Saturday, September 13, 2003

Bubble Tea, Pearl Tea, Tapioca and Boba Supply
When Janet and I were in Vancouver recently, we tried one of these drinks. They were quite the rage there. Personally, it was a bit too sweet and those tapioca balls were strange as hell going down. They give you these big wide straws to use and when you suck on them, you get about 5 or 6 of these tapioca balls in your mouth at a time. Sort of like gummi bears without the taste. Quite strange. Maybe I could start the rage here?
 Back to software again - I would highly recommend you install Spyware Blaster on your system. This keeps any new spyware from being installed. Very easy to use and works. Then I would also install Search and Destroy, which searches your entire computer for spyware tracks- also easy to use, but I recommend you read the tutorial. It is better than Ad-Aware.

Oh, and did I mention? Both are free!

So if you have Tune-Up installed and the above two programs, have your virus definitions up to date and are running Zone Alarm (also a freebie), then you should be well protected from the bad guys.

Friday, September 12, 2003

 Noticed this today in a newsletter I get:

"A study conducted at the University of North Carolina determined that taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement every day significantly reduces infection rates—particularly in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

During the one-year study, 93 percent of the participants with type 2 who took a placebo reported an infection, compared with only 17 percent of those with type 2 who took the vitamin and mineral supplement. Of the 130 adults in the study, 51 had type 2 diabetes.

The researchers believe that the supplements may help because people with type 2 diabetes are at risk both for vitamin and mineral deficiency and for certain types of infection. They caution that a larger study is needed to determine whether these results can be replicated.

-Annals of Internal Medicine, March 4, 2003"

I would think 130 adults (and only 51 with type 2) is too small of a study cohort to be completely valid and I guess that is their conclusion as well. Will be interesting to see if this is followed up though with larger study.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

 John Savill's FAQ for Windows

A very good FAQ for Windows. If you're having problems, you might check here.

After running the Tune-Up Software, I noticed that I had something like 293 problems that needed addressing. :) Now if I'm just brave enough to hit the clean-up button. Fortunately, it has a Rescue Center.
 Just downloaded the Trial of Tune-Up Software mentioned below. Very , very nice. Beautiful interface. Worth a check out for 30 days anyway.
 Breaking Death's Grip

I agree with the major scope of this article, but take exception to the final paragraph. Why should America do something about it? So we can appear heavy-handed again? I might suggest the UN, if it wasn't such a weak entity.

If I was Sharon, I'd get rid of those damn settlements and any other onerous treatments of Palestinians (again, it's politics that influence Sharon as well - rather than do what is the "right" thing, he takes into consideration what the radical arm of his govt wants and then takes no action - other than retaliations.) I'd also try not retaliating one time, just to see what happens. Then move forward with the peace process. And if Hamas then wants to keep killing Israeli's, I'd would simply crush them once and for all, as difficult as that probably would be without killing innocents.

Followup- I see as of 9/11, that Israel has voted to expel Arafat. Now that should heat things up for sure. He needs to go, but I don't think that's the brightest move I've seen. I think Israel has to show its good intentions first by pulling out of those settlements and trying one time not to retaliate. Although, I remain skeptical that Hamas wants anything but to kill Israelis. We shall see.
 A Debate in Black and White (

Some good insights into the recent debate at this link.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

 TuneUp Software International - Homepage

Check out this shareware utility for tuning up your computer. Gets very high reviews. Was just reading my issue of Computer Shopper and they gave it a 9.0, which is very rare. They couldn't say enough good things about it, so might be worth a look.
 Another interesting Democratic debate last nite on the Fox News Cable channel. Often interrupted by hecklers, the Reverend Sharpton provided some comic relief by hushing them up more than once. Lieberman spent the night hacking away at Dean over Israel issues, but is sounding a tad bit strident to me. Dean seemed to be up to the attack, but appears a bit nervous, like perhaps he hasn't thought out completely some of the issues he has made statements about. Gephardt just rails on about Bush in a loud voice and does not come across well. Edwards has a nice sense of humor and a genuine smile, but that won't get him elected. Mosely Brown is smart and answers questions well, but still isn't well known enough to pull the votes. Kucinich is still as feisty as ever and stuck it to Gephardt over why he didn't tell Bush that we shouldn't go to war. I like his directness, but I'm afraid he would probably alienate many in trying to reach a consensus - still, sure would liven things up in the capitol. I think he votes for things the way he sees them and doesn't worry about the political consequences - I like that. Still comes down to Dean and Kerry. People like Dean because he is a newcomer and probably distrust Kerry because he has been in politics in DC a long time. I still lean towards Kerry, because he is extremely intelligent and is composed and handles himself better than the other candidates. His answers are thoughtful and to the point - he has Clinton's brains without his moral problems. But I question whether he is as an effective campaigner as Dean, who has done wonders through the Net. Stay tuned. Next debate isn't till late in October - October 26th I think -in Detroit.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

 Dean for America:

Now Howard, are you really serious with this? While Ashcroft is in office, I'm supposed to send a petition to him telling him that "I will not stand for your using fear to threaten what it means to be an American?". Why? So he can now have my name and address and come kick down my door? We Americans are not very bright, I know, but come on now... Whereas, I might admire your intentions, there's no way I'm painting a bullseye on my shirt.
 Search Within

A Free Download. Will search within your text,html, pdf , MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Word Perfect files for any text item. Very handy if you're trying to remember where that letter is that you wrote to John Ashcroft challenging him to a duel. Just type in Patriot and it should take you right to that letter - of course the Patriot is you, but that is another story.
 Rivals Criticize Dean For Mideast Comment (

I agree with Dean on his comment. If we're to be a major player in trying to achieve peace there, we need to appear unbiased. Of course that is impossible, since we are clearly on Israel's side. I don't have a problem with that, but that makes us inelgible to be a part of this process, if you ask me. A neutral 3rd party should be the one to help them come together (if they even want to).

Monday, September 08, 2003

 Flunking Out - Bush's pet education bill is in serious trouble. By Alexander Russo

You wanna know what I think? Why don't they take the National Teachers of the Year for about the last 5 years, put them on a nice fat govt salary (gotta lure them away from those big fat teacher salaries, ya know) and let them instruct the schools of America on what steps they need to take so that their kids learn. Obviously, what they do in the classroom works. What a waste to let those talents be realized by only a handful of kids.
 So what did you think of GW's plan to spend 87 billion bucks of our money? I've read that surpasses the entire education budget and that it would also be equivalent to the entire pension shortfall. I don't really have a problem with eliminating tyrannical dictators around the world, but not to get the world behind you first is well, shall we say.... dumb? And his speech last night was pathetic - if I was any country contemplating helping out, I'd be having second thoughts for sure. And to expect them not to share in the running of things, but rather to subjugate themselves to the rule of the Americans, well, would you go along with that? Didn't think so. And what was this nonsense about Iraq being the hotbed of terroism now? Come on, GW, you must really be banking on everyone's stupidity. If they're all there now, it's your ineptness that put them there.

One good thing about this? Maybe the electorate will wake up and boot this guy out for the next election and then the rest of the world would probably come help us out with this problem. Here's hoping or you can forget about aid to states, education, healthcare,etc. But maybe we'll all get a tax cut? Seems like the right thing to do, huh? duh.....

Sunday, September 07, 2003

 Why Are We In Iraq? (And Liberia? And Afghanistan?):

"The administration, purposefully or not, routinely conflates terrorism and the nuclear threat from rogue nations. "

Word of the day - "conflates" - To bring together; meld or fuse. To combine (two variant texts, for example) into one whole

And while you're learning this new word (a new word for me, anyway!), you might wish to read the article, which is well written and thought provoking.
 Hip and Buttock Pain, Difficulty Walking, Normal X-Rays

An interesting story for those of you who like to read medical mysteries (I love this stuff, so you will have to forgive me for all these postings - or not forgive me, which is more likely. :) )

Just another way that diabetes can bite you in the butt, so to speak.