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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Human Tetris Returns!

Anyone who follows this blog knows I am nuts for this Japanese show. It completely makes my day to find a new episode of it posted somewhere online. It is entertaining, clever, and funny as all get out. It is also tremendously addicting.

So, without further ado, I present the latest installment in the Human Tetris series:

Video from YouTube user Humantetris

See other episodes here:

More Human Tetris and Other Japanese TV Fun!

Japanese TV: Human Tetris

What are YOUR favorite foreign shows?

Freelance Writing - So Easy Anyone Can Do It! . . .NOT

Photo by Sarah Sturtevant

One of my favorite bloggers, Deborah Ng, posted this article on her freelance writing blog, and I must say I most heartily agree. The assumption that not only is what we do 'easy' but 'wealth-creating' is something I run into a great deal in my interactions with others who find out what I do.

Not everyone can write, and not everyone has what it takes to not only come up with new ideas to write about, but also put the right spin on it so it will capture and hold the attention of readers.

Most freelance writers cannot live on what they make from writing, alone. We have to have other sources of income unless and until we can land some long-term and good paying contract work. We are more correctly associated, income-wise, with the category of 'starving artist' than we are with J.K.Rowling.

We love what we do. If we didn't, we surely would not continue to do it. But to minimize the amount of work and skill it takes to do what we do is a grave injustice.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Tale of Two Immigration Situations

Today I present to you two stories of immigrants being deported.

Case #1
In the first, we have a couple who came here legally, filed all the appropriate paperwork, and was granted permission to stay. The husband is a doctor. The couple owns a store. They give generously to their community. They are now being deported because of a mistake in their paperwork. When both filed to stay here, they were single. When the permission came, they were married. Their marital status was not corrected.

Now the government says because of that error, they both must be deported. A simple enough mistake to correct, but instead of doing so, the government, in their infinite quest to red-tape everything to death, has decided to deport a couple who did everything right, made one tiny mistake in a huge paperwork process AFTER both were given permission to stay here, and is a huge benefit to this country and their community.

See the video for story number one HERE

Case #2
In case number two we have a man who knowingly came here illegally. He claims he came here because there was no work for him in his hometown in Guatemala. He also claims he never intended to stay here which is why he never bothered to learn the language [and what, pray tell was he going to do once he returned home if there is no work there? Could he really earn enough in a few short years to support himself and his family in style there?]

He says he only came here to get enough money to make things better for his family. He worked here (dishwasher) and saved enough money to fly home. He also tried to take a duffel bag filled with $50,000 onto the plane, and didn’t bother to fill out the declaration form stating he was taking more than $10,000 out of this country. Once caught illegally trying to leave the country with the cash, he was also busted on being here illegally. The government has seized his money and told him to get out of the country. His big concern – he wants his money. He says he earned it and it is his. He said he gave himself health problems by working here. [Yeah, the claim of many teenagers across America – doing dishes is going to kill them].

The video taped interview with the man showed absolutely no visible health problems, and there was no mention in any published report about him being arrested stating he had medical problems or that he was found in possession of any prescription medication. If you were leaving forever to go to a country with lesser medical care, and had a medical condition, wouldn’t you take some medicine home with you?

First, he came here illegally with the intent to be here illegally, work illegally, and then leave with his illegal ‘earnings’. In law, when one party breaks the law, they lose their right to any profits from whatever their illegal actions garnered them. This is why the government is allowed to confiscate the possessions of drug lords.

Someone who knowingly breaks the law is a criminal. Someone who intends to break the law and then follows through on that intent is a malicious criminal. Criminals have no right to profit from their illegal and malicious behavior. Lawfully, the money does not ‘belong’ to the criminal and he should be deported. The man is a malicious criminal and a liar and has no right and no business being here or to his ill-gotten gains. It is as simple as that.

See the video for story number two HERE

UPDATE: December 5, 2007
I ran a poll for 7 days after the publication of this blog post that went along with it. The question was regarding what should happen to the people in the aforementioned cases. The results are as follow:

60% of respondents felt everyone in both cases should be deported.
20% of respondents felt that none of those involved in either case should be deported.
20% of respondents felt that the couple in case #1 should be allowed to stay, while the man in case #2 should be deported without any of the money.

My appreciation to all those who participated in the poll.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What are YOU Thankful for?


Photo by Chance Agrella

Every year on Thanksgiving Day we have a tradition in my home to share a few of the many things we are thankful for. I would like to hear what YOU are thankful for, too. Here are a few things I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day:

I am thankful for being able to do a job that I love. I am thankful I am living my dream.
I am thankful for being blessed with this amazing son to raise, care for, love, and learn from. He is one of the greatest blessings in my life.
I am thankful for the roof over our heads, our utilities, food in our bellies, and clothes on our backs. I am thankful I have a reliable vehicle.
I am thankful that every year my health gets a little better and I get a little stronger after being so desperately ill and immobile for so very long. I am thankful I can now walk on my own two feet – and in 4” heeled boots, no less!
I am thankful for the technology which allows me to make better use of my time and work from home so I can be with my son. I am thankful for technology being in place which allows me to work, period.
I am thankful for all those who love us, care about us, and pray for us – who are so good to me and my son.
I am thankful for my friends who are always there to help me when I need it, to set me straight when I mess up, and lift me when I fall and cannot get back up. They are amongst the greatest blessings in my life.
I am grateful for the men who have blessed my life with love, laughter, and learning. There is not one of you who have not taught me something about life, relationships, or myself. God Bless You All.
And, I am thankful for you, my readers, who give me the motivation to keep writing and to keep perfecting my craft. You challenge me to be better and to work harder. You inspire me with your words and insight. You are amazing in your own right, and I am so very grateful for the glimpses into your world, life, and heart which you have allowed me.

Here is a little Happy Thanksgiving Treat for you, from me:

Thanksgiving Prayer by Johnny Cash from YouTube user cwag03

So, now that I have shared my list: What are YOU thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hit the Road, Jack, and Doncha Come Back No More!

Photo by Fito
Well, another pity-party article for illegal immigrants is in the news, and my stomach is turning with the ludicrous spin being put on it.

The family that has been spotlighted entered the United States ILLEGALLY 20 years ago and have managed to stay under the radar for awhile. YEARS later they said they wanted to seek 'political asylum' because they claimed a family member had been killed in their homeland and they had received related threats. When they were denied political asylum and ordered to return home, they stayed here, ILLEGALLY.

Now they are crying foul because Mom, Dad, and Grandma were forcibly removed from the country and sent packing back to Columbia. For whatever reason, the 18 and 20 yr old sons, who, their mother states with tears, cannot cook for themselves, cannot work, and have no one to 'take care of them' were allowed to stay here temporarily. Several lawmakers are even trying to get a law passed which would allow them to stay here until 2009.

Once the story hit the news, a local law office and a local hotel offered the boys jobs and they were even offered FREE TUITION.

The parents were interviewed in Columbia, in between trips to the mall.

One of the sons is quoted as saying about staying in the US in the family home, ""is too big for just two people. It feels so quiet and lonely not having my dad watching TV and my mom cooking dinner."

He posted on the internet, ""every drop of sweat I've spilled, every ounce of blood I've shed, every single friend I've made, every pledge of allegiance I've recited, and every pivotal point of development in my life has been in the United States. I was not fortunate enough to have been born here, but I was fortunate enough to enjoy my progression from a toddler to a man in this country."


They came here illegally 20 years ago.
They waited YEARS before claiming they needed political asylum.
When it was denied and they were told to go home to Columbia, they defied the law, AGAIN, and AGAIN stayed here ILLEGALLY.
They have raised their 18 and 20 yr olds sons to be incapable of self-sufficiency.
Mom and Dad are 'so afraid for their lives' in Columbia (remember they claimed their lives were in danger in Columbia and they needed political asylum here) that they are spending their time in Columbian shopping malls.
Mom stated they need to come back because the sons are incapable of taking care of themselves.
The son stated that the big house in the US is too quiet without mom slaving over the stove to feed them all while Dad is plopped on the couch in front of the TV.
The title of the article claims the couple is 'struggling' but the sons are still in the US in the 'big house' the family lived in before the parents were deported; and Mom and Dad are spending their time in Columbia on shopping trips.

Neither the parents nor the children made any statement about the parents or the children being in imminent danger of being killed. Hmmmm. So much for political asylum claims, eh?

And, what have they contributed to this county? EL ZIPPO! These 'men' are not even capable of caring for themselves, and now have people handing them jobs they are not qualified for and a free education.

This is absolutely sickening and preposterous.

If they came here with true political asylum claims which they made the moment they got here, I would have nothing but sympathy for them. I would join the cause to try to get them permission to be here.

But, like so many illegals, it is clear this is just another group of people thinking they have the right to come into our country illegally, take what they want, give back nothing, and then cry foul when they get caught and sent on their merry way.

Gimme a freakin' break!

Deported Couple Struggles in Colombia.JOSHUA GOODMAN
Associated Press Writer. November 18th, 2007 @ 5:08pm
Accessed November 20, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


It's self-promotion time! I just got the honor of AC Showcase Feature Article. It is my first time receiving this honor and I am very excited.
Read the article here: New York's Ten Best Restaurants for Luxury Food: $120 - $1000 Food Items.



Monday, November 12, 2007

The Pina Colada Song in Real Life

In this news item by Ananova, a Bosnian couple is divorcing after discovering the person they fell in love with and were carrying on an online affair with - was each other! Read the article here.

What jumped out at me in this story was the fact that this couple looked outside the marriage for communication and comfort - found it in each other - then divorced over that discovery.

It illustrates that clearly that couple had what it took to communicate, understand, support, and love one another - they just needed to drop the selfishness and animosity to do so.

But instead of smacking themselves on the forehead and realizing the BLESSING they discovered in their mistakes (as in the Pina Colada song) - the blessing which could make them whole again; and instead of being grateful they did not fall (further) into the sin of adultery- they decided to let pride and shame and selfishness take a tighter hold of their hearts and divorce.

How terribly, terribly sad; and what a truly educational example this could be - to anyone who will learn the lesson.

For your enjoyment: The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes
Video from YouTube user Geocon8

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fashion Sense for Women in Their 40's

Photo by Photografia Privata
A recent episode of Oprah featured fashion expert Tim Gunn giving tips for women in their 40's. From the Oprah show website, he is said to have given the following advice,
"Women in their 40s should always try to avoid horizontal stripes, jackets that hit at mid-thigh, pleated pants, double-breasted blazers, Capri-length pants and low-rise jeans."

Now, it has always been my personal understanding of fashion that the key elements are the current trends, age-appropriateness, and how it flatters your figure/camouflages your flaws. Some of the items on the list do not fit, in my understanding, the 'age-appropriateness' element, which leaves me scratching my head.

For example, what I have always been told about fashion and horizontal stipes is that you NEVER wear them unless it is on an area of your body you want to make look bigger/wider. For those with a very small bosom, wearing a shirt with horizontal stripes can make them look fuller in the chest. A woman with a very full bosom would obviously want to avoid horizontal stripes, and perhaps even opt for vertical stripes in order to make her bosom appear a little minimized.

The low-rise jeans I can understand as not being age-appropriate, but all of the other things on the list seem to be more fashion-appropriate or figure-appropriate issues.

This brings up the question of how important fashion and what fashion 'experts' say is to you.
How much credence do YOU give to their advice?
Which ones do you avidly follow?
Which ones do you think are quacks?


Project Makeover. The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Accessed November 11, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"And They Call it Otter Love . . ."

A video on Youtube featuring two otters at the Vancouver Aquarium holding hands as they float in the water has become a quick fan favorite. But are the otters really 'in love' or is there something more to the story?

The video that started it all:

Video created and posted on Youtube by CynthiaHolmes.

To quote Paul Harvey, and now, 'The Rest of the Story' from CBCtv:

To find out more about otters, which are on the endangered species list, please check out the Endangered Species Handbook

To help otters or any other endangered or threatened species, please check out the World Wildlife Fund website.

To find out how to support the Vancouver Aquarium, please check their website, which also features webcam viewing of the belugas and the otters.

To watch a short documentary about the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the repercussions of it, please watch this video by journeymanpictures.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Video Games Equal Outdoor Exercise?

Photo Copyright ® 2007 Playworld Systems®, Inc.

First, we had the Nintendo WII™ which was heavily promoted as a way to make playing video games more 'healthy' as it would require bodily movements in order to play.

Now we have NEOS coming to a playground or park near you soon. Tested to withstand inclement weather of all sorts, this new form of playground equipment contains nine game programs children (and adults) can play.

Fox News has a video segment available online which shows an interview with the president of the company, Matt Miller. During the interview children are shown playing with the NEOS system. The video may be watched by clicking HERE.

More information about the system or the company may be obtained from the company website at

If you are interested in getting a NEOS System for your school or community, you can apply for a grant HERE.

What do you think about outdoor video game play?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Recall Mania

Photo by Chance Agrella
It seems like recalls are in the news on an almost weekly basis lately. Today I read about yet another food recall: this one on frozen pizzas. It got me thinking about all the previous recalls, and wondering what the problem is, specifically, that is creating this environment of it being 'easier to get forgiveness than permission'. It seems that it is 'easier' to get lax on adhering to regulations in an effort to make more money, and then only do 'clean up' if there are problems which can be traced back.

Basically people have to die first. Multiple people. The deaths have to all be linked back to the product, too.

What alarms me is the number of E-Coli contamination recalls as of late. Do you know what is behind E-Coli contamination? People not washing their hands. Such a simple thing can prevent the spread of it, and yet it keeps happening. Are people really this disgusting?

Even more frightening is the number of recalls which are NOT making headlines. If you want to keep up-to-date on the latest recalls, you can check the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website for current and past recall notices. You can also report problems via their website. It seems as of late, E-Coli and lead paint are the most common recall issues, followed by fire hazards and fall hazards.

Also on the CPSC website is a section for kids about safety. It is really cute and educational. Click Here to explore it.

Yet another food recall. This one is for E-Coli contamination of beef. Read about it HERE.

What do you think about all the recalls? And what do you think should be done to help prevent this growing problem?
Copyright © 2008 - 2011 Daniella Nicole. All rights reserved.