Calories Burned Calculator
Estimate the calories you burned swimming:
Powered by Everyday Health.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Watching Black Swan for the style

Thanks for the post from Barney Crosby

Even before I knew what the movie Black Swan was about, I saw the previews and commercials for it and thought that it would be a great movie just to watch just for the fashion and makeup looks. I love watching movies to just look at the makeup and costumes that they put characters in and see how that affects what the audience thinks about them.

I didn't want to chance getting to the movie late and not being able to get a ticket or miss any of the previews for it, so I went online and ordered my ticket that way. While I was doing that the night before I was going to see the movie I came across some WildBlue Internet deals and decided to sign up for one of them after I read a little more information about them.

I thought that the Black Swan makeup look that Natalie Portman wears during the performance in the movie is great and I just may sport it for Halloween this year.


Watching the HBO documentary "Regan". I think he was one of the most interesting politicians. I never cared for his cheesy acting, and was too young at the time to really know about his salesman work for GE and others, but I do remember his Presidency, and while he certainly made mistakes, he was a powerful leader. It seems funny, even now to think of someone who was an actor as a President, but he really had his own vision, and purpose, and he pushed for it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Right Stuff

I'm watching The Right Stuff on television. One thing they don't mention in the selection of the astronauts is that none of them could be taller than 5'11" in order to fit into the capsule. They also had to be very thin. Like many of the people who have to maintain a very light weight for their professions, dancers, jockeys and such, I wonder if they used weight loss pills in order to help them maintain the low weights necessary. It would have made sense, but I don't think there were any weight loss pills back in the late 50s and early 60s. It would have been easier for them today when there is such a great deal of advancement in weight loss technology, and the knowledge of how to do it safe.


I love the credit card points commercial with "Peggy," those are so funny. A lot of humor in the joke as well. I never really got into all those awards programs. Maybe I have tons of unused benefits waiting for me, but like the "Peggy" commercial that was just on, my 250,000 points is probably worth about $5.50, and after redemption charge ... 5 cents.

Baby Vitamins

It's been 26 years since I've had to take a daily prenatal multivitamin. They have improved a lot, and like all other forms of medical advances, more efficient. You'd think with all that medical advancement over the last two decades, they'd have improved on the size, but when my daughter had to take them, I had to laugh, they were the same huge horse pills. They're important horse pills though, and prenatal vitamins help make sure the baby gets everything they need to develop, and you don't deplete your own system giving it to them.

Time for a New Phone

I think it's about time for a new cell phone. When I first got my Samsung slide phone I just loved it, but what I really wanted was an IPhone. That has got to be my next phone. There's just so much more you can do with the "smart phones". I've considered an Android. they're a little cheaper, but I think the one reason I keep getting drawn to the IPhone is that everyone and their brother is developing apps for it, and while Android has a development program to, I think there's just a little more available in the IPhone app.

Getting Un-fatigued in a Diet

If you talk about diet with anyone, probably the one thing that pops up most in relation to dieting is fatigue. I think that's why diet energy pills are so popular. I know when I'm dieting, it's hard to convince myself to move around, and that's the one thing that helps diets the most: moving. Exercise expends a lot of calories, and helps build up the muscles, and makes the metabolism burn more efficiently, but when you're sluggish, and worn out, with no energy it is hard to make that happen. It's good to investigate the qualities of the energy diet pills though, to make sure they are safe, and then you will have to find the one that works best for you since we're all different in how we react to stimulants and diet aides.

The Housekeeping Gene

I need a housekeeper. LOL The thing is, I know a lot of people that use housekeeping services, and it would be a really helpful thing. I don't know if a housekeeper could keep up with me though. I am such a horrible housekeeper, and I hate that about me. How do people who don't use services keep their house spotless? I'd like to know where they get the time, the energy. You'd think that since I work at home, it would be even easier for me, but it just isn't. I'm terrible about it. It isn't something new, either. I could make excuses that I'm getting older, and I don't have the same energy I used to have, but that wouldn't account for the fact that I've always been like this. Am I missing some sort of 'housekeeping' gene?

Personal Diet Choices

Even after 40 years, I still couldn't tell you what the best diet pills are. Partly because the industry is always changing, always evolving, and even always improving. Partly because there are so many available. When I need help with my diet goals, I have to do what everyone has to do... research. Thank goodness for the internet, and the sites that make that research much easier. Of course, 20, 30 years ago, that much research wasn't as necessary because there wasn't that much to chose from. Now it's imperative, not just for health issue reasons, but because nothing works for everybody, and finding what will work best for you is a personal choice.

Agree to Disagree

Sometimes, when I write articles for one of the companies I work with, there is a general disagreement with the editor over content. Truthfully, I don't think it's the editor's job to second guess how I cover a subject. Yes, they should make sure the continuity is there, but that's not the same thing. Yes, they should make sure my grammar is on target. At those times, I find it is just best to respectfully agree to disagree, and take the work somewhere else. Thankfully, I can do that with that company, and they don't mind. If I were locked in to agreeing with the editor over every item they feel should be met differently, I would definitely walk away from the project, and go somewhere else to work. However, the fact that the editors are given such free reign (only some of them do it mind you), makes working there a bit of a drudge, and I've found myself preferring to work at other places much more often.

Getting Rid of Pounds

I'm a woman, and I'm in my 40s. That means I've spent the better part of 40 years either on a diet, or thinking about a diet. Most of the time, the focus is on how to lose weight quick. It's not a bad focus, as long as you keep "healthy" in the mix. I'll admit, I've done a few things in the past 40 years that weren't entirely healthy, including some of the diets I've tried, but now, since as you get older mortality is also on the forefront of my mind, I try to make sure I do things as "right" as possible. I still want it to be fast, and I always am looking for the best way to do it, get those aggravating last few pounds off before summer, keep them off in the winter, or just lose a little extra.

How to Make Sure Your Basement Stays Dry

A wet basement is a potential hazard to both your home's health, and your own. Water accumulation in any amount can create problems for your foundation, cause concrete to crack, crumble and weaken your house's structure at it's very base. However, even a little condensation in the basement can create an even bigger, more serious problem: mold. Finding the source of your basement dampness, and fixing the problem is an important home repair issue.
Gutters and Downspouts
Check for breaks, or leaks in gutters, and move all downspouts to discharge at least two feet away from the foundation of your home. Watershed from downspouts are a big contributor to water in the basement, and can cause a lot of damage to the cement/cement block wall structure as well.
Window Wells and Casings
Apply a sealant to the casings of all windows in basements. Keep all window wells cleared of debris, and make sure the drains at the centers of the window wells are clear to allow water to drain away from the foundation.
Dehumidify the Air
Run a dehumidifier to eliminate moisture buildup. Even when you do not have standing water in your basement, the cement walls and closed in confines of common foundations create a moisture rich environment that encourages condensation, especially in very warm weather.
Water Fixtures
Fix or replace any leaking fixtures inside the house immediately. Letting leaky faucets, or pipes go until "later" deteriorates the flooring, and ends up leaking into the basement, damaging the walls, and floors and even the floor joists. Don't ignore outdoor water spigots either. A small drip from an outdoor faucet can produce a lot of water damage in a short period of time, erode concrete, and leak into the basement.
Apply Cement Sealant
Fix all cracks in walls or floors of your foundation, and then apply a waterproofing sealant to prevent seepage through the walls. Use mortar or concrete repair mixtures to smooth over cracks. For very thin cracks, it is actually a good idea to chip away at the crack to open it up at least a 1/4-inch so that the mortar can get inside and hold better. Sealants paint on like regular paint.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Third Bedroom Theater

I have a large screen TV, and now can't imagine having a "little" 32" TV anymore. I'd really like to look into turning the third bedroom here into a theater, though. It used to be my office after my daughter moved out, but I moved my office into the den, and the old bedroom is pretty much useless at the moment. I think a big samsung projector, some recliner couches, and surround sound would make a great "getaway" room out of it. It wouldn't take much to make the room a great theater. It has two windows, but they're small enough to cover well, and block glares. It's far enough away from the living room that someone could be enjoying a movie in the theater, and not be bothered, or bother anyone in the living room watching TV.

Batty the Crazy Puppy

My little dog is only ten months old, but she's already brought a lifetime of love to us. She's amazing, and I am thrilled with the Papillon breed in general. She's funny to watch, fast to learn, and as loving as any dog I've ever owned. A true "velcro" breed, she is plaster to me, and the rest of the family whenever we're around. I've heard of a lot of Papillons suffer from separation anxiety, but she does well when left alone. Admittedly, she's not alone long most of the time. I think the longest has been 6 hours, and even then, she got walked once in the middle of it by my son who came over to make sure she was okay.

Picking the Best Car Insurance

Choosing new car insurance is a lot like selecting any other important part of your life, you start with gathering up a fair number of car insurance quotes. Then you can compare what each policy offers, and the deductibles and coverage amounts that you will get for the value. Remember that, while low cost is important, coverage is the most important issue when dealing with car insurance. Too much is a waste, too little can leave you vulnerable, even in a little fender-bender. Make sure you have enough coverage to protect your home, and family in case of an accident.

Choosing an Air Conditioner

Getting through the hot summer months is a lot easier with a good air conditioner. Air conditioners are important for more than just comfort, however. Hot, humid weather can cause mold, and other bacteria to build up inside causing potential health threats to you and your family. Selecting the correct air conditioner to make sure all rooms are covered is important, and depends a lot on the size and setup of your living quarters.

Pros and Cons of Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners have a lot of attractive qualities that make them a good choice for air conditioning homes of many sizes. They are small, easy to move and install, less expensive than a whole-house central air system, and easy to operate. The draw backs to a portable air conditioner are few, but important to consider. Most window air units can only control the temperature in a single room. A larger unit may be able to cool off up to two room, depending on the air flow. For a larger home that can mean the need for quite a few air conditioners. One of the biggest drawbacks to portable window air conditioners may be aesthetic. They are big blocks of machinery stuck in a window, protruding from your home, and blocking the view from inside.

Pros and Cons of Central Air

Central air conditioning is a very reasonable alternative for larger homes. It can control the temperature in every room from one central unit, and provides cost-effective cooling of large spaces. Central air units are expensive to buy, and replace when needed. They require an outdoor unit, and connection to a main blower, usually combined with the home's furnace. Installation can be difficult to impossible in older homes that weren't constructed with the placement of air ducts in mind. Central air conditioning units require large metal ducts to run from the unit to each room where a vent is located. Central air conditioners are much more aesthetically pleasing. The outdoor unit can be placed out of the way, and even hidden by decorative landscaping or fencing, and indoor vents are virtually unnoticeable compared to the large window units.

Size of Rooms and Size of Home

The size of your rooms, and the layout of your home will make a big impact on your decision between window air conditioners and central air units. A small home with few rooms that are laid out in an open floor plan can be handled by one or two portable units, and be cooled more effectively at a lower initial cost. A large home of any style will likely require too many portable units to make portable units feasible, and central air conditioning is a much better choice provided the home is capable of handling the ducts required to install the central air.

Added Value

The one plus that central air conditioners have over portable air conditioners is added value to the home. Central air conditioning already installed is a very attractive feature in homes where summer temperatures require cooling. Homes in colder climates where summers do not get excessively hot are less likely to increase in value due to a central air conditioner, and portable air conditioners can be moved along with your belongings to your new home, making them attractive if you do not plan on staying in your home.