Monday, January 30, 2006

Teaching An Old Dog A New Trick: Making Money Online

A few weeks ago, a good friend turned me on (or more accurately returned me on) to an internet concept that I had initially ignored for probably a couple of months or years.

The concept was so different when I first heard it that I could not see any real value in doing it.  I could not understand why somebody would pay for the service as well.

The missing link was actually observation since both reading and hearing about it did not increase my understanding at all.

But once I saw the simple steps involved and got myself into the daily habit of making the right moves, there is no turning back;)

The process is so simple that I now have been keeping it as one of the first things that I do whenever I get on the internet daily.

The fallacy of thinking that I know it all was probably picked up when I started working at AT&T in 1990 and everyone can see where such thinking has gotten them (acquired by a former regional Baby Bell--SBC who then assumed the AT&T company name as its own).

But one thing that I have gotten sharper at with additional age is knowing when to turn around.

So as a result, pride gets shown the door very often.  I am still a work in progress though.

In the meantime, if you would like to see and learn how others are making money online without buying the kits, without the meetings, and just earning money then click on the link below and get some cash in your pocket for yourself:


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Notified of Data Theft That Included My Personal Information

Yesterday (Wednesday, January 25th) I received a letter from AmeriPrise (formerly American Express Financial Advisers (AEFA)) that my personal information was included on a laptop stolen from an employee in December.

I was a financial adviser in 2004 before the company was divested by American Express and my noncompete agreement ended in mid-December 2005.

AmeriPrise is offering a free year of credit monitoring and the story is making worldwide news today.

So I now I know that the situation is worse than anticipated.

One piece of news given between the lines on Yahoo! is :

Ameriprise said it has alerted 68,000 current and former financial advisers whose names and

Social Security numbers were also stored on the same computer. About 158,000 clients had only their names and internal account numbers exposed. The company says it has more than 2 million customers and about 10,500 current financial advisers.

This means that there are 57,500 former financial advisers whose information was stolen.  The AEFA attrition rate is deplorable and I knew weeks before leaving AEFA that it would be put up for sale or on the chopping block altogether.

But Yahoo! did not include the same news that Reuters is reporting that the only reason that the information was contained on the laptop in the first place is that the clients were transferred to new financial advisers when the former financial advisers left the company.

This is clearly a case of reaping what you sow for AmeriPrise.  First you lose the brand of American Express, the logo, the ability to contact card-carrying AMEX customers, and now you further alienate the customers whose trust was gained by the former advisers by monitoring them and/or the former financial advisers to see if any non compete agreements were violated.

There was no commitment to both the financial adviser and/or the niche markets that have gone traditionally under served in my opinion.  Even home office personnel responsible or that should have known if such resources were available did not have a clue.

When I left the company after receiving some supposed advice that was either unethical or possibly illegal (since it clearly violated any company's implied or expressed code of conduct) I knew that if it was the best advice that could be offered, then my ladder was clearly leaning against the wrong building.

The end result would be the same regardless of the choice made so I chose to leave versus being forced out otherwise.

I now have to make the telephone call to former clients whose phone numbers I may have (to rediscover or relocate) to apologize for putting them in a situation that I never imagined.

The worst part of the handwriting on the wall was that the company expressed that it owned the relationships with the client above all when flesh and blood had established the relationships in the first place .  This is the reason that I did not or could not contact anyone while the non compete agreement was in effect.

I did not want to take the risk of making such a jealous company angry.

Now that the cat is officially out of the bag for worldwide viewing, my loyalty is completely disintegrated.

The moral of this story is to more heavily screen companies that you work for since they are already screening you.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

2006 Breakthroughs

2006 has started off with an unexpected series of deaths of friends' loved ones.  As a result, I have not been as consistent in creating new entries as I was in 2005.

But clearly I feel the need to be there within each situation and as a result, there have been a release of both blessings, breakthroughs, and a deepening of relationships with people that I have known for decades and with people that I have just met within the past couple of months.

I thank God for the opportunities that have been presented to me and my first focus has been to reduce the pain and provide comforting words as much as possible.  Just being there does more than words can express.  I know because I have been there myself.

Already I have been continuing to write songs and produce music.  With the recent hard drive space increase within our primary computer system, I have been starting to use Cakewalk again after getting away from it due to the hd space limitations.  The return to active music production has been fun.

Maybe it has not been a return, but more of an aggressive push to release more music to the world.

Another great tool that I have been exposed will become a part of our household and efforts as well within Apple's GarageBand program and an Apple Mac Mini itself.  Crossing this bridge will be relatively easy since Apple's Macintosh applications are much easier than anything within Windows.

So 2006 is going to be a very musical year.

Get ready and if you hear any noise, it's just me and the boys gettin' down, gettin' loose, and gettin' funky in praise of my personal Lord and Savior Christ Jesus with no brakes and no restraints.

Fishnets are being created and would you like to dance?

You can stay up to date on my musical progress at:

88 Drums of spiritual warfare shall be released indeed.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Instant Wishlist Item: USB Turntable

I just saw the coolest device imaginable for those of us who still have a vinyl collection of records that are still enjoyable.

ION has the iTTUSB and finally there will be an easy way to digitize vinyl records.  It is available for both the PC and Mac.

The turntable is supposedly available in multiple major stores both offline and online.  I did not see any pricing information though and if it is available for less than $150 and actually closer to being under $100, then it will be a no-brainer decision to buy one.

But I cannot immediately imagine anyone buying one who does not have a vinyl collection though.  There are many 12-inch singles from house, techno, and dance artists, but otherwise it might be overkill.

The ability to import the sound straight through the USB port has really caught my eye most of all even though I have the necessary cables to connect a turntable otherwise.  I really hope that this product is USB powered as well.

This turntable also has line level output for connecting to any home stereo with CD or auxiliary (AUX) inputs, so I now slightly find it hard to believe if it can be completely powered by the USB port.

Regardless the concept of an USB turntable is very cool for music lovers in a new year.  I might have to break out my old gold DJ name and take it out of storage.

The DJ name that I have used most while in high school and as a bedroom DJ was "Chocolate Marshmallow".  I laugh to think about it now:)

But I might use a fraternity nickname used in college which still sounds slightly better is Charter Polemarch Ice.  Both are still hilarious though:D)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hard Drive Space Just Added Again

I have been fighting a losing battle to keep enough HD space for the past several years and no matter when I would upgrade or add more space, more space would be needed.

I just added another HD drive to replace my main master drive and the company that I bought it from transferred the data to the new drive at no charge.  While the upgrade was being considered, I added a DVD with burning capability since I have never had the capability to burn CDs or DVDs consistently.

I hope to burn a lot of our photos to DVDs and CDs as well as share them with family members.

When I turned our computer on after the upgrade, it was as if no changes were visible other than seeing the huge increase in HD space.

I was already keeping precious data on an external drive like yourself and now have at least 120 GB free.

When will it ever end?

Regardless, I know now that I will be adding a Mac Mini to our arsenal very soon and will try to add another computer at least every 6 months to a year versus holding on to dying technology (all manmade items are decaying or dying as soon as they are purchased) for at least 3 years as was done in this case.

Hopefully with a network available, the value of one computer will not place us into a sink or swim or feast or famine situation ever again.

The IBM ThinkPad that I bought several years ago has enough Purple Hearts to go down in computing history since it was bought in 2001 or 2002 (which is light years ago in computing time).

So my technology lifestyle and adventures continue;)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

This photo best represents how I feel about 2006

Originally uploaded by Hermosdef.
If a photo can represent 1000 words, then this photo tells the story how I feel about experiencing 2006 and leaving 2005 in the history books;)

The photo comes from one of my contacts on Flickr named Hermosdef @, so check out his other photos and you will be amazed at his UK flavor!


Gospel Hip Hop Online Radio Stations

I have a collection of Gospel Hip Hop songs discovered on SoundClick that I will continuously add more songs as they are discovered:

lo bandwidth:

high bandwidth:


Controversies Aside, NBC's "The Book of Daniel" Is Just a Bad Show

Last night I saw a portion of the new NBC television program "The Book of Daniel" and saw the handwriting is already on the wall for the show.  It will need a miracle to survive its first season.

Recent news about the show being controversial and causing an uproar among the believers around the world clearly raised the level of awareness that I had about the show.  As the saying goes, "There is no such thing as bad publicity" and getting the attention of people cannot be considered the home base for scoring successes.

The show is not on the level of FX's Nip / Tuck and although it may try, I doubt that viewers will drool over the letterbox format that should bring a sense of drama to the program.

The priest named Daniel has a son named Peter, a daughter named Grace, and an adopted Asian son named Adam.  Within the portion that I saw, Daniel's wife is an alcoholic, Peter is gay, Grace was selling drugs to buy computer equipment to produce Manga (a Japanese animated art form), and Adam gets around with the ladies like a modern-day Casanova.

The show seems like people threw possible situations for characters into a hat and what was pulled from the hat was given to third string writers to create a script.

The show cannot be possibly compared to 7th Heaven which appeared on the WB network even during a flashback episode.

The hour that the show has received thus far should be reserved for something more entertaining, educational, or placeholder technical difficulty visual.

This is just how bad the show itself (and not just the one episode) is.   Viewers would rather see a version of MTV and VH1's "The Surreal Life" with deceased celebrities thrown together via old footage only.

Chicago SunTimes: Dorsey's music likely destroyed

Dorsey's music likely destroyed

More than memories were lost in the blaze that destroyed Chicago's Pilgrim Baptist Church -- the birthplace of gospel music.

During his four-year tenure as Pilgrim's pastor, the Rev. Hycel B. Taylor, who left the pastorate about seven months ago, worked with students from the Illinois Institute of Technology to catalog and store sheet music belonging to Thomas A. Dorsey, the church's longtime musical director better known as "the godfather of gospel music," he said.

"I had boxed all his music to preserve it," Taylor said Friday, adding that he believes the music was in the church at the time of the fire.

"That's a great loss."

Before his death in 1993 at the age of 93, Dorsey wrote more than 400 gospel songs. His most famous, penned in 1932 after the death of his wife and infant son, is gospel music's unofficial anthem: "Precious Lord, Take My Hand."

"Through the storm, through the night/Lead me on to the light/Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home. . . ."

Cathleen Falsani

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Watch Night 2005-2006 Sermon: Every Seed Needs Water!

Here is the link to immediately listen to or download (for later listening) the sermon that I delivered last night (December 31, 2005) to usher in the new year 2006 entitled "Every Seed Needs Water".

The sermon was delivered at Bethesda Baptist Church in Austell, GA which is led by Pastor Charles Goodman.

The length of the MP3 file is 18:26.

It is my hope and prayer that the message blesses you, your household, and establishes a theme for the blessings and empowerment that you shall experience throughout 2006 and beyond according to the will of God.

Peace and Happy New Year in the name of Christ Jesus!