Thursday, February 19, 2009






God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional.
The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.

The Bible refers to this kind of love by using the Greek word agape.

TODAY’S DARE: Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse. Something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy or make his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF: Has your love in the past been based on your spouse’s attributes and behavior, or on your commitment? How can you continue to show love when it’s not returned in a way you hoped for?


Today is Call An Old Friend Day, a day to phone someone you haven’t talked to in a very long time.

Today is Toothpick Day. The toothpick was patented on this date in 1872.

Today is Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day. At noon everyone yells "Hoodie-Hoo" to chase away winter and make way for spring

George Washington established the federal Post Office on this date in 1792. Two days later, the Post Office performed its first official act -- they closed for George's birthday.


Dropping a Dime

Giant bank UBS has agreed to turn over the names of some of its richest customers to U.S. tax fraud investigators. UBS now stands for "U Been Snitched."

Disney Layoffs

Disney plans to cut staff at all its theme parks. This is troubling news for Dumbo and Goofy, who just got jobs at DisneyWorld after getting laid off from Wall Street.

Leaner Times

The nation's top college sports programs are desperately looking for ways to cut costs. In a radical move, K.U. is planning on eliminating tutors and actually forcing the football players to go to class.

California is in the hole for $42 billion, so a budget has been proposed.

I’m no financial expert, but when you have no money, and no prospects of making money, and you owe $42 billion, you’re way beyond putting yourself on a budget. I think you’re looking at faking your own death.

People in California say the problem with the budget is that they don’t understand what’s in it. Well of course they don’t. Look who’s explaining it to them — Arnold Schwarzenegger!

President Obama signed the stimulus bill in Denver, Colo. this week He picked Denver because our debt is now a mile high. It’s symbolic.

Get over it!

Market research firm ICOM finds some 22% of Americans say they are uncomfortable using coupons in grocery stores! Another 57% say that they're self-conscious about redeeming coupons, but suck it up to save some money. The report finds 43% of the 3,000-plus respondents increased their use of coupons in the last six months, and 67% plan to rely on coupons even more in the future. By age group, 57% of those 35 and under have stepped up their coupon use, as have 40% of those between 35 and 54, 36% of those between 55 and 64, and 25% of those 65 and older. "In a down economy, even the most stubborn consumers are receptive to money-saving offers," Marketing Daily quotes ICOM. "This is a perfect time for brands to engage desirable consumer segments with offers that appeal to their frugal mindset."

The word from the annual NY Toy Fair is still: electronic.

Even the lowly Rubik’s cubes are going high-tech. Children of the ‘80s spent hours twisting the things until the colors aligned correctly around it, but now there’s a digital version being shown that has touch sensors, so the squares can be moved by just touching them. The original cube: about $10. The new version costs $150
As for dolls, Mattel is pinning its hopes on a tweenage Dora the Explorer doll that plugs into the computer for customized adventures, and Jailbreak Toys (really) is offering "The Obama Action Figure." Fisher-Price is optimistic about the dubiously-named "Elmo Tickle Hands" — $29.99 human-sized red plush mitts that vibrate and giggle Elmo’s giggle.

Just Can't Watch This!

The Hollywood Reporter says M.C. HAMMER — now just "Hammer" — is doing a new reality series called (wait for it...) "Hammertime." The "too Legit to Quit" rapper, his wife and five children will be doing 11 episodes of a series on the A&E cable network which the producer says will come off kind of like "The Cosby Show." Yay…Jim can break out those Hammer Pants again!!!

"Star Trek" geeks are rejoicing!

The Hollywood Reporter says Paramount will be releasing the Blu-ray editions of season one of the original series this Spring, as well as for several of the original films. Diamond Select Toys will also offer an exclusive Sulu action figure with purchase of the set. Oh, boy!

Paramount is releasing a trilogy set of the films, including the classic "The Wrath of Khan," "The Search for Spock" and "The Voyage Home" in May.

Angel Food Ministry Under Investigation by the FBI

The Georgia-based food charity that is being investigated by federal authorities reported that demand for its services is up from previous months.

Angel Food Ministries said on Tuesday that the distribution of its low-cost food boxes this month was the sixth largest in the organization's history, up 63 percent from the same month last year. Compared to last month, the distribution total was up 20 percent.

The charity, which donates $1 back to church hosts for every box sold, was able to give $530,000 back into local communities and churches this month.
Pastor Joe Wingo, CEO and founder of AFM, said the milestone distribution made the ministry proud but sad at the same time.

"Proud to have the faith of so many people, proud to be able to help so many people get proper nutrition and proteins into their diets, but saddened that the need is so vast and growing."

The report comes one week after officials from the FBI and IRS searched the AFM headquarters in Monroe, declining to offer a reason for the investigation.
In response, the charity said in a statement that it believes the investigation is "of an individual or individuals connected to the organization, and not regarding the ministry itself, its service to the public or its host sites in any way."
AFM has maintained that the investigation would not affect deliveries of Angel Food grocery boxes to host churches.

Angel Food Ministries has not commented on which "individual" linked to the group are the subject of the probe. But tax documents filed by Angel Food Ministries to the IRS suggest the people of interest may include Pastor Wingo and his family members.

In 2005, Wingo was paid a salary of $69,598. The next year, his compensation dramatically soared to $588,529. Similar spikes in salary amounts were reported for his wife and two sons during the same period.

Watchdogs of Christian charities have pointed out that his salary for 2006 is unusually higher than the salaries of CEOs from non-profits that run on similar annual budgets.

Established by Wingo and his wife, Linda, in 1994, AFM helps feed over 300,000 families each year through discounted groceries that are distributed at local churches in 39 states. The standard food box costs $30 each but contains twice the value in food.

A-Rod Hopes God Will Use His Mistakes For Good

TAMPA, Fla. - Baseball's highest-paid player says he hopes God can use him to discourage aspiring athletes from using performance-enhancing drugs.
At a news conference in Florida, New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez said he believes the exposure of his past drug use has "happened for a much bigger reason than baseball."

Rodriguez said he hopes kids won't "make the same mistake" that he made, adding that he believes that God has now given him a forum where his "voice can be heard" on the issue.

Rodriguez has admitted to using banned drugs from 2001 to 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers. Asked whether his home runs during those years should count, Rodriguez said that's not for him to decide.

Nearly 5 Million Now Getting Unemployment benefits – An All Time High

The number of laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits has jumped to an all-time high near 5 million while new jobless claims remain well above 600,000. Both figures were worse than expected and new projections from the Federal Reserve show unemployment rising for the rest of this year.

JOB SEEKERS: 8 Technology Etiquette Tips

BOSTON - If there's any small solace when starting a job search in this recession, it's the proliferation of digital technology to help you re-enter the working world.
Web sites like and have multiplied the number of job openings you can track and the professional contacts you can make. E-mail and smart phones make it easier to pitch yourself and set up appointments.

But think twice before picking up that BlackBerry and thumb-typing a message to the hiring manager whose e-mail address you so slyly uncovered online. In the end, landing the right job hinges on old-world skills.

"The electronic piece usually just gets your foot in the door," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, a tech industry recruiting division of Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing consultant Robert Half International.

"But you still have to present yourself well face-to-face in an interview, and you have to have good references," he said. "I think some job candidates lose sight of that because of all the technology options and capabilities that get your name out there."

Willmer and Kate Wendleton, president of The Five O'Clock Club, a New York-based career counseling company, advise that job seekers — especially the young and tech-savvy — frequently misuse electronic gadgets and the Web and run roughshod over professional etiquette.

Some of their advice:

1. AVOID E-MAIL BLASTS: Resist the temptation to respond to each online job listing in your field, and focus on those that fit the best. Only about 6 percent of jobs are filled by candidates recruited through advertisements, said Wendleton, whose firm also conducts career research. If you can use personal contacts to learn about an opening that's not widely publicized, your chances of landing the job increase because you've got fewer rivals.

Instead of blast e-mailing, use the Web to research potential employers and put yourself in position to recite key facts about that company should you land an interview.

"Too many people are sitting there all day hitting that send button on their computer, answering ads, answering ads," Wendleton said.

2. EMBRACE SNAIL MAIL: In your first contact with a prospective employer, you're unlikely to stand out if you join the legions of job seekers sending 'hire me' pitches via e-mail with resumes attached. E-mails also are too easy for a hiring manager to delete. With snail mail, you control the appearance of your carefully crafted cover letter and resume. With e-mail, the user's machine can control settings for fonts and spacing. And managers can be wary of opening attached resumes for fear of unleashing a computer virus.

3. GET PERSONAL: If you resort to e-mail pitches, make them personal. If you're introducing yourself to a hiring manager you've identified via a professional colleague, type that colleague's name in the e-mail's subject line and succinctly explain the link (e.g. "John Doe referred me") so the manager is less likely to hit delete.

4. AVOID FOLLOW-UP FOIBLES: If you land an interview, pay close attention if the hiring manager specifies how to make any follow-up contacts. E-mail can be a good option because of its speed; if you send a follow-up note via snail mail, it may arrive too late in the hiring process to make a difference. If the hiring manager is OK with e-mail, send a message that addresses any unanswered questions from the interview and state that you're also mailing a hardcopy. In the snail mail message, reference that you also sent the e-mail.

Whatever you do, don't follow up on an interview with an e-mail sent via a handheld gadget — there's too great a chance you'll thumb-type a typo-ridden message. Only use handhelds to send brief, timely e-mails confirming an appointment or advising you're running late for a meeting. Don't type without regard to grammar and capitalization, and resist including smiley faces or other emoticons in electronic messages. "There is no circumstance where that is appropriate," Wendleton said. 5. OBSERVE BOUNDARIES: Even if you managed to track down a hiring manager's cell phone number, don't call it unless given permission. "Cell phones are considered private," Wendleton said.

6. STICK WITH LAND LINES: For any phone contact with a prospective employer, try to use a land line. With cell phones, there's too great a risk that you'll get a spotty connection, lose it altogether, or end up with excessive background noise if you're in a public place. If you lack a land line, call from a quiet place like a hotel lobby. Have a pen and pad ready so you can jot down information.

7. NETWORK THE SMART WAY: If you identify a hiring manager or other professional you'd like to connect with on an online networking site, don't merely send an electronic invitation without explaining why you want to get in touch. An out-of-the-blue request will likely be ignored. "Write something like, "I was intrigued by your LinkedIn posting. I see you have 10 years of international experience. I too have 10 years of international experience,'" Wendleton said.

8. MANAGE YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT: Hiring managers can be expected to go beyond your resume and references, and perform a background check online. So be judicious about what you post on social networking sites such as Facebook, and limit access to friends and family if it's something you wouldn't want an employer to see. Likewise, think before posting political opinions or personal information in blogs or other online forums. Consider posting under a pseudonym rather than your name. "As a job candidate, I would encourage people to be conservative," said Willmer. "Assume that anybody has access to anything."

Verizon Considering Offering a $5.00 Landline

In a sign that the recession is forcing phone companies to take bold measures to hold onto landline customers, Verizon Communications Inc. is considering a $5 monthly voice plan that would let customers receive calls but dial only 911 and Verizon customer service.

Verizon believes the plan could help slow the rate of landline customers cutting the cord, so to speak.

The company lost 3.7 million access lines, or 9.3 percent of its base, in 2008. Phone companies are concerned that consumers who are already tempted to switch to cable phone service or drop their landlines altogether and rely only on their cell phones will be pushed over the edge as the recession crimps household budgets.
The telecom provider could begin offering the new $5 plan by summer, along with a second, $10 monthly plan that would allow some limited local calling.
Only customers with high-speed Web access from Verizon would qualify for the new plans, according to a person close to the company.

Verizon confirmed it is considering the plan but says it hasn't decided whether to move forward with it.

Schools Not As Nitpicky About Lice-Allowing Kids To Stay in School

For generations, children with signs of head lice were summarily sent home by the school nurse to their everlasting shame. Now schools have become less nitpicky.
With the backing of some major health organizations, a majority of schools across the country are allowing youngsters to stay in class if they have nits — that is, lice eggs — but no crawling lice in their hair.

It's a change recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses, and it has been welcomed by many educators and parents, who worried that students were missing too much school, moms and dads were missing work, and children were being made to feel ashamed.

The switch came after a 2002 pediatrics academy study said students with nits shouldn't be kept out of class. The real problem, according to the medical experts, is the lice, not their eggs.

"Nits don't spread. They don't jump from one person to another," said Amy Garcia, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses. "So to withhold a child from school due to nits really interrupts the educational process."

Once nits hatch, they generally take 7 to 10 days to become full-grown adults that can lay eggs and begin the cycle all over again.

About 60 percent of schools now allow children with nits to stay in class, Garcia said.

The pediatrics academy also says that kids who are found to have crawling head lice should be allowed to stay in school for the rest of the day but discouraged from close head contact with others. But not many school districts have gone that far.

Getting rid of head lice often requires a strong anti-lice shampoo to kill the crawling bugs, and a fine-tooth comb to pick the nits out of the hair. But the safety and effectiveness of some shampoos are questionable, and removing all the nits can take days.

The dangers of lice are small, Frankowski said. Lice have not been found to carry disease, though excessive scratching can lead to infections

Free Camps For Military Kids – Operation Purple!

War affects everyone—not just the service member, but the spouse and children as well. As an organization dedicated to serving military families, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) recognized the need for more resources to support military children. In 2004, the Operation Purple® Summer Camp Program was created as a way to help military children struggling with having a parent deployed.

During the 2004 pilot season of Operation Purple, NMFA implemented 12 different Operation Purple camps across the country. Due to the success of this camp program, NMFA expanded the program and has hosted more than 10,000 military children who have or will experience deployment.

In 2008, there were 100 weeks of camp held in 62 locations in 37 states and territories.

These free, week-long, overnight camps are open to all military children. The program aims to help military kids experience carefree fun while also learning coping skills to deal with war-related stress and fostering relationships with others who know what they are going through.

Complaints Over Crucifixes – At Catholic College!

BOSTON - Boston College officials have placed crucifixes in every classroom and Christian artwork around the Catholic university's campus, stirring some faculty complaints.

The Jesuit school made the additions during winter break.

While Boston College students have been mostly supportive, a handful of faculty protested.

One professor accused the school of being "insensitive" to people of other faiths. Another said the religious symbols run "contrary to the letter and spirit of open intellectual discourse."

But the Rev. John Paris, a Jesuit priest who teaches bioethics, said the criticism amounts to "the narrow and bizarre musings of a few disgruntled folks."
Pope Benedict, during his U.S. visit last year, told Catholic educators they must "ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice."

Free Stuff You Actually Want!!

Who doesn't love getting something for nothing? Plain and simple, free stuff rules! Here, some Foxy favorite freebies -- little things that make life so much sweeter.

 Tune It On - iTunes/Starbucks Pick Of The Week Every time we prance in for our grande cinnamon cappuccinos, we score a little jive with our java. Pick up one of the iTunes cards sitting on the counter and download a free song by punching in the code. Good for our ears - and wallets!

 Scream For Ice Cream - Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club The only thing we love more than ice cream is free ice cream. Sign up for the Birthday Club (online or at a store), and they'll send you a coupon right before your big day. It's good for a free scoop. You can try playing the B-day "card" at restaurants, too. If it's your friend's birthday, ask if the restaurant does complimentary birthday desserts. It's always sweet to surprise someone with a cake, candle, and song at the table!

 Freezer Fun - Fancy Freezer Labels Opening up your freezer to find a stash that's been there since the Ice Age is scary. This is why we love Martha Stewart's free printable freezer labels. They're pretty and practical. Just jot down the contents and date on the labels, stick them on your food packages, and you'll never have a glob of funky lookin' stuff in your freezer again.

 Posh Postcards - Personalized Postcards Martha to the rescue, again. The diva of do-it-yourself provides two printable postcard templates. You simply supply a 4x6 photo for the front of the card and then voila, you've got a free, fashionable way to keep in touch with friends and family.

 Luscious Locks - Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner Treat your tresses to free treats courtesy of Procter & Gamble. They'll send you free samples -- all you have to do is sign up.

 Creams 'n' Things - Kiehl's This fancy pantsy bath products purveyor gives three free samples with any online purchase from their website. Fine, it's not totally free since it comes with a purchase, but it makes us feel like we scored a major deal. And we love that we get to customize our freebies to suit our tastes.

 Fantastic Facials - Department Store Facials High-end cosmetics brands at your local department store often offer free facials or treatments. Naturally they're promoting their products, but there's absolutely no obligation to buy anything. If it's true and makes you more comfortable, tell the facialist that you want to go home and see what it does for your skin before you buy. Check online at sites like Clarins or go to your local counter to ask a salesperson to keep you posted on other free offers.

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