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    Friday, November 30, 2007

    I Haven't Posted A Game In A While

    No people, I haven't forgotten about you.  As you can probably tell, I've been changing a lot of things here at POW lately, and my other blog, Single Dads, is really taking off and taking just a bit too much of my time.  Don't worry, I quit a job to make more time for my first readers who inspired me to continue writing in the first place.

    So, in short, I'll give you this compelling game via Boing Boing, and say, Play it!

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Hack Your Food

    Lifehacker, that wonderful website with so many hints on how to do things in oh-so-many wonderful and simple ways, came up with a list of top ten food and drink hacks.  Among the highlights:

    6. Bake no-knead bread

    5. Build a fire with chocolate and Coke

    2. Chill a Coke in two minutes

    I have a personal favorite, which I like to call bringing back two day old bagels.  All that you require is a two day old bagel (meaning hard) and a cup of coffee.  The secret?  Put your bagel in the microwave, with the coffee (or a cup of water, if you prefer), and heat on high for 15-45 seconds.

    Your bagel will soften enough to slice and toast, and bonus, if you used coffee for your recipe, it will warm that up a little too.

    See?  I'm not so boring.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Two More Drugs To Avoid?

    More good news for children this Christmas season. According to a news report released today, apparently the Food and Drug Administration believes that the flu drugs made by Roche and GlaxoSmithKline might have the unfortunate side effect of giving children neurological problems including hallucinations and convulsions. Fortunately, the government is considering warning labels on these items. How appropriate.

    I am not a humorless individual, and quite often I can see the underlying humor in a lot of bad news. Unfortunately this is not one of those times. In my new role as an occasional entrepreneur, I think that someone could make a fortune on creating a website where a parent or other interested party could search and locate certain products such as:

    • Toys proven to not contain lead,
    • Medications that have been proven not to harm children, and
    • Child safety items that don't harm children in any way.

    I would, as a single parent would sign up for such a Internet site with great relish, indeed.

    There are other items that I think would go well in a website such the one I propose, but at the moment, the news that proven influenza medications might make certain children convulse in their beds has dampened my ability to consider additional consumer products that might go on such a site. I will, however, claim "dibs" on such an idea.

    I've Got The Gotta Go Into Bankruptcy, But The Debts Are Still There Blues

    People, people, people.  You might as well accept the fact that you really want to avoid credit cards.  Don't think that bankruptcy will help you, either.

    It's not as easy to get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy anymore due to recent legislation that was bought and paid for by the banking industry. In most cases you'll have to pay back some part of your debt under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. The banks weren't happy with just forcing almost everyone into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in which they have to repay all of their debts through a payment plan and are now going after people who already filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and trying to collect on debts which have been legally bankrupted away.

    That's from American Consumer News.  Consider reading the whole article.

    I'm going to tell you a story about credit cards that you might not believe and might find difficult to conceive.  Did you know that there was a time in the last fifty years that credit cards didn't exist?  No, really, it's true!  There was NO such thing as credit cards!  Wow!

    Strangely enough, people still were able to buy things with money.  Oddly, when people couldn't afford things they didn't buy them.  Shocking.

    As it turns out, a fine way to spend yourself into bankruptcy is to buy things that you can't afford, which is exactly what credit cards allow you to do.  If you can avoid the trap that credit provides, then your chances of overspending decrease significantly.

    The message seems pretty clear, doesn't it?

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Confirmed: The RIAA Is Concentrated Evil

    In another sign that the present way that the government does business is literally for sale, Gizmodo has a story on a particularly odious bill addition.

    In a ridiculous display of just how much you can get done in government if you have enough money, a new bill on the House floor states that if colleges don't police their networks and do the RIAA and MPAAs bidding as well as buy into services such as Napster for their entire student body, they'll lose all their federal funding. Yep, that means if a college doesn't want to hand over names to the RIAA they'll lose things like their Pell grants, depriving thousands of low-income students from financial aid.

    Ah.  Greed.  There really isn't much more to say than that.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Red Red Wine Makes Me Feel So...Ow.

    Is it possible that science has finally created the device to predict the dreaded red wine headache?  Can a cure (besides not drinking it) be next?

    BERKELEY, Calif. - The effects are all too familiar: a fancy dinner, some fine wine and then, a few hours later, a racing heart and a pounding headache. But a device developed by University of California, Berkeley, researchers could help avoid the dreaded "red wine headache."

    Chemists working with NASA-funded technology designed to find life on Mars have created a device they say can easily detect chemicals that many scientists believe can turn wine and other beloved indulgences into ingredients for agony.

    Via Yahoo.

    The thing that I really liked about this particular article was that chemist working with NASA-funded technology created the mentioned device, thereby proving that scientific advancement can be achieved through space travel, which stands to reason.  If man can fly to the moon and dock with orbiting space stations with shuttles that are using 20 year old technology, then surely they can detect the part of red wine that can be evil incarnate.  So drink up, wine lovers! 

    Baby Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

    Priorities. When it comes right down to it, I have only three of note: first is myself, then is my family, finally would be work and friends. Why does this single dad mention that?

    This single dad mentions that because at the moment, the my inner space is a touch out of whack. If you were wondering why I haven't written as much lately, it's not because of writer's block; it's because item no. 3 from above has finally begun to intrude on my primary concerns. In short, I've been a very busy dad lately, meaning, yes, I'm working too much.

    I would imagine that this is a common problem with parents generally, and possibly single dads - especially, ones that are highly motivated by the thoughts of their children' present and future - in particular. We must make money to pay for added responsibilities. Child support, alimony, clothes, health care… all of that costs money. Tack on other items like college planning, private schooling, and other optional items, and suddenly, it might never seem to be enough. So, if you're like me, then you must work, and work like a dog sometimes, to pay for it.

    Lately, though, I have been noticing little warning signs: not writing as much as usual, not sleeping as well, appetite fairly suppressed, and I realized that work and life are out of balance. I started writing on this website because it was something that I enjoyed, and because I wanted to leave my daughter little reminders of how I was thinking when she was a baby. That's a me thing, and to shirk that in even the smallest thing means that am not looking out for myself. Hence, it's time to take a step back.

    Goodbye, part time job. Oh, how so painfully well I knew ye. Guess I'll have to find some other way to drop a little extra in the college fund.

    Come to think of it, I suppose that I just got my daughter a new pair of shoes last month, and they were pretty inexpensive.  I bet she'll make the rest of the year just fine.

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    And The Winner Is... Netflix

    Just because I have them as a sponsor (gaze left), doesn't mean that you have to think that they are the absolutely greatest, but certainly recent results have borne out that Netflix has conquered Blockbuster in the Great Video Wars.  From Consumerist:

    We're ready to call Netflix the winner of this battle of the video war, based on Blockbusters remarkably sad third quarter numbers and the flood of pissed off emails we've been getting from Blockbuster's (former) customers.

    Blockbuster managed to lose $35 million in the third quarter, and its customers have been writing in to complain about benefits being cut from their "Total Access" packages.

    That, to me, sounds kind of bad for Blockbuster.  I wonder what will go in all of those stores, given that most of the mini-malls that have Blockbuster already have a Starbucks in them?  Personally, I like Netflix, even though at the moment I have no time to actually watch movies.  I hope for that to change relatively soon, though.  However, don't let that stop you, who I'm sure have loads of time just piling up in your garage.

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