Category Archives: Musings


What Is A Partridge In A Pear Tree

I’m sure some of you may know this already, but for me, this was a very enlightening story.  I have sung this song (12 Days of Christmas) since I was as little as I can remember.  Drinking lots of hot chocolate and walking around the neighborhoods with my mom and grandmother singing Christmas Carol’s just like this one.

This particular Christmas Carol always baffled me, but I never questioned it, and just sang it anyway.  Kinda like “Ring Around The Rosie” which I’ll save for another post and another time. So what in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?  Well I just recently found out… Did you know?


Back in 1558, and up until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that time and era wrote this “carol” as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning that was known only to the members of their church.

Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So there is the history of this classic Holiday Carol. This was shared with me recently and I found it very interesting and enlightening. Now you know more about the tune that became what is known today as one of the most popular and most sung Christmas Carols of all time.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Best Home Security Tips

There once was a time when you could leave your door open and unlocked all night long.burglar

I remember when people would leave their car windows down and doors unlocked in the driveway for days at a time or at least until it rained.

The world has changed and if you want your home to be protected and more importantly, safe… then here’s some of the best home security tips you’ll find available to help you protect your investments, your family and your neighbors and the community where you live and play.

  • Change all the locks and tumblers when you move into a new house
  • Place security provider yard signs in highly visible areas
  • Have post office hold mail/news papers when leaving for extended periods
  • Test security system with provider before leaving on vacation
  • Hide valuables like jewelry, money etc. in the walls, use space between wall studs
    to install fake outlets, wall safe’s, behind picture safes etc.
  • Stash valuables inside cereal boxes and fake soup cans in the kitchen,
    Burglars rarely if ever rob or look for goods in the kitchen.
  • Occasionally check windows to insure they are locked
  • Store ladders inside, not on side of the house or backyard
  • Hide external wiring, Burglars look to cut off electricity, alarm systems, phones, etc.
  • If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately
  • Don’t leave keys outside of home in hide a key boxes
  • Spare key solution: wrap the key in foil and bury it where you can find it if needed
  • Take pictures (and keep updated records) of all valuables
  • Don’t let newspapers pile up on the porch when you’re on vacation
  • Don’t leave notes for service people or family members on the door
  • Consider your landscaping plan in light of your protection needs
  • Turn water main off and put lights on timers when leaving for extended periods
  • If you have an alarm, activate it even when you’re home
  • Protect your trash. Shred financial docs and don’t place empty boxes from expensive items
    in the garbage until the night before garbage day. Robbers do sift through your trash
  • Do not update Facebook profile while on vacation
  • If someone comes to your door asking to use the phone to call a mechanic or the police,
    keep the door locked and make the call for them yourself
  • Lock up your home, even if you go out only for a short time
  • Dogs and Geese are good deterrents to burglars and intruders
  • Don’t forget to shut the garage door whenever you don’t need access to it
  • Get to know all the neighbors, their eyes on your home is added security
  • Have a plan and always be prepared by discussing what to do if and when….

robberSometimes common sense just isn’t enough. Always remember that while you and I may put little thought or effort into thinking about ways to protect our homes and families, the unwelcome intruder spends every waking moment of everyday trying to find newer, better, and faster ways to take advantage of our passive and naive attempts at home protection and safety.

Don’t take this topic for granted and remember that “everyone” is vulnerable and a candidate for this type of unfortunate event. Better safe… than sorry.

Red Beacon Guaranty

Red Beacon Delivers to Home Owners

Red Beacon LogoRed Beacon is a really cool new service that we heard about while shopping at Home Depot. The employees at Home Depot are awesome, they really do know their stuff, but you can’t take the employees home with you to actually do the work!? You know, the electrical, the plumbing, fix the sprinklers, or repair the garbage disposal.

They know how to do it, they can even explain it and show you in the store, but they just aren’t allowed to leave the store and come to your place to do the actual work.


As we made our final purchases at the Home Depot store located in Fairfield CA, the cashier pointed our attention to a small red sign located at the exit that promoted the Red Beacon site and their service. When I got home with our Brand New French door (which was still in its frame and needing to be installed), I went to the Red Beacon website, selected the job I needed done, and clicked on the submit button. That was it!

Within minutes I had a bid from a local contractor to install the door. Within 10 minutes, I had three bids and had selected the one I thought that best fit our needs and price. Very reasonable!

red beacon
Best of all, the service at Red Beacon was free, the workmanship was backed by their $1000.00 guaranty, and the work was completed to out total satisfaction and amazement.

Red Beacon is a beacon of light to us homeowners who can handle some of the little things around the house, but when it comes to hanging doors, repairing sheet rock, painting, electrical, plumbing, and major repairs and installations, they get us the right person to get the job done.

We will never worry or thumb through the phone book for local services again. Red Beacon Rocks, and we will be using the service again and again for as long as we live and own our homes!

I just now searched for an electrical engineer and a sheet rock expert to come over and do a couple projects we’ve needed done for a while.

Red beacon Jobs

In the time it took me to write this article, four pre-approved vendors have already contacted me via email, now I just need to review their proposals, read their reviews from previous customers, and select the one I want based on the price that works for us.

red beacon results

It really doesn’t get much better than that, thanks Red Beacon!

red beacon emailsNote: Red Beacon currently only services 11 major metro cities and areas, but have more coming soon.

Fireworks Spectacular

4th of July Fireworks and Parades

Where’s The Fireworks and Parades?

Here’s a few great places to gather if you’re looking for Fireworks displays and parades.

Brad Andersohn Fireworks

“If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all, right? But something about those high-flying explosions keep us coming back year after year for more. This week, we’ve serving up your Independence Day hit list in the Bay Area, Katy Perry lyrics not included.”  Bookmark this and share with friends, family and neighbors. Enjoy and be safe!

Berkeley Marina (July 4, 12–11pm)
The all-day festivities start at 12pm, including kite-flying, pony rides, and live music leading up to the 9:35pm fireworks by the bay. Enjoy some pre-show Budweisers and BBQ on the patio at Zut! on 4th Street, and stroll from there.

Point Richmond (July 3, 6:30–10pm)
The Craneway Pavilion offers another waterfront scene at this pre-4th celebration, featuring a performance by the Oakland East Bay Symphony before the show. Get extra patriotic with a burger or Frito pie at Assemble, just next door.

USS Hornet Alameda (July 4, 11am–10pm)
With a clear view of the SF skyline, Hornet passengers can marvel at the pyrotechnic show on the other side of the bay. Doors open at 11am, so you can squeeze in some American history before party time. Make it an international affair by enjoying an exotic sunset meal at Abigail’s on the waterfront!

Concord (July 4, 10am–10pm)
A traditional hometown parade with all the old-fashioned flair: floats, marching bands, horses, and hot rods. Reveling starts in Todos Santos Plaza at 10am and sparks fly at 9:20pm. Fuel up at nearby E.J. Phair Brewing Co, where the grilled sausage trio justifies a couple rounds of the Ditzy Blonde.

Martinez (July 4, 9:30pm)
Spectators can stake their claim to a prime viewing spot at the Waterfront Park Marina before the 9:30pm show. Explore the classic American cocktail menu at Barrel Aged in downtown Martinez. It might just make a flag-waver out of you!

Benicia (July 3, 6:30pm) Torchlight Parade starts at 6:30PM and fireworks will begin around 9:00PM on the 4th of July.

Vallejo (July 4, 10:30am) The 160th Annual Parade held on July 4th starts at 10:30AM and Fireworks at the waterfront are scheduled for around 9:15PM.


Fourth of July Events for all California
Places to Celebrate 4th of July and Watch Fireworks


Man Jumps Car

5 Best HD Web Videos

The two “Alternate” title’s I considered for this article:

“The Ultimate Life Bucket List” or “Things No Human is Crazy Enough To Do”

The Best of the Web Videos were compiled and produced by Zapatou on Youtube (Director, Actor, and Video Editor) and took between 80-100 hours to compile and create. The time includes: (research, selection and video editing) To get the best results and most of of viewing these videos, I strongly suggest using the full-screen mode, grab a cup of your favorite liquid and a snack, then sit back and relax while trying to take it all in.

Best of the Web Video HD-1 – List of 200 videos in order here:

 Best of the Web Video HD-2 – List of 184 videos in order here:

 Best of the Web Video HD-3 – List of 280 videos used for this compilation:

 Best of the Web Video HD-4 – List of 243 videos used for this compilation:

 Best of the Web Video HD-5 – List of 187 videos used for this compilation:


10 Wealthiest Entrepreneurs Ever

An entrepreneur is not an ordinary person. If you plan to organize and operate a business, you are taking a financial risk to do so — as well as personal risks and an investment in time and effort. But, sometimes the risks and investments pay off, as shown by this list of the ten wealthiest entrepreneurs of all time.

The list is ordered by wealth and the focus is in the United States. The businesses created by these individuals range from oil to cars, and from dry goods to lumberyards. The wealth estimates in most cases are based upon several observations from Forbes, mainly based upon modern net worth. You might note that only one person on this list was born in the twentieth century and is still alive — Bill Gates.

  1. John RockefellerJohn Davidson Rockefeller: Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1870, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. He was 31-years-old at the time, and his pursuits revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthopy. Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by John D. Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, Jabez Bostwick, chemist Samuel Andrews, and a silent partner, Stephen V. Harkness. As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller’s wealth soared, and he became the world’s richest man and first American worth more than a billion dollars. His peak fortune? $336 billion.
  2. Andrew CarnegieAndrew Carnegie: After jobs such as a factory worker in a bobbin factory, a messenger boy, and an upwardly-mobile employee for a telegraph company, Carnegie built Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Steel Company. After he sold Carnegie Steel Company to J.P. Morgan in 1901 ($480 million), Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education and scientific research. Carnegie slowly accumulated capital, the basis for his later success, through investments. His life has often been referred to as a true “rags to riches” story. His peak fortune? $309 billion.
  3. Henry FordHenry Ford: As founder of the Ford Motor Company and sponsor of the development of the assembly line of mass production, Ford had a global vision of how to run a company and treat employees. Ford astonished the world in 1914 by offering a $5 per day wage ($110 today), which more than doubled the rate of most of his workers. The move proved extremely profitable; instead of constant turnover of employees, the best mechanics in Detroit flocked to Ford, bringing their human capital and expertise, raising productivity, and lowering training costs. His peak fortune? $188.1 billion.
  4. Cornelius VanderbiltCornelius Vanderbilt: This entrepreneur began working on his father’s New York harbor ferry as a boy and quit school at age 11. He then borrowed $100 from his mother to purchase a boat at age 16, and began to build a complicated shipping business while also fathering 13 children. He also built an interest in railroads, eventually selling all his ships and concentrating on that business. He was the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. He provided the initial gift to found Vanderbilt University, which is named in his honor. His peak fortune? $185 billion.
  5. Bill GatesBill Gates: A contemporary entrepreneur, many people know how Bill Gates built his fortune. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen. In 1987, Gates was officially declared a billionaire in the pages of Forbes’ 400 Richest People in America issue, just days before his 32nd birthday. As the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, he was worth $1.25 billion, over $900 million more than he’d been worth the year before, when he’d debuted on the list. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third. In 2011 he was the wealthiest American and the second wealthiest person alive. His peak fortune? $136 billion.
  6. John Jacob AsterJohn Jacob Aster: As the first prominent member of the Astor family, John (born Johann), was a German-American business man and investor who was the first multi-millionaire in the United States. He was the creator of the first trust in America. Astor arrived in the U.S. American Revolutionary War to build a fur-trading empire that extended to the Great Lakes region and Canada. He later expanded into the American West and Pacific coast. He also got involved in smuggling opium and then began to purchase land in Manhattan, creating a land-rich empire. At the time of his death in 1848, Astor was the wealthiest person in the United States. His peak fortune? $121 billion.
  7. Stephen GirardStephen Girard: Born in France, Girard lost the sight in his right eye at age eight, and he had very little education. As an established merchant in Philadelphia, Girard eventually purchased the First Bank of the United States charter. His bank because the principal source of government credit during the War of 1812. Towards the end of the war, when the financial credit of the U.S. government was at its lowest, Girard placed nearly all of his resources at the disposal of the government and underwrote up to 95 percent of the war loan issue, which enabled the United States to carry on the war. He became one of the wealthiest men in America, estimated to have been the fourth richest American of all time, based on the ratio of his fortune to contemporary GDP. Childless, he devoted much of his fortune to philanthropy, particularly the education and welfare of orphans. His peak fortune? $105 billion.
  8. Alexander Turney StewartAlexander Turney Stewart: Also known as “A.T.” Stewart was a successful Irish entrepreneur who made his multi-million fortune in what was at the time the most extensive and lucrative dry goods business in the world. He received an inheritance of somewhere between $5,000 to $10,000, taking this money to New York and creating a store on Broadway. Along with his successful retail store, Stewart also established himself as one of the wealthiest men in the United States by allowing women all over the country to purchase and order items from his wholesale department store. His peak fortune? $88.9 billion.
  9. Frederick WeyerhaeuserFrederick Weyerhaeuser: Weyerhaeuser, a German-born son of farmers, emigrated to the U.S. in 1848 and worked in a brewery, on the railroad, and eventually became an upwardly-mobile employee in a sawmill factory. He eventually purchased the sawmill business and formed the Weyerhaeuser-Denkmann Lumber Company with his brother-in-law, Frederick Denkmann. The Weyerhaeuser Company is still the world’s largest seller of timber. His peak fortune? $79.4 billion.
  10. Jay GouldJay Gould: Although being ranked as the eighth worst American CEO of all time by the Conde Nast Portfolio, Jay Gould’s successes made him, at one time, the ninth richest American in history. He was a rail baron and gold speculator, masterminding the 19th-century transportation boom in America. He and financier James Fisk bought up a dominating share of the gold market, enough to directly affect market movements during his lifetime. His peak fortune? $71.2 billion.

To This Day – Someone Needs This

When I first saw and heard this poem, I was deeply touched. Enough that I needed to share it.

As kids, and even grown-ups, many of us experience this kind of thing even “to this day!”  When I saw the video below  which was the spoken words of the poem written by Shane Koyczan and then Animated, I was in awe.

To This Day Project is a project based on a spoken word poem written by Shane Koyczan to further explore the profound and lasting impact that bullying can have on an individual.

Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point… A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying.

Animators and motion artists brought their unique styles to 20 second segments that will thread into one fluid voice. This collaborative volunteer effort will demonstrate what a community of caring individuals are capable of when they come together. Read more here..

We all know someone, or maybe even ourselves that need to see this. If you care, if you love someone, or if you know someone that this could help and make a difference in their life, please, no matter how young or old, no matter what seems to be their challenge or predicament, please share this with them.

Collectively, we as caring people, and even individually can help make a difference to someone, anyone just like the difference the collaborative effort this poem and video has made since it was put together. Over 5,000,000 million views and hopefully lives have been touched and changed in the last 10 days since this posted.

We ARE the caretakers of this World and its people, and WE CAN make a difference if we try. 🙂


End Of The World

12.21.12 – The End of The World

Well we woke up this morning realizing it was 12/21/12, the day the Mayan Calendar predicted the end of the world.

Our first instinct was to go outside after we rolled out of bed at 6am this morning, and see if the world was gone and we just over-slept?  To our surprise, there was an eerie quiet and our first visual was a full blown rainbow in the Northern sky.


The clouds were mysteriously rolling by as if they were on some sort of time-lapsed video player, and there were fire colored rays of light shining in the eastern sky.


Surrounded by total silence and these elements, my wife and I looked at each other in a bit of awe, sighed a subtle sigh of relief, then went back in the house to brew our daily cup of coffee and begin our daily rituals. The world is still here and we’ve got work to do.

This Prezi was very informative, well put together, features some great effects and audio, and helps explain what I could hardly understand.  It will shed some light on the Mayan culture, myths, predictions, legends etc., and the tale of “The end of the World as we know it!”


Now the day is not yet over here for us on the Pacific West Coast, so if you’re in a different time zone, and you know something we don’t, please don’t spoil it for us.  I’m about to run out and grab some Chinese food for dinner and watch a movie with the family.  If for any reason you don’t see any more articles on this site after this one, then you know what happened… and we’ll see you up there, and on the other side.  🙂

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 8.17.09 AM

How Thoughts of Death Can Clarify Life

In these videos from guest speakers at TED, you’ll experience an amazing eye opening discovery. The two most important things in our life journey are time, and people. Each person below speaks to their own experience and in doing so, shares a powerful inspiration and enlightening message. Don’t pass up this chance to see for yourself.

Your heart will be touched, your spirit lifted, and your life inspired and put into perspective.

Ric Elias – the last three emotionless words he heard that changed his life, “Brace For Impact!” just before the plane went down in the Hudson River. His story is life changing and he’s blessed to be alive to share it.


Candy Chang – takes a public space that to most would appear to be a nuisance, and uses it creatively to let people share their “Before I die…” ideas and priorities, and makes an amazing impact and difference all over the world.


Janine Shepard – a former Olympian and possible Olympic Champion shares a shattered dream from a near-death bicycle accident, and then shares how she rebounded and created new dreams. A body broken, isn’t a broken person.


Jane McGonigal – shares the game that can give you 10 extra years of life. On your death bed, would you ever regret spending time playing games? What are the top 5 regrets most people have on their death beds?


Louie Schwartzberg – a time-lapse photographer shares how every day is a gift. Louie challenges viewers to live each day as if it were the first and the last day of your life. A moving and thought provoking conclusion to this post, and this life.


Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 9.45.49 AM

Little Tips CAN Make a BIG Difference

When you do something a certain way for many years and become used to doing it that way, you never give a second thought to it. A perfect example is adding a key to a key ring. A simple task yes, but for many a difficult one. For many ladies, it’s a nail-breaking task every time.


Using these worthless household items (normally trash) look at the creative ways they can be used.

These little tips will make a BIG difference in the way you can get some things done. I promise you’ll come away with something new and useful from these tips.

No more messy paint cans with dried paint all around the edges.

Forget trying to brush and clean with a toothpick or toothbrush.

Not many people know about this one, but try it and see how good it works.

Identify your keys with this simple color coding solution.

Ever try to fill your big bucket with water using your little sink?

Great gift wrap idea for keeping paper from unraveling and protected for storage.

Having this might keep you from tripping over chords and keep things neat.

Tired of those dull and dingy headlights and your car? This is also safer for you.

No more worrying about your stuff at the beach, try this one for peace of mind.

Some retail packages are simply a challenge to open, but not anymore.

Never throw away another pair of thongs or slippers ever again!

Ever run out of hangers and run out of space? Here’s a nifty little tip.

After this, you’ll think twice before recycling that old milk carton in the trash.

While shoes may do all the walking, their home can make for great storage.

Those that know me, know I’m always looking for better, faster, and more efficient ways to get the job done and some of these are perfect examples. If you have some tips of your own to share, please don’t keep them to yourself, share them below.  Others can benefit from your ideas and suggestions.

Just recently I learned that a simple bar of soap can remove soap scum from your bathroom glass shower doors.  Just rub and rinse and magnifico!!