Monday, January 29, 2007

eMoneyCentral - your guide to finding a high yield savings account

If you have been a family caregiver for very long (a week? lol) then you no doubt know that having an emergency reserve of money is important. The best way to build that is to have a high yield savings account, but how do you find the best one - particularly if you are looking for one online?

eMoneyCentral has information on high yield savings accounts and reports on which ones are the best. I checked eMoneyCentral out and found immediate information on not just the highest yields, but also bank promotions. They also have a section on the front page that shows you what the bonuses at various banks are for opening a checking account with them and great rates for local banks and credit unions displayed by state. And if I can find listings for three banks here in Alaska, then I am sure that you can find them wherever in the US that you live. ;-)

This post was sponsored by

Help! I need podcast ideas

I'm looking for ideas on what people want me to cover in my first Family C.A.R.E. podcast that I am working on, so if you have a suggestion please drop a comment here or e-mail me at carecast [*at*] Thanks (no spaces and replace [*at*] with @. Thank you!

I am scripting it out and plan to recored at least two or three before I take the final leap of no return into actually launching this sucker, so send me all the suggestions and ideas you can on what you think would make a good Family Caregiver podcast (radio program).

Garden style bouquets vs European style bouquets

Does your loved one, or you, like to keep a very tidy looking room that has a look of classical elegance to it that simply does not lend itself to the eclectic style of a classic garden bouquet such as those found in most floral arrangements? Still want to be able to have a bouquet of flowers on the top of the dresser?

Beyond Blossoms has the perfect answer for that. The European style bouquet. These are eye catching arrangements that feature a complementary mix of flowers and greens in matching colors to create a more sophisticated look than a typical “garden” style bouquet. In the careful arrangement of the European style bouquet you can appreciate each flower’s beauty and elegance without having a bouquet that is too "busy" and disrupts the tranquility of a carefully decorated bedroom.

This post is sponsored by Beyond Blossoms

And contemplating caregiver videos

Something else that I am working on is caregiver videos. Short commercial length videos that visually address issues and concerns that affect caregivers and care recipients. For some of these I want to help convey things about caregiving, such as demonstrating the proper way to help someone into and out of a car or how a gate belt works, others I plan to be awareness videos that can show others just what a caregiver is and what they do.

Again, any and all suggestions are welcome either in comments here or via e-mail.

Contemplating Caregiver Podcasts

I'm considering creating a podcast to compliment this blog adn the accompanying website. Something that is kind of a radio program format that anyone can download whenever they want and listen to. At the moment I am considering answering frequently asked questions about caregiving, giving information on various concerns that caregivers have and including quiet peaceful bits of music or nature sounds. What does anyone think? Would that be of interest to you? Would you suggest changes in the podcast content? Any and all input is greatly welcomed either in a comment here or by e-mailing me.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Flowers to help caregivers [sponsored post]

Lovely bouquets of field fresh flowers should not be reserved only for your significant other and certainly should not be given only on Valentine's day. You can send flowers to anyone that is special to you. Your parents, the sibling that takes care of your parents, your spouse that takes care of their elderly family member, the elderly family member or spouse that you provide care for.

Heck, send a bouquet of flowers to your senator for Valentine's day and ask them to support the Family Caregiver Security Act. Can you imagine what enough bouquets of flowers delivered to the capitol could do to help them see that family caregivers deserve their notice?

Whether ordering them for your sweetheart, care recipient, or senator, it is easy to shop for lovely bouquets at Dot Flowers and you can choose either same day delivery from your local floral shop with Florist Direst or you can purchase field fresh flowers from Dot Flowers' growers' farms and have them delivered anywhere in the United States.

This post is sponsored by Dot Flowers

Caregiver Burnout

The following definition for what caregiver burnout is comes from Web MD

Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude -- from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able -- either physically or financially. Caregivers who are "burned out" may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones.

If this sounds familiar to you, *please* do not wait, seek help from support groups and other programs that can help caregivers.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cash Advance Loans even with Bad Credit [Paid advertisement]

Are you looking for information on a Personal Loan, perhaps you need money to help build a new wheel chair ramp that can support the weight of a powered wheel chair? Need to install a more easily accessed tub or shower in the bathroom?

I know when I wanted to get my laptop computer last year it was not easy, until I found a place that let me get it without a credit check. If you have bad credit it can be hard to get a loan most places, but you can get a Bad Credit Personal Loan from places like Payday cash Advnace Loans. As them about how you can get an Unsecured Personal Loan to help you with your financial needs.

This post is a paid advertisement for Payday cash Advance Loans

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Air ambulance service - anyone know anything about these guys?

Anyone have any experience with Aero Care?

A description of what the service is taken from their website:
AeroCare Air Ambulance Service offers 24 hour emergency and non-emergency ambulance services throughout the world. Our philosophy is to provide out patients with the highest level of aero medical care including medivac services at the most cost effective price. This commitment to quality and cost effectiveness is delivered by combining the talents of our highly trained medical flight crews, our safety and service oriented Flight Crews, and a quality driven management team dedicated to treating each of our patients as if they were members of our own family.
Their FAQ says that many insurance plans cover them, and they look to me like a good idea for caregivers traveling with their care recipients to know about since their FAQ states:
What type of patients' require an air ambulance?

Patients that need to be transported distances over 200 miles and require medical attention and/or are unable to tolerate sitting upright in an airliner. AeroCare typically transports patients injured while on vacation needing to be flown home, patients with serious medical conditions needing transportation to a distant medical center that has capabilities unavailable locally, chronically ill patients who want to relocate closer to family members, and patients who are travelling outside the US and become ill or injured requiring evacuation back to the states.
So if anyone has any experience with these guys, please, let us know what you thought of their service and if you would recommend it to other family caregivers.

"Like sands through the hourglass, so go the days of our lives..."

Okay, even if you are not a soap junkie (I certainly ain't) you know where that's from. Right? Days of our Lives is, I think, probably among the most recognized daytime soaps there is. And I may not have got the wording on that exact, but I know you recognized it even if I didn't.

My aunt and uncle were soap addicts. They set their recorder to record every episode of Days of Our Lives and my aunt talked about the characters as if they were real people living somewhere. I admit to having watched General Hospital, but only for a few months to see what happened with the guy stuck snowed in in the ski lodge with the broken leg that didn't want his fiancee to know he was alive until he was a whole man again. Or something like that.

If you love soaps, such as Days of Our Lives, then would like to invite you to check out their site and get the latest news, updates and cast information. A must visit site for any true fan that wants to stay abreast of what is happening on the show and even includes a section with spoilers and a message board so you can talk to others about the show.

This post was sponsored by

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nursing Home Prisoner video

Okay, I am not sure on this fellow's motivation for his lengthy and vehement protest of nursing homes, but I have to say, he has a lot of things to say about it that are true. I've seen the places, seen what the nurses do when they think the family is not looking, and dislike them. I found the below video on YouTube and, as I said, although I don't know his story or anything on why he's so outspoken for his mother's situation, I find a scarily lot of truth in what he's saying and think that anyone that is still thinking that nursing homes are good places should watch this. And if you're still thinking they're good places I'll show you some of the videos I found that I was afraid to watch that were tagged "nursing home abuse"...

Teens and Trucks [paid post]

Did you know that most car-truck related crashes are reported to occur as a result of the failure of the driver of the car to observe the proper rules of traveling near large trucks?, whose online marketplace caters to both consumers and car insurance companies, and offers consumers online car insurance rate from many insurance companies, sponsors this post to let you know about the brocure that Geico and the American Moving and Storage Association have made to help be sure that your teens know the proper etiquette when they are sharing the road with larger vehicles such as trucks and buses.

Every parent should read and share with their teenager the free online brochure Teens and Trucks that talks about 5 ways that your teen can be safer when they are on the road with large trucks and buses.


Preceding is a paid post sponsored by

Comfort Keepers - kewl video on caregivers (not family ones, but nice video anyway)

I was browsing around YouTube videos for Work at Home videos and decided to try a search for "caregiver" - I was surprised by how many I was finding but this one caught my eye:

I know that not everyone can be there for their parents like I can, and in-home care such as that offered by Comfort Keepers is, in my opinion, a better alternative than a retirement home. (Yes I am biased against retirement homes, just in case you have not yet realized that.)

Anyway, I like their video there, so I decided that I would share it with other family caregivers and tell you where to find their website. It's - Comfort Keepers

The Complete Eldercare Planner by Joy Loverde

At the time I am writing this, gives The Complete Eldercare Planner 5 out of 5 stars based on 52 customer reviews.

336 pages thick, says that the The Complete Eldercare Planner is purchased by 73% of the people that look at the book's page. Customers that have left feedback say things such as: "Concrete Plan of Action", "Overwhelming Help in a crisis time of need", "helps me enormously", "I give this book to my clients" (a family law attorney), "Buy a copy of the book for every sibling"

In fact, there were only two review that were not praising the book and they still gave it 3 stars each - and one of them was, in my opinion, SPAM because out of 21 reviews the woman had made, 17 were posted on the comment sections for books on eldercare and were blatantly using the comment area to endorse a book by another writer. I didn't bother checking what the other person (who was also endorsing someone else's book) had said on other reviews they had made)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Paid Advertisement - Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery

A lot of people go in for a little nip tuck lipo, particularly in Beverly Hills, rather or not they will ever admit to it.

That is, I suppose, what has brought on the appearance of a boutique-like plastic surgery office that sits alongside the luxurious shops, spas, and clothiers of Rodeo Drive. Yes, the offices of a Los Angeles Cosmetic Surgery style plastic surgeon nestled in amidst businesses like Armani, Chanel, and Hugo Boss.

The Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery medical center stands ready to nip and tuck and lift whatever flabby part anyone is too laxy to exercise to get rid of. Some will say that there is a certain flab that is left over from rapid weight loss that must be nipped and tucked, but I've seen weight loss sites that say that if you just continue with the exercises your skin will loose the fatty tissue that left it stretched and loose and tighten up for you, so I would definitely try that before I let anyone hack at me with a knife.

And, assuming you are not interested in waiting and want that skin nipped now, well, then after you have been nipped, tucked, and lipoed, you can get a whole you makeover that includes new hairstyle, new clothes, makeup and whatever else you require to look great because Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery has an arrangement with a number of the health, beauty and fashion experts on the street to provide services to his customers.

Me, I'd never consider letting someone go after me with a knife unless it was a lifesaving operation, but there are some that just can't go without having things lifted here and tucked in there.

The preceding is a paid advertisement for Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery

Time for another blood test for coumadin

Blood testing time again. Seems like the vampires are always after my dad. I don't understand why they can't make an at home testing machine for coumadin levels that is like the blood sugar checkers for diabetics. You could even have it upload to a computer so you can send the results to the doctor's office.

My theory - it has not been done because then the doctors no longer make $150 a visit to poke a guy with a needle and watch a machine spit out a number in under a minute. Takes about ten minutes to take dad's coumadin level count, pulse, and blood pressure. With a home blood pressure and pulse deal (like he already has) and a machine to test the coumadin level ourselves we could save a 3 hour trip to the doctor (not counting the 2 hours it takes to get dad ready or whatever length of time is spent in the waiting room).

But then if the doctor can see 6 patients an hour and charge $150 a pop to take their coumadin level that makes the doctor's office $900.00 an hour just for poking someone with a needle and taking their blood pressure, huh?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

eBay typo search [paid post]

I've been hunting trying to get my dad one of those hemi walker things on eBay. Those are the walker things that go to one side and can be used as kind of a cross between a walker and a cane by people with bad balance and only one arm. Still requires stand by assistance and he can only go like from his wheel chair to his bed etc using it, but I want to get him one still.

Anyway, I was asked to talk about a search assist deal that lets you search by not the word you are looking for, but by possible typo variations of that word. Top eBayers know that most of the best deals are to be found in eBay typos on the entries, it is these Ebay Misspellings that makes the bidding stay low on some things because the misspelled entries are harder for people to locate.

Now you can search eBay and check out the possible variations of a word in moments without having to guess how it might be miss spelled.

The preceding post was paid for by

Doctors playing cover your backside?

We got a call the other morning from one of the doctors at the hospital's ER. I've never before heard of an ER doctor calling to do a follow up check up on someone that had been in the ER. It seems that he wanted to make sure that my dad was going to be okay and was apparently not very believing of my mom when she said that he was. She pointed out that his regular doctor ran the tests over again and compared them to ones from 7 years ago and they are nearly identical, the ER doctors just don't know my dad.

He expressed concern about his eye (sounded from what I heard on this end that he thought she was not comprehending things or something), she tried to tell him that his eyesight was slowly correcting itself on its own and he apparently all but called her insane.

I'm not sure just what it is with some doctors, I've met more than my share of them, that think the caregiver is incompetent and don't know anything about the person they are caring for. One of the ER doctors (not the one that called) had been pissed that my mom would not bring in Hospice Care to take care of dad for "the week he might still live" - My dad's regular doctor is apparently still spitting nails mad about that.

I guess it's just a good thing we found him a good doctor that likes him rather than him having one of those crackpots that insist he can't beat the odds.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Bingo - Party Bingo [sponsored post]

Bingo. You think of little old ladies sitting at tables in the church basement with large markers in their hands listening to numbers being called off. Right? (or maybe you think of a farmer's dog)

No matter what you think of when you hear the word bingo, chances are you have heard of it. It is most often associated with the older generation. Senior citizens at the church or senior center for bingo night. Social groups hold bingo games to help raise funds, casinos have large rooms dedicated to bingo, it has even made it onto the Internet right alongside popular casino gambling games.

What makes it so popular? Probably the challenge of hunting for randomly drawn numbers on the card combined with the thrill of getting a bingo and the chance to win something. Then there's always the fun of being able to shout out BINGO! I doubt if online bingo will replace the standard games, but I do think that it will find a following in those who can not make it to places where bingo is played or who want to be able to play the game at any time rather than only when there is a game held locally.


This post was sponsored by PartyBingo
Family C.A.R.E. does not necessarily endorse the linked to website.

How to write to congress

I found some good places to look if you need information on the best way to write to congress about issues that affect family caregivers.

First, a link on a page at Congress that helps you find your representative. (Ask them to support bills that can benefit family caregivers, or, if they already support one or more such bills, thank them for supporting that specific bill.)

Writing a letter to congress This is a page by WEB Now and looks to me like it gives good informaiton.

How to Write Letters to Congress - - is always a good resource for information on things.

Grassroots toolkit - more information on writing to congress and includes a sample letter for their cause that will help you see how others approach getting their own causes seen by their representatives.

Sample letter, okay, so it's for issues that affect the Internet, but I think it's always good to have some idea of what others say to try and get attention drawn to their causes so I am linking to it here.

Hand delivered letters to congress Charges $8.95 for any letter to Congress.

That should do it for now, I'll let you know if I find more information. Remember, it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, so it can't hurt to send a few squeaks at congress asking them to please help family caregivers and support bills that would benefit the family caregiver.

Members of the Committee of Ways and Means

You've seen me grousing about the Committee of Ways and Means. They are the guys that have the Family Caregiver Security Act, and other bills that would benefit family caregivers, tangled up. Well, if you have a desire to write them and ask what is going on with these bills I have found information on contacting them.

Members of the 110th Congress
Charles B. Rangel, NY Chairman
Fortney Pete Stark, CA
Sander M. Levin, MI
Jim McDermott, WA
John Lewis, GA
Richard E. Neal, MA
Michael R. McNulty, NY
John S. Tanner, TN
Xavier Becerra, CA
Lloyd Doggett, TX
Earl Pomeroy, ND
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, OH
Mike Thompson, CA
John B. Larson, CT
Rahm Emanuel, IL
Earl Blumenauer, OR
Ron Kind, WI
Bill Pascrell Jr. , NJ
Shelley Berkley, NV
Joseph Crowley, NY
Chris Van Hollen, MD
Kendrick Meek, FL
Allyson Y. Schwartz, PA
Artur Davis, AL

Jim McCrery, LA
Wally Herger, CA
Dave Camp, MI
Jim Ramstad, MN
Sam Johnson, TX
Phil English, PA
Jerry Weller, IL
Kenny C. Hulshof, MO
Ron Lewis, KY
Kevin Brady, TX
Thomas M. Reynolds, NY
Paul Ryan, WI
Eric Cantor, VA
John Linder, GA
Devin Nunes, CA
Pat Tiberi, OH
Jon Porter, NV

This list is from the Ways and Means Committee website.

Memories of backgammon [sponsored post]

Backgammon is not a game you generally think of as being played on-line. When I heard about PartyGammon I was not sure what to think of the site. I have played backgammon with my mom since I was a little child. It was one of the first games I can remember that my parents taught me to play, the other ones were cribbage and gin rummy.

It has been many years since I have had the time to sit down and play a game of backgammon with my mom, but I do remember loving to do that. It was not a contest of who could win so much as just kind of a puzzle on the best way to get your tiles to your own side of the board without getting any pounced on by your opponent. We had it all worked out where the best places to move for certain die rolls were. Then, at the end, we would always have a mad dash to get the pieces all off the board first with the dice never quite cooperating for us.

We play chess occasionally now, and still play gin rummy from time to time, but I need to find a backgammon game and challenge my mom to a game of backgammon again one of these days. I know I won't find the time, so I'll just have to make it.


This post was sponsored by PartyGammon

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Oops. Messed up my website

Okay, I kind of messed up the Family C.A.R.E. website. What happened is I was trying to move over onto its own site separate from Family C.A.R.E., and well... I lost Family C.A.R.E. =-o

So, now I need see if I can get Family C.A.R.E. back, but it'll take me a little time to get that done. I plan to later set up a redirect to on the page that Family C.A.R.E. had been on and will probably end up having Family C.A.R.E. be a part of on it's new site now rather than have them be on the Family C.A.R.E. site together.

Ah well, live and learn and beat your forehead against the desk a few times, huh?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

$1,338.81 - Thank you PayPerPost!

I was asked just how much I have made with PayPerPost since I got started with it. I'm by no means one of the highest paid members of the blog marketing site, but I have made enough that I am paying taxes on it this year.

To be precise, I have as of this posting been paid: $1,338.81

From my PayPerPost user dashboard:

Have Been Paid: $1,338.81
Will Be Paid: $451.46
Sent To Charity: $17.50

(I'm waiting to see what happens with the charity one before I send more to charity through them)

That's pretty good for what has been part time work. It has also been a lifesaver for my family. We have been able to get money mid month or late in the month and use it to buy heating fuel when we are out and the temperature is down to 30 degrees below Fahrenheit, it has been how I have paid for my dad's medicine on several occasions, it has helped keep one of my sibling's power on when they did not have what they needed to cover the cost of an electric bill... I could go on, but you can see it's been a big help.

And, I admit it, it has not all been put toward such things. I am currently using PayPerPost money to help me buy a computer from the local Rent-A-Center (they know I am a full-time caregiver and this is my only form of income too, great people!), and I got me a used treadmill from eBay that will be shipping out to me on Monday so I can loose the weight I have put on over the last six years.

All in all, I'd say that joining PayPerPost to make money at home is probably the best thing I have done in a long time and reccomend it to all Family Caregivers as a way to earn a little extra until they pass H.R. 175 and H.R. 473.


This post was sponsored by PayPerPost, but I mean every dang word of it and would have said it without being asked if I had thought about it.

H.R. 473 - The Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2003

I found another bill that looks like one that is important to a majority of family caregivers.

H.R. 473 The Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2003 would allow family caregivers who provide unpaid care to qualify for Social Security benefits for the time that they provided care. The Social Security “credits” would be equal to the 50% of the average wages and self-employment income for the time period when the caregiver provided assistance.

source: Family Caregiver's Alliance

THOMAS says:

Title: To amend title II of the Social Security Act to credit prospectively individuals serving as caregivers of dependent relatives with deemed wages for up to five years of such service.
Sponsor: Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] (introduced 1/29/2003) Cosponsors (26)
Latest Major Action: 2/6/2003 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Social Security.
Jump to: Summary, Major Actions, All Actions, Titles, Cosponsors, Committees, Related Bill Details, Amendments


Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2003 - Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act with respect to determining entitlement to and the amount of any monthly benefit, including any lump-sum death payment, payable under OASDI on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any individual. Deems such an individual to have been paid a wage (according to a specified formula) during each month during which the individual was engaged for at least 80 hours in providing care to a dependent relative without monetary compensation for up to five years of such service. Makes this Act inapplicable in the case of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment if a larger benefit or payment would be payable without its application.



Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Referred to the Subcommittee on Social Security.

TITLE(S): (italics indicate a title for a portion of a bill)


COSPONSORS(26), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)



Friday, January 12, 2007

Civil Engineer [paid advertisement]

Civil engineering is a broad field that deals with planning, design, construction and maintenance of structures. They are the men and women that can build dams across or bridges over rivers. When an employer needs to get a job done they don't just need to find civil engineers, they need to be able to find the right people for their particular project. That is where Civil Search International comes in.

Civil Search International is a team of 14 professional recruiters that can define the needs of each particular client into a detailed job order, then fill the Civil Engineer Jobs for that client through old fashioned relationship building and hard work for their clients.

Specializing in recruiting the "hard to find" civil engineer, an average month sees the staff at Civil Search International making over 25,000 phone calls to prospects from a list of tens of thousands of candidate prospects. With a staff that has a combined experience in civil engineer recruiting of over 60 years, Civil Search International can quickly, and quietly, fill the needs of their clients.


The preceding post is a paid advertisement for Civil Search International

Website for double checking medications

Okay, I found a good website for double checking medications. If you don't know by now, I'm a little bit paranoid about medications. They almost killed my grandmother several times (I kind'a think screwed up medications may have been what finally did kill my grandmother, don't recall), but anyway, they have been screwed up on my dad several times since I started being in charge of his medicine and I have asked doctors about the medicines in question and usually get a response like "Oh... yeah, he shouldn't take them two together..." I also know a few people who have had personal experience with screwed up medications.

So, I double check and then tripled and quadruple check, everything that I am told to give dad. Just to be sure that someone didn't give him something he should not be taking with something else. As many medications as he is on, and has been through, it's just common sense really.

But the website, it is It is by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and has a drug search that will tell you all about the medications that you want looked up. And more than your doctor or local pharmacist has told you in some cases. For example, my dad was put on Imdur recently, and no one bothered to tell me this little factoid:

"Take isosorbide tablets on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals) with a full glass of water."

I had brrn giving it to him with the pills he has immediately before he eats breakfast. =-O

You can be sure I'll be running checks on ALL his medications before morning after finding out that.

Thursday, January 11, 2007 - Resources for Professional Genealogy Researchers

Members of my family, both on my mother's and father's side, have traced to our line back to the 1700's and beyond. My oldest brother has for years maintained sites dedicated to my family history, tracking down information and compiling data to help document are lineage for later generations of the family. Is a site that assist in finding, among other things, professional genealogy researchers for both missing persons and adoption cases, translators, heraldry specialists, and researchers of military and historical information. Allowing you to search by region for genealogists or by specialist services provides a wealth of information and resources to help Professional Genealogy Researchers in researching and documenting family lineages.

Don't let your family's lineage be forgotten.


This post has been a paid post sponsored by

More doctor appointments for dad

My mom and my sister took my dad to another doctor's appointment a little while ago, we had had to reschedule it from the other day because it was -30°F outside and we did not want to take dad out in those temperatures. The temperature is sitting on 15° F above right now, so today was a much better day to take him in.

He also had a blood test scheduled for tomorrow, but they (the doctor's office) reschedule that to be done in two more weeks since they could not do it today - rather than have to drive clear back into town first thing in the morning.

Geneology: ZOOOF, The Family Network - paid post

Family history is something that is important to many people. The process of creating a family tree becomes an activity that many parents share with their children to help instill in a sense of personal history.

Now you can take genealogy into the next level with ZOOOF, The Family Network. ZOOF is a wiki type community that lets you invite family members to help you build a virtual family tree and share family stories and pictures Using the treasury box you can even hare family secrets.

ZOOOF Is all about family connections both past and present and lets you connect with family from all across the globe.

Currently in beta testing, with users in 49 countries, you can check out ZOOOF for yourself before it is launched on February 14th by sending an e-mail with: your name, e-mail, country, and gender to invite[at]zooof[dot]com ZOOOF will send you a personal invitation link that lets you join and start exploring this new community.

This is a paid post for ZOOOF

Caregiver's Handbook

I found a web site of interest caregivers, it is The Caregivers Handbook: Assisting Both The Caregiver and the Elderly Carereceiver and can be found on Dr. Stall's Educational Web Page at the the University of Buffalo website.

The 9-part online posting of the caregivers handbook has information on common problems of caregiving, care for the caregiver, nutrition, medical, legal and emotional concerns, and more. The handbook was made in 1990 by the San Diego County Mental Health Services.

"Caregiver's Handbook was developed and produced in booklet form by The Caregiver Education and Support Services, Seniors Counseling and Training Case Management Services of the San Diego County Mental Health Services; Robert Torres-Stanovik, LCSW, Editor."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Binoculars at Eagle Optics - [paid post]

Looking for hot deals on binoculars? Eagle Optics has a great selection of binoculars, many with unmatched prices. Want some really hot deals? Don't forget to check out their Hot Deals page. Eagle Optics has 90 days free financing on all orders over $200 and carries a great binocular selection as well as spotting scopes and telescopes.

Summer is just around the corner and it will be time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Does someone you know like to hunt, go birdwatching, study the night sky, or just go hiking or for a Sunday drive in the countryside? Binoculars make a great present for birthdays and Eagle Optics offers free UPS Ground Shipping within the 48 contiguous States.


This is a post is a paid advertisement for Eagle Optics

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cold in Alaska, very very cold

-30° below zero Fahrenheit outside. These are the temperatures were you step out onto the porch and your lungs quit working. Could someone please remind me again why I stay in Alaska in the wintertime?

At least now I have good boots for the winter. My mom had picked up a pair of boots that she thought might fit my brother, but they were a few sizes too small. Small enough that with a good thick pair of socks they'll fit me just fine.

The cold does mean that we had to postpone my dad's next doctor's appointment by two days, but the nurse at his doctor's office said that the ten day forecast that she had checked earlier said that the temperatures would be back up to 20° Fahrenheit by the weekend. That's a 50° temperature change from what it is now. At least it's not dropping another 30°, that is entirely too likely at this time of year. I've seen it get to -60° Fahrenheit here many many times in the past. Brrr. Them are the temperatures where you just tuck yourself in and don't go anywhere for anything.

Monday, January 08, 2007

H.R. 175 - The Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005

Alright! We have a fourth co-sponsor on H.R. 175 - The Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005.

While my attention was elsewhere Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z., the congressional delegate from Guam, stepped up and joined the cosponsors for the Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005.

Welcome Congresswoman Bordallo and most a heartfelt thank you for your support of this issue.


As of now the bill is sponsored by:
  • Rep Millender-McDonald, Juanita [CA-37]
and co-sponsored by:
  • Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU]
  • Rep Owens, Major R. [NY-11]
  • Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10]
  • Rep Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [MD-2]
I wish to express heartfelt thank you's to all for their support of family caregivers.

Current status of the bill:


Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Referred to House Ways and Means

Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.

Referred to House Energy and Commerce

Referred to the Subcommittee on Health, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Chairman.

Sunday, January 07, 2007 Valentines Day e-cards - paid post

Check out the Valentine Cards at They have cute Valentine's Day e-cards that you can send to friends, that special someone, or whoever you have on your Valentine's Day e-card list.

I like the Crystal Rose, which is their most popular e-card, but then I am a sucker for the color blue which predominates the card. Still, I think that it would be a very nice one to send a caregiver to say "Thank you" and "You're Special" for Valentine's day. They also have a cute "Get Dirty With Me" e-card and many more e-cards that are either cute or sweet or both. Check them out as you look for Valentines to send to the people you care about.

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Dad's doctor says that the other doctor is a quack

Well, my mom and sister took my dad in to see his doctor last night and after looking at him, his regular doctor listened to what they said the other doctor told them about dad's dying and has only a few weeks to live and for mom not to call 911 if dad had a heart attack and from the reports I am getting dad's doctor got *PISSED*. She said that the doctor that said that had no right to talk like that, he had no idea what he was saying, my dad's doing just fine and she expects him to outlive the quack that said otherwise.

Was particularly pissed that the doctor said it in front of dad rather than called mom off to side or something.

I'm pissed because dad had all but gave up on living and after seeing his normal doc he is doing better. Mom said that he called her over the other night, took her hand and said "You know what this means?" then told her how he can now go and see his grandson graduate high school this summer.

He had apparently given up hope of living to see that, and mom's health is still shitty after the stress she had been going through expecting dad to die at any moment. I had thought that the guy just didn't know dad's medical information well enough, but was still concerned as all hell because I know that when someone gives up they can die just from having given up on their own selves. :-/

Sometimes all it takes is having a doctor with the right bedside manners to make all the difference in the world for a patient and their family.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Get Loud and get heard - Loud Launch

There is a new way to make money on the Internet. Have you seen Loud Launch? They connect bloggers to advertisers that want to compensate the bloggers to distribute mini press releases. With campaigns that start at just $50, Loud Launch makes it easy for advertisers with even the smallest advertising budgets to reach bloggers that can help get the word out for them. It is fairly obvious that a higher budget will get the most coverage as more bloggers are able to distribute the press release, but sometimes there just is not a high budget for advertising.

So if you have a business you want more coverage for, or maybe a blog and you are looking for a way to make a little extra income, take a look at Loud Launch. They are new, but they look like they have a good plan laid out and will be around for the long haul.

This post is a paid advertisement for LoudLaunch

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Send your name to Mars -- ends February 1, 2007

I went upstairs to check on my dad and as I was up there the radio station was talking about the ability to send a name to the planet Mars. If you log in to before February 1, 2007, and submit your name, and/or the names of the anyone else that you wish to enter, the Planetary Society will place the name(s) on a special DVD made of silica glass that will be placed on NASA's Phoenix lander. the Phoenix is to explore the Martian arctic and will launch in August of 2007, landing on Mars in may of 2008.

The Phoenix DVD is designed to be a message to future visitors, or settlers, of the planet Mars. It includes commentary from Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, Louis Friedman (executive director of the Planetary Society), and Peter Smith (Phoenix mission PI). the visionary works of those who should our images of Mars such as Percival Lowell, H.J. Wells. The recording of Orson Welles' 1938 radio broadcast of Wells' classic "War of the Worlds" will be digitally encoded on the Phoenix DVD.

Other names of note whose visions will be on the DVD include: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Poul Anderson.

Adding your name to this message to the future is free and must be done before February 01, 2007.

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Penelope - the robot nurse

Have you heard of Penelope? I suppose it was my voice recognition program that I am playing with that reminded me of her. She is not a person, although she does assist doctors in performing operations. "Penelope" was developed by Surgeon Michael R. Treat and his team at Robotic Surgical Tech Inc. Penelope is able to perform tasks that are usually assigned to the scrub nurse. Using voice recognition Penelope is able to respond to a surgeon's request for an instrument, handing it to the surgeon with a robotic arm. A visual processing capability allows Penelope to retrieve the instrument as well. for safety the robot is able to keep track of the surgical instrument count reducing the number of instruments, sponges, ham sandwiches, and other oddities that have been known to be left inside of people after an operation.

Okay, so maybe no ham sandwiches, but sponges and instruments have reportedly been left inside of people after an operation.

The most recent mention I have been able to find for Penelope is from 2005. If anyone knows of a more recent article on this robotic nurse, I would be very interested in knowing the URL.

Voice recognition software

I found out that my new computer has voice recognition software on it. voice recognition software is handy but it does have its drawbacks. My dad was going to use it on his computer for dictating his novel into, he is trying to write down everything that happened to him in is life - from his childhood to his time in the military. my brother had got him a voice recognition program to use, but they take a lot of programming to get them to be able to recognize your voice properly. this is a much better version as it recognizes my words a lot more accurately than the one that my dad was using seemed to recognize his voice. that drawback that I can see with my dad began to use this one is that his vision he cannot read very well anymore and you need to be able to read senses from the tutorial to teach this program how you speak. I have a slight lisp when I talk and this program is able to recognize that and account for it in what types in. I still have to do a lot of typo fixing and the program does not insert punctuation. so I'm not sure how well this program will work for my father to be able to use it for his novel, we're going to try it though, because accept from the punctuation and very minor type of fixes this entire post was written using the word recognition software in a normal speaking tone and speed.

An example of how the software displays an average sentence without editing:

Original Version:
When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.
- John Steinbeck

Dictated to voice recognition program:
{the Des Moines and possibility of writing 500 pages basic sense of failure falls on me and I know I can never do it then gradually I write one page and then another one day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate John Steinbeck

try number two:
when I face the death let him possibility of rain 500 pages and 6¢ a failure falls on me and I know I can never do it then gradually are a one page and then another one day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate John Steinbeck

as you can see the program learns as you use it and improves its ability to compensate for your speech pattern. I like it and will use it again very very often. I highly recommended it for anyone with arthritis, or other joint pain, in their hands.

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