Saturday, March 22, 2008

You Crack Me Up!

One oyster said to the other, 'Knock, knock'. 'Who's there?' asked the other oyster, knowing his friend is prone to telling really stupid jokes. 'Oyster Beware', he replied. The other oyster rolled his eyes and replied, 'Okay. Oyster Beware who?'. 'That's it', said the first oyster. 'You should always be Oyster aware when you crack open an oyster'. Ha. Ha (not!).

Gulf oysters are delicious but you must remember to be cautious. If you have a medical condition you need to know the risks associated with eating raw oysters. You can eat those savory oysters just remember to eat them steamed, grilled, fried even boiled. When they are properly prepared there is no problem at all. Oysters are a great source of all those wonderful nutrients your body needs, so become aware of the risks and keep on eating.

Senior Communities LOVE Wii

Wii


I admit that I like to play Nintendo, Xbox or Playstation. When my kids were home and played I got hooked on playing with them and still like to play. I like the Bond-type games. I can slap do the bad guys in. I don't have a Wii, but have seriously been thinking about getting one. I haven't because my kids aren't home and I can't use them as an excuse anymore. I just really have not met many women my age who like to play those games!!

All that to say, this story made me feel a lot better. No, I'm not a 'senior' and I'm not a kid either. Still, if these senior communities are getting into Wii then why can't a whippersnapper like me get one and play! That works for me!

Wii


According to MyWiiNews these are all the rage in senior-living communities. The benefits are pretty obvious. It gets people up and active both physically and mentally. It also tends to draw the kids around. So when grandpa heats up the ol' Wii, he's likely to have the grandkids coming around to challenge him to a game. Those are all good things for both the young and the old.

Okay, now I'm talking myself into it!

Wii


Designer Formal Dresses at Discount Prices

Spring is coming and that means proms, graduations, weddings, charity events, the theater and other special events that we associate with that time of year. That means its time to be looking for formal dresses for those special occasions. Fortunately, there's a boutique online from which you can get authentic designer clothing at great prices.

You can find a flattering gown for whatever the occasion. If you need a tea length, street length or flowing formal gown you can find it at Elegant Mart. Their inventory is distinctive for its variety of styles. There is sure to be something that will be flattering on you. They boast original designer gowns of all types.

I've got several weddings to attend and have been looking at the selection at Elegant Mart. It is fabulous. The gowns are beautiful and the detailed embellishments are stunning. No one will ever suspect that you paid so little to look so great!

If you have some special occasions and want to make a tastefully elegant impression, you won't be able to do better than Elegant Mart. Give a try and see what you think.

Friday, March 21, 2008

There are Haunted Houses on Ponce de Leon Avenue

Well, I suppose I'm fixing to tell my age, but I guess since I've written about my grown children on this blog its pretty obvious that I've gotten past 30 now. Just a little over.

The thing is I've been doing some computer work this evening. While I've been sitting here at the computer the television has been on. There was the movie The Doors, which I've seen several times but still like. Right after that there was a documentary about Janis Joplin. I've seen that before too, but watched it again anyway while I was working on the computer.

Jim MorrisonI don't know why, but something about that made me think of the haunted houses on Ponce de Leon Avenue. Isn't that strange? I've seen the shows before and never thought about Ponce de Leon in connection with them. There was something about Janis Joplin AND Jim Morrison that made me think of those houses. I haven't thought of them in years and all of the sudden I found myself looking up the houses on the computer to see if they had been fixed up or torn down or who knows what. It IS Atlanta after all so there's no telling if something that is there today will still be there tomorrow.

You probably are wondering what any of those things has to do with the other. Well, you see, I grew up in Little Five Points in Atlanta during some turbulent years. I've been back there a few times since I've left and the neighborhood isn't even recognizable to me now. Its turned into a haven for upwardly mobile, free minded, inner city professional types. It wasn't like that when I lived there. Back then, it was an area in transition (how's that for a nice way to put it! lol). The homes were beautiful and at one time had been grand, but it went through a period of .... like I said ... transition. Now the homes have been restored and rebuilt. The shops are open again selling all sorts of new age mystic gobbly gook. You can buy whatever organic foods you want and crystals and candles to ward away any evil spirits that might come your way. Its very che-che these days. Or at least was the last time I was there.

But back when it was an adventure of an entirely different sort. Tonight the music of The Doors and Janis Joplin took me back, in my mind's eye, to what us teenaged kids thought were haunted houses on Ponce de Leon Avenue.

Janis JoplinThere was a row of grand homes along one stretch of Ponce de Leon Avenue. We called them mansions. They had once been the homes of the well - to - do, but during those years they were abandoned. I don't know why. One of the adventures we had as teenagers was to drive up the long driveways to those houses and gather up our nerve to go into and explore through them. There were all sorts of nooks and crannies. I remember one chair sat in the middle of a large front room in one of the houses. The story was that the previous owner of the home sat in that chair guarding the houses from kids like us who trespassed just for the fun of it. That was creepy. Of course there were the requisite rats nests in corners, garbage strewn around, leaves blown in, spider webs and creaking doors.

Moonies had taken over one of the houses. We walked in on them one day. The house was kept up better than the others, but we didn't know the moonies had moved in. They invited us in, of course, and offered us food they had fed their gods who had regurgitated it back up so that it was pure and blessed and ready to eat. I passed on that. They gave us some sort of moonie blessing and we left. We bypassed that house in our adventures after that.

I see on the internet that the old houses have been renovated for the most part. It looks like they've been subdivided into apartments. I'm sure that property is much too valuable to leave uninhabited as it was in those few years.

You know how a smell or a song will remind you of a place and time? I think that's what happened. I'm betting that at some point in our travels throughout Atlanta in my ever present Volkswagon bug full of my ever present teenaged friends we were listening to those songs on the radio while we dared each other to go into those houses and scared each other with spooky stories and strange sounds. And so, Take Another Little Piece of My Heart suddenly transported me back to the memory of places and times from my distant past.

Jobs for Seniors

Retirement is not the end of your career. Think about it twice, before you say that "I am done"! After retirement also you may need a job to support your lifestyle and live a happy life. A second career may help you to live a happy life, even after retirement. So, think about retirement job, after your retirement.

But, a job after retirement? Can I find a job that suits my lifestyle? Yes, after your retirement, you just can't take any job. You need a job that suits both your needs and your lifestyle. So, you must take the help of proper services. SeniorCareerSource is one of such services that helps 'seniors' in starting a second career. They are specialized in senior jobs.

SeniorCareerSource is a leading recruitment and placement firm serving New England since 2003. They offers free resource for job seekers and their service is supported by employers who advertise available positions where experience, dependability and integrity are valued. So, it insures that you will get the right job that suits your needs.

Visit SeniorCareerSource.com and do a search for your ideal job. You can search jobs by your interest areas or job types or locations. Be it a full time or part time or a temporary job, you will definitely get one that matches with your needs. SeniorCareerSource is the only job bank serving Massachusetts and Connecticut area, that will help you find meaningful retirement jobs that satisfy your personal goals and lifestyle after retirement.

You can create a free account with them to provide your profile to interested employers. Even you can provide your email address to get job alerts via email. If you have any questions on your mind, you can contact them via phone, post or email. They also have an online contact form that you can use to clear your doubts.

So, take help from SeniorCareerSource and find a dream job after your retirement. Because a new life starts after your retirement . Your second career will help you to make it beautiful!

Army Spc. Glenn Johnson Has Birthday Surprise for His Stepdaughter

Spc. Glenn Johnson
Amber Birdsall only wanted one thing for her 7th birthday. She wanted her stepfather to be home to help her celebrate. That wasn't very likely to happen seeing as her stepfather was serving a ten month tour in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Amber told her mother what she wanted and her mother told her stepfather, Army Spc. Glenn Johnson. He put in for leave but it was highly unlikely he'd get it. He's scheduled to complete his tour in June and it would be unusual for him to get leave this close to the end of his tour. To his surprise he was granted over a week leave. He was able to go back home in time for Amber's birthday.

Sanford, Michigan
The soldier’s flight arrived in Flint, Mich., early Sunday afternoon and he was whisked away to Northern Lanes Recreation, a bowling alley in Sanford where his stepdaughter’s birthday party was taking place.

Northern Lanes employees were in on the ruse and kept him hidden in the bar.

When Amber and her 9-year-old sister, Kathy Birdsall, opened a colorfully wrapped refrigerator box, Glenn Johnson was inside.

In addition to spending a lot of time at home with his family, Glenn Johnson and his wife planned a late celebration of their five-year wedding anniversary, which was on Valentine’s Day.

“I told her she needs to get a baby sitter and a new outfit,” he said. “I’ll take care of the rest.”


Amber had thought she might be getting a bike for her birthday. She told her mother, “This is way better than bikes,”

Make Me a Match!

Well, I don't need a match, I've already got mine, but a lot of people are turning to the internet for meeting their special someone. As time goes by that's getting more and more common. We are spending more time on the internet and meeting more of the significant people in our lives through the internet. So what's a girl or guy to do when they are looking for someone special and there are so many internet matchmaking services to chose from? Which one do you turn to?

Which internet dating service you turn to depends on what you are looking for. That's why a service like TruDating.com is so helpful. You can browse through the services offered by the various well known and lesser known internet dating sites. With a service like this you can get a good sense about what each service has to offer before you go there and start looking for your special someone. In addition, TruDating has articles with internet dating information that can be very helpful when you do start seriously looking online for relationships.

So what are you waiting for? Start looking of your special relationship!

ARRGGGG ..... I Can't Get Anything Done Today

axel and graceI spent a lot of time at the computer today, but still got almost nothing done in terms of my blog or making any money.

I keep Yahoo Messenger open on my computer all the time because that's the primary way I communicate with my son. Actually, its the only way. I want to be available to talk with him when he can get online. He doesn't always choose to talk to me, but I want to be available anyway. He has a little fraulein he chooses to talk to online more often than he chooses me. I talk with my daughter numerous times on the phone and on the computer during the day.

Earlier today I got online with the intention of blogging something. As soon as I logged on two Yahoo Messenger windows popped up, one from my son and one from my daughter. That's very unusual because they usually tag team me. With him in Iraq and her in Southern California they are on completely different times. It's uncanny how as soon as one of them logs off the other will log on. They've been tag teaming me like that since they were babies. Their entire baby years are a blur to me. When I would get one of them to sleep the other would wake up. When I would get that one to sleep the first one would wake up again. That went on for seemingly years and I rarely slept more than an hour at a time. I tease them now that they obviously have some sort of code to let each other know when its time to get on line so that I'm at the computer way too many hours.

Today was an exception, they were online at the same time. My son sending messages to me in German because he's learning German and my daughter sending messages to me in Spanish cause she just does that. So I'm flipping back and forth between their messages and Babel Fish. My Beloved Curmudgeon is flipping the television channels between World War II documentaries, some show about truck drivers driving across ice roads (a show I have seen before a couple of times. Sadly.) and some boxing match from years ago. I asked him if he knew the outcome of the boxing match. He said he did, but kept watching it.

My son likes for me to send him photos so he can see what's going on here. My daughter was sending me photos so I was forwarding them on to him. I think they were talking to each other as well. The photos she was sending me were of her and her boyfriends on the beach, at Disneyland, and where ever else they'd been in the last few days. I told my son that she told me she's in love with this guy. 'She's always in love with whoever she's dating', he replied. I could see that he was looking through the photos. I wrote, 'Well, she's acting different this time. Very different than her other boyfriends.' He immediately replied, 'I want to see how he acts.' Woah. I watched as my son continued to scrutinize the pictures of his sister with 'the guy'. This guy has no idea that he's not only up against Beloved Curmudgeon but my daughters brother as well. I hope the guy isn't easily intimidated. If he is, he won't make it in this family.

At some point I became aware that I had been unconsciously moving myself around to get out of the way of our animals. I kept moving my laptop around because one of our dogs insist on curling up right under my feet and no matter how I move he moves so that I have to move again. The other dog watched this from across the room silently laughing because she was passing gas so badly I kept threatening to take her downstairs. The more I threatened the worse it got. Our cat was laying kinda on the couch and kinda on my shoulder so that when I moved to accommodate dog #1 she was inconvenienced and finally pranced off in a huff to curl up on the window sill.

To top it off, our bird was talking a mile a minute. His talking is usually white noise. I'm so accustomed to him that I don't really hear him until someone comes over and is shocked at his talking ... and how loud he is.

As I became aware of all the activities around me and that I was actually uncomfortable because I was accommodating ANIMALS I realized why I was getting in a foul mood. 'Do you see this?' I asked my Beloved Curmudgeon pointing at the dog at my feet. He just chucked and told me to push him out of the way if he was bothering me. Well, he won't move if I push him. Beloved Curmudgeon has to move him because the animal has no respect for me whatsoever. Beloved Curmudgeon laughed and made no move to make HIS dog move.

Worse still, both dogs and the cat can open the door between the den and back porch if the door isn't shut tight enough, which it usually isn't. They don't know how to close it, but they open it often. So I'm up and down closing the door back. Its maddening.

We have 3500 square feet in this house and all I want is a little corner of the couch to sit on with my laptop. Yet we are all crammed into this one little area. The animals are laying all over me and one of them just stinks. If it weren't so hot outside I'd take my laptop out to the back porch and make sure the door was shut very tight. But then I'd be watching my naked neighbor on his back porch.

No wonder I'm crazy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lapband Surgery with JourneyLite

Lapband by JourneyLite is a surgical procedure that helps people who have had trouble losing weight with diet and exercise. It is one of the safest procedures for weight loss and is completely reversible. It sounds very simple. Its done by a lap-band surgeon and the lapband is likened to a wrist watch being wrapped around part of your stomach creating a smaller pocket …. in a sense making your stomach smaller to hold less food.

I’ve heard a lot of success stories from people who have had this type of procedure done. They report success with losing weight and maintaining their weight loss. The loss of weight does wonders for enabling a healthier life style. If you are thinking about taking a step like this then I would encourage you to educate yourself as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision about what kind of weight loss treatment is best for you.

Global Warming to Make a Comeback Tomorrow

Reuters is reporting that its been the coldest winter in more than a decade. Not to worry though. Spring starts tomorrow and surely Global Warming will return in due order.

Icy start, but 2008 may be in top 10 warmest years

"So far 2008, for the globe, has been quite cold, only just above the 1961-90 average," said Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia which supplies global temperature data to the United Nations.

"This is just January and February, so two coolish months comparable to what happened in 1994 and 1996," he told Reuters.

The northern spring formally begins on March 20 this year.

And an underlying warming trend, blamed by the U.N. Climate Panel on human use of fossil fuels, is likely to reassert itself after the end of a La Nina cooling of the Pacific in the coming months.


I'm more than willing to accept any money you want to send me to offset your carbon footprints. I'll plant a tree to ensure you can still drive your SUV. Just put the funds in my paypal account :)

Employee Training with Animated Software Products

Employee training is one of the most important aspects of any business. Your business will be judged by the quality of your employees. They can make or break you. Employers are often looking for ways to enhance employee training to make it more effective.

The Marastar.com has designed a new kind of training and communication strategy that is geared toward just this concern of employers. We all know that visual aids are commonly used because of the impact they have. Marastar.com takes the visual aid another step to make an even more powerful tool for training employees.

They incorporate humor and animation in their customer service videos to help make your training and communications more effective and memorable. Marastar.com covers a broad range of training needs such as customer service, sales and effective communications.

One training program currently in great demand is call center training. The reason for this demand is that the call center business has spread globally. Many of these centers are based in non-Western countries because of the cost savings to locate there. Marastar understands the particular needs of being able to train employees globally and employees who may not be accustomed to interacting with Western customers. Their training software is very helpful from the standpoint of being able to train globally.

Marastar.com builds their training software on the concept of 'First you laugh, then you learn'. By integrating cartoons into the training program they use humor to teach important business lessons. The animations are short and humorous which helps with our notoriously short attention spans while still getting the message across. The humor also improves retention of the message.

Studies have shown there are many benefits to laughter. Laughter causes our bodies to release endorphins, and reduces the hormone released during stress response. Our heart rate quickens, our brains become more active. Humor puts us in a better state of mind and makes us more receptive. Our minds and bodies make a connection between what we’ve seen or heard and the good feeling that followed. All of this leads to improved retention!

I have been an employee and seen the eyes of my employees glaze over when discussing issues that must be covered, but that even I knew was boring. Its great to know there is a company out there that is addressing that issue and creating training that will keep your employees attention even if the subject matter is not that exciting!

John Malkovich in the Bathtub with Craig Bierk (video)

Just what everyone wants to see .... John Malkovich naked in a tub with another man. The thought of that makes me scared to hit the play button on the video. Its more than a little frightening to think about. He gets in the tub with talk show host Craig Bierko in the premiere of the new talk show Unhitched. Get over your fear, its funny.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Have a Debt Management Plan

I’ve only had a couple of experiences with getting Personal Loans. One time we took out a personal loan to buy some items that we wanted and there was no real problem with it except having to pay it back! The other was when my daughter decided to take out a personal Loan to consolidate her bills when she finished her education. She had taken out quite a few loans during her schooling, including for her tuition and living expenses. She had gotten pretty much every credit card that had been offered her and taken out loans for even just spending money!

When she finished school she was all of the sudden overwhelmed with the number of bills she was receiving. She learned one of those lessons we all learn at some point or the other, that being, its easy to get a loan but they do eventually come due! She found herself neck deep in debt before she even had a job. I felt really bad for her, but its one of those lessons we have to learn. She needed a Debt Management Plan.

Her first reason was to cut up all her credit cards. That was good. She tried for a while to pay on each bill, but she wasn’t getting ahead because she was only paying the minimum every month. I advised her to concentrate on paying off one bill at a time. That she’d have to pay more than the minimum and to pay as much as she could on one bill to get it paid off. Then move on to the next bill and concentrate on that one until she paid it off.

She went ahead and applied for a personal Loan anyway and called me in tears several times in the process. The AMOUNT it was going to take to pay off those bills was a little staggering. I kept advising her to break it down into manageable pieces and pay off one bill at a time. That’s basically all I could tell her because that’s what has worked for me in the past. Plus, as I didn’t mind reminding her, I had TOLD her not to get all those credit cards!

I was reminded of that when I was reading this article on why its not a good idea to use a personal loan to consolidate debt. As the article points out, it has a negative affect on your credit and as she found out, can be overwhelming to have to pay off that one big bill.

Baby Galapagos Giant Tortoise Born at Zürich Zoo

I actually don't know if you say it was 'born' or it was 'hatched'. Either way, there's a new baby Galapagos Giant Tortoise at the Zürich Zoo.

The picture above gives you some idea of the size difference between the mama tortoise and the baby tortoise who was either born or hatched a few weeks ago. The 70-year-old Nigrita who weighs about 550 pounds has lived in the Zürich Zoo since 1946. She gave birth to her little one who weights 2.8oz but will eventually get as large as she is.

Seventy may seem rather old to be reproducing, but the Galapagos tortoise doesn't reach sexual maturity until it is 25, and can live to be more than 150 years old.

Mating can occur at any time during the year, and the female tortoise can produce between two and 16 tennis ball-sized eggs, which she buries in a 1ft deep nest.

They then incubate for around 130 days. Unusually, temperature can effect the gender of the hatchlings — a low nest temperature means they are likely to be male, while a hot, stuffy nest is more likely to produce females.

However, it is impossible to determine the sex of a Galapagos tortoise until it is 15 years old.

A fully-grown tortoise such as Nigrita can weigh up to 550lb and measure more than 3ft high. In contrast, her young weighs only 2.8oz and measures just 2.4in.

Growth will occur slowly over the next 40 years, at which point the tortoises reach full size. Their large shells add to their impressive appearance and act as a shield against predators.

This magnificent armour is actually a bone, and a crucial part of the tortoise skeleton. However, it does slow them down, as they have an average speed of only 0.18mph.

No one knows why the Galapagos reptiles are so large, but it's possible that a lack of predators on the South American islands meant they evolved free from danger — until they were discovered by mankind in the 18th century.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, many of the tortoises were killed for food by whalers and pirates. When they were discovered, there were around 250,000 on the islands.

Today there are 15,000, and although they are protected by law, poaching continues — 120 have been killed since 1990.


Now you can't say you don't learn something by coming to Blue Star Chronicles!

source

North Wales Caravan Park

How cool would it be to have a vacation home in North Wales? Gorsehill Caravan Park provides Luxury Caravans at very reasonable prices that can be used to build years of wonderful family memories in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

As you can see from the picture of the interior of one of the quality built caravans these are very nicely appointed and comfortable homes. Gorsehill works with you to construct a caravan that is suited to you and your needs. They will advise you and work with you until you have the tailor-made home that is perfect for you.

Best of all, the location is fabulous. You can enjoy a ride range of local attractions just steps away from your new vacation home. The bustling and charming Town of Conwy is world renowned for its historical and architectural heritage. It offers contemporary and historic entertainment and points of interest as well as ancient festivals and fairs.

The area also boasts of castles, caverns, museums, mines, marinas, golf and much, much more. It is simply spectacular.

Take a look at their website for a taste of the luxury and charm of this gorgeous area of the world. Give them a call and find out how easily you can have a vacation home there!

Wednesday Hero - Spc. Monica Lin Brown

Spc. Monica Lin Brown
Spc. Monica Lin Brown
19 years old from Lake Jackson, Texas
4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team



Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown has done something only a very few female soldiers in American history have ever done. She's been awarded the Silver Star.

Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province of Afghanistan in April 2007. "I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there."

"We stopped the convoy. I opened up my door and grabbed my aid bag," Brown said.

She started running toward the burning vehicle as insurgents opened fire. All five wounded soldiers had scrambled out.

"I assessed the patients to see how bad they were. We tried to move them to a safer location because we were still receiving incoming fire," Brown said. "So we dragged them for 100 or 200 meters, got them away from the Humvee a little bit," she said. "I was in a kind of a robot-mode, did not think about much but getting the guys taken care of."

For Brown, who knew all five wounded soldiers, it became a race to get them all to a safer location. Eventually, they moved the wounded some 500 yards away and treated them on site before putting them on a helicopter for evacuation.

"I did not really have time to be scared," Brown said. "Running back to the vehicle, I was nervous (since) I did not know how badly the guys were injured. That was scary."

The military said Brown's "bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

eConnek Online

eConnek is a new business venture that specializes in providing low priced alternatives to popular OEM electrical connectors. The business is dedicated to catering to all connector needs by offering an easy to use 24 hour secure e-commerce website for order placement and an on-site inventory for quick delivery.

If you take a look at the website you can learn Explore website all about their company and how they can help you build your company. They provide products that include metal circular connectors as well as push-pull and plastic pin connectors. eConneck makes is easy to get the replacement parts you need. They have replacement parts of LEMO and odu connector brand parts.

The site is very user friendly. Its laid out in such an organized way that it is easy to navigate and useful for even people like me. You can use their search function to easily and quickly find whatever part you are looking for.

Shopping online is safe and easy on the site. Whole transaction process is made in a secure environment, which will guarantee safety for customers. Customers who create user accounts will be able to store account information such as billing or shipping address so that they will not need to reenter this information again and again. In your account information you will also be able to find order histories and even shipment tracking information. When it comes to shipping, all of the orders are usually processed and shipped within 48 hours thus ensuring timely delivery. Fast delivery has been proven as one of the most important factors when it comes to buying products online, so it is great news that eConnek put emphasis on quick shipping. eConnek.com accepts online orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Try eConnek for all your OEM compatible and push pull electrical connectors needs and at the same time take advantage of their low prices and save big.

Pictures of Koblenz Germany

I've posted about my son's wedding in Germany here and here. We have talked about going back in the summer (when its not so COLD!) and seeing more of the places we didn't get a chance to see while we were there in December.

One of the places I told my son I would like to see is Koblenz. He sent me some photos of when he was there last year before he was deployed.

Photos are a poor substitute, but its better than nothing.

Here are just a few of the 77 pictures he sent! lol
Koblenz Germany


click to enlarge
Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany Koblenz Germany

Home Furniture at Great Prices!

I am a funiture-aholic. I know I am. I'm always looking at furniture. I love to go into furniture stores. Its very strange because I don't have much of a flare for decorating. My mother is an absolute artist when it comes to decorating. She's the type of person that can make something beautiful out of nothing. She can pull together a few things she has here and there and make something gorgeous out of it. Kind of like looking in her refrigerator to see what she has and cooking up a five course meal out of nothing. That gene passed over me.

Still, I like to look and make sad attempts to make my home cozy and fashionable. Ha!

Right now I'm looking at living room furniture and bedroom furniture. My bedroom is a sad sight and I need to spruce it up a little bit. Therefore, I was looking around the web again and came across a great website that is all about furniture. Its called Furniture from Home.

They have some really beautiful king sleigh beds and storage bed at great prices. In addition to the beautiful furniture, they offer articles on the care of your furniture and finding the right furniture to fit your life style as well as your living space.

If don't have to worry about the process of buying furniture online either. They'll walk you through the process so that its as simple as can be for you.

I Feng-Shui'd My Bedroom

I decided to feng-shui my bedroom. It’s been arranged the same way since I moved into this house and I thought a little change would be nice.So I shoved the bed over to the corner. This isn’t as simple as it sounds.

That involved moving carpets around that were under the bed - that took some serious muscle. Moving the bed, moving the other pieces of furniture, etc.

The first night the room was feng-shui’d I fell out of the bed. I then fell out of the bed when I got up the next morning.

The second night I fell out of the bed and fell out of the bed when I got up the next morning.

The third night I moved everything back the way it was before. My Beloved Curmudgeon insisted on it.

Here’s my question. Why - WHY - would my body still be subconsciously oriented with the room rather than the bed?

I mean, I remember getting up and rolling out of bed and plopping on the floor. In my subconscious I thought the bed was the way it was before. So when I hopped out of the bed I was oriented in such a way that I fell out.

What’s with that?

Top Rap Artists

There's an exciting new website that is all about top rap artists. You can find out just about anything you want to know about your favorite hip hop artist, from his or her biography to his latest releases to his top sellers. They also have photo galleries of each artist they have in their database. In addition, you can talk with people with a common interest in rap music on the Rap Artists Forum. If you are into Rap then you will definitely want to check out Rap Artists. Registration is free so there is no reason not to take advantage of what they have to offer!

World War I Site Discovered

World War IBeneath the northern French town of Arras is a labyrinth of tunnels and caves that were used to help the allies defeat the Germans in The Great War. Those elaborate subterranean passageways hide an army of 25,000 British Soldiers right beneath the unsuspecting German army. From their hiding place beneath the front lines of that long ago war, the British were able to launch battles and raids from deep within the enemy territory.

In the years after the war these caves and tunnels were forgotten and built over. They have recently been rediscovered and escalated giving us an unequaled look into the world of the early 20th century warfare.


Next to a suburban supermarket, beneath a former camp site, the public can take a glass elevator from the 21st century straight down to the world of Tommy Atkins and bully beef.

Clever lighting and sound effects have created a mesmerising insight into life on the Western Front.

Accompanied by a bilingual expert and an excellent audioguide, parties of 20 are able to weave their way through an authentic slice of the Great War.


ArrasAt the time, the Great War was considered the War to End All Wars. Of course, now we know that it was the war that began a series of wars in the 20th century. They didn't know that then. It is only in retrospect that we are able to see how one lead to the other. Its only in retrospect that we are able to learn the hard lesson that history taught us from that war. One of those lessons being that not ending the war by defeating the enemy only left us to have to fight the same enemy another day. It seems apparent to me that every war of the 20th century was a result of a lack of a proper ending to that war, including the Vietnamese and Korean wars. Yet, that war was quickly overshadowed by the second World War and many of the lessons learn were lost under the much larger and deadlier World War II.

The Great War was the first modern war in which it was learned that frontal assaults were nothing less than suicidal.

The generals had learned a few lessons from the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Chief among them was the fact that frontal assaults on well-defended enemy trenches and artillery were mass suicide.

As the Western Front stalemate continued from the North Sea to the Swiss border, the French hatched a grand plan to win the war in 48 hours. They would smash through the German lines along the River Aisne in the spring of 1917.

The British would play their part with a colossal pre-emptive strike around Arras 50 miles to the north. A dazzling plan then took shape.


For almost a century, the ingenuity of the Battle of Arras has remained lost to our collective memories.

Today, Arras is an unremarkable town an hour's drive south of Calais. Most British tourists whizz past it on the autoroute as they drive to Paris and beyond. But if they look out of the window, they will glimpse some clues to the carnage in these parts.

Beautifully tended Commonwealth War Graves are dotted on either side. Soaring to the east is the stirring Canadian memorial to the 11,000 men who died in the heroic capture of Vimy Ridge. It is often said that Canada came of age as a nation that day.

Arras was a forlorn and battered frontier town. In 1914, it had been captured by the Germans, recaptured by the French and then put under British control to allow the French to concentrate elsewhere. In 1916, it was a shell of a place.

Civilians had been evacuated and British occupied the ruins while the Germans, who held the higher ground, sat to the East lobbing shells into the town.

It was just another stalemate situation on the Western Front. But, unseen by the Germans, something extraordinary was going on under the ground.


Arras
The plan to utilize the tunnels, sewers, cellars and caves created during the time of the Romans occupation was nothing short of ingenious. New Zealand Tunnelers were brought in to connect the caves, cellars and sewers with tunnels. In the end, it housed 25,000 allied troops. Five Hundred New Zealanders got the job done in record time. The entire plan was executed in complete secrecy.

Can you imagine the logistics of getting 25,000 soldiers down into those caves through a bakery? They managed to do it undetected. And there they waited until the appointed date to strict the Germans, Easter Sunday, 5.30am on April 9, 1917. They took the Germans completely by surprise.

The German guns, already hammered by their British counterparts, had little time to readjust their sights and bring fire down on an enemy which was suddenly a mile closer than anyone had expected.

There was heavy fighting, of course. Thousands of brave men, like Harry Holland, did not survive the day, but the losses were nothing like the Somme.

Germans surrendered bootless and still in night clothes. Up in the northern sector, around Vimy Ridge, the Canadians faced much stiffer opposition but they, too, had been helped by their own intricate tunnel arrangements leading up to the German lines.

Day One of the Battle of Arras was, without doubt, a great success. Within a couple of days, the Allies had advanced eight miles. By the woeful standards of that war, it was like capturing a continent.


The war went on, but the Battle of Arras was a grand success in the context of the times. As the war and time went on, the tunnels were closed down, Arras was rebuilt and people forgot that day of bravery, sacrifice and grander. Some Frenchmen remembered the caves and used them again for shelter just a few short years later during the long hard days of World War II. Then, they were forgotten. In 1990, Alain Jacques began to investigate what had happened in that area during the Great War. He became curious when he couldn't find an answer as to why there were English words written on pillars and walls in that area. There was no written record of what had happened there. Studying the archives, he began to understand why places in that area were named names like 'Wellington'. That led to beginning of the excavations.


Arras


He had discovered the Blenheim quarry. Over the subsequent years, he would find much more. In 1994, a gas pipe repair led him to Thompson's Cave. Gradually, he worked out where the soldiers had emerged to meet the enemy.

His problem was that post-war Arras had simply expanded over the entire network and out into what had once been No Man's Land.

Much of the network has collapsed, much else is extremely unsafe and French laws meant that there could be no question of opening any museum underneath private homes.

Along with Arras's director of tourism, Jean-Marie Prestaux, Alain worked out that just one quarry - Wellington - had the potential for safe public access because it lay under a council-owned campsite.

Now, 18 years after Alain's first discovery, a £3 million visitor centre and a lift have been constructed. The Carriere Wellington, underground home of the Suffolk Regiment 91 years back, is, finally, open to the world.

"Everyone knows the Somme and Verdun," says Jean-Marie as he shows me round his beloved project.

"Now people from all over the world will learn of Arras. Even most French people know nothing of all this."

When I finally resurface, blinking and speechless, into the daylight, I ask Alain to show me where the inhabitants of Wellington would have emerged on that freezing dawn in 1917.

He takes me down several suburban streets, until we reach a crossroads on the Rue St Quentin.

"Here," he says, "this is where they came out to fight the enemy."

The scene could hardly be more poignant. Full of fun and laughter, it is a children's playground. Wherever he may be, I am sure poor Harry Holland would approve.


I hope to visit there and tour those tunnels the next time I'm in Europe.

source

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Love Candles!

Nothing warms up a space in your house or office like a candle. I especially like scented candles, although I know some people prefer them unscented. Still, the scented ones send such a delicate fragrance that along with the soft glow of the candle can actually be very soothing.

Joyous Candles is well named in that it offers a huge variety of candles that would suit every mood and every taste. For instance, I love the Esque Candles. They are very elegant and offer a nice soft glow while they are burning. Aren't they lovely? I think they add a lot to the relaxed feeling of a room. Check out Joyous Candles, they have a lot to offer at a very reasonable price!

Official Extended Promotional Trailer - Lost Season 4

I am addicted to Lost. Season 4 started on January 31st so I should have posted this promotional trailer a little earlier. I recently found a site called Lostology that has a ton of information about Lost and, just so you're warned, some spoilers.

My head is still spinning over this weeks episode. I've heard a lot of people suggesting that the Oceanic Six obviously now includes Baby Aaron. I'm having a hard time with that, but if Aaron isn't the 6th survivor that who is? So far we know for certain that the Oceanic Six include Hurley, Kate, Jack, Sayid and Sun. We've seen Ben in the flash forwards, but he wouldn't be included as one of the survivors. We have no idea if Desmond makes it back. We know that Baby Aaron is back. The problem I'm having with that is that Aaron was not technically a passenger on the flight. I suppose the story line could be that he was born on the island and for whatever reason Claire didn't make it. Didn't Jack say there were eight survivors but two of those didn't make it? Or is part of the lie they are telling that Aaron is Kate's child?

And another thing .... where are the other survivors and why would Hurley, Kate, Jack, Sayid and Sun agree to lie about them surviving. Are they back on the island or did something happen to them all? Why is Sayid working for Ben? Was there only room to get those few out before something stopped the rest from getting out? Why would they not send help back.

I believe they are back on the island which is why Hurley and Jack are so adamant that they have to go back. Obviously, Charlie appeared to Hurley and told him that 'they' needed him.

So many mysteries. Sometimes I think I'd be better to just wait till the season is over and watch the DVDs all at once. This wait between weeks can be excruciating!

Colocation Services in Utah

You're probably wondering what Colocation Services are! That is a location that houses many servers. Most of the ISPs we use house many servers in order to house many websites and blogs. Since the site houses many servers they are able to offer their services much cheaper. Since that is all they do, they offer more variety of service. Its much more dependable than trying to set up your own server.

I have been reading about Fibernet, which is a Colocation service in Utah. I had not ever thought of it, but there is an advantage to using a Utah Colocation. Interestingly, the fact that there are few weather events in Utah leads to a more stable service. I had not ever thought of the fact that weather and geography would negatively effect ISP services, but it makes sense now that I think of it.

In addition to a prime location, Fibernet offers the full range of services to ensure that you have high quality, effective colocation services. If you are looking for a new internet server you will want to check out Fibernet. They will undoubtedly have a plan that will meet your needs.

Military Defense Under Barack Obama (video)

And people say that Barack Obama is never specific about what his plans are should he be elected President of the United States ::shudder::. He explains exactly what his plans are for our military defense systems in under one minute. He's pretty specific and concise here.

Car Lease Analysis

When I was an executive and ran a business, I had an automobile allowance as part of my compensation package. I also had a travel allowance. I leased an automobile of my choice and received a monthly payment from my company that covered the cost of my car. I admit it was a nice perk and I miss it. Since I left that position I'm having to pay for my own car, but I suppose that beside the point.

As much as I liked that perk, the truth is I got the car I wanted and let the company pay for it. I am a very honest person and never took advantage of the perks I got as an executive, but we are all human and when we are making purchases for ourselves it is easy to justify a lot of things. That is why I think it is prudent, from a business standpoint, to have that sort of transaction take place with more oversight than I and many other executives have.

The question then is who has the expertise and/or the time to oversee such minute details of a business. It was my job as the executive to run the business. I had a board of directors, but they had their own businesses and lives and certainly didn't want to be involved in the day to day running of the business. After all, that's what I was there for. So how is a company to safeguard against taking advantage of these sorts of benefits?

An obvious answer is to get completely unbiased input on the decisions made of this sort. ShrewdLease.com is a website that provides just this service. Using the lease calculator on the website helps the user determine favorable rates and is not biased toward any particular vehicle manufacturer. It also does not favor any particular bank or lending institution. This is a great tool for making an informed, unbiased decision in any Car Lease Analysis.

There are many parts to consider in a leasing agreement, such as the interest rate being charged, the dealer’s profit, the amount of down payment and mileage restrictions. Put all of these together and come up with a lease factor instead of focusing on just the monthly payment amount. This site guides you through the analysis step by step and will almost certainly save anyone money on their next lease if used before committing to the dealer’s first offer and terms.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Storms in Atlanta

I've lived most of my life in Atlanta. I've been in tornadoes before and there have certainly been tornado warnings and watches yearly as long as I can remember. I've never known one to hit downtown Atlanta. It all happened so quickly. There were there and then they were gone. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a lot of pictures of the destruction in the downtown area.

I just keep wondering why President Bush made this happen here!! Why didn't he save us and how did he make the tornadoes rip through the CNN Center and the World Congress Center?
Atlanta
Atlanta
Atlanta
Atlanta

My Hot BMW

It is really great that you can buy BMW Parts online. I've had European made cars and know how difficult and expensive it is to get parts for them. My Hot BMW fixes that problem as well as your BMW! Cool.

They have been in this business for over 20 years and their mission is “to bring you the best quality products at great prices." My Hot BMW is basically a one stop shop for anything you need for your BMW. Its extremely convenient and easy to use their website. Go on over there and check it out. You will probably find exactly what you are looking for!

Celtic Women: Mo Ghile Mear



Its St. Patrick's Day weekend so it seems appropriate to play some Celtic music. This video is of the simply awesome Celtic Women. Does it get any better than this? If you don't hear your Irish ancestors in this music than you are just not listening.

This is the Celtic Woman singing A New Journey Live at Slane Castle, Ireland 2006. The singers are: Hayley Westenra, Chloë Agnew, Órla Fallon, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, Lisa Kelly, Mairead Nesbitt

Erin Go Braugh!!!

Help For People With Bad Credit

If you have bad credit or less-than-perfect credit there is help for you. BadCreditOffers.com is a resource for people with bad credit. They can even help get credit cards for bad credit. They keep track of resources and keep their website updated with the latest market resources for people with bad credit.

If you are looking for auto loans, credit cards or home loans, you can find the latest high-profile companies that will work with you to help you make your purchase regardless of your credit ratings. You can compare the bad credit offerings to find the ones that best meet your needs. They are conveniently in one place which makes it much easier to compare the offers.

BadCreditOffers.com also provides you with information and resources to help you begin to rebuild your credit history and financial future.

Everything You Need to Know About the First Three Seasons of Lost in 8 Minutes and 15 Seconds

I know the fourth season of Lost is already well on its way. I've been faithfully watching and as always its full of suspense and twists and turns. Its so frustrating. Just when you think you have it all figured out there is another twist.

Today I found this video which gives you a complete summery on everything you need to know about the first three seasons. Just in case you need to get caught up. Cool.

Okay, it looks pretty silly when its condensed like this. But it DOES make sense when you are watching the show!