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About Alaskagrrl

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    Contributing Member
  • Birthday 09/30/1959
  1. Thanks for submitting yet another observant, intelligent and well-researched Post. Does anyone have ideas how to protect US financial holdings during this storm ? What is the conventional wisdom regarding US Pension security during an (apparently looming) Banking Crisis ? Any ideas how someone might move to secure such an income stream ? I am moving towards liquidating much of my real estate holdings into 'cash' in the form of Gold and Strategic Metals and eliminating all debt in my life. I am investing in secure, economical transportation and housing (I am fortunate to have BlueWater Skills so I am considering a sailboat that I may take to Central/South America). I am also traveling to Thailand this summer to have all those 'fifty something' checkups done on the ultra-cheap, in quality facilities, while going on vacation to boot. I am definitely preparing for a storm of magnitude. Personally I think it will happen before the next US Election Even with all this preparation, I haven't a clue how to protect my pension from banking collapse/recession/depression. At one point I was considering investing in a Permanent Annuity for a secure monthly income stream, but after watching CitiBank and others get buoyed by offshore governments/corporations I've decided Annuities might not remain so...Permanent. Seems this might have enormous ramifications for people in CR using laddered CD's for residency qualification. Does anyone know if any Annuities have failed in recent memory ? During the Depression ? Does anyone have ideas on how to protect a pension ? I was curious if one could cash-out using a 'structured settlement' buyout company, but haven't much information. Nikki
  2. Interestingly, this guy predicted with his first paragraph that most of you wouldn't get it. Prophetic then, we'll see about the rest. I recall Cody first gave accurate information about advanced biometric requirements about to be applied to expats. Now he's providing information and research warning us to keep our money safe during times of extreme financial crisis in the US. Some of us find that very important and applicable to a 'friendly little discussion group' when choosing to retire abroad. I prefer that to long posts and threads relating to pedophilia and sexual tourism (yuck). Those things barely relate to anyone while these former and present topics relate to EVERYONE. Sorry if you don't like the news. Where do you get this ? How do you feel about numerous pointless 'two-liner' replies that also take up board space ? Perhaps it's important to remember pointing one finger at someone results in three more pointing your way.... I actually doubt I'm the only one reading them, its more likely this poor guy got dog-piled because the owner of this board labelled him a whack-job by post number three and supporters kept quiet. The only reason I am confident enough to post my feelings is that I see through TicoGrande's opinion to see someone who posted the information REGARDLESS. He could have trashed it. I see that as fair, balanced and honorable. I hope to meet this man someday. If any of you desires a 'nice friendly forum' I cannot help but comment the most unattractive part of this whole encounter is not Cody's message but his treatment here. Most cultures treat people they consider crazy with a 'hands off' approach. Ask yourself what might a Tico do ? I think TicoGrande perhaps gave you a hint -- snigger just a little, give them their rein and see what comes of it. From the viewpoint of someone who considers herself not culturally American.... Cody's treatment here seems so very Gringo. Flaying someone over posts they didn't even read seems so very TEXAN. Calling horsepucky when you see it ? Well, apparently that's very Alaskan. N
  3. That's not bad advice, but sometimes smelling the flowers can get you stung in the nose unless you're paying attention. This man presents important commentary on topics relevant to emigration and financial protections during Wartime (remember the War ?? Two countries??). Not to mention other small wars are breaking out all over the place. Personally I find his position informed and incredibly well-researched. I even browsed quite a few of the links and determined I am glad to have read this helpful information. Americans see DOZENS of obvious assaults on our freedoms, constitution, trillion dollar tax cuts, no-bid contracts, wiretapping impunity, banking scandals, torture. Isn't it reasonable there are MORE sinister things going on in secret ? Financial things ? This man is dialed into some of them and we would ignore his warning at our peril. I'm an electrician by trade, and my job is playing with fire. I am constantly warning people what 'pre disaster' conditions look like. The complaint I always hear is 'it's always been like that, it'll be fine'. My response is "everything is fine right up until the time it isn't'. Pensions and annuities are nothing more than computer ghosts that could vanish instantly at the whim of the host government. Personally, I would hold those things pretty closely, if possible not across borders as the world gets pressured by things like Climate Change and War. It sounds like very good advice to me. My heart sinks to see this thoughtful man ridiculed. I respectfully submit people reconsider his message -- relevant, well-researched, respectfully delivered (even in the face of opposition) and certainly offered from his heart. Isn't that the definition of a worthy contribution to this forum ? If it seems long, just remember he's not using up anybody's paper.... Nikki
  4. THANK YOU so much for the notice, I can't believe I missed the news. Went out with a spotting scope and totally enjoyed the 'steam explosion' the size of our sun. So easy to find too ! Called all my friends and had and wonderful astronomy outing. Amazingly, you caught me on the ONLY clear night we've had for some time, or since. One night viewing and that was all. Such a score !!! A a very enthusiastic sky-watcher you sincerely have my thanks !
  5. Where's the link ? I'm a comet watcher and this is BIG news ! Couldn't find anything.... I witnessed the Carmacks Lake Bolide Meteor as it passed over Juneau -- totally illuminating the sky as it shed layers, bright like it was daytime. It's hard to describe, but an experience like that changes a person. It could have been the end of our climate, if only a little larger. I'll remember the experience for life.... Nikki
  6. Chose Alaskgrrl because it's very anonymous -- unfortunately there are some bizarre 'Googlegangers' out there but it's worth not being too personal. At various times in my live I've suffered Internet stalking, Identity Theft and a host of other annoying troubles, learned it's very advantageous to remain as anonymous as possible in these forums. I once posted a photo on a dating site -- big mistake ! Shows up everywhere it seems.... I wonder if guys suffer this ! Nikki -- also not my real name. Maybe someday I'll meet you in person with a properly Latinized iteration of my real first name. Trust me folks, be careful with posting real information and especially photos on the web.... are you listening Laura ?
  7. Gosh, I forgot you were from Texas... boy, it shows. Just remember if Alaska were to split ourselves in half Texas would be the third largest state. Only teasing in good fun -- these are old Alaska Jokes. Right along with the one that says the most beautiful sight in Alaska is a Texan walking south with an Okie under each arm. (For those of you who don't know, Alaska and Texas have battled each other since the Oil Patch Cronies took over our politics... I predict a typical "Don't mess with Texas" response, it's actually their State Motto). So now I find myself enjoying a grilling/ barbecue argument with someone entranced enough to elevate it to an art. You win -- but don't insult my research. I'm not writing a doggone dissertation here. I'm trying to help people understand something I know to be true: COMMON Charcoal briquettes are actually about half coal -- and most people light it with refined Diesel. Further I stand by my statement: Cooking over Coal using diesel for ignition is insane. Most do it without knowing. Maybe now a couple more won't and that makes the effort worthwhile to me. Oh, and then there's this from the Oxford Dictionary (not some Wiki Source): barbecue |ˈbärbiˌkyoō| noun a meal or gathering at which meat, fish, or other food is cooked out of doors on a rack over an open fire or on a portable grill. • a portable grill used for the preparation of food at a barbecue, or a brick fireplace containing a grill. • food cooked in such a way. Now aren't you holding my FEET TO THE FIRE just alittle ? (smile). You're slaying me with your colloquialisms. I've almost certainly cooked outdoors as much as you have. We BARBECUE entire animals for potlatch and big ones too, over FIRES. It's our life here. Isn't it mostly a hobby there in Texas ? So you give me a break. I did a good thing informing people of this little known fact about Coal. Let it stand and move on. N
  8. Thank you Richard -- a great moderator ! JDO's challenge left me less than sure about the Coal content in briquettes, so I did the research: http://www.answers.com/topic/charcoal-briq...?cat=technology Raw Materials Charcoal briquettes are made of two primary ingredients (comprising about 90% of the final product) and several minor ones. One of the primary ingredients, known as char, is basically the traditional charcoal, as described above. It is responsible for the briquette's ability to light easily and to produce the desired wood-smoke flavor. The most desirable raw material for this component is hardwoods such as beech, birch, hard maple, hickory, and oak. Some manufacturers also use softwoods like pine, or other organic materials like fruit pits and nut shells. The other primary ingredient, used to produce a high-temperature, long-lasting fire, is coal. Various types of coal may be used, ranging from sub-bituminous lignite to anthracite. Minor ingredients include a binding agent (typically starch made from corn, milo, or wheat), an accelerant (such as nitrate), and an ash-whitening agent (such as lime) to let the backyard barbecuer know when the briquettes are ready to cook over. Gotta love Corporate ingenuity ! (gag) And as far as the lighter fluid I'm sure it's refined diesel -- you can smell it. I'm sticking to propane....
  9. Good news about smoke. Humans have been sitting around a campfire for about two million years and those not able to handle smoke are long gone from the genome. Alaska Natives have never been exposed to concentrated sugar so they are dying of diabetes at absolutely alarming rates. They are experiencing a natural selection of this new diet. In fact, among animals humans are SPECTACULARLY resistant to the effects of smoke. It's why we can (or would) smoke things when other animals won't. On the other hand, one should limit the carcinogens concentrated on the surface of the food. In western Alaska people culturally smoke their fish until it's black and suffer some of the highest stomach cancer rates in the entire world. The carcinogens in smoke are actually what preserve it, being anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Consider that concentrating smoke for food preservation is a far more recent social development, and we too as a species are going through this 'winnowing' process. That's why Nutritionists keep telling us that Bacon / Sausage is not great for your health. It's actually a 'new' dietary development for our species. Think about this: Meat on a Stick is mankind's OLDEST recipe ! If your chicken is broiled without smoke containment it's probably quite safe and healthy. In fact it's far better than if cooked on an American barbeque using COAL as a heat source !! That's really quite new in our genome -- not to mention our bizarre practice of using Diesel to get it lit. I personally believe one should consider the dietary customs of one's ancestors when choosing a diet regimen. Healthy eating is not the same for all humans. Northern Europeans eat far differently than Asians for an extreme example, and if one bucks the trend it's up to their personal genome to prove its' ability to adapt -- or not. Nikki
  10. I don't know.... I enjoyed knowing people cook with Coffee Wood in CR ! I can't imagine the taste and look forward to trying it. In Alaska we use Alder or sometimes Red Cedar if cooking fish fillet on a plank, in the barbeque. Makes me wonder what planked chicken on coffee wood might be like. Nikki
  11. I DO strongly recommend the telenovels (sopa operas) on spanish TV. As I mentioned elsewhere, the dialogue between the characters is very helpful and since it is more like interchanges you would hear everyday and because it is being delivered by professional actors, those dialogues are spoken with clarity and good diction. Also great for developing a sense of Fashion for those of us to whom it matters ~ ! I also recently hired a guy who spends winters in Tijuana Mexico. He rolled his R's like a machine gun, and was good practice for me. Even though it's not that strong in CR it helped alot. N
  12. Hello Laura, I share your passion for learning Spanish later in life and wouldn’t dream of traveling without some knowledge of the language. Besides being fun it stretches our brains in places that haven’t been visited since birth. Forget Sudoku to prevent Alzheimers -- I’ll take Spanish ! I have found my DVD collection is proving a tremendous resource in surprising ways. I first watch familiar movies using Spanish subtitles. I sit with my laptop and a program called Ultralingua to boost my vocabulary from the subtitles. Then I watch them in Spanish to learn pronunciation, using English subtitles to keep track. Then I watch them in Spanish with Spanish subtitles (they are always VERY different) This is incredibly helpful ! You immediately notice the differences and it causes you to consider why. It reinforces literally everything by comparing what you hear to whatever the transcriber felt like typing. It’s so effective it’s exhausting to maintain for very long. In fact, it’s almost exactly like the Rosetta Stone Method level three. Also try changing the language on your Computer. On a Mac it switches every single word (even those in each program) to Spanish. It’s fantastic and also rather exhausting. If you are familiar with eBay you can try surfing the Spanish site. And if your really into challenges try the Chinese eBay ! Buena Suerte
  13. If you are referring to the .sex thing I look at it like partitioning, not censoring. However, we are allowed to censure children, but we can't. I get horrified by what pops up on the computer or gets into the kids email. I'm quite the liberal, heck even smoking weed is legal in Alaska and I support that. Just seems like I should be able to easily block if I choose to.
  14. Any chance the Tico Friendliness will go that direction after passage of CAFTA ? Alaska has been down this road before, and its' very likely the US will screw them. Alaska made a deal with the US during statehood for a 90/10 split for resource development taxes but only got 50/50 like the other Western States (who get nice federal things like bridges, railroads, dams, etc.). That was the deal we made, and the US agreed, signed the Contract. We never got our fair share. Several years ago we sued -- twice -- and it went all the way to the US Supreme Court. They said WE WON ! Agreed on every point of our lawsuit then told us to get stuffed !! We got screwed for 50 years, won in court, and lost anyway. Personally I get affronted when considered as an American (or a Gringo) because many of us are far away from the mentality such names engender. We actually have an active Secessionist Movement in Alaska because of the way America treats us ! The reason I am considering Costa Rica for retirement because I could never live in the USA. I can't comment on whether CAFTA is good for Costa Rica, all I can say is that Ticos are about to Swim with Sharks if they accept trade deals with the US. The US can't be trusted.... we are the proof. Maybe Ticos are very friendly, but everyone has a breaking point. I hope that day is a long way off, but if USA starts WWIII by invading Iran the world will hate the US worse than they already do now.
  15. As I understand it the 'net neutrality' issue relates to (fiscal) gatekeepers. If you don't have the dough, you won't get the show, moderating content based on the depth of your pocket. No taxes for internet sales are an example of the government looking the other way, for now. This is also likely to change. Blogs are also on the hit list.... government censorship is present in other countries. If anyone thinks it can't happen in the US (or everywhere) isn't paying much attention. The Bush Adminstration has gutted the protections of the US Constitution and once that fails other freedoms will follow. Seems like market forces rule the internet about now demonstrated in the fact the domain /.sex was SADLY not adopted. Just imagine how much safer your kids surf would be if we could block all sex content to adults ? Nikki
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