Friday, June 26, 2009

What a Shocker!

50 years old and on the verge of a comeback, Michael Jackson, gone. It reminds us all of how fragile life can be. It is sad in many ways. Jackson had a brilliant career but an anything but normal life, and not always in a positive way. Often wierd and seemingly lonely in ways. Obviously fragile (looking) and having great stress on many fronts, it could come out of a medical and biographical investigation that heavy drug use may have been a factor in his untimely death. As a tribute to an astounding entertainer, here is a video of him with his brothers, the Jacksons. This is from the Cher Show in the mid '70s. The quality is not great but the song medley and dance moves are amazing to watch. He is a natural, spellbinding dancer with perfect timing. It's good throughout the whole clip, and Cher keeps up well, she's in good form. But Michael is king of performance, and especially near the end of this one. A born entertainer.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

South Hibernia Good News for Newfoundland & Labrador

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has signed a tentative agreement with members of the Hibernia Consortium that is expected to inject $10 billion into the growing piggy bank of the province. That's in addition to the $13 billion the province expects to receive from the main Hibernia project. Last year an MOU was signed on developing the Hebron oilfield - which will be worth up to $20 billion, give or take $5.

Well the future does look bright in the long run in many ways. Certainly there is no healthier industry here than the oily one. One would expect to see "Have" status next the Newfoundland and Labrador for many years to come. Now, like any past time is a good time to think of economic diversity. There will be an ever more booming St. John's. Today Randy Simms on his VOCM talk show made a point of mentioning how other industries like the fishery, the past mainstay of the economy, and major employer, may have possibly taken a back seat amidst the oil growth. From listening to a clip of the audio it seemed like a reasonable topic to throw out to listeners, and one which can be addressed at any time. It didn't detract from the good oil news. However, Premier Williams gave Randy an earful, and accused Simms of being pessimistic and a naysayer. Premier Williams' business skills, and personal success are certainly very handy in negotiating with oil godfathers, but boy does he have a temper. Have a listen.

Back to Newfoundland and Labrador's future, so much positive can come from this. On health we should focus on illness prevention. There are many health problems, from cancers, strokes, heart problems to obesity that stems from our choices of lifestyle and diet. Yesterday President Obama gave a comprehensive speech on health reform in the U.S. One of the ways to save costs and lives was to focus on preventing the illness in the first place by educating the public, encouraging companies to offer health premium payment reductions for healthier personnel. Fewer visits to the hospital will put less strain on already stressed doctors, and at the same time, allow nurses more breathing room at the workplace. Plus, we can have better quality lives.

The province really needs to accelerate recycling. There are a couple of facilities being constructed in St. John's, but this is another area that is beneficial on many levels. The environment does not get wasted quite so much, it is a money making industry, and there would be more individual involvement and responsibility for keeping the place clean, and also cutting down on the expense of collecting garbage and finding a place to throw it.

We still have a huge debt. What an opportunity to really pay that credit card off over the next 10-15 years.

People in the province have to look at the future as a stem cell, something that can be turned into whatever you can dream of, and be encouraged to excel at individual talents and trades. The oil industry in a huge sector of the economy, but not a remedy for everyone everywhere. Hebron and South Hibernia development are still years away from construction and development, and in the meantime, the best bet is to plan for your own personal development, growth and future.

Impulse Saving / Saving Spree™

Have you ever spontaneously decided to go out and get yourself something new, but then, said to yourself, "hmmm, buying this won't make any difference to my level of contentment whatsoever really," and decided not to buy it? It's a good feeling. Not much of a spontaneously spender here anyway but have been an impulse saver for a long time. There are many things one just has to have to live, so spending will never cease. That said, so much more could be done without, and often times, the healthier you are for it, physically and mentally. ... not to mention, it cuts down on incredibly growing dumps.

Just a thought for the day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Opposition Was Banking on a Raitt Cut

Lisa Raitt, the Natural Resources Minister was recorded months ago, saying that the medical isotope issue was a sexy one, and one that could help further her political ambitions. Well, many people are calling for her head, while others think it was inappropriate for her to describe the isotope issue, which directly affect treating cancer and heart disease, as sexy. (the production is isotopes is crucial in certain cancer and heart disease testing)

The word sexy is often used in a situation that will draw attention. She obviously saw the challenge of solving the isotope crisis as one that would draw a great deal of attention to the potential devastating effect it might have on patients, and also to herself as someone who is given the task to handle the crisis. It did indeed give insight into Raitt's career ambitions, and it no doubt sounded cold. Had such a proclamation been made public prior to her running for election, she may not have been elected because of the image of greediness, rather than really being elected to serve the public interest.

On the other hand, how much of an effort has Raitt been making to deal with the isotope crisis? Surely she would have to work hard to reap the accolades she aspired to get. The "sexy" comment was one snippet of conversation taken from a taped dialogue. The comment taken out of context sure did sound cold, but it would be hard to believe that Ms Raitt was uncaring for patients with life-threatening illnesses. Hard to believe especially when you consider that she lost her own father to cancer when she was 11 and a brother the same way, at a young 36.

Just a short time ago in the House of Commons, Raitt was apologetic for her sexy comment, and that was an appropriate thing to do. Now, it's time to focus solely on the critical shortage of medical isotopes in the world, and for the opposition to give it a rest.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Mixed Race Boy Needs Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Transplant

Seven year old Lucas Blake has a blood disorder called Fanconi anemia, in some ways similar to leukemia. the disease prevents his bone marrow from making new blood cells. (CTV's story)

A bone marrow or stem cell transplant gives a patient great hope, if, there is a good match found. There is a 25% chance that a sibling is a match. The larger the family the greater the odds. However, Lucas' case is much more rare. His newborn brother was found not to be a match.

His dad is of Jamaican descent and his mother is of Portuguese descent. That makes finding a match more difficult because the best chances of finding a stem cell donor is within your own ethnic group.

It's a long shot but if there is anyone out there with a similar ethnicity, contact OneMatch (1-888-236-6283), a stem cell and bone marrow donor registry.
Most of the people on Canada's stem cell and bone marrow registry, OneMatch, are Caucasian; a full 83 per cent. Only 0.5 per cent are black. And only 0.13 per cent are multi-ethnic.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Perennial Friends and Foes

While out for a walk I was lucky enough to spot this taraxacum (the rare weed). Had to stop for a shot since it was such a dandy lyin' there.
Family members have green thumbs and also allow me to get up close and personal with their perennial favorites.

Friday, June 05, 2009

No Blog Post Today, Nothing Just Resting

I am not posting anything today because it is such a nice day, plus, one needs to get away from these keys and monitor more often.

... As well, the benefits of just taking a day off are obvious, but also formally recorded. For example, we all know that when your mind and body gets a chance to relax, those neurons and muscles take a breather, and it therefore, calms you, and prepares you for a better nights sleep - sleep being the time period of physical and mental rejuvenation. As a matter of fact the Ontario government believes in a day of rest so much so, that they now have a family day. On the third Monday of every February Ontarians will have a public holiday--Family Day.

Rest relieves stress, I can't Stress that enough!!! It's important for people with heart failure. Proper rest is an important for your preparedness to deal with stress, and it affects your mood as well. Here, I just found an article which talks about that:

"a lack of rest and relaxation can really work a number on your mood. It is a scientific fact that when individuals miss out on good nightly rest their personality is affected and they are generally more grumpy, less patient, and snap easier. As a result, missing out on rest to fit in all those activities might make you a bear to be around, which is not much fun at all." (source)

So, again, I won't be wasting this awesome day stuck here at the keys, no siree. Mother nature calls, and I don't intend to waste one more second inside.

... cause when you think about it, you're also getting vitamin D by being exposed to the sun, and for free. However, don't over do it of course, so easy to get burned, then you would end up back inside suffering from burns or worse.

... of course it also a chance to walk, run, or be active in whatever way you choose, and also meet friends which is good for the spirit.

Ok, there. I will be posting in a day or so, thank you.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

It's Often Hard to Produce, but the World Needs More Forgiveness

Gandhi was right: if we all live by 'an eye for an eye' the whole world will be blind. The only way out is forgiveness. (more quotes below)

In the war torn hot spots of the world, you know the ones, they're on the news every other day, there's so much hate, and so scarce a sign of forgiveness. It can be one of the toughest things to do on every level. But it can bring peace to all parties. It is a tenet of religions, but also a psychological act that involves inner strength, empathy, patience, analysis, time and situational perspectives about others, and good intentions.

Forgiveness is not a word you hear often. Over 30 years of paying attention to current events, and world conflicts, the word was not used too much - maybe by Desmond Tutu, and Popes, but not many group or national leaders embroiled in fighting use it. It can be seen as a weakness one can imagine, or a sign of surrender even. And yes, if a family member were slain by an opposing group, it would be hard to forgive. It is rare.

Remember the Los Angeles riots after the Rodney King beating police trial? A truck driver named Reginald Denny, was dragged out of his cab, savagely beaten, kicked and had rocks thrown at his head. Unbelievably, he survived. You might think he sought to avenge his attack, but instead he forgave his attackers. Amidst the racial hatred which could keep reigniting, this man showed that he was willing to end the circle of revenge, hate, and misunderstanding. Even Obama - though it would have been political suicide to even hint at payback of some sort for inhumane treatment by whites - his lack of reference to anything suggesting racial reparations, was a tacit suggestion of forgiveness. One more famous example - John Paul II met his would be assassin face to face after the 1981 attack on the pope, and told him that he forgave him.

While you're above the sod, as a friend calls it, life is short - as opposed to being underneath it, is a pretty long time, and too late to make peace then.

A few more quotes on forgiveness:

  • “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” - Dale Carnegie

  • “Forgiveness is not the misguided act of condoning irresponsible, hurtful behavior. Nor is it a superficial turning of the other cheek that leaves us feeling victimized and martyred. Rather it is the finishing of old business that allows us to experience the present, free of contamination from the past.” - Joan Borysenko

  • “Friendship flourishes at the fountain of forgiveness.” - William Arthur Ward

  • “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” -
    Lewis B. Smedes

  • "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." - Jesus

  • "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." - Gandhi

  • "To err is human; to forgive, infrequent." - Franklin P. Adams

  • "Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another's control... to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else's nightmare." - Lance Morrow
  • Monday, June 01, 2009

    Icebergs Provide Cold Relief

    The icebergs pictured here were taken last year along the Southern Shore area of the Avalon Peninsula.

    Was hoping to travel to the northern coast to be closer to iceberg ally this year but so far it's not been possible. However, if you are wondering if there are many bergs around, then take a look at Iceberg According to the satellite berg tracker there are plenty drifting along various parts of Newfoundland's coast at the moment.

    This one was at Flatrock last year.