Saturday, November 01, 2008
Not Utopian, Socialist, Communist or negative in any sense... this whole system is based on positive notions. Getting paid becomes a matter of providing net benefit to others... and using money for evil purposes falls by the wayside.
To say that this economic system is a product of genius would be to underestimate it. Personally, I believe it was divinely inspired, despite the fact that its author is agnostic. "The proof of the puddin's in the eatin'", or so they say... read "Invisible Hand" today and see for yourself.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Larry's plan would provide all citizens with free basic food, clothing, shelter, transportation and medical care as well as all levels of education. At the same time it would eliminate hunger and starvation, obviously, as well as homelessness, the need for insurance, and the need to save or borrow for an education.
Not only that, but people would no longer stay in bad relationships for economic reasons, nor would anyone need to sell their body in order to feed the kids or keep a roof over their heads.
There are so many benefits to the sort of system my friend advocates, but to judge for yourself you must read what he has written. I assure you it is unlike anything else you have ever read. This is not a form of government... it is a new type of economic system. Take a look and then please write me or comment here!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Let me start at the beginning. I have been with Verizon since about this time in the year 2000. EIGHT years. At an average of $150/month (sometimes more, sometimes less... but that's the average sum) I have paid them somewhere in the neighborhood of... $15,000!
They're stingy and scrimp on me with the "new every two" and want to give me just $100 off on the purchase of higher-end phones... I'm sorry, but I think after being a steady customer for this long they should give me THE BEST PHONE THEY OFFER at no charge. If they were smart they'd do this anyway, realizing that the nicer the phone is the more likely I'll order additional services to go with it. (Navigator, Internet, etc.)
This year I won a fairly decent phone. An LG enV. And I have been very happy with it... until August 1. But let me backtrack a bit.
I purchased numerous ringtones for this phone, but not all of the songs I wanted were available as ringtones, or they were not cut to the section of the song I wanted for a ringtone. No problem... I could go to myxer.com and make a ringtone from any song. I even made ringtones from four of my own original songs, which CERTAINLY aren't available through Verizon's system.
I was loving my custom ringtones and my great phone until August 1. Why? Because my phone shut down as of August 1, forcing me to exchange it for a new, BLANK handset. I am convinced that Verizon somehow MADE my phone shut down in order to FORCE me to buy ringtones from them despite the fact that they don't offer all of what I want. Me... their 8-year customer. Treated like trash. Yeah.
I didn't figure out that they probably did this until I went to myxer.com and tried to do the same thing again... but now Verizon blocks them... and every attempt I made to circumvent this did not work. If you know of a way, please let me know. I have put it on a memory card, emailed it... but they strip it from the email now. You can't email mp3's to a phone nor midi... nada.
Verizon is really making me hate them, and it's tempting to stiff them and start an account with a new carrier... but I don't think I can wrench my phone # away unless I finish out the contract.
I think it's time I wrote a new song. Weird Al, feel like teaming up with me on "Can You Hear Me Now?"
Oh, by the way, my own original ringtones are available at myxer.com for FREE. I am adding some more (goofy ones) that I made for myself, but maybe someone can use them... please use them!
Monday, June 30, 2008
The three gentlemen I mention in my speech are all fantastic members of our very dynamic Toastmasters group. Please come and join us!
Here is the text of my speech, as I presented it (minus the standard Toastmasters greeting and closing.)
"Have any of you ever felt like an alien from another planet, who doesn't belong here and never quite fit in anywhere?
Have you ever felt as if life was a club whose members knew all the rules – but not you, and nobody ever bothered to clue you in on those expectations, even though they would be applied to you?
Welcome to my world.
Despite my loquacious nature, I actually did quite well in school until I entered a "gifted" program. This would have been the first clue to someone who was educated about the condition I have… but such professionals were few and far between, and frankly still are. Thus, instead of recognizing that I had learning disabilities in addition to my brilliance. (Pause for effect)
I was labeled lazy, and a chronic underachiever. Bully for me!
My ambitions and obsessions include various unrelated missions such as finding or developing realistic engines using clean, fuel-free magnetic power; informing people about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to marshal support for its elimination and prevention of its recurrence; and last but not least, helping other Autistic people like me.
Yes, I am Autistic. I've been diagnosed with a condition called Asperger's Syndrome. Because of this, I sometimes have great difficulty in processing information – so if I stutter, or smack myself in the head, it's because the words are "stuck" like candy in a vending machine, and I'm trying to get them to come out. If I'm terribly upset or excited, the words WON'T come out. In that case I must take a few deep breaths, (breathe) back off, slow down, and try again. When even this is not effective, I must sometimes write what I'm trying to say.
If you really want me to remember anything, write it down. That phrase, "in one ear and out the other" describes me in a nutshell. However, like many Autistic people, I think in pictures. If you give a speech that evokes imagery in my mind, I will remember it for years – perhaps for life. Dennard Mitchell recently gave a speech which used a story about a little monkey, and David Staples told me another one which used lions to make his point. A couple weeks ago, Leron Gabriel did a fantastic job of bringing the tale to life in his speech using a contrast between desperate refugees from a village and "keeping up with the Joneses." These stand out in my mind as shining and clever examples. Keep it up, boys!
In closing, I'd like to say that ultimately Autism is what led me to join Toastmasters. I am here to overcome communication difficulties, because I intend to become a public speaker and educate others about Autism and our developing culture.
By the way – if anybody here IS from my planet, would you please let me know? I might need a ride home."
Sunday, June 01, 2008
To preface the following, I am writing to someone who is in chronic pain from a car accident as well as diabetic. She has been unable to keep steady work and is in danger of losing her health insurance as well as her home. Naturally, these worries are eating her alive and making her even more ill, so the spiral just keeps sucking her down.
Here is where the email begins. She had told me that she was in her nightgown, and was doing nothing. My response:
...now I'm the one in PJ's.
But I'm NEVER doing NOTHING. Perhaps that is part of what keeps you sick.
Let me explain...
Because you often find yourself with too much time on your hands, it gives you empty, or "negative" space to fill, if you will. Because the space is already negative to begin with, unless you find something positive to fill it with, the negativity of that empty space in your schedule soon begins to overwhelm you.
The solution? It's multiple.
1. Remember that old song? "Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative... latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. In-Between"? LEARN IT, if you don't know it... and sing or recite this to yourself. IT WORKS.
2. Write. Write, write, write. What do you know about? Write about that. Re-read your material as often as you can stand... and edit to make it as positive as possible. However, do not gloss over anything that should be examined. Take a good look at anything terribly negative that you've written and let it speak to you. Let it teach you its lesson.
3. Volunteer. You can come to the IGFA with me and I'll introduce you around. If not there, I am certain your skills will be welcomed at a number of local charities and for-profit organizations that are severely under budget.
Volunteering has dual benefits. It will make you feel good to help others, and it looks good on a resume. In some cases you may find employment where you've been volunteering. IGFA, for example, has job openings all the time.
Does all of that make sense? It must. It didn't come from me - some of it came through me, so they're not all my words.
I'm home today... Sunday is my gardening/housework day in general, unless I schedule something, which I try not to do more than twice a month...
The rest of the email was more personal, but the gist of what I've written above is this: we attract to ourselves what we dwell upon. Whether you believe in "The Secret" or God's law of reciprocity. We reap what we sow... and Jesus said "Ask and ye shall receive." Therefore: ASK. Ask! It's that simple.
If you're a believer, the Bible furthermore states, "Delight theyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." DESIRES OF THINE HEART. No limitations. Think about THAT a while. What is it that YOU truly desire? Believe that you'll receive it - and you shall.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I have been a writer for as long as I have known how to form words on paper. I love words, and I always have.
While the formal educational system in this country leaves much to be desired, it cannot be denied that the credit for my early start in writing goes to the Princeton City School District in Southwestern Ohio.
The "Young Authors" program was instrumental in teaching certain basic fundamentals. Every year in elementary school we created a little book. I still have most of mine.
In first grade, I won 1st prize for my entry, a story about a leprechaun.
It was in putting these little books together that I learned my #1 fashion rule: DON'T MIX PATTERNS!!!
When we made the covers for our books we were given the opportunity to choose from various patterns and colors of contact paper for the inside and outside cover. This was when I learned to use a pattern for the outside and a solid color for the inner part of the cover. (Or vice versa) Two plain colors, while boring, were okay - but no plaid with polka dots. Today's fashion designers make me dizzy with their pattern mixing.
High School Young Authors contests were more diverse, with several categories. I entered poetry and won twice, 1st place one year and 2nd place another.
This competition, which sounds so simple, took many hours of school time and the assistance of numerous volunteers to complete. I've looked up my former school district and was delighted to find that they still continue the Young Authors Program to this day:
The English Department sponsors the Young Authors writing contests in an effort to recognize, to reward and to encourage the work of aspiring young writers. The Poetry contest is held in the fall, and The Short Story and Essay Contest is held in the spring. Each student's work is evaluated by the members of the English Department. First, second and third places are recognized with engraved plaques. Honorable mentions are recognized with a certificate of commendation."
(excerpted from this page)
I think more schools should have programs like this - financed by grassroots charitable support rather than waiting for the government to come "do something" which is never going to happen.
Anything that helps to develop confidence along with a healthy love of reading and writing should be considered too valuable to dismiss lightly. We made our books from paper sewed together by volunteers and contact paper which we brought in ourselves, for the most part. Cardboard formed the foundation for our covers, and there is certainly no shortage of second-hand cardboard around.
Be creative! That's the most important part of all. Put a little bit of YOU into it and you'll be surprised at what you get back out of it.
Friday, May 23, 2008
It's hard to describe to you if you're not "one of us," but to grow up with the sensation that you're "from another planet" or "don't belong here" and never seem to know where you DO belong or fit in, and then find out as an adult that there are other people who feel that way too - and they just happen to be a lot like you in more ways than one... well... it's nothing short of astounding. It is certainly an earth-shaking revelation, to say the least.
For me and many others it is like a huge heavy burden has just been lifted from our shoulders and the feeling of kindred I find with other Spectrumites is what I was lacking in my attempts to "fit in" with "normal" people.
Okay, so I often sought out the quirkiest of others during my lifetime: but if they were undiagnosed, as I was, we were likely to hit a clashing point eventually and then recede from friendship in embarrassment.
NO MORE. I am not ashamed of nor sorry for who and what I am. I have done things in my lifetime that I should have probably apologized for, sometimes I knew that and sometimes I truly didn't. Either way: if you are a party whom I have EVER injured in ANY way, I beg your pardon. I've never meant to harm anyone.
The truth is, my memory is VERY selective, so I don't remember much that I don't need to know. I forgive and forget, perhaps because I've prayed to be able to do this. Holding grudges is a poison that I don't wish to allow to consume me, and I would hope that likewise you can forgive and forget whatever I may have done that upset you or hurt your feelings.
If it was physical, I want to hear from you privately - because I would like to make amends to those I can. Like Rhonda Dines from the neighborhood - girl, how's your head?
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I had been considering Toastmasters for many years, ever since I met someone who was involved with them while I was selling Avon. She was a fellow Avon Representative and told me about the rules and basically how a meeting worked.
Over the years many times I considered it, but while it was a curiosity, it was not really a necessity. Recently that began to change.
I realize I'm going to be called upon to do some public speaking in the near future, and have plans to go into full-time public speaking and performance. It is with this in mind that I knew I must hone those skills to a razor-sharp edge if I hope to make the right kind of impression upon my listeners.
I'm reasonably adept at constructing material that is compelling and thought-provoking, but have not had a lot of success with persuasion. That is where Toastmasters comes in. They teach you to not only be a competent public speaker but to embrace leadership roles as well, guiding you every step of the way. It's a wonderful organization composed of people from every stratum of society.
Upon my arrival I had feared I would find a half-dozen people struggling to make this thing work. Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was then, to find a vibrant group of 25-30 members and a half dozen GUESTS alone! As a matter of fact, if the group continues to grow, they'll have to seek out a larger venue!
I was apprehensive at first, but knew that I must step out of my comfort zone and do this because it is a stepping stone on the path that I've accepted. More to come as this adventure unfolds...
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Same thing in the case of a young man who was murdered in a public school bathroom. His parents won a multi million dollar award from the State: again, the average Florida taxpayer. The taxpayers didn't kill that kid, but they have to pay the price...
What can citizens do to prevent being raped like this? Good question. In the case of the murdered young man, volunteers in every public school bathroom MIGHT have prevented it - but would likely lead to allegations of perversion somewhere along the line.
Put cameras everywhere? That would have made no difference in the canker case.