Monthly Archives: August 2013

Oregon Badlands Wilderness Study Area

Oregon Badlands Wilderness Study Area
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The Badlands WSA is located less than 20 miles east of Bend.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Badlands of Central Oregon

If you’re looking for a place of solitude and peace, the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Study Area is the place to visit.

Situated less than 20 miles east of the bustling city of Bend, Oregon lies this vast incredibly desolate area known as the Badlands by locals.

Designated as a wilderness area as recently as 2009 by President Obama, it encompasses nearly 30,000 acres of old growth trees.

On a recent sunny and cold January day, the Oregon Badlands felt like the kind of place for a commune with nature and a great opportunity to capture some of the world’s oldest trees.

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View within the Badlands WSA.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Snags are abundant in the WSA.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Badlands Old Growth Juniper Forest

Normally when people hear the term old-growth forest, they think of towering trees with a few rays of light interspersed glancing in from the high canopies of branches and leaves above.

Contrary to that picture, the Badlands Wilderness Study Area is not your typical old growth forest. However, don’t be fooled. It’s one of the oldest juniper forests in Oregon as well as the world.

On traversing the trails or even driving along the highways that border the WSA, one can find juniper trees of just about any age rooted in the sandy soil. The sandy ground covering is actually ash that traveled all the way from Crater Lake when Mt. Mazama blew thousands of years ago.

The old-growth juniper forests of Central Oregon are thought to be somewhere between 1000 and 1600 years old. Many ranchers and farmers throughout Oregon in general hate juniper trees because young trees can sap water tables of much needed sources of irrigation quickly. They seem to sprout up literally everywhere and as young trees, are rather spindly and thin.

However, as juniper trees grow, they subsist on roughly 9-14 inches of rainfall per year in this high mountain desert climate no matter what their size and how old they grow. Much like people in many cases, the older the junipers become, the more personality they assume.

Juniper trees come in many different looks. As the top photo illustrates, you’ll see a fair share of beautifully symmetrical very tall trees with lush foliage (and thousands of juniper berries) dominating that part of the landscape fronted by broken branches or stumps.

For most folks, though, it’s the older junipers that hold the story or trigger the photographer’s shutter.

Older juniper trees are remarkable photo ops for their gnarled and broken bark. They may be completely devoid of leaves and replete with broken branches. They may have trunks that seem to be two trees when in fact it’s just a twisting and turning of the bark latching on to itself to stay upright as it grows.

Trees are not close together in an old growth juniper forest but rather are spread out and form a rather isolative and lonely landscape.

Juniper trees at all stages in their lives provide homes for birds and small animals, shelter from storms that come up quickly in the desert climate, and even lush banquets for wintering robins and other berry-eating animals like the coyote.

Seemingly dead snags are still very much alive though they have lost their ability to grow leaves and now must subsist on extremely small amounts of water. They are part of the delicate desert ecosystem along with other scruffy specimens such as sagebrush, rabbit brush and various kinds of bunch grasses.

In springtime, the area abounds with color as the various wildflowers bloom.

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Atlas of Oregon Wilderness
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Badlands WSA Facts

Located 16-18 miles east of Bend (part of Department of Interior, under auspices of Bureau of Land Management)
Encompasses almost 30,000 acres
Spans two counties–Deschutes and Crook
Elevation roughly a little less than 4000 feet
Declared a wilderness area in 2009 by President Barack Obama
No off-highway vehicles allowed
No bicycles are allowed
Horseback riding and hiking are allowed
Camping is not allowed within the wilderness area
All hikes are relatively flat and do not ascend more than 75 feet
Trails are not well marked nor maintained–compasses and/or GPS are encouraged
Rockhounding and hunting are not allowed (though permits for hunting are sometimes issued)
Walking single file is not recommended especially when going off trail
Disorientation is a common problem on the trails within the wilderness area
Oregon Badlands WSA is 1 of 47 Oregon wilderness areas and 1 of 756 nationwide

See the video at the end of this article to hear about what makes the Oregon Badlands distinguishable as a wilderness area and what unique qualities it has.

Story of the Stumps

Part and parcel of the vast and rugged landscape of the Central Oregon Badlands Wilderness area is the number of stumps one can find.

Just as no two trees look alike in the Badlands, no two stumps look alike either. All are in a constant state of flux as nature works her magic on them.

Below, a stump that is very much alive with lichen.

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Lichen on stump Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Another stump showing the sandy soil that covers the Badlands Wilderness Study Area. This soil makes it more difficult to see animal tracks and even the trail as with gusts of wind, the sand can move and erase what has been.

A great plus for hiking in snow in the Badlands area is that you can easily see animal tracks of many different species and see the footprints you made on the way in on the trail.

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Stump and sandy soil Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Snow, even a thin layer, brings the ground to life. It also lends interesting perspectives to the stumps for great photo opportunities.

This particular stump close up almost looks like several animal faces with their mouths open. This author could imagine a rabbit or another small animal face in the wood at the far right lower end of the stump and a badger on the one above it.

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Stump in snow Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Gradually ascending trail Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Trails in Oregon Badlands

In an effort to preserve the Wilderness Study Area, there is little evidence of manmade convenience. At the trailhead for the trails pictured below, there was no bathroom, no brochures, and no trashcans.

That being said, everything you pack into the wilderness area should in this author’s opinion be packed back out. Since dogs are allowed on leash in the Badlands, we took two of our malamutes.

As our luck would have it, we had a dog waste event of the largest kind to clean up. Another hiker passed this author on the trail and expounded that it really was unnecessary to clean it up (bag it) in this area. However, being a responsible dog owner, we packed it back out to another spot that had a trashcan.

The trails as mentioned above are not particularly well marked at all and it is very easy to become disoriented especially if you don’t have a good sense of direction. The best bet is to keep landmarks in sight if at all possible. In this case, we knew that the Cascades were to our left (or west) and our car was behind us (to the south).

I recently read an account of a fellow who took his 6-year-old boy for a “hike” in the Badlands and ended up so lost that they had to thrash through the brush to finally get out to Highway 20 and then had to walk many miles to get back to their car. While it had a happy ending, it could have been a bad experience for both.

The trails have very little incline as the picture notes. There are mostly trees but there are some rock formations as this is volcanic territory, home to a very large shield volcano (a rather long, flat type of volcano).

Print off a map from the Bureau of Land Management site before setting out.

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Map showing the trails of Badlands.
Source: Bureau of Land Management, public domain photo
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Badlands Dry River Trail

For whatever reason we selected this trail, it was a good trail and we had no problem finding our way back out. We did not go to the end of the trail and still managed to hike for several hours. The ground was strewn with rocks mostly buried in the soil and the walk was not strenuous. However, even in the winter, the sun can be extremely warm and you definitely can work up a sweat no matter what season.

Some of the other most popular trails:

Badlands Rock Trail

Hike or horseback ride–in and out
6.0 miles round trip
Elevation gain/loss is 75 feet
Trailhead access 17.9 miles east on Highway 20–see BLM site for more details

This trail affords a 360-degree view of Central Oregon. There are also 2 longer loop options accessible via the Castle Trail (7.7 miles) or the Tumulus Trail (12.3 miles)–you can use either to return to the trailhead.

Flatiron Rock Trail

Horseback ride or hike–in and out trail
Also has shorter looping options
Elevation gain/loss is 60 feet
Trail access–Flatiron Trailhead 16 miles east of Bend on Highway 20–trailers not advised

Skirts the shield volcano and takes you to an unusual rock formation called Flatiron. There is an oblong moat here as well. The trail goes to the north boundary of the Badlands.

Tumulus Trail

Horseback ride or hike–in and out trail
5.0 to 15.0 miles round trip–dependent on route–shorter loops available
Elevation gain/loss is 75 feet
Sound navigational skills recommended–easy to get lost
Trailers not advised

Trailhead is located off Alfalfa Market Road on Johnson Ranch Road near the transfer station.

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Some of the trails in Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Dry River Bed Trail is an easy route to follow in Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Veering from the trails is perfectly acceptable in the Badlands Wilderness Study Area. But have a care. It’s recommended that hikers and horses NOT walk in single file on trails and off the trails but rather abreast.

This minimizes the impact on the environment and preserves the natural landscape. (It also coincidentally makes trails harder to follow but it’s an ecologically sound preference)

Also mud and snow can make the trails impassable for vehicles so use best judgment when driving in whether it’s with cars or horse trailers.

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Snow affords some measure of tracking where you’ve been within the Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

The magic of the trees is worth the trip. You can go on innumerable trails throughout the Oregon Badlands and never see a tree that looks exactly the same as another.

Check out some of the names given to these magnificently photogenic trees by other photographers and nature buffs over the years. (see caption below photos)

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Majestic tree of Badlands WSA.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Twisted tree of Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Distressed tree of Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Arthritic tree of the Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Old soldier of the Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Gnarled bark of Badlands tree.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Peace and Serenity of the Forest

The Badlands is not a place where you will usually see lots of people on any given day, although it is a great place for birders and nature groups to explore.

Most people go to hike or jog–away from the madness of city life–or take a stroll with a backpack and camera (and sometimes their trusted dogs).

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Afternoon sunny view of Oregon Badlands.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages
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Dogs and the Badlands Wilderness Study Area

This author would advise being cautious about taking your dogs into the Wilderness Study Area especially on hot, warm days. We felt very confident taking our two malamutes because there was still snow on the ground.

However, dogs are a nuisance to wildlife in general, especially off leash. This author did see other people with their dogs off leash which is always a personal concern. Should dogs take off after something in the wilderness area, it might be a task pinpointing where you last saw them and/or knowing the things in the wilderness, would their safety be assured?

This author strongly believes in the sanctity of wilderness. We are merely observers and should treat our walk through as stepping lightly on sacred ground. The wilderness should not literally feel our footprint. Likewise, our dogs should be obedient and on leash at all times so as not to disturb the animals and the fragile ecosystem of something as awe-inspiring as an old growth forest.

As a precautionary measure, personally, I would worry about rattlesnakes in the height of the blistering desert summers. While there are no alarming reports of rattlers in this particular region, more and more are turning up unexpectedly where people think they won’t see them in Central Oregon.

Especially with pets, caution should be exercised as time is of the essence in terms of getting emergency treatment for rattlesnake bites.

Above all, make sure your pet has ample water. Carry water for both humans and canines and a portable water dog bowl is a handy tool and weighs nothing.

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Keep dogs on leash–it protects them and the Badlands wilderness.
Source: Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

What to Take to the Badlands WSA

Select clothing appropriate to the weather but check the forecast–weather can be very unpredictable on the high mountain desert
Hiking boots preferred or at least closed toed shoes
Compass and/or GPS
Cell phone though you might not get service–remember to tell someone where you are going and when you will be returning
Backpack with water, handkerchief and snacks–more if you have dogs
Dog waste bags
Camera
Leash for dog
Hat, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses depending upon weather
Common sense–be aware of your surroundings and make note of what trails you take, what direction you go in

Wildlife in the Badlands

On any given day, you might see:

Black tailed jack rabbits
Mule deer
Elk
Pronghorn (antelope)
Cottontail rabbits
Bats
Coyotes
Lizards (6 species reside)
Snakes (bull snakes and presumbly rattlesnakes)
More than 100 species of birds–like golden eagles, sage grouse and prairie falcons
Bobcats

Getting to the Badlands Wilderness Area

show route and directionshide route and directions

Show driving directionswalking directionsbicycling directions with distances in mileskilometers

Bend, Oregon –
Bend, OR, USA
[get directions]

Prineville, Oregon –
Prineville, OR 97754, USA
[get directions]

Badlands Wilderness Study Area Oregon –
Badlands, Oregon 97701, USA
[get directions]

{“lat”:44.108868,”lng”:-120.879883,”zoom”:8,”mapType”:”TERRAIN”,”markers”:[{“id”:”41170″,”lat”:44.058174,”lng”:-121.315308,”name”:”Bend, Oregon”,”address”:”Bend, OR, USA”,”description”:””},{“id”:”41171″,”lat”:44.29985,”lng”:-120.834465,”name”:”Prineville, Oregon”,”address”:”Prineville, OR 97754, USA”,”description”:””},{“id”:”41172″,”lat”:43.988453,”lng”:-121.054741,”name”:”Badlands Wilderness Study Area Oregon”,”address”:”Badlands, Oregon 97701, USA”,”description”:””}]}

Badlands Renewal Project

Thanks to Friends of the Badlands, the Oregon Badlands has a chance at survival for eternity. It’s important to understand the history of this beautiful wilderness area and the significance of its presence in our world.

The Oxygen Converter

The Oxygen Converter

The Oxy Converter

The energy conversion to fuel
Source: free images

The Mega-Oxy Converter

Metabolism

So what is metabolism? The greatest catalytic converter consuming the food we ingest and converting it in our body speeding up energies and transmissions of the energies, for the forces of electrical currents, photons, and neurons in our bodies. When it is activated the shifts in energies move the energy to burn calories, move out waste products, pressurizes, and controls the temperature where it energizes the body to perform numerous functions in the body. Metabolism speeds up the body functions where proteins become the worker molecules and our metabolism is sped up. Metabolism burns the fats in our bodies, generates energy so our body won’t fail, and finally converts what we ingest into nutrients and elements the body needs especially Oxygen.

Metabolism is also a function that repairs and regenerates cells for muscles, tissues, and organs that are vitally important to survive. This function is a master generator of sorts that splits and converts water (H20) into Oxygen (02). Kratz, R. Molecular & Cell Biology for Dummies, (2009). Our body reproduces 46 chromosomes or 23 pairs of cells to repair or duplicate when it repairs itself.

Human beings and animals are different when it comes to the metabolism processes it is called, “Metasis” and plants convert and metabolize through photosynthesis whereby converting vitamins, water, and energy into a carbon footprint as is metabolism to the human body.

The carbon footprint is the DNA or genealogy of all living things and the traits that they have been pre-destined to have by their parents or generational lineage for every person on earth.

Some of the foods we could eat to metabolize when eaten in moderation could speed up our metabolism are:

· Grapefruit

· Green tea

· Yogurt

· Almonds

· Coffee (the lover’s drink)

· Chocolate (in moderation)

Just in time for a Valentine’s special candy.

· Turkey

· Apples

· Spinach

· Beans

· Jalapenos

· Broccoli

· Oatmeal

· Soymilk

· Curry

· Cinnamon (the lover’s spice of life)

Some of the foods mentioned above serve as double boosters for energy and other healing properties that stimulate the arteries and pump Oxygen-rich blood to every part of the body that is stimulated and energized with the metabolic switch.

A Very Guilty Pleasure: Criminal Minds, A Review

A Very Guilty Pleasure: Criminal Minds, A Review
Source: TV Over Mind

A Spoiler-Alerted Summary:

Criminal Minds is a series based on an elite squad of FBI agents whose purpose it is to profile victims and criminals in serial killings/crimes. Called the Behavior Analysis Unit, it consists of a few select members like any other TV FBI squad. The setup is pretty typical: the headstrong woman, the nerd, the hipster-nerd, the macho men, and the experienced veteran. The stories follow major crimes that the BAU are asked to assist with. Crimes are shown usually at the beginning of the show, where the victims are killed by an anonymous perpetrator or “unsub” as they call it. The files then get sent to BAU for assistance, and they start right away by profiling the victim through information gathered from sources ranging from closest friends and family to nosey neighbors. By profiling the victim, they are able to identify what the unsub is looking for in their potential next targets. As the agents rush to fall into step with their suspect, personal tangents are integrated into the storyline, making each character a little more human. This often offers humorous situations, but it has also (so far) led to the demise of some characters to an understandable circumstance.

This being said, around halfway through the show the agents are getting closer to their perpetrator or at least have a lead to follow. By this time, viewers watch the unsub plan his next attack and usually, their face is revealed. The FBI plays around with various leads ranging from their childhood and psychological state to injuries and jobs and potential places of favor. With the assistance of victimology (sometimes this is expanded by the unfortunate production of more victims), the FBI can start to follow tracks, and they tend to get closer and closer the more information they have obtained.

The end of the show usually begins when someone within the agency has a revelation or discovers something by luck or through a series of complex networks and searches. This lightbulb moment rushes everyone out the door for “wheels up”, where usually they call in for local police support and potentially SWAT. By splitting time between the perpetrator and the agents, the series allows the viewer to watch as the assailant begins his attack on his next victim. Usually the camera goes rapidly between the two, and many of the rescues are last minute.

The Crime Show Part of It

As a crime show, Criminal Minds is strong. Along the lines of shows such as Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit, Criminal Minds focuses on a very disturbing and intense subject matter. I would even go so far as to say it’s more intense and psychologically thrilling. As an enthusiast of historical serial killings (don’t read that the wrong way!), I’ve always wanted to watch this show. Psychological mutations and deficiencies have always been an interest of study for me, and the title of the show itself represents what it is.

As stated before, this show is about the BAU’s attempts to find and arrest (and sometimes kill) serial offenders. Most of the time this means killers, but sometimes rape is the only crime. For the serial killings, nothing is sugarcoated. The first episode alone forces the viewer to dive directly into the somber and gritty world of the mentally disturbed, and there’s no beating around the bush. Graphic images make it hard to eat when watching this show, but they’re like a trainwrek: you just can’t look away.

Through the profiling of the perpetrator, audiences are allowed into their minds. The show does an amazing job of slowly showing more and more without making the viewer frustrated and confused. In terms of its ability to hold attention, it does an amazing job of leading the viewer through the scenario and allowing them to make their own conclusions throughout the whole episode. The endings are often surprising, and no one is left unscathed by the tragedies of the show’s incidences. While normally crime shows (even SVU) avoid child murder because of its intensity, Criminal Minds seems to have no problems showing its audience what the real world has to offer. Realistic accounts of victimization and murderous scenarios add to the shocking reality of this show. With clips of profiler knowledge stated outright in meetings and pre-ops, one learns a lot about the governmental agencies as well (which adds a nice bonus). Unsub, for example, means unknown subject.

One of the things I really enjoy about this show is its ability to be entertaining but not terribly inaccurate. I have no doubt that the characters and departments are over-dramatized, but on the same hand the accuracy of the hard facts given and the consistency of profile types makes the show that much more solid. This came through especially in an episode which featured a Jack the Ripper copy-cat. The story briefly summarized his case by having their resident genius realize the connections to the two criminals and their way of murdering. After hearing so much about Jack the Ripper, I got curious and found a document with a summary of the killings, the profile the killer would exhibit, etc etc. in the FBI Public Archives. This was exciting to me because the information given by the show was not only accurate, but the vocabulary used was also dead-on. An impressive show of research on the writers’ part.

The cases themselves are so beyond fascinating. Ranging from serial killers who shoot their victims like animals with bows and arrows to serial arsonists who burn down houses of families and watch them burn, each case is individually disturbing. The psychological reasons behind these attacked, and the “stressor”, all connect by the end of the show and accumulate into what would be a very interesting story on the news. To watch the political footwork of the BAU and the intelligence they try to accumulate is not only fascinating, but it really makes you wonder. Not necessarily in a bad way, but not necessarily in a good way, either. Nevertheless, the choice of criminal scenario is appropriately gruesome and disturbing without being unnecessarily so. Nothing is so over the top that it would be impossible to believe its legitimacy, but all of them keep your eyes clued to the screen.

As A TV Show

I love this show, and because I’m so interested in the psychology of criminology, this will forever be on my favorites list right up there with shows like Bones and Numbers and even Monk.

To look at it objectively, however, the structure of the show lacks originality. It consists of your standard high-tech FBI space where team members work and interrogate. The character list is predictable, as well. The “boss” of the department is a young, strong looking and attractive man who can’t take a joke but is brilliant at his job. The most experienced on the team is the older profiling expert, who teaches and has done work for the CSI in psychological analysis of employees. Then there’s the boy genius, who is a young, skinny and awkward individual that spews out random facts and entered high school at the age of 12. The tech whiz of the show who is able to search, find and identify with a few clicks and clacks on the keyboard is a spunky, video-game playing, unique computer genius. She shares an oddly flirtatious relationship with the other strong male team member, who’s a black kid from the Chicago underbelly that rose above and put himself through school and then the FBI academy. There’s only one other female on the team, whose position has already switched twice in two seasons. The first withdrew from the team after losing her morale on the job. The second left for similar reasons, but more so because she felt isolated and rejected from the team. The third and current is the daughter of an Ambassador who is at first not well-received, but is blending in well with the team by showing her strength as a member.

The plot structure of each show is also pretty predictable after watching a few episodes. But like I said before, the fascinating cases make up for this. The summary pretty much details the outline of each show, so I won’t go over it again. But it’s pretty easy to determine what’ll be next. The mystery of actually solving the case and the usually unexpected endings keep it interesting.

The Verdict:

8-9/10: This show is really fascinating to me. My interest in this subject might help this, though. Despite some of the cliched or routine elements of the show being vaguely annoying, the compelling elements far outweigh them. There isn’t a constant stream of action, twists, turns and drama – instead, there’s an even pacing the allows the viewer to feel stressed at the right times, while giving them time to digest the severity of the information received.

I highly recommend this show for anyone who likes shows like Bones, Numbers, Law and Order: SVU, and Monk. Similar character development and solve-as-you-go principles are applied to all of these shows’ content. I would warn however that this show displays graphic representations of post-crime scenes and deceased bodies that do not censor the blood and ripped skin. I would also advise against watching this show if you’re squeamish – for the aforementioned reason, and because many of the episodes display graphic and gritty scenes in which a victim is being attacked. Zoom-ins on injury detail and disturbing behavior are also things to keep in mind, as well as how paranoid you are. A lot of the featured situations happen to generally insignificant people and are “this could happen to anybody” scenarios. If you’re scared to go to bed after watching shows like that, then at least don’t watch this at night.

Added Review Content

Up to the beginning of Season 6:

The show is still consistently good, which is surprising. Many shows that start off strong tend to become repetitive and predictable after the first few seasons. Despite strong character development and a constantly twisting plot, many tv series lack in something that makes them continuously compelling. This show seems to avoid this downfall, as it continues to be addicting and fascinating. The characters’ lives change a noticeable but not obnoxious amount, and their lives come and go naturally. Every character has a major flaw and makes mistakes; no one is perfect and no one is the hero of the team. Chemistry between the characters gets progressively stronger, and their genuine reactions when characters leave/get hurt/take a hiatus makes the show all that more convincing.

A new twist has been added with a fair amount of consistency to the show in the past few seasons, as well. It seems as though they are now embracing the thrilling aspect of the show more, as they have “fake-out” scenes that make the watcher anxious for no particular reason. While this trick is used for a fair amount of episode beginnings, it doesn’t detract from the show’s overall variance in terms of the interesting cases. This element alone is what keeps the show thriving – the victims, suspects, and race to a conviction all are equally as unique as the next. While shows like SVU lack a sort of variance after a few seasons, this show somehow seems to continue keeping its pace on par. Brutal, gritty, and honest, I hold my ground in my initial assumptions and impressions about the show and its potential. More when it concludes.

Up to Current: Season 8:

I have to admit, I’ve re-watched this show so much! The stories after season 6 get much grittier (if that even seems possible) and they really play a push and pull game with what each of the characters can tolerate and how they handle certain situations and what really makes them tick. They also focus a lot on interpersonal relationships as well as how they are in their own personal lives. There’s a new female character in place of Emily named Alex. Although I struggled a little with losing Emily as part of the team because she had been involved for so long, Alex seems to have found her place.

The show does a great job of showing the tension that the team has in regards to getting yet another new teammate and how they handle her and “test” her out to see what might be going on, who she is, and well…profiling her. And Alex does a great job of proving herself and showing her place in the team. As well, she’s yet another dynamic female character who’s mind can challenge that of even Reed’s. This intellectual battlefield might prove interesting in the future, as she is in a way the replacement for Gideon, who, if you remember, always played chess with Reed and always challenged him intellectually.

Anyway, I haven’t been able to keep up on a weekly basis so I’m a little behind on my current episodes, but I’m really excited for what’s going to happen with the characters, and what kind of cases they will work on next! Because I’m still not bored, and I still want more!

USEFUL PLUGINS FOR MICROSOFT OFFICE

USEFUL PLUGINS FOR MICROSOFT OFFICE
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The Microsoft Office suite has dominated office applications for years. While this is partly due to aggressive marketing on by Microsoft, it is easy to make the argument that this is the most versatile office suite available. But there is always room for improvement. There are tons of third party plugins available to boost the productivity of the office suite.

What follows is a list of my favorite plugins for MS Office. I have added links to the manufactures’ home page for each category, so you can simply click the plugin title to get more information about each of these programs.

Office tabs

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My Writer Tools

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Office Tabs If you are like me, at any given moment you have several working documents open in word or excel. Managing these can often be a pain. Office tabs solves this problem by adding a tab for each open document. Switching between documents is simple and organized. An added feature I’m fond of is the ability to save all documents with a single click. There is both a free version and a paid version with extra features.

My Writer Tools I use this tool a lot when editing documents. This is actually a suite of tools for writers that is implemented through the task bar on MS Office. Included are:

Lighten Up Finds overly long sentences. Very useful for novel writers!
Format Fixer Find and fix formatting problems. I am notorious for adding too many spaces between sentences; this tool fixes every spacing error with one click.
Ly Remover Want to improve the readability of your work? Get rid of the unnecessary –ly ending on many adverbs.
Jargon Buster Find and fix some of the most common misused jargon.
Cliche Cleaver We are all guilty of using cliches. This tool will find the most common cliches in your document.

There are other features included, but these are the most used. My Writer Tools is a paid program; as of the time of writing, it sells for $19.95. There is also an editor’s version which has more features; it sells for $29.99.

UBitMenu

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UBitMenu Many people do not like the interface of the 2007+ Microsoft Office. While I personally like the tabbed interface, I do want to point out there are several plugins that will add a classic drop down menu to Microsoft Office. UBitMenu is one of those, and as an added bonus, its free for personal use.

After installing UBitMenu, you’ll see a new tab next to Home: the aptly named Menu. Click it and you’ll find File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, and all the rest of those long-lost drop-downs. Even better, UBitMenu retains most of Office’s newer features, like the more robust Save As submenu. You get the best of both worlds.

Send Personally Do you ever have the need to send an email to a long distribution list but don’t want the recipients to see who else the email was sent to? Send personally does just that. This is a plugin for MS Outlook that sends a personal email to each individual on a distribution list. It will also automatically personalize each email. This is also a paid program, with a price of $24.00.

Google Cloud Connect Do you have a need to collaborate with others in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint? You can share, backup, and simultaneously edit documents via Google Cloud storage. The best part is that this is a free application!

Save as PDF This one is right from Microsoft. Microsoft Office 2007 can’t save documents in PDF format without this little plugin. And of course, it is free!

I hope you have enjoyed this hub. Know of other MS Office plugins? Let me know about it in the comment section below.

Pet Tamer Quest (Venomancer) How to Increase/Expand Your Pet Bag Slots- Perfect World International (PWI)

Pet Tamer Quest (Venomancer) How to Increase/Expand Your Pet Bag Slots- Perfect World International (PWI)
Source: Perfect World International Logo

I want this pet, but have no room.

Hello there reader! If you are reading this most likely you ran into the problem of not having enough pet bag slots for all the pets you want or you just want to increase them anyway without spending real life money. This is written mostly for Venomancers since they are the ones who use pets more often, but other classes can do the quest too if you want more than two all class pets. The Quest can be found from any pet manager under quests, increase pet bag, find food.

Gather Hay- Monster List

The first pet bag expansion is available at level 7 and increases your slots to 3. In order to complete this quest you need to find 20 Hay which sounds a lot easier than it can be.

Assuming you get the quest at around level 10 there is a monster that drops it right outside of Broken Bridge Village. It’s the highlands tortoise in the river around the bridge that drops the little hay slivers for you. I spent at least 6 hours and gained 4 levels (18-22 I think) killing the turtles until I finally had my 20 hay.

There are more monsters that drop hay at higher levels but if you want to get it as soon as possible the Highlands Tortoise is a good option. Most of the other monsters are Moorcrawler Hornshell, Amphibian Turtle, Antelope Pup, King Carapest, Molten Dodnix, Stubborn Dodonix, Abyssal Mystery, Longhorned Carapest, Rhinodrake Megalith, Terrorclaw, and Pale Archilich.

Gather Fruit- Monster List

Second time around requires the collection of 50 Fruit for your fourth pet bag slot, enough for most people unless you are a collector of unique pets. By the time you get to this quest you should be at Archosaur so if you got your first slot early just do your normal quests until you are a high enough level to kill these guys.

Some of the monsters are Giant chisler, Abysal Protector, Seaview Chisler, Echomaid, Death Dancer, Vipion Wander, Emerald Vipion, Vipion Sentinel, Solar Vipion, Shores Turtle, Tortoise of the Ages, Praco, Aged Turtle, Cloudweaver Ptero, and Dodopod. There are more Vipion listed so if you see one not on the list it might drop them.

Gather Fungus- Monster List

Finally you have to gather 100 Fungus and will have 5 pet slots, which should give you enough pets to keep you busy. That’s good for a flying pet, underwater or swimming pet, an attack based pet, a defense or tank pet, and an all class pet or just a favorite you want to keep.

I haven’t done this quest yet so nothing I tell you is from experience so don’t ask about this quest in the comments if you would have to have done it before to answer. Either way, here are some of the listed monsters that drop Fungus. Ultrafin protector, Ripe Cactopod, Antelope Sage, Etherpod Tortoise King, Indulgent Flametoe, Merman Weaver, Watcher of the Skies, Clam Scout, Dragonmaid, Cloudrider Falcon, Undying Hornshell, Carrion Vulture, Tragic Gatekeeper, and Falcom Howler.

More Slots, Wild Ginseng

There is also a quest to find 150 Wild Ginseng but apparently that is not worth your time or effort to find and complete the quest. If I ever get that far I might add in a few monsters but not until I see for myself how ‘worth it’ the quest is.

HEY! Did you only find half of the items you need or it’s just taking too long to find all of them? If you are made of money or just feel like wasting your precious coins instead of working for your pet bag you can look for a catshop that sells the items. Usually right in the West District of Archosaur you can find shops that sell anything you want, just try to look around for cheaper items before you spend that coin.

Need more slots after you do all of the pet manager’s quests? Each pet bag is 2 gold and you can upgrade your bag to a total of 10 slots so if you do the three quests I mentioned and include the two you start with you would spend quite a bit of gold to fully upgrade your pet bag. There is the super cage but that should be used when you don’t want to even do these quests, or if you just feel like spending extra money.

Buy Toastess Coffee Maker

Buy Toastess Coffee Maker
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If you’re in desperate need of a coffee machine that makes great brews and yet affordable, then you should buy Toastess coffee maker. There are different models of this brand that are available on the market today but in this particular article I will talk about the single-serve brewer which is the bestseller in this brand’s selection of coffee devices.

Since single-serve coffee machines are the “in thing” in today’s modern way of living, you should be wise in choosing the products that you buy. There are high-end brewers like Keurig, Tassimo and Senseo but these brands are all using pre-measured coffee pouches that are not only impractical at times but can be quite expensive too. This defeats the purpose of saving money through single-cup preparations of coffees and sometimes the coffee pods don’t even taste good at all.

But when you buy Toastess coffee maker which only costs around $20 or even less, you will be enjoying great brews of coffee at a very minimal cost. You don’t even need to follow any complicated steps to use this simple yet powerful machine; as long as you have a supply of freshly ground coffee ready and available, the brewer takes care of the rest of the preparations. And just like with the Keurig and Tassimo coffee machines, your mouthwatering and ready to drink gourmet coffee will be transferred to your awaiting mug in just a few minutes. In fact, you can even use this brewer to make other beverages like teas and hot cocoas or simply to boil some water for preparing soups. Can any other coffee machine do better than that?

There is also an accompanying 10-ounce ceramic mug when you buy Toastess coffee maker. This cup fits well on the cup holder of the unit and can even retain your coffee’s hot temperature for a long time. You can also use other sizes of mugs too since the device is able to accommodate different heights of cups and even comes with a large cup holder to be able to handle even wide-based mugs. And the removable drip tray is a great help with the clean up too as any coffee drips or spills will go to this container which can either be hand washed using ordinary dishwashing soap or placed in the dishwasher with your other kitchen utensils.

So as you can see, it makes a lot of sense that you buy Toastess coffee maker in today’s practical and economically challenged way of living. The money that you save can be used in more important things and you will have full satisfaction in your coffee cravings as well.

Toastess Single Serve Coffee Maker Demo

Toastess TFC-326 Personal-Size 1-Cup Coffeemaker, Black
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Upgrade your netbook with Ubuntu

Upgrade your netbook with Ubuntu
Screenshot of Ubuntu home screen; taskbar is to the left

Do you have a netbook that attempts to windows 7, but bogs down and glitches up? Let’s face it, netbooks were designed for portability, not performance. And Windows 7 doesn’t play nice when RAM and processor speed are limited. So what to do? Oh sure, you could go back to Windows XP, which doesn’t take much memory (or computing power) to run. But many netbooks that were designed for Windows 7 won’t work with XP. So what to do? Let me suggest you take a look at Ubuntu.

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is an open source desktop operating system based on the Linux distribution. Let me translate for all of the non-tech guys out there…it’s a free replacement for Windows. It is available both free and with community/professional support. There is no extra fee for an enterprise or professional version, and new releases are available about every eighteen months. The current version, 12.04 LTS, is supported for the next five years, even as new versions roll out.

Working with Ubuntu couldn’t be easier. While Windows has traditionally required you to scroll through a menu to find what you want, or cover your home screen with countless icons, Ubuntu does things a bit differently. There is a Heads-Up-Display (HUD) which greatly speeds up and simplifies things. Simply tap the alt key at any time to bring up the HUD and start typing what you want to do. You will get a list of functions without ever needing to know what menu to look in. There is also a taskbar to the left-hand side of the screen. Simply pin your most commonly used applications to this bar, and they are ready and waiting for a quick launch. This feature is available in windows 7, but I think Ubuntu does it much better.

With Ubuntu, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on software. It come pre-installed with LibreOffice (a free alternative to MS Office, see my article Free alternatives to Microsoft Office), antivirus, firewall PDF reader, internet browser, email and instant messaging programs. And Ubuntu has access to a software center loaded with software…much like the android marketplace. And speaking of Android, if you have an android Smartphone, you can install Ubuntu on it as well.

Installing Ubuntu on my netbook

I recently purchased a Dell latitude 2100 netbook from eBay, which I planned to use as my traveling computer. This netbook came with 1GB of RAM and an Intel ATOM processor (single core)…pretty standard for a netbook. It had windows 7 installed when I purchased the netbook, which loaded slow and had a tendency to bog down. I had considered switching to Windows XP, but decided to go with Ubuntu instead.

Setting up Ubuntu was pretty easy. I simply downloaded the software from the Ubuntu site, installed it on a thumb drive, and then used the thumb drive to install the software on my netbook. Be sure that your computer has a wired (not wireless) internet connection during the install, as the wireless won’t work during the install. It does take some time for Ubuntu to set up your computer, so be patient. After the installation, the computer rebooted and Ubuntu was ready to go.

The Results

So what did I get for my effort? I have to say that I really like the operating system. I have grown to like the HUD, and I really like the left hand taskbar. Internet performs flawlessly, and wireless seems to have about the same range as with Windows. I have been using LibreOffice for my writing on the go, and the more I use LibreOffice, the more I like it. The only disappointment I had was that I expected Ubuntu to boot faster than it does; boot time seems on par with Windows XP on this machine. But once Ubuntu is up and running, there is none of the glitchyness that I experienced with Windows.

Just as a side note, I will mention that there are a few other Ubuntu-based systems that run better on low power processors and limited RAM. However, I decided to stick with Ubuntu as I really like the interface. Here are links to some of the lighter systems:

Xubuntu

Kubuntu

Lubuntu

UPDATE: Since writing this article, I have switched my netbook to Lubuntu and could not be happier. Be sure to check out my article “Lubuntu: the perfect OS for a netbook or older computer”.

I hope you have enjoyed this article! I am working on a companion article as well as a video which will be posted on my blog at thethriftynation.com. I will post links on this page as soon as the companions are up and running. Thanks!

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Coach Forest Brings Experience to Buff State

Coach Forest Brings Experience to Buff State
See all 2 photos
Coach Forest has helped mentor two NFL players in his coaching career in WR David Kircus and QB Tony Pike. He’s also played a big role on two Big East championship teams.
See all 2 photos
Greg Forest will be taking over as the Buffalo State offensive coordinator following a 5-5 season where the Bengals won four of their last six games

After losing his offensive coordinator job with the University of Buffalo in 2010, Greg Forest decided to bring his wealth of experience to Buffalo State in an effort to help the Bengals’ football team rebuild their program.

Forest began his Buffalo State tenure as a volunteer coach at last year’s spring practices while looking at other opportunities for coaching jobs. In the end though, he decided to stay with the team as a quarterbacks coach in a part time situation.

Buffalo State started off slow as Forest was figuring out his role with the team, but as the Bengals season wore on, he grew more comfortable with the offense and made a switch at quarterback from Ryan Lehotsky to Casey Kacz. The Bengals ended their season on a high note, winning four of their last six games.

Heading into this season, Forest earned a promotion and will be making his debut as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator. He’ll bring 20 years of experience at the collegiate level.

“Greg sees the whole picture because he’s been involved in coaching virtually every position,” head coach Jerry Boyes said. “Greg has been fortunate to be with some pretty good head coaches too and that’s helped him formulate his philosophies and approaches to issues and situations and everything that comes along the road.”

Forest began his coaching career at Grandview Heights High School helping out with the freshmen team and eventually became a coach with the varsity team.

When he finished with his four-year high school coaching stint, Forest decided to finish college at Ohio Northern with the intent of earning a sports management degree. He originally wanted to try out for defensive back, but head coach Tom Kaczkowski convinced him to continue his coaching instead.

“He said well you can do one of two things,” Forest said. “You can either join the team where we have 150 guys coming out in August and be one of the 150 or if you’re really serious about coaching, I can use you as a coach because I have a spot where you can help us coach and get experience coaching. You can work on your degree at the same time and I’ll find some money for you.”

During his time at Ohio Northern, Forest needed an internship to finish his degree and after a failed attempt to land one with the Dallas Cowboys, he chose a half coaching and half athletic director internship with Grand Valley State where he would form coaching relationships with current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and current University of Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn.

His internship with Grand Valley State ended up earning him an eleven-year tenure as the wide receivers coach on a two-time Division II national champion. During his time there, he also mentored the top five wide receivers in school history including three All-Americans and David Kircus, who was drafted into the NFL as a sixth round pick by the Detroit Lions.

“I pushed David all the time,” said Forest. “I talked about if this is really your goal, every second and every day that you’re not doing something else in your life, you better be working on that chance to make it to the NFL, especially after the season was over and he was training to audition for the NFL through his Pro Day.”

His success at Grand Valley State earned him a coaching job at Central Michigan where he would end up coaching the wide receivers, running backs and tight ends in separate years. His biggest achievement during his time there was helping Ontario Sneed rush for 1,065 yards in his freshman season.

Forest became the quarterbacks coach with Cincinnati following his three year stint with Central Michigan and helped mentor quarterbacks Ben Mauk who set a school season record with 31 touchdown passes and Tony Pike who was drafted into the NFL as a sixth round pick by the Carolina Panthers.

In his three year stint with Cincinnati, Forest will always be remembered for the 2008 season where he went through five different quarterbacks as the Bearcats won their first Big East championship before losing in the Orange Bowl to Virginia Tech. The following year, Cincinnati went 12-1, winning another Big East championship before losing their undefeated season in the Sugar Bowl to Florida.

The knowledge and experience Forest gained from his other coaching jobs should definitely benefit not only players, but the coaching staff as well.

“Having him around is better than any AFCL Clinic which is the biggest clinic in the country for football coaches,” wide receivers coach Matt Hanhold said. “It’s like having a huge clinic here every day. When he talks I’m like a human sponge. I’m writing down everything that he’s saying and learning from him. I think with some of the things that Greg has brought to the table, it will even further develop myself as a coach and the players that I work with. That championship way of going about your business and presenting it onto the field to the kids has really transferred over to a lot of our staff here.”

Pie Crust Recipe With Lard For Freezing

Pie Crust Recipe With Lard For Freezing

BEST RELIABLE PIE CRUST RECIPE

This recipe despite the use of lard (usually not anyone’s favorite word) is absolutely foolproof and the never-fail pie crust recipe I’ve been using for years now. It was passed on to me by my Michigan sister-in-law and although I have tried and tried to use various other and sundry recipes, this one always makes me come back to it.

Why?
1. Because it is foolproof.
2. It makes large quantities.
3. You can freeze it and it still works wonderfully.
4. You can actually roll it and re-roll it without it becoming shoe leather or falling apart.

BEST PIE CRUST RECIPE EVER!

INGREDIENTS

5-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. lard cut into cubes
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 beaten egg
Enough water to make 1 fluid cup with vinegar, egg and water

Public Domain Photo

PREPARATION

Mix flour and salt.
Work in the lard with your fingers – yes your fingers.
Make a well.
Add liquids (1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 beaten egg and enough water to equal 1 cup liquid measure in the cup in total).
Shape into a ball.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
Separate into as many balls as you would like – 5 to 8 for regular crusts. Flatten each ball into a disc.
I make many mini-pies so I end up with far more discs than 5-8 – I also roll out my pie crusts super thin – and this one works!
Wrap each individual disc in plastic wrap.
Place in freezer bag(s) and label.
To use from freezer, simply thaw out, roll and fill. If the dough is a little firm, you can microwave it for 10-20 seconds until pliable.

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Country Harvest Cherry Pie Plate Baking Dish with Recipe 10″ Deep Dish
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Pumpkin Pie Plate
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Recipe For Sweet Potato Pie

Try this as an alternative to pumpkin pie – delicious!

INGREDIENTS

Single crust pie crust
2 pounds sweet potatoes (measure on scale/roughly 5 small-medium)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks (or equivalent of egg substitute)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons bourbon (or flavoring)
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

PREPARATION

Roll out dough and fit into 9-inch pie plate (leave 1-inch overhang).
Refrigerate until dough in pie plate is firm – about 30 minutes.
Trim to 1/2 inch overhang beyond pie plate lip. Fold overhang under itself and the edge should be flush with the pie plate edge. Flute the edges (see photos in slide-show) or press edges down with fork tines for pattern.
Refrigerate pie plate another 15 minutes.
Oven rack should be in lowest position – heat to 425 degrees. Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven to preheat.
Line dough-lined pie plate with foil and fill with pie weights (see in Amazon selections).
Place the pie-weighted pie crust on the baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes or until crust is light in color.
Remove foil and weights – rotate pie plate and bake until crust is golden- 5-10 minutes.
Remove crust from oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

FILLING

While you are preparing the crust or before, prick the sweet potatoes a couple of times with a fork and place on double layer of paper towels in microwave. (Place in a pinwheel or fan, star shape on the paper towels)
Cook on high power for 5 minutes. Turn each potato over and cook on high for about 5 minutes longer until tender but not mushy.
Cool 10 minutes.
Cut each potato in half, insert spoon and scoop out the pulp into medium bowl. Discard skins.
You will need about 2 cups of potato when you are done.
While potatoes are still hot, add butter and mash with fork or spoon but leave some small lumps.
Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, nutmeg and salt in bowl. Add bourbon, molasses if using and vanilla, then add the milk.
Gradually combine egg mixture with potatoes – whisk gently.
Heat pie shell in oven about 5 minutes (350 degrees).
Sprinkle warm pie shell with the brown sugar.
Pour the sweet potato mixture over the brown sugar.
Bake until filling is set around edges but the center jiggles slightly when you shake it (about 45 minutes).
Remove from oven – cool pie on a rack to room temperature (about 2 hours) and serve. 

Helpful Hints

Sweet potatoes can be pricked with fork and baked uncovered in 400-degree oven 40-50 minutes instead of microwaved
Make sure the crust is warm when you add the brown sugar and sweet potato filling. Make the filling while the crust is baking
Molasses enriches the sweet potato flavor
Serve with whipped cream

 

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Nordic Ware Reversible Apples & Leaves Pie Top Cutter
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Mini Pie Pans, Set of 4
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The Facts About Lard

Lard: After decades of trying, its moment is finally here. – By Regina Schrambling – Slate Magazine
Lard: The Other Good Fat?
Lard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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How To Make the Best Pie Crust
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How To Make Your Own Lunch Meat And Why It Is Better…
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How hard is it to become successful living in a ghetto neighborhood?

How hard is it to become successful living in a ghetto neighborhood?

I am a 20 year old male, and I would like to share my experience on what it takes to become something to be known for, while growing up in Horrible environments. Im Going to talk about what it takes to become something, and the challenges that you will face.

Short Intro

People are clueless, and don’t realize the amount of hidden talent that maybe hidden in suburban areas such as bad areas where shootings occur, and the crime rates are high.

For example, If you live in a nice neighborhood were the crime rate is extremely low, and you look at a 20 year old male in a violent neighborhood, you would never think that this person has any type of hidden talent that could potentially change the way the world works. Naturally, I totally expect this from other people.

What living in a bad neighborhood does to you mentally

living in a bad neighborhood can do some things to you. Some of those things could even be positive, or extremely negative. Really the only positive thing that comes out of this, is it makes you stronger mentally and physically. I believe that no matter where you live, the people and things around you, and the way they think and act, will definitely have an impact on you either negative or positive.

The city that I live in, is filled with nothing but trash, negativity, murder, gangs, and just nothing but foreigners and complete negativity. Little too nobody in my city has any goals, motivation, or realistic dreams that can be accomplished.

I have lived here for 13 years. Certainly not all of those 13 years were positive. They still are not positive. There are always ups and downs in the city I live in, but no matter what, I try to remain positive and keep a high spirit. It is extremely difficult, especially when I am surrounded by people with a much lower mind set and I have.

Sometimes, staying out of trouble does not seem possible. Even when you try to stay out of trouble, somebody around you will get you in major trouble. This person could be an acquaintance friend, or even a family member, sometimes even a friend or acquaintance of a family member. Yes it is that freaking ridiculous.

Here is a real life story for example, there was 1 time where my little sister had some problems with her boyfriend. My little sister is only 14 years old, and has a lot of drama in her life that she’d certainly does not need. Her and her boyfriend had broken up over something very stupid. Her boyfriend brought a bunch of enemies over to my house, and I had to defend my family for the sake of them not getting hurt. I almost got in serious trouble for what I did. I almost went to jail. There is a lot of unnecessary drama that comes around you even if you do not want it, or cause it.

Have I been in jail? Yes, it was not a serious offense, but I had to let my anger out because I could not keep it in anymore. There is a lot of unnecessary drama that goes on around me, and I don’t have many people to talk to because they are not similar to me. medical asmr really helps me but Therefore, I just could not hold myself back, I committed an assault and battery and went to jail for 1 night. It was the worst night of my life.

What have I accomplished?

From what you have read so far, you probably think I am a loser, a criminal, or somebody who is just negative. But I am about to surprise you big time. From what I talked about before, and just some of the negative things that happened in my life, doesn’t mean that that is everything that happened. Something bad always happens, usually every month. But, I am a history maker, I have accomplished things that many 20 year olds and younger or even older have never accomplished and never will.

Before I graduated high school, I passed 3 major certification exams for computer repair and programming. Some of these exams, are required to be taken at college. But I am so smart with computers, that teachers made exceptions for me to take exams very early in life. By passing these exams, I was able to land myself high paying jobs and gigs. Want to hear something even more surprising? All of this happened before I even went to jail.

Just because somebody is accomplished at something, doesn’t mean that they won’t get in trouble later in life. If I had moved out of the city I was living in earlier in life, I would have possibly never gotten into any trouble. Now I am stuck here, and all of this negativity is weighing down on me so much that it is very hard to push the weight off. But sooner or later, I will be out of my city and in a much more positive environment as long as I keep my head up, and don’t let the energy Vampires Suck the positiveness out of me.

Do I make money?

I am self employed, and there are some days where I make 250 dollars, and some days where I make up to 1000 dollars in 1 day. Am I doing anything illegal? Absolutely not, I am using my marketing and technical expertise to make tons of money.

How to stay positive and make something of yourself in a bad neighborhood

There are ways that you can remain positive in a s***** neighborhood, and make something of yourself. Sometimes it is best to remain isolated from those around you. Getting mixed up with anybody in a negative neighborhood, will never have a good result. The fact that just staying away from these people can still get you in trouble, question yourself, and ask what would happen if I actually hung out with these people? I can still get in trouble even if I stay away from them, it would really suck if I hung out with them and became who they were. Birds of a feather do flock together.

Negative activities, brainwashing video games, and mediocre rap music does have a huge impact on the way people act. I don’t do any of that garbage. How to make anything out of yourself, the best thing you can do is to develop a skill, and master it. What you have to do, is do something productive every day. Make sure you get ahead in life 1 day at a time. Make it a goal to make progress everyday. If you don’t make progress everyday, then you’re not making progress at all.’

it’s hard to make any kind of progress, there are too many distractions in my environment. What do I do?

You need to leave your environment. Plain and simple. Hop on a bus, go to a library in a nice positive town or city, and study your butt off. Go back to the city as late as you can, go to sleep, and do it all over again.