Archive for June 29, 2015

It Only Takes a Second

Plan today what to do with the extra time Science and Nature are giving you tomorrow.  On June 30, the atomic clocks we’ve used since 1967 will adjust to the slowing earth’s rotation, giving us 61 seconds in one of our hours.

Doesn’t sound like much time, but think what you could do with that second to improve someone’s life.  Smile at a stranger.  Hold that hug a little longer.  Say “I love you” to a family member or friend who seldom hears that.  Add one more zero to the check you’re writing to a charity.  Pick up your dirty socks so your spouse doesn’t have to.  Open a door for a person in a wheelchair. Throw away your cigarette butt or garbage instead of dropping it on the ground for someone else to pick up.  Say “thank you” to someone who has been of service to you (server, crossing guard, letter carrier, trash collector, etc.).  Give a friendly wave and “Hello” to a homeless person or the neighbor everyone ignores or dislikes.

It only takes a second to make another person’s life brighter.  And tomorrow you have an extra second to spare.


Love your AC

The hot weather is upon us.  Now’s the time to show your AC (plus the earth and your budget) a little love.  Clean or change the filter, saving as much as 350 pounds of carbon dioxide and $150 per year. Leaf 6

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

A Dog-Gone Silly “Day”

Take Your Dog to Work Day (today–created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International) is downright silly.  Mine is at work with me every day.  Of course, I work from a home-office….

Anyway, here’s my helper, Riley Casey O’Donnell. The after-surgery cone and lighting make her look either like an angel (HA!) or, if you’re old enough to recall, the RCA Victor dog.

Cone-Head Riley 2



Charlston: Peaceful Closure

It’s amazing: families of the people shot to death in a Charlston, SC church, during Bible study, are saying they forgive Dylynn Roof, the killer.  They refuse to let hatred breed more hatred.

Hearing their response to cold tragedy brought me to a realization–that forgiveness is the only way to reach the elusive “closure” that everybody talks about.  Execution and life-imprisonment punish the perpetrator but are forms of vengeance.  Anyone who has ever kept a grudge for awhile knows that “getting even” doesn’t make us feel a lot better. In fact, it gives more power to the person receiving our retribution, because of time and psychic energy we wasted on thinking about him and because now we, too, have done something negative.  Besides, his wrong act and our reaction will haunt us forever as we call up memories about how he got his comeuppance.  It’s a far cry from closure, which, by definition, brings an end, a conclusion to a situation.  It’s even farther from what people expect closure to bring them, which is peace.

Forgiveness closes off the gut-churning blame process and it doesn’t involve a soul-shattering battle of negatives.  Most importantly, it brings peace.

Forgiveness–what a concept.



This One’s for the Birds

If you have a birdbath in your yard, clean it often by scrubbing it out with non-toxic white vinegar.  It’s healthy for the visiting birds and for the earth as a whole.

Leaf 6

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

I’ll DO it Before I Lose Everything I’ve Worked For!

We KNOW we need to protect our credit, and we MEAN to do something about it.  I admit that I haven’t yet done all I can do, and I’m too old to rebuild my finances if I’m hit. I know, too, that the prime target is not the rich but regular folks like us and older or otherwise vulnerable people.   That’s why I’m putting California’s U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s reminders (with handy links) on my “must-do” list for the next few days–for myself and for some people I know and care for.

If you’ve been procrastinating and are getting worried enough to act, here are her reminders:

  1. Monitor your credit regularly and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution. You can request a free credit report from, or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
  2. If you are worried your account has been compromised, you can set up a fraud alert on your credit profile by calling TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289. This requires creditors to contact you before opening any new lines of credit under your name.
  3. Protect yourself from common attempts to steal your information. Be cautious of unsolicited emails asking for sensitive information like your Social Security Number or banking information. If an email looks suspicious, do not click any of the links or download the attachments. Also remember that federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never request your personal or financial information via email.
  4. Ensure that your computer has the latest software updates and anti-virus protection.

You can find additional tips and other helpful materials on the Federal Trade Commission’s website,



Teaching and Acting

St. Anthony of Padua has some sage advice in today’s Thursday Thought

Windows vs Ford

I’ve been cursing my computer (again) this week.  So when I received this from Linda Younts this morning, I just had to pass it on to you.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX),Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.” In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

  1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash………twice a day.
  2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
  3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
  4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
  5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.
  6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
  7. The airbag system would ask, “Are you sure?” before deploying.
  8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
  9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
  10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to engine turn the off.

PS [came as part of Linda’s email] – I’d like to add that when all else fails, you could call “customer service” in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!

Helmets do NOT Save Lives

It’s a lie that helmets save motorcyclists’ lives, despite the fact that wearing one is the law in many states.  Well, statistics show that solid, approved ones do.  However, many riders favor the “pretend” ones?  You know, the novelty ones that are not up to federal safety standards.  These are called “brain buckets” for obvious reasons or “loophole lids”  because, well, Officer, I AM wearing a helmet….  But they are cheaper, lighter, and more comfortable than approved helmets.  And the cops can’t readily spot the difference.

Finally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  is working on the problem.  They are proposing rules to stop the flow of these dangerous helmets from overseas and the Internet and find ways to make it easier for cops to identify them out on the road.

Once  new regulations are approved and put into place (it will take two years), NHTSA estimates that 235-481 people will not die annually in states that have helmet laws if everyone who uses novelty helmets switch to approved helmets.  Even a small number makes a difference: if 5% – 10% novelty-users switch, 12 – 48 lives would be saved each year.

And that’s not mentioning all the people whose lives are traumatized because they were in an accident where the motorcyclist died because he thought he was being so smart.


CDs & DVRs are NOT Garbage

Don’t just toss out those non-biodegradable CDs or DVDs but find a use for them. Cover with contact paper and use as coasters. Hang in fruit trees to keep wild birds and squirrels away. Place in or outside your bird’s cage to reflect light and his image.  Use your imagination.Leaf 6

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