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(This will remain on top through Veteran's Day. Scroll down for newer posts)

I think that one charitable fund raiser per year is both reasonable and an absolute limit, so I have to be very picky as to which one I choose. I could choose the San Diego Zoo, American Red Cross or many other worthy charities.

The one I have chosen is more important than that.

Project VALOUR-IT helps disabled troops who have lost the use of one or both hands in action. It can't replace those hands; what it does is enable them to connect to the internet and use a computer, both of which are becoming ever more essential parts of daily life. They stepped up to the line to defend you, your family, and even the jerk who runs this website, and for the rest of their life they are going to suffer a disability that is becoming more important to all aspects of living a normal life. I believe that helping these people live a life that is as normal as practical is the absolute minimum we can do.

There are NO ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS to this program. Every penny goes to buy these laptops, which the manufacturer sells at cost or even a touch below.

Prevent this shame from happening to us. Please.

The Last of the Light Brigade

There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four!

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an, we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made-"
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

Rudyard Kipling

Please help if you are in a position to do so

I have a problem with shaving. Specifically, the fact that I have extremely tough facial whiskers, combined with facial skin that's the classic easily cut baby face. Put it all together, and not only do I hate shaving, I quite often emerge from shaving looking like I've lost a war with my razor. I've spent a lot of time and effort trying different solutions to the problem, which only got worse when my doctor put me on blood thinners after my heart attack.

So when my wife wanted me to try Mary Kay's Shaving Cream for men, I was understandably skeptical, but I understood this was Something Spouses Do For Each Other. She's certainly done equivalent things for me in the past.

I was very pleasantly shocked at how much better of a job it did. I've been using it now for almost two weeks, and the incidence of cuts is drastically reduced over the product that formerly did the best job.

So in penance for my skepticism, I'm posting this here. I highly recommend Mary Kay's Shaving Cream. I'm going to keep using it.

Disclosure for the clue challenged: Yes, my wife makes money every time she sells a can of this stuff. But she still did a good thing by making me try this. And she's the World's Only Perfect Woman too. I'll even send you the link to her Mary Kay website if you ask, but this stuff is available from every Mary Kay person.

Caught Doing Good!

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Meant to upload this a few days ago, but I had been having internet difficulties so it got delayed. This year, my elder daughter got Presidential Awards for both the English and Mathematics portions of the big test the state of California does every year.

Here's a picture of her with her awards:


Her mother and I are very proud of her!

This is the new list of HOMESTEPS properties from Freddie Mac for the areas I specialize in. These properties qualify for special financing. I can get the list for other areas.

I also have a list of upcoming HOMESTEPS properties not on the market yet

If you have questions, Contact me

La Mesa

Address: 4800 WILLIAMSBURG LN 223, LA MESA, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 185,500.00

Rooms: 6 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 202,500.00

Address: 4645 MUNROE ST, LA MESA, CA
Rooms: 7 Bed: 4 Bath: 3.0 Price: 519,900.00

El Cajon

Address: 1273 ANDOVER RD, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 223,130.00

Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 118,455.00

Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 1.0 Price: 206,700.00

Rooms: 6 Bed: 3 Bath: 1.5 Price: 234,900.00

Address: 792 N MOLLISON 1, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 108,650.00

Rooms: 7 Bed: 4 Bath: 2.0 Price: 299,980.00


Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 63,500.00

Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.5 Price: 140,450.00


Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 204,050.00

Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 237,970.00

Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 332,500.00

San Diego City

Dan Melson, Agent
Clarity Real Estate Network

Once per month, I link the best articles that are submitted containing information for the consumer. May 2009 Consumer Focused Carnival of Real Estate is now live.

Disneyland Trip

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Just so you know why I haven't written new articles over this weekend, here is my trip report. Didn't take a huge number of pictures - mostly we were busy having fun.


The World's Only Perfect Woman and our kids in front of the Matterhorn. Ramona loved it last time. This time, not so much. Brynhilde liked it.


The Teacups - before the ride.


Main Street Station from the train. If you don't understand how important the train is to a successful day there, have someone explain it to you


Ramona loved King Arthur's Carousel. It's the World's Only Perfect Woman's favorite ride


Our little engineer. She's got disassembly down pat. Be very afraid.


I just think King Arthur's Carousel looks cool at night.


My driver on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Brynhilde's first drive. Mr. Toad never had it so good!


The other half of the family party - Ramona was starting to fade, nap or no


Just after riding Grizzly Rapids the next day. The water was cold, but it was nice after the immediate shock wore off.


My kids with some random unimportant stranger on the Zephyr ride


Ramona, fresh out of crawling over the water faucet in Bug's Life, in line for the Ferris Wheel. She really wanted to ride bad - "They won't let us in!"


Brynhilde, suitably bored in line for the Ferris Wheel.

I've spent the time since recuperating. It's what you need to do when you're an old fat guy who takes young kids to an amusement park for two consecutive days.

I hope to have time and energy to finish an article for Wednesday publication tomorrow. But tomorrow It's going to be a reprint. I would rather it weren't so, but sometimes a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.

I did a bonus article HR 1728: Proof That This Congress Is In the Pockets of Big Banks

I strongly urge you to read it and contact your Senator (the House has already passed it) and urge a "no" vote.

I personally would probably benefit in the short term. But consumers will suffer horribly.

May 11th, 2009

I had intended to host this over at Searchlight Crusade, same as the last two times I hosted, but the folks over at posted it as being here, so I'm just going to run with it.

One thing I should say is that while I found some entries worthy of inclusion, there wasn't one I could in clear conscience name my Editor's Pick as best entry of the carnival. Therefore, I must state that THERE IS NO EDITOR'S PICK FOR THIS CARNIVAL.

Nor was there such a preponderance of spam, link spam and just plain old naked solicitation the last two times I hosted the carnival. Here's a hint, or a clue: If you're submitting more than one (or at the very most, two) submissions to the same edition of the same carnival, that's a problem, all by itself. I got five or more submissions from two individuals - eleven from one. I should have just automatically rejected them, but I did them the courtesy of looking at every one of their submissions. I needn't have bothered; it was a complete waste of my time. Kind of like the old hunter's maxim "one shot - one deer. Two shots - maybe one deer. Three shots (or more) - no deer"

I checked "This day in history" for May 11th for inspiration, and discovered that on this day in 1918 Richard Feynman was born, and so to his memory and guiding premise I dedicate this carnival. I think the quintessential Richard Feynman Image I was able to find was this one:


A good professional of any sort should have a lot in common with Mr. Feynman. Not necessarily his personal life, which while highly amusing benefitted from a certain lack of political correctness, but the intellectual honesty and rigor with which he pursued his profession are an example to us all to be the best we can be.

In 1974 Feynman delivered the Caltech commencement address on the topic of cargo cult science, which has the semblance of science but is only pseudoscience due to a lack of "a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty" on the part of the scientist. He instructed the graduating class that "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

Buying a Foreclosed Home is a basic article on buying lender owned property.

An Auction Experience to Remember. I'm going to include it as a teaching experience, because I'm willing to bet money he got taken. If you can't spot half a dozen errors deadly to an real estate buyer, you're not trying.

Feynman has been called the "Great Explainer". He gained a reputation for taking great care when giving explanations to his students and for assigning himself a moral duty to make the topic accessible. His guiding principle was that if a topic could not be explained in a freshman lecture it was not yet fully understood. Feynman gained great pleasure[12] from coming up with such a "freshman-level" explanation, for example, of the connection between spin and statistics. What he said was that groups of particles with spin 1/2 "repel", whereas groups with integer spin "clump". This was a brilliantly simplified way of demonstrating how Fermi-Dirac statistics and Bose-Einstein statistics evolved as a consequence of studying how fermions and bosons behave under a rotation of 360°. This was also a question he pondered in his more advanced lectures and to which he demonstrated the solution in the 1986 Dirac memorial lecture.[13] In the same lecture he further explained that antiparticles must exist since if particles only had positive energies they would not be restricted to a so-called "light cone". He opposed rote learning or unthinking memorization and other teaching methods that emphasized form over function. He put these opinions into action whenever he could, from a conference on education in Brazil to a State Commission on school textbook selection. Clear thinking and clear presentation were fundamental prerequisites for his attention. It could be perilous even to approach him when unprepared, and he did not forget the fools or pretenders.[14]

From my other site, Shopping For The Best Loan In The New Lending Environment

Feynman was requested to serve on the Presidential Rogers Commission which investigated the Challenger disaster of 1986. Feynman devoted the latter half of his book What Do You Care What Other People Think? to his experience on the Rogers Commission, straying from his usual convention of brief, light-hearted anecdotes to deliver an extended and sober narrative. Feynman's account reveals a disconnect between NASA's engineers and executives that was far more striking than he expected. His interviews of NASA's high-ranking managers revealed startling misunderstandings of elementary concepts.

Cheap Housing Option: Buy A Mobile Home! is a significantly one sided, and doesn't cover a lot of the downsides of mobile homes. For one thing, the financing options tend to be nightmares. He claims $300 for space rental including utilities; I haven't heard of one under $500, not including utilities, in years. In many locations, Mobile Home Parks are in the process of closing - being winnowed out by better uses for the land that bring the owners more money. It commits that cardinal sin of real estate investing: putting yourself in someone else's control, and in this case, it's not even someone with the same financial incentives your have.

Feynman was sought out by physicist Niels Bohr for one-on-one discussions. He later discovered the reason: most physicists were too in awe of Bohr to argue with him. Feynman had no such inhibitions, vigorously pointing out anything he considered to be flawed in Bohr's thinking. Feynman said he felt as much respect for Bohr as anyone else, but once anyone got him talking about physics, he would become so focused he forgot about social niceties.

National Market Continues to Drop; Some Markets Showing First Signs of Slowing Decline. I don't know why people obsess about after-the-fact statistics that don't even paint an accurate picture of the market when they need reliable methods of prediction to do any good, but they do.

In 1965, Feynman was appointed a foreign member to the Royal Society. [21]At this time, in the early 1960s Feynman exhausted himself by working on multiple major projects at the same time, including his Feynman Lectures on Physics: while at Caltech, Feynman was asked to "spruce up" the teaching of undergraduates. After three years devoted to the task, he produced a series of lectures that would eventually become the Feynman Lectures on Physics, one reason that Feynman is still regarded as one of the greatest teachers of physics. He wanted a picture of a drumhead sprinkled with powder to show the modes of vibration at the beginning of the book. Outraged by many rock and roll and drug connections that one could make from the image, the publishers changed the cover to plain red, though they included a picture of him playing drums in the foreword. Feynman later won the Oersted Medal for teaching, of which he seemed especially proud.[22] His students competed keenly for his attention; he was once awakened when a student solved a problem and dropped it in his mailbox; glimpsing the student sneaking across his lawn, he could not go back to sleep, and he read the student's solution. The next morning his breakfast was interrupted by another triumphant student, but Feynman informed him that he was too late.

Sadie's Take on Delaware sends us Controlling My Credit Score in Delaware Actually, they vary from 350 to 850 in the case of housing credit reports, but otherwise an informative article.

I was unable to discover a schedule of who is the next host (UPDATE: The host will be Minnesota Investment Property Blog, but Carnival of Real Estate will return next week (Monday, May 18th 2009). submit an article here

Once per month, I link the best articles that are submitted containing information for the consumer. April's Consumer Focused Carnival of Real Estate is now live.

Once per month, I link the best articles that are submitted containing information for the consumer. March's Consumer Focused Carnival of Real Estate is now live.


Buy My Science Fiction Novels!
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The Man From Empire
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A Guardian From Earth
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Empire and Earth
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Working The Trenches
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Preparing The Ground
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Building the People
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The Invention of Motherhood
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The Price of Power
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The Fountains of Aescalon
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The Gates To Faerie
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The Book on Mortgages Everyone Should Have!
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The Book on Buying Real Estate Everyone Should Have
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