SFI wants to thank you for your visit and participation. Comments, following, adding, tweeting, etc., etc., are very much appreciated and reciprocated. ;o)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I was recently able to meet two world class shooters. Martin Kamenicek and Adam Tyc.

This is a video of Martin Kamenicek in action.

This is a video of Adam Tyc in action.

Meeting champions in any sport is definitely an honor for me. I really admire the determination and hard work it takes for individuals like these to attain their goals. Of course it does not hurt to have fantastic equipment to work with. If you have time, check out what the net has to say about CZ products. Especially about the CZ SPO1 Shadow.

Both of these shooters are members of team CZ. They were recently in the Philippines for the second of two annual gun shows held in the country for 2008.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

These guys know what they are doing...RIGHT?

Barack Hussein Obama wins the Presidential election. I love it when things that are sure to be milestones in human history occur during my lifetime. It will give me license at some point in my life to tell stories starting with, “I remember when….”

Sure let’s state the obvious, BHO is the first black President of the United States of America. Okay, yes a milestone considering that not to many years ago a black person had to sit at the back of the bus and drink out of water fountains marked, “For coloreds only”. America has come a long way. Or has it? Maybe our prejudices have just changed or been re focused? Maybe racism or prejudice had absolutely nothing to do with this election at all?

What I saw during this campaign and election was a country hungry for a status quo. For quite a few years now America was content being fed a steady diet of the Whys and What for’s. Fresh from a presidency of relative peace and prosperity we were told that the national budget was not only balanced but had actually given birth to a surplus. National turmoil mimicked reality TV created under the desk of our political savior. National debate rose around the definition of what sex really meant at the same time our military shrank to but a shadow of what it was at the end of the cold war. Walls fell and we were fat and well fed, eons apart from soup lines, world wars, nuclear bomb shelters. Hey, these guys knew what they were doing.

We then moved into an era where we were told that if we were given some of our money back and got to keep more of what we would earn in the future, the country itself would ride the wave of prosperity into the foreseeable future. Three airplanes and two wars later, lo and behold the New York Stock Exchange was still above 13,000 and your house was worth 4 times what you paid for it. Hey these guys know what they are doing.

After a double dose of Democrats and a Double dose of Republicans where have all these gains gone? Most of us know the meaning of sex now and can correctly pronounce nuclear. Even more obvious to us, we can see the current value of our homes (Which for many Americans is ZERO) and the balance of our 401k’s (Which for many Americans might as well be ZERO considering retirement may be just around the corner.) We are being told that Social Security won’t exist much longer but the wars will. That our kids have to say happy holidays at school instead of Merry Christmas for fear of angering some organization or another, but then those same groups want Islam and the Jewish beliefs to be taught in public schools so as to foster understanding and tolerance. Wouldn’t you want to know if your child wanted to get an abortion? Ever anguish over the fact that your loved one will be leaving for his/her 5th tour of duty in some country you were never taught to locate on a map, or that you don’t have a job because the company you worked for decided it was cheaper to do business in another country? Maybe, they don’t know what they are doing. Maybe they never did.

When we don’t have to answer the tough questions we can stay in the boat a little longer. When the ugly things come home, we start to be concerned. When you can see it affecting your ability to protect and provide for those that you love, you might think it is time to do something about it. We can jump off the boat or row it to someplace we want to be.

Bush claimed during the last election that he was given a “mandate” by the people to do what he needed to do to preserve life, liberty, and the American way. His misinterpretation came when he overstepped the real mandate of basically maintaining a certain status quo. President Elect Obama has been re-issued the “mandate” that Bush had been given yet slightly more daunting, to return America to the lifestyle to which it had become accustomed. At best, Mr. Obama will be expected to make the real changes that all politicians promise they will bring yet rarely truly deliver, at the very least he must return America to the level of “status quo” that it had become accustomed to. If he can accomplish either level of this “mandate” he will have put the woken giant back to sleep and will then enjoy many years governing the well fed slumbering masses, thus ensuring 12 possibly 16 years of Democratic rule in the White House.

I contend the real milestone about this election was that it was a true display of people empowering themselves to make a difference. Enough people wanted to do something for themselves that it actually made a difference for a country. Isn’t it wonderful what can happen when enough like minded people get together? What is the real limit of what can be accomplished? Is there a limit at all?

In truth my hero is Obama himself. Not the politician but the man. This man believed in himself and had the vision and fortitude to overcome every obstacle in his life. He accomplished exactly what he had set out to do. He took control of his life so that he could protect and provide for those that he loves. Somebody at some point of his life told him anything was possible, his real strength is that he believed it and lived his life accordingly. I believe enough people saw this and wanted to be part of it. Never mind political experience and longevity. It is this extreme and powerful kind of positivism that I expect of myself and want for all of you.

Please Read More ;o) >>

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Update about Eddie Boy. Light on the horizon?

Hi everyone~ this is Luz again, Eddie's girlfriend. I just wanted to share what has happened since I last wrote about Eddie Boy.

He celebrated his 34th birthday on July 4th with some family and friends. Even though he was still asleep, and in the bed, it was beautiful that we got to share this day with him and we all could feel his happiness at us all being around him singing and laughing with him there.

Well, we started this new alternative procedure called Cold Laser Light Healing. We are really quite excited about it. It is a technology that has been around for around 30 years (but because of the strength of the Pharmaceutical companies, it is kept quiet). I feel very inspired by this new treatment because it is a laser that goes into the blood system via a micro-optic fiber. Its intention is to clean out the cell into becoming 100% pure in capacity and work the way it is supposed to work (since we have toxins in the body). It is a 10 day procedure with 3 day intervals of rest.

The procedure begins with a scan of the whole body. In the beginning of the scan certain points were made regarding this physical body and where we should target for him to get better, such as (of course) the brain, the liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart.

When we began this treatment, (he is now on his second set of treatments) Eddie had a blood test taken, then ten days later we (out of curiosity) took another blood test and the numbers all improved! (Interesting) Eddie's heart was shown to be enlarged and overworked. His pulse rate was at 125+ (and the normal is supposed to be 70-80) After the ten days, his pulse rate has decreased to 100-103! He has begun to respond more frequently to our voices and his eyes are really moving faster when we open up his eye lids. He has also begun to sporadically open up his eye lid on his own and leave it open for a few minutes while his eye is moving. Along with, his jaw begins moving up and down as if he is trying to reply or say something. He has begun to move his left knee up and down and instead of his hands being in a fist they are now relaxed and opened.

He turned very red (as if he had a sunburn) the first couple of days he begain getting the treatment which worried us, but his temperature was normal, so we asked the doctor (which by the way is a naturopath deals in natural remedies and doesn't believe in medicines to maintain healthy body) and he was quite happy to hear about his color being red. He said this is a good thing and he wasn't expecting Eddie to have this until 3-6 weeks into the treatment! Apparently, this is a sign that the circulation in the body is improving! When Eddie was first given the scan, (a normal brain, the number registers at 50) Eddies brain number registered 8. Ten days later, it has now registered at 13! (That’s a huge improvement) And honestly speaking, I know Eddie is working hard at recovering. I am just so glad we have found someone who can help us help Eddie instead of just trying to tell us to make sure his taken cared of and the end...

The doctor has told us that he himself was a hopeless cause. He is an active man who has been in motorcycle accidents and any other imaginable situation. He went parachute jumping one day in 1997, and had a malfunction with the parachute and fell to the ground. He broke his spine in 3 different places and the doctors all told him that he would never move again. He said he never gave up and he could still think, he could still talk and most importantly, he could still BITCH. He said I did not take their words, and only surrounded myself with people who could help me.

He had a friend who worked in NASA and basically became their guinea pig. It took him three years, being injected and operated on by so many things, but He is now parachuting again!!! He is walking and scuba diving and surfing etc... He has told us keep the positivity going because EDDIE NEEDS IT and HE NEEDS US TO BELIEVE!

Thank you so much for the prayers, the interest and the CARE. Thank you DAVID FOR THE HUMANITY AND MOST ESPECIALLY FOR THE LOVE!



Please Read More ;o) >>

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Manny Pacquiao carries the Philippine flag for Olympic ceremony…great idea…right?

Manny Pacquiao is a dynamo, arguably the best boxer in the history of the Philippines. Fame and fortune have been Manny’s rewards for hard work and determination. Clearly an example of how one can realize one’s dreams by taking advantage of every opportunity and pushing past adversity. Congratulations and adulation are definitely in order.

The president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, had an idea. Why not let Manny Pacquiao carry the country's flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games being held in Beijing.

Great idea…right?

After waiting some considerable time for the Philippine Olympic contenders to make their historic walk of nations, an image of a man entering the stadium carrying a familiar flag came into focus. Sure enough, Manny Pacquiao, carrying the Philippine flag and wearing his now famous ear to ear grin walked into the camera’s view. The camera zoomed in for a close-up of Manny while the announcer recounted Manny’s boxing accomplishments also managing to mention that Pacquiao will not actually be competing in the games.

Great idea…right?

Right after giving us this insight into the accomplishments of the Philippines greatest boxer, the time usually allotted to showing the world each countries Olympic contingency was eaten up. All those athletes that have worked so hard to get to Beijing were never seen by their countrymen, friends, and families. We were left with a brief panning shot of blurry blue outfits while the camera looked for the next countries contingency. Needless to say, the Philippines political contingency was also absent a courtesy shot though not all the various countries leaders got one.

All of the Olympic competitions are not aired. Usually only certain matches in each competition will be broadcast to the world. This being the case, the opening ceremonies were the only chance many of these athletes will ever have to be seen and be recognized. I for one would have liked to see the faces of the Filipino Olympians who worked so hard to get to the Olympic Games. Being held only once every four years, many of these champions will never experience Olympic glory again.

Great idea…right?

Please Read More ;o) >>

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What an honor! An "Arte y Pico" award!

Security for Idiots and Other People the Care was recently honored with an award. More specifically the “Arte y Pico” award. The "Arte y Pico" award was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, whether it be writing or artwork in all media's. When you receive this award it is considered a “Special Honor”. The instructions given to those that are given this honor are to carefully choose at least 5 other blogs that they feel embody the traits described above and to pass on this very notable recognition.

Heidi of "healthnutwannabeemom" fame honored us with this award. She herself was recognized with this award by not only one but two fellow bloggers. This fact does not surprise me one tiny bit. This incredible person is a vibrant and loving wife and mom. Her site is a must read for anybody that has an interest in nutrition and other information regarding health and fitness. Heidi presents information that is well written and extremely useful and relative to current trends. Having such a generous heart, she is also more than willing to give you tips on other authors who have posted material on subjects that she feels will also benefit her readers. Please visit her site at the following link;


"Hi! My name is Heidi and I am a married stay at home mom who is trying her best to get the health thing down. I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer. So, there you go-me in a nutshell."

Like with Heidi’s blog, I have placed blurbs under each website address that were written by the authors of these sites themselves. What better source of information about what these sites are about. In parentheses I have added a little blurb of my own. Please visit these wonderful sites and support the work that they do.

The Incredible blogs I have chosen to pass this award on to are as follows:


"Hi there! I’m Dr. KC and I am swimming in a pool of optimism of what is to come! Visit my website, READ and COMMENT on my blogs! Write in to me for professional counseling! Can't wait to hear from you!"

(The author of this site is truly a sweet and caring person. I really do love sites that have the basic intent of truly helping people. Dr. KC presents useful relevant information and is available to her readers for advice and consultation. She even has a social networking site geared towards bringing like minded authors together. You can find this site at GLCzone.com)


“Yogi and Bio Nuclear Physicist...Who wants to bring an understanding of Vedantic Philosophy and Yoga to the World, and make it applicable to the 21st Century. By passing on the Wisdom handed down to me by my Teachers...Namaste”

(Wow, how can you beat that blurb? What I can say about this great person is that he truly lives what he writes. This fact just shines through in his posts. He knows what he is, where he is from, and where he wants to go. His teachers and others that he reveres are frequently quoted and their words explained in a way that makes sense in today’s world.)


“Wireless for the Moment.. Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walkside me and be my friend.”

(This author uses imagery to communicate what is inside her heart and mind. She does write short posts to accompany the images that she creates and the combination of the two are quite thought provoking. You have an opportunity to live through her art and feel what she is trying to convey. She has a project called “Bridges”, stop by her site and see what it is all about.)


“Real talk on all things sensual... Relationships, sex, love, dating... a girl's point of view!”

(This author is one of the most talented writers that I have had the pleasure to come to know. Every post gives her readers an unimpeded view into the life and mind of this young vibrant human being. Her outlooks are edgy yet sober. She approaches the myriad of topics contained in her site with unabashed openness and frankness yet maintains tasteful dignity throughout. A song writer and entrepreneur, she has a multitude of talents that round out her perspective on life and make her words useful for those that enjoy her site.)


“Have the Courage to Live Anyone Can Die” Robert Cody

(I am going to leave the, what and why, to the quote above. Life is precious. Young life, has not even begun to blossom and move towards the potential it represents.)


“My name is Stefanie, and I started Focus Organic.com. I am currently trying to live a more green life myself, and I hope to share what I learn with the visitors of this site, and to also learn from the visitors. In learning to be more eco-friendly, we can better ourselves, our lives, and the planet. Implementing even just small changes into your daily living can help to make a big difference, and my hope is that, with this site, you may learn something new and decide to make your life more green, as well.”

(The intent of this site is apparent in its title. Stefanie is a talented author that has chosen to champion the Green Movement. I was able to trade comments with her for a while because of one of her posts regarding the recycling of cell phones.)

To all the recipients of this “Arte y Pico” award, congratulations! A great deal of time and consideration have gone into the decision making process as to just who to give this award to. All of you have been found to truly deserve this recognition. I hope that you also take the time and effort to pass this honor on in the spirit of this award.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How is Eddie Boy doing?

Hi Everyone! This is Luz again! I just wanted to share with all of you some of the amazing things Eddie has done. Since the April 17, (which by the way, the doctor is so surprised at what a fighter he is) Eddie had not been moving his eyes, but a few weeks ago, after a prayer and meditation, we all noticed, he began to move his EYES! (he's still sleeping but it was a miracle just to see his eyes moving)
Eddie currently has had a tracheotomy installed in his throat. When you have this, you can not make any sounds because of the cut in your throat the air escapes thus not allowing sound to come out. Well, Eddie has started making grunting sounds, and you can hear him coughing! The doctor is so surprised saying that he is so strong. She can not understand how he is making any noise at all.
Eddie began to move his little toes when touched, then he began to move them when he heard us speaking, then he moved his ankles, and last week, began to bend his knee! (the healing is moving upwards. We just need to make it go higher to the lungs and the brain stem). He is really doing better! We really believe your prayers are soooo strong. We can all feel the love.
Eddie is here with us, he just needs our prayers and love to show him how to wake up, because believe me he has the strength to wake up, and the will, he does not give up. Thank you for the love.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Would you leave your family to take a job in another country?

Recently I watched a movie called “Caregiver”, made by media giant ABS-CBN and Star Cinema, starring Sharon Cuneta and John Estrada. The story focuses on a woman whose husband has left the Philippines to take a job in another country because the pay is considerably more in this other country than what it would be in the Philippines. They decide as a couple that she would leave their young son with relatives in the Philippines so that she could follow her husband to the foreign land. She resigns from her job as an English teacher and sells their home just before leaving. The plan is that within 2 to 4 years they might possibly save enough money to send for their son. Upon her arrival in this new country, she is hired as a caregiver in an assisted living facility. Here, she suffers some culture shock in her new job in that she is required to change the soiled diapers of elderly residents and also by the idea of this type of care, in and of itself, because it is not customary for Filipino families to “deposit” their seniors in this type of facility. She perseveres however and even experiences some minor triumphs even being promoted after a fashion due to her fine work ethic and excellent command of the English language. As the story progresses, we learn that the husband, who is a trained nurse in the Philippines, is but an orderly earning a fraction of what she believed him to be earning. Because of this he plunges into an emotional downward spiral becoming resentful of his life and even somewhat jealous of his wife’s modicum of perceived success in her new “career”. By the end of the film, her husband has decided that he has had enough and wants them to return to the Philippines where they will start life over from nothing. She had already given everything up to make this move in the first place and was inspired by her personal potential in this new land as well as feeling that her husband had already emotionally abandoned her. She decided that she would do something for herself and refused to go back with the husband to the Philippines. The last scenes of the film were of her still in the new country, only now her son was with her and the husband nowhere in sight. There were some sub-plots worthy of mention but this Post is not about the movie but what it is trying to show us.
There are men and women actively seeking employment in other countries because they cannot find meaningful employment in their own country. Another issue is that while they may have employment, the same position in another country might pay double or triple what they are able to make in the Philippines. This issue is especially marked among professionals, like doctors, nurses, and teachers who are lured out of the Philippines by salaries and opportunities that cannot be found in their homeland. This creates another problem known as “Brain Drain” because many of the finest in any given field leave the country and are not working for the benefit of their countrymen but for a whole other people and culture. Some of these OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Worker) work towards assimilation in their adopted lands and others are employed via contracts that last a couple years to as much as a few years.
The personal issues are abundant. Many of the people being recruited are not well educated and fall into the hands of human traffickers and sold into slavery or prostitution. Immense fees and loan payments of loans taken out to pay for the “fees” of both legal and illegal recruiters make it nearly impossible for some of these people to pay off the cost of getting the “job” much less being able to send money to loved ones. Others are abused by what would otherwise be legitimate employers, sometimes being accused of crimes and jailed because of false allegations. Often times, Overseas Filipino Workers, become stranded in far off lands because of war, natural disaster, or due to these unscrupulous employers and recruiters themselves. It is then up to the families to scramble to put together the means necessary to rescue their loved one thus adding to their burden. On occasion well meaning government officials pool resources to offer rescue to these families in need. An example of this type of assistance happened recently when the Senate President of the Philippines, Manny Villar, pooled certain resources and was able to facilitate the return of several such stranded Philippine Nationals.
Not all stories are nightmares. There are many that find meaningful employment in these far off lands. While abroad, these workers have built reputations as being talented and hard working. Often these OFW’s live frugal lives so that they can send relatively large amounts of money back to their families. It is not uncommon to hear stories of nice houses being built, businesses being started, and educations of children being paid for by OFW remittances. For some of these people, the opportunity to make this kind of money and the lifestyles that they have become accustomed to almost necessitate leaving repeatedly on new contracts. Minimum wage in the Philippines is currently pegged at approximately 380 pesos a day, or roughly $9.05. Meaning that for an eight hour day, you would be getting paid approximately $1.13 an hour. What would you do making this amount of money? Would you be motivated to find an overseas job thus requiring that you leave your loved ones behind even only for a couple of years?
The movie itself presented a real life scenario of people making difficult decisions. We all want the best for our families. Whether for our parents, siblings, spouses, or children we are all willing to make sacrifices for their benefit. Where do you draw the line? Is money the only consideration when deciding to be apart from your loved ones? Is leaving them for extended periods of time the only possible solution? Is the human cost worth the financial gain? (If there is a financial gain to be had) These are questions that can only be answered by you as the one living the life in question. The decision though must be weighed very carefully making sure that you do your due diligence to ensure that it is an educated decision, a decision that can affect not only your destiny but that of your loved ones and even that of your nation.
Please Read More ;o) >>

Friday, June 13, 2008

A message for everyone that has accepted Eddie Boy into their hearts and minds.

The following words are meant for everybody that brought Eddie Boy into their lives by sending their positive thoughts, to him and for him, through prayers, well wishes, and inspirational advice.
Your continued support is sought and very much appreciated. I think that after you read the following message, you will agree that everybody's efforts have made a difference not only in Eddie Boy's life but that of his families and loved ones lives. Please let these words fill your heart with satisfaction;

Dear Sphinx & all you sweet wonderful people,
This is Luz (Eddie's girlfriend) Thank you for your words... I must admit that I have gotten a bit teary eyed by the beauty of your words. I am FEELING and SEEING and KNOWING that Eddie will open his eyes. The Doctor has said that he is doing things that someone in his state shouldn't be doing! THANK YOU EVERYONE... THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE AND LIGHT AND PRAYERS! I know for a fact that Eddie himself would be so touched by the love and kindness you are all showing to him, someone you do not know... THANK YOU and thank for spreading the word...
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Friday, June 6, 2008

Can a positive thought save a life? Let’s find out together.

Eddie Boy, as he is lovingly called by his family, was badly injured in an accident that left him with a severe head injury. He is currently living on a respirator in what can be described as a comatose state. Certain Medical Doctors have said that he has no chance for meaningful recovery. More optimistic Doctors have basically advised the family to wait and see. Needless to say, his family and friends are not willing to accept either prognosis. We all want Eddie Boy to open his eyes so that the real struggle toward recovery can begin.

Personally, I have heard several stories about people that have suffered severe head trauma caused by everything from gunshot wounds to being hit in the head by a helicopter blade. With proper care and support, these individuals have pulled through these life threatening incidents. I have no doubt, with our help; this same outcome will be available for Eddie Boy.

He is a good man that wants nothing more that to fulfill his obligations to his loved ones and live a life striving to be a positive influence on those that he may come into contact with. He is a teacher for a school that provides job training to young adults so that they in turn will be able to fulfill their obligations to their loved ones. His students love him and are also pulling for a speedy and complete recovery.

How much is a moment worth? How about a moment a day until further notice? Your good thoughts are urgently needed. We are not asking you for money, to buy a raffle ticket, or even leave the comfort of your favorite chair sitting in front of the computer.

I do humbly ask you for this. When you sit in front of your computer to check email or visit your favorite blog, please take a moment to think a positive thought for Eddie Boy. Please look at the picture of Eddie Boy as he is now after his accident then look at the picture of him before his accident. See in your mind his improvement from his current condition to how he looked when he was uninjured and happy, and then encourage him to open his eyes. We are all made from the same stuff. You can make a difference.

Also, if you have encouraging words for him and his family, please post them here and I will make sure that he gets every one. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude at this point for those of you who are already saying to yourselves, “I want to help this man because I can.”

You have heard the saying, “Penny for your thoughts.” How about, “Save a life for a thought.” That is, a thought a day until our friend opens his eyes.

Please Read More ;o) >>

Sunday, June 1, 2008

“Same Sex Marriage” What does it mean for you?

First off, let me preface this post with a simple disclaimer; Morality is relative to the life being experienced by the one living it. I do not endorse any particular religion or belief system. I do, however, endorse having one because such things are prisms through which we can focus the minds active force, also known as intent. By being able to focus your intent, you will have the ability to become a truly powerful being capable of serving and protecting those that you hold near and dear to your heart. These elements define your universe. The intent of this post is not to determine right from wrong. Our goal is to expose the topic in a way as to engender conversation. By doing so, people can make their own educated decisions and adjust their life paths accordingly.

Whew, now that the disclaimer has been taken out of the closet and set prominently on the mantle, let’s get ready to have a nice orderly discussion.

What is the issue? (Is there even an issue?)

Until recently, same-sex couples could not marry anywhere in the world. This final restriction was lifted during 2001-APR, when The Netherlands expanded its definition of marriage to include both opposite-sex and same sex couples. Belgium followed suit during 2003-JAN. Next came Ontario, a province in Canada in 2003-JUN. By 2004-NOV, same-sex marriage had become available in most Canadian provinces. When federal law C-38 was signed into law on 2005-JUL-20, SSM theoretically became available across all of Canada. However Prince Edward Island ignored the civil rights of same-sex couples, and refused to issue marriage licenses to them for almost a month until threatened by a lawsuit. Spain passed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry on 2005-JUN-29. South Africa's law came into effect on 2006-NOV-30.

The status of same-sex marriage in the U.S.:

Currently, only one man and one woman can be joined in matrimony and have their marriages recognized by the state, except for residents of Massachusetts who successfully won a court battle for the right to marry. Same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses in San Francisco, CA, and in various towns in New Mexico and New York for short intervals of time during 2004. However, none were able to register their marriages.

As of 2007-MAR, almost all states have "Defense of Marriage Acts" or constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage, Exceptions are: New Mexico and Wyoming in the West, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont in the Northeast.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian legal activist group, maintains "DOMAwatch" that describes the current status of same-sex marriage, court cases, etc. in each state. See: http://www.domawatch.org/

Text from: ReligiousTolerance.org (www.religioustolerance.org/hom_marr.html)

California under the leadership of “Arnie” is probably about to legalize same sex marriage because of a California Supreme Court decision. New York, while not legalizing it, intends to honor such unions consummated in other states or countries.

Let’s look at the word marriage. Yet once again I crack the cover to my ever faithful Encarta Dictionary: mar riage (noun) 1. A legally recognized relationship, established by a civil or religious ceremony, between two people who intend to live together as sexual and domestic partners. 2. A married relationship between two people, or somebody’s relationship with his or her spouse. 3. The joining together in wedlock of two people. These are definitions good enough for Microsoft Corporation, so they must be good enough for this discussion. Do you find it interesting that when addressing the “whom” in these definitions they use the term, “two people?” Not a man and a woman? Why is that, PC being displayed in educational text? Another interesting statement is that marriage is established by, “civil or religious ceremony.” We must be reminded that not all civil law is based on moral guidance. It is also civil laws that allow a pornography store to be located on the same block as a church. Both the church and the porno store having their own devotees. Civil laws in general are intended to serve the greater good of the community it is intended for without prejudice towards any specific group. Can the same be said about religious doctrine? Which religion you ask? I say, exactly.

Are we discussing societal or religious concerns? What about scale? Whose society or religion are we talking about? There are practices in certain societies around the world that are beyond the fathom to any other society around them. The same can be said for religion. So it can be understood that there are people around the world who are on both sides of the fence regarding this subject. But alas, we are talking about the United States of America, the land of the brave and home of the free. What about America? How will this affect America?

There was a time in our history that a man and a woman were expected to get married to somebody from the same community or church. By this I mean the same circle of friends, same background, more blatantly, the same color or race. It was unheard of for a white person to be dating, much less marrying, a black person. This separation was supported and even enforced by both religious and civil authorities of the time. It was said that to allow such unions to exist would cause the very fabric of decency and propriety to be irreparably damaged. The same stigma exists even today to some degree in certain communities around America.

Not to long ago being homosexual was something to hide and keep secret. If this statement were not true why does the saying “coming out of the closet” exist? There were laws, and still are in many places, threatening prosecution and jail time for people engaged in homosexual relations. In the past, people were released from military service because they were “gay”. Today we have the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Some of today’s most popular television shows have either homosexual themes or star people that live publicly homosexual lives. Ellen DeGeneres being a prime example.

The prejudices in America have evolved not disappeared. New egos are controlling the system that we live in. We have grown so intolerant that we tolerate the previously intolerable. Our horizons have broadened to the point that we can no longer see the trees for the forest. We now define society in terms of the individual without first defining just who that individual is. Glassy stares are intertwined with the angry glares. Some of you say, “What?” Some of you say, “Why”. Some are saying, “Huh?”

Picture in your mind a couple that lives in small apartment in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. A small dog runs in circles elated that its master is turning a key in the front door lock. In the kitchen, a pot of home cooked tomato sauce is being stirred lovingly by skilled hands. Entering the kitchen, a leather briefcase is dropped onto the kitchen counter and a soup ladle is tossed into the sink as two lovers embrace and share a passionate kiss. Jeff pulls away and says, “What smells so good?” A smile crosses Philip’s face as he proudly announces that he is making a pasta dinner using his grandmother’s secret recipe. Just then Jeff’s six year old son from his recently failed marriage comes into the kitchen and announces that he is going over to his friend’s house to play video games.

If I did not mention any names would you have surmised that it was a story about two men? If I never mentioned any names at all would it have made a difference? This type of relationship exists on a grand scale in today’s America. With or without laws “legitimizing” such unions, these “families” will continue to exist and even flourish. Will the “legalization” of this standard result in even further societal change? I put it to you that “society” will change regardless. Will the change be for the better or worse? Relative to whom?

If you have read this far you might be asking me, “What now?” Well what now? How does any of this affect your universe? If you let it affect your universe it will. As with any issue that you decide to become part of, it becomes a part of you. You must take a stand and defend your opinion because it is your’s, it belongs to you; at the same time you must accept the fact the every human has the same right as you, and it too, must be defended.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is there security in wealth? Can money make you happy?

While planning this post I asked a friend of this site what she would like me to tackle as a topic. At first she stated that she was not sure but then immediately came up with, “How about security for money? Many people think being secured is about having money.” (By the way, her site is called Adventures of a Comsci Student and the address to her site is http://comscistudent.blogspot.com )

First, let’s look at the word security. Again back to my trusty Encarta Dictionary which defines security as follows, state of feeling of safety, freedom from worries of loss, something giving assurance, safety, precautions to maintain safety, asset deposited to guarantee repayment, and guarantor. There are more, but these should suffice. Apparently security is a hefty word affecting everything from emotion to financial growth. So on to the first question, “Is there security in having money?”

Money like everything else in your life is a tool, a weapon if you will. Like I have said before, weapons are only as good or effective as the person using them. This being the case, all weapons (or tools if you prefer) are just as capable of being a liability as they are of being an asset. Case in point, we have all heard of unfortunate chainsaw accidents as well as stories of the guy who won millions in a lottery only to end up broke and in jail a relatively short time later. We should now be able to deduce that money, in and of itself, cannot provide security. Can money move you in the right direction?

There is an old saying that money begets money. It is usually taken to mean that when you have money and invest it wisely, the more money you will make to reinvest. This cycle continuing until you’re extremely wealthy living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Try looking at it this way. I have been saying that positivism and decision making, motivated by positivism, will create results filled with positive energies that translate into the attraction of a multitude of opportunities, which if taken advantage of, will better your position in your own universe. Could you agree that wealthy folk have fewer monetary worries than us average folk? The amount of worries may stay the same or even increase, but the focus will change. Once wealthy, priorities with regards to money usually evolve from trying to create wealth to maintaining, expanding, and guarding it. The stress and worry involved in not having money is and of itself a factor which drives negativity making being positive about money itself a difficult task indeed. So if the presence of money can foster positivism and the absence of it breed negativity, we now have a catch22. What comes first?

Ultimately, you CAN be positive and CREATE the environment for opportunity even without money. You just have to decide that this is what you want and make it happen. You will see that the more opportunities that you are presented with and take advantage of the easier it will be for you to advance your position in your own universe. Can money move you in the right direction? Yes it can, but the initial lack of it will have to be overcome by “YOUR DECISION” to change your position in your own universe.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Are you waiting for that perfect someone or are you with someone you want to be perfect?

Governments have spent billions trying to avoid landmines. Here we are purposely stepping on them. If anything, we are here to try and help those that are coming up the path behind us.

The first word that I want to address is “perfect”. Is there such a thing? I believe in the pursuit of perfection. If you aim for the stars, you are sure to hit clouds. The problem with the “concept” of the word perfection is that it’s very perception is relevant to the one making the observation. How many of us have stood in front of a painting with a small sign beneath it declaring it a “masterpiece” while thinking that you wouldn’t hang it in your garage, yet somebody out there was willing to spend millions on it. Go figure. So is it okay to seek the perfect partner? Yes it is.

Here is the catch. Because everything can be perfect relevant to the person making the observation, the observation itself will be tempered by the condition of that persons universe at the time the observation was made, perfect perfection cannot truly exist. Can you name one thing that without exception, everyone who was exposed to it, would think that it was perfect? I did not think so. (This not being a perfect observation, somebody will think I lost my marbles.)

We are all in a state of change. Every day when you wake up, you are not the same person that went to sleep the night before. Thus the old saying, “change is the only constant”. This being the case, you can always pursue perfection tempered by the knowledge that the pursuit will never end.

We now know how to deal with our expectation of perfection. Let’s add to the flavor of the stew by slowly stirring in acceptance and gratitude to the mix. We must strive for personal control of our universes. Part of doing that entails following paths in our lives that make us the very best we can be. We do this so that we can protect and serve those that we hold near and dear to our hearts. Whatever life situation you find yourself in, including relationships, you need to ask yourself if it drives or hinders your attainment of your life goal. If you say no, then corrective measures need to be taken. But if you say yes, then you have by doing so, indicated acceptance of your situation. Once you have accepted your situation, you now “accessorize” your universe by showing gratitude for those things that you do have that further your pursuit of your life goal. When you move into a house or apartment, do you put your couch in the middle of the living room and think that you are happy with your new abode? You most likely will want to paint the walls, put up a picture, and change the shower curtains, right? You may never be able to add that second floor, but you accepted what was there, and were grateful for the protection your home provided for you.

You are thinking that is all well and good for those that are still looking. What about everybody that is already in a relationship? Well, I suggest that you read the previous post,”Is LOVE ever enough?” Well is it? Once you have answered this question and decided that the WHO is who it should be, then the steps are the same. You have made the educated decision to accept your situation. You now have to strive to make it what you want it to be first remembering that you can only change or control your own universe. The power that you do have is that through positivism and gratitude, you can affect change in those around you. Notice I said “affect” not outright change. The key is to do constant assessments of your situation and modify your decisions accordingly. When you ride a bicycle or drive a car, you will find that you make subtle adjustments as you move along to keep you on the path, right? Life is the same way.

Wait for that perfect somebody or is that somebody perfect? The pursuit of perfection is the key. Just remember that the expectation of perfection is unreasonable. Our mantra here is to be the very best you can be, not be perfect. Take care until next time.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Is LOVE ever enough?

When is LOVE just not enough? Enough for what you might ask. I think that we need to explore just what love is a little more.

Why doesn’t he/she love me? I have done everything I can for him/her and I feel so unappreciated. Have you ever found yourself asking these questions? You might need to examine what love really is.

What is LOVE? Well the Thesaurus in my trusty Microsoft Word defines it as follows: to feel affection for, adore, worship, be in love with, be devoted to, care for, find irresistible, be keen on, be fond of, and lists hate as the antonym of LOVE. The defining factor in all of these examples is that they are all “outward bound” acts. LOVE is something you give and not something that can be expected in return.

Love has many defining factors depending on where it is coming from. Mother, father, child, sibling, teacher, mentor, or even coaches have the ability to love you. Each one of those people that I just mentioned will love differently depending on their individual life experience. Each one of us has experienced love in different ways from the time of our births. The ideal of love has been burned into us by our life’s experiences and decisions. (And Hallmark card quotes)

We have all heard the term “unconditional love” have we not? Again, it is an ideal which is outbound by nature and by its own name more in line with what we are discussing here today. You cannot hear that term and expect unconditional love. You have to be the one to be willing to give it. You have to make the decision that you will love, serve, and protect the target of this priceless gift whether or not the same energy and devotion is ever returned to you. A parental relationship is where you most often see this kind of love thrive, mothers more specifically. We have all heard of the mother that still housed her floundering 29 year old “child” who is still trying to find his/her niche in the world. That floundering “child” by the way verbally and in some cases physically abusing the doting mother. Yet there he/she is, cowering in the safety of mom’s apron. Ask her if LOVE is enough.

Now we look at marriage. You were attending a party when out of the corner of your eye you spot her/him. Out of the corner of your eye you notice her/him glancing your way. Before you realize it you are out on your first date ordering that house salad when you would have ordered the full rack of beef ribs with all the fixins. In a flash a diamond ring is purchased and being gingerly placed on a delicate finger. You turn around and running by at breakneck speed is your son being chased by his sister with a pair of scissors. Now you want to ask if LOVE is enough. Your decision making abilities have brought you this far. Now where will they take you?

It is now when the word martyr comes into mind. Does anyone have to martyr themselves in a marriage? Well if you consider yourself one, you have already given up and left. Love is no longer what you have to give. Self pity and regret are what now consume you. By staying in this situation you are perpetuating the negativity that you so desire to escape. It is akin to a drowning person asking for a glass of water. The real tragedy here is the fact that the negative energy you are creating is affecting those around you also. Maybe better said to say that it is infecting those around you. It would be virtually impossible to maintain any level of positivism in this situation. I ask you again, Is LOVE ever enough?

Is LOVE ever enough? That can only be determined by the person giving it. You need to look within and decide that you want to be where you are at. That you have a clear understanding of what particular situation you are in and once you have decided that you are “all in” you need to make clear decisions as to how your decision will effect those around you. Remember that you should make decisions that first improve your position in your universe with the intention of improving the position of those that you love in theirs. LOVE is always enough. The real question is, FOR WHOM?

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Speak up about poor service and give people a chance to shine.

Part of owning your universe is defending your right to be treated well in everyday situations. In short, when you are a customer, you should be given every courtesy and respect that should be given by a business wanting your loyalty and more importantly, your money.

The other day a good friend of mine invited me and my family to watch Iron Man at a local shopping center called Rockwell. Yes I am a fan of these comic book based movies. Shoot me.

Rockwell Power Plant Mall is an upscale shopping and dining destination. This mall is a very nice place. One of the attractive features here is the fact that there are not that many people walking around so the environment is unhurried and relaxed.

We arrived a bit early for the movie. My friend had actually pre-purchased the tickets so there was no need to stand in line. Deciding that we were all hungry we began the difficult process of choosing which of the many fine restaurants we would eat in. Finally after careful deliberation and a couple of false starts, we chose a place called “Kaya”.

Located in what would be considered the “food court” of this mall, Kaya is competing with several of Manila’s heavy hitters in the restaurant industry. Kaya itself focuses on Korean fare on a somewhat affordable level compared to other similarly apportioned establishments. The restaurant itself is relatively small but nicely decorated in what could be considered a fusion style of modern Asian design and Denny’s. You would have to read a menu to fully realize that this was a Korean restaurant.

Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by several employees repeating what I think was “welcome” in unintelligible Korean. I asked to be seated in a place that had an electric outlet nearby because I knew that the battery of my laptop was running low. Without hesitation the server lead us to a table near the kitchen entrance and after seating us, proceeded to pass out menus.

It was when the server came to take our orders that the problems started. First, my wife usually does not order anything when we dine out with our two children. There is inevitably a large amount of leftovers which she then happily consumes so as to not waste perfectly good food. The problem here is that to keep the pricing deceptively reasonable, it appears that the portion sizes were kept very small. I did not have a scale with me but it seemed that the portions were approximately 80 grams or so. When you order kalbi ribs a good portion of that will be bones. This order did not go very far and we were forced to order more items. Good for the restaurant but does not make you feel like you are getting very much value for the buck. I would have preferred to have been charged slightly more and been pleased with what was brought to the table. My wife had a sour look on her face almost the whole time. Not only was there nothing left for her but the kids wanted more.

I on the other hand was “watching” everybody eat. Yes I said watching. My food was missing in action. My friend followed up twice. Each time he would ask where my order was our server would rush off never to be seen again. The third time we followed up, another server came back informing us that all the items we ordered had been served already. By this time, the group had finished eating and I was upset and hungry. I immediately called for the original server. When she arrived at the table I tried to ask what had happened to my order. Not having a good answer to my question, she said sorry and asked if I still wanted it. That was the last straw, I asked for the manager.

Her name is Cynthia A. Esperanza. She introduced herself as the manager of the restaurant. After explaining what happened she called the server over to ask her side of the story. The server to her credit admitted that she made a mistake. Ms. Esperanza then explained that the server would be disciplined and apologized for any inconvenience before she returned to the kitchen. I thought that the problem was solved. I was still not happy at this point and definitely still hungry.

After a few minutes a server came out with two bowls of ice cream. I thought it was a nice gesture and thanked the server. I thought again that the problem was solved. I was less hungry and a little happier by this time.

A few minutes later, two full plates of cool delicious watermelon, and two plates of sweet sliced pineapple were placed in front of us. The group was shocked. I was impressed. I called the manager to tell her that I was very happy with her attitude towards customer service. I could not think of anything else that she could possibly do to show us how much she did not want to loose our business. After we paid the bill, she had one more surprise. As we walked out of the restaurant, she handed me my missing order. Incredible. She even handed my two kids lollipops as we left. I will definitely be dining here again.

My point in telling you this story is two fold. First, when you do not get what you are paying for, you must not be afraid to speak up. By “letting it go” you are actually empowering the negative service to continue and affect others. You are also perpetuating being a victim. This negative energy will remain within you attracting more such incidents. Secondly, this manager should be very secure in the service industry that she chose as a career. She was willing to make decisions that some may think went above and beyond what was necessary to not loose a customer’s loyalty. To her it was a natural decision which demonstrated that she has taken ownership of this business. This is an invaluable asset in an employee and the owners of Kaya should be happy to have her on board.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana. Scandal or Stupid Decision?

Miley Cyrus, maybe better known as Hannah Montana, is in the spotlight yet again, not because of a great new song but because of what appears to be “inappropriate” pictures taken with her father who is also her manager.

I viewed an online video of the photo-shoot where these photos were created. Did I perceive the set up to be inappropriate? Let’s take a closer look.

Miley was dressed in jeans and a tank top. During the video she playfully hung upside down during the setup of the shoot like any girl her age would, but in front of the camera gone were the girlish and sometimes goofy smiles she is so well known for. What posed in front of the camera was a blossoming young woman becoming used to her feminine charm and power. I was surprised to see her father come onto the set and strike a reclining pose sitting on the floor resting on one arm. Miley then “decorated” her father by leaning onto him then lying next to him with her head resting on his lap.

What was my initial impression? Inappropriate. She was not just being a girl hanging out with dad shooting some promotional shots. She was not being Hannah Montana in those shots. The poses with the dad were not your average daughter and dad shots. The eye to eye contact captured in the shots did not have parental overtures. If I did not know that this was a father and daughter, I would have believed that these two were intimately involved.

Do I think that they are having some kind of illicit relationship? No I do not. Was this a textbook example of incredibly poor judgment? Yes it was. Some image consultant probably advised them to do this photo shoot saying that Miley has to develop her image after Hannah Montana. That she will not be a kid forever. Show the fans that she is maturing and in connection with that, not be type cast as a Disney character for the rest of her career. Was this good advice? Maybe it was. But the execution was a blunder in the umpteenth degree.

Lastly, the dad was the most to blame for this situation. He is her manager. More importantly he is her father. He is there to not only protect her business interests but to help her make the proper decisions regarding her image and lifestyle. To help her learn the thought process that goes into making good solid decisions for herself. What I saw was an aging man who enjoyed the attention he was getting to the detriment of his daughter. He was posing for his fans trying to look cool and attractive. He was not there trying to look like Miley’s dad.

Another example of how your bad decisions can have far ranging effect on those around you. Ego strikes yet again and claims two more victims.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is the purpose of religion? Does religion or its lack of, affect your personal security?

First off, this blog does not intend to promote any religion or spiritual belief over any other. There is no hidden agenda looking to demonize any culture or viewpoint. Morality is relevant to the person reading these pages.

My target is the mind and the intent that is the minds active force. By having control over your mind, you can direct your intent to accomplish the goals that your mind sets. Every person has the ability to accomplish grand things. The scale of the grandness that you are capable of is relative to the scope of the life that brought you to this point. An example of this would be a baby taking its first step. That first step is quite a grand event for that baby, but relatively mundane for its older sibling. The older sibling rides a bike successfully for the first time, but not quite so impressive to Lance Armstrong who won the Tour de France 7 times. Each one of these events is equally stupendous for the person enjoying the success. The same can be said for failures.

Religion, meditation, spirituality, Buddhism, and every other form of belief that exists today are prisms through which we focus the intent of our minds. Why are there so many? Why are they so different? Remember that what will make sense to you today is relative to the maturity and intellect afforded to you by the life that you have led which brought you to this point. People will naturally gravitate towards those people with the same basic principles, intellect, and temperament. There is security and comfort in being with a group of like minded people and it is easier to belong to a group that already exists in a form that closely resembles the person you already are. Hence, since there are so many different kinds of people, the need to cater to them gave birth to the multitudes of religions, sects, cults, and multi-level marketing schemes we see today. Some very tolerant and forgiving and some quite militant in the way they deal with society in general around them.

Each religion has its methods by which it inculcates its agenda or belief upon its members or followers. Rigorous studying, verbal indoctrination, or sermon, meditation and chanting, guided prayer, seclusion, pain, or intimidation. Through prayer or meditation, one is able to seek the assistance of some higher being or god to accomplish things that are important to the person seeking the help. Many people thinking the same and praying or meditating for the accomplishment of a common goal is quite often requested or organized among these groups. Again some are benevolent and some are quite malevolent in intent. The interesting thing is that these extremes can exist in the same group purporting to have the same goal, serving the same higher being. Inevitably, in many cases the leaders of these groups at the base of the alter are serving a very powerful force indeed, and that force is known as the “EGO”. It is because of this, that the followers of these leaders become tools being used to push an agenda which serves the human leader of a group and not the higher being or god that it was intended to serve.

Ultimately humanity itself is the only common irrefutable baseline that we all share. As humans we are all born with innate abilities to create reality for ourselves. We all have the right to make decisions for ourselves and die fighting for them if necessary. If we could only leave being judgmental, our egos, and personal agendas at the door, what kind of world could we enjoy today? Mankind has the ability to attain perfection, nirvana, and heaven, but not the will to do so. As individuals we can strive for these things and even attain them within our personal universes. One day we will attain them as a species.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Can allowing yourself to be raped be considered "Self Defense"?

What a question right? You are screaming at your screen thinking there is no possible way letting yourself be raped be considered "self defense". Let's see if we can modify your outlook.

We now understand about "broadcasting" but remember that predators occasionally make mistakes or you were distracted by some life altering incident leaving a hole in the fabric of your armor. Then it happens, you are confronted by an attacker. What now?

First, you are still the confident and self controlled you. This is important in that when we "loose it" we really are losing self control and therefore the control of our life. When that happens, the circumstance now controls you and not vice versa. Assess the situation. Where are you? Are there people around or nearby? What is around you? What does your attacker look like? What is he wearing? If you get a good grasp of the knowns, you can more methodically handle the unknowns. Listen to what the attacker is saying. Etc. etc. etc.

We will spend more time, another time, going over making assessments and what to do with those assessments. Right now I am trying to intrigue you, so let's get to the question.

You are now, after careful assessment, at the point where the attacker is about to rape you. Remember, your universe is yours. You have created this universe for yourself decision by decision since the day that you could make decisions. You are now cornered in a place that nobody can come to your aid. (Why you are here in the first place?) You have tried talking to this person. You told the attacker your first name and that you have three kids or a mom, dad, and little brother. This humanizes you. You have asked that the attacker simply does not do this.

The attacker moves closer. You assess the attackers size and strength. Can you fight? Do you know how? The attacker grabs you. What are your options?

Remember, when you make a decision for yourself, your psychological "survivability" is much improved over when your ability to make a decision for yourself is forcibly taken from you. Rape is just such a thing. It is not sexual in essence. Rape is about power and control. The very things that you work for on a daily basis. The decision to allow yourself to get raped, gives you back control over your body and psychological health. Here's how.

There have been women that before being raped asked the assailant to wear a condom. She would say that she has an STD or that she did not want to get pregnant. There have been women that offered to give the assailant oral sex instead of vaginal intercourse, some even getting the person to wear a condom for that. Ultimately, some knew that if they did not give in to the attackers demands, they could quite possibly be severely injured or killed. The difference between these women and too many others, is that these women made the "conscious decision" to "allow" the rape to take place. This is quite different from "losing it" and your decision making ability being torn from you leaving you totally helpless and ultimately victimized.

In the end, the decision is yours to make. Fight or not to fight? What is right or wrong? The answer is, what can you live with? What can you accept? Make your call and go for it.

Think of these things now. Then make decisions in your life that will prepare you for whatever may come your way. First, live your life in a way that minimizes the opportunity for these types of things to happen. Where you travel, how you dress, your "broadcasts", the people you know, are just some of things that determine your "threat matrix". Do you know how to fight, use that gizmo your friend gave you, shoot that gun?

I want you to ask yourself right now where you are in connection with all of this. Ask the questions I asked in todays entry. Then make decisions to improve your knowledge base. If you need more information or advice, just ask via the comments box. I will do my best to give you an answer as soon as possible. If I do not know the answer, I will research it for you and let you know where to look.

Thanks for reading. Please tell a friend about this BLOG. Take care.
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