Thursday, December 30, 2010

Talk about starting the New Year off right! Lottery Jackpot is $242 million!

Mega Millions is bringing the fireworks to the celebration on New Year’s Eve. The jackpot for Friday’s drawing is an explosive $242 million to a single annuity winner. It only takes $1 for a chance to start 2011 with a bang.

Any lucky player who matches all five white ball numbers, along with the Mega Ball number, could win approximately $9.3 million a year for 26 years with the annuity option. Or a player could select the cash option and win a single payment worth approximately $154 million.

Any Georgia Lottery retailer who sells a winning Mega Millions jackpot ticket can earn the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus payment. If more than one winning jackpot ticket is sold in Georgia, the retailers selling the winning tickets will share the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus.

As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Mega Millions will benefit education in the state of Georgia. Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $12.1 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.25 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

MEGA MILLIONS FAST FACTS
Draw Date: December 31, 2010
Estimated Jackpot Amount: $242 million
Annuity Amount: Approximately $9.3 million a year for 26 years
Cash Option Amount: Approximately $154 million
Cost to Play: $1 per play
Drawings: 11 p.m. (ET) every Tuesday and Friday
Overall Odds of Winning Any Prize: Approximately 1:40
Odds of Winning Jackpot Prize: Approximately 1:175 million
Date Jackpot Began Rolling: Nov. 12, 2010
Number of Rolls: 14
Last Winning Jackpot Ticket: Nov. 9, 2010 in Ohio
#1 Georgia Lottery Jackpot: Mega Millions = $390 million; March 6, 2007; Ga./N.J. winners

For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corporation and Mega Millions, please visit:
www.galottery.com and www.megamillions.com

Play Responsibly – It’s All About Fun!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fayette County Commission Changes Selection Process for Board of Elections

Last night I attended our local Fayette County Commission meeting. A number of things happened that have me scratching my head, but there's one that really tweaked my curiosity.

The Board voted to give themselves the final approval over who gets to serve on the Board of Elections.

In the past the Republican Party appointed one person, the Democrat Party appointed one and the County Commission appointed the third member. Done, finis, job complete.

Now however both the Democrat and Republican appointees will have to be approved by the County Commission.

I did a little research today, made a few phone calls, and as the county attorney Scott Bennett stated, the selection process is handled in a variety of different ways including the "new" way Fayette will be handling things. The only one I found that gives the County Commission final approval of who is appointed is Henry County. There may be others --- there are a LOT of counties in Georgia!

I can't imagine that the Democrat Party is going to be happy with this one. The County Commissioners are all Republicans. I'd have heartburn about it if I were a Democrat... and who's to say that at some point the tables won't be turned and Republicans will have to go before an all Democrat Board for approval of their appointee.

My research indicates the Board of Elections is supposed to be an independent board. This change seems to be trying to make them a little or possibly a lot less independent.

County Commissioner Eric Maxwell brought up some good reasons NOT to make the move. One being the one I raised in the paragraph before this one.

Another was the way it popped up kind of as a last minute issue. Per Maxwell the County Commissioners have had a policy for the past four years that they would discuss issues like this one in their monthly workshop and / or have at least three Commissioners look into the matter.

He said he first saw the measure two days before the meeting and that to the best of his recollection it had never been discussed at a workshop.



I asked outgoing Chairman Jack Smith what prompted the change after the meeting. He said that it was the only Board that had appointees who weren't approved by the Commission. He also indicated there had been some disputes over control of the budget and other items and this would give them more control. I asked the logical question "how would having final approval over appointees by local political parties change their control, affect budget disputes". I got a shrug type non-answer, a wellll... I really can't remember exactly what Smith said but it really wasn't an good explanation.

I guess at the end of the appointees four-year term if they haven't towed the Commission line they could block their re-appointment?

Now, behind the scenes I've been hearing there's a lot going on in this arena. I've heard that County Manager Jack Krakeel has been bumping heads with some of the appointees. I've heard that the Commissioners don't like that it's possible for the Republican Party to appoint a political opponent... and that they don't care for the fact that they could dump someone they've appointed only to have the Republican Party turn around and appoint them... I'm hearing all kinds of tings and have no idea where the truth lies.

I don't see any reason for the Board to sneak this one in as a last-minute last-vote of the year without some kind of something going on that I'd love to know!

This isn't one that is really going to affect me personally one way or the other. At least I don't think it will. I think it's just another power grab. I also think that we may see the Fayette Democrat and Republican parties working together to try and stop this one... we may also see Henry County Democrats joining forces with Fayette Democrats to try and stop it.

I'm including the video of the vote and discussion on the issue. Let me know what you think about it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Good morning world! Ready for a little self-discipline?

My dad is a person of discipline and habit. He's flexible where it matters but in his day-to-day routine he never varied when I was growing up. I'm not so sure about now given he's not trekking off to an office everyday, but back then, we could set the clock by his morning ritual.

Up every morning long before my little peepers started to stiffly open. Showered, dressed and to the kitchen for breakfast by the time my feet finally hit the floor.

He would have a small bowl of cornflakes with a teaspoon or two of bran atop and just enough milk to match the amount of cereal precisely. He'd take half a sandwich wrapped in wax paper and a bag of potato chips for lunch. He left the house at the same time and pretty much got home at the same time every work-day.

I have no idea what his weekend ritual was since yours truly never got up early enough to see it!

Later when the cost of cereal started to sky-rocket he quit putting bran on top of his cereal. Hope that didn't cause him any problems! For a long time I bought him a box of bran for his birthday and Christmas. He was appreciative but Mom finally told me that it wasn't a good idea as when he ran out he didn't replace them.

My morning ritual isn't quite so locked in stone but I do have a few regular habits. I must, must have at least one cup of hot tea in the morning. I like to have the biggest cup available and usually will end up having two (perfecto!). I typically wake up, take care of business, then walk straight to the computers, reboot if needed or start them up. Then I head back to the kitchen to make my tea. I drink my first cup in front of the computer catching up with the world on Twitter and Facebook.

Then it's back to the kitchen for my second cup and breakfast. I've kind of gotten into a habit when it comes to breakfast, too. I now eat either one whole wheat low-fat waffle or the Pepperidge Farm thin whole wheat sandwich bread with some low-fat cheese and / or two Morning Farm fake sausage links.

I make my breakfast and head back to the computer. Usually by then Twitter is going full-force making me completely forget about whatever I'm eating. After the food is gone and the cup of tea is history, I open up my email and settle down to delete spam and read the rest.

After that my morning goes in so many directions I couldn't begin to share!

I wish I had half my Dad's discipline and ability to focus, stay the path. About the closest I come to emulating some of his good traits is my morning structure, which I admit could change tomorrow. Now that I'm older I see how important self-discipline is to success. Sure sometimes people back into something good without having a modicum of self-discipline and inner strength. They're also the ones you read about who had it all and blew it, too!

I've tried through the years to be more structured and focused. I've failed every time. I'm just one of those people who's head is continually turning to see what else is happening. I want to try everything. I can't say no to a good cause and somewhere deep down inside I really do believe I'm superwoman and I can take on any challenge. Note I said take on any challenge --- I said nothing about succeeding!

Oh well. Time to get busy. I have a newspaper to update and the studio is calling.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How good it feels...

Photo (left to right): Maggie Lachmayr, Bob Crutchfield, President/CEO of Christian City, Pat Sams, Phyllis Bennett, Victoria Hughes, Janet Dunn, Belinda Fitch, Debi Lenox, Dana Forse, Angela Bean, Chair of Volunteer Committee, Angela White, Randy Hall, Heidi Becker, Director of Marketing and Development at Christian City, State Representative Matt Ramsey, and Missy Ramsey
I participated once again this year in the Chair-ity Event, helping to raise much-needed funds for The Children's Village at Christian City. (That's me behind the two elves in the photo above) What a fabulous group of volunteers! What a wonderful cause.

I may have shared my feelings on giving and how I choose who to support before so skip this paragraph if you remember this particular soapbox! I was the local president of a large national charity for a number of years. We raised a ton of money for the cause. Along the way I also joined in efforts to raise dollars for other well-known organizations. Until I traveled to the headquarters of one of the groups. I realized where a lot of our hard-fought donations were going!

I started doing research and decided that I would only support organizations I could see, touch, visit, and get to know personally. I support a wide variety of local groups - the Joseph Sams School, the Promise Place, Southwest Christian Care, The Breast Cancer Survivor's Network... I know I'm missing some... but I'll end the list with "my" charity of choice, Christian City.

The volunteers and staff at Christian City are a stellar group of people who do so much to help so many. They not only support children through numerous programs, but they help our senior population. They're now working on a new program which will provide assistance to adult children with special needs. That's going to be a program I'll be getting behind 100%.

Christian City is well-run. Everyone I've ever gotten to know is committed to what they do and they all go way above and beyond. I'm so impressed with every aspect of their mission and the way they go about the business of helping others.

It makes me feel good to do my tiny, tiny part to help this great organization! I wish I could do more.

The Chair-ity Event is an annual Christmas event that raises money through sponsorships, donations and the auctioning of chairs painted by local artists and other donated items. It is completely volunteer driven. We just held the event and raised over $30,000. Not bad for a 2-hour event. Next year we're going to raise more.



I am primarily in 'charge' of collecting and managing the artists. Many fantastic artists donated their time and talent to paint some of the cutest and most beautiful chairs for the event. I've looked on-line at similar chairs --- our artist's chairs would sell for over $500 retail! I also try to keep up with the website for the event and do whatever else that's needed. Everyone works their tushes off to make the event a success!

This year we held the event at the Dolce in Peachtree City. Very wonderful group who worked with us and truly gave a lot to support our efforts!

Ah well, I'm ramblin' now... it's easy to do when I start writing (or talking) about something important. It's Christmas -- I hope you'll consider checking out Christian City's Children's Village and maybe you'll feel led to sponsor a child.

Like to get involved in next year's Chair-ity event (our 5th annual) or another fund-raiser to support the group? janet at georgiafrontpage dot com.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A few of the customer reviews on Verizon's Samsung Intensity II cell phone

I thought I'd share a few of the reviews I found on the phone. I haven't gone out to see what kind of reviews there are on Verizon Wireless, the company. I promise, this is the last I'll write on this issue -- at least until I get a response from the letter I'm mailing (assuming I will) and my talk with Clark Howard (consumer guru) if I get through to him.

These are the reviews I found with similar problems / issues. There are a ton of bad reviews but I only grabbed phone shut-down, freeze issue related. I learned my lesson well -- I will do some research BEFORE I get a phone in the future!!!

---


"Terrible Phone" on August 13, 2010 by spacetime6 (1 review)
Pros: It look nice and the camera is good for being 1.3 megapixels
Cons: Terrible battery, feels cheap, slow, freezes
Summary: My whole family got this phone and it has been nothing but problems. It has terrible battery life. It barely makes it through a day of average use before it dies. The phone is slow and lags when going through menus or typing messages. It also freezes and occasionally, buttons will not work. The phone also restarts itself for no reason. We have talked to Verizon about our problems and they don't seem to think the phone really has a problem.
http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phones/samsung-intensity-ii-deep/4852-6454_7-34140451.html?tag=contentMain;userRate

Pros: QWERTY key board AND normal phone dialing on front. Slides easily, cool menu. Very attractive.
Cons: Sometimes freezes or stops. No video.

Pros: So far (3 weeks) I don't have a complaint about the battery life. The microphone and sound quality are acceptable.
Cons: Major Cons: Phone freezes in an unresponsive state. Keyboard lock is frequently ineffective.
Summary: I, too, have had problems with the phone locking up and battery removal/reinstall is only way I've found to bring it back to life. Also the keyboard lock isn't very effective and random dialing is a problem. Text messages aren't organized in a user-friendly fashion. The camera is of poorer quality than you would expect these days. And after three weeks I am still having problems hitting the incorrect buttons on the front screen...poor layout and too cramped.

Pros: I like the keyboard
Cons: I do not like the text message set up. you cannot organize your texts efficiently. numerous internet based sites just suddenly open up and log themselves on. Buttons are too easy to push to talk even if the keyboard is locked.
Summary: This phone does not function properly. This phone would shut off with no other way to turn it back on than to remove the battery and replace it. I took the phone back to the phone sales department within the 30 day warranty period. I purposely took it back when phone was in this state and unable to reboot or start up. The salesman told me there was nothing wrong with this phone and that it was working when I brought it in even though he had to remove the battery and replace it to get it to power up. This phone is useless to me. It has already cost me a few very valuable calls. I will not and cannot recommend this phone since it has software problems and shuts down so that you cant get it powered up at all. The salesman was trying to claim the phone was in sleep mode. I think it was in dead mode. The battery had a full charge each time these episodes would happen and once the battery was reset the charge would go down a bar. This had happened several times and is not my imagination as the salesman would like to have implied. there is definetly something wrong with this phone. When the phone shut down, I had someone call the phone, just to make sure there was no connection. There was no call received on the phone and no text message was received. This phone is a rip off.

Pros: Looks nice
Cons: This phone works properly from one-half to three-quarters of the time, depending on its mood that day.
Summary: So many, many things wrong with this poor excuse for a phone!! Some of them: 1) Sometimes, it won't stay on Contacts list, just instantly returns to the main screen, over & over & over. 2) Won't always complete calls: rings once, then cuts off and returns to the main screen (with 2 or more reception bars). 3) Doesn't always answer calls. If locked, asks you to Unlock, then when I hit Send, this cuts off the call; or just hitting Send first works sometimes, sometimes not. I've been through all the locked/unlocked combinations so NO it's not my error. 4) Has sent blank texts before I hit any keys at all. 5) Does not always alert if a new text comes in. 6) When I get a new text, it tells me "2 (or 3 or 4 etc.) New Messages, but there's just one. 7) The one text that I definitely wanted to Save was the one text that simply disappeared from the phone the instant I opened it. 8) Hitting center select key (while on Main screen) can make it try to do any random function of its own choosing. 9) Power connector is in middle of left side so that if you want to talk on the phone (some of us still use phones for talking!) while it's powering, the jack is exactly where my hand wants to hold it - this could be a personal issue, I realize. Well, that's probably most - but not all - of the problems I've encountered with this phone, from Day One. I have never dropped the phone. I've been using cell phones for about 10 years and have never had any problems like this before. I absolutely hate this phone and can't wait to take over my daughter's old phone instead, since she upgraded to the Droid. I may have had more problems than most - maybe got a real LEMON - but if you read the other reviews, except for the one Pollyanna who accuses the rest of us of stupidity, how could you want to buy this?

JUNK!
Posted November 26, 2010
simpleman
I have used this product for: less than a month
Expertise: intermediate
# of SAMSUNG products I own: 1-2
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
Posted November 26, 2010
"The Intensity II has been great for pocket dialing (even when "locked"), not unlocking to allow me to answer incoming calls, repeatedly trying to access the web so I can pay for unwanted web access, and new for today not letting me make outgoing calls to my wife who wonders why I won't return her voice mails. Don't buy this phone. The software STINKS!"
Cons: Poor quality, Did not meet expectations, unlocks in at least two unintended ways
http://reviews.us.samsung.com/7463/sch-u460eaavzw/samsung-samsung-intensity-ii-full-qwerty-cell-phone-reviews/reviews.htm

Garbage...a tin can and yarn is more dependable.
Posted November 2, 2010
Sparky99
from Clover,SC
I have used this product for: less than a month
Expertise: intermediate
# of SAMSUNG products I own: 1-2

No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
Posted November 2, 2010
"Within five days of owning the phone it locked up with a screen "USB Main Download". I could not get it to power off or anything. I had to remove the optional hard shell cover (not an easy task), remove the battery, and then I was able to turn on the phone. The very next day, the phone was dead and I could not get it to power on! Again I had to remove the hard shell cover, remove the battery, and then turn the phone back on. UghHH!
What is worse is the USB Mass Storage or memory card accessory will not recognize my photos. They are JPEG which is in the JPG format, yet I can't use the card for what I wanted. This fancy looking paperweight is going back to the Wireless/Cellphone store today!
I have alot of respect for Samsung. I have owned a great digital video camera in the past (still works great) and I still own a 42-inch plasma, both by Samsung.
This purchase has impacted my likelihood of ever purchasing another Samsung product."
Pros: Inexpensive
Cons: Poor quality, Not high def, Too big, Did not meet expectations, corrupted software
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.

Retrevo Real Time Reviews (compiles reviews from across the Internet)

Quote: “The majority of people had negative reviews and opinions about this product.”
Based on the facts above, Retrevo's recommendation is: Buy with caution if you really want it

(Amazon Review Page) This review is from: Samsung Intensity II SCH-U460 Phone, Metallic Blue (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I'm on my 2nd one in 2 weeks - both of 'em like to lock up while the screen is lit up and run the battery down.
These things are junk!
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Intensity-SCH-U460-Metallic-Wireless/dp/B003XRF066

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars It likes to lock up, November 18, 2010
By Matthew S. Fite (Fernley, NV United States) - See all my reviews