best of all the service is FREE. Any time that you have to spend money, you want to get the most for your $$$ that you can.

With RepairPal.com, you'll get independent and unbiased estimates on automobile parts from water pump replacement to timing belts or head gasket replacement. You'll get information on what makes the part work, how it should work and recommendations for the replacement. You'll also get a list of the best places to make the repair.

There's also car information available by make and model. For example, if you own a Toyota Camry, you'll be able to find Owner Reviews and Ratings and see overall ratings on many items including brakes, drive train, suspension & steering and the engine. There's also a section on common problems the vehicle may incur and any recalls the car might have had.

RepairPal.com's estimates are for cars everywhere. If you are looking for Chicago auto repair for example, you'll find a list of repair shops in your area showing the shops and mechanics including those that have the top ratings. You can search for shops by "make of car" to get the best location out there. There's also a list of common auto repairs/concerns in Chicago that help with scheduled mainenance.

Using RepairPal helps eliminate the "Surprise Factor" in your automobile repairs.

13 September 2009

Fatal Pit Bull Attacks

According to Parade, dogs have killed at least 20 Americans so far this year, including a 3 day old infant. In 2 out of 3 attacks, the dogs were pit bulls. In the last 27 years, more than 320 people have been killed by dogs: more than half of them by pit bulls. Dog bite fatalities have increased to more than 30 annually, up from an average of 13 yearly in the 1990's.

Some local governments including those in Maryland, Kansas and Colorado, have enacted "breed specific" legislation banning the possession of pit bulls. Montana, Oregon and Hawaii are considering statewide bans.

Jim Graham, a councilman in Washington, D.C. wants to ban pit bulls from the nation's capital. Graham says "There's something endemic in this breed that prompts violence and cruelty when raised in the wrong hands."

The Humane Society of the U.S. says that the problem lies with irresponsible owners, not their pets. They feel that if pit bulls are banned, reckless people will simply find another breed.

plain & simple: I Love Windchimes

Plain and simple: as the title of the posts says "I LOVE WIND CHIMES". I currently have 8 chimes in my garden this year in all different shapes, sizes and materials. Even the Shepard's hooks are of my favorite things: cats, butterflies and dolphins. I'm not worried about what the neighbors might think as I love to listen to the different sounds and tones especially at night.

Recently I did an internet search for chimes and discovered a site that has the most fantastic Music of the Spheres Wind Chimes which were developed by a Texas company in 1989. Their chimes, known as the Stradavarius of wind chimes are made of tempered aluminium tubing to keep them rust free and able to withstand the elements.

This line of chimes range in size from regular garden size to the largest: the Basso Profundo Music of the Spheres Chimes which totally fascinated me . This wind chime is more like a work of art. It is 14' tall and has 6 tubes, the longest of which is 8'3/5". It weighs 200 pounds and is considered to be "the mother of all wind chimes". Each hand cut tube is tuned to A440 (the standard orchestral pitch). It has a polyethylene clapper that gives excellent tonal quality and the craftsmanship gives it excellent outdoor durability.

I learned a lot of new information at the Outdora site. I never really thought much about the sound of chimes until I looked at the Music of the Spheres Chimes descriptions. There are many different sounds/tones that are acquired by using the latest technology to achieve the high standards in acoustics and visual quality. The Soprano (30") is the smallest of the chimes. Others, increasing in size include: the Alto, Mezzo, Alto, Westminster, Bass and Contra-Bass.

11 September 2009

Nuclear Shutdown

If you have a family history of heart disease, have ever had a heart attack , know someone who has, the news of a nuclear reactor being permanently shut down may have a major impact on the quality of life. The Canadian reactor shutdown has caused a shortage of a radioactive isotope used to detect cancer and heart disease.

Approximately 40,00 patients each day undergo medical imaging procedures using the isotope technetium-99. 80% of nuclear medicine scans use it.

91% of hospitals, pharmacies and commercial imaging groups that responded to a Society of Nuclear Medicine survey said that the shortage has affected them. The Canadian reactor and another one in the Netherlands (which is shut down for several weeks for maintenance) produce most of the U.S. and European supply. The U.S. is able to get a small supply from South Africa.

Technetium-99, processed from molybdenum-99, is used in body scans for cancer, heart disease and kidney illness. It's combined with a substance to target a specific tumor or organ.

Some tests are now using a different isotope. The radiation dose is higher, it takes longer to do the tests and the image quality is not as good.

**From an article by The Associated Press

09 September 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play;
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again

This is an old children's school bus song. It's been the story of our weather in mid-Michigan all summer and it looks like that's the way the autumn is going to be. Not only have the weeds grown better than ever due to the huge amount of rain we've gotten, but the leaves are coming off the trees earlier due to the severity of the winds that accompany the rain. Usually in the middle to the end of September the leaves start to change color and gradually fall of the trees. They're not going to be many left for the color change.

Last year, I had a gutter protection system installed and I'm so glad I did with the early leaves that are coming down. The system helps eliminate one of the projects I used to have to do: clean the gutters of leaves and other debris before the snow came. It was always a mess and a project I put off for as long as I could.

Using the Black Magic Filter Gutter Screen Protection System, you avoid mold, mildew and fungus. This gutter protection system lets water flow through your gutters at the rate of 310 gallons per hour. It reduces both ice and ice damage. and as there is no standing water, there are no mosquitoes. The Black Magic Filters fit inside 5" or 6" K-style design gutters. They are quick and easy to install and require only scissors or a cutter. The filter, made from non-woven poly are guaranteed not to collapse, cave in , crumble, dent bend or separate.

With gutter protection from the GutterPiller Twisted Wire Gutter Protection System, you'll save a lot of maintenance time will not void any roofing or siding warranty. There is no cutting, nailing, screwing or roof penetration. The Filters can be used over downspouts and will work on floor and driveway drains to keep leaves and debris out.

07 September 2009

BIKING for Health & Taxes

A 150 pound person who does one hour of moderate bicycling burns about 500 calories. 5 days of riding burns approximately 2,500. In one month, 2 pounds could be lost with no change in diet.

A little known fact is that if you ride a bike to work, you may be eligible for a $20.00 a month ($240.00 yearly) tax credit. A bill is now in the works to increase that to $40.00 per month. Employers give you the credit in pre-tax dollars and then you can deduct the expense off your federal income tax.

At the University of Oregon 20 elliptical machines generate a portion of the electricity for the buildings that house them. It's a small amount of power that this produces but it's going "green" in a positive way.

(From an article by Michael O'Shea)

06 September 2009

In The Cool Of The Evening

The weather is changing and it's not just due to the seasons. I really believe that something is happening with global warming because the last few years have seen dramatic changes in normal weather patterns. I live in mid-Michigan and for the past month or so, temperatures have been way below normal. It's only in the mid 70's during the day and at night, the temperature has been dipping to the low 40's. We've been experiencing weather that is normally seen in late October and early November.

I have a screened in patio that I like to use at night, especially when the crickets are chirping (don't like those little buggers chirping when I'm trying to sleep tho). With the lower night time temperatures, it's not really comfortable sitting on the patio, so I started looking for outdoor heaters.

I spent some time searching the internet and found a website that has a fabulous selection of them. Outdora carries both residential and commercial outdoor heaters and offers free shipping. You have a choice of gas or electric in a wide range of styles and prices. They're easy to light and have adjustable heat settings to control the temperature. Safety is also a major consideration so many models will shut off when tipped over and they come with safety latching systems. Infrared heating (which is odorless and eco-friendly) keeps an area warm, and the heat doesn't get blown away in a breeze.

One outdoor heater, the Sunglo 24 Volt Suspended Natural Gas Heater, with Auto Ignition doesn't take up floor space, is compact and has a reflector to maximize the heat. Other models can be ceiling mounted, or wall mounted. There are several table top models available also. Accessories including heater covers, wheel kits and valve and hose kits are available.

04 September 2009

Jimmy Hoffa "Appears" Again

Once again my fair state of Michigan is in the news. (Remember General Motors and Michael Moore?)

Supposedly, it's now known where Hoffa's body is buried. Since his disappearance (and presumed murder) in 1975, Jimmy Hoffa has been reported to be buried in the concrete of bridges, under the 50 yard line in several football fields, ground up or stuffed into drums.

Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1958-1971 was convicted of jury tampering and attempted bribery in 1964 and was imprisoned in 1967. He didn't officially resign as the Teamster's President until 1971 which was part of a pardon agreement with U.S. President Richard Nixon.

In 1975, Hoffa mysteriously disappeared near a restaurant in Bloomfield Township, MI. He's been presumed dead since that time. Recently, Hoffa "resurfaced" again supposedly buried under a red barn at U.S. 23 and Clyde Road in Hartland, MI (Livingston County). Rumor has it that Hoffa is stuffed into a 55 gallon drum in a 10 foot deep hole in the middle of the barn since he was last seen outside the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in 1975.

This last episode in the Jimmy Hoffa saga came about recently when Dan Moldea, author of the book "The Hoffa Wars" said Ted L. Stall told him he had first-hand knowledge of Hoffa's death and burial. Moldea believes Stall is a liar who " sent him on a wild goose chase". Stall says Rolland McMaster, a former Teamster who died 2 years ago, detailed the story of Hoffa's execution and burial. Three years ago, the FBI searched a farm in Milford Township under a similar tip.

To date, the FBI has chosen not to act on this latest tip.

03 September 2009

Cameras, Cameras and More Cameras

I love pictures and although I'm not that good at taking them I keep on trying. Recently I came across a web site that had the answers to my photography questions: Shopwiki, a one-stop shopping site. The first thing I looked at was the Cameras and Photography Buying Guide which was an excellent starting point. I was looking for a digital camera that was a step up from what I currently have but didn't want to get in over my head with a camera that was too complicated. The guide told the capabilities of cameras (both 35mm and digital) and camcorders and described what the camera brands were known for including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Casio.

I was fascinated by the underwater cameras and the information that was given. I am basically a land creature but was fascinated by what these cameras could do. The snorkelers, who stay close to the surface, had cameras (eg. Suprema Point & Shoot 35mm) that were perfect for them and the cameras for the seasoned divers (Sea & Sea Motor Marine 11-EX for example) could go up to 150 feet deep. There were even underwater cameras (Frog Eye Waterproof Camera) for children that can go up to 12 feet underwater.

One of the cameras I really liked was the Canon PowerShot . It's a very user friendly point and shoot digital camera with prices ranging from inexpensive and compact to high-end and compact. It's easy to use and has many automatic features including auto focus.

Whether you're an amateur or professional photographer, Shopwiki has cameras, lenses and accessories that will meet everyone's needs. Their products are high quality, well known brands.

Sight Reading For The Piano

Have you always wanted to be the one everybody gathered around at the party? The one who can play the piano? If that's not you, this is definitely the piano course you want.

Yoke Wong's piano sight reading music, designed for beginners to late intermediate piano players, is based on many years of teaching experience with children and adults. Practicing the exercises leads to progress where you'll gain speed and accuracy. Even people who have been playing piano for several years often have trouble with sight reading music and this course will give you the needed advantage.

The course "Mastering The Art of Piano Sight Reading" comes with a 45 minute DVD, 1 CD rom of exercises and a 177 page manual of music exercises which will help you with note recognition, harmonic intervals recognition and melodic intervals recognition. The course also offers a bonus DVD ("Advanced Sight Reading Techniques") with a downloadable study guide to help you play works by the masters including Mozart and Beethoven."

Yoke Wong's sight reading music course comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and can be ordered online or by using the toll free telephone number.

"Three Coins in the Fountain"

I'm probably giving away my age if I talk about the 1954 movie "Three Coins in the Fountain". The story revolved around the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. Wishes were supposed to come true if you threw coins into it. To make a long story short: I love fountains whether large or small, indoors or outside.

Recently, I went to a Home and Garden Expo . I go yearly as I love to daydream about the things I would like for my ideal home. Naturally, I spent a lot of time drooling over the garden fountains. The selection of what's available is awesome. The fountains come in many types including tiered, cascading, free standing, tabletop, wall mounted and more.

The fountains that really intrigue me are the solar ones. Not only do you save money on electricity, they're easy to install and no wiring is required. They have the latest solar technology and operate in direct sunlight. Many of the solar garden fountains have underwater solar panels and low voltage water pumps.

Various materials are used for the fountains including ceramic, terra cotta, fiberglass and copper and come in various colors. I think my favorite is the terra cotta fountain that has several basins that guide the water to the largest basin.

A garden fountain not only adds beauty to your yard. It's eco-friendly and entices birds to drink, swim and splash. The sound of the water is relaxing and the fountain is low maintenance. You can add a festive touch with fogger kits that have multi-colored LED lights.