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Simmering Hope

Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after. – Dr. Robert Anthony

Archive for January, 2008

Jan 31, 2008

Dealing with high blood pressure

I had a routine check yesterday evening and to my big surprise I found out that my blood pressure was 144/101.
My whole life I have had low blood pressure, on the range of 80/60 and I am puzzled about the huge jump.
I did gain some weight compared to 10 years ago, but not that much, probably around 5 kg. Could it be too much for my petite frame?

According to the literature, high blood pressure is a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher and once high blood pressure develops, it usually lasts a lifetime. High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no symptoms. Some people may not find out they have it until they have trouble with their heart, brain, or kidneys. Apparently it can be treated and controlled.

Things that can raise blood pressure include:
· Eating too much salt- I do eat salty but not that much
· Drinking too much alcohol- It’s not the case
· Not getting enough potassium in your diet- That may be true, although I started eating bananas
· Not doing enough physical activity- That is definitely a problem
· Taking certain medicines- Which ones?
· Having long-lasting stress- That is the most probable reason
· Smoking (smoking can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure)- I don’t smoke

It boils down to dealing with stress in a better way and starting working out again.
Stress– I guess I have to restart meditation and yoga
Exercise– I need more discipline, that’s for sure

I am not taking any birth control pills, any hormone replacement therapy and I am not postmenopausal.
I can conclude that it’s the stress factor.
Before panicking I will go tomorrow to have another quick blood pressure check. Maybe it was just a fluke.
Regardless the result, I am going to treat it like a wake-up call and start doing something before it’s too late.

Jan 31, 2008

Between Silentbanker and bank robberies what option do we have?

I have asked a financial adviser a few days ago what is his opinion on the latest Trojan dubbed Silentbanker.
He asked ‘Silent what?’
He has not heard anything about it. Weird! I would have thought that financial advisors would be better informed.
I guess by now people are more alert regarding Silentbanker.
In case you are like our adviser, here it’s what Symantec advised regarding the trojan:

The Trojan targets many different banks using various methods in order to perform the following:

Gain access to accounts
Divert transactions to attacker controlled accounts

The Trojan performs the following actions:

Redirects legitimate requests to attacker controlled computers
Alters the HTML of pages shown to the user
Alters requests sent by the user to the bank
Captures screen shots of Web sites where the user must click instead of type the password
Sends full pages received by the victim to the attacker
Downloads new versions of itself
Downloads new configuration files
Records user names and passwords
Records the content of the clipboard
Steals cookies, digital certificates, and Adobe .sol files
Sends a list of all software installed on the compromised computer to the attackers

The threat hooks APIs in the following browsers:

Internet Explorer
Firefox
It may also hook APIs to the following file:
explorer.exe

We were told to avoid Internet transactions, including transfers and payments, and instead to go to the bank and make our payments over there.
Not a problem, it’s another pain in the butt, but it’s doable.
But we are running into another scare: bank robberies.
Updated statistics put Vancouver on the fast track of becoming Canada’s capital of heists.
Only in January we had 33 heists, an increase of 136 per cent compared to January 2007.
In 2006 we had 130 bank robberies, in 2007 the number jumped to 185, probably we will break the record this year.

This is the dilemma: we are between two scares: Silentbanker and a bank robbery. Which one is less dangerous?


Jan 30, 2008

Thinking about a new heating system?

Boy we had a pretty bad weather here in British Columbia.
Yesterday it was snowing and the temperature dropped to –9°C.
Needless to say that our big 4000 sq ft house it’s even harder to warm up then normally is.
We had a combination of heating sources in the house: gas fireplace, wood burning stove, headboard elements and various types of heaters.
Wood burning stove is messy although the heat generated is nice and not very dry and it looks cozy if nothing else.
Because we are thinking about remodeling the house, it’s time to shop around for something that will look nice and be energy efficient as well.
With the natural gas increasing costs maybe we should investigate propane cost and efficiency as an alternative. From aesthetic point of view I would like to choose a fireplace.
As I have mentioned already, we are doing home renovations, and that includes a bigger garage and gas garage heaters will come handy because most of the time the garage is cold and it feels humid somehow.

If you plan to give somebody a gift of love, think about heaters. I will warm up their body and soul.

Jan 29, 2008

Update on Qtrax

It looks like the fun is over before it even started.
The major labels, namely Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, Universal Music and EMI Group, previously listed as being on the same boat with Qtrax denied signing any deal.
EMI, Sony BMG and Warner had previous agreements with Qtrax while the company was testing a paid music download system. But the agreement expired last year and it has not been renewed to cover the free, ad-supported model boasted by Qtrax.

Reading the info on the new free download service I was quite surprised honestly speaking. I understood that Qtrax was supposed to address the cost issue via advertising done for the major labels.
I am thinking: people going on a site to copy music are free loaders and what is the chance for somebody like that to jump and buy whatever may have been advertised?

Apparently the concept of ad-supported music download it is not a new one. SpiralFrog is another ad-supported service, launched last September. The downloads can’t be burned on CDs or played on Apple machine either.


Jan 28, 2008

A lip-gloss that could help you lose weight

Recently I came across a piece of news: a California based make-up company dubbed Too Faced created a lip gloss that allegedly helps you shed the extra pounds.
The wonder product named FUZE Slenderize Guilt Free Gloss is infused with healthy and delicious fruit flavors and most important, with appetite suppressant ingredients.
It is sold under the slogan “Always on the lips. Never on the hips” and it comes in three flavors and colors: Blueberry Raspberry- sheer purple, Strawberry Melon- sheer pink, and Dragon Fruit Lime- sheer peach.

What are the active ingredients that could help you lose weigh?
According to the company’s information, here they are:
-Chromium: A mineral said to improve the amount of energy you get from food and to boost metabolism.
-L-Carnitine: An amino acid that boosts energy.
-Super Citrimax: It’s a plant extract said to help to maintain a normal appetite and increase energy in healthy individuals and to support a healthy metabolism.

The same ingredients are found in Fuze energy drinks, which energize and slenderize.
It is said that Katie Holmes is one celebrity using Fuze energy drinks.

A spokesman for Too Faced said: “Application of this long-lasting, high-shine formula will actually help suppress one’s appetite for food without sacrificing delicious glamour.
“With a single swipe of the tube, Fuze Slenderize provides a pretty, plump pout with an added bonus of healthy, energy-boosting, appetite curbing ingredients.

Diet experts caution that there is no quick-fix when it comes to losing weight and there is only one way to lose weight in the long-term and that is a combination of sensible eating including avoiding bad fat, sugar and salt, exercise and a good night sleep.

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