Monday, July 25, 2011

Over the Edge: Fundraising for NY Special Olympics

As many of you may know, I have recently joined my friend, Kevin Marshall, in an effort to both raise a whole bunch of money for the NY Special Olympics, and have ourselves thrown off the Crowne Plaza in Albany NY. (And by thrown I mean, in harnesses, and we get to rappel our way down.)

Anywho... donations have been moving along nicely, but it is now our goal to be the NUMBER ONE fund-raising team. Instead of the number two spot, which we now
occupy. So we're asking your support!

Kevin has promised his those donating to him various promotional give-aways for certain levels of donation, and I thought I would do the same for those donating to my campaign!

In order to sweeten the pot (quite literally) I will now beg for donations by bribing with baked goods. That's right, I will bribe you (or your office, or team or what-have-you) with tasty, tasty baked goods for your donation.

- For a $50 donation, I will bake & send you 2 dozen cookies of your choice
- For a $100 donation, I will bake & send you a cheesecake or pie of your choice
- For a $250 donation, I will make & send you you one baked good or 2 dozen cookies of your choice every week for a month!


- The rules -
1) - When you make a donation - use your name & amount - so I can verify that you get delicious baked goods. Also specifying the kind of baked good you would like in your name on the donation - that would be helpful!

2) - Cheesecakes are kind of not-so-mailable. And I hear the United State Postal Service really doesn't want me mailing them. So if you're long distance, please choose cookies or a pie.

3) - If you have already donated one of the said amounts - just get in touch with me to arrange for baked deliciousness delivery.

4) - If you have already donated $20 and donate another $30 - that counts! Just get in touch with me when you make a second donation to arrange for delivery of tasty baked goods.

5) - I reserve the right to take up to 2 weeks to get your baked goods to you. Because if a LOT of folks donate at once, while I'm an awesome baker, I really can't envision making more than a few baked goods in one evening. I have a job and such y'all.

6) - You can also COMBINE efforts. Say you make a $10 donation, and convince 4 people in your office to do the same. ... Just let me know everyone's name and what office you're at - and your office gets cookies!

- The Options -
Cookies I am capable of making
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Snickerdoodles
- Scotchies (Oatmeal butterscotch cookies)
- Mallo-mar cookies (they have marshmallows in em)
- Peanut butter cookies
- Sugar cookies

Cheesecakes I am capable of making
- NY Style Plain Cheesecake
- Pretty much any BERRY cheesecake (straw-, blue-, rasp-, black-, etc-berry)
- Chocolate swirl cheesecake
- Butterscotch or caramel swirl cheesecake

Pies I am capable of making
- Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Apple pie (regular or dutch version)
- Peach pie
- Pear pie

Also, I can make brownies if you do not prefer cookies or a cheesecake/apple pie combination of deliciousness called Apple Torte.

*** Feel free to ask me to make some crazy baked good of your choice that you do not see on the list - I'll let you know if I think it's possible, or if it's something out of my skill range ***

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Kindle may Kill Textbook companies!

Yesterday I blogged about how the Kindle & other E-readers most likely led to the demise of Border's Bookstores. I found that story kind of sad, but I find the Kindle's latest development nothing short of AWESOME! It turns out that Amazon is going to offer rentals of textbooks through the Kindle.

So instead of students paying $700-$900 on books for a semester, and then being able to sell them back to their college bookstore for a measly $100-$300; students will now be able to rent books from Amazon at a savings of up to 80%. Amazon states that it will have in excess of 10,000 textbooks ready to rent for the Fall 2011 Semester for students.

Neat features include that a student gets to pick a rental time. Anywhere from 30-360 days, which they can extend for a day at a time. So, if as in the case of SUNY Oswego, if your final gets snowed out you can continue to plug away at studying for ONE-MORE-DAY if you need to.

Also great is the fact that Amazon is extending its Whispersync technology, allowing students to keep their notes and highlights in the Amazon Cloud, even after the point in time which the rental expires.

Perhaps greatest of all is the fact that as with all other Kindle books, Kindle Textbooks will be “Rent Once, Read Everywhere,” capable. So students can rent it on their Kindles and then read it on their: computer, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Android phone, BlackBerry, etc. etc. etc. This will eliminate lugging around anywhere from 25-50lbs of textbooks. And its a bonus that you aren't relegated to the small Kindle screen, but that you can read the book on your larger computer or laptop screen if you would like.

I only wish that had this available while I was in law school. It would have saved a boatload of money and back pain.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Video killed the Radio Star...

and the E-Reader killed Borders.

Borders announced recently, that despite all efforts to return to profitability or to sell the store to a company that would keep it operational; it is now having to sell the company to a liquidation company. Borders will shut the doors on its remaining 399 stores and let go its 10,700 e-employees.

Many blame this on Border's lack of a popular e-book system. Such as Amazon's Kindle, or Barnes & Noble's NookBook. While Borders did promote the Kobo, it turns out it only owned an 11% share in the company, and that Kobo, is not solely reliant on Borders to provide it with content. PC Mag reports that even though Borders is going under, Kobo is likely to keep on keeping on.

I find the whole thing kind of sad. Even though I own an e-reader, (a Kindle) most of the time I prefer real, hard copies of books. I have hundreds of books in my home and tend to reserve e-books for textbooks or newspapers or books I normally wouldn't purchase, but would read on an airplane.

I was a bigger fan of Borders than I was Barnes & Noble, and Borders always had good coupons & clearance books. I will be sad to see them go. But glad that Barnes & Noble is still holding its own, and that bookstores on the whole have not gone under completely.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Not so much stupid lawsuits, as a travesty of justice.

So, although all the comments have already been made, I thought I'd give my two cents on the Casey Anthony situation. I realize that many people think it's none of their business. But it does kind of bug me that a murderer is walking free.

Now she may not have meant to actually KILL the baby. But I believe that she at least tried to knock the kid out with chloroform so that she could go clubbing, and accidentally killed the kid.

I also agree with the news media that said the prosecutor made a brilliant remark too late. He said that every lie she told served a purpose, and that each lie GOT her something. And I believe that if the jury had heard that in the opening statement, they may have thought about it more often during the trial.

I think the prosecution also should have played for manslaughter instead of murder. If they played as if they sympathized with the baby-who-had-a-baby, the jury might have been swayed. Played as if they were very sorry for Casey as well as Caylee. And then Casey might have done 10-15 years.

I think it speaks volume that Juror 3 was quoted as saying "I did not say she was innocent. I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

So not even the jury thinks she's INNOCENT - they just think there was not enough evidence to prove guilt.

I think that it's sad that she's going to walk free, and undoubtedly try to have another kid, cause she's psychologically disturbed and thinks that she'll be a good momma this time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrate the 4th of July with Veteran Discounts

This 4th of July, I thought I would point out all of the fantastic locations that give our veterans a discount, in thanks for their service to our country!

Aeropostale – 10% off with military ID
Amtrak – 10% off with military ID
AT&T – 10-15% discount off monthly bill, valid military ID required
Avis – 25% off with military ID
Champs Sports – 10% off with military ID (may vary by location)
DSW Shoe Outlet – 10% military discount 1st of every month (may vary by location; in-store only)
Express (clothing store – 10% off with military ID
Foot Locker – 20% off with military ID
Gap – 10% military discount 1st of every month (may vary by location; in-store only)
Geico – Discount varies, valid military ID required
Home Depot – 10% off with military ID
Hooters – 10% off with military ID (may vary by location)
Hot Topic – 10% off with military ID
IHOP – 20% off with military ID (may vary by location)
Lady Foot Locker – 20% off with military ID
Longhorn Steakhouse – 10% military discount
Lowe’s – 10% off with military ID
Macy’s – 10% off on the first Tuesday of every month (may vary by location; in-store only)
Maurices (clothing store) - 10% off with military ID
Meineke – 10% off parts with military ID. In store only
National Car Rental – Discount varies, valid military ID required
Old Navy - 10% military discount on the 1st of each month with military ID
New York and Company - 15% off military discount
Payless Shoe Source – 10% off with military ID (may vary by location; in-store only)
Pep Boys – 10% off with valid military ID
Regal Movie Theaters – Matinee prices for all show times. Requires valid Military ID (may vary by location)
Spencers – 10% off with military ID
Sprint – 10-18% off. Sprint will also put a “hold” on your line when you are deployed, if you provide a copy of your orders, so you still have the same number when you come back and you do not have to pay a monthly fee while deployed
T-Mobile – Discount varies, valid military ID required
Verizon – 23% discount on monthly bills. Applies only to the military member’s primary line
Walgreens – 10% with military ID every Tuesday (may vary by location)

There may be more local discounts available to you. For instance my local hardware store offers veteran discounts as well... but this is a fairly complete nationwide list.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Give a YAY for the Gay! - NY Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages!

In the Great State of New York, our Andrew Cuomo just signed the state’s marriage equality bill, mere hours after it passed the State Senate on Friday night. Making NY the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriages.

Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law after the legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage with its 33-to-29 vote. New York makes records by beingthe state legislature with a Republican majority that has approved such a same-sex marriage bill. Although much can be said for NY Republicans being a different breed than say Alabama Republicans.

The new law, will allow same-sex couples in New York to marry within 30 days. Which means that allegedly "well-meaning" groups that were spending millions of dollars to try and stop same-sex marriage (for example) can perhaps take some of that money and feed the hungry or cloth the homeless. Or do something worthwhile.

Governor Cuomo gave credit to the four Republican senators who joined the majority of the State Senate's Democrats to vote for the passage of the bill, stating that they were “people of courage.” “I think it was politically more dangerous for a Republican,” Cuomo told reporters late Friday. “The conservative party was threatening them with consequences . . . and they did it anyway.”

And I agree - props should be given to those who do the right thing, even though it may cost them an election. Not that the NY Senate pays much... but it would be a loss of prestige, or some such.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Texas Rangers Draft Paralyzed Player

This morning on the radio, I heard what I feel like is one of the best pieces of news I have heard in a long time. The Texas Rangers drafted two friends from the University of Georgia: Johnathan Taylor and Zach Cone.

It may not originally sound like much, but Johnathan Taylor is paralyzed from the waist down due to a collision he and Cone had in University of Georgia ball game on March 6th.

The Rangers decided to draft him anyway, because they felt like he was the kind of person that they wanted in their organization. According to Fox News, Texas' Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg said that Taylor's selection was "something we felt was right."

This story made my day today, because it's not often you hear amazingly good news. Usually all I hear on the way to work is war, crime & taxes. But this story made my day, and most likely my week. The Texas Rangers are now my new second favorite baseball team... I'll always be a Yankees girl first.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cyber Attack = Act of War?

I'm sure you've all seen in the news, that the Pentagon feels that cyber attacks on the United States will constitute an act of war.

I've got mixed feelings on this. Certainly I don't want hostile governments hacking into the United States business, military info, etc. etc. But just how do you go about proving that the cyber attack was directed by a government, and not just some crazy anarchist in a basement looking to start WWIII?

Granted, the fact that the most recent alleged cyber attacks were traced to IP addresses of a Chinese military facility does lead to a certain amount of suspicion... but again - is that some guy in his off time going "HAHA! Got the US!" or did a general direct him to see just how much US info he could get?

I think it's a slippery slope. I don't think you should get to drop bombs in response to a cyber attack. I think you should get to launch a cyber counter-attack. Force should only be answered with like-force. If someone is hacking into the US - we should hack back into them. Or maybe set up a font of mis-information, so whatever they get by hacking only have a 50-50 shot of being true. I just don't think that military response to computer assault may be the best way to go.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thoughts of the recently engaged...

... so I became engaged over this Christmas, and while it was totally one of the happiest moments of my entire life; the whole wedding planning and ensuing nonsense is truly for the birds.

First and foremost, if one more broad tells me that I HAVE to call boyfriend "my fiancee" now, I will alternatively scream and envision punching her repeatedly. Am I the only one who finds the term "fiancee" outdated and pretentious? Is it seriously just me? He's my boyfriend, we're engaged, whatever... at some point he will be my husband, and then I will start calling him that. In between, I will call him what I please, and you can butt your head out of it friends-of-friends (who are really the only people giving me any flack)... when your SOs get you a shiny diamond, you can call them your fiancee, or "affianced" or "betrothED" or whatever archaic term you please... but butt your meddling heads out of my engagement.

Also - in regards to receptions, I feel like businesses hear "wedding" and internally hear "CHA-CHING!" ... for serious, as I scope out wedding halls, photographers, DJs, etc. etc. etc. They have ONE price for parties and ANOTHER price for weddings

(edit - except my newly hired photographer - who is the best woman on the fact of the earth)

It makes me want to get married in the church, and then change into a prom dress and call the reception a "birthday party" with open bar and dancing. It would literally cost HALF of what a "wedding" reception costs.

Well that's it for me for the moment. But it really gets my goat that people use one of the most joyous occasions in life as an opportunity to price gouge. GAH!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Watch out world: your 4 yr old can now be sued!

Yep, as of Oct 1st, when Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, found a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.

The judge did not find that the tyke was liable, merely that she can be sued.

The relevant facts are as follows... In April of 2009, Jacob Kohn and Juliet Breitman, both 4, were racing their bicycles on the sidewalk of East 52nd St, while being watched by their mothers, Rachel Kohn and Dana Breitman. At some point in their race, they struck an 87-year-old woman, Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and was subsequently “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three months later of unrelated causes, and her estate then brought a suit against the kids and their parents.

The Breitmans lawyers argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident and was too young to be held liable for negligence. The Kohns did not try to dismiss the action against them. But, the judge found that while "infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence" Juliet was 3 months shy of her 5th birthday, and there is no bright line rule for those over the age of 4.

He went on to say “A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across a street,” the judge wrote. He added that any “reasonably prudent child,” who presumably has been told to look both ways before crossing a street, should know that dashing out without looking is dangerous, with or without a parent there. Judge Wooten state that the crucial factor is whether the parent encourages the risky behavior; if so, the child should not be held accountable. Here, however, Mrs. Breitman was not cheering her tyke on as she crashed into an elderly woman.

I find it a bit scary that 4 year olds can be held liable. But it seems a sign of the times, our kids have to grow up faster than ever before. Liable at 4 and potentially sexting or drinking by 12... it's a scary, scary world these days.
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