30. August 2012 · Comments Off on Dealing With Aggressive Blackbirds · Categories: Nature · Tags: , ,

The Carib Grackle is a member of the Oriole family and is commonly known as simply a “Blackbird”. It is also called the Lesser Antillean Grackle, while its Latin Name is Quiscalus lugubris. It is a glossy black bird with a long slender curved black bill. The iris of the eye is yellowish white and the tail is long and keel shaped (“V” shaped). Females are slightly larger and less glossy while juveniles are dull brown with dark brown eyes. The size of the adult is between 28-34 cm (11-13 in) and the weight is between 74-142 g (2.61-5.01 ounces). This grackle is found throughout the islands of the Lesser Antilles, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil. It is closely related to, but smaller than, the Greater Antillean Grackle (Quiscalus niger) that is found on the islands of the Greater Antilles. It is similar in appearance to the male Shiny Cowbird with the difference being the shape of the bill and the colour of the iris.

The Carib Grackle is common resident of all the countries in its range and is generally observed in groups. It is a noisy bold bird that spends a large amount of time strutting on the ground with its head held high. It is almost omnivorous eating fruits, insects, seeds, frogs, lizards, snails and discarded human food such as bread, beans, french fries and meat. The combination of its boldness and eating habits has resulted in this bird being very common around human habitation and is seen in household gardens, parks, open-air restaurants, shopping mall parking lots etc.

This frequency around humans sometimes results in problems for people. These birds nest in trees, thick shrubbery such as ixora and ledges of houses and their nesting period is from May to November with the heaviest nesting in June and July. The Carib Grackle is a very aggressive bird when nesting and will attack anything, including humans that it believes is too near the nest. Groups of Grackles will band together to attack and fearlessly swoop at the head. They will repeatedly attack until they drive the intruder away and with each successive swoop will get closer and closer to the head. In attacking they use their claws and beak. In some cases they have literally prevented individuals from using their gardens during the nesting period or forced homeowners to run anytime that they venture out of their house.

The solution to the problem is the removal of the nest. Whenever a homeowner sees large quantities of these Grackles gathering in the vicinity of their home during the nesting period, they should immediately begin looking for the location of the nest(s). It should be removed before the birds have an opportunity to lay their eggs. If the nest is removed the birds will move to another location to lay their eggs (hopefully away from the home), eliminating the problem for the homeowner. It may be necessary to remove the nest a second time as they may immediately return to the same spot to rebuild the nest. Be forewarned that any attempt at nest removal will cause these birds to attack even harder. The homeowner should therefore wear head protection such as a construction hard hat, safety goggles for the eyes and long sleeved shirts.

28. August 2012 · Comments Off on Do Forex Indicators Really Help Professional Currency Traders Make Millions Utilizing Them? · Categories: Finance · Tags: , ,

In fact, a big bank failing once a week or so would suit them just fine. Why, because the Forex indicators where so easy to read and consistent once a currency made a trend line turn the traders had some of there best weeks ever. Where as, the stock traders for the most part suffered substantial losses.

The financial disaster reminded me of my brother and hurricanes. He is a painting contractor in the state of Florida and every time a hurricane comes through the state he makes millions. If you sit and observe him watching TV you will find him rooting for a hurricane just like somebody watching a football game. He will start yelling, “no don’t go to Louisiana, they have already had enough this year, can’t we just get one big one in Florida?” One mans tragedy is another mans blessing, as the saying goes. And thanks to the financial catastrophe in America there are many FX traders on the way to the Bahamas for a vacation or maybe permanently, who knows? But, we surely one happy bunch!

Now that you know the institutions and private investors participating in the Forex markets did real well due to the mess in the US, I am sure your wondering, exactly how did they do it? A Forex indicator can come from so many different sources; in fact you are bombarded with them every time you watch the news on television or read the newspaper. You just have to be aware of them and know how to use them. The dollar after the news coverage of a specific event was like a bouncing rubber ball offering huge profit potential if you knew how to take advantage of it. One of the most important Forex indicators actually come in the form of reports from governments world wide, interviews with public officials and leaks by those same officials when they don’t want their name associated with a story.

After you receive a Forex indicator from reputable news source the next step in the process is fairly simple. Do exactly what the professionals do, which is look for a signal from their software that the currency relating to the news coverage has been received and you are ready to make a move. If you are a conservative trader you might want to check and determine if the trend line on that currency has also moved. If you receive all three of these indicators and they are all consistent with each other then this represents a HUGE buying opportunity and it is time to be in the market. Exactly how many of these do you need to make substantial sums of money, don’t bother I will tell you, NOT TOO MANY! If you keep it simple and follow your Forex indicators and don’t get greedy thinking you know everything you are on your way to financial freedom all of want.

21. August 2012 · Comments Off on The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – A Book Review · Categories: Book Reviews · Tags: , ,

The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by John Steinbeck that exposes the desperate conditions under which the migratory farm families of America during the 1930’s live under. The novel tells of one families migration west to California through the great economic depression of the 1930’s. The Joad family had to abandon their home and their livelihoods. They had to uproot and set adrift because tractors were rapidly industrializing their farms. The bank took possession of their land because the owners could not pay off their loan. The novel shows how the Joad family deals with moving to California. How they survive the cruelty of the land owners that take advantage of them, their poverty and willingness to work.

The Grapes of Wrath combines Steinbeck adoration of the land, his simple hatred of corruption resulting from materialism (money) and his abiding faith in the common people to overcome the hostile environment. The novel opens with a retaining picture of nature on rampage. The novel shows the men and women that are unbroken by nature. The theme is one of man verses a hostile environment. His body destroyed but his spirit is not broken. The method used to develop the theme of the novel is through the use of symbolism. There are several uses of symbols in the novel from the turtle at the beginning to the rain at the end. As each symbol is presented through the novel they show examples of the good and the bad things that exist within the novel.

Throughout the novel there are several symbols used to develop the theme man verses a hostile environment. Each symbol used in the novel show examples of both extremes. Some represent man, that struggles against the environment, others paint a clear picture of the feelings of the migrants. As each symbol is presented chronologically through the novel, they come together at the end to paint a clear picture of the conditions, treatment and feelings the people (migrants) as they make there journey through the novel to the West.
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21. August 2012 · Comments Off on Practical Green Cleaning Tips · Categories: Home Improvement · Tags: , ,

Most families, particularly the mothers constantly aim to improve the lives of their family and one is by maintaining a clean healthy home and typically, a number of options at the supermarket seem to help them with this.

Statistics indicate that an average American household has more than a hundred of chemical cleaning products somewhere under the sink, the laundry room, the garage, the shower or basement.

Recent studies have shown though that there can be a lot of other effects that these product can bring aside from tidying up our homes. Some of these items has pushed consumer groups to check its substances and see how harmful they are to the environment. Now, with alternative and natural cleaning products, we can say that we don’t need to destroy the environment just for a healthy home.

There are a lot of alternatives for cleaning aside from toxic chemicals. You may want to consider the following items and suggestions in cleaning your homes instead of the regular cleaners from stores. These items are inexpensive and some of them might already be in your kitchen to bathroom after all. Use by itself or in a recipe with other basic ingredients as well, these cleaners are as effective, they are cheap and safe.

BAKING SODA or called sodium bicarbonate is an all-purpose, gentle non-toxic cleaner. Its effects on fabrics is on cleaning, deodorizing, removing stains and softening.

BORAX or sodium borate is a natural mineral possesses qualities that can kill molds and bacteria. As an effective alternative to bleach, it deodorizes, boosts the cleansing power of soap and detergents and removes stains.

Note that borax should be out of the reach of children and when you use it, it should be well diluted and not concentrated. It is advised that you use latex gloves.

CASTILE and VEGETABLE OIL BASED SOAPS cleans virtually almost everything. CORNSTARCH can be used for clothes, absorbs oil and grease on fabrics.

LEMON JUICE can cut through grease and removes other stains from clothing and also perspiration. It is the preferred alternative to bleach.

SALT is a mild abrasive for rough surfaces.

VINEGAR can cut grease, removes stains and is an efficient water softener. WASHING SODA cleans clothes, cuts grease, softens water, and disinfects. It also increases the cleaning properties of detergents and soaps.

You can buy the cleaners in advance and in bulk to save time and money. In economics, this means that you are earning savings because it is more cost efficient as it avoids excessive packaging compared to smaller items.

Put a label on all of your ingredients and recipes and remember that you keep them out of reach of children. While these are definitely not toxic compared to chemical cleaners, they may still do harm to children whose immune systems are not fully developed. As an additional tip, you can add essential or fragrance oils for a better smelling cleaner to these recipes. Choice of fragrance is dependent on user since you can use almost anything.

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21. August 2012 · Comments Off on Notes from the Couch – Are You Living the Life You Were Meant to Live? · Categories: Self Improvement · Tags: , ,

Several years ago, I created the acronym Live, Dream and Thrive to capture the essence of my convictions as a clinical psychologist. I have revisited this acronym with renewed enthusiasm in recent weeks in preparation for my role as leader of the annual sisterhood retreat at the KKBE synagogue in downtown Charleston. This column is to be the first in a series of three, where the intricacies of my Live, Dream and Thrive motto will be explored beginning with the first step-“live”.

What does it mean to you to thoroughly and lavishly “live” rather than to merely exist? Does it mean to fit into your skinny jeans or satisfy your lustful craving for carbohydrates with a decadent slice of coconut cake at Penninsula Grill? Is it a perfect swing under sunny skies on the rolling greens or a stroll through the aisles at Costco munching on free samples? Is it a miraculous age erasing facial moisturizer, the fastest car, or the largest house on the block? Is it a spectacular sunset or a summer thunderstorm? Is it when your spouse remembers to wipe around the bathroom sink after washing or when the kids finally leave the nest? Is it a sweaty hour on the yoga mat or a safari adventure? Only you know what it means to “live”. Personally, I feel most alive stepping onto foreign soil- the more remote, exotic and tropical the locale the more alive I feel.

The question of the day is this: are you “living” the life you were meant to live, or are you merely living? In a prior column I discussed the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic forces live deep within us and have a powerful impact on the quality of our lives. Extrinsic forces consume much of our time and energy but their influence on our lives is often superficial and fleeting. The intrinsic forces are the instincts and passions that define us and make us special and unique, but often remain tragically untapped for an entire lifetime. The extrinsic forces are the entities outside the realm of the self (materialism, possessions, social status) that too often guide human behavior. It is impossible to “live” authentically without a good, solid grasp on the intrinsic forces that live deep within the soul.

My acronym “live” stands for “Listen” to the answers within, “Identify” areas where energy is blocked, “Visualize” the life you want to live, and “Eliminate” mental noise and chaos. The answers exist within all of us, and we hold the key to their infinite wisdom. It is important to have faith, believe in your intuitive power and listen to your inner voice. Before solving a problem, you must admit that a problem in fact exists; before restoring a sense of internal balance you must sense the imbalance. Blocked energy is either untapped energy or energy flowing in the wrong direction, as in the case of the soccer mom/retired interior designer who craves the exhilaration of her former artistic endeavors and uses compulsive shopping to cope with a chronic sense of boredom.

It is necessary to identify the areas where your core energy is blocked to unleash and redirect the energy towards your deepest passions. Only you know where your energy needs to flow. It is imperative to be brutally honest with yourself about how, when, and why certain aspects of your life have fallen out of balance and to visualize new and improved outcomes. This process requires quiet reflection and powerful soul searching to reach a new state of enlightenment. It is impossible to hear the answers within amidst the clatter of mental noise and chaos. Past regrets and future concerns clutter the mind and leave people vulnerable to external gratification and quick fixes. When your life is based on extrinsic motivators and your happiness is dependent on forces that lie outside of your direct control, you are no longer living your life with authenticity and harmony- you are merely living.

Remember, your life is really a collection of now moments, and there is never going to be a moment in your life that is not right now. The majority of things you are worried, preoccupied or regretful about have either already happened or might never occur, and while you spend your time clinging to the past or rushing into the future, you are missing the present moment. How do you stop this painful cycle and begin to “live” rather than merely exist day to day?

First, identify a primary area of your life where your energy is blocked or you perceive an imbalance, or lack of alignment between your core values and the manner in which you are living that aspect of your life. I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and be honest with yourself- the more effort you put into this process the greater the rewards will be. The next step is to enter into a state of quiet reflection to visualize a new and improved way of being, thinking and feeling. This is the essence of dreaming, and dreaming lays the groundwork for thriving. Tune into the next edition to learn more about the process of dreaming.

Consider the following recipe for success by Reba McEntire: To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone. The business of life is really quite simple, so dare yourself to dream, fight for those dreams and remember to laugh at yourself along the way.

19. August 2012 · Comments Off on Enjoy Vacation at Phuket · Categories: Travel And Leisure · Tags: , ,

Phuket is a beautiful town situated in the Andaman Sea and located on the Thailand’s southern west coast. Phuket is not limited to its mesmerizing beaches; there is lot more to do too. People who crave for adventure also can take up certain activities like scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. Latest updated feature of the town is thrilling assortment of the new and the old, complex and simple, peaceful and exciting. People in huge quantities transport themselves away from their hectic life to enjoy the seclusion and fun in the best form.

Phuket is blessed in its climatic conditions. It observes basically two types of seasons. One is summers from November to April and rainy season form May to October. The temperature will not bother because temperature of 25 to 30 degrees is felt all the year round. But it may be a slight colder region during the rainy season. “Pearl of South” is what Phuket is generally referred to as it lies in the Andaman Sea. It is the largest island in Thailand.

Airways are the best option to reach the town. Phuket International Airport is situated 35km to the northwest of Phuket. As soon as you land there, you will find a mini bus at your service which will transport you directly at your lodge. Exploring the petite town is the best of all the activities. You can explore Phuket motorbikes, cars, taxis and even bus service is also available for your convenience.

Phuket promises its visitors a comfortable stay because of its admirable accommodation facilities. The lodging service is maintained keeping in mind the visitors’ conveniences. There are various hotels in the city as five star hotels, four style hotels and three star hotels. Some of the best and recommended hotels are Diamond Cliff Resort, The Boathouse, Hotel Amanpuri and Dusit Laguna Resort are amongst the five star hotels; Hotel Banyan Tree, The Maiton Resort and Amari Coral Beach Resort are four star hotels; and Club Med and Sheraton Grande Laguna are amongst the three star hotels.

The major tourist attractions must also be known to you so that there are reduced chances of missing them. The most famous tourist site is the Patong Beach. This beach is known to people internationally. If you are a shopping freak and love visiting night clubs then this beach should top amongst your list of places to watch. There are other popular beaches too like Kata, Karon, Rawai, Nai Thon, Nai Yang, Mai Khao, Bang Tao and Kamala. Heard about the huge turtles laying eggs on the land mass? Want to witness? Then visit the Mai Khao beach anywhere between October to February.

Craving for adventurous activities? Go along the East Coast you will find a small island which is the best spot for snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving. This is the place where Pearl farming takes place.

At the Khao Lak National Park, turtles with leather backs proceed over the beach to lay their eggs in the evenings. This is common phenomenon in November. Wild Palms, Mangroves and casuarinas make a breath taking view as they line the beach.
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18. August 2012 · Comments Off on Ordinary Souls, Extraordinary Acts · Categories: Home And Family · Tags: , ,

Their silent wounds have speech

More eloquent than men;

Their tones can deeper reach

Than human voice or pen.

~William Woodman

While I stand on the sidewalk during our town’s Memorial Day parade, I will fix my thoughts on the extraordinary acts performed by ordinary men and women on my behalf. I stand in awe at their bravery and wonder how they were able to stir up such courage in order to put their lives on the line for the ideals which they held so dear. They did it for me. They did it for you. William Woodman said it well: “their tones reach deeper than human voice or pen.” Words cannot convey —nor can the mind fully comprehend—the generosity and unadulterated self-sacrifice bestowed on us by ordinary people throughout the ages.

I urge you to pray for the men and women in our Armed Forces who are this day putting their lives on the line in far corners around the globe in order to protect our personal freedoms and to defend the liberties which we hold so dear. Pray for the families who are fervently praying and awaiting their loved ones’ safe returns.

“Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism?” ~Henry Ward Beecher

15. August 2012 · Comments Off on The Fable of: Big-chest-Chapter #6 The Ice Sheet · Categories: Arts And Entertainment · Tags: , ,

Chapter Six

The Ice Sheet

Moreover, everyone seemed to have their place: some were designated as hunters, others as fisher-people, and still others, such as the women would clean up the campsites, caves they’d live in and so forth and so on; and there was those who carried wood and looked for wood; and still others who made the fire and of course the protector, Big-chest—who along with being the leader and giving orders did an assortment of things, in reality, a little bit of everything. They even had some sacred signs, a starting of a language and spoken words that they all understood; all signs of a civilization in the makings, a culture if you will in the process: a background for a new nation one might add

—in addition, Big-chest often went against the current of the group, but on the other hand, won their respect. In essence what Big-chest was doing, was new to him—that being, dealing with emotions, and thinking along with being a responsible leader, and not knowing the difference before—in any of these categories, and having just learned it recently: the difference between thinking and feeling, or thinking vs. emotions, he now was squeezing refractory-emotions into what one might call—longer and slightly wider, channels: so you see, he was now feeling them, and slightly reacting to them. And so during his leadership—should we say—the learning process, he was equated to being, or having a double-edge to his personality (which in itself was healthier than being only one edged, and having it be all of terror): but what I was about to say is: being double-edged made him a strict leader, as he was a disciplined survivor and hunter of men, by nature: thus, it served the purpose of the group at this vital time. Had he been the way he was in the Valley of the Caves, no one would have survived; in a like manner, had he turned out to be, too soft for this journey, no one would have survived either. And so it was, in all respects, and I repeat myself: his temperament was rooted in the right soil at the right time, for the right people, on such a long, very long journey.

[Eskimos] Little Bird-turtle was 4’11,” with dark black hair and dark brown eye, similar to her sister, who was also a bit taller and prettier; and the men were of a short size also, as I previously mentioned; all officially part of the Eskimo group. It also should be noted: it was not uncommon to have most of the tribe’s children being: half-brothers and half-sisters—and if a women chose not to be bear children, she was either cursed, or begged to bear them, or considered as Little-bird was: of a sacred mission.

As they drifted slowly across the Atlantic, every so often one could hear the tail, the underwater tail of the ice-sheet rubbing against other objects; the ice-sheet was hitting land—scratching and scraping it sounded like: horrible, frightening, akin to twisting the ice-sheet about at times; where it was thicker it made more noise as if pieces of the extending ice under the water was being broken off—and the ice-sheet was getting thinner. (It would seem the closer they got to the west, to the pole in the Hudson Bay, the warmer it got.) Soon the square mile of the ice-sheet, was half its size, and the seals and walrus’s that migrated onto the ice-sheet as it drifted, had now gone, for they could be seen with the blink of an eye—and evidently that was too hazardous for them, especially with Toma and Tundra around with their harpoon like spears. And if they did come upon the ice [the walrus’ that is] it was for only a moment and then dived back into the cool waters—escaping the deadly arms of the Eskimos. And so during this time, hunting for food got slim at best.

One of the things during this time was Toma’s wildness in the catching of turtles; he must have captured a dozen in a week, and brought them to the three igloos and shared them with all on the floating ice-sheet. This substituted for some of the loss of protean and nourishment they were receiving from previous hunting activities.

Toma cutting up a Turtle

Big-chest and the White Polar Bear

It was going on their 24th month since they left the Valley of the Caves, and now Big-chest’s little girl was running around [End of winter], and one could see land way off in the distance; possibly this was the land that kept hitting the ice sheet (a gradation to its surface), so thought many in the Assemblage [now the group being called the Assemblage, a name of their own, one all could pronounce], but whatever it was: for the most part, it seemed to be somewhat of a land bridge to the north of this huge iceberg they were on, and a great white bear found himself on it also. As Single-tooth squeaked his danger sounds, all were alerted, especially, Big-chest.

The group stood by the igloos, the king, King Big-chest stood in front of them, and the bear crawled closer and closer to the igloos.

Said, Tundra:

“No, you can’t fight him; I will kill him with my spear…” But Big-chest couldn’t, or didn’t want to understand the full of it, and even though he looked at Tundra’s long and piercing spear, he shook his head, not believing it would do the trick. The bear was too big for him, Tundra thought. When the bear got within a few feet of Big-chest, he stood up, and he must had been all of thirteen-feet high, Bigger than Big-chest, whom was over eight feet, possibly eight and a half, but far from thirteen-feet: and in his old age, he had lost at least a foot off his back arch.

Big-chest started beating his chest, and the bear started growling, both now walking in a circle, as Tundra and Jaguar-eyes both got their weapons ready; Jaguar-eyes had a flanked-stone long knife, Toma a bow and arrow, Tundra a spear, long with a Clovis fluted point; Stern-toes a club, and the women had long tusks from the walrus. Then Tundra told the group to circle the bear, as no one could tell Big-chest what to do, he figured it better he take command on the perimeter, while Big-chest does what he wants to do in the inner circle. Next the bear took a sweep with his hand, his giant paw: at Big-chest—and Big-chest stopped it. All were surprised, even the bear, as the bear stopped a moment to refigure out his plan; thus, he tired it again, but Big-chest again stopped his paw from slapping him yet he got scratched from his long claws: which were in, in itself painful. The bear threw out his paw again, and with Big-chest’s large mouth, he bit the bear’s paw, it was similar to a knife cutting through ice, you could hear the bones crack—Big-chest’s jaws were akin to a bulldogs. After that, the bear became frustrated, stood up to show his height, and fell right on top of Big-chest, but as he was falling Big-chest grabbed him by the sides of his belly, holding him up and off a tinge, and threw him to the side, but the bear was too powerful, he just got back up—a little shaken, but not hurt, and Big-chest was getting tired, he was not the unbeatable young buck he was decades earlier (as he may have thought he was).

Toma shot two arrows into the bear, but it didn’t stop him, and Tundra took the spear and shoved it into his spine, and Stern-toes clubbed him over the head several times, then Big-chest beat his chest for everyone to stop, and he jumped on the bear beating him and beating him with his powerful hands: all could hear the ribs of the bear crack, his spine now was disengaged, and his neck broken. Aw yes, likened to a bull, the bear was weakened, and Big-chest did the rest, but it was Big-chest nonetheless who legend would record, stood up single-handedly against the bear.

Tundra the Hunter of the Arctic

As Big-chest got up, he found he had a hard time balancing his body—in addition, he lost all logic of direction for a moment, and even his thoughts were stagnate. He had never been tired like this before and was a bit dizzy, along with being a tinge embarrassed because he needed help. But all in the group jumped up and down with joy, calling him: “Big-chest, the king, and the mighty one,” he of course enjoyed the celebration and adulation, but he knew after this day, he knew he was not as mightily as the skilled hunter, and he needed them, as he hoped they remain needing him.

The Dance

That evening the whole group got together and held hands dancing around one of the igloos. It wasn’t resembling the dance the People of the Fire used to dance, thought Jaguar-eyes, where his father would try to excite everyone in the tribe, get their blood hot, and then kill a few boys or women for a sacrifice, eat them, and then dance all night until they got exhausted, as they chewed on local-weed which grew nearby.

This was started by Little Bird-turtle, along with some humming which was added to the dance, and holding of hands, which seemed to calm all down, even old Big-chest; for still he was trembling inside, yes again he knew these were signs of old age, that the new people around him, the young ones, it was their time, and he was on his way out. His eyes slightly down a bit, kind of ashamed he needed help, but it was something he’d now have to get adjusted too, to get used too: it was reality. He was in a different world now, and a new time period for the world at large, an epoch had started, and he was part of making this new and different world-epoch, this era what it would be 10,000-years beyond his life time, and he knew: that is, kind of knew, how his leadership was, it would have to be a sample of how it would be for all after he was gone, and he did for some reason want to leave a legacy, or at best, a new group of people with hope for their future, something taken away from him by the Stone-Builders: for spite if anything, the Stone-People for killing off the whole world that did not see eye-to-eye with them—this new mixed group would be a new breed that someday would have to confront possibly, them again. And he was not king for nothing, he told himself, he was king because it was fate, it was meant to be, and he was the best one for it (he did have a rich ego you know).

Along with watching the stars in the sky, and the beautiful colors of the Northern Lights, they, this group learned now how to hum and dance, and laugh, it was breathtaking when one added this to the beautiful night, as if a ray came right out of heaven with its rainbow of mystic colors to sweep over this one and only drifting ice sheet in the Atlantic—this night was a night to remember, a night of celebration. Pekingg-girl stood silently looking at Big-chest daydreaming as the twilight darkened:

Pekingg-girl Daydreaming

Pekingg-girl in her own way loved Big-chest, for deep in her loin’s stirred desire—her breath stopped the first time they had made love: she felt sensations in her stomach as well, when he touched her. She lay naked—with her youthful wishes; Big-chest saw this and sniffed the air often, gazing at her, drawing close to her, she’d touch his thigh, not knowing how at first, but somehow learning quickly: instinctive if you will. With her touch and kisses were important, she held him captive and he held nothing back.

Now she turned her mind to the present, his body got exhausted quickly, his life force was spent for the most part, his knees trembled at times, and his arms limp, yes old age was his disarmament—and quickly did it come, she thought. And in the process of all, he was becoming fully human it seemed.

As brave as he was, Big-chest was, he told Pekingg-girl in confidence, “Why should we fear, we are mortal now, like the Stone-People by the Valley of the Caves; and our time is like a flicker of light in the bonfire, then we are gone, dead.” Big-chest had now seen a few life times compared to his race—his breed, and many a creature and man died, it was part of the cycle, nothing to fear, only face and go through, and now what he was saying or thinking, was go through and out of perhaps; this never bothered him before, but now it was a reality, not an issue, but a known-observable and thinkable fact (if not most of life being of foolishness and vanity).

10. August 2012 · Comments Off on Celebrity Wedding Ideas, Good and Bad · Categories: Marriage · Tags: , ,

Celebrity weddings can be a great source of ideas for the average bride. Although their multi-million dollar budgets are out of reach for most couples, many of their general ideas can be used as inspiration for weddings in any price range. However, just because someone famous does something at their wedding does not necessarily mean that it is a terrific idea. Here is a look at some celebrity wedding ideas, both the good and the bad.

Good idea: Decorating your ceremony with a flower laden canopy, arch, or chuppah. When Jennifer Anniston married Brad Pitt, they had 50,000 flowers trucked in for their Malibu wedding. While this would break the bank for most brides, the idea is a good one. When you are decorating a large space like the wedding canopy that will be seen mostly from a distance, choose a large quantity of inexpensive flowers over fewer more costly blooms. Save those for the centerpieces, which guests will be seeing at close range, and for the ceremony site, simply go for maximum impact.

Bad idea: Imposing your views on others. At Paul McCartney’s wedding to Heather Mills, he dictated that because he is a vegetarian, no meat was to be eaten on the premises of the wedding. He was not just referring to the vegetarian meal served at the reception, either. It took hundreds of people a full week to set up for McCartney’s wedding, and he said that any vendor caught eating meat would be fired! Really, telling the lighting crew what they can have for lunch is taking things too far – talk about a groomzilla!

Good idea: Including children in your wedding ceremony. When model/actress Elizabeth Hurley got married, she was escorted down the aisle by a bevy of white clad children. The innocence and exuberant spirit of children make them a wonderful addition to a wedding, and the more the merrier. One (non-celebrity) bride I knew had a dozen flower girls instead of bridesmaids, and they each walked down the aisle carrying a single rose. When the bride arrived at the altar, the flower girls came to her and gave her their single roses which she held as a loose bouquet. It was a very touching moment in the wedding ceremony.

Bad idea: Asking women you barely know to be in your bridal party, or choosing your bridesmaids for any other reason than friendship or sisterhood. Do you really want to emulate the example of Liza Minnelli when she wed David Gest (in any way at all, for that matter?); she had the singer Mya as one of her bridesmaids even though she had only met her twice before! Um, isn’t the point of bridesmaids to be surrounded by your dearest friends on your wedding day? Do not choose your attendants based on who they know or what they look like; it is phony and unbecoming.

Good idea: Arranging transportation for your guests. One thing that Paul McCartney got right was that he made it easy for his wedding guests to get to his destination wedding in an Irish castle. Now most of us do not have the resources to charter private planes, but arranging for a shuttle bus between the hotel and the reception venue is a gracious gesture, and a smart one, in that it avoids the issue of intoxicated guests driving home.

Bad idea: Spending millions of dollars on bridal jewelry sets. Donald Trump’s $1 million wedding to Melania Knauss may sound like a lot until you realize that he spent 1.5xs that much on her engagement ring! Beautiful jewelry can certainly be had for a lot less, and if you want a glamorous look with a down-to-earth price tag, sets of crystal bridal jewelry will make you feel fabulous but not bankrupt.

So you see, while not all celebrity wedding ideas are great, there are plenty that a regular couple can borrow for their own wedding. Whatever your budget, you can take the high style elements favored by the rich and famous and adapt them to suit your own wedding.

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10. August 2012 · Comments Off on The Dead Soldier · Categories: News And Society · Tags: , ,

There was a funeral today for a dead soldier. Details along with pictures of this dead soldier’s funeral made front page news. Pictures were shown of grieving parents, the dead soldier in uniform. It was described in detail of the character of this soldier, of course on accounts from all who knew him. Teachers, friends as well as family members. My question here is why does it take a soldier dying to make the newspaper or news?

It’s almost as if our society does not want to give recognition to those who serve, until of course they have given the ultimate sacrifice. Are our military members not worthy of this recognition when they are alive? I read the article on the young soldier with a saddened heart. For I belong to this sisterhood/brotherhood, and I too have felt the sting numerous times of death from close friends killed in war, I feel the sting each and every time I read about dead military members, whether I knew them or not. I wonder at times, does our public only publicize the deaths of dead military members solely for their anti-war beliefs? Our military members deserve recognition dead or alive.

Currently, the war in the Middle East is not a popular one. Bush is being labeled a “war monger”, our military members are being labeled “baby killers”, and anyone who supports the war currently is being labeled “nuts”. I want to get one thing straight, I still support this war, I still support our troops, I still believe in what we are trying to achieve in the Middle East.

People world wide believe we should abandon Iraq and count our losses, I however believe we should stay. Our military members are fighting alongside with the Iraqi patriots of that country. They want democracy, even in knowing our nation wants to ally with their country for different reasons. Most military members are true patriots. They love our country. They love our country so much in fact; they are willing to die in the name of our country. They place themselves in harms way continually, and most have volunteered to do so. Does this not deserve respect? Does this not deserve recognition? Does this not warrant front page coverage?

I am not stating that our public should not recognize our military members who have given the ultimate sacrifice, but I feel that the dead soldier’s picture should have been in the newspaper long ago, when he was alive, as compared to he being dead and his family members grieving their loss. Military members are a rare breed. There are particular things about our military members which even I can not explain, but I have seen the courage and strength which it takes to serve our country during times of war. Our military is a rare community within our country which is close, bonded, willing to not only die for their country, but each other.

Military members do not leave their own behind; it is our politicians that leave our people behind. Military people will take a bullet for their buddy and sometimes giving the ultimate sacrifice so their buddies can live. Military members will die for people they do not even know, and this my friends means you and I, or even someone who is not even a citizen of our own country. Our men/women in uniform have been dying in droves from this current ongoing war in the Middle East, not unlike other wars, and the only time one will view these patriots in the newspaper, is when they are dead in a casket. Our society should be ashamed of this fact.

Our military members deserve honor and respect from our communities, whether we agree with the war or not. If each and everyone understood not only the horror of war as well as the repercussions from the war after the military members come home, I feel people within our society would be ashamed of themselves for harboring ill feelings toward our troops. Let’s give recognition to our patriots of this country while they are alive along with their death’s, they deserve this honor along with their grieving families.