Work: Impressed with new client

>> Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm rather tired as I write this, but I want to just log that I really appreciate the chance to learn more in detail about our new client.  I think it's safe to drop names; the client is Nestle.   Now, while I'm always going to be one who by default will prefer the other choice than the major corporate entity, I have to admit that after our training today, I think Nestle is extremely concerned, adamant even, about the privacy and desires of its consumers.  We had a CRM training class today that outlined their standard data collection procedures this morning and the our presenter was filled with a figurative fire about the lengths they would go to obey the privacy wishes of their consumers.  Corporate they may be, but it is still good to see the human element retained within the company.


Religion: commitment first

>> Sunday, March 18, 2007

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

It's easy to read this and not understand why some prayers seem to go unanswered, but if you think along those lines, then you are not considering related verses such as:

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7-8)

Evidence such as this proves that some prayers shouldn't be said; some prayers are the fruit of our human desires and unjust longings. Our God says that you will receive when you ask - but only when He is within you. If His words are in you, are first and foremost amongst your thoughts, then the types of prayers that will come out of you are also going to be of His words. We must fill ourselves with His holy spirit as we attend to the Bible in regular, daily study.

God wants to see you filled with the honest desire to reach for Him. Leading into study with prayer, exiting from it in like manner, letting each footstep taken be towards Him. Pray as David did in the Psalms, "Open my eyes so that I may see wonderful things in Your law." Try to consider the Word of God as literally MORE IMPORTANT than daily food. It's THAT important. (On a side note, I found it quite interesting once to try a single-day fast of only water just for the sake of observing what an effect it would have, and I found myself thinking quite a number of times how much more I appreciated God's watchful eye over me, providing for me whenever I need it.) Like Job, our natural desire for God's word should be more than for physical food, "I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread." (Job 23:12)

I'm going to try something over the course of this next week, and I propose you each find some way of doing a similar test - that is, if you are not already incorporating the Bible into your daily life. I've found that I really enjoy taking the bus into work for the half-hour or so of "me time" it provides. However, that time is often translated into playing a video game on the PSP or watching a movie on my cell phone. Sure, it's a lot of fun - I love video games - but in the end it's not the games or movies that matter, is it? I pledge to use this time next week to study the Bible, and to take note of how each day seems to unfold. I expect things will probably feel more fulfilling, and it will feel like there's more time in each day.


So, should it still be called "Smoking"?

Smoking 2.0: Smoke Free, Tar Free, Battery Powered = Healthy? - Medgadget -

An interesting new alternative to the standard, tar-your-lungs smoke stick (cigarette), the NicStic vaporizes nicotine instead of burning it. The user still has a little stick in their hand, and it does produce a new odor apparently unpleasant even to smokers, but on the other hand there is no smoke. So, theoretically it's acceptable for use indoors.

My thoughts: I'm not so sure it would go over well with non-smokers who would have to share space with a user of the NicStic, so this too would probably be shunned to the outdoor realm - but considering that there is indeed no smoke to fill one's lungs, I'd respect a user of these quite a bit more than a regular smoker. At least they're not killing themselves - and others - with their habit.


Corporate/Capitalism: The Soy Controversy and more

>> Friday, March 09, 2007

Someone recently asked me whether I liked a popular, brand-name soymilk. I don't drink Soymilk anymore because of the controversy that soy causes. Yeah, I know soy is still in a lot of foods, especially those little protein bars (the ones that taste like candy bars and claim to be good for you), but that's beside the point. Check out

In addition, the company that makes the soymillk in question this morning takes soy and adds sugar, plus artificial flavors. It also adds sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate for preservatives. IF they're going to add a preservative, they should NOT use the benzoates (either sodium- or potassium- ); these can combine with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to form benzene -- a known carcinogen. (Potassium Sorbate is safe) So, they are essentially making something quasi-healthy into something definitely-not healthy. I can't get myself excited over that.

Having a little fun, I did a quick search on some of the other ingredients in this particular brand of soymilk. It's important to consider however that these ingredients are not common to only soymilk, but many, many manufactured foods available today. ALSO please note that this is the result of a quick websearch and may or may not be documented properly.

  • Potassium Citrate can have the effects on you that can stop your body from working and stop your blood flow and circulation. Do not have it if you are pregnant, or sick.
  • Dipotassium Phosphate - the purpose of this in food is to prevent protein coagulation and also to prevent its precipitation. However, this active ingredient is commonly sprayed on leaves as a fertilizer, and seems also to help control certain fungal diseases on ornamental plants. It's also added to antifreeze solutions as a buffer, liquid detergents as a dispersion medium, and what-the-heck, added to paper, um, just because?. It's generally okay to consume, but ... why would you want to?
  • Sodium Polyphosphate - An emulsifier. Harmful if swallowed or inhaled, and in contact with the skin. Why do they even have to add emulsifiers? Can't people stir their drinks anymore?
In conclusion, the safest way of choosing what to eat would be to just not eat processed foods at all. You can't even trust the organic brands to be good for you, considering that the Big Corporate Food companies have been buying up the small, organic companies and making those brands their own -- without telling anyone. But that's another story.


Family: Close call, only bruised

>> Wednesday, March 07, 2007

We had a close call last night with Leia.  While having dinner at a friend's house, as it was our friend's birthday and she likes to cook for people (she likes it too much, to the point of feeding you when you're not hungry.), our little girl was crawling under the table just as our host was sitting down.  I guess her chair tipped back enough for Leia's hand to slip under and she came down on Leia's wrist. 

It was a little weird; she didn't cry for a good while, so I wasn't sure anything had really happened, although I certainly felt it had.  It really didn't look good, and she wouldn't let us get any cold compress on it, what with the way she whipped it about.  Eventually, I took her to the bathroom to run some cold water over it, hoping obviously to keep the swelling down.   We still didn't know at this point whether anything had been broken, really, but it was starting to be obvious by the way she moved it all around that it was fine.

A few minutes later, she was again playing in the living room, and if anyone asked her how her owie was, she replied, "Nope.  We washed the owie away!"


Politics / Religion: Raising children, not Bratz

>> Sunday, March 04, 2007

As noted on this Shoutwire article, the Bratz dolls are unfortunately popular with many a young girl. I vaguely remember first seeing these dolls in the toy section of either Wal-mart or Target, thinking to myself that I'd just seen yet another product with a flash-in-the-pan shelf life. I truly wish I'd been right, but I suppose the cutesy, big-eyed, cartoon look of the dolls coupled with the risque and revealing attire simply calls out the typical Western consumer nowadays.

It all echoes back to the Biblical admonition, "raise up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it." What do you want your children, in this case your daughters, to be when they are adults? Are you raising her to be a God-fearing, respectable woman, or for lack of any nicer way of saying it, a slut?

This topic crosses over into the realm of politics since essentially the makers of the Bratz dolls are cultivating an environment that is appealing to pedophiles, considering that not only do they dress these toys up with sex appeal, but they sell the identical clothing and accessories to real, live girls. There are laws against this kind if thing, I believe, and it amazes me that somehow MGA slips entirely past them all.


Family: Dos Svidania

We've had a crowded house here for a while, now, although crowded doesn't really describe it very well because this house is, thankfully, a pretty spacious one.  Today, however, my wife's mother and grandmother are heading home, flying back to Ukraine.  I have mixed feelings about it.  First and foremost, and I suspect understandably, I look forward to it.  My patience and ability to withstand a situation such as living with one's relatives, be they in-laws or not, is -- and perhaps I say it with an air of conceitedness -- a bit stronger than most.  But I'm a pretty laid-back type of personality; not much bothers me as Psalm 5:22 helps me get to sleep at night.  But getting back to the original point, it will be nice to have the house alone to our family, for once.  It hasn't been just us since just before our daughter was born, so yeah - I look forward to it.

On the other hand, however, I don't envy them the trip they have to take nor the time they'll spend again in Ukraine.  While certainly a worthwhile country to visit once or twice, it is - in my opinion - certainly not a comfortable place to make a home in.  But I won't turn this into a rant against living conditions in Ukraine.  It's just difficult to live there, and they'll be apart from (pretty much) their only family in the world.  I wish there were viable alternatives.  Ideally, I wish they could stay in America, yet in their own apartment that's not too close, but not too far. 


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