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LnxWalt
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I have no plan for the end. Until recent years, I have mostly been so busy trying to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach to devote any effort to such planning. Recently, a brother-in-law passed at age 66. He spent much of his last year hospitalized, and there was no prepaid cremation plan. The family has been raising funds to pay for the cremation. The lesson, for me, is that I need to at least have that taken care of.
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I'm discovering that cutting back on traveling helps also. I generally work out of state, and it is really hard to keep weight down when working 10-14 hours a day, six days a week, because you are placed at the mercy of the restaurant industry. On a recent 9-months-long assignment, I picked up 50 pounds. In 2 months of being home, I've dropped 20 of those pounds. A few years ago, when I was younger, I would have lost the whole thing already. Lesson: cook your food at home. Don't depend on someone else to cook for you.
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I've been trying to 'give it a chance,' but the new dashboard just plain stinks. Not sure that Typepad (http://everything.typepad.com/blog/) will listen, but they should. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2012 at Six Bananas!
Someone just mentioned this to me today, after I had purchased Cisco brand olive oil.
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"Where's your proof of this?" Stories about this movement to supplant the dollar in international trade have appeared a number of times in various news publications over the past few years. For example, these two links refer to an agreement between Russia and China: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/85424/20101124/china-russia-drop-dollar.htm and http://www.aolnews.com/2010/11/24/russia-china-deal-aims-sort-of-to-ditch-dollars/ (both from 2010). Oil producing nations that are reported to be considering it. For instance, Venezuela (2006) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4990302.stm Even the ECB is researching and discussing it. See here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/42757155/ECB-Paper-Oil-Currency and be aware that another newspaper claims that the IMF is trying to divorce oil purchases from the dollar. http://www.nysun.com/opinion/oil-currency-hypocrisy/79356/ I doubt that there is any kind of rush about it, but the pattern in the articles is to try to limit the impact on trade of the United States' chronic trade and budget deficits. Or in the case of Iran, try to lessen the impact of US financial sanctions. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0103/Why-Iran-s-currency-dropped-to-worst-low-in-two-decades Whatever the reason, if you just watch the news, you'll continue to see more of these stories.
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I don't know about right wing talking points, but yes, society's institutions are all under increasing strain and the debt bubble does threaten the ability of our children (and grandchildren) to sustain themselves and society in the future. Incidentally, once you account for the borrowings from Social Security, the US has had perhaps three to five years of balanced budgets since 1930, none of which has occurred after Kennedy died. Neither liberals nor conservatives have done anything to alter that. Surely the writers for the Nation are aware that many of our trading partners (including China, Russia, the EU, and the oil exporting nations) are talking about replacing the dollar as the world's reserve and trading currency, which would make all of the above quoted passage ineffectual at preventing a debt meltdown. Since the 1970s, large US-based corporations have been cutting domestic jobs. High school graduates in the late 1970s and early 1980s found that their diplomas were useless. (We were taught that a diploma would bring a decent [corporate] job and college would bring an excellent one.) I think both right and left are behind this situation, as both have sought increasing centralization (left: centralized government; right: centralized corporations) and have dispensed rewards to their base without the tax revenue to pay for it. At some point, it really is about you and I organizing our local communities to be less dependent on corporate food and utilities suppliers and less dependent on "revenue sharing" from the federal government. (Not that I agree with the weirdos who teach arms and hoarding as the way forward. Those people are insane.) We'll be healthier and we'll have a lot less stress when we realize that *you and I together control our own destinies* rather than being passively controlled by outside entities such as corporations or government agencies.
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Three people launch independent careers in their fields of interest. The first person becomes an independent farmer. He works long hours, produces quality food, and sells it to processors as well as to individuals who patronize the local farmers' markets. Once someone pays him for his food, he's done. The buyer can sell or give away the food without the farmer getting any more money out of it. The second person becomes a carpenter, creating beautiful hardwood desks to support people's computers. She works long hours, produces quality hardware, and sells it to wholesalers as well as to individuals who... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2012 at Six Bananas!
I think we have several years before the existing top-down institution-centric system fades away. Many people still cannot see it, which is why all the advice our younger people are getting is about "school" and not about self-learning.
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#SOPA and #PIPA Prove: Corporations Are Dangerous To Our Constitution, Our Freedoms, And Our Government Background The year was 1776. In the British Isles, Adam Smith published the work that still defines much of the framework for economics. In the North American colonies, a small group of individuals published the American Declaration of Independence, a document whose ideals we still aspire to, but never have made a priority. King George III (http://whoknowswho.channel4.com/people/George_III) and Prime Minister Lord North sought to retain their power over the colonists (http://www.number10.gov.uk/history-and-tour/lord-north/), who were aggravated over taxation and the power of a monopoly, the British East... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2012 at Six Bananas!
Earlier this year, I wrote about fungal marketing, describing fake "viral marketing" campaigns designed to push people into pushing their friends. I also mentioned in there that "SEO" is also fungal. Typically, a college or affinity group will operate some kind of online discussion forums for students or members. These are often not tightly-patrolled to prevent outsiders from infesting them with spam links and keywords. For SEO campaigns, a spammer may create hundreds of accounts on a wide variety of sites and then throw up links to low-quality sites (or even malware or phishing sites). They do this because search... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at Six Bananas!
I really wish I knew an answer, Shawn. The only thing I know to do is try something (public education, restrictions, involving medical professionals, etc) and if it doesn't work, move on to something else. This is slow and wasteful, so if you have a shortcut, please announce it. I did hear a few years ago that Arkansas had the fattest kids in the country, but now the schools weigh the kids and try to involve the parents in weight-reduction programs. I have not heard anything about the results.
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45+ years ago, doctors told my parents that milk consumption could help cause anemia. They gave me a limit on what was then my favorite food / beverage. I don't know whether current medical professionals believe the same.
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I really don't think Facebook Connect is going to prevent spam bloggers. You really need to go back and take a look at why sploggers are here. Are they seeking to divert people from here to some site? Are they here to build search ranking? Are they here to hawk their wares directly on Typepad? Your strategy must take away the reward for most of the spammers. FC isn't going to help, being that Facebook's constant notifications about games that your "friends" are playing are little more than spam themselves.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2011 on New Tools for Fighting Spam at Everything Typepad
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A nice start. Still needed: ability to flag a comment as _potential_ _spam_ (even on others' blogs). This should give the blog owner a signal to look at the comment and decide whether it belongs or not.
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Unfortunately, food stamps don't achieve their intended purpose. In any town across the country, you can see someone standing outside a market, offering to trade food stamp-allowed products for cigarettes or alcohol. I recall a local food program that decided they were only going to give out truly healthy products (no more boxes of processed meal-mixes). They had fresh vegetables, real herbs and spices, and non-sweetened low-fat granola-style snack bars. I can't tell you how much of it wound up in dumpsters. People resist those who know better than they how they should live. It may be well-intentioned, but it will only cause lower income individuals to break still another law. At some point, we have to recognize that we need to convince *parents* to change what their families consume and how their families live. Talking about four, five, or six food groups in school matters little when dinner every night is instant macaroni and cheese.
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They don't have to admit anything. They could promote BPA-free containers as a choice "for customers who prefer them" and never have to say a thing. They could then decide that it is too expensive to have both BPA-free and BPA-containing packaging, and then drop the BPA-containing packaging. I seem to recall reading somewhere that BPA is linked to manboobs and problems with "plumbing" in younger males, too.
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In task-oriented situations, there has to be some way to prevent managerial cheating. When I worked retail, my pay was based on convincing customers to buy products and services. Often, after I'd spent half an hour with a customer, the onsite manager would send me to stock a shelf, while she rung up the customer under her ID, so she'd collect the commission. Currently, a big part of my job is onsite tech support. Certain users need more hand-holding (and thus, for any given situation, consume more time). Management constantly wants to rate us by how long it takes us to complete a task, which can cause technicians to avoid dealing with time consuming users. Also, managers have little concept of what tasks are needed. If I'm only paid for responding to support calls, I'm not going to do janitorial tasks, server maintenance, or training users how to use our software more effectively. That said, I'd prefer that system if properly implemented (no required but unpaid tasks, tasks that generally take longer pay more, and usually-short tasks that blow up and take longer are looked at to see whether this was unavoidable (= extra pay)).
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This is year six of my gardening experience. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have grown more weeds than food (even with near-daily weed-plucking). Yes, you do want to learn to grow the food (a substantial quantity, or preserving won't be worth the effort). Preserving is my next lesson. After I switch jobs, so I'm not traveling so much. (Lesson one: if you leave town for three months during growing season, teens and young adults don't yet realize the connection between caring for the garden and eating good food later in the year.)
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This is part of a continuing series. Parts 1 and 2 have already been written and posted. (NOTE: links point to Amplify, but this series also appears on Tumblr, Posterous, Xanga, Typepad, and Wordpress.) It is difficult to observe the events that have occurred recently (and are still occurring as of this date) in the Middle East without recognizing that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook can be used to organize protests and other political activity. If the cause attracts sufficient interest and enough people believe the cause is urgent, those protests can topple governments. Social networking is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Six Bananas!
I always tell youth whenever I talk with them that not everyone needs to go to college. I tell them the purpose of college--not job-training, but to teach you to think for yourself and question your leaders--and then I ask them just how much most large enterprises really want that. Of course, then parents, teachers, and other well-meaning folk tell them that they all must go to college or be homeless, so it doesn't help.
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Here on the West coast, NPR was biased (or perhaps I should say their local affiliates were biased) as far back as the early 1980s, and probably long before. I can say nothing about CBC, as I've never lived in Canada and never heard their programming. I'm pretty sure that other nations would not allow their state-owned or state-subsidized media to be taken over by one party (unless it is the party in power, and even that is subject to change in the next election). In the US, the problem is that state-subsidized media is a tool of those whose political goals do not match those of the citizens. Believe me, Fox is not NPR's problem, and blaming Fox or focusing on Fox as the enemy, rather than reining in the political extremists that run NPR or its stations *will* result in the abolition of public broadcasting in the US. NPR, at least the local stations that I've heard in the states of CA, NV, NY, NJ, OH, NE, and MO, is clearly biased and serves as a tax-subsidized mouthpiece for the most extreme wing of the Democratic party and Soros-controlled left wing puppet group MoveOn.org. As long as this is true, it is simply wrong to subsidize NPR as a tool of a political group. I don't watch Fox much, but they are advertiser supported, so my not watching means that I'm not helping to keep them in business. I don't listen to NPR much, but their tax-subsidized status means that I'm still helping to keep them in business.
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Rob, you're not boring us. We feel for your loss. I identify your loss with a similarly devastating loss a couple of decades back. I remember promising myself never to have another pet. Then, about 9 years ago, my youngest son and I found a puppy that had been dumped in the desert, and the cycle resumed.
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Sad news. But Josh is right. You loved him. He loved you. You two shared a lot of great times. Do not be afraid to take some time off to mourn.
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Very true, but the network architecture needs to be restructured anyway. When a misconfigured router can send US Facebook traffic through China, the Internet is far too fragile for the kinds of things we are putting on it. I actually think that restructuring will only temporarily help centralized media production / distribution. At some point, companies like Netflix will have to become dependent on viewers to assist in the distribution--a bittorrent-like model--and in turn, return some funds to those who help them distribute the "content" (movies, television, and whatever else). Even the ability to do this presupposes that there will have to be some separation between owning the "last mile" of copper or fiber into a home and providing Internet connectivity across those lines. Otherwise, wireline owners will certainly use their chokehold to extract higher fees until the point where physical media is again a cost-effective way of distributing that content.
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Tom, I remember at least one government shutdown over Clinton's demand for a larger budget and Congress' refusal to give him one. One time, he gave in, because it was better to have some money than to have none. That's when the so-called balanced budgets happened. (Only 'balanced' due to off-the-books borrowing from Social Security, but that's another issue.) As I recall, he won the last time, and that started the acceleration of spending that continues to this day. The thing I wish he'd won on was health care. Nearly 20 years later, we're just now about to cover everyone.
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