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Home Lumberjacking: The Eco-Friendly Choice (And Hidden Mickeys!)

December 14th, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

tree<<<=== Is this a heart, teddy bear head or a "hidden Mickey." The debate rages on. what are your two cents? Sometimes the chain saw makes unusual patterns in wood, but this was already there naturally.

The pounds of Christmas candy and the lure of the sofa when its 30 degrees out has not wrestled me to down into a pile of poor muscle tone and inactivity yet. With the late snow this year, my arms are solid than any Zumba class could provide. Lately, we have been doing the lumberjack thing - cutting and carrying wood. It's sustainable, good for the environment and saves money on heating bills - in fact, hundreds of dollars.

For the uninitiated, firewood comes from dead trees. One may say "why not leave them for animal habitats? Ants like them, woodpeckers like them..." When one lives or works on a treed property, not ALL dead trees can be left for wildlife. A fallen tree leaning precariously could potentially injure or kill a person or animal, especially when the wind is high. Also, when the bramble and dead and fallen trees are removed, the tree saplings have a better chance to grow for the next generation.

I fully understand how some people have the urge to chain themselves to a grandfather oak to prevent someone from chopping it down, but if a tree is rotting, there is a short time window to harvest it for firewood before the ants take it over. When a tree dies standing the sap dries inside and makes the wood hot when burned. If the tree falls and rots, then it burns like paper. The more dense the wood, the fewer pieces one must burn.

Granted, the ants have a place in the world, but there are so many trees down and dead trees one can't even possibly get to based on their location. Trust me, the ants are fine. There is no shortage of them. And the woodpeckers stay busy.

When wood is "green" and alive, it takes several years to dry to burn. That doesn't happen too often - but here and there limbs that have been cut by necessity for the health of the tree or part of a tree that broke on a fence and will die anyways severed from its roots gets thrown in the mix. (Granted, sites as SherrillTree sell a lot of cables and supports to help trees. It is practical for trees around the house but impractical at times for in the woods due to the trip hazards.)

In summary: rest assured, burning wood in a fireplace is completely eco friendly as well as very frugal if you have access to a woodland area and have the muscle to do it.

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Type 1 Diabetes – What is it?

November 25th, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Type 1 diabetes makes up for approximately five to 10 percent of diabetes in the United States. More commonly, it is diagnosed within the winter months or at times of stress and is witnessed in particular among those of Northern European descent. Per capita, Scandinavian Finland has the highest rates of type 1 diabetesin the world, while the United States follows closely behind.

Although type 1 diabetes may develop at any age, teens and young adults are particularly predisposed to the disease, with approximately two from every three people who have it aged below 20.

What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is brought on by the destruction of pancreatic cells called beta or islet cells. These cells are responsible for producing the body’s insulin, and are destroyed by antibodies that are in fact part of the immune system, which gives rise to the fact that type 1 diabetes is an “autoimmune disease”. Once upwards of 50 percent of the beta cells have been destroyed, sugar levels then tend to rise rapidly which results in the onset of diabetes.

The precise cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Potential etiologies include infections such as viruses and congenital rubella, environmental toxins, exposure to cow’s milk, in addition to exposure to various childhood foods.

It’s likely that there is a genetic predisposition to this disease although 90 percent of sufferers have no first-degree relatives who also suffer. Thus, it is considered that exposure results from a genetically susceptible individual.

Upon diagnosis, type 1 diabetes enters into what is termed as a remission phase in about 60 percent of sufferers. This is known as the “honeymoon phase”. Typically, it will occur from one to four months after diagnosis, and is a little more common among older sufferers. Generally, the duration of this phase is only one to two months.

Remedies

Pancreatic transplants in addition to immune therapy are considered as the two principle therapies for sufferers. However, transplants are normally reserved for those who are simultaneously receiving a kidney transplant, in part due to the scarcity of appropriate pancreases, and also because of the risks this type of surgery possess.

Pancreatic beta cell transplants can be successful in allowing sufferers to discontinue insulin therapy, although it may only be a short term facet because in the main, insulin therapy is required once more within a period of two years post op.

There are a number of studies currently underway whereby antibodies are used to destroy opposing antibodies responsible for the destruction of the beta cells. Thus far, long-term results are unavailable.
In addition to the various studies, there are also a variety of insulin formulations and delivery systems which are available to treat those who suffer with type 1 diabetes. What it mainly comes down to is good management of the condition from early on.

Exercise and Diet

Sufferers should try to eat at the same times each day. Further, consuming the same food types also helps to prevent blood sugar fluctuations. Discussing diet with a nutritional expert is advised.
Daily exercise will help to control blood sugar levels as well as being instrumental in weight control. However, special steps must be taken prior to, during, and after intense physical exercise. As such, it’s advisable to discuss this with your health care provider.

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Several Groups Aid Afghanistan

November 16th, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

afghanFrom time to time, I receive notes from people wondering how to help people in Afghanistan. The biggest concerns are the ability of women to vote and have access to education, religious persecution and clean drinking water. More pragmatically, how does one really know which charities prove legitimate?

Naturally, I advocate finding a charity that helps people right in your neighborhood and around your corner most of the time, but some folks – whether Afghanistan is in their ancestry or they otherwise feel a particular call to help there, are looking for a few ideas.

The biggest obstacle involves choosing a group where you know the money or supplies actually are going to the cause intended. I am not talking about groups needing to use some of the money for transportation, taxes or staffing…but rather red tape. There is more of a problem in Africa with relief not directly going to the people, but getting caught up in red tape imposed by the local government.

In Afghanistan, the Red Cross handles some relief efforts for the region. The organization, of course, funds relief in many areas (accept for countries that have their own Red Cross, like  Japan.) When you send undesignated money to the Red Cross, it may or may not go to directly help people in the area, but will go to where it is needed most.

Picture 9One group that works to raise money to benefit local people is the Bayat Foundation. Bayat Founder Ehsan Bayat one the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian award for his work with the foundation in 2010. I had not heard about Ehsan Bayat before reading up on the group. Apparently he is a business man in the United States of Afgahni extraction that felt a call to help.

Reading more on the group, recent projects include:

  1. Assisting other nonprofits. The Bayat Foundation connects the donated items from other groups to people and organizations, such as hospitals, that need them.
  2. Stocking supplies in maternity wards, including refurbishing a wing in the Rabia Balkhi Hospital’s maternity unit as an upcoming project.
  3. Providing blankets and other warming supplies in the winter.
  4. Connecting with Afghani families with academic scholarships.

Somehow, the group has successfully been able to connect aid to the people. There are many other groups that have been targeted or thwarted.

Another critically important group is Open Doors with Brother Andrew. I differentiate it by his name, as there are other groups in different states with similar names. After World War II, Brother Andrew smuggled Bibles in towns behind the Iron Curtain to distribute to Christians worshipping in secret. Even though the people knew owning a Bible or gathering to pray could follow with persecution or death, the thirst continued.

Now Open Doors provides support to secret believers in nations such as Afghanistan and raises awareness throughout the world about their plight. Right now, Christians in Afghanistan are forbidden to gather and meet in private homes carefully and in fear. Church buildings or gathering places are forbidden, even to ex-patriots from other lands. In fact Afghanistan ranks as #3 on the World Watch list.

Do you contribute to groups who provide aid to people in other nations, or do you prefer to fund local projects? If so, what types of projects do you like to support?

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To C Or Not To C

June 13th, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Photo Evan-Amos, Wikimedia CommonsThe subject of whether we should give Vitamins to Keep Dogs Healthy can be far more controversial than the same question in humans. One of the reasons being is that folks sometimes mistakenly transfer the nutrient needs from a human to that of a dog. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate seem to be the most popular to fix issues, but for your fn of the mill “alphabet vitamins,” our systems are just very different.

For example, a healthy human with a normally functioning system and moderate and reasonable sun exposure does not have an emergent need to heavily supplement Vitamin D. The human body manufactures it with help from the sun on its own. When we are deficient or lead a housebound lifestyle, that is when supplementation is called for. Conversely, canines produce their own Vitamin C and a healthy dog has no need to receive a supplement.

Most experts agree that it is appropriate to administer Vitamin C to a dog who is fighting cancer or is fighting other disease or compromised immunity for a temporary period of time. Where the cloud gets thicker is when the subject of daily usage comes up. Will supplementing C cause the dog’s body to cease producing it for itself, including any other secondary acids or aminos produced alongside? To “C,” or not to “C,” that is a very good question.

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Giving Kids the Gift of Gab

May 30th, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Picture 20Stuttering and speech impediments, as well as good old fashioned lack of self confidence are only a few reasons both children and adults express apprehension in approaching a new person and are downright mortified when it comes to the idea of speaking in front of a group. In fact, if James Earl Jones had not met important mentors and studied poetry and acting, the world might have been robbed of the voice of Vader, The Lion King…and of course, CNN.

Virginia-based Gabberz, Inc. Believes that learning to speak publicly when an individual is between eight and eighteen years old can have a huge impact on their confidence level, and can make them more successful in a later career.  A relatively new company that has just trademarked their name last year, the group offers guided lessons and exercises, as well as webinars and video critiques.

Recently, Gabberz Public Speaking for Kids started an Indie-Go-Go campaign. Along side its for profit ventures, the company wishes to provide complimentary programs for youths from low socioeconomic backgrounds in hopes of giving them an even playing field. As of this writing. $675.00 has been raised.

So far, I have not read any reviews of the program on the internet, and I am unsure whether the fundraising campaign is meant to generate scholarships for families to pay for the program fee, or for the wholesale price of materials. The campaign is not particularly clear, and the effectiveness of the program has not yet received enough reviews to be rated. For example, if a young person does not have a supportive family, is there enough program support to support them on their own if they have the desire?  Or does the program specifically target children with supportive and involved parents who merely can’t afford the program, where results may be more successful?

If you have experienced success with the Gabberz program, please write in!

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Binary: Gambling Under a Different Name?

April 28th, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

My uncle used to day trade. He would buy in the morning and decide by his gut when the stock might rise just a little. Then he would immediately sell. He believed all investing was a gamble. He didn’t want the money to grow over time, but just wanted to take the money and run, even if it was $1 more. What thrilled him was not really the gamble, but the feeling that he had insider info and had an “angle” on everything, as he sniffed out every internet rumor and whisper in the grocery line to determine just what the hot stock might be.
He walked away after the fun wore off for him, but there are many people who are addicted to it. Another newer form of quickly buying and selling investments is binary trading. You basically gamble on a stock going up. It is called a binary trade because the investor gets the cash, or walks away with nothing. Unlike traditional stocks, you don’t retain the stocks, even if they are low, to hold on to for another day in hopes they will go up in the long term. For example, you can invest a certain amount per share speculating that a stock will touch a certain threshold, and if it does, you receive a payout, and if not, you lose your money.

If you are not careful, you can lose a lot of money and it is especially perilous for those with a gambling addiction pointing to it as an “investment.”

Binary investing originated in European markets and has caught on elsewhere. For those careful with their money, it should be a clue that many holding companies and brokerage are based in Cyprus. One, cedarfinance.com, is actually based in Germany, so its a bit easier to redeem one’s money.

If you have a loved one in recovery who is turning their life around by investing rather than gambling, pay close attention that the money is in savings, CD or 401K and they are not venturing into a potentially addictive practice that they are pointing towards as “investing.” To some it is, but to others, it is legitimized betting which bird flies off the wire first.

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Vipre: A Watch Dog for Your Computer

April 2nd, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

This post brought to you by Vipre. All opinions are 100% mine.

I haven't paid much attention to internet security for Windows lately, as I primarily use a Mac. However, on the road I use a Netbook and because I don't use it every single day, I haven't updated much, but even a small trojan can overload its small memory banks. I decided to download a free trial VIPRE Internet Security to see if it made a difference.

The program alerted me to other security software I had loaded and wanted me to delete it. Apparently, it works better to have one security monitoring software at a time.

 

 

I opted to keep what I had for now until I put VIPRE through its paces. I wasn't ready to let go of others just in case. It took a try or two to get things working properly, mostly for reasons that were not the fault of VIPRE. There were compatibility issues with my computer's updater and Windows, which I'll have to look into soon. Once the computer was restarted, VIPRE got to work, and ferretted out some relatively benign tracking cookies so far. (The HoundsGood hound would love to dispose of those. Whoops. wrong kind.)

The software pretty much worked in the background. Luckily, the software did not find any major threats so far.

When you download the software trial, an email comes offering $10 the full version when the trial expires in thirty days. Time will tell if I receive a high volume or reminders.

I'll report back soon to let you know if the software found anything else.

 

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Charities: Social Media or Email Marketing?

April 2nd, 2013 admin Posted in Fundraising | Comments Off

madmimi

Mad Mimi email marketing is a recent and award winning comer to the email fray

It’s a delicate balance. Are you contacting your donor and fan base too much or too little?  Back in the day – even five to ten years ago – email newsletters were a primary source of controlled updates from not only businesses, but also nonprofit groups. Then there was social media and blog feeds. Between Facebook fan pages, RSS feeds, search and email, it is easy to retreat to ideas of over-saturation.

In some ways, social media was a nervous non-profit marketer’s dream: The people who fan us or follow us are doing it on their own and we aren’t being pushy about it. With various readers such as Google Reader and Feedburner, “We can’t be accused of bugging them or over-soliciting them because we don’t even know who’s reading.” What is the downside of such anonymous subscribing? Google Reader goes the way of the Dodo this summer. There is no way to capture the audience without soliciting them and mounting a strong campaign – “Like” us on Facebook, figure out how to pick us up on another, etc. We’ll enter you into a drawing or honk our horn for you if you do. What about the other folks?

Confession time: Sometimes I neglect my Reader in the first place. I only “seek out” posts from my top two, maybe three causes when I log on to social media and the rest of you? You’ll catch me if your update blows past me when I am actually logged in, but otherwise, I could miss it.

My preferred methods for reading things that matter to me are email newsletters – retro, I know. Email is the first thing I open up in the morning, and I’ll hear the telling “ding” when your newsletter comes through. Email spam? No. I signed up to read about your group in the first place. I don’t want to know what is going on every hour, but I look forward to reading a well-crafted email newsletter with tidbits about your latest victories or even solicitations for auction donations.

What’s more? If I like it, I am going to forward it to some folks who are like-minded, but just not so tech savvy. I’d say 99% of my relatives in my extended family aren’t on Twitter. Maybe 20% are on Facebook.

Should you abandon social media? No – It certainly helps newcomers discover you – but can email marketing and newsletters add an important missing piece that might bridge the gap between ever changing platforms for you?

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Vipre: A Watch Dog for Your Computer

April 1st, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

This post brought to you by Vipre. All opinions are 100% mine.

I haven't paid much attention to internet security for Windows lately, as I primarily use a Mac. However, on the road I use a Netbook and because I don't use it every single day, I haven't updated much, but even a small trojan can overload its small memory banks. I decided to download a free trial VIPRE Internet Security to see if it made a difference.

The program alerted me to other security software I had loaded and wanted me to delete it. Apparently, it works better to have one security monitoring software at a time.

 

 

I opted to keep what I had for now until I put VIPRE through its paces. I wasn't ready to let go of others just in case. It took a try or two to get things working properly, mostly for reasons that were not the fault of VIPRE. There were compatibility issues with my computer's updater and Windows, which I'll have to look into soon. Once the computer was restarted, VIPRE got to work, and ferretted out some relatively benign tracking cookies so far. (The HoundsGood hound would love to dispose of those. Whoops. wrong kind.)

The software pretty much worked in the background. Luckily, the software did not find any major threats so far.

When you download the software trial, an email comes offering $10 the full version when the trial expires in thirty days. Time will tell if I receive a high volume or reminders.

I'll report back soon to let you know if the software found anything else.

 

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Happy Easter

March 31st, 2013 admin Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Wishing you and ALL of yours a blessed Easter from HoundsGood.com

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