January 2004

Volume 20 

January 9, 2004

Bad Advice

Who are you listening to and should you be listening to them? It is very easy to be misled. Some people will spout off any old thing without thinking of the impact of their bad advice. So many times people dole out advice that lead others astray and into situations that God never intended.

For instance, a friend asks you where you think they should move to or what job they should take, and without thinking it through properly you spout off some answer and they listen to your advice. That's not a good idea, as those are two very important decisions.

What if your advice inadvertently ends up sending someone down the wrong path. What if you give a friend advice that misleads them and causes them to miss a great opportunity.

One of my friends, when asked, advised her friend to take a job with a company that was hiring. The company had and still does, a very good track record with many opportunities for advancement. However, another friend of that person, for selfish reasons told them otherwise to keep them closer, as the new job would have meant moving to another state. 

Well, listening to the second person turned out to be very costly, as the job my friend advised the person to take would have been the better choice. The company grew exponentially, the city became a great business hub and the person would have been making $40,000 more per year than they are currently making had they taken that job rather than the one they chose that the other friend recommended.

Hypothetically, say years ago a friend encouraged you not to invest in that silly little upstart company Microsoft because it isn't gonna go anywhere and they only want your money to raise capital to line their pockets. Really, who names a product "Windows" anyway? With a name like that how far is it really going to go. They're wasting their time with those computers, which are just a passing fad... and who is this Bill Gates person anyway. What has he done? Has anyone even heard of him?  

We can read that statement now and laugh at its inaccuracy, as Microsoft has become one of the most successful businesses in history. However, when they were just starting most people didn't realize what the founders of the company saw or what was to come and did not invest and advised potential investors to do likewise.

If a friend had given you that advice years ago you'd be pretty annoyed right now that you'd listened to them. What I jokingly wrote about Microsoft is very similar to the ill-thought out advice people give to others on a regular basis regarding situations, people and companies they have very little or no knowledge of. You hear people give advice like that all the time without knowing the facts or trying to rationally think ahead and end up costing other people opportunities or simply leading them into trouble with bad alternate choices. Anyone who can make assessments that quickly on something that is new or they don't know much about:

a.) Can see the future, but isn't telling you.
b.) Is not credible and you should not be seeking their input.  

In some cases it's advice on minor things, but how about when it's something really important. For example, what if you encourage someone to marry someone who God never intended them to marry (the person could have a violent streak that you don't know about) or try to block or interfere with a relationship God is trying to bring together to lead to marriage (out of your own selfishness).

I read a biography the other day where that happened. It lead both people down roads that was clearly not what God had planned, as God does not author confusion or the type of unhappiness, disharmony and incompatibility that ensued. 

I'm not implying that if you are having problems in your marriage that it is not of God. I know people who have been married for years who have gone through different problems, but are still very compatible and in God's plan for their lives. However, the case in the bio was very different. 

The book reaffirmed things that should be common knowledge to most. Be careful of the advice you give and be careful of the choices you make. People rarely try to think ahead using foresight and even that fails. Still, many people don't try to think ahead at all. They are impetuous and make rash, costly decisions they end up regretting. There is nothing wrong with pondering the possible outcome of your decisions. 

There is a story in the Bible about listening to the wrong advice. In Jeremiah 37 the king realized that Jeremiah could see the future, therefore he summoned him to ask whether or not he would win a war that he was about to wage with an invading army. God, being merciful had already shown Jeremiah in a vision what the outcome of the war would be. 

He told him that if he challenged the other king, who misleadingly appeared to be a wimp, but was really like Rocky, he would die in battle. So, basically Jeri told him don't do this or you won't live to regret it if you do. God was giving the king an option, a way out, but he didn't listen. Rather than being humble and surrendering as was told to him to do through Jeremiah to spare him and his people, he was stubborn and charged ahead into battle anyway. 

Rather than listen to Jeremiah, who God had proven to be credible, he listened to his young, inexperienced contemporaries and it ended up costing him his life, hence the scripture "The kings friends have misled him." Regardless of who you are, if you listen to the wrong friends they will mislead you. 

You know what I find ironic about that story? He told Jeremiah that if he told him the whole truth that he'd let him live, when the prophecy was that if the king went into battle he would die. When the king and his friends didn't like what Jeremiah told him regarding not going into battle, the king went back on his word and allowed his friends to throw Jeremiah into a cistern with no water in it where "his feet sank into the mud" (Jeremiah 38:6). 

However, the very thing the king did and allowed to happen to Jeremiah was the very thing that befell him, as shortly after the king was killed and the song they sang was "The king's best friends misled him, they overruled him. And now that his feet have sunk in the mud, his friends have left him" (Jeremiah 38:22). 

What goes around comes around. They mistreated, mishandled and threatened to kill God's prophet, which is something that displeases God, as the Bible says "Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm" (Psalm 105:15). He didn't say that as a suggestion to scare and thereby protect His prophets from immoral people, He said it as a suggestion to protect you from Him if you did that.  

The other part of that story that I don't get is since you know he can see the future, he tells you what's gonna happen if you don't walk away, yet you continue to do the very thing he tells you not to. I guess the king was a blonde. 

There are more recent examples of that as well. At the beginning of last year before the war, Saddam was as proud as a peacock, even laughed heartily on television at the warnings that were issued to him. By the end of the year he was captured while living in a hole in the ground. He didn't listen to the right advice telling him to leave and it ended up costing him dearly. He could have been living in Switzerland near Shania Twain, but did he listen? Noooo (I'm just kidding Shania, don't get mad, girl). 

For those of you reading this, while you may not be a dictator, the potential of bad advice ravaging your life is no less real, regardless of how perceptive and discerning you are. P.S. - but if you are a vicious dictator and are reading this would you send me an email and tell me who referred you to the site. The site statistics do tell me who links this site, such as music sites, web design companies and message boards, however it doesn't give information like "vicious dictator's office" or anything. I'm kidding. Just a little webmaster joke. 

Seriously, my point is some of you are listening to the wrong advice, while others are unwittingly giving people bad advice that can seriously affect them. And some of you are deliberately misleading others for financial gain or out of jealousy and spitefulness, but that's something else and as I wrote previously, what goes around comes around.

Is it so bad to tell someone I really don't know what's best for you in this situation when they ask you for advice. Often you just don't know, so why tell them something you aren't sure of.

When people ask me for advice, especially about something serious and specific, I'm careful of what I tell them. If the answer is clear, such as someone asking should they cheat on their spouse with someone they've met, to which I would say no, as the Bible says it's wrong, other than that, I don't give a specific answer. I'll tell them I'll pray for you and you should pray about the situation as well for God to give you the guidance you seek. My perspective and goals are right for me, but it may not be right for someone else. Just because God is doing one thing in a person's life, doesn't mean it's what He deems best for another person as well.  

Some of you rely on other people's opinions too much. For some it's your friends others it's your family. I'm not writing that to cause dissension between yourself and anyone, but to make you think and be more careful of whom and what you listen to. Not everyone you know is equipped to give you proper advice. You could ask two people for advice on the same problem and get two bad answers if you ask people who are unethical. You may care about them, but it still doesn't change the fact that they are unethical and sound judgment will not come from them until they change their way of thinking. Whatever they tell you is bound to be questionable due to their lack of character.

It's also not good to casually give out advice to people who value your opinion and rely on you, especially when you don't know much about what you are talking about or don't think through what you are telling them. Serious consequences could follow for that person.

I think sometimes we are vulnerable or at a difficult place in life and are more susceptible to the wrong influence. Sometimes people are so desperate for an answer to a problem that they'll listen to anything, as wrong as it maybe. While other times it's wanting to fit in, so you listen to someone you really shouldn't. That can happen to anyone.

For example if a friend is encouraging you to break up someone's marriage, to cheat on your spouse or if you are not married they are wrongfully encouraging you to sleep with as many people as possible, that's not someone you should be taking advice from. You do that and you will not walk away from it unscathed (God will forgive if you ask, but He will chastise you for it. It's in the Bible). 

Also, as a rule, when you dispense bad advice like that, God does hold you responsible for it if it leads others astray. It won't be as simple as oops sorry about that bad advice, so it's in your best interest to watch what to tell people.  

On more than one occasion, I've seen people give out bad advice and eerily end up in the same predicaments their bad advice placed someone else in. So for your own sake, don't render your opinion if you aren't sure of it.

You have to be careful of who your friends are as well. They are a reflection of who you are. Two weeks ago, I watched a great sermon on that by Joel Osteen (to visit his web site please click here). He said "your friends loose morals will rub off on you. Your good won't rub off on them. Their bad will rub off on you. How your friends are is how you will be. If your friends are not how you want to be, that's a wake up call."

He also joked about the company some people keep and the effect it has on their lives by saying, "if you don't want to get stung stay away from the beehive." What he said is accurate as the Bible says, "bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

 

January 10, 2004

"Taking a speck out of someone's eye when there's a plank in yours"

And from the "Taking a speck out of someone's eye when there's a plank in yours" file (Matthew 7:3-5) - Madonna's publicist, I mean Madonna wrote a letter that was posted on Launch Music, criticizing the current administration, cause, she's like, so totally in the know, like, for sure.

In the letter she wrote "Our greatest risk is a lack of leadership, a lack of honesty and a complete lack of consciousness" and "They suffer from the 'what's in it for me?' syndrome."

While reading that I couldn't help think (and laugh) because isn't she describing herself (see just about every meaningless, contrived, non-music based, self-centered publicity stunt she's ever pulled while corrupting millions of people in what God says is wrong with her twisted, nonsensical brand of "leadership," for reference). Who more in the entertainment industry suffers from the, "What's in it for me" syndrome than Madonna.

Morality speeches are also more believable from people who actually have...well, morals. Just like singing is more believable from people who can actually...

There's a verse in the Bible that states, "You shall not revile God or esteem lightly or curse a ruler of your people" (Exodus 22:28).

With all the scandals that accompanied the Clinton Administration and the fact that I did not share the same views he did on several issues, I never insulted or disrespected him. I thought it was unfortunate that those scandals happened and became public, as I really don't like it when people are disgraced, but I still gave him the respect that his office is entitled to.

George Bush is now the President and should be afforded the respect that's due to his office as well. That's a principle God enacted for every country with the above quoted scripture. How is it a good principle when you openly insult him, thereby undermining the office of the Presidency, not just the President and what example are you teaching your kids when you do that (you really ought to be more concerned about them finding that foul book you made and those deplorable recordings, all of which have been widely written about in the press due to their explicit content. You know, I read a press review that stated there is bestiality in that book).

Making a music video where you throw a grenade into his lap is not being creative or outspoken, that's just being nasty and vile. People in different countries make political statements all the time without being disrespectful. They protest, verbally state their approval or disapproval of things, fast, write songs about the topic, but they don't make music videos blowing up their leaders.

Regarding her teaching kids the Kaballah via her books, whose teachings have been widely denounced by Jewish scholars, is that really a good idea. I heard one of the principles she's taught her daughter regarding her good and bad selves (Ok, encourage spilt personalities). The principle is allegedly when a person does something bad, it's their bad self and when they do something good, it's their good self, which is who they really are.

However, that's absolving them of responsibility for their actions. You teach a child that and they'll do bad things and blame it on their bad self because that's allegedly not really them. Teaching kids mind games is not a good idea. I've been a mentor to my little sister and godbrother for a long time and I know how kids think. You teach any child those principles about their good and bad selves and it will confuse them and provide them with parentally approved excuses for inappropriate conduct, which won't fly outside their household in the real world.

And is it just me or since Britney Spears has been hanging out with her she's been out of control. Did she transfer some of her ungodly influence to her when she kissed her on stage (you know, there's a whole school of theology in the church about transference/attachment through sexual contact) cause she been acting strange ever since. As much as I don't agree with her music or the visible negative effect it has on her young audience, she is young herself and I don't want anything bad to happen to her due to her current behavior. God still loves her in spite of her problems. 

 

January 17, 2004

Dan Marino

Did you catch Wayne Huizenga's press conference where he grew visibly annoyed with a reporter who asked if Dan Marino's appointment as Senior VP of Football Operations was as a mere figurehead. Huizenga got mad and spoke sternly to the reporter, reproving him for asking such a question. I mean, he got mad. 

Dan Marino is my mom's favorite football player (watched many a Dolphins game with her since I was a kid and they are my favorite football team as well) but much to my mother's annoyance my friend and I were the ones who ended up meeting him years ago while he was still quarterback for the Dolphins. He was very pleasant and very nice. 

He never got a super bowl ring, however when you are the best at what you do, you don't need a championship to validate you. Ok, I don't even believe that last part about not needing a championship. I've seen grown men cry on national television when they lost championships. I'm just kidding.       


And from the "What is that?" file - I saved this pic a few months ago cause I found it so amusing (yes, it doesn't take much to keep me occupied). Why would a person who won a tourney and one who didn't smile happily in the same photo? 

Looking at the pic you really can't tell who won the tournament, can you. The guy who lost the tourney, Andrei Pavel, is smiling because he was awarded a crystal platter, I mean plaque (and not the one that forms on teeth, people - and that's not directed at Andrei or Timmy as they have lovely smiles) which he can flog on Ebay - I mean, put in his trophy case, yea that's it, put in his trophy case. While the winner, Britain's Tim Henman got a tree/antlers for winning. 

Aww, look at Timmy flying the flag/tree for Britain. Timmy, looks like you got the short end of the tree, I mean stick...(but you did get the bigger check, sorry, cheque).

Um, if that trophy is a national tree or something...sorry, I'm just kidding, no hate mail, please (oh well, there's one event I won't be allowed to get tickets to).

Australian Open

While I'm on the subject of tennis...with all the first week upsets and injuries this week, whoever makes it to the Australian Open uninjured should win by default (kidding). Some may not want to win under those circumstances...but I say, never look a gift horse in the mouth (joking). 

Greg Rusedeski

This week Greg Rusedeski announced that he tested positive for the drug Nandrolone, but denies taking it. Several athletes in different sports have tested positive for this steroid and some have subsequently been banned from their sport. 

A little off topic, but I say the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) should have a similar test. Any female artist found using silicone will be banned for one year. Boy, a lot of people would be strangely absent. I'm just kidding. Speaking of the RIAA...illegal downloading is down by 41% due to the lawsuits that were filed. Go RIAA, it's your birthday! (I've always wanted to say that). 

Anyway, back on topic, as I've written on here before, I do post on a tennis message board, where I joked this week that some of the side effects of steroid use are irritability and erratic behavior, which would be compelling evidence against Rusedeski *cough* Wimbledon and McEnroe and Connors due to the on court outbursts they've had (I was just teasing them, I meant no harm). 

Ironically, two days after I posted that on the message board, an article was posted that was printed two days later in which McEnroe announced that he unwittingly took steroids for six years that was later found to be, "too strong for horses." I don't think less of him for talking about it. I watched many a McEnroe match as a child with my dad and those are some of my favorite childhood memories. 

However, as you've probably deduced, a steroid administered to humans that is too strong for horses is very dangerous. What does that do to a person's system. 

More recently, ATP trainers accidentally administered supplements with contents that caused several players to test positive for steroids. Here's hoping that doesn't happen again.

It's not that difficult to fail a drug test, as Boris Becker tested positive for steroids due to sleeping pills, to which he became dependent on over the course of five years. Also, if an athlete is medicated for some reason or emergency, couldn't that cause them to fail a test as well.  

I read an article on the BBC that stated the positive test results could be due to the body producing Nandrolone naturally when other substances are broken down or from sources like contaminated meat.

In an interview tennis player Andrew Ilie said something that was very sad, but profound, "People are just happy to sacrifice their health for three years of fame."   

Though no one is promised tomorrow, it's not wise to live carelessly. You should want to live, but the sport you play should not become your life, as it will only encompass a fraction of it. God, having a family and friends are more important. 

I'm writing this in general, do not make such a mess of your life in a short space of time that you will have to deal with the effects of for the rest of your life. That goes for drugs, steroids and otherwise,  sleeping around when you are traveling on tour or becoming stressed at the direction of your career. 

That goes for singers as well. I mean, how many Behind The Music episodes do people have to watch to realize that when a person indulges in that lifestyle it has its consequences, affects their emotional well being and comes back to haunt them with other things. 

Some don't learn from other people's mistakes. Some newly famous people indulge in that lifestyle then babies start popping up all over the country, paternity suits being filed and before you know it you are in an office taking an HIV test because you aren't sure of your health because of who you've slept with. Don't gamble with your future. I implore you to appreciate what you have and not put it all at risk.   

There's a sad rumor going around about a young entertainer who slept around so much that his minders are asking for his own sake that he take an HIV test. He allegedly got someone pregnant who is known in industry circles for being very promiscuous and now they are concerned about his health. 

Stories like that are upsetting. He is really young. He shouldn't have to be concerned about things like that at his age, but because of things that happened, now he is. I'm not condemning him. I think he is a nice person. I more upset that he let himself get into those situations. He's got so much going for him and to put it all at risk for sex with someone he didn't even know is unfortunate. I pray that things will work out for him. 

Looking on at a person you can't tell if they have AIDS. They themselves may not even know. Some of you are also putting your health at risk by trusting people you do know who are lying to you about the extent of their sexual activities. So many people have said they trusted someone they knew who was sleeping around and not telling them and passed on the virus to them. 

People keep forgetting the reason HIV is spreading at such a rapid rate is because people are unknowingly passing it on to others. I remember when rapper Eazy E died there were quite a few women who were concerned they'd contracted the virus from him.

It's difficult for some to walk away from temptation, but doing so can save your life and someone else's.

 

January 22, 2004

A Funny Story

Most parents have plans for their children, from jobs to potential mates. You raise them and do your best to protect them. Moms are often very protective of their children. How do you deal with it when someone goes after your son or daughter that you don't approve of. 

This story is embarrassing, but you guys might as well get a laugh out of it cause I'm too stunned to. You will not believe what my mother did. One of my neighbors down the street has liked me for about a year now and has been asking me out, inviting me over, but we've just been friends and I didn't take him up on any of his offers. He's a nice person though. When I go out walking or he sees me gardening, he'll come by and talk to me and offer to help.

A few days ago he was talking to me while I was gardening. He was asking me how I'm doing and I told him I'll be moving soon. He said he's going to miss me and asked me where I was moving to. A few minutes later, I see the curtain move and my mom staring out the window...for about five minutes (felt like 15 minutes). I love my mom, but I know how she is (a bit blunt), so I knew this was not a good sign...but hoped for the best anyway. So, we kept talking. Ok, who told me to do that. That only made her open the door and stand there staring. When that didn't work she started asking me questions that really weren't that important -cough- or relevant. 

I answered her questions hoping this would work and she would say alright and go inside. She didn't. Then she said her friend (who is like an aunt to me) wants to talk to me on the phone. So I said, "She's on the phone now?" Then she mumbled no. Then I said, okay I'll call her back later. But nooooo, that was too easy.

When she realized it wasn't working, what little patience she had was exhausted and she went, "Don't you think it's time you come inside now."  When my ears told my brain what she'd said, my first inclination was to pass out from embarrassment (thankfully I didn't). I'm not five years old and even when I was five she didn't treat me like that.

I wish I could accurately describe the look on her face. You know that commonly used joke in films where there's a person with a prissy dog and another dog walks by and stands too close to their dog. That was the look she had on her face. I felt like that prissy dog and like my mom was yanking my chain/leash.

I couldn't believe she did that. I still can't believe she did that. When guys ask for my number in her presence that she doesn't approve of, she'll just get really curt and put a stop to it. But she'd never done anything like this before. 

When I got inside, she basically told me what she thought (yea, she was upset). She said she doesn't think he is the one for me and that he follows me around too much when I go outside (and I'm being nice cause those weren't her words). She also said, "You don't need to go out with someone that lives that close to you because they'll know too much of your business." When your mom says things like that to you it makes you wonder just what she's planning. 

I guess that display/outburst was for his benefit and not mine. She thinks she got rid of him and is smiling about it. It really didn't work though cause he's still asking me out even after her little outburst. I really don't want to tell her that cause the next time I'm out there gardening, if he comes by, she might do something more drastic like turning the hose on him. However, we're really just friends. 

My aunt looked on at the whole thing smiling, wanting to laugh, but didn't (she's English, she's too polite to do that under the circumstances. Aww bless you). My mom, however, was quite proud of herself and joked about it on the phone later with her friend, who she'd said wanted to speak to me on the phone earlier - who was also laughing about it as well. 

Earlier in the day, I had joked to my aunt over lunch that next month I'm gonna find myself someone English and considering this screening process my mom has in place...I may have to do just that (this would work cause my mom doesn't like to fly and my aunt is too polite to give her my itinerary while I'm there). 

However, I can understand her concern. God willing, I want to get married and have children in the future and I know I'd want the best for my children as well. 

People often underestimate how dating or marrying the wrong person can wreak havoc in your life, as opposed to dating then marrying the right person, which can be a total blessing.

 

January 28, 2004

The Australian Open - players dropping like flies, injury and otherwise. 

Am I the only one thinking Russian tennis player Marat Safin had been watching the movie Rocky, and to borrow a line from the Russian in the movie in my best Russian accent, going on court saying, "I must break you!" Get it, break you, break point in tennis...never mind! 

I was in a tennis chat this week where a poster named Tach spotted the word rat in Marat's name. Hmm could this be the year of the rat...(I'm kidding and I don't follow that calendar). Don't get mad, Marat, I'm just playing. 

Doesn't Marat remind you of actor Dean Caine. 

Hey, doesn't Lindsay Davenport remind you of Katie Couric. They both have cheerful personalities.

After watching an Australian Open interview on ESPN where Brad Gilbert was offered vegemite on toast and, um, politely refused, was I the only one thinking, Al Bundy (from that show that was on when I was a kid).  

Speaking of Gilbert, here's a comment that he made regarding tennis player Justine Henin-Hardenne that will have feminists everywhere trying to corner him in a dark alley (I can laugh at this cause I'm not one):

"There's well over 1,000 guys, more, who could beat her," Gilbert said. "Justine is a good little player, but she's about 5 feet, 5 inches, and about 125 pounds. She couldn't come close to beating one guy in the (Australian Open) draw."    

What about Serena, her best serve is 127 mph and she does play with more agility than some of the guys.

On to the more serious tennis question of the week... who's the better rapper Roddick or Spadea? 

Spadea and Roddick, who are coincidentally both Boca Raton residents, are the ATP's rappers. During a recent tennis event Spadea joked that he's from the rough part of Boca. And that would be where, Vince? The areas where the homes have regular sized swimming pools as opposed to Olympic (just teasing). 

Mental Coaching

The mind is a funny thing (those of you who use yours). A lot of sports is mental. Playing smart. Whether or not you resolve you can win.

My dad played soccer professionally, also played tennis and cricket and was a coach. He says if an athlete has the physical ability to win, but has difficulties, they need mental coaching. 

Believe it or not, there is a mental aspect to winning. That's why the strongest don't always win. Apart of it is playing smart or playing smarter than your opponent, mixing up your game and actually believing you can win. You play much better when you believe you can win. 

Mental coaching does not mean hypnosis or a psychiatrist. This could be your coach, a family member or a friend who actually has the ability to get through to the person (look at the Williams Sisters, their dad is a very good coach and he doesn't play tennis - while he did teach them tennis, a lot of his success is based on his ability to get through to his daughters).

For example, tennis player Andy Roddick had a breakthrough year in 2003, which has been attributed to him changing coaches. However, in this case, he already knew how to play tennis, which genetics then his former coach laid the groundwork for. Therefore, his new coach didn't teach him that. The bottom line is he already knew how to play tennis at that point, no disrespect to anyone. What his new coach really helped him with was mental coaching/mental conditioning and that really helped him reach number one. 

That's what people sometimes need to excel, someone that can reach them, help things make sense to them and instill that confidence in them that they can succeed...and more importantly to stop them from wearing visors (you wanna talk about the visors, Andy. I'm kidding). 

Your mental state plays a big part in it. Mental grit and fortitude are important. Some people just have a mind for that. Some people are just mentally tough, while others have to be taught that. That's not just a trait for sports, it's helpful to you in everything. It doesn't mean you are mean, it just means your mental endurance is greater. 

Mixing up your game - You know what I've always thought funny, someone being able to watch tapes of your games/matches and accurately guess what you are going to do next when they play you based on those tapes. 

Seriously, there are some athletes in different sports who you can tell what they are gonna do next based on what they did in previous games. If I'm casually watching a game and can retain that info, just imagine what an opponent who studies tapes is noticing. 

Playing smart - Is it such a bad thing to try to outsmart or set someone up - no, not in the kind of way where they'd need a lawyer, I mean like in football where coaches set up cunning, elaborate plays to outmaneuver their opponents. 

For example, in tennis, sometimes I wonder why some players keep hitting the ball to their opponents like it's hacky sack, rather than consistently setting up plays, hitting it away from them and running them all over the court (or am I just being mean again in thinking that's a good thing).    

Steady nerves - If this doesn't come naturally to you it would fall under conditioning as well. If you look at some of the most successful athletes in history they have certain things in common - steady nerves is one of them, as it helps to produce consistency in your performance. A clear mind helps (then again some of your minds are clear all the time). 

Patience exercises are good. No, it's not really anger management. It's more stress management - training yourself not to get upset and to react and operate more efficiently. 

My unique, innovative, slightly unorthodox approach to this would be you-kick-their-butt-or-I-will-kick-yours and shock therapy - every time you unravel out there, the electronic device I've attached to you will give you a little shock. 

If I coached a soccer team like my dad did people would say to me "Aisha, your players have a certain twinkle in their eyes," and my response would be, "Well, shock therapy does do that to a person, uh I mean yea, they're probably just happy or something, yea that's it, happy." I'm just kidding and I do not endorse shock therapy.

Seriously, how do you react to tough situations when you are playing? Think about it. What is your common reaction. Do you become overwhelmed, unnerved or do you galvanize it and keep going like the Energizer Bunny. 

Pete Sampras was a prime example of that. He had nerves of steel on the court. I don't think it is because he was unfeeling. He did cry during his retirement ceremony (Yup, Pete cried like Halle Berry at the Oscars - I'm just teasing).

So, it wasn't that he was unemotional, it just wasn't beneficial to his game to show what he was feeling while he played...and it served him well (get it, served him well, in tennis you serve...once again, never mind!). 

Another factor is self-confidence. If you don't have that confidence in yourself other people likely won't and it will embolden your opponents. Don't second guess yourself. Humility is a very good quality. Self-deprecation is even funny, but not if you start to believe it (the self-deprecating comments).   

 

January 29, 2004

Australian Open - Just saw the match between Agassi and Safin, and wow, what a match. They both played well, but Marat won. 

It's sort of not fair though cause his arm span is wider than the court and he's taller than the ump's chair. It's kind of hard to beat someone who can cover the court without moving. He's probably been running up mountains and lifting cars to prepare for his comeback (to be playing like that). I'm just teasing. 

Well, my friend wanted him to win and she got her wish (never mind he beat all my favorites like a drum). Fair play to him, he played some great tennis. You could see the determination on his face and it's endearing the way he berates himself in Russian when he misses a point.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR WEB SITE

1. It's a good idea to copyright your web site and send frequent updates to the copyright office. It won't prevent people from stealing from your web site, but it will establish that you authored the page and its contents and give you the basis for a lawsuit to collect damages in the event someone does.

Never underestimate who is reading your web site. Thanks to search engines and word of mouth, people will land on your web site that you least expect. Record and film company execs, web company execs, advertising company execs, journos and entertainers. Some just to read, which is good, but sadly others troll the Internet looking for ideas, which is never good.

However, plagiarizing someone's web site, especially doing so continually, legally ties you to that site and establishes a digital paper trail. That proves access (under Copyright Law). The fact of the matter is, two people will not continually say the same things and have the same ideas over and over again, especially with one consistently stating the same things, having the same ideas and or lyrics after the other person does. That says one is stealing from the other and is the legal basis for a lawsuit.

Most webmasters want people to read and enjoy their pages, as they put a lot of time into it, but I don't know one webmaster who wants people stealing from their work.

For example, if you work for a web company, it is very unwise to place a web site's link in an email to show a co-worker what you want the new web site you're working on to look like. If you do that to show someone the page you want to rip off, your company's information will appear in the site statistics for the site you are trying to rip off as having linked the site. Don't laugh, that's happened with this site and an employee from a web company provided a digital paper trail to their misdeeds.

Web sites are very sensitive. When you log on to a site they collect your IP address and other information about your computer, which can all be traced in the event you break the law, and that doesn't have to mean fraud, harassment or hacking. Breaking the law also means copyright infringement. In those cases, there is a legal basis for your ISP to turn over your personal information such as your name and address.

Therefore, you are never truly anonymous when online. Webmasters use their site statistics, which can be very detailed. It tells you the IP addresses of the people who visit your site, the region they are located, their browser, their operating system and their Internet Service Provider.   

Ethics - In general webmasters do not monitor site activity to an inappropriate degree, as you are to respect your site visitors' privacy. It's more a case of troubleshooting if there is a problem, something looks odd or out of place or if someone plagiarizes the page, you search through the data to pinpoint who did it.

Some webmasters cross the line in selling their visitors' email addresses when they submit them to join mailing lists ect... this is unethical, as it results in junk mail, spam (which Bill Gates promises to get rid of within two years).  

2. There are codes that you can put into your web site to prevent people from copying the text and pasting it on their web site. However, these codes don't work with pictures when visitors use Internet Explorer as their web browser. Even when you use other programs such as Flash to protect pictures, there are ways to circumvent that as well. You could also watermark your photos, but if the watermark is visible, there are ways of cropping it out of the pic or untagging it. The more indiscreet watermarks on photos are more useful as they really are not readily visible.

3. Since I update this site on a regular basis, I've made a habit of burning the site onto compact discs each time I publish a new update such as a sound off article or diary entry. This establishes an immediate time stamp as to when each article or update was made. When you burn a web site unto a disc, it is much like burning a song onto a disc. It places a very detailed time stamp on it, which even includes the date and time.  

For example, when you put a CD into your computer, if you click the properties, it tells you the exact date the recording was finalized unto a disc. It works using the same principles. 

Considering I've had problems with people plagiarizing this page, I use this to clearly establish that I wrote the material prior to it being plagiarized. For the most part the plagiarizing has stopped, most notably with the exception of a female singer who is constantly attributing things I write here and on the diary page to herself in interviews. 

If said female singer does that once more I'm going list each instance on here of when she's done that in her interviews, and there are over 10 now, along with the time stamps of when I wrote it on here prior to her saying it each time, proving she plagiarized the page. I'll take it a step further and trace it back to her IP address if she continues. I've never done that before, as I do respect the privacy and general anonymity of the people who visit this site, but I'm disgusted with her lack of ethics and if it happens again I will. Considering all the credible plagiarism lawsuits that have been filed against her and complaints from other artists regarding her stealing from their work, more than any other female artists in music history, one would think she'd have some sense of decency and shame to stop by now, but apparently not.

4. Be cautious in opening emails from people you don't know, as they could contain viruses. This is a common problem that can happen to anyone. There are even web sites that deploy viruses. I've been on other web sites, such as lyric sites, where the anti-virus program on my computer informed me that there was a virus on that site, which it blocked.  

5. Enjoy the Internet. Don't let unethical people ruin it for you. While I finish up working on my album, I've been writing diary entries and Sound Off articles to make people think and laugh, for which I've gotten great feedback. I've also been recommending other artists on the Diary page for free, as I like their work and want to give them exposure to an audience that may not know about their music.

My point, I know sometimes webmasters become exasperated, but don't, be proactive. It is your web site (well, for as long as you pay the bill) don't let people take advantage of you. Legally, make sure it's not worth their while.

In closing, remember the people your site touches in a positive way is more important than the few unethical ones who visit for the wrong reasons (i.e. stealing). 

   

 

 


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