Oct 31, 2012

Rats Invade Streets of New York After Sandy Storm Damage

COMMENTARY | As if New York residents weren't facing enough trouble with the massive storm damage from Hurricane Sandy. According to National Geographic Daily News, the city is now besieged by droves of rats looking for food and possibly hoping to re-establish themselves on drier ground. The news is enough to make most of the rest of us cringe but it should come as no surprise. Rats have adapted to live around humans over thousands of years. They do well by how we live and conditions created by the storm have emboldened these amazingly survivable creatures. 

It appears the rats were flooded out by the torrential rain from the super-storm which hit the East Coast over the last few days. Under normal conditions, rats can actually burrow deeper in the soil than water can seep. But, in addition to the flooding of their usual habitat, the tempting lure of trash strewn all about the city, which the rats consider a food source, has lured the hungry creatures out into broad daylight. New Yorkers can expect to see rats by the thousands until they're able to return to their usual habitat. City workers and residents certainly have their hands full in re-building their lives. 

During the rainfall, rats reportedly escaped the subways in the same manner as humans would exit - the stairs. Many sought shelter behind garbage bins and under parked cars until the storm let up. Now, a veritable smorgasbord has come to their feet. A major concern for New Yorkers now is the obvious risk of disease with thousands of rats roaming the streets. 

While the residents of the East Coast - especially New York City and New Jersey - those of us in the rest of the US need not sit by idly, feeling helpless. The Lookout offers a list of charities through which donors can help with donations towards hurricane relief. 

We can give more than just money too. Churches, groups and clubs can also contribute donations of food, clothing, blankets and other basic necessities. Additional items readers might consider donating are batteries, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, diapers, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and even toys. Pretty much anything which those of us fortunate enough to not live in the Northeast take for granted every day could help the people of the New York City and New Jersey.

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Oct 28, 2012

How to win over stray kittens

Any animal lover will occasionally encounter stray kittens and sometimes – either to get them spayed/neutered or just to adopt them as pets – it might become necessary to gain their trust and win them over. While it can be complicated, even difficult, it is do-able. The greatest tool we humans have is food. In the animal world, food is love. It should be noted, only try this with weaned kittens. Never approach nursing kittens of a feral cat.

The biggest obstacle is, of course, momma cat. Domesticated cats are protective of their young as it is - to the point they will even attack people they're accustomed to over their young. A feral cat will try to kill you if you get too close to their offspring. This is no laughing matter since a stray cat in defense mode truly is a deadly force. In order to even have a chance to approach wild kittens, you must first win over the mother cat. It will take weeks of regular feeding and gentleness to win over a stray cat. If you're lucky enough to have a cat see you protect it from a barking dog or a scary toddler, this will earn you fast points. Cats remember these small things.

If you're not successful in winning over the momma cat, you might want to consider asking for help in trapping them from the local humane society, which will probably also include having the cat spayed and then released. Be prepared to pay a fee for their services, still, they're reasonable.

If you've any sort of rapport with momma cat, half of the battle is already won. Now it becomes a matter of getting the mother to allow her kittens to eat, at least for short intervals. In our case where I live, we have a particularly gluttonous momma cat who seems to think she needed every single crumb of food before the kittens – now fully weaned – had even a chance at getting a bite. The solution is easy enough.

Since momma cat cannot be in two places at once, we would leave multiple piles of cat food so that the mother could eat to her piggish little heart's content and the kittens would have at least some access to some of the food too. They saw that we were the providers of their kibble. And out-smarting momma cat also allowed the little ones to become accustomed to our scent. Sometimes, it took three or four small piles of cat food for the kittens to get so much as a bite. But soon, she realized that she was getting enough herself, even though the young ones were also eating too. This effort might take a few days to accomplish.

But some cats are just pigs. No matter what approach you take, they will not let their young eat. In those cases, you'll need to physically separate the momma cat from the kittens before they have any opportunity to get even a single bite. Sometimes, you might consider letting momma cat into your house and closing the door. It's probably better though, if you have a garage she can be closed into for a few minutes while the kittens eat. After they've eaten their fill and after you've taken small steps to let them become accustomed to your scent and presence, let the momma cat back out so she knows her babies are safe. As obnoxious as a cat can be, she still deserves as much, at least. They are her young, after all.

In addition to feeding them, you'll also need to let the kittens see that you're no threat to them. If you sit outside while they eat, make no sudden moves toward them. It probably won't hurt if you were to soothe their over-inflated cat egos with soothing talk from a distance. Once they've discovered you're not going to eat them and that you'll probably protect them should they need you, you can begin feeding them gradually closer to your door each day. It's just a matter of time before their curiosity has them eating out of your hands, literally.

To see pictures of our stray momma cat the big pig, visit here.

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Oct 24, 2012

Why most people can't be the boss or work for themselves

Years back, I was told a story explaining why most people can't handle being the boss or working for themselves. In fact, when most people assume the boss has an easier job, they don't really know what they're saying and are just whining. I hope you enjoy it:

There was once a potato farmer who had a small crew of workers on his farm. Most of them did a decent job and earned their pay, farming being so much work and all. One day, the farmer took on a new hand who said he desperately needed work.

For the first month, the new hand was amazing. He did the work of any two hands. Although the other hands resented him somewhat, the old farmer just loved him. He secretly wished he had ten men just like him. But the resentment from the other hands grew to being a problem.

Well, the farmer didn't want to let such a good worker go. He decided to simply put this excellent worker into a new, easier job, to reward his good work ethic.

The farmer told the hand, “I have a new job for you. It's much easier.” The hand was happy to hear it as the farmer continued, “All I need you to do is work here in the barn sorting potatoes as they come in. You decide whether they're small, medium or large and separate them into the appropriate bin.”

The worker seemed happy for the new opportunity and set right away to work. The farmer was pleased to do right by such a good worker.

But within the first couple of hours, the hand stormed out of the barn yelling, “I QUIT! DECISIONS! DECISIONS! DECISIONS!”

And that's why most people can't stand being the boss. Decisions.

Have a wonderful day.

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Oct 23, 2012

Discover the three-word secret to more money!

Millions of people every day turn to the Interwebz thingies looking for an additional source of income. The action usually follows along this line: Jane needs an extra $300 a month to “make ends meet,” to make sure she runs out of month before she runs out of money. So, in addition to her regular job, she does an online search for income opportunities.

She finds literally hundreds and hundreds of offers with a simple search of terms like “make extra money” or “work from home.” They promise her the moon and the stars, all with just an investment of $49. After looking at a few, and knowing she truly needs a financial break, she commits herself to doing without a few simpler pleasures one month in order to invest her funds and takes the plunge.

Often, the purchase she made is into some sort of network marketing or multi-level-marketing type of opportunity, where the “plan” seems to be to sell some over-priced product of average quality, at a ridiculously low profit margin and to find hundreds of others to do the same. Maybe she even goes so far as to even commit to some impossible-to-cancel monthly auto-ship program in order to keep herself at an optimal percentage bracket.

At this point, the reality sets in for Jane. She hits up her friends and family to get some orders (and out of love for her, a few do place an order). Perhaps she even has the guts to talk to a few strangers. If she's rare, she might even go so far as to have some business cards printed up and hands them out to a few dozen strangers, in an effort to drum up some business.

What often happens for so many of these Janes is, at the very best, perhaps they make a $100 check for their investment of $350 altogether (counting all expenses like their own purchases of products, business cards, gas going to and fro, “business lunches,” etc.,). It seems like all she needs to do is keep trying. Most don't even end up doing this good.

But, after a few months, she finally realizes the plan she was offered on the company's website isn't what she's experiencing. She starts noticing the very same product she's trying to market for $50 is available at the local Wal-Mart for $20. Sometimes it's at the local dollar store.If she's fortunate to have good, caring friends, they point it out to her, hoping she'll drop the company like a hot potato and quit wasting her time. The smarter Janes of the world, do. Jane is crushed. Jane realizes her product is over-priced and she can't compete.

Jane also realizes the profit margin on her product is ridiculously low. Wal-Mart usually runs a minimum of 30 percent profit margin. So, if they're making 30 percent minimum on a $20 item, why is she only earning 5 to 25 percent of a $50 item? Then it hits her: The company she's working with is full of crap. They designed their marketing plan, not as a way for her to profit, but for them. While they assured her in conference call after conference call of their “commitment to her success,” all they're really interested in is their success.

She also then comes to learn how many thousands of others just like her have been promised those same moon and stars as she was. It's then that Jane sees that the real plan for the company is to get as many suckers to order their product - at a huge mark-up - as possible. Jane is crushed emotionally. And she's not the first.

All that passion, all that energy, all that work, all that money invested and here she is now, worse off than before. It seems the “Great American Dream” is dead. But it's not. Jane just fell victim to a bullshit line. She's no different than the rest of us who've been burned. She's not a “failure” at all. She just learned a valuable lesson. If Jane's a fighter, she'll come to realize a wonderful secret to making the kind of money she needs and having the kind of life she wants.

It's three little words and it's my hope that some Jane out there has kept reading this far. Here's the secret, free of charge to you, my dear readers, after having spent so much of myself to learn it for my own life: Find your passion!

All that work, energy, blood, sweat and tears selling someone else's dream enriches them. If you're going to put so much hard work, late hours and money into anyone's dream, let it be your own. This way, you're in control of prices, special deals, the rules and how you go about building the business, whatever type of business it is.

I once worked with a company (I won't say their name but their initials are A-M-W-A-Y) who had a crappy little rule that said you weren't allowed to market your product off of store shelves. So, there went any chance to build up volume bonuses intelligently. You also weren't allowed to order products in large quantity containers, such as 55-gallon drums, so there went another opportunity for me to market one particular product of theirs to friends who worked in the various oilfield industries.

Other companies I've tried working with had similar rules in place which kept their profit margins ridiculously high, while stifling every creative approach I tried for, myself. It was almost as if they didn't want me to find any real success! I've since learned this wasn't just my perception. If they limit any one individual's success, they keep more chumps on the line.

Working for yourself, on your own, personal, passionate plan also keeps anyone else from screwing you over on commissions. The closer you are to the hard, nitty-gritty details of your business operations, the more control you enjoy overall, and the less chance there is another person can find some bogus reason to not pay you what you've earned.

It doesn't matter what your passion is. Figure out how to turn what you have an interest in and go for making it profitable. As you grow your business, you'll learn all the finer details. Just start living your own life now - and not that of someone else. Otherwise, you may very well just be better off sticking with a regular 9-to-5. The world needs factory workers too. So there's no shame in it.

If you want to succeed on a long-term, real-world basis, find your own passion! Sell YOUR DREAM, not someone else's. Find what YOU love doing and do it. It's really that simple. It might actually be more work, harder stress (in some situations) and even longer hours. But, being your own baby, it's more of an act of love than a struggle. Why put all of that effort into continuously enriching someone “over you?” It's not foolish to benefit those who deal with you (In fact, I highly recommend you always strive for the mutual-win scenario in all arrangements) But to spend your days achieving someone else's dream, is. Find your passion. Sell your own dream.

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Oct 22, 2012

Getting ready for some new jalapeno plants

I'm preparing to grow at least one nice jalapeno pepper plant. While folks in other parts of the country with colder climates might have to wait for Spring, this is Cajun country. Nearly everything can grow year 'round down here. Heck, last Christmas I was in a t-shirt, shorts and barefoot all day long.

To get the seeds, I'm drying three selected peppers (pictured here) to get the seeds. Some folks just save a few seeds from their preparing jalapenos. But I want my seeds to get all the nutrition they can from the fruit within which they developed. The more mature the seeds, the better chance at a successful germination, anyway.

Each pepper makes as many as hundreds of seeds apiece, so I'm certain I'll have enough to work with for myself, and plenty to share with friends too. I'm even considering starting a few seedlings as gifts. Jiffy pots and soil are fairly cheap and I'm going to have WAY more than I need. It seems a shame to waste them all. If nobody accepts them, I'll drop them in a nearby creek and who knows, perhaps a few will sprout wild somewhere downstream. But I'm pretty sure someone around here will want them. They might even sell for a buck a seedling down at the local farmer's market.

Anyway, after the peppers dry, I'll pull the seeds out then, rather than taking the seeds out while the jalapenos are still fresh. Dry seeds are so much easier to work with, as opposed to drying the seeds themselves. Just as soon as the peppers dry, I'll be back with an update on the steps for a good planting. Thanks for dropping in!

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So, let me tell you a little about kratom

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a leaf harvested from a large tree native to Southeast Asia. It is in the same family as the coffee tree. Although using kratom has been common throughout its native range of Southeast Asia, this amazing plant has remained virtually unknown outside of that area until the last few years. In Southeast Asia, natives chew the leaves fresh after removing the stems and veins. But users in other parts of the world are discovering the benefits of the dried or powdered leaves as well. Harvesters and farmers of this wonderful plant work under special guidelines and licenses of their respective governments. 

Kratom offers a distinctly pleasant relaxation experience without any of the usual intoxicating effects of other plant substances such as marijuana, which also carries the unfortunate risk of being illegal at this time. Some people also use kratom for its amazing pain management attributes.

Small doses of kratom are known to have a simultaneously stimulating effect as well as relieving anxiety and depression. Larger doses of kratom can have a sedating effect. Some users say that not only does a larger dose of kratom help them go to sleep, it's also said to give the user pleasant dreams – sometimes achieving the lucid dream state. While smaller doses of kratom make physical labor easier, even after a long day already filled with hard work. Taken later in the day can keep the user awake.

When using kratom, as with any substance the user is unfamiliar with, it's not wise to operate a motor vehicle or operate machinery, at least until the user becomes familiar with the dosage amounts for the desired effect.

Kratom is being investigated by researchers for its supportive role in treating opiate addicts and alcoholics finding it difficult to be clean and sober. The most desirable quality of this wonderful substance is how it seems to relieve the addict of withdrawal symptoms without creating a new dependency itself. Long-term users might experience a craving similar to the yearning a coffee-drinker might experience, were they to miss their morning cup. This yearning might last only a day or two, even for heavier users – and is far more preferable to the withdrawal symptoms of an opiate or alcohol addiction.

How do you take kratom? Most people simply take it in two capsules of 500 milligrams each, per dose. If it's in a crushed leaf or powdered form, some might prefer to make a tea by bringing a mug of water to a very low boil and steeping the powder or crushed leaves for 20 to 25 minutes and then straining the tea out through a coffee filter, along with some honey for flavor. The taste of this tea is very “grassy” and some might find it unpleasant. Others do not and rather enjoy it.

Those who neither have capsules nor like the flavor of tea find it's easily ingested by being stirred into applesauce or a serving of tomato juice or V8. Beginners might want to stick with one or two grams at a time until they're familiar with the blissful effects. Kratom, again, will NOT get users “high.” So, if this is your intent, be aware, you're simply throwing your money away. At most, its effects are similar to a strong chamomile tea.

More detailed information on kratom, along with pricing and shipping information (Perhaps the best prices and service to be found, in fact) is available through this link. If you like, feel free to browse around the site and see what is available there. The admin of the site is responsive to questions from interested parties.

The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, nor has the FDA authorized kratom for use to treat any illness or condition. All statements made are based on the experiences of the author as well as other contributors. Anyone considering using kratom is  advised to check with their healthcare provider first. Readers bear responsibility for knowing whether kratom is legal where they live, or not. This posting is sponsored.

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Oct 21, 2012

Want to have some fun? Try a game of Uprising Empires! They'll even tutor you on how to play!

Need a little fun and pizazz in your online life? Are you ever going to love this game! It's called
UprisingEmpires” and not only is it free to play, the brilliant minds behind the game (Targa Limited, NOT Zynga!) will help you learn how to play it with a quick 10-step tutorial! UprisingEmpires is one of the fastest-growing games on the interwebs thingies for a reason: It's a whole lotta fun!

The theme behind the game is you're leading a small, ancient Roman village. You ensure your village has the resources needed to survive,of course. But the REAL FUN begins when you go up against other villages in raids to win resources, treasure and prisoners in combat. All in good fun.

Players from all English-speaking countries are welcome to join in on the fun and your computer will not be bogged down from playing (unlike other companies which shall remain nameless here, unless you look up a paragraph or so.). As mentioned before, there is no fee to join and play UprisingEmpires.

Registration is quick, easy and you can even register via your Facebook profile with just one click. There's no download required to play UprisingEmpires. And you'll have plenty of other players to go up against for fun!

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Oct 2, 2012

Finally! Debunking the Building 7 Claims of 9 – 11 Conspiracy Theorists ~ Evidence!

I'm touching on a topic I don't want to. I'm talking to the thousands of remaining “conspiracy theorists” who think they believe the attacks of 9-11 to be an “inside job.” Yes, dear future grandchildren, there were those who thought we did the 9-11 attacks to ourselves, in order to give the current U.S. government more power on a federal level.

(Well, in some ways, it did, just not for the reasons so many thought. So many people chased down the wrong rabbit hole.)

Anyways. The biggest claim yet remaining among most 9-11 conspiracy adherents has been and up until now, remained the hardest question to satisfy. The claim has been that burning debris from both buildings 1 and 2 set it on fire. After burning for hours the main support column finally gave way and the building came down.

Most followers of these nearly-popular “theories” Is a view from approximately North by Northwest of the Northwest corner of the building, and upon it, stake most claims. How many have ever seen the South side of the building? Have you seen images of the burning smoke on the South side? Can you imagine the heat, the intensity and the destruction from a mostly synthetics and petroleum products fire burning so long?

Does this Southern view look "unscathed" to you? Didn't think so. Now,  please shut up.

Steel doesn't need to be melted to lose its temper. Those carbon atoms can be lost with only sufficient heat. And it certainly doesn't need to be the entirety of the steel either. The World Trade Center buildings were not built as if they were old-style buildings. Engineers were trying something new. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to guess the engineers just never considered such a scenario.

Anyhoo. For those not satisfied with the public domain image from Wikipedia (Here's the link foryourself) then please, watch the video below to see the reason building 7 fell. Finally, some evidence to relieve the concerns of the more reasonable, rational folks who follow the 9-11 conspiracy theory crowd. The only hangers-on at this point will be those unwilling or unable to accept hard facts, or those with a book, t-shirt or video to sell you.

If the video isn't loading, or in case anyone wants to see the link on the Daily Mail from which I obtained the video, please visit here. (Hit the "x" in the upper-right-hand corner after 5 seconds to see the article.)

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