Saturday, July 18, 2009

Configuring Firefox to Open to Your Home Page

It's no secret that I love Firefox and encourage all computer users to use it instead of Internet Explorer. That's because Firefox is a safer and more secure internet browser. It also allows you add a lot of cool user-friendly plug-ins which make your internet experience more enjoyable.

The other day, I learned something new about Firefox and I wanted to share it here in case others experience what at first appears to be a problem - but really isn't.

Regardless of what browser you're using, when you open it, the first page you see is called your "home page". For many users, it's the MSN page or Google search page. While those are great pages, many of us like to configure a different home page. For example, I have a Google home page which allows me to configure it anyway I want (and I do). When I open the internet, that is the page I want to see first. Configuring a home is easy and you can read the instructions for setting up a custom home page by clicking here.

However, even after configuring firefox to use a custom home page, you may notice that each time you open Firefox, it may open the last internet pages you visited instead of your home page. This can be frustrating. But the good news is that fixing this problem is a simple configuration change.

Here's how you change it:
  1. Open Firefox and on the menu select TOOLS and then OPTIONS ( a window will pop up)
  2. On the new window, look near the top for the words "When Firefox Starts"
  3. Click the Pull-down arrow and select "SHOW MY HOME PAGE".
  4. Click OK at the bottom of this window.

That's all there is to it. Firefox allows you select multiple options for start pages so feel free to experiment with the others to see if you prefer any of the others.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Health Care Reform Chart

I love the internet! Thanks to the internet, you can now find news, charts and other information that you couldn't find anywhere else. I care very much about politics (domestic and foreign), my country, and what's happening in America now. I'm one of those people who takes the time to dig up truths rather than just accept what the media feed me ... and so when I came across this chart, I had just had to share it. You can click on the chart to see it in more detail.

If the Health Care Reform Bill passes, it will create several new layers of bureaucracy in health care. The image above will be the new organizational chart for health care. If you look at the items I've circled, on the left is YOU (the consumer) and on the right are doctors. You will have to work your way through this maze to get to your doctors.

Can anybody name where bureaucracy has helped and not hindered your life? I can't. My dealings with most government agencies and employees has resulted in time delays and frustration. But if socialized medicine passes in this country, this is what we have to look forward to!

By the way, Congressman John Flemming (Louisiana) just introduced bill H.R. 615 this week which would require all members of Congress and Senate who vote for Health Care Reform to sign up under the plan. In other words, if our elected leaders feel strongly that this new health care system is the right thing for American, then they should be more than willing to sign up first under the new plan. This is common sense. Congressman Flemming also promises to keep track of voting records on this issue on his web site.

By the way, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated yesterday that the Health Care Reform Bill would cost more than a trillion dollars.

The internet is a great resource for digging up truth (although you do have to be careful, because it's full of lies too). Here's a list of some trustworthy sites you may find useful:

CNS News:

One News Now:

Open Congress:

Citizens Against Government Waste:

How to do Basic Background Checks

If you pay attention to the news, you've probably seen the story about the Florida couple with 13 adopted kids that was murdered. So far eight people have been arrested in that case. This morning Fox News Channel mentioned reported that one of those arrested was a Realtor and some of the others were folks who have done work on the house.

Sadly,this is not an isolated story. More and more often now you hear stories of how murdered victims had relationships or ties to their killer. It's getting more difficult to know who to trust anymore as the news continues to remind us that you can really never know a person.

While most of us don't spend the time or money to do proper background checks on people who may be working around the house for us or others we encounter that can pose a potential threat, there are some basic step we can take for a preliminary check.

There's very little privacy today in America. And while many of us think that's a bad thing, it does allow you to find information on others more easily these days. Anytime you invite strangers to your home (realtors, landscapers, handymen, repairmen, computer techs, etc,), it's prudent to do a quick check on those people to see if any red flags are raised.

Here are some free checks you can do quickly and easily:
  • Search the person's name in Google, MSN and Yahoo
  • Search the person's name on
  • Search the person's name on Facebook
  • Search the person's name on
These are just some of the basic steps you can take without spending money. But often times they will give you more information about the character of the person you're dealing with.

If you need more detailed information about a person, then you should spend the money to do a proper background check. It's not as expensive or complicated as it sounds. But if you're hiring a nanny, babysitter, etc. then you should really consider doing a proper background check.

One of the best sites open to the public is Intelius. This site offer a variety of different searches for a small fee.