2008 Is Finally Here!

Today is the start of a brand new year and we can put 2007 behind us. A lot of exciting things are coming up in 2008 and the most exciting thing might be the election that will occur in November. I wonder who our next president will be? It should be interesting to see what candidate represents the Republican and Democratic parties in the 2008 Presidential Elections.

I didn’t set any goals for 2008; other than to try and make this a better year than 2007. I guess my best way to judge that will be on the money I make. Hopefully I can earn more money in 2008 and start putting away some for my retirement. I’m still decades away from my retirement years, but it seems more and more likely that our Social Security won’t be around when I hit 62, 65 or 70 years old. I’m guess that the retirement age will be 70 when I get to retire. I might have to wait longer than that if I don’t start putting some money away.

So did you set any goals for your self in 2008? Please share them and let me know what you hope to accomplish in 2008. I know the New England Patriots football team will have only one thing on their mind in 2008 and it’s going to involve winning the Super Bowl. Their perfect season in 2007 isn’t going to mean much if they can’t win a Super Bowl in 2008. I hope everyone has a great New Year’s Day and we are only 364 more days away from 2009! I think it will be here before we know it! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

Article publié pour la première fois le 01/01/2008

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Is Kobe Bryant Better Than Michael Jordan?

I know most people believe Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. I agreed with that and when you looked back on his career and the 6 NBA championships he won, it was clear who the best was. Since then, we have been able to see the skills and talents of Kobe Bryant. This kid had no college or North Carolina Tar Heel training when he was young. Kobe had no college level athletes to develop his game around. He came straight from the 12th grade to the NBA hardcourt; which players can’t do anymore. He didn’t play much right away, but when he got his chances to perform, he didn’t disappoint the Hollywood Stars out in L.A..

Based on the career numbers and the high marks Kobe reached at such a young age. I believe he is a better all around basketball player than MJ. I know many will disagree, but just look at the numbers. Things like NBA Championships, Scoring Championships, Sprite NBA Slam Dunk Winners, and All Star MVP Awards; these were things Kobe was winning or taking home at a much younger age than Jordan. He got more success and scored more points per game in his early 20’s and Michael Jordan did not get these things until much later. Seeing Kobe performing at a higher level and at a younger age, I will give Kobe the nod as to being the best basketball player ever. He also continue to work hard and never had any let downs in his later years in the NBA. He is still performing at a very high level today and he may just beat Jordan at the other end of the age range too.

I do think MJ had the most theatrical career for an NBA player. His games were like the TV movie of the week. He was the hero in his own stories many times. He did win 6 championships and did it in great fashion. He also had his “Robin” if we say Jordan was Batman. The first retirement for Michael Jordan and after he won his first 3 NBA championships for the Chicago Bulls, we saw Scottie Pippen emerge a year later. That season after Jordan retired (1st retirement), Scottie Pippen was no doubt the best player in the NBA that year. He could do no wrong and he was like a robot out there. He had such a great game and it was really amazing to see. M.J. could not win with any other combinations and Pippen was his right hand man. Kobe Bryant has took many different “Robins” over his Batman career and proved he could win with others. Perhaps Jordan could have did it too, but we all know for a fact, that Kobe Bryant can win with different pieces by his side.

Also, back in the day, I will never forget the Kobe and Scottie Pippen match up. Like I was saying, Pippen was a superstar in his own world and he didn’t need anyone for that. In a two game series I will never forget, it was Kobe against Michael Jordan’s Robin. In the first game between the Lakers and Trail Blazers, we saw Kobe Bryant totally shut down Scottie Pippen and he didn’t score any field goals for the entire game. Yes, when Scottie was in Portland, he was a bit older and his skills was on the way down. However, at the time, it was consider a big deal and Scottie Pippen said it was more of a fluke than a tremendous defensive effort by Bryant.

So Scottie wasn’t really wanting to give Kobe any credit, for his 0 FG performance. It was about a week or 10 days later and the two would match up again. Both guys saw this as an opportunity to make a statement. Scottie Pippen came out in the 2nd game and was much more aggressive on the offensive side of things. He was trying really hard to score and prove he could score on Kobe Bryant. However, it didn’t turn out well for Pippen on this night either. Once again, Kobe totally shut down Scottie Pippen and for the first 3 quarters, he didn’t have any shots from the field over Kobe. Pippen did manage a free throw or 2 from the line, when the referees called Kobe for a couple of fouls. But for the most part, it was back to back shut downs for Pippen and this woke the NBA up. Basketball fans then could see, that Kobe was just as good as a defender, as he was at scoring the rock.

No doubt Michael Jordan is a truly great athlete that got all the breaks and had tons of luck too. He had a super career and he worked very hard to achieve his talent and skill level on the basketball court. Let’s just be a little careful when we say “the greatest NBA player ever“, because if we really break it down, the man wearing #24 or #8 in Los Angeles with the purple and gold colors for the Los Angles Lakers, he might just be an eyelash better. In fact, I will go on record now and with complete confidence, that Kobe Bryant was and is a better basketball player than Michael Jordan is or ever was in the National Basketball Association. I don’t see anyone else in the NBA right now, who could over take Kobe’s number 1 spot, but perhaps one day, some talented kid from Atlanta, Georgia will be the top baller of them all. To Be Continued…

Article publié pour la première fois le 02/05/2012

Pete Carroll Runs Up the Score Against UCLA

Pete Caroll Runs Up Score Against UCLA

Truly a classless act took place Saturday night in Southern California. The USC Trojans had firm control of the football game against the UCLA Bruins. After UCLA failed on a 4th down and long attempt; the Trojans took over on downs near midfield. There was about 54 seconds left in the game and Pete Carroll decided to take a knee on the first play. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well the UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel had 3 timeouts left and was trailing the ball game by 2 touchdowns. After USC takes a knee, Coach Neuheisel decided to take one of his timeouts. Nothing wrong with that, right? If UCLA used all 3 timeouts and USC took a knee 3 times; then there would be a little time left on the clock for UCLA’s offense to come back on the football field. Yep, everything seemed to be flowing as it should in the waining moments of this Southern California football rivalry.

Oh wait! Pete Carroll decided that a 2 touchdown lead was not big enough with 54 seconds left or he got upset at the UCLA coach for calling a timeout? For whatever reason it was; the USC Trojans came out on their 2nd down play and threw a deep pass that connected for a touchdown. There was no small fist pump or just a glimmering smile from the sidelines that Pete Carroll was standing on. Oh no! Mr. Carroll was racing up and down the sideline with a big grin and hugging other USC coaches and if anyone had just tuned in, you would have thought he just won the PAC 10 Championship. I mean it was really bad. The classless Pete Carroll did not only throw the deep pass with a 2 touchdown lead, but had the nerve to rub it in with his over celebrating tactics. This may be one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen in college football.

My definition for running up the score is very small. I hear that term “running up the score” a lot in sports, but most of the time I don’t think it applies to the situation at hand. In the case Saturday night at the Coliseum it most certainly does! Pete Carroll is going to lose a lot of respect when this game gets shown on Fox Sports and ESPN. I’m sure the ESPN folks will take up for Pete Carroll since they do commercials with him and support his football program 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. I will actually pity the folks that try to stand up for Pete Carroll here. His decision to throw the ball down field with a 2 touchdown lead and less than 1 minute on the clock is clearly running up the score! There is no “ifs” “ands” or “buts” about it. Pete Carroll took his miserable season out on a fellow team that helps make up his football conference in the PAC 10.

The night didn’t end here either for the classless Pete Carroll. He decided from this point to get his team all up standing and jumping around as Pete Carroll was acting like a band director giving out signals to his wind and string sections. The UCLA players saw Pete Carroll doing this and this led everyone on the team to midfield with 44 seconds still remaining in the game. It was a long delay as referees, coaches, police, and others had to push the teams back to their sidelines.

Parents if your son is thinking about USC as a college choice and a place he wants to play football at; then you may want to stir him in a different direction. College football isn’t like this in other parts of the country and Pete Carroll is not a role model or someone that you want coaching your son on the football field. All recruits should be avoiding USC Football anyways; since they face charges and possible bowl game suspensions from their acts of paying Reggie Bush’s family money. I’m sure Pete Carroll was at the root of this and other players that got paid money to play at USC. I think Pete Carroll is singing his last tunes in coaching and I think it’s time the NCAA did something about him and the USC football program.

Article publié pour la première fois le 29/11/2009

Energy bill ready to pass

I would like to thank Gwendolyn Bounds of the WSJ for her diligent effort in writing about, “How Your Home May Qualify For Bailout Cash” in today’s Personal Journal section. My one takeaway of many, is that I wish it were not so complicated to figure out how it works for the common Joe who may not have the best accountant to speak with or the savvy to understand how the IRS works. The common Joe may not even have a huge tax liability to begin with or does that matter? I’m still little confused, not from Ms Bounds, but from complicated tax codes. Granted her audience is much more savvy that the common Joe, I wonder how the Government will communicate the credits and benefits of energy efficiency investments? There are companies like Enigin that have developed some specific check points that can help businesses control their energy costs through what they are calling EnergyMaps.  It may not be easy to understand. I do enjoy her her example of the man from NY who will get 10,500 back from his 35k system. It appears that there is a 30% tax credit for renewable energy like solar and wind power. She also makes it clear that updating your home windows and insulation is tax credit as well, which is huge because if your house is a sieve what is the use of renewable energy? Check out her article!

Article publié pour la première fois le 02/07/2009

Blogs are changing business

In a recent article on the The Crimson Blog they talked about the article that appeared in Business Week back in 2005 called “Blogs will change your business” While it was taking off at the time more and more companies were experimenting with the idea of having both company and consumer generated blogs. That has all come to life in 2007 more than ever with more and more companies putting their blogs out for more public viewing. This has also lead to the growth of such companies like PPP who is the leader in consumer generated media. They basically provide a vehicle by which companies and bloggers can hook up to provide services to each other. Getting paid to blog about what you love is one of the themes for PayPerPost. For all of bloggers out there this is change in the tide and the future looks very bright.

Article publié pour la première fois le 20/09/2008

Smile Virginia Your Gal Won!

The Miss America Pageant was held last night and it was the contestant from Virginia that took home the top honors. That’s right, your new Miss America for 2010 is Caressa Cameron and she was representing the state of Virginia.  Here is the way it went at the end and these were the final 5 contestants left on the stage with a chance to win the 2010 Miss America Beauty Pageant:

Virginia – Caressa Cameron

California – Kristy Cavinder

Tennessee – Stefanie Wittler

Louisiana – Katherine Putnam

Kentucky – Mallory Ervin

As you can see, the Southeast was represented very well with the last 5 young ladies; that had a chance to win it all. It was the lovely woman from Virginia who was crowned as the new Miss America and she is only 22 years old. This ends the reign of last year’s Miss America winner who was Katie Stam from the state of Indiana. I didn’t get a chance to watch last night’s competition, but I’m sure the flash bulbs from digital cameras were going off all night long. Everyone wants to take a picture of these lovely ladies and each woman probably has her picture taken 1000’s of times from regular cameras to digital cameras to the cameras on our cell phones. At least I assume the audience members are allowed to bring in their digital and video cameras. I know there is already at least 100 pictures for the search term “2010 Miss America” and these were pictures of our new Miss America Caressa Cameron. I wasn’t that impressed with the picture of Miss Virginia that showed the crowning ceremony on stage last night. I did manage to find one good picture that was probably taken by a digital camera and it shows just how lovely she really is:

Miss Virginia / New 2010 Miss America

Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron

As you can see, she is a very lovely young woman. I haven’t looked at the other contestants yet, but I think the judges made a good choice, after I saw this picture of Caressa Cameron online. For those that did get a chance to watch the beauty pageant last night, please let me know which state you liked the best in the Miss America Beauty Pageant. Do you agree with Miss Virginia as the choice for your new 2010 Miss America? I look forward to reading your comments and congrats to Ms. Cameron on winning this very prestigious award and congratulations to all the people in Virginia that was rooting for their gal to win last night!

Article publié pour la première fois le 31/01/2010

Finding a good breed of dog

There are thousands of dogs that end up in shelters either through abandonment or people who decide they can no longer take care of the dogs. There was a story on a greyhound called Jasmine on the settee with several of her ‘children’, all animals that she adopted when they arrived at the shelter needing help. Jasmine herself had been abandoned and arrived at the shelter dirty, hungry and very scared. It seems as if she has remembered her fear, and she makes it her job to ensure that all new members of the family get a warm welcome and lots of love and care. Many of these shelters rely on discount pet supplies in order to help make ends and provide for the pets in their care. Her latest adoptee is a fawn about 11 weeks old, that had been found unconscious in a nearby field. The fawn is Jasmine’s 50th child! The owner of the shelter,  says that whenever a new animal is brought in, Jasmine has a quick sniff or two and then licks the animal and adopts it. The only thing that made me worry  is that he says he is amazed, because Jasmine is a greyhound and ‘they are usually known for being aggressive’.

When a racing dog has outlived his usefulness he tends to ‘disappear’ . The statistics below are from the website of the RSPCA and are truly shocking

-a minimum of 13,478 greyhounds bred for racing are considered ‘surplus’ to the industry in England and Wales each year.

-at least 4,728 greyhounds in England are unaccounted for each year – these are presumed to be killed by the age of three or four – when their racing days are over.

-at least a further 2,478 British-bred pups selected for greyhound racing each year never make it to the track – and are also unaccounted for. The Retired Greyhound Trust (which is largely funded by the industry) rehomes just 3,500 each year. About 1,500 more ex-racing greyhounds are rehomed annually by animal welfare charities, as well as others going to private homes

Article publié pour la première fois le 25/11/2009

Bracelets Made with Diamonds and Gold

They always say diamonds are a girls best friend. I know for men, we are suppose to have the dog, as our best friend. While I really like dogs and think the world of all kinds of dogs, I believe for this man, gold is my best friend. A beautiful tennis bracelet, I just now saw online and its gorgeous as you can imagine. However, there was more than just diamonds, that got me to take a 2nd look at this diamond tennis bracelet for sale right now on the World Wide Web.
14K Yellow Gold with Diamonds in a Tennis Bracelet
Do you see how the gold sets this tennis bracelet off? Well at least it does for me. Obviously any bracelet loaded down with diamonds is going to be an attractive piece of jewelry. My current fascinations with gold these days, has really created my eyes with a keen focus on gold products and gold jewelry.
I haven’t always been a fan of gold. I can admit, that the only reason I took a interest in gold panning and trying to locate natural gold, as a modern day gold prospector, was due to the soaring gold prices. The minerals and precious gems are all seeing an increase in price, as gold continues to lead the way. We are seeing record after record being broke in the gold markets. Most experts who follow gold and their trends as a living, don’t think gold has topped out yet. The current prices for an ounce of gold, would be just over $1400, as for the last trading day in February 2011.
Live & Streaming Gold Quotes

As you can see, the ceiling for gold prices could be several months or even years, before we saw gold pulling back any. Perhaps a few small pull backs, but nothing major, according to the financial experts, who follow the heavy mineral for a living each day.
I think diamonds are lovely too. They will certainly benefit off of the success from gold. I get a little bit more excited, when I see a sparkling diamond bracelet and then a small streak of yellow gold begins to appear in between each diamond. For me, any jewelry with real gold in it, on it, or around it, is a piece of jewelry I would like to own.

Article publié pour la première fois le 01/03/2011

Wilderness Survival: No Cell Phone

Wow! I am amazed at some of these shows on TV today. I always like to set the DVR for the survival shows. You know, the one where a family gets trapped in a snow storm or a hiker has got hurt and will have to endure a lot of painful nights. I do love these shows, but in each case they never seem to have a cell phone. If they are lucky enough to have a cell phone, it is always not working for one reason or another. If you can’t get a signal, why would you even take a phone with you? If it was me, I would just go get the newest phone on the market. Something like the new iphone 5 and made sure it would have a signal in the region I was hiking or taking a wilderness vacation. After I had a great cell phone, I would probably take an extra battery or a battery charger. I would also provide a way to plug-in that battery charger, so my phone would work. If you notice in most survival cases, a workable cell phone would have made the rescue much faster.

In each case, the trapped victim or victims have their own set of unique problems. If you watch these shows as much as me; then you start to see a pattern with some of these problems. If you want a safe trip, start to cross-off some of these common things that make a bad situation get worse. I already covered the cell phone, so make sure you have a good cell phone with you. Here are a few other things to prepare for:






*Wild Animals


Before you take that next hike or go for a weekend camping trip, make sure you have something to cure these common survival problems. Food and water seems like an easy one, but imagine you will be gone 5 days. Now try to pack enough food and water to ration for that long. If it is in the summer, be sure to prepare for the heat or carry extra clothing, blankets, and jackets for the winter time of the year. Regardless of the season, be sure to pack a little sun protection. It always seems like the sun plays a big role in the misery and a cheap bottle of suntan lotion (with SPF) could wipe away this problem. Even if you don’t expect bugs or wild animals on your nature trip, just go ahead and take something. A knife or some form of weapon for a wild dog would be handy to have. Be sure to pack a strong repellent for the little bugs and critters; which can turn any vacation into a horror story.

I realize if you’re going on a 10 mile hike, it would be impossible to pack all of these survival items. Please try to take as many as you can and always take the ones you think you would need the most. Even if you can’t carry them for the whole hike, still bring them in the vehicle or to a nearby location, in which you might could travel to later (if needed). The more supplies you can take, the safer you will be. You never know when an emergency will occur, so try to be ready for anything. I hope someone reads this blog post and it does encourage them to start packing more items with them. For most of the TV cases, it is always the little trips, which lands the hiker or family on television and fighting for their life.

Article publié pour la première fois le 17/10/2011