Cable phone service, is it worth the loss of a loved one or your home? 
Monday, February 11, 2008, 02:22 AM
Here's the scenario:
It is one of the coldest nights of this winter, with stong winds and windchill temps below -20 outside. You are sitting with your spouse watching an awards show you've been eager to see for some time when all of a sudden the tv go blank. You switch channels and there's nothing on any channel, so you know cable went out. The husband goes out to check the cable lines to the house to make sure they were still ok before you call the cable company. After about 20 minutes or so the husband still hasn't come back inside, so the wife goes to look out the windows to see if she can see what he's doing but can't see him anywhere. She puts on her coat and boots and heads out the garage door and finds him laying on the garage floor as he never made it outside. She of course panicks, checks to see if he is still breathing, can hear a faint breathe and runs back inside to call 911. Only when she picks up the phone to dial, there is no tone or anything. The phone is totally dead. She's really in a panic now, what is she going to do, they told her she'd never have to worry about the phone not working since it was going through the cable service. If the power went out, the phone router has a backup battery connected to it so it would still work. So why doesn't it work? In a panic the wife runs a quarter mile down the road to the nearest neighbors house to use their phone to call 911, but they to were using cable phone service and their phone wasn't working either. By the time she gets to someone with a phone and makes the call and gets back and the emergency help arrives, it's too late. She lost her husband.

Do not be fooled by the fantastic pricing and all the "extra's" that come with the cable phone service. If you cannot afford to have a cell phone or other means of contacting someone in case of an emergency, this is exactly what can happen to you. So when you think about it really the price for the cable phone service along with the price for a cell phone service on top of it is a lot more expensive than the normal phone service used for years on end. Not many people these days can afford to pay their bills as it is let alone having to pay extra for a back up phone service for the phone service you just signed up for through cable.

My wife was completely convinced by the sales pitch from our local cable service that we'd never be without phone service even in bad storms when the power went out. That and all the added extras of caller ID, call waiting, etc., etc., that came with the phone service including free long distance calling couldn't be compared to our old phone service. That was until tonight. Just minutes before the Grammy Awards show was to start, the cable went dead. Much to her surprise when she went to call the cable company the phone wasn't working either, imagine that. Personally I couldn't see how the phone could work when cable service went out since the phone was going over or through the cable service in the first place. I'm also glad we don't have any emergency situation like described above. But I am glad I still have cell phone service and after tonight, I plan on keeping it. Even when we are able to call the cable service and regualr phone service to cancel the one and restart the other I'll keep my cell phone service for some time.

To sum things up, if you can't afford to pay for cable phone service and a back up phone service at the same time, stay away from the cable phone service until you can or they come up with a means of getting around this very major problem. Don't take the chance of losing a loved one, your home, or any other major disaster, it's just not worth it. If you need a cheap way of making long distance phone calls, go buy a PrePaid phone card instead.

The good, the bad, and the ugly, life is never fair. 
Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 10:37 PM
Ever since I was a kid I've tried to put on weight, but for some reason, it never happened. So I went through life being a skinny kid, at times being laughed at and made jokes about, as I am sure others out there know what it's like. It made life a bit rough, and really made self confidence a difficult thing to maintain.
When the opportunity arose, on my 18th birthday, I decided to make a difference in my life, and get away from the things that were holding me down. I joined the Marine Corp in December 1974 and left for boot camp a few weeks later. But, even with all the physical conditioning, confidence building and self determination, I was only able to get my weight up to 125 at the max. And that's all that happened. No problem with self confidence, and feeling good about myself, proud of what I had become and accomplished, and able to handle anything that came my way, except for gaining weight. I even tried all the weight gain drinks and powders and whatever else there was, but I just wasn't getting anywhere. After so many years I kind of gave up the thought of ever being able to gain weight.
Once I lost my stomach and other digestive parts, my weight fell down to 95 lbs. This really set me back, and because I only had 1/4th of my stomach left, the doctor said it wouldn't be able to stretch out, and I had to totally change my diet, I gave up any idea of ever being able to gain weight let alone do anything else since I am also a disabled veteran with major spine and back issues. I talked to dieticians, doctors, anyone and everyone that I could find to see if there was anything at all they could help me at least put on a few pounds. Not to mention the non-stop dumping issues I had to deal with day to day. It was like talking to the walls around me, never getting any answer.
Just over 4 months ago, September 2007, I had an appointment with a stomach specialist at the Ann Arbor VAMC. The wife thought it's just be another waste of time, as with all the past appointments and doctor's we've been to ove the years. But to our surprise, the intern that was doing my workup said there might be something to help. There is this medication called Megestrol Acetate that they give to cancer and other patients to help with their appetites. Not expecting much of anything to come from it, we headed back home and the medication arrived in the mail a few days later.
Now I can't say what happened, or how it's possible, but what ever this medication is, to me it's a miracle. Within a couple of weeks I was putting on weight, and can't explain what happened to the major dumping that went along with every meal I would eat. granted I still have to watch what and how much I eat, but in the 4 months that I've been using the Megestrol Acetate I have put on 40 lbs. I've gone from 105 lbs to 146 lbs, the most I've ever weighed in my entire life, roughly 52 years!
Whatever this stuff is and does, I don't want to stop taking it. I have never seen results like this, and probsably never will again. The only drawback, in a way, is now I have to go buy all new clothes because none of the clothes Ihave will fit me anymore. I am totallly amazed, impressed, and thankful. I only wish that someone would have thought of this years ago after my operation and attempts to find help everywhere I went.

Our government is a total failure 
Friday, December 28, 2007, 11:43 PM
Our government and those we've elected to "serve" the people are no better than criminals.
I cannot understand why every bill that is brought up to be voted on has bribery connected to it in one fashion or another. If the Democrats need some additional Republican support, or even full support of their own party, they have to bribe them by adding items within the bill that benefit those they need to obtaina the vote from. Some call it Pork fat, or something similar, where in all honesty, it is a form of bribery, and they do this with any and every bill regardless of the outcome to the people and our service members who have voted them in to office in the first place.
There should be a law in place where a bill should only contain the wording and intent in it that it is actually for, not having additional "perks" included somewhere mixed in the writing of the bills. We voted these people into office under the belief that they were there to do what's right for us, the people of America, the ones that were supposedly setting the example for other nations to follow and believe in. Instead our so called elected officials are teaching other nations just how low, and thoughtless towards others they really are.
How can we expect other nations to embrace and strive for freedom and democracy from a nation that is no better than a bunch of liars, theives and bribers, that only say what you want to hear in order to get in to office and make a name and money for themselves instead of "For the people, by the people!"
It's time we all wake up, face the truth, take a damn good look at what our government is like and do something about it.

To vote or not to vote... If they don't come, we don't vote, period! 
Sunday, December 2, 2007, 07:02 PM
Why would anyone expect people to vote for them if they refuse to come to that persons state to campaign and talk to the people and tell us why we should vote for them over someone else? Especailly a Presidential Candidate!

This makes no sense to me. But, this being the case for the Democrats, I say to hell with all of you, stay out of our state, you don't deserve to come here let alone be our President. Just because someone wanted to move a date to an earlier time frame means that all the Democrats, and people in general, are banned from participating in the DNC, as well as be denied to hear from the so-called Presidential Candidates. But, mind you, other states are more deserving of having earlier dates because it's been that way and they don't want anyone to take their time in the spotlight because they are something special. They are about as special as a pile of crap and no longer make up the variety of people in the US in order to make any so called predictions. It's all about money, greed, money, greed, money, greed, get the picture?

I am NOT a Democrat by any means. Nor am I a Republican. What I am is an American, with the freedom of choice. To choose who I want to be the President of our country, and lead us in to a more prosperous, trusted and respected nation, of the people, for the people, regardless of race, religion or gender. And at this point in the game of politics, I see no one on either side that is capable of doing this, at least they haven't shown it. And now that many are refusing to come to our state, we will never have that opportunity to find out.

My only hope is that somehow, somewhere, there will be a real Presidential candidate that steps in to the picture to give us all something to look forward to, a chance for a better and brighter future for the USA.

More than just a Christmas Poem, but a reason for us all to say  
Saturday, December 1, 2007, 12:29 AM
A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then, the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq