Misc blog postings

Misc Postings

Earliest: July 28, 2003Latest: March 19, 2017Total: 93

March 19, 2017

Irish Music Playlist

This past week I was put in charge of background music for a Saint Patrick's Day dinner and dance.

I was surprised on how difficult it was to come up with a good selection of Irish music. After some searching through Itunes and Amazon, I came up with the following playlist:

Days of Elijah Robin Mark Revival in Belfast
Ireland's Call Celtic Thunder The Very Best of Celtic Thunder
Galway Bay (Single) Bing Crosby Top O' The Morning / His Irish Collection
The Irish Rover The Irish Rovers The Best of the Irish Rovers (Remastered)
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling Bing Crosby Top O' the Morning: His Irish Collection
Orinoco Flow Celtic Woman Celtic Woman
Whiskey In the Jar The Dubliners The Best of the Dubliners
Molly Malone (feat. Ronnie Drew) The Dubliners 50 Years
A Nation Once Again The Wolfe Tones The Wolfe Tones: The Greatest Hits
The Galway Girl Celtic Thunder The Very Best of Celtic Thunder
Whiskey In the Jar The Dubliners The Best of the Dubliners
The Irish Rover The Irish Rovers The Best of the Irish Rovers (Remastered)
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling Bing Crosby Top O' the Morning: His Irish Collection
Riverdance Celtic Roots Riverdance & Lord of the Dance

Total playlist time is one hour, which is perfect for my needs. This playlist has a nice blend of classic and POP songs.

Last Year I put together some other playlists for different events:

March 12, 2017

Usenet Oracle

The Internet/Usenet Oracle was a way to collect humor by answering what seems to be a simple question. People would send questions in to get an answer. However, to get a response you must answer someone else's question.

This is a classic exchange that I found in my internet collection, this is from October 23, 1996.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

Oh supremest Oracle whose supremacity cannot possibly be suprimized --

My horoscope says 'Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it'.

Now, what insignificant deed should I do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Do you recall the old story about the man walking in the woods who tripped on a tree root? The tree shook, dislodging an acorn, which fell to the ground and was carried off by a squirrel. When the squirrel sat down to eat the acorn, it startled a butterfly which flew up into the air. The tiny gust of air caused by the butterfly's wings interacted minutely with a passing low pressure front, turning what would have been a minor squall into a violent thunderstorm. The lightning from this thunderstorm struck a kite being flown by an elderly gentleman who was experimenting with electricity, thus touching off the entire sequence of events that eventually resulted in the creation of Microsoft.

The Oracle does, of course, know about the insignificant deed that your horoscope mentions, but in the interests of averting a similar historical disaster, has no intention of telling you what it is. I will give you a hint, though: stay away from cars, bananas, and strange dogs.

You owe the Oracle some silk thread and a key...

March 4, 2017

Dealing with Peer Pressure as an Adult

Meeting new people is part of everyday life and is important not only for our "grown up" socialization but also for making connections in the professional world. Sometimes, making friends as an adult can be just as challenging as it was as a teen.

Even when we feel self-assured and independent, we still want to fit in (who doesn't want to be accepted?). Peer pressure doesn't end in adolescence and even if you think you have the ability to say "no," it may be more difficult than you think.

According to a study published in Developmental Psychology, resistance to peer pressure decreases between the ages of 14 and 18 but remains unchanged until the age of 30. Therefore, it's safe to assume that many young adults continue to struggle with a bit of peer pressure.

Why Do We Care So Much About What Others Think?

As adults, aren't we supposed to feel comfortable in our own skins, stand strongly behind our opinions and decisions, and not care what others think? In a perfect world, yes, but there's the inherent need for approval and to feel part of a group. Unfortunately, negative peer pressure can steer us in a different direction.

Negative Peer Pressure

Experiencing negative peer pressure as an adult may be a little different than when you were a teen, but it can still be challenging. For instance, rather than being pressured to drink alcohol for the first time, you may be pressured to stay out late, have "just one more drink", drive while under the influence, and other risky behaviors.

You may be compelled to partake, particularly if a business contact is in the works or if you have a chance to catch the eye of someone you want to date. No prospective job or relationship should depend on whether or not you stray from your established, healthy routine.

Surrounding Yourself with "Good" People

If you spent a lot of your adolescence or early adulthood drinking heavily, smoking cigarettes, or even dabbling in drugs, you may be trying to steer clear now. Even if you are confident in saying "no," it can be exhausting when you feel the need to explain or defend yourself. Negative people will shame you, make you feel guilty, and not offer any support.

When you seek out or make connections with people who are supportive and respect you for who you are, it's easier to stick to your goals and be true to yourself.

Standing Your Ground

When you meet new people you want to make a good impression. You may find that you have a lot in common with someone who pressures you negatively. Does that mean you can't be friends? No, but you need to stand your ground. If the pressure is too toxic or too overwhelming, you'll need to recognize when to move on. Here are some tips to help you deal with negative peer pressure:

  • Be Assertive. Say what's on your mind and if your difference of opinion isn't valued, it's not worth the trouble.
  • Be Prepared to Have Critics. Do you hate criticism of any kind? You need to decide if you will allow criticism or avoid it; either way, you'll probably encounter some.
  • Celebrate Diversity. Having a diverse group of friends may help you through social challenges and feel less affected by peer pressure.

January 29, 2017

RavPower and Rav FileHub

The nice thing about the RavPower is moving Photo/Movies to/from your phone. In addition, it acts as an additional power source for your phone when you may need it.

Plus its really cool that you can access your USB devices.

Rav Power

RAV FileHub Limitations

There are some limitations to what your moving, for example, you can't move a music file from a USB Flash drive to your iPhone iTuned library. You can still play the music and video files on your phone. You have to do it within the RAV FileHub application.

Sharing DSLR Photos

The nice thing is that you can move photos into your photo library to share on your social network. So you can take pictures with your DSLR, and then use the RavPower to move the photos to your phone to share.

If you plan on moving a lot of files from an SD card, you might be better off using a Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader. This is because in order to use the RavPower you need to change your iPhone wireless network to access the card, which I can see can be annoying after a while.

Power Up Your Phone

I have the RavPower Model: RP-WD01 which has a battery with a capacity of 3000mAh. An iPhone 6s Plus has the capacity of 2915mAh, so the RavPower will basically just extend the life of the phone by a little bit. It's nice and light to have and could be useful for those time where I just need a quick charge.

My Joby power charger has a 6000mAh battery. This will charge up the iPhone 6s Plus at least a couple of times and perfect when I am taking a lot of pictures or video. (Like on a Field Trip or a day at the park in Disney World.)

RAV FileHub App

It takes a bit to learn how to navigate around the RAV FileHub. The top menus are in the background of the iPhone Plus menu bar. Because of that, I found its hard to click on the top navigation.

File Hum Screenshot

The App was last updated on January 30, 2015.

In Summary

The RavPower is a great tool to have when I want to share photos that I take with my bridge camera.

The device and application work fine together. I would recommend sitting down and playing with it for about 20 mins. Just so you get comfortable about how it all works.

Important Wireless Info

Default information on accessing the RavPower from your phone:

Wireless Access Point is: FileHub-2DFA
Wireless Password is: 11111111 (That's 8 ones)

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.

Donations

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.

Volunteer

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

Mesothelioma

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.

Lower48States.jpg
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.