Archive | December, 2012

Christmas Eve

24 Dec

Well folks, we made it to another Christmas eve. This is a special time as we gather around our loved ones. Some travel a long distance just to be with their families at this time of the year. It’s nice to have family around. We gather around the Christmas tree, drink eggnog, and sing Christmas songs. If you haven’t already done so,  you may spend the evening decorating the tree. Some families like to wait until the members of their family arrive to do this.   It’s nice to go to bed on Christmas eve, and to wake up on Christmas morning, and open presents. I remember my family always had a nice time on Christmas eve. My mother and her best friend, would go shopping for our toys. They would come to our house, and go inside one of the children’s bedrooms, closing the door behind them, to wrap presents. My sister and I would quietly sneak up to the door, and take a look through the peephole. We could see everything that they were wrapping! I don’t remember how many years that we got a way with this, but my mother did catch on, and would wrap them at her friend’s house, since she could trust her children to wait, and open their presents. I hope that whatever you do today, that you don’t spend tonight or tomorrow alone. It’s about being with family and loved ones. While we may not visit each other during the year, Christmas eve is a good time to remember to catch up on family matters, and to just spend time with the people who you love. Enjoy your Christmas eve!

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My HDTV quit working last night

21 Dec

English: HD TV Español: HD TV

English: HD TV Español: HD TV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I went out shopping last night. I came home at 9 p.m., and when I turned on my Insignia HD 42″ TV, it made some popping sounds through the speakers, but the picture never came on. It had been making the sounds for a couple of weeks, so it didn’t surprise me when it wouldn’t work last night. I called the manufacturer, and the tech said that it sounded like it died. I asked him how long these TV’s are supposed to last, and he told me between 2-5 years. Is that all? Are you serious, I wondered.  I think it’s great that technology had replaced the old  and bulky TV’s from years past with thin and sleek High Definition TV’s, but,  with the price that they ask for them, you would think that they would last a little longer than 5 years. I did find out something interesting about myself. I am addicted to watching TV. I tried not to panic as I realized that my constant companion was no longer going to keep me company last night. What would I do to keep busy?  I tried not to panic. Then I thought, why not just rent some movies? So, I did just that. Picked them up at Red box just down the street from where I live. This afternoon, here I am trying to find something to do again to keep busy. I do plan to buy another HDTV today, but I need my neighbor’s help to bring it home. He has a truck.  I’ve done my homework, and found out the best brands to buy in the price range that I want to spend for one. Consumer Reports advised to stay away from Westinghouse brand, as those sets failed most of the  time. So long my old TV. You were a great friend, and you  provided me with 3 years of entertainment. Even during those nights when I fall asleep, and left you on all night.  The great thing about you was that you were free, after winning you in a sweepstakes. So, I can’t complain.

The supposed Mayan prophecy tomorrow 12/21/2012

20 Dec

First of all let me say that I don’t buy it. What makes the Mayans so special, that they would know that the world ends tomorrow many years ago? I can’t find it anywhere in my bible. Don’t you think if they had some special insight into the future, that their race would still be around? There are too many unanswered questions. I don’t expect anything to happen tomorrow, but it case I’m wrong, I’ve asked my friend Liew Chi Khong (http://chikhongphotography.wordpress.com/), who is a photographer  and is some 16 hours ahead of me, to notify me if anything weird starts happening via Facebook. Enjoy the rest of today, as it maybe our last one on the planet. I doubt it.

Regarding the supposed Mayan prophecy tomorrow 12/21/2012. Public message request to my buddy Liew Chi Khong, who lives in Penang, Malaysia…Hey Liew, since you are 16 hours ahead of me here in California, if the sun should suddenly start doing strange things..before you go crazy taking the wonderful pictures that you take, let me know what is happening, won’t you? Haha!

Maybe because it’s Christmas? Or is it just great customer service?

19 Dec

Wow!  Just last week,  I read an article online about a lady who ordered (1) I pad from Best Buy, and received (5) in the box when it arrived at her home!! She contacted BB,, and what was their response? Gonna ahead and keep the other 4, or give them away as gifts. Now, that’s the last thing I would have expected from a major retailer.  Or maybe because it’s Christmas time, somebody at BB felt good about the spirit of giving? Then, it also happened to a second woman. She also ordered (1) I pad, and received 5 in the box. She too contacted BB, and received the same answer from their customer service representative.  I wonder if  the customer service rep had to ask their boss what to do? Or, did they just make the decision on their own?  The second woman is keeping the other 4 in the same box in her closet, because she still believes that BB is going to knock on her door any day and demand them back! I seriously doubt it.

Well, something nice happened to me with DirecTV, and I thought I would share it with you. First of all, their customer service reps are the best in the world. I’ve been a new subscriber since September 6, 2012, and I always get somebody nice on the telephone, who thanks me for my being their customer. I appreciate that. I called them yesterday, and took advantage of their ExtraHD channels for a FREE, 3 month trial offer, that they had sent me via email. But, as soon as I hung up, my HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime stopped working. So when I called to report it, “Mark” apologized for that happening, and told me because it was their error, that he would only charge me for HBO & the Starz channels, at a discounted rate. He gave me Showtime & Starz, FREE for 3 months! Now, you can’t beat that.  Mark didn’t put me on hold to ask his supervisor anything.  He made that decision as we spoke. I told Mark that I am very happy and satisfied with DirecTV. Seems every time I call DirecTV, they have something nice for me, and not because it is Christmas. They are much better than the cable company I had been with the previous 5 years. They never offered me any discounts, and they won’t be getting back my business anytime soon! I am curious though. If you are currently a DirecTV customer, are they always this nice, or is it just because I’m a fairly new customer? I would appreciate a response from anybody reading this, good or bad, about your experience with DirecTV. So, please let me hear from someone out there. I’d like to believe that they are always this nice!

English: Logo for DirecTV

English: Logo for DirecTV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Logo of Best Buy, US-based retail chain

English: Logo of Best Buy, US-based retail chain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Latest world’s oldest living person passes away

17 Dec

Guinness Book of World Records

Guinness Book of World Records (Photo credit: djma.work)

 

On my Dec 6th, 2012, blog entry, I wrote that Bess Cooper had passed away at the age of 116, and that Dina Manfredini, age 115, of Iowa, had inherited the title of the world’s oldest living person according to the Guinness book of records. Ms. Manfredini was able to hold onto that record for two weeks. Sadly, she too passed away yesterday. She had been living in a nursing home in Johnston, Iowa. That title now belongs to a Mr. Jiroemon Kimura, a Japanese man, who is just 15 days younger than Ms. Manfredini. Here I am with my poor health trying to survive day-to-day, and I find it remarkable that these 2 women  lived as long as they did. I can only pray that I live to a good old age. One thing is certain. When my time is up, I will be ready to go home and be with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so I don’t fear death. It is just a transition into another realm as far as I am concerned. Don’t get me wrong. I want to stick around and enjoy life like everyone else. In biblical times, especially in the old testament, it was not uncommon for people to live a hundred years or more. But with diseases, air pollution, and other environmental factors, things have changed. Every time you get in your car, or travel by airplane, or train, etc, you take the chance that something may happen to you. But, we can’t sit around locked up in our homes and be paranoid.  As we grow older, falls become a concern. I know from personal experience. It was just 2 years ago that I fell at home, and broke my left ankle. Fortunately, it healed up nicely on its own, and I didn’t need surgery, much to the surprise of my doctor, who had planned on putting a metal plate and screws into my ankle. My brother just had neck surgery, and they placed a plate and rods in his neck. I was surprised when he told me that he only spent one night in the hospital!  The human body is remarkable as to  how it repairs itself. So, let’s live life to the fullest. We cannot worry about what is going to happen to us every time we head out our door. We shouldn’t focus on the bad, but the good things in life. Nor should we live in fear. Of course, taking care of your body helps tremendously. So eat right, exercise, and don’t be afraid to see your doctor, even when you’re not sick. It’s all about prevention. So to Mr. Kimura, I say, congratulations, and continue to live your life to the fullest. We only get one life and one body. So let’s take care of it. Take care of yourself.

 

I took the plunge and joined Facebook

16 Dec

If you have been following my blog post, you will recall that I previously wrote about whether I should join Facebook or not. I had my reasons for not wanting to join. I had heard about FB invading your privacy, and some other terrible things. On the other hand, I was curious to see what it was all about, since most, but not all people have already done so. Well, yesterday, I took the plunge and jumped into the deep end of the pool, so to speak. Basically, I was tired of opening my email and being directed to sites only to find out that I needed access via FB to enter that site. I didn’t think that was fair. These companies should give you an alternate choice of opening their site other than FB. Its funny, but people seem to go with the flow, and do something just because others are doing it.  I don’t feel that I have to join something just because others are doing it. So, I held out as long as I could.  I  asked people I knew what FB was all about, but their answers were vague.  I even asked on my blog post for other’s opinions, and I did receive a few comments, but they were not favorable. So I figured, why not try it. I can always delete my account if I don’t find it useful. The interesting thing is when you join, the system does ask you if you want to see if any of your email contacts (friends & relatives) have a FB page, and you can select who you would like to ask to be added as a friend. It automatically sends them a message that you are now a FB user.  Well, I was surprised to find that just about all of my email contacts are already on FB. So, I guess I was behind the times. The good news is that I was able to contact some of my friends whom I have not been in contact for a while. I also found it interesting that a number of my friends are associated with other people who I know, so that is a good thing. I also like the chat feature. I was online yesterday, and my good  friend Liew Chi Khong and I,  had a nice chat.   Only time will tell if my joining FB is beneficial to me. I do like the fact that it is free to join. Would I recommend joining FB to others? I’m not sure. I guess it would depend on the individual, and whether they would actually get some use out of having a FB page.  So for now, I am an official FB user. I hope that I get some good use from it. Until next time, take care of yourself.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Forget California, Navidad, Chile receives more earthquake tremors

15 Dec

Aftermath of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami

Aftermath of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Español: En Concepción, el edificio Alto Río, ...

Español: En Concepción, el edificio Alto Río, de 20 pisos, colapsó producto del terremoto del 27 de febrero de 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, then you know that one of the things that fascinates me is earthquakes. I live in California, and I thought that we  received the most tremors, but it would appear that the town of Navidad, Chile, rates as a  town with the highest amount of tremors. On February 27,  2010, an 8.8-magnitude  earthquake, and  tsunami, which washed away docks and seaside resorts,  destroyed much of the Chile’s coast, including the town of Navidad. The total damage was $30 billion dollars. A total of  551 people were killed, and 220,000 homes were destroyed.  5,500 people live in Navidad, a coastal farming community, with a reputation of being one of the shakiest spots in the world. Navidad felt more that 170 tremors in just five weeks! It’s residents are all too familiar with the constant tremors, and they take whatever preparations  they can, including daily earthquake drills by children in its public schools. Unfortunately, there is no way of telling when the next tremor will strike, or how long it will last, leaving the residents often on edge. Incredibly, the 2010 earthquake was so strong that it actually changed time and shortened the Earth’s day, by changing the planet’s rotation! The strongest earthquake ever recorded happened in Chile in 1960 when a magnitude 9.5 occured some 500  miles south of Navidad, killing in excess of  5000 people. Earthquakes happen all the time, some are so small that we just don’t feel them. I searched the net and found a site that shows the current earthquakes occurring in California. It showed a graph with the time and magnitude of each tremor. They seem to be non-stop.  I think it’s fascinating that the country of Chile receives the most tremors, including the town of Navidad. Until next time, take care.

English: Shake map of the magnitude 8.8 earthq...

English: Shake map of the magnitude 8.8 earthquake offshore Chile on February 27, 2010. Epicenter marked at star. Seventh version of the map, realized by USGS on 5 March 2010 at 03:00:13 AM MST. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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