Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy New Year

Later this week will close 2009 and begin a new year. Thanks to all of you who sent my family and me greeting cards, email messages, and in person words of friendship throughout 2009. I greatly value my associations with all of you and look forward to quality relationships with everyone throughout the future.

This month completes four years of contributing to this blog. It started in January of 2006 at the suggestion and encouragement of my son. He helped me to get started with the technology and continues to assist me with the same. Just today, he helped me merge my Twitter comments with this blog. Notice on the sidebar to the right. This will be a new feature of my blog.

Twitter has been an enthusiastic rage for many people with computers and mobile devices for a couple years now. People and commerce are using this tool to communicate a wide variety of messages. If you aren't using Twitter, you should study this digital venue to see it could benefit you.

In additional to my weekly blog updates, you will be able to see my ongoing most recent tweets on the sidebar.

Have a good week!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Cove

Do you remember the TV show "Flipper" beginning in 1964? Richard O'Barry was the dolphin trainer. Flipper, a trained dolphin, entertained audiences with water performances and spawned an industry of dolphin parks worldwide.

"The Cove" is a must see documentary film about the capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Migrating dolphins are herded into a cove where the best are selected for capture and sold to show parks around the world for up to $150,000 each.

The remaining trapped dolphins are killed, bled until the water is red, pulled into boats, taken to markets for butcher and then sold for human consumption. This happens to over 20,000 dolphins per year in Taiji.

The dolphin meat is high in concentrations of mercury; many large fish in the oceans have levels of mercury not recommended for human consumption. Pollutants from industrial smoke stacks around the world are the leading cause for this problem according to the Oceanic Preservation Society. The Cove was produced by OPS, directed by Louie Psihoyos and stars Ric O'Barry who is now trying to free all captured dolphins and stop the annual slaughter in Taiji.

Click here to read about the new documentary film on DVD.

Should you and I be more concerned about the mercury levels in food eaten by us? Should we be outraged by the slaughter of dolphins in Japan? A historical and documented case of problems associated with high mercury in the food chain can be seen in the 1950's community of Minamata, Japan. Read about it here.

Does your annual physical include a check for mercury level in your body? Mine doesn't either. I plan to request a check next time and become more concerned about mercury in my food.

Have a good week!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Multiple Choice Question

What do the government of Belgium, the Catholic Church, and United Nations have in common?

a) Not much

b) They're all important institutions

c) 800,000 dead Rwandans

d) Need more information

Watch the documentary film "Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire"

This film was produced by the CBC and White Pine Pictures, released in 2004 and available on DVD.

After you see it, then decide if there is a correct answer.

Have a good week!

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Imagine a huge warehouse with a sheltered parking lot and enclosed walkway into the store. Shoppers need not experience any weather to look for home furnishings at the IKEA store I visited at 601 SW 41st Street in Renton, Washington a few weeks ago.

I walked through bedrooms, kitchens, dens, and bathrooms that were completely furnished with a variety of styles. I judged the quality acceptable and the prices low. I thought about how different it is today when shopping for home furnishings compared to when my wife and I started accumulating household furnishings forty years ago. Today, one stop shopping at this store can supply all the needs of housekeeping.

I then thought about the expensive gifts we received or pricey purchases we made ourselves. Items like a place-setting for 12 of china, the same number of silverware, crystal, goblets, and more. We rarely use these pieces and have thousands invested there. We did use our silver daily for many years when our children were growing up. Now we use Polish pottery, stainless silverware, and regular glasses and cups to serve meals. All our "fine" stuff is stored and occupies space with little interest in it by anyone.

What does all this mean? It means that young people should spend frugally on only what is needed to be functional. Forget about "fineness" that is needed only by a few rich and famous people. Shop at discount stores and save your money for a rainy day as my father advised me when I grew up.

Have a good week!