The StarLink-IRC NEWSLETTER
December 2004
SPECIAL EVENTS
Christmas Color Show #Townhall Dec 19 9pm EST - 6pm PST
Annual Holiday Scavenger Hunt #Townhall Dec 30 9pm EST/6pm PST

Vol 7, Issue 12
 StarLink-IRC Newsletter
Published Occasionally
Dec 2004  
StarLink-IRC Network - Your family friendly cybertown!
IN THIS ISSUE
Amazing and Lesser Things by Amazing
New Channels by treecat
Fogweb Follies by Itsy
Way With Words by Scorp
The Library Interesting things said and read

COLUMNS
Movies  Movie Reviews by Zadi
Book Nook  Book Reviews by Lorellei  NEW
Cooking Recipes by Wildchild
Pets and Pests by Momma
Mabel Advice to Readers

READER CONTRIBUTIONS
Channel Chatter Channel News
Who's Doing What Personal events
Travel Interesting websites
Tips Tips and Useful Information
TechTalk Tech tips
EDITORIAL
Editor-in-Chief - NOLady
Web Version / Layout - Itsy
Network Info and Notices News
General Information General
Reader Commentary Letters
Editor Emeritus - Lois of #OldRadio

Subscribe / Change of Address
And get your own copy by mail!
Articles Wanted!  Deadline - 15th of the month
The Meeting Room Channel & Net Events
In Memoriam Those no longer with us

Back Issues

This is YOUR newsletter - Send news items to [email protected]
Send any gossip or other dirt to the same place!
Contributors: Please eliminate the forwarding marks (>>>) from submissions!!

SL-IRC LOGO STUFF SHAMELESS PLUG
We have made available some items (mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats) with our logo at Cafepress - http://www.cafeshops.com/slirc   Cafepress sets the item base cost and handles all sales, production,  shipping, and warranty. StarLink-IRC gets no money from sales of these items.

General Information
Logo Stuff: SL-IRC logo items www.cafeshops.com/slirc
Security: TriStar and security: www.starlink-irc.org/security/
Webring: For your webpages check www.starlink-irc.org/webring.html
Guestbook: Visit or Sign our www.starlink-irc.org/guestbook to enter your comments.
Ombudspersons: See www.starlink-irc.org/slirc-org.html#Ombudsman
Why We Are Here: A #Townhall Special Presentation

Email Updates: To all channel owners: If you have changed internet service providers please let cservice know if you have a new email address. We need the information to be able to contact you in case of problems with your channel or in case you have forgotten to authenticate in your channel and need a reminder to do so. Email addresses ARE kept confidential- send updates to[email protected]

Word Games:  Live trivia at various times and places throughout the week.

#International: We hope to bring together folks from all nations and languages .. come join us for chat, good friends, and if you can volunteer to translate, all the better. Even a smattering of another language is welcome!

DISCLAIMER - Web sites shown or linked here may contain executable files or programs. Be advised that StarLink-IRC has no knowledge of the suitability or effects these may have on your system. We advise everyone to make a carefully informed decision prior to running any new software.


FROM THE EDITOR

Please feel free to send in things you'd like to share with our community of chatters.  We welcome your input.
Are you an avid reader?  Would you like to write a book review column for our newsletter?  Maybe you have another idea for a monthly column.  Please submit your ideas!


CELEBRATIONS AND CALENDAR
Your BIRTHDAY TREE
December's gemstone is Turquoise, the symbol of Truth, flower is the Narcissus
January's gemstone is Garnet, flower is the Carnation

EVENTS
Dec 15  Last day of Hanukkah
Dec 19  CHRISTMAS COLOR SHOW!  6pm PST - 9pm EST
Dec 25  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Dec 30  HOLIDAY SCAVENGER HUNT in #Townhall, 9 pm Eastern
Dec 31  New Year's Eve Party in #Townhall
DECEMBER Birthdays
JANUARY Birthdays
Decr 6   peman of #40Something
Dec 6    Youps of #40Something
Dec 8    First day of Hanukkah
Dec 9    IRC Op Dilly
Dec 11  IRC Op Blu
Dec 17  Jman of #40Something
Dec 19  ellegon of #Cops
Dec 26  Boxing Day
Dec 27  Delightful of #40Something
Jan 1  Happy Eighth Birthday StarLink-IRC!!!!!
Jan 16 Trails of #40Something
Jan 18 LadyGambler of #40Something
Jan 23 Irishgirl of #40Something
Jan 30 Kimbers of #40Something
We wish the rest of you Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary except that we DON'T KNOW your special dates!  Please ask your chatters for their birthdays and anniversaries and submit them for publication!
Amazing
AMAZING AND LESSER THINGS!
by Amazing
A Christmas Color Show will be held in
#Townhall on Sunday, Dec 19th at 6pm PST - 9pm EST
You can get the sounds for the show at http://www.mirc-colors.com/christmasshow.html and tell all your friends to join us for this wonderful show being put on by DarkHawk

This poem has been posted many times on the web and in other newsletters. May we never forget ALL of the military men and women who keep our countries safe so that we are able to enjoy every holiday season.
The Gift

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN'T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND SOON DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.

I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

Thanks to everyone for making StarLink-IRC the wonderful cybertown that it is!  As some of you might know, there are other nets out there with the word 'starlink' in them. When telling your friends about what net you chat on -- PLEASE make sure you say StarLink-IRC.Org.  And don't forget There is a quicklist at http://www.starlink-irc.org/serverlist.html
treecat NEW CHANNELS AND CHANGES
by treecat
A warm welcome to this month's new channels and their owners. If you have a chance, do stop in and give these folks a friendly Hi!
NEW CHANNELS

##bluefjord - trails
#prayer_room_hatw - Will
#PTOchat - ice
#50sChat - Sandy-
#Anime-Destiny - CassyChan

CHANNEL CHATTER    What's happening in the channels ...

#SurvivingGrief
The holidays can be so brutal for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.  Please stop by and share the burden of that grief with others, in so doing, lightening the weight of it upon your heart.
Misplaced shared this with some of us and it was too lovely not to pass on to you.  Thank you, Misplaced.
One of the blessings received in grief, is the gift of enduring, and learning a lesson maybe few may know. God gives to each, gifts that we are meant to share. Being a young griever, one whom experienced multiple deaths early in life, has given me gifts that even the wise men couldn't have shared more greatly.
In December 1987, I was expecting our first son in the early spring of 88. However, the Lord decided to share with me, the lesson of pain, grieving, and renewal. On Christmas Eve, my moods changed, my stomach ached, and soon I was bleeding. On Christmas morning, I delivered a silent child half the size of a normal healthy baby, with eyes of unknown color, but ever so few downy soft curls of shiniest blonde. My pain was great as the hospital also had a mother deliver a set of quadruplets that morning, and the talk was on the news, in the paper, and in the hallways.
I lay in the hospital's cold bed, scratchy sheets reminding me Christmas would never be the same. For quite some time, I thought the Lord was trying to humble my proud heart. For a while, I cried as each death in the church reminded me of my own pain.
With each Christmas passing, my husband worked harder to make the holiday right, the way it once was... Seven years later, suddenly, without warning, he died on a beautiful spring morning. Caring for the children, I reflected on the learning I had received, how to survive grief, and how my son's death had prepared me for this sudden widowhood, as I realized I really wasn't crazy, I was grieving.
That first Christmas with the weight of the loss of my husband magnified, all his attempts now seemed futile because nobody knew to "right" my heart ache. Then, I wanted to buy him a gift, and therein, my grief swelled. Unable to sleep, I turned on the TV late, and tried to drown my thoughts. A beautiful Christmas show, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" with Mickey Roonie came on TV. How ironic, I thought, I am watching this at midnight. In it the old man dies before Christmas and must talk to the Archangel into letting him return to Earth, to fulfill a Christmas promise to his grandson. What he finds is the Christmas spirit has failed NYC! He, in the end, is on TV, challenging New Yorkers to "Go out, greet your neighbors, and do something nice for each other. It's Christmas!" That's when it hit me! God had gifted me with something special ... gifts that only few know. Gifts of compassion, mercy, insight, and tenderness. Then it occurred to me, I had to choose, get bitter or better....
Then I got up, and got into the scripture, and lo, the Lord spoke to me as verse after verse was ultimate sacrifice, giving, cheerfulness. I didn't go to bed that night. In fact, I made hundreds of Christmas cards, and dozens of batches of pralines (a southern tradition) and stacked them all in row. That afternoon, I wrote down the name of every "single" person listed in my church phone directory, and my own phone book. The kids and I planned a shopping venture where we chose one man who had no family to speak of, and we bought for him as if he were "our daddy." When Christmas Eve arrived, we snuck to his porch, and loaded it down with gifts, and candies, and an engraved invitation to attend a Christmas feast, starting with breakfast the next morning. When I arrived home, we called him and told him we set a few things on the porch for him, to please take them indoors. We took our grief and utilized it to the service of others. Suddenly, I wasn't focused on my own grief, but possibly lessening the grief of others. In doing just that, I was healing myself.
Each year, when I have grieved, 'cause the grief monster does come, I take the gifts of knowing, compassion, service and abundance and I share. I share love through remembrance that the Lord chose to share his son's birthday with my son, Grant. That Grant did not have to breathe a breath, in order to teach me a lesson. I learned that Jesus gave me a love of a husband few are blessed with ... and I show that same love to others who might be all alone otherwise. We all have received gifts! I had to find mine, and realize my pain was not unintentional. God blessed me greatly with compassion and knowledge to use these gifts! So I challenge my friends as Mickey Roonie once did... "Get out! Greet your neighbor! Do something nice!
#Trivia_Dreams
A Farewell to our friend, Kathie (aka Kathie22)
Kathie was our friend and confidant. So many were made better by having met her, by having chatted with her and by having shared some moments or hours with her.  Kathie was truly a special person: intelligent, kind, thoughtful, with a quick-wit, and every inch a gracious lady. She left us on November 21, 2004. Any who knew her feel a great loss. For all of us who mourn her leaving, these words may soothe, if just a little.

#momma^s_house
You're all invited to TOPIC NIGHT each and every Wednesday at 9pm (EST)!  Check out the topic ideas for this week Pease submit topic suggestions to MrPirk or Momma. You are also invited to attend TWISTED TRIVIA  TUESDAY, 9pm (EST)!

#40Something
Channel Chatter from #40Something
Having two fifteen year old daughters, we were absolutely delighted to read these words of wisdom from Misplaced.  They are words to live by at ANY age!! A married woman who said her husband now wanted a divorce passed along these tips to Dear Abby for the not-yet-married. If you see these red flags, she advises you to dump the guy:
1. If your parents or siblings have doubts about him, pay attention. Listen and check it out.
2. If your intended has nothing good to say about his ex, beware. This is a pattern. Divorce is rarely only one person's fault.
3. If his children have nothing to do with him, do not believe him if he says his ex brainwashed them against him. My stepchildren have told me it was because they hated him, and they have good reasons.
4. Be sure in your heart that you can live with him AS IS. You cannot change another person.
5. This is a biggie: Beware if he has no friends outside of work or a bar. It is not true that they all chose to side with his ex.
6. If your longtime friends dislike him, pay attention. This is also true if he hates your friends, or only wants you to hang out with his friends he had before you met.
7. If he has a DUI and still drinks, run!
8. If he is one personality at work or with others and another person alone with you, run.
9. If he has nothing to do with his parents, investigate why. Don't take his word for it.
10 If he's an expert at everything and brags a lot, understand that he will turn off a lot of people, eventually maybe even you.
11.If he has sexual problems, go with him to a doctor before you marry him. Believe me, his problem will become your problem.
12. If he is emotionally or verbally abusive, it will only get worse. Yelling, name-calling and glowering are classic signs of an abuser.
13. If he is never wrong and never apologizes, everything will be "your fault" forever. And after years of hearing it, you may even start to accept the blame.
14. If he does something wrong and says, "That wouldn't have happened if you hadn't (fill in the blank)," that's another sign of an abuser.
15. If he's mean to children, pets, or animals, recognize that he's pathological, and the next victim could be you.
16. If He cheated on someone to be with you, he will cheat on you as well.
17. If he loves to hug and kiss all his female acquaintances he is still on the prowl.
18. If he finds faults with your children, but makes excuses for his, that isn’t going to change.

#Funchat
#Funchat is pleased to announce that we are offering Quiz on Wednesday and Friday nights at 9pm EST. The Quiz mistress is our own Phyl_Girl.   What is Quiz ? Quiz is essentially a variant of trivia. The focus is on odd news, factoids and other items dug off the net by our industrious Phyl_Girl. These are complied into a question and answer form. No, you do not have to be an incredibly smart person because creativity counts also ! Phyl_Girl runs the quiz and there is usually a creative answer judge assisting her. You get 5 points for a correct answer, 3 points for the most creative, inventive answer, and 2 pity points now and again at the option of the creative judge. Quiz is usually 10 questions, with a bonus question at the end. Come join the fun, see how creative your fellow chatters can be or how smart in some cases.
 BrotherMac
Let us know what's happening in YOUR channel at [email protected]

WHO'S DOING WHAT    Here and there around the net ..
contributed by everyone
In an attempt to get more of our chatters involved in our newsletter and to make it more interesting, we are adding several new columns.  The recipe column has been very popular!  I hear tell there is a movie critic's corner starting soon.  That's exciting!!  I'd love to see a gardening column if that's an area of expertice for any of you.  Maybe even a book review column would be nice?  Please get together with me if you have other ideas or if you're willing to do a column!
COOKING ON THE WILD SIDE Recipes and more    ...by Wildchild.
Hello Chat Friends, I hope that our Canadian friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  And hope that all of our American friends will have one, also. Here are some recipe's that hopefully you and your families will enjoy. Thanks to NOLady, channel owner of #40something, sent in that she is going to make for her family next week. Until next time don't for get to lets keep cookingonthewildside.
wildchild
Czech Squares
Recipe Summary
Yield: 24 squares
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 40 to 45 minutes
Inactive prep time: 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: Intermediate
Ingredients
1 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
Pinch fine salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, diced and slightly chilled
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons brandy
Filling

Instructions
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.
Butter a 9 by 12 1/2-inch baking sheet pan, then cover bottom with parchment paper.
Pulse the walnuts with the sugar, in a food processor until fine and powdery, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, spices, and salt, pulsing until evenly combined. Add the butter, yolks, and brandy and pulse until the mixture starts to come together. Stop mixing and pull the dough together by hand, press and roll into a thick log about 8 inches long.
Cut the log crosswise into 12 equal pieces. (If the dough is very sticky, refrigerate it until easier to work with, about 30 minutes.) Lay 8 pieces of the dough on the bottom of the pan. Press and spread the pieces together with your fingertips to cover the pan evenly.
Stir the cherry jam, lemon zest and juice together in a bowl. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough with the back of a spoon.
Roll the remaining dough out on a well-floured surface about 1/8-inch thick. Use a small decorative cutter, such as a leaf, tree, or star, to cut the dough into 24 pieces. Evenly place the pieces on top of the filling in 6 rows of 4. Alternatively cut the dough into long strips with a pizza wheel or knife, and place them on the filling in a lattice pattern; or cut the dough into ovals and lay them on the filling in a decorative pattern. Brush decorative layer of dough with egg white.
Bake the squares until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Cut with a serrated knife into 2-inch squares.

Cook's Notes
If you can't find cherry jam, raspberry or strawberry would be a fine substitute.


  Sweet Potato Pie
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk

Mix all ingredients well, pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

*Note: To make the pie nice and smooth, put all ingredients into blender and blend well before pouring into pie shell.

 If calories are of a concern, use nonfat or low fat evaporated milk. Additionally, you can use 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 2/3 cup.
Ribbon or Swirl Cookies,
A great make-ahead freezer dough that will impress all your guests throughout the holiday season.

Recipe Summary
Yield: Approximately 6 dozen cookies
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 14 to 16 minutes
Inactive prep time: 3 hours
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

Ingredients
Vanilla Dough:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 large egg
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons mint extract
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
Chocolate Dough:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks) room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions
For the vanilla dough: Mix the 2 sugars and the salt together in a medium bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the egg and mint extract and set aside. With a hand held mixer beat the butter until smooth in a large bowl. While mixing, gradually add the sugar mixture, and continue beating until lightly colored and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour, mixing slowly until blended.
Turn the dough out of the bowl, divide in half. Place the halves between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a 10 by 12 by 1/4 inch rectangle. Slide the sheets of dough/parchment sheets onto a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
For the chocolate dough: Whisk the sugar, cocoa, salt in a medium bowl. With a hand held mixer beat the butter until smooth in a large bowl. While mixing, add the cocoa mixture, and continue beating until lightly colored and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour, mixing slowly until blended.
Turn the dough out of the bowl, divide in half. Place the halves between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a 10 by 12 by 1/4 inch rectangle. Slide the sheets of dough/parchment sheets onto a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
For a spiral cookie: Put 1 of the chocolate doughs on the workspace and remove the top sheet of parchment. Brush dough lightly with cold water. Place a sheet of vanilla dough on the workspace, and remove top sheet of paper. Using the bottom piece of the paper to lift the dough, place the vanilla dough on top of the chocolate dough. Take care to line up the edges of the 2 doughs and trim as needed. Lightly press to smooth and seal the doughs together. Remove the top piece of paper. Brush the surface of the dough lightly with cold water. Position the sandwiched doughs with the long edge facing you. Using the edge of the paper as a guide, roll the doughs into a tight cylinder, 2 inches wide. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat with remaining 2 sheets of dough.
Evenly position racks in the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Slice the dough crosswise into 1/4-inch thick cookies. Lay about 1/2-inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just golden - not too dark you'll lose the definition of the spiral, about 14 to 16 minutes.

Cook's Notes
For the perfect spiral, make sure the first roll is very tight. If there are gaps, they will show up in the final cookies. If the dough gets too soft, simply refrigerate until malleable but not so dry that it cracks.
.
MAYBE MABLE KNOWS?     Advice
Suggestions and comments .. submit them to the newsletter with Mable in the subject line.

Reserved for those who have questions which can benefit from answers with a fresh perspective!

MOVIES                 Movie Reviews - by Zadi of #Lupuschat
Suggestions and comments .. submit them to the newsletter with Movies  in the subject line.

Keep watching this spot for future reviews from Zadi!

THE BOOK NOOK         Book Nook by Lorellei
Suggestions and comments .. submit them to the newsletter with Book Nook in the subject line.

An Author Review ­ Deepak Chopra
I decided to extend the scope of our Book Nook reviews and focus on a specific writer. This author has had so many books on the New York Time Best Sellers List that I could not easily get an accurate count.

Deepak Chopra was born and raised in New Delhi, India. The son of a well-known, well-respected cardiologist, he attended the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a prestigious medical institute. After graduation, he traveled to the United States and completed residencies in internal medicine and endocrinology. He taught at Tufts University and Boston University Schools of Medicine, and then became Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital. He established a large personal practice. Despite a thriving medical practice and extensive professional success, Dr. Chopra began to question whether all acceptable medical techniques were providing his patients with the best possible health results, leading to his in-depth exploration of mind-body medicine. Dr. Chopra has not abandoned conventional medical training; quite the contrary. He has extended it to bring together the best of ancient wisdom and modern science.

Dr. Chopra established the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine and in 1992 was appointed to the National Institutes of Health Ad Hoc Panel on Alternative Medicine. In 1993 he established the Center for Mind Body Medicine with Dr. David Simon. A recognized expert in the field of mind-body medicine, he travels widely now, giving lectures and seminars and appearing on radio and TV worldwide. I have personally attended several of his seminars and put his suggestions to work in my own life. This has led to my deep appreciation of the wisdom of Ayurvedic beliefs and practices.

Chopra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old), was a New York Times #1 Bestseller. It was one of the first of his books that I read.  This book offers us powerful information and tools which will enable us to conquer the fear and the facts of aging. Dr. Chopra uses the means and the metaphor of quantum physics and mind/body medicine to present strategies for aging and overcoming the habits of millennia, (and he is not at all difficult to understand at any time). I believe that if you just read this book, you’ll go away with knowledge that will transform your thinking and make you feel better. His common sense, proven applications cannot harm you or hurt you. They can only make life better, more exciting, more interesting.

I have been utilizing Dr. Chopra’s suggestions and techniques (none of which are mysterious or difficult) for several years. I am more than pleased with the results. I look younger, feel younger and require way less sleep than previously. I have time to embrace life in a manner I suspected was available, just didn’t know for sure.

His fiction includes Lords of Light and, especially good, The Return of Merlin. This book recreates the fable of Camelot in modern times, with an underlying message that the wizard Merlin's eternal secrets can help us to transcend the problems and conflicts of our times.

This man is a prolific writer, scribes well and is easily understood; he is just the messenger, passing on to us the information of the ages, combined with modern medical proven knowledge. It all blends very well. I have had a few conversations with Dr. Chopra and he is a positive person, one anyone enjoys being around. If I have a guru, it is surely Dr. Deepak Chopra. I truly value and appreciate the events in life that have enabled me to absorb a small part of the information he presents.  Other books include Perfect Health, Quantum Healing, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Perfect Weight, Boundless Energy and Overcoming Addition. There are many more. Read any of these, or any of his other books. There are many. You will be compelled to explore the other books he has written.  I have a couple of sets of his taped lessons; I use them all the time. One is called Magical Mind, Magical Body. This set of tapes alone has enabled me to make positive changes in my life that have enhanced it greatly.

Google Deepak Chopra; I can’t imagine there is anyone on the planet who wouldn’t get benefit from something he has written or recorded.

Happy holidays to all - may your reading in 2005 be more rewarding and enjoyable than ever.

Lorellei


If you have a book you'd like reviewed, send an email with the subject "For Book Nook"; we're glad to have suggestions! If you'd like to review a book yourself, let us know. It's good to have fresh viewpoints!
PETS AND PESTS         Critters   by Momma
If you have questions, interesting facts or suggestions, other notable news concerning pets and pests, please submit them to the newsletter with Pets and Pests in the subject line.

Christmas Pets
Every year my husband asks me what I want for Christmas. And being a mother, and a reasonably practical woman, I usually asked for things I needed for the house, from new linen to toasters to washing machines. Last year I decided that since I was about to retire from the workforce, and I had done my practical role for 27 years, I should ask for something for ME! So, I asked for a PUPPY! Needless to say I got the "LOOK"! Not because I had asked for a puppy, but because when I owned my pet store, I discouraged customers from purchasing a "pet" as a Christmas gift.

My beliefs still hold true however, and I do not recommend puppies or kittens as holiday gifts. First off, they are dang hard to wrap! When I had the pet store, I would hear people proclaim "Oh he is SO cute! Wouldn't mother like a puppy to keep her company?" While I was sure that mother might like a pet to fill her lonely days, I would give the following advice, with the following reasons.....

The "holiday season" is a stressful time for many, with travelling, and/or company coming to visit. A new pet in the family is just added stress at this time. Chances are a new kitty or puppy is not yet trained. Young animals are like children...they are full of energy, curious, and in dire need of affection. One of two things can happen over the busy season. Either the new pet will be mauled by everyone who comes to visit, or he/she will be constantly "under foot", and banished to a kennel cage or basement. Neither situation is good for the well-being of the pet.

Another concern of mine for the new kitten or puppy are the decorations. Christmas tree ornaments, tinsel, and ribbons and bows on gifts under the tree are just to hard for your newest family member to resist! These bright, shiney playthings can be dangerous if ingested. I have seen what tinsel can do to a kitten's intestines. And cuts to puppies and family members from broken ornaments can be painful for all involved.

So rather then buy a puppy or kitten for mother, or the children, try this instead. Order the pet, place a deposit, and make arrangements to pick up your new pet after things calm down. Or you could buy a gift certificate from your local pet store so the new pet can be purchased by the recipient of the gift.
Now you may want to have something under the tree. Purchase pet supplies. Every new pet will need toys, dishes, leash and collar, and of course treats and pet food. Books on the care of the new pet are another good gift idea. This will help out the new pet owner, as well as build excitement in anticipation for the homecoming!

This year my one grand daughter wants a gecko, and she certainly will not get it from me. Nana and Poppa will buy her lizard supplies! And as for my puppy? I did get a Pug puppy for Christmas last year. I went to visit the breeder with cash in hand, picked out the one I wanted from the litter, and paid a deposit. I made arrangements for pick-up on Jan. 1. While I admit it was hard for me to wait, knowing my little bundle of joy was being enjoyed by another family, it turned out for the best for all concerned. I got through Christmas with my family, closed my store up and set things up here for my new baby. DebilDawg and I are constant companions. He doesn't do laundry, and can't make toast, but he has turned out to be the BEST Christmas gift my husband has given me in years.
I can think of only one other gift I enjoy more, and that is time with my family!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from #Momma^s_House!
 
TRAVEL                 Places to go.. things to see
Suggestions for places to visit on the web .. submit to the newsletter with TRAVEL in the subject line.

Contributed by Makk
Firefox Browser

For those that are using Firefox browser, or are thinking about switching to it, here is a excellent introduction / tutorial with screen shots. http://www.nidelven-it.no/articles/introduction_to_firefox

Package Tracking

For folks who want to track the items they've shipped out, here's a EASY site to do that. Just click Track Any Package at the bottom of the page, and give the tracking number...


http://www.mbe.com/

Here's the info they give about what companies they have tracking abilities for:

Track It! with iShip, Inc. provides real time status of a package shipped with Airborne, DHL, FedEx, or United Parcel Service. In the near future, iShip, Inc. will expand the base of carriers for Track It!

Carriers and manifest systems such as iShip, Inc. use tracking numbers to identify and trace packages as they move through the carrier's systems to their destinations. The shipper or the recipient uses this number to track, locate, and verify delivery of the package.

To track a package, type the carrier or iShip, Inc. tracking number in the Enter tracking number box, and then click the Submit button. Track It! will display the package's current status. If the package has been delivered, Track It! will report who signed for the package, its destination, and time of delivery.

If your package has not yet been delivered, Track It! can send an e-mail notification to you when the package is delivered. Type up to three e-mail addresses, and, optionally, a short e-mail message. Then click Submit. When the carrier delivers the package, iShip, Inc. will send an e-mail with a link to the most up-to-date package status.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!
Makk

TIPS                   The odd idea here and there
Handy Tips and Suggestions.. submit them to the newsletter with TIPS  in the subject line.

No tips this month.

TECH TALK              Technical Tips and Hints.
 Suggestions for tech talk subjects.. submit them to the newsletter with TECH TALK  in the subject line.

Ad-Aware Spyware Remover Tips - contributed by Amazing
For those who use ad-aware for spyware protection and if you are using ad-aware 6.0, there is a new version out. You can check it out at lavasoft  The new version is ad-aware SE.
If/when you get it I have found the best thing to do is uninstall the ad-aware 6.0 by going to add/remove programs and remove it from there.
Once you have done that then check in your program files to see if there is a folder there called Lavasoft. If there is then delete whatever is left in that folder.
After you have done that THEN install the new ad-aware SE


THE MEETING ROOM       Special Events and Things
 If you have any subjects that would be good for on of our weekly #townhall block parties, let someone know and we'll see what we can do. Please submit them to the newsletter with #TownHall in the subject line.

A Christmas Color Show will be held in
#Townhall on Sunday, Dec 19th at 9pm EST - 6pm PST
You can get the sounds for the show at http://www.mirc-colors.com/christmasshow.html and tell all your friends to join us for this wonderful show being put on by DarkHawk.

The Annual Holiday Scavenger Hunt will start in
#Townhall on Thursday, Dec 30th  at 9pm EST/6pm PST

Schedule info provided by Amazing

foo! FOGWEB FOLLIES   
A short column of made-up facts and non-information
...brought to you by your friendly neighborhood arachnid

GECKO KARMA!

Here we are halfway between the time you fry your turkey and the time the credit card people cook your goose!

As usual, our super whiz-bang staff have been demonstrating their expertise and skill.  In public.  With their real names. For which examples see following we do show:

* Amazing got a free turkey today...only cost me $200 to get it
<treecat> where?
<Amazing> superstore
<Itsy> clever
<Amazing> i thought so

The above explains a lot of Canadian things.. of course other things it doesn't....

*** Joins: Amazing ([email protected])
<LarryC> good morning mazie
<Amazing> morning Larry :)
<Amazing> off and on here today...city crew is digging up my front yard
<LarryC> will they find the bodies?
<Amazing> upgrading some old piping in this whole subdivision so today is my turn..hehe
<Amazing> geez...i SURE hope not

She *HOPES* not??   Tch tch.  least you could do is put the bodies on a ice floe and send them out to sea.  But nooo... use the front yard.

Of course, OTHER members of our staff aren't exactly whizzing along on all cylinders. You know how we provide a global notice to folks when we set up a new channel?  Seems that some of us get a bit TOO enthusiastic with that idea...

[Makk] [WALL] Starlink-IRC welcomes #Newchannel to the network, drop by and congratulate nick

Of course, we are always glad to see nick setting up the ever popular #Newchannel one more time, aren't we?

Maybe it will be better after the egg nog wears off!!

See you next month.

THE LIBRARY
Whether it's lighthearted, serious, poignant, or just plain silly, send your contributios to the newsletter with LIBRARY in the subject line.

For all the Moms and Grandma's out there that get overwhelmed at Christmas.
(P.S. make sure you read the P.S.)

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned, and cuddled my two children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground and figured out how to attach nine patches onto my daughter's girl scout sash with staples and a glue gun.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache after a day of chasing kids (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to carry a screaming toddler out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy. If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like a car with fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking daughter doll that says, "Yes, Mummy" to boost my parental confidence, along with one potty-trained toddler, two kids who don't fight, and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

And please don't forget the Play-Doh Travel Pack, the hottest stocking stuffer this year for mothers of pre-schoolers. It comes in three fluorescent colors and is guaranteed to crumble on any carpet making the In-laws' house seem just like mine.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.

It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family; or if my toddler didn't look so cute sneaking downstairs to eat contraband ice cream in his pyjamas at midnight.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the chimney and come in and dry off by the fire so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table, but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always, MOM.

P.S.  One more thing...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in you.

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE!

Thanks to ItsyDad for these!

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING FOR MEN


Rule #1 When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one.  I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many  cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2 If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words.

"Hey, George, can I borrow your ratchet?"

"Okay. By the way, are you through with my 3/8" socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3 If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4 Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. (I was told that if men were supposed to wear bathrobes, jockey shorts would not have been invented.)

Rule #5 You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money, buy the man on your list a big screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips and flips and flips. Forget the program, your entertainment will be watching him have fun!

Rule #6 Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink - they are earthy.

Rule #7 Buy men label makers. (Almost as good as a cordless drill.) Within a couple of weeks, there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts.Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #8 Never buy a man anything and then tell him he should read the instructions because the box says "some assembly required". It will ruin his special day. He will always have parts left over.

Rule #9 Good places to shop for men include: Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA auto parts and Sear's Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is.  "From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks."

Rule #10 Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook - but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100 pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks.

"Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"

Rule #11 Tickets to a NY Giants game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.

Rule #12 Men love chain saws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chain saw. If you don't know why, refer to Rule #7. (Remember what happens when he gets a label maker?)

Rule #13 It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #14 Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says "I love you" like a hundred feet of 3/8" manila rope. No one knows why.


Wisdom From Grandpa.....
  • Whether a man winds up with a nest egg, or a goose egg, depends alot on the kind of chick he marries.
  • Trouble in marriage often starts when a man gets so busy earnin' his salt, that he forgets his sugar.
  • Too many couples marry for better, or for worse, but not for good.
  • When a man marries a woman, they become one; but the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.
  • If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife like a thoroughbred, she will never turn into an old nag.
  • On anniversaries, the wise husband always forgets the past - but never the present.
  • A foolish husband says to his wife, "Honey, you stick to the washin', ironin', cookin', and scrubbin'. No wife of mine is gonna work."
  • The bonds of matrimony are a good investment, only when the interest is kept up.
  • Many girls like to marry a military man - he can cook, sew, and make beds, and is in good health, and he's already used to taking orders.
  • Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age, and start bragging about it.
  • When a man marries, he is said to be the head of the household, but then he finds out that the head is attached to a neck, and that neck can turn the head wherever she wants.
  • The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
  • Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way.
  • I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
  • How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
  • When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth....Remember Algebra?
  • You know you are getting old, when everything either dries up, or leaks.
  • I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
  • One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.
  • Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
  • Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don't recognize you.
  • If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.
  • First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper, but it's really worse when you forget to pull it down.
  • Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft........Today, it's called Golf.
  • All things I love the most are illegal, immoral or FATTENING! Such is life
  • I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.


Holiday Eating Tips:
Thanks to DivaQueen for this one!

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can, and quickly.  Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch.  You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone.  Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy.  Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free, lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.  This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near  them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes.  If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.

Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

WWW - WAY WITH WORDS            by Scorp
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Hope the season brings you lots of Joy and Happiness
Have you tried to find the perfect verse, greeting or message when sending a card, and your mind draws a blank? If you have some favorites, send them to [email protected]
Thanks once again to those who sent in articles for the newsletter.  Please encourage your channel owners and other guests to send in their important dates for the month, channel chatter, and general noteworthy news!  It really gives our network a stronger sense of continuity when we can share these events with those outside the channels we normally visit.  One of the things I have always cherished about our network is the way channels support and visit and encourage other channels rather than stooping to the pettiness of competition and exclusion and such.  That's just another testament to the character of our community!  If you are as busy as I am, you don't always have the time to get out and visit other channels.  Our Sunday evening #Townhall meetings are an excellent opportunity to come and meet other folks that we would not normally chat with or get to know.  Come join us for these meetings which are often informative and always fun.  We usually have refreshments, too!  But you all know how that  goes with Itsy around.... not even the platters are left by the time everyone gets there!.

IN MEMORIAM.
Those who have moved on
                                         Those who bloom in the hearts of others
                                                       Never fade away
                                              May you find comfort and strength
                                                        In your memories


As you know, IRC Op BusterC/Bus passed away, leaving many friends who will miss him greatly on StarLink-IRC.  We received this letter from his son and daughter-in-law:

Dear Network,
My name is Roy Chambers, Jr. and some of you may know me as wah8 and others may know me as Bus's son. I just wanted to send y'all a note to express my sincere thanks for the potted palm( or planted plam as I understand its known as in your circle) that you sent to my mom and the lovely lily that you sent to my grandmother, plus all the support, thoughts, and prayers extended to our entire family during our time of loss. Y'all are truly a close knit family and I can see why Bus enjoyed hanging out and chatting with y'all all that time. Words cannot express the gratitude of all your support during this time.
I hope I get to see some of y'all as I will pop on time to time to relive some of the good times and make some new ones with pop's friends.
Once again, thanks you for all that you did, whether it be before with putting a smile on Bus's face, or for your kind gifts and support.
Roy Chambers Jr. and his wife Terra

#Trivia_Dreams offers a Farewell to our friend, Kathie (aka Kathie22)
Kathie was our friend and confidant. So many were made better by having met her, by having chatted with her and by having shared some moments or hours with her.
Kathie was truly a special person: intelligent, kind, thoughtful, with a quick-wit, and every inch a gracious lady. She left us on November 21, 2004. Any who knew her feel a great loss. For all of us who mourn her leaving, the following words may soothe, if just a little.
It may come streaming in on a ray of sunshine,
It may arrive in the warm smile of a child or a friend;
It may nudge you with some beautiful words your soul has longed to hear.
However it comes, may you have your comfort:
In your own time,
In your own way.
Farewell, Kathie and have the wonderful journey you so richly deserve. 
Your special friends in Trivia_Dreams wish you eternal joy.



In Memory

Those Lost

And candle Still  
 Remembered


In Loving Memory
Amazing reminds us that there may be other folks hurting, so take the time to think of them

NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION AND CHANGE OF EMAIL ADDRESS
Last month's BACK ISSUE



Channel Event Schedule
Drop by and join in .. everyone is always welcome!

Note: All times are Eastern US
DAY
TIME
WHERE
EVENT
SUN
9:30 PM
#Townhall

MON
--:--


TUE
10:00 PM
#WTGO
Live Trivia and Games
WED
--:--


THU
8:00 PM
10:00 PM
10:00 PM
#OldRadio
#Moonshadow
#WTGO
Fans of Old Time Radio - 8th year online!!
Trivia! Every thursday
Live Trivia and Games
FRI
8:00 PM
9:00 PM
#Islander
#Just4Fun
Live Trivia!
Now and then. Outburst games! Fun for  All
SAT
10:00 PM


ANY
All Day
#TriviaDreams
Trivia





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