Monday, June 24, 2013

Wild Fidalgo: Tree Swallow

Wild Fidalgo: Tree Swallow
Tree Swallows feeding insects to two chicks in grass fields of Minnesota.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Invitation to view a photo from Jim's Picasa Web Album - Alaska-11

Message from Jim:
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To share your photos or receive notification when your friends share photos, get your own free Picasa Web Albums account.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Donna conquers the wall

Donna beat the 5-story wall, on the mammoth Oasis of the Seas ... she will definitely ring your bell!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas - Radford Family

Dear Friends and Family:

This is the third year of sending our holiday message electronically, now including Facebook and our blog. It's a sign of the times and offers some advantages over snail mail.

We've been blessed in many ways this year with exciting trips, experiences, grandkids and friends in our lives, too many to mention here. We are grateful for your relationship to our growing family and for the memory of a cherished few who have passed away in 2009, including cousins Jim Warrington and Brian Nelson.

Donna and I still enjoy our small business ventures which keep us challenged and meeting wonderful people. Jim just rediscovered his love of photography, as shown by the sample above of the Advent candles; and Donna
has become a serious expert of fitness. We are proud new grandparents of #8 - Luke Radford Francis.

So, stay in touch! Our emails are below. We wish you and your family a healthy, peaceful & joyous New Year. Jim & Donna

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Security criteria

What is the BEST security software? Best value? Are those different?

According to the testing done of 11 programs by Consumer Reports ---

* these FREE programs are all recommended: Avira, Microsoft Windows Defender, and Spamfighter Standard. But they don't have all the features of paid security programs shown below.

* top subscription suite is Eset Smart Security and it costs the most.

* number 2 is McAfee, which is what we use, and CA

* #3 is Microsoft Live OneCare, and #4 is Symantec. Others follow ie Kaspersky, BitDefender, Trend Micro, F-Secure, CA, Check Point and PC Tools.

The Criteria? = Scanning speed, the CPU resources used, detection quality, scanning of emails, ease of use, child filters, anti-spam performance, files backup and cost. Lots to consider for safe computing.


Have you seen the work-at-home offers? Stuff envelopes or set up an internet business? According to Consumer Reports they are scams. One claim, to make $107,000 in 6 months -- via Google Money Tree. First its not related to Google. A free CD kit is $197 if not ordered instantly online. You provide credit card for a $3.88 ship fee, which let's them charge your account $72 per month for web access to their site if you don't cancel in 7 days. Better Business Bureau has 478 complaints on them re unauthorized credit card charges, and it failed to respond to 460. Whew.

There are many more -- assemble products at home kit -- start with the listings for $26, then $50 for a starter kit from a Texas company Gone Fish' n Tackle for 24 fishing flies. The company actually pays $12 for those IF they pass inspection, so its a $38 loss just to start. Then pay $40 for a 144 fly-making kit. Or materials will cost $890 for 3,048 flies which pay back $1524, or $639 profit for 190 hours work, or $3.35 per hour without a break ... Half the minimum wage. But it's good money for the fly company.

Stuffed envelopes at $5 profit each? The free trial cost $67 for a kit. You pay and place a classified ad to "EARN $1500+ WEEKLY" to get customers to send you the $5 and you mail them a report on how to get big dollars and other promo pamphlets from EasyHomeJOB System. That's it. Never pay for materials, be wary of network marketing, be a skeptic says CR.

Flyer Mileage

When do you spend the money to fly vs using your precious frequent flyer miles? Do the math. According to Consumer Reports, the relative value of a mile is down from 2 cents to 1.2 based on what a passenger would have paid for a free ticket in dollars. Airlines usually charge at least 25,000 miles per round trip award, so at 1.2 cents that's $300. So if a flight costs less than $300 don't spend your award dollars.

A bigger challenge might be getting a free seat. An upgrade might be easier, but more expensive due to new rules.... 6-10x more than coach to fly first class. Yipes. Might be cheaper to fly allot, achieve the highest reward level and then get free upgrades. Do the math.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CO2 Emissions

Your average gasoline lawn mower puts out as much pollution per hour as 11 cars. A manual push-reel mower is zero. The computer you use ... Being on all day and night, contributes 8.3 million tons of CO2 emissions. Converting your lights to fluorescents would reduce CO2 by 42.4 million tons a year. Your annual CO2 emission could be apx 54,273 pounds.... Thanks to air conditioning, heat, computers, pools, water heater, etc.

A gallon of car gas adds 20 pounds of CO2 to the air. A typical kitchen has 10 75-watt spots on all day. Replacing them with fluorescents would save $200 a year. Appliances could contribute half your electrical bill. If we drove 20 miles less each week we would reduce CO2 by 107 million tons or 9%. The US produces 1\5th of the world CO2 emissions.... Six billion tons a year.... Soon to be seven. The average house is 45% larger than 30 years ago. Buildings and transportation produce most of the CO2. Third is industry, ie refineries, paper plants that contribute 28%. But firms like Dow, DuPont and 3M have demonstrated huge savings by reducing energy. At home the top CO2 dogs are the heating pump at 5,249 pounds of CO2 per year in the US, central air at 4,067,oil furnace at 14,380, car at 11,903, pool pump at 1,496, and gas furnace at 6,967 vs TV set at 548, shaver at 1, camcorder at 3 and digital camera at 19. If you take an airplane trip in the US, you will double your daily total of emissions.

Will cutting back help? Consider that 80% of NEW energy demand in the next 10 years will come from China, India and other developing nations where economies are developing faster.

For more about air emissions see the March National Geographic for a reality check.

Review JVC GZ-HD30 camcorder

Jim narrates a review of this small, higher quality JVC camcorder, with recorded examples, and accessory options.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

South America Photos

View our South America tour album here or the larger photos below in my daily diary (more info). Enjoy!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Our final port of call during this two-week South American cruise is Puerto Montt, Chile in northern Patagonia ... population 150,000 in the lakes region, surrounded by the Andes Mountains, water falls and forests. It's an awesome aggregate of mother nature's most scenic architecture (see photos). But it is also a breeding ground for volcanoes and intense seismic quakes from the "Ring of Fire" -- in fact, the largest earthquake ever recorded (9.5) occurred here in 1960, with a force of 100 billion tons of TNT. The resulting tsunami drove waves at over 200 mph into Japan 10,000 miles away, and devastated Hilo Hawaii. Puerto Montt was settled in the 1800's by rugged pioneers from Europe, especially German immigrants looking for a better life. Today their ancestors live within the shadow of snow-capped volcano Osorno, where we made photos between openings in the dense clouds, and enjoyed a Chilean meal at a local resort -- Pisco Sours and wine, chicken salad, salmon, and crispy empenada's. Yummi. Another day at sea, then Santiago and the long ride home again.