Saturday, December 15, 2007

How I freed myself from "Christmas shopping" stress!

I still vividly remember the stress of running around aimlessly during the last week before Christmas fighting the traffic in LA , trying to figure out what gifts to buy for the people on my list .

I don't have kids so I am in the dark as to what children and teenagers are into that year . So my excursion would start at Toys R Us. I go in and stand for a while near the checkout isles and inspect what people are buying, hoping that would give me some ideas ... then while inspecting the different isles, I would get on my cell phone calling family & friends and try to pry out of them what their kids would like for Christmas. Never got any straight answers . Nobody ever wants to make it easy . A few hours later , my head is spinning , my feet are aching and I am pushing a cart full of toys and games and a knot in my stomach evaporating any feeling or conviction that I picked the right gifts. So I would resolve myself to the fact that this is the best I can do.

Since I moved to the Desert , I acquired some wisdom and started to shop on line . I would sit for hours surfing from one store to the other , bookmarking the stores where I liked certain items so that I come back to them later.

You guessed it ! I would end up with a multitude of bookmarks that tell me nothing , and the search starts all over.

Well this year though late in the year , November to be specific I decided it would be great if I can create one web site with different gift ideas for different ages linked to different stores that are willing to pay me for shopping and provide a service for people who find themselves in similar situation.

This is the web site I know it is not perfect and real sophisticated but it does provide the service . After Christmas I'll have more time to hype it up.

So if you are a procrastinator or apprehensive of the mobs out there, I would appreciate your support. You will find Gifts for Women , Gift Ideas for Men ,
Gifts for Business Associates & Friends.

If you are entertaining and throwing a Christmas or New Years Party get some of these
Easy Holiday Appetizers , they are really great.

Thank You! and have a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

6 Million Toys Recalled and more on the way...

Japan will not allow products manufactured in China, enter their country unless they have been tested by Japanese inspectors on location in China.

Why doesn't the Department of Commerce initiate such rules on all American companies manufacturing their products in China ?

I thought it was great News yesterday when it was reported that Attorney General of the great State of California, Jerry Brown, filed a lawsuit on Monday against 20 companies for manufacturing or selling toys with "unlawful quantities of lead" in Children Toys . Some of the companies named - Mattel, KB Toys, Fisher Price , Wal-Mart, Toys R US & Target.

The lawsuit is based on "Proposition 65" passed in 1986 , and the penalty for not complying with "Proposition 65" is a mere $2500.00 / day.

It's a start , but I want to know what else in my house besides toys is laced by lead or other toxic substances.

In the age of "no accountability", I see a ray of hope that there are still some elected officials who are willing to do the right thing .

Is Children Toy Safety on your mind this Christmas Season?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Do you consider obesity offensive ? And who do you blame ?

If you walk in any public area, go to the mall, restaurants or anywhere you will pass a good number of obese people .... and your reaction is either gazing with incomprehensible wonder, or if you are with somebody , commenting with dismay or even disgust as to "why don't these people cut down on their eating" .

But do you ever stop to think beyond the general concept of "excessive food consumption" and wonder if there are any causes that stem from beyond the amount of food..

If you are in your 30s or 40s, ask your parents and grandparents if they recall how often did they encounter excessively overweight people when they were your age?

I bet their answers would be that they cannot recall anything like this , and even you do not probably recall anything like this when you were growing up .

In the mid 1950s the use of Hormones in US Cattle was sanctioned by the FDA and to this date they are still defending it and bowing to the lobbyists of the very powerful companies that produce these hormones.

It is reported that at least two thirds of the cattle in the USA and consumed in the form of steaks, roast, hamburgers etc.. comes from cows that have been given 6 kinds of growth hormones . Three are naturally occurring—Oestradiol, Progesterone and Testosterone—and three which are synthetic—Zeranol, Trenbolone, and Melengestrol.

The Use of these hormones are banned around the world , except for the USA, Canada & Mexico .

Barry Bonds is being indicted over steroids , yet the general public is unknowingly consuming steroids on a daily basis through our meals , though in much smaller amounts , over time everything compounds.

Then in 1993 the FDA, in spite of strong opposition from scientists, farmers and consumers, approved the use of "recombinant bovine somatotropin " (rbST) ,
a synthetic version of BGH that is injected into dairy cows to artificially increase milk production. rBST is banned in Canada and the EU countries.

In 1998, the American Cancer Society reported a correlation between human blood levels of IGF-1 (often associated with obesity) and breast cancer,[17] prostate cancer,[18] and colorectal cancer.[19] Increased plasma levels of IGF-1 are associated with a higher risk of diabetes and a shorter lifespan in animal studies (e.g. Nature, vol 444, pages 337-342, 2006).

On May 22, 2006, Scientific American reported that Dr Gary Steinman of the Long Island Jewish Medical Centre published a paper in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine proposing a link between IGF and the incidence of twin births. He cites the May 6 issue of The Lancet which compared the relative increase of twinning rates in the USA and UK.[20]

In March 2007 Oxford University Journal in March 2007 , commissioned by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology published a report titled " Semen quality of fertile US males in relation to their mothers' beef consumption during pregnancy". The report can be found at .

The problem is even if you are a vegetarian and do not consume meat or milk ... the excreted waste from the cows end in the ground and the irrigation system of farmed lands, then end up contaminating the oceans and the fish supply. So its supply chain keeps on giving.

As for the non vegetarians , when the milk has rBST, then your cheese , your ice cream your yogurt etc... etc is going to have rBST.

Fortunately many companies now are offering only no rBST dairy products; Trader Joes, Wild Oats and Henry's Stores , Whole Foods , and lately I read somewhere that Safeways in Northern California are eliminating rBST (to be confirmed) , and Starbuck is now eliminating the use of rBST dairy from its stores.

As for beef, you do not need to buy organic if you can't afford it, you can buy

Natural & 100% Grass Fed beef
, they have no hormones , antibiotic or pesticides

As for cheese & butter , buy imported to be sure they do not contain rBST .

I have a friend who has a son who drinks close to a gallon of milk everyday . He is now 13 years old and has the body and fat of a lazy 30 year old. I wonder how much of that growth is attributed to induced hormones.

Good health starts with good information.

We can write all we want about any subject, yet, it won't be until people hear it on TV that they will start believing it . But the Media as the trend has become, are too busy with more pressing junk news to feed the unsuspecting general public.

And unfortunately in this case, it is "What people don't know will kill them".

Meanwhile powerful companies ,their lobbyists and the politicians on both sides of the isle will keep treating us as "YOU the Consumers" instead of "YOU the People".

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Wonderful World of Skype

My Family is scattered all over , and though through the years, we did keep in touch on a regular basis by telephone, birthday and Christmas cards, we did not see each other much, especially my only sister who after spending years moving from country to country and state to state due to her husband's job , she just stopped traveling and the last time I saw her was 1996 . Her little boy was only 2 years old.

I know, I could have gone to Massachusetts and seen her, but my work for 10 years took me at least twice a month to different cities , and getting on an airplane has become something to avoid at any cost .

Over a year ago, I updated my Apple from a G4 Tower , to an IMac , and with its state of the art built in camera and microphone, the whole world opened up in front of me. I downloaded Skype
and invited the whole family to join .

I am so grateful to eBay for providing that service.

I remember the folks on Wall Street did not spare a comment about eBay buying Skype , yet every time I am on a call I can see the number of people using Skype at the same time, it is never less than 9 million.

After almost 11 years, now I see my sister and talk to her at least twice a week. I got to meet my nephew who is almost 13 now. And a few months ago, I got to celebrate with my Mom her Birthday , cake, candles and singing Happy Birthday.

Now, I use Skype not only for family reunions . I use Skype for Business
. I bought a telephone number, and I subscribe to almost all of their paid services... I guess eBay will be the one laughing last. This is not a regional telephone company , it is a universal telecommunications company. Kudos to eBay

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Today it's all about Tuberculosis, "TB" , the New Scare

Well, guess what , we have a new scare .... Tuberculosis "TB" and flying .

All the News and Cable News Shows today featured a complete set of Health Analysts, Terrorism Analysts , Print Media Journalists , Homeland Security experts. So do not worry . They are on top of their daily dose of fear mongering ... and asking the real important questions :" How was this guy allowed on an airplane?"

How about for a change , educating the people about the decease, informing us how many people are infected in the USA, what States that have the highest reported cases , why ? , how do people protect themselves, how poverty is a big contributor .

On Chris Matthews' Hardball, today a former Reagan Deputy Ass. Defense Secretary ,
KT McFarland , and the infamous, Michael Brown were advocating a Health NO FLY List .
Of course they were instigated by Chris , that's what he does best.

Some of their suggestions where ; Homeland Security should coordinate with CDC and start the health no fly list. Michel Brown suggested to hire some "Company" missed it's name , to farm data on everybody and compile the list.

I am not a Doctor or come anywhere close to being a health professional, but I know that TB, like some other infectious decease like Mono, Hepatitis among others, could be carried by people who never exhibit any symptoms , and with 45 + million uninsured Americans who cannot afford to see a Doctor unless very sick, how does a list ever get compiled .

And, what about the rest of the world . According to the Doctors Without Borders Organization , Tuberculosis is hardly under control around the world. Are we going to force the rest of the world to compile lists too ? How stupid !

I added a link to the Doctors without Borders site at the end of my post for whoever would like to check it out.

Richard Huber said :

"The old prescription of success is a combination of ability and character. Once the character fails, the ability follows."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Is it the quality of Producers, or Media Exec. policy?

I was not sure how I was going to initiate my blogging , but Keith Olberman on MSNBC made it easy for me. I like Keith Olberman , he strikes me as an upstanding human being , he is funny and in my opinion one of the very few who still exhibits principles in his "Special Comments" , whether you agree with him or not.

BUT , I cannot understand for the life of me why he does not refuse to report all the stupid so called news that is continuously being shoved in our face? Sanjaya , American Idol, Michael Jackson, Rosie O'Donnell , and the list goes on and on and on .

Why do Media Executives treat us, the viewing audience like morons and make the decisions on what we should be watching ? And why do we still allow them . I know, I can switch channels , but guess what , going one click up brings in Fox News , and one click down it's CNN, not much of a choice . So I end up clicking the OFF button .

I remember during the Anna Nicole Smith saga .... which ran for days with no end in sight, some of the ( how do we refer to these guys ? Talk Show Hosts , Journalists , Commentators? if any body knows how to properly address them , please tell me ) like Chris Matthews of Hardball, you could see some embarrassment in his face in having to turn Hardball into a Soap/News Opera.

And the worst part is when later , WE, the audience are blamed for having an insatiable appetite for these news. All the Analysts and Consultants gather around to remind us that WE, the audience like these kind of news and scandals, and the Media Executives and Producers are just obliging !