Privacy

This website has never and will never ask you for information that personally identifies you.

If you believe this to not be the case, please notify us by email at privacy@friendsnews.com, and we will look into it as soon as possible.

Third party vendors, however, do use cookies to serve ads based on a user’s prior visits to this website.


AFFILIATE/ASSOCIATE MARKETING DISCLOSURE: We are a participant in the following…

… all of which are designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to them, though none of them provide all that much. 🙁


Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it and its partners to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and/or other sites on the Internet. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the advertising opt-out page or the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

The cookies of other third-party vendors or ad networks may be used to serve ads on this site. You can visit the above websites to opt out of cookies. If they do not offer this capability, we will soon be ending our relationship with them:

Users can opt out of some, but not all, of these cookies in one location at the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out website at www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp.

GMO foods

Genetically-modified cotton is poisoning people in India. In this country, non-organic soybeans, corn and canola (most non-organic of these are GMO) are poisoning people. It’s in corn chips and other products. They are making soybeans and corn that are “Round-up ready,” which means, they have pesticide IN THE FOOD, which infects and GROWS in your intestines. Here’s how to avoid these things:

nongmoshoppingguide.com

Since most of the world rejects these crops, the US & Canada are pushing them on their populations. Every president since Bush 1 (including Obama) has actively promoted GMO foods, making sure that the FDA doesn’t have to test their safety.

My Cousin Kenny’s book


Scared to Life … and Loving It!: One Man’s Journey With Prostate Cancer (Paperback)


Books/publications by other family members

My Life – Lionel Joseph Holmes

by Lionel Holmes

"This is Lionel Joseph Holmes’s autobiography, illustrated with pictures taken over his life."

Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area

by Lionel Holmes and Joseph D’Allessandro

"This book tells the tales of the Portuguese “Pioneers” of the Sacramento area. Many old pictures"


For Control of Oz

by Steve Holmes

"This novel might be “historical fiction” or “Faction” since it’s created from facts (at least according to the Internet). It is a compilation of pretty much all current “conspiracy” ideas put in story form. There are 5 parts. It started with Ken who was unfamiliar with “conspiracies” being put into the world of them. He met a Daniel and the Daniel’s sister, Margot, who were involved in a New World Order conspiracy. The story was how Ken jumped into the whole thing, how the New World Order came to be, how it affected the world, and how it was defeated."

A Pictorial American River Bike Trail Trip

by Steve Holmes

"This is a pictorial trip on the American River (Jedediah Smith) bike trail from Old Sacramento, to Beals Point, and back to Old Sacramento"

All Across America?

by Steve Holmes

"This story is about a group of teenagers cycling across the USA, from east to west along the BikeCentennial bike trail. The leader of the group had the enthusiasm for the trip but lacked knowledge, so he got a friend to help with that. Along with them is are two couples who are friends, a younger teenager who thinks he’s a real racer, and another young woman who brought along her young cousin."

The Big Race

by Steve Holmes

"This is the story of a cyclist who likes to race in local races. Lots of the story takes place in Ventura, California."

Descendants of Wolves

by Steve Holmes

"This is sort of a silly “conspiracy” story about wolves and dogs that talk"

Some favorite Mark Twain quotes

  • “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled!”
  • “The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures, but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.”
  • “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
  • “A classic is a book that is praised by all and read by no one.”
  • “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!”

    See also: Putting words in Mark Twain’s mouth

  • Gender unknown

    First time I've ever seen this. Filling out an online job application, the EEOC stuff at the bottom gave me a choice of:

    • Male
    • Female
    • Gender Unknown
    • Decline to Answer

    I can understand “sexually confused,” but “gender unknown?” Really?


    Job Search
    job title, keywords, company, location

    jobs by

    job search

    Happy Groundhog’s Day!

    It’s been almost five months now since I was laid off. It doesn't seem that long, actually. What've I been doing since then? Collecting unemployment checks and doing freelance consulting, helping people with their computer problems and questions. Check out computersavior.com for info on the latter. I'm also trying to make money through ads on that and lazypugcafe.com and others I can't think of right now. Pretty soon, I'll make another attempt to sort, photograph and price all of my old unused computer parts, and sell them online. That's a huge job. There just aren't enough hours in the day, and I'm not someone who can function on 4-5 hours sleep. Actually, I don't think anyone can function on so little sleep. They just think they can.

    I've also been going on interviews. I like the wording of that: going on interviews, not going to interviews. Like it's a ride, which it is, of course. Anyway, the most recent, expensive and aggravating interview was last Thursday in Chattanooga at Blue Cross Blue Shield. Yes, an evil health insurance company, with a brand new “green-certified” five-building facility. How nice for them, putting their ill-gotten gains into a new facility instead of simply providing better pay for their employees and better services for their customers. Anyway, I drove all the way down there, only to be told I didn't have enough experience with large-scale software deployments, specifically any well-known deployment tool. I could hardly believe it when, after just a few minutes, they were already wrapping up the interview. Assholes. With the questions they asked, the entire interview could have EASILY been done over the phone. But no, I had to drive 250 miles round-trip. When I got home, I emailed the headhunter who got me the interview and told her what a waste of time and money it had all been. I think I p*ssed her off. Oh well. Headhunters are a dime a dozen.

    A couple weeks before that, after a second interview with a company in town, I was informed by email a few days later that I had not been chosen. At a loss for why they didn't pick me — I'm always at a loss when someone doesn't choose me, that's how confident I am of my abilities 🙂 — I asked the HR guy through email, “Can I ask whyI wasn't chosen? Knowing me, was it literally something I said?” He said the hiring managers told him they wished there were two positions to fill, they liked me so much, but the person they hired “had slightly better technical skills.” I find it hard to believe anyone has better technical skills

    🙂

    but oh well. In December, I had an interview with yet another healthcare company. They're apparently the only companies hiring right now, around here, anyway. Judging by the repeated questions in the interview — there were three people playing tag-team on me — about how I would handle “difficult customers,” it was fairly obvious that company was full of screaming prima donnas. I hate screaming prima donnas. Even so, I thought I performed well. If I remember right, my final comment to them was something like, “If there's one thing I've learned, what matters most on any job are the people you work with.” I was not surprised or disappointed when I never heard from them again.

    But enough about me. Last night was Elizabeth's weekly night of gymnastics. It was her fifth class, I think. At her age, 5 in April, of course they're just doing very basic stuff. Normally, we couldn't afford such a class, but she's getting it free in return for my helping the gym with their computers. Anyway, she loves it. She's a very active child. 🙂 And now she's on my lap and wanting her usual morning concierge services.


    Job Search
    job title, keywords, company, location

    jobs by

    job search

    Thawing out

    Hopefully. It snowed a good 5-6 inches Friday in and around Nashville. It wasn't good snowman/snowball snow, though. Not in our neighborhood, anyway. It was too crusty because of the freezing rain that came after the snow. It made for great sledding, though, which Elizabeth and I spent several hours doing over the past few days.

    The pugs hate the snow. The past two nights now, with the temperature only briefly rising above freezing on Sunday afternoon, the sidewalks and grassy areas are still covered completely by this crusty snow. There's just nowhere for a pug to poop. I had to rake out some of the snow in the back yard to create some grassy areas for them to go.

    But enough about that. Now it's Monday morning, and we're looking forward to it being sunny and above 40F later today. I could have let today's sun do this for me, but I decided yesterday to go ahead and clear the snow off the driveway. It took my elderly neighbor just a few minutes to do what I'd been working on twice as long. I think my driveway is a bit bigger than his, but that's no excuse. I was using a garden rake and regular shovel. The key to his success was his snow shovel. Once he proved his superiority, with his wife looking on, unsmiling, he loaned me his snow shovel. As I told my other neighbor, Troy, it's amazing what a difference the right tool makes. Troy then borrowed it and did the same to his driveway.

    Our street is on a hill. We're the first house on the right, going up the hill, so days like these are not too bad for us. For those at the top of the hill, however, it's sometimes impossible to get up and over. One such neighbor, who has a Boston Terrier — that's how dog owners identify other dog owners — made at least two attempts. At the time, Elizabeth and I were out on the driveway. I was clearing it, she was trying to build a snowman at the edge of it. A couple of times I had to tell her to come back to the safety of the porch in case any cars coming down the hill lost control and plowed into our yard. Anyway, this one Boston Terrier neighbor finally, after two failed attempts, sat and waited at the bottom of the hill for the sun to do its work and let a few cars better-equipped for the snow than his small sedan loosen up the ice for him. Finally, after about twenty minutes, he tried again, gunning it in front of our house where the ice was mostly melted. This time he made it, with a few neighbors like me looking on, rooting for him. A few minutes after that, his neighbor came down to get his SUV that he'd left parked at the bottom of the hill the day before. I missed it, but he apparently made it up the hill just fine, too.

    Elizabeth did finally make a snowman, but she had to recruit Tara for the job. Tara wisely suggested trying it in the back yard because the sun had been shining there longer and softening up the snow, making that area much better for snowman building. Sure enough, twenty minutes later, Elizabeth came running out to tell me to look at their snowman. I got video of her in front of it, but I think Tara has already posted a picture of it on her blog, Tara’s Favorites.