Thursday, 30 September 2010

I Shot an Arrow...

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, 19 September 2010

What Not to Say When You're Pulled Over

I know when I was last pulled over, I said to the state trooper, "You caught me!" and laughed. He had me dead to rights and I wasn't going to argue with him. I continued to say, "I know where you guys usually sit to catch people like me who are blatantly speeding. I knew it but it just felt so good to open up the engine!" (I was doing 73 in a 50-mile-an-hour zone).

And then, to compound the mistake, I went to fish my driver's license out of my binder and it wasn't there. I said,"OH, shit, I was on call last night and I left it in my other pants!". He laughed, said to be careful and let me go. I offered to hug him, I was so grateful. I also drive at the speed limit and not a mile over for the next two weeks following that.

I strongly think the fact that I did not say, "I wasn't doing anything wrong," when I did, or waiting for him to ask me what I did to get pulled over was a large part of the saving grace. There is a small amount of courtesy extended to EMTs in their home state especially, but not anything quite like I did.

"In what he calls an "educational video" that's widely circulated on You-tube, comedian Chris Rock offers advice on what to do when you get pulled over for a traffic violation.

"Obey the law" he says. "Stop immediately" and "stay in your car with your hands on the wheel." Finally, "if your woman is mad at you, leave her at home. There's nothing she'd like to see more than you getting your [you-know-what] kicked."

It's a dead-on spoof of a hard truth: Respect authority. If you don't, you increase the odds of a pricey ticket.

[Click here to check auto rates in your area.]

"Everything in that video is absolutely true," said Sgt. Matthew Koep of the South Plainfield, N.J., Police Department. "It's funny, but it's accurate."

Citizens who are generally law-abiding are likely to come into contact with the police only under two circumstances: If you're a crime victim or you get pulled over for a traffic violation.

[See the Most Stolen Vehicles in the United States]

Police officers are not out to make your life miserable, but to make sure you're following the rules of the road and not endangering yourself or those around you.

With a few exceptions, and an egregious traffic violation is top among them, cops aren't mandated to write tickets. Most would rather send you on your way with a friendly warning -- that can save you time and money.

But handle the situation with an aggressive or arrogant attitude and you can expect to squeeze an expensive court date into your busy schedule.

Play Nice
First rule: don't argue

"I get this all the time," said Karen Rittorno, a nine-year veteran with the Chicago Police Department. "'What are you stopping me for? I didn't do nothing.' If they try to take charge of the traffic stop, they're not going to get out of it without a ticket," she said. "We ask the questions, not them." Accept that the police have caught you doing something that's against the law, such as speeding or gliding through a stop sign.

"All we do is react to what people do when you pull them over," said Dennis Fanning, a homicide detective and veteran officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. "We don't instigate the stuff, but we will react to you. The situation will escalate or de-escalate depending on how that person reacts."

To argue with cops is akin to calling them idiots. Don't do that. "That's implying that I pulled you over for no reason and that bothers me," Koep said.

Keep It Honest
Don't lie, either. Cops are trained to note the human characteristics of lying, including twitching and looking to the left, and they know the right questions to ask to suss out the truth.

Fanning estimates that nine out of 10 people lie to him. "It's an attack on our intelligence," he said. Moreover, the truth can set you free. Koep recalled an incident when he pulled a young guy over for speeding. "He looks straight at me and says, 'You know, officer, I wasn't even paying attention. I just had the best date of my life. I just met my future bride. I'm just on cloud nine right now.' The guy was completely serious," Koep said. "How are you going to write that guy up after that? Who makes that kind of stuff up?"

Of course, don't use pejoratives when addressing the police, unless you're eager for a ticket. But other words may backfire, too. Rittorno works in a crime-ridden section of Chicago where the majority of people she pulls over for traffic violations don't have licenses or insurance, she said. "So I get a lot of, 'I'm sorry, baby. I didn't mean it, sweetheart,'" she said. "I hate being called 'baby' or 'sweetheart.' I'm 'officer' to you.''

The police don't like being talked over, either. "Be polite," said Chicago Officer Mike Thomas. "You have your rights as a citizen, too, but it doesn't do you any good to talk while he's talking."

Cops know that people are nervous when they get pulled over, and they expect a certain amount of jumpiness when they approach a car. Rittorno even admitted she's intimidated in the same situation. "I'm the police and I get scared if I get pulled over," she said.

But did you know they're on edge, too? You know who they are, but they don't know whether you're a good guy or a bad guy. "The only thing on his mind when he approaches you is safety," Thomas said. "You know you don't have a gun in your lap, but the officer doesn't know it."

Rittorno, for one, said she assumes everyone has a gun. "I'm always on 10," she said, referring to her high level of vigilance. "I take it down depending on their demeanor or what I see."

Stay Calm
When those headlights go on, it's best to pull the car to the right, stay in the car, turn the interior lights on if it's dark and put your hands on the steering wheel.

Don't make any quick movements, and don't turn to grab your purse or put your hands in your pocket or under your seat to retrieve your license -- until the officer instructs you to. Then, do it slowly.

Don't move to open the glove box either, until directed. And do that slowly, too. Let the police shine a light inside the box before you reach in. Many criminals hide guns in glove boxes.

"What's going to cause the situation to get worse is for the fear factor to rise in that officer," Koep said. "The officer is more likely to cut you a break as long as you can reduce that fear. …If you're friendly with me, not arguing or denying what happened, that lowers the fear factor and will make me a lot more cooperative with you."

Don't boast about who you know, either. That can infuriate cops. They consider it a veiled threat to their livelihoods. Fortunately, most municipalities have laws in place to insure that an officer is not fired or reprimanded for ticketing, say, the mayor's daughter.

Finally, never try to buy off a cop. "In those instances where they've offered me a bribe," Fanning said. "I loved making those arrests."

Jennifer Waters is a MarketWatch reporter, based in Chicago.

MORE Spam!

From: Mr.Ahmed Traore [mailto:ahmedtraore1@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2010 8:27 AM
To: undisclosed recipients:
Subject: urgent assistance

Urgent assistance

Dear Partner

I am the account officer to late Mr hussein mubarak of kuwaite a well known Philanthropist after his death the bank gave me the permition to make a random draw of emails and your e-mail address was picked as the beneficiary to his Will of 7.4Million,You are required to contact me immediately to enable me update you in detail's about the process of this very golden opportunity. Mail me immediately for further details bearing in mind that the Bank has given me a date limit to produce the beneficiary.

Furthermore,I am putting it clear to you that you have choice to choose if you need this fund through boa bank here or through this bank conrespondence bank in europe to credit this fund into your account which any of your choice will be accepted by me as long as you are ready to follow up my instruction's.

Meanwhile: I request you on your return mail to send to me your data's or information's as stated below:

1. Your Name in Full:
2. Your Address:
3. You’re Occupation:
4. Your Nationality:
5. Your City
6. Your Mobile number:
8. Your Age:
9. Your Gender:

However, feel free to ask me any question which i promise to clarify you on any doubts.so call me on this number:+226 77 09 92 18

Please you are advice to keep this business proposal as a top secret between both of us, or delete it immediately in your email box if you are not interested for the business. Your urgent response to this mail will be highly appreciated.

Mr.James Ahmed Traore
Foreign Remittance Exchange Manager
Bank of Africa Ouagadougou

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Catching Up on People (Magazine)

As you who have slogged your way through my blog know, there are five regularly issued publications that I read:

Discover Magazine
Scientific American
Human Resources Management
National Geographic

and...

People Magazine
.

You can see the weirdness in that list... I read all these science and professional publications, and - sleazy, sleazy - People Magazine. Now, it is not all sleaze and slime. It does showcase other articles and it is not making stuff up the way that disgusting rags like The Enquirer does. That is really scraping the bottom. Most of the grandstanding famous people like articles about Jennifer Aniston wanting to have a child sans husband is something I might skip. More often than not I do. Some of the articles about Sandra Bullock I have read. When it comes to the famous people, it is a hit or miss. The other more human-interest articles are better.

But there are some things you just can't miss.

So let me dig through them. Nancy is away and I've got about eight weeks worth of People that she has not read. I wanted to post about them but you have seen how often I have been online of late...

OK, where am I?

I'm waaaaaay behind, but really, most topics only warrant a few comments, not pages and pages of it. And most things don't even warrant commentary of any kind. So this should not be too long winded. (I say that now...)

The publication of 2 August (which showed up in the mail between Thursday, 22 July and Saturday, 24 July) has Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on the cover. I like them both. Angeline Jolie is a little unusual with the tattoos and the family baggage but that makes her more rather than less "normal" or someone you can identify with. Certainly their attitude about children and adoption is something I think very highly of them. None of this grandstanding and none of the invitro and trying over and over and over to have natural pregnancies if it did not work. They adopted more kids - or maybe the same amount - as they've had naturally. I tend to feel nothing warm toward Celine Dion, who could adopt many, many children from anywhere in the world but instead of feeling that their 9-year-old son is enough, continues to fight with invitro fertilisation to have another child.

I got all that from just the cover... maybe this will be a long-winded post.

Many times the most interesting part of the issue is the MailBag section. Readers from all over write in via e-mail or letters to comment on different articles. I haven't done it (maybe I did once) but it's never been published. I suppose if it moved me enough I'd do it. But others do, frequently, and some I like and some I want to slap.

Everyone likes Sandra Bullock and slaps Jesse James around. It's rather amusing. Elin and Tiger Woods, by way of contrast, are both looked down upon but for different reasons. It's unusual to find unanimous comments on different marriages ending for the same reasons. Elizabeth Edwards, like Sandra, gets the warm fuzzies and everyone looks down on John Edwards and his lower than dirt girlfriend or whatever she is and f0r the obvious reasons. The other woman, whose name I cannot recall and don't care to, has publicly slammed Elizabeth Edwards but also petitioned for a dollar amount of child support that is just absurd. She has made herself someone to revile.

Star Tracks is very often just pictures of the rich and famous in the outside world and generally there is not a lot to say about these tiny tidbits. Famous people - and rich people - do what you and I do. The only difference here is that far more people recognise them and they have a bank roll far larger than mine. Shrug.

However, Scoop rarely disappoints. The people focused in it do, but that is normal. So for this issue, we have Lindsay Lohan, with a picture that looks terrible. It's tough to know if this is really what she looks like or if she is putting on to some degree. But if she is looking for sympathy she is unlikely to get it. I don't know anyone who thinks, "Awww, poor thing..." about this one.

It's entitled "Lindsay in Lockdown" and reads: "On July 20 Lindsay Lohan, 24, began a 90-day jail sentence at Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif., for violating probation in a DUI case. In the hours leading up to her surrender, a source says Lohan--who had been staying at a Los Angeles sober-living facility started by lawyer Robert Shapiro--"was a nervous, fidgety mess." Luckily for Lohan, she'll likely server just a few weeks due to overcrowding. She's then required to enter a 90-day inpatient rehab program, which may coincide with the Sept. 3 release of her film Machete, opposite Robert De Niro. When Lohan emerges, she's expected to start shooting the biopic Inferno (about 70s porn star Linda Lovelace) and continue expanding her 6126 clothing line. Says a source: "There's an expectation that out of this drama, she'll get more gigs and money."

I would really hate to see that going to jail makes her more rather than less marketable. I personally think she should leave the movie business altogether - this is not for everyone. I can't help but think that with the fame and money taken out of the equation, she might not have all these addiction issues.

As always, the morons that make up the show The Jersey Shore manage to get into just about every issue of People Magazine. It is disappointing. In this one, there is a small blurb in Scoop with a photo of Snooki (who looks terrible) with this kid with the unlikely nickname "the Situation" (I have not a clue what that means. None). The blurb reads "JERSEY SHORE ROCKS - The Jersey Shore cast toasted the release of the show's soundtrack July 13 at New York City's Marquee. Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi rocked a new poof-less haido, Ronnie Magro downed shots of Three Olives Vodka and DJ Pauly D traded off on the turntables with rapper Lil Jon."

Snooki looked old and really bad with pouting lips and the kid "the Situation" had a very bemused look on his face. Maybe it was all the alcohol, I don't know. Whatever...

Under the TV section, there it is again... Jersey Shore. The world's worst representatives of the state I live in and have been living in all of my life. It really bugs me that people think this is what New Jersey people might be. But the review restored a bit of my faith:

"Season 2 of MTV's instant trash classic moves the Situation, Snooki and Co. down to Miami Beach for a little change of scenery and no apparent change in attitude. Actually, the scenery hasn't changed that much, either. The producers have somehow managed to make the Miami as ugly as Seaside Heightes, N.J.: An aerial shot of the Atlantic looks like an enormous pea-green shag carpet. In the premier, Angelina, who bowed out in season 1, rejoins the group, setting off all sorts of tense vibrations in their exquisite group dynamic. Then they all go out on the town and drink a lot and talk sloppy and fight. Snooki is what makes the show watchable. One of the greatest found objects in reality-TV history, she resembles Cher poured into a Chianti bottle, and every word out of her mouth is remarkably bone-headed. Washing clothes in the sink, she complains, 'I feel like a pilgrim from the friggin' 20s!'"

I rest my case. She is beyond an idiot.

In the bigger stories, Mel Gibson has turned into a nut. Not that this doesn't happen to rich and famous people, but he really seems to have lost his marbles. He certainly has bad taste in women. This winner, Oksana, is the homeliest woman in the star circles. She is butt-ugly.

Which brings us to the bigamist bride, Bobbi Finley. YIKES. This woman has been absolutely beaten with an ugly stick and she wracked up anywhere from 12 to 39 (!) husbands with multiple aliases and a rotation of servicemen. She said, "I know I have problems but I'm not a grifter." Really? Putting all of those men into debt for herself doesn't make her a lying sack of grifting shit? I think not.

And meet Crystal Renn, a "plus-sized" model. She's plus sized the way I'd like to be plus-sized. (Which is to say she isn't really plus-sized.) It wasn't really worth reading - she is not much to look at. She should be but isn't.

And that takes care of that one week...

Another Scam!

I should start posting "A Scam A Day"...

Dear Friend,

I am sorry for intruding into your privacy as I am the bill and exchange manager of BOA Bank here in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso and I believe that you will not expose or betray this trust and confidence that I am about to repose on you for our mutual benefits.

I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($11.5)Million immediately to your account, the money has been dormant for years in our Bank here without any body coming for it.

I want us to team up and convince the bank to release the money to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer(the owner of the account)who died alongside his entire family in an air crash since July 2000 and I don't want the money to go into our Bank's treasury as an abandoned fund.

You can confirm the genuiness of the deceased death by clicking on this website below.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm

So this is the reason why I'm contacting you, so that the bank where I work as a staff presently (BOA) will release the money to you as the nearest person to the deceased customer.

Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and upon the receipt of your reply I will send you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned sum if you agree to transact the business with me.

Reply to my private E-mail:
dr.ogbaruanamasa@voila.fr

Thank's and hoping to hear from you.

Dr.Ogbaru Anamasa
What a loser!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

More Really Stupid Scams!

These losers are everywhere and abound with get-money-quick schemes. Unbelievable. So here are some recent ones for you to have a look.

Hello,

I am Lt. Nora Chandler. I am a member of the U.S. Army 561st Medical Company in Iraq presently.

I have very sensitive information and a proposal for you. Please get back to me so I can give you more details if you would like to hear more.

Suffice me to say at this stage that it is in connection with a large sum of money that was discovered here in Iraq sometime in 2003 and also that it will be extremely profitable to both of us. Please open the links below as this will give you a better idea of what this whole thing is about.

http://www.chuckpita.com/700-billion-cash-found-in-baghdad-iraq
http://www.pittslive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_130622.html

I shall await your response via email. My email address is nora.chandler65@gmail.com.

Best Regards,

Nora Chandler

***************************************************************************

These stupid people have been trying this one for close to a year:

Yahoo account users,

This message is from Account Webmaster messaging center to all yahoo account owners.To complete your Email account upgrade,you must reply to this email immediately and enter your Login information below.

* Username:
* Password:
* Date of Birth:
* Country Or Territory:

After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences. Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after two days of receiving this warning stands the risk of losing his or her account permanently.

The Yahoo Management

Don't fall for this one. They have been trying this for months. I'm not giving them anything. Yahoo! does not need your date of birth for anything.

**************************************************************************************

The next (the key to this one is the "undisclosed recipients"):

From: eric diallo [mailto:mrseric1diallo@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 10:22 AM
To: undisclosed recipients:
Subject: CALL MR MIKE ANDREW ON HIS DIRECT LINE +229-7890-2253

Attn: Beneficiary

This is to inform you that your ($1Million USD) will be send to you via western union money transfer. The total amount mentioned above is with western union outlet and they will send the money via western union to you. Note they will be sending $5.000 every day by day to you. Therefore i want you to email Mr.Mike Andrew the western union supervisor and ask him to realise you the first payment need to pick up the first $5.000 today.Call Mr.Mike Andrew now and ask him to realise the payment and every other information you need to pick up your $5.000 today.

HERE IS THE CONTACT INFORMATIONS OF MR.MIKE ANDREW SUPERVISOR WESTERN UNION OFFICE.

EMAIL:(western_unionmoney_transfer2000@yahoo.cn)

PHONE NUMBER:+229 789 022 53

Thanks,
Mrs Eric Diallo
*********************************************************************************


Please Reply Me Through This Email Address ( mrahmed_conobo@live.fr )
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Friend,

Good Day.

I am mr Ahmed Conobo,The National Audits Director of Bank of Africa(BOA) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.

I'm contacting you in regards to a business transfer of a huge sum of money from a deceased customer account, who died along with his entire family in Air plane crashed on 6th May 2007, in Cameroun.

Although I know that a transaction of this magnitude might make anyone apprehensive, I would like to assure you that we are sending you this mail with the best of intensions.

Since his death, none of his next-of-kin or relations has come forward to lay claims to this money as the heir. We cannot release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.

Upon this discovery, I now seek your permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased, as all documentations will be carefully worked out by us for the funds (US$10.5 MILLION) to be released in your favour as the beneficiary's next of kin.It may interest you to know that we have secured from the probate court, an
order of madamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries.

Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business endeavour by furnishing me with the following;

(a.) Your Full Names
(b.) Your Address
(c.) Your Telephone and Fax numbers
(d.) Your Age
(e.) Your Occupation

These requirements will enable me to prepare a letter of claim to enable you contact the appropriate departments for necessary approvals in your favour before the transfer can be made.you shall be compensating with 35% on final conclusion of this project, while the rest shall be for me.Your's share stays with you while the rest shall be for me for investment purposes in your country.

If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the trust i have bestowed in you, I await your urgent response.

Send your Reply To This Email Address ( mrahmed_conobo@live.fr )
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards,
Mr.Ahmed Conobo
National Audits Director
Group Bank Of Africa.
Burkina Faso, West Africa.
My Direct Line +229- 7457- 5289
call me or send sms test message

*********************************************************************************

Hello,
My name is Jennifer Grant; I work with Andar Consultants Ltd in England. This is a standard process investigation concerning a client who shares the same name with you and the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client.

The aforementioned client had investments with The Royal Bank of Scotland, unfortunately, he died intestate. The purpose of this communication with you is to inquire about the following;

1 - Do you have any relative whose last known contact address was Zurich, Switzerland?
2 - If yes, are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person at The Royal Bank of Scotland?
3 - If yes to both of the above, can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume status of next of kin to the deceased?

It is pertinent that you inform us whether or not you are familiar with this personality to enable us conclude our investigation.Thank you for accommodating our inquiries.

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer Grant
Andar Consultants Ltd.

********************************************************************************


DEAR FRIEND,

MY NAME IS MR. AZIZ ABBAS. I AM 59 YEARS OLD MAN.

I AM FROM SAUDI ARABIA BUT RESIDENT IN DUBAI - UNITED ARAB EMIRATE FOR THE PAST 25YEARS. I AM MARRIED WITH TWO CHILDREN. MY WIFE AND CHILDREN DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT TWO YEARS AGO WHILE ON HOLIDAY IN THE EGYPT.

SINCE I HAVE NO CHILDREN OF MY OWN AND IMMEDIATE RELATIVES, I DECIDED TO ASK FOR YOUR HELP IN THIS PROJECT. I HAVE BEEN HELPING ORHANPS AND CHILDREN IN ORPHANAGE HOMES BY DONATING MONEY AND OTHER VALUABLE ITEMS TO THEM AROUND THE WORLD. PRESENTLY, I AM RECEIVING INTENSIVE TREATMENT IN A PRIVATE HOSPITAL HERE IN SPAIN.

MY DOCTORS TOLD ME THAT I HAVE CANCER OF THE LUNGS AND THAT I HAVE TWO MONTHS TO LIVE. BEFORE I BE CAME ILL, I SAVED SOME MONEY (US$5 MILLION DOLLARS) FROM THE SALES OF MY REAL ESTATES, GULF COURSE AND SOME FUNDS I INHERITED FROM MY WEALTHY LATE PARENTS AND THIS FUNDS HAVE SINCE BEEN DEPOSITED IN CASH CONSIGNMENTS VOLTS WITH A TRUST FINANCE/SECURITY COMPANY IN SPAIN.

PLEASE, I BEG YOU IN THE NAME OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH TO HELP ME COLLECT THESE CASH CONSIGNMENTS (FUNDS) FROM THE TRUST FINANCIAL SECURITY COMPANY BY NOMINATING YOU AS MY PARTNER AND THE NEW BENEFICIARY.

AFTER THE COLLECTION OF THE CASH CONSIGNMENTS (FUNDS),YOU WILL NOW HELP ME TO DONATE THESE FUNDS TO CHARITY/ORHANPANGE HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES,EUROPE, ASIA AND AFRICA. THIS WILL MAKE MY LIFE A DREAM COME THROUGH WHEN I REST WITH THE ALLAH SOON. THE WORD OF ALLAH SAYS, WHAT IT SHALL PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL. THIS IS THE SWEAT OF MY LABOUR AND THE STRUGGLE OF MY LIFE.

I BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED AFTER SERIES OF PRAYERS AND WOULD OFFER THIS SERVICE FOR HUMANITY SAKE. I AUTHORISE YOU TO TAKE 20% OF THE TOTAL SUM FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO TOUCH MANY LIVES AROUND THE WORLD. IF YOU CAN HELP ME, PLEASE MAIL ME SO THAT I WILL GIVE YOU THE CONTACT DETAILS OF THE TRUST FINANCIAL SECURITY COMPANY AND THE NECESSARY INFORMATIONS REGARDING THIS PROJECT.

I NEED YOUR HELP AS I HAVE NO IMMEDIATE RELATIVE I CAN ENTRUST THIS PROJECT WITH FOR SOME PRIVATE REASONS. I KNOW YOU WILL BE SURPRISE TO THIS PROPOSAL AS I DO NOT KNOW YOU PHYSICALLY BUT DESPIRATE PROBLEM DESERVES DESPERATE SOLUTIONS THUS I GOT YOUR CONTACT FROM THE INTERNET DURING MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE PERSON I CAN ENTRUST THIS PROJECT WITH AND I DECIDED TO MAKE CONTACT WITH YOU AND ASK FOR YOUR HELP.

I KNOW THERE ARE LOTS OF ILLEGAL THINGS GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD AND IN THE INTERNET BUT THIS IS FAR FROM ONE AS THIS IS A JUST, LEGITIMATE AND REAL PLEAD FOR HELP MAY THE GOOD ALMIGHTY ALLAH BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

REGARDS,
MR. AZIZ ABBAS.

*************************************************************************************

Greetings,

I am Mr. Bill Williams from Ouagadougou; I live here in Burkina Faso with my Mother Mrs. Vivian Williams However, we write to seek your cooperation to retrieve the sum of (US$5 Million Dollars) that is now in the custody of the diplomat who brought it there in Madrid – Spain after Mr.Thomas Jake disappointed us out of greed as we initially agreed to compensate him with 30% of the total sum of the money but on the arrival of the diplomat there he refused our initial agreement and demands 60% of the total sum.

Moreover, if you can assist to participate and retrieve this money from the diplomat as he does not know the content of the consignment, we will be very happy to compensate you with 30% of the total sum. This transaction is 100% risk free.

Furthermore, we will give you the contact details of the diplomat there in Madrid – Spain, so that you can contact with him, and then take delivery of the consignment.

Consequently, we need an experienced person to assist us develop our project as we intend to invest in building a tourist hotel, real estate development and on agriculture, on resumption of this project, you will be our director for the role and assistance you rendered, and you will also be entitled to a percentage agreed upon from the investment.

We will be very glad if you will take into consideration our urgent plea and respond as soon as possible. Contact :+22978181976

Regards,
Bill Williams

*********************************************************************************

Hello,
We thank you for your interest in our promotion. In order to complete your request to receive your $500 Walmart giftcard, please visit the following url. http://nfsh.info/ls/walmar1/track.php?c=6cn9d7nrzd1e Also please tell your friends about this promotion, but hurry, offer must end soon.

---
You are receiving this email in response to a request made via our website. Your data has not been saved and you will not be contacted again.

*********************************************************************************


Your Mail-ID has won you $2,000,000.00 in our Free-lotto Promo.send your

1.Name.............
2.Address..........
3.Phone/No.........
4.Country..........
5.Occupation.........

please contact your fiduciary agent
Mr.Richard Smith
************************************************************************
Good day,

My name is Mr. Jeffery Dean, I work in the Euro Lottery.I am soliciting your assistance for a swift transfer of 4,528,000 GBP, should you be willing to assist me in this project, you will be giving me just 30% of your winnings.

Just as a brief, you just have to register as an intending Lottery player, due to my position in the company I can make it happen that you would be a winner of the above stated amount.

Naturally, every body would like to play a lottery if they are assured of winning. I am assuring you today to be a winner, please do not take for granted this once in a life time opportunity as we both stand to collectively gain from this at the success of the transaction.

Should you be willing to assist me in this transaction please do respond to e-mail: jgdean_093@gala.net

Regards,
Mr. Jeffery Dean
****************************************************************************
Dear Friend,

Permit the manner with which I am seeking your assistance but I am short of options and have no otherchoice.I am John England from the hospitality state(Mississippi), an army contractor attached to the US Military force in Iraq. The reason why Iam explaining my findings to you is to seek for your assistance to enable you contribute immensely to the actualization of my dream.I am attached to the US army for the sole purpose of reconstruction work in some parts of Iraq.As you very well know, Iraq is gradually undergoing a rebuilding process in some parts and there is much need for reconstruction which is were I come in. I evaluate the level of destruction and offer professional advice inline with the way they intend rebuilding. Work has been risky no doubt and challenging as some times we are faced head on with armed insurgents where we lose some soldiers during confrontation. I have had my own share of losses as I lost a friend whom I have known for 12years.

On the 4th day of May 2010, at about 11:00hrs during a normal inspection routine along HaifaStreet where there is long through fare of high-risebuildings which were built and occupied by the late Saddam Hussein while he was still alive, I along with 3 soldiers proceeded to a marked site and as I commenced evaluation work while i was closely guarded by soldiers, I discovered an unusual bulge in a cellar which i presumed to be a storage room. I decided to have a go at it only for me to kick the metal covering and find a metal boxes(6 in number)piled on top one another which were locked with a padlock each.

Upon forcing the boxes open, we discovered several guns, amour and some boxes amongst which two contained bullets, one filled with hard drugs(heroine)and the other two to my amazement contained some US Dollars which amounted to $12.5M after I and two of the soldiers counted them for about 3 hours. I believe the boxes if not owned are linked to the Al Qaeda and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

I however instructed them to keep this in high secrecy so that we can have the money to our selves, they all agreed to the plan and we were going to get the money out of the country but first we had to hide the money in some safe and untraceable location. This made me to consult with a friend in our force who went with me and the two other officers to secretly keep the boxes in a safer place after which we handed over the drugs and the weaponry to our superiors.

I am now in desperate need of a Reliable and Trustworthy person like you who would receive, secure and protect these boxes containing the US Dollars forme up on till my assignment elapses here. We cannot afford to leave the boxes here in Iraq for any reason since Iraq is getting unsafe and dangerous everyday.

We have no idea what could happen next as everything remains inconclusive at this point. I am fully aware of what your thoughts would be next which is why I intend to include my picture as well as my I.D.s for you to know whom you are dealing with. I assure and promise to give you 10% of this fund, however feel free to negotiate what you wish to have as your percentage in this deal. Please assure me of your keeping this top most secret within you so that my job would not be jeopardized. Please contact me.

My Sincere Regards,

John England
**************************************************************************
From: Mr.Kazim Takar
Plot No.7-Flat 4 Kweku Innocent Crescent, Labadi district Accra - Ghana.


Greetings,

We want to transfer to overseas ($ 13,000.000.00 USD) from a prime bank here in Ghana, I want to ask you to quietly look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up a new Bank a/c immediately to receive this money, even an empty a/c can serve to receive this money, as long as you will remain honest to me till the end of this important business trusting in you and believing in God that you will never let me down either now or in future.

I am Mr.Kazim Takar,Director of International Relation with a bank here in Ghana,during the course of our auditing I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the bank in 2001 and since 2002 nobody has operated on this account again, after going through some old files in the records I discovered that the owner of the account died without a [heir] hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing.

The owner of this account is Mr.Louis Kennedy , a foreigner, and a sailor, and he died since 2002. and no other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that Late Mr.Louis Kennedy was the manager of K.Louis.(Gh). LTD.

We will start the first transfer with Five Million USD [$5,000.000.00] upon successful transaction without any disappoint from your side, we shall re-apply for the payment of the remaining amount to your account,The amount involved is (USD 13 M) I want to first transfer $5,000.000 [Five Million million United States Dollar from this money into a safe foreigners account abroad before the rest, but I don't know any foreigner in my life, I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money can not be approved to a local person here, without valid international foreign passport, but can only be approved to any foreigner with valid international passport or drivers license and foreign a/c because the money is in US dollars and the former owner of the a/c Mr.Louis Kennedy was a foreigner too, [and the money can only be approved into a foreign a/c.

Arrange your A/c and send it to me as follows for the processing of the payment:

1]A/C NUMBER:...............
2]A/C NAME:...................
3]BANK NAME:.................
4]BANK ADDRESS:..............
5]SWIFT CODE:..................


I got your contact address from my secretary who operates computer and I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me down in this business, you are the first and the only person that I am contacting for this business,so please reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take.Send also your private telephone and fax number including the full details of the account to be used for the deposit as started above.

I need your full co-operation to make this work fine.because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you, upon your positive response and once I am convinced that you are capable and will meet up with instruction of a key bank official who is helping us in this business.

I need your strong assurance that you will never let me down,With the influence and the position of the key bank official we can transfer this money to any foreigner's reliable account which you can provide with assurance that this money will be intact pending our physical arrival in your country for sharing. The bank official will destroy all documents of transaction immediately we receive this money leaving to no trace to any place and to build confidence, you can come immediately to discuss with me face to face after which I will make this remittance in your presence and three of us will fly to your country at least two days ahead of the money going into the account.

I will apply for annual leave to get visa immediately I hear from you that you are ready to act and receive this fund in your account.I will apply for the legal approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance from the relevant ministries and Foreign Exchange Departments. At the conclusion of this business, you will be given 30% of the total amount, 60% will be for me,5% will be for expenses both parties might incurre during the process of transferring and 5% will be for orphanage homes.

I look forward to hear from you as soon as possible if you are interested.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr.Kazim Takar
***************************************************************************
These losers are out there in droves hoping to suck you into this. Don't let them!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

ARTICLE: 17 Ways to Safeguard Your Heart

Meet Dr. Goldberg

Twenty years ago, when Nieca Goldberg was in medical school, heart disease was known as a “man’s disease”―something most apt to befall a 55-year-old businessman. Today the disease is the number one killer of U.S. women, claiming nearly 500,000 lives annually. Goldberg, now 50, devotes her career to helping fellow females protect their hearts at Total Heart Care, her practice in New York City. She also teaches the science of heart health as a clinical associate professor of medicine at New York University. But the doctor doesn’t have to look to research for evidence that diet, exercise, and stress management can prevent future problems. Even though she has a family history of heart disease, her habits have kept her health in check. “Making consistent, small, smart choices can have a huge effect,” says Goldberg. To find out how to care for your heart for the long haul, learn from this doctor’s daily practices.

Start With Breakfast

Have a low-cholesterol breakfast. Every morning Goldberg and her husband eat breakfast together. “I have a bowl of high-fiber, low-sugar cereal, like Kashi GoLean, with low-fat milk and antioxidant-rich blueberries,” she says. Fiber is filling, and the soluble form―found in oatmeal, beans, fruits, vegetables, and this cereal―can lower cholesterol. Aim for 25 grams of fiber a day.

Take a supplement, if necessary. “A healthy diet is still the best way to get your nutrients,” says Goldberg. “A bag of chips washed down with a vitamin isn’t a good solution.” However, she does suggest taking an omega-3 fatty-acid supplement daily if you don’t eat fish regularly. Choose one with the two forms of the acids that aid the heart: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Or twice a week set a goal for having two to three servings of natural omega-3 sources, like a small handful of walnuts or a 3 1/2-ounce portion of salmon. (For those with high triglyceride levels, she recommends prescription-strength omega-3s.)

Be honest with your doctors. Goldberg implores patients to see her as a nonjudgmental confidante. “I’ve had people on cholesterol-lowering drugs neglect to take them and not tell me. So I then check their blood and consider increasing their dosage unnecessarily,” she says. “No one should ever be embarrassed when it comes to their health. Your doctors can give you the best help only when they really know all the information.”

Take baby aspirin, if needed. For those people who are at high risk for heart disease, who have it, or who are over the age of 65, Goldberg often suggests taking a daily baby aspirin (81 milligrams). “I tell many of my patients to take one,” she says. “This is a cheap and effective prevention strategy.”

Cut Back Where Needed

Drink caffeine conservatively. The doctor enjoys a mug of coffee but tells anyone prone to heart palpitations to keep their caffeine intake to less than 300 milligrams a day, which is the equivalent of two to three cups. Or consider an alternative, like green tea, which has less caffeine but is rich in antioxidants that can improve the flexibility of your arteries, which may help prevent plaque from building up in them.

Eat sweets sparingly. A 2008 study found that women with elevated blood-sugar levels had a risk of developing coronary heart disease similar to that of women with full-blown diabetes. “If you want dessert, make it one that has heart benefits, like dark chocolate,” Goldberg says. “Have a small piece made with 70 percent cocoa so it’s high in antioxidants.”

Tweak family recipes. Instead of frying foods, the doctor bakes or grills, and she uses whole-grain pasta and brown rice in lieu of basic white. She makes healthier versions of the things she grew up eating and incorporates fresh vegetables into them whenever possible: “When I make my mom’s chicken soup, I toss in a bag of baby carrots or use a mandoline to quickly slice and add antioxidant-rich onions or scallions.”

Make small changes. (They work.) Goldberg had a patient who smoked, didn’t exercise, and had a family history of heart disease. She prescribed statins to help reduce the patient’s cholesterol while the patient slowly cut down on smoking and started exercising more and eating better. Within a few months, Goldberg was able to lower the patient’s medication, since the patient’s modest efforts had made a huge impact. “Your health is not pass/fail. Just having risk factors does not mean you’re doomed,” Goldberg says.

Watch Your Diet

Stick with fresh foods. “Almost nothing in my meals comes from a package,” Goldberg says. “I snack on fresh fruits, especially clementines and peaches, and vegetables. I also like dried fruit, like unsweetened apricot slices, because it’s easy to pack and eat on the go.” In addition, Goldberg has at least one vegetable-laden salad a day. The base is dark greens, such as spinach, which she tops with lean grilled chicken or egg whites. She throws in lycopene-rich tomatoes and orange and red peppers for their antioxidants. “At a salad bar, I avoid anything glistening or creamy looking,” she says. “Two clues that they’ve got a lot of artery-clogging fat.”

Snack smartly. “I have a handful of almonds or walnuts when I get home or while cooking dinner,” says Goldberg. “This prevents me from overeating at night.” The walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids, and almonds contain arginine, which helps keep arteries strong.

Try a Mediterranean diet. Studies have shown that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have a 50 to 70 percent lower risk of recurrent heart disease, and those who get at least five servings of vegetables a day have about a 25 percent lower risk of a heart attack. So Goldberg consumes plenty of fish, grains, vegetables, fruits, and olive oil. “I think this is a great nonfad diet. Most people who start it usually stay with it,” she says. “It’s tasty and easy to live with.” Indeed, her copy of The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook is well-worn.

Do a Little More (or Less)
Go with red wine. “I’m actually allergic to alcohol, so I don’t drink. But if you like to, opt for wine, and limit it to one glass a day,” Goldberg says. Red, in particular, has a high concentration of the antioxidant resveratrol, which can help maintain blood vessels’ health. “But grape juice has the same benefits―something wine lovers don’t always want to hear,” she adds.

Throw salt overboard. Since excess salt can increase blood pressure, Goldberg tells her patients to keep their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day, which many people hit from processed foods alone. “Simply remove the salt shaker from the table,” she says. “One of the best substitutes is chopped chives. Sprinkle a few teaspoons on soups, salads, or pasta for a salty kick.”

Do better than butter. Goldberg occasionally uses a spread, like Benecol or Smart Balance, on bread. Both have plant-derived stanol esters, which can help lower bad cholesterol. “The labels tout this, but don’t think of these products as medicine,” she says. “You certainly don’t want to ingest the amount it would take to make them work that way. They’re just better choices than butter or margarine.”

Stick to a Routine

Make exercise nonnegotiable. Goldberg works out five times a week, alternating between personal-training sessions, Spinning classes, and a little Pilates. “I wouldn’t miss an appointment with a patient, and I don’t cancel my appointment to exercise, either,” she says. “It makes me feel so good afterward, and it keeps my cholesterol and blood pressure under control.”

Take stress seriously. Constant stress can lead to elevated levels of adrenaline and the hormone cortisol, which makes arteries more vulnerable to plaque. “For me, reducing stress is all about saying no and planning alone time,” Goldberg says. To unwind, she watches the Food Network, schedules a manicure, and recently instituted “no e-mail” weekends.

Sack out early. Studies show that people who get less than seven hours of shut-eye a night can have higher blood pressure. Lack of sleep also leads to higher levels of cortisol and even weight gain. “I go to bed around 10:30 each night and wake up most mornings at 6:20,” says Goldberg.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

25 Best Nutrition Secrets

Sarah Palin is on a diet. So is Barack Obama, Glenn Beck, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Peyton Manning, the pitching staff of the Texas Rangers, all the judges on America’s Got Talent, and the entire cast of Glee. In fact, from Chris Rock to Kid Rock to The Rock, everyone you can name is on a diet.

And so are you.

How can I be so sure? Because a “diet” isn’t something you go on and go off of, like a prescription. A diet is what you eat, day in and day out, whether you planned to eat that way or not. So when people ask me what kind of “diet” they should follow, I always tell them to follow the one they’re already on—the way you like to eat is the way you should eat. In researching the Eat This, Not That! book series and seeing people lose 10, 20, 30 pounds or more effortlessly, I've learned that if you want to make big changes to your health, forget about following somebody else’s diet. Just make a bunch of little changes to the diet you’re already following. Believe me, it’s the best way to get results. Below, I’ve listed the 25 best new nutritional tweaks you can make that will improve the way you look and feel—fast and forever!

Coffee1. Drink a second cup of coffee. It might lower your risk of adult-onset diabetes, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

2. Keep serving dishes off the table. Researchers have found that when people are served individual plates, as opposed to empty plates with a platter of food in the middle of the table, they eat up to 35 percent less!

3. Think before you drink. The average person drinks more than 400 calories a day--double what he or she used to--and alone gets around 10 teaspoons of added sugar every single day from soft drinks. Swap out sweetened teas and sodas for no-cal drinks and you could lose up to 40 pounds in a single year! (To see more proof of how wayward beverages can utterly destroy your diet, check out the 20 Worst Drinks in America. Many of these drinks contain more than a day's worth of calories, sugar and fat!)

4. Practice total recall. British scientists found that people who thought about their last meal before snacking ate 30 percent fewer calories that those who didn't stop to think. The theory: Remembering what you had for lunch might remind you of how satiating the food was, which then makes you less likely to binge on your afternoon snack.

5. Eat protein at every meal. Dieters who eat the most protein tend to lose more weight while feeling less deprived than those who eat the least protein. It appears that protein is the best nutrient for jumpstarting your metabolism, squashing your appetite, and helping you eat less at subsequent meals.

Protein

6. Choose whole-grain bread. Eating whole grains (versus refined-grain or white bread) has been linked to lower risks of cancer and heart disease.

7. Think fish. Consuming two 4- to 6-ounce servings of oily fish a week will sharpen your mind. Among the best: salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, and trout. They're high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which may reduce your risk of Alzheimer's. Study participants who had high blood levels of DHA also performed better on noverbal reasoning tests and showed better mental flexibility, working memory, and vocabulary than those with lower levels.

8. Sign up for weight-loss e-mails. Daily e-mails (or tweets) that contain weight-loss advice remind you of your goals and help you drop pounds, researchers from Canada found. We're partial to our own Eat This, Not That! newsletter, and to the instant weight-loss secrets you'll get when you follow me on Twitter here.

9. Cut portions by a quarter. Pennsylvania State University researchers discovered that by simply reducing meal portions 25 percent, people ate 10 percent fewer calories—without feeling any hungrier. Serving yourself? Think about what looks like a reasonable portion, then take at least one-quarter less than that. (By the way, studies show today's restaurant servings are 2 to 5 times bigger than what the government recommends!)

10. Turn off the TV. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts found that people who watch TV during a meal consume, on average, 288 more calories than those who don't eat with the tube on.

11. Put your fork down when you chew. Or take a sip of water between each bite—eating slowly can boost levels of two hormones that make you feel fuller, Greek researchers found.

12. Choose rye (not wheat) bread for breakfast toast. Swedish researchers found that rye eaters were more full 8 hours after breakfast than wheat-bread eaters, thanks to rye's high fiber content and minimal effect on blood sugar. As a result you'll want to snack less and eat less for lunch.Veggies

13. Eat a handful of fruit and vegetables a day. In one study, people who ate four or five servings scored higher on cognitive tests than those who consumed less than one serving. (Remember: Salad isn't always the healthy choice. Check out 20 Salads Worse Than a Whopper to see what I mean. You'll be shocked.)

14. Sip green tea. It might help you build a strong skeleton, say researchers in China, and help protect you from broken bones when you're older. And one study found that it helps fight bad breath, too.

15. Work out before lunch or dinner. Doing so will make the meals you eat right afterward more filling, according to British researchers—meaning you'll eat fewer calories throughout the day.

16. Hung over? Choose asparagus. When South Korean researchers exposed a group of human liver cells to asparagus extract, it suppressed free radicals and more than doubled the activity of two enzymes that metabolize alcohol. That means you'll feel like yourself again twice as quickly.

17. Sleep 8 hours a night. Too much or too little shut-eye can add extra pounds, say Wake Forest University researchers. Not there yet? Try these 7 simple strategies for longer, deeper sleep.

Miso Soup18 Discover miso soup. Brown wakame seaweed (used in miso soup) can help lower your blood pressure, especially if your levels are already high, say researchers at the University of North Carolina.

19. Drink two glasses of milk daily. People who drink the most milk have about a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who drink the least. (I recommend nonfat or 1 percent milk.)

20. Take a zinc supplement. Just 15 milligrams of zinc a day (the amount found in a Centrum Ultra multivitamin, for example) will motivate your immune cells to produce more of a protein that fights off bacterial infections.

21. Go ahead, eat your favorite foods. Good eating doesn't need to be about deprivation—it's about making smart choices. Why eat a 1,000-calorie cheeseburger if a 500-calorie burger will satisfy you just the same? The bottom line: Eat foods that you enjoy, just not too much of them.

22. Choose foods with the fewest ingredients. There are now more than 3,000 ingredients on the FDA's list of safe food additives—and any of these preservatives, artificial sweeteners and colorings and flavor enhancers could end up on your plate. Do you really know what these chemicals will do to your waistline or health? Of course not. Here's a rule of thumb: If a 7-year-old can't pronounce it, you don't want to eat it.

23. Snack on popcorn. In a 2009 study, people who ate 1 cup of microwave popcorn 30 minutes before lunch consumed 105 fewer calories at the meal. Just choose the kind without butter.

24. Or snack on walnuts. Eating a handful of walnuts each day may boost your HDL (good) cholesterol fastest, while lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol.

25. ScrambleEggs your breakfast. People who ate eggs in the morning instead of a bagel consumed 264 fewer calories the rest of the day, according to a Saint Louis University study. That’s because protein is more filling than carbs.

Bonus Tip: Don't let all of your hard work go down the drain: Avoid this shocking list of the 20 Scariest Food Creations of 2010!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Riding on Fridays

I love being on call, riding and seeing the crazy people. Gods only know how many there are.

Last night was no exception, and as I'd thought, what Fridays were like when I first started riding, almost a decade ago. We had four runs last night. First was a kid who was jumping off the swings in Volunteer's Park. Broke the knee - and but good.

Second, right on the heels of clearing from that fun, we had a half a chick fight at the bar (you could see all of us howling with laughter on the way to that call - a bar fight! YES!). One contestant was there, with a puffy eye, screaming for a cigarette and obviously not quite the normal self. Tough to think that alcohol wasn't involved (despite reassurances that no drinking was involved, one doesn't go to a bar to just hang out). But no one there was the appropriate drinking age. Go figure.

Third call was our old friend who rode on the squad a very long time ago. He's wonderful. He's quite old, but I've known him these past seven (almost eight) years and what a guy he is! I wasn't happy about the reason for having him as a patient, but that is how it goes.

I'm trying to think what our last call was... but now maybe there wasn't a fourth call. Time is funny when I've been up the full twelve hours. And this weekend is our Thursday night rotation. It will be a treat... sometimes I just get that gut feeling. Next weekend is the Friday night rotation. Wahoo!

But we had fun riding last night (and this morning) and now it is time for me to walk to the bagel shop and get Luis his taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwich and my lightly buttered salt bagel and squeeze in a nap before going to the massage. That at least will be heavenly after a night of fun.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

When Do We Really Grow Up?

I suppose there are a lot of people out there who just assume they are adults, that they have reached the line of maturity that labels one as an adult, not a child, not an adolescent. And by far, being an adolescent, real or imagined, is the worst.

I never liked being a child. I never liked the company of children to adults, ever. But as a child, physically, most people are reluctant to treat children as anything other than children. But I have always developed attachments to people who appreciated the adult waiting inside, the adult that somehow - at age 42 - I seem to consistently misplace.

I always liked Harry, my father. Harry is my biological father and while he missed out on a lot of things, I have to wonder if he really did. I know all people have their regrets, but would having to deal with the child me and worse, the adolescent me, be regrettable? Ask my parents, Ray and Ma, if that is true. I suspect they'd have been just as happy to miss that - those - bullets. Harry's missing that and not missing it in and of himself doesn't make him any less a parent, but it makes him a parent who had it much easier than Ray and Ma.

And unwittingly, he has found the years-old resentment that lives in the most adult people when a person who should have figured so largely, missed so much. I think when I found him in 2008, we both suddenly faced a new situation - and all that came with it - without thinking of the old wounds. But I have been online and writing a long time. Those old wounds are still out in cyberspace and still hurtful. And so there is that, as well as so many other more current (and undoubtedly less current) events that lead me to muse aloud about the status of adult that is conferred to all when we reach physical maturity.

I hate to say it, but I despair constantly of ever reaching that. At the same time, however, most people I know who professed to have reached are in every way possible stuck. Stuck physically, stuck emotionally, stuck intellectually. I'd rather be asking the question and living as though there is more to learn rather than to think I have all the answers or have completed the growing process. The one and only time I will have stopped learning, stopped growing, won't be because I have somehow attained all that "wisdom", it will be due to my physical body having died.

Not a fun thought, but a part of life, just as is birth.

People tend to forget - or never know - that death is not its own separate thing, it is the next stage in life. It is part of life. When I feel sad or cry for someone who stopped living, am I crying because they are gone? Not as much as I am, in my flawed, selfish, human way, that this person is not here for me. How to explain that? More often I cry for that as well as for other survivors. Because their pain is a real, palpable, living thing and crying, for whatever reason, is cathartic for all of those feelings.

But at the heart of everything is the feeling that I know more intellectually now than ever, but still have the insecurity of any child. It is not a feeling I enjoy.

When I was seven, I wanted to be an adult.

When I was twelve my ambitions were simpler: I wanted to be a woman. I was so hoping I would reach the next birthday and at some magical point in the night, *Poof*, I'd wake up with curves. With breasts. With hair in all the right places (except the armpits, which was more scary than any other hair, because I was not into the idea of shaving. I know, right? A teensy bit unrealistic...). With the sudden knowledge of the world that surely all adults must have.

At age 16, on my birthday, I lay awake waiting for the magical change to happen. Is it only me who did that? Unlikely - just the mathematics and odds of being the only person ever in human history to have that thought works against me. And yet, how often STILL do I have conversations with others and say, "Wow! Thank you. I kept thinking I'm the only one to think this!" It is really a relief to know that I am not the only person in the world, small though it is, to think something.

At the same time as wondering why some ineffable magic did not take place on my sixteenth birthday, I knew I was one hundred times smarter than my stupid, clueless parents - who of course had to suffer through that just as their parents did when they were in that age range. As Mark Twain once said, "At seventeen I knew more than my father did. By the time I was 24, I was surprised at how much the old man had learned."

It's tough not to love Samuel Clemens.

(I took a break to go to the loo. It happens. In the midst of waxing philosophical about not feeling like an adult, I read how Paris Hilton was arrested for possession of cocaine - how 80s - and first she told the arresting officer that the purse he found the narcotic in wasn't hers and oh, hey, she thought it was gum! Has cocaine changed that much since I last knew of it? Isn't it still a powder? What the hell? Maybe I'm hoping for a glimpse into adulthood... but Paris Hilton should be hoping for a brain. Or maybe just a handful of brain cells. Anything.)

It's the next day, just after noon. I had to go across the street to the squad house last night for back-up standby at the Boonton Fireworks. The fireworks were a bit of a let down - the show was short, but that is generally the case. What was substandard was the timing and the music. The music was all over-the-top stirring patriotic themes (I don't have anything against that kind of music but the tempo was too fast and it was a little too much). And then the timing... the operator or shooter or whatever the person is called who actually sets the rockets off was off for timing. There would be a boom of the last shell that was activated and then there was ten to twenty seconds of dead silence before the percussive sound of the next shell detonating was heard. You are likely sitting there thinking what kind of fusspot am I to quibble over ten to twenty seconds but in terms of timing for fireworks, that is a long time.

Lucy (the lieutenant on Sunday night) mentioned that the fireworks were not shot on the school field, because new turf had been laid down. A week prior to school opening, the school did not want shell casings left on their nice new turf. So where, you ask most reasonably, were the fireworks done? From the roof of the school. My first thought was wouldn't it be ironic if a stray spark set the school ablaze a week before opening. (Of course this is the Boonton Township Labor Day celebration, all hosted by the Boonton Fire Districts. And also Parsippany's Districts 4 and 5 were there as we are mutual aid for Boonton. So was Car 66 (my squad) and Car 65 comes to this event, although they are behind us in line for mutual aid, being on the farthest side of Parsippany from Boonton.

Well, maybe I'd have let it go at the fireworks being set off from the roof of the high school but it turns out that the Boonton HS has solar panels. (Just because our house has solar panels doesn't mean I know all the other edifices with the same. And I am rarely if ever in Boonton.) But I was completely incensed that they set off the fireworks on top of the solar panels - to save the new turf?! It's one thing to be protective of turf on a golf course or a professional level football field but to do this on top of solar paneling?! NO. That paneling costs far more than turf. And this is high school football, not college or professional football. Someone's mixed up the priority of what is more costly to repair if something goes wrong.

Anyway, at this point I have long since gotten sidetracked from writing about my journey of attempting to grow up, so with those words, I shall close this post.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Tall Men, Cops and My Inner Light

I'm reading Madeleine L'Engle's A Ring of Endless Light. In one part, the writer, Vicky Austin, is describing Adam Eddington and shares that he has an inner light that comes on. And it shines brightly when he is excited about something. And maybe, just maybe, that is what people mean when I smile at them and they say, "You have a beautiful smile!"

I really don't. I have a gap between my two front teeth and yellowish teeth (or at least not white ones) and strips across them from where those evil braces were for eight years. That is a long story in and of itself, but suffice to say that while I no longer have the Bugs Bunny buck teeth, I am a showcase for braces gone wrong.

But when I smile, really smile (as I usually do), people never see that. I see it all the time, but like my parents I'm too close to the problem to see the same thing others see. And they really don't see all that - they see the light inside come on and shine brightly for them, because I love people.

I have my days. Sometimes I wake up in pain and then it is hard to get the light to come on. But when I am feeling good, then it is very easy. The light comes on for people I love: work people, squad people, home people... A different Jason once made the sweetest gesture by lightly touching my cheek - an the light was blinding. I'm an easy one for physical displays that are deep, meaningful and not sexual. It wasn't - it was kindness after a difficult day - and the whole day was worth it for that moment in time. This is something he wouldn't recall but I will even if I am 92 and doddering with age.

And on Monday, someone said to me, "Every light in Parsippany is green for you."

Personally, I thought what I did that brought that comment on was a very small thing - something to say thank you for putting your lives on the line for me - the Parsippany police are there on every call we go to. And I like to thank them the only way I can for it. But what was a small thing to me was a huge, wonderful thing to them, and we were all happy.

I know the light comes on for the police. Always. I love police officers. They may all have different reasons for being an officer later on, but none of them ever said that they just woke up one day and said, "I think I'll be a cop." It was something inside, something that they have always meant to be. As it should be... Being a police officer is a vocation, a calling, something you know you have to do. I'm not in Human Resources because I'm just doing a job. I knew nothing about it and had no idea what it was until I began doing it and then realised that this is what I'm meant to do. And as much as I have my flaws, I still hold that belief.

My light always shines for police. I have that soft spot for tall men and for police officers. If you are a tall police officer, look out! (Not really!) It's not the men in uniform thing, either, although I always say that. It's the job. Their job is to protect me. As an EMT, as Aislínge Kellogg, as Ash or as the Human Resources Manager, they are there to serve and protect me. What a job! What insanity. Cops see more of the downside of humanity than anyone should. How can I not thank them in some small way?

I felt this way before I became an EMT but once I started riding, then it became abundantly clear just how much we need the police. We really need the police.