Proper Tips to Design Vinyl Banners Effectively

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Whenever you decide to get vinyl banners designed and printed for your business, there are lots of things to consider and some big decisions to make in this regard. Many designers tend to ignore the most important factors they have to consider when designing vinyl banners for any business. Mistakes like these can ruin the banner, and decrease its effectiveness when displayed in a market place or a trade show.

So, here are some of the best tips you should follow when designing and printing vinyl banners for your business. These tips will help you use your vinyl banners as traditional marketing tools to promote your business.

Where Will You Place Your Banner?

The place in which you want to display your vinyl banners holds much importance in the designing process. At this point, you might be thinking that we are working in the wrong order. In fact, the surroundings of your vinyl banner can actually decide what type of colors you will be using for your banner.

Ideally, the banner colors and design should contrast with its surroundings to make the vinyl banner easily visible.

Large Text Works The Best

One of the main reasons why you are investing your money in vinyl banners is that you need to use them to grab the attention of your potential customers. That is why you should always use large and easy to read text on your vinyl banners. The text should be large enough to help people read it from a large distance.

As a rule of thumb, the most important details like the location of your business and your contact details should be the most easily visible parts of your vinyl banner.

These were some proper vinyl banner designing tips.

Read This Before Buying Ballet Shoes


At first, you might think that ballet is a delicate sport with little to no physical exercise in the world. However, the truth is that ballet is an extremely difficult thing to do, and involves strength and endurance training as well.

So, if you are thinking about signing your kid up for ballet classes, you should definitely buy him the right ballet shoes first.

Buying the wrong ballet shoes can enjoy your child, and that is why you should read the Tips mentioned below before buying comfortable dance shoes of any type.

Choosing The Right Sole

Sole is one of the most important things of a ballet shoes when it comes to questioning your child’s feet from the impact of jumping on the floor. Choosing the right type of sole for your child’s ballet shoes can prevent many types of injuries. There are two different types of soles available in ballet shoes, full and split soles.

Usually, split soles are preferred by teachers because they can let your child arch his feet according to the required pose. Full sole ballet shoes are good for children who are just starting out with ballet.

Size And Material Choice

Keep in mind that your child’s ballet shoe must fit on his feet perfectly. That is because loose shoes prevent the dancer from making movements with full confidence.

After choosing the right size, you should consider the right material as well. You will usually have to choose between leather and canvas ballet shoes. While both of them serve the same purpose, leather shoes are good for wooden floors, while canvas shoes are good for vinyl floors.

You should also choose the right color according to the gender of your child. These were some of the most important things you must know before buying ballet shoes for your kid.

Going to a Doctor For Your Personal Injury Lawyer

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There will be quite a lot of advice that your personal injury lawyer is going to be sending your way regarding the kind of work that you need to do in order to ensure that you win your case in the long run. A big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that they would know that the things that you do right after an injury has occurred will factor into how a judge ends up thinking about your case, and there is a right way and a wrong way in which you can go about handling this post injury period.

One really important thing that you should do in some way, shape or form when you hire Precision Injury Law would be to go to a doctor. After all, you can’t really prove that you suffered any kind of injury that deserves compensation until and unless you have to go to a doctor in order to get the injury treated because otherwise the defense lawyers are going to make up a story about how your injury really isn’t all that serious and that you are simply trying to get one over them in a lot of ways.

If you are worried about medical bills, you should stop your worrying right way. Any money that you have to pay in order to treat your injuries is going to be covered in the settlement that you would end up receiving which is why you should not be concerned about this type of situation at all. It will truly strengthen your case in a way that you can’t afford to lose out on.

What Makes Commercial HVACs Unique?

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HVACs come in all shapes and sizes, and if you have some kind of a commercial enterprise then chances are that you would also end up needing a commercial HVAC once all has been said and is now out of the way. The reason behind this is that commercial HVACs have the potential to really take your enterprise to a whole new level, and they are better suited to your needs than residential HVACs would ever be capable of being.

Before you dive headfirst into the world of commercial HVAC systems, you should know what makes them so distinct from residential systems. The main difference that you might notice is that commercial HVACs tend to be a lot larger than might have been the case otherwise. This is pretty understandable since commercial entities such as malls and restaurants need more cooling than a small residential HVAC would be capable of providing, and the sheer size of commercial HVACs means that you would not have to leave them on for very long before you can start to enjoy the improved ambient temperature that you as well as pretty much all of your customers are going to end up desiring.

Commercial HVACs also have a tendency to use a much higher amount of power than their residential counterparts. This is necessary in order to facilitate the level of activity that they are required to maintain, and it can make it easier for business owners to keep their customers comfortable in the long run. The benefits of owning a commercial HVAC system are hard to deny, and they can help level the playing field if you are a new business owner without much experience.

Never Make These Mistakes When Hiring a Mold Removal Company

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No matter how careful you might be with dampness in your house, there are some areas which you cannot inspect regularly. This is how mold gets a chance to sneak into our homes, and maybe affect our health as well. If left unattended, a mold infestation can also decrease the structural strength of your property.

As soon as you find out That you have mold infestation in your house, you should hire a mold removal company as soon as possible. This will help you get rid of the mold infestation, and keep your family members healthy.

However, people hiring a mold removal company for the first time can make huge mistakes which can cost them their time and money. So, read the below mentioned mistakes you might make when hiring a mold removal company for mold removal in Atlanta GA, and avoid them as much as you can.

Considering Price as The Biggest Factor

While you have the right to compare the prices offered by different mold removal companies before choosing one of them, you should stay away from the companies providing you with unrealistic prices.

For example, in the mold removal services, you get what you pay for. Fraudulent company might win your business by quoting you less price, but they will increase their profit margin by adding hidden costs later on.

So, you should never consider the price as the biggest factor when hiring a company for mold removal services.

Doing Incomplete Research

No matter what type of company you might be hiring, you should always do the due diligence, and complete your research before finalizing the name.

Since they do not have any prior experience, many homeowners end up hiring the first mold removal company they come across. This is never a good idea, as you should check out their reviews first.

Why You Should Find a Good Barber

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If you usually find yourself unsatisfied with your hair style, you might be going to the wrong barbershop. The importance of finding a good barber shop can never be underestimated since they look and feel of your hair completely depend on the skills of your barber.

Some barbers are skilled enough to provide you with results which exceed your expectations. However, there are many substandard service providers in the market.

So, here is why finding a good barbershop is so important. You should find the perfect barber in your area to take care of your hair styling needs.

A True Barber Takes Care of Your Needs

The guys working in salons do so much things at once.  For example, they cut your hair, color them, and can make different styles on your request. However, only a true barber knows how to take care of a man’s hairstyling needs.

Since barbers dedicate most of their time only to giving haircuts, they are well-versed in classic hairstyles as well as the modern ones. So, you can definitely rely on a skillful barber to give you the best haircut eve

A Unique Experience

The fancy salons Are all the same, and they provide genetic services which you can get bored of pretty quickly. Almost every salon is exactly the same, and they provide the same services as well.

On the other hand, every other barbershop you visit will have its own unique atmosphere, and will provide you with a unique experience.

The atmosphere inside a barbershop depends solely on the personal preferences of the barber you are visiting. So, you get to experience a completely unique place every time you visit a different barber shop.

These were the reasons why you should choose a good barber shop to get haircuts from.

Benefits of Playing PES 2020 Over FIFA

disney games

For the longest time, both FIFA and PES have been the two games that have managed to rival each other and while both games cater to the same audience, there are differences between both games that are significant and most of the times, people actually consider PES over FIFA, and for obvious reasons, as well.

Over the past couple of years, FIFA has more or less become a cash grab, which means that every year, the games ship with little to no changes in the overall core mechanics, which means that it is more or less the same game with a new coat of paint.

PES on the other hand has been evolving a lot, and that is certainly a good thing because you get to enjoy all the new nuances that are added into the game, which makes it so much better than what other games are offering. You can get the game from if you are interested in getting started.

Below are a few benefits of this game over the competition.

Better Controls

Honestly, ever since I started playing PES, I have not looked back to what other games are offering just because of how good controls are. It feels like you are playing an entirely different game.

Proper Improvements And No Glitches

Another thing that you are going to enjoy here is that there are not a lot of glitches here and in addition to that, the improvements that you can see in the game are proper, and are not just random improvements that people enjoy. Therefore, it is better that you are fully aware of what you are doing and how you plan on playing the games.

Benefits of a Professional Moving Service

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Planning a move? We can only imagine just how overwhelming the whole experience is but the thing that you must understand is that you will need to look for someone who can help you get the job done without any issues. The thing with moving is that there are a lot of things that you will need to be looking after. Everything ranging from the packing part to actually hiring someone who can take your stuff there.

In such situations, why not go for someone who is actually good at this and can take care of things for you. That is why you can always look at moving and storage services because they can help you with the whole process and you don’t really have to stress everything that might come your way.

For now, let’s just have a look at the benefits.

Moving Made Easier

With these professionals, the whole idea of moving has been made a lot easier and straightforward, you will not have to stress about anything else going wrong in the process and that way, you will do just fine and won’t really have any issues, either. Just be careful about the whole situation as that is also an important thing that you will have to do.

Carefully Packing Everything

If you are worried about getting stuff packed in the worst possible way or you simply don’t have enough time to get the job done, it is better that you are relying on the professionals who can help you get the job done instead. They can carefully pack everything for you and in the best possible way, as well. Which means that you will not have to worry much and just let them handle everything.

Starting an Online Business

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The internet has changed the way we go about our lives, and it is safe to say that our lives are kind of dependent on the internet at this point, especially more so this year when almost every company and business setup has had to go online and work from home. If you are looking to capitalize on the situation, starting your own online business can help you go a long way. So, if you want to start a new business, we would suggest reading the following tips first.

  • As with starting any other business, you need to have a clear idea of what goods and/or services you are planning to sell and advertise. Having a clear outline of what you want your business to be helps later when you are planning and designing.
  • Having a website of your own is incredibly useful since most people prefer shopping online and if you have a website which is easy to read, understand and use, you are more likely to get more traffic once your business does kick off.
  • Once your website does go online you need to make sure to advertise your business properly too. Opting for online ads does help since the social media algorithm will advertise your business to people who have an interest in your product or are just more likely to click on the add. So, you can buy ads in Instagram, Facebook, and different blogs and websites.
  • If you are selling a product that you think would do well with influencers and people that follow them, sending influencers PR can also lead to them reviewing the product to their audience, which can lead to more traffic for you as well.

As with starting any type of business, it will take time, patience and a lot of work from your end to make it work.

OUTLIER: someone who stands apart from others of his or her group


This political season has given rise to the use of any number of words that have a “fresh” meaning to them. Among those words is the term outlier. It’s not a new word, having been around since the 1600’s having been used to describe stones that have been quarried buy not used. They lie around the quarry as discards, and not being a part of the project for which they were originally extruded.

Of recent, however, an outlier has taken on a much more human character, coming to mean someone who is outside the “norm” for a particular human group.

When I was in high school in the 1950’s, my friend, Bob, discovered Elvis Presley long before anyone else in our small hometown. He had his hair cut like Elvis, wore clothing that resembled that of Elvis, and even moved like Elvis. Bob sang songs that were not quite as familiar to the rest of us, having come from the repertoire of this strange guy from Memphis.

Oh, it didn’t take long for Elvis to become more familiar to us all, and there were others who began, like Bob, to dress and act like the now-famous Mr. Presley. But for those months before the craze hit, Bob was really an outlier in our school. As a matter of fact, for his entire adult life, Bob has been an outlier in many ways, including his profession in which he became a trend-setter. It is part of his personality, and it has served him well.

In the current political season the term outlier has taken on a very special meaning. It’s not all as positive, I fear, as that of my friend, Bob. There is, of course, Mr. Trump, who has chosen to follow a political plan which is as different as one can get from the traditional candidate, especially a candidate for the presidency. His language, his demeanor, his opinions, and his style of life are flamboyant, going well beyond the norm…especially for his place in the staid Republican party. It has served him well, even though many Republicans, Democrats, and others find him to be repulsive. There are those, like myself, who said that he wouldn’t get any traction, and that people would be so offended that they would reject him outright. Not so. It turns out that his anger, his biases, and his rejection of the traditional norm have struck a responsive note with angry Americans who have come not to trust their government. He and his antics have appealed to angry America, and he is well on his way to become the Republican candidate for President, unless some unusual thing happens to disrupt his plunge forward.

A similar thing could be said for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, whose Socialist leanings have taken shot at the “status quo.” He is not afraid to criticize the current administration, nor any who have preceded him, for playing into the hands of the wealthy, powerful people on Wall Street. (That term, Wall Street, has become shorthand for the Oligarchy that has, seemingly, taken over the government of the United States.) His dramatic, uncensored rail against the establishment (without the crude language of Mr. Trump) has been shocking…and attractive to many, particularly the younger segment of the voting population. It is not clear, at this point, that his platform will carry him to the election. But he has added an outlier quality to his septuagenarian voice, making him someone to whom Hillary Clinton has had to pay attention. If nothing else happens, he has exposed issues that no Democratic candidate can ignore.

There are outliers on both ends of the political spectrum, from the most hard-nosed conservative to the most free-wheeling liberal. It is not a pejorative word. It simply describes a position rather than a personality or ideology.

I will soon be caught up in the Major League Baseball fiasco that carries us to October. You can expect to find the term outlier in the articles and conversations (including mine) that take place during the seemingly-never-ending baseball season we call “the high point of the year.”

DIVINE RIGHT: The doctrine that kings and queens have a God-given right to rule

In the 18th Century a conflict arose over the ability of the British Parliament to be able to govern over the monarch. It highlighted a theory proposed that said that the monarch is established DIVINE RIGHT by God, and therefore has a Divine Right to rule. It wasn’t the first time the concept had been raised* but it was time for there to be some resolution to the issue. As some have pointed out, it is called a theory, using the term that is used in science. However, in science there must be evidence to support the point being made. There are no scientific evidences to support the theory…only tradition.

The British demonstrate the theory of Divine Right of Kings in a number of ways:

  • The monarch is invested by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose investiture is seen as ecclesiastically authoritative.
  • The new monarch is identified using a tradition of generational succession. Thus, if the deceased monarch was selected as the rightful successor in a line of monarchs, then this person chosen as successor is believed to have been a part of God’s choice in previous generations.
  • The monarch cannot be removed (without armed intervention) by Parliament.

There is much ceremonial around the monarch, in this case Queen Elizabeth II, which refers to her as being chosen by God to reign. This is evident today on the 90th birthday of Elizabeth II. Her reign has been long (the longest in British history) and she has “ruled” effectively, given the establishment of a government which shares the governance with Parliament. There are specific responsibilities which are delegated to the Queen, and others to Parliament. There is no stated opportunity for either to adopt the others’ designated charges.

This posting is stimulated by the royal birthday (an official one follows in the summer) and by the growing curiosity as to whether Elizabeth will withdraw from the throne at some point and designate her son, Charles, to be the King. It is more and more likely that this vibrant, seemingly-healthy woman will not do so in the immediate future. Her mother survived until the age of 101. It seems likely that she has inherited her genes.

In any case, Happy Birthday, Ma’am.

LONGSHOT: an attempt or undertaking that offers much but in which there is little chance for success

Probably this word, longshot, is most familiar from the realm of horse racing. It is a horse that is not believed to be awfully good. The odds on the horse winning are very low. The person who bets on this horse is said to be betting on a longshot, who, if he wins, will pay a big return.

When I go to the races I will study the charts, pick who I think will do well, and bet on that horse. But I might also put down a $2 bet on a longshot who might pay 25 to 1 or something like that. Sometimes the longshot wins by a fluke. It’s a big thing to those of us holding that ticket. If he loses, as expected, it’s not a big deal.

We also hear the term longshot used in the realm of politics. A longshot candidate is someone who has a really distant chance of being elected. In the current race for President, two longshots were former Governor Linc Chafee (D-RI) and former Governor Pataki (R-NY). They both gained some national name recognition, but the chances for them being nominated for President were pretty far fetched.

I must admit that at the beginning of this election season I would have said that Donald Trump was a longshot for the Republican nomination. It was hard to believe that anyone would treat his candidacy seriously, given a flawed personality, many negative qualities, and his total lack of experience in government. But over the course of several months, the longshot has emerged as the likely nominee. The longshot has become the poster child.I’m glad I didn’t bet on Trump’s ascendancy. I’d be out a few bucks.

It’s hard to be clear about what drove this candidate’s campaign. He says it is anger on the part of the Republicans. Anger over ineffective and unresponsive government. They seem to believe that a man who has been a bully in the market place can also be a bully in government and get something done. It may be an accurate assessment. But what he is angry about scares me.

Trump identifies anger of immigration issues. “Foreigners” are sneaking into this country and destroying the economy. They are stealing our language, our culture, our opportunities. We have to kick them out of the country and build a huge wall between the US and Mexico to keep them out.

Women are taking over the country according to Trump. They are turning our nation into a homeland for wusses.

The war in the Middle East has gone too long and too far. We have to go in there and bomb them all and get it over with.

The economy is weak because we are too concerned with the middle class and the lower class. We need to give industry more breaks to be more successful. It is the old “Trickle Down” theory that if we give more economic advantage to wealthy industrialists, the benefits will trickle down to less fortunate people.

Each of these issues is clearly a problem in our country. But the solutions suggested (there are many more) are not consistent with what we believe a modern democracy should profess.

In any case, many, many unhappy people have flocked to Trump’s camp and are ready to make him the President of the United States. The longshot is picking out the drapes for the White House. It scares the heck out of me. My support for Hillary Clinton is even stronger and one of my reasons is to block Mr. Trump. However, I hope she is listening to the issues Mr. Trump is raising. Not the solutions…the answers. They are legitimate concerns which must be addressed by the next President.

FAIR: free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice

I’ve just finished listening to the President nominate Judge Merrick Garland for the empty seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. His choice is a good one, which appears to be based entirely upon Judge Garland’s credentials and temperament. That is what the Constitution asks for, and President Obama has used great discretion in making this nomination.

There is no sign of political advantage to this appointment, and there is no scandalous history to prevent it. In a year when it would be easy to choose a crony, the President has acted appropriately, and is to be congratulated for that.

But already the Republicans in the Senate are laughing and saying that he can nominate until he is green in the face, and they are not going to move. There will be no interviews; there will be no hearings. There will be no votes to either approve or disapprove this candidate. As long as Barack Obama is President they will no act. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE CONSTITUTION LAYS OUT SPECIFIC RULES FOR THE SENATE REQUIRING THEM TO ACT IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S NOMINATION.

This is disgraceful. Barack Obama is the President of the United States until mid-January,2017. If the country is attacked by a foreign nation before then, it is required that he respond. If there is a disaster in this nation, the President must make assistance available for those requiring help. If the military runs out of money, the President must push to provide adequate resources for them to continue to protect and defend this country.

And, if there is a vacancy on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court, the President must nominate a replacement…and the Senate must act to approve or disapprove that nomination. It is as urgent a matter as a military attack. For the country to go a whole year without a full court is unthinkable.

But for a Republican-led Senate (not for long, I hope) to refuse to act because of politics is not only refutable…it is not just or fair.

In his remarks at the nomination event, President Obama called for the Senate to act on this nomination, and to do so quickly. He asked them to be fair.

In a recent blog on justice I pointed out that one definition for the word justice is fair. It is a simple word, one which children and adults can understand. It doesn’t take a constitutional lawyer to define it. Kids know that fair means that there is an evenness in the game. If there are five members of one team, there should be five on their team also. If the players on my team are all fifth graders, the other team should not be from Middle School. If there are boys on the team, there should be girls also. If I win your marble, you should give it up to me. If Mom says “be home by five o’clock”, I should not be punished if I’m home at 4:30. Rules count. That’s fair.

If the Republicans reject this understanding of the Constitution, and refuse to respond to the President’s appointment…it isn’t fair. It isn’t just. It destroys all else that the Constitution requires of us.

A True Story

Last week my wife and I went into our favorite independent bookstore, Books on the Square, in Providence. We found our book quickly and went to the counter to pay for it.

There was a little girl, probably about 8 years old, standing there with her desired purchase in her hand. She handed it to the friendly clerk and he rang it up.

“That book will cost you just $6.49,” he said.

Her face froze and her eyes became like deer in a headlight.

“I only have six dollars,” she said in a soft, frightened voice.

“Oh, wait a minute,” the clerk said. “I made a mistake. You see, we have a policy here that college students get a 10% discount. I can tell from looking at you that you plan on going to college. Am I right? Do you plan to go to college some day?”

The little girl nodded her head and quietly said, “Yes.”

“Oh, that’s great. Because since you plan to be a college student some day, you are eligible for the 10% discount. That means that your book will only cost you $5.40. Well, look at that! You even get some change back.”

She handed him the $6.00 and he handed her back sixty cents. She beamed.

With her book secured in a bag and a bookstore bookmark she almost skipped out of the bookstore.

My wife and I were so impressed with the clerk. He not only sold a book…he inspired a little girl who won’t forget that incident.

Neither will we. Impressive.

DARN: to mend, as torn clothing, with rows of stitches

We live in a disposable society. I first realized this one day several decades ago when someone referred to us being a “Bic Society.”I thought they were saying “Big Society” until it clicked with me. They were describing Bic Lighterswhich are disposable, throw-away lighters. When the fuel in them is gone, instead of refilling the fluid you simple throw them away and buy a new one. They are cheap.

The point is that in our modern American society, it is easier and almost as cheap to simply throw something away rather than fixing it, mending it, or repairing it. It’s true, unfortunately. That’s why we have an ocean full of plastic waste and the sides of highways littered with throw-away trash.

That’s a wordy way of getting around to the point of this posting. I want to discuss darn. No, it’s not a more decent way of saying “damn.” It could be, but that’s not where I want to go. I want to talk about the verb “to darn.”

It’s a sixteenth century word from the Middle English which is taken from dernen, meaning “hidden from view.” It’s not hard to figure out how we got from there to contemporary American English.

When I was a kid my grandmother used to sit in the swing on our porch for hours darning. She had a pile of clean socks, a darning needle and a darning egg. The needle was larger than a regular sewing needle. It had a bigger eye in it, making it easier to thread. And the “egg” was a wooden device which looked like an egg on the end of a sturdy stick. She would pick up a holey sock, put the egg into the sock so that it filled the toe or the heel area like a foot, and begin darning.

She stitched the hole without pulling it tight enough to close the hole. Then she came back the opposite way with the stitch, and repeated the process numerous times until the hole was somewhat covered with the stitches. Then she turned the sock and did the same thing the other way, but always moving the tip of the needle over and under the existing threads to form a patch. When she was done, the sock was almost as good as new.

We throw the sock with a hole in it away. In those days the socks were somewhat precious, having cost enough in the post-war economy that we couldn’t afford to dispose of them. Purchasing a new pair of socks was an expense we didn’t need to endure. (That’s how we measured things in those days.) It was, after all, not only post-war, but it was post-depression when Americans discovered the value of things when there was not sufficient money to go shopping whenever the desire hit us. So the socks endured two or three darnings before being rendered expendable. And then they didn’t get thrown away. They became dust rags, or…better yet…shoe shining rags.

If men’s socks were expensive, women’s stockings were even more so. They were much more difficult to darn, and the result was not as hidden much of the time. My wife describes a teacher in her school who used to darn her sheer stockings with black darning thread. The result was legs with black spots all over them. The kids laughed at it, and she developed some clever nicknames.

I suspect there are some left-over people who darn socks today. But for the most part, we throw the damaged sock away and head for the store to replace them. Given the economy, a pair of socks is a bargain. But when I remember the peace my Grandmother felt when she sat on our porch darning socks I suspect something has gone missing. And it isn’t that sock that gotten eaten up by the clothes dryer.

Burglar in the House : story

A short-short story by Jed Waverly

It was a dark and stormy night.

Rick and Sarah were comfortably asleep in their second floor master bedroom. It had been a long day, and sleep came easily to them.

They had arrived home just before midnight, having driven through the storm, avoiding tree limbs falling, flooded streets, and live wires every place. The TV meteorologist had been warning about the intensity of this storm for days now, and here it was, just as he had predicted. Rick felt sheepish admitting that he had ignored the warnings.

Close one after close one made him embarrassed that he had not listened to Sarah’s concerns before heading out to the dinner party in a Boston suburb. But Rick was not one to admit his doubts about weather and other “acts of God” that might stand in the way of an enjoyable evening.

Nevertheless, they were home, in good shape, and having enjoyed a wonderful lobster dinner with fresh lobster from the Boston seafood market. What more could one ask for? When he voiced that to Sarah on the way home, her answer was muted by the thunder. “Maybe getting home without being killed.”

It was well after midnight when the phone rang.

“Damn,” muttered Sarah as she reached for the land phone on her bedside table. “Who has the guts to call at this hour?” She prepared herself for the handing out of a firm warning to whomever it was on the other end of the line.

“Hello,” she said.

“You will regret being home right now,” the mysterious voice said. “I hate it when there are people home.”

There was a click, and the phone disconnected.

“Who was it?” Rick asked, hearing the phone get slammed into its cradle.

“Nobody. Just a prank call.” But the sound of that mysterious voice bounced around in her head, and it was only a few seconds before she sat straight up and spoke.

“Rick. The voice said he didn’t like it when people are at home. I’m a little scared. I’m not sure I can go back to sleep.”

Rick sat up, turned on the light and looked around.

“Did you recognize his voice?”

“No, it was creepy, though. And he didn’t sound at all tired. I’m concerned that it was somebody casing the house. Do you think I’m being overly reactive?”

“Maybe I should call 911,” Rick said. Just then a crash sounded from downstairs…the sound of a window breaking.

“Make that call,” Rick ordered her. “I think he’s in the house.”

Sarah picked up her cell phone and started to punch in the numerals. But they soon realized it was too late…they could hear footsteps on the stairs.

The situation had moved from a “spooky one” to a downright frightening one in a matter of seconds. The fact that someone might be considering robbing them to one of an actual break-in…complete with a burglar heading up the stairs…changed the circumstances completely. Thinking about getting a safety system for the house ‘in case” they were ever challenged moved to knowing that there was a burglar in the house and they needed to do something immediately. The possibility became real time!

Isn’t that similar to what the Republicans are facing right now (and all of us potentially?) There is someone trying to “steal” the Republican nomination. For quite a while it was a threat, and everyone was comfortable thinking about it, but delaying going to The Home Depot to purchase a security system would have been a safer bet.

Now, however, the situation is real, and the method of overcoming the threat is imminent. The burglar has entered the house, shut down the security system, and is filling his bags with the spoils of a burglary. And he’s on the steps coming up the stairs. There’s no time for advanced planning. That should have been done months ago. The threat turns to immediate action now. Defense to Offense. (Or is it the other way around?)What to do?

GLOBAL: a way of thinking that goes beyond one’s local issues

There was a time when it seemed as if one’s thinking about such issues as conservation, farming, industrial development, and similar statistics could be restricted to what happened within the region in which one lived or worked. After all, how I plowed my fields, planted my products, or fertilized the earth was something that went as far as my property existed. What happened on the other side of the property line was my neighbor’s problem. We might need to share our situations from time to time, but for the most part, there was no need to be dependent upon each other.

Or, at least, that seemed to be true.

But as time as progressed we have come to realize that our area of concern needs to be expanded. In fact, it is important that we see ourselves as citizens of an entire planet. Our thinking, therefore, needs to be global rather than local. The onset of chaos theory provides us with the very vivid example of what we have come to call the “butterfly” concept. To paraphrase it, the fluttering of the wings of a butterfly in Brazil affects the way in which the atmosphere is experienced by a person in a place like Topeka, Kansas. It is a way of defining the interdependence of the creatures and conditions of the world.

Beyond environmental thinking, however, global is a sociological phenomenon. To think globally is to recognize one’s citizenship of the world. The pollution one’s small factory in the Ohio Valley puts into the air ultimately affects the breathing of a person in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Or, the ability to curb the spread of a disease in Houston, Texas, has significance for a community being affected in a similar way in Bejing.

To put it in a negative way of thinking, our ability to fund research in cancer is not limited to the community in which that cancer is being studied. Rather, the entire world is implicated in the results of such research. The closing of a factory in Germany creates an economic bump which may well affect the interest rate of a bank in Argentina. The price of oil affects tourism, which may play a major role in a downturn in the economy of Australia. The uprising of a political crisis in Pakistan can affect the decisions regarding nuclear policy in North Korea…which can affect the military and security policies of every nation on the globe.

And to take it to an extreme…the invention and promotion of the computer and social media has the ability to affect the myriad of levels of thinking and believing throughout the world.

One of the discoveries we have made in the 20-21st centuries is that the world has shrunk considerably. Communication, travel, and economic dependency has made countries that never saw themselves as neighbors into inter-dependent elements, formerly thought to be restricted to geographical proximity.

This concept of global dependence and global thinking is not a matter of choice. It is a reality that pervades our so-called foreign policies of every nation in the world. Some nations have chosen to pretend that it isn’t true for them…to their despair. Even in our own country, some in high places, such as candidates for the Presidency, tend to believe that we can make decisions unilaterally that protect us from “whatever.” But they, too, are deceiving themselves. There is almost no political, economic, social, or military decision made today on Earth that does not affect the entire world.

In taking this even further, we have to begin to realize that global thinking is not enough. Our world is part of a celestial community greater than our imaginations. But that is for another posting at another time.

BROWNSTONE: a reddish-brown sandstone, used extensively as a building material

We’ve lived in cities around the country where apartments or condos were located in what are called brownstones. They are buildings constructed with the reddish-brown sandstone that give them that name.

For the most part, brownstones we have seen are located in upscale portions of the city…and are very expensive to rent or own. There is a cultural warmth to them, and they are located in parts of the city which tend to have a historic quality to them. Many times they are fronted by parks or other greenspaces which make living there somewhat attractive.

Sometimes the brownstones have fallen into disrepair and the neighborhoods have deteriorated to a lesser level of residence. But I suspect it is only a matter of time before they are restored to what become gentrified. That means that the renovations and promotions make the cost of them more than the people who had lived there previously can afford. When a neighborhood is gentrified, the brownstones have priced out the previous residents and the nature of the area begins to change ethnically, racially, and economically. Even the stores and restaurants spruce up and appeal to people of a higher income bracket.

What happens to the former residents?

They are forced to look in other more downtrodden areas of the city.

Brownstones, it seems, were built for people of a higher income bracket. They tend to have high ceilings, decorative markings, and even attic or basement rooms for the “hired help.”

One of the characteristics of the brownstones is the stairway and “stoop” which signify the entrance. They add a dignity to the building, and also tend to lift the main floor of the residence off the beaten track, away from the noise and clutter of the street. This leaves the lower floor exposed to some degree, for such renovations as offices, kitchens, and…additional sleeping areas. Sometimes they are separate living spaces from the upper brownstone.

The term brownstone dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. As urban life was rejected for more suburban existence after World War II, the brownstones in many cities faced deterioration. However, in more recent times,as urban life has become more attractive to families, the brownstone has returned to its place of elegance and class. In places like Georgetown, Washington D.C., the negativity never took hold, and the community who live there have continued to be prosperous.

H-SAM: “What were you doing on your third birthday?”

As one who is beginning to be concerned about the things I can’t remember…even from this morning…it is strange to find myself flipping to the extreme opposite. That would be people who have a condition identified as H-SAM. It is an acronym for the condition of hyperthymesia. That stands for “Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory.”

Hyperthymesia is a Greek word combining the prefix “hyper” (meaning “excessive”) and “thymesia” (meaning “remembering.”) Put them together and it makes sense as to what its modern meaning is all about.

It is a condition in which a person can “recall almost every day of their lives in near perfect detail as well as public events that hold some personal significance to them.” We all have seen or known people (sometimes autistic or others with mental illnesses) who have an uncanny ability to remember dates. And there are some who have unbelievable capabilities of doing mathematical calculations, or playing an instrument without any hesitation. They are considered “savants” and can be very happy people who just have an unusual capacity to perform That may be related but it is not the same thing as H-SAM.

These people (H-Sam people) remember personal (autobiographical) details of days in their lives which may not be otherwise significant. They remember all of the events of that day, and when called upon to call them to mind their mind keeps going in a chronological way, moving on and on in that time frame without ceasing. H-Sam people suffer from this condition in that there is no “stop” button to push and their mind becomes cluttered with details of extended periods of time, sometimes pushing out the present and preventing the person from focusing upon their current needs. There are only a few dozen verified cases of H-Sam known to scientists.

People with H-SAM or hyperthymesia may develop psychological issues brought on by the stress and anxiety of being “bombarded” by memory. Some clients of this condition slip into living in the past and not being able to bring themselves to present-day issues, needs, and desires. The fact that H-Sam individuals relate primarily to autobiographical information and events differentiates them from people who are able to compute data or recall information about others not specifically related to them. As I said above, they find themselves “re-living” the event, slipping back to those days decades ago and taking up residence there.

One of the problems for H-SAM people is not that they can remember; to the contrary, it is that they are unable to forget. I heard a woman on NPR who has the H-SAM condition. She is unable to forget the details of the day her husband died a number of years ago. She is burdened by the grief, and is unable to move on in her life, since the details of that day are so vivid and real to her. It disables her, and leaves her incapable of maturing in her emotions.

Obviously, my spelling out of information about H-SAM is limited, based upon a very cursory review of information regarding the condition. I chose it to write about because it is so fascinating, and it is my belief that not many people know of it. If you are interested in more details about it or hyperthymesia I would suggest that you start with the information on the internet, and I am sure there are magazines and books that are more authoritative.