Hearts off to Our Troops

Grand Junction Free Press - Community News: "Gage Roberts, almost 2, of Fruita, puts his finished Valentine card in the collection bag.
Photo: Tracy Dvorak Free Press"



Inogen One Portable Oxygen concentrator Travel Concentrators, Nebulizers, pulseoximeters: "What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?
Numerous studies have shown that COPD patients who use supplemental oxygen live longer and have more active lives than individuals not receiving oxygen. Oxygen therapy is based on the premise that all human cells require sufficient levels of oxygen to function properly. Exercise is often easier for individuals receiving supplemental oxygen because more oxygen is getting to the muscles. Receiving oxygen also helps to reverse the long-term effects of oxygen deficiency on the heart. Oxygen therapy has also been known reduce sleep disruption while also improving concentration and memory levels."


KREX TV Station Burns

"Grand Junction TV Station KREX Burns In Fire
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) ― KREX TV's building caught fire Sunday morning.

KREX is the CBS affiliate in Grand Junction, on Channel 5 and also broadcasts on the FOX station, Channel 4. As of 10 a.m., it was uncertain if the station would be able to broadcast the AFC Championship game through its FOX affiliate to Grand Junction-area viewers"

More...cbs4denver.com - AFC Game May Not Be Broadcast:


New Larger Flat Rate Boxes

"'New Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box
The current flat-rate box, which gives customers a single, predetermined rate regardless of the weight or delivery zone, was introduced in November 2004. The new, larger box extends the agency’s successful flat-rate offerings, providing more choices for small businesses and consumers.New Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box
The current flat-rate box, which gives customers a single, predetermined rate regardless of the weight or delivery zone, was introduced in November 2004. The new, larger box extends the agency’s successful flat-rate offerings, providing more choices for small businesses and consumers.'"
See details...:


Tougher ID Rules for Borders

Chertoff: Tougher ID Rules for Borders -- GOPUSA: "Chertoff: Tougher ID Rules for Borders
Associated Press
January 18, 2008"

Thousands of people enter the U.S. through land crossings every day. The
biggest effect of the change will be at the Canadian border since it applies to
both Canadians and Americans. Non-Americans coming in through Mexico already
need extra documentation.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New border-crossing rules that take effect in two weeks will mean longer lines and stiffer demands for ID, including for returning Americans, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday.
A driver's license won't be good enough to get Americans past a checkpoint at the Canadian or Mexican border, Chertoff said. That will be a surprise to many people who routinely cross the border with Canada, but Chertoff bristled at criticism that such extra security would be inconvenient. More than 800,000 people enter the U.S. through land and sea ports each day.
''It's time to grow up and recognize that if we're serious about this threat, we've got to take reasonable, measured but nevertheless determined steps to getting better security,'' he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Thousands of people enter the U.S. through land crossings every day. The biggest effect of the change will be at the Canadian border since it applies to both Canadians and Americans. Non-Americans coming in through Mexico already need extra documentation.
Congressional critics representing Northern border states were anything but impressed with Chertoff's rhetoric.
His department has proved incapable of implementing a 2004 law on border security, and Chertoff ''frankly has as much credibility on telling people to 'grow up' as Geoffrey the Giraffe,'' said Rep. Tom Reynolds, a Buffalo-area Republican.
Added Sen. Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican, ''Secretary Chertoff's comments that those objecting to the plan need to 'grow up' indicates that the department still doesn't understand the practical effects of DHS policies on the everyday lives of border community residents.''
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the move does nothing to enhance security and will only hurt the economy. ''When it comes to the Northern Border, the muddled thinking and poor planning at DHS seems to have no bounds, and the agency that botched Katrina seems to have no shame and no memory to boot,'' Leahy said.
Under the new system, which takes effect Jan. 31, Americans and Canadians who are 19 or older will have to present proof of citizenship when they seek to enter the United States through a land or sea port of entry. A passport will be fine. Or a birth certificate coupled with some other ID such as a driver's license.



My Review of iRobot® Roomba® Red Vacuuming Robot

Originally submitted at iRobot

Our standard Roomba vacuuming robot cleans floors with the touch of a button so you don't have to. Vacuums beneath furniture and other hard-to-reach places, automatically adjusts from carpets to hard floor surfaces and avoids stairs and drop-offs.

I loved him to death!

By Wourpet from Grand Junction, CO on 1/15/2008


5out of 5

Pros: Cleans Effectively, Cleans Under Furniture, Hassle Free Operation, Long Run Time, Covers Entire Room, He's got Personality

Cons: Can Get Stuck

Best Uses: Carpeted Rooms, Large Rooms, High Traffic Rooms, Tile Floors, Small Rooms, Pet Hair, Hardwood Floors

Describe Yourself: Homeowner, Pet Owner, Busy household

My Robot's Name: Roomba

I have had Roomba for almost 9 months and he has been wonderful -- and a very hard worker. I have uploaded videos of him wrestling the rug to YouTube and have talked my mother into getting one just like him. My boy has an attitude and has provided us with entertainment on occasion with some interesting manuevers. Sadly he has recently started behaving oddly and has lost his voice. Customer service is great and a replacement is on the way but I feel like I am sending away the family pet.

Roomba and the Rug 2

Tags: Rug, Vacuum, Roomba, Funny



The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It

"The incandescent light bulb, one of the most venerable inventions of its era but deemed too inefficient for our own, will be phased off the U.S. market beginning in 2012 under the new energy law just approved by Congress. Although this will reduce electricity costs and minimize new bulb purchases in every household in America, you may be feeling in the dark about the loss of your old, relatively reliable source of light. Here's a primer on the light bulb phase-out and what will mean to you:"

Why are they taking my light bulbs away? Moving to more efficient lighting is one of the lowest-cost ways for the nation to reduce electricity use and greenhouse gases. In fact, it actually will save households money because of lower utility bills. Ninety percent of the energy that an incandescent light bulb burns is wasted as heat. And yet, sales of the most common high-efficiency bulb available--the compact fluorescent (CFL)--amount to only 5 percent of the light bulb market. Earlier this year, Australia became the first country to announce an outright ban by 2010 on incandescent bulbs. The changeover in the United States will be more gradual, not mandated to begin until 2012 and phased out through 2014. However, don't be surprised if some manufacturers phase out earlier.

How do I save money, when a CFL costs six times as much as an old-fashioned bulb? Each cone-shaped spiral CFL costs about $3, compared with 50 cents for a standard bulb. But a CFL uses about 75 percent less energy and lasts five years instead of a few months. A household that invested $90 in changing 30 fixtures to CFLs would save $440 to $1,500 over the five-year life of the bulbs, depending on your cost of electricity. Look at your utility bill and imagine a 12 percent discount to estimate the savings.
I've heard that CFLs don't really last as long as they say. Turning a CFL on and off frequently shortens its life, which is why the government's Energy Star program says to leave them on for at least 15 minutes at a time. Also, if you have dimmable light fixtures, make sure to buy CFLs labeled "dimmable." All CFLs that carry the government's Energy Star label are required to carry a two-year limited warranty, so contact the manufacturer if your bulb burns out prematurely. The Energy Star website has a good FAQ on CFLs.
I don't think that I like the color of the light from CFLs. When they first hit the market, CFLs had a limited range of tones. Now, manufacturers offer a wider variety, but there is not an agreed-upon labeling standard. The Energy Star program is working to change that. But for now, look for lower "Kelvin temperatures" like 2,700 to 3,000 for "redder" light, closer to old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, while bulbs with Kelvin temperatures of 5,000 and 6,500 provide more "blue" and intense light. A good photograph illustrating the difference is shown here.
I've heard that CFLs have mercury in them--isn't that bad? Consumers are rightly concerned about the toxic substance mercury that helps CFLs produce light. Even though the amount sealed in each bulb is small--one old-fashioned thermometer had about 100 times as much mercury--contact local trash collection for disposal instructions. Environmentalists agree that more work must be done on bulb recycling programs. Right now, you can return any CFL to any Ikea store for recycling, and the Environmental Protection Agency and Earth911 have sites you can search for other recycling programs near your home.
But if you break a CFL, you'll have a toxic spill in your home. Maine's Department of Environmental Protection has developed the best advice on the procedures to follow if a CFL breaks. Don't use a vacuum. Maine officials studied the issue because of a homeowner in that state who received a $2,000 light bulb clean-up bill from an environmental hazards company--a story that has circulated around the country and increased consumer concerns about CFLs. It turns out that the company's advice was overkill, and a subsequent analysis showed no hazard in the home. But the bulbs must be handled with caution. Using a drop cloth might be a good new routine to develop when screwing in a light bulb, to make the clean-up of any breaks easier.
By the way, don't think that incandescent bulbs are mercury free. In the United States, the chances are at least 50 percent that their light is generated by a coal-powered plant featuring mercury as well as other types of pollution. Popular Mechanics recently crunched the numbers to find that even if the mercury in a CFL was directly released into the atmosphere, an incandescent would still contribute almost double that amount of mercury into the environment over its lifetime.
Isn't there efficient lighting without mercury? Yes. By 2012, the chances are good that consumers will have many more options to replace incandescent bulbs. Manufacturers already are deploying advanced incandescent bulbs that are efficient enough to stay on the market after 2012, although they are not yet as efficient as CFLs. Even more exciting are the developments with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are jazzing up holiday lighting. The European electronics firm Philips this year acquired several pioneering small technology companies and plans a big push to make LEDs practical for ordinary lighting purposes. The lights on the New Year's Eve Times Square Ball could one day brighten your home. LEDs last even longer than CFLs and will make bulb buying more like an appliance purchase than a throw-away item.
Is Thomas Edison turning over in his grave? Perhaps, but the incandescent bulb has had a good run, with the technology little changed since 1879, when Edison produced light with a carbonized thread from his wife's sewing box. The breakthrough that ushered civilization out of the candle era was so revolutionary that the light bulb itself became the culture's iconic image to illustrate any thought, brainstorm, or idea. But energy-efficient bulbs are a better idea, says Andrew deLaski, director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. "It's hugely important," he says. "A 60 to 70 percent reduction in light bulb energy use will save as much energy annually as that used by all the homes in Texas last year." That's a big savings.

FAQ: The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It - Yahoo! News:


Colorado Braces Itself for Winter Storm

It was nice to wake up to balmy temperatures in the high 40's today but...

"Posted on Jan. 4, 2008 by Rick Adams A powerful weather system gets ready to
nail Colorado. The clouds have moved in and the high country is bracing for a
major storm. The National Weather Service says the brunt of this system will hit
the mountains along the Continental Divide starting tomorrow and will bring
prolonged and heavy snow. The heaviest snow will be in the southwest, but even
the northern mountains will get as much as 16 inches. There are no road closures
at this time...however, there is a winter storm and high wind warning along I-70
in the mountains from tonight through Sunday. Winds are expected to gust up to
65 miles per hour."
More...Colorado Braces Itself for Winter Storm - Local News - News : Grand Junction, Colorado:


Patience required

This mandala is made completely with sand. I know I would not have the patience but at the same time I think it would be incredible to have the balance, calmness and patience needed to make this.
View more mandalas in the Beliefnet Gallery