Customize Products You Use – Life Hack

I get really excited thinking about idea! It started sometime last month. I was making chicken and rice soup for dinner. As the soup was almost done, I was thinking how nice I can add ingredients and spices to have the soup taste exactly as I want.

Most of the meal I cook taste exactly as I want, but the I never thought past cooking. About a week later, I was making myself some coffee. I had two bags of coffee I enjoyed and would switch off coffees every other day. French Roast today and Colombian Coffee tomorrow. This is when I had a flash of an idea.

You too can remix your coffee, shampoo and lotion for the results you want!

If I enjoy both of these coffees separately, what would happen if I combined them? So I did. I made myself coffee using both a mix of both coffees. The result was coffee much closer to what I wanted in my perfect cup of customized coffee!

A few days later while in the shower, the next customize idea arrived. I have this organic scalp condition. I got it from rinsing off many years ago in a lake in full algae bloom. I know it is organic as it would almost go away, and then over a few days it would be back with a vengeance, breaking out all over my scalp.

Last month’s outbreak was particularly bad. I use two different shampoos to control it. One is a medicated shampoo and the other a Tea Tree Oil shampoo. Both work, but not well enough to ‘cure’ my scalp problem. In desperation, I went to the Internet to find a shampoo recipe I could make at home that would do what I wanted. As I read different recipes, noting the most popular ingredients two things became apparent.

I could make a homemade shampoo for half of what it costs off the shelf. I could not find ingredients in small quantities or cheaply. The cost of the ingredients to start making cheap shampoo were expensive en mass and bulky. It was also questionable if the ingredients had a long enough shelf life to be useful.

I decided for a few days to mix both my shampoos and try them out. It worked so well, I combined them in a fifty-fifty mix. It has been three weeks now and my scalp problem has been solved. Gone is my repeating cycle of recession and outbreak.

I am not sure what I will customize next. Maybe body wash or skin lotion. Without thinking about it before, I already use mixed laundry soap and simple home cleaners, which give better results for a lot less money. For example, a little de-greasing dish soap and a little bleach turn cheap laundry soap into a world class product. The same idea applies to floor cleaning. A little cheap cleaner with a little de-greasing dish soap makes the kitchen floor cleaner for less than buying a brand name product.

Possibilities are there to make your own custom mix for your needs. If business can mix ingredients five-hundred gallons at a time, I know I can make my custom mix at home combining a few cheap products into my world class product.

One caveat, read and heed labels! When it comes to combining cleaning products, use care in what you mix. Some common cleaners and ingredients sitting in your kitchen and laundry room when mixed can have disastrous results.

Mix discreet ingredients with cleaners only after searching the Internet for compatibility and then only in a very small quantity. The last thing you want is to burn your hair off, bleach all your laundry white, melt your flooring, create toxic gas or a dangerous chemical reaction next to your face.

Do not attempt to mix Toilet Bowl Cleaners! Some Toilet Bowl Cleaners if mixed with other products will cause toxic gas or other very serious chemical reactions! Do not attempt to mix them. Read labels.

Combining lotions and shampoos are one thing, cleaners of any type should be only mixed with extreme caution after determining if they can be combined. Read all labels and precautions. Stick to skin soap, shampoo, and lotion and you should be okay. A trip to the emergency room for chemical burns definitely offsets all benefits gained from experimenting.

New Years 2019, New Not Improved

A New Year is once again here. Without trying, we start to stress and worry about the changes we are going to inflict upon ourselves. In the end, we will end up a year form now, fairly close to where we are in the moment. Unless of course we really make an effort to go through the investment of creating a new and improved model of us. Not an easy undertaking, as the most of the world does not want us to change and improve.

This year instead of regurgitating some words that are pretty much what I have felt over time about the New Year, I provided four links to what I have written in the past.

In the interim, my best for you and your journey through the New Year. I hope you make the changes you think you want to make, and you are pleased with the result. If I may make a small suggestion, decide to make changes that make you a better you, not a changed you. These changes tend to be more permanent and pleasing.

New Years Coming

Improving the New Year You

What New Years Resolutions

New Years Worthwhile Resolutions

Of course, you can just search, “new years”, or “resolutions” on my blog search.

Happy New Year!

Flow with, don’t fight the New Year

More Than a Dollar

This post is a ‘clean’ post. However the content is not for children…

Something strange happened today. I went to a local mall to eat Chinese food. I was alone. To get where I was going from where I parked, I needed to walk through a store. As I walked, there on the floor was a semi-crumpled crumpled bill laying on the floor.

Of course I picked the bill up, hoping it was a twenty, but it was only a dollar. Being in a generous mood, I held the bill in my hand as I walked. I walked on perhaps another thirty feet, outside the store and into the mall proper.

Found a dollar

When a dollar isn’t really a dollar.

There was a bench, and sitting on the bench was a Father with his perhaps four year old Son playing on the floor. I walked up to the Father. I asked him, not looking at the child, “I found this on the floor, would your Son like to have a dollar bill?” The Father said, “No thank you”. I said, ” I found it on the floor, right over there (pointing)”.

It took a second or two for ‘No’ to register in my brain… I found this absolutely astounding! What was the Father thinking? Why would he decline free money? I was completely at a loss. I put the bill in my pocket, walked over the cafe, ordered and ate my dinner.

As I ate, I pondered these possibilities. 1.) The Father was not white. Did he think I thought he was broke and needed money? 2.) For whatever reason, the Father was offended by my offer of money. 3.) The Father, in a pedophile-phobia mind set, determined I was a pedophile, and by giving him a dollar bill to give to his son, his son would somehow become infected or targeted?

As I pondered these three possibilities, I though perhaps numbers one and two were possible. Perhaps the Father was offended by my offer for whatever reason. I thought number three was so far out there, it could not possibly apply. After eating I was to meet some people for coffee.

As the coffee clutch conversation slowed a bit, I brought up the situation at the mall, and the rejected dollar bill offer. I asked the group what they thought the reason was? To my surprise, the unanimous vote was the Father determined I was probably a pedophile! I was and am absolutely amazed this was not only the majority opinion, but the only opinion!

I can not make the jump from offering the Father a dollar bill to give to his Son, is any way related to being a probable pedophile. Even if it were possible, how does giving the Father a dollar bill effect the Son and his safety? It’s now, a few hours later, I still can not make that leap of thought. I only spoke to the Father, and offered the dollar bill to the Father. I simply can not make the jump, as to how the pedophile idea was the uniform conclusion.

I think this must be a brain virus in action. Too many generations of being told to fear, Chester the Molester, or the Man in the Van. Any thoughts?

Unconscious Bias, Us and Them

Science overthinks Unconscious Bias. Unconscious Bias reasons people hold of interest to scientific and social communities, is commonly determined to be a bias against people(s) which an individual is not even aware they are biased against. No one escapes Unconscious Bias. One may be knowingly biased against people for demographics, skin color, or facial and body features, and this bias is Conscious Bias.

Put in another more formal way, here is the definition from the Office of Diversity and Outreach:

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.

I disagree with how science has determined how Unconscious Bias occurs. I am of the opinion, Unconscious Bias comes from a much simpler and much older place and was active possibly before modern humans even developed language.

Unconscious Bias is likely built into our DNA, and is not something we can easily eradicate, and probably something we should not even try to eradicate. It is important to quantify the Unconscious Bias which I address. This is not an outright culture or race bias which is behind much of today’s news. This Unconscious Bias I wish to define has familial properties.

Unconscious Bias is likely in our DNA, and it should stay there

The Unconscious Bias I am talking about maximizes survival of the family unit, carried forward from our most ancient ancestors. Two hundred years ago (a blink of an eye), most of the world had a limited supply of food and clothing. In most of the world we were living a rural village life. There was the family unit, the extended family unit, and the remaining people who together comprised a village, perhaps one hundred people, probably less.

Village population was determined by resource allocation and our brain size. There was only so much food and clothing to go feed everyone. There were only so many people able to hunt and cultivate crops. There were finite supply of edible fish and animals within a reasonable hunting distance from the village.

When the family had food for the day, food was distributed by family ties. Perhaps Parents and grown Children were fed first. Grandparents and young Children second. If there was a food surplus, extended family would be allowed to share the food. After extended family, friends of the family would be given food. Finally, the rest of the village population would be given food.

Our brain size determines our social ability. The most brain growth in modern humans was done to increase our social ability. Today most of us have between one-hundred to one-hundred fifty people we socialize with in varying degrees.

Looking at Unconscious Bias through this perspective, Unconscious Bias has little to do with race, geography, skin color, or other artificial measurement. Unconscious Bias was developed for maximizing survival of the immediate family unit.

Starting with the immediate family unit (parents and children) who have a surplus, and extending to the village unit, everyone followed the same model. The more you are one of us (closer to a family matriarch), the better your chances of receiving extra sufficient food and clothing when available. As food distribution is extended, a non family member’s chance of receiving food diminishes the farther they are from being part of the family.

You can test this idea yourself as you go through your day. Pretend you have extra food available which must be given away as it will spoil soon. You have enough food to give to three people beyond the people in your immediate family. As you look at the people you see or have contact with, decide whether you would give them food or not.

I think you will find, the people you are most likely to feed are those people either closest to you or most like you. I think looking for ulterior motives and reasons for Unconscious Bias, and trying to eradicate Unconscious Bias in any other definition is akin to, “Beating a dead horse”. You can beat the dead horse into dust and powder, but it doesn’t change the fact the horse is dead.

Homeless Economics

In the post, below, is a picture is a Homeless Person (questionable) standing under a sign which was placed explicitly for homeless people to get help through various city programs. The program is intended to get Homeless People off the street and connect them to needed services. Unfortunately Homelessness has become a job in itself.

Begging pays better than working for many people.

On the Albuquerque, New Mexico, 311 website are listed the top ten reasons people are calling 311. Being homeless and asking for help is not one of the top ten.Albuquerque BioPark and Bicycling are numbers one and two.

Here are the Homeless Services offered on the city of Albuquerque 311 Web Page:

There’s a Better Way

 

View information about the program “There’s a Better Way.”

Want to Help?

Donations to the program help the issue of panhandling in Albuquerque.

The There’s a Better Way campaign gives panhandlers a chance at a change in life and provides caring members of our community with a better way to donate their money.

About ‘There’s a Better Way’

Begun in 2015, Albuquerque’s innovative “There’s a Better

Way” program addresses four main needs:

1. Give people dignity in work
2. Connect individuals with services
3. Collective Impact to end panhandling
4. Help the Community to understand “There’s a Better Way”

The plan is robust, and is of course intended to get Homeless People off the street and connect them to needed services. Interestingly enough, the BioPark, and Animal Noise Complaints are the most requested services from the 311 program.

The 311 program has a major economic fault that plagues state Welfare Services across the country. Homeless People are making more money standing on the street corner with a sign than they would working. This same problem applies to Welfare Services of many states. It is easier and more profitable to remain on Welfare than it is to get a job.

The sad economic reality is, many of the homeless people standing on the street corners, are not starving, stuck, or needy. For many, standing on the corner begging, pays better than joining the community and becoming a productive member of the community. Giving through charity is commendable. Giving money to people on the street corner who have no interest in becoming a working member of the community is something else completely.

Homelessness, Land of Uneven Surfaces

Sir, can you spare some change?

No, but I will buy you something to eat if you are hungry.

Three minutes of trying to get her act together, finally entering the Fast Food Place where they were standing six feet from the door.

Semi dirty hair, dirty hands, face, and skin areas, clothing and bags dirty.

“I just got out of an abusive relationship…referring to meth scabs maybe?

My Daughter is with a sitter today. Okay…

It’s my day off from work today…..

I stay in a hotel, it’s forty-two dollars a night.

I’m getting section eight housing in one week ten days…eighty-five dollars a month, I can swing that.”

I place my order, less than $3.00. Their food bill adds up to $9.86!?

She suggested, “Let’s sit here?” Okay.

I sit down, she leaves to fill soda from machine. Minutes click by. I wonder if she forgot what she was doing. Her number is called, called again, called a third time.

She comes back to the table. I say, “You order is ready, they called your number.”

She gets her food, three large drinks and a sausage biscuit and sits down.

Easy slide to the bottom when you are homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Some Woman told an employee, they can’t believe they let people like me in here. Then she tells Me, ‘I am filthy and I stink’. Why do people think they can talk to me like that, like I’m a piece of trash, and not human?”

I am thinking to myself, well the filthy comment fits, I’m in agreement with the woman about the comments. However, there is no excuse for people talking like that to anyone like that, true or not.

She takes large drink of one large shake, then another, and nods off.

“You okay?” She wakes up, starts spreading jelly on her biscuit and her hands….Nods off again. Drooling this time.

Hello?

Opens her eyes, repeats section eight housing story. Nods off again. Opens eyes, “I’m so tired.”

I say, “It appears to me, whatever you have doing isn’t working to well for you, have you heard of “shelter name”.

I won’t go there! I won’t go to any shelter. They get into your business, and I don’t want that. I have been waiting two years for cheap housing, and I’m not going to blow it. I have to wait a week, and three days, and I’m in. Nods off again.

I wonder to myself if she has a week and three days left. I think it may be a coin flip.

I suggest (because she was nodding again), “Why don’t you use a different name? It would give you a chance to clean up, eat and get some real sleep.”

“Have you ever been in one of those places? You don’t know what they are like! (hmmm) How can you sit there and tell me what to do? I don’t want CYFD (Child Welfare) in my business. Why does everyone who gives me money or buys me food think they have the right to tell me what to do?

Maybe they care about you and your condition?, I’m thinking, if I were someone else, I may have paid you for other things, if I didn’t care about my health and well being….

“Are you from here, where did you grow up?”

“I was born in the xxx area, and grew up in the xxxxxxx area.” I’m getting housing in one week and three days, $85.00 a month. My own place. A bed for my daughter.” Nods off…

Opens eyes, “Did you hear a thing I said?

I repeat back what she told me, only one iteration though. “Are you sure about not getting some help, you look like you could use some good sleep.”

“I’m so tired….Why do you think you have the right to tell me what to do? I’m sick of people like you telling me what to do! Who do you think you are?” (I am thinking, ‘someone who is concerned about you doesn’t count I suppose’.)

I’ve had about enough at this point. This woman either hasn’t hit rock bottom, or she does not realize she has already crash landed, and they only place left to fall is to die. Frustration overrides my concern. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. In her case, I’m not even sure, if she knows what is going on.

“Do you have some money you could give me? Anything will help.”

“I do not have any money to give you. I spent almost ten dollars on your food. That was a lot of money for me to spend on you.“

“I only need like twenty more dollars to get a hotel room for the night…for my daughter and me. I have almost half of it.”

“I do not have any money to give you.”

She starts falling asleep again.

“I have to go now, I have somewhere to be. I truly hope the next time I see you, you have your apartment, your daughter, and you are doing well. I hope I do not see you as you are now. Good Luck, and my best for you.”

No response, or perhaps that was the response. As I drive, the conversation slowly fades away, forgotten.

Today, I am getting ready to meet someone, when crashing into my thoughts is the woman I left at the table yesterday. Almost overwhelming thoughts of her. It’s not apparent to me why she has taken over my thoughts, and what these thoughts mean. Twelve hours later, and they still haunt me, coming in lingering waves spacing farther apart, and smaller with each arrival.

Perhaps it is because she isn’t the run of the mill homeless person I am used to seeing. Most homeless people are obviously homeless, but getting along somehow, semi clean and looking like they eat enough.

This woman was skinny as a rail, no fat on her. Dirty, and nothing worth anything on her person, worn out cloths and flip flops. She had a half pack of cigarettes, and a container of bright pink lipstick she wore above and below each lip. She like her clothes looked worn out. The one bag she had her possessions stuffed into was in worse condition.

I say more than a few short prayers today for this woman. If anyone ever needed at least praying for it is her. I know she is beyond anything I can do for her. I doubt she even remembers yesterday, the meal and halting angry conversation.

Tariffs and Embargoes, Oh My

Now that we are into the Tariff Trade Game, let’s take a minute and see what it really means. From the U.S. side, the cost of a new home on the northwest coast has seen an average of $7,000 increase due to the increased cost of lumber due to the imposed tariff.

Those not buying a new home, really aren’t effected, or are they? For whatever reason home sales are now a tight market. Prices for used homes have outpaced wages. It really doesn’t matter, what happens to the price of new homes from this perspective, in the short term anyway.

In the Midwest, Farmers are feeling the brunt of losing their largest export consumer of soybeans. Almost one-third of the soybean crop is exported and now faces a Chinese tariff. So far the U.S. Government has put up eleven twelve billion dollars to offset those losses. The American Taxpayer will foot that eleven million dollar bill. Unfortunately there will be fallout among the Farmers who for whatever reason will not see a dime of the these monies for one reason or another. More small farms will cease to exist.

Coca-Cola has announced it is feeling the rise in the price of aluminum for cans. Of course this will only effect Coca-Cola in the short term. These increased costs will quickly be passed on to the consumer. The downside of this price adjustment for the added cost of aluminum is the American Taxpayer is also the consumer.

General Motors and one of the Home Appliance manufacturers announced the rise in the price of steel has arrived at their door. Some of this steel was ordered months past. Once again, American Taxpayers will foot the bill as this cost is passed on.

Tariffs are not effective, and never have been.

Passing on the cost is what big business does. Generally these costs increased are in excess of what the additional or new cost of aluminum and steel will be. If challenged big business will claim they are adjusting prices according to projected future costs. To get a better idea of this, think of how gas prices at the pumps increase well before the holidays, or summer. The upward price rise is much quicker than any downward price adjustment. Why reduce profit if the customer is already willing to pay a higher price….

The Soybean Tariff reminds me of the Russian Grain Embargo of years past. The U.S. placed an embargo of grain sales to Russia. The grain market was in dismay, as they like to export wheat, but enterprising business started raising wheat fed chickens for export to Russia, informally reducing or eliminating the effect of the famous grain embargo.

In the moment, America will experience a temporary soybean glut. This will last until the excess soy is converted to a food China wants that is not subject to a tariff. Business creativity is the work around of Tariffs, Sanctions and Embargoes. Perhaps U.S farmers will start exporting soy fed beef and chicken to China offsetting or bypassing the soybean surplus and tariff.

America may shift production into soy based housing material, soda and food containers, cars and home appliances made of a soy product instead of metal. Let’s not forget more soy meals instead of beef, chicken, and fish, and perhaps soy based gasoline.

This alternate soy fantasy would cost billions in investment dollars. Of course the American taxpayer is more than happy to foot the bill. Generally the common man suffers the biggest burden when these unworkable policies are put in place, paying more for living day to day, and seeing a bigger tax bill which like the increase in production cost prices, will not be reduced when no longer needed. Tariffs have not worked as planned since they were first tried.

Of course following the current fake news line, ‘If you see it, and you hear about it, don’t believe it, it’s not true’. You can take that thought to the bank….

Gangs, Forced Labor, and Slavery in America

There are an estimated 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs criminally active in the U.S. today. Most of these Gangs feed the prison system with new or repeating inmates.

Afraid your child may be falling under gang influence? Check out the parents guide to gangs. Once gang members and other criminals are behind bars, they are eligible to become forced labor, or Legal Slaves. Some may work for a tuppence which is minimal.

There are about 2,220,300 inmates in state and federal prisons. Many of these inmates, survive just like the prison movies…Forced labor in all weather conditions, and armed Watchers ensuring no one escapes alive.

While an argument may be tabled that some of these inmates are paid for their work, it isn’t the same as a real job. These jobs are jobs are not jobs anyone not in the prison system would want to do. Hours are long, and pay is short or not at all. Average pay is a couple of dollars a day, with no benefits. Hardly an amount anyone would willingly work for.

Then there are the chain gangs. Dangerous work using the forced labor of about 870.000 inmates. With little or no pay, basically Convicts are America’s Legal Slaves. Many of these inmates are in chain gangs. Just like the movies…forced labor, all weather conditions, and armed Watchers ensuring no one escapes.

As out of sight,  is human trafficking, or Slavery in America. Hard to believe, but the United States is far from the bottom of the list of countries with a Slave population.

The Federal Government does appropriate monies to combat slavery, but with forced inmate labor, and other issues, the monies are little more than a splash in the bucket.

From the Office on Trafficking Persons, yes there is such a place, we have a budget:

Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017.

Fiscal Year     Programs for Foreign National Victims   Programs for Domestic Victims  Total

2018              $17,000,000                                         $6,755,000                  $23,755,000

So, does forced labor start with Gang Members and other Criminals feeding the system, or is forced labor inherent in America, being a part of the American System as long as America has been around?

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

There is a possible link between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease. From what I read, the Herpes virus that causes cold sores which goes dormant appears to eventually move into the brain, and create what we know as Alzheimer’s Disease.

We all have a blood-brain barrier that stops almost all virus’ from entering the brain itself, but as we know, there are some brain issues that show some virus’ are able to make it through the brain-blood barrier and cause brain infections.

Here is a link from the most comprehensive article I stumbled across. There was another article commenting on this study, but I could not retrieve the link.

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

Personally, I hope this link proves to be false….