Personal ponderings from a natural night-owl!

Archive for April, 2008

Looking Backward and Forward

I recently browsed through my own blog, reading past posts and comments. I thought it was interesting how I have a different perspective on some of what I wrote just 15 month ago.

For example, here’s an excerpt from one of my earlier posts from January of 2007: “There are even rumors that Hilary Rodham Clinton might start a serious bid for the U.S. presidency. Although I don’t particularly like her stand on many issues, I would feel it necessary to strongly consider voting for her in order to create history and further deteriorate the historic stranglehold on power men have and do hold in this country.”

Now we are less than 7 months from the general election and not only has Hillary started a serious bid for the presidency, but she and Obama are running neck and neck with both having already garnered more votes individually than any other past presidential candidates in a Democratic primary election.

And, yes, I considered voting for her early on, but after researching the candidates’ stands on various issues, listening to stump speeches, and seeing how they react in a variety of situations, I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t vote for her, even though she is a woman and I sincerely do want to see a female U.S. president before I die. But I plan to live to be 101 years old, so there’s still plenty of time. (-:

So this year I am an Obama supporter and so have put away my, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Good Woman for President” button (obtained years before Hillary’s run), since I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression that I think Mrs. Clinton is that “good woman.”

An April 2007 post discussed my hopes for a congress that would stand up to President Bush. I wrote, “…my fear [is] that the Democrats, having gained power in Congress, would be unable or unwilling to exercise their people-given power to stop him.” Hmm…looks like that fear has come true.

I also discussed Sunshine Week, a movement to keep discussion alive about the important of open government and freedom of information. Unfortunately, I heard nothing about Sunshine Week this year.

In contrast to my changed perspective politically, my perspective on the importance of organizing your digital photos hasn’t change one iota! Memory Manager is still the best program out there – and unlike the price of just about everything else these days, the cost of this software hasn’t changed! Everyone I know who has this program is sold on the features and ease of use. Read more about tis fantastic program here.

It will be interesting what perspective changes next year brings.

Dodge Charger

Sometimes, I don’t understand this whole blogging thing. Although I have never (before now) mentioned the words “dodge charger” in my blog, yet I apparently used a picture of one in my post “Baby, You CAN Drive My Car!” back in October of 2007. (In case you didn’t know, the General Lee was a Dodge Charger!) This picture is single-pixelly responsible for the majority of traffic to this blog from search engines. Yet when *I* use a search engine and enter the term “Dodge Charger,” I don’t find my own blog.

And it’s not just me. The top search engine term for “Taste of Tech” is “cheetah.” You’d think it’d be from a past post referencing how fast a cheetah can run, but instead, it’s from a post that used the picture of a cheetah.

So what’s going on? How is this happening? Why do random web images used to illustrate a point in a blog post create such search engine traffic to a blog? (And is there a way to use this pheonomenon to steer more traffic to a blog or other website?)

If you have answers – or even decent theories – PLEASE leave a comment. And if you found this blog by searching the words “Dodge Charger,” please tell me exactly how and where you were searching!

Small Drops Make an Ocean

*tap*tap*tap*

Anyone still out there? Somehow, I got busy doing other things and blogging took a backseat to life for…um…almost 6 months. But I made an new discovery that I have to share with you, so my blogging haitus has to come to a close!

Just so you know, I believe that one person CAN make a difference.

I believe that the entire world is my neighborhood.

I believe in helping others to help themselves.

I believe that I am truly blessed and therefore have a responsibility to share my blessings with others.

I believe that the distribution of my two most precious resources – time AND money – shed a spotlight on what I truly value.

So…here’s the problem. I like to help others, but I am usually reluctant to give money because of the potential for misuse and abuse. And, too, a large percentage of cash donations is too often used for program administration and doesn’t directly benefit the intended recipient. The solution to this problem is to give of my time and talent, but it feels hard for me to make a difference in the wider world community with my time and talent alone. But I found a website that solves my problem.

Kiva LogoIt’s called KIVA and it helps willing lenders make loans as small as $25 to entrepreneurs in need in developing countries. Notice, I said LOANS – not gifts – so the money comes back to you. It’s called microfinancing. This person-to-person small scale financing is neat, but the site also allows you to browse the stories behind the funds requested and select your own loan recipient. So as a lender, I get to pick the entrepreneur I help to fund!

Here is one entrepreneur who got funded recently: “Mrs. Song Sron, 38, lives with her husband and five children [in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia]. She raises pigs at her house and also owns a plot of farmland where she grows rice, making around $1.50 a day. Her husband, Mr. Chai Thu, 38, works as a palm juice collector. Everyday he climbs the palm tree to tap the palm juice, refines it to sugar cane and sells it in the market, earning about five dollars a day of income. Two children work in a factory earning $60 each per month. The others are students and help the parents work at home when they are not attending school. Mrs. Sron is requesting a loan [of $600] to purchase a cow to plow her field. This will help to reduce the family’s expense as she has been hiring a tractor to do this work.”

And here’s another: “Sonia is a beautiful woman who works breeding sheep and chickens in her home [in Tarma, Peru]. By selling the animals Sonia is able to keep up with her house expenses and her personal necessities. In her picture she is showing us a chicken while she waits for her sheep to return from their monthly visit to the veterinarian. She would like to build a better space for her animals and therefore is asking for a loan [for $150] to purchase the necessary materials.”

I think what I like about this site is that 1) you really feel like you are making a difference in someone’s life and 2) the money actually comes back (98% of the time) and can be reinvested, so it doesn’t feel like a bottomless pit of need.

You can also browse the profiles of lenders where some talk about why they participate in this site. One striking response: because small drops make an ocean.

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