Android Apps Review

>> Saturday, November 07, 2009

T-Mobile G1 Google AndroidImage by netzkobold via Flickr

Here's a quick run-down Android applications I've tried and mostly use right now. After the name of each app, I've rated each one from 1-5, described what each does, and usually given an opinion of the app.

1 = Nice, but I could uninstall
2 = I've used it a couple of times
3 = I quite like it, but it might not be truly USEFUL
4 = Great value in this!
5 = Install it now.

Updates as of Jan 2010 are in bold

  • ACV (4) (now 3; I haven't used it as much and it's often slow due to size of comic images) Android Comics Viewer, for reading CBR/CBZ files. If you know what these files are, install this program.
  • PrinterShare (1) Print from your Android phone, from anywhere. Nice, but haven't really used it.
  • TouchPal (5) Alternative keyboard. Awesome. (sadly unavailable AFAIK)
  • Books WordPlayer (3) Browse & install free books. Nice, but to install your own files from SD must install some other file browser.
  • Qik (5) Stream and record video LIVE to the internet. A must. (I still love this)
  • ASTRO File Manager (5) The best file manager - also includes a task killer and more.
  • Barcode Scanner (5) reads barcodes, including QR codes
  • King Ring Reward Cards (2) is supposed to be able to replace all the plastic reward cards from coffee shops, etc. Haven't gotten it to work so much. (Now used more just to read the number back to the clerk; it just doesn't scan!)
  • Last.fm (4) Stream channels of music, like Pandora
  • Foursquare (3) (Now 4 with potential for 5) Social location-based game and recommendation system. It's cool.
  • NewsRob (5) Auto-syncs with Google Reader. Does not do Starred items well.
  • Greed (Lite) (4) Reads Google Reader feeds - no auto-sync, but does Starred items.
  • Voice Recorder (4) Record voice notes and share them.
  • Meebo IM (2) Hooks into all the major chat networks, including Facebook chat (I won't uninstall this, since it's nice to have)
  • Babbler (5) $ Facebook app. The official FB app (free) might be good enough now, but I'd already bought this. It's cheap and awesome. (This is still awesome, but I haven't checked the official FB app in a while...)
  • Twidroid (5) Twitter app. Awesome. There's a $ version that has more features, but... I don't notice anything missing from the free version. (I have since bought the full version for multiple Twitter account handling)
  • Locale (5) Changes settings on your phone based on time and GPS location. (Sometimes I think that this causes slowdown on the phone, sometimes I don't think that. still loving it, though.)
  • Locale Shortcut Plugin - allows Locale to launch apps as a result of time/location change (I use this to auto-launch the Weather app in the morning! hehe)
  • Contact Owner (5) Shows your contact info on the lock screen. (crucial)
  • OI Safe (4) (now 3; I prefer KeePass and DropBox on a PC to this) A password safe with encryption. Free, but doesn't sync to any desktop version. (Those cost $30.)
  • Pixelpipe Post & Upload (2) (I have to try this again since I got an email saying auto-uploading has been added...)Easy-share of files (audio, video, text, etc.) I like iTook better.
  • iTookThisOnMyPhone (5) AUTO-uploads photos (or videos, if you like) that you take to a location you specify. (not sure if it's my phone, but ever since upgrading to Android 1.6, it doesn't work as well)
  • The Weather Channel (5) Weather. Duh. Really hard to decide between this & WeatherBug.
  • Robotic Guitarist (3) Lots of fun. Try it, if you like or play guitar (still on my phone - still a fun diversion)
  • Google Voice (5) If you have a Google Voice account, install this.
  • Google Listen (5) Podcast app. Free and great.
  • DoggCatcher (5) $ Good, but uninstalled; Google Listen became better
  • Retro Clock Widget (4) I use this instead of the default desktop clock widget mostly because touching the widget brings your right to the alarm settings page. (I will probably never uninstall this)
  • ShopSavvy (4) Instantly search for better prices for any product with a barcode. Great for comparison-shopping in a brick-n-mortar store.
  • OpenTable (2) Make dinner reservations with your phone. Nice, I've used it.
  • CadreBible LE (5) The Bible, best one I've found for Android.
  • DailyStrip (3) Comics reader, shows mostly mainstream comics (has THE MOST comics now)
  • Katawa! (3) Comics reader, shows mostly alternatives.
  • KeepScreen (3) Lock your screen ON when certain apps are running.
  • White Noise Lite (5) Soothing Sound generator (with an auto-shutoff timer)
  • Buddy Runner (5) Records your jogging/running via GPS. I like the results of this better than Google Tracks
  • Google MyTracks (5) Records your GPS activities; jogging, running, cycling, skating, whatever. If you compare with Buddy Runner, you'll see it's missing some really convenient features plus front-end niceties. (BuddyRunner IS still better, but I still have both)
  • Places Directory (or Sherpa or Aloqa) (5) I like Places Directory and Aloqa the best, but they're all similar. Shows what's near you, separated in categories.
  • Astrid Task/Todo List (5) syncs with RememberTheMilk (which then can plug into your Gmail page!) and is a GREAT task manager. (Yeah, still loving this, esp. since embedding RememberTheMilk into my Gmail page)
  • My Maps Editor (Google Maps) (5) Views and edits your saved Google Maps
  • auduaReader (5) Book reader. Really simple interface but if you have your own book files in TXT (and perhaps epub) format, this is the best reader for it.
  • Mobile Defense (5) Remote tracking and control of your phone, if you lose it.
  • FlashCup (5) Just a flashlight. SOoooo nice. (Now 4; see Color Flashlight)
  • Color Flashlight (5) Better than FlashCup
  • Rings Extended (4) Lets you use any audio file as a ringtone/alarm/etc.

Games:
  • Friction Mobile (4) action puzzler. won't give it up.
  • WordUp (4) like Boggle
  • Abduction! (4) Awesome. Cow bouncing, uses accelerometer.
  • Touch! 4Kids (4) This is for toddler-age kids, keeps 'em busy for about 10 minutes.
  • Zebra Paint (4) For 5-8 year olds, easy coloring book app.
  • SpecTrek Light (?) A GPS/ augmented reality game. Haven't tried it yet. (Tried it, and it's fun, but would be MUCH better if I bought the full version, I can tell.)

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Bible study this morning - Lucifer is NOT Satan

>> Thursday, November 05, 2009

http://www.crivoice.org/lucifer.html

Approach with an open heart, if your belief system relies on a god of evil, that is, Satan.

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Disney Photopass prices are insulting to parents

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Disney wants $15 per download of any picture. That's insulting, especially considering that it's LESS expensive to buy a 5x7 print from them ($13). Walt wanted the parks to be a place to enjoy a wonderful day with the family, but the corporation has turned it into a place to rake money from its guests.

in reference to: Disney's PhotoPass - Add some Disney magic to your memories (view on Google Sidewiki)

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Sidewiki Enabled

>> Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hello and welcome to winkyboy.com. This is where I write about pretty much whatever I feel like, which MOST often is related to health, games, family, God, technology, and more -- in no particular order.

As this is going to the blog as well, if you don't have Sidewiki installed, go ahead and do it, then come back here to make your own comments through Google's site-commenting system. Yay to Google for implementing this; many others have created systems like it, but Google is the right company to actually do it.

Since you can also selectively comment on words you highlight, I can finally remove the (usually faulty) Linebuzz code I had on there.

in reference to: Winkyboy.com > Home (view on Google Sidewiki)

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Green: "All Natural" Plastic Pick-up sticks

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

We took a walk over the lunch-hour today and stopped in a local toy store. It's a nice store, the Red Giraffe of Woodbury, MN, as they have a lot of wooden toys. But, like most toy stores or sections of a department store, they stock some junk as well.

I was too shocked to pass this one up... a plastic tube of plastic sticks made to look like wood. The worst thing about it is that it's labeled "All Natural" which of course only lends credence to the fact that the word Natural means absolutely nothing at all in any kind of manufacturing or production sense.

I've seen worse toys, but this is just ... an insult to children and parents. To the children for their legacy. Someone in this world thinks so little of them that they would make plastic replicas of STICKS to be played with, bent and thrown away, or just lost. For the parents, this is yet-another cheaply-produced toy comprised of, again, easily-lost pieces that the parents would spend forever cleaning up.

Made in China.

[Oct '09: I noticed some tweets come through about this page... FYI I've moved my latest health musings to my new site, www.psychiclunch.com (Direct link to this article there)]

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Health: Not So Sweet Martha's

>> Wednesday, September 09, 2009

We went to the State Fair a week ago and while we were there we bought a bucket of Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies, which is almost a requirement of attending the fair. They're not that cheap - $14 for a bucket, although they top those buckets off so high you'd think you were getting two for the price of one. The cookies are, of course, delicious. They're made to taste good.

I was feeling pretty good about the day we were there. We didn't eat too much junk, you see: NO fried foods, or soda pop, and so forth. There were one or two SMALL items that we ate - like a snow cone shared amongst the family or some free ice cream samples from Kemps - that were obviously indulgences, but otherwise we stuck to things whose ingredients were simple: Turkey. Fruit. Water. Nuts.

But now... now, a week later, I feel really, really bad about the Sweet Martha's. Why? Because a couple of days ago, I decided to check out the website for the cookies, hoping to find the ingredients list. Baked goods in America can often be filled with deceptively vile ingredients and I just wanted to find out for sure. I was frustrated to realize that Sweet Martha's does not list their ingredients or nutrition information on their website, like many a food manufacturer. This is a point in itself which could inspire a large rant, but I didn't let it get to me and decided an email request was in order. I got the response a day or two later, and just now finally got around to opening it.

I'm throwing the rest of the cookies away. And now I'm stuck with another plastic container I didn't need. What was I thinking?

---

To save anyone else the time of writing to the company to request this information, here are the ingredients of the cookies:

INGREDIENTS: ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, IRON, NIACIN, POTASSIUM BROMATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN ADDED AS AN EMULSIFIER, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR ADDED), SUGAR, BROWN SUGAR, VEGETABLE SHORTENING (PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OIL), WATER, WHOLE EGG SOLIDS, BAKING SODA, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS. (09/05/06)

If you're accustomed to reading ingredients lists, you'll know instantly that this is practically a purchase order for poor health. If you're unaccustomed to manufacturing tricks, here's what is wrong with this (at least as much as I know):

"Enriched" wheat flour: You might think that "wheat flour" is generally okay for you - but besides the obvious gluten reactions that some may have, the problem is that no food should be enriched. Again, that probably doesn't seem sensible just on the surface; why NOT enrich foods with vitamins and minerals? Because usually the food in question is being enriched because the natural nutrients have already been stripped away by the manufacturing process, and also because the vitamins and minerals often added are nowhere near as good as the naturally-occuring nutrients.

Potassium Bromate: Do. Not. Eat. If you really need to know why, let me just Google that for you: http://bit.ly/1gYqI7

Sugar: It IS only listed three times, at least! But, kidding aside, sugar disrupts your digestive processes so horribly that you should cut it out of your diet as completely as possible. Force yourself to switch to natural replacements (NOT artificials like Splenda).

Soy: Contrary to what soy milk manufacturers may be trying to tell you, soy is, in most forms, NOT good for you. Please learn about it; start with the Whole Soy Story (http://www.wholesoystory.com/). Additionally, soy - like corn - is abusing the land as it is grown in a monocrop fashion, genetically modified and with lots of pesticides.

Vegetable shortening: TRANS FAT.

"Natural" and Artificial Flavors: Who knows what the natural flavors are; after all people everywhere seemingly agree that "natural" means absolutely nothing to food manufacturers. Artificial flavors - that definitely means chemically-created flavors, and you do NOT need added chemicals in your body.

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Politics: Healthcare, or the concept of helping others by force.

>> Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let's say I have money and you have... a broken leg.  It is kind and fair for me to donate money to you to fix that leg.  But is it at all right for you to take the money from me IF I'm just a jerk and don't want to give it? No, because that's stealing. That being said, with the same situation, is it fair for your friends Mack and Jimmy to come take the money from me to fix the broken leg?  Also, no.  That's still stealing, but it's just The Mob doing it.

At what point does it become acceptable to take money from me to fix your leg if I don't want to give it to you?  How many people have to decide that I should, in order for it to be "right"? At what point does it becomes acceptable for one group of people to decide to give another's property to someone else?

As much as you may wish to rationalize healthcare as a concept of everyone needing access to doctors or medicine if they get sick or injured, you cannot overlook the act of taking the money that would pay for these services.

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Games: Pitfall, Art of the Arcade

>> Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Interesting little site, Art of the Arcade, has a picture of Pitfall from back in The Day, and I never realized Harry wasn't wearing any pants...

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Tech: Craiglisting Tips (also for Ebay auctions)

>> Sunday, August 16, 2009

So, I'm starting to place more things on Craigslist and Ebay. I've been loathe to do this because it's really a pain in the butt just to list things. Plus, on Craiglist you (or at least I) seem to get a disproportionate amount of responses saying they'll come buy something and then never show.  (What's with that?)

I'm starting to get a bit of a good system down, but would readily welcome more advice. For anyone else who hasn't even gotten this far, here's what's working for me: First, and foremost, an internet-connected camera. This can be as simple as a phone with a camera and a data plan (or at least Wi-Fi). I take pictures with my phone (which is currently a MyTouch 3G (Android)) and have an application running that automatically uploads the picture to multiple web locations.  I've also had this setup on a Windows Mobile phone before, and I know it's possible with an iPhone and Blackberry, so the gamut is mostly covered.  Here are some great contenders:

Shozu:I was using Shozu on Windows Mobile before, and immediately went to get it for Android when I switched over, but they currently don't have an application for this OS.  I liked it a lot, but in hindsight the setup is not quite as intuitive as the solution I wound up with. However it's good, and reliable.

PixelPipe: Google quickly brought up PixelPipe when I started seeking out alternatives, and I went so far as to shell out the big two dollars for their pro version of the Android app they offer. In my opinion the only thing this one is lacking is the option for automatic posting, and this is the primary reason, to me, to use any application like this.  I want to just snap the picture and have it immediately placed online.  Too bad, because it seems that you can access PixelPipe via far more methods (i.e. Mobile, IM, Picasa, Ubuntu programs, etc.) than any other media-publishing app. (also note the primary difference between their free and pro apps is that with Pro you can upload video.)

I wound up with ITookThisOnMyPhone and think it's absolutely the best.  Not only is it free (though I'd readily pay for it), but it has the automatic uploading of photos that I so desire.  It works consistently, and you can set up privacy-based rules for photo publishing, which is an added bonus. I currently am mostly pushing my photos to PicasaWeb, which I can then from there either download locally or push to Facebook as I choose.  But the labor of getting them off my phone is DONE for me.

So now that I've got the photos of the items to be sold online, I search around for similar items to get a feel of the item's appropriate description and price (sometimes straight-up copying and pasting with a little tweaking, ahem) and then start describing my item.  I use (used) the Firefox plugin "DragDropUpload" which lets you just drop a file from Windows Explorer onto a file upload dialog box - so you never have to click "Browse".  As I write this, it's not compatible with Firefox 3.5 but hopefully that will change soon.

Before I submit the posting, I add some easy contact methods for people that still keep my anonymity: Meebo and Google Voice.  The latter is still not quite open to everyone but that'll change soon, too. By "adding" I mean that I've set up individual HTML pages that contain the widgets provided by these tools.  This way someone can instantly IM me via Meebo, or call me via Google Voice.

Finally, I've set up some filters in Gmail so that anything referring to my Craigslist/Ebay sales will be automatically flagged with a "sales" tag, so that I can keep things organized in my usually-overflowing inbox.

It's working fairly nicely.

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Tech: Android Contacts bug!

>> Saturday, August 15, 2009

So, I have a new Android MyTouch 3G phone and have discovered that I get an occasional error when accessing select contacts in my contact list.  It says, "the process android.process.acore has stopped unexpectedly" - this is a "force quit" type bug and I've tried rebooting the phone, taking the battery out & waiting, deleting & resynching all my contacts... almost nothing has worked. I'm reluctant to do a factory reset, so I just tried deleting and re-ADDing one of the offending contacts.  It works again.  So I guess that's the solution.

I SUSPECT that the problem is probably related to TasKiller, which I was/am using to stop background processes.  I've occasionally noticed something to do about contacts running that I didn't launch, so I stopped its process.  That probably messes things up.  Oh well!  I tweak too much.

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Health: Raw almonds are still not raw

>> Friday, July 31, 2009

Because almonds are one of the most healthy and nutritious nuts, and because in my opinion they make the best-tasting non-dairy milk, I'm personally concerned with the status of raw almonds in America, which is where I live. If you were not aware, since 2007 the USDA has mandated that all almonds be subjected to high temperatures for pasteurization and/or treated with a toxic fumigant before being sold to the public.

The reason for concern over this is that either of these processes makes the almond dead and/or contain a degree of toxicity itself. Besides that health factor, there is also the political aspect to be upset about; here in America which was once the land of the free, you are not even allowed to choose what foods you want to eat. Or more specifically, you may choose whatever you want, but only from the choices some governing official has allowed you to choose from.  Finally, there is also the financial aspect to be upset about; these regulations put heavy financial burdens on almond growers, which are especially difficult for local and small growers to pay. This can cause some of the growers to go bankrupt and does cause the price that you pay at the supermarket to go up.

The Cornucopia institute of Wisconsin has a page which you can use to keep abreast of the latest news in the battle for truly raw almonds: http://www.cornucopia.org/almonds/

In the meantime, you can buy imported, raw almonds from sites such as the Raw Food World; http://www.therawfoodworld.com/product_info.php?products_id=1001588

Always remember: You pay for your health now with higher-quality food, or you pay for your health later, with high-priced doctors.

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Health: Win some healthy salad dressing

>> Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FoodRenegade, Cheeseslave, and KellytheKitchenKop are advertising this contest for some healthy salad dressing from Zukay Live Foods.  I usually make my own raw, organic dressings for our salads, but it's hard to beat these ingredients, people:

http://www.foodrenegade.com/win-a-free-case-of-salad-dressing/

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Vaccine Fillers and Ingredients

>> Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From Dr Mercola: (Apologies to Dr Mercola; I provide the link, but I really hate "optional yet mandatory" subscribe popups thus I also provide the content)

(Also credit @JadeSylver for passing it along)

In addition to the viral and bacterial RNA or DNA that is part of the vaccines, here are the fillers:

aluminum hydroxide
aluminum phosphate
ammonium sulfate
amphotericin B
animal tissues: pig blood, horse blood, rabbit brain,
dog kidney, monkey kidney,
chick embryo, chicken egg, duck egg
calf (bovine) serum
betapropiolactone
fetal bovine serum
formaldehyde
formalin
gelatin
glycerol
human diploid cells (originating from human aborted fetal tissue)
hydrolized gelatin
monosodium glutamate (MSG)
neomycin
neomycin sulfate
phenol red indicator
phenoxyethanol (antifreeze)
potassium diphosphate
potassium monophosphate
polymyxin B
polysorbate 20
polysorbate 80
porcine (pig) pancreatic hydrolysate of casein
residual MRC5 proteins
sorbitol
sucrose
thimerosal (mercury)
tri(n)butylphosphate,
VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells
washed sheep red blood cells



Dr. Mercola's Comments:

And you thought you were just getting a viral vaccine. In many cases the vaccine additives are far more toxic than the viral component. This is particularly true for thimerosal which is mercury.

Many will say that thimerosol is not in the vaccines any more. Well last summer Congress "strongly recommended" that the Pharmaceutical Company take the thimerosol out of vaccines....it was not mandated; simply recommended. The drug companies were not told to take the existing lots off the market. The recommendations only applies to new product line manufacture. An unknown amount of vaccine was/is still on the shelves.

Now the twist:

Yes, the new vaccines are supposed to be thimerosal-free, but I'm not sure that they are. In addition, it is unknown when you get a vaccination if you are getting a "new lot" or an "old lot." It is unknown exactly when the new thimerosal-free vaccines went into effect and were available in the market. In addition, if you were vaccinated with an old lot, or vaccinated previous to last summer, you got a dose of the mercury.

NOW the 'big marketing push" for vaccines, in 6 color glossy is "this vaccine is THIMEROSAL-FREE!!!!"....as if they had no idea before last summer that mercury was a problem. And, in response to "YOUR CONCERNS (even tho unfounded), oh faithful followers, we are making a new, and safe vaccine."


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Health: a quick note about corn

>> Wednesday, June 10, 2009

By avoiding corn, you avoid a typically genetically-modified product. But corn is so pervasive in our society that in order to NOT eat it, you have to be on the lookout for these ingredients, among others:

cellulose, xylitol, calcium stearate, ethyl lactate, maltodextrin, saccharin, xanthan gum, gluten, sucrose, sorbitol, ethel acetate, high fructose corn syrup, citrus cloud emulsion, citric acid, ascorbic acid, di-glycerides, baking powder, fructose, sorbic acid, vanilla extract, starch

It's easier, and better, to just NOT BUY any processed foods.  Don't go to fast food restaurants - or most chain restaurants for that matter, and stay out of the center of grocery stores.  And while you're shopping at a grocery, try avoiding anything that comes with plastic around it - including the boxes with plastic liners.  Those are typically industrially-produced foods and should be avoided anyway.  In doing all this, you will be choosing nourishment and not suicide.

sources:
http://twitter.com/Jambutter/status/2098720062
http://twitter.com/realfood2health/status/2099539956

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UT2004: SeaPack v007 is available

>> Friday, May 15, 2009

Being the most forgetful developer ever, I have failed to get around to posting this for, oh, a month or so. Someone popped up in Meebo the other day and chatted with me about it, which got me to finish compiling the zip file and upload it. I never got to finish the discussion with him, and I hope he comes back to see that I realized I left ONE file out of the batch. Sorry about that! But, the zip was updated and is now available to everyone for downloading. I've just got it on my public DropBox, so here's the link. (This was tested on a rather-fresh installation of UT2004.) (or try it from ModDB)

Basically, this updates most of the maps by adding in my very own vehicle, the SeaBass. Essentially it's not a WHOLE lot different than what's already available to the SeaPack, but in a different shape. Kinda like how 8-bit games add enemies by changing them from red to blue, y'know? OH yes and also: My completely-underwated Onslaught map, ONS-DeepSix, is in here. It's freaking huge and took me a REALLY, REALLY long time to create so I hope someone out there enjoys it. If you do, please please PLEASE tell me because it's about all the reward I'll get for putting so much time into it. It's a bit too big for my usual crowd of LAN players to get into (they don't play Onslaught much and we don't even get together that often anymore), so ... well, here's hoping it's well-received.

-WB

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Health: Food, Inc.

>> Monday, April 27, 2009

I went to see Food, Inc. last night was really good, informative, and upsetting (of course) all at the same time.  The showing was sold out and the audience applauded at the end. This is a movie that everyone - EVERYONE - should watch and learn from. 

The moral is that it REALLY matters whether you buy local and organic foods or not.  Our LIVES are being destroyed so that we can collectively buy food at a slightly cheaper price.  It's a vicious circle from which the only way out is to grit your teeth and buy the slightly-more-expensive groceries.   STOP buying processed foods. They are laded with chemicals and preservatives that, while they make the food cheap, they also lead to poor health.They destroy our environment.  Think you're green?  Not if you buy a hamburger. 

Whatever we do — no matter how tight our pocket books — we must not support these operations with our food dollars. - Food Renegade.

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Politics: Miss California, Perez Hilton, and free speech

>> Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mass media has given rise to "supported hate" speech, which follows free speech around like a guard dog, and it picks the sensational stories to empower its positions.  The internet, through social media channels, enables relatively anonymous groups to also become political bullies, further agitating the free speech landscape by making it appear - at least to themselves - like the issue lies more in their court than it may really be.  With such a climate, people should better apparently keep their opinions to themselves if they have any kind of gain to be had from the public.

So, Miss California supports traditional marriage.  Right.  What we need to be doing here is chastening those who demonize their opponents, as in this case Perez Hilton has done.  He asked her a politically-motivated, self-serving, and redundant question to which she responded with nervousness and honesty as she failed to actually answer.  But in reviewing this situation, we should not forget that Americans do not have, and never have had, the right to not be offended. Instead of slewing epithets toward Miss California, Hilton should simply say, "well, that's her opinion."  He could have responded by saying, "Y'know, when you're not used to being in the spotlight answering politically loaded questions, it's probably understandable that she reverted back to her personal opinions about the subject at hand."  He could just say he disagrees with her. But then, that's not what he gets paid to do, and he is comfortable being loud and grabbing attention while she is not.

Yes, the answer Perez gave in his video response immediately after the show is the proper answer to his question.  It's the only acceptable answer to his question, if you think about it - which he obviously had, of course.  But to laugh at her and call her a stupid B---- because of her answer is not the right thing to do.  Free speech must reign, Hilton needs to grow up, and we all need to be more understanding and forgiving.

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Bible: 1 Cor 1:18 ... the Bible is foolish...

>> Tuesday, April 21, 2009


... to those who can't understand it. You can see this all the time on pages such as the Atheist subreddit. They absolutely love to pick the Bible apart, piece by piece - never questioning once that what they're reading might not even be a proper translation... never questioning what they THINK they know about the Bible. But to those who earnestly open their heart to understanding, it will be given to them.

Link:http://bible.christiansunite.com/search.cgi?version=all&search=blessing&passage=1Co 1:18&from=gadget

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TV: Heroes "Cold Snap" next day reaction

>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spoilers, if you have watched it --

Let's see... What the crap happened to Sylar being in the Hunter's apartment?  I was expecting to see something come of that.  And how did Doyle wind up there, gift-wrapped?  Are these two issues related, and if so, how the heck did the two find each other again?  Last we knew, Rebel was looking out for Doyle who just wanted to get out of the game.  Frustrating plot discrepancy, I say.

Secondly, how in the world did Peter find Angela?  Seriously, was he just following her around all day or something?  Tracing her cellphone?  Okay MAYBE Rebel pointed him to her... we'll give 'em that.

In general, I really liked this episode.  Daphne dies.  Okay, sad, but still poignantly good. not pointless like Elle.  Matt needed to stop fixating on her (oh and I totally knew his flying was a mind game).  Shows need to be able to kill off good guys AND bad guys for it to be in the ballpark of the believeable realm.

Micah is rebel, after all.  Lots of speculation going on about this... and I personally don't really like it.  He's able to know far too much for someone who can just control computers.  He's been able to see things and react to them much more than someone with such a talent should.  But oh well.  It'll be good to finally have him in a more active role.  Of course, who knows, they might just go back to having him be a bunch of text messages.  Personally, I still think it would have been MUCH better if Rebel were Hannah - the airwaves gal back from season one who became a computer "virus".  Yeah, they "killed her off" in the graphic novels, but IMHO they didn't; she should have been backed up and restored right along with all the other data in the computers that blew up.  Anyway, back to the episode.

Tracy, dead?  No, of course not.  I knew that even before she froze herself, because I read that the actress, Ali Larter, won't be leaving the show any time soon.  Plus the wink gives it away.

OH.  Ando's power now zaps as well?  Okay, maybe it always did that... maybe they just felt sorry for him.  They certainly could have been taking better advantage of his power.

Allrighty.  Back at it.  P.S. the graphic novel this week was a big advertisement for Nissan's cube, whatever the crap that is.

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Sorbitol Sweetener: Is It Safe?

>> Friday, February 27, 2009


I constantly see sorbitol listed as an ingredient for things and can never remember anything significant about it. I always have the feeling that it isn't all that bad, but it's not something I would choose either. This article seems to back that concept up. In a nutshell it's a sugar-derived sweetener. It occurs naturally but the form manufacturers use as an ingredient is created artificially. It does have fewer calories than regular sugar and is metabolized more slowly, but could cause digestion problems. I will continue to generally avoid it, which is easy for me because I don't like chewing gum or mints which is where sorbitol is used most.

Link:http://www.healthmad.com/Nutrition/Sorbitol-Sweetener-Is-It-Safe.426699

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Proverbs 14:22

>> Monday, February 23, 2009


Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find [a] love and faithfulness. ---- This is very comforting, and it ties into other verses in the Bible that support the idea of our God wanting us to do things for ourselves; those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness because they ARE love and faithfulness, and that will generate more of the same.

Link:http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?version=31&search=Proverbs%2014:22

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Taxes or theft?

>> Monday, February 02, 2009

A little something I read today:

[ If any random person came to your door and demanded five thousand dollars so he could use it for his own purposes (say, giving it to poor people), you'd probably consider him to be a lunatic. If he drew a gun and threatened you, you'd consider him a dangerous lunatic thief. The only difference between this person and an IRS agent is that we don't scream "thief!" when an IRS agent does the exact same thing, because, through indoctrination, takeover of many parts of society and sheer threats of force, government is given more legitimacy than a common thief. ]

Government is stepping farther and farther outside of its bounds every single day. Just because a charming, new voice has stepped up to the microphone doesn't mean anything has changed. Power corrupts - never forget that.

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Health: IntraMax - Organic Liquid Vitamins

>> Wednesday, January 21, 2009



I've tried this stuff. I believe it's the best liquid vitamin you'll be able to find out there, however at $80 per bottle, it's kinda off the scale of affordability. This is the only liquid vitamin that has really tasted good, for what that's worth. Usually you have to just get used to the taste, but I recall this was good. Global Healing Center also gets the thumbs-up from NaturalNews, a site I well respect.

Alternatively, there's the Peter Gillham brand (http://snipurl.com/aief7) They're pretty good but I did once react to the niacin (vitamin B3) in there. That could happen to anyone with any vitamin mix, though. The taste is okay, and I feel good about the quality. Incidentally, that CALM product they sell here is awesome. It's essentially magnesium, of course, but it WORKS.

Finally, we often buy the Buried Treasure brand, and we get it from VitaCost (http://snipurl.com/aieo9). It's a good price, generally good quality, and tolerable taste.

http://www.ghchealth.com/liquid-vitamin-mineral-intramax.php

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Politics: Between HIS lines

>> Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama said, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified."
What a pleasant way of telling you to freaking mind your own business how big the government gets -- let them do what they want with whatever socialist programs they create.  Listen, people: Government is NOT there to provide you a job and health care.  Those are NOT basic rights.  Get up off your butt and get yourself your own job.  Provide for your own.

He said, "We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
Ohhh, listen to that.  "We will begin to leave" ... you know how many times you can BEGIN something?  I may seem the pessimist here, but I will bet you a good solid nickel that in four years we will STILL have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or wherever else they feel like sending the troops.  And that "forge a hard-earned peace" thing?  Yeah, that's a deceptive way of saying they'll use whatever force they feel necessary to "defeat them".  Don't overlook the fact that he is using VERY VAGUE WORDING when talking about military status. 

About his comment, "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers," please compare and contrast that statement to "United we stand, divided we fall". 

Obama says the same thing about the "New World Order" that Bush originally did.  It will exist whether the people of the United States want it or not.  He said, "To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it."  Your hard-earned dollars ARE going to be taken from you and distributed without regard for your wishes.  This is called THEFT even when done in the name of "good".  And remember that when government gets involved, things like this hardly even work;  it can't even clean up a hurricane in our own country, let alone build or rebuild other nations.

It's hilarious that he calls on God whenever he needs it, "This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny."  Don't forget that he PROBABLY doesn't believe in your God.  Don't forget that he already believes that no religion matters - else why would he claim a patchwork heritage strength?  These are words said to make you feel good.  (Unless of course you're an atheist; apparently his speech-writer forgot about them again for a moment.  Whatever.  Go with it.) 

Obama says all his words to make you feel good without realizing how much money it's going to take from your pocket.  Good luck, America.  You're REALLY going to need it.


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The taxman cometh? IRS urged to tax virtual worlds, economies

>> Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The taxman cometh? IRS urged to tax virtual worlds, economies

Something needs to be said something along the lines of "First ones up against the wall" or such...

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Bible: 3rd John 1:4; wise children

>> Saturday, January 03, 2009


It's the best thing one can hope for, that one's children know and love our God. I can envision the marvelous-ness of living with that knowledge.

Link:http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=3%20John%201:4;&version=31;

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