Category Archives: Opinion

Take This Book, Please!

I have signed up for Amazon’s free kindle books (or $0.99) daily in my email.  This wonderful (most of the time) app sends me an email a day with a decent selection of free and 99 cent kindle books on the Amazon site.  I browse them in about 2 minutes, look at any I am interested in, and then buy a a book or delete the email.  Simple and rather pleasant.  What if I do have well over 300 books now on my kindle?  What if I only read about 12 a year?  So, that means I will always have a lot of variety reading and always need a kindle (Thank you Amazon!).

Truthfully, I love my Fire Tablet.  It lets me browse the Internet when I am out or not in my computer room at home.  It also allows me to read my kindle and play “Words with Friends,” Scrabble, and (I hate to say it) play Candy Crush(hey, I am on level 235 and have never spent a penny, don’t pick).  Anyway, this morning went like this:

I was on my PC and had just found I had, somehow (stroke-related?) not checked my email in 3 days, so I had over 200 of them.  I went to my day’s kindle book list and found a Zombie Apocalypse book I hadn’t seen before for $0.99.  I logged into Amazon to see the book and read a sample.  Today, it was heavily advertising Audible (a book voicing app) and offered to read a sample.  I clicked because I couldn’t see a place to read a sample and started laughing then almost gagging.  The man who read the sample sounded as if he was learning English as he read.  Seriously, I only listened to 4-5 lines because it was so bad, I couldn’t or I would not have bought the book even though it looked quite good.  He was terrible.  I thought that if he was an example of Audible’s reading style, I hope I never go blind and have to use it.  My daughter uses Audible and she loves it, so, apparently, this guy was just a poor example or, perhaps, the best they could find for that particular book.

Anyway, great way to wake up in the morning.

You can also try 2 of my favorite blogs:  A Star on the Forehead and A Thin Girl 

Enjoy your day.



Barbie, Ken, soon to be a Myth…

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Barbie and Ken dolls.  It was always that way back then and there was really no question about it.

Now, there is.  We have progressed; we have become more aware and more mature;  we are growing.

Mattel has noticed and the market is there, so they are too.


I am not saying this is it; I am not saying Mattel is special, but this new line of dolls from the iconic makers of the sex identifiers of yesteryear is … interesting, at the very least.



You Have a Call

I come home from the store, from supper, from seeing Mom and I usually have, at least, one call on my answering machine. They are, often, from many different sources, some even legit.

It’s not those, though, I wish to discuss with you today.  It is this inundation with pranks, scamming, and dangerous calls I point my finger at.  One particular call came in twice today.  This was a recorded response.  Going something like this: (not an exact quote)

“Intrusions have been coming from many different countries.  We will be changing your IP address to fix this problem.  Please call our service at [phone number].  Thank you.”

Firstly, yes, there have been intrusions coming from many countries.  The above message is just one of them.  Changing your IP would not, particularly fix this problem.  I doubt they even care about the IP, in general.  The IP is, sorta, the name used on the Internet for your computer’s transactions.  Changing that would only help you if they were going directly to your computer.  Not the problem.  Calling them, probably, would get you a person who would, undoubtedly, want you to login to a site and allow them to control your computer.  Again, that won’t handle your IP.  If they want your password to your modem, that would fix the problem, but also allow them to plant something that would allow them into your computer and all other devices using that modem later. If you don’t know what your modem is, it is, usually, a device with about 5-9 lights on the front with, at least, one cable on the back.  That one cable should go to your Internet connection in the wall or ceiling.  They differ, but main thing is don’t EVER make those types of calls, even if you have been having problems.  Call your Internet provider (Comcast, etc…) and ask them IF they have been calling (probably not).  Just ignore the calls.  I thought, today, how tired I get of fielding those calls and I know they are fake.  It really bothers me how just ONE call that gets made to that place can result in all your bank accounts, credit accounts, and other money-type accounts getting hacked.  Not to mention you will have to take the computer to a specialist to get rid of all the messy programming and/or have your entire computer disk and memory wiped clean before getting to use it again at all.  If you wait and, say, send an email out, they could have put an virus into that email that would continue the mess with whoever you send that email (or hundreds of them) and so on.

There are calls about all kinds of offers, emails that you may have received.  Here are a few I have gotten or talked to others who did:

  1. You have won the European lottery.  Call [xxxx] to verify and collect your winnings.
  2. You have been named in a will by an uncle who willed you as the owner of a silver mine in Africa.  I am a lawyer trying to get your money to you.
  3. I am [such and such].  I have several job openings for someone and you can make [several thousand a month] for just mailing letters.

The list goes on and on.  They also stalk Facebook, Dating sites, and other popular places where people chat. I have had constant barrage of offers to “be my friend” on FB.  If I don’t know the person, and sometimes even if I do, I go to their web page.  Usually, there is very little on there. I find a lot with pictures of a beautiful woman in many outfits and locations who goes by this name.  Her current list of friends, if available, are nearly all men.

The dating site ones are the best.  The person will “respond” to my like almost immediately, no matter what time it is. She will give a profile full of grammar errors and lofty love statements:  “I know we will fall in love completely, filling the world with the painting of our affection.” (again, not an exact quote).  She will tell me how devoted she will be as a wife and take care of her man.  But she doesn’t like to chat onsite…could I just call [xxxx] or hit her up on some web site where she can be anonymous and privately chat with the dozens she (or he) has gathered.

I even took one of the photos and ran it through google reverse image search or tineye.  Either will look for photo matches.  Not reliable when they miss, but this one hit and was from a web site where this other woman’s picture had been copied and used.

Another of my warning posts.

You can take it or leave it, but I suggest you pay some attention to it.  These people make their living at faking you out and stealing something from you.

Love you all,



My Life and Welcome to It (Old Show, new Meaning)

I was talking to someone the other day who told me about several people who were praying for my health.  Thank you all.  I did think, however, that a better explanation of my situation was needed.  I realized that it is normal day to me, getting there for Mom, and much less so for all others.

I have several problems.  I am not complaining.  I believe in all things working out for good and, though I may not like it, I can see most of the hows and whys of the entire deal.

I had a stroke on May 7, 2010.  It was a hemorrhagic mid-brain stroke.  That means that I had a small blood vessel burst in my brain (from BP too high 250/150 and aggravated by my Blood Sugar at 300).  This stroke caused me to have double vision, my right eye is always dilated and my left eyes is never dilated.  I also have balancing issues which are caused by my neuropathy (next) and my eyes.  I had had diabetes for over a year.

I have neuropathy. That is a condition in which the nerves in an area have bad circulation and, therefore, stop functioning as well or periodically as well.  I have 3 types of neuropathy.  I have neuropathy in my feet, causing numbness and loss of balance and occasional pain.  I do not take medication for the pain as it is short-lived, but intense.

The second area I have neuropathy in is (let’s keep it PG) my male reproduction system.  Nuff said.  Ask me if you want more info.

The third area of my neuropathy is my stomach.  Called Gastro Paresis (stomach stops), this condition comes when the Vegas nerve to your stomach stops or slows down transmitting to your stomach. This, in turn, causes your stomach to digest food slowly or not at all for a period of time.  If it is long enough, the food in your stomach goes rancid, sending a vile taste to my mouth and followed (in about 1 hour) by vomiting, then by diarrhea.  This lasts anywhere from 2-10 hours.  I have some very quick-acting medicine for under my tongue (3-5 minutes) which, if I get it in time, can slow or stop the nausea and prevent (hopefully) the vomiting.  I am told not to stop the diarrhea because the bad food needs to get out of my system and that’s the safest and quickest way.  I am getting better at doing things to help prevent or limit the occurrences of Gastro Paresis.  I have been told there is no cure, though sometimes it stops altogether.  I can help by:

  1. limiting my protein intake
  2. limiting my sugar intake
  3. limiting my fiber intake
  4. eating smaller meals
  5. drinking an increased (much) amount of liquids

All of the above keep your stomach emptier and allow it to flow better so it stays empty and food won’t spoil.  It has helped greatly.  I spent, literally, years eating much protein and fiber to help my diabetes, so 1 and 3 have been a big change.

I am now on insulin.  We don’t have the dosage exactly right yet, so it goes back an forth on readings.  However, we are getting there.

The good news is that since the stroke retired me (disability) at 51, I am home and can treat it the way it needs treated.  Being single has helped also.  I have a Mother who is getting older and needs my help and I have good friends, my blog, my Word with Friend games, my fiverr writing, my Amazon for the local library, and my video games to keep me occupied and happy.  Yes, yes, I have my cat, too.  She is a toss up as I wouldn’t want to do without her, but she, frequently, gets on my nerves. lol.

The Gastro Paresis has one advantage.  Eating less and having much less choices (say no ice cream or chocolate) has led to a loss of 23 pounds since April, most of it this May-August. It is a bad way to loss weight, right up there with, well, throwing up intentionally.  However, I am working to stop it and keep the pounds off as well.

The Gastro Paresis is not deadly at this stage.  The biggest problem is dehydration.  I had a few bouts in which I could not keep any liquids down for over 6-8 hours and had thrown all mine up, so I had to go to the ER for saline solution in my arm.

Thank you to all who know, who care, who now understand better.  You are all loved.  I am, often, amazed at how many wonderful friends I have here.  It is something I don’t mind being surprised at.




The “News”

I was standing in line at our grocery several weeks ago.  I don’t go through the regular lines often as I enjoy the diy self-checking lines as much or more.  But, late and too many items, I decided I wouldn’t deal with the auto-voiced machine that tells me way too often to “remove your items” when I am loading them as fast as I can.

While I am standing in line I notice the last-second sale items and candy and magazines that stores place in the checkout area so you can impulse-buy to your heart’s content.  And what should I see? —>


I became entranced with several things.  First, was the variety of Gift Cards you can buy.  I mean, all types of stores and restaurants and online places were offered.  I had someone tell me once, “Just give money.”  My opinion on that hasn’t changed much.  If I don’t want the temptation to be to put the money on bills and/or necessities (which I went through time and again), then I figure out what they like and go for that.  Amazon has been a recent catch-all as they can get needed supplies, books, or go for that special something they wouldn’t normally get.

But, apart from the towering selection of forced buys, I saw the “News”.  I mean the magazines that offer everything from latest diets dos and don’ts to who got fired/rehired on the soaps and sitcoms.  People amaze me at times where they will spend their money.  I sell older magazines I have purchased on Amazon.  People who live in New York will, often, spend $7-$15 on a single issue of a magazine that is only a few months old.  I have concluded the cost of them in NY must be high enough that $7-$15 is a decent price.  I usually sell them still in the plastic.  I took the magazines at a very reduced  price when I was teaching as educational aides.  After my stroke, I still got the magazines for a few years, so…

But the magazines on dieting and movie stars (especially soaps) just floor me.  I have gone on and read about diets for a long time, but I use the Internet (no charge).  Most of them don’t work and may even be bad for you.  I have read and become quite the sage of diets.  As for the soaps, I used to watch several and enjoyed them, but to read about the stars and their doings and undoings?  Nope, not me, not much, anyway.

Back when info was slow coming and only on TV (4 channels) and magazines, I did my share of buying a few (not many as $0.25 a weeks only bought 2 comics at $0.12 apiece plus tax and I loved my comics).  Now, with the Internet and instantaneous news, why bother with print?

The biggest thing repeated over and over was the new royal baby.  Why do we, here in America, still love the royalty and their offspring?  Not that our own ruling body doesn’t have its own fair share of news, but that is … different.

And, then you have the “crap” mags that have those stories that are “based” (what a word) on truth…the merest shred of honesty lies at the bottom of some of the most stellar stories on these pages.  “Alien baby grows up in the Heartland” turns out to be about a Mexican child who moved to Indianapolis after finishing High School.  My daughter and I used to get one of these issues and pick apart the stories.  I would ask her (all 3-6 years old) what she thought after I read a short article and she would tell me why she thought it might not be true.  Is it any wonder she grew up to be a psychologist who loves watching TV shows like “Criminal Minds”?  She is analytical and thoughtful.

I was only in line a few minutes and snapped the pictures to remind me to write this post.  Still, people amaze me and I think someone should write about that…oh, forgot there’s YouTube,




Lifestyle, travel, culture, and Mandarin

Mandiya Joseph

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