Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cats About Town Society - Sacramento, CA

If you live in the Sacramento, California area, check out this wonderful organization:

Cats About Town Society Home Page

It is a no kill, all volunteer, not for profit cat rescue organization. If you are in the area and can help this group by adopting or fostering cats, volunteering or donating, please visit the website link above to find out how!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mom is Turning Over in Her Grave

Well this is probably guaranteed to get some folks hot and bothered, but I don't care. I'm feeling ashamed and embarrassed to be a Californian right now.

California Proposition 8 appears to have passed. Prop 8 essentially prohibits same sex marriages in California. The proposition was actually losing until a few weeks ago when the "Yes on 8" campaign took a new direction. They turned it into a parental rights issue.

Seems that same sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts and there are cases being cited of same sex marriage being in the curriculum in the schools there. Parents are not allowed to opt out of the curriculum there.

The "Yes on 8" campaign insists that it must therefore follow that this would also happen in California if 8 does not pass. Scare tactics. Even if this were to be taught in California schools, not a foregone conclusion, California has a parental "opt out" clause.

Unfortunately the scare tactics seem to have worked and now it is legal to discriminate against people who are born gay. In my mind, that is the same as discriminating against somebody for the color of their skin.

If your church has a problem with gay marriage, don't marry gays in your church. Simple as that. But keep that sort of thing out of our civil law.

There is always the California Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court and I hope that this proposition is overturned quickly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

MyLot - A Site that I do recommend

MyLot is a forum where you can go and get involved in almost any kind of discussion you can think of and get paid to do it! It's a different kind of social site where you can meet people from all over the world and talk about whatever topics interest you. You are paid for your posts. Longer, better quality posts will result in a better payout. The minimum for paypal is $10 and if you make payout by the end of the month, you will be paid the following month. You also receive a percentage of whatever your referrals earn, so refer lots of people and see your earnings grow!

Click here to sign up.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

MoraChat - Why I don't recommend it

I joined MoraChat in late August. It's a discussion forum. You can post topics for discussion or you can reply to other people's discussions. It's interesting because you can see different people's points of views on things, get opinions on how to handle situations, post your own opinions, etc. It's also a site that pays you for your posts.

But the site Admin is a nightmare. The Admin and moderators observe one set of rules for themselves that is different than the ones that they enforce with other people. A specific example is short posts. I was notified that my posts were too short (specifically that one and two word responses were not allowed) and would be deleted. Yet at least one of the moderators consistently posts short responses.

After the PM that notified me that my posts were being deleted, I made an effort to write longer, more meaningful responses. So I was quite surprised to get another PM stating that I had been notified by PM "several times" regarding useless short posts. For one thing, I had been notified ONE time that I should not post one or two word posts. The posts that were quoted in this particular PM were one to two sentences long. I was also accused of being childish and having a bad attitude, among other things.

Well, the one positive thing I can say about this is that at least the site does issue warnings. The other forum that I am on does not. They merely delete posts that are in violation, often leaving the user to scratch their head and wonder why. But I have to say that I have never seen such an unprofessional and rude message. A warning to a user should simply state:

1. The rule
2. The violation
3. What needs to be improved
4. Consequences for non compliance

This one did that and if it had left it at that, I would have no problem whatsoever. But I object to the person telling me what I think, what my opinions are, describing my attitude towards the forum, etc. Especially in a rude and insulting manner and especially if the person is wrong.

I responded to the PM. Apparently that was my big mistake, thinking that the owner of a chat forum was capable of tolerating differences of opinion. You see I agreed with him about two of the three posts that were deleted and stated that I would make an effort to write longer and more meaningful posts. But I also disputed a number of his points, and that was what he apparently couldn't tolerate. He was expecting me to humbly apologize for violating the site rules (albeit unknowingly), promise to do better in the future and leave it at that.

One thing that I had said that he disagreed with was that the site's users were its customers. And that warnings should be given in a professional, businesslike and respectful manner, because people didn't appreciate being treated the way that he was treating me. His response was that I was wrong. The site's advertisers were the customers, not the users. How wrong can you be? If you scare all of your users away using these sorts of tactics, who is going to be there on the site to click on the ads? Apparently only the site Admin and the moderators.

At any rate, the consequences for my disagreement were that I was banned from the site. The ironic thing is that a lot of people have already left due to run ins with the site Admin and/or the moderators. Good luck MoraChat, I really don't think you are going to make it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hello Indonesia

There are a lot of people from Indonesia online these days. The world's largest Muslim country has gone internet. Want to learn to talk to them in their own language? Here is a great site that I found. You can sign up for their word a day e-mail or their free e-course. If you want to try out an Asian language without having the extra work or learning a new alphabet, try Indonesian!

Hello Indonesia

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Relief for California Taxpayers

We have seen a pretty steep drop in property values here in California the last two years and we are starting to see a increase in foreclosures, bankruptcy, etc. But if you bought your house on the high end of things and you can still afford to stay in it but could use a little relief, there is help.

First of all, not related to buying on the high side, if you are living in your home and haven't filed a home owner's exemption form, you should do so. It will result in a $7,000 reduction in the taxable value of your home. If you are a veteran, there is also a veteran's exemption for most honorably discharged veterans as well as for spouses and/or parents of deceased veterans who were honorably discharged. Sometimes you can't get both exemptions, so contact your tax assessor's office for details!

Additionally, if you did buy your home when prices were higher, call your assessor to find out if you qualify for a reduction in your taxes based on the new, lower property value. We did that this year, signed and returned a form that the Assessor's office sent us, and received a refund of around $1700 as well as a reduction in next year's taxes.

Note: this is only a temporary reduction. When prices go back up, so do the taxes. But for now, with higher gasoline and food prices, it is a huge help!

This message only applies to property taxes in the state of California. But if you have experienced a drop in value where you live it might be worthwhile to check with your local assessment agency (or agencies if you're in Texas and some other places) and see if there is something similar available to you!

No reason to be sending more of your money to the government than you absolutely have to!

Help for People with Disc Injuries

I hear a lot from people who have herniated discs and their doctors are advocating the use of either steroids or surgery to alleviate their pain. Well I have a herniated disc too. It probably happened in an auto accident in 2003 and for the last couple of years it has been causing me a lot of pain! I tried the epidural. Worked great for about a month and then the pain came back. I was told that surgery only had a 50% success rate. Then a Naturopathic doctor I was seeing referred me to a Chiropractor who was familiar with the Disc Pump. After a few months of treatments, I feel better than I have in years!

If you have a disc injury, please check out their website and see if you are comfortable with the idea.

Disc Pump

If you are, find a practitioner in your area who uses the device. What have you got to lose?

If you are interested in getting paid to do the same thing you can do on social sites such as MySpace, check this out!

Best Social Site Ever

Solution to Inappropriate Cat Urination

Got a couple of old blogs out there about my new cat Oreo. He was an outdoor cat who adopted us and, despite Richard's protests, he ended up being an indoor cat. He still wants to go outside, but it's funny, he will run only so far and then he will let somebody pick him up and put him outside. I don't want him outside because of diseases and predators and fleas and so on.

When we first got him he wasn't neutered and there was male cat smell in the house. I guess this stressed one of the other two cats, Tiger and Sunshine, out because somebody started peeing in an in appropriate place. We had already lost a love seat to this behavior last year and we thought we had stopped it. We protected the remaining two pieces of furniture with heavy duty plastic covers just in case! But it started up again, on the plastic covers (thank heavens for the plastic covers), and again we didn't know which cat was doing it.

We got Oreo neutered and cleaned the smell up, got some pheromones that were supposed to keep the cats from stressing, put new litter boxes down, put "keep off" at the spot they were going to, etc. Nothing worked. Richard was talking about getting a "nanny cam" and putting it in there so we could figure out who the culprit was.

Last time I had gotten some products from PlanetUrine.com to clean up and get rid of the odor. I get e-mails from them periodically and one came right when I really needed it. It was advertising an electronic device that is triggered when the cat crosses an infrared beam. It sets off a high pitched sound that humans can't hear (or just barely) but the cats can't tolerate. So we set one up in the room where the peeing was occurring.

I am happy to report that it worked. There has been no more inappropriate peeing anywhere. Hooray! If you ever run into this problem and are at the end of your wits and really don't want to get rid of your cat, give this one a try!

A funny footnote - the new cat, Oreo, can walk right into that room and the sound doesn't bother him a bit. The vacuum doesn't either. He's either the mellowest cat on the planet or there's something not totally right about his hearing!

PS if your cat starts peeing all over the place, not in one spot like was happening to us, it could very well be a medical problem. Have him checked by a veterinarian!