Florida Governor

I have just finished watching the gubernatorial debate on TV. Here is my post on Rick Scott’s web site: (Rick Scott has several websites that do not allow comment – this was the ONLY one that allowed comment – we wonder why!)

Sir:

I have just finished watching your debate against opponent Alex Sink and to be quite honest, I don’t know who is worse…. you or her!

Number one: Your body language is appalling and you falter with every statement. This does not foster confidence in your voters. Neither of you have confidence in what you are feeding the voters and this leads me to believe that BOTH of you are simply currying favor with the voters, only to feed your own egos after elections!

Number two: You did not answer A SINGLE QUESTION! All you did was to attempt to discredit your opponent. Now don’t get me wrong ~ I am not convinced that she is the right choice either but by gosh…. you did a great job of playing right into her hands with your hell-bound mission to bring out every single infraction in her career! If you are so religious (as you claim to be), then you will respect the notion that they crucified the last perfect person!

Number 3… and more to my point: You blatantly state that you will reduce unemployment. Exactly how do you plan to do that, Sir? What is your plan as this was never addressed in the debate? And BTW… I expect a tangible answer to this question – in detail – not the waffling and evasion that you employed on television.

As a REALTOR(R) in both California and Florida, having suffered through the bad decisions and laws passed by government which has simply taken us from a bad economy to a WORSE economy, I would like to know what you plan to do to resolve the distress sale issues that we have in this State.

How strong will you be in representing the distressed owners against government officials and representatives who are so far removed from the problem, as to not care about it. PLEASE tell me that you do NOT favor a bank bailout because I cannot see why banks should receive funding – they are the ONLY ones making money out of this recession and the ONLY ones that have not had to make any sacrifices.

What do you plan to do about the banks who are grossly overcharging customers to the point where homeowners have no alternative BUT to go into foreclosure?

What do you plan to do about banks that encourage homeowners to stop paying their mortgages while they assess a loan modification, only to foreclose on them for non-payment of their loan?

What do you plan to do about fraudulent charges that banks bring to their customers, that they cannot reverse, due to the change in dispute law?

What will you do to combat the inflated appraisals that banks obtain through THEIR appraisal companies (at listing), which are then low-balled at a later stage (after sale), so that banks can sue to get the appraisers insurance money and put them out of business?

Education in this country, but moreso in this State is a JOKE! I have no faith in the next generation of so-called leaders, who have been schooled and graded, not on merit, but graduated on multiple choice question papers, marked by teachers who fear their students.

Oh…. and what would you do about curbing government spending on unnecessary staffing? Government – Federal, State and local – is fraught with staff that spend 20 years with nothing to do only to draw healthy government retirement plans (yes, I have known a few)! Are you prepared to CUT those members of staff to save tax payers money? And while we’re talking about it, how much clout DO you have? … Do tax payers REALLY have to foot the bill for past Presidents and other Officials, to live out their lives on pensions to the standard that they have BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO, when the taxpayer can’t afford their own retirement?

I have SO MANY QUESTIONS that I, my collegaues and our clients have brought forth, that this post could never be long enough. If you could answer just 1% of these questions satisfactorily, you might be successful in getting my vote – although I very much doubt it, because I am of the opinion that you have not thought further than the day of elections.

Furthermore, you state that with regard to marriage between homosexuals (that was how the question was put to you), is concerned, you believe that marriage is a state that exists between a man and a woman. You said this TWICE! Are you aware that gay people do not wish to live in Florida BECAUSE of that archaic belief? Because they KNOW that GOVERNMENT opposes same sex relationships? Are you aware that this drachonian belief is the very reason that our State is not more prosperous than it is now? If you believe that this is what your Bible says, then, Sir…. why do you shave your head? There was a time when Biblical law provided that men should not cut hair/shave their heads OR their faces! I mean…. if you are going to take the Bible at the very meaning of the letter, then please, Sir, do so in entirety – don’t pick and choose according to what suits you at the time. If, however, you are progressive enough to shave your face and shave your balding head, wear a red tie (which, incidentally was ALSO not dictated by your Bible), then at least have the progressive nature to allow the same courtesy to others! Live and let live!

Oh, and incidentally, I am a US Citizen who was once an immigrant. Secure our borders? What a stupid statement! Have you ANY idea how many THOUSANDS of miles constitute our borders (hint: look at a map of the US… um… Google?)? Clearly you have NO idea what this issue involves! Believe me, having come through the process of what took me 25 years at a cost of over $100,000, you cannot teach me anything about the immigration laws that I don’t already know and which NEED REVISING! You, Sir, have never been an immigrant, know nothing of the process and cannot even begin to understand how to improve the situation!

Please understand that I have not yet made a decision as to who I will vote for, but vote I will! I will not vote for a party – I will vote for the BEST person for the job, but help me out here…… at least give me A LITTLE SOMETHING to work with!

(I came to this country with the intention of having a beneficial input into the lives of the people – I will not be silenced when so much needs attention! I have no doubt that this post will never air on this site, so I am posting it on other sites, so that the people of Florida may be better informed).

Althea Garner
REALTOR (R) MBA, MCI, e-Pro
Exit Beach Cities Realty (California)
Preferred Realty Executives (Florida)
Your House Of Homes Online
DRE 01516817
772-626-1768

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:
http://www.HouseOfHomesOnline.com
http://www.isellpslhomes.com

Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
President-Elect – 2011 (Saint Lucie County)
VP Membership – 2010 (South Orange County)
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):
Education Vice Chair – 2009

REALTORS(R) Association of Saint Lucie
Vice Chair, Global Business – 2011

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Cancer

Most of my blogs are about or connected to the real estate world, in some way shape or form, but when I saw this news article today, I felt compelled to take a different direction:

ABC News ~ Combination hormone therapy linked to breast cancer deaths

You see, for many years, I have believed that the US is killing its people!

Prior to coming to the US, I lived in Africa and was happy, healthy and of normal weight. Within the first 8 months of being in the US, I lost 54 lbs and finally, when I collapsed, my son begged me to stop eating meat – ‘Just for a little while’, he pleaded. For two years, my diet was completely meat-free (not vegetarian) and surprisingly, I gained in both strength and weight. Then I gradually reintroduced meat into my diet and now 15 years later, I am overweight!

My initial massive weight loss was caused by an allergic reaction to hormones injected into food-producing animals, intended to raise the meat-to-bone ratio, so that the food industry may get a better return on sales. Continued ingestion of these hormones, increases the meat-to-bone ratio in people, resulting in weight gain and osteoporosis – both of which are conditions that are epidemic in the US!

Is it any wonder why the US is overweight? With a society of people eating cheap fast food, which is heavily laden with hormone-filled meat, deep-fried in cholesterol-increasing oil and pumped full of salt (for taste) and preservatives, we should not be surprised at the death toll! But this menu is encouraged because it supports the pharmaceutical industry, which churns out billions of dollars in pills prescribed for the health issues caused by ‘affordable’ meals!

The indoctrination starts at a very young age, with parents taking their children to fast food outlets for breakfast and entertainment. It follows them through their school years as parents provide children with lunch money – two fast food burgers quell hunger pangs better than one over-priced salad. You only have to witness the road verges, where students get off the bus – go ahead…. just count the fast food containers that litter your suburb on a daily basis!

Doctors are too quick to prescribe chemical drugs for simple disorders, many of which create more issues than they are intended to cure. A colleague recently commented “So you’re a Lipitor survivor, are you?” … it was only when I stopped taking Lipitor for high cholesterol, that I realized how sick it had made me and how extremely well I felt without it!

In an attempt to control the rising population, women are encouraged to take birth control pills – hormones. Then, when they reach menopause and all its debilitating effects, doctors are quick to provide relief in the form of hormone replacement therapy. When my doctor suggested HRT for my frequent and extremely uncomfortable hot flashes, I declined, suspecting that there might be a link between hormones and breast cancer and since my sister had lost a breast to the disease, I believed that I needed to be cautious.

Is there any way to get away from hormones and chemical cures? And is it any wonder why cancer deaths are so frighteningly high? There is no medical confirmation of this, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if one day soon, we are informed that there is a link between chemical drugs and Alzheimer’s disease!

Is it remotely possible that the US is killing its people in an attempt to boost the pharmaceutical industry?


Althea GarnerREALTOR (R) MBA, MCI, e-Pro
Exit Beach Cities Realty (California)
Preferred Realty Executives (Florida)
Your House Of Homes Online
DRE 01516817
772-626-1768

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:
http://www.HouseOfHomesOnline.com
http://www.isellpslhomes.com

Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
President-Elect – 2011 (Saint Lucie County)
VP Membership – 2010 (South Orange County)
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):Education Vice Chair – 2009

Lipitor and Insomnia

Since being mugged and severely beaten in my driveway in 1983, I have not been a particularly good sleeper. I never had difficulty getting to sleep, but tended to wake anywhere between 1am and 3am and then it seemed impossible to get back to sleep until around 5am. This would continue for about 4 days and then I would collapse into a 12 – 14 hour sleep and be OK again. Over the years, getting by on less sleep, just became a way of life, until recently…….

The lead-up to our move to Port Saint Lucie, Florida, recently was naturally hectic – filled with late nights and early mornings, while I packed, organized and continued to work full real estate days. Prior to leaving California, I had my annual check-up and ensured that all my meds were revised and re-upped.

When we arrived in Florida, life became a lot simpler and I couldn’t get enough sleep. I would sleep for 9 hours at night and then for another 6 hours in the afternoon! Despite having driven from coast-to-coast, I put this down to ‘jet lag’ or time zone changes. I also experienced morning nausea, which prompted me to start eating breakfast – something I haven’t done with any regularity since high school!

About 2 weeks ago, I turned out the light at about 11pm and tossed and turned ALL NIGHT, finally falling asleep at 5am! This was naturally followed by an afternoon nap and another sleepless night – and then another and another. I stopped the afternoon naps, trying to ‘push through’ till midnight in an attempt to force sleep, but still felt like a rotisserie chicken, turning, turning, TURNING, all night!

My son gave me a bottle of Melatonin but when one tablet didn’t work, I tried two. When this didn’t help, I tried Tylenol PM – first a half a tablet and the following night a whole tablet! After two weeks of being sleep deprived, I was exhausted by 11pm, but wide awake for several hours every night after turning out the light!

At 1am this morning, when sleep eluded me – AGAIN, I had the realization that a whole Tylenol PM, had in the past knocked me out for 24 hours – why wasn’t it working, now? I wasn’t even remotely drowsy! I cast my mind back over the preceding two weeks and it occurred to me that this was about the time that my Simvastatin (medication to combat high cholesterol) ran out and I started taking the new prescription, Lipitor! During my ‘medical’ my ‘bad’ cholesterol had peaked at 250 – the highest it had ever been, despite the Simvastatin, and my doctor put me on the stronger product, Lipitor. I wasn’t concerned as my husband has been taking Lipitor for several years since his heart issues began.

During our ‘trans-US’ trip, my routine had been a little off and I had been taking my meds in the morning instead of last thing at night. Before starting the Lipitor, I had read the instructions that said that it should be taken prior to sleep – I immediately made the change.

So, now wide awake at 1am, I moseyed on through to my computer and started some research on the side effects of Lipitor – and there it was! Insomnia, nausea, joint pain, irritability, depression… all symptoms that I had had since starting this medication! At 58, one doesn’t question joint pain! I put the irritability down to lack of sleep and the depression to the relocation.

As with most medications, Lipitor comes with the warning that if any side effects are experienced, one should ‘consult their doctor’, but most cases result in the doctor simply adding another prescription to deal with the latest complaint and before you know it, you are a walking pharmacy!

As I read on, I noticed that there were some conflicts: Tiredness and insomnia …. weight gain and loss of weight …. depression and anxiety, depending on the dosage and the way that the individual processes the drug – basically the interaction of the drug (a chemical) with the individuals natural body chemicals which would naturally vary from person to person, depending on age, weight, diet and dosage.

My mind went back to celebrities who have overdosed on drugs – many of them prescription drugs. These are folks who have become dependent on drug usage, just to function, but there it was… in black and white: some patients who suffer insomnia and who take sleeping pills, find that they cannot function with day-to-day activities (their work) and start to take ‘uppers’, just to get through the day!

OMG! I was shocked! I could TOTALLY understand why Michael Jackson took pain pills after his fire accident and ended up self administering anesthetic, just to be able to sleep. Believe me…. I was pretty close, myself!

What I don’t understand, is how some doctors simply prescribe another medication to counter the effects of the last prescription – each with its own set of side effects. Then there’s the problem of the medical insurance rejecting some medications, forcing patients to take those that don’t agree with them! Finally, we dip into depression and irritability that affects our families and friends as they react to our moods without understanding, our jobs and finally, we find ourselves confused, lost and alone! (Unfortunately, family and friends seldom relate changes in behavioral patterns with medication and one is just regarded as ‘cranky’ or difficult to live with – some simply regard the person as ‘just not nice’!)

My motto has always been ‘physician, heal thyself’, before resorting to drugs of any kind, so when I was told that my blood pressure was extremely high, I opted to drink more water, get more exercise and lower my sodium intake. While this worked for my blood pressure which is now normal, I was stuck with the cholesterol meds because my high count is hereditary rather than dietary.

My family’s reaction is for me to stop the medication because I have apparently not been very easy to live with lately, but this puts me back to starting a new prescription and who knows what the side effects of THAT could be?

My research showed that cholesterol medication is prescribed to be taken last thing at night because apparently more cholesterol is manufactured by the body during sleep (yeah, right… what sleep?) My first step will be to take my meds at 5pm, since I have been falling asleep about 6 hours after taking Lipitor. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try taking it in the morning and just dealing with the nausea.

The human body is a delicate chemical machine, that when another chemical is added, runs the risk of imbalance. Add another chemical to the mix and one runs the risk of swinging in the opposite direction or, worse still, plummeting deeper into further imbalance.

My quest now, is to attempt to restore that delicate balance, despite Lipitor.

Althea Garner
REALTOR (R) MBA, MCI, e-Pro
Exit Beach Cities Realty
Exit Realty All Professional
Your House Of Homes Online
DRE 01516817
772-905-9133

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:
http://www.HouseOfHomesOnline.com

Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
VP Membership – 2010 (South Orange County)
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):
Education Vice Chair – 2009

Ooops…. she did it again!

I guess I am too used to working foreclosures and in general, real estate, so I really don’t want to discuss HOW I got the FakeAV virus – just how I got RID of it!

Firstly,  how did I know that my computer had a virus in the first place?  Honestly,  as anal as I am, I am paranoid about maintaining a clean computer, as much for my protection as for those with whom I am in communication (for which reason,  no-one has heard from me for three days!).  I was doing an Internet search for electricians, but what came up, was a list of dating sites.  HUH?  I am married and wouldn’t need a dating site!  I checked my search criteria, just in case I typed it incorrectly, but no….  I was correct!  Second guessing myself (as we do) I typed it in again and guess what?  I got dating sites again!

My next search (logically) was for new viruses,  as I have virus protection and assumed that the virus I might have was something not detected by my current program.  This time I got vacation resort sites!

Huh?  What the ———?  Just the mere typing of the word virus, took me to all and sundry sites EXCEPT for those that might give me information.  I launched my McAffee virus protection (and eradication) software only to find that ‘Scan’ etc, was grayed out!  Well naturally,  the virus didn’t want to be removed and therefore had disabled my protection software! Clever little virus, wasn’t it?

Now,  my biggest fear was that this type of virus (a Trojan or worm) is used by those criminals who reduce your computer to ‘zombie’ status, and use it as a mail server to launch thousands of e-mails!  Consider those ads that offer you X-thousands of mailouts for $Y.00?  Yup,  they’re coming from YOUR computer,  so when it is time to black list for spam,  it’s YOU they black list! And you don’t even know that your computer is being used!

This was Friday afternoon and thus started a weekend of virus hide and seek.  My first line of attack was to seek out all the files created in the last 24 hours (I would have expanded to the last week etc, had this not been successful) and sure enough,  I found a Windows file that was downloaded outside the update time frame.  Upon closer scrutiny, I noticed that this appeared to be a Microsoft file, BUT, checking the original name (through Properties) a non-Microsoft name was revealed with no manufacturer.

“Ah-HA!  Got you,  you little sucker”, I thought, and promptly deleted it!  There followed a list of 103 files generated in an around the time that I deleted the offending file!  What now?  It would appear as though deleting the master file, caused the virus to ‘spawn’ hundreds of aliases in different folders.  “Aw…..  I don’t have time for this,  I thought ~  I’ll call a geek!”

Now understand that my Internet Explorer was giving me everything EXCEPT what I was searching for, so I fired up my laptop, found Best Buy and called them.  HOW MUCH?  $399 per incident to remove a virus (any virus) – $299 if I took my tower in!  You MUST be JOKING!  I remember telling the Best Buy person: “You can’t see me, but I don’t LOOK stupid, either!” Dang…  I’m in the wrong business!

Doing a little research on the Internet via my laptop,  I found the file extension of the spawned files (all three of them) and started searching and deleting the files, one by one. This added a new challenge – as I scrolled down the list of files,  the window would freeze, halting my system, but with each file that I deleted, I noticed that a file was being added to my Trash Can, but that nothing was visible when I opened the Trash Can window!  Sneaky – very sneaky!  Still,  I dutifully instructed my computer to empty the Trash Can and sure enough,  the file had gone from the list.

103 files,  103 deletions,  103 Trash Can empties. 103 painful file searches and 103 reboots and finally,  my McAffee would work to the point where I could scan for malware!  By the time I was done,  it was Monday morning at 11am,  but I was virus free, adware free and spyware free!  My system was so squeaky clean that it just plain glowed!

Just a word of advice:  Download McAffee Stinger (free from the McAffee web site) which will scan for 538 of the most virulent viruses, Trojans and variants.  Follow this up with Windows Defender (free from Microsoft.com) which will catch any spyware or adware that might still exist.

Oh…..  I must mention that when I was ready to tear my hair out this morning,  I called my son, who is possibly THE most knowledgeable IT person I have ever known.  It was he who pointed me in the direction of Stinger and Defender, but by that time, the virus had already been arrested and removed.  Still,  in all my ‘hacking’  I had made quite a mess of my Internet settings and really needed someone ‘in the know’ to check on what I had done!

Thanks, son…..  I guess I really am in diaper credit now!  (For those of you who might not understand the currency of diapers:  a mother leverages the years of diaper changes – “I changed your diapers….  I washed your diapers” etc.  Well,  by now,  my diaper bank account is sorely in overdraft!  LOL) 

As sons go,  I don’t know how he got so smart, while I am so dumb for having got that virus, when I really knew better!

 


Althea Garner
REALTOR (R) MBA, MCI, e-Pro
Executive Real Estate
House Of Homes Online
(714) 264-3458

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:
http://www.HouseOfHomesOnline.com

Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):
Education Chair – 2009