Archive for August 31, 2012

Apology to Apple


I owe Apple an apology. I thought they were holding back my GREEN RICHES because it’s free (an old policy of theirs, I understand) but see that they are now providing all four of my e-books.  I just saw it listed on iTunes.

Tips to Avoid Arguments over Politics

THE SIMPLEST WAY, OF COURSE, IS JUST TO AVOID THE TOPIC.  BUT this will become harder and harder as we brawl through the November elections.  These tips from are worth remembering.

1. Be choosy: Pick your battles—the Golden Rule of interpersonal relationships—is especially valuable advice when discussing politics. If your husband is yelling at the television during a candidate’s speech, is that really affecting you? Probably not. So don’t bother starting an argument over it.

2. Seek shelter on common ground: Instead of focusing on how you and your conversational partner disagree, look for areas where your opinions harmonize. Begin a conversation by highlighting the values and goals you both share.

3. Don’t get personal: Because politics are based largely on personal values and beliefs, there is no such thing a “right” or “wrong” way of interpreting the issues. If you’re having trouble seeing things from your partner’s point of view, try asking yourself why a rational person would come to such a conclusion. You may still not agree with them—you don’t have to—but it’s important to admit that their perspective is valid.

4. Check your facts: Don’t waste time debating factual information you can just look up on the Internet. Before you engage in a lengthy debate over the exact amount of money that Obama’s plan for reducing the deficit is allegedly supposed to save, make sure you both know what that number is.

5. Let a sleeping argument lie: Once a political discussion has reached a natural stopping point, make sure it doesn’t start back up again. Quell your desire to have the last word in an argument and stay way from the phrase, “I just have one more thing to say about…”

6. Learn how to apologize: So many people don’t know how (or refuse) to apologize after they’ve said something wrong. Here are three guidelines for effective apologies: embellish the wrong (“I made a really big mistake when…”), say why you’re sorry, and tell the person how you’re going to avoid making the same mistake in the future.


Thoughtful Thursday: Charlie Brown Wisdom

Republicans Take Blame?

Republicans have been making some unfortunate verbal gaffs, but I think they really blew it in their daily themes, all of which were to work toward the main theme of “A Better Future.”

First (day 1) they shouted “We can do better!”  Without adding “…than,” they sound like a child facing scowling parents with his less-than-stellar report card.  On Tuesday the battle cry was “We built it,” a take-off on something said by President Obama (not his best speech).  Now, that sounds pretty positive—unless we hook it up in our minds to what everyone agrees is a major election issue, the poor economy.  Do they really want to admit they had any hand in putting us into this dismal position?  I doubt it.  Tomorrow is worse.  After bragging that they “built it” (surely they weren’t calling attention to the fact that the venue they’re in was built with public money), they show a lack of confidence by proclaiming, “We can change it.”  I wonder, if they built it right to begin with, why jump in immediately to change it?  Finally, on Thursday, they’ll announce the one thing all people can understand and grab hold of: “We believe in America.”  Yes!

I just wish they’d started and ended with that.  I myself believe in America…and the fact that, God willing, we’ll all live through another set of conventions, series of disingenuous campaigns,  and nail-biter elections, then come out the other side having only slightly-damaged souls and a renewed determination to work together, as a family of Americans, toward a mutually beneficial, honorable future.

Mangroves? Who Cares?!

Who cares about plants on another continent? What the heck is a “mangrove,” anyway? Truth is, mangroves support people, wildlife, and the Earth itself–what’s happening to the mangroves in E. Africa is affecting life throughout this interconnected globe we live on.  Read an interesting story of one man who realizes this and rolls up his sleeves to do something about it.

Earth-Friendly Tip: New Appliances

Need a new appliance?  Upgrade, save money, and give the Earth a break.  Ex: an already Eco-friendly dishwasher upgraded to one with an Energy Factor of 0.65-0.67 yields a $30 rebate from PG&E, and a 0.68 or greater gives you $50 back—the typical difference in cost.  That’s a good price for you, and priceless for the Earth.

[For more easy, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-tailer.]

Fly, Swim, Live

Thoughtful Thursday Quote #9

“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. “– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Blowing in Harm

Earth-Friendly Tip #9

Shun those gas-powered leaf blowers.  They create both noise and atmospheric pollution while costing you money to operate.  Besides, sweeping and raking can help build a more physically fit you.


[For more easy, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device.]

GREEN RICHES Breaks the 1000 Mark

I noticed today that my ebook, Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget has 1001 downloads at  The book is on other ebook sites, but this is the only one that gives me a download count.  I’m pleased, of course, but would be more pleased to learn that the book has prompted a whole bunch of people to try some of the Eco-friendly, money-saving ideas it describes.

If you’re interested in this FREE book, go to most online e-tailers (not Apple–they don’t like to take free ebooks) or use this link to get to it on Smashwords: Click on the book title, choose a download format, and go for it.  Let me know if you try any of the suggestions–and what happened.

Live the Day in Preparation for Sleep

Thoughtful Thursday Quote #8

“Never, if possible, lie down at night without being able to say: I have made one human being, at least, a little  wiser, a little happier, or a little better this day.”  —  Charles Kingsley