Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nickelodeon Doing a Special with Kids of Deployed Parents

I participate in this bulletin board. I got this e-mail earlier today. This kind of thing may put some kind of public pressure on the people who hold the purse strings for benefits and programs for families. Certainly not saying that throwing money at the problem is the appropriate solution, but added funding for family programs isn't a bad thing. Check it out if you're interested and feel free to pass it along.

VA Joe.com was contacted by Jessie Findlay over at Nickelodeon recently with this announcement. Help spread the word!

"The Nickelodeon news series “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee” is looking for kids of soldiers currently home from deployment who are willing to be interviewed about the readjustment process. We’re looking for a few well-spoken kids around 11 to 15 years old to talk about how life has changed now that Mom/Dad has come home - particularly those dealing with a physical injury, divorce or PTSD. This show will recognize that war affects whole families, acknowledge the sacrifices of American troops and their families - especially their kids, and portray the good feelings that come with being reunited. Filming will be completed by the end of February.

Interested families please contact Coordinating Producer Jessie Findlay at Lucky Duck Productions - 212-463-0029 ext. 153 or jessie@nicknews.com. "

Thank you,
-VAJoe.com

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Men's Room Etiquette

You know, sometimes someone does something that makes me stop and ponder if the filter in the genetic pool is functioning properly.

Let me paint this picture for you. Most Friday nights I participate in a sanity saving exercise at the local country & western club. Good company, usually okay bands, decent exercise. Gives me the chance to escape the gremlins of life. But something happened this past Friday night that made me think about the gene pool filter.

Men's Room Etiquette 101

Without going into the fine intricacies of what actually should happen in the men's room, there are some basic rules that should be followed.

Let me give you the layout of this men's room. As you enter, on the left wall are 4 urinals. On the back wall are 2 stalls. On the right wall there are 2 urinals and on the front wall there are 3 sinks. Not a complicated layout at all.

I enter the men's room and there's 1 guy in there using urinal #4 (the far urinal) on the left wall. I have 2 real choices, either of which will allow me a large buffer zone between myself and the other person in the men's room as well as provide respect for his personal business. I could go into a stall, but since those are primarily reserved for urination only when the men's room is full, I choose a urinal on the right wall next to a sink.

As I begin, guy #1 finishes up and starts to wash his hands when guy #3 enters. He basically has the same choices I had earlier. Go into a stall or use a urinal on the opposite wall. This is where things get quirky.

Guy #3 saddles up in the urinal next to me on the right side. This is completely out of line. It's what he does next that just baffles me. HE LOOKED OVER THE PARTITION.

By this time, guy #1 has dried and left. Somewhat flustered, I make eye contact with guy #3 (something only done in extreme circumstances when one or more of the parties is in active use of a urinal) and I ask him quite matter of factly, "Have you lost something?" Guy #3 quickly snaps to the front and stares at the wall for the duration.

I finish up and wash up and guy #3 leaves without a flush or a wash.

Having been invaded and violated, my thoughts of revenge were soon put to rest when I exited the men's room to see guy #3 dancing with a woman, the song ending. I encounter the woman and say to her, "I think you should go wash your hands because he doesn't wash his."

After a brief look of surprise, she thanks me and proceeds directly to the ladies room, never to dance with guy #3 again.

Test your own Men's Room Etiquette.

Men's Room Etiquette 101

You know, sometimes someone does something that makes me stop and ponder if the filter in the genetic pool is functioning properly.

Let me paint this picture for you. Most Friday nights I participate in a sanity saving exercise at the local country & western club. Good company, usually okay bands, decent exercise. Gives me the chance to escape the gremlins of life. But something happened this past Friday night that made me think about the gene pool filter.

Men's Room Etiquette 101

Without going into the fine intricacies of what actually should happen in the men's room, there are some basic rules that should be followed.

Let me give you the layout of this men's room. As you enter, on the left wall are 4 urinals. On the back wall are 2 stalls. On the right wall there are 2 urinals and on the front wall there are 3 sinks. Not a complicated layout at all.

I enter the men's room and there's 1 guy in there using urinal #4 (the far urinal) on the left wall. I have 2 real choices, either of which will allow me a large buffer zone between myself and the other person in the men's room as well as provide respect for his personal business. I could go into a stall, but since those are primarily reserved for urination only when the men's room is full, I choose a urinal on the right wall next to a sink.

As I begin, guy #1 finishes up and starts to wash his hands when guy #3 enters. He basically has the same choices I had earlier. Go into a stall or use a urinal on the opposite wall. This is where things get quirky.

Guy #3 saddles up in the urinal next to me on the right side. This is completely out of line. It's what he does next that just baffles me. HE LOOKED OVER THE PARTITION.

By this time, guy #1 has dried and left. Somewhat flustered, I make eye contact with guy #3 (something only done in extreme circumstances when one or more of the parties is in active use of a urinal) and I ask him quite matter of factly, "Have you lost something?" Guy #3 quickly snaps to the front and stares at the wall for the duration.

I finish up and wash up and guy #3 leaves without a flush or a wash.

Having been invaded and violated, my thoughts of revenge were soon put to rest when I exited the men's room to see guy #3 dancing with a woman, the song ending. I encounter the woman and say to her, "I think you should go wash your hands because he doesn't wash his."

After a brief look of surprise, she thanks me and proceeds directly to the ladies room, never to dance with guy #3 again.

Test your own Men's Room Etiquette

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, I'm back

I know, I know. I slipped off the grid for a while. The last semester was considerably more time onsuming and strenuous than I anticipated. BUT, Scully got to take her mid tour over Christmas. Just put her on a plane back to Iraq this past Saturday. I'm not going to make this a long post, but I'll post something more substantial later on. Just wanted everyone to know I'm still alive and I haven't forgotten about you all. I've just had my hands more than full. For those of you who e-mailed, thank you so much for your concern and warm thoughts. I look forward to getting back into the swing of things here.

Happy New Year to everyone. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What a sad world...

I heard a radio show the other morning, 8-20-07, where parents can get their kids armor plated backpacks! I thought it was a joke at first, but no. They run about $175.00 a pop! This is insane. What kind of world are we living in?!

I say world because the Brits are doing it too! This thing allegedly stops knives, hatchets, machetes, piercing weapons, and bullets from a .22 cal. long rifle to a .45 Magnum handgun at a weight of only 20 oz.

There is a video associated with it. I don't completely believe the statistics they provide about survival rates. These students would have had to have the presence of mind and physical ability to maneuver these backpacks in front of their bodies, but here it is.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Worst Case Scenario (Part 2)

So, here we go again with companies looking to make a buck at the cost of our own privacy and potentially our own safety. This company, Intelius is selling personal cell phone numbers, with addresses, and sometimes with family member’s names for $15.00. Apparently, they’re compiling cell phone numbers from business to government agencies with some 90 million in hand already and an addition of another 70 million in the next few days.

If that isn’t bad enough, there are hundreds of companies called data brokers that will, for a little over $100 on the low end, sell to a consumer the last 100 out-going calls from a cell phone. All the consumer needs is the name, address, and phone number, available above for $15, and he or she can know who you last called!

This is absolutely ridiculous. Intelius says, “Oh, you’ll be able to check on your teen, see who they’re calling, or you can do a background check on a nanny.” I would think that if I wanted to see who my teen is calling, I would use the itemized statement I get from my cell phone provider. If there’s suspicion that they’re up to something illegal, I can always take the numbers to the police. As for checking on a nanny, there are background check services that are legal and licensed that I could use. I would be more concerned with the fact that over 62% of 11-14 year-olds have cell phones and granting pedophiles access to their personal information is irresponsible.

Data brokers claim things like, “Think your spouse is cheating? See who they’ve called!”

This type of psychological marketing is weak, deceptive, and outrageous. You’re trying to appeal to my sense of protection for my children or my marriage by violating my privacy? Give me a break!

Illinois has implemented some legal protection preventing people from “pre-texting” or pretending to be the account holder of the cell phone account with the intention of gaining access to cell phone records. Missouri has followed suit as have California, New Jersey, Washington, and perhaps others.

None the less, there is a family in Washington that has changed their cell phones and numbers three times and still have a stalker harassing them, their family, and friends. In some instances, hijacking the teenage daughter’s cell phone and using it to send threatening text messages or voice mails.

What about in the context of national security? Are we handing terrorists an invitation to call, threaten, and stalk military members and their families? This isn’t unheard of. It happened in the United Kingdom just last year and to families of Danish Troops just this month!

I think it is time to start writing letters and making phone calls to our representatives and senators demanding action protecting our privacy.

Personal Cell Phone Numbers Are Only a Click Away
Web site Sells Cell Phone Numbers and Other Personal Information

(ABC News)
From World News with Charles Gibson
Aug. 14, 2007

Home phone numbers have been available to the public for a long time, so many Americans treasure the fact that their cell numbers can be kept private -- or so they think. Now, all it takes is a few bucks and Internet access to find tens of millions of personal cell phone numbers.

A Web site named Intelius has created a clearinghouse of cell phone numbers that can be purchased online for $15 each. Its source -- every business and company you've ever provided with your personal information.

"We do pay for the data, everything from government agencies to third party companies, where we compile a lot of this information together," said Ed Peterson, vice president of sales and marketing at Intelius.

Intelius already has 90 million cell phone numbers, and it's adding 70 million more in the coming days, along with the addresses that go with them.

"Frankly, it's the Wild West when it comes to our personal information," said Avivah Litan, director of research at Gartner Inc.

Intelius claims it is providing a public service that will help parents track down who is calling their children, or families checking on a nanny, but many individuals are upset that their information can be bought online.

ABC's David Muir attempted to buy the records of three people he approached today in New York City, and they were shocked to learn he'd purchased every cell phone number and address they ever had.

Intelius even had the number of a minor.

"That's my son … he's 14," said Winsome Jones.

"You can't even assume that minors have privacy rights. Maybe this is a wake-up call once we see congressmen's cell phone numbers on the Internet. Maybe they'll finally start acting, but the data brokers are not regulated," Lihtan said. "No one's looking over their shoulder and saying you can or cannot do this."

And until Congress takes action, Intelius' business of selling personal information is perfectly legal.

If you want to opt-out of having your information listed in Intelius' database, log-on to OPT OUT [(Scully's Moulder comment): I should point out that Intelius states that their Opt Out option is only temporary as they are constantly updating their records requiring you to opt out frequently.]

Personal Cell Phone Numbers Are Only a Click Away
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