Thursday, October 16, 2008

Election Fatigue

Thankfully we are now counting down the time to the 2008 election in days rather than months (or years). Phew - I know I'm tired so I can only imagine what Barack Obama and John McCain are feeling. Why do we do this to ourselves? The Canadians just had an election and they managed to campaign and vote within 37 days from calling it.

At this point it seems the candidates are not even covering the issues but rather biding time till election day with name calling and nastiness. I just hope whomever wins can pull this country back together because we are becoming severely divided over the wrong issues. Abortion and gay marriage are important - but if you are losing your home because of a bad mortgage, job loss, or worse - illness leading to huge medical bills then you would agree - something is wrong with this picture.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

More Disaster Preparedness Tips

Not sure if 'preparedness' is a word but hopefully you know what I mean. Can we really be prepared for a disaster? Hopefully you have the basics: canned goods, can opener, water (enough for a 2 - 3 days), cash, first aid kit, extra medications (if you take any), extra pet food (if you have one), a radio, and a flashlight or flashlights.

On the topic of flashlights, I keep several large and small flashlights in various places around the house, all of which I try and remember to replace the batteries from time to time. I purchased a couple of small crank flashlights that also have a built in radio. They worked fairly well for a year but the last time I went to use one I found the battery was dead (I turned the crank several times but there was no juice). And the argument a friend has against the crank flashlight is how would you be able to work crank to get light if you are trapped under rubble and potentially can't use your arms (fill in your own horrific scenario here)?

So how to make sure you have power when you need it most? I found this flashlight / radio combo on Amazon the other day and am going to try. It is not only powered via a crank but it also has a small solar panel and AA battery backup plus a DC power option if you want to use it on non-disaster days when there is power.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weight Loss Tips

For those of us who've been on a diet forever without results, I recommend a site I've found recently with great tips for losing weight. You know what dieting means, you work hard to lose weight and then once you do, you revert back to old bad habits.

Healthier eating is the best way to take weight off and keep it off forever. This site also had some great exercise routine ebooks. I've been using the 'Ultimate Leg, Butt, Hip and Thigh Makeover!' book for about 2 weeks and already things are feeling much tighter. Remember there is still time to look good for the beach if you start now.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Now We're on Fire

The past few days have been very surreal with all the smoke in the air. The SF sky has been red and orange during the day. I think the last count is that there are more than 1400 wildfires burning in California.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Is There Any Good News Out There?

Seems like one of those days when you can't turn the news off fast enough. The Governor of California has declared the state is in a drought (we only get an average of 10 to 20 inches a year so duh) and wants people to cut back on water use. So far the request is minimal and really should be the norm - no washing the sidewalks, no over watering the lawn, fix any plumbing leaks, make sure the laundry machine is full before running, shorten the time you spend in the shower and so on - simple enough.

So what's the rest of the bad news. There seems to be no alternative to oil and all you hear about is outrageously high food prices and I don't mean here - but in places where people are so close to the edge that a few extra dollars means food becomes completely unaffordable. Millions of people are close to starvation.

Big earthquakes, cyclones followed by famine and 'the war' with no end in sight - eternally depressing and sad.

And to top it all off (no comparison to the afore mention disasters and tragedy), we were practically attacked today by the most aggressive SF meter man I've ever encountered. He kept reciting over and over that he had warned us, he knows the law, he follows the law and that there is no way the wheels of the car should touch the sidewalk (even though we were in a driveway).

Ah, but I rant on... so here's the good news - meter maniac relented on the $100 ticket. So maybe I turn the news on tomorrow to hear the war is over, that someone has discovered an alternative to oil and that world famine has come to an end.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Seriously - Are you Ready for Black Friday?

You’re already aware of the fact that Amazon has great prices everyday but did you know that they have a special black Friday sale? And Apple, a company that barely ever has anything on sale has black friday specials, too.

So you know the drill – right after Thanksgiving – before we’ve even had a chance to completely digest all of the prior night’s feast, stores open at around 5 am and we all go crazy pursuing bargains that will shortly become our Christmas gifts to others (or maybe ourselves).

And maybe crushing through the doorway of those giant stores is fun when you’re young enough to shove back, but what if you just want to stay at home on black Friday and shop via the internet? How do you keep track of who is selling what and when? There’s a great website called black that let’s you what is happening on the web sites of the major retailers for their black Friday sales.

How does it work? It’s simple. You sign up by submitting your email and they will send you an email alert to let you know when the black Friday ads have posted. You get time to review what’s going on in advance. Some of the retailers you can find listed on this site are: Amazon, Apple, Macy’s, Circuit City,, Toys-R-Us and BestBuy.

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