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SKye's Blog

a day in the life... [homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/dskyehodges/Home/|http://skyehodges.netfirms.com]
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Who blogs?

Yeah, I don't really blog anymore, most of my past posts are from a different time in my life, my current status: Divorced/remarried, Atheist, Humanist, Political views: Freedom, Still believe in efficiency and conservation. There you go :)

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42.636758, -121.682036‎ +42° 38' 12.33", -121° 40' 55.33" https://maps.google.com/maps?q=42+38'+12.33+n+121+40'+55.33+w&hl=en&ll=42.636777,-121.682425&spn=0.002948,0.006368&sll=40.707008,-111.97091&sspn=0.012151,0.02547&t=h&z=18&iwloc=near&lci=org.wikipedia.en These coordinates were mentioned on SyFy's Eureka. I wonder what is really here? --Maybe a geocache? Anyone in Oregon want to check it out :)

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Efficiency upgrades, and saving money/ROI

There are a number of things that I have done slowly over the past 5 years or so to lower my electric bill (presently, on average, my household 2k sq ft, main level and basement; uses between 24 and 25 kilowatt hours/day). First off, about 13 years ago, I slowly converted every light to CFL, but in the past 3 years, have been in the process of converting every light to LED, the LED light in my childrens' bedroom uses about 5 watts, the lights in my Frontroom use, in total, about 10-14 watts (and produce enough light that I don't feel that it is dim, I do have supplemental reading lights that use 2.5 watts that can be positioned optimally for reading, or other tasks where a larger amount of light is required). The majority of my lights are "cool", meaning run between 4200(pinkish) Kelvin and 6500(bluish) Kelvin (versus 2700[yellow]-4200[pink] that "normal incandescent and CFL run at) Color accuracy varies between lights (being anywhere from 80%-95% accurate), in the bathrooms I mix the 2700 (yellowish) and 5500 (white-blue) lights for better color accuracy. Next, I was running a swamp cooler for years, because I was afraid that central air would be a huge cost increase. A swamp cooler cost me about $20/month to run in the summer, my central air costs around $30/month to run. My central air is an 18.5 SEER unit, and very efficient, my theory is, if the ROI is within the warranty period, then it makes sense to spend a little more money up front. Switching out CRT monitors and televisions with flat-screens, focusing on efficiency and ROI over minimal initial cost. Putting things on powerstrips, and turning off the powerstrips when not in use (cable box, VCR, etc, at one location in my home consuming 30 watts of power when NOT in use, 90 watts when in use), oh, so getting a "Kill-A-Watt" device that measures power consumption, that was useful.
Cleaning the coils on the refrigerator(s)/freezer(s). Insulating the attic (helps with Summer electricity bill, and winter natural gas bill; I also have a Tankless water heater [supposed to be 94% efficient, but now I end up using more hot water because it doesn't run out after 20 minutes so that is a wash], and a 96% Efficient furnace, which made a 15% decrease in our winter gas usage) And the big one (should be complete in the next 2-3 weeks): Getting Solar Panels (4.5 KWh system installed by Sun Solar). After 10 years (that is the ROI), they will be like they were free! (I had to apply for a rebate from Rocky Mountain Power, they have a limited number of KWh that they will rebate each year, so that is $4,500 of the cost, the Fed Gov't about $7,000 tax credit, and Utah State Tax credit is $2,000 [capped at $2k, or 25% of the cost, whatever is lesser). Total cost to me, around $8,000 (but I had to qualify for financing of $21,000, then I pay that back with the rebates and whatnot), with an $85/month power bill (so mathematically, the ROI is 7.84 to 8.88 years, but I won't generate 100% of my electrical needs, only between 85%-95%, and I don't know what my new bill will be, but I assume that adding another 15% will put me around 10 years).
Anyway, I hope that this is somewhat informative, if you have any questions, let me know, I'm sure that I will be tracking the efficiency of my solar panels for a year or so.

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Happy 11/11/11

It will be a once in a lifetime day today: 11/11/11 11:11:11.11

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Seth's Blog: Not fade away

Seth's Blog: Not fade away:
Most partnerships don't end up in court.

Most friendships don't end in a fight.

Most customers don't leave in a huff.

Instead, when one party feels underappreciated, or perhaps taken advantage of, she stops showing up as often. Stops investing. Begins to move on.

No, I'm not going to sue you. Yes, I'll probably put my best efforts somewhere else.
This happens a lot, there are friends that I will be friends with, forever (like my friends Mark, Scott, Ben, Kellie, Elizabeth, or Shad, there are plenty of others, I just picked the last five that I have interacted with); but sometimes other people that I am establishing a friendship with, just "fade away", Email interactions fade away to Facebook interactions, Facebook interactions become less and less, and they are relegated to being just another "friend" (I quote it, because I have a different definition of friend than a Facebook friend). What do you need to do to maintain your friendship with others? Phone calls? Emails? Facebook messages/IMs? or are you more of the type where you have to do something; Fishing, Camping, Going out to Dinner, Seeing a Movie, etc? For me, after establishing a friendship, the only thing that I need to do to keep that friendship alive is to just know that the other person exists (seeing posts on a blog/Facebook/Google+/Twitter), and I have the feeling that I will always be friends. What are your thoughts?

(1) comment(s):
Oh good-then we're still friends! :)
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snopes.com: Scientists Cure Cancer, But No One Takes Notice

snopes.com: Scientists Cure Cancer, But No One Takes Notice I've been Snoped! meaning I posted something that might not have been true; Meaning, I fell for the old "if you read it on the internet, it must be true (but forgot to check Snopes first)" bit. Well, we live and learn. Thanks @Mark and @Darcy for pointing out my naivety. I'm humble enough to admit when I'm wrong, and I also hate it when that happens, but I'm also one of the first to point out when other people are wrong, so it's only fair that I get called out once in a while too. Well, we live and learn, maybe one day Cancer REALLY will be cured...

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A lot of traffic comes to my site because I mention the pricing on a Coolerado cooler,Feel the Cool I just wanted to mention that contacting Coolerado is easy, they can get you in touch with an installation contractor, and they can give you a bid. I would also like to add that were it not for being able to find an extremely energy efficient AC with a 10 yr full replacement warranty, I probably would have gone with a Coolerado myself, I love the company, I love the technology and concept, and most of all the energy efficiency. But the best place for accurate pricing is to just contact Coolerado and talk to a local rep for better pricing. Although, if you are just looking for a nice round number, just take about $5,000 and that may be low, but if it seems too high, then maybe a good 18.5 SEER AC will work for you (for about $5,000 installed), although the Coolerado will pay for itself in less time than an AC.

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SKye's Yearly Christmas Rant

My yearly Christmas rant... (AKA: "you're doing it wrong", RE: "Shut-up SKye, why do we have to hear this every year", AKA: "Don't judge me, Santa-Hater", AKA "Why am I reading this"?)

I'm doing it again this year: http://www.wikihow.com/Celebrate-a-Strictly-Religious-Christmas

A friend's post reminded me that my frustrations with the corruption of a wonderful holiday will never be resolved.

People have removed so much Christ out of Christmas it might as well be x-mas. Why do people put up trees? (there were no "Christmas trees" when Jesus was born), Why do people make a milk and cookie offering to a false God? (there's no such thing as 'you-know-who', but yet people still try to get their children to "BELIEVE" in him), why do we give presents to each other, when we should be following Christ's counsel about "When you have done it unto the least of these...", who are the least among us? How can we serve them (Feeding, clothing, visiting, healing); It is very frustrating to me that people (Whether on purpose, or on accident) remove Christ from the name AND meaning, of Christmas.

And (All that was just my opinion, now I'm soap-boxing): IF Jesus is not allowed in our schools (can't sing songs about Jesus, or angels, only songs about snowmen and Santa), Then why in the mother H do we allow Santa in our churches?? WHY?? I'm telling you people, take a good hard look at the Old Testament, and how the people couldn't give up their false idols/gods, is this what we are teaching our children? People are literally setting out an offering (of milk and cookies) for a false God!! It is shocking to me, but _I'm_ the one that's crazy (like Samuel the Lamanite, pointing at the "righteous" people telling them to repent, while they launch arrows at him). Let me get this right, the commandment CLEARLY states: "Thou shalt not bear false witness" and we are swearing to our children that a fat man riding a magic sleigh pulled by magic reindeer deliver to your greedy childrens' heart their every desire, and if they question it, or aren't good enough that they will instead get a lump of coal (rather than the torments that await those that displeasure the TRUE and living God)??

**But just so that no one feels bad or guilty. I don't think what YOU are doing is wrong for YOU, if you believe that it is right and/or okay, then that's none of my business.... I'm just saying that I can't believe that you do it, but that's just me. We don't all feel the same way about the same things, but please take into consideration what you do to celebrate the birth of your Savior Jesus Christ (assuming you are Christian). If you aren't a Christian, then continue your celebration in whatever Pagan way seems most fitting to you, but CHRISTmas, is still about Christ ;) --I have nothing against you, you just don't know any different; But do something nice for someone, someone in NEED, and you will feel better than anyone can even describe.


(1) comment(s):
I must send out a yearly reply as a rebuttal to what I still deem as complete ignorance, and absolutely opposite to what is celebrated in my church among its very leaders.

The Christmas tree wasn't used when Christ was born but early origins of the Christmas tree explain there were trees for gods one of them being called the tree of Thor. It was cut down to disprove the legitimacy of the Norse Gods to the local German tribe. All this was as an act of Christianity to prove that there is only one true God.
Later it was used symbolically used to represent Christ's love that is is green and alive all year round, not just for a holiday season.
Commonly the evergreen tree is mis-associated as a Pagan tradition as they used one as well at the feast of winter solstice to remind themselves that winter would end. I don't use it to be a reminder winter will end I use it to decorate with candles as a reminder of the light that Christ brought into the world. He is that light. Many other things can be used symbolically and effectively to help children learn about the Christmas story. The Angels that announced his birth, like an angel on top of the tree looking down on the candy canes that represent the sheppards in the field. You can add home made decorations that are pictures of Christ at all the different points in His life where he took the time to teach the people. As you decorate your tree you can go over each of the stories and utilize that as an effective way to talk about Christ each year with your children. Every time they forget what a decoration is for you can continue to retell the stories of His life here on the earth and His divine mission.
Elder Gavarett's family has the tradition of writing letters to Christ and placing them on the trees for the good actions they do or to thank Him for all He has done.
False Gods are commonly prayed to and worshipped. People beg them to give them riches or help them remember information, to keep their house safe, etc. Santa isn't worshipped he is simply a cartoon character that is used for entertainment. His story is a reminder that kids that are good are rewarded and kids that are bad aren't rewarded. We can take the oportunity to discuss the concept that our lives will one day receive a reward based on our actions. If we haven't lived a good life we can't expect to return to Heavenly Father, if we have we can expect to return to his presence. Apply concepts of the gospel to common themes they live in their lives. You know how you get excited to have time off of school and time to hang out with family, that is the same feeling we should have as we anxiously await the return of our Savior. You could even apply the common themes of how Santa comes randomly in the night as the parable that Christ will return as a thief in the night. We never know when He will be back so we always need to be ready and be living a good and virtuous life, and explain that if we haven't repented of our wrong doings, it will be too late, just like if Santa came and we hadn't been good, it will be too late to try and change.

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Tooth Regeneration Gel Could Replace Painful Fillings : Discovery News

Tooth Regeneration Gel Could Replace Painful Fillings : Discovery News Pretty cool technology, too bad it won't be available to the public for a few years...

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Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier – freeware recovers files from broken CD/DVDs �-�The Red Ferret Journal

Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier – freeware recovers files from broken CD/DVDs -The Red Ferret Journal

Not unstoppable because it breaks any encryption, that isn't what this tool is for, it allows you to recover data from damaged disks (like scratched, or even broken). Pretty cool if you have destructive children.

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MonPwr - Caffinc

MonPwr - Caffinc --A little utility to shut off your monitor power and not turn on until you click your mouse or press a key (ie wiggling the mouse doesn't wake the monitor).


--The hard drive on my computer completely fried a couple of days ago, which is typically not a problem for me, I back up every month, usually around the 1st thru the 5th or so... problem is... it's the first of the month, and my HD died, so I restore back to September 1st... I've lost stuff that I don't even know that I've lost, but one little tool I completely can't live without, but I couldn't remember what it was called, only that it would wake with a key press or mouse click, but finally after a few minutes in Google, I was able to find this utility again (and decided to blog it so I won't forget it for next time.

SO, as a reminder, BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER (and maybe back it up more than once a month --But one advantage, I lost my caching for my email over the last month--but didn't want to restore because I don't do file backup, I do a Hard Drive clone--that way when I restore, I have my OS back, etc --so now my email cache is no longer corrupt :) )

So, back up your computer!! DO IT... NOW!! (I use a Nero Back-it-up boot disk, and image the drive, you can use the Ultimate Boot CD and use another drive cloning utility, but whatever you do, do SOMETHING!)

Thanks :)

(4) comment(s):
caffinc website dont have comment section. so im doing my part here by raisng concerns that the monpwr app kills monitor lcd and crt alike.i used the app for almost 4 years without realising its the one that making my monitors damaged. my new laptop and goes into skewed screen and by chance i changed o another app now its okay. whew. Thank GOD.
Thanks JOERODEO, I'm not sure how it "kills monitor lcd and crt alike" You've used it for 4 years, and I'm assuming you have some more detail as to what happened? --I've been using MonPwr for, according to my blog at LEAST 4 years and 4 months, and I still have the original monitors that I was using when I started. My monitor at home is probably 5 years old, I don't think MonPwr kills monitors... --But maybe that's just my opinion.
I wrote MonPwr so long ago... it just calls the standard Windows OS power API to turn off the monitor whenever there's a mouse action, unless you disable it with a click or something. If I had the source, I'd hand it over :)
Some apps are pretty shitty about letting you keep your monitor turned off - they constantly send your OS messages to turn your monitor on to keep your PC from sleeping - Skype is one such culprit. They have better ways to keep your PC from going to sleep but they don't bother. I hope the latest versions have fixed that.
What could be happening is you have an app that's constantly turning on the screen, and MonPwr's constantly turning it off, which could lead to some wear and tear (maybe).

I blushed a little, the author of MonPwr responds to a comment on my blog! --With Win10 (and some variants), I now just alter the ".DEFAULT" user screensaver to timeout after 30 seconds with this little registry-hack.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]

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Gopan, a gadget that makes bread out of rice - TOKYOMANGO

Gopan, a gadget that makes bread out of rice - TOKYOMANGO

(1) comment(s):
That's freakin' rad!
P.S. This is your sister. :)

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Brazil (1985)

Brazil Brazil (1985) --Again, I usually don't blog about movies (much), after a small hiatus from Hollywood, I have found Netflix, not because I enjoy getting discs in the mail, and sending them back, but because of their online streaming service (there were a few series that weren't on Hulu, so I was struggling with the thought of paying for some premium site, when Netflix made it's way enough into my consciousness to persuade me to join). Anyway, I'm back to watching 2-4 movies a week the "old-fashioned" way (nothing like the 18-20 movies a week with Hollywood), and in the few hours that I have remaining in the rest of my day I can sometimes watch some streaming media from Hulu and Netflix --I do like watching films at 1.5x-2.0x speed again!

Brazil is an amazing film, had I seen it in 1985, it might have been my favorite movie until Matrix came along. I'm going to borrow a quote from a user [ mariogreymist ] on IMDB: "Brazil is a very cerebral film, so if you are thinking, "What does cerebral mean?" you can probably skip it. Anyone who expects to have a story clearly spelled out for them, and done so in a concise manner with little background interference will hate Brazil. Brazil is a film for those who want texture, emotional involvement and some sort of deeper meaning. Brazil is my favorite movie, but it is clearly not for everyone!"

I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

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How to Love Unconditionally - wikiHow

How to Love Unconditionally - wikiHow A little article that is a good reminder/primer about how to love unconditionally.

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ksl.com - West Valley City lights up completed 3500 South project

ksl.com - West Valley City lights up completed 3500 South project

LED Lighting going mainstream. I hope that they get 20 years of lighting out of their LEDs, what I've found with the LEDs that I've purchased is that they seem to 'dim' over time, so that by 6 months to a year, they are only about half as bright as they were when they were new. But this was a cool event to see (I think I was the only citizen there at the ceremony, everyone else was a city employee or news affiliate).

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

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YouTube - Viola Eunice Wilkes Hodges Stiles (Sneddon) 1921 ~ 2010

YouTube - Viola Eunice Wilkes Hodges Stiles (Sneddon) 1921 ~ 2010: ""

A video tribute to my grandmother (The pictures are from my aunts and cousins, the music is because that's what Grandma wanted, and the video is from Picasa, what did I do? Just put it here for you to see.)

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SMO Team Off Site June 8-9 2010

SMO Team Off Site June 8-9 2010

SMO Team Off Site June 8-9 2010


"Magic" Vanilla Ice Cream

a while ago I posted Cooks Country's recipe for "Magic" Chocolate ice cream. --It's "Magic" because you don't need an ice cream maker, just a mixer and a freezer. Cooks Country came up with their "Magic" Vanilla ice cream recipe now (My wife Anniche has made over 30 flavors of ice cream now, and it's interesting because she has found a lot of the 'secrets' that Cooks Country has found. #1. there is something in Chocolate that is completely necessary for the ice cream to be smooth and creamy, we've used white chocolate for all our "berry" or "Fruit" flavors. #2. Don't overwhip the cream --or it will turn out tasting more like "butter" than ice cream. #3. Andes Mint is still my favorite flavor --I guess that one isn't a secret).

Here it is:

Magic Vanilla Ice cream:
--NOTE: Get the magazine to read all the GREAT experimenting that Cooks Country did to come up with the recipe, this is one of my favorite cooking magazines!!

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 ounce white chocolate (CC recommends Guittard Coc-O-Lait Chips, or Ghiradelli Classic White Chips, Anniche used Lindt White Chocolate in a bar from Walmart)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cups cold heavy cream

Microwave sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate in large bowl until chocolate melts, at about 30 second intervals stirring, etc.

Whip cream, on medium-high speed, for LESS THAN 2 minutes (Anniche usually whips it for about a minute, basically when it starts to thicken, similar to freshly mixed pudding, thin, but frothy.

Whisk (or just spoon-stir) 1/3rd of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold remaining whipped cream until incorporated.

Freeze in an airtight container (we use washed out 3 pound Sour Cream containers) at least 6 hours (should keep for up to 2 weeks), you can cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the ice cream to keep it a little longer.


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SodaStream - update

SodaStream update:

I've finally used up my first full cylinder of Carbon Dioxide. I have made tons of liters of carbonated water, and it's been over 7 months, and I am very impressed. (my favorite recipe so far was taking a piece of crystallized ginger in the Vitamix with some water and sugar, then adding carbonated water to make homemade ginger ale--it was wonderful). I know it still seems like a gimmick, but this has been a great experience. I'm getting HALF the sugar on so many drinks now, because I'll mix them with carbonated water. Fruit juice, Kool-Aid, Home-made slurpees (a can of soda, ice, sugar, citric acid, and carbonated water--who knew the carbonation would make it taste so good--just like the "real thing"), and I've carbonated other things that I can't recall as well. Anyway, I don't get anything out of pushing SodaStream (unless you WANT me to refer you with your email address, and you can get a $10 discount, and I get $10 in "bonus points", but I'm not referring people to get something out of it, other than to get more people into finding a great way to make soda at home). So enjoy, or don't :) but I certainly have. I'm ordering two 110 liter carbonators to replace the 60 liter carbonator that is out 110 Reorder Kit  - 1 spare + 1 exch I still have to use up another 60, maybe that will only take me 4 or 5 months, and then the new one may last 10 months... Anyway, I'll keep people informed (not that anyone cares, but me).

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Some notes from a talk that I gave in Church today (I didn't include my knot tying, nor the information from the Boy Scout book) --and I only really had time to present a few of these quotes, but wanted to include them on my blog, because scouting is awesome!!

President Gordon B. Hinckley, during the February 1985 Diamond Jubilee of Scouting in America, said:

What a wonderful thing it is to plant in the heart of a boy the compelling axiom—‘Be prepared.’ Be prepared for what? For tieing knots, yes. Knot tieing is Tenderfoot duty, but it is important. In one sense this whole business of living and doing is one of tieing knots, the kind of knots that will hold and not give under stress and strain. We see all around us the evidence of failure, of knots that slipped when they should have held. They are evident in career failures, in business failures, in professional failures, in marriage failures. To be able to tie the right knot for the right reason, for the right occasion, and to have it hold against every stress is a part of the process of being prepared” (Boy Scouts Program, 10 Feb. 1985).

"[Scouting's] purpose is:

1-Character building—to help to fill the need for men of shining honor.

2-Citizenship training—to help young men to develop an uncompromising love for America and its great concepts and institutions; to develop a strong attitude and determination of self reliance.

3-Leadership development—to help to answer the great need of leaders of capacity with high ideals.

4-Physical fitness—to help to beat down the tendency, if there is one, of physical deterioration.

5-Spiritual growth—American foundations and spiritual perpetuation of America are assured with spiritually inclined citizenry" ("Scouting: A Great American Partnership," Improvement Era, Feb. 1964, 101).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

"I love the Scouting movement. The promise of the Scout Oath and the twelve points of the Scout Law point young men along the path of being prepared for the 21st century. They provide a solid and powerful magnetic force toward development of a well-rounded and noteworthy character that counts. This program builds boys, builds their futures, leads them on the right path so they can make something of their lives. Every man or woman who helps a boy along the road of life not only does a great thing for him but does a great thing for society as a whole. If every boy in America knew and observed the Scout Oath, we would do away with most of the jails and prisons in this country. If each of us would live up to those few words, 'On my honor, I will do my best,' whether it be in school, whether it be in our social life, whether it be in our business or professional life, if I will do my very best, success and happiness will be mine" (Boy Scout Jamboral, Fillmore, Utah, Sept. 27, 1996).

Thomas S. Monson, “‘Called to Serve’,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 46

Brethren, if ever there were a time when the principles of Scouting were vitally needed—that time is now. If ever there were a generation who would benefit by keeping physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight—that generation is the present generation.

Ezra Taft Benson, “Scouting Builds Men,” New Era, Feb 1975, 14

As Latter-day Saints we have a priceless legacy—a legacy based on the solid truth that character is the one thing we develop in this world that we take with us into the next. This is a heritage that one cannot buy. It is a fountain of continuing strength for coping successfully with life’s problems.

You young men and women are our greatest assets.


One of the joys of working with boys is the fact that you do get your pay as you go along. You have an opportunity to observe the results of your leadership daily as you work with them through the years and watch them grow into stalwart manhood, accepting eagerly its challenges and responsibilities.

Such satisfaction cannot be purchased at any price; it must be earned through service and devotion. What a glorious thing it is to have even a small part in helping to build boys into men, real men. And that is the purpose of Scouting—to build men.

I would to God that every boy of Boy Scout age could have the benefits and the blessings of the great Boy Scout program. It is truly a noble program; it is a builder of character, not only in the boys, but also in the men who provide the leadership. And character, after all, is the priceless thing you build in this life and take with you into the next. I have often said that Scouting is essentially a spiritual program, a builder of men. It is established upon a deeply spiritual foundation.

In the first part of the Boy Scout Oath we declare, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.” Scouting emphasizes duty to God, reverence for sacred things, observance of the Sabbath, maintenance of the standards of the Church with which the boy is affiliated. As each boy repeats that pledge, usually at every Scout meeting or function, he says aloud in the presence of those whose friendship he values most highly, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God.” It cannot help but make a deep and lasting impression upon him. It becomes the foundation upon which a noble character is built. The oath also pledges duty to country, and that too is basically spiritual.

Scouting stresses service to others, and again this has a spiritual base. The Scout pledges to help other people at all times. Was it not the Master who said, “Whosoever will be chief among you; let him be your servant?” The slogan “Do a Good Turn Daily” has become emblazoned upon men’s lives far beyond its place of origin in the Boy Scout movement. Scouting also emphasizes duty to self. How charged with spiritual meaning are the words “to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight!”

There is a tendency to think of fitness solely in terms of the physical, in terms of bodily strength. But to be truly fit, truly equal to the demands of life, requires much more than bodily strength. It involves the mind and the training of the mind, the emotions and their use and control. Yes, and it involves the soul and the spiritual growth too. And that is why Scouting challenges our youth to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

It seems to me that the most successful program of complete youth fitness ever known to man was described in 14 words. They are the words of the beloved disciple Luke in the New Testament. He uses just one sentence to cover a period of 18 years—the 18 years in which the Savior of the world, after returning to Nazareth from Jerusalem, prepared himself for his public life: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” There is the ideal of any program of youth fitness, to help our youth increase in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. It covers everything: physical fitness, mental fitness, social fitness, emotional fitness, spiritual fitness.

The Scout Law is fundamentally spiritual. The points of the law are expressions of virtues, of ideals; they are the basis of sound character. These virtues of trustworthiness, loyalty, bravery, helpfulness, kindness, obedience, cleanliness, reverence, and all the rest are what the past progress of the world is built upon.

...Bravery, trustworthiness, and faith will be needed in our time by those who will explore the space age. Scouting teaches these virtues. “A Scout is kind: A Scout is helpful.” Do we ourselves sometimes forget what these virtues have meant to all mankind?


We need to develop qualities of leadership. Young people need to learn the value of staying power—stick-to-itiveness. You need to learn devotion to duty—the devotion to duty that keeps a good doctor on the job right around the clock in an emergency—the devotion to duty that leads a scientist or a teacher to persevere in a low paying position in the public service because that is where his or her maximum contribution can be made.

You need to learn to be tolerant of people, but intolerant of untruth, of laziness, of immorality. There is a type of broadmindedness prevalent today that tolerates just about anything short of outright murder. It isn’t broadmindedness at all—it’s moral apathy, or maybe moral cowardice.

...Whether one studies the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout Motto, or the Scout Slogan, “Do a Good Turn Daily,” they all add up to our finest character-building program.

How fortunate are those who may participate in it and have their lives enriched thereby—boys and men alike. The boys and men with whom Scouting is concerned are made of eternal stuff; theirs is a divine destiny. Godlike men, men of character, men of truth, men of courage, men of goodwill—there, then, is our challenge.

Lord Baden-Powell wrote what he called his farewell message to Scouts of the world:

Dear Scouts:

If you have ever seen the play ‘Peter Pan,’ you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.

Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.

I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life, too.

I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and to enjoy life. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.

Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. ‘Be prepared’ in this way to live happy and to die happy—stick to your Scout Promise always—even after you have ceased to be a boy—and God help you to do it. Your friend, Baden-Powell”

Vicki H. Budge, “Scouting, Family-Style,” Ensign, Sept. 1992, 60–61

Is your Cub or Boy Scout an enthusiastic go-getter? Or do you struggle with motivation—his as well as your own? [Here are]...eight ways to help keep Scouting exciting for you and your son.

1. Read the section on advancement from the Scout manual and talk about it with your son. Many different activities can fill merit badge requirements. Look through the possibilities for Scout achievements and help your son choose the ones that interest him. Then post lists of requirements around the house so that your family won’t overlook opportunities to help your Scout fulfill them.

2. Plan family activities around Scout requirements. Visits to museums, state capitols, dams, fish hatcheries, police and fire stations, parks, beaches, and many more places can help fulfill requirements. Family home evening activities can also double as Scout achievement activities. If your boy needs more hiking time, plan for the family to go on a hike for home evening. If he needs more outdoor cooking time, go to a park and barbecue some hamburgers. Look through his requirements for fun things that the family can do together.

Plan to fulfill some requirements during your family vacation. One family set a goal to help their son complete the bird study merit badge on their summer trip. Together they watched birds on the desert and in the mountains.

3. Involve relatives and family friends. If your son is going to spend time with grandparents, cousins, or family friends, look for an appropriate achievement he can work on while he’s there. Send a copy of the requirements with him...

4. Use the buddy system. Scout projects are more fun when two brothers or two friends work together. [Maybe] When [you are] going to work on Scouting requirements, [you can] say to [your] son, “Why don’t you call Donny and see if he wants to come over and work on the physical fitness [merit badge]?”—or whatever achievement [your son is working on]. He [will] scramble to make the call because the activity [will be more] fun [if he is doing it with his friend or friends].


5. Use Sundays and sick days to work together on written reports and to discuss Scout projects... it [also] helps to have a notebook or folder just for Scouting. That way, it’s easy for the boys to pull it out and work on achievements; and the written reports, clippings, maps, and other things they need to show merit badge counselors are all in the same place.

6. Work on at least two achievements at the same time—a fun one and a harder one. That way you can say, “Do this report and then we’ll go out and work on archery or look at the stars.”

7. Make a chart that shows your boy’s Scouting progress. Put his picture on it and post it where he can see it. The recognition and pride of accomplishment will mean everything to him. Take pictures of him in his uniform or with something related to a project he’s worked hard on.

8. Remember the old saying “Make hay while the sun shines.” Help your boy set goals and accomplish as much as possible while he is a young Scout. While he is excited, everything seems to be fun. But don’t become too pushy or start comparing your son or yourself to anyone else. Enjoy the values Scouting teaches and the closeness it can bring to your family.—Vicki H. Budge, Bend, Oregon

President Thomas S. Monson

"Youth need fewer critics and more models. One wise builder of faith counseled, 'It does not pay to scold. I believe you can get people to do anything, if you can get them to do it at all, by loving them into doing it.' . . .

"We are builders of boys and menders of men. In doing so, we remember that the greatest verb in the vocabulary is to love; the second is to help.

"It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential.

President Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President of the Church

"Give me a young man who has kept himself morally clean and has faithfully attended his Church meetings. Give me a young man who has magnified his priesthood and has earned the Duty to God Award and is an Eagle Scout. Give me a young man who is a seminary graduate and has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me such a young man, and I will give you a young man who can perform miracles for the Lord in the mission field and throughout his life" (Ensign, May 1986, 44–45).

Elder F. Melvin Hammond, Former Young Men General President

"Scouting has been adopted as the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood in the United States of America. It is a marvelous program of adventure and learning. In Scouting boys learn outdoor skills, they acquire leadership abilities, they endure physical challenges, and they build within themselves strong and noble character traits. We want every young man from the age of eight, when he becomes a Cub Scout, to the age of sixteen to be enrolled in Scouting, and we encourage those boys sixteen through seventeen to be involved in Venturing. Their goal should be to earn the coveted Eagle Scout Award" (Area Auxiliary Training, Oct. 8, 2003).

"Every seminary and institute student should come to understand that doctrinal knowledge of the gospel, when accompanied by the Spirit of Truth and total commitment, will change their lives and prompt them to . . . complete their Duty to God and, where Scouting is available, achieve the top award. Too many teachers fail to see the link between these inspired programs and spiritual living" (CES Satellite Training Broadcast, Aug. 2003).

"The Scouting program of the Church with its wonderful activities has strengthened our young men. As they advance from a Tenderfoot Scout through the various ranks, until they achieve their Eagle Scout Award, they grow in stature and in spirit. Their bodies are developed physically. They learn outdoor skills that test their character and their intellect. Every boy, whether he enjoys athletics or literature, can find a welcome niche in Scouting.

"If someone questions the position of the Church in Scouting, I always remind them of these words, 'On my honor I will do my duty to God and my country. . . ." Once again duty becomes paramount. A commitment is made by each Scout; he has given his word of honor, that he will do all in his power to uphold Heavenly Father and keep His commandments. A love of country, with a desire to maintain freedom and liberty, is established in a boy's mind, and it never leaves him during the course of his life. I thank God for Scouting" ("Fulfilling Our Duty to God" [unpublished], Jan. 2002).

Elder Jack H. Goaslind, Former Young Men General President

"We encourage our leaders to put their energies into using Scouting to help accomplish the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood, and in being positive in their support of all young men. The Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan complement the achievement of the Aaronic Priesthood purposes we feel are so important in the lives of the young men."

Elder Robert L. Backman, Former Young Men General President

"The bishop's most positive impact on youth comes in informal settings, activities, Scouting, service projects, athletics—real life settings where they get to know him as a man. . . .

". . . Scouting provides a tested, proven program for us to use in holding our young men close to the Church. It appeals to boys. Its trail to the Eagle rank helps a young man set worthwhile goals, then realize them. For some reason there is a direct correlation between young men who achieve the Eagle rank and those who serve missions. . . .

"Its camping, hiking, and high adventure provide marvelous opportunities for our young men to enjoy a man's experience with men, building wholesome relationships between youth and adult leaders, something that happens too seldom in our day. Becoming a man is more than chronological. It involves proving the young man's manhood, testing his mettle, challenging the world, demonstrating he can accomplish more than he thought he was capable of. That's what builds character and manliness" (Ensign, Nov. 1982, 39–40).

Elder Robert K. Dellenbach, Former Young Men General President

"In the Scout Oath, we pledge our 'Duty to God.' All Latter day Saint Scouters, whether young or old, have a duty and a responsibility to defend the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we are taught that our duty to God supersedes everything else. Through Scouting we learn to be honest, morally clean, trustworthy, and dependable. ... How grateful I am that this wonderful organization of Scouting has a strong commitment to the values and principles taught to us by the Savior, Jesus Christ.

"May we always be ready to do our duty to God and keep the commandments in our Scouting and in our everyday life. . . .

"One of the major reasons why the Church accepts the Scouting program as part of the activity program for the Aaronic Priesthood quorums is that it provides so many marvelous opportunities to learn and do things. The whole design of getting merit badges and your Eagle Award is to help you grow both in knowledge and in the proper character development" (National Jamboree, Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia, July 29, 2001).

(1) comment(s):
Good. At least now I won't feel quite as bad that you told your parents but not your coolest sister!!! I heard it was great!
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Google Chrome Blog: Pedal to the Chrome metal: Our fastest beta to date for Windows, Mac and Linux

Google Chrome Blog: Pedal to the Chrome metal: Our fastest beta to date for Windows, Mac and Linux

How fast is the new Chrome Beta? Try 2700 frames fast!! I just downloaded and installed, and I have to admit, it is intensely fast, pages load practically instantaneously, don't believe me? Try it for yourself.

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GE Fast Forwards to Future of LED Lighting : LED Lighting : Lighting : Press Releases : GE Consumer & Industrial Press Room

GE Fast Forwards to Future of LED Lighting : LED Lighting : Lighting : Press Releases : GE Consumer & Industrial Press Room: "The inventor of the first visible light-emitting diode makes history again this year as it begins to show customers a 40-watt replacement GE Energy Smart� LED bulb available later this year or early 2011. GE Lighting's new LED bulb is expected to consume just 9 watts, provide a 77 percent energy savings and produce nearly the same light output as a 40-watt incandescent bulb, while lasting more than 25 times as long."

  • Expected to consume just 9 watts—compared with 40-watt incandescent/halogen or 10-watt CFL, while delivering nearly the same light output;
  • Expected 25,000-hour rated life—will last 17 years (4 hours per day), which is 25 times longer than a general service 40-watt incandescent or halogen bulb and more than 3 times longer than a standard 8,000-hour rated life CFL;
  • LED technology delivers the instant full brightness of an incandescent or halogen bulb;
  • Durable solid-state design with no filament to break;
  • Contains no mercury and will be RoHS compliant; and
  • Feels cooler to the touch than CFLs and far cooler than incandescent bulbs.

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Poisson Rouge – Games people play … when they can’t read�-�The Red Ferret Journal

401st post (who knew?) My Favorite Google Chrome Extensions

[I can't believe I wasted post 400 on I-15, oh well]

So, I've been promising to post some of my favorite Chrome extensions.

#1. Hands down: Better Facebook Fixer (I'm posting links to SEARCH, because sometimes, something comes along that is better, for example, I WAS using just "Facebook Fixer", but because of searching for the plugin again [after an insane computer crash], I found BETTER Facebook Fixer) Better Facebook fixer does a couple of amazing things:
  • bigger profile pictures and photos (this is nice, because if you just hover over a picture, it shows it to you FULL SIZE in a light-box, you don't have to click a photo to view it BIGGER)
  • easier viewing of albums (this will LOAD ALL ALBUMS (on one page, no scrolling though pages and pages of albums) LOAD ALL PICTURES from an album on ONE page, and best of all, SHOW ALL PICTURES LARGE SIZE --I have to type in all caps, because BIGGER IS BETTER :) lol, you will be missing this plugin on any computer that doesn't have it installed.
  • links to download videos (never used it)
  • showing people's age and sign (didn't even realize this was there, but VERY COOL ;) )
  • Google calendar integration (don't use that feature, but neat!)
  • bookmarks (haven't used it)
  • keyboard shortcuts (didn't know it was there)
  • & more. (dare I say... NO ADS?)
  • Fully customizable! (yes it is)
  • --Did I mention that you should download this extension for Chrome TODAY, if you use Facebook, you WILL thank me for it ;) LOL
#2. (in no particular order): Explain and Send Screenshots. Well, that one is mostly self-explanatory.

#3. Blog This, by Google. The extension that got me back blogging again :)

#4. Autocomplete = On. Changes 'autocomplete=off' to 'autocomplete=on' in web pages, so your passwords will be remembered.

#5. Web Developer extensions. If I have to explain these extensions (I use 2 or 3 of them), then you don't need them (I'm not a web developer, but occasionally it is nice for reasons I cannot disclose) ;) LOL

#6. URL Shortener extensions. There are enough of these to be rather generic, I like the "goo.gl URL shortener" though, well, because it's cool looking LOL.

#7. Personalized Web. Another of the don't ask, don't tell extensions (inject custom HTML into webpages), with a custom ad-blocker, and other fun goodies (for web geeks).

#8. Autopagerize. Best way to read a blog EVER!! All you have to do is scroll it will auto-load the next page (works great with Google search results too!) No clicking Next, Next, Next, Next... etc.

#9. AdThwart. --Are you sensing a pattern? Someone here doesn't like advertisements. Now, I understand that ads are what make the net so free, but for me, it is just clutter, I will NEVER buy something I see in an ad (at least not by clicking the link), so the only people that make money are direct advertisers (people posting ads about their OWN products), because affiliate links will NEVER pay if they depend on me (I don't click ad links, period!).

#10. Image Preview. Image Preview opens links to image files (jpeg, png, gif, etc) and YouTube videos in a sleek lightbox rather than in a new tab or window. So it's easy to click a picture or video and not have to load a whole page to view it.

#11. RSS Subscription Extension (by Google). This extension auto-detects RSS feeds on the page you are reading and upon finding one will display an RSS icon in the Omnibox, allowing you to click on it to preview the feed content and subscribe. The extension comes with 4 feed readers predefined (Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines and My Yahoo) but also allows you to add any web-based feed reader of your choice to the list. Makes subscribing to my friends blogs as simple as clicking a button.

#12. Google Mail Checker. So you know, before you go. Or something cool like that (I get my Gmail through the Novell GroupWise email client, I can add as many other mailboxes (IMAP/POP3) as I like, and it will check them periodically for me, but sometimes it's nice to see the messages in my browser.

#13. Clickable Links. Hopefully self-explanatory :)

#14. Google Voice (by Google). Because I don't SMS on my phone, I SMS on Google Voice, it will alert me in my browser when someone texts (or leaves a voicemail), and lets me call numbers from my browser (Google Voice calls me, then connects me to the number I put in the dial-box).

#15. Bubble Translate. Most of you probably don't need this, but since my wife is Norwegian (and I don't speak the language), and I'm friends with most of her family/extended-family on Facebook, occasionally I like to know what they are writing without having to call my wife over to translate for me. Simply Highlight the text, and press the button, the translation pops up over the text in a nice bubble.

#16. IE Tab. Some pages don't run in Chrome (because stupid web-developers that rely on ActiveX, etc), and this also fixes one big flaw in Chrome (No Print-Preview). Press the IE Tab button and you can go to windows Update, or do a print preview (ie 7/8 have a great print preview that lets you adjust the scale--to save paper --that's the main reason why I use this extension)

#17. Flashblock. Allows ME to decide if I want some flash applet playing in my browser or not. (you can always allow Flash on certain pages by pressing CTL+SHIFT+F or something, so some sites get the A-OK, like Hulu).

#18. Notifer for Google Wave. For those that actually USE Google Wave, this handy little extension keeps you apprised of new feeds, etc.

#19. Google Translate. For those times that you need to translate and ENTIRE webpage, this extension will do it automatically.

#20. --What are YOUR favorite Google Chrome Extensions??

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Q-and-A: Legitimate Work-at-Home Opportunities



I-15 CORE "If we all just travel a little wiser, we'll all travel easier"


TravelWise strategies include:

  • Shift Travel Times: Shifting commute and delivery route times away from the peak traffic hours - particularly the afternoon peak between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. - can significantly reduce travel times during construction.
  • Vanpool, carpool: Carpools and vanpools reduce transportation costs for employees and take cars of the road, improving everyone's commute. Learn more at UTArideshare.com.
  • Telecommute: Employees can avoid the traffic headache altogether by working from home one or more days per week. You can also hold teleconferences instead of driving to and from meetings.
  • Transit: Express buses and local bus routes are a good option for many Utah County commuters. Learn more at rideuta.com.
  • Active transportation: Take advantage of spring and summer weather and walk or bike to work.

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Kohlberg's stages of moral development - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kohlberg's stages of moral development - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I don't blog as often as I used to because I switched to chrome. In IE, I had a button called "Blog This", and I used it quite often when I saw a page that I wanted to remember, and to tell all of you about. I need to blog about my FAVORITE CHROME EXTENSIONS, but that will have to be a later blog, in the meantime, lets just say, I FOUND BLOG THIS as an extension to Google Chrome, and now maybe you guys will see more from me on occasion. Be looking for my most used/favorite Chrome extensions post in the near future....

Oh, yeah, before I forget... I'm posting about Kolberg, because I learned about this in High School and it's taken me this long to finally (re)find this, I always want to talk about it with my Sunday School class... now I can :)

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Vonage Update, Year 3+

I've been on Vonage for well over 3 years now, I started their "Year Pay" 3 years ago, and my bill looked like this:

Total Amount $265.20 (for 11 months)

the year before last year:
Total Amount $302.89
=$25.24/month (for 12 months)

Last year:
Total Amount: $301.09
=$25.09/month (for 12 months)

This year:
Total Amount: $326.64
=$27.22/month (for 12 months) (new taxes and stuff caused it to go up slightly)

I'm putting in yet another plug for Vonage, because $27.22 a month for the following features is absolutely magnificent! (YES, all this is included in the LOW price of $25.09 a month):

  • Call Forwarding, Call waiting[with ID], 3-way calling, call transfer
  • FREE Voicemail, and they will even EMAIL you the voicemail as a wav file!
  • Network Availability number--in case your internet goes down
  • Simulring (Ring up to 5 numbers simultaneously--when you call our housephone my cellphone, and my wife's cellphone ring at the same time, thus we can answer either the housephone OR our cellphone to talk to people who call--My computer 'rings' at the same time, but I'll get to that in the next bulletpoint)
  • NO LONGER SUPPORTED: VonageTalk (the FREE version), lets me MAKE AND TAKE calls on my computer using my speakers and mic. It also allows you to chat with your friends on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and Google Talk.
  • FREE International calling to certain countries (WOW)
  • Call-ID block (to block your number from going out)
  • Last call return (*69)--for free, no paying whatever it is now that "regular" phone companies charge for the simple pleasure of finding out the number that last called you.
  • Do not disturb (I never use this, but I have a friend that SWEARS by it, it's the only way that he and his family can eat in peace sometimes)
  • Anonymous call blocking
  • Repeat dialing, --I hate getting a busy signal, this way Vonage keeps dialing the number for you (for up to 30 minutes), and rings when you and them are available
  • Vonage Access, thousands of "local" numbers across the world, where someone that wants to call you can call a local number, then put in your Vonage phone number, and it will ring you (basically, they can call you long-distance, for the price of a local call to them)
  • click to call, integrates with certain Microsoft programs to allow you to click a number and have it dial on your Vonage phone (it rings your phone, you pick up, it dials the other number)
  • V-ME webpage, you can give a URL to a friend where they can put in THEIR phone number, Vonage will call them, then call you and connect you together (It's like giving out your phone number, without having to give out your phone number, and Vonage will call you on the number of YOUR choice--ie, you can put in a cellphone, a work phone, your Vonage phone, your neighbor's phone ;) whatever!)
  • V-Fax, send faxes from your computer!
  • Disadvantages: You need an internet connection to use Vonage, but if you have an internet connection anyway, then you are halfway there!

Have I convinced you yet??! Join Vonage if you want to use me as a referral (2 months FREE for you and me), then you can enter in my number [just convert it to digits]: 8-oh-1-ate-eight-6 zero-7-O-niner [don't say you can't find my number if you ever wanted to call] ;)

--I'm not trying to talk anyone into signing up, I just wanted to say: I LOVE VONAGE! and whether you want to use me as a referral or not [the choice is up to you, maybe you have another friend on Vonage and want to use them--GREAT!] the fact is, YOU will LOVE Vonage too!

<--Sign up now and see what I'm talking about!

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