Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In The News...

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/fhfa-announces-increase-in-guarantee-fees-2013-12-10?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

...and the last two sentences are the most important ones.

 

Based on the GSEs’ loan purchases in Q3 2013, FHFA expects the announced changes to the g-fee structure to produce an overall average g-fee increase of approximately 11 basis points, which represents an average increase of 14 basis points on a typical 30-year mortgage and 4 basis points on a 15-year mortgage.

 

*Watt at FHFA Count Revive 40 Year Mortgages-Analyst

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2013/12/11/watt-at-fhfa-could-revive-40-year-mortgages-analyst/

 

*How to Approach Retirement Catch-Up:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/approach-retirement-catch-170402394.html

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

It feels like the longest short week ever. So much to do and so little time. I ran around town last weekend with my list of things to buy before the big cooking day tomorrow, Thursday. People who don't know or live in the US... Thanksgiving is a feast, a meal to share with family and friends of supposedly traditional foodstuffs the Pilgrims consumed in celebration of life in the new world after their 1st year.

This Year's Menu:

Roasted turkey breast (because it's not worth getting a skinny bird. There's hardly any meat on them!)
stuffing ( go go Mrs. Cubbinson's traditional variety. I make it with extra poultry seasoning. Yum.)
cranberry sauce (sometimes sauce, sometimes gel. I like mine with bits of tangerine in it. It's a sweet/sour juxtaposition my taste buds go nuts over against the stuffing's savory contrast.)
turkey gravy (Cambell's makes it with no dairy, thank you)
yams (I usually omit yams, but this year I felt like having them. I'll serve them with brown sugar, cinnamon and margarine.)
roasted carrots (in olive oil with rosemary. I already bought a rosemary plant and killed it. So sad.)
scalloped potatoes (specifically for Stephen because I don't consume dairy)
Brown Irish Soda Bread (making this recipe for the first time this year instead of going the easy route buying brown and serve pull-a-part rolls)
spiced pumpkin & carrot cake (because it's a must to have pumpkin flavored something at Thanksgiving.)

Recipes for the Brown Irish Soda Bread and Spiced Pumpkin and Carrot Cake can be found on my recipe website My Red Recipe Book .

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Aunt Flo's Visit

Let's just say I wasn't a happy little camper this morning when I woke up to clean-up a bloody mess. I thought this BS menses business was OVER. June 2012 was the last one. And it's been a month since I took that high dose of vitamin D that made every muscle in me feel sore. I'm so irritated. And kaiser won't cover the ortho evra patches. FU kaiser. I'm just going to collect my B12shots and go to the next insurance carrier offered at work.

And even more info on Vitamin D:

http://thehealthyelements.com/vitamin-d-the-period-vitamin/

http://www.vitamindsociety.org/

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

http://www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-your-sleep-with-vitamin-d/





Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I gotta what? The good, the bad, and the ugly of having a vitamin D deficiency.

The last time I went to Kaiser, my doctor ordered some blood tests that weren't the standard ones I usually get when they check for iron, b12, white and red blood cell counts and the results are in. My doctor said I was vitamin D deficient. I'm not surprised. I'm pale and always have been. I go to work when before sunrise and come home after sunset.  And if I don't leave the office for lunch, I'm hardly in the sun at all.

So he and/or his counterpart prescribed 50,000 IU and I read up on it and thought that at that level, it would be too much of a shock to my system, so I got 10,000 IU at The Vitamin Shoppe on Monday and had to read up on how to take it again because the doctors never seem to know. Vitamin D is a fat soluble one that should be taken with food, so for the past three days, I've taken it with my lunch since I don't eat breakfast.

For example, when I told my doctor that I worried about osteoporosis because I maintain a dairy-free diet due to Crohn's Disease diagnosed in 1985, he said to "take caltrate two times a day". This, in part, is right, but it's also wrong.
1. You can only take one pill per dose
2. Taking calcium gives you gas
3. Taking the enzyme found in "Beano" helps a great deal in combating the gas.

So I also started to take one Caltrate plus D chewables in the morning (preceded by two Beano) and at night along with my one Centrum chewable in the morning.

And yesterday at lunchtime, after talking to my gf at work about the general all-over muscle ache I thought was associated to the Vitamin D, my body decided to go into excessive urination mode. What is this all about??? And now I'm on the internet again trying to figure out the good, the bad and the ugly of it all. And I left my doctor a message about these new issues.

The good news is that adding calcium back into my diet, even in the form of supplements, has further lessened the effects of Crohn's Disease as long as I continue to restrict my diet of those foods that trigger an acute attack.

More on vitamin D:

From 2010, 5 Things You Need to Know about Vitamin D
"The IOM recommends that, in practically all individuals, the average blood levels of vitamin D be at least 20 mg per milliliter for good bone health. According to Dr. Kovaks, people who have a problem absorbing the vitamin may need to take 2,000 IUs a day to achieve the recommended blood levels.
But can you take too much? According to the IOM report, very high levels of vitamin D (above 10,000 IUs per day) are known to cause kidney and tissue damage, and there is some evidence that lower levels have risks. But anything below 4,000 IUs per day is considered safe.
The bottom line: every person is different, and you should talk to your doctor about the need for  vitamin supplements."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The house, the home, the condo falls down, kinda.

It's been 12 years since my hot water heater went out the last time. It happened on Sept. 11, 2001. Yes, that specific day. I took the day off of work, so at home I was forced to watch the tragedy unfold on TV with all that was happening at the WTC and PA and with a plumber in my dining room.

So earlier this year, I had gotten sick of my leaky toilet ( in my small bathroom and it was so bad that it tore up the wall) and went to Pacific Sales on Labor Day weekend and bought two new TOTO low flow one piece commodes for $800. Then I hired a plumber for $1,000 for the install. The weight of the units were 99 lbs each and I just don't have the strength do the install because I'm a petite woman. And I didn't know what the condition was under the commodes was going to be like, so I thought hiring a professional was a good idea.

Then guess what? My hot water heater went out again, 12 years ago, it was $1,000. This time, it was $1,400 to replace.

My condo hasn't been the same since. I had to move all of the IKEA HUSAR cabinets away from the dining room walls in order to give the plumber enough room to work. Then I recognized that I have been putting off a full paint job on my dining room. Right now, it's actually three tones of white. And it would look so much better being just one color.

I finally installed the rubber moulding in the main bathroom. So now I have the bathroom walls to rehab with plaster and three rooms to paint.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Buying a Feeling of Closeness or The Stuff We Leave Behind When We Die

So my cousin Tina posts this photo of a bunch of random jewelry...

... but there is this golden heart with the letter "J" inside of it, so I know it's from my Aunt Jane. And I bought it. Best $25 I ever spent?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Catching up on my Heath

In 1985, my appendix ruptured and I didn't realize it for a month because I thought having pain in my gut was normal. After being in and out of the hospital for three months from complications of appendicitis (abscess plus my intestine was perforated by a surgeon), I was diagnosed with Crohn's during a resection surgery - parts of the large, small and colon were removed. I had such a senses of well-being after the surgery, but once I started to educate myself about the disease, I understood there is no cure, only the control of the symptoms. I found the specific carbohydrate diet (www.scdiet.org) and it's helped me a lot, but I still struggle with my diet everyday. *No dairy* Second resection in 2000 was just for a part of the small intestine which also gave me 'surgery induced' pernicious anemia, so I have to have B12 shots every other month for the rest of my life. 

After going through menopause last summer, I complained to my doctor of a general ache in my bones, but especially my right arm which I use the most. My diet has restricted foods that cause flares, but specifically dairy and after 30 years, I'm worried about osteoporosis. I started to take 2 Beano tablets & Calcium+D recently. I never knew taking calcium could give you gas, so I've found taking Beano with it helps. I'm afraid my third surgery will leave me with a colostomy. This disease afflicts both sides of my family, but we don't really talk about it all that much so online communities like these help a bit, but my experience dealing with the disease seems vastly different because I only use medication when I'm acutely ill and not for maintenance.

Back again this year - eczema. In the past, I've had a patch behind my right knee and on my right hand that I've treated with emu oil and it went away. Now I have a small round patch on my inner calf I'm treating with cortizone 10 because it itches frequently. I attribute it's occurrence to stress, but I find it strange that it pops up so infrequently and in such random places on my body.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sadness

The last time I blogged here, little did I know that my Aunt Jane's fight for life was over due to the ravages of diabetes. This is the message I received on Facebook from my cousin Cate...

               "Judi... hopefully this will reach you...Your Aunt Jane has died. She had a stroke a 
                   week and a-half ago and slipped into a coma on the 26th. She was brain dead last
                   Friday (May 3rd), and they removed her feeding tube at that  time. She died 2AM 
                   Wednesday(May 8th)."

This is very much how my father died. And it bothers me that such a little thing as elevated blood sugar can do so much damage to the body. It bothered me so much that I talked to my new doctor when I had my initial consultation after I changed over to Kaiser health insurance. You know what he said after I discussed my family's history diabetes?

                                          "Don't get fat, don't get fat, don't get fat!" 

If it's as simple as that for most American's, why aren't we more vigilant about what we eat and staying active after 40?

When I got back to work after hearing the news, I told my manager who then said that I've got to go back to New York for the funeral and out of my mouth came, "It's my family, I've got to." After all, Aunt Jane made the effort to come to my mom's memorial, so I had to attend hers.

I flew into Newark Airport (EWR) on Sunday. It took two hours driving in the dark to get to Poughkeepsie. On Monday, I drove up to Red Hook to visit my mom's/grandparent's grave site and pulled the vines off of the headstones. I thought about collecting more photos of headstones, but I really wasn't into it on that day, so I left my camera in the car and headed back to the hotel, but not before going to the grocery store for provisions.

Tuesday was the funeral. I stayed downtown, so the funeral home wasn't too far from the hotel.  It was very Catholic and with the splashing of the holy water onto the corpse, her priest said a few poignant things plus verses from the Bible and then read what my cousin Tina wrote. After that, whomever wanted to follow the casket in the procession line to the cemetery did so, minding the traffic signals, but still driving behind the hurst with our emergency blinkers on. Aunt Jane is buried with Uncle Frank who passed in 2002 in section 24 in the back rows of St. Peter's Cemetery in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Wayne and Tina arrange for a meal at a local private boating club on the banks of the Hudson River. We stayed and talked a bit, but really I was kind of in a daze from the jet lag and time change

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Suddenly...

Jane Marie Fulford Metrando
July 7, 1929 - May 8, 2013

Suddenly, I found myself on the receiving end of a Facebook message from my cousin telling me my Aunt Jane had passed away. I don't know why, in all of my family discussions, everyone always referred to her as 'my' aunt, but she was. First born of four girls. The one in the family that lived her life on her terms in more ways than one. My mother's oldest sister.

Suddenly, I found myself saying those same words to my manager who then replied, "She's family- you have to go (to the funeral in New York)". There was no question in my mind I had to go because Aunt Jane gave at least that respect to my mother when her ashes were buried in New York in 2010, I just didn't see myself traveling back to the east coast so soon after vacationing in Virginia with my Aunt Tressa and Uncle Frank six short week ago.

Just as suddenly, thirty minutes online and a credit card placed my trip in motion. Plane tickets to Newark, a Hertz rental car, a room in Poughkeepsie.

I flew in on Sunday. Visited my mother's grave on Monday and pulled some vines off of my grandparents adjacent headstone. Went to the funeral on Tuesday. Flew back home on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Match.com 2013 Update

Today I've completed my fourth month on Match.com and just last weekend was my first date with a guy who's very much like me which is cool. We went to the Peterson Automotive Museum and then to lunch.

Last night, I logged in to see if I had any responses and check on my six month guaranty to find that I was 3 emails and one day away from missing the cut.

So talking about this at lunch today, my cheapskate lunch date made it a point to say in an indirect way that if I'm paying for this service (or otherwise don't waste your money), why not take advantage of it and made me promise to send three emails. I did it. I did it just so I can have the opportunity to get my money back.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vacationing in Virginia

I wanted to save all of the websites I found with things to do in Virginia before I loose them.

Caverns/Caves:  http://www.virginia.org/caverns/

From North to South-
  • Shenandoah Caverns, Take I-81 north to Exit 269 (Shenandoah Caverns Exit)Turn left onto VA-730 and follow signs, in Quicksburg, VA - http://www.shenandoahcaverns.com/      Hours:
  • Endless Caverns, Address: 1800 Endless Caverns Rd.,New Market ,VA - 22844 - Look at the bottom of the page                     Hours: 4/1-5/31 from 10A to 4P


 Cherry Blossom Festival in DC:

1. Travel to and Park in Vienna, VA at the Vienna/Fairfax/GMU station located at 2900 Nutley Street, Fairfax, VA 22031. Parking on the weekends is free here: 9550 Saintsbury Drive 
Fairfax, VA 22031. This station is the end of the Orange line and the one that goes into Virginia the farthest west. On Saturday, the first train leaves the station at 7AM and the fare is $4.50 to the Federal Triangle.
2. The Dc Metro map link: http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm?



 Websites:

http://www.oldtownwinchesterva.com/
http://www.winchesterva.gov/visitors
http://www.shenandoahatwar.org/
http://www.winchesterhistory.org/society_museums.htm
http://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm
http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/driving-skyline-drive.htm
http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/and.shtml
http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/map_of_campgrounds/r/browseMaps.do?topTabIndex=CampgroundMap


Monday, April 1, 2013

My 2013 Vacation in Virginia

If you asked me ten years ago where I wanted to go on vacation, Virginia probably would not have been on my mind. My aunt and uncle live here though in the Shenandoah River Valley and they were always telling to me come and visit them so here I am. I flew in on Saturday and coming from California, that took the better part of the first day. I woke up at 4AM to get to the airport by 5AM to get a the plane by 6:30AM for a flight at 7AM. I didn't want to drive to the airport, so a friend from work took me to LAX. In the dark. On a Saturday morning when she could have been sleeping. That's what friends are for. The plane experienced turbulence over Illinois and near where I landed at Dulles. It made my stomach a little queasy. After almost six hours on the plane, the landing at Dulles was easy. The airport is modern and has a high speed shuttle to take you from the gates to the terminal. Once your bags are collected at the luggage carousel, all you have to remember is who you rented your car from and find where to stand on the curb to catch the shuttle bus to where the rental car terminal is. Rent your car, find it in their parking lot, and you're off!

Driving from the airport to Winchester took maybe 40 minutes? I had to stop and get something to drink because I was thirsty from the long flight.

So I got in on Saturday and they fed me. I got up on Easter Sunday and they fed me. And we had an early dinner of ham, three veggies and tea. I was so full... These seniors eat way too much way too often. They are so sweet and so retired. They are in their 80's and don't volunteer much anymore. Tressa makes things to sell at the craft fairs around town. She handed me the instructions sheet for Star Pot Mat. Guess what I know how to make now?

STAR POT MAT

Three skeins of yarn, 4 ply worsened weight.
variegated (4 rounds)
white (3 rounds)
Your choice of solid color (3 rounds)

Directions:
Using variegated colored yarn:
Chain 8, slst, chain 2
Round 1 - dc 15 times into ring, slst
Round 2 - *chain 21, skip one st on ring and join in next st of ring. Repeat from * 8 times. Slst.
Round 3 - 10 sc, then * 3 sc in next stitch, 20 sc, 3 sc in next stitch. Repeat from * 7 times, 10 sc.
Round 4 - Continue to sc and when you reach a star point, 3 sc in same st.
Round 5 - Continue to sc and when you reach a star point, 3 sc in same st.
Round 6 - Continue to sc, and when you reach a star point, 3 sc in same st. End variegated colored yarn.
Round 7 - Yarn on white. Continue to sc and when you reach a star point, 3 sc in same st.
Round 8 - Continue to sc, and when you reach a star point, 3 sc in same st.
Round 9 - Continue to sc, and when you reach a star point  3 sc in same st. End white yarn. Shape work to look like an 8 point star
Round 10 - Yarn on solid color, then  * 7 stitches from point of star then sc, and when you reach a star point  3 sc in same st. Sc in next 7 st, sc [repeat from * seven times]. Slst onto first solid color st.
Round 11 - sc in each st, and when you reach a star point, 3 sc in same st.
Round 12 - sc in each st, and when you reach a star point, 3 sc in same st. End solid colored yarn.

I was feeling a little stir crazy on Easter Sunday night with the rainy and cold weather, and not knowing where I was going, I drove around until I found a grocery store that was open (Food Lion) and picked up some things. I also bought two VA scratchers at $5 a piece and won $10. Made my money back.

On 04/01, I went to the visitor's center: http://www.visitwinchesterva.com/visitor-info/visitor-center

I went to Stonewall Jackson's home and took the docent led tour with my uncle. Tressa stayed in the car knitting because she didn't feel like negotiating all those steps. I bought a $10 ticket and then later found out they were across the driveway from the visitor's center.

http://www.winchesterhistory.org/society_museums.htm

After that, we decided to take a drive out of town, but before doing so, because by then it was noon, we stopped for lunch and ate at Perkins. I found the food to be very much like Coco's. They offer a 2 or 3 item lunch special. I had the chicken noodle soup and lemon meringue pie, and tressa and frank split a 3 item special - frank had the tuna melt and tressa had the loaded potato soup and split her salad with frank. The bill for three people was less than $20.

Then I drove with them over to the arboretum. They had an herb garden I walked through that looked pretty shabby right after the end of winter. I picked a few leaves of sage and lavender and put them in my pocket. They also have a driving tour of the property which we took. Afterwards, my guts were so shaken, I had to stop the car again and parked across from the herb garden in order to walk to the office building to where the restrooms was. It was a good thing they were there. OK, then we tooled on down the road to Milltown, but the mill building there was closed for renovation. I quickly ran around the building and took some pictures and got back into the car because it was a cold, blustery day.

We drive through Milltown, which is actually older than Winchester and not much of a town at all, and then went back to the house. That was outing for the day. And then we ate again. And I made another star pot mat. I'm on my third one now.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The never end saga of the tomatoes in my back patio

I was a bad tomato farmer last year. I let the fruit fall and I didn't pick it up before it sprouted and made tomato babies in my flower bed. This is called self-seeding. I honestly though that the flower bed would never be any good for growing anything but weeds. For years I did just that. Two years ago I gave it my best shot and landscaped that thing, pulling up all the weeds and laying down black landscapers cloth and topping it with bark. Then I planted three topsy turvy planters with various varieties of tomato plants. They hang over the flower bed off of the roof beams from the right side of my neighbor's condo unit which buts up to my patio area creating the back wall of my patio.

In 2011, I first started with three:
Chika Japanese cherry tomato
Pink Lady
Beefsteak

In 2012, I got ambitious and planted four:
Chika Japanese cherry tomato I grew from seed (the star performer from last year)
Sweet 100 cherry tomato
Cluster tomato and
another cherry

So at the end of the season in March which is also the start of the next season and coincidentally is when the batteries decided to die on my rainbird automatic watering system, I salvaged two stalks from the two best performers, placed them in a vase full of water and threw the rest out. And on the day before I was scheduled to pack and leave for my trip, I bought all of the supplies to plant my tomatoes for this year and promptly left. It appears I'm still a bad tomato farmer. We'll see if I can salvage the drop when I return from vacation.






Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dumping Sprint, kind of...

Have you looked at your cell phone bill recently or do you blindly pay-pay-pay through the nose for service because it's what you've grown accustomed to shelling out monthly?

I'm not a big talker and yet I pay $89 something for my Sprint plan. I've actually been a Sprint customer for years. Once I got the Android smartphone (I'm on my second one) and the iphone came on the market, everyone's bill at Sprint got jacked up by $10 a month for 'premium' service which allows your smartphone to stay online and this, Sprint says, it expensive.

And then there is Virgin Mobile.  This company is also on the same Sprint network and charges $55 a month max for the same unlimited 3G/4G service. Why pay more? I mean, what can you do with an extra $34 a month?


Match.com 2013 Update

I'm on the third month of my Match.com membership and I decided I had to update the zip code and mileage range on my profile because I'm getting too many responses from...(wait for it) Beverly Hills. It seems some men don't even bother to read the fact that I wrote my geographic dating range is between work - El Segundo and home and BH is nowhere near my normal route. Do you know when the last time I was in Beverly Hills? It was so long ago, I couldn't even tell you because I don't remember either. Maybe before 2000 for an IRC picnic meet? I may gave driven through to get to somewhere else like my friend Mimi's house, but even that was in 2006? Yeah, so I don't see myself traversing all over LA county for a relationship. Oh, and speaking of which, my cheapskate lunch's suggestion was a bust because his broker friend got married 9 years ago. Nice.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

So you had a bad day

There was something in the air today. Or a planet in retrograde somewhere. Maybe it's the impending Spring Forward time change this weekend and the notion that we'll all loose an hour of sleep. All I know is that something was up. One of my peers at work freely used the code word 'bizarre' today. It's an insider buzzword for something that went wrong and we all know who did it, but that person won't take responsibility for it.

How is it that I get to be called confrontational by You when You were the one who came to My desk to talk to Me about fixing a problem someone on your team created and then Secondary asked you to take care of? Huh?

Leadership: Are you Teflon or Velcro?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Photos I'm proud to say I've taken


I can't say that I'm any sort of photographer or even someone that has taken classes for it, but because I have an artistic eye and understand a little bit about symmetry, once in a while without trying all that hard, I take some pretty awesome photos, if I do say so myself. So here's a few for your enjoyment.


This is the lighthouse located in St. Augustine, Florida. This photo was taken in September, 2007, before I found the energy and the strength to climb to the top.


And this is what the view was like after climbing to the top of the lighthouse. This is a photo of an inter-coastal waterway which sometimes runs on the east side of the state. In the background is Anastasia State Park.


This is the home of FDR in Hyde Park, New York, and this photo was taken in October, 2011. I was staying in Fishkill and driving up to Red Hook almost daily for genealogy research before my mother's funeral and I wanted to do something touristy to lighten my mood. This national park was on the way.

On a rainy day, once on a guided tour and inside the home, after about 20 minutes, it became so uncomfortable for me to be there because there was no air circulating due to preservation efforts that I began hyperventilating (but especially after hearing the script from the docent which emphasized the fact that this was his mother's home before it became his and then the realization hit me for an ever so brief moment that my mother has nothing of significance for me to inherit, among other things about my mother that hit my consciousness all at once...) and that this was an extremely rare time when I realized my anxiety was kicking in, so I had to excuse myself from the tour in order to catch my breathe. I stepped outside, found my way to a stone bench outside the front door and then to a second bench across the driveway. It started to sprinkle and I quickly took this photo before making my way back to the visitor's center.


Fwd: Create Google Maps of Your Own To Share & Collaborate With Friends

Sometimes I really love getting email from makeuseof.com . This is so cool!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: MakeUseOf <news@makeuseof.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 8:25 AM
Subject: Create Google Maps of Your Own To Share & Collaborate With Friends





MakeUseOf Newsletter
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Create Google Maps of Your Own To Share & Collaborate With Friends

by Tina Sieber
create google map
Google Maps is the best free tool for all your mapping and navigation needs. It's comprehensive, intuitive to use, and available across platforms. Since there is no serious competition in sight, you might as well settle with it for now and use some of the awesome features, like custom maps.
Google Maps allows you to edit its maps, save them as your own map, make it public or private, and share the link. This is ingenious and I think this feature where you can create google maps of your own is not used enough! Let me give you 3 reasons why you should use it more or better yet, let me show you 3 things you can do with custom maps.

Introduction

For those of you not familiar with custom Google Maps, let me briefly show how to use them. Go to Google Maps and be sure you are logged into Google. You should see a vertical menu on the left. If not, click the little arrowhead in the top left of the map to expand the menu. In the left-hand menu, click the My places button.
create google map
Google has recently added an interactive tutorial for making custom maps. The tutorial is extremely well made, so I instead of me taking you through the process with text and screenshots, I recommend you follow this quick tutorial to create a Google map for the first time. Note that if you accidentally close all tutorial windows while editing a map, you can restart the tutorial anytime via the respective text link in the left-hand menu.
share google map

Give Directions: Showing Is Easier Than Explaining

I started using custom Google Maps to give people directions to my place. This is better than just giving them the address because you can customize the map, switch between map and satellite view, mark bus stops, highlight shortcuts, add comments, and much more.
share google map
You can create custom maps with directions and comments for many occasions, for example events, hikes, trips etc.

Collect Information: Creating Literal MindMaps Helps You Keep an Overview

There are many places we regularly visit; shops, restaurants, bars, caf├ęs, galleries, schools, or doctors, just to name a few. And if you live in a big city and have friends all over, chances are you get around quite a bit. Keeping a map of where your friends live, your favorite places, and other frequently visited sites helps you visualize locations and maybe connect the necessary with the good.
share google map
Above is a map of MakeUseOf team members. It sure brings home the point that we are a global company.
Here are some examples of how you personally can use a custom information map:
  • Want to meet with a couple of friends and wonder what's the easiest place for everyone to get to? Check the map. Maybe your favorite restaurant is smack in the middle of everyone.
  • Need to run an errand and want to get as much done as possible? Check who or what is on your way. Maybe there is a chance to save time or enrich your life!
  • Found a cool place and want to keep it in mind for future reference? Put it on your map and add a note to it. You can even add a picture, provided it's hosted online.

Collaborate On Maps: Allowing You To Tap Into Collective Knowledge

Collaborative maps are my favorite use of Google Maps and they are a spin-off of informational maps. Instead of populating a map with information all by yourself, invite other people to do it with you and thus help you collect better information. Collaborating on an informational map lets you tap into collective knowledge.
Google makes collaborating on maps very easy. While you are viewing one of your custom maps, click the Collaborate link in the top left of the vertical menu to the left of your map. Now add the email addresses of the people you would like to invite, set Advanced Permissions, add a personal message to make the invitation meaningful to people, and finally send your invitation.
create google map
Need examples of how to use collaborative maps? Here you go:
  • Traveling to a place some of your friends have visited before? Share your destination map with them and let them mark the places for you that they enjoyed most. Better than any guide book!
  • Want to discover new places like restaurants or bars where you live? Share your custom local map with people you know and have them add their favorite places. Sure, you could just check out sites like Yelp or Qype for public recommendations, but your friends know you and will likely personalize their recommendation.

Summary

Google Maps is simply awesome On top of that, custom maps allow you to personalize maps, thereby making Google Maps even better. The collaborative aspect of custom maps is huge and can truly enrich your life away from the computer.
How do you create use Google Maps? Have you created any cool custom maps that you want people to know about? Please share!
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Monday, February 4, 2013

My Superbowl Weekend

Friday night and feeling like a looser in love because even though one guy in Torrance wants to talk, a gut feeling tells me he's not the one, only a crush, an Aryan fascination of mine for blonde haired blue eyed men, I stay late at work to see if I can finish my P&P, which was requested of me a month ago but couldn't, so a little before 7PM, I bail and head for home. I'm thinking Friday night - movie night so I stopped by Best Buy on the way. I was looking for two movies specifically - Seven Psychopaths and Looper. Best Buy had a deal to where if you let the cell phone guys check to see if yours is upgradable, then they will give you a $5 coupon for a dvd purchase. I'm game. I had to wait around for a rep because the one other guy was helping someone else and the transaction was taking fucking 4ever. I could only find Looper, so I got that and headed to the checkout where I encountered another line and my this time it's 8:45? They close at 9PM on Friday and I was just about to throw down my dvd to the floor and walk out when another checkout lane opened and I was up next. One out of two dvd's acquired and I headed for home.

So Saturday rolls around and, hey it's Groundhog Day and with the freaky hot and icy cold winter we had, I'm am done with it. Thank goodness that damn rodent in PA did not see his shadow. And then there was a news that another earthquake hit Japan this morning. You know what I think? I think as long as Japan keeps having earthquakes, it lessens the chance for California to have a big one. And I say this on 02/02 when it was a seventy-some odd degree days today so no need for long sleeves or a jacket. Now this is my kind of Winter weather...

After sleeping most of the morning away because sometimes, I've just gotta sleep in, I decide I'm hungry and head for the kitchen. And I notice my son has left dirty dishes in the left sink and standing water in the right one where the garbage disposal is. So I must go out and get at least some Drain-o this weekend. I still want that other dvd... what to so, what to do... I know. I'll go to the new Walmart in Irvine. And so I did. And I got the dvd and saw that Looper was a lower price there than at Best Buy so I think they just lost my business for new releases. And I also pick up some chips, salsa and ginger ale for the game tomorrow and they also has loose Italian sausage and the package's serving suggestion was pizza - I can make that. Another great choice for game food. And so I don't have to leave the house again to shop, I got my cats provisions, too. The food, the litter, a new laser pointer. OMG, AC wore herself out chasing the damn thing.

I watched the superbowl munching on the sausage and peppers pizza I made from scratch - take that! Woo! And yes, I was appalled that the lights went out in the superdome...And then the Ravens won. And again, appalled.





Saturday, January 12, 2013

Match.com 2013

A new year and a new love. That's what I posted on my Match.com profile headline. I'm paid up for six months. I'm a good person and I deserve more than just the errant bootie call. I deserve a relationship. My in box is flooded with emails every day and I've had over

Today it's Jan 12th, and so far I've talked to one guy on the phone who decided he only wants to date women in the city he lives in, and instant messaged with another guy who turned into a ghost a day later.

Then at work yesterday, I mentioned to my cheapskate lunch date I was on match.com and he said something about fixing me up with one of his broker friends... who is funny and short like me. Hrmmm.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday's Financial News

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bank-america-pay-3-6-124602052.html

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/wells-fargo-provides-statement-independent-211200500.html;_ylt=A2KJjb0Yo.tQG1YAQRLQtDMD

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-07/citigroup-names-forese-manuel-medina-mora-co-presidents