Friday, June 21, 2013

Mindfulness solstice

Taking advantage of the longest day of the year to practice mindfulness.  How one does that in a sea of people in Times Square, in one of the busiest cities in the world, one can only imagine.  But then why not that? Why not New York City?

And around the world, June 21st is celebrated, welcomed, viewed in a variety of ways.

Today is summer solstice which occurred, actually, at 5:04 am utc (which was at 12:04am in Nebraska, I believe??). To think, I was awake during the solstice and didn't even realize it.  Having access to information and attempting to digest it one day at a time. So what is the solstice? Get informed. Some say "knowledge is power", but i say "knowledge enlivens, invigorates, and gives meaning to life".  Selah.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Owl City...lyrical talent

Here is an example of Owl City with a interesting lyrics presentation/ it!

Owl City dispensing hope

Owl City

Really enjoy listening to the lyrical word play of this artist.  Love it!  and so easy to sing along, catchy tunes that make me think and smile!  He gives me hope that maybe someday I will find the right outlet for the artist held captive within!

Friday, May 24, 2013

No Words Needed

No words needed indeed.  Music is, has, and hopefully will remain my inspiration, my balm of Gilead, my heart and mind grateful I am for the gift of hearing such beauty.

This video created by Timescapes captures this healing music piece so!

My favorite music channel on Pandora these days is Classicals for Studying and it is introducing me to phenomenal musicians.  My refuge when I am so utterly frustrated with life (and myself).

Enjoy!  Sometimes When It Rains by Secret Garden

Friday, March 29, 2013

In the know-guns, retail, and tech

In the know from Marketplace, Democracy Now, and Q with Jian Ghomeshi -

Renewed discussion about curbing violence and legislating use of weapons

With the recent disclosure of investigative material following the Newtown Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, rhetoric and tensions are once again in the public eye.

Lanza used 30-round magazines to fire 154 times at Sandy Hook, killing 26 people in less than five minutes.

The opinions vary, and despite the annoyance of allowing emotion to impact our conclusions, emotion (outrage, actually!) calling out for change would be and IS a natural reaction in the aftermath (and continual reminders to family members of the slain) from mass murders such as the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Walmart is facing stiff competition these days from on-line companies such as How will companies such as Walmart compete with their on-line competition?

Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, says Walmart may be thinking customer couriers would be faster than Amazon.

“The whole retail industry is shifting towards mobile and on-line purchases and probably felt like they’ve gotten a late start,” Perkins says.

So they have to get creative….thinking outside their big box.

What will this every expanding trend towards “on-line shopping” do to the local grocer, the big box store, the mall?  Is the physical retail store facing extinction?

I have to wonder, though, about all the folks who can’t afford computers in their homes, if the numbers of stores dwindle.  Most people despite economic standing do seem to have access to mobile phones with internet access these days. If nothing else, someplace to go other than home…to shop, meet up with friends, or just hang out…will continue to appeal to teens and young adults still living at home with their parents.  Seems to me the retail stores may want to think seriously about how to draw in and hang on to this crowd in the not-so-distant future.   Maybe consider live entertainment in shopping centers?!

Blackberry is back “in” and making money with the Z10 phone.  Sales have recently reached the $1,000,000 mark.  This is really about the new operating system Blackberry10 from RIM. 

How will theZ10 compete with the iphone and all the other mobile rivals?  Will it be the ease of the interface and its multi-tasking ability, the ease of social networking, emailing and texting?  The reviews are out there.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's next?

Wednesday, 032713

The Supreme Court is currently presiding over United States vs Windsor-where Edith Windsor had to pay a real estate tax after the death of her partner. This does not happen for married couples because of the unlimited marital deduction.  Edith Windsor believes she and her partner should have had the same rights. There are considerable financial benefits of marriage and same sex couples want these benefits. Not having their unions recognized as marriage costs extra money for same sex couples in a myriad of ways from insurance to tax deductions. The Supreme Court will be determining whether the Defense of Marriage act is unconstitutional.  Depending on the outcome, financial benefits could be extended to same sex couples residing in nine states that recognize and allow for gay marriage.

Panera bread is allowing people to pay what they want for select food items and then the money goes to hunger relief charity. 60% pay the recommended amount, 20% pay more, 20% pay less or nothing.  This charity program allows Panera bread customers the opportunity to do the right thing, like giving to a charity and they can then do so through Panera Bread.  

Banks in Cyprus have reopened after a two week closure following the financial meltdown and bailout. Cyprus was long known as a destination for money launderers and being involved in the  sandwich business. Due to the crisis and taxation following the bailout in Cyprus, money launderers may be avoiding this tax shelter and looking to others instead. Tax evasion often ends up in Swiss accounts, the Caribbean isles, London and Frankfurt, Germany. 

Internet surfing may be somewhat sluggish this week because…currently there is a cyberspat going on: two companies are squabbling. Cyberbunker and Spamhaus. Spamhaus is a volunteer run non-profit, self appointed internet spam police has accused Cyberbunker of including spammers in its net.  So Cyberbunker is on the defense and reportedly retaliating by attacking the architecture of the Internet by sending out immense amounts of disguised data. Figuring out who's to blame when internet surfing slows down, though, is next to impossible.

In twenty five years 1 billion people will be living in Chinese cities.  Population of Chinese cities is growing because of a government urbanization program.  But life and work in Chinese cities can be monotonous and overwhelming, so…some young Chinese adults are bucking this trend and are moving back to rural china for personal peace and fulfillment.  This relocation allows them access to creative types and an entrepreneurial spirit.  Many are starting their own businesses.

Dodger stadium is undergoing a restoration. The architect in charge of the renovation (a female, Janet Marie Smith) wants to make the stadiums more family friendly.

Government has discussed cutting costs by furloughing employees. But this may be too hard to schedule, so some offices, such as the Housing Department, will just close an entire department for a week or more between now and August 30th.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When is change too much, too soon?

Tuesday, 032613
Big picture economic indicators-some positives
Us home prices up.
Durable goods up.

check out Ask Maggie - interesting commentary
Finish paying off phone and cost of wireless access goes down.
Are people willing to pay upfront for phones?

Spotify listen to music for free-subscription fee of $10 for music w/out ads.

Rule on planes – shutting off wireless devices is under review-no evidence that planes aren't affected by these devices-passengers question the necessity and evidence behind this rule and want this rule changed.

Congress is out of town for the next couple weeks.
Tax reform will take cooperation from both parties.

Attorneys exaggerating their billable hours.
Lawyers billing $300-1000 per billable hour.

Bigbook blog check this out!

Safety nets-safety nets made of nylon for trapeze artists.
Safety nets are to ensure survival…funding for safety nets for the basic homeowner/worker comes from taxes.
It is important to nudge people out of safety nets.
Richard Burkhauser, the economist from Cornell, said getting people out of the metaphoric safety net is important, too.  He applauds the welfare reforms of the 1990s that emphasized work incentives and put time limits on many forms of cash assistance.  He says other programs could benefit from similar changes.
"It nudged people in to the workforce, which is what society expected of them” said Burkhauser.
The submerged state…tax deductions for homeowners and for those who can save money. People benefit from a wealth of assets to provide a safety net.
In the same way, government safety net programs can also be invisible, said Suzanne Mettler, author of "The Submerged State."
Mettler says many tax credits and deductions are actually social policies in disguise, which are designed so that they "obscure government's role in helping people out to do particular things."
Marketplace wants to know..."what is your safety net?"

Cool gadgets-greatest hoodie ever made-American Giant forced to make change before they were ready-termed catastrophic success-$79.00 for hoodie

Winter Olympics in Russia worried about having adequate amounts of snow for the 2014 Olympics due to unusually warm weather so Russia is storing snow now, which will cost $11 million.