Monday, March 20, 2017

A Tough Economy Can Be Good for Your Career

Shaky economy or not, now is the time for newer professionals to move full speed ahead when it comes to life in the workplace. Unlike their more seasoned coworkers, newer workers don’t have a track record of successes (or much of any professional history, for that matter) to fall back on when times are tough or to justify a lackluster performance or slower sales. Instead, they’ve got to hit the ground running and start building a string of experiences now – economy be darned.

For go-getter newbies in the workplace who want to make a name for themselves, a tough economy provides the perfect landscape. Newer professionals who are able to land the client, make the sale, or simply contribute to the success of their workplace will be able to stand out from their more experienced coworkers, particularly if they are bringing in dollars when other coworkers aren’t. Not a bad way to launch a career.

Economists tell us that recessions and tough economic times come and go – and knowing how to navigate in rough waters and work under less-than-ideal circumstances are skills that any employee needs to succeed. For Generation Y professionals, who have often been branded – fairly or not – as entitled employees who have high expectations and demand lots of hand-holding in the workplace, a tough economy may provide the ‘tough love’ that will help build a stronger, more resilient workforce in the long run.

Labels: A Tough Economy Can Be Good for Your Career

7 Random Parenting Tips and Advice

Parenting isn’t easy. It’s full of ups and downs, challenges and joys. No parent is perfect. Even the most successful parents will, at one point, wonder if they should have done something differently. Parenting advice can be very beneficial for all parents. Here are a few tips that might help you in your parenting journey.

Random Parenting Tip #1: Learn how to manage and cope with stress.

When you are stressed, the kids feel it. It can affect their behavior and feelings. Therefore, it is essential that parents learn how to manage stress in a healthy manner. Read “Stress Relief Tips for Moms” for some suggestions. (These tips can, of course, apply to dads as well.) In order to care for your children, you need to care for yourself.

Random Parenting Tip #2: Remember that you are your child’s biggest role model.

The old saying “Do as I say, not as a I do” should not apply to parents. You are the best example for your children. It is important that you behave appropriately in front of your kids. For example, try your best not to badmouth other people. You should also try to give up bad habits such as smoking. It can also be a great idea to try to always have a positive attitude, or at least not complain in front of your kids.

Random Parenting Tip #3: Encourage your children to participate in extracurricular activities.

Some of the best athletes, musician’s and artists became the way they are through their parental support. It is a great idea to try to encourage your child to participate in sports, music classes and more. By all means, do not force them, but allow them to have the opportunity if they want to.

If you can’t afford it, there are many programs that offer activities at low cost. Many cities and large towns have Community Centers, where art and sports classes are offered for a very reasonable fee. There are also programs such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YWCA/YMCA, and more.

Also, try to limit the activities where they still have time to just be a kid. If they decide they don’t enjoy it, let them try something new.

Random Parenting Tip #4: Do not tolerate sibling bullying.

One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is to overlook sibling bullying. They may simply say it is sibling rivalry and they need to stay out of it. Sibling bullying can be very detrimental to the whole family. The child that is being bullied might experience feelings of sadness and/or depression. If you believe your child is being bullied by another sibling, then by all means get involved. This might even require some professional help.

For advice on preventing sibling rivalry and sibling bullying, read “How to Prevent and Reduce Sibling Rivalry.”

Random Parenting Tip #5: Apologize to your children when you’ve made a mistake.

All parents will mess up at one time or another. The key is to handle it appropriately, and this includes apologizing to your children. An apology can help your child learn to apologize when they’ve messed up as well.

Random Parenting Tip #6: Join a church.

Parenting can be hard. Having the support of a church family might help you. Even if you do not believe in God, the encouragement that your receive from others might be worth it. In addition, your children will development new friendships. For advice on finding a church, read “How to Find a Church if You’ve Never Been to Church.”

Random Parenting Tip #7: Forgive and forget.

Remember that your children are children. They will make mistakes. They will make poor choices. They might even set your living room on fire. But, remember that they do deserve your forgiveness and unconditional love.
Do not constantly hold their mistakes over their head. Just as schools are required to forget when children have made bad choices, try your best to forget the past.

These are just seven random parenting tips. Another article that might be helpful to read is “What Makes a Good Mother?” Good luck with your parenting journey!

Labels: 7 Random Parenting Tips and Advice

Antidepressants: The Easy Way Out?

One in every ten Americans is taking an antidepressant to battle some form of depression or other health related problems. Last year 232.7 million prescriptions were written for antidepressants. Compared to a study from Centers for Disease Control that stated 118 million antidepressants were prescribed in 2005 it has almost doubled in 2 years time. In 2007 Centers for Disease Control made it known that antidepressants were the number one prescribed medication in the United States. Most people have taken an antidepressant or know someone else who have.

What does an antidepressant do?

Doctors prescribed antidepressants so frequently but what for? Antidepressants are medication that treats depression and other illnesses. Other illnesses include, Bi-polar disorder, Panic disorders, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Insomnia and even more. However, the most common reason antidepressants are prescribed for is depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental type of illness. We’ve all seen the late night infomercials that say ask “Where does depression hurt?” then the rest of the commercial goes on to explain that depression hurts everywhere. Some symptoms of depression is sadness, numbness, sleep problems, weight gain, weight loss, fatigue, headaches, crying spells, lack of interest in life, feelings of helplessness, and in severe cases, suicidal thoughts.

What causes Depression?

There are different kinds of depression. Circumstantial depression, the circumstances in one’s life causes them to be unhappy. Some examples are, a loss, environmental disasters, tragedies, personal dissatisfaction, relationship trouble, divorce, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and stress.

Family history is also a blame for depression. Many people believe that depression is hereditary. Speaking from personal experiences, in my family there is a history of depression and other mental illnesses. The majority of my family have been on antidepressants or currently still taking medication for depression. It does seem like it is passed down genetically. However, depression can also be a learned behavior. For an example, a child who grows up around people who are depressed may grow up to be depressed too.

Depression can also be a symptom of another health problem, hormones, allergies, PMS, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and others. Even food allergies can cause depression as stated in (The Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing 2001)

Why are antidepressants so popular?

Antidepressants are popular because it offers a somewhat quick solution to many health problems, especially depression. People who are depressed feel that taking an antidepressant is a huge step in overcoming depression.

Linda, a mother in Oklahoma who takes Paxil, told me, “Taking an antidepressant It does work. It was like a brand new me when I first started taking it. I was more social, less depressed, I was actually happy.”

Anti-depressants can be a lifesaver for many people. It can give them the jumpstart they need to get out of the depression and start living life again.

Sheila, a friend of mine, believes, “If you find the right one they do. But I believe it has to be the right chemical balance in the system.”

Finding the right antidepressant to work is the hard part. There are many different types and brands of antidepressants available that it is hard to determine which one will work for each person. Each person is different and reacts differently to each antidepressant. Some antidepressants work better for other people.

I asked different people if they thought anti-depressants worked?

Jonathan answered, “Yes, even if the medicine is a placebo the reference or frame of mind is changed. If the med does have an effect then it usually has accomplished it’s goal.”

Judy answered, “Yes. They work for me. People who have a chemical imbalance need a chemical to fix the imbalance. “

Antidepressants not only treat depression but other things as well. From a personal experience with migraine headaches, I have been prescribed a few different antidepressants and so far none of them have worked in preventing my migraine headaches.

If Antidepressants are the miracle drug, then why should I NOT take them?

Antidepressants can cause more harm to the human body than help. People can become too reliant on them, antidepressants can lose their effect after taking them for awhile and has many terrible side effects that may be worse than the actual depression. Some antidepressants may not work at all for some people. It can become too expensive to purchase. Many doctors prescribe antidepressants as a quick-fix for depression and does not solve the underlying health problem. It may just treat the symptoms but not actually treat the underlying cause of the depression or illness. Some medication can not be taken with antidepressants which could cause serious side effects if taken together.

People are so very different, finding the right anti-depressant can take a very long time. The difference could also result in some scary side effects, such as reactions, sometimes opposite reactions such as a deeper depression and anxiety. In 2004 the Food and Drug Administration put a warning for Prozac, a common anti-depressant. It said that it could cause an increase of suicidal thoughts in teenagers taking Prozac.

Are there any alternatives to antidepressants?

Though antidepressants may help depression but it is not the only solution. There are many different alternatives that can be less expensive and healthier in the long run.

Determining what is causes a person to be depressed can go a long ways in coming up with a solution. Counseling and therapy can allow a person to talk about their troubles and get suggestions on how to fix the underlying problem. In some cases, just talking to a friend or a family member can help. Having a good support system can help a person overcome depression.

The solution can be as easy as just changing the way that person thinks. The phrase, “think positively” and “look for the silver lining.” has truth in it. Pushing negative thoughts out of the mind and concentrating on positive thoughts can be hard but can also be effective in becoming happy. Negative thinking is a habit, one that can be hard to break. Positive thinking may help a person decrease the amount of negative stress, be more resistant to colds, better stress coping skills, breath easier and more benefits. (2007, Mayo Clinic Staff) Turn a negative thought like “It is raining and I am stuck at home.” into “It is raining but it is a great day to try a new craft or skill, or just relax.” Practice makes perfect and this method does take time.

A change in diet may be successful in curing depression. The human body needs a certain amount of calories, vitamins, fruits, vegetables, fat, meat, and calcium to be healthy. Eating healthy can help the body function better.

Exercise builds endorphins which is a chemical in the brain that helps a person feel happy. Exercise also helps the body to be healthier and fit physically as well as mentally.

Aroma therapy, light therapy, herbs and vitamins are some natural ways to help with depression.

Why do doctors prescribe antidepressants if there are alternatives?

Doctors are trained to determine the health problem and by their judgment they may prescribe medication. Not many doctors will suggest other alternatives or are aware of them. Natural ways to treat depression are not very popular and there is not as much money in natural ways, and lack of resources available.

Antidepressants may be the number one prescribed medication but it is still fairly new. Not all of the side effects or problems have been sorted out in the different antidepressants. Antidepressants may be the solution for many people for depression but there are alternatives. If there were more awareness of alternatives to antidepressants maybe it too, would become more popular.

Labels: Antidepressants: The Easy Way Out?

5 Quick Steps to Protecting Yourself Online

It’s becoming harder and harder to protect your data on the internet, as the importance of the internet in transactions and the handling of information increases day by day. Here are 5 measures you can take online to ensure your vital data is not stolen.

5 Rules to Protecting your Data Online

1. Keep it off your Computer

As computer viruses become both more advanced and more common, it’s now more than ever important to keep this information off your computer. If you really must store credit card numbers, bank information and other personal details electronically, use a removable drive which is only plugged in when you need it, and immediately removed afterwards.

2. Do not use the Same Password for Everything

This is probably the most common mistake people make, as once that password is compromised, every account you have on the internet is compromised. It’s understandable that remembering 20 different passwords can be a pain, but there are methods that can take to ensure your passwords are both unique but can also be remembered.

For example, have a variable in your password that changes from site to site. As a very basic example, your eBay password could be abceba123 whilst Amazon could be abcama123. Notice the 3 letters in the middle are the 3 letters of the site you’re logging into. Just come up with your own system that works for you, and ensures if one password is compromised, you’re not making it easy to access every other account you own.

3. The importance of https://

Make sure the site you’re using has an address that starts with https:// rather than http://

EVERYTHING you send on the internet can be read along the way, so make sure when you’re entering personal information, the S is there. Many small sites don’t even purchase security certificates simply to save cost, and you’re also not going to see any phishing websites with it, so always check to make sure it’s there. It’s also represented by a small padlock icon along the bottom of most browser windows.

4. Don’t save your credit card information online

Many big shopping sites allow you to save your credit card information with them. Which is no doubt convenient – it lets you purchase stuff quicker, great for their sales! But in this economic climate, what guarantees do you have that they are paying for the appropriate precautions to protect your data? Generally, you have none. Just spend the 15 seconds and enter your details each time. If it’s not worth spending that time for, you probably don’t need to buy it!

5. Wireless Networks

With the explosion of wireless networks in the past few years, this is becoming an increasingly common way of connecting to the internet, at hotels, bars, cafes, airports and the like. However, be sure of the network you’re connecting to. Anyone with a computer can set up a wireless “hotspot” and make it look legitimate. If you connect to one of these, at best you’re going to get bombarded with advertisements, at worst you’re going to have your data harvested. Only connect to secure networks, and confirm they belong to the establishment you’re at.

Labels: 5 Quick Steps to Protecting Yourself Online

A Different Outlook on Robert Allen Standford's Relations in Antigua

The article “Robert Allen Stanford: sinner or saint?” is written by an accomplished Jamaican journalist H.G. Helps. Mr. Helps writes about his experience working in Antigua for a newspaper called the Sun, which was owned by Texan-American billionaire Sir Robert Allen Stanford. The article gives a compelling account, or rather a fitting example of how objectivity and freedom of the press is significantly affected by corporate and political interests. The article also manages to encapsulate all that has been taught in this course, Understanding the Media, about the true nature of the media, and how objectivity in the media is regrettably successfully challenged by various factors.

The main issue in Helps’ article is the fact that he and a colleague of his, Louis Daniel, were dismissed from their posts at the Sun because they refused to skew the news they produced in favour of the ruling political party, the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), whose leader, and Prime Minister of the country Lester Bird, was a close companion of Robert Stanford’s. The article contains Help’s account of how Stanford was willing to use the newspaper to aid the ALP in regaining power, because a change in government would mean a change in policy that would put the huge investments he had on the island at risk, seeing as he was disliked by the opposition United People’s Party (UPP) because they believed he was interfering too much in the country’s affairs.

Power and Influence

Helps begins by mentioning that Stanford is a household name in Antigua and Barbuda, notwithstanding the fact that he also later mentions that he was furthermore heavily disliked by the Antiguan people. Helps, by doing this, starts the article making it clear to the reader that Stanford is a man of considerable clout. Being an American billionaire, Stanford has monetary power; however by establishing the relationship that he had with the Prime Minister Lester Bird, he gained political influence. Therefore, he was able to have the support of the government in his ventures on the island, which reinforced his influence. This practice of wealthy transnational corporations and individuals going into developing countries, befriending governments to gain political influence while establishing businesses for their economic advancement is by no means a recent phenomena.

However, with the advancement of globalization, which creates competition, these transnational corporations and individuals, and also companies in the host country which have to compete with these entities, need to be able to out think their competition and keep their markets. The media is a very effective tool in this process, and many companies, not just transnational entities, have demonstrated that this is understood. The best example in Jamaica of a company that uses the media effectively to defeat their competitors is Digicel. They have used, and continue to use, media effectively to maintain their relevance and status as Jamaica’s leading telecommunications provider, leaving their competitors behind. For example, when another company was launched recently called Claro, Digicel increased their television, radio, print advertisements. They also staged concerts and broadcasted competitions and giveaways.

Therefore by establishing the Sun, Sir Stanford showed he understood the power and influence of the media, and that for a tiny island as Antigua where the population is approximately 70,000, he could have a mode through which to exert his influence on the Antiguan people, and further his agenda and that of the government that allowed him to hold such power.

Media Ownership

It therefore holds then that the entity that owns the media is able to set the agenda. Agenda setting is therefore not only dependent upon the major news of the day, but also the discretion of the owners of the media houses. Here is an example. Four people have died in a car accident. Grave, important news, as it may have cause endless traffic and the blockage of a major roadway. Important news, however, it is election time and footage of the opposition leader, a generous colleague of the TV station’s owner, offering the affected families considerable monetary aid needs to be shown as the first story of the newscast. The article contains an example similar to this one, whereas Sir Stanford wanted to only have Helps and his colleagues publish material that was beneficial to the ALP, therefore information about corruption in the government was to be dumped and replaced with stories of their achievements.

With the dominance of the neo-liberal practice of privatization, which saw the ownership of the media transferred to the hands of and media houses being established by private companies and transnational corporations and individuals, media is now largely private owned, with the exception of a few communist countries such as Cuba that have government run media houses. It is argued that even though objectivity is challenged because of the media being privately owned, the alternative, state-run media is also seen as unsuitable because freedom of the press is not recognized. Therefore, what is a suitable option? A balance probably, where media is owned and operated by both the government and private companies in a partnership? One is able to see the possibility, without beforehand observation, that this would be unwise, as there would rarely be consensus on certain issues or when interests are at stake for both entities. Or, if this was the case with the Antiguan government and Sir Stanford, where there was partnership between these two and the ownership of the Sun was split, then it would not have made a difference, as they both would have the same agendas and publish material to suit their common interests. Notwithstanding, at the end of all discussion, someone has to own and manage the media.

The Consideration of All Entities

What one should worry about is the fact that Sir Stanford is not alone. As a media student I have learnt that entities like Sir Stanford are almost the norm in the field of media. But can you blame him really? If one does not consider the fact that he is now being allegedly charged for fraud, was he wrong in his decision to skew the newspaper’s information? In a world where globalization is a celebrated, encouraged and advanced trend, which business is a key characteristic of, was he wrong in trying to secure his business interests in Antigua?

What H.G. Helps writes about Sir Stanford will cause one to believe that he was morally incorrect in trying to distort the news. However, one could also sympathize with the fact that a change in regime could have meant the collapse of Sir Stanford’s business in Antigua and cost him to have to forgo huge investments. If one were to put themself in his position, would you have done the same once you were faced with the realization that if the ALP lost, you would be in a predicament? Remember that in the article, Helps mentions that when he first began working for the Sun, Sir Stanford had told him that he would not interfere with Helps’ work and that he would have “…full freedom to practise fair journalism.” (Helps)

His attitude may have changed because of the threat, real or perceived that he felt. Consequently, I believe that when the topic of the decline of aspects of the media such as objectivity and press freedom and the causes of this decline or these problems are being deliberated on, the perspectives of all parties involved should be considered.


Objectivity is a principle that persons involved in media are encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability. However, this has become increasingly difficult, when one considers the current global environment. The business of media has to now be viewed in the context of globalization; a global system that promotes competition, the generation of capitalist profits and the building of international influence; and analyzed by talking this into consideration. Business owners have to ensure that their interests are protected against failure, which is to be avoided at all costs.

Before the charges were brought against him, Sir Stanford was seen as a successful billionaire, and an individual that globalization has created and depends on to further the process. He personified the process. Helps represents the journalist trying to be as objective as humanly possible, however he meets upon Sir Stanford whom he believes is just a wealthy opportunist whose money will prove whether he is a sinner or saint. He sees Stanford as a hindrance to the development of media in Antigua, and it is made obvious by the article that he shares the same ideas that we have learnt in class about the truth about media. The article shows that he is not thinking widely about the issue, because if he really was, he would have concluded that the actual roadblock, and not the facilitator of media objectivity, is called globalization.

Labels: A Different Outlook on Robert Allen Standford's Relations in Antigua

Amarath, Quioua, Teff: An Overview of Alternative Grains

In today’s society, many Americans are searching out methods in which to improve dietary health. For many, the introduction of grains not commonly used in American dishes, has become a new experience in not only improved dietary health but also an introduction to new flavors and grain varieties used internationally. The following is a review of three of the most common international grains, not commonly used in the United States, which may boost and improve overall physical health.

Amaranth is a highly beneficial nutrient to the body. Grown throughout the United States, Amaranth grows upwards of seven feet, and has become a popular, and profitable crop, among American farmers. With a variety of useful applications, amaranth can be used as a breakfast cereal, a popcorn like snack and even added to soups and stews. Full of a Vitamin E styled nutrient, Amaranth may offer signfiicant health benefits in the lowering of cholesterol and improving skin tone and elasticity.

Quinoa, a second international grain, was considered a standard part of meals dating back many centuries. As a grain with the highest protein content, Quinoa is considered a perfect grain replacement for diabetics and individuals suffering from wheat and gluten related food allergies. With significant iron content, individuals low in iron, especially those suffering from anemia related conditions, will find Quinoa a quality staple addition to any dietary program. Additionally, vegetarians commonly use Quinoa as a common staple to the diet. Prepared similar to that of a rice product, quinoa can be used to compliment any poultry or fish dinner.

Teff, also considered to be a natural wheat alternative, is used in many third world or developing countries as a dietary cereal type of food. Easily mixed with water, Teff makes for a great porridge, consistent with that of oatmeal. Although minute in size, Teff is full of bran and is high in calcium content. As a result, Teff is commonly used to treat individuals who are malnourished or require additional supplements for bone health. As a gluten free product, Teff can be used by diebetics or for those who are allergic to gluten products and makes for a perfect warm cereal in cold weather.

As with any change in dietary programs, the implications upon the body may require several days or weeks to net the true affects. Initially, with the introduction of these grains, may individuals will experience a renewed sense of international flare with a flavorful explosion in the outcome of meal preparations. Following use after several weeks, however, these grains will provide the necessary dietary health so desperately needed in the American diets thereby providing an even greater advantage to the American consumer. For dietary suggestions in the use of Teff, Quinoa or Amaranth, visit

Labels: Amarath, Quioua, Teff: An Overview of Alternative Grains

Anti-Depressants Improve Dietary Restriction Compliance in PCOS Women

For women who live with PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome, there is a risk associated with development complications over the course of life when proper medical management is not pursued. For many women with PCOS, a diet that is healthy, coupled with exercise and medication management, will provide the best possible outcome.

If you are a woman living with PCOS, it is important to understand how best to manage your health complication through proper diet. For many women, PCOS is very closely associated with diabetes or other abnormal metabolic conditions that also must be well managed. In fact, most physicians, today, recommend consuming a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, such as that found in the Atkin’s diet program.

If you are considering a high protein and low carb diet, it is important, however, to remember that this type of dietary program can adversely affect your mood and disposition. Often, when women engage in a high protein and low carb diet, the effects of the diet lead to feelings of lethargy and many women fall into depression and feel very lethargic on this diet. To balance these complications, therefore, your physician may need to over prescription medications that serve to balance energy and depressive symptoms.

As a woman with PCOS, your diet is important and the high protein, low carb diet may offer the best options in terms of natural health. If you find that you feel depressed and lethargic, ask your physician about the use of B-vitamin supplements and, when appropriate, the use of anti-depressants as well. For many women, these medications are absolutely necessary to ensuring your ability to maintain the diet and, ultimately, improve your PCOS complications.

Another aspect of dietary management with PCOS lies in the great risk for non-compliance. Because the diet can make you feel lethargic and depressed, you may be inclined to not follow the diet as you should. By using anti-depressants and b-vitamin supplements as soon as you are diagnosed with PCOS, you will experience a greater rate of compliance with the dietary program.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a complex condition affecting millions of women. When symptoms are not managed effectively, PCOS can lead to abnormal health complications, including those associated with fertility and other gynecological complications. While there are many treatment options available, your best option lies in your diet and management of a low carb option. Maintaining this type of diet will also reduce your risk for developing other co morbid health complications such as diabetes but may, ultimately, lead to complications involving lethargy and depression. With proper medication management, your health can be well maintained with PCOS.

Labels: Anti-Depressants Improve Dietary Restriction Compliance in PCOS Women

5 Ways to Find Discount Volvo Parts

You have worked hard towards your goal of owning a Volvo, to you it’s not “just” a car, it’s a dream you have realized. However, you do not want to go into debt whenever a part needs to be replaced. What you do want is the best quality parts for the best possible price. Check out these tips to realize that dream too, with discount Volvo parts.

1- One of the most reliable places to get genuine Volvo parts at a discounted price is a salvage yard. This might not have been the first thought that came to mind when you discovered that you needed to replace a part. However, salvage yards deal with factory parts that are still working even if the original car is not. Most salvage yards operate on an “as is” basis, but they also depend on their reputation to stay in operation, they test parts before putting them up for sale. This is an excellent option if you are looking for something like a cooling fan or a windshield wiper motor.

2 – Searching the internet can yield excellent results when looking for discount Volvo parts. This is what most websites specialize in, quality parts for less. An added bonus of internet sites is that they can also offer reviews from previous buyers, installation instructions and forums that are filled with other enthusiasts who are more that willing to answer your questions.

3- A more hands on way to find the discounted parts that you need is by going to auctions. An auction, specifically a car auction, is a great way to find the parts you are looking for as well as a great way to get them for a good price. Another advantage to the auction is that you can physically handle the piece and talk to the seller to get an accurate history.

4 – A close cousin to the auction is the swap meet. At a swap meet, there will be a number of other Volvo owners. These owners are looking to get rid of certain parts and accessories, sometimes for money, sometimes in exchange for parts they may need. As with the auction, a swap meet allows you the luxury of speaking with the owner and holding the part.

5- The most obvious place is not likely to be a good source of discount parts, but it never hurts to check. The dealership will be able to get you the part you need, even if its at full price, if your other options fail to produce the part you need.

Labels: 5 Ways to Find Discount Volvo Parts

'America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag' by Sarah Palin - a Review

Sarah Palin’s “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag” is a love letter to the three things she seems to adore best; her family, God, and the United States of America (Alaska being an extra special place.)

“America by Heart” is written in a breezy, conversational style that is as likely to quote a song from Sesame Street as it is from de Tocqueville. This shows that Governor Palin has actually read a book or two (something her enemies, enraptured by the Tina Fey caricature, will never credit), but that also she draws inspiration from an eclectic variety of sources, which includes also the natural beauty of her beloved Alaska and her own life’s experiences.

The portrait of Sarah Palin that is revealed, as with “Going Rogue”, is of a woman who is not at all complicated or tormented by inner demons. Unlike certain people who have been Presidents she does not have parental abandonment issues, problems with drink or drugs, or daddy issues, or anything else that is supposed to make someone more interesting. Sarah Palin is a quire ordinary woman who just happens to be one of the most famous people on the planet, by stint of opportunity, luck, and no little ability on her part.

One is also struck, reading passages describing what Palin calls “pioneer feminism” or of the central place religious faith has in American life, with how obviously clear what she has to say is. One finds oneself, occasionally despite oneself, nodding in agreement while reading the book.

There is, of course, more than enough in “America by Heart” to annoy the left. The pioneer feminism concept is sure the enrage the folks at NOW, who wouldn’t be able to kill, gut, and cook a moose to save their own lives, but are quite capable of sitting around the faculty lounge whining about the “patriarchy.”

Here is another passage that I particularly enjoyed:

“When I was growing up, nothing demonstrated the American ethic of innovation, enterprise, and striving-the “strenuous life”-more than the American space program. I wasn’t even born yet when John F. Kennedy pledged in 1961 to land a man on the moon within the decade. But I have early memories of when that ambitious goal was accomplished in 1969.”

Sarah Palin goes on to admonish President Obama, whom she sees as lacking some of JFK’s more charming qualities, for his abandonment of a return to the Moon and the whole “mission to the Muslims” kerfuffle that roiled the blogosphere earlier this past summer. The passage comes at the end of a long meditation of the nature of striving, informed by Palin’s experience as a long distance runner. The passage has also caused a firestorm among a group I call “The Internet Rocketeer Club”, which eschews the idea of the heroic in space exploration and thus is very supportive of the Obama space policy.

It seems that Sarah Palin’s main talent is annoying people who deserve being annoyed and making them crazy. That is something that is rare and to be cherished. Ronald Reagan had it. George W. Bush had it in spades.

That quality alone will make a Sarah Palin presidency delicious to experience. She will certainly do no worse and likely very much better than the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Source: America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, Sarah Palin, Harper, 2010

Labels: 'America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag' by Sarah Palin - a Review

Antidepressants Helped Me when I Needed It

As a child I was known as sulky, sullen, and bratty; as a teenager, temperamental; as a young adult, hormonal and self-centered.

I often cried over nothing even when I was getting what I wanted and, even more often, had no idea what I did want. As soon as things appeared to go my way I usually panicked, anticipating the worst at any moment. My life was a long string of “what ifs.” What if one of my kids gets sick? What if my husband is killed in a freak accident? Every time someone was late getting where they were supposed to be, I came unglued.

In reality I was, and still am, depressed.

For most of my life I waged an un-medicated battle to control the dark clouds, panic attacks, and inability to function. I saw antidepressants as a crutch for the weak who couldn’t cope on their own. Now I realize that attitude is sometimes tantamount to telling a diabetic that he will be fine if he just eats right. Coping mechanisms help, but are not always the only solution.

The gift of admitting that I needed antidepressants came from my ex-fiancée. During a rough patch near the end of our relationship, I found myself in counseling once again – for probably the tenth time. After several sessions my counselor recommended that I speak with my primary caregiver about medication for my depression. After a short visit with my nurse-practitioner, I started taking Zoloft.

Far from spacing me out as I expected, the medication gave me a moment to take a deep breath and act rather than react to upsetting situations. The screeching fights between me and my significant other became calmer and I was able to rationally decide that the best way to save my self-esteem was to end a failing relationship while we were able to be, if not friends, at least not enemies.

Since that time I have continued taking medication for my depression with a couple of changes, mostly due to finances. Medication is not my only coping mechanism for dealing with depression, but it does still allow me to take a deep breath and avoid irrational reactions to stressors.

I still use the tried and true coping mechanisms, such as deep breathing exercises and forcing myself to face my fears. I also use humor to cope by defusing problems with laughter. Nevertheless I still need something to help by allowing me to act rather than react.

Labels: Antidepressants Helped Me when I Needed It

3 Things You Need to Know About Striped Bass Fishing

You don’t have to go to New England or even to Georgia’s Santee-Cooper in order to catch quality striped bass. These fish are anadromous which means that they were born in freshwater, usually go to saltwater to live, and then come back to freshwater to spawn. However, in the South , as well as other parts of the US, these fish sometimes never leave out to saltwater and therefore can be found in inland rivers and streams. Pound for pound, they are more aggressive than most other freshwater fish. However, in order to catch them, there are a few things that an angler needs to know.

First, they like for the water to be very cold. It is rare to find striped bass in warm waters since they can lose 6% or more of their body weight each hour in waters that are above 68°F. This means that, in the hot summer months, you will need to use deep-diving plugs and spoons in order to reach them. Conversely, in the cooler winter months, you will want to switch up and use shallow-diving and topwater lures in the shallows.

Striped bass are not in the same family as largemouth bass and therefore they have practically nothing in common with each other in terms of mannerisms, feeding habits, etc. Most notably, striped bass need long-flowing, turbulent waters to spawn. During this time, which is usually around the full moon in March for the Deep South, the male and female striped bass will spawn on top of the water. The fertilized eggs will then float downstream. During this time, based upon the warmth of the water, it can take 29 to 80 hours for the eggs to hatch. The warmer the water, the sooner the egg will hatch. Therefore, for this two week period of the year, striped bass will go into waters as warm as 72°F in order to give their spawn the best possible chances of survival. This makes hydroelectric dams a prime spot to fish.

Finally, being that they are anadromus, they will not behave as a largemouth bass in how they hunt or in how they fight. Stripers are more of an open water fish that will travel great distances and rarely rely upon structure for ambushing prey. This means that running here and there trying to get a bite will not work on stripers like it does with largemouth. Because of their aggressiveness, this also meand you will need heavier tackle and larger baits. Typically, most striper anglers will use around 14# to 17# test line and fish with plugs that are well over six inches.

Stripers are tons of fun, fierce fighters, and highly addictive to catch. Few anglers still know much about them. However, if you will follow these three key guidelines, your chances will be greatly improved to hook into the fight of your life your next fishing trip.

Labels: 3 Things You Need to Know About Striped Bass Fishing

A Different Point of View

The news media will regularly present views from Democratic (liberal), Republican (neo-conservative), and independent (moderate) perspectives. However, I rarely, if ever, see my point of view represented in the mainstream media.

Let me begin to sum up my politics by saying that I believe our most fundamental right as human beings is the right to not be bothered if we don’t want to be. Supreme Justice Louis D. Brandeis got it right when he said, “The makers of the Constitution conferred the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by all civilized men — the right to be left alone.”

I am somewhere in between a Goldwater Republican and a libertarian. I do not go along with the agenda of the neo-cons who currently control the Republican Party nor do I completely adhere to the Libertarian Party line. In fact, people often become exasperated with me because of my stubborn refusal to genuflect to any of today’s standard ideologies.

I believe in small government whose only functions are to do for us what we cannot logically do for ourselves as individuals. I don’t believe in a “nanny state” that tells adults they must wear seat belts or motorcycle helmets.

I believe we should fight wars only when our national security is directly threatened and only after all other means of resolution have been exhausted. I believe in pre-emptive strikes in certain cases, but never pre-emptive wars. When we do have to go to war, I believe we should use a take-no-prisoners approach, with the ultimate goal of vaporizing our enemies. I don’t believe a military draft should ever be imposed. I do not believe in nation building.

I believe in legal immigration and would increase the quotas for most countries if I could, but I think illegal immigrants should be treated like the criminals they really are — not given special rights or handouts.

I do not believe in attempting to legislate morality (or immorality). I believe people should be allowed to do what they want, as long as their actions do not adversely affect or directly threaten someone else. Just because something is vile is not alone enough to make it illegal. I do not believe in policing thoughts, i.e., if someone is reading, hearing, or watching something that might cause them to think negative thoughts, it’s none of my concern.

At the same time, I believe in accepting personal responsibility for one’s own choices and that each individual must bear the natural consequences for his or her actions, e.g., don’t say you didn’t know smoking causes lung cancer and don’t blame the government when you get HIV due to your promiscuous, careless, and/or perverted behavior. I believe tobacco, alcohol, and pot are equally bad for a person’s health, but should be equally unrestricted.

I believe the rights of speech and expression, no matter how offensive or inciting, should be completely unabridged except for direct, explicit threats or speech that directly endangers others, e.g., yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. I believe implied threats should be protected speech for the simple fact the implication could easily be misunderstood. I don’t believe so-called “hate speech” by one person should be blamed for a violent act committed by another.

I don’t believe pornography, indecency, or violence in the media should be blamed either. If given the chance, most convicts will blame anything, everything, and everyone but themselves for their own actions. That’s human nature, so I don’t put much credence in studies that say outside forces like that cause people to rob, rape, or murder.

I believe abortion, except in cases of rape, non-consensual incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life or health, is murder.

I believe it’s proper to use the death penalty against those who are beyond any doubt guilty of certain types of murder. However, I believe it should be applied fairly and consistently. If not, then it should not be used at all.

I believe punishment for those who deliberately harm others and/or their property should be swift and sure, but not excessive. Punishment should never include torture or humiliation and should be applied by the penal system, not other prisoners. Inmates should not be allowed to set up a “pecking order” or have any control over the conditions at a prison or jail. The prison administration should rule with an iron fist and enforce a zero tolerance policy toward aggressive behavior.

No inmate should ever, under any condition, be left unsupervised with one or more other inmates. Any inmate harmed by another inmate should be allowed to sue those responsible for security at the facility in which he or she is detained. No arrestee or inmate should ever be subjected to a strip search unless probable cause can be established that he or she is carrying contraband on their person and is refusing to voluntarily hand it over.

I believe in absolute property rights. People should be allowed to do whatever they want on their own property, regardless of zoning laws, as long as they are not creating a hazard for anyone else. Ugly paint colors or structures do not constitute hazards. The government should not be allowed to forcibly take all or part of someone’s property.

I believe anyone who is mentally sound and has never been convicted of a violent crime should be allowed to own any kind of firearm he or she wants.

I believe in capitalism in its purist form. I believe the republican (little ‘r’) form of government, which the United States has, is a much better form of government than a democracy. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule in which the good of the majority always trumps the rights of the minority. I believe in a colorblind society in which everyone is given equal access and opportunity without discrimination or special favors.

I believe in separation of church and state, but I’m not an extremist about it. I see no reason why the government can’t play favorites with the majority religion (in our case, Christianity) when it comes to open displays, as long as those who practice other religions are free to do so without encumbrance. If someone is offended by the open display of the majority religion in our country, then they are free to leave anytime they want.

I believe no one has the right not to be offended by another person’s speech, religion, dress, etc. Being offended once in a while is the price we have to pay for living in a free and open society — a small price indeed!

Labels: A Different Point of View

5 Easy Ways to Block Pop-Ups

In today’s busy technological age, advertisers keep trying to find new ways to grab attentions toward their products. Basic banner ads are still used a lot, but common web surfers tend to overlook these nowadays. Because of this, intrusive advertising, such as pop-ups, are now being used, so that you have to acknowledge them. No matter what the nature of the advertisement is, pop-ups can tend to become a nuisance. Fortunately, there are now several ways to keep them away from your computer screen altogether.

1. Service Pack 2 for Windows XP

The recent release of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has brought about some big changes to its operating system, the most noticeable being the added pop-up blocker for Internet Explorer. The pop-up blocker can be found within the web browser and can be customized per your personal wishes. With the personal preferences tab, pop-ups can be either allowed or blocked, and the user will even be alerted when a pop-up has successfully been blocked by the web browser.

2. Alternative Web Browsers

If you have another web browser other than Internet Explorer, they usually have an added pop-up blocker feature, as well. The Mozilla Firefox browser, for example, is highly acclaimed and has gained a lot of popularity nowadays as a substitute for Internet Explorer. With Mozilla Firefox, an effective pop-up blocker is available, along with tabbed browsing and other special features that may not be found on other web browsers.

3. Web Browser Tool Bars

With Internet Explorer, websites have increasingly begun to provide downloadable toolbars, which come with one-of-a-kind features meant to enhance a user’s experience in web browsing through various ways, including a pop-up blocker. These toolbars can be installed fairly easy and very quickly; the only hard part would be reading the fine print in all of the license agreements. These toolbars are very effective in blocking pop-ups, however they may also be taking information regarding your web surfing habits. If you think toolbars are ideal for you, trust only those with a good reputation and ensure that you read all of the fine print.

4. Software on Pop-Up Blocking

Individual pop-up blocking software can be found practically everywhere on the market. These come with various interfaces, and the prices range can be either free or high. Picking the ideal one is quite arduous, though. However, a lot of these programs that need payment come with a free trial download at first, so you can get a feel of whether this program is perfect for you before you commit.

5. Internet Access Software

A couple of internet service providers (ISPs) come with pop-up blockers along with software that they give their internet subscribers. Adding this feature with the ISPs basic software makes things much easier for subscribers, so they no longer have to look for one elsewhere.

Pop-ups simply cannot be avoided on the internet, but this does not mean that you have to live with them. These are only five basic solutions to the problem, but there are hundreds of solutions available to get rid of the clutter of pop-up advertisements, giving you the chance to enjoy only the content that you personally wish to see.

Labels: 5 Easy Ways to Block Pop-Ups

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