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unlike the animals, has never learned
that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it."
~ Samuel Butler...
July 30, 2007
TODAY'S TUNE [ON/OFF]
I Could Change the World"
If you cannot hear the song, simply:
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THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
The More Things
Words from the Wise...
Behind Your Mask
Yes You Can!...
Pay It Down
$10 a Day
Just for YOU...
Untangling the Web...
Uplifting News Stories...
Online All the Time...
Featuring New Weekly
and Audio Books...
BE the World
You Want to See!
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
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor
... you can change things for
fortunate people all over the world!
From the Inside Out
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.
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.
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.
loved everyone, and everyone loved George everyone, that
is, except old man Cotter.
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.
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.
dressed hurriedly, ran out and examined his paw. There was a semi-circular
cut just above the first joint.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
now," I said to myself, "It seems C.V.'s porch
is no longer symmetrical. I'd better fix it."
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.
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.
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?"
know, Mike," I said, "Wait till I get my coat."
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."
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.
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
Stories & More*
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE ...
So, Pluto's NOT
a planet anymore?
HERE FOR ANSWER:
from the Wise
BEHIND YOUR MASK
Short Movies Starring Extraordinary People
Filmmaker Nic Askew)
MEET FRANCO BASSETTI: "We
all wear a mask ...
... But what if we didn't.
What might happen to our experience of life?"
THIS THOUGHT-PROVOKING FILM HERE
let videos download once, for smooth second viewing.)
Yes You Can!
PAY IT DOWN ON
$10 A DAY
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.
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.
a hook, kind of like no carbs is a hook,
says Chatzky, financial editor for NBCs 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.
we were entirely logical, of course, we wouldnt need
hooks or gimmicks or any of the little self-delusions that
in reality can be so helpful in giving ourselves a financial
were 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:
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 neednt 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.
Heres 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!
a family tax:
Dawnna76s 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 whats left, we take a trip with.
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 shes
saved $400 so far by depositing expense reimbursement checks
from her job into a separate savings account.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 doesnt 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 dont 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
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.
and conquer your paycheck:
Other posters save an amount equal to an hours pay
each day, or each week if theyre 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.
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.
Pulliam Weston's column appears every
Monday and Thursday, on MSN Money.
She also answers reader questions in the
Albanian Church (Photograph by Michel Setboun/CORBIS)
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
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
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
& BLUE EYE
An Evening in Saranda on the Albanian
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Untangling the Web
WHAT A SITE!
to Enhance Your Life & Enrich Your Spirit
Be the Cause Portal for Progress
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.
COMPUTER TIPS & 'TOONS
Technical Skills, Cyber-cartoon & Security
Express Address Book
So, you may use an address book in Outlook
Express to keep track of everyone's e-mail
addresses, but did you know that you can
access that same address book another way?
THE BRAVEHEARTED CHIHUAHUA
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. Shes 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 dont really get credit."
Online All the Time
FEATURING NEW WEEKLY FILMS and AUDIO BOOKS ...
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 ...
KIE'S PERSONAL MESSAGE
Kie in rehabilitation her family
needs $2500 a month...
If you can you help with financial
assistance, please contact Kie's
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