Monthly Archives: December 2005

Another year-end summary post

Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch has posted his contribution to the year-end post genre in which he lists the Web 2.0 companies he couldn’t live without. I find posts like this provide a remarkably good way to discover tools and resources that I might not have known about previously. I recommend that you visit the article and then follow the links to learn about some of these services that he mentions.

Here’s his intro to the article …

There have been numerous 2005 “best of� and 2006 “predictions� posts over the last few weeks as the year comes to an end. I’m not going to write one of those. Giving out “best of� awards seems presumptuous to me, given that I’ve been blogging all of six months. And while predictions are fun, they aren’t all that useful in the end.

What I do want to write about as I reminisce about the year ending in a couple of days are the Web 2.0 companies that I love and use every day.

TechCrunch » Web 2.0 Companies I Couldn’t Live Without

Health report

They say “timing is everything.” And I’d have to agree.

When I retired at the end of August, I had until November 15th to decide about whether to activate the COBRA option to retain my health coverage for the coming year, until I reach 65. As that deadline approached I decided it was best to activate it, and when I called to do so I realized that I would have to pay the back coverage from September through December. However, during that call, I learned I could activate only the dental or the visual coverage for that time, reducing my cost for that back coverage from about $1200.00 to about $100.00 (for the dental coverage) and that as of January 1, 2006, I could change that over to the regular hospitalization coverage at the rate of about $300 per month. So I decided that was a worthwhile gamble, to activate only the dental coverage for the rest of the year, and hope that I didn’t have any medical issues until after January 1st.

Well my timing couldn’t have been worse. On December 23, 2005, I noticed a few red bumps appeared on my forehead. I put some ointment on them, thinking they would go away in a day or so. On the 24th, I went to visit Cheryl, Mike, and Connor to exchange gifts on Christmas eve. Cheryl said, in a rather alarmed voice, “what’s wrong with your head?” The bumps had become inflamed, were red and had grown in size. I said, “I don’t know, but I’ll see about it after the first of the year.” It turns out that by the 27th it was obvious that I couldn’t wait until the first of the year to go to the doctor. My face had begun to swell and my right eye was closing. So I called and scheduled an appointment with my doctor even through I had no insurance coverage.

Upon seeing me Dr. Gleaves indicated, without hesitation, that I had shingles. This disease, which in some people manifests on the body and in others on the face, causes itching and painful blisters that eventually burst and leave scabbed sores. For me the disease involves the head and face. My right eye is swollen shut and this morning the beginnings of the left eye’s swelling concerns me that soon I won’t be able to see anything until the disease goes away.

Needless to say, it isn’t pretty. So before posting a picture, I’m going to split this post so that the picture won’t show up here on the front page of my blog. If you wish to see it, you can click the “read more” option. If you don’t care to see them, you’ll have gotten all the necessary news on this page. Fortunately, shingles is neither fatal nor permanently disfiguring, under normal circumstances, so in the words of Gloria Gaynor, “I will survivie.” It’s just going to be a bit uncormfortable for a while.
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The Best FREE utilities

The author of Tech Support Alert, Gizmo Richards, has produced a list of what he calls the 46 best-ever freeware utilities. This list is worth reading if for no other reason than to see the 46 catetories of utilities there are. You’ll find it educational, I’m sure. I did. You may also find it worthwhile to bookmark his website as there appear to be a lot of useful links there.

By the way, the source for the link I’ve blogged about above is Lorelle on WordPress, which is an excellent source of information about WordPress in particular but also about things that are happening on the web in general.  Her blog has become one of my daily visits.

PC World’s Top 100

PC World, in a July 2005 article, lists the top 100 products of 2005. Their product of the year is Firefox.

Among the products that I use, Gmail ranks as #2 on their list. Skype is #8. Thunderbird, the Mozilla email program but not a product that I use, ranks #28. Flickr ranks as #51.

Although such lists can reflect the personal preferences of the authors and hence your evaluation may differ from theirs, reading this kind of list is an excellent way of becoming familiar with what else may be “out there” and if you are the adventuresome type, you may find some tools you weren’t previously familiar with. I find such lists worth considering, and I enjoy following the links both to the reviews and to the products’ websites.

One noteworthy quote from their introduction to this list is this comment:

And 23 of our 100 winners have the best price of all: They’re free.

PC World’s Top 100

PC World, in a July 2005 article, lists the top 100 products of 2005. Their product of the year is Firefox.

Among the products that I use, Gmail ranks as #2 on their list. Skype is #8. Thunderbird, the Mozilla email program but not a product that I use, ranks #28. Flickr ranks as #51.

Although such lists can reflect the personal preferences of the authors and hence your evaluation may differ from theirs, reading this kind of list is an excellent way of becoming familiar with what else may be “out there” and if you are the adventuresome type, you may find some tools you weren’t previously familiar with. I find such lists worth considering, and I enjoy following the links both to the reviews and to the products’ websites.

One noteworthy quote from their introduction to this list is this comment:

And 23 of our 100 winners have the best price of all: They’re free.

In case you hadn’t noticed â€¦

Christmas is upon us.  Therefore you can anticipate that my blogging will be lite for a while.  Since I haven’t sent out Christmas cards this year, let me point you to this online Christmas greeting (in the event that you care for such things) that my friend Jane Hascall made me aware of.  Clicking the symbols from right to left progressively changes the image.

Merry Christmas to all of you.  I hope your celebration is joyous.

In case you hadn’t noticed …

Christmas is upon us.  Therefore you can anticipate that my blogging will be lite for a while.  Since I haven’t sent out Christmas cards this year, let me point you to this online Christmas greeting (in the event that you care for such things) that my friend Jane Hascall made me aware of.  Clicking the symbols from right to left progressively changes the image.

Merry Christmas to all of you.  I hope your celebration is joyous.