Saturday, March 29, 2014

Diet Soda Problems

You might think you're doing yourself a favor, opting for the diet version of your favorite soda or fruit drink. But sip a little too much and you could be setting yourself up for heart troubles later in life, researchers are saying.
Postmenopausal women who drink two or more diet drinks a day are more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and a higher BMI than those who consume diet drinks in moderation or not at all. The Women's Health Initiative Observational Study looked at nearly 60,000 women with an average age of 62.8 years and found a relationship between diet drink consumption and a number of cardiovascular problems.
Women who consumed two or more diet drinks daily were not only 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes, they were 50 percent more likely to die from some sort of cardiovascular disease, when compared with women who never or rarely drank diet drinks.
The study, which is the largest study to look at the relationship between diet drinks and heart health, took into account various factors like participants BMI, physical activity levels, and other lifestyle choices.
A 2009-10 survey by the Centers for Disease Control found nearly one-in-five Americans drink diet sodas on any particular day and around half of those are drinking over two cups a day.
"Our findings are in line with and extend data from previous studies showing an association. We were interested in this research because there was a relative lack of data about diet drinks and cardiovascular outcomes and mortality," researcher Ankur Vyas of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics said in a release. "This could have major public health implications."
Other studies have also suggested diet drinks can be harmful for older women. One study showed colas, both diet and regular, are associated with lower bone density-- a major concern for older women, who are at risk for osteoporosis.
And while people may think "diet" means a healthier product, another study pointed to the artificial sweeteners in these low-calorie drinks as the cause of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
But don't just pour your can down the drain. Researchers say there isn't enough evidence yet to make you want to give up these drinks entirely, but it is enough to make you think twice about what you're drinking.

From Huffington Post 50 3/29/2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

AirBnb vs Roomorama


I have always loved renting through AirBnb.  They are a class act and we have met people from all over the United States and the World!  It is fun and puts a little extra money in our pockets.

When we signed up with AirBnb I originally posted some of my own photographs.  They weren't the best I knew but AirBnb graciously accepted them and then sent a professional photographer.  The woman they sent was professional and took fabulous pictures of the interior and exterior of our home and the room for rent.

Recently I received an e-mail from Smarter Living Travel.  They suggested there was a new game in town - Roomorama.  A competitor to AirBnb.  When I looked at the site and saw there were few listings in our area I was up for it.  Couldn't hurt.

Apparently it could. Roomorama is not even in the same ballpark as AirBnb.  After doing the same listing with my own pictures that I did with AirBnb they sent me an e-mail.  Seemed my pictures weren't enough and probably weren't good enough.  Duh!!  And something even more troubling - they wanted me to scan my Photo ID and a bill in my name to my address to 'verify' the listing.  

I am a fiend about Identity theft.  I shred everything with my name and address on it - I don't put my Social Security on ANY forms.  I don't send my Photo ID into Ether-space.  I offered to have them verity through my AirBnb listing or Facebook or even my website.  We'll see what happens.  

In the meantime Roomorama needs to hire some photographers who will 'verify' when they come to take pictures. And not have me 'pay' for them.  They are going to make money from me - they need to spend a little themselves!  Maybe that is why there are so many fewer listings!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I am a true believer in Technology - I love computers, Blackberries, E-Mail, Faxes, Facebook, 4-Square, Twitter, Houzz and all the rest.  I spend a lot of time in front of my computer or reading e-mail on my cell phones.  And yes, I have TWO cell phones.  One for my private use - a Blackberry.  The other for Kamps Island Flooring - an iPhone which is mainly a gadget for taking pictures and uploading to various Social Media Sites.  Great pictures - easy access to Social Media.  Not so much for e-mail.

I am just beginning a book called Who Owns the Future by Jaron Lanier.  Jaron talks about the destruction of the middle class and how it could become catastrophic in the future if huge networks are allowed to take over everything from transportation to medicine as they have done with music and newspapers.  He feels the starting point for a new discussion begins with, "Digital information is really just people in disguise."

I find that so true.  This is the reason that I subscribe to two physical newspapers to support the reporters and columnists.  Without them there would be no 'digital' news.  I am, however, discouraged with the New York Times.  I have the app on my IPhone and until recently could read 3 articles per day - now it is 10 per month.  Understandable.  However, I do have a problem which I explained to them.

I have had a stroke - it affected my right hand.  Often my phone thinks I have selected one of my 10 articles for reading when it has not.  Just an involuntary twitch.  My suggestion was that there be a 'confirmation' button to make sure the article selected was intentional.  I NEVER got a reply.  Too bad.  It is my generation that still loves the rustle of the newspaper and holding it in our hands.  The millennials could care less.  It is my generation that is a greater part of the monetary support for the New York Times.  The younger generations don't get that the phrase, "Digital information is really just people in disguise."

In response to the Times I just clear the history and cookies on Google - either on my computer or on the IPhone and read anything I want on their web page.  And I don't feel the guilt I might otherwise.  And I don't feel compelled to subscribe to them as soon as winter is over and my heating budget shrinks and I have the resources to subscribe.  Too Bad!  Survival in the digital age IS all about Customer Service.

And I cannot wait to report on the rest of my latest read!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Here's your chance to do your part. Take the pledge with me today: Turn out your lights for Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30 pm and show your commitment to a better future.

This year Earth Hour falls on Saturday 29th March at 8.30 pm. It’s a worldwide event that asks people everywhere to turn off their lights for 60 minutes, to draw attention to our planet and the need to protect it.

WWF created this event eight years ago in 2007 to unite people with a common purpose and raise awareness of the issues facing our planet. Now many countries take part and in 2013, a record breaking 154 were involved including over 10 million people in the UK. Everyone is encouraged to join in, from individuals to schools and businesses as well as landmarks like Big Ben, Times Square and the Eiffel Tower. Our very own Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall in Hanley have already announced they’ll be taking part again this year.
To help celebrate Earth Hour we want to know what you’re up to on Saturday 29th March when Earth Hour starts at 8.30pm. Quite a few plan to enjoy some distraction free time with family by candle light, let us know what you’re up to via our Facebook page or Twitter account or even by commenting below.
For more information about Earth Hour and to sign up for WWF’s Earth Hour 2014 visit their website by clicking here.

Read more:

It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. . . . W.Somerset Maugham

Thursday, March 6, 2014



Time for more light in the Evening!
Time for Singing and Dancing!
Time for more Fun at Night!
In the Beautiful Wonderful Light!

Yes - Daylight Savings Time is Here!!
We Wish it lasted all the Year!
The Days seem much Brighter - 
The Mood is much Lighter!

Celebrate Daylight Savings Time (and set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday Night)

And forgive my attempt at Poetry - But this Time of Year is My Happy Time!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014



This blog is part of a series that explores the themes and issues raised in Farmed and Dangerous, a 4-part satirical web series exploring issues related to the food system and industrial agriculture. If you're interested in joining the conversation, please contact us at
Why are thousands of physicians advising patients to avoid eating GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) [1] and how did these high-risk foods get onto the market in the first place? The answers are disturbing, even shocking, but may help you get healthy and stay healthy.
Foods with added bacterial or viral genes were quietly slipped into your diet two decades ago. Using the excuse that GMOs weren't that much different, the FDA didn't require labels or even a single safety study from GMO makers like Monsanto. But a lawsuit forced the agency to release their files and the truth finally came out.
FDA scientists repeatedly warned that GMOs could create allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems, and that rigorous safety testing was needed. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney, was put in charge of FDA policy. (Taylor later became Monsanto's chief lobbyist, and has returned to FDA as US Food Czar.)
Can you trust Monsanto with your family's health? That company that told us that Agent Orange, DDT and PCBs were safe.
Now Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" crops are engineered to withstand their Roundup herbicide, which gets absorbed into the food and can't be washed off. A 2014 study found Roundup the most toxic of all herbicides and insecticides they tested. According to MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff, Roundup may be "the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions." She co-authored a seminal paper linking it to including obesity, heart disease, inflammatory bowel, IBS, autism, allergies, MS, Parkinson's, depression, infertility, Alzheimer's and cancer.
Some GMOs, e.g. corn, have built-in pesticides that break open holes in the stomach of insects. A 2012 laboratory study confirmed that the toxin opens holes in human cells. And a Canadian study found both the toxin and Roundup in the blood of most pregnant women and their fetuses.
If you don't trust GMOs, you're not alone. According to a 2013 survey by Hartman Group, over 120 million Americans say they try to avoid them. That number has more than doubled since 2007. [2]
When people eliminate GMOs, they (and their physicians) often report more energy, weight loss, better digestion, reduced allergies and skin conditions, and relief from numerous chronic conditions. [3] Veterinarians, farmers and pet owners describe similar improvements with animals taken off GMOs. According to a research review by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, many of these disorders also afflict lab animals fed GMOs. We believe it is not a coincidence that the rise of these types of health issues in the US population parallels the use of GMOs and Roundup.
In addition to the health dangers, independent studies also show that GMOs don'tincrease yields, don't solve world hunger and massively increase herbicide use.
GMO advocates aggressively deny any evidence against them. According to Nature, a "large block of scientists [...] denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way." Tactics include threats, gag orders and termination.
The industry's own research, on the other hand, is widely criticized as "tobacco science," carefully designed to cover up problems. And just as a Monsanto man guided FDA policy, GMO review committees worldwide are often stacked with industry representatives who rubber stamp approvals or declare GMOs safe by ignoring data to the contrary.
Now FDA is considering approval of GMO salmon, as well as allowing GMO mosquitoes loose in the Florida Keys. In fact, countless GMO plants, animals, fish, insects and bacteria are being developed in labs around the world. Each could irreversibly contaminate the gene pool.
Before we replace nature, let's demand independent, comprehensive long-term safety studies. Until then, stop feeding us the products produced by this immature science.
Jeffrey Smith - Huffington Post

Monday, March 3, 2014


And  Now for a little Shameless Promotion for a Company I love—Blackberry

I know, I know everyone loves the iPhone. We all have opinions—and here is mine– you don’t have to agree with it!  When I got ready to get a new phone a year and a half ago I consulted my phone tech expert, Debora Goy.  She told me if I was really interested in doing business—the Blackberry remained my best bet.  So that is what I stayed with.

When I took Mike’s business phone from a Land Line and wanted to do a lot of social networking—I upgraded to the Q10.  Loved it!  Loved it!!  But then they introduced the new iPhone and the price on the older models fell to almost nothing!  So I switched—full knowing it could become a black hole with all the Apps!  And it has.  I read my  newspaper, do a lot of Social Networking (Facebook, 4-Square, Houzz, Twitter, Linked In, etc.) for Mike’s work.  And on and on!

When it comes to e-mail I prefer being able to see all my accounts separated on the Home Screen and knowing if an important e-mail might have arrived in a certain account., Blackberry Wins.  Switching screens for punctuation is annoying on the iPhone.  Finally, being a typist, I love a physical keyboard. My personal cell phone remains a  Blackberry.  Once someone laughingly asked my why I had 2 cell phones—was I a drug dealer?   Only if joy and happiness are drugs!

I then encountered something odd when attending a seminar in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.  The iPhone was never on—I was trying to get a signal—trying—trying.   Then I switched to the Blackberry—it was working just as usual.  So I wrote Blackberry and Kiyomi, a Public Relations Manager, answered me promptly with this information:
“I looked into the question about the WiFi. I hope I’m explaining this correctly. Apparently, we stay connected to the WLAN even when your phone goes to sleep which helps keep a good WiFi signal. And it also helps keep the red blinking light we are known for going when you get a new message. iOS turns off the WLAN when the screen goes black. Likely to conserve power. This makes staying connected to the WiFi more difficult. We do some things on the battery saving side so we don’t have to worry about this. “

Then, as I walked around the Convention Center I encountered others who had also made the switch to an iPhone (often at their company’s insistence) and wanted their Blackberry back!!

PS I keep running into people who want their Blackberries back for work!  I am hardly alone in this - and they aren't just oldsters like me!

Saturday, March 1, 2014



At 10am on Blue Gum we saw a coyote walking the path. 

Please be vigilant and take care with your precious pets. 

There will be a lot less bunnies on the bluff soon and when those are gone, the coyotes will be coming for your cats and small dogs. 

If you encounter one, make noise, shout, wave your hands. They are only interested in things they can eat. People are too large to trouble with but a small dog, even on your leash is fair game. 

Coyotes will always be with us.

When the food (bunnies) run out, they will move on to better feeding grounds.