Thursday, February 17, 2011
Pretty darn incredible. Wake up America!
Are you better off today than you were two years ago?
Avg. Retail price/gallon gas in U.S.
Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)
Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)
Gold: London (per troy oz.)
Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL
Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL
Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. Fob
Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall
Unemployment rate, blacks
Number of unemployed
Number of fed. Employees, ex. Military (curr = 12/10 prelim)
Real median household income (2008 v 2009)
Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10)
Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10)
Number of long-term unemployed
Poverty rate, individuals (2008 v 2009)
People in poverty in U.S. (2008 v 2009)
U.S. Rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings
Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10)
Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date)
U.S. Dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate
U.S. Money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)
U.S. Money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)
National debt, in trillions
Just take this last item: In the last two years we have accumulated national debt at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our entire nation's history. Over 27 times as fast! Metaphorically, speaking, if you are driving in the right lane doing 65 MPH and a car rockets past you in the left lane 27 times faster . . . It would be doing 1,755 MPH! This is a disaster!
(1) U.S. Energy Information Administration; (2) Wall Street Journal; (3) Bureau of Labor Statistics; (4) Census Bureau; (5) USDA; (6) U.S. Dept. Of Labor; (7) FHFA; (8) Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller; (9) RealtyTrac; (10) Heritage Foundation and WSJ; (11) The Conference Board; (12) FDIC; (13) Federal Reserve; (14) U.S. Treasury
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Every time we turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper or magazine, we get bombarded with what is going on in Egypt or listen to the Deifying of Ronald Regan.
Sure, what is happening in Egypt IS important to the rest of the world due to the Suez Canal shipping routes, and Ronald Regan did do some good things for our country and the rest of the world.
But where is the news about OUR country?
We have politicians waffling around, even those that were voted in primarily by the Tea Party. Now those same pols are refusing to align themselves with the Tea party. When asked questions, they him and haw and do the usual speaking of lots of words without saying anything. Didn't take them long to learn how to play the game, did it.
We still do not have a national budget, still have a President who is promising all kinds of interest groups and college kids more money, and the nasty, unfounded snide remarks about Sarah Palin continue.
Bill O'Reilly hasn't gotten any more humble or civilized to his guests, Planned Parenthood is blaming the Republicans for their horrific abortion practises with pimps and 14 year old girls, and nobody seems to know anything about our troops.
John McCain is busy kissing up to Obama, Chicago has allowed Rahm Emanuel to run for Mayor, even though he hasn't been a resident for two years in that state, which their law requires.
The Government wants to put rapid transit in all our states, but make the bankrupt states pay for it, despite the people not wanting it. We have spent millions in building bridges across turtle crossings, Christians are still not able to pray in public, and there really isn't anyone to be proud of or to hold up as a true Hero in our government.
It can get downright depressing, can't it. Well, all the news is not bad.
Yesterday I came out of a convenience store while a young man was bringing in a dolley filled with cases of beverages. It was raining, and everything was wet and slippery.
I wanted to get off the sidewalk so I wouldn't block the young delivery man's way, but my foot slipped. and I headed for a nose dive.
That young man immediately dropped his load and rushed to catch me, which he did.
My glasses had fallen off and I stepped on them, twisting them out of shape and making one of the lenses fall out.
He held me until he knew I was steady on my feet, asking "Are you okay, Sweetie"? And then he reached down, picked up my glasses, straightened them out as best he could, and popped the lense back in.
His obvious kindness was a true ray of sunshine on a bleak, wet, rainy day.
I commented on his fallen beverage cases, and he said "Not to worry. YOU are much more important that they are!".
I got in my car, put the key in the ignition, and then stopped. By this time, the young delivery man was inside the store, so back in I went.
I asked him for his name and the address of the company for which he works. He wrote it all down for me, and then another man asked why I wanted it. (The other man had seen everything, and he was expecting me to say I wanted to sue or something, by the look on his face as he glared at me.)
I replied that I was so touched by the young man's kindness that I wanted to write a letter to his company about how he helped me, and how curteous he is.
The young man's face blushed, the other man gave me a hug, and we all taked about how easy it is to call and complain about an employee, but how seldom do people write in about the good service we get from their workers.
You know, that young man could have just gotten out of my way and let me fall. He certainly didn't have to fix my glasses as well as he could, and he could have just been rude or ignoring to me.
But he didn't choose that way of action. He chose instead to help a Senior Citizen from falling, and more than that, he was truly concerned about how I was.
He chose the higher path, and made a very strong impression on me.
I am going to write to Simon's employer, Marine View Beverages out of Port Angeles, and let them know they have a wonderful person in their employ. I hope they put my letter in his file, so when he is due for a review, they will see it and give him the raise in pay he deserves. I hope my letter will bring an increased appreciation of him, and that they see how fortunate they are to have such a fine representative "out there" where the public can see.
There really IS a lot of "GOOD" out there for us to see. It is in finding the good in those we meet. It is in our fellow man.
I hope that someday, I will be as kind, thoughtful, considerate, polite and helpful as that young man.
He made a great difference in my life.
Thank you, Simon. You made all the difference!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Today I was very sore upon awakening. My whole body was sore, and kind of "burning muscle" feeling.
Today is also Quilt Club Day.
I was going to work out, but then I saw the article about DOMS. What the heck does THAT mean???
Intrigued, I clicked on the article, and read it all. Now I know.
DOMS is an acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. That is what I have. I have DOMS.
And I have cramps in my muscles too. They started last night.
But now I know. DOMS.
Yep. That's right. I have DOMS.
That means I have really worked my entire body well, and that I have muscle "burn".
I don't know about YOU, but I am sure impressed with having DOMS!!! To me, it means my body is changing. It means my muscles have been worked out.
It means I can go blissfully to quilt club after doing some stretches and not feel guilty about taking a day off from the Heathen Masters of workout DVDs.
It's okay for me to do a "light" day.
I will go to Quilt Club and not even miss that cheerful jumping and stretching and pulling a puffing and panting and glisten running in my eyes and all the ball chasing, the cat hissing, and the lying flat on the floor trying to get my breath.
Yes, indeed. Belonging to a quilt club is a good thing! I will be with my friends who are not yelling at me to do "Just three more! and then we are on to the NEXT moves".
My Spirit sings with joy. I HAVE EARNED MY DOMS!!!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
My glisten runneth down my face, chest and back. My ribs are wet. My shirt is wet.
Today I did all three of the ten minute workouts on the DVD "Boot Camp My Hips and Thighs" with no breaks in between.
On some of them, I did really well. Others, well, let's say I wouldn't get any gold stars for performance.
But I might get a gold star for TRYING.
AND for not quitting!
There is one complaint I have about these workouts. And that is that there are NO warm ups or Cool Downs. So before you begin these, do the warm up, and once they are over, do your cool down. Those are extremely important to all of us!!! Skipping them can cause VERY serious damage!!!
There was one workout I must tell (or warn) you about. It is using the big ball, and we are supposed to put one foot up on the ball while standing with the other leg straight. Then we are supposed to dip down (I think she called it "lunge", and back up to do it all over again. Then we get to switch to the other side.
I'm game to try it. I get my left foot up on the ball, and already start to tip over.
I grab the stationery bike to prevent the tipping over thing that I am a Master at, and am pleased the bike doesn't tip over.
I have a death grip on the bike and try to do the downward lunge thing on my right side, and I think I got all the way down about three inches.
The ball wiggles and wants to go across the room. I manage to keep it in place, but not lunge down at the same time. Instead, I find myself bending over at the waist.
This is not how it is supposed to be done. So the next time, I bend my knee and go down for another 3 inches.
Wait a minute. She's doing the OTHER side now, all cheerful with herself. I turn around and try bending my left leg while my right foot is on the ball, and maintaining my grip on the bike.
The ball scoots away from my foot. I go across the room to get it back in place, get my foot up on it, grab the bike, and try to kneel down a little further. The ball goes behind me.
I again chase it down, get back in to position, and am ready to do it all over again when I see she is doing something else.
I'm supposed to be lying on the floor holding the ball in the air with my feet. Then I'm supposed to roll my hips back and forth from one side to the other while keeping my shoulders flat on the floor.
YE GADS!! This is one of Nicole's deadly tricks. I have tried this one before, and know that it is a killer.
So okay. I get in to position and give it a try to my right side. By the time I get over to my left side, I am groaning in pain. My abs are killing me.
I manage to get over to the left, and when I swing back to the middle, you guessed it.
BALL doesn't want to do this, so attempts to run out the door.
I get up, chase it down, get back on the floor in position again, and try to do this thing with grace and ease, like the gestapo on the video is doing.
Again, I get to the right side, come back to the center, and POP! Lose the ball again.
I am now getting very good at crawling across the floor after the departing ball.
THIS time I do things MY way. I am on the floor, and I put both heels on the ball. I rotate from side to side. This seems to be working quite well, and the ball and I are in sinc.
Oh, there are lots more workouts to do on this DVD. There's the using of weights and the resistance band, too.
I do recommend it to all of you, with the caveat that you can do things at your own pace and in your own fashion, if that's what you need to do.
The point of this whole thing is to get cardio workouts. To get our hearts stronger, and to feel good about ourselves. We want to be healthy and in shape, right?
The last warning about these DVDs: You might want to wear knee pads so you can crawl all over the place chasing down that ball. I think I will get some new pads and just keep them in the room.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Today I opened the package of the "Lose the Baby Weight Fast" DVD purchased yesterday from Wal-mart.
I thought I was in pretty good shape with all the workouts I have been doing on Spark, but this one kicked my butt!
I did two of the ten minute workouts; the resistance band and followed it by the one with the ball.
AGONY comes to mind.
These DVD's are SERIOUS STUFF!!
She really gets you moving fast, and I have to tell you about the resistance band one first.
I'm supposed to hook my foot in to one of the handles, but I didn't listen to that part on the first go-round. I put MY foot into the half way mark of the resistance band, and held both handles with the opposite hand.
We are supposed to lift the right leg while holding the handles in the left hand. We are on our hands and knees, then we are supposed to extend the right leg out and up, repeating the movement.
Before I get a good grip on what I was doing, and wow. It was a TRUE resistance the way I was doing it..........she switches over to the left leg and right hand.
I still don't notice I am doing it "the hard way", so press on.
Then we are supposed to squat low on the resistance band, and lift our arms (holding the band, of course, by its handles) up over our head.
Now that doesn't sound too difficult, does it?
Just wait till you TRY it!
I was impressed that I could get my hands up to my shoulders! Ah, we do what we can, right?!
We go through more of the torture, then go backward in order from where we started.
I am amazed that I actually finished this one.
But because we are on Week 4 of the 28 Day Boot Camp, I click on the next workout. This one is using the ball.
I like ball workouts. They agree with me. So I get my trusty workout ball, knowing this will be a snap.
HA! The ball they are using has sand in it; mine does not. But I use what I have, right?
This gal must be who trained Nicole! She is BRUTAL!
She expects me to do lunges with the ball, swinging the ball and lunging at the same time.
Those of you who know me understand that swinging and lunging is not a wise thing to tell me to do. I am one of those people who has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, much less swing a big ball and lunge!
I have no idea how to do what she is doing, and I am certain that what I am doing looks nothing like her demonstrations.
She carries us through with lunging, circles, and gets down on the floor with the ball.
I try to do what she says, but it just isn't the same, somehow. I keep dropping my ball, and forget about the lifting of my arms to meet the ball, and when it is time to do the swing thing with the ball, I am sure I can hear snickering in the back ground.
Let her snicker! At least I am getting a lot of workout crawling all over the room chasing down my ball.
My cat enters the room and hisses at me before she stalks out.
I have a firm grip on the ball with my legs and feet, take a look at what she is doing now, and realize I am a "bit" behind.
She is doing this roll out kind of thing, but a different kind of roll out. I am supposed to roll my body out on the ball until I am balancing on my chins and straightened arms.
Then I am supposed to be doing something other than rolling on to my face, which makes me roll off the ball on to the left-on-the-floor resistance band handles.
I try it again, and am amazed that I haven't broken my nose or at the least, given my self a good rug burn on my nose and forehead as I slide too far forward again. This time I fall into the corner of the desk.
Somehow I don't think this is going exactly the way it is supposed to do, but I keep floundering around until the end of the session.
My arms and abs are shaking from the workout. I am glistening. I need to walk slowly to get my heart rate down.
I need to clean up and do some harmless quilting.
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