ARCHIVES:  October 1-7, 2005

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October 7, 2005 - Friday

Grandparent Nicknames

Since I am becoming a grandparent around the first of June, I have been investigating nicknames by asking people I know what they called their grandparents. I've gotten some interesting replies.

A lot of people here in Alabama, use Meemaw and Papaw. One of my friends says her grandkids called her Oma and her husband was Opa (long "o"). Then, there's Granny and Pappy.

I asked my daughter what her husband's parents are called (they have grandchildren from his brother). They are called simply "Grandma and Grandpa." Actually, that is all I ever called my grandparents, too. So we all seem to be in accord here, Grandma and Grandpa for both sides, it is!


After writing this, I found a list of grandparent names -- fascinating what people are called.



October 6, 2005 - Thursday

A Box to Brighten Your Life

Here's a site where you can design and print a pattern that folds into a box. That is fun enough, but I died laughing when I read the testimonials under the diagram here. (Click on box 1*, box 2*, etc. - thanks again to Pat L). I never realized how much a little box could enrich my life.



October 5, 2005 - Wednesday


Here's a great link from Pat L. - PocketMod, the Disposable Personal Organizer. If you have no trouble whipping out a sheet on your printer, this could be very useful. You can design it right online and print one out, then throw it away the next day, if desired - all free.

The program is in beta format, but should work fine for most of us.  Once I got the hang of this, it was fun to design my own minibook. Templates are provided - just drag and drop them on any blank page.



October 4, 2005 - Tuesday

Search Just Blogs-Google

Here's a Google search just for blogs. I have mixed feelings about this. In a way, I don't like blogs being excluded from the regular search engine. It will hurt traffic to blogs and make it too easy to ignore them.

On the other hand, many times I have wanted to search just blogs to see what others are saying about a subject. I know Google must have done this because users complained about hitting too many blog entries in a "regular" search, but it wasn't that hard to skip through those -- and the line between a blog and news report can be confusing. How do they judge which is which?



October 3, 2005 - Monday

Ten Foods You Should Never Eat

I found this link on These popular foods are extra unhealthy - darn! Click on the link to read about the hidden nasty stuff in each one.


1. Quaker 100% Natural Oats & Honey Granola

2. Bugles

3. Buitoni Contadina Alfredo Sauce

4. Pizza Hut's Big New Yorker Pizza

5. Entenmann's Rich Frosted Donut (Variety Pack size)

6. Nissin Cup Noodles with Shrimp

7. Burger King French Fries

8. Campbell's red-and-white-label condensed soups

9. Frito-Lay's Wow! Potato Chips

10. Denny's Grand Slam




October 2, 2005 - Sunday

Serenity - The Movie

It looked like a good science fiction movie in the previews. We had not seen the TV show this was based on, Firefly, although from the chatter we read online, it was a cool TV show, so we went to see the movie.

It should appeal to Chronicles of Riddick fans. It was well-made and kept my interest - although my husband was checking his watch fairly often. (That's how I rate his interest in a movie. The more time checks he makes, the more bored he is and this one bored him a bit.)

I think part of the problem is this one is obviously geared to the 17-19 year old crowd and we are nearly 50. (It was a little hard to accept that a petite, 17 year-old, 90-pound girl could beat up an entire room of strong men. I imagine little teenaged girls loved that, though.)

Inspite of it, I liked this movie. I was sad to see so many good people die, but the plot was great, the story interesting, the characters well-developed and the special effects were perfect. The last part contained lots of edge-sitting action and gory violence.



How to Make Money


1. Invent a product.

2. It can be a pill, house cleaner, shoe polish, drink, gasoline additive - whatever.

3. Give it a unique name. That way, nobody has heard of it so there won't be any negative information online for anyone to find. You may want to also invent names for a major ingredient or two in the product and claim that the name is based on some ancient powerful substance or natural herb. Everybody loves something based on a "natural" herb because they think it has to be somehow better for them with less side effects than an "artificial" ingredient. Often the opposite is true, but that is besides the point.

4. Give it a great story: "Ancient legends mention this ingredient" or "I was using this for another purpose and accidentally stumbled on a new use for it."

5. Publicize testimonials about the miracle cure or whatever other aspect about the product you can promote: "My shoes glowed brighter than ever before and stayed shiny all day" or "My wrinkles disappeared when I spread this on my face" or "I feel more energetic after taking this pill" or just the good ole standby, "I feel better after taking/using this." Testimonials are a ridiculously easy way to sell something. They don't require any scientific backing. TV infomercials thrive on testimonials and you don't have to reveal the "whole story." (For example, I read about a certain weight loss supplement. They found sick or hospitalized athletes who had gained weight as a result of the illness. As the athletes recovered their once-trim bodies, they became great testimonials for the product. Of course, no mention is made about these people being healthy and trim before. They are promoted as "average housewives," etc.)

6. Next, bring in convincing sales-type personalities. If someone sounds convincing enough, the power of suggestion will work wonders to make people think this product is really effective no matter if it is or not, and then you can get some testimonials from it. Build on this until it gains a life of its own, even if all you are selling is a piece of cardboard. You can sell anything with a good sales person, having a good voice and charming personality behind it. "This cardboard is better than anything on the market today. Just try it for 30 days and you, too, will be amazed. If not, you can return it." (Inspite of occasional publicity otherwise, most people rarely bother to return things even if they don't like them, so you've made your money right there.) Religious groups are very easy to target. They are composed of good, believing people who have faith -- all ready to believe --making them easy targets for others of the same faith. If not a religious group, find a club or group of people who basically believe as you do on other matters - they will likely listen to you and be more convincible.

7. Flood the internet with all kinds of positive information about your product. You can even fake the appearance of a scientific backing with some of the ingredients. Take water, for example, water has all kinds of beneficial scientific studies out which you can construe for your product if it contains water. Or post some legends about one or more of the ingredients. Legends are great because they are hard to prove or disprove.

8. Post messages everywhere, get domain names, post in message boards (especially good if you can get postings on sites that might relate to this product such as a medical board for a pill or a respected automobile site for a gas additive - so the invention appears to be "officially sanctioned.") That way, if anyone does a search for the unique name for your product, they will only find good stuff. (If you get famous enough, the debunkers might turn an eye on you, but by then, you are well-established, with countless testimonials - and you've made your millions so you can go on to invent another product with another unheard-of name if you are not yet ready to retire on your countless riches. Devout followers will gladly ignore any practical advice by that time.)

9. Use fine print. Some "inconvenient" laws might require you to post disclaimers, especially if it is an edible product. Post these in as small a text as possible, at the bottom of the webpage as obtuse as you can get away with. Hopefully, nobody will put much stock in the disclaimer.

10. Now, the big key to making money is to use a pyramid-type scheme. Get others to sell the product for you. Better yet, get them to convince others to convince others to sell this item. The more people you can convince to sell this product, the more money will trickle back to you. You will make your millions. Perhaps the people just under you will make a million or two. It looks good to the people under them and more will sign up for the pyramid-type selling techniques in hopes to make millions, too. Sadly, the market may be well-saturated by then, but you've sold enough already to make your millions and you can keep underlings motivated with conventions, more testimonials and exciting, salesman-type optimistic talk.

I wrote this blog entry at the suggestion of someone else after we had a discussion on the gullibility of people. I feel sad for people who take their life savings or go into a mountain of debt for a chance to make lots of money in a pyramid-type scheme. They are led to believe the field is ripe, ready for them to make money. I know people personally who have lost more money than they have made in such activities or they quit their "steady" job and wasted much time in an obsessive, unsuccessful pursuit of riches. Sometimes someone succeeds at this. More often, there is loss. (I bet you can think of a friend who decided to sell makeup. They invest funds into getting their "kit" ready. They sell a few items. They feel successful, but never make enough money at it and quit. If they are lucky, they might make back the money they invested, but they will never get back the time wasted.)



October 1, 2005 - Saturday

Make a Virtual Snowflake

Go to Make-a-Flake to get your own pair of scissors and paper. Guiding the scissors with your mouse, you can cut up the paper any way you wish to make a snowflake, then watch as your design unfolds - fascinating.

They have a gallery of past creations. Some snowflakes are pretty elaborate. You can even download your flake to keep or send it in e-mail. It took me a try or two to get the hang of cutting, but almost anything turns out to be pretty interesting. Here is my first creation. (After a day like yesterday, this simple site is a welcome diversion.)