Since the start of the new year, Better Business Bureau Northwest & Pacific has seen an uptick in customers searching for general contractors to help spruce up their homes. BBB has received more than 72,000 local inquiries to general contractors since January—that’s up nearly 4,000 from last year. Locally there were more than 21,000 searches in Oregon. Unfortunately, scammers are hoping to capitalize on this interest by finding ways to con consumers and contractors out of money. Continue reading
In 2012 my dear Mom passed away. My wife and sister and I went through her things in preparation for taking care of her estate. We discovered that Mom had quite a collection of jewelry. Most of it was costume jewelry. She never spent a lot of money on herself. But even though we were skeptical, we thought it would be smart to have a pile of jewelry checked out by an expert, just in case there was something valuable in there.
So we got a lunch sized paper bag and filled it up with jewelry and took it to a guy who said he would help us determine if there were any valuable items there. (For Video of presentation, visit: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/162b06b3e9e12b1a?projector=1) Continue reading
Author and media consultant Peter Leyden and political commentator Ruy Texeira have declared all out war against conservatives. These regressives (they think they are “progressives” but they are not – they are dragging us backwards toward the Dark Ages) argue, quite correctly in my view, that America is currently divided into two camps, and one camp or the other must prevail.
In their view, co-existence or bipartisanship is impossible. “At this juncture in our history, there’s no way that a bipartisan path provides the way forward.” In other words, you can forget all that nonsense about crossing the aisle and finding common ground, because there isn’t any common ground. Continue reading
Legend has it that, in 1849, a mechanic named Walter Hunt owed a friend $15 and decided to invent something new in order to earn the money to repay him. He invented the safety pin. On April 10, 1849, Hunt received a US patent for his invention. The anniversary of the day when the patent was issued is informally celebrated as Safety Pin Day. Hunt sold his patent to W. R. Grace and Company, earning $400. Continue reading
Mileage standards and tariffs help some – while penalizing countless others, often severely
It’s become a recurring, frustrating pattern, as legislators and regulators ignore the immutable laws of unintended consequences, to drive political agendas or aid favored constituencies, while harming others.
A good example is corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards on vehicles. Originally enacted in 1975 to offset the impacts of the OPEC oil embargo and US oil price controls, and slow the rapid depletion of oil reserves, the mileage standards grew increasingly stringent. During the Obama years, the earlier justifications were replaced with claims that a vastly tougher 54.5 mpg standard would somehow help prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.” Continue reading
Those of us having in our households one or more pets would probably acknowledge that the love received far outweighs the care and attention required by our pets. And, that is why we have them. They give us love, unconditionally. They make us laugh. They console us and lick away our tears. They sit on our shoulders, in our hands, on our laps and by our sides. If we are in good health, it is no doubt due in some part to the pets that distract us from our problems and worries, in a way as casual as the methodical stroking of furry head laid against a knee. Pets give us something on which to focus other than ourselves. They are amiable – and best of all, loving companions.Pets become an important part of our memories as we grow older. Nowhere can this be seen more poignantly than in a nursing home or eldercare facility. Continue reading
The island’s demise was a human and Little Ice Age tragedy, not “ecological suicide”
In a recent New York Times column, Nicholas Kristof misleads us about the awful history of Easter Island (2,300 miles west of Chile), whose vegetation disappeared in the cold drought of the Little Ice Age. In doing so, he blinds modern society to the abrupt, icy climate challenge that lies in our own future. Continue reading
Cancels Controversial Teen Sex Conference
On Monday, March 26, the Oregon Teen Pregnancy Task Force (OTPTF) was asked to refrain from holding its 2018 “Summit” on May 7 at Providence Hospital’s Cancer Center Amphitheater. The hospital Public Relations Office notified Parents’ Rights in Education (PRIE) after their inquiry a week earlier, alerting Providence of the incompatibility of Providence’s Catholic mission and the activities of the OTPTF. Continue reading
Those who can remember a half century back will recall these words, spoken by Captain James Kirk of the starship Enterprise at the beginning of each episode of Star Trek:
“Space—the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission—to explore strange new worlds—to seek out new life and new civilizations—to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Although the original series lasted only three years and 79 episodes, it spawned follow-on series and has become a cult classic.
But this essay is not about classic science fiction, the starship Enterprise, or Captain Kirk. Yet it is about science that has some of the elements of science fiction. It is about a starship going where no man has gone before. And it is about Captain Kirk, played by Canadian actor William Shatner. Yes, Shatner is still alive at almost 88 and promoting the latest NASA spacecraft mission to touch a star.
That star is our Sun and the mission is called the “Parker Solar Probe.” At the size of a small automobile, the unmanned probe is hardly a giant starship. But it will have to endure heat and radiation greater than any encountered by the Enterprise. Although hardly traveling at “warp speed,” it Continue reading
A grape is the fruit that grows on the woody vines of the family Vitaceae. Grapes grow in clusters of 6 to 300, and can be black, blue, golden, green, purple, red, pink, brown, peach or white. They can be eaten raw or used for making jam, grape juice, jelly, wine and grape seed oil. Cultivation of grapevines occurs in vineyards, and is called viticulture. One who studies and practices growing grapes for wine is called a viticulturalist.
Raisins are the dried fruit of the grapevine, and the name actually comes from the French word for “grape”. Wild grapevines are often considered a nuisance weed, as they cover other plants with their usually rather aggressive growth. Continue reading