New Year's Resolutions That Are Never Kept

Yeah, it's that time of year again. New Year's Resolutions time. How many people make them and actually keep them? I dare say not many at all. I got an early start on my first New Year's Day resolution; the eternal diet to loss weight. That one has to be the most popular resolution that is never kept. With that idea in mind, let's go over a few New Year's resolutions that are never kept for one reason or another.

1. Diet. Of course, this has to be numero uno on the list. Some people actually keep this resolution, at least, for a while. This year I am going to stick to it. No, seriously, I am. I bet you will too.
2. Quit Smoking. Actually, this should have been first on the list. Yes, being overweight is hazardous to your health also. But, nothing brings forth dreadful side effects like smoking.
3. Quit Drinking. Well, I guess you could hang this one with numbers one and two also. Drinking can cause so many problems for your health and for the interaction with friends and family. If you have a serious drinking problem, maybe it's time to consider stopping.
4. Get control of your debt. This is something that may prove as difficult to achieve as losing weight. You have to go on a diet money management program to get out of debt. In today's economy, this is an excellent idea. But, few will ever do it.
5. Be nice to your ex-wife. Ok, there will probably be some guys laugh at that one. But, try as I might, I cannot be nice to my X. I actually have made that a New Year's Resolution in the past. I made a concerted effort to be nice to her. Try as I might, it simply doesn't work. I bet there are a few guys (and gals) who have trouble being nice to a former spouse.

This may or may not be your list of New Year's resolutions that are never kept. But, they are mine. I don't smoke and I rarely drink. So scratch 2 and 3. Thankfully, I am one of those few people who do have control of their debt as I outlined in #4. So, I have #1 and #5 to work on. I suspect I will have better luck achieving #1 (as difficult as it is to lose weight), then I will #5. I wish everyone the best of luck in keeping their New Year's resolutions, even if you don't ever keep them. If you don't keep the resolutions, there is always next year!

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Soldier Shot at Homecoming Party

How do you even fathom something like a soldier being shot at his homecoming party after serving his country in Afghanistan? A solider that was still recovering from injuries he received after surviving a suicide bomber. That is exactly what happened to Christopher Sullivan of San Bernardino, Calif. Young Mr. Sullivan is listed in critical condition. His spine is shattered according to his mother. If he survives, he will be paralyzed for life.

Apparently, Christopher tried to intervene between his brother and another member of the party. It was an argument over football. Christopher Sullivan tried to play the role of peacemaker, just as he did in Afghanistan. He survived a suicidal maniac from that war-torn country. But, it is possible he won't survive a lunatic from war-torn California. What does this say about us as a nation when people are willing to kill over a sport? Back when I was a kid, we fought out our disagreements with our fists. Now, I know Christopher's brother had no idea this idiot would pull out a gun. But, can you imagine the guilt he is feeling right now? His brother (Christopher) is a hero. What is Christopher's brother today? Christopher was receiving a hero's welcome. Now, it is possible he won't live to see another Christmas. The gunman fled the scene, of course. I hope they catch the bastard.

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Yes Virgina, There Is A Santa Claus!

This is something I do every Christmas for this blog. I only post on Monday's and Friday's now. So, since this is a Friday, today will have to do for Christmas. Christmas is always a special time of year to me. I don't celebrate it in the manner I did as a child. Who does? The belief in Santa Claus is something that can never be equaled. The magic and excitement is something I will always carry with me. This classic about Virginia O'Hanlon and Francis Pharcellus Church lives on in the hearts of children of all ages.


Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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Gout in Big Toe

Gout. I did not even know what the hell it was up until about three years ago. I suffered some pain in the big toe joint in my right foot. At first, I thought I had sprained it on my treadmill. I went to the doctor about it and he diagnosed me as having gout. I told him I had pain in my thumb joint in the previous two months also. I thought it was arthritis. He said it was probably gout. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in your body. I have been told it is due to a diet of red meat, red wine (this is a problem for me, I love red wine) cream sauces and I guess any rich protein diet will do it. The uric acid crystallizes in the joints. Trust me, you don't want that. However, once it is in your bone joints, it causes PAIN, swelling and inflammation. I'm dealing with all three right now in the big toe of my right foot.

The pain slowly started last Monday. It has been so long since I had a gout attack, I had forgotten all about the pain of a gout attack. I can safely say I won't forget this gout attack any time soon. The gout pain has woken me up about 1:30-2:00AM the past two nights. I am not sleeping much. I do intend to call my doctor today to get an appointment if possible. The pain is extremely bad right now. It feels like when you are in pain, you are the only person in the world who is hurting. I have read the best thing to do is eat cherries, lots of cherries. I have also read where drinking orange juice will help also. I am not sure about that. It seems that orange juice would exacerbate the problem. This link does state it lowers uric acid levels though. Anyway, I hope this gout attack doesn't last much longer. I can barely walk. Hopefully, the doctor can prescribe something that will help me get past this pain of a gout attack soon.

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Fiverr - A Review

I had never heard of Fiverr until about two months ago. I went to the site and simply was amazed at what I saw. Basically, you had people who were willing to do anything (legally anyway) for five bucks. You can get almost anything, from women who are willing to be your Facebook girlfriend to writing your business message on a surfboard to making a tough decision for you all for the low, low price of $5.00. Think of it as a mini-eBay with human services at one price...$5.00. I have used it for a number of different ways. No, I did not hire a Facebook girlfriend. But, you can get some decent SEO tips and help for five bucks. Unlike eBay, Fiverr customer service is very user friendly. They responded to a problem I had yesterday within ten minutes. I was impressed.

Now, you are probably thinking, how can this benefit me? Think of what you can sell, just to start off. Do you have a blog, web site with any kind of traffic? You can put a business message or anything you will allow and make some money out of it. Do you have any type of experience or education that is marketable? Put it to use on Fiverr. Now, by the same token, you can buy services as well. I'm in the buying mode right now. I've gotten some good SEO tips that I plan on putting to good use on this blog and my political blog as well. Just a heads up for you about some cheap services that you may or may not be able to utilize. Check them out and see if you might be interested.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid advertisement for Fiverr.

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Save Money on Utility Bills

Last Friday we discussed some ways you can save on groceries. Since I am currently on another of my "saving money" kicks, I thought I would share about five different ways to save some money on your utility bills. Again, these are what I consider some of the best ideas. You probably have seen them all before. But, I am willing to bet you never saw them on this blog before. So, let's cut to the chase.

1. A programmable thermostat. I honestly don't know of many people who don't have one of these. If you live alone or it's just you and the wife, one of these is imperative. Now, I freeze all the time. This is particularly true during the winter. Even so, I keep my thermostat down to 65 in the winter, 72 in the summer. Either way, I'm going to stay cold. So, I figure I might as well save some damn money.
2. Put weather stripping on windows and doors. Yeah, you hear this all the time in PSA on local TV. But, trust me, I know from personal experience it does work. After replacing all the weather stripping in my home, my heating bill went down 10-15%. Your mileage may vary, however.
3. Fix leaking faucets. This should be a no-brainer. How much water would you save if you stop all the leaking faucets in your house? There is an easy way to find out. Well, no, not really. Fix the leaky faucets. It takes, on average, about thirty minutes even if you are all thumbs with tools.
4. Change the filters on your AC/furnace. Ideally this should be done every 30 days depending upon whatever kind of filter you have.
5. Close off vents to rooms you don't use. This is something I did a long time ago. I have two rooms I rarely go to for various reasons. So, I turn off the vents. Why heat or cool a room you don't even use?

Now, there are a lot more tips that I found to be nonsense. One I saw said to turn off the water while lathering up during a shower. I seriously doubt anyone is going to do that. I had to do that when I was in the U.S. Navy. But, that was just one of the hardships of being out at sea. Anyway, I hope you'll give these five tips a try.

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Ideas to Save Money on Groceries

Ok, so I was at the local supermarket buying some much needed groceries for myself and my 3.5 year old beagle, Ralph. Ralph can almost sense when I am going to buy food. He starts howling as if he wants to go with me. Anyway, as i was going through the supermarket aisles, I was amazed at how much food has gone up since this time last Christmas! You practically need to get a bank loan for a loaf of bread and orange juice. So, after paying an inordinate amount of money for groceries, I decided to search the 'Net for ways to save money on groceries. I picked out seven I liked. You most likely have heard most, if not all, of these seven tips. These are the seven I liked best.

1. Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry. That is probably the oldest and perhaps, best advice you can get on saving money. I can't tell you the number of times I have bought stuff I really didn't want. But, it looked so good (baked goods is an example), I couldn't resist.
2. Coupons, coupons, coupons. Ok, I use to ignore coupons. Most were five cents off, fifty cents off and so on. But, I have discovered that really adds up. My next door neighbor talked me into the value of coupons to save money on groceries. I'm sold now.
3. Store brands (cheaper) instead of name brands. People automatically think name brands are going to be better than non-brand goods. I suspect, in most cases, people can't tell the difference between the two. Sure, that is not true in all cases. Just to prove my point, I bought some Nabisco gingerbread cookies and store brand. Absolutely no difference except one thing; the price.
4. Stock up on deals of the day. Now, you may have all the toothpaste, shampoo and washing determent you need. But, if they are having special sales of the day, take advantage of this time and stock up!
5. Don't shop in a rush. I probably have more trouble with this one than any other tip. I am always in a hurry to get through shopping. I hate to shop for groceries or anything else. But, I have discovered if you are in a hurry, you don't really take time to comparison shop in order to save money on different items.
6. Markdowns. This is something I use to ignore also even though you can save so much money. I was always afraid that markdowns meant "expiration date" problems. Not so. But, you really have to watch markdowns on such items as meat, poultry and fish. I still stay away from markdowns on that. I had food poisoning once in my life. Once is enough.
7. Check your store receipts. I can't tell you the number of times I have come home only to discover I had been charged twice for an item. I want to believe it is inadvertent. But, I really wonder about that. This is something you should really check before you leave the store parking lot. I've come back to the store to get reinbursed and had to go through the third degree with a cashier.

We all need ways to save money in this economy. I just decided to try all the above and they do work for me. Money is tight. Saving a few pennies here and there helps.

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Legless Man Denied Wheelchair

Mr. Evert Stefansson of Nyköping, Sweden was denied a wheelchair due to his infirmity. His infirmity was the fact he had no legs. Mr. Stefansson had both legs amputated. Mr. Stefansson suffers from a severe case of diabetes. His eyesight is fading and he had both legs amputated over the course of just one year. The local health authority (those that are enthused with Obamacare, take note) denied his claim for one of those power wheelchairs because they are "...uncertain if the impairment was permanent." That's right. You read that correctly. Apparently, these government bureaucrats with all the resources in front of them, were unable to decide if Mr. Stefansson's legs would miraculously grow back of their own volition. The report goes on to state that the man might be able to get prosthetic legs. Unfortunately, Mr. Stefansson will have to wait on that for up to a year (again, Obamacare supporters, take note).

Thankfully, the news media got wind of this ridiculous situation and started publicizing it a great deal. As it turns out, one of those power wheelchair manufacturers thought it would be a good PR move on their part to furnish Mr. Stefansson a new power wheelchair free of charge. It should be arriving sometime next week according to the report. That said, I think some people in Nyköping, Sweden should take some courses on the human anatomy. If you lose a leg, arm or any appendage, it doesn't grow back. Just a heads up for those folks.

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Hunter Shot by Dog

I'm sure you have heard this story before. It seems to happen once a hunting season. A hunter goes hunting with his dogs. Nothing unusual about that this time of year. But, what took place in Brigham City, Utah was anything but the usual. Two hunters took off hunting this past weekend with their dogs. They were in a canoe with a .12 gauge shotgun laid across the bow of the canoe. One dog got excited, apparently, as one hunter got out of the boat to check on some decoys. The dog jumped on the shotgun, and, somehow, pulled the trigger striking the hunter in the butt!!! Needless to say, the hunter was definitely butthurt about the whole thing. 911 was called by the other hunter and emergency services arrived to assist the wounded hunter. 27 pellets were removed from the hunter's butt.

The hunting dog was just doing what comes naturally to him. You can't blame him for being excited. I had an old beagle named Mister that got so excited during hunting season, we couldn't hardly get him in the bed of the truck at times. As for the hunting dog in this incident; at this time, no charges have been filed against the dog. Just sort of joking there.

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