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Archive for the ‘Opportunities’ Category

Well, this past week has been a lesson on nurturing my blog.  This past week was a week out of the ordinary and I was not able to nurture my blog in the way that I normally do.  I began to think on that thought.  A blog is a bit like a baby…it needs to be nurtured to grow and prosper.

How do you nurture a blog, you ask?  First things first, if you have a blog already you need to evaluate it’s well-being.  If you do not have a blog…begin one.  You need to think about what your blog is intended to accomplish.  Mine was initially set up to develop some discipline, commitment, and to help improve my writing.  As it evolved, I learned more…and therefore; I have discovered what I want and need.  Some of those things have changed with time; and now, I know that  my blog needs some adjustments.   That is ok, it is called growing pains; things that don’t grow become stagnant…they wither and die.  If your goals change for your blog, then you must make changes.  That knowledge requires some re-evaluation.  (more…)

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       Twitter is quickly becoming a way of life for many businesses and folks.  Anytime twitter shows a fail whale…(the symbol a person sees when trying to access Twitter and its service is unavailable) people quickly bemoan the fact that they can’t get on.   🙂  The fail whale doesn’t usually last long…I’ve only seen it a few times; briefly, when it was over capacity with Twitter users.  Twitter is a mini social site that is quickly becoming a large social media site; the idea is to answer in 140 characters or less the question, ” What are you doing?”.   Often, I hear other users say that they quickly become “addicted” to Twitter.   The service has spawned a bunch of books on Twitter etiquette….rules or no rules use.   Reasons for using Twitter is as varied as the number of people you ask…everyone has their own reasons for using it.  Relationships are built online…everyone has equal access to other users…both famous and non-famous users.   The latest controvery of this company which has been in business for approximately 3 years is…should they charge a fee for their services?

         So far, the Twitter service is free.  There is some discussion about whether businesses may be charged to use Twitter in the future.    People are still discovering Twitter and all that it can do.  Many people of course, use Twitter as a social networking service for their personal communication; others, are trying to find ways to use it to brand their businesses.

          Twitter has been uber successful in their goals of creating a mini social networking site.   At the end of 2008, Twitter rejected a bid for purchase by Facebook of $500 million.  To me, that means that they view their value as well over that $500 million; and it means to me that Facebook considers it a huge competitor.  Still, to stay competitive with Facebook as well as other large entities…Twitter will need to make money to stay alive and growing.

           Businesses have to make money somewhere to stay in business and pay their own employees.  Do they raise funds by putting advertising on their service, by charging for upgraded services for business accounts, or maybe charge a membership fee?  What do you think?  Do you use Twitter?  What are your thoughts on this subject?

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     If you were traveling through a poverty striken area and you had a baby of your own that you were still nursing…could you walk away from a hungry newborn baby that had nothing to eat?  Actress Salma Hayek was in Sierra Leone on a humanitarian mission…she nursed an African newborn who was starving because his mother could not produce milk for her child.  Salma was moved to feed that child.  She talked about his eyes lighting up as he began to feel the nutrition flow into his body.  She was moved in her heart to feed him; because i believe that a nursing mother can’t ignore a hungry baby that is crying out in his/her need;  that is called basic human compassion.  Still, you would think that we all had that in abundance; but, not always so, some would run the other way as quickly as they could go.

       This moment was captured on film by the news crew of  “Nightline”  who were along on the trip for Unicef , to promote the importance of tetanus vaccines.   Unicef and Pampers have a campaign called 1 Pack=1Vaccine; Salma is a spokeswoman for Pampers.  www.unicefusa.org or www.pampers.com/unicef 

         I love the message of what Salma did; purely from the standpoint of, if you see a need fill it.  Salma still is breastfeeding her own child who is approximately 1 year old.  She understands the importance of, the nutritional value as well as the bonding value of, breastfeeding. 

         Surely there will be those individuals who will criticize her for what she did.  There will be naysayers who will bring up the issue of aids and to the  possible exposure to her health or that of her own child.  They will say that she did this as a publicity stunt, or for the attention.  Some will say in the larger scheme of things…did that one feeding make a difference; will it save the life of that child.   I believe it made a difference.  I believe an African woman saw an American woman with heart.  I believe a baby felt fulfillment, comfort, and love.  I pray that the mother and child received more help.  A world saw a desperate moment and an act of love.

          I say, she was in the moment.  She saw a child in need; she felt the despair of a mother who could not provide for her child the most basic necessity in life at that time for her child; she did what she was able to do.  I love that she didn’t think twice.  Those who have been blessed in life and find themselves around others in need have a responsibility to share.  I respect Salma for doing it so very naturally.  There are so many in need around the world…what can you do to make a difference?

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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      As we once again approach the end of a year and begin another one; it never fails to amaze me how often we repeat the same old patterns.  Oh to be sure…there will be the predictible year in review on the news programs…on the entertainment programs; and, even on the morning talk shows.  Does anyone else watch those things and think….that happened this year?  Why, i thought that person passed away longer ago than that…or did that much stuff really happen just this year?  We can learn from these things because time really does pass more quickly than we are aware of.

         As as we approach the new year…we will invariably have to hear about all of the new year’s resolutions that we may or, more likely, may not keep within days of making our comittments!  🙂  We will hear from all of those people who have the ability to “predict” the future; telling us their  version of the coming days and, how we are going to handle those situations around the world. 

          I say, let’s do something new this year.  Let’s live in the moment for a change…how does that sound?  People get so locked into the past that they can’t envision the future.  Those who have their sights set on the future…are so busy trying to forget about the past that they cant live for today.  When we live in a constant state of rewind or fast forward…we miss some of the greatest moments today with our friends, our family, our co-workers, neighbors and even with friends we have not yet met.

          Each day is a gift and must be truly lived in to be appreciated.  There is nothing worse than meeting someone who is bitter and corrupted from the past that continues to haunt them…or someone so bent on tomorrow that they can’t even take the time to realize that today is passing them by while they are so busy preparing for the next greatest thing that may be coming their way.  Regrets are a terrible thing to live with because wishing things were different doesn’t make it so. 

          People who get to the end of their lives either take stock and tally all the blessings in their life or they sit and review all of the missed opportunities and regrets of things that they could have, would have or should have been done better.  That is not a happy moment.  

          Our attitude or approach to life should be viewed as a whole life outlook or plan…not as in segments to be filed away for posterity to be reviewed at a later date; it is much too precious and passes way too quickly, we might forget to DO something important if we view life in small segments to be accomplished.  At the end of life, there are no do overs; I am afraid to tell you.  This is it, in this world that we live in.  If you get off of your chosen path…it is easy to re-route your footsteps and get back on track…as long as you are still breathing…you can change the course that you choose to follow.

         Many of us spend way too much time doing things that we don’t want to do…things that don’t make us happy; or, doing things that others expect us to be doing.  When it comes right down to it…no-one else lives inside of our skin…or our souls; we alone are responsible for our personal failures and achievements.  Yes, there are others who help us on our way but; no matter what…when it comes right down to it; we each have a responsibility to figure out how we want to live our lives…with both the beginnings, the endings and all that happens in our lives, in the very important middle.  Let’s make it a goal to make every day count for something special!

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       It is a new day, the beginning of a new week; and soon, it will be the beginning of a New Year.  It is easy to get caught up in the ugliness in the world.  The financial crisis, the rising cost of food, gas, oil, health benefits…you name it.  Crime is rampant.  Each news day is filled with violence, with fear, with selfishness.  I try to wrap my mind around the possibilities in each new day. 

       Today is a fresh start…a do over…a new beginning.  It is not that the things that went before don’t exist; it is that they do exist, and because they do…things must start anew.  Otherwise, it would be nothing but a downward spiral into a cesspool.  There has to be hope.  There has to be a promise that things will get better.  There has to be a chance to change the course of evil.  Each new day brings an opportunity to break away from the things that try to drag us down.

        So here is to a renewal in the spirit of mankind, a breath of kindness, a balm of healing attitudes, the pursuit of goodness over evil, the heart of a giver over those who express greediness in our cultures, the potential of each step forward…let these areas of opportunities be contagious; and, an encouragement of others to infect every person that comes into contact with the idea of improving the world we live!   

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         Alpha Inventions, I wondered if you have heard of them yet?  I discovered them the other day when they made an appearance on my stat counter on my blog site.  I wondered who are they and; how, and why are they referring so many visitors to my blog.  Not that I minded the traffic; in fact, it was quite wonderful.  However, sometimes sites connect to your site that you wish had never heard of you; you know what I mean?  Some of them bring traffic that i don’t want associated with my blog.

         Anyway, i did a little sleuthing and found out it is a site that is relatively new.  From what i understand…it is a site that brings exposure to a multitude of sites-in real time.  So, as soon as you post to your site/blog others can see it at that moment.  In doing so, they are current on what information or products you are trying to bring to the world wide web.  I don’t understand all of the ins and outs of their algorithms…but, thankfully, it isn’t my job to understand it.  I am benefitting from someone else’s brillance.  That is ok with me.  In return, i hope that my blog brings something to them as well.

          Interesting though when you stop to think about the name.  Alpha Inventions…when I looked it up there were many definitions for Alpha.  Of course, we all know about the Alphabets…a listing of letters that begins with the letter A.  Then, there is the definition of Alpha as first or beginning-beta (as in beta testing).  Then, there is the definition of top of the line or dominant. And finally, to be the most prominent, talented or aggressive.  Congrats to Alpha Inventions for thinking outside of the box.  Think of it as free media publicity for your writings or your business/marketing site.  It is another tool to use to bring attention to your goals that you are trying to accomplish on your site.

            When you stop and think about it…all of those terms apply to http://www.alphainventions.com .  It is an experiment in transition i think.  However, a brilliant one…I think it will be fine tuned and will catch on like wildfire.  Like any invention…it will go through several phases of development.  In the meantime, enjoy the extra traffic that they send you…you won’t be sorry.

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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My good friend, Ken McArthur is standing in a circus tent today
asking 2,000 people to spread a message of hope to teenagers who
don’t think that life is worth living.

I think it’s a great message of hope for anyone and would love to
see all of my readers think about spreading it today.

Here’s Ken’s simple message for for giving hope (and maybe saving
someone’s life!):

G – Greet and meet: talk to others, smile, say hello, ask
someone how they are doing

I – Involve yourself and others: find a cause you can support,
volunteer, pledge resources. Get the people around you
involved, especially if you see someone beginning to
withdraw. Invite them to participate in some activity, to
“get out” of their comfort zone

V – Validate others: tell others that they matter – especially
family members and friends that you tend to see daily but
may take for granted, give genuine complements

E – Empathize: be a listening ear, take time to be fully
present, don’t try to solve – just acknowledge someone’s
feeling/hurts.

Spread this message today!

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          Do you remember in the old days when someone won gold in the Olympics; they maybe made the cover of a cereal box or got a television commercial?  These days, with all of the open access to micro media (social networking)…a savy person, or someone with the bucks to hire a  skilled publicist, has the whole world at their feet if they so choose.

           Michael Phelps must be either very savy with the micro media, or he has the bucks for the publicist :).  News came right away that he was going to be working on writing a book.   Keeping his name in the forefront of the media is a wise thing; it will help him to sell his book in large numbers; which publishers love!   He has done the traditional celebratory thing and went to Walt Disney World for a colorful photo op.  He has even been making the rounds in the traditional media mags like People who try to dig into his personal life…like the romance department. 

          Evidently, he has been in training for more than the Olympics as he learned somewhere how to evade direct responses to requests for said information on his love life, haha.  I say go for it Michael…it’s is no-ones business unless you choose to make it public knowledge.  Of course, that doesn’t stop the speculators who suggest that he is involved with a former beauty queen from California, by the name of Nicole Johnson.

           Michael Phelps is also keeping busy by expanding his skill set.  He is going to be on Saturday Night Live on Sept 13th.  It appears that Michael is going to avoid that typical emotional let down, that many feel after competing in the Olympics, when all of the attention shifts from the competitors and their accomplishments to other news of the day.  Smart move…it is never a pretty thing to see a role model who is accomplished, wither on the vine, not knowing what goals to set their sights on next.  Good luck Michael Phelps with your exploration of the world; you seem to be enjoying the experiences as you go, as you should!

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