Monday, August 31, 2015

Recording 1-2-3 ... I'm Learning to Use Audacity

Today I've been taking a class on how to use Audacity software. Audacity is 100% free, but it has always been mysterious to me.

It is easy enough to record something. Just press the red circle and start talking. My problem came with editing. Since I'm using Audacity to record the audio on some of my videos, I need to do some heavy editing. With this class I'm learning more about Audacity than ever before.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I'm In Idaho's Health Care Gap

Last summer I injured my foot while walking. It hurt, but not much, until February of this year. Then the pain became intense at times.

The Gap

I no longer had health insurance. My "Affordable Care Act" insurance was cut off at the end of December 2014. They said I didn't earn enough money to qualify during 2015.

I was told to apply for Medicare instead - but my state, Idaho, didn't expand the Medicare program (more than twenty states opted out of the Medicare expansion) so I fell into what is called the "health care gap." Here in Idaho, 70,000 people are in the gap, without health insurance of any kind. My Medicare application was denied. No surprise.

I will stay in this health care gap until I'm 65, or unless I become disabled before then. I'm not disabled because I can still do my regular work, which is done sitting down, writing on the internet.

Because I have no insurance, I waited, hoping my foot would stop hurting. I researched on the internet and decided I had either a fracture, cuboid syndrome, or a bone spur.

After some months, I realized it wouldn't go away on its own, so I found a clinic with a price I could afford, and made an appointment. Because I was a new patient I had to wait over a month for that appointment.

Their x-rays showed I have a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of my right foot. I'm walking with a cane to keep weight off that foot.

The clinic was supposed to make a referral to a podiatrist for me, and I waited more than three weeks before the podiatry office phoned me. Then they gave me an appointment almost a month away. (Late September.) Whatever it costs, I will pay out of pocket or owe. I hope I won't need an operation.

That's how the Affordable Care Act is working (or not working) for this low-income American. It was nice the one year I had it; I was able to see doctors when I needed them and got things done I've been needing to do for the last five years.

Fortunately I work at home (on the internet) so I can stay off the foot most of the time. I go out only one day a week - on Sunday - to go to church and to go shopping. I have to use the little golf carts at Walmart because walking on their concrete floors tears up my foot, causing more pain. Today after church I went to lunch with a friend, at Shari's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene.

I don't know how long it will be before I can qualify for health insurance again. I hope next year they will reinstate it, though my income hasn't gone up much. I used to earn more, when I was writing for - but that site began to fail late in 2012 and went out of business as of October 2014, and I'm still working on building my income back through other channels. I don't understand how people make money quickly on the internet. For me it has always been a long drawn out process with incremental and slow increases.

Until last December I'd never heard of the health care gap. Now it is my reality.


Photo credit: Pixabay

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Napping is Good for Us

Here's some good news. Mid-day naps can lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart attack by 5 percent. *

I'm all in favor of napping! I do it frequently.

Maybe too frequently.

In fact, during the last few months I've felt tired more often than ever before. But I've found a solution.

No, not the naps... though I've had a few of them. Maybe, more than a few.

My solution came in a box from Amazon earlier this week. It is a jar of Pure Synergy Powder.

Now, I've purchased a lot of food supplements in my lifetime, but I've never felt such immediate positive results as I have with this super-food powder. It is amazing. I'm seriously energetic. No more exhaustion!

I'm not just writing this to try to sell something. I really mean it. I feel so much better!

Let me try to explain this to you.

During the last few months I've frequently felt tired most of the day. I had a few good hours in the morning, and then by 1pm, mid-day lag overtook me to the point where I seriously couldn't do my work. The only choice I had was to take a nap.

But in the four days I've been using the Pure Synergy Powder, I've recovered. It started on the very first day, and I still haven't worked up to a full dose yet. (It must be started slowly.) Here it is, past 4pm, and I'm still going strong. Able to think, able to work, able to write, able to cope. I love it.

I was on the phone with a friend a few minutes ago. He said he's been feeling exhausted for the last few months too. I wonder if we have some kind of societal health problem here. How many others have felt too much exhaustion lately?

I wish I could buy my friend some Pure Synergy Powder too, but here's the drawback. This stuff is expensive. I paid a bit over fifty dollars for 12 ounces, which is about a month's supply. I can't get into buying this for everyone who could benefit from it.

Come to think of it, my daughter also complained about being too tired lately too. I'm more likely to buy her a jar. She's a working woman and needs a health boost.

My friend asked me why I would buy such an expensive super-food powder. I told him that this comes from part of my food budget. It is easy to go to the grocery store and spend over 100 dollars without thinking much of it. I will reduce my spending on foods that aren't all that good for me and put that money into my health and well-being.

Using the powder is easy. I put it into a jar with about a cup of water, then put on the lid and shake the jar. It blends, I drink, and that's all there is to it. The taste isn't the most wonderful thing, but it isn't all that bad either. I don't gag on it.

Some people put the powder in orange juice, or breakfast smoothies. Some sprinkle it on their salad. Me? I'll just take it straight for now. I'm so grateful to have it.

Anyhow, if you want to recover from exhaustion, napping helps... but my opinion is that Pure Synergy Powder is better.

I'd like to do both, and I'm about to go take a nap. Why not? I work at home. I set my hours. I can take a nap if I want to. And it is good for my heart and blood pressure, so I'm all in.


* Source: A nap a day could save your life, research suggests, published August 29, 2015, in The Telegraph.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Videography and Me

One of the most frustrating things I do is... videography. I am trying to learn to use my new video editor. That's already a task. But the worst part of my video making journey is that I am not a speaker... I'm more of a writer. So getting my thoughts out there on a video is very challenging for me.

Case in point, here is one of my first videos ever. I tried to memorize what I wanted to say. It came out very stilted. I noticed that when I spoke freely it sounded better. I look like a scared rabbit in this video, and that summarizes my problem with video making.

Now you've seen my worst video ever. I keep that video on my channel to remind myself of where I came from. It is also a good reminder of what I'd like to include in my book review videos.

Background noise on that video is outrageous!! I still don't have a good camera.

My goal is to learn to produce better videos, that will gradually improve. I'd like to produce mini-documentaries rather than just splatter my life all over YouTube.

What I've done so far has been fun, a learning experience, challenging, difficult, and frustrating. However, I will continue on, and learn to make better videos in the future.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

7 Things Overdone on the Web

I've been an internet user for twenty years now. I think that qualifies me to write about things I believe are overdone on the web. I'm going beyond complaints about the "wall of text" effect and people writing in all-caps. This list is skewed toward internet marketing types because I am one, though to a lesser degree than most.

What's over-done on the internet? This links to an article about internet marketing, writing, and blogging, and things that have become annoying because they're done so often.

Here's my list of things I believe are overdone on the internet:

1. The ridiculously overused word, "passion." - I am tired of reading "about me" blurbs on blogs that start with "my passion is" or "I'm passionate about." The word has been used so much it is an instant turn-off for me.

I wonder why people can't find some more creative way to tell us what they are writing about. The fact that they are excited about a topic doesn't exactly qualify them as an expert. I want to see results, not statements of passion.

2. Excess marketing on blog articles. - I was a writer on the now-defunct website, Squidoo. I know what it means to put too many advertisements on one page. I've done it. But I've observed the downfall of Squidoo and at some point realized that one strategically placed advertisement is better than a block of five.

A block of five ads may give a person more to choose from, but it increases the tendency of your reader to skip over the block of ads. People are at your site to read an article and get useful information. They're not there to see an excessive number of ads.

I will use multiple ads if I'm using them to explain how to do something, like on my article, How to Make Homemade Castile Soap. And I'll use multiples on a top-ten best products list, for comparison shopping purposes. But to inundate a reader with ads in the hope that they'll be persuaded to click on one of them, due to the sheer number of opportunities, I don't. It isn't attractive and I hereby eschew the evil practice.

What I find better is to write my article naturally. Then, if I mention a product, I might illustrate it with the perfect product or book that directly relates to the topic of the article.

3. Newspaper websites that load slowly because they have too many ads. I'm going to pick on one news website I've been to recently: S---- Daily News. Today I'm counting more than ten ads on their front page. I don't know if they have any popup ads because I've got a popup blocker.

The excessive ad content makes these pages slow to load and annoying. Furthermore, my reading is interrupted by a content refresh I didn't ask for.

By comparison I looked at the LA Times website. There are only five ads on the front page and the site is quick to load and easy to use. SFGate has seven ads on the front page today.

So to the small town newspaper with an annoyingly slow website I say this: Having more ads on your site is not going to make me want to click on them. It only makes me want to go to another website that is easier to use.

4. Blogs about how to blog. Enough already. I've been a blogger since 2001 and have seen and read more than my share of blogs and articles about how to be a better blogger, what social media I "must" use and how to use it, how to get more hits to my blog, and this morning's offering - "Metrics to Improve Content Performance."

I am honestly so over it... I don't care to read another word from a big-wig content producing super-blogger of epic proportions. Everyone knows now, if you want to make money blogging, write a blog about blogging, social media, or both. The market is saturated but with enough effort you can convince enough people to buy your next information "product" which will have dubious returns on investment for most of the people gullible enough to fall for it.

Listen people, you don't learn to blog from products. You can only learn to blog by doing it. Your first efforts are likely to be clumsy - but don't use anyone else's magic formula for blogging because it is already over-done and seen too many times. Instead, find your own creative voice, and forge ahead. Creativity is awesome.

5. Landing pages. Need I say more? Too many people build landing pages to market their expensive information products. Each landing page has an extensive sales pitch which hopes to reel enough people in to make a fortune on their gullibility.

They have the opposite effect on me. I see a landing page and want to run. I have never read all the way through one of those lengthy landing pages they took so long to write. (Or more likely, paid someone else to write.) They are ridiculous and people are laughing about them.

6. Expensive information products. Yes, while we're on that topic, I'll mention I'm tired of seeing information products that every talking head on the internet wants to sell. They typically have a DVD set, a CD set, a few booklets, maybe even a book - displayed in a professional manner. You can learn about anything you want for 100 dollars or more. This is just sickening.

The truth is you can buy a book at Amazon for a lot less than you will spend buying some talking head's information product collection! Many of these savvy marketers have multiple products. I'm tired of seeing them. Materialism sucks. I'm all for people earning money off their specialties, but I do not like overly-priced information products.

7. Facebook posts that look like videos but when you click them you go to some advertising-heavy web page rather than to YouTube. - These days, I'm very careful what I click on when I'm at Facebook. If I view a video there I want it to be a Facebook video or YouTube - not a photo-link to someone else's website.

A lot of sites are set up to feature thousands of pages with YouTube videos made by someone with no connection to the website. I have no objection to people embedding YouTube videos. I do it myself when a video adds to my topic in a way that will benefit the reader.

What I don't like is the fake-look video images on Facebook that take you off-site to see the video. It is time consuming to load those advertising-heavy websites and let's face it - when I visit Facebook, I want to see what my family members are up to, check on my groups, and get out. I don't want to spend hours there being redirected to other websites for videos that could just as easily be seen right on Facebook.

If you see a YouTube video on a site you could easily go to the YouTube site and share it from there.

That's it for now.

Did I fail to mention your pet peeve? If so, leave a comment to let me know what it is.


Photo credit - the computer came from

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bible Study Day

Wednesday is the day for my Bible study groups to meet. There are two of them . . . I am blessed that they both take place here in my home.

The women's Bible study is at 4pm and the other Bible study is at 6:30pm.

The women are studying Kay Arthur's book, Lord, Is It Warfare? Teach Me to Stand: A Devotional Study on Spiritual Victory. It seems like we've been using this book well over a year now. We took a break of several months between chapters three and four.

We're currently on chapter nine so it won't be too much longer until we finish. It takes about a month to get through one chapter, the way we're doing it. We read it at home, then read it together as a group, then do our study questions at home, then review them with the group - so I go over the information in the chapter 4 times before we're done. Hopefully some of it stays with me.

The second Bible study includes two men - and we study books by Paul Little.

We've skipped around a bit between the two books. Currently we're reading a chapter about Jesus that makes me love Him more than ever before. It is about how he is half human and half God . . . part of each. He came here to suffer and die on the cross, willingly, to help us and redeem us. That's true love.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why Blame God?

It happened again. I came across something written by an atheist to try to discredit God, which contained the idea that because bad things happen in this world, there could not be a loving and beneficent God.

What these people miss is that the story of the fall of man (Genesis 3) explains that this is Satan's world. Bad things happen here because of Satan and the spirit of rebellion against God.

The argument goes like this: "The God you believe in allows children to suffer and die so He can't be real."

The rebuttal is: "Since Adam disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, Satan was given ownership of this world. Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of happiness and perfection, and entered a world of suffering and evil. God is not to blame for their rebellion, and the rebellion of Satan."

Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world. He has gone before us to prepare a place for us there, if we want it.


Atheists that write these types of things take one concept from the Bible, that God is love, and try to disprove it, without taking the rest of the Bible into consideration. How can they forget the fall of man, or expect me to?

When Jesus agreed to die on the cross to save us from our sins, and when he was resurrected, He redeemed us. He now has the right to be given the deed to the world. That deed is a scroll with seven seals. He has yet to break the first seal. He is waiting for us to be ready. Every day, more and more people are being saved, and He will not break the seal until everyone who is meant to be saved will be saved.

At that point, when the first seal breaks, the world will change. You may not believe it now, but change is coming, and it will be an unpleasant seven years that most people will not live through.

When it is over, the old earth will be gone. There will be a new earth where Jesus and His people will live in happiness, without the evil, without the suffering, without Satan.

I hope to see you there.


I usually don't write about the Bible on this blog - it is a blog about my life, however, and Jesus is part of my life. I have another blog called Prayer Power where I write prayers and devotions.

Monday, August 24, 2015

YouTube Dreamer - My Plans for the Future

I am still dreaming of developing my BookLady YouTube channel, though I haven't added to it in months. What am I waiting for?

Last year I had a goal of creating 100 videos but I created only about fifty... and currently there are only 47 videos on the channel. I may have deleted a few. So I didn't achieve my goal and that is always a downer.

I was hampered by lack of a good video editor. When I ordered my new computer a few months ago, I had a video editor installed before Dell shipped it to me. My new video editor is lightweight - I've got Adobe Premiere Elements 13 - there are other much better (and much more expensive) video editors such as Adobe Premiere Pro CC - but what I've got is a good place to start and will be more stable and trustworthy than some of the free video software programs I endured last year.

Today I looked at my BookLady YouTube channel and found that some of the videos with the most views are my book reviews! I didn't make many of them last year because I thought they would bore people, but apparently the opposite is true. Fewer people looked at my walking and biking videos. Live and learn! I will make more book review videos in the future since they are so popular.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami 70 Years Overdue

Here's some startling bad news. Geologists say soil samples show the Cascadia region, the Pacific Northwest, gets regular massive earthquakes and tsunamis every 243 years. And the last one was on January 26, 1700. This means we're 72 years overdue.

Oregon coast. Photo from Pixabay.

This was revealed last month, July 2015, in a lengthy but well-written article published in the New Yorker magazine: The Really Big One.

Why didn't we know this already?

The West Coast of the USA hasn't been settled by Americans of European descent all that long. When the last cataclysm occurred in the Pacific Northwest, only Native Americans were there. Their stories about this event have been collected, including a story about an entire tribe living on Vancouver Island, BC, disappearing into a wave.

It isn't just Canada involved, however. The problem of colliding tectonic plates runs from Mendocino, California, up the coast into Canada. If tension needs to be released, the entire coastline could be jolted, then flooded and destroyed.

I love the coast, the beaches, the surf - just as much as anyone. I've spent a lot of time there. But with this information, I'm thinking that inland destinations are better.

It is sad that we might stay away from the ocean due to an event that might not even take place in our lifetimes, but we've seen the devastation that took place in Thailand and Japan. The threat of oceanic inundation is real, and if it happens, inescapable.

If you're living on the coast and are jolted awake by a large earthquake, you will have ten to thirty minutes to get to higher ground. Ten minutes isn't long, so consider sleeping fully clothed. If you have to run, then run for your life. Stopping for any reason will decrease your chance of survival.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Spent the Morning Reading About Bigfoot

I've been a Bigfoot blogger for ten years now. Go ahead and laugh if you want to. It is weird how these things happen.

There's always been curiosity about the big elusive creature. Does anyone forget the first time they saw the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot video?

When my 2 youngest children were about ages 6 through 10 we took a lot of "home school field trips" and several times were in Trinity County, CA - to visit Weaverville, the Joss House, the museum there, and the area around Clair Engle Lake, aka. Trinity Lake. As we approached Trinity Center, CA - there was a Bigfoot statue, and I was immediately drawn to it. "This is what I've been looking for," my heart told me. "They're here."

Ever since I first heard about the town of Happy Camp, I wanted to be there. Happy Camp, CA is a very remote small town in the center of the Klamath National Forest in Northern California. On January 11, 2000 I moved into a cabin-like house there, surrounded by the forest. The house was just outside of the town, in a semi-secluded area. There were other houses nearby.

The town of Happy Camp is full of Bigfoot statues now, but when I moved there, the only Bigfoot statue was the one in front of the post office.

There were also "Bigfoot footprints" painted on the sidewalk in front of the liquor store, and many of the businesses in the town were named after Bigfoot. There was the Bigfoot Trailer Park, Bigfoot Towing, and the Bigfoot Car Wash. That was in 2000 - several years before JavaBob opened his restaurant, JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli. Now that is closed but there's a place called the Bigfoot Store that has a deli in it, across the street from where JavaBob's restaurant was.

Brandon Tennant of Idaho, and JavaBob Schmalzback in JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli late in 2005, in Happy Camp, CA. At the time we met Brandon Tennant, he was doing research while organizing a Bigfoot conference held in Pocatello, Idaho in 2006.

I was always curious about Bigfoot, and wondered why so few of the Happy Camp local old-timers had anything to say about it. They acted like it was a joke, but they loved the annual Bigfoot Jamboree, a three day annual festival over Labor Day weekend.

By 2005 JavaBob was president of the Chamber of Commerce and I worked in a small office across the street from his deli. The chamber needed a focus for marketing Happy Camp and chose to market it as an artist's retreat town. I told JavaBob that we already had a theme in the town - and it was (and still is) Bigfoot.

Anyhow, I got serious about wanting to find the truth about Bigfoot. I wanted to know why this town claimed a theme of Bigfoot but then denied any knowledge of Bigfoot sightings in the area. So I bought the domain name for my blog, Bigfoot Sightings, and started doing research.

I've never seen one, but many credible people have, and I know they're real. I collected no less than five Bigfoot sighting reports about sightings that happened within a mile of the cabin I lived in, there in Happy Camp.

When I moved to Idaho in 2013 I wanted to be able to continue Bigfoot research in the forests around where I live, in Northern Idaho. I live in Post Falls, which is on a prairie. No Bigfoot here! And I have no car anymore... so I can't do field research. But I do intend to continue working on my blog, which has been silent for many months now. I spent this morning "cleaning it up" - ie: making format improvements - and reading the amazing comments people leave there about their Bigfoot sightings.

I do believe I'll be blogging more there, soon. It is time for me to compile the rest of what I know about Bigfoot sightings in the Klamath River Valley.

... I said yesterday that I might write more about Keith today, but I'm just not ready. Maybe soon, but not today.

Update 8/23 - I decided to write about Keith on my other blog: How Comforting it is to Know He Takes Care of Us

Friday, August 21, 2015

Daily Blogging Goal

I am challenging myself to a daily blogging goal – to add to this blog daily for as long as I can keep it up. Just small notes will do, or political rants, or notes from my morning Bible study. Anything will do. Photographs welcome.

So, that said, let's start with photos! Prayer Plant I took this photo with my new Dell Venue 8 tablet, and it is very grainy sorry to say... my camera takes much better photographs.

This prayer plant lives in the corner of my living room here in Idaho. It was a gift given to me on the day of my baptism: July 4, 2014... a gift from a dear Christian friend who has helped me quite a lot since I moved to Idaho in July 2013. I see her almost every week at the women's Bible study we have here in my living room, currently, every Wednesday.

This photo of my orange spice tea was taken with my camera/camcorder, which is a Sanyo Xacti. You can see how much better this photo is. This is also the camera I've been using to make videos.

I heard from my former boyfriend, Keith, yesterday. I was glad he called because I hadn't heard from him in three months... and that was unusual as he usually called every month. He said he gave his phone away to a woman who needed it more than he did. (!) That is just like him, so I wasn't surprised. He is a homeless Christian drifter. Well, if I tell you this story it will be a long post. I might write about him next time.

My daily blogging goal is inspired by Barbara Radisavljevic's daily blog about Paso Robles.

Update 8/23 - I decided to write about Keith on my other blog: How Comforting it is to Know He Takes Care of Us