Saturday, December 31, 2011

In With The New — 2012

Thomas Edison is holding his awesome invention, the incandescent lamp bulb. That technology has been the standard for years and years.

"But come January 1, when a light-bulb law setting new efficiency standards is set to take effect, it's out with those old incandescents and in with the new."

Apparently any new incandescent bulbs must meet more rigid energy standards;  yet,  competitive types will be the compact fluorescent and LED lamps. It is said that by having the energy-efficient conversion that thirty large power plants can be closed down in the U.S.

Our home has been converted to compact fluorescent for a few years now. Thereby, energy consumption for home lighting is 25% of what it used to be. That is a considerable savings.

The new compact fluorescent lamp bulbs are no longer the stark white color that seemed so unnatural to the eyes. The fluorescing substance in this type is available that give the softer, warmer light that we have come to like about incandescents.

So, I guess this means that stores will no longer carry the "outlawed" lamp bulbs. Be prepared for pricier bulbs with claims that they will last far longer than the conventional incandescent.

Are you ready for the change?

Friday, December 30, 2011

ANOTHER lottery jackpot at risk!

Unknown lottery winner still hasn't come forward after a year.

"If you bought at Hot Lotto ticket last December in Des Moines, Iowa you might want to start looking for that, like, now.

One ticket hit a jackpot worth $16.5 million dollars one year ago and it has so far gone unclaimed. And unless someone can present the winning ticket fast, the money will be gone for good. The chance to claim the prize expires at 4 p.m local time Thursday."

What would we do if we found a winning lottery ticket after the jackpot had expired. In my case, for my emotional health and sanity, I would convince myself that this was meant to be. Perhaps the winnings would somehow lead to my ruin.

What would you do under similar circumstances?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Solstice

The December Solstice is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences. What it means for us here in the U.S. is December 22nd was shortest day of the year. Successive days are now lengthening.

Although days become longer, our oceans influence some yet colder days to come in our new winter season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lazy-Butt Me

"Creature of comfort" I am. That is a euphemism for "lazy–assed bastard." And one may wonder why that twice a year clock setting, once when we spring forward (Daylight Saving Time) and again when we fall back (Standard Time), is such a chore for me.

Finally, after several years of mulling this issue, I bit the bullet. Searching for this item finally revealed a 10" Kitchen Clock. Earlier choices offered a larger clock to replace our current non-atomic kitchen clock. This one seems perfect, and at a reasonable $20 cost.

Atomic clock technology, as you probably know, involves radio broadcast receiver technology. Every morning at 2:00 a.m. the clock's receiver is activated, whereupon it tunes automatically to a time standard server in Colorado. This means that the displayed time on the clock face is always on the money. It never gains or loses time.

Then, on each respective time change date the clock adjusts forward or backward by an hour. Why is this important to me?

Having our personal computers, including iPad, to always display the current time, along with our wireless phones, the semi-annual time adjustments are done without our thinking about it. The time display for DirecTV is always accurate as well. The cordless base and handsets that serve our landline phone system is also up-to-date.

Then there is my bedside clock and our weather station that displays indoor and outdoor temperatures. Same convenience.

This leaves one clock to change manually. That happens to be the clock on our microwave oven. No doubt, some day there will be models that offer the time-change option. I will never replace our current microwave oven just to get this convenience. Nonetheless, when our microwave does fail I will be on the lookout for an oven that has the advanced time-display technology. It is bound to happen some day.

How many clocks in your home must you adjust manually twice a year? Once you start going atomic you will be hooked, I feel certain.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hurtful Hernia

The diaphragm is our main muscle for breathing. The esophagus (food tube) passes through a natural opening (esophageal hiatus) at the diaphragm after which it joins the stomach. A hiatal hernia is when a portion of the top of the stomach slides up through the esophageal hiatus in the diaphragm towards the chest cavity. This results in pressure on the esophageal walls, and often manifests intense discomfort. Due to its location the pain of a hiatal hernia feels like a heart attack.

I just spent fours days in hospital where after two endoscopies and one CAT scan I was diagnosed with two kidney stones, gallstones, and a hiatal hernia. Ouch!

I am home now in recovery mode. As well, I am learning how to live with a hiatal hernia.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Cigarette Pack: $15

As a youth I could buy 3 cartons of cigarettes for $15.00. New Yorkers now spend that for one pack: twenty cigarettes. That comes to 75¢ per cigarette. Crazy!

If ever there was a motivation to quit the cost looms large. A 2-pack per day smoker parts with thirty dollars every day. A month of thirty days calculates to $450. I can truly think of better ways to spend that kind of money month-to-month. (OMG… one year costs approximately $5,400.00.)

Why do people shell out this kind of money? The answer in one word. Nicotine. Highly addictive. On the level of heroin as to how our brains latch on to nicotine's effects.

Yet, as an ex-smoker, I know that quitting is possible once one makes up his or her mind to stop.

The majority of smokers wish they didn't. Are you an ex-smoker? Are you a smoker who would like to quit?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

December Birthday

Our oldest son has his birthday anniversary on December 10th. Birthdays in the Christmas month can add to the financial outlay at this time of year. Perhaps those born on Christmas day (or a couple days before or after) can expect a "combined" Christmas and Birthday present.

Fortunately our son is old enough to be OK with a celebratory dinner that includes his siblings and their families. John's oldest daughter and her boyfriend will be joining us as well.

And getting everyone together for some enjoyable time together is perfect for the beginning of December. As well, where did this year go? Feels like only yesterday that we were starting out in the new year.

Anyone else out there with a December birthday?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Joining The Home WiFi Network


A new HP printer has joined our home WiFi network. The set-up was simple and straightforward. With the old printer there was a "sharing" setting that allowed Shirley to send a print job from her laptop. However, she had to ensure the printer had been turned on manually.

Presently the printer is in a stand-by mode that allows it to spring into action when a device on the network sends its print request. Son John downloaded the Windows version of the new printer driver to his PC, thus joining the WiFi network for his printing needs. (He already had been networked for Internet browsing.)

And my iPad 2 now finds the printer when I wish to print something from the iPad. How cool is that?

Yes… ours is a secure, password-protected, wireless network. Yet, we have expanded the network's function, thus providing great convenience.

I enjoy living at a time of phenomenal technology growth. In mid-year 2012 I will upgrade to an iPhone (something I have successfully resisted up to now). I want to experience Siri's helpful capabilities. By then Siri may have been through a significant upgrade.

I am spoiled. How about you?