PAGE IS GRAPHICALLY INTENSIVE PLEASE HAVE PATIENCE WHILE IT DOWNLOADS
... IT'S TRULY WORTH THE WAIT
weekly single-feature newsletters are enhanced once each month with the
Inspiration Line Know & Grow Magazine
filled with uplifting stories, articles, travelogues, humor, fascinating
facts, computer tips and more...
CREATE A MEANINGFUL LIFE ...
HERE for OUR FREE LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR or TO SHARE WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
Connecting 50 U.S. States & 211 Countries Worldwide
& Grow Monthly Magazine
must get involved to have an impact.
No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee.
~ John H. Holcomb ...
September 24, 2007
TODAY'S TUNE [ON/OFF]
Over Troubled Water"
you cannot hear the song, simply:
HERE to open media window.
THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
Showing True Colors
Words from the Wise...
Losing Earnest Ernie
Yes You Can!...
the Buying's Best
of the Canaries
Just for YOU...
Untangling the Web...
Uplifting News Stories...
Meet the Doggie da
Online All the Time...
and Audio Books...
BE the World
You Want to See!
of my life I've believed that the greatest risk we take comes
from taking no risk at all. I guess you could call
me an "envelope pusher" ... someone who asks herself,
"What's the worst thing that could happen if I do this?"
and then takes the leap of faith. I can tell you that, somehow,
the greatest good has always been served when I've listened
to the voice of my soul and have not been limited by earthly
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor
HERE TO FIND OUT HOW
... you can help people all
world without a bit of risk to yourself!
From the Inside Out
number of years ago (1983-1987), I had the opportunity to play the
character of Ronald McDonald for the McDonald's Corporation. My
marketplace covered most of Arizona and a portion of Southern California.
of our standard events was "Ronald Day." One day each
month, we visited as many of the community hospitals as possible,
bringing a little happiness into a place where no one ever looks
forward to going. I was very proud to be able to make a difference
for children and adults who were experiencing some "down time."
The warmth and gratification I would receive stayed with me for
weeks. I loved the project, McDonald's loved the project, the kids
and adults loved it and so did the nursing and hospital staffs.
were two restrictions placed on me during a visit. First, I could
not go anywhere in the hospital without McDonald's personnel as
well as hospital personnel. That way, if I were to walk into a room
and frighten a child, there was someone there to address the issue
immediately. And second, I could not physically touch anyone within
the hospital. They did not want me transferring germs from one patient
to another. I understood why they had this "don't touch"
rule, but I didn't like it. I believe that touching is the most
honest form of communication we will ever know. Printed and spoken
words can lie; it is impossible to lie with a warm hug.
either of these rules, I was told, meant I could lose my job. Toward
the end of my fourth year of "Ronald Days," as I was heading
down a hallway after a long day in grease paint and on my way home,
I heard a little voice. "Ronald, Ronald."
stopped. The soft little voice was coming through a half-opened
door. I pushed the door open and saw a young boy, about five years
old, lying in his dad's arms, hooked up to more medical equipment
than I had ever seen. Mom was on the other side, along with Grandma,
Grandpa and a nurse tending to the equipment. I knew by the feeling
in the room that the situation was grave. I asked the little boy
his name. He told me it was Billy and I did a few simple magic tricks
for him. As I stepped back to say good-bye, I asked Billy if there
was anything else I could do for him.
would you hold me?"
a simple request. But what ran through my mind was that if I touched
him, I could lose my job. So I told Billy I could not do that right
now, but I suggested that he and I color a picture. Upon completing
a wonderful piece of art that we were both very proud of, Billy
again asked me to hold him. By this time my heart was screaming
"yes!" But my mind was screaming louder. "No! You
are going to lose your job!"
second time that Billy asked me, I had to ponder why I could not
grant the simple request of a little boy who probably would not
be going home. I asked myself why was I being logically and emotionally
torn apart by someone I had never seen before and probably would
never see again.
me." It was such a simple request, and yet. I searched
for any reasonable response that would allow me to leave. I could
not come up with a single one. It took me a moment to realize that
in this situation, losing my job may not be the disaster I feared.
losing my job the worst thing in the world?
I have enough self-belief that if I did lose my job, I would be
able to pick up and start again? The answer was a loud, bold affirming
"yes!" I could pick up and start again.
what was the risk?
that if I lost my job, it probably would not be long before I would
lose first my car, then my home, and to be honest with you, I really
liked those things. But I realized that at the end of my life, the
car would have no value and neither would the house.
only things that had steadfast value were experiences. Once I reminded
myself that the real reason I was there was to bring a little happiness
to an unhappy environment, I realized that I really faced no risk
sent Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa out of the room, and my two McDonald's
escorts out to the van. The nurse tending the medical equipment
stayed, but Billy asked her to stand and face the corner. Then,
I picked up this little wonder of a human being. He was so frail
and so scared. We laughed and cried for 45 minutes and talked about
the things that worried him.
was afraid that his little brother might get lost coming home from
kindergarten next year, without Billy to show him the way. He worried
that his dog wouldn't get another bone because Billy had hidden
the bones in the house before going back to the hospital and now
he couldn't remember where he put them.
are problems to a little boy who knows he isn't going home.
my way out of the room, with tear-streaked makeup running down my
neck, I gave Mom and Dad my real name and phone number (another
automatic dismissal for Ronald McDonald, but I figured that I was
gone and had nothing to lose), and said if there was anything the
McDonald's Corporation or I could do, to give me a call and consider
than 48 hours later, I received a phone call form Billy's mom. She
informed me that Billy had passed away. She and her husband simply
wanted to thank me for making a difference in their little boy's
mom told me that shortly after I left the room, Billy looked at
her and said, "Momma, I don't care anymore if I see Santa
this year because I was held by Ronald McDonald."
we must do what is right for the moment, regardless of the perceived
risk. Only experiences have value, and the one biggest reasons people
limit their experiences is because of the risk involved.
the record, McDonald's did find out about Billy and me, but given
the circumstances, permitted me to retain my job. I continued as
Ronald for another year before leaving the corporation to share
the story of Billy and how important it is to take risks.
By Jeff McMullen from
Soup for the Soul: Living Your Dreams
Stories & More*
SHOWING TRUE COLORS
Can the Beauty of Autumn
Leaves Be Preserved?
CHECK HERE FOR ANSWER:
from the Wise
LOSING EARNEST ERNIE
Short Movies Starring Amazing People
Filmmaker Nic Askew)
MEET WILLIAM BLOOM:
"Often the extraordinary
is hidden ...
But what if we were to be aware of the existence
of the extraordinary by simply changing the way we look
THIS THOUGHT-PROVOKING FILM HERE
let videos download once, for smooth second viewing.)
Yes You Can!
BUY WHEN THE BUYING'S
50 cents a roll instead of the regular retail price
of $4 buying wrapping paper after New Year's is an
easy way to save. The same holds true for buying half-price
inflatable pool loungers and patio furniture after Labor Day
weekend. In fact, bargain lovers know that there's a smart
time to buy just about anything. For example, those looking
for a great deal on a car should shop on weekday mornings
in September. Shrubs and trees are cheapest on in the Fall.
We talked to the experts, and found the best time to buy everything
from airline tickets to televisions.
to buy: On a Wednesday morning, 21 days (or a couple of days
earlier) before your flight.
Airlines make major pricing changes (and run fare sales)
every week, typically on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings.
About 21 days out from your flight, you'll see plenty of deals
out there as airlines scramble to fill seats, says Anne Banas,
executive editor of SmarterTravel.com,
a consumer travel advice Web site. Don't wait much longer,
she cautions; prices jump significantly from 14 to seven days
ahead of departure.
to buy: During a holiday weekend.
You'll find sales on select models all year long, but
retailers bring out the big guns for holiday weekends, says
Carolyn Forte, homecare director for the Good
Housekeeping Institute. But don't worry about spending
your Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends shopping for a
new fridge smaller holidays like Columbus Day and President's
Day have their share of sales, too.
When to Buy: Thursday
Why Price compare between major chains Borders and
Barnes & Noble. The former releases its weekly sales and
coupons on every Thursday; the latter, every Tuesday.
to buy: Hours before the curtain rises.
How does a $25 front-row seat to for a smash hit musical
sound? Several musicals offer same-day ticket lotteries that
offer up orchestra seats at inexpensive prices. If you'd rather
not gamble on getting a seat, wait in line at the famous TKTS
Times Square. There, you can get tickets for hit musicals
for up to 50% off. On a recent night, prime seats were available
for "Hairspray," "Rent," "Sweeney
Todd" and "Beauty & the Beast." (For the
right times to drop by TKTS, and other ways to save, see our
Midsummer Night's Dream.)
to buy: Weekday mornings in September.
By September, all the next year's models have arrived
at the lot, and dealers are desperate to get rid of the current
year's leftovers, says Phil Reed, consumer advice editor for
It's the prime time of year for incentives and sales, not
to mention bargaining. "Any car that's been on the lot
for a long time loses its value in the eyes of the car salesman,"
he says. Heading to the dealership on a weekday morning also
helps because there's low foot traffic, meaning you'll have
ample time to negotiate and fewer people trying to buy the
same car. The more demand, the less willing a salesman is
to go down on price, says Reed. (For more, see our column
to buy: Thursday evenings.
That's the day when stores stock their shelves for
the weekend, and when many retailers start their weekend promotions,
says Kathryn Finney, author of "How
to Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking
Fabulous for Less"
You'll find great prices and the best selection. "It's
an effort to get people to shop in the middle of the week,"
she says. After an item lingers in stores a month or more,
retailers start dropping its price to get it out the door,
adds Kathryn. These season-end clearances tend to be the same
month that designers host fashion weeks (February and September)
to preview the next fall or spring collections. So smart buyers
can check the catwalk to see if any of this season's trends
say, leggings or military-style jackets will
still be hot next year, and then scoop them up on clearance.
the mall on a weekday ensures you'll get a good selection.
"On the weekend, you'll only get picked-over stuff because
the stores don't have time to restock," she says. By
Thursday, most of the weekend sales have begun, but everything
available is on the floor.
to buy: Just after a new model is launched.
When the latest and greatest of a product is released,
you'll often see prices drop on what had previously been the
best thing out there, says Tom Merritt, executive editor for
an electronics review web site. Case in point: When Apple
released the Nano prices for the now-discontinued Mini dropped
12%, from $199 for a 4GB to about $175. So keep your eyes
open for announcements from major manufacturers. Want a little
less work? Time your purchases for after big annual technology
show like MacWorld
and the International
Consumer Electronics Show (next held Jan. 7-10,
2008 in Las Vegas).
When to Buy: Saturday evening
Why Department stores have a lot to mark down for their
Sunday circulars, so they frequently start the process on
Saturday evenings before store closing, says Kathryn Finney.
When to Buy:
Why Most restaurants do not receive food deliveries
over the weekend. "Sunday is the garbage-can day of the
week," says Kate Krader, senior editor at Food &
Wine Magazine. "No doubt, they're cleaning out their
fridges. Tuesdays, they're starting fresh." Dining out
on that day offers the best odds you'll get a meal worth paying
for, no matter your price point, she says.
When to Buy:
Why Many movie theaters, amusement parks and museums
offer discounts to consumers who visit midweek. Six Flags
theme parks offer a $12 discount to AAA members three
times its usual discount of $4. AMC Theatres offers members
in its free AMC Movie Watcher reward program a free small
popcorn on Wednesdays.
to buy: Thursday morning
Why The price of oil isn't the only factor influencing
costs at your local pump. Consumer usage plays a role, too
and weekend demand is high, says Jason Toews, co-founder
a price-monitoring site. Prices usually swing upward on Thursdays
as travelers fuel up to head out the following day. By hitting
the pump before 10 AM you'll beat the rush and the price jump.
(For more ways to save, see our column Save
to buy: Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
Experts say that since the sales are set on Wednesdays,
buyers can sometimes get overlapping savings Tuesday night
or Wednesday morning. Grocery stores also are usually less
crowded then and the produce isn't too picked-over. Teri Gault,
founder of The
Grocery Game, a consumer savings program, adds
that heading to the store close to closing time means you'll
also have access to sales on fresh items that must be sold
by the end of the day, such as meats and baked goods.
When to Buy:
Why There are two kinds of hotel managers, and the
kind who won't give you a discount on your room rate has Sundays
off, says says travel expert Peter Greenberg, aka The
Travel Detective. Call the hotel directly, and
ask to speak with the manager on duty or the director of sales.
These employees are open to negotiation, he says. They'd rather
have a booked room at a discounted rate than an empty room.
Shrubs, Trees and Other Plants
to buy: Fall
Take a break from raking up leaves to purchase trees,
shrubs and other perennials for your yard. Prices nosedive
after midsummer, as garden supply stores and nurseries try
to clear out their stock. You can also get great deals on
bulbs during the fall. Just store them according to the package
instructions for best planting results next spring. For more,
see our column Cheap
to buy: Six to 12 months after a particular model is launched.
A new TV drops in price after a few months on the market,
Merritt. Although there will be newer models out there, it's
unlikely they'll offer any significant improvements to justify
that brand new price. "The technology is proceeding at
such a pace that the models out there are not going to be
obsolete anytime soon," he says. (For more, see our column
World Is Flat.)
Kelli B. Grant
OF THE CANARIES
Mount Teide Above the Clouds on Teneirife
The Canary archipelago (Islas Canarias) is located
off the northwest African coast, just west of the Sahara
Desert; the islands are cooled by ocean currents and by
the trade winds, creating a perpetual springtime. While
best known for their pristine beaches, the seven islands
(Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La
Palma, Gomera and Hierro), all of volcanic origin, offer
strikingly diverse landscapes: subtropical rainforests,
arid plains, pine woods, sand dunes, mountain peaks and
remarkable flora. The local people take great pride in their
folklore traditions and the carnival festivities are famous
The little yellow songbirds that we call canaries have little
green ancestors who once lived on what are now Spain's Canary
Islands. You might think that the islands are named after
the birds, but "Canary" derives rather
from the Latin word canis, "dog", and the
name Canaria was given to one of these islands because
of its population of fearsomely huge canines. Both the dogs
and the birds were brought back to the Continent, but while
the latter prospered, the former have since become extinct.
The name Canaria, however, stuck to both the islands
and the birds.
specifically owe the name to King Juba II of Mauretania,
a friend of Caesar Augustus. Juba sent out expeditions to
explore the African coast and its proximate islands, and
it was one of these expeditions that happened upon the Canary
Islands, which were supposed, at the time, to be the legendary
"Fortunate Isles". The Greeks believed
that the gods sent virtuous souls and particularly blessed
mortals to these isles as a sort of super retirement home.
The Canaries were referenced in a number of classical sources
from the Romans, Phoenicians and the Greeks, who located
the Garden of Hesperides here.
Europeans began to explore the islands, they encountered
several indigenous populations living at a Neolithic level
of technology. Although the history of the settlement is
still unclear, linguistic and genetic analyses seem to indicate
that at least some of these inhabitants shared a common
origin with the Berbers of northern Africa. The pre-colonial
inhabitants came to be known collectively as the Guanches.
history of the Canary Islands is quite different from that
of the rest of Spain and Europe, due to the fact that they
were not conquered until the 15th century. Nevertheless,
the most avant-garde European schools of thought and creativity
have always found an excellent reception here. The early
years of Spanish colonial rule brought prosperity, with
the development of sugar plantations. In 1492 Columbus passed
through the Canaries en route to the Americas, stopping
at La Gomera. While there, he is reported to have
seen a major eruption of Mount Teide (photo above).
The burgeoning trade with the Americas saw a large port
spring up as Sant Cruz de Tenerife to became one
of the main mercantile hubs of the Spanish Empire.
the Conquest, the desire to travel, discover new lands,
and acquire riches characterized both the Atlantic and Mediterranean
regions of Europe, and can be seen by the countless expeditions
that landed in the Islands. Mallorca, Catalonia, Andalucía,
the Basque Country, Portugal, all sent expeditions and almost
all of them left their mark on the Islands. The active participation
of Canary Islanders in founding other nations and cities,
(Montevideo, Buenos Aires and San Antonio, Texas for instance)
and trade based on their agricultural wealth attracted a
cosmopolitan mix of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and English
who brought their own customs and traditions, which influenced
the present identity of the Islands.
result is a rich and complex Canary Island culture that
has emerged from diverse influences of history, and been
molded by geography with clear mainland influences, as well
as inspiration from South America which is firmly rooted
in its indigenous past. Each of the Canary islands has its
own personality. The most visited islands, Gran Canaria
and Tenerife, have well developed tourist facilities
along the coasts. Growing in popularity is the dramatic
island of Lanzarote, covered with volcanic boulders
and ash still so hot beneath the surface that a well-known
restaurant there grills over natural heat emanating from
the earth. In this volcanic soil, vineyards grow and produce
Malvasia wine, praised by Shakespeare centuries ago.
THE CANARY ISLANDS
Maspalomas Sand Dunes on Gran Canaria
FIND MORE TRAVEL ARTICLES:
ANNOUNCEMENTS & TREATS
10 MILLION CLICKS FOR PEACE:
A few small clicks for you . . . One GIANT click for humankind!
A highly dedicated group of Internet citizens have banded
together using the latest technology to make it as simple
as taking just few clicks so that you can thereby make a huge
difference in the world. Come see how it works.
WATCH "10 MILLION CLICKS FOR
PEACE" & "THE SHIFT" HERE
Millions of individuals, organizations and corporations around
the world are waking up and embracing a new outlook with an
emphasis on their responsibility to contribute positively
to our collective future. We are in the middle of the biggest
social transformation in human history ... The SHIFT!
Untangling the Web
WHAT A SITE!
to Enhance Your Life & Enrich Your Spirit
Geni is a tool that lets you create an online family tree
through a simple interface adding relatives' email addresses.
Only the people in your family tree can see your tree
and your profile. Your tree will continue to grow as relatives
invite other relatives. This helps family members learn
more about each other sharing photos and working
together to build profiles for common ancestors. If you
get lost or confused at any point, scroll to the bottom
of the page and click the excellent Help link. You can
even search Geni Help with the search engine at the top
of the page.
COMPUTER TIPS & 'TOONS
Technical Skills, Cyber-cartoon & Security
For some strange reason, Microsoft allows downloading
only two simultaneous files in Internet Explorer 7. So,
if your friend sends you an e-mail with 96 photos attached,
you will have to download them two by two. Thankfully,
other people faced with the same problem have found a
Uplifting News Stories
MEET THE DOGGIE DA VINCIS
Md. (AP) Strapped for cash and looking for a way to
keep open her fledgling dog-training academy, Mary Stadelbacher
hit upon a bizarre fundraising scheme. If she could teach
abandoned and abused dogs to become service animals for the
disabled holding open doors and even removing socks
for people in wheelchairs why couldn't she teach them
to hold a paintbrush and swab a piece of art? Two years later,
the owner of Shore
Service Dogs has a collection of abstract
paintings daubed by her three service dogs in training: Sammy,
Major and Kayne. The creations are rudimentary,
to be sure, but the pictures of bright strokes across white
canvases are winning fans because of their tail-wagging creators.
The doggie DA Vincis also have a line of Pawtographed
Notecards that has sold out as word spreads
about these unusual works of art. "Go paint, Sammy!"
Mary orders at a recent demonstration at a packed gallery,
where about three dozen people strained to see the large mixed-breed
terrier chomp a red rubber bone with a hole drilled in the
middle to hold a paintbrush. Mary has dipped the brush in
blue acrylic paint. After a little coaxing, Sammy takes the
bone/brush and heads for a white canvas taped to an easel
in the corner. As directed, Sammy swipes the brush across
the canvas and then looks to Mary for more instructions, tail
wagging. His trainer repeats her "Go paint!"
command a few times and then calls Sammy over for a treat,
while Mary changes the brush for a new color. Within about
20 minutes, the canvas is covered in swabs of blue, red, yellow
and aqua. Mary dabs Sammy's paw in black paint for the "signature."
For patrons who don't see the canine artists work live, a
DVD accompanies each painting, showing the canine creating
SAMMY ... THEN
MAJOR ... AND
Online All the Time
FEATURING WEEKLY SHORT FILMS and AUDIO BOOKS ...
"The intent of Inspiration Line is to
show What Is Possible by choosing new perspectives,
we can change ourselves from the inside out to improve our relationships,
our community and our planet."
Cancel eSubscriptions Use the Unsubscribe I.D. Link in Your
NOTICE: All articles and images shown are believed to be public
domain and, therefore, re-printable material.
We make every attempt to credit original authors and websites,
and do not intentionally infringe on anyone's copyright.
Where a source is available, it has been stated. If you believe
a mistake has been made or know the source of
an unattributed article or image, please write to: Editor@InspirationLine.com
and a correction will be made.
Jane Cate, The TechAngel
This publication originates in Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
Copyright © 2007 Inspiration Line -
All Rights Reserved
include "Reprinted from www.InspirationLine.com" whenever
you copy and share Inspiration Line articles.