Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Shopping Makes My Year

The Author of this post is Darius Boone

I love going Christmas shopping every year. As a mother who has a four year old, I can honestly say that it brings me a lot of joy to buy presents that will make my son's face light up. I usually head to the local mall and start my shopping. I always have a budget and have an idea of what I am looking for before my feet even enter the front doors. It can be maddening to shop alone during the holiday season so I take my friends Kim and Ashley with me. We all have kids about the same age and they are expecting also so we chat and help each other find gifts for our children.

We often compare notes on which items that we already have and which items we think are huge wastes of money. For example, we all agreed that buying things such as puzzles with more than thirty pieces was a waste of time because the pieces always end up missing. We prefer things that have very few moving parts to be safe.

I always set my home security alarm from Linus before I leave to go Christmas shopping because many home invasions happen during the holidays and I like to be safe. I love Christmas shopping, but unfortunately for me my wallet does not enjoy the festivities very much.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Record Rainfall And Seasonal Snow

Authored by Greg Fletcher

It happened just the other day after it had been raining all night and most of the day. The first snow of the winter began coming down, at first just a few flakes and then much heavier until we had a ground cover of snow more than 4 inches deep. I thought it was incredible just the way this first snowfall happened.

Of course, since it was early in the season yet, this precious gift of beauty melted away quickly due to the high temperatures that had left the ground too warm to accommodate the icy flakes. Just getting to see this wonderful sight for just a short time was a sight to behold. I have always enjoyed the awesome beauty of freshly fallen snow, before the world gets out there to destroy it.

After spending time watching the drips begin to take their toll on this winter wonderland, I thought I should be getting back to my daily routine. Part of that routine is catching up on the latest news and weather reports, so I turned on my TV and heard about the record rainfall and the unseasonal snow that had just blanked our area of the state. That was kind of funny because I could have told everyone about that.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Relatives That Smoke But Not On Purpose!

That's right, they don't smoke on purpose because it's their house that smoked. Last week my 2nd cousin Steve in Austin decided to make a deep fried turkey, like I often do. The only differences between myself frying a bird and Steve is that I don't use propane and if I did I wouldn't do it on my back porch. See where I'm going with this folks? The good news is that the house he owns with his wife Danielle and their 2 sons(I hope they don't learn to cook from daddy) is still in one piece but a bit dark in a few spots and smells like a wood smoker has been placed in the kitchen. Oh joy, Danielle is off her chain over this because that house 'was' here pride and joy for the past 8 years. I've been searching around for them for some restoration companies because their insurance agent is as useful as a piece of dried wood. I found a few that can handle smoke damage austin area servicing and clean fire damage austin area as well. I suppose I should also try to find Steve a cooking teacher as well.

I really feel bad for Danni and the kids though as it's been a huge disruption in their lives, not to mention the scare they had not knowing if they were going to have a home to go back to after the fire. Fortunately, the austin fire dept did a remarkable job in suppressing the conflagration and kept the damage isolated to the kitchen area of the house. However, smoke knows no boundaries when it comes to permeating the walls and furniture in adjacent rooms. That brings me to the final, and most effected, area being the smoke damage. I don't know how bad it is as I haven't been able to get to see them since the fire but I do remember when the downstairs kitchen of the 2 family house I grew up in in the north caught fire. Even the upstairs smelled like smoke for weeks and there was no damage at all on our floor. The steam cleaning restoration company I found can clean smoke damage austin residents have said and Texans are a pretty tight bunch when it comes to taking care of their own.

I'm going to try to take a drive to see how they're doing after the holidays when I can get a few days off from work and lend a hand where needed. I know the pro's can do it better than I can but every little bit helps, especially when it come to family in need.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Get Your Gear Going.

Recently, a very close relative of mine went into the hospital for a small surgical procedure. The condition that they entered into having this done was that they needed to be put to sleep. I went in the back with them while they were being prepared for their meeting with the surgeon and was surprised at the nurses in the back. The scrubs of old were gone and all these new, colorful scrubs were everywhere, even with the male nurses. Looking at them the last thing I would have thought was that they were cheap nursing scrubs or something, mainly because of the way they fit and looked. I know cotton scrub uniforms would be great for the staff because of the comfort and breath-ability of the natural fabric as opposed to the synthetics of the past. I think this would work because they're always looking for some new ways to lift the spirits of the patients. Nothing looks more depressing than everyone in the same scrubs. I looks too sterile!

I really feel for the patients in the post operative area where family or close friends tend to be while the patients regain their wits. This is a tough time for most patients since they usually have an IV in one arm and they're trying desperately to keep their drafty gown closed closed only to be reminded of where they are, especially so if everyone looks like a military unit in the same uniforms. Even if they made nursing uniforms according to the rank of the nurses so patients, and visitors, could pick out the level of staff they're looking for to answer appropriate questions or obtain needed services. It may seem a small issue to some but little things add up when it comes to patient morale. Waiting in the waiting room thinking about things and this was just one of them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stupid Americans!

I've been reading and hearing about the children in America not getting enough education and how the rest of the world is passing us by. Sheer arrogance has taught this country that we have the best and brightest, but we sadly don't. Once upon a time we did but we chose not to compete on the education front and now it's biting us in the rump big time. I hear parents concerns that changing the school hours to longer days and shorter vacation spans will disrupt the work environment of the parents, whether single or dual. It's funny how modernization has also caused the 'dumbing' down of America. Both parents are working full time and the kids often leave and return from school with the parents nowhere in sight, latch-key kids to the extreme. There are quite a few school systems, in budget cutting mode, that have even eliminated physical education programs that once were required before a teen could graduate high school. Now we have fat and dumb kids, compared to the rest of the world. Sorry, but it's true and all you have to do is open your eyes to see it. The kids need to learn more if they are to survive in a stable environment and have the ability to provide for themselves and their families down the road without creating a massive welfare state. Uneducated people give up on things that are more complicated more easily than someone with an educated mind would and their children will almost always follow the lead of the parents and create the proverbial vicious circle of state reliance to live. The cure? Is there one? I think there is but it's going to take some bi-partisan support from lawmakers and voters alike to accomplish. Better day care for latch-key students, more funding for proven educational programs, better special education programs(special ed doesn't mean stupid), return to phys ed requirements and remove unhealthy food from the schools(soda, chips, candy, etc.), longer school days that are productive, elimination of grade levels and base it on ability levels, less summer time off to forget what was just learned(3-4 weeks is appropriate), make bullying a felony where second offense legally affects the parents for not doing their job properly, proper sex education at an earlier age because they see more negative education on television before they reach age 12 than schools can correct by age 16. We have to be realistic about educating our youth as they'll be holding the reigns when we can't anymore and do you think some dumb adult is going to care if you get a disease or not when your 78 or if your retirement doesn't even pay for aspirin, let alone proper food? Think about it before someone who can't think for themselves does the thinking for you and the rest of the country!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

No Mosque at Ground Zero

This really hits home and not in a good way when you really think about it on a global scale.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chantix and Me redux

I've gotten emails from people who want to sue Pfizer for making the evil drug Chantix. I greatly disagree with them. I firmly believe that Chantix is a wonderful drug that did for me what they said it would do, allow me to finally quit smoking with no going back. I'm heading to my 4th anniversary being smoke free and I 100% endorse Pfizer for Chantix. If you really, really wanted to quit for good and you did happen to have a side effect from it and that made you stop too soon then you really didn't want to quit in the first place and you're now looking to blame someone with money you can get. I had NO side effects and quitting was a snap and easy as hell to do. Don't let a bunch of whiny, money grubbing people dissuade you from quitting by using Chantix, it really works!

I am republishing this article from last October for current consideration!

The recent articles on Chantix as a smoking cessation medication have reported negative side effects and may well be valid, for some individuals. I, for one, am an exception to that situation. I had to arm twist(figuratively) my doctor to write me a prescription for it because I had been smoking for over 20 years, was tired of coughing, tired of wheezing in bed trying to sleep, tired of the cost, and tired of stinking of tobacco all the time! I started the program (without using any of the support services they offer customers) on May 5th of 2007. I wanted a date to easily remember (Cinqo de mayo). I followed the instructions on the starter pack and by the end of the first week I no longer had a desire to smoke. I had no craving for a cigarette. I had no food cravings or other oral substitutions to replace the cigarette, and most importantly I had no indication of ANY withdrawal at all! None, Nada, Nicht, Nyet! Since that date my doctor still asks me how many cigarettes I'm down to because my blood pressure and blood chemistry look so much better. I give him the same answer I gave him when I went back for the second refill prescription - none! I took the Chantix for 8 weeks and stopped because I felt I was past the worst of it(missing the habit of lighting up) and had no desire for a smoke at all. This coming Cinqo de Mayo of 2010 will be my 3rd anniversary of being smoke free. Another benefit I realized from being on the Chantix was that I could stand in the middle of a group of smokers and feel NO compunction to light up, even just one.

There is one requirement to being on Chantix and being successful with it! This is a very important item now and you must pay close attention if your planning on opting for this route! I have seen a few friends fail the Chantix program because they didn't have this one requirement firmly in place. Ready for the answer? It's an easy one that has a higher failure rate if not seriously considered.

You deep down have to WANT to quit smoking. You need a reason that is important to you to keep in your mind that wants you to quit. Mine was coughing when trying to laugh, wheezing, shortness of breath doing simple physical tasks, high blood pressure and all of that while entering my 50's. I don't want to die! I want to live! The cigarettes were going to kill me before I was ready to go and I want to live as long as I can, without oxygen tanks or riding in scooters or having chemo tubes hanging out of me!

I want to point out to anyone who may feel apprehensive about taking Chantix after reading the Stephen King version of side effects. The government requires ALL reported effects to be listed, even if the product didn't cause it because the treatment was in place and it was considered relevant to be reported as raw data.

I did not have ANY side effect that was listed, or unlisted, during the time I took this medication. I'm not from the planet Krypton, I'm not bionic, and I don't attend Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry! I am an average Joe who achieved success in my desire to quit smoking everything. I felt GREAT while I took it and felt the benefits soon afterward while my system was weening the nicotine out of my brain and bloodstream and tissues. I've been able to lose weight and not feel a replacement habit to be in order and I'm able to list myself as smoke free for insurance purposes now, which also saves money!

If anyone has ANY questions about Chantix and would like my take on it just leave a comment and I'll be happy to help. To set the record straight, I don't work for Pfizer (makers of Chantix) and I'm not being compensated for this article. They are just my honest thoughts that I wanted to share with anyone who may be interested, especially since the negativity that surrounds Chantix may not be coming from health related sources entirely. There are some that will lose revenue if too many people stop smoking. You know who they are! Ride em' cowboy!

I will be repeating this article on all my blogs today for full exposure to me varied readers. Please excuse the redundancy for my writing. David.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tippy Top to Flashing Bottom.

Recently, a very close relative of mine went into the hospital for a small surgical procedure. The condition that they entered into having this done was that they needed to be put to sleep. Okay, no big deal, take a nice nap and wake up all done. No one mentioned the walking from this point to that point to do, of course, this and that, would be done in a small sheet with arms and two short sleeves. Anybody who's ever been in the hospital knows what I'm talking about. The robe that has two small ties in the back which also don't line up with your butt. That's what goes on display when you go from here to there, of course! I don't know why they couldn't find some way to use some disposable cheap scrubs or something, just to retain some assemblance of a person's dignity till they reach the table. I know nursing scrubs wouldn't work because they'd have to cut them off of the patient and that would get expensive. I'm talking about paper scrubs or something along those lines that the hospital could buy for $3 and charge the patient $50 for ($100 if insured).

I really feel for the patients in the post operative area where family or close friends tend to be while the patients regain their wits. This is a really bad time for the modest patient since they usually have an IV in one arm and they're trying desperately to keep their 'johnnie' closed with the other. Even if they made disposable scrub tops or a scrub top with a reusable adhesive like paper tape that has a limited use but will work for the short time it's needed. It may seem a small issue to some but for others it could mean putting off a necessary procedure due to modesty issues, which is ridiculous. I know paper clothes are manufactured because many service companies use them when dealing with contaminants so that all tainted materials get disposed of with the lowest expense involved. Just something to think about. Waiting in the waiting room makes you think about things and this was just one of them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Let There Be Light...and It Was Good!

One of the best ways to add natural light to any room in your house is by a skylight. There is no more natural light available than the sun itself. If you happen to have a room where it could use some extra lighting why not put one in? So long as the person installing the skylight is a licensed professional it is an easy procedure. The most important aspect of the installation is the proper application of the flashing. If this is done wrong you'll not only have some great lighting but you'll also have an indoor ceiling shower and mildew pit. On the other hand, maybe you have too much light coming into your house. The answer for this would be window film. I don't mean like you see on automobile windows. The household type is barely visible but it stops quite a bit of the suns radiant energy from getting into the house. On some newer homes the film is already part of the window. Which ever way you go you'll be doing your home a favor. The skylight allows vertical ventilation and light while the film keeps out the hot sun and the fabric bleaching UV rays off your furniture and carpeting.

When this isn't an option you must look into alternative methods of lighting, such as electric. I know, that was a no brainer. I'll bet you were trying to think of something more exotic, weren't you? Do your research because if you're trying to emulate natural light you'll want to know all your options. I've been relying on the Wiki sites for a lot of my 'inspirations' ever since they became the standard for information on the web. I even found out about what the tea I've been drinking is primarily used for and where it's not consumed anymore. I digress...

Indoor lighting is categorized so much that it falls into two basic groups, consumer or electrician installed. Consumer type is typically the kind of light that you simply plug and place and doesn't involve exposing any wiring. Installation is usually no more that putting a couple of screws in a counter to mount it. Electrician installed is pretty self evident, the exposure of potentially 'live' wires that could fry you pretty good if you don't know what you're doing, like an electrician does, that's why they have to have a license to do these things. Typically, an electrician will do more involved installations such as recessed lighting in ceilings, track lights, and wall switches and outlets as well as upgrading existing fixtures to newer code demands.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

WHY? WHY? WHY? That's So Stupid!

I'm, currently assembling my list of the most ridiculous things that are going on that I have encountered either on news programs, Internet, or established media such as newspapers and magazines, and even first-hand accounts from those involved.

WHY? Why are we, the taxpayers, paying for Casey Anthony's defense in the murder, whether accidental or deliberate, beyond the Public Defenders Office? Isn't that what they're there for? Why are we being compelled to pay for higher profile attorneys and at the same time we are paying for the prosecution of her? Isn't that a conflict of interest? Isn't that a backdoor for other criminal defendants to take advantage of? If I were a criminal I would sure as shootin' demand a pricey attorney to 'rep' me just like she did. Fair is fair! Above I mentioned accidental murder and yes, I know they're two different things unless there is a criminal cover-up of the accident which could make it not so accidental. I know she was mighty torn up about her daughters disappearance that she had to go out partying right away, and a friend of the father stated that he was told by her father that it was an accident. BTW, if I'm not mistaken, wasn't O.J. going to make a confession while under Robert Shapiro's counsel, until Johnnie C. showed up that is. What happened to that suit bag Kardashian removed from the estate that fateful day that never reappeared. Maybe it was an 'accident' in that case as well. Just an opinion and you can do what you will with it. I just don't like having to pay for a stupid girl's crime who never should have had a baby in the first place if she wasn't ready to assume the proper responsibility for it.

WHY? Why are we one of the few countries in the 'first world' that can't operate off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida? Oh yes, that's right, the tourists will see ugly oil rigs supplying oil to America to supply it's daily needs without a foreign gun to our heads. Oh yes, that's right, there will be a major pollution problem washing up along the shorelines of the Gulf Coast which we can't allow to happen. Wake up stupid people, it's on-going as we speak but we're not doing it. It's being done by countries that could give a crap because they're just outside the limit where we can tell them not to do it. We have, to name a couple, the Chinese and British off of our coastline right now. Well, we did up till a few days ago when the British rig blew up and sunk, spilling how many barrels of crude? I don't rightly know. We, in America, have rules about the safety and building requirements of our rigs within the territorial waters but what are the rules for other countries? I don't know either.

WHY? American Idol!
Why do I care what Simon Cowell earns and what he drives?
Why do I care if Ryan Seacrest is Gay or not?
Why do I care if Paula Abdul is a substance abuser or not?
Why do I care if a singer is Gay or has a police record at all? Don't most rappers want the street 'creds' of the incarcerated to boast sales? George Michael and Elton John? Enough said to kill that argument folks.
Why do I care if the show is a complete 'snooze fest' and waste of one hour of a human beings existence?
Why do I care if Ellen is called one of the 'guys' by her female co-host (what's her name again?). Who cares.
Why is this mockery still on the air? I have no idea, you tell me!

Why? Dancing with the Stars!
What the hell is that all about and why are these talented dancers, aside for the steady work, doing this garbage with these sports and elderly, or otherwise out of work actors? Kate "come and get your popcorn" Gosselin stinks! She dances like a semi-warmed over corpse and with the makeup they use on her she looks the part as well. Wayne Newton? Give me a break! He looked more like Vanna White pointing to the letter board while the 'real' dancer took the spotlight. After all that, who got the spotlight? He did! What trash.

WHY? Why did I even watch a couple of these shows? Well, as for American Idol I can only give 2 words to redeem the rest of the garbage they've put out, Kelly Clarkson. She was the best thing to ever come out of that show. Carrie Underwood is good, don't get me wrong, but for sheer POW it's got to be Kelly! I can't name any other 'notables', that ever won, that have stayed the test of time.

WHY? Local Fox TV News anchor John Wilson in the Tampa Bay market. Hard Right, Christian, and openly opinionated! What happened to unbiased journalism? That's right, it's Fox I'm talking about. Time to retire John, the population live in multi-religious, multi-political houses now, not omni-religious(your choosing) or omni-political(yours again) caves! Your son Mark, also a Fox anchor, appears to be still in the current loop and hasn't become a 'coot' and hopefully he never will, he's a good journalist. The problem this nation suffers with the most is closed mindedness!

WHY? I have appointments to keep and I'll return of more later. That's my opinion and you can take or leave it, your choice. That's the American way after all!

Continued later in the day ....

WHY? Why do television stations insist on putting that damned information bar at the bottom of the screen? Invariably, this is to highlight what the story is about and will, 99.9% of the time, cover the video of the event so you cannot see what happened or read a caption that's needed to make sense of the video. Case in point, I watched a clip of Tiger Woods missing a putt. Maybe I should have said that I was SUPPOSED to be watching the putt until the banner of death covered it saying he missed the putt! I may have wanted to see the shot but they must think we're all mentally challenged and are unable to think and view at the same time! Maybe the Golden Age of Radio really was golden after all. Did I mention also that when your trying to watch your show they will ALWAYS put an ad for another sappy show they're trying to push down your throat that will also cover about 15-20% of the screen while it shows a typed graphic along with an idiot moving around while smiling at you. Why are they smiling? They're smiling because they know they're screwing up your show. What shows won't I watch later? You guessed it! Break out the ad free DVD's!

WHY? Back to television and the news specifically. All news programs, except NPR broadcasts and public broadcasting TV stations. An example if I may. "Good evening everybody, Russian missiles have been tracked coming over the North Pole heading for America, but first we go to Goober, Idaho where a 2 year old puppy found his way 200 miles back home to Bumshank Falls and American Idol eliminates another contestant. Jim, what's in store for the weekend weather?". You know I'm not far off the mark here and it irritates the living hell out of me because you know the story your holding your pee in to hear won't be on till the end of news, right after we hear how the tennis match turned out! Support public television, at least they put all their commercials (sponsor plugs) in one segment at the end or the beginning.

To be continued.

WHY? I say, WHY, on Earth is Conan O'Brien still bitching and moaning about how he got 'shafted' by Jay Leno and NBC? He got a 7 figure severance package for crying out loud! Most of us 'real' people will never live to know what 1 million dollars is like, let alone the huge sum he received for being a lousy comedian! Hollywood is a cut-throat town, the movie and television industry are cut-throat industries and if Mr. Unfunny O'Brien hasn't figured that out yet then he's a bigger moron than I thought he was, but that's just my opinion. I could live a very happy, unstressed, fun filled life with his severance package, but that's more money than I'll ever need or use. Hey Conan, you want my sympathy and support in your lame arsed beef with Jay and NBC? Forget it faster than people will soon forget you! Remember, the people you're trying to get behind you are among the many unemployed in the country and sympathy for your monetary dreams will fall on deaf ears fast while they're trying to figure out how to feed their family's every day. What a cold hearted jerk!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Road to Communism is Paved with Good Intentions.

I posted this response on Yahoo to the story of Glenn Beck and Eric Massa and what a bad interview it is believed that Beck had with him. I didn't see it or hear it but I felt I needed to respond to the ignorance I was reading from the large number of comments, basically calling for censorship of the media because it appeared that Time printed a biased article against Glenn Beck. Is this what the Conservative Right wants? I really don't believe that, not from a party that supports a Republic based government based on the Constitution of the United States of America! I really wish to see the day when differences can be put aside and the people of this great land, employers of the political machine in D.C. and at home, are placed #1 in the importance pile on the Beltway.

March 13, 2010
"I am thankful that I live in a nation that allows ALL sides of a story to be published and openly spoken about. Truth be told, what is the real truth? We may find that out when we find out who really shot JFK I guess. Maybe! I think Jack Nicholson got it right when he said in "A Few Good Men", "you can't handle the truth"! Most of America cannot handle raw truth about anything really important to the nation and prefer to be patronized by their particular entertainment spin doctors like Rush, Glenn, etc. I'm just using these two as an example, not a finger pointing because you really don't which side of the fence I'm on politically. I just wish we didn't have to have a fence to take care of our citizens. Last time I checked, Americans were still Americans. Whether I agree with the spin doctors or not, I will defend their right to speak up and voice their opinions. Why? I will because I can, while others cannot!"

Dave in FLA

footnote: The GOP, and conservative media, accused the Dems of fostering Socialism and/or Communism during, and after, the election of Barak Obama. This is common knowledge on both sides. I remember one important lesson through history classes in school when we studied countries that were converted to Socialism, or outright Communism. The first order of business was to control the media and suppress unwanted reporting which may be interpreted as subversive to the new government, which in most cases resulted in the disappearance of the the writer shortly afterwards. Is this what we really want to see happen? If one writer or speaker is suppressed it will never stop until you're afraid to speak in your own home without being reported to the government, probably by your own child at that point. How many parents did children in the Hitler Youth turn in? How many Soviets were turned in by neighbors during Stalin's purges? It can happen if it's allowed to happen.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Message To Jim in California.

I don't know why you bothered moving to the San Francisco Bay Area 5 years ago when you feel the need to keep asking me where you need to go to get things done? I don't like anywhere near California, and no desire to even visit anywhere in that state, it's falling apart at it's financial seams. Allow me to address the most recent of your queries. First off before I answer this I want to state that you're one of my best friends and always will be, this is sort of a long distance mechanics intervention. :) Okay, first off I hope you didn't try to keep driving when your honda accord stopped it's forward movement and started making those awful noises. It's obvious to me what's happened isn't going to be a great repair experience for you. If you kept trying to drive the cost will have risen dramatically. It seems to me that your timing belt bit the dust and if you kept trying to make the car run all the internal components of the drive train will be all out of sync and must be put back in sync before the belt can be replaced.

Follow some of the links I put in this post for reference to your problem, I hope they can explain things further for you beyond what I'm able to do from here. I searched around for you and went on that repair site I used last summer to find you a San Francisco auto repair shop that can handle a timing belt resync and replace job. Follow that link and I hope it helps. Now, for the inside light issue you emailed me about. How would I know? I can't see what it's doing and by saying "it sometimes blinks" doesn't help me to help you. It sounds like you have a stray wire grounding out to the car body somewhere. Try looking down by your feet in the car and see if any wires are hanging or are on/under the mats. I had a stray wire on the side where my feet would be and my lights flickered till I used some electricians tape (black plastic) around them. Try it and let me know how you make out.

ps. I put this on my blog so that if anyone else has any positive input into this they can share it for all so keep checking back for any feedback this gets.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mesothelioma Issues and It's Victims

There have been a lot of advertisements on the television about a Mesothelioma Lawyer in almost every state, representing victims of this horrible lung cancer. Those of you who don't know what Mesothelioma actually is, the most common form is from the inhalation of asbestos fibers in the air. Asbestos reacts with the soft tissue in the lungs and around the sack that encompasses the lungs once breathed in and causes irritation which causes the body to send white cells to destroy the offending invader. Since the invader is a mineral the white cells cannot destroy it and more white cells are dispatched, causing a vicious cycle to emerge which ends up as Mesothelioma. Asbestos was, from the time I was a child and sooner, a widely accepted and proven form of fire resistance and insulation for such things as ventilation systems, furnace jackets, ceiling tiles, roofing and siding materials, and many, many other things. When I was a child I used to play with it in it's raw form. It was cool, a rock you could shred into long fibers. What did I know? For that matter, what did anyone know back in the 60's? It was fantastic, in lieu of modern alternatives, until it entered your lungs. Mineral fiber in the lungs will react with the soft tissue and your body will try to have the white cells destroy them, almost like using a coffee cup to apply water to a house fire to extinguish it, a futile venture which repeats onto itself until your lungs are useless blobs. My father in law passed away from this affliction several years ago, before it was known about. He was a fireman who went into burning buildings where asbestos was shredding into the air, before air tanks were standard equipment. It doesn't take a lot of exposures to start the chain going, once the fiber is inhaled it's in to stay.

I know there have been class action suits against manufacturers of these products and if someone in your family or someone you are aware of is a victim it's important that they contact a Mesothelioma Attorney who specializes in this type of litigation. Mesothelioma isn't pretty but it is preventable, and in some cases survivable. Not everybody with Mesothelioma Disease is destined for the inevitable final result that was once a fact of life, there are survivors that are documented. Like everything else, cases are on an individual basis and there is no cure-all, as great as that would be. It would have been great if the doctor said to my wife's family that her father had treatable Mesothelioma instead of Malignant Mesothelioma. Even malignant isn't a finality anymore like it once was and I believe that's a big step forward and the next big steps need to be for cures, or long term work-around's to extend viable survival. No one wants to be 'tubed up' in a hospital bed so they can say they lived a year longer. That's not viable life to me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fox TV vs. Brighthouse Networks for Cash - SLB to Me!

There is an ongoing battle of the wills between Fox Television and cable provider Brighthouse Networks over customers, also known as CASH! Fox wants a sum of money per customer for the signal they provide to Brighthouse. Basically, they want a piece of the cable carriers pie. Television spots by Fox have painted a negative picture of Brighthouse saying that they will be no longer carrying the Fox programming as of today, as a matter of fact, and that Fox viewers on BH will be denied American Idol, college football games, House, etc. How awful of BH to do that to it's customers. How awful indeed that in order for customers to receive the signals in the first place BH must run cable, provide hardware and support just to name but a few. Fox, on the other hand, has to provide a signal to BH for them to broadcast to their customers. Sounds pretty simple and logical to me. Now my question is this. Why should BH pay them a damned penny for programming that's being paid for by advertising dollars to Fox already. Wouldn't that be like having to pay $1 at the pump each time for the ability to pump gas into your car to the government and then pay the tax that's already on the gas? That, to me, sounds like a WIN, WIN situation for Fox if they can pull that one off. One the other hand I have a solution to the whole problem.

My solution is this. Brighthouse will pay the requested fee to Fox for the signal that they pass along to their cable subscribers AND Fox will pay Brighthouse a percentage of the advertising revenue for the shows that they broadcast to the customers would would never see the ads without BH getting the signal to them! If this is not amenable to Fox there is another way they can .....wait a second. I'm sorry, this section is for the companies that advertise on Fox. They need to calculate the percentage of viewers that will NOT get the signal if Brighthouse does not relent and DEDUCT it from their advertising expense since they will be reaching far fewer viewers than before. Will this make Fox Television happy? Who gives a damn what makes them happy, it's all just plain old greed. Maybe someone is trying to regain lost capital to Bernie Madoff by requiring the end-user(the viewer) to pay the bill for stupidity. I don't know and I don't care because I use DirecTV and it doesn't effect me at all. I do, however, sympathize with the cable customers caught up in the greed of Fox.

My final thoughts on this are something that I haven't heard anyone mention yet. If Brighthouse agrees to make a payment to Fox they will be forced out of business and cable service will become too expensive to acquire for home viewers. Why is this? Simple, why shouldn't CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC America, Logo, HGTV .....the list goes on and on, get their piece of the pie that Fox required for them? If I ran one of those networks I'd be sure as hell up there demanding my cut if Fox is getting one. Fox is no better or entertaining than any other network so it should be equal across the board or nothing at all. I formally bestow upon Fox Television the first ever on this blog, the SLB Award! Cheers mates! Hope you enjoy the negative notoriety your getting for your 'poor us' stories on your news programs.