Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Alarmed in Cincinnati

Traveling down towards the Cincinnati Museum is usually a very dull trip. The highways are always crowded with speeding cars and trucks that release black fumes when they switch gears. The trip in 2004 was anything but unexciting. My father had just left for Kosovo and my grandfather, who has been diagnosed with bipolar, had come down to stay with us for a week and during that week we decided we would see what was currently at the museum as an exhibit.

By the time we were in the car and making our way to Cincinnati my grandfather was starting to show symptoms that are common among people with Bipolar Disorder. We thought we still had enough time left before his rationality completely left his mind but we were completely wrong. As he was sitting in the backseat with my younger brother, who was still in a car seat at the time, my grandfather started tightening my brother’s seat belt until my brother was in tears. He finally released my brother’s seat belt after my mother and I both screamed at him to stop but it turns out he wasn’t done. When he tried to put my seat belt on me he decided the only way I would listen to him is if he grabbed a hold of my pony tail through the headrest and pulled it back and through the opening. My mother slammed on her breaks and pulled over to the side of the freeway to yell at her father.

The scariest part about my mother doing the maneuver was that an eighteen wheeler was right behind us and could have easily slammed into the back of us as she pulled off the to the side.

Labels: Alarmed in Cincinnati

Accepting Each Other

With the weight of the world upon her shoulders, she had sought the help of so many. To all who she asked, no answers could be found that quite fit the response she was looking for. Many couples face trying times when it comes to accepting their partner’s choices. Those choices can include financial, faithful and even appearance..

Financial- is one of the easiest to explain, either the bills are getting paid and money is being saved or it isn’t. If it isn’t and you think it should, sit down. Stop what you are doing and actually take the time to figure out together where the money needs to be going. Very simple fix, if you do not value your money as much as the other, then you have no responsibility or privilege of knowing where it goes. IT should never fall to one person to always be the financial planner, even if you don’t sit every time; you should sit once in a while.

Faithfulness: I am talking the full gamut here. I don’t care if you wear a ring or not, have the papers or lost them, waiting for your divorce or already got it, makes no difference to me at all. What does make a difference is that if you choose to be with someone, then you are choosing to spend your time with that one. There are relationships that work well under different guises and that’s fine if they choose it to be that way. What I am talking about is the poor sob that has not a clue. If you can’t lay your head next to your partners each night and know that you have no remorse or any reason to hide something, then you are in the wrong bed, go back where you came from. Let the other keep you as you have kept yours.

Appearance: Yes, it is the dreaded O I cheated because she gained fifty pounds, or he got shorter, heavier , too skinny or whatever else you drum up in your mind, what you need to remember is that YOU accepted this person as your partner. You chose them from the many fish in the sea, work with them, without them, but work in the right direction. If you are not by their side encouraging them for their own good, not yours but theirs, then who are you to judge them at all. Does it interfere with your passion, learn about other types of passion, there are a variety of books out there that offer moves, styles and so forth. Check out tantric or some other book. What I am saying is that the person is still there, don’t break that person down to nothing and look them in the eyes and say you love them. Do it together, spend time together. Go to the doctor with them next time and bring all your concerns out there. Yes, it may embarrass them and you will hear about it later, but let the doctor take the brunt of it first, he will explain any health concerns, hygiene issues and the what not, don’t think you want to do that. Slip the nurse a note with your concerns; she will make sure the doctor address your concerns without violating any HIPPA laws. Do you go to church, talk to the pastor, let him/her know that the other does not want in any way for this to be a discussion but that your relationship is suffering, If you can make a whole sermon out of the smallest passage in the bible, he can make a sermon out of anything.

Never discount any of your thoughts or concerns; you are having them for a reason. If no alternative can be found then perhaps the sight of papers from a lawyer laying upon the table will rock their boat enough to know that you really do care and you will not sit by any longer and deal with the financial, faithful or appearance/health concerns anymore.

Labels: Accepting Each Other

American Red Cross Lifeguarding Program

Lifeguarding as a profession can be many things to many people. Large numbers of high school students receive their training and become lifeguards every year as a method of obtaining summer employment. Others have a real passion for it and make it their career. There are many different aspects of lifeguarding and different levels and types of certification. One of the most well known and respected lifeguard certifications is offered by the American Red Cross.

Most local chapters of the American Red Cross have an aquatics program. As part of the aquatics program, they may offer lifeguard training. Some smaller chapters may not offer such a course on a yearly basis, but if they do not have a class planned, they will usually be able to put you in touch with someone in a neighboring chapter who can help you obtain your certification. Early spring is usually the best time to begin looking for a course in my experience as the Red Cross chapters like to teach these classes in the spring to prepare lifeguards for the upcoming summer swim season. You may also want to check with the local YMCA if they have a pool as they may be offering courses as well.

A standard lifeguarding course consists of three main components. There will be training in the actual aquatics skills of being a lifeguard, CPR training for Adults, Infants, and Children, and standard first aid. You may also be trained to use an AED or Automated External Defibrillator, or to administer oxygen. If you successfully complete the course by passing both a practical test as well as a written exam, then you will receive certification. Once you receive your certification, you will be a lifeguard. Certification for lifeguarding, as well as first aid is good for three years. It is necessary to renew your CPR certification every year however to remain current. Be careful not to allow your CPR certification to lapse, as your lifeguarding certification is only valid if you are current in CPR as well.

If you enroll in a Red Cross lifeguarding course, you will be given a pre-test to ensure your swimming ability is or a level that will allow you to make a rescue if necessary. Assuming you pass this pre-test, you will then learn various skills such as the proper ways to enter the water, how to approach a victim and make a rescue, and how to remove a victim from the pool if necessary. You will also learn spinal injury management. This training will usually take place over the course of several weeks, with additional classes taking place for CPR and first aid.

You will then be given a written exam as well as a practical test to make sure your water skills are solid. You will also have separate exams in CPR and AED training, although they may be given when those specific classes are taught.

Your training should not stop there however. Once you become a lifeguard, you should participate in in service trainings when they are offered by your place of employment. It is very important to keep up to date with these skills as they are important to save a life. The American Red Cross also offers more advanced courses that will allow you to become an instructor and teach lifeguarding classes, or even an instructor trainer. An instructor trainer teaches people to be lifeguarding instructors. You will want to spend some time as a lifeguard before you pursue these advanced certifications however.

A lifeguarding class can be a very fulfilling experience. If can also provide you am opportunity for employment if that is what you are looking for. If this is something that you would like to become involved it, contact your local American Red Cross and they should be able to provide you with more information about this wonderful program.

Labels: American Red Cross Lifeguarding Program

A Cadaver is a Horrible Thing to Waste

Mary Roach must be an extremely morbid woman. At least that is what I thought as I stood in the aisle of my book store looking at her book Stiff, the cover of which depicts two bare feet with the title of the book on a manila tag, tied around the right big toe. In actuality, Ms. Roach is an extremely talented author who wrote an uproariously funny history about what happens to our bodies after we die. The topics that she touched upon included everything from how cadavers are used in medical research to different ways that people disposed of bodies and how bodies were procured for medical research. Ms. Roach also looks at people who conduct impact research for motor vehicle corporations as well as people who research as to whether Jesus really could have been crucified on the Cross.

The writing style that Ms. Roach employs is witty, easy to understand and very respectful, demonstrating an insight and maturity that only comes with experience in writing (which Ms. Roach has in abundance – she has had articles published by Salon and Reader’s Digest). In order to approach a topic of this nature, one must also have a good sense of humor and Ms. Roach followed through on that front as well. I found myself chuckling at some of the insights that she made and how she conveyed them.

Ms. Roach, in writing this book, did a lot of in the field research. For instance, she visited medical research labs and attended meetings of mortuary professionals. I was impressed by the connections and contacts that she made in the course of writing this book. However, I wish that she had been more academic and cited more sources in her prose. I wanted to know where she was getting her information so that I could go and get those books out.

Generally, Ms. Roach did a very good job. This book is very readable and will not take you long to complete should you leave a large block of time available for it. It is appropriate for a day at the beach or curled up in front of the fire in your ski house. This is a book that will broaden your horizons and open your eyes on a subject that very few of us feel comfortable thinking about, let alone discussing. Ms. Roach tries to make her reader more informed about our options with regards to what happens to our bodies after our death. Highly recommended!

Labels: A Cadaver is a Horrible Thing to Waste

4 Free Anti-Virus Programs to Protect Your PC from Attacks

Afraid of all the nasty stuff that the Internet can load onto your computer but don’t know what to do about it? Here are four free tools that can help you out. Using these tools is easy, and while using them does not guarantee that your computer will not be infected with something nasty, it is a good idea to start with this line of defense.

Avast! antivirus Home Edition.

Avast! antivirus Home Edition provides you with rock solid antivirus software for free for non-commercial & home use. An antivirus program is the first line of defense from vicious attacks on your computer. Avast! antivirus Home Edition provides antivirus protection, as the name implies, and it also provides anti-spyware and anti-rootkit protection. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a rootkit is or what spyware is because this is a simple to install product that will make your system a lot safer than it was without it. It will update itself daily to give your system the latest in protection. It works on all Windows versions from 95 to Vista and is available in 30 languages.

Avast! antivirus is also available at a discount for non-profit, charity, educational, health, and government institutions.


After installing an antivirus program there are other forms of protection you can benefit from. ThreatFire can protect your PC from attacks by detecting bad behavior even before antivirus programs know there is a problem. It looks for bad behavior like programs capturing your keystrokes or trying to take your data and send it off some place bad. By looking for bad behavior as it happens ThreatFire may protect you before antivirus programs can. Like Avast! antivirus, ThreatFire is easy to install and provides protection with little input from you the user.

Spybot – Search & Destroy.

Spybot – Search & Destroy looks for spyware. Spyware can be very complicated or as simple as a nasty cookie from a web site. Install Spybot and then run a scan of your computer to find existing threats then run a scan every week or so for continued protection.

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware protects your from infection by viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, dialers, spyware, and malware. It doesn’t matter if you know what those things are. Just install the product and run a scan to detect existing problems with your machine and then run a scan every so often.

Overall protection.

The Internet can be a scary place but if you make a bit of an effort you can protect your computer from infection by nasty software. Never install something if your don’t know what it is and install real time protection like Avast! and ThreatFire. The use of other scanning tools like Spybot and Malwarebytes will only strengthen your protection. Safe Surfing!


About ALWIL Software

Spybot – Search & Destroy Overview

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

ThreatFire FAQs

Labels: 4 Free Anti-Virus Programs to Protect Your PC from Attacks

Alcohol and the Harry Potter Movies

From the very beginning of the Harry Potter books there have been a number of controversies and many of them are the same questions that exist whenever fantasy stories appear. There is a vocal minority who simply dislikes the idea of any book that has magic in it, but Harry Potter is also a story set in a world similar to ours and filled with many of the thing which appear in our world. One of those things is alcohol and because of that some amount of controversy has appeared in the book that J. K. Rowling likely did not expect.

While there was alcohol in the books themselves the real issue was brought up in the move Harry Potter and the Half Blood prince and is likely to consider. The issue is in part one cultural differences. In England, where the books are set, it is legal for a 16 year old to drink, so long as they are eating a meal, and at 18 they can legally drink. This means that while the younger characters who are drinking in the books might be stretching the rules, as they do not appear to be eating they are still not doing anything that would be likely to seem uncommon. Meanwhile in the USA, where the movie is also shown the drinking age is 21. It is also worth pointing out that while the age of the characters is about 16 that the actors who play the parts are all above 18.

In addition to the simple question of alcohol you have another question because this is a fantasy book. There are two reasons this is important. The first of these is that the world itself is not as realistic as another might be. The second reason for this is that of the things that they are drinking. You have things like Butter beer, which may, or may not be alcoholic, and Mead and while older kids might know what mead is and if a ten year old does know what mead is it is because they have been exposed to it before Harry Potter.

It is worthwhile for parents to be aware that there is alcohol in this movie but the truth is that even those who are pointing out the drinking are not generally trying to stop people from watching the movie but only using it as a chance to talk about something that is important.

Labels: Alcohol and the Harry Potter Movies

3 Tips for Mixing Country Music

Country music is very difficult to properly record and mix, because the purity associated with most instruments in country music takes a lot of experimentation and effort (which is why good Nashville country music producers are highly valued). Nevertheless, every home studio is completely capable of mixing a country song well and making a radio-ready single or demo. Here are a few tips for mixing country music in your own home studio.

1. The vocals are very important in country music. Every lyric needs to be easy to hear and understand, so put some compression on the vocals and bring them up in front. Vocals should usually be one of the only instruments panned to the direct center of the song, along with the kick drum and maybe the bass guitar, and there shouldn’t be a lot of complicated noodling going on while the vocalist is singing, though of course this will depend on the band you’re recording. Put as much emphasis on the vocals of the song as you can.

2. A clear sound is important, without muddiness. To avoid that “muddy” tone that many home producers and mixing engineers associate with the kick drum and bass, think of the EQ in your country song as a room. Your goal is to keep instruments from entering the same part of the room. You’ll probably want to cut the lows of the bass guitar and emphasize the low-mids, and cut everything but the lows in the kick drum for a good start. Think hard about each sound, and how adding EQ will change how those sounds effect the overall song. Instruments in the same frequency range should be carefully EQed to give them their own distinct ranges.

3. Use panning carefully but liberally. Country music often uses a lot of instruments, so panning is going to be just as important as EQ, and again you should follow the same general principle–if two instruments are in the same physical location in your song’s “room,” move them around. You generally want to keep most instruments away from the far right, far left, and direct center of the song, unless you’ve got a very good reason to put them in one of those places. Make sure your monitors are properly set up and maintain proper stereo separation to truly give yourself the ability to mix your country music in stereo.

Do you have any other tips for mixing country music? Post in our comments section below.

Labels: 3 Tips for Mixing Country Music

Acne: Food Causes and Natural Treatments

OK so you have heard you are what you eat. Not literally, but what you eat effects your skin. If you feed your baby too much carrots then your babies skin can change to an orange color. So adults, you eat more than just carrots but have you ever stopped to think about what you eat (ie…fast food or processed food) and what that would do to your skin?

Now a little lesson on how your skin works. Most people body produces sebum (which is a oily lubricant) that is secreted by sebaceous glands to the skin. This oily lubricant is very important because it keeps the skin moist and protects the skin from elements.

So how does this figure in with the statement “You are what you eat” ?

Just this simple when you eat junk food (ie… chips, nachos, candy, processed foods) and drink sodas you are putting toxins and extra sugar in your body. Extra sugar encourages oil productions to the skin while also providing food for bacteria and yeast to grow. The toxins and extra oil are pushed through the skin as a way to rid your body of the toxins and extra sugars. These above mentioned facts can help you choose the right foods to keep your skin healthy and your body won’t have to work overtime to push out extra toxins.

If you feel that this is your cause of acne then you might want to try some natural ways to cleanse your skin.

People who have used the lotions, creams, or cleansers on their skin may have had results to clear the acne for a short period of time. But if you start from the inside to work out to your skin then the results will last longer and you will see an amazing change.

Here is a natural remedy : ( See doctor’s approval before you begin. )

A three day vegetable juice fast, this will clean away toxin build up.
Juices you should drink are: carrot, apples, and beets juiced by a juicer for best results so you get the best
part of each vegetable.

Green drinks such as wheat-grass and barley grass are especially supportive of cleaning acne.

When you start this three day vegetable juice fast then you might notice more of a break out with acne as your body is cleansing at a faster rate than normal. After the toxins are pushed out of your body then your acne should reduce or totally go away.

How to eat to keep your skin healthy and acne free.

Dark-green vegetables and orange vegetables will provide you with beta-carotene, which helps maintain and repair the skin.

Flaxseed provides fiber to eliminate waste and also provides essential fatty acids.

Drink plenty of water.

Good source of Vitamin E are found in almonds, walnuts, & pumpkin seeds.

Great sources of fiber are beans, peas, lentils, & eggs.

Salmon, mackerel, herring, & sardines are good sources of Omega – 3 fatty acids.

Drink plenty of water to help your body flush out toxins.

Source for information : Precription for Natural Cures ( Pages 11-17 )

Labels: Acne: Food Causes and Natural Treatments

Alcohol Hangover: Does Quantity Really Matter?

The feeling is hardly ever mistaken for any other when one is experiencing it. The lightheadedness, banging ache at the base of he skull and a fascinating hallow surrounding one’s vision are distinctive. Hangovers are unique and a common problem related to alcohol consumption. Up to 75 percent of men and women who have tasted alcohol have experienced a hangover and quite costly as well in terms of productivity. In some countries, over a billion dollars is lost yearly due to absenteeism from work or poor productivity while at work. It is true that the more quantity you drink, the higher the likelihood of having a hangover? It is not true.

Before we proceed, what is a hangover? There is clearly no straightforward answer, but this does not diminish the relevance of this problem. There are some symptoms related to alcohol such as headache, diarrhea, anorexia, tremulous-ness, fatigue and nausea while tremors, cognitive impairments and visual disturbances are also commonly seen. A hangover is the presence of at least two of the above symptoms occurring after the consumption and full metabolism of alcohol with sufficient severity to disrupt the performance of daily tasks and responsibilities. These symptoms are usually observed the next day.

To be fair, the quantity of alcohol consumed has little effect on the risk of having a hangover, as over fifty percent of all alcohol related problems, especially in the work place, are caused by light drinkers and over eighty percent are caused by light to moderate drinkers. Fortunately, they are less susceptible to the long term effects of alcohol abuse such as liver cirrhosis and heart disease. Importantly, susceptibility to hangover can vary across individuals who have consumed equivalent amounts of alcohol. Gender appears to play a limited role.

An important factor that has little to do with the quantity is presence of other alcoholic substances other than ethanol referred to as congener. These substances include acetone, acetaldehyde and methanol that are present in different alcoholic drinks in varied quantities. Vodka and Bourbon, for instance have significant amounts of congeners. Cigarette smoking is suggested to also influence the risk for hangovers.

For some, there may be a familiar predisposition. Some families with a history of drinking problems might be exhibiting a higher incidence of hangover effects. This observation may highlight a difference in their biological makeup that affects how they handle alcohol. Lastly, the pattern, rather than the quantity also influences this problem as consistent drinking over time can lead to tolerance to alcohol effects. The liver simply mobilizes more enzymes to handle it.

Jonathan Howland, Damaris J. Rohsenow, Donald Allensworth-Davies et al (2008). The incidence and severity of hangover the morning after moderate alcohol intoxication. Addiction.103, 758-765.

Labels: Alcohol Hangover: Does Quantity Really Matter?

A Review of My Time as an Employee for ChaCha (I No Longer Work There Now)

Firstly I would like to be fair and say that ChaCha did eventually pay me and as such they are not a scam or anything of the sort, although it was a complete pain to get paid to begin with. But to all of the people who say ChaCha will never pay you, they are incorrect and probably just had problems with the bank and information verification.

I began to work for ChaCha a few months ago as an expeditor (the only position currently available to aspiring guides) and did that job for a steady thirty days. In order to become an expeditor (and get paid a whopping two cents per question, less when I started) you must watch about 90 minutes worth of videos that teach you how to be one and then take a readiness test. After waiting three days to hear back from them, I received my guide role and quickly went to work. Expediting basically means sending questions within their proper category to a real guide, or if the question has been asked before then you can use a previously given answer. But if the question is ludicrous or not even an answerable question then you may answer it yourself. Sounds simple enough right? Not really. The sheer audacity of the customers on ChaCha is horrifying and it makes me disgusted to live in this society. You will receive racist threats, death threats, horrifyingly grotesque sexual questions and or statements along with the standard and decent answerable questions. As an employee we aren’t even allowed to say anything to such horrible people but are merely expected to take their questions seriously and sit through this garbage for two cents a question. Overall about 40 percent of the questions were the disgusting trash listed above. The meager money is not worth the verbal abuse. If you are exceedingly fast then you may make four or five dollars an hour on a good hour and three or so on a mediocre one, but the average person will peak anywhere from 2-4 dollars an hour. All of this abuse for less than minimum wage (dodged by a loophole calling their people paid contractors rather than employees).

A month later I hastily switched to become a real guide and immediately the quality rating of my answers zoomed to below the accepted 95 percent clip (I managed around 79 percent) as we were expected to cite every answer with a verifiable source and take each ridiculous question seriously. Even questions such as “If the whole world was Megan Fox’s boobs, than how much oxygen would be left?” and so forth. And since such questions are clearly unanswerable, I was fired for not giving sufficient answers. If anything I feel very shortchanged as I was never rude to a single customer and never once broke ChaCha’s rules. So please do not do this “job” if you wish to keep your sanity. Workers should not be allowed to work without a set wage anyway as it is unethical and should be illegal.

As a side note I would also like to note that it took me five weeks to get paid via the “Pay Me Now” option even though the site says I should have been paid within a week. You have been warned.

Labels: A Review of My Time as an Employee for ChaCha (I No Longer Work There Now)

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