musings

Life is What Happens When Other Things Get in the Way

Already it’s the end of the month, and despite being able to keep a tenuous hold on the *Picture a Day* project, the blogging a day project has quietly slid to the sidelines….

Perhaps it’s because January has been a quiet month on the technology front? CES was a bit of a bummer? Apple and RIM haven’t done anything exciting?

The CRTC took a vacation?

No - it’s more like life and work have seriously begun to encroach on each other. Morning time has shrunk to a state where there’s only time for news, two coffees and FB before the work day begins.

This is going to be a crazy year. It’s finally the year of VoIP, and i’m not talking about your sketchy Vonage type of VoIP… It’s the year when TDM and IP collide. It’s the year of outsourcing everying. It’s the year of the data centre. It’s the year of dragging toll free into the 21st century.

It’s a wonder I still have time t sleep!

:-D

I'm Not Good in Public

A wise friend once said “It’s not that I’m not good  being in public, it’s that the public isn’t good at being in public”

People today have absolutely no concept of the world around them, they aren’t paying attention, and they aren’t thinking about what they’re doing.

People stop their cars, their carts, their walking —— right in the middle of their actitivity, lose their train of thought with no awareness whatsoever of the people and activities going on around them.

There’s no common sense, there’s no consideration, there’s no forethought.

Maybe we *have* been around too long, and the Mayans were right. We need a good cleansing of the earth.

Netflix First Month Free - Crack for Moviephiles?

Netflix-LoadingShow-e13053210007611-300x180.png

It came in the mail today. That little red envelope. So innocuous…. so deadly.  I’m afraid. There’s an addictive personality inside me, wanting to test out Netflix. Despite the rational side of me having the largest voice (and control of the credit card), the little me wants to try Netflix for 30 Days…

I know it’s going to be crack. Maybe even worse than that.

30 Days is just long enough to get hooked. Before I know it, I will be upgrading my internet package, and I’ll be ignoring my PVR. I’ll be wanting to stream to the iPad and then God knows where else.

And why? After all this time? After turning my nose up at others who have fallen prey to the ‘Flix before me? I was smugly warming my hands on the heat of my superiority fire. How slippery the slope.

It’s because Blockbuster is gone. No more trip to the video store for a little *something special*. Sure, I’ve got 3800 channels, but when you want something specific, and you want it n-o-w, there’s no good alternative. (No, downloading something off the torrents is not a good alternative)

So…… I’m thinking — what’s the harm? I can cancel whenever I want. Lot’s of other people are doing it. I’m just going to give it a try. 

Oil of Oregano: Placebo or Panacea

As of Jan 16th, 2012 it will have been a year since my last *illness*. No colds, no flu, nothing worse than a headache has darkened my door in a year. Sure, I can have a evening of pre-cold - you know the feeling, throat scratchy, eyes not up to par, body is cold; but the next morning, I’m right as rain again.

The source to this health: Oil of Oregano. Religious and liberal usage. 

When in doubt, OoO.

 

Numerous university studies have shown that Oil of Oregano is a highly potent purifier that provides many benefits for human health. It is a natural substance that is extracted from wild oregano plants, and two key compounds found in it are carvacrol and thymol. Studies have shown that both of these compounds have significant effects on harmful micro-organisms that cause many illnesses in humans. 

The ancient Greeks were one of the first people to recognize this oil for its health benefits and medicinal qualities. It is known to be a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that can reduce pain and inflammation and effectively fight off infections. 

Some of the specific benefits of Oil of Oregano are:

  • Destroying organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Increasing joint and muscle flexibility.
  • Improving respiratory health.

—- Excerpt from Home Remedies Web

 

Or course, there are various sites scattered throughout the internet espousing both criticism and praise for the oil, and neither camp really seems to have a definitive answer as to the medicinal effects. Science Based Pharmacy is a fairly right-wing site with a bend towards anything anti-homeopathy.

Unfortunately there are many more sites that praise the effects of Oil of Oregano, and suggest it can cure everything from colitis to warts. I’m not even going to suggest that it’s the magical cure-all for everything, but I *have* been cold free for a year now, and I *have* been taking OoO regularly. Maybe there’s a relationship, maybe there’s not. Maybe it *is* a placebo for me. And if that’s the case, I’m still thrilled. It’s tricky to find scientific, non-biased research on the actual effectiveness of the oil, but there are a few citations below:

The Toronto Star has a fairly non-biased account, but it’s from 2007.

Positive *trials* have been documented by Science Daily, but those published results were from 2001.

Livestrong.com has reasonable research citations of both positive and negative, with an emphasis on more research being required.

Reading through the swathes of internet documentation, with an eye towards critical thought, one thought ocurred to me. Oil of Oregano (or some sites that are praising the properties) has be heralded as a cure for virtually anything, and improves your overall health, well being, weight and happiness. Huh, that sort of sounds like something else. All that for only $25 a bottle, and no multi-level marketing pyramid scheme attached.

Are you an Oil of Oregano convert? I am :-D

2012 ---- Bucket List

Agreed, it’s not a very creative title, but considering the date, it’s fairly apropos. One of my best mentors suggested “people don’t plan to fail, they simply fail to plan”. Writing things down seems to be the catalyst for action.

  • travel at least once to someplace interesting
  • repaint a room
  • grow something complicated
  • exercise every day
  • blog every day
  • paint a large canvas
  • upcycle a piece of furniture
  • take a photo every day
  • do monthly *anonymous niceties*
  • read the ingredients on packaging more often

 

It may not be a *stretch*, but it certainly should be attainable. I’ve got 12 months, after all.

:-D

It's Almost the End of 2011...

2011.jpg

… and what do I have to show for it? 

It’s that time of the year when you curl up over a coffee to think of what’s been accomplished, and what is still to be done.

2011 was a year of big learning for me. Wide learning, some might say.

  • You will never guess how much long distance fraud there can be in one weekend, from one hacked PBX.
  • AIN and hybrid networks are alive and well for toll free.
  • When you do traffic forecasting, make sure the customer is accurate.
  • There really are nice people at Verizon.
  • IP Trunking is always going to launch later than you expect it to. But now I’m ready.
  • Despite all I thought I knew about data cetres, electricity still screws with my mind.
  • Cloud networking is just a buzz word.
  • Cucumbers need 6 times the amount of space than you would expect.

And that’s just the tip of the ice berg. :-D

My biggest goal for 2012 is to pick up pen again and get this blog rocking. I know, I’ve said that before. But the more times I say it, it’s bound to take hold.

How a *Free* BWM is Going to Ruin Your Life.

Over the past year, my FaceBook news feed has been inundated with people shilling for Visalus. Coincidentally, my FB friend count has decreased proportionately to the number of people joining the 90 Day Challenge. I have one simple rule, if you push BBV in your news feed, you must go. Full stop. If you don’t use FB as your marketing method, then that’s fine, you can stay.

This morning a new BBVer popped up, excited about her new BMW, and I had to finally dig into the BMW angle of Visalus. 

If you happen to join Visalus, and you attain the level of Regional Director, this means your *team* is selling over $12,500 of Visalus products every month. You can now take advantage of the *Great BMW Rip Off Offer.

Essentially, as long as your team continues to perform at $12,500/month or greater, you will get $600/month towards the purchase or lease of a new or used BMW. Oh, and the BMW HAS to be black. (shoulder shrug)

It’s up to you to go to a BMW dealership and make the purchase or lease arrangements. This means you’re locking yourself into a LARGE financial commitment, based on the uncommitted volumes of sales your team is responsible for over the next 3 years. It’s also up to you to make sure that you’ve got a credit rating that can support the purchase or lease of said BMW. It’s also up to you to purchase the insurance.

If your team doesn’t perform consistently, you lose your Regional Director status, and the $600 bonus for the BMW. Unfortunately, you, yourself are still on the hook for the lease or purchase of the car that’s now an albatross around your neck. Some stats illustrate that most MLM sales people only stay in the program for 90 to 120 days. The turnover and attrition of your team is going to be HUGE. Relying on the efforts of your downstream to ensure that you don’t default on a car that you can’t really afford by yourself is something that should be keeping you awake at night.

Provided that you’re not getting a used BMW with over 60,000 kms, you’re looking at about $35,000 + taxes for a pre-owned vehicle. (I picked a 2008 328I with 43,000 kms for the financial sampling)

 Let’s do some math here. Let’s also just consider the Lease option for a $35,000 BMW. You’ve got to put down $3800 in order to get the monthly lease rate to $600/month. 

Now you’ve got a 3 year lease to contend with. 

Sure, if your downstream tanks, you can leasebust your lease, but that’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars as well. On Leasebusters right now, there are 108 BMWs available for lease take over in Ontario. Get in line. You’re going to have to offer a pretty sweet incentive in order to catch someone’s attention and get out of the financial mess you’re now in.

You never know…. perhaps you are going to be part of the 5% of Multi-Level Marketing people who are going to be successful at this. 

On the other hand, that BMW is going to end up costing you:

$3800 for the down payment

Responsibility for the lease for 36 months

$2500 to break the lease

$1500 cash incentive for someone to take your lease

That’s almost $8000 in costs for a free car, and I’m not even going to consider the insurance portion of the expense. If you’re selling MLM, the odds are that you don’t have $8000 in your savings account to cover this. No offence.

 Sweet dreams.

 

A Guys Version of The Tupperware Party

I was relegated to the second floor of my house last night. The levels of testosterone were decidedly peaking beyond the safe zone. Last night was the annual Moosehead Cup Hockey Pool Draft. 14 males converge in one location, hockey magazines and scribbled lists in hand to determine their *team* for the coming season. The wiz had spent countless hours creating spreadsheets, pondering predictions analyzing websites to determine the best player picks for the coming year. This pool is *A BIG DEAL*. :-)


I couldn’t help but smile, organization was finalized only a few hour prior to their arrival. Pizza was on order. A case of beer chilling. Arrivals were announced with various hoots and a smattering of friendly insults. As the lone female of the house, I was awarded  hugs and kisses. I lit a scented candle to stave off any dressing room aromas.  Who knows what havoc 14 boys can reek on the atmosphere of a house?

After everyone had settled in, I disappeared upstairs to begin an evening of quiet entertainment with *The Fringe*. These boys, they take their hockey pool seriously. There’s a specific order, an agreed roster, and even a dramatic pronouncement when players are chosen.

“The Aurora North Stars choose as their third round draft:  the wiley winger from Tampa, Martin St Louis!”

It was hilarious.
3 hours, 6 pizzas and one case of beer later, the evening was deemed a success, and the boys disappeared into the night.


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Vacation Count Down - T Minus 7 Hours.....

It’s a good time to take a vacation this year. Nothing terribly critical in the next 2 weeks, no complex bids hanging over my head right now. On last year’s vacation I worked more than I played, and despite the success of the work efforts, the rest of the family didn’t see it as such.

This year, I’ve got 9 days to do lots and lots of nothing.

:-) 

My Nothing List:

  1. Improve tan with tan in a tube.
  2. Go tubing with the chicklets… alot.
  3. Read Harry Potter
  4. Take nightime photos of fireflies
  5. Sleep…. alot.
  6. Solve a 1000 piece puzzle, where the pieces are *this* small.
  7. Make Innukshuks

Being a Pleasure Prolonger

The older I get, I’m finding, the more I want *good things* to last.  Of course, I’m not as bad as the wiz, who only wears his most awesome red shirt a few times a year to keep it awesome, but I’m getting into his realm.  The Harry Potter came on Saturday. (Thank you to Chapters and Canada Post) And what did I do? I didn’t invest 40 hours in-a-row reading it. Heck no - I packed it along with its predecessor for next week’s vacation. I didn’t even crack the spine to take a peek. Nope, no way, nuhuh. The closest I’m going to come to it may be next sunday morning. On the deck, overlooking 6 Mile Lake, with loons eyeing my steaming coffee.

Pleasure.
Prolonger.



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