Thursday, February 14, 2013 7:20:27 PM
Infection in the Work Place
I have a elementary school child. When he was in preschool, parents received a letter stating that if your child had a fever, had a runny nose, was coughing and/or sneezing, or just able to spread cold or flu germs, you were to keep your child at home to help prevent the spread of infection.
I thought this was a great policy. I didn't want my child to get sick from another child, and I didn't want my child to infect other children.
Yet, in the workplace, an employee is thought of as a hero when he or she comes to work, obviously ill with an infectious malady. She dragged herself out of bed, took some cold relief medicine, and came into the office. Some of her co-workers will find this admirable, that is until they catch the same cold or flu she has. Then they, too, will find it in themselves to also come into the office, and infect others. That infectious employee is not only infecting other workers, she may be spreading germs as she goes to work on public transportation, or at the gas station, spreading germs in the elevator, on door knobs, on phones and other office equipment.
That employee is also not doing a good job at work. The report that usually takes an hour will take two. Sickness makes the brain slow because its first priority is the immune system, not some report. The worker will also feel stressed knowing that the work needs to be completed, but is having difficulty because of the illness. Stress makes the immune system work even harder. It's a vicious circle.
With the immune system compromised, and now vulnerable, that cold or flu can easily turn into something worse, like killer pneumonia.
That employee is likely to infect at least five other people in the office. That's five more people who are not going to be able to do their jobs properly, who will pass the illness on to others. Is this efficient? For humans no – for the virus, yes.
What Can I Do To Prevent Getting Sick?
If you are around others who are sick, there are some things you can do.
- Wash your hands frequently. Use an anti-bacterial liquid if you cannot get soap and hot water.
- Try not to touch your face. You may have picked up a virus on some surface, and getting that virus near your eyes, nose or mouth could get you sick.
- If those around you are coughing and sneezing and not covering up, nicely remind them to do so. Especially, remind them not to cough or sneeze into their bare hand. Remind them to use the inside corner of their elbow if they do not have a disposable tissue at hand.
- Clean surfaces regularly with either an anti-bacterial solution, hot water and soap, or a solution of 1/3 bleach and 2/3 water. Be sure to get door knobs, phones, and other surfaces people frequently touch.
- Don't be afraid to be "Monkish". Use a wipe or anti-bacterial liquid after you shake hands with someone.
- Never, ever, let someone use your tooth brush.
- Don't share drinks or food with others.
- Wear a protective mask if everyone around you is sick.
What Can I Do If I Do Get Sick?
While I am not a doctor, I have found these methods to be helpful. Of course, if you are running a very high fever, see your doctor right away.
- Don't take a fever reducer. Fevers are the bodies natural means of killing the virus that is making you sick. Help your immune system along by making your body as unfriendly as possible. Get under as many covers as you can, and rest. Watch your fever, carefully, however. If your fever goes above 103 or lasts for more than three days, seek medical help right away.
- Don't take a decongestant. When your nose is stuffed, it's stuffed for a reason - to raise the temperature and kill viruses. When you take a decongestant, you are just making it harder on your immune system.
- Don't take something for a runny nose, either. A runny nose is the body's way of flushing dead and dying viruses.
- Do take garlic. Using FRESH garlic, take a clove and cut it into pieces about the size of a vitamin. Take the garlic pieces with a glass of water. Don't chew them because people won't want to be around you!
- Do drink hot tea with honey. It's soothing, and honey has it's own natural benefits. Use raw honey.
- Do have hot chicken soup with a little hot sauce in it. Viruses don't like hot stuff, whether it's temperature or spice.
Let's all do our part to stay healthy. Colds and flu really hurt our economy.
So, employers, please make it policy for employees with colds or flu to stay home for one day until after the fever is gone without the use of a fever reducer – this means the virus is dead and cannot be spread. There is significant cost savings in time, doctor visits, insurance, etc., when sick employees stay home instead of coming to work.
Friday, November 23, 2012 6:48:05 PM
Christmas is not about retailers making a profit, and consumers spending more than they can afford. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas comes from the old English words "Christ's Mass" - the word Mass is the Latin term "missa", or dismissal. Christmas means, you are dismissed, go and spread the Good Word of Christ.
Notice the words black and friday are not capitalized in the title of this post. I know that grammatically they should be, but they are not because I am expressing an opinion.
What is black friday? Now, it is associated with the day after Thanksgiving, where large retailers have people queuing up for sometimes days, just to be one of the first into the store to get bargains. It's called Black because the companies expect to have enough sales to make a net profit, instead of being in the red.
What's Wrong with black friday?
There are several things I find wrong about black friday.
- As a Catholic, the start of the Christmas season is not the day after Thanksgiving, it's the First Sunday of Advent, 20 to 28 days before Christmas. This year, Advent starts on Sunday, December 10th. To begin the Christmas season, we put out the Advent Wreath, put out the Nativity scene, and trim the Christmas tree. We prepare our house for the coming of the Baby Jesus.
- When I was working in the stock brokerage business, Black Friday only meant one thing. It meant the day in the 1929 stock market crash that started the Great Depression. Black Friday was not a "feel good" day, by any means.
- People have been hurt or killed at black fridays. There are many instances of shoppers crushing others, crushing employees, bringing guns and knives to frighten other shoppers, and spraying pepper spray to dissuade others from getting certain items. black friday is dangerous!
- Small businesses suffer. Yes, there is Small Business Saturday, but by the time Saturday rolls around, a lot of consumers have already spent their money and have nothing left to spend at smaller shops.
- This video of people fighting over smart phones at a Wal-Mart is a perfect example of what is wrong with black friday, the day after we give thanks, we try to kill each other.
Alternatives and Answers
There are alternatives and answers to this madness.
- Retailers would do better to spread the discounts over the year. Why wait until November? Have deep discount sales throughout the year.
- Keep the discounts through December - spread the wealth. This means that consumers could spend at both the large retailers and the small business retailers. More jobs would be created this way as well, as more temporary workers would be needed through the month, instead of just one day.
- Encourage shoppers to use the on-line version of the store, offer free shipping. This also helps the Postal Service.
- Shop at your local small retailer. Keep the economy strong in your local community.
Remember the Meaning of Christmas
I get offended when people say, "Season's Greetings". Say "Merry Christmas", or even "Happy Holidays". Holiday means Holy Day. In our efforts to be more politically correct, we have lost the meaning of the word. Now Christmas means spending money that you can't afford, to buy presents, a lot of which won't be touched or even appreciated.
Let's all remember the Three Wise Men, who brought only three gifts for the Baby Jesus. The gifts were meaningful, and Jesus was not inundated with scores of toys.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Let's all look at ourselves, and see what we have done for each other through the year. What have you given to your community? What have you done to be more like Christ? Prepare the way to spread the Good News.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 4:27:58 PM
There's a catchy title for you! I was thinking about this today as I was coming back from dropping my son off at school and as a woman walked past me, I distinctly smelled watermelon. There was no watermelon around, so it had to be the woman's perfume, which lead me to ask myself, "Why do humans want to smell like food?"
Think about it. When our ancestors climbed down from the trees, we were often some predator's dinner. We smelled like food. A good way to stop smelling like food is to change your scent by washing yourself. Then when our ancestors decided they were tired of being on the menu, and became hunters, it was important again to change our scent so as not to scare off a meal. Thousands of years later, and we were using flowers and oils as perfumes to make us attractive to the opposite sex.
It wasn't until modern man, in an industrial age, that perfume manufacturers started selling sweet fruit scented concoctions. I guess somewhere along the line, we overcame that deep rooted instinct not to smell like something edible. Maybe something in our psyche told us that carnivores don't like fruit.
I don't know about that. I know dogs who like watermelon and strawberries. Genetically, dogs and wolves are 98.8 percent identical. So, if a dog likes watermelon, might not a wolf, too? Most of us who live in cities don't have any issues with wolves coming to have us for dinner, but then, there's always a chance. Maybe the smell of lots of dinners will make us prey again.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 9:02:38 PM
You know what I hate? I hate when you go to the supermarket one week, and you can shop quickly because you know where everything is, and then they next week, you go back and the store has rearranged everything. I know why supermarkets do it. They want you to find new products while you're hunting for your regular ones.
I don't know why Google would do that, though. Favicons are part of brand recognition. Ever picked up something with new packaging and it say something like "Same thing - new package". Well, that's just fine, you now know to look for the new package when you're at the grocery store, of course, after they moved everything again. Favicons oh the other hand, are in your browser's tab bar, or in the bookmark/favorites list. They're small, and they don't have anything that says, "same thing - new package". It's confusing for users.
Here's Google's old image
And here's the new one
I like the old one better because it's more colorful, and easier to see. The new one just looks like a little blob of blue.
Friday, August 10, 2012 1:06:44 AM
I would appreciate it if you would share what I am writing here. Have you ever heard of a DDOS attack - it's a Distributed Denial Of Service. Basically, thousands of computer send simultaneous requests to a single server, and there are so many requests that the server is unable to respond, and has to shut down until the attack stops.
How does this happen? Computers that are infected with zombie bots that have been programmed to attack when instructed by the programmer. These programs often call home to get instructions, or act like a Trojan Horse and have a date and victim embedded in their programming.
I would hope that most people already have good virus protection, and malware protection, that should hopefully be able to spot these bots and kill them before they can do any harm. However, if you don't have virus protection (a lot of Mac owners are under the false impression that they are impregnable), or your virus definitions are out of date, or you are using high speed Internet without a hardware firewall or a software firewall, your computer could be a host for one of these bots. I would also recommend a software firewall that will alert you to any programs trying to make outgoing requests that are not on an allowed list.
Why am I posting this? I am posting this because a server where two of my domains are hosted is under attack. This is the second DDOS attack within the past month. It's too late for poor server 45, but, it's not too late to make sure your computer is not hosting zombie bots.
In 2007, Estonia was the victim of a DDOS attack that brought the country to its knees. That's an entire COUNTRY, not just a server. That's what I worry about. Although conventional warfare is nasty, a large scale DDOS attack on this country would severely cripple us - imagine not being able to get your email, surf the web, watch Netflix, text your friends and co-workers, and all the other things we now find essential. Making sure that your computer is secure, with the latest patches for all your software is a step in keeping our country safe.
Please share this with your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 6:14:34 AM
There is so much wrong with Yahoo Axis. I heard about it in a Usenet discussion about Facebook possibly wanting to buy Opera, and someone had posted a link about Yahoo coming out with its own browser.
Well, even though Yahoo SAYS its a browser, it's not. It's a plug in for an existing browser, or an application for a mobile device. I downloaded for Firefox because Yahoo said it was not compatible with Opera - no loss there.
Let's talk about what's wrong with it - well, the name, for one thing. There are still a few of us who cringe when they even hear the word Axis. For those of you who are too young and were sleeping through World History, the Axis powers during World War II were Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Japan. I understand that maybe Yahoo wanted to call it Access, but Access is already taken by Microsoft. But couldn't they have chosen something else, like maybe Omni or something. Even Yahoo's name itself is bad - from Merriam Webster:
1 capitalized : a member of a race of brutes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels who have the form and all the vices of humans
2 [influenced by Yahoo] : a boorish, crass, or stupid person
All that aside, Axiz reminds me of Pinterest. Pinterest is great for what it is - a digital pin board. I love Pinterest because I can pin something I want to remember for another time, and I don't have to use up valuable Bookmark space (I have hundreds of bookmarks). Each pin usually comes with a description, so I know that's the thing I want. I'm a happy camper, and have recommended Pinterest to friends and family.
Axis search results are all visual, but there is no accompanying text, just a URL on mouseover. The URL might
give you a clue that is the result you want, but for most people, it won't. If you are looking for the date of Memorial Day in 2013, you're presented with a picture of some guys with a hangover, some graves, vets, and flags - no date. Google on the other hand immediately
comes up with the answer:
Memorial Day is on Monday, May 27, 2013.
So, no I don't think that Axis is going to do very well, well it might be good for yahoos.
Saturday, January 28, 2012 5:38:10 PM
I lucked out and found a nice Compaq laptop at the Goodwill for Spane. It cost $135.00, and it's in good condition. The only issue is that the battery will not keep a charge, and for some reason the Internet connection drops. I don't care about either one of those issues - he can use regular power, and eventually I'll get the Internet part fixed - he doesn't need it that badly.
Windows 7 has Family Safety which will restrict a user's time on the computer. Windows XP does not, but, there is hope. There is a way to do it through the command interface. It's not that hard, and truth be told, it was nice to use the DOS command line again. I actually prefer it to this GUI thing.
To make things easier on myself, I put this stuff into three batch files, one for regular time, one for vacation time, and one for removing all the time restrictions. I also created another user account, Mom, so I could administer the computer any time I needed (Mom doesn't have any time restrictions).
One thing that had me a little confused was the user name. WinXP is so strange, and the Home edition doesn't have a lot of backdoors that Pro has. When I got Spane the computer, it had Compaq User as the user name. I went into User Accounts, and changed it to Spane. That only changed it on the logon screen, according to the system the user Spane did not exist, so my neat batch file didn't run correctly the first time.
Here's how you can find out what users are on the computer:
1. Start - Run
2. Type cmd and hit Enter
3. Type net user and hit Enter. A list of users will appear, you want to look for the one that is your child. In my case it was the Compaq User.
Once you have that information, you're well on your way to having time restrictions on your kid's computer.
- At this point, I suggest you add another account, like Mom or Dad, as an administrator. Simply Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts -> Add User. The parental account will not have any restrictions, so if you mess up, you can log on under that account and undo anything you might have done in your child's account.
- I suggest making a folder off the root and call it maybe, timesheet. You're going to want to save the batch files you are making in that folder.
- If you have a plain text editor other than Notepad, I suggest using it. If you don't have one, I highly recommend EditPad http://www.editpadlite.com. If you are going to use Notepad, please remember that it wants to open and save everything as a .txt file, so you have to tell it All Files when opening or saving a batch file.
- Here's what a regular time could look like, just change USER to you child's name. One "gotcha" - if there is a space in the name, you have to enclose it in quotation marks, so Compaq User becomes "Compaq User".
rem This is for regular time
net user USER /time: M-F, 19:00-21:00; F,19:00-22:00; Sa, 11:00-22:00; Su, 11:00-21:00
This schedule allows Monday through Friday 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Friday gets an additional hour to 10:00 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm (they have to do their chores in the morning, right?), and on Sunday, from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. Here's another "gotcha" - the times HAVE to be on the HOUR, I don't know why.
I prefer using 24 hour time format, but you can use am/pm if you want.
Now, save the file as regtime.bat in the timesheet folder you just created.
- Then create another batch file called vactime.bat, and put the time restrictions for vacations.
rem This is for vacations
net user USER /time:M-Sa, 10:00-22:00; Su, 10:00-21:00
- Last, you will want to make one more batch file that allows ALL time, for when your child is sick, is on holiday, etc.
rem This removes all time restrictions
net user USER /time:all
If you are logged in as the child, logout and login as the parent. When you logon, you should be at the desktop. If not, then get to the desk top. Right click and choose New-> Shortcut. Browse for the batch file you created in step five, choose it, and hit Next. Type in a name for the shortcut, I used Regular Time. Now the shortcut will be on your desktop. Repeat this for the other batch files. IMPORTANT: DO NOT DO THIS ON THE CHILD'S DESKTOP.
- Log out. If your child tries to logon at a time that is not within the parameters, a message will pop up that says "Your account has time restrictions. You cannot logon at this time. Try later"
Well, there you have it, a way to restrict your child's time on the computer.
I'm still working on a way to get the computer to logoff when the time has expired. I'll be posting when I figure it out - in the meantime, it's a matter of telling your child, "Hey, it's time to go to bed". I still want to have the computer turn off by itself at a scheduled time. I found some older software that does the trick, it's called Poweroff, and it's available at Jorgen Bosman's site.
You can find out more information about this at Microsoft's site: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816666.
Good luck, and good parenting!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 8:00:00 AM
Arbpen Adventures in Glendale has gone dark from January 18, 2012 at 8:00 am until January 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm to protest SOPA/PIPA and Internet Censorship.Learn More Here »Learn More Here »Learn More Here »
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 1:03:31 AM
Here's something that really upsets me. There are people in this country who are taxed, but are unable to vote. Who are these people? These are the people who were not born here, but for whatever reason, have not become American citizens. They work, and they pay taxes. But, without a vote, they are not represented.
The reason the colonies went to war with England was because of they were being taxed without representation. This is a fundamental part of our reason for being. Who am I talking about? I'm talking about adults who came here as children, or have moved here and intend on staying. They own land, they own homes, they pay taxes, and yet, they are unable to vote in any election where they might have someone to represent them.
I think this is wrong. If you're going to tax someone, let them vote. If you won't let them vote, then don't tax them. It's as simple as that.
Sunday, December 18, 2011 8:47:40 AM
Déjà vu is the French term meaning "already seen". We have all had the experience of feeling that we have been in the same place, doing to same thing before - even if we know that we have never been in that place or situation before.
I've been doing some reading on the subject. I'm a very scientific person - there is always a logical, scientific explanation for these things. But, this one, I don't think so. There is something else going on.
I am also a practicing Roman Catholic, although from some of my posts, you might think otherwise, and this one may leave me even father afield than before.
You see, when I was in high school, I had a best friend, Alicia. A group of us decided to go to the movies in Westwood one night. I had been to Westwood many times to see movies, and to the specific theater recently.
There were six of us, walking down Wilshire, me in the rear. All of a sudden, I got that feeling of déjà vu. As I took in the all to familiar surroundings, I saw my friends walking in front of me.
My friend Alicia was in the middle of my friends, but there was something different about her. Even though I could see her, it was as if she were not there. Whatever past thing I was reliving, all the other people had been there, but not Alicia.
The only thing I could think of was that perhaps she was a new soul. It made sense that all my other friends had been around the block a few times, so to speak. It also made sense that if we are reincarnated, since there are more and more people, God must run out of souls and have to make new ones.
So, 35 years later, Alicia was in town and wanted to get together at her mother's house. This was truly amazing. The house was just the way I remembered it - everything, the sofa, the drapes, the pool, and all in perfect condition. I brought Spane with me and he was having a wonderful time playing in the shallow end of the pool.
At one point, Alicia was on the opposite side of the pool, and I looked up from talking to Spane, and again, another déjà vu. Everyone else at the get together was familiar, even Spane. There Alica stood, shining brightly as a new soul would.
I was amazed and gratified. This was confirmation that what I had seen all those years ago was true - Alicia still was not part of déjà vus.
Then, last week, I was working the Scholastic Book Fair at Spane's school, when a class room came in, and I had another déjà vu. There were twenty kids in that class, and about half of them were shining. Brand new souls, all shiny and bright, just as they should be.
You may ask yourself, what is she talking about shiny and bright? Well, the people who are not in the déjà vu seem to be just a little brighter in appearance, like they are glowing. They are really easy to spot.
One thing I find interesting about this whole thing is that Spane is also a pre-owned soul. He's always in my déjà vu's, so I know that I've been with him before. I don't know if I have always been his mother, but I hope so.