Auto Repair

You know what I really hate.  When my car breaks down. You know what I hate even more?  Is when my car breaks down and I am traveling out of town and I don’t know any of the repair shops in town. Do you just trust the tow company and go to whatever shop in town?  Thanks to technology you now have some options.  You don’t need to blindly trust your car to whatever shop you get towed to.

Say you are looking for a Los Angeles auto repair shop.  Today you can just pull out your smart phone, go to a website like repairpal.com and find the perfect shop to fix  the blown head gasket on your Ford Explorer.

The best part is not only can you find a shop to repair your vehicle, you can get an estimate of how much the repair should cost,  suggestions on how to keep the same problem from recurring in the future, and answers to common questions about cars and car repair.

Thanks to repairpal.com for supporting my blog!

Get Paid To Blog

I like to blog. I also like to collect blogs. I have been telling myself “No More Blogs!” But today I started a new blog. (You can see it here.) The reason I started yet another blog, is that with this new one, I know I’ll earn some money. Money is good. It pays for hosting and domains. The new blog is with Today.com. You start a blog with them, and they promise to pay you $1 for every post you make for the first month. The post must have at least 100 words, and they only pay for one post per day. But I figure there is another 27 days in December, so I know I can earn $27. After the first month, your payout can go up or down, depending on the quality of your blog and how much traffic you are getting.

I gave some thought as to what I wanted the topic of my new blog to be. I decided to do free blog reviews. Bloggers like to have their blogs reviewed. I like to review blogs. Sounds like a match! So the new blog is Best Blog ReviewsReview Me Today. If you would like me to review your blog for free, just go over to my new blog and leave a comment. I’ll write your review and then you can show it off to all your friends!

Better yet, why don’t you start a new blog at Today by clicking on that flashing banner. That will make me happy, because, once you have a blog with Today, they have a pretty nice affiliate program! It will make you happy, because you know you will make some money! Then, once you have a few posts, get your blog reviewed by Best Blog Reviews Review Me Today! You will get more traffic, which will help you earn more money.

If you start a new blog with today, leave a comment here and let me know the URL. I’ll make sure to visit your blog and leave a comment with you.

Grand Canyon Day 2 and Beyond

I have decided that if I go into great detail on every day of the trip, I will end up writing a book! Plus there are many other things going on that I would like to write about. For this post I am going to summarize the trip, and then as I get time and ambition I’ll write more about the highlights.

I and all the other guests quickly adapt to life on the river.  A typical day starts with the blowing of the conch shell announcing a fabulous breakfast. During our week on the river we are treated to eggs cooked to order, bagels and lox, and pancakes and sausage. Plus always, cold cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, hot chocolate, tea, and coffee. I am pleased to find I am in no danger of going hungry.

After breakfast is cleaned up we load the boats, clean the beach (making sure we leave only footprints), and after a last groover call, it is back on the water for more serene floats and wild rapids, surrounded by the everchanging geology of the canyon cliffs.

Almost every day includes a hike, and almost every hike includes rock scrambling. I’ve never done rock scrambling before. This is where, using only hands and feet, you climb up and down cliffs that before I would have thought were impassable.  When you look closely you find there are small places where you can put a foot, or get a grip with your hand.  Often the rocks are hot! Once I grabbed a cactus instead of a rock. Ouch!  The guides are great.  They are patient and give me plenty of time to find my own way, and only offer advice when I ask. We hike to see amazing waterfalls, rock formations, fossilized shells, and wildlife.  Hiking up a narrow creek we walk just a few feet past a young Eagle.  Our guides think it is a young golden eagle, but I think it may be a bald eagle.  It is holding its wing out, like some birds do when tired, but It does not seem injured and I don’t know why it didn’t fly away.  Maybe because the passage was narrow.  Maybe because he was just as surprised to see us as we were to see him!

Young Eagle In the Grand Canyon
Young Eagle In the Grand Canyon

Even though it is mid September, the days are very hot.  The water looks inviting, although it is very cold, around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  On the second day, I get to ride in the paddle boat. And I get to go swimming.

The Paddle Boat Flips in Tiger Wash Rapids
The Paddle Boat Flips in Tiger Wash Rapids

You can’t see me in this picture. I was sitting in the right front of the raft, and was pushed quite far under the water.  It took forever to come up!  And when I did, the current had carried me far away from the raft. Later I will write a full post about swimming in the Colorado River.  For now, lets just say that that the paddle boat was quickly righted, everyone eventually got pulled out of the water, and the only thing that was lost was my hat.

On the fourth day of our trip, Kent, our trip leader, announces an advanced hike. Only for the truly hard core hiker, it is an all day, 10 mile hike up one side canyon to the rim and back down another side canyon. Some of the guides will stay behind and move the boats.  It promises spectacular views and  challenging rock scrambling.  It also promises to be very long, hard, and hot. At one point he calls the hike a death march.  Not being a hard core hiker or rock scrambler, I choose to stay behind with the guides that will be moving the boats.  I am surprised to find I am the only one.  I have the most amazing day. While the guides are busy with  the boats, I find myself all alone on a beautiful beach deep in the Grand Canyon. With plenty of privacy I get a good bath in.  Careful not to sunburn the delicate parts, I wash in the very cold river water, than warm up on the sandy beach. Then back to the river, then the beach, you get the idea.   That evening I help the guides prepare dinner and greet the intrepid adventurers as they return, hot and tired and dirty, just as the sun is going down. They all had a wonderful time, but now I am the only one without blisters!

Day 6, our last full day in the canyon, we get to stop and visit a working archeological site. We are very lucky to get to see this.  It took the group years to get the logistics figured out, and they are only digging for eight days. We arrive when they are almost done. They will remove the artifacts that they find, and then cover the site and return it to it’s natural state. When they are gone you won’t be able to tell they were ever there.  Most sites in the Grand Canyon are not excavated.  Only when the artifacts are at risk of being lost or damaged, like this site which is subject to flash flooding, do they excavate and remove artifacts.

Archeology Site in Grand Canyon
Archeology Site in Grand Canyon

Day 7 is our very last day. And it is a day I have been dreading.  Because we are not doing a full canyon trip, we need to hike out of the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail.  I know I did not prepare well enough for the hike.  Although I really don’t have a choice, I am not sure I will be able to carry my backpack, loaded with my clothes and lots of water,  and hike the 7.5 miles from Pipe Creek to the South Rim. Needless to say I do hike out.  It takes 7 hours and I am exhausted when I reach the top.  It is great to walk out of the canyon and see the changing perspectives on the cliffs.  I see more wildlife, including an endangered condor.  When I finally reach the South Rim I look back and I can’t even see the river.  It feels strange to be around so many people. And they are all so clean!  I can’t imagine what they think of me.  A few ask how far I have hiked and most are stunned that I have come from the river. (I carry a few extra pounds and certainly don’t look the type!)

This picture of the Bright Angel Trail is from Gene Hanson’s website.  He has a marvelous “virtual hike” down the South Kaibab trail and up the Bright Angel Trail.  He is a maniac and did it in one day. He also took hundreds of pictures. It is worth a look!

A View of Part of the Bright Angel Trail
A View of Part of the Bright Angel Trail (used with permission)

Back in our hotel that night, hubby and I are tired and sore.  The shower feels great!   We each order a big dinner and desert from room service.  I am pretty sure this is one day I don’t have to worry about how many calories I eat!

I can’t wait to go back to the Grand Canyon.  Next time I will do the full river trip. I am looking forward to rafting Crystal Rapid, the largest rapid in the canyon. Hopefully I will be able to stay in the boat!

Art and Science Of Disease Prevention -Book Review

If you are interested in health issues, but more than in just a “surface” type of way, I think you would enjoy Art and Science of Disease Prevention: Lite Version It is not your typical health and nutrition book. It is a combination of scientific information presented in an intelligent manner, and the art of healing and health. The book is divided into 5 sections.
Section One starts at the beginning and deals with fertility and conception. Included in Section One is an in depth look at chromosomal abnormalities which is fascinating.
Section Two deals with the Nutritional Value of Fats and Oils. I think many of us are still wary of fats and it is important to understand that fats play an important role in overall nutrition.
Section Three was very interesting with its discussion of plant medicine. Especially of interest to me was the chapter on how plant medicine can be used to help with hyperinsulinemia, or insulin sensitivity.
Section Four is the prevention of degenerative diseases. It includes chapters on dealing with menopause and cancer.
The best was saved for last and Section Five deals with Quality of Life and Life Expectancy. Chapters include stress management, exercise and massage. The massage chapter was my favorite because Dr. Roy goes into the importance of human touch. He points out that society often confuses sensuality with sexuality and because of this people are reluctant to touch each other.

Overall Art and Science of Disease Prevention: Lite Version is a very interesting book on health and wellness issues that did not insult my intelligence!

Blog Review – UpstartBlogger.com

pic of macbook airpic of macbook air

I am not usually big on posting about blogging contests. Most of of the blogging contests I have seen want you to review a blog that may not be very good, for a prize that is just so-so. Then there is all the linking and stumbling and favoriting. It all really gets to be too much.

But there is always the exception to the rule. Ashley Morgan’s UpstartBlogger is having a contest and the prize is pretty sweet. A brand new Apple MacBook Air. The new laptop that is crazy thin. From the commercials I have seen, the Air looks like it might just be cool enough and thin enough to make up for it being an Apple! I certainly wouldn’t mind having one.

And then the blog itself is an exception to the rule. The theme is light and clean and loads fast. It is practically free of ads. (Something I have been thinking about for my own site!)And the content is worth sticking around for. Even though I have been blogging for over a year now I found myself enjoying Ashley’s post on 25 Steps to Launching Your Blog and Making $100+ A Month in 30 Days. While the post is definitely geared to rank beginners, I found some useful information relating to WordPress Plugins. He also has a post on SQL Backup Strategies that I am going to read when I am done here!

The contest ends Feb. 29, 2008 so if you want to enter you are going to have to be quick. Even if you are too late for the contest Upstart Blogger is worth a look.