Strategic View – Volume 3

6918942123 8426b4b25f m Strategic View   Volume 3Welcome to this week’s Strategic View.

Are you ready for this week’s curiosities?

Older IS Better

If you join AARP you get their “Bulletin” newspaper. Sure, we know all about people who complain that AARP is all about selling insurance and so forth but seriously, their “Bulletin” (and the odd senior discount) is worth the price of admission.

Their latest issue deals with several points of interest. One that caught George’s (G1’s) eye dealt with the current craze in utilities to put in mis-named “smart” metering. The problem brought to light in the AARP report? Who is going to ensure (insure would be nice, too) that when your “smart meter” goes to “no consumption mode” for a few days, burglars and hackers won’t have a simple way to figure out which homes are vacant. Frankly, we hadn’t thought about that, but it is a damn good point.6963371957 3053b42ced m Strategic View   Volume 3

So what is this so-called smart utility meter all about?  For one thing they about laying off more humans and replacing them with system automation. Gee, sounds just exactly back ass-wards to what the economy needs right now, doesn’t it? What’s more, the AARP report noted that customers will be paying $3/month for several YEARS to pay for the cost.

A really smart utility – if that’s not a conundrum for you – would just go to bi-monthly meter readings and annualized billing rates, which would cut the labor cost in half. Or, three month billing would cut costs to one third. Want to get there’s something more than meets the eye going on here?

But there is a lot more to this story.  For that, you will have to wait for Gaye’s update over on the Sunday Buzz this coming Sunday.  Her take is that these smart meters are a huge intrusion on our privacy.

The same issue also details about how the hospital is about the most dangerous place to go if you get sick. Good reading.  And no, it is not Time Magazine, or The Atlantic, but toss in their discounts and AARP makes sense at the moment.

Dangerous Bugs

Speaking of hospital dangers: Infections from Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a bacteria that causes diarrhea and other health issues, is a patient safety concern in all types of medical facilities, not just hospitals as it was traditionally thought.  This is all according to a new Vital Signs  report today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While many health care-associated infections, such as bloodstream infections, declined in the past decade, C. difficile infection rates and deaths climbed to historic highs.

C. difficile harms patients just about everywhere medical care is given,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Illness and death linked to this deadly disease do not have to happen. Patient lives can be saved when health care providers follow the 6 Steps to Prevention, which include key infection control and smart antibiotic prescribing recommendations.”

Three points if you can spell all that without looking.

Grander Theft Auto

LoJack Corporation (NASDAQ: LOJN) has released its third annual Vehicle Theft Recovery Report*, highlighting results from its 2011 recoveries that provide valuable information on the ongoing issue of auto theft. In 2011, the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System helped law enforcement in the U.S. recover 10,261 stolen vehicles**. Hondas topped the list of imports recovered, with the Honda Accord ranking as LoJack’s most stolen and recovered vehicle. The Cadillac Escalade was the most recovered domestic vehicle.

Most Stolen and Recovered Vehicles by Make & Model:

2011 Ranking

2010 Ranking

1. Honda Accord


2. Toyota Camry


3. Honda Civic


4. Acura Integra


5. Toyota Corolla


6. Nissan Altima


7. Nissan Maxima


8. Cadillac Escalade


9. Chevrolet Tahoe


10. Ford F250 Pick Up



And the highest risk states to have your ride jack’ed?

2011 Ranking

2010 Ranking

1. California


2. Texas


3. Florida


4. New York


5. New Jersey


6. Massachusetts


7. Maryland


8. Arizona


9. Georgia


10. Nevada


G1’s cars and truck aren’t on the list and G2’s are on an island with only one way off. Between shotguns and ferry boats we’re not too worried.Record Worker’s Comp Case

Attorney Christopher Asvar ( has just secured the highest known workers’ compensation insurance settlement in California history, totaling $8.9 million on behalf of his young client who suffered a workplace traumatic brain injury.

Driven to Drink Gets More Costly

People convicted for the first time of alcohol-impaired driving are less likely to reoffend if they have to install alcohol interlocks on their vehicles, a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. The finding provides support for requiring the devices for all offenders, not just those with multiple arrests or high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs).

Legislation pending in Congress would encourage states to require interlocks for all impaired-driving convictions by linking highway funds to the issue. Opponents of the measure argue that interlocks should be mandated only for people with multiple convictions or who register BACs of more than 0.15 percent. However, nearly a third of legally impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes have BACs below 0.15 percent. The answer seems to be – like always – drinking and driving don’t mix.

Long Way from Ohio

Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) have announced dates for the South American leg of their 2012 world tour. The newly added shows include three concerts in Brazil— May 10 at Via Funchal in Sao Paulo , May 12 at Chevrolet Hall in Belo Horizonte , and May 13 at Citibank Hall in Rio de Janeiro . CSN website members will have access to pre-sale tickets beginning March 8; public on-sale for the dates begins March 16. Additional South American dates will be added. We can afford the tix, but not the jet fuel to get us there.  Would be nice, though.

Even the upcoming YANNI: LIVE AT EL MORRO, PUERTO RICO on April 17, 2012 seems out of reach. The CD and DVD are captured from Yanni’s two sold-out shows, which marked the first ever performances at the historic UNESCO heritage site. Still shy on jet fuel?  Well, maybe a few CD’s and Mojitos at home then.

Speaking of Travel

As families pack up for a week of fun and relaxation over Spring break, everyone knows to take plenty of sunscreen to protect against sunburn. But it’s just as important to take steps to protect against identity theft.

“Identity theft can happen at any time but can be more likely while traveling because you’re carrying a lot of sensitive information in a distracting and unfamiliar environment,” said Mike Lewis, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank.

They’ve got some tips:

  • Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your card with you. If asked for your number, ask why the information is needed.
  • Never leave your personal documents unsecured in a hotel room. This includes statements, checks and legal papers. Many hotels offer a security box in each room. This rule is especially important in foreign countries.
  • Carry the minimum. You do not need to travel with every piece of personal information you own. Only carry necessary credit cards and documents.
  • Beware of your surroundings. When accessing an ATM or using your PIN, beware of your surroundings. Cover your hand when typing in codes.
  • Don’t check-in personal information. At airports, never place personal documentation in luggage that you intend to check-in. Once it is checked-in, it is out of your control and sight.
  • Use security measures when carrying money. Reduce the risk of personal information loss and identity theft by consciously using travel accessories like security money belts, security travel purse, security travel bags and money clips

Speaking of identity theft, just have to put a plug in for G2’s article last year on tips to avoid identity theft.

And Don’t Forget…

life’sDHAis proud to announce that it has been named a lead sponsor of the 15th annual USA Memory Championship. A tournament for Mental Athletes, this contest draws competitors from all over the country to compete for the best memory in America. The event includes memorizing 99 names and faces, a shuffled deck of cards in less than five minutes, an unpublished poem and a list of 500 random numbers. This year’s championship will be held March 24 at Con Edison’s Grand Auditorium in New York City.

We were also going to mention…err….uh…..can we get back to you?

Learning to Cope

Just could not pass up this story of a woman who turned off her water because she could not afford to fix a leak in her water line nor the high water bills.  Instead, she gathered water from other sources and made-do by bathing at her daughter’s house.  Here is a link: City Officer Discovers Woman’s Home Hasn’t Had Water For Six Years.

That’s a wrap for today.  Back to our normal programming on Sunday.

Hang on and enjoy the ride,

The Two G’s – George & Gaye

. . . Your comments welcome here and at The Electric Tribe.

Spotlight Items:  Strategic View   Volume 3 Here is a convenient list of the books we recommended in our article Solving the Portable Knowledge Problem.

Desk Ref: If you can only afford one book, this is the once to get. It includes 1280 pages of tables, maps, formulas, constants and conversions and will serve you will in an off-grid situation.

2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC: This is free so you have no excuses. Be sure to download and print out a copy.

Emergency Care: Pricey yes. But this the is book that may save lives. Perhaps a family or neighborhood group could chip in and share a single copy.

How to Grow More Vegetables: Decades before the terms “eco-friendly” and “sustainable growing” entered the vernacular, How to Grow More Vegetables demonstrated that small-scale, high-yield, all-organic gardening methods could yield bountiful crops over multiple growing cycles using minimal resources in a suburban environment. This is the bible. Strategic View   Volume 3

All New Square Foot Gardening Strategic View   Volume 3: This book will prove that you can grow a significant bounty in limited space. Just add seeds.

Nuclear War Survival Skills Strategic View   Volume 3: Includes checklists for supplies, equipment and materials as well as detailed building instructions and descriptions of the genuine effects of nuclear weapons. There is also a valuable discussion of the purchase and use of potassium iodide compounds for protection of the thyroid gland from absorption of radioiodine.

The Forager’s Harvest Strategic View   Volume 3: A practical guide to all aspects of edible wild plants: finding and identifying them, their seasons of harvest, and their methods of collection and preparation. Each plant is discussed in great detail and accompanied by excellent color photographs. Includes an index, illustrated glossary, bibliography, and harvest calendar. The perfect guide for all experience levels.

SAS Survival Handbook: SAS Survival Handbook is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. It includes everything from basic camp craft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster. Also the companion books, SAS Urban Survival Handbook, The SAS Guide to Tracking Strategic View   Volume 3, and Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass Strategic View   Volume 3.

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The Strategic View – a weekly summary of news bites from the Two G’s, George Ure and Gaye Levy.


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