A Comedy of Errors

This is an on-going “comedy” which is why I published it as a Page:
A Comedy of Errors: Horizon Fitness/Johnson Health Tech

I will update it as the issue progresses, so if you’re interest in keeping up-to-date please bookmark it. I felt it was important to document what’s been happening in case there’s anyone out there who’s even THINKING about doing business with a company called Horizon Fitness (parent company: Johnson Health Tech).

Hopefully, the information I’m providing on that page will serve as a warning to consumers:  Don’t just check for product reviews, check for complaints against the company/manufacturer – especially when purchasing high-ticket items.


In August 2015, Johnson Health Tech was fined $3 million by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission for failing to report defects in its Matrix Fitness Ascent and Elliptical trainers. The commission was not notified promptly of multiple reports of smoking, fires, and melted power components. Johnson Health Tech agreed to pay the fine but did not admit to the charges
[source]

(So much for their “family values”.)

Complaints against Horizon/JHT:
Trustpilot
Better Business Bureau

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My Brief Fling…

We knew each other for many years, connecting every now and then to catch-up on things; however, as so often is the case with relationships like these, our correspondence became more frequent last December. Indeed, we began interfacing on a daily basis – sometimes numerous times in the course of a day.

But about a week ago, things took a turn for the worse and I severed all ties last Saturday.

So who WAS my secret rendezvous?

I’ll give you a hint:  When we met it was work-related and strictly professional.

I can hear you exclaim, “It’s a former co-worker!”

Well, Harrison Ford IS hunky, but the answer is “No.”

Hint #2:  I never left the house.

“An online affair!” you utter triumphantly.

You’re getting warmer.

Last hint:  More than two people were involved.
(No, we’re not talking PORN – although that would allow participants to remain sheltered-in-place.)

Give up? Read on…

Other than a very close-knit group of friends and various acquaintances I’ve met through the local music scene – and due to the tyrannical lockdowns being imposed upon us ostensibly due to THE JINN there is no “local music scene” in which to hobnob – I keep pretty much to myself puttering around the place and working on my website. Being a Blogger gives me the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Blogs (and similar personal websites) are considered social media but I’ve never viewed them as such – especially mine. It’s always been a “this is what’s on my mind right now” and never concerning myself with how many likes I accumulate or how many hits I receive. The control of content is very much one-sided – unlike social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) which I’ve never participated in, preferring to engage with others face-to-face or via email. (Hell, I don’t even own a smart phone!)

That’s right. I’ve never participated in a social networking site EXCEPT

My secret rendezvous was LinkedIn. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

When I first set-up my LinkedIn Profile many years ago I viewed it as an online repository for my resume and skills set, hoping to find a job. Except for connecting to people I already knew, I never paid much attention to it’s social networking side. (Note: I never landed one job via LinkedIn and the only bites I received were after I retired. Ironic, huh?) I logged in to my account a couple times a year just to keep it updated. Other than that I kinda forgot about it…

That is until late last year when I started thinking about my first boyfriend. I wondered if I might find him on LinkedIn. For those of you who aren’t part of the LinkedIn family, after you log-in you’re taken to the Home page where you see Posts from various companies, connections, and any person or organization/group that you follow or belong to. I was immediately drawn to the posts from Big Cat Rescue and soon found myself connecting to and following all kinds of organizations and people – most concerning animal welfare and rescue. That’s how I discovered Wild @ Life which I may never have heard of otherwise.

Because I checked in numerous times during the day I got to see many different posts in my Home “feed”. Some were uplifting and others tugged at my heart strings. There were knuckleheads, to be sure, but honestly these sorts were few and far between. I also began posting articles I ran across which I felt were important or interesting. I posted almost every day and got little to no feedback on any, which made me feel obligated to respond in some way to my connections’ posts/likes. I wanted them to see that someone was paying attention and gave a shit. They weren’t being ignored.

But here’s the rub. In spite of being connected to like-minded individuals I was becoming increasingly angry. Although I didn’t acknowledge it at the time, it was the constant posts on animal abuse that were doing me in. Last Saturday I finally snapped. I made an offhand comment about a well-known ass-wipe that recently died which pissed someone else off. I have never attacked any “poster”, but I understand that happens quite often on social networking sites and here it had happened to me. I was being attacked.

Please understand I didn’t really give a shit about this poster. My opinion about someone I viewed as having been a real asshole had deeply offended him. But in that instant I KNEW the comment I made which precipitated his reaction I had done with a purpose in mind. My subconscious was telling me to get out of there. My subconscious understood being a part of LinkedIn’s social networking was NOT IN MY BEST INTEREST – and I immediately deleted my account. While I understand the issues are still out there, I acknowledge being uncomfortable with having it shoved in my face constantly. It’s just too painful and I frequently turn pain into ANGER. (One of the many reasons I stopped watching the news decades ago.)

What happened next? The heavens parted. The angels wept. The birds sang.

Not really, but all my frustration and anger instantly dissolved and a great weight was lifted from my shoulders.

The good news? I am now supporting two new animal rescue/welfare organizations and am re-focusing my energy on caring for the people (and cat) I love, nurturing my plants, and using this site to share thoughts, feelings, and the world I live in.

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Festival of Feralia

Day of the Dead – Roman-style

Taking place from February 13-February 21 each year, the Roman festival of Parentalia was held to honor Di Manes (spirits of the dead, particularly deceased family members and ancestors). Feralia was held on the last day of Parentalia.

The Romans believed that the spirits of the dead could walk upon the earth above their graves during Feralia, and it was customary to leave black beans on the graves. Additionally, families would picnic at the tombs of their deceased family members and present gifts (such as flowers, wine-soaked pieces of bread, salt, or grain) to the dearly departed.

Ovid described a strange rite dedicated to Tacita, the goddess of the dead which was preformed on Feralia by an old woman surrounded by young girls:

“Three fingers tuck three incense lumps under a door,
Where a tiny mouse built a hidden path.
The hag then fastens enchanted cords with dark lead,
And rolls seven beans inside her mouth;
And she roast on the fire the sewn head of the sprat
Smeared in pitch and spitted with a bronze rod.
She also drops in wine. What remains of the wine
She or her friends drink (although she drinks more)
‘We have tied hostile tongues and our enemies mouths’
The hag shouts.”

Beans were the food of the dead. The images of binding, sealing and blocking suggests a rite of banishing and removing harm. All of this, plus the involvement of the silent goddess of death suggests Feralia was a rite to guide the dead back to their proper place – and see that they stayed there.

[source]

Today, take time to remember those you’ve lost. If possible, visit their grave and leave a small token. If this isn’t possible, create a place of honor for them on your altar instead. Decorate it with white candles, images of your ancestors, and items that you associate with them.

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What is the World’s most illegally trafficked mammal?

Pangolin

Also called scaly anteaters, Pangolins are mammals of the Pholidota order which includes anteaters, sloths. and armadillos. They are native to sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia and can range in size from 12″ to 39″ long. These scaley mammals have long tongues which they use to dine on ants and termites. Pangolins are solitary, reclusive, and nocturnal. When threatened they roll up into a ball – similar to an armadillo. A female pangolin will produce a litter of one to three offspring which she will nurture for two years. They are difficult to raise in captivity due to their reliance on wide-ranging habitats and very specific diets, as well as their decreased immune responses due to a genetic dysfunction – all of which makes them extremely fragile animals.

Today is World Pangolin Day and I’m afraid we’ll be hearing more and more about the plight of the pangolin because they are in danger of becoming extinct. In addition to deforestation of their natural habitats, these gentle creatures are boiled alive so that both their meat (considered to be a “delicacy”) and their scales can be used. It’s estimated that 100,000 pangolins are trafficked to China and Vietnam each year – with an average of nearly 300 being killed EACH DAY. Asian populations mistakenly believe that their ground-up scales can stimulate lactation, dissolve blood, promote blood circulation, cure cancer or asthma. Pangolins were removed from the official pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China in 2020.

In the past decade, numerous seizures of illegally trafficked pangolin and pangolin meat have taken place in Asia. In one such incident in April 2013, 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of pangolin meat were seized from a Chinese vessel that ran aground in the Philippines. In another case in August 2016, an Indonesian man was arrested after police raided his home and found over 650 pangolins in freezers on his property. The same threat is reported in Nigeria, where the animal is on the verge of extinction due to overexploitation.
[source]

Poaching and wildlife trafficking is running rampant to fuel the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, with an estimated value of up to $23 billion annually. And one of the animals most threatened by trafficking is the pangolin. More than one million pangolins were poached over ten years, with an estimated 195,000 trafficked in 2019 for their scales alone. Their skins are used in leather products, their meat is consumed as a delicacy in high-end restaurants in Asia and locally in Africa as bushmeat, and their scales are used in traditional medicine. Through online apps and platforms, pangolin products are sold around the world, including in the US, and demand has brought several pangolin species to the brink of extinction.
Despite an international ban on trade of all pangolins and their products, pangolins are still being poached in Asia and Africa and their parts are being sold around the world online. They’re coveted for their meat and scales in Asia, and their skin is used in leather products like bags, boots, and belts around the world, including in the US. As a result, all eight species are endangered and protected by the countries they inhabit, as well as under CITES — the international wildlife trade law.
[source]


More Information:
NWCU
Pangolins are scale-covered, ant-eating mammals known for their body-length tongues and the ability to roll up into an impenetrable ball when threatened. But while pangolins are great at defending against lion claws and tiger teeth, they are easy prey for the worst predator: humans. Pangolins are prized for their meat and scales in parts of Asia. The scales are used in traditional medicine, while pangolin meat is the ultimate status symbol. Just one small animal can fetch thousands of dollars. It is no wonder poachers are taking these innocent animals from the wild at an ever-increasing pace.
Pangolin.Africa
Pangolin.Africa is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the survival of the most highly trafficked wildlife species on the continent – the African Pangolin. Through our three-pronged approach of Publicity, Participation and Protection we are working with partners in the tourism, conservation and corporate fields to increase education and awareness around all four African pangolin species; contribute towards much-needed research; and implement protection and rehabilitation projects on the ground. We also play an integral role in bringing together and supporting other individuals and organisations across Africa who are working in the pangolin conservation space.
Pangolins.org
World Pangolin Day is an opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals — and their plight. Pangolin numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa.
The demand for pangolins comes mostly from China, where pangolin scales are unfortunately believed to be a cure-all of sorts and pangolin flesh is considered a delicacy. In Vietnam, pangolins are frequently offered at restaurants catering to wealthy patrons who want to eat rare and endangered wildlife. There is no evidence to support claims regarding medicinal properties of pangolin scales or any other part of the pangolin.

Wild @ Life
WildatLife is working intensively, both undercover and emergency, in the notorious Nigerian wet-markets. The trafficking is decimating the wildlife population and are places that gives birth to pandemics. We need a government level both on national and international level to stop the trade. The Customs Service in Lagos, Nigeria seized lion bones and pangolin scales worth 952 million Naira roughly £2 million, comprising of 162 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 8,800kgs and 57 sacks last month.



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The Dark Night of The Moon gives way to The Sun

Don’t let someone dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes.
– Jessica Ainscough

For today’s Tarot reading I asked the cards to show me my Spirit Guide:

As the Planetary Trump of the sun, The Sun is tied to the astrological sign of Leo (representing the Ego) and corresponds to the Universal Father Archetype. It symbolizes vitality, joy, creative energy, personal power, self-confidence, optimism, self-expression, authenticity, and truth.

The Sun is the 19th card in the Major Arcana and as such represents life lessons, karmic influences, and big archetypal themes that are influencing your life at this time.

You have broken free of the previous card’s influence (The Moon). The Moon represents illusions, our unconscious, and facing our Shadow. After plumbing its depths you have ascended from the Underworld full of renewed life. The Sun has risen! After so much darkness you are ready to embrace the light and celebrate your True Self. The Universe is smiling upon you, your hopes, and dreams. Time to Shine as bright as the Sun itself! Time to be fully present in the world around you and radiate that which makes you unique. Celebrate living, as there is much beauty, joy, and hope in the world – if only you look hard enough and in the right places.

The Sun also speaks of Truth. If you’ve been the victim of lies or deception the truth will be revealed, along with the perpetrators of said lies. Additionally, watch out for Energy Vampires – those who feed off positive energy without giving anything in return.

Vibrate on Purpose
You can only attract things that match your vibration.
Your emotions are a direct indicator of your vibration.
When you’re in alignment you’ll feel
empowered, grateful, hopeful, supportive, and loving.
The Universe will align you with people, things, and situations
that match the energy you put out.
The more you raise your vibration,
the more you’ll see that which is beneficial to your well-being.

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