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Thursday Thirteen #5 — 13 Favorite Cities

Posted by infinitygoods on November 7, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday 13. This week I am sharing 13 favorite cities, why I like them, and a photo for your viewing pleasure whether you’ll be reminicing or discovering a new city. For a list of the other participants, be sure to visit thursdaythirteen.com.  The photos are from Flickr’s public files.  If you right click and select properties, a window listing my caption and giving credit to the photographer will pop up.

These are in alphabetical order.

1. Ashland, Oregon Downtown Ashland, Oregon. Photo by WAVE Journey.

It has lots of charm and a small town atmosphere. It is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

2. Atlanta, Georgia Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta with city skyline. Photo by amiko

I love the history, architecture, contrasts.

3. Honolulu/Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, Oahu, Hawaii.  Photo by eobisch.

The ocean is warm from underwater volcanoes and there is natural beauty everywhere.

4. Los Gatos, California Los Gatos gate.  Photo by echoes71.

The cats are at the gate of a private home, but it is a popular landmark, the high school mascot and used for the town logos.

5. Malibu, California Malibu.  Photo by kla4067

Malibu is beautiful year round, but always dangerous with fires in summer and fall and mud and rock slides in winter and spring.

6. Menton, France Menton, the old town and harbor.  Photo by fede gen88

You can see here the church tower of St. Michael’s. It is full of artwork, but the church is very dark so it is difficult to see. There are stairs everywhere. The ones leading to the church and plaza were handset by the Romans with mosaic-like designs.

7. Oatman, Arizona Oatman, Arizona.  Photo by escapo

Named after the Oatman family massacred by the Indians in 1851. Two daughters were taken captive, their faces were tattooed and one died of starvation while she was an Indian slave. The other was sold back to the whites after five years as a slave and reunited with her brother who had been clubbed and left for dead. The ghost town has a few tourist shops and wild burros from the days of the gold rush.

8. Palo Alto, California Stanford University, CA.  Photo by Swang168

This is Stanford University with the Memorial Church at the Center.

9. Paris, France A view of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine River at dusk in Paris, France. Photo by Thomas Cristopher.

I love it’s beauty, architecture, culture and all the wonderful lights. A view of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine river at dusk.

10. Rimini, Italy Rimini, Italy.  Photo by beardyp

These little pedal boats are all over the beach and there are little changing cabins which you can rent. Sandcastles are also quite popular at this beach.

11. San Francisco, California San Francisco, California.  Photo byBRPhoto.

I too left my heart in San Francisco. It is surrounded by ocean on three sides and it never freezes, but you will find fog year round. Each neighborhood has its own very distinct character.

12. Saratoga, California Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, California.  Photo by hhwang19.

This is Villa Montalvo, originally built as the governor’s mansion, but is now a park and cultural center with artists in residence. It is often used for weddings, concerts and plays. It has great hiking trails through chaparrals.

13. Sausalito, California Sausalito, California.  Photo by BRPhoto

Sausalito is across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Most of the houses sit on the mountainside and some residents live on houseboats. Flowers thrive throughout the town with the beneficial ocean air.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my short tour around the world. I am participating in National Blog Post Month so throughout November I will be posting daily and I’m looking forward to your visits.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.
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Posted in America, American History, art, blog, blogging, Christianity, culture, Family, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Italy, Malibu, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, nature, novel, novel in 30 days, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Christmas Shopping List Carnival

Posted by infinitygoods on November 6, 2007

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So do you run out of Christmas or Hanukkah gift ideas, or have difficult people to shop for who don’t need, or claim they don’t want, anything?

Have I got the thing for you!

It’s Chili’s Christmas List Carnival, also known as Holiday Shopping Carnival, which I am participating in!

Chili came up with a great idea, where we can all share ideas linked to places we can shop right online, or for those of us who are crafty, there will even be homemade gifts linked to the how-tos.

So be sure to come back to see me on Nov. 12 for the Christmas List Carnival (and daily too, because I LOVE a blog home full of great reading guests like you, and I’m participating in NaBloPoMo all month, so there’s lots to read.)

And if you want a head start on your shopping, you’re invited to stop by my Amazon Affiliate store at infinitygoods.com right now!

Only 27 shopping days till Hanukkah! Only 48 shopping days till Christmas!

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in blog, blogging, Christmas, culture, Hanuka, Holidays, Household Tip, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel, novel in 30 days, religion, Shopping, Tips, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tell Your Car to Pick Up the Milk

Posted by infinitygoods on November 5, 2007

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And DARPA’s Urban Challenge Event autonomous robot car winners are:

  1. Tartan Racing — Carnegie Mellon and General Motors with “Boss,” a Chevy Tahoe taking the $2 million first prize;
  2. Stanford Racing Team — Stanford University with “Junior,” a VW Passat gets the $1 million second prize;
  3. Victor Tango Team — Virginia Tech with “Odin,” a Ford Escape Hybrid claims third prize of $500, 000.

I hope all of you reading this post realize just how exciting this all is. Our 10-year-old son is quite excited that his very own science teacher competes in the Pentagon’s DARPA Challenge each year. This is the third challenge. Nobody won in 2004, and Stanford won the $2 million first prize last year.

Our son, who already wanted to be a scientist to follow in his Grandpa’s impressive footsteps, is even more energized now that he has seen and touched his teacher’s autonomous robotic car.

His teacher tells us that not only will these “auto-mobiles” be used for military purposes such as transport through danger zones (DARPA’s goal is by 2015), but much sooner than we think, we’ll be able to tell our cars to go pick up the milk for us at the grocery store. This is not science-fiction fantasies, it is our own near future.

Already car makers are fine-tuning driver assistance systems where the car is constantly monitoring the road for the driver, warning the driver of hazards and as soon as the driver touches the brakes, the car applies the brakes at just the necessary pressure.

We hope to get many more details at our son’s next science class, but in the meantime, you can watch the video and look at pictures on DARPA’s Web site.

All the science and technology media are writing about it too. You can check out WIRED and Popular Mechanics‘ numerous articles and blog posts on their Web sites.

And if you didn’t read my previous post on Oct. 26, 2007 about autonomous cars, be sure to check it out FIRST. It will give you all the basics to understand what it’s all about.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Car, cars, culture, education, Family, government agencies, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, manufacturers, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, politics, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, technology, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, Website, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Starbucks Throws Children and Parents Into the Street

Posted by infinitygoods on November 3, 2007

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Starbucks strikes again. I keep hearing in the community, in the news, and on the Internet that Starbucks does not like children, and at least based on the experience we had a few days ago, I can say it’s absolutely true.

Our son’s teacher had prearranged with the local Starbucks manager in Oak Park, Calif., to have a small group of 6-10 homeschoolers accompanied by parents to journal for one hour. The thought was to have comfortable seating, pleasant music and, since the weather is getting chilly, perhaps even a cup of hot cocoa all while the children and parents wrote in their journals.

It seemed it would be a better experience than sitting in a school district classroom, which seems particularly uninviting to all of us who are so used to the pleasures and comfort of homeschooling.

We would have gained a clean, well-lighted place to write, and in exchange Starbucks would have gained some free community outreach in an affluent area which is extremely family oriented, all the while gaining some extra business at a time of day the manager had claimed was always slow.

Well, that was not to be.

Despite the prearrangement and the fact that several parents were already purchasing drinks and snacks, the manager asked the teacher to leave even before several of us had the chance to arrive, claiming there were too many patrons there that morning despite the seats still available both inside and on the patio.

Now, I ask you, since almost every single one of us had made a purchase, were we not patrons?

Mind you, we were not a group of screaming preschoolers or scary teen gang members. The three children who had already arrived were polite and quiet elementary school children who were accompanied by both a school district teacher, and one parent each.

Starbucks did not refuse to serve us. No, they gladly took our money. Starbucks refused to allow paying customers to sit down and sent children out into the cold!

When the teacher went to Starbucks to prearrange this, the manager had the choice to simply say no, or that she didn’t feel comfortable doing that, or that it was sometimes a busy time of day so it might not be comfortable for us, or any polite customer service excuse she wanted to give. But instead, she chose to tell the teacher yes, that it was a slow time of day and that it was “fine,” only to rudely go back on her word.

That’s not how to win repeat business or create community goodwill, Starbucks. That’s not only the perfect recipe for losing business today, but also for losing business tomorrow when those children become adults.

As you can see by this blog post, it’s also the perfect way to earn bad press for all the World Wide Web to read.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Caring, consumers, culture, education, Family, Food, food products, greed, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Music, U.S., USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Thursday Thirteen #4 — 13 Cities

Posted by infinitygoods on October 31, 2007

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By popular demand, for an update to this post, please see my November  2, 2007 post.

Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen where you get to know me better by finding out bits and pieces of my life.

Today I share with you 13 cities where I have lived. I’ve moved a lot!

  1. Almaden, CA
  2. Calabasas, CA
  3. Chatsworth, CA
  4. Malibu, CA
  5. Menton, France (although only one summer)
  6. Monte Sereno, CA
  7. Palo Alto, CA
  8. Paris, France
  9. Port Hueneme, CA
  10. Santa Cruz, CA
  11. Thousand Oaks, CA
  12. West Hills, CA
  13. Woodland Hills, CA

Wishing you all a happy Thursday Thirteen! Let me know if we have a city in common. 😉

Be sure to visit Thursday Thirteen and the other participants.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, U.S., Uncategorized, USA | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

WFMW — Freezer Solution

Posted by infinitygoods on October 30, 2007

You know those little square plastic tabs that keep bread bags closed? Most people send those to the landfill, but I save mine.

Each time I cut open a bag from my freezer such as frozen vegetables, tater tots, etc., I reclose the bag of what’s left using those nifty little tabs.

It’s easier than the wire twist ties, rubber bands, string or transferring to a zip bag.

It’s one more of my little ways to save the environment. It saves me money and it’s my solution on how to keep my veggie bags from opening and causing freezer burn to my foods.

It worked for my mother-in-law who gave me this solution when I was a newlywed, it’s worked for me all these years, and it will work for you too.

If you’ve missed any of my previous Works For Me Wednesday tips, just click below:

Large desk calendar inside guest closet

Child’s haircut without tears

Homemade bread stuffing

plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder

reuse plastic grocery bags in the car

How to increase Web site traffic?

16 Blog/Web site tips

Toy storage

For a list of all the participants in WFMW, be sure to visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Posted in Family, Food, Home, Household Tip, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Organizing, Reuse, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, Uncategorized, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

5th Fastest Growing WordPress Blog

Posted by infinitygoods on October 29, 2007

On Oct. 25, 2007, Infinity Goods reached 5th Fastest Growing Blog in WordPress. Thanks once more to my wonderful readers!!

Posted in blog, blogging, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, WordPress, WordPress Statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I Have Been StumbledUpon!!

Posted by infinitygoods on October 22, 2007

Here’s what I found this morning when I fired up my computer and looked at my blog.

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Your page is on StumbleUpon

One of our members added your page to the Writing topic on StumbleUpon.
Each time our members who are interested in Writing “stumble upon” your page using our toolbar, it will record an entry on your referral logs.

Which post? I asked. Friday’s post on NaNoWriMo got me a THUMBS UP!! thumbup1.gif

Thank you, thank you, dear reader! It means a lot to this new blogger to receive a thumbs up, and also to have so many readers, so quickly. And such good people you all are too.

For all of you interested in writing, blogging and reading, be sure to also read my follow-up post on NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo and NaNoReMo. It’s today’s earlier post, so scroll down or click on the calendar to the left for Oct. 22, 2007.

And for all of you who have no idea what all this alphabet soup is all about (that’s me too just a few days ago!! LOL!!) you can read how this phenomenon all started on my Oct. 19, 2007 post.

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, culture, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, reading, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NaNoWriMo — Ready, Set, Write a Novel in 30 Days

Posted by infinitygoods on October 19, 2007

As I was hopping from one blog to another yesterday, I discovered an 8-year-old phenomenon which has been sweeping the WWW community of writers and bloggers.

National Novel Writing Month is coming up in November. The point is not to write the greatest novel ever written or the next best-seller, but rather to find the dedication to write 50, 000 words in 30 days and to refrain our dreadful inner editors which cripple so many, even professional writers.

If you succeed in writing that novel, or should we really say that first draft, you get bragging rights. Winners receive a web icon and a certificate, but more importantly, they get the empowerment that comes with the accomplishment of such a challenge and the knowledge that they succeeded.

What started with 21 friends challenging themselves in 1999, with six of them finishing their 50,000-word novels, grew to 42, 000 participants in 2004 and 79, 813 participants last November. The number of winners was 12, 948 or about 16 percent of participants.

To help you succeed in your endeavor, Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, has written No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days (also available as The No Plot? No Problem! Novel-Writing Kit), and has grown his website into a nonprofit corporation, The Office of Letters and Light, with forums, FAQs, and 500 affiliated chapters around the world.

Baty is also reaching out to students with the Young Writers Program, where more than 300 schools participated last year. Students set their own goals, but the same principle of refraining their inner editor applies.

I’m considering joining this NaNoWriMo phenomenon. It would be an interesting experiment. Can a wife and mother with a blog and an on-line Amazon-affiliate store, write about 1,700 words a day when there’s also homeschooling and life playing interference?

I’ve written that many words a day, a lot more actually when I was a full-time journalist, but I didn’t have a child to babysit and homeschool in those days. And I’ve never attempted a novel before. What do you think? Is it even remotely possible without creating a novel orphan?

Maybe I should sign up our son, too. After all, he has been working on a novel since the age of 8. It’s about time he took the time to finish it, isn’t it?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, culture, education, Family, Home, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, News, Organizing, publishing, Uncategorized, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Votes Are In For Organic Meat

Posted by infinitygoods on October 17, 2007

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Follow up on Blog Action Day post from Oct. 15. To make more sense of this post please click Blog Action Day — Environment and Organic Foods.

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Organic meat tastes better. The verdict is in. Our family votes thumbs up for the taste of organic meat. The woman we met at the store who recommended organic meat was absolutely right. Though we vote thumbs down for the inflated price tag. Yet, I must say that just as with organic fruits and vegetables, I noticed that my family felt satisfied far quicker than with non-organic foods.

While I was concerned that we wouldn’t have enough to eat with this special birthday meal, as portions were smaller than we are used to, we ended up with left overs. I have noticed this before with fruits and vegetables. While the organics taste far better and some might think we would eat more, we in fact eat less. I am guessing because the nutrition value is higher.

So this interesting finding makes me wonder if it would follow that as we eat less yet have better and more nutrition, we would also lose weight?

We have seen our country as a whole gain more and more weight since the ’70s. At the same time our quality of food has degraded more and more with each passing decade.

Not only have our foods been pumped full with more and more chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, but also many additives like artificial and engineered flavorings and corn syrup. Actually, corn syrup is known to make us gain weight, eat more and crave additional corn syrup, but I will leave the side effects and evils of corn syrup for another post (stay tuned).

In the meantime, eat healthy and be well!

Posted in American Cookery, blog, blogging, butter flavoring, Cooking, diet, Food, food flavoring, food products, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, natural foods, nutrition, organic food, organic foods, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »