Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I kept myself occupied pretty much of the morning by making a change in my sidebar. I wanted a double head over the left and right columns and had to work it out to get it to display correctly. Jenn over at Everyday Randomness pointed me in the right direction telling me that I needed to mod the sidebar.php page in my themes directory. Of course it was a little more involved than simply adding a few lines of text. I had to add a division to the page plus add a division to the style sheet also. Not too bad but I sure am glad I know how to cut and paste. Its easier to copy then mod some code rather than writing it from scratch. You can see the result of a few hours of off and on work by looking at my ad on the right. I have been hosting websites for friends for some time now and intend to expand hosting to blogs also. Let me know if I can help you, or any input you might have. Thanks.

I can tell I no longer have the constitution I once did with me catching viruses and not getting over them as I once did. I am miserable now with a sinus infection that has its grips on me. I have been thinking of getting a flu shot too but they won’t give it to me until I am over this and with me have less bounce back ability I don’t know how long that will be.I have never taken this antibiotic or actually until recently I never even took them. This one (Ceftin) is nasty. It is chalky and tastes terrible as soon as you place it in your mouth it starts to dissolve and even worse it belches back on me later. At one time I felt almost immune to colds and respiratory problems. I do know that even though I worked outdoors in all weather including rains and occasional snows that I went for well over a decade without ever catching cold. Now my immune system has taken a hard left I believe. If I were able to work like that once more I think the outdoors helps build your tolerances up to things like colds and sinus/bronchial infections. I hope to be on the mend and out into the great outdoors again soon. Hunting or fishing soon would be nice. I feel so stifled inside all the time with central heat and air. I prefer a little cold and the heat to certain degree. I think it makes you stronger if you can stand it. Hopefully I will be over this soon and back to my old disgruntled self.

Its cooling off here in the south and time for me to quit going barefoot so much. Actually me being a diabetic I have read I should never go bare footed but that goes against the grain for me. During the summer time I would go without shoes pretty much everywhere if stores didn’t have rules against it. So when I do wear shoes I tend to go for a good pair of?work boots. Myself I prefer a lower top pair so I can get into and out of them easily. But that is going to depend on what I am doing. If I am just out for a daily walk or a day hike low tops or brogans as they used to call them are just fine but if I am going hunting or anywhere that gets me into the brush or if I do a little welding a pair of high tops are needed. Nothing much is worse than a hot piece of steel falling into your boots. A hot foot is a bad day for me and a long time to heal also. It seems that it takes me forever to heal up after any kind of cut, bruise, or burn. Maybe Santa Claus will hook me up with a new pair this year.

A US Army intelligence report has identified the popular blogging tool Twitter as a potential terrorist tool. It along with GPS and possibly voice changing software are at the heart of this intelligence report. The report by the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion examines a number of mobile and web technologies and their potential uses by militants. The report is posted on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) website. Parts of the report mention how activists at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis used it to provide information on police movements and Twitter members got out the news of the earthquake in Los Angeles in July faster than news outlets. Now lets see what happens when they discover chat rooms and email.

I have been busy moving a good friends blog and a customer of my file-house hosting to her own domain name that matches her blog Brain Foggles. It was quite a learning experience for me as I had never done it before. First off I did a little research on the web and said to myself that shouldn’t be too much trouble. Well I underestimated the difficulty and the little knowledge I had gained as it was not quite enough. First thing I ran into was the plugin I had found to expidite moving a blog from site to site would not work as the database is too large. I had attempted to move it using the Velvet Blues Update URL’s plugin, but ran into a snag right away as I was limited to a 2mb file and this one was just short of 4mb’s. Plus I was creating a new database as we did not want the old site to go down at all until we had the new site up and running. So I exported the Mysql database onto my computer and uploaded it as the new database for the new site. That was pretty straight forward but where I had trouble was renaming all instances of the old domain to the new domain. I found a great blog site that helped me a ton. My Digital Life had the information I needed to work with the Mysql database. It made life so much easier and I can’t thank them enough. Alright now I have I said to myself but once more my hopes were dashed like a ship against the rocks. I had an error with the php code. It was Warning: array_keys(): The first argument should be an array in */wp-includes/widgets.php on line 676, (*= your root directory). This I found out was a common occurence when moving blogs and was caused byt the text widgets. So back to the Msql database into the options table hunting the text widgets line. Once there you remove everyting in the table and woooo hoooo its working minus the text widgets. So I am back off to the old site to get the text widgets text. It all goes in one at a time making sure none of them break the instal and we are done. I feel confident now that I can move pretty much any WordPress blog onto my hosting server as long as I have access to the old blogsite. Now I find out she has a contest running and wants to hold off the move for 3 more days. Oh well I know what I am doing now so it shouldn’t be the big deal it was when I started.

In a ruling last week a federal appeals court has ruled that Beef exporters are banned from testing their cattle for mad cow disease without the approval from the USDA (United States Agriculture Department). Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wanted to test 100% of their beef so they can assure their customers in Japan and South Korea that their beef is safe. Once again we have another instance of the government interfering in a business decision. They should have the right to test as much as they want to but big meat packers are afraid of being forced to test more than 1% of their meat and the USDA sided with them. This not only has an effect on Creekstone Farms but it has the potential to reach all of us who eat beef. The appeals court ruled, 2 to 1, that under a 1913 law, test kits that are used only after an animal is killed still constitute “diagnosis” and “treatment” ? this for a disease that has no treatment and is 100% fatal ? and therefore fall under the USDA’s authority to regulate. Just how crazy is that?

Creekstone?s case is not entirely over. The appeals court remanded to the U.S. District Court to resolve whether the USDA?s refusal to let Creekstone test its cattle is arbitrary and capricious.

The Olympics are in high swing with the U.S. in first place with China close behind in the medal count so far. In the gold count we fall to second behind China who has gone all out for the Olympics. After putting on the greatest opening ceremony ever, they have went on to medal in many events.

Political news is way down with the McCain camp not putting out much other than their misleading commercials. The Obama camp is out to lunch with Obama himself on vacation with his family in Hawaii.

With the price of oil steadily dropping so have the prices at the pump. The national average has fallen to $3.799 much better than the $4 plus prices of last month. Even so I have found a couple of sites that claim to show the lowest prices in your neighborhood. GasBuddy has a map and a zip code search that found no results in my area. Cheap Gas Prices has the states with links then to the counties here in South Carolina then the cities in Greenville county finding the lowest prices around. They could be very helpful especially if you have to travel very much.

A recent study by the Government Accountability Office indicates that roughly one billion of the ten billion annual budget may be paid to fraudulent businesses. The GAO set up two fictitious companies with sketchy information and false documents to see how the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) would handle the sham businesses. The fake companies did not have clients or medical inventory to supply prospective Medicare patients. They won billing privileges even though everything was false and deliberately made to look so. The sting proved that there are gaps in the system and they can and are being manipulated by scam artists. The CMS says they are making changes to prevent this including;

  • requiring that suppliers keep supporting paperwork from doctors.
  • limiting the use of cell phones as the primary business number
  • setting up a new bidding process for medical equipment

But they promised to make changes in 2005 that have only achieved limited success. The government’s approval of the two sham companies is alarming because once a supplier attains Medicare billing privileges, it can easily get a doctor’s ID code fraudulently and begin submitting claims. A report by the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general in December 2006 found that almost one-third of the 1,581 medical suppliers it visited in south Florida did not have an office at the business address they provided Medicare, even though they collectively had submitted claims for hundreds of millions of dollars.

The GAO cited several recent fraud cases to highlight the problem:

A company using a broom closet for its address filled with buckets of sand and tar. The owner also stole personal ID numbers from doctors. In August 2007, he was sentenced to 37 months in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and made to forfeit his Miami home and Rolls Royce.

A?secretary for a fraudulent medical supplier decided to start her own lucrative false company by renting an office in the same location. She purchased fake invoices and then provided her former employer kickbacks to have access to Medicare beneficiary numbers. From January 2006 to April 2007 she submitted $1.5 million in claims for urinary bags, canisters and air mattresses; Medicare paid the company $372,286. She was sentenced for fraud in January to 30 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release.

Good thing they make them forfeit all the funds they haven’t spent or even I might be tempted to do the hundred grand a year business. A little less than three years for three hundred grand isn’t too bad.

Louisiana recently lost their case in front of the Supreme Court and therefore denied them from executing child rapists. Personally I feel they do not deserve to breath the same air anyone else does and felt that the death penalty was not too harsh in child rape cases. Indeed if there were a worse method of killing them I would be happy to see that done. Give me a rock and I’ll throw the first stone.

Well anyhow apparently the lawyers for the state of Louisiana overlooked a law on the books for the military that calls for the death penalty for child rapists. Their request to reopen the case in front of the Supreme Court is based on the failure of anyone involved in the case – lawyers on both sides as well as the justices – to take account of this law when the case was heard and the decision handed down.

The court almost never reopens a case once ruled upon but the 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy relied in part on what Kennedy called a “national consensus” against executing convicted rapists. We do not know if the case will be reopened as it takes five justices, a majority, to?reconsider a ruling.

The ruling in June struck down laws in Louisiana and five other states and spared the lives of two Louisiana men convicted of raping girls 5 and 8. I hope this case is overturned and the death penalty is once again applied to these sicko’s. I feel anyone that sick does not deserve to take another breath and should be killed ASAP.

Today is a milestone in my life. It has been six months since I smoked a cigarette. Everyday that goes by is a record for not smoking also as I am not doing like I have in the past and smoked cigars or a pipe instead. And no, no left hand rolled cigarettes either. I still have urges and I have to fight them when they rear their head up and try to temp me. I get the urge most often while sitting outdoors watching the birds, especially the hummingbirds. No the hummingbirds aren’t the culprit but I enjoy watching them the most. My sister in law still smokes so her cigarettes and lighter are layed on the tables on our porches for me to look at and get the cravings from. But I am fighting off the urges when they come and am dedicated to not smoking in my life ever again. It took quite a lot of will power to make it this far and I am not wanting to fall back into the ranks of the smokers. Not that I have anything against them or ostracize anyone who smokes from my presence. The smoke doesn’t tempt me it only stinks. That is unless it is a sweet blended tobacco like from a pipe or cigar. My niece recently switched to number 9 Camels I think it is and they smell extra good like that but I still fought back the urge to pull one from the pack and break off the filter and lite it up. I didn’t like filters on my cigarettes and always smoked a non filter brand such as Pall Mall. I want to thank all the well wishers who have urged me on in my not smoking as their words of encouragement has helped more than they know. My thoughts to you who maybe trying to fight the monkey on your back that is nicotine and cigarettes is try not to think about them and when you do think of the nasty aspects to them as their is very little good about smoking. It just leaves your mouth smelling like an old dirty ashtray and can lead to serious health problems down the road. So here is wishing you the very best in your personal efforts in quitting smoking and if you have quit already that is great and I applaud you and your willpower.