Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Well, be prepared for round two. This time it's some unidentified company offering to lower your credit card rates. Beware, you do not want to talk to these people and you definitely do not want to give them your credit card number.
The number they called from is (408) 651-8128. When you call it back the line just goes dead. This robo-call uses a pre-recorded message and offers you the chance to speak to a live operator by pushing "1" or being removed form their list by pressing "3". These types of calls are illegal and I bet before too long we hear horror stories about people accepting the offer to reduce their credit card rates only to find out they've been scammed into giving up personal information and having their identity ripped off or end up with bogus charges on their cards.
Monday, September 28, 2009
It would be tough for me to pick one place in Youngstown or the surrounding area that is a favorite spot. I guess it would be Stambaugh Auditorium, specifically the front steps. The building looks so majestic and is built so solidly that it just gives this sense of permanence. I've been there for concerts, stand up comedians and taken wedding pictures there. It's just such a landmark for folks who aren't very familiar with the city. Whoever you talk to has always attended at least one event there, even if it was a play when they were back in school.
How about you?
Monday, September 21, 2009
You really have to question your loyalty to such a team after this many years without success or even without hope. So I've channeled my frustration into T-shirts.
Rust Belt Pop for $19.95.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
- Allowing anyone to generate electricity from solar (which we do).
- Connecting those customers to the electrical grid (which we do).
- Mandating the utlility company buy power from these users (not in place currently)
He conducts an interview with Mike Splinter, the CEO of Applied Materials, a company that makes the machines that make solar panels. The Silicon Valley comapny has built 14 solar panel manufacturing plants in the last two years but none of them are in America.
The problem is that the United States lacks the advantages countries like Germany and China have implemented, namely "certainty of price, connectivity and regulation on a national basis".
I've looked into solar panels and the cost is $18,000 for a home system that will take 20 years to pay for itself in reduced electric bills. If utilities were mandated to buy power from residential and business owners they could reduce their dependency on coal and natural gas, lower their pollution emissions and most importantly, allow individuals to recoup their investment in home solar more quickly. Instead of reducing our electric bills we would be generating power and selling it to utilities during the day when no one is home. Small businesses could take advantage of this to power their server hosting.
I would love to be in the solar power bsiness.
The consequences are dire for ignoring these new technologies and allowing other countries to move ahead of us:
although consumer demand for solar power has incrementally increased here, it
has not been enough for anyone to have Applied Materials — the world’s biggest
solar equipment manufacturer — build them a new factory in America yet. So,
right now, our federal and state subsidies for installing solar systems are
largely paying for the cost of importing solar panels made in China, by Chinese
workers, using hi-tech manufacturing equipment invented in America.
Germany has put 50,000 people to work in renewable energy industries. Ohio has a massive unemployment problem that could be solved by building solar panels. We're good at building things here. Manufacturing is sort of our thing. I think there are some synergies that could be put to work.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The next show in this area is the Screaming Tiki Con at the Eastwood Expo Center in Niles on November 13-15. This was a fun show last year and it's good to see it return. In addition to comics, it will have toys, sci-fi and games so this is a very good way to spend a day with the family.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
The new center will bring speciality physicians to Hubbard in the areas of
cardiology, general surgery, sports medicine and orthopedic surgery along with
diagnostic tests including X-ray, ultrasound, EKGs, pre-surgical testing,
laboratory tests along with physical therapy and a specialized heart center for
advanced cardiac testing.
This is great news for a couple of reasons. The center occupies an empty store that did not have much chance of being occupied. Large retailers had no reason to settle in the location with Wal-Mart and the many plazas of Belmont Ave. easily accessible in nearby Liberty Township. The role UFCW Local 880 played in closing the Nemenz IGA virtually guaranteed no grocery store would ever consider the location. The new diagnostic center diversifies the city's business foundation, provides a needed service and occupies a large store that was previously vacant. This is a win for Hubbard in tough economic times.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
End of life planning gives an individual the opportunity to say which measures should be used or not used to prolong their life under certain circumstances. The really great thing about this article is that it drives home the reality of how we make these decision in America; about how we refuse to discuss our own mortality, sometimes delaying it to the point where we cannot discuss it.
Proper planning can reduce the chances that a family will ever have to watch a doctor walk into a waiting room, explain the limited options available to their incapacitated loved one and then ask them what to do.
If you haven't done this you have no idea how hard it can be to live with that decision. You are literally taking your loved one's life in your hands and trying to think as they would. Asking, "What would you do? What would you want?"
This planning can give family members the peace of mind to make decisions they know their loved one would want. The language in this health care reform bill would allow doctors to be compensated for providing the counseling. That's all. Just paying doctors for the service so your family knows exactly what your wishes are.
And somehow Sarah Palin was able to pervert that noble effort into "death panels". And senior legislators who should know better, like Sen. Chuck Grassley, reinforced the lie with statements like getting rid of provisions that would "pull the plug on grandma".
People need to have these discussions with medical professionals and those doctors should be compensated for their expertise. It would be shameful if this language were removed from the final version of the bill. Please take a moment to read the article.