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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
“Man, unlike the animals, has never learned
that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it."

~ Samuel Butler... Daily Inspirational Quotes

July 30, 2007


"If I Could Change the World"

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From the Inside Out...
Justice Served

Fascinating Facts...
The More Things

Words from the Wise...
Behind Your Mask

Yes You Can!...
Pay It Down on
$10 a Day

Far Horizons...
The Charms of Albania

Just for YOU...
Announcements & Treats

Untangling the Web

Uplifting News Stories...
The Bravehearted

Online All the Time...

Featuring New Weekly Films
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BE the World
You Want to See!

Our animal friends often need protection from insensitivity and ignorance. Generally, household pets are treated like the little kings and queens they think they are, and we get to reap the pleasure of their companionship. Whenever it becomes necessary to take a stand to prevent mistreatment of these wonderful creatures, we must change the world and do so without hesitation.

Chelle Thompson, Editor
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

... you can change things for
fortunate people all over the world!

From the Inside Out
JUSTICE SERVEDInspiration Line Meaningful Life Magazine

Most German Shepherds are pretty smart, but George was dumber than a box of rocks. That dog was actually too dumb to come in out of the rain. If he happened to be out in the yard when the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled, he would bark and cry until I came out of the house with his leash and led him onto the porch or into the garage. Or, into the house if he wasn't too wet by that time.

What George lacked in intelligence, he more than made up for in affection for the neighbors. Every morning, he would go to the back door of all the neighbor's houses around the block, bark softly and wait patiently until someone opened the door and said, "Good morning, George," or gave him a pat on the head.

George loved children, and if any came out of the house, he was in ecstasy, and would play with them joyfully for a few minutes, then move on to the next house.

George loved everyone, and everyone loved George — everyone, that is, except old man Cotter.

C.V. Cotter was a crusty old curmudgeon who lived alone in a little brick house across the back quadrangle almost directly across from where Bob and Gwendola had lived many years before. C.V. didn't like anybody — he didn't like the neighbors, he didn't like me, and most of all he didn't like George, and would sometimes yell and throw coals from the fireplace at him.

As dumb as George was, he finally learned to skip C.V.'s house in his daily quest to give and receive a little love. One morning, I got up early and went to the kitchen window to see how much snow had fallen. There was George, sitting in the snow licking his paw, and there was blood in the snow all around him.

I dressed hurriedly, ran out and examined his paw. There was a semi-circular cut just above the first joint.

A steel trap!

I bound up the wound the best I could with a clean rag from the garage and rushed George to the Vet at Mt. Vernon. Dr. Davis examined the wound and gave me the good news that the bone and tendons were intact, and George would be OK, but I would have to leave him there a couple of days. He was amazed, however, that George had been able to pull out of the trap — wolves have been known to chew a leg off to escape from the diabolical and cruel steel trap.

I drove home, becoming angrier with every mile. It had been years since I had felt the flush of extreme anger in my neck and face that way, but this morning I was incensed! How could anyone do that to a sweet, dumb sweetheart of a dog?

When I drove into the garage, my eyes fell upon a 16 pound post maul — a sledge hammer that swings over one's shoulder and drives posts into the ground. I picked it up.

It was easy to follow the trail of blood to its origin. After all, there was snow on the ground. The bright red trail led just where I expected — right back to C.V. Cotter's house.

C.V. had just built a new concrete porch, had imbedded a foot scraper in one corner of it, and had chained a steel trap to that. The trap now lay on the ground, baited with hamburger and covered with George's blood and brown hair.

I set the trap up on the corner of the porch, swung the huge sledge hammer over my shoulder and down onto the trap with all my strength. The trap shattered into pieces, and wonder of wonders, so did a corner of the porch. I backed off and looked at that and it's a wonder that the grin that crossed my face didn't stay plastered there forever.

"Well, now," I said to myself, "It seems C.V.'s porch is no longer symmetrical. I'd better fix it."

So I went to the other corner, swung the sledge hammer again, and that corner disappeared too! Comparing the two corners, I realized that I had taken a bit too much off the second corner, so it was back to the first corner to remove some more concrete and even things up a bit. Now the pace picked up, and within a few minutes, I had reduced the entire porch to a pile of gravel. Once, out of the corner of my eye, I saw old man Cotter peek through the kitchen curtains, but he closed them again quickly.

I casually walked back to the house, put the sledge in the garage, went inside and put on a pot of coffee. I sat down at the kitchen table to wait for the Sheriff. Surely Cotter had called him — I had, after all, destroyed his property. By the time I heard the knock at the door, I had just finished the second cup of coffee.

"Come in, Mike," I yelled, getting up to get another cup from the cupboard. When I told the Sheriff the story, he laughed so hard he spilled coffee on himself. When he recovered, he said, "You know I'm gonna have to make an arrest, don't you?"

"I know, Mike," I said, "Wait till I get my coat."

"Oh, no, not you, Marybeth," Mike said. "I'm gonna arrest old man Cotter. Them steel traps are illegal in Missouri, and bein' in the city limits, Judge Swadley'll throw the book at him. It'll cost him five hundred dollars, anyways."

I watched through the back porch window as the Sheriff pulled up in front of C.V. Cotter's house, and shortly led him out in handcuffs.

Two days later, as George and I were driving home from the vet, his muzzle in my lap, I patted him and said, "Well, George, you may still be the dumbest dog I've ever known, but you won this one." George thumped his tail.

~ By Joe Edwards
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Fascinating Facts


So, Pluto's NOT
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Words from the Wise

Online Short Movies Starring Extraordinary People
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s You Can!


10 Easy Ways to Stash Away Thousands — Readers share their secret ploys to save cash throughout the year. These clever ideas make saving money easy and painless ...

Money guru Jean Chatzky knows her latest book, Pay It Down! : From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day, centers on a gimmick.
The thing is, gimmicks work — at least when it comes to our often-irrational relationship with money.

Chatzky promises financial freedom for anyone who can scrounge up an extra ten bucks each day — what you might spend on lunch, a car wash, a movie ticket. Someone who might feel hopeless at the prospect of paying off $8,000 in credit card debt can embrace this one-day-at-a-time approach, which makes debt repayment seem not only possible, but almost easy.

“It’s a hook, kind of like ‘no carbs’ is a hook,” says Chatzky, financial editor for NBC’s Today Show. “This is a problem we need to get our hands around. . . . (We need) some sort of mental game we can play with ourselves that will help us solve the problem.”

If we were entirely logical, of course, we wouldn’t need hooks or gimmicks or any of the little self-delusions that in reality can be so helpful in giving ourselves a financial cushion.

Since we’re not Mr. Spock, though, savings tricks can prove mighty helpful. Here are some of the things MSN Money readers say they do to get themselves to put aside a little extra:

Pad your accounts:
If you use personal finance software, you can just enter a check to yourself for $300 — or $500, or $1,000, or whatever you want your pad to be. The check needn’t actually exist or ever be cashed, but the software will treat it as an outstanding obligation and deduct it from your balance. You can do something similar even if you still balance your checkbook by hand. “What I have done is to add $300 to my checking account, but not include it into the balance,” wrote Gregory Hannon, a utilities administrator for the city of Longview, Wash. “Basically, the money is hidden. . . . This is my way of making sure that should it happen that I write a check without the funds (according to the checking account balance), then I know I am covered.”

Cull your bills:
Here’s a twist on the classic savings tip of dumping your change in a jar: set aside certain denominations, such as fives or tens, whenever they make their way into your wallet. Kirstiepie99 wrote on the Your Money message board that she and her husband decided to put any of the new, colorful $20 bills they received into a jar beside their bed. “A new $20 bill can slip into your hands at any time, so it's like Russian roulette every time you go to the ATM,” she wrote. “We did it for about seven or eight months, and it funded a trip to Latvia for a month (except for the airfare). It makes saving fun!”

Institute a family tax:
Dawnna76’s family has a Garfield piggy bank into which each family member deposits $1 a day. The bank can be raided for the occasional movie or latte, but mostly the money funds their Christmas shopping.
“We have around $1,000 each year in there and we only pay cash for Christmas presents,” Dawnna76 wrote. “The nice thing is we usually never spend (all) the money on presents and what’s left, we take a trip with.”

Save your reimbursements:
Employers can take weeks or months to pay you back for the expenses you incurred traveling or entertaining clients. By then, you may have already paid the bill. Instead of cashing the check, consider saving it instead. Kirstiepie99 says she’s saved $400 so far by depositing expense reimbursement checks from her job into a separate savings account.

Realize your rebates:
Several posters recommended saving the money you get from rebates, shopping sales or using coupons and club cards at grocery stores. Grocery stores tend to make this easy; they often print on the receipt exactly how much you saved. You can transfer that exact amount to a savings account or, if you still write checks, you can make one out for the amount of the savings and deposit that — or simply round up.
“If the items ring up to the tune of $33.45 for example, I write a check for $35,” wrote Summerbreeze 98387. “When I get home, the change goes into the kitty (dollars and change both).”

Round it up — or down:
Another popular ploy, for those who balance their checkbooks by hand, is adding or subtracting a few bucks from each transaction. MadWomanM says she never records the full amount of her deposit to her checking account and adds a dollar or five to any checks she writes.
“If I put in $105.38, I just write in $100,” she wrote, “and I always subtract to the nearest dollar or sometimes, up to five dollars. I end up (with) a surplus almost every payday, which is handy.”

Fee yourself:
WryWit uses a slightly different method that also could work for folks who use personal finance software.
“I started imposing fees on myself,” WryWit wrote. “In my checkbook register, there is a little column for fees. I use a check mark for $10 and a dash for $1. So for every $100 deposited I'll short $10, and every outgoing transaction I add a dollar. When the page is full I add them up and keep a running total at the bottom of the page. This makes it easy to reconcile the balance at any time, and when it gets up to a certain point, I transfer it into savings.”

Saving raises:
Some posters save all or part of every raise they get. Sweetnepenthe has lived on the same amount of take-home pay for the past eight years, dedicating every raise to increased retirement contributions and, when those are maxed out, to savings. ImproperFraction saves half of each raise, noting that it doesn’t feel like deprivation.
“Inflation is a gradual erosion of my dollar's buying power that I endure and make spending adjustments for throughout the year,” the poster wrote. “But my pay raises don’t creep up; rather they are sudden events. . . . So I'll save half of this sudden jump in income and add the rest to my spending funds. This has worked quite well for me throughout my working years; I am now in the position where the amount of money I save exceeds the amount of money I spend.”

Divide and conquer your paycheck:
Other posters save an amount equal to an hour’s pay each day, or each week if they’re just getting started. “I have an automated transaction to pull $26.18 out of my account every week,” wrote MusketeersPlus2, a union worker whose raises are known in advance. “I've even already set it up to change to $27.10" when his next pay hike kicks in.

Pay yourself last:
The usual (and excellent) money tip is to pay yourself first by making sure a certain amount of your paycheck is deposited into savings or investment accounts. But Carolina Girl also pays herself last. “I keep a pretty close check on monthly expenses,” she posted. “If we have extra money due to less expenses (received a raise or bonus, gas bill goes down in the summer, less entertainment due to busy schedules, etc.), the extra is transferred to a savings account. I don't change my spending just because there's extra money.”

~Liz Pulliam Weston's column appears every
Monday and Thursday, on MSN Money.
She also answers reader questions in the
"Your Money"
Message Board.

Far Horizons


Albanian Church
Albanian Church (Photograph by Michel Setboun/CORBIS)

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Albania — the last hidden corner of Europe — is truly worth discovering. Its mountains form a breathtaking backdrop to a rugged coastline, and 2,000 years of occupation by Greeks, Romans, Italians and Turks have resulted in a rich architectural legacy. With a warm climate and even warmer hospitality, this is an exceptional country to visit. Situated along the Adriatic Sea in southeastern Europe, Albania has beautiful old cities, lovely beaches, spectacular foliage, and fascinating archaeological sites. Its people are loyal and hospitable, its flora and fauna varied and rare, and its food and wine are delicious. This sunny slice of easy living has been ground down by years of totalitarianism. But the new Albania packs a wild punch of traditional Mediterranean charm, delightfully welcoming people and a madly colorful art-driven renaissance in the capital, Tirana. Beyond Tirana, tourists looking for escape from Europe's crowded beaches will find them along Albania's self-styled "Riviera," a forty-five-mile stretch of mountainous coastline running south from Vlora to Saranda. The road, which is gradually being improved, twists dizzyingly above deep gorges and past villages perched high among terraced vineyards and fruit trees.

The city of Vlora dates back to the 4th century, when it was known by the name Aulona. Vlora is of great importance because it was here in 1912 that the Assembly first proclaimed the independence of Albania from five centuries of Ottoman occupation. Commemorating this historical event is the “Monument Of Independence” rising at the “Flag Square”. Adjacent to the monument there is the Mosque of Muradije, which was built in 1542 by the famous architect Mimar Sinani (who built the grandiose Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul).

Further south along the shores of the Ionian sea, lies the port city of Saranda. With its small hotels, cafes and palm trees that line the seaside colonnade, Saranda has always been popular with Albanian newlyweds. The city is also popular with Greeks thanks to the daily ferry service from nearby Corfu. The original name Agii Saranda comes from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Santi Quaranta (Forty Saints).

While in Saranda, be sure to take a 25 km trip to see the famous "Blue Eye" ("Syrin e Kalter") spring. In a beautifully wooded site 18 springs converge and bubble forth out of a wide opening in the earth — the main source of Albania's Bistrica River. Because of its oval shape and the deep blue water in the center with light blue at the sides, it looks like a human eye. Albanians say that it is nearly impossible to drown in the spring because the rapid water flow is always pushing you upwards. When visitors throw a stone into "Blue Eye," they soon see the very same stone coming up again to the surface; this is thought to be a geological phenomenon of tectonic origin.

Saranda, Albania
An Evening in Saranda on the Albanian Riviera

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Be the Cause — Portal for Progress

Be the Cause is a community of individuals that create enriching opportunities of service. The organization started in early 2002 with a few simple questions: "What is our purpose here?", "How can we change the world?", "Can one person really make a difference?" This journey has somehow led us to believe that we can change the world, but only by making examples of our own lives. We organize regular community service projects, an annual Walk for Hope, an annual visit to a developing country, and more.

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Computer Tips
Technical Skills, Cyber-cartoon & Security Alerts

Outlook Express Address Book
So, you may use an address book in Outlook
Express to keep track of everyone's e-mail
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Uplifting News Stories

Zoey the Hero Chihuahua

MASONVILLE, Colo., July 23 (UPI) — A family pet is being called a hero after being bitten by a snake that was striking at a toddler. Monty and Denise Long said a rattlesnake in their northern Colorado backyard had lunged for their grandson Booker West as he was splashing his hands in a birdbath. Booker was saved from the snake when 5-pound, 1-year-old Chihuahua Zoey threw herself in the path of the snake, taking the bite on her head and face. "She got in between Booker and the snake, and that's when I heard her yipe," Monty said. "Zoey took the bite for him. If I hadn't been paying attention to her yipe telling me something was wrong, Booker would have been next." Zoey required treatment and for a time it appeared she might not survive, but she finally pulled through the ordeal. They said she nearly lost an eye to the snake's fangs. She’s already back to her old ways now, romping around in the grass. "Once Zoey could see after the swelling went down, she was following Booker around. She had 's-n-a-k-e' on her mind," said Denise. "She knew she was a good girl. These little bitty dogs, they just don’t really get credit."
See Video HereZOEY & FAMILY

Denise, Booker, Zoey and Monty

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This touching and poignant slideshow about aging
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Kie Fujii showed how determination can pay off...
by standing tall before family, friends and peers to speak at her graduation ceremony from Oak Crest Middle School in Encinitas, California, in June, 2007. Kie was paralyzed 5 years ago when she broke her neck in a car accident in Georgia. At the time, she was 9 years old, had just competed in Georgia's state track meet for her age group and was preparing for the National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships. In an instant, her ambitions changed from running with the best athletes in her field to learning to walk again. Kie now spends hours a day in rigorous training and says she aims to walk in the next four years, before she graduates from high school. Her mother, Takako Fujii, admits it has been a long haul for Kie, whose physicians initially told her that she would have less than a 5 percent chance of ever walking again. Hoping to improve those odds, the family explored several options. Two years ago, they discovered Project Walk, a Carlsbad-based spinal cord injury recovery program ...

To keep Kie in rehabilitation her family needs $2500 a month...
If you can you help with financial assistance, please contact Kie's mom at:

Kie Fujii - Project Walk

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