Misc blog postings

Misc Postings

Earliest: July 28, 2003Latest: May 13, 2018Total: 109

January 21, 2017

5 Ways You Can Help the Homeless Today

As millions of Americans are rushing off to work in a hurry after dropping the kids off at school, others are seeking an opportunity for warmth or how to find their next meal. Homelessness is a major issue in the United States and people are looking to help.

For those who are looking to lend a helping hand, but aren't sure where to start to consider the following options to help those in desperate need:

Educate Yourself

Often we are reluctant to help the person with a cardboard sign asking for money. A negative stereotype of someone who is a drug addict or an alcoholic crosses your mind which keeps you from giving them money, but this negative connotation couldn't be further from the truth.

Many people are homeless due to suffering from a mental illness, losing their job, or even from a disability. Many people don't realize that there is a great number of veterans that are being forced to live on the streets. According to this homeless veterans resource, the rate of homelessness found in veterans increase by over 14 percent from 2013 to 2015. An alarming rate that has been contributed by ranging disabilities. Take the time to understand these contributions to the rate of homelessness and see where your help is needed.


There are many ways in which you can donate. If you're unlikely to provide a homeless individual with money, consider contributing to an organization that specifically deals with the homeless population. By contributing monetary gifts to the organization you're directly supporting an organization to continue assisting this population.

If you're strapped for money, consider donating other things. Donating new or used items is always a great idea. It would be a good idea to discover their needs after educating yourself on what it's like to be homeless. Donate gifts such as clothing you don't wear, prepaid bus passes, hygiene products, food, linens, and first aid items. Although it might be out of the standard monetary donation, these items can be used and help someone in need.


If you're someone who is looking to make a positive impact in your community, there are numerous opportunities to lend a hand to others. Volunteers are the backbone of many organizations such as food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.

Consider your skills and abilities and seek an opportunity within these non-profit organizations to see how you can help. Whether you're great at organization, heavy lifting, cooking, or just a friendly face to talk to, your help will be valued.

Become an Advocate

If you're strapped for time and money, consider reaching out to resources in the community. Take the opportunity to support organizations that help the homeless by promoting their cause on social media and throughout your community. You might consider reaching out to a local representative to discusses current legislation and what can be improved.

Another way to advocate awareness is to communicate the demand for help in local organizations that you can relay to friends, family, and co-workers. Getting your network involved can result in a larger impact.

Seek Help

If you've noticed someone suffering on the streets and can see their struggle, don't hesitate to call for local help. Too often people who are on the streets are unaware of the help that they are entitled to use. Without knowing that there is assistance available, they may never get the help they need. Be a part of their road to recovery by helping them with services provided in your area.

Although there are numerous ways to help someone suffering from homelessness, these options are sure to get you started today. Whether you plan to purge through your closet, pantry, or write a check; you have an opportunity to do something good for someone else. Be the reason that your community is a better place.

What are some other opportunities to help those who are homeless?

December 3, 2016


Doctor Visit

Facts about Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, the layer of tissue that surrounds many of the organs in the body. This is a rare type of cancer, but its most common form is pleural, in which it attacks the lining of the chest cavity and lungs. Most often caused by asbestos exposure, this type of cancer is aggressive and deadly, although advances in treatments are giving patients hope.

Asbestos is the Number One Risk Factor

Exactly what causes mesothelioma is not known, but there are risk factors. The most important of these is asbestos exposure. This is a natural mineral that for many years was used in nearly every construction and shipbuilding application imaginable. People who spent their careers working around asbestos likely inhaled small fibers of the mineral, which then became lodged in lung or pleural tissue, causing the damage that develops into mesothelioma in some people.

Mesothelioma is Not Always Pleural

The cancer that attacks the mesothelium most often develops in the pleura, but this is not always the case. For this rare type of cancer, even rarer are cases in which the cancer begins in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity. And even rarer than that is pericardial mesothelioma, the cancer of the lining around the heart.

Mesothelioma Has a Long Latency Period

The latency period for mesothelioma is defined as the time between the first exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis. For mesothelioma, this period is long. Studies have found that the latency period may be anywhere from 14 to 72 years, with the average being closer to 50 years. There are some important reasons for this long period of time, including the fact that this type of cancer is difficult to diagnose. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma mimic those of more common conditions and it is difficult to distinguish between lung cancer and mesothelioma, even at the cellular level.

Survival Times are Short for Mesothelioma

With such long latency periods, many people diagnosed with mesothelioma don't get the diagnosis until the condition is advanced and difficult to treat. As a result, many people get a poor prognosis. When diagnosed during stage I, which is rare, the median survival time is less than two years. At stage IV, the most advanced state in which the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the median survival time is just 12 months.

There Have Been Advances in Treatment

Researchers have been working on exciting new treatment options for mesothelioma and other cancers that are difficult to treat. One area of study is the use of nanoparticles to deliver medication or gene therapy directly to cancer cells. Results have been promising in this line of study, but more work needs to be done before nanoparticles can be used to treat and maybe even save patients with mesothelioma.

October 22, 2016

Simple Vector USA Map

I was doing some search on the internet for a good vector USA map and really couldn't find any. There were a few but they were hand drawn and made Massachusetts look pretty ugly. I decided to search my personal vector collection for a good map. I have IMSI 101,000 Masterclips, 25,000 Image Pak Click Art and Mega Gallery Vector clip-arts.

To use these images, you need a vector reading program such as Illustrator, Affinity Designer and Autodesk Graphic.

USA Vector Image

I found a good USA vector image. Decided to clean it up and make it free for anyone to use. This is perfect if you need a map to color the states, like for the 2016 Election. If your looking for a better map, consider purchasing one from Creative Market.

Click on image for the EPS version.

The graphic is in EPS, and it looks much better than the JPG compress in the above image. You have full control of the border size, so if you want the state borders to be bigger you can do that.

November 8

I also found a neat "November 8th" graphic. Kind of the neat way to promote the election day this year. The IMSI MasterClips has a folder of EPS images that feature every day of the year. They also have a calendar which features the day and week. (For example, Tuesday 8th.) If you need a particular day, leave a message in the comments and I'll get you one.

November Guy
Click on image for the EPS version.

More Graphics to Come

I'll post more cool graphics as I find them.

September 18, 2016

50th Anniversary Music

The past few week's I was busy putting together a video collection of various photos for my parents 50th Anniversary. Here are some 1950's and 1960's music that I used in a video or as part of the background music:

Moon River Andy Williams
It's Almost Tomorrow Jimmy Velvet
11th Hour Melody Al Hibbler
I Can't Stop Loving You Ray Charles
Georgia On My Mind Ray Charles
Twilight Time The Platters
Love Letters In the Sand Pat Boone
It's All In The Game Tommy Edwards
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes The Platters
Save the Last Dance for Me The Drifters
Galway Bay Bing Crosby
Roses Are Red Bobby Vinton
Put Your Head On My Shoulder Paul Anka
Lonely Boy Paul Anka
Cathy's Clown The Everly Brothers
At the Hop Danny & The Juniors
Unchained Melody Righteous Brothers
Teen Angel Mark Dinning
Chances Are Johnny Mathis
Unforgettable Nat King Cole
I Left My Heart In San Francisco Andy Williams
The Stroll The Diamonds

Here are some additional song to add to the collection:

Through The Years Kenny Rogers
Never Forget Take that Listen
Remember When Alan Jackson
Always Atlantic Starr
Looks Like We Made It Barry Manilow

If you're putting together a special video collection, good luck with it. Make sure to gather all the pictures you need before you sort out the music.

August 20, 2016

Every Four Years

In the United States, some special happens every four years:

Every Four Years

Leap Year

Every four years, is a leap year and there are 366 days. February 29 as an intercalary day.

Leap years are needed to keep our modern day calendar year with the solar year, or the length of time that it takes the Earth to complete its orbit around the sun. This takes around 365xBC days (officially 365.242).

This means that if we didn't add an extra day every four years, we would lose around six hours from our calendar each year, and every 100 years, our calendar would be out of line by 24 days.

Leap year started with the Gregorian calendar which started on October 15, 1582.

Summer Olympics

In 1986, the International Olympic Committee changed the schedule and now an Olympic event happens every 2 years. The first Olympic to encounter the change was the 1992 Winter Olympics, which had a 2 year duration between the games. This changed allows athletes to participate in both Olympics. (Wouldn't you want to see Usain Bolt in the speed skating competition?)

Presidential Election

Since 1789 the United States has had a Presidential Election every four years

June 26, 2016

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit Saying

Did you hear about the superstition about saying 'rabbit, rabbit, rabbit' at the first of the month for good luck and money?

It's a weird saying that people believe will bring you good luck sometime during the month.

Not sure if it's all true, and it can't hurt to try it. So, why not try it? This Friday, when you wake up, say "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" for good luck! The worst thing that will happen is your significant other will give you a strange look.

This "First of the Month" superstition saying is popular in the New England and in Europe.

Wikipedia does a good job covering this story, I wasn't able to find any more specific details. The best I can do is spread the superstition.

June 19, 2016

Olympus Media File Names

There are some occasions where I need to search for a particular photo or video that I have taken with my Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera. I created this quick cheat sheet to help me. Perhaps it will help someone else.

Here are a couple of the known types for the Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera:

  • Sample file names:
  • Movie: P2041485.MOV
  • Image: P1080331.ORF (Raw)
  • Image: P9170410.JPG

When I am searching using the Finder, I'll look for image filenames that being with 'P'

Here's what you see in the Get Info dialog box:

Olympus Camera Info

June 18, 2016

Boston Post Newspaper - 1869

Earlier this week I was reading through a Boston Post front page from July 5, 1869. When I saw the following:


"The warm term was on yesterday. Fat people were fussy, and lean ones found it hard to keep cool..."

It's nice to know that was more important than Dr J. W. Graves resignation from the United States Marine Asylum.

April 10, 2016

IJMC - Some Stuff to Know

The International Junk Mail Clearinghouse was a popular email distribution service a few yers ago, before Facebook/Twitter became a popular thing. As of February, 2002 they stop sending out emails.

Here's a sample email you would get:

I really need to finish up this three OS in one drive project. Every time I spend a night working on it, I fail to send out posts for a few days or so. This last time, a few nights ago, I came real close. All I thought I had left to do was to figure out the ARC path name so that Windows NT boot loader would load Windows off of a FATpartition (lost yet?). Then I rebooted into NT...all good...reboot into Linux...ow. Turns out that the Winpartition had overwritten half of one Linux partition and the entire Linux swap partition. Oi. Close...so close. -dave

  1. Indecision is the key to flexibility.
  2. You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
  3. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.
  4. Happiness is merely the remission of pain.
  5. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
  6. Sometimes too much to drink is not enough.
  7. The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.
  8. The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.
  9. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.
  10. Things are more like they are today than they ever were before.
  11. Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.
  12. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
  13. Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
  14. I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.
  15. Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism.
  16. If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.
  17. All things being equal, fat people use more soap.
  18. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
  19. One seventh of your life is spent on Monday.
  20. By the time you make ends meet, they move the ends.
  21. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
  22. The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.
  23. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
  24. This is as bad as it can get, but don't count on it.
  25. Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
  26. The trouble with life is, you're halfway through it before you realize it's a do-it-yourself thing.
  27. For every action there is an equal and opposite malfunction.
  28. The young wish to give their elders the full benefits of their inexperience.
  29. The elders like to sit back while their young do all their work.
  30. People who live in windowed environments shouldn't cast pointers.
  31. Some people would not recognize subtlety if it hit them on the head.
  32. The value of the average conversation could be enormously improved by the constant use of four simple words: "I do not know."
  33. The world isn't worse. It's just that the news coverage is so much better.
                                 ( O   O )   Hi.

Yet Another E-Mail Sent By The International Junk Mail Clearinghouse (IJMC).
  Unless otherwise specified, distribute freely. All questions, comments,
   submissions, and requests should be directed to dave at ijmc@ijmc.com

    IJMC Mailings - email majordomo@ijmc.com with "info ijmc-l" as body
           IJMC Subscriptions and WebSite - http://www.ijmc.com/

This is Mac.                                            \\|////
He wants to travel the world.                           ( O   O )
Please add him to your .sig and help him.          ---oOOo--U--oOOo---

March 13, 2016

Daylight Savings Time

Stop and Shop Logo

While I was in college, I was working the late shift at Stop and Shop on some weekends. One of those weekends was during the start of Daylight Savings Time.

Which brings up a question: How do companies handle hourly employees when they work during the Daylight time change?

For my situation, I was responsible for hours that I actually worked regardless of what time it was when I punched out. So if I worked when Day Light Savings began I didn't get a free hour worth of work, I still had to put in at least 8 hours of work. I recall that the store manager took my time card and make a note of the hours worked. This is because the time card machine didn't properly compensate the actual working time.

This matches what the IRS recommends:

On the Sunday that Daylight Savings Time starts at 2:00 a.m., the employee does not work the hour from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. because at 2:00 a.m. all of the clocks are turned forward to 3:00 a.m. Thus, on this day the employee only worked 7 hours, even though the schedule was for 8 hours.

The FLSA requires that employees must be credited with all of the hours actually worked. Therefore, if the employee is in a work situation similar to that described in the above example, he or she worked 7 hours on the day that Daylight Savings Time begins. This assumes, of course, that the employee actually worked the scheduled shift as in our example.