Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Festivities

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the joy of reconvening with old friends and loved ones near and far to celebrate the holidays. I know I’m lucky to have friends in so many places, and I truly value the opportunity to slow down and enjoy their company this time of year. Last night, my neighbor Deborah invited several of the Bunko girls and I over for a wine and cheese party to reunite. Her kitchen and living room were filled with a smorgasbord of delicious cheeses from around the world. I should have known I’d break my diet around this time of year... but I think it’s alright to indulge one night or two. I’ve been very good so far and am happy with my progress!

Anyway, the cheese appetizers she had were unreal. They were just too good. My favorites were Brie de Melun from France, English Farmhouse Cheddar from England, Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy, Constant Bliss from Vermont, and Piave from Italy. She paired them with several different kinds of breads including pumpernickel, French baguettes and flaky croissants. Deb recommended adding Nutella on top of the Brie de Melun and heating them up in a toaster oven until melted, which I’d never heard of before. Oh man, did she knew what she was talking about! For drinks, we enjoyed Winter White by Leelanau Cellars, Pinot Grigio by Barefoot Wine, and Garnacha Calatayud by Cruz de Piedra. I’d recommend them all, but I am particularly fond of wines by Leelanau Cellars. They’re all really inexpensive as wine goes, and easy to find. Nothing fancy, but good nevertheless.

Overall, it was a wonderful evening. Deb’s home is beautiful— it looks like something out of a Home and Garden Magazine. I was really drawn to her eclectic use of mixed patterns in her living room. She paired mismatched pillows ranging from a raspberry sherbet color to a rich, bold teal with a texturized rug. It looked especially nice with her dark hardwood floors and vintage furniture. Apparently she hand-painted the desk herself after being inspired on Pinterest. I’ll have to go on that site and look for some ideas of my own. I also really liked these small copper lamps she bought to light the pathway leading to her front door. I bet it looks really pretty when it snows, but it's been oddly warm here lately. I’m thinking about updating our outdoor lighting this coming spring, just to spruce things up a bit. I’d love to be able to return the favor and host a fun get together in our backyard once it warms up.

Hope you’re all enjoying this December as much as I am. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Staying Fit and Healthy

Not Eating This
Quite proud of how things have being going with my food diet, I've had only healthy things in the last two days. I'm probably saving 500 calories a day, but finding that now the sugar levels are lower, it certainly is a bit easier to hypo all over the place.

Stacked is getting mixed reviews in America, so am staying away for now, until Poker Academy arrives at least. Then I can get to work getting ready for the Festival, which I will register for next week, where hopefully I can cash in one of the events and show a profit for the 3 day event. I am going to enter one of the side events and have two cracks at getting into the large buy-in event where the money is worth having! Am getting an email about possibly running poker tournaments in the North East for some extra money in pubs, I've done this sort of thing before and it sounds pretty fun, and more importantly relatively easy money. I have a tour booked for the gym for Saturday after my eye test. Should be good as long as its well-priced I'll sign up.

Until the mean time, it's time to go to the grocery store to pick out my food for the next week. I'm on a plan, and I believe that I am in good form at the moment to lose 6 pounds. We'll see how things progress however. I have a friend who is looking for family practice jobs using Leap Doctor, and he says things are going well for me. Always good to get a thumbs up from a physician! If I don't reach out before the holidays, I hope that everyone travels safely and has a great time!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gold, Platinum or Gift Cards

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: A 24.78 Carat Fa...
(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

The most asked question I bet a jeweler gets asked is: “White Gold Jewelry or Platinum Jewelry, what’s the difference? They look the same!”

Whilst it’s true that both white gold and platinum look the same there are some fairly fundamental differences and I have tried to outline the main ones below.

Isn’t all gold yellow?

Nearly all gold used in jewelry making is not 100% pure. 24 carat gold is pure but most people buy either 9 carat or 18 carat gold.

Carats are the way that the purity of gold is measured you see. 24 Carat Gold is 100% gold, 24 carat gold is 75% pure gold and 9 carat gold is 37.5% pure gold. If you’re wondering what makes up the difference it’s a mixture of alloys.

White gold is simply a gold that has more white alloys mixed with it to give it a paler, whiter look. It is then coated in Rhodium which is a hard white metal and you end up with white gold.

So what is Platinum?

Believe it or not platinum is rarer than gold and is a naturally white metal. The platinum that is usually used in jewelry is around 95% pure and is much heavier and much harder than white gold.

So which is best, white gold or platinum?

As always, jewelry comes down to one thing, budget! White gold is cheaper than platinum and makes buying a whole lot easier for many people. If you wear the jewelry a lot over a number of years then there will come a time when you will need to get the white gold recoated in Rhodium.

Platinum on the other hand is much more expensive but over the longer term it needs no maintenance or recoating like white gold.

If you ask my opinion, I would get the girl Amazon e gift cards and let her decide for herself! However, I have heard that platinum is the preferred jewelry of choice if you're ready to make that risk. It is a better metal than white gold; it is harder wearing and a lot more practical. I know that one eye is always on the budget, especially when you are buying say eternity rings, but try where you can to go for Platinum jewelry.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thinking Creatively and Destroying Destructive Thinking

Man thinking on a train journey.
train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All thinking is creative. If you have read the parent page, Energetic Beings in the Spirit World… then you know that we exist in a domain within a domain within a domain and so forth until we reach the domain of Spirit. So all beings reside in Spirit. Furthermore, we are all in the Zero Point Field, a universal field of energy that links us to all that is and reacts to every change in the field including each thought or feeling we have. Ernest Holmes summed it up nicely by saying, “We are individual points of consciousness in Universal Mind.” That means we think with the same mind and into the same Mind that we reside within. Perhaps Mind is another name for the Field.

As we discussed previously, everything in our world is made of energy including our own bodies. Energy is composed of waves and particles. The waves are the communicating information storing part of energy, and the particles at first appear solid, though they are in fact just possibilities. A particle may be here or it may be there. It may appear as a wave if you are looking for a wave but also may appear as a particle if it is a particle you seek. In short it is a possibility waiting for you to tell it with your intentions what and where you wish it to be.

How powerful are intentions and do they really effect our environment? To answer that question I suggest you read “The Hidden Messages in Water”, by Dr. Masaru Emoto and “Conscious Acts of Creation” by Tiller, Dibble, and Kohane. Furthermore, you might want to read about the work of the French Scientist BenVeniste. Quite by accident his work revealed that the intentions of lab workers can effect the outcome of experiments.

Then there are “virtual” particles that appear from nowhere and collide with other particles, exchanging information with them in the process and then disappearing. Their appearance is rapid, even in sub atomic terms and their disappearance is as mysterious as their appearance. They just happen. Sort of like when you walk away from your desk for a moment and then when you return there is a sticky note there telling you the boss wants to see you right away.

THINK (Photo credit: Erik Eckel)
So each individual is a cloud of possibilities held together by energy that is also a cloud of possibilities. A possibility is held in a thought. So in the end we are each a collection of thoughts in Universal Mind. We are a manifestation of a thought. We think the same kinds of thoughts into the same Mind that created us. But, why then, when I think of a pink elephant, doesn’t a pink elephant instantly appear?

To answer that question I think we have to back up a moment and answer the question, who or what thought of you and brought you into existence? Mind will fill the form. It is a sea of potential just waiting to fill a form but the form must come from somewhere. Mind is only creative in that it will follow a form, it doesn’t create the form. Perhaps the somewhere that the form comes from is the domain of Spirit. Remember Spirit? It is the repository of all that is, and all that is is Spirit. Mind exists in Spirit and we in turn exist in Mind. Everything that exists in Mind must exist as a thought. The creative principle in Mind is the great unseen, but Mind itself is manifesting all around us and through us. Everything you see is a thought. That certainly gives new meaning to “I think, therefore I am.”

We can make changes that appear in the crystals of frozen water and in other minute and subtle ways, but Spirit can manifest thoughts on a much grander scale. The other thing to remember is that all thoughts are creative, the ones we mean to be creative and the ones we don’t wish to be creative. Perhaps our emotions and belief have an intensifying effect on some thoughts, but all thoughts will be felt in the field and Mind will react to all thoughts. And that is why no pink elephant has appeared in my tiny office. Because as well as thinking the thought of a pink elephant I am also thinking that I really don’t want that elephant here as well as also thinking I really can’t make an elephant appear out of thin air.

But in subtler ways we do create in our lives those things we desire. I was reminded of this while having lunch with my mother just months before she passed away. She had been talking about a book she had been working on that she wanted to finish before her life was over. I was half listening to her but also thinking about a lot of other things I had to do and take care of that day and that week, all wrapped up in my own responsibilities and things to do. But she brought me out of my own little world and made me think when she looked up at me and asked, “And how is your writing going?”

I had been so busy with so many things, raising a family and running a small business and all those things that seem to take up our time that I had lost touch with the fact that as a young man I had a burning desire to be a writer. Maybe I had forgotten that but my mother never had forgotten it. I thought back to that time when I spent days, weeks, months huddled over my old electric typewriter. Having plenty of ego I thought it would be wonderful to have people think that whatever I had to say would be worth paying money to read. How wonderful to be so bright and captivating that people would shell out money to have me reveal my thoughts. I’d written novels and movie scripts and short stories that never did make it past the editor’s desks. Gradually I had gotten caught up in my family and career and the dream of writing was pushed aside.
But I had used my writing talents in a more practical way and due to necessity had written instructions and how-to manuals for people who actually bought them. Every month I make money from people who think that what I have to say is worth money to read. It isn’t fiction and not scintillatingly brilliant, but it helps them. I’m not famous and no one asks for my autograph, but writing does help to pay the bills. I realized when she asked me that question that my intention to be a published writer had come true, but not exactly the way I’d pictured it. Then again, I was always a shy man and tried to help people and cared about other people so maybe, my sub-conscious mind had modified that intention to make it work for the man I truly am. But the bottom line is that I am a writer. I can say that without hesitation or reservation. I had put the thought into Mind and in its own way it had filled the form.
Cover of "The Hidden Messages in Water"
Cover of The Hidden Messages in Water

So the answer to the question, where is the pink elephant? Is that the pink elephant does exist as one possibility, but a lot of other thoughts are controlling it so that elephant doesn’t manifest because I believe those thoughts more than I believe the thought that I can create a pink elephant. Just think of all the thoughts you have ever had and multiply that times the number of people there are on Earth. Then remember that everything around you is a thought and you have an idea of the immensity of thoughts surrounding us. So each thought is effected by the thoughts surrounding it and that is why it is so hard to think things into existence. On the other hand it is why when we think something and it becomes an embodied or embedded belief, like my desire to be a writer, it does eventually manifest itself, albeit a bit modified by that sea of thought it had to work its way through.

That is where faith comes into play. We have to have faith that our desires will eventually come to fruition for good or bad but also realize that they may be altered by our own consciousness and perhaps the consciousness of the people around us, known as “race consciousness”. If there is a pool of consciousness that we all contribute to and we are each effected by, then it is this race consciousness that contains many ideas and beliefs that we inherit and may not be aware of. If there is something you truly desire, hold onto your idea and embody it and let it live within you. Hold on to your dreams and have faith that someday they will come true. Also take care that any foolish ideas provided by race consciousness don’t alter your dreams or get in the way. While some things in race consciousness may be helpful, many are destructive and it is this that we must overcome.

If we are a collection of thoughts then add good thoughts to your collection and weed out those destructive ones. In time your creative thinking will pay off.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Fixing Our Eating Problems

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

In a study that is the first of its kind, the results are not so pleasant. According to the first national study to target the prevalence of eating disorders, the numbers of eating disorders in both men and women are up across the boards; binge eating, of the major ones, is higher than both anorexia and bulimia.

The study, published in the journal, Biological Psychiatry, found that 0.6 percent of the population has anorexia, 1 percent has bulimia and 2.8 percent has a binge-eating disorder. This, to me, is absolutely tragic and terrible. Obesity continues to be a much larger, much scarier issue, but seeing things on the other side of the map is just as bad. What I always push for, always want to see, is the number of healthy body weights, healthy fitness routines and positive body images.

The trouble is, the binge-eating disorder also plays a factor in obesity, especially severe obesity. Perhaps future studies will dissect the link between binge-eating and obesity and figure out what it is that makes both things as prevalent as they are. In the meantime, just focus on healthy diet and exercise ideas, and try to maintain a positive body image!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Conveyor Systems Transporting Salt

Salt harvesting
Salt harvesting (Photo credit: TheRevSteve)
Well since I titled my blog after salt, I thought it would be a good idea to describe how salt transported and distributed around the world, and the economic and every day impacts it has on our lives. Most people don't realize that there are thousands of variations of the great NaCl we know as salt, most of them being in the forms of table salt.

There are multiple locations around the world where the salt minerals are plentiful, and these sites have tremendous resources. Salt was once one of the most expensive and important materials in the world, and at one point it had a value higher than gold. Today, salt is worth pennies a pound as a result of modern technology being able to find and mine salt in mass quantities. Another component of being able to mine salt in huge quantities is being able to transport it in huge quantities as well. Modern conveyor systems are capable of transporting millions of tons of salt every year to places all over the world.

Although the value of salt isn't what it was in the 15 and 16th century, it still holds tremendous value from the foods we eat to the roads we pave. The countries that control some of these massive reserves see huge profit, and luckily the United States has one of the best spots in the Appalachian mountains. Yay US!
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Friday, May 4, 2012


Camp Nou, Stadium of F.C. Barcelona, Barcelona...
The second largest city in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona is the largest Mediterranean city and one of the most populated areas in Europe. Barcelona's history is rich and unique, being founded as an extension of the Roman empire, besieged many times throughout its history and waved many different flags. Simply walking around the city, you can find cathedrals and buildings that date back hundreds of years, and Barcelona is home to 8 World Heritage sites.

Living by the Mediterranean has its advantages, as the weather is almost always warm but not too hot. Barcelona beach was also listed as the best beach in the world by National Geographic and Discovery Channel, and is visited by tourists from around the world all year long.

Today, Barcelona is a must see for anyone interested in visiting Spain or completing a tour of Europe. One of the main attractions of the city is its football stadium, the Camp Nou, but don't count on getting tickets because events can be sold out years in advance. Finding available Barcelona apartments is much easier however, and Barcelona is ranked as one of the top places to live in Europe.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Proper Construction Materials

The warm weather is just around the corner, and so are all your building and construction projects. Don't go diving into your project right from the start though. Use this calm before the storm to prepare and make sure you have all the right materials you need to get the job done right the first time. Don't work on your barbed wire fence without the right wire rod, and don't hammer away at the tree house without a power saw. Here are a few common tools and items you may need that you haven't thought about.

Tool box - Okay, maybe you have thought about this one already, but is it equipped with everything you will need? The right screwdrivers at the right sizes? Cutting knife? Gauges? Every project will require different tools, so make sure you have the tools that you need for your specific job.

Paint Supplies - If your job requires any painting, then take the time to pick out the right color for your paint needs. Be wary of costs, as you don't want to pay lots more for paint than you have to. Compare paint prices at major brand stores online, then talk to a sales representative about paint types that will meet your specific needs.

Building Materials - Lay out your plans, and see what the quantities of all the materials you will need. Most likely, your work of art will be a bit unstable at times. Make sure you have a good sturdy table or material made from steel bar. If you're looking for steel bar projects, visit Capital Steel & Wire, a supplier of it:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Construction Work of the Summer

In my mind, there are plenty of positives and negatives of the summer season. Positives would include long sunny days, warmer weather, going to the beach and late night bonfires. Negatives include construction season. When you live in a colder environment like I do, roads freeze in the winter time, cracks expand and roadwork has to be done when it warms up. This leads to unbearable backups on the road and lots of pent up frustration. Here's a few ways to avoid the construction mess.

Driving at night or in the evening can cut down the amount of time you spend on the road. Construction workers are not out and about at night, but if they are use extra caution! You can also beat the rush by planning out your trip ahead of time. Look up local news stations to find out if there are any projected backups and find out where the detours are. There are some smartphone apps that are smart enough to know where construction is taking place, and can be a life saver on road trips. Quite often, construction companies will block off entire roads and bridges, so it is always good to know where they have a temporary road or bridge installed so you can be on your way with no delay. Hope you enjoy your summer, I'm sure I will!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Salt for your Health?

Doctors have told me for years about the adverse effects salt can have on your body. Because salt consists mostly of sodium, taking it in in large quantities is bad for your body and overall health. It is said that humans consume on average 20 times more levels of sodium than they are supposed to. However, salt acts as an essential part of our lives, as a preservative and cooking material to something that keeps our roads clear through the winter. I guess it's just something to admire and avoid at the same time.