Blog #681 Blood Pressure III

More on Blood Pressure

Looking at Mayo Clinic

Some of these are truly SCARY!!!  Disclaimer – read at your own risk – that might force you to change your lifestyle and health habits!!!

High blood pressure (hypertension) can quietly damage your body for years before symptoms develop. Left uncontrolled, you may wind up with a disability, a poor quality of life or even a fatal heart attack. Roughly half the people with untreated hypertension die of heart disease related to poor blood flow (ischemic heart disease) and another third die of stroke.

First – what is a stroke?  (If you said it was a shot with a golf club you are right, but wrong topic!!!!0

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.  

I have a good friend who had a stroke about two years ago.  He was a vital human being. He loved life. For his job, he traveled quite a bit (frequently to Canada).  The initial stroke left him partially handicapped with limited speech. Since then (and hundreds of hours of therapy) some speech has resumed – but not fluent.  What used to be a sentence now takes minutes to get expressed. You can tell that his brain is working but that his body doesn’t obey. His left side is partially paralyzed, although better with therapy as he can walk around (not fast) and his steps are staggered as he can take a big right step and then slowly bring the left foot even with the right foot.  

Your life is in two places – the heart (a non-functioning heart is ‘death’); and the brain (a non-functionally or limited functioning brain leads to loss of speech and being paralyzed).


High Blood Pressure and Arteries

Arteries move blood (and therefore nutrients) around the body.  As a person breathes, oxygen (and other gases) enter the lungs. That oxygen is pumped around the body.  The main artery in the body is the aorta – it leaves the heart – makes an upward arc. That ascending part of the aorta has with three major sub-arteries that ‘feed’ the brain and left and right arms (and more).  

The aorta then descends and carries blood to the abdomen and legs.  

Arteries are like hoses that supply the body with good stuff (oxygen from the lungs, food nutrients from the stomach, and more).  They should be flexible, strong and elastic. High blood pressure causes those arteries to become rigid. They can narrow with build-ups of plague and fat on the walls.  When blood pressure gets too high it can cut new channels in the arteries. [Aside, growing up and driving through rural landscapes, you could see creeks and streams in the various pastures.  They generally meandered through the area. But when a flood occurred sometimes the streams cut new channels and the old channels became lakes – or just dry creek beds. Look at a map of Omaha Nebraska and find Carter Lake Iowa).  At one point, the Missouri River made a loop around Carter Lake which kept that town in Iowa. But a flood cut a new channel for the Missouri River and cut Carter Lake off from Iowa. It now is an isolated area wholly surrounded by Omaha.  You can only get to Carter Lake Iowa by driving through parts of Nebraska (or parts of Omaha).]

When blood pressure cuts a new channel it becomes an aneurysm.  The article states: “Over time, the constant pressure of blood moving through a weakened artery can cause a section of its wall to enlarge and form a bulge (aneurysm). An aneurysm can potentially rupture and cause life-threatening internal bleeding. Aneurysms can form in any artery throughout your body, but they’re most common in your body’s largest artery (aorta).

I had several ‘cuts’ to my aorta lining and thus several new channels.  My left kidney was largely getting ‘fed’ by a ‘false channel’ (i.e. aneurysm).  The surgeon had to disconnect the three arteries that go to the brain and left and right sides (the ascending aorta), fix the holes and then reattach the arteries.  (It only took the team 6.5 hours – and my blood was routed through an exterior faux heart as they needed to shut my heart off during the surgery.

Moral to the story – keep your blood pressure down!!!

More tomorrow (I guess I went off on a tangent today)!!!


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Blog #680 Lower Your Blood Pressure – part I

Blood Pressure Month – part II

Yesterday I highlighted the CDC (Centers for Disease Controls) comments about Blood Pressure Month. Today we are going to look at ways to lower your pressure naturally.
-1 Walk and exercise regularly.
Walking just 30 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure. More exercise helps reduce it even further. You need to be active. I joined the community recreation center (and senior center). It has an indoor track for cold, hot and rainy days. They also have treadmills, but I like the change in scenery.
-2 Lower your sodium intake
Salt (i.e. sodium) is a contributing factor to high blood pressure. I check all the nutrition panels on products I buy. Some items have 40% of the recommended daily amount for salt – and I try to avoid them. I have found canned tomatoes that have ‘no salt added’. I season many things with garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Read those nutrition panels and watch your salt

-3 Drink less alcohol
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure. In fact, alcohol is linked to 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world. While some research has suggested that low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by negative effects.
In the US, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. If you drink more than that, cut back.
The last time I had a beer was three weeks ago – and then a small glass. I bought a six pack of beer five months ago and have consumed only two of them (and used one in some cooking).

-4 Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium helps rid your body of sodium and ease pressure on blood vessels. Unfortunately, most American diets have too much sodium and too little potassium.

Potassium-rich foods include:
-1 Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
-2 Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots
-3 Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
-4 Tuna and salmon
-5 Nuts and seeds
-6 Beans
I try to eat one banana daily as well as oranges. I also like nuts (some people think I am ‘nuts’!!)

-5 Cut back on caffeine
Okay, I’m generally a failure on this – although I am trying more now.
Medical News Today says: If you’ve ever downed a cup of coffee before you’ve had your blood pressure taken, you’ll know that caffeine causes an instant boost. However, there’s not a lot of evidence to suggest that drinking caffeine regularly can cause a lasting increase.

In fact, people who drink caffeinated coffee and tea tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, than those who don’t.

Caffeine may have a stronger effect on people who don’t consume it regularly.

If you suspect you’re caffeine-sensitive, cut back to see if it lowers your blood pressure.

Overall caffeine can cause a short-term spike in blood pressure, although for many people it does not cause a lasting increase.

We will look at more ways tomorrow!!!
“See” you then!!!


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Blog #679 May isn’t just Mother’s Day

May is not just for Mother’s Day

May is also National High Blood Pressure Education Month

As a person with high blood pressure, I wanted to do some research and share what I find out.

The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) has these facts:

-1 High Blood Pressure may be linked to dementia!!!
The CDC gives this information:
“Recent studies show that high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, a loss of cognitive function. The timing seems to matter: Some evidence suggests having uncontrolled high blood pressure during midlife (age 45 to 65) creates a higher risk for dementia later in life. The takeaway? It’s never too early to start thinking about your blood pressure and taking steps to manage it.”
OOH – that is scary to me, I am trying to avoid dementia – but have had high blood pressure for some time. (I have been on medications since I was 52 – hopefully, that has helped).

-2 Young People can have High Blood Pressure
Again the CDC shares that one in four men from 35 to 44 has high blood pressure; and one in five women in that same age group have it as well.

-3 There may not be any symptoms.
You don’t sweat, you don’t feel bad, you don’t have headaches from high blood pressure. Still, get your blood pressure checked regularly. A local grocery store has a free blood pressure check on the second Saturday of the month. I also have a home blood pressure testing device.

-4 Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it.
The CDC estimates that about 11 million people don’t know they have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks and more. In my case, my high blood pressure was like running a ‘fire hose’ through my aorta (the main artery of the body). That pressure was cutting holes in the aorta lining and creating false channels (aneurysms). Plus if the pressure would have cut a hole in the outside lining of the aorta, I would have bled to death in a few minutes. (My doctor said I was lucky to be alive).

-5 Women and minorities have higher risks of high blood pressure complications
The CDC suggests reducing or eliminating salt (i.e. sodium), losing weight and getting exercise. Obesity and diabetes are bad in-and-of-themselves, but when tied to the potential for other problems can be a bad combination.

I am on several medications. About an hour ago (as I write this), my pressure was 113/63 – which is low. The recommended is under 130 for the upper number (systolic) and about 80 for the lower number (diastolic). When I had my high blood pressure incidence, my systolic was 213 and diastolic was 165 with a pulse of 161. Yes, that was like ‘running a fire hose’ through my aorta. (And, the cause of a 6.5-hour surgery where a whole crew of medical staff worked over me).

After the surgery, I was very weak, couldn’t walk far and went into depression as I thought I have little or no value.

We will continue this look at high blood pressure – with ways to lower your blood pressure.

“See” you tomorrow!!!


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Blog #678 American Birthrate drops (again)

US Birth Rate drops (again)

Recent statistic show that the American Birth Rate has following again.

“The number of babies born in the U.S. last year fell to a 32-year low, deepening a fertility slump that is reshaping America’s future workforce.

About 3.79 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2018, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That was a 2% decline from the previous year and marked the fourth year in a row that the number fell. The general fertility rate—the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44—fell to 59.0, the lowest rate in 32 years.

Researchers suggest what might be happening

-1 Teenagers and unmarried women having fewer babies

-2 Lower fertility rates among Hispanic women

-3 An uptick in women getting bachelor’s degrees  

-4 Expanded use of long-acting contraceptives like IUDs

Another analysis says:

“The total fertility rate—the estimated number of children born to each woman over her lifetime—fell to 1.7 (a 2.1 fertility rate indicates a 1-1 generational replacement). If it dips further without a bump in immigration, it could lead to a workforce that’s too small to support the country’s retirees.

We aren’t doing our job in replenishing the population.  (My wife and I had two children – slightly under the 2.1 fertility replacement rate – we found it hard to have 0.1 more children!!).  But of our offspring, our daughter had two children and our son had three children – so on the average, our children have a 2.5 replacement rate!!!

And, for comparison – Japan has a replacement rate of 1.4.  (There are now more elderly diapers sold in Japan than baby diapers!!! – Think on that!!)

This has a lot of interesting theoretical questions. What if the younger generation is (as predicted) too small to support our retirees? (Like me)

Will there be enough nurses, doctors, and other personnel to take care of us ‘baby boomers’?  

Well some thoughts:

-1  Allow more immigration

-2  Encourage more children with higher tax deductions

-3  Further restrict abortions

-4  Move more to a robotic workforce

Currently the US government is fighting an immigrant ‘flood’ by considering building a wall along the Mexican border.  Option #1 seems to be politically incorrect currently

Higher tax deductions for children.  What if you could deduct (say) $20,000 per child a year – would those of childbearing age consider more children?

Abortion is a hot topic – and I want to stay out of that – other than this thought.  Have a national fund to support pregnant mothers and make adoption a very workable solution – like extra tax advantages to NOT abort and to adopt.

The last option seems to be coming – robotic workers.  Is that the solution? Can my “robotic” doctor help me like a human doctor?  

At age 71, I am more of the problem than the solution!!!  

What do you think?


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Blog #677 Uber/Lyft/ Taxis – Oh My

Uber / Lyft / Taxis – Oh My!!!

Yes I have written too much about autonomous vehicles.  Uber and Lyft are experimenting with autonomous vehicles.    “Uber revealed that it’s collected data from “millions” of autonomous vehicle testing miles to date and completed “tens of thousands” of passenger trips with a fleet of 250 vehicles.”

Recently Uber and Lyft drivers did a one-day strike.  They are also concerned about autonomous vehicles taking away their jobs,  A report said: “On May 8th, ride-hail drivers in cities across the US went on strike to protest unfair pay, poor working conditions, and a lack of transparency”.

A court ruling said the drivers were not employees but contract workers – so the drivers are not eligible for benefits.  

So, what is the story?

In most employment situations people are the most costly.  Currently, with some exceptions, Uber and Lyft drivers provide their own cars.  A part of their driving, they get a mileage reimbursement that takes care of some of the car costs (gas, oil, maintenance, ownership, licenses).  The ride-hailing apps need people (and independent contractor people) to bring their cars – and that costs money.

Yes, initially autonomous vehicles will be expensive cars with all the extra software and hardware – but with thousands of rides, that fixed cost will be spread across years – and also will be a depreciable asset for Uber/Lyft’s financials.  Plus – no driver expenses.

In theory, autonomous vehicles will cut out paying drivers and cut out one of the major expenses of vehicles for hire.  While it is still years away from being a 100% autonomous situation, the companies are moving in that direction.

Autonomous vehicles are generally thought to be safer by removing the human factor.  Humans text while they are driving (I’ve only done this while pulled over to the shoulder – with notes to tutees that I would probably be late).  Humans get tired, humans can make poor judgment about traffic and weather conditions. Humans need sleep, food, restroom breaks – autonomous vehicles need none of that.  

A study in New York City shows that “NYC taxis’ market share is down nearly 40% since 2016. Meanwhile, Uber’s market share gained about 440%.  That is amazing!!

But, maybe you are like me and rarely use taxis or Uber/Lyft.  Why should this concern me?

Think about that – if cars can drive themselves without humans, then can many jobs be done without humans?  We have automated check-out lines in stores; Amazon has convenient stores without any human workers (cameras and computers keep track of all items).  JetBlue is trying facial recognition instead of boarding passes to get on planes. What will our future be in a world of robotics?

I’m an optimist and believe that humans will adapt to the new life – we will find jobs and opportunities to work with our robotic ‘friends’.  

Autonomous cars and ride sharing is one of the many tips of this iceberg – and instead of melting this iceberg is still growing!!!

What do you think?


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Blog #676 Facial Recognition in San Francisco

Facial Recognition (San Francisco limits facial recognition)

Recently the San Francisco City Council passed a facial recognition ban on its first hearing.  It does need a second review before it becomes a law in the city.

San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban city use of facial recognition surveillance technology Tuesday — a groundbreaking move that privacy advocates applaud, but others say may go too far.

The legislation, written by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, also will force city departments to disclose what surveillance technology they currently use — and seek approval from the Board of Supervisors on any new technology that either collects or stores someone’s data.

“This is really about saying we can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state,” Peskin said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “Part of that is building trust with the community.”

The only city counselor that voted against the action said “she was concerned about how a complete ban on facial recognition could prevent the city’s law enforcement from having access to a potentially useful crime-solving tool. She also worried that forcing departments to disclose all their surveillance technology — and requiring them to seek board approval on anything new — could bog them down with extra work”

“I am not yet convinced, and I still have many outstanding questions,” she said. But “that does not undermine what I think is a very well-intentioned piece of legislation.”

“The San Francisco Police Department estimated it would take between two and four full-time employees to comply with the new ordinance. And even though the department says it does not currently use facial recognition technology, it may no longer acquire it in the future.”


Facial Recognition is just that – it recognizes faces and connects the faces with names and database information.  Facial recognition has been used to identify people at border crossings, Olympic games, airports, even at the Superbowl.  

Faces that have been altered with more hair, tanned (or untanned) skins, massive weight gain or lose, glasses, etc can still be identified because on face ‘prints’.  

This action is to ensure privacy.  In effect facial recognition can identify every person walking down the street, entering buildings, both innocent and guilty.  The concept of ‘innocent before proven guilty’ is largely thrown out as facial recognition can identify people who have massive overdue books, or parking tickets, or even fugitives from other states and countries.  

So, with facial recognition and the use of databases that a person visiting San Farancisco who had some legal troubles from New York City would be identified and possibly sent back to NYC for legal action.  

This act is to attempt to make such blanket facial survivance inappropriate – almost an inappropriate ‘search and screen’ of individuals.  

What do you think?  Should cities protect an individual’s privacy?  Should cities allow or limit businesses to use facial recognition to identify potential shoplifters or crooks?  


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Blog #675 Apple vs SCOTUS

SCOTUS to review Apple Apps

For years the only place to get iPhone apps is the Apple Store.  If you have a ‘paid’ app (that is one that people pay to download to their iPhone), Apple keeps 30% of the price.  But that might be changing.

From the article:

-“The Supreme Court, ruling 5-4, allows iPhone users to pursue their antitrust lawsuit against Apple in a case involving its signature electronic marketplace, the App Store.”

-”The iPhone users argued that Apple’s 30% commission on sales through the App Store was passed along to consumers, an unfair use of monopoly power. Apple argued that only app developers, and not users, should be able to bring such a lawsuit.”

I am an iPhone owner and user.  As a retired person, there aren’t many paid apps that I am interested in.  There are some (like password managers) that look attractive to me, but I haven’t invested in them.

On-the-other hand, I have several free apps – from games, to library downloads and learning sites.  Unfortunately, almost all of these have to be supported by advertisements (hey – they aren’t getting my money – so they need income – and they are forced to have ads).

I have a good friend and former student (Steve) who loves to write apps.  He has faced this problem by not charging.

He wrote me this analysis:

“Yes, Apple taking 30% seems like a lot, but us app developers don’t have a choice.  I think the Google fee is somewhere around the 30% commission, too. But that article brings up a good point; it is in sense a monopoly; but from Apple’s perspective, it is their product so they should be able to do whatever they want with it.  

“Did you know that Apple charges a $100 annual fee just to be a developer?  It could be anything, and developers would pay it. (Last I knew) Google only has a one-time setup fee of $35.  

“I suppose in Apple’s defense, they are reviewing each app (I know this all too well; I’ve had several apps rejected for a variety of reasons), so the money to pay those reviewers I guess needs to come from somewhere.  Apple is known for having “quality” apps in their store.

Thank you Steve!!!  

My friend loves to write apps.  It is a hobby for him – and like most hobbies there is a cost.  If your hobby is playing golf, you have to pay for clubs and pay to play on a course.  If your hobby is music (like mine), you have to pay for your instrument and lessons and for driving to gigs.  (For an amateur like me that is).

So, we will have to wait and see if the Supreme Court thinks Apple is being ‘fair’.  Apple phones are one of the two major mobile phone systems (the other is Android apps).  If you want to play, you have to pay.

What do you think? Is Apple in the right for making app developers pay an annual fee?  Is Apple right to take 30% off of paid apps to support their infrastructure (of hosting and reviewing apps)?


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Blog #674 Be Happy!!!

Hey – let’s brighten up our day with some motivational quotes

We all have days when we struggle.  Maybe it is health issues; or maybe finances (don’t look at the stock market today); maybe it is work or family or a plethora of other issues.

Hopefully these can help brighten your day!!!  (Like it did mine!!)

1. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” –Jimmy Dean

I also like watching sailboats.  Going with the wind in their sails, they glide along.  But, on the reverse trip they are going into the wind. I like watching them put their sails at an angle to the wind and setting the rudder to zig-zag and come back across the lake.

2. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” –Nido Qubein

Sometimes things look bad (like your present circumstances).  You can get through them. I sometimes think of people who overcame poverty, overcame discrimination, overcame handicaps to become great successes.  Others have done it – so can we!!!

3. “The best way out is always through.” –Robert Frost

You can get out of situations – fight your way through them.  Be strong and be of good character and keep going!!!

4. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” –Khalil Gibran

Life isn’t always easy.  There are mountains to climb, we might trip and fall and have scars and bruises.  Read the biographies of those that have triumphed – and pick yourself up!!!

5. “My dark days made me strong. Or maybe I already was strong, and they made me prove it.” –Emery Lord

I have fought with depression the last few years.  There were two times I wanted to step out in front of speeding cars – but didn’t.  I think I understand others better from my experiences.

6. “Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.” –Vincent van Gogh

Hmmm – maybe I fit this adage.  Why be normal? I also am thinking of Robert Frost’s poem about two roads diverged in a woods and I took the one less travelled.

7. “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” –Rabindranath Tagore

We all have days with clouds.  (When I lived in Oregon, most of the winter was clouds with some light rain).  But behind the clouds there is a golden lining as the sun shines on them. Clouds also help the earth from ‘burning up’ like the Sahara Desert!!

8. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yes, tomorrow is a new day – move on from the hurts and hassles of yesterday.  Find new adventures and get moving!!

9. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ― J.K. Rowling

We can choose happiness – we can choose our attitude.  Turn on your inner light.

10. “When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.” –Brené Brown

Don’t live somebody else’s story.  Live your own story, that is, live your own life

11. “Your now is not your forever.” –John Green

Life goes on – ‘now’ disappears into ‘tomorrow’.  Life life fully and abundantly. Keep positive!!!

Well – just reading and writing a short comment has brightened my day.  Today I am going to SHINE like the SUN!!!

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Blog #673 Tariffs

Tariffs – and what means for us as consumers

In the news lately are tariffs – so let’s explore tariffs

From the article we have this:

“A tariff is a tax imposed by one country on the goods and services imported from another country. Tariffs are used to restrict imports by increasing the price of goods and services purchased from another country, making them less attractive to domestic consumers.”

So, an example. I grew up in the ’50s and 60’s when most fabric and clothes sold in the United States were made in the United States. There was a big push to protect fabric workers with the slogan “Look for the Union label”. The implication was that buying clothes made in the United States would help American citizens that worked in the clothing trade. If you bought a shirt for $10, that money would pay for: 
-1 the clerk and store that sold the shirt (American Citizens)
-2 the farmers who grew the cotton, or raised the wool, or that made the synthetic fibers (nylon, rayon, and others) – also American Citizens
-3 the companies and employees of the textile factories that took the raw materials from the farmers and wove it into the shirt (also American Citizens)

None of you $10 was going to China, Singapore, or any other country that grew the products and made the shirt.

But, ultimately, free trade won out and Americans bought shirts (and more) from China and other places (generally in Southeast Asia). The shirts were cheaper (mostly from labor costs) and even when shipped across the ocean were still a bargain for American consumers. And, ultimately the American textile factories shut down and American laborers in those factories lost their jobs. I could (maybe) buy two or three shirts that were made abroad as compared to one shirt made in the United States. And, some of those laborers went on unemployment, or other government programs since they had lost their jobs.

The government could have protected the American textile industry by putting tariffs on the non-American goods that were shipping to the United States and sold here.

So, back to the example: Let’s say the government put a 100% tariff on imported shirts. So, the shirt that cost $2 to make in China now cost American consumers $4. The may (or may not) have balanced the equation and keep the American textile industry afloat. When I bought a shirt for $10, it could have been made in the US or abroad but now the shirts were all selling at $10.

Now China (in particular) has billions of people and needs to keep them employed. If their people are not making shirts (or not making as many shirts) they might have the unemployment problems if there was a tariff.

Also – beyond the scope of today’s blog, some companies wanted to cut the cost of making their products so hired children and others at very low wages in almost ‘slave labor’ conditions.

If Americans are buying too many products from China (because they are cheaper because of cheaper labor), then China companies get wealthy. Eventually, China could have more American dollars than America!!! We (US) could become an economic puppet to China. We (US) gets the products we want and China gets our dollars. Many properties in the United States are now owned by Chinese investors.

Right now, the United States government is putting tariffs on many Chinese products and China is doing the same by putting tariffs on American products.

So, as I go to buy a shirt – my choice is a shirt made in China selling for $10 and a shirt made in America for $10. No longer can I get three shirts for $10.

Let’s say I am an American farmer and raise soybeans. For years, China has bought a lot of soybeans from America. But, China may retaliate to American tariffs by putting tariffs on American agricultural products (like soybeans). So, Chinese companies (food processors who use soybeans) might buy the soybeans from Brazil.

The end result is that the cost of about everything will go up. We (Americans) will still buy products from China – but those products will cost more as our government put tariffs on those products.

The article says:
“Tariffs can have unintended side effects, however. They can make domestic industries less efficient and innovative by reducing competition. They can hurt domestic consumers since a lack of competition tends to push up prices. They can generate tensions by favoring certain industries, or geographic regions, over others. For example, tariffs designed to help manufacturers in cities may hurt consumers in rural areas who do not benefit from the policy and are likely to pay more for manufactured goods. Finally, an attempt to pressure a rival country by using tariffs can devolve into an unproductive cycle of retaliation, commonly known as trade wars.”

What will happen? No one knows at this time, but it is leading to a ‘trade war’.

Stay tuned – we will return to this topic down the line.


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Blog #672 Overcoming Data

Information Overload – part V (but, really Covey’s Seven Habits)

In the discussion about information overload, I kept thinking about priorities and related topics which brought me to Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  If you are dealing with information overload, you need to be effective – maybe you need to be Highly Effective!!!

Many have seen the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but today I’m going to write about them and information overload

-1 Be proactive

If Information overload is affecting you being proactive would mean that you are taking a positive approach to the problem.  What data/information is absolutely needed? Do an analysis of the situation. What data must you have? What data is nice to have?  And what data is almost worthless to you? Filter it out and narrow the information down.

-2 Begin with the end in mind

Okay – big picture – where are you going with all of this data.  Envision the end results – neatly finished.

I have had high blood pressure.  Yes, I treat the symptoms – but the ultimate result is lower blood pressure – which might include attitude and lifestyle changes as well as the medications.  I am cutting my salt intake and getting exercise.

-3 Put First Things First

Like the information overload discussion – prioritize your information.  

My pressure this morning was 169 over 94.  Yes, I could have less salt, yes, I could exercise, but the immediate situation was to get the pressure down – so I took an extra pill.  My latest reading was 132/68. My cardiologist said “nothing over 140”.

-4 Think Win/Win

In the information overload we talked about collaboration and delegating tasks.  Like the T.E.A.M. acronym – Together; Everyone; Achieves; More.

Companies (and life) is for teams – couples, families, businesses – working together to achieve a goal.  Make it a WIN/WIN!!

-5 Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

You need to know your goal; know the team, understand what the data means to the decision, and work from a solid informational base.  

For me, I needed to understand what high blood pressure could do to me (two years ago it meant I was tearing holes in my aorta!!)  Then I need to understand myself and my response from the data (daily taking of blood pressure).

-6 Synergize

When working with your data, can you get 2 plus 2 to equal 4?  Can you take data from diverse information and blends it into meaning information.  

-7 Sharpen the saw

Always be learning, always be adding more knowledge and understanding to you and your situation.  That might be formal education, it might be workshops, or it might be reading – but on the internet and not.  You can’t be static in life.

Are you familiar with the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People?  Can you relate to them in your life,your work, your situation?

Think on it!!!


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