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The Borovkoff Blog

Neo-Pagan Modern Thoughts On Society

Netflix was one of those rare companies that provided a valuable service at a low cost to thousands of people. Streaming video coupled with DVD by mail in an instantaneous manner contributed to an instant success. Stock soared. Word of mouth spread. Subscribers signed on to the Netflix service. Even as the world economy plummeted to all time lows all around, Netflix was still raking in profits and looking like a guaranteed succes in the manner of Apple.

Then Netflix’s CEO made a huge error. An error in judgement based on his own pride and greed. He increased the subscription fees and reduced the services rendered. Huge mistake!

The old adage “Don’t fix something that ain’t broke” applys to this Netflix folly. In an economy that prides itself on instability, frugality and the demise of the modern day company, Netflix had committed a huge blunder. But what made it worse is that later, after they started feeling their boat lighten as thousands of subscribers jumped ship to find better options, the power hungry Netflix CEO sent out a mass email stating that he felt the change was “good” for the company and was the “right direction” for Netflix. Wow. Sad. And he got to be CEO how?

Not only did Netflix make a huge mistake initially by increasing their customers costs and reducing their services but then they waited a really long time to send out a silly “half apology” that let everyone know that they were going to stick to their guns and that the customer was not always right. In fact, Netflix said “the customer is blatently WRONG”. Netflix disrespected their customer base.

Now Netflix is paying a deep price and is officially in serious trouble. Their stock has plummeted to ridiculous lows as their customers are continuing to jump ship. While the previous jumpers have already found ulterior methods of getting video services either streaming or by mail. Unfortunately for Netflix, even if they chose to redact their previous statements and positions, the damage has been done and the competition has stolen their customer base. Their job would be much harder to win back their evacuated loyalists.

And we wonder why corporate America is failing? With CEO’s like Netflix’s own, who needs enemies?

 

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Many people pick their skin. Its part of normal maintenance to remove dead skin, tear off a hang nail that is bothering you, pull off a white head the is irritating you, or picking that scab that is dry and itchy. Its a normal part of human cleanup.

But in some cases, about 4% of the population, 8 women to 1 man, suffer from dermatillomania. Where picking takes on a different meaning. Where the person picks until they reach bone, blood, or in some cases a major artery. There are cases of people suffereing from this mental illness who pick holes so deep in their face that they must undergo extensive surgery to rebuild their face.

I am here to stand as a token man who suffers from dermatillomania. Finally I know its name and finally I know I am not entirely alone. For me, the obsessive compulsive act is brought on by stress or depression. But sometimes it just comes for no apparent reason.

My earliest memory of self mutilation is when I was in first grade. I was sent to the school nurse at recess because my hands were bleeding as if I had cut myself on the playground. Little did the staff know that I actually had picked the skin off my hands so deeply that I almost reached the muslce tissue below. Only when the pain was so bad and the blood so wet on my hands that I could not longer pick, did I stop.

My tools have always been my fingers and sometimes finger nails. (I try to keep them short to try and avoid the tendency). And my targets have usually been my hands. Out of nervousness or depression or anxiety, or all of the above. The pain seems to snap me back into reality. When my hands were too ripped apart to pick anymore, I would move to my feet. And then I would only stop when I could no longe walk because the pain of having no skin on the bottom of my feet was unbearable.

I am here to tell you that you are not alone. There are others who do this and there is help. Every day of my life I battle with this illness and every day of my life forever I will continue to battle with it. If you suffer from it please talk about it with friends or family and get help. As I type now, the pain of my bleeding fingers striking keys reminds me that it is part of me and something that I will always need to be aware of and work on. You should not feel alone, nor feel ashamed. Many people have dermatillomania and many people live productive lives still. If you know someone who suffers from this illness like I do, don’t let it get so far that they become hospitilized, give them this article or send them the links below and let them know there are many other people who suffer just like them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatillomania

http://www.stoppickingonme.com/

http://www.skinpick.com/compulsive-skin-picking

 

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Image of Steve Jobs with Apple logo behind.There are rare people that impact the world. They come and go so quickly sometimes. We wish they stayed awhile longer. But they leave their legacy and move on to a higher plane of existence, or maybe they come back in another life to try and teach us again. Steve Jobs was one of those rare people.

The last day and a half I have walked around like in a dream. We all knew he was struggling with his health, but I think we were all hoping he would win the fight in the end and prove everyone wrong. But instead we are left with broken hearts and a deep hole in our universe. He left so much to us. He gave so much to us. He changed our world forever. He reinvented Apple and desktop computing. He created a world of tablet and mobile computing and communication that has never been before him. He was innovation. He was creation. He was strength. He was a wonderful soul in this world.

Like so many others lamenting this loss, I didn’t know him personally, but for some reason I feel like I lost one of my closest family members or friends. Few leaders have that effect on me. Very few people even do. I do not feel that the world is as great a place minus this miracle maker. How many more innovations would Steve have come up with? How many advancements for people with disabilities to stay even with the rest of the world? How many wonderful venues for artists to show off their wares?

If all leaders could be like Steve, our country and probably our entire world’s economy would be golden and reaping benefits more wonderful than we can imagine.

If all people could be like Steve, there would most likely be no war, no poverty no predjudice.

If all followers could be like Steve, we would have more free thinkers. And we would not be afraid to think for ourselves.

Life is suffering. We battle attachment and try to overcome it in order to overcome suffering. Let’s all learn a lesson from this wonderful soul and strive to be just an iota like Steve.

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I took the plunge on Sunday and bought a new 2011 Toyota Prius IV. I received a great deal from Elk Grove Toyota that I just could not pass up. So time to trade in my truck and join the Prius Eco-Hippie crowd!

My new Red Prius Originally I wanted a model III that was gold. But the dealer gave me such a good deal on a red model IV that I was tempted and fell for the red. I have not had a red car since my Mazda Miata, and received no speeding tickets or accidents in that car, so I figured I would put the old wives tales of red cars attracting bad luck on the back burners and going for it.

So after a week of driving and reading and watching videos on how to drive this thing, I can only tell you that I love it! This is the most fun car to drive that I have ever owned. And it seems to be teaching me how to be a better driver and how to be more ecological in my gas usage.

The IV that I got comes pretty well equipped, with great sounds system including 8 speakers with a 4 disc CD changer that is capable of playing MP3s and WMAs, leather seats, front heated seats (like I will need that in Sacramento!), voice activated everything, plus navigation system and a great moonroof! Everything that I originally wanted plus more! For less than my Toyota Tacoma! Plus saving gas, it is pretty much a win win situation for me this round.

So the Prius basically monitors your driving habits and challenges you to get the best MPGs you can get. Its a challenge that makes driving into a game. Fun, fun, fun!

But I couldn’t get my gas mileage above 27 mpgs. No matter what mode I drove in or how I altered my driving habits. That is UNTIL I ran into this wonderful video that teaches a fundamental lesson to all Prius owners: The wonder and intelligence of scientific momentum and pulse driving. If you have a Prius or are thinking of getting a Prius and have not seen this video then I highly recommend it:

After watching the video and practicing a little today I got 75 mpg! Huge improvement with a little practice and knowledge about how the car WANTS to drive. Also, understanding the idea of gliding and coasting. Seriously before this I always thought that you should keep your gas pedal depressed while moving forward all the time. I was clueless! Lesson learned and rewards to be heaped!

Besides driving I think this car was made for the iPhone. Its an Apple type car. It works seamlessly with my iPhone and plays music right from my iPhone with a minimum of fuss. Technology in a car plus gas and money savings!

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You would think that in a failing economy, public eateries would be getting smarter, improving customer service and providing quality pricing. But after a recent visit to Jack’s Urban Eats on Fairoaks Blvd, in Sacramento, CA, I have learned otherwise.

At first glance, Jack’s appears to be owned and run by some arrogant Sacramento gay socialite trying desperately to climb to the top of a lavender ladder in Sacramento gay society. A sad and pathetic attempt at the best. You can put as much shiny silver and rich woods throughout your dining hall and still be missing something much more important: value.

It appears that the cashiers and wait staff at Jack’s understand English, but it quickly becomes apparent that their native tongue is more than they can handle without repeating your order four times and accompanying your order with visual aids and other much needed amplifications. Most likely, they are still going to get your order wrong, and you will always end up paying $16 for fries!

Seriously flawed, bad customer service, coupled with outrageous prices can only make the experience compound the feeling that Jack’s will most likely be vacant and FOR RENT in the future. And we wonder why American businesses fail.

Check out the technologically challenged eatery website: http://jacksurbaneats.com/index2.php. No way to contact the manager exists, except perhaps to dust off your pencil, writing pad and scribble a letter, sending your final memo via  snail mail. Ummmm did Jack’s miss the entire last century?

If Jack’s Urban Eats is an example of the direction the modern diner is heading then there can only be one thing to say, “Houston, we have a problem!”

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The market is up. The market is down. The market is up and again…its down. The signs of a failing economy have been around us for a very long time now. Walk down your neighborhood street and count the number of houses for sale, in foreclosure and for rent. Its staggaring. Not to mention the pathetic numbers of unemployed in the great US of A. Scary things are happening. People continue with their normal day-to-day activities hoping that soon, very soon, the economy will turn around. But the economy is never going to turn around when we have some serious work to do and nobody seems to be paying much attention to the type of work needed. Here is a list of things that need to happen before our economy will rebound to anything close to what is has been in the last century:

  1. Over seas jobs MUST return to the US homeland. (see #2 below)
  2. Corporations bogged down by regulations and frivilous law suits must be set free from their ever restricting restrictions. At least a little. They must be enticed to keep their work force in the US without fear of severe penalties. There is a reason they went over seas for their cheap labor in the first place. We must eliminate that temptation.
  3. Banks must stop getting bailed out, and instead that money needs to be invested into education and the technology front. We have fallen way behind in our education and technology innovation as a whole nation. We are only as smart as our next generation and those are scary thoughts!
  4. We must begin to buy American wherever and whenever we can. And American corporations need to begin to find pride in workmanship so that we are not so scared to buy cheap American product!
  5. Rents must plummet! Landlords based with greedy intentions need to recognize that it is better to have a renter than an empty home. Tax loss limits must be re-reviewed so that they do not encourage greed in landowners.
  6. Banks need to speed up review of failing loans and re-calculate their ideal of debt to wealth ration when setting loan limits.
  7. Credit card companies must be monitored closely. We should not allow them to rape the average American with astronomical interest rates and debt creating penalties.
  8. Companies need to learn to share their wealth with their employees and distribute that wealth equally. This creates a drive for employees to do more and strive harder to achieve a company’s own success.
  9. We should not patronize auto-checkout stands at supermarkets. Why would an employer want to hire 5 clerks when 1 employee can monitor four auto-checkstands?
  10. Government leaders/politicians need to feel the strike of the economy just as bad as the average citizen. Wages need to be cut substantially for representatives nationwide. They have no clue how bad it really is if they can’t feel it while they are vacationing on their yacht paid with your taxes!

There are countless more that we need to all be watching for and we all need to contribute to the health of this country, prior to a revolution, when the base layers rise up and take it back by force. We are nearly there now.

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Broken Heart image stitched upLife comes complete with joy, love, hatred, anger, hurt, envy, lust, and countless other good and bad emotions and events. You cannot avoid them. As a growing, functioning human you should feel all of them at least once in your life. You would not truly be living if you didn’t feel all of them, and sometimes, for us denser than average learners, we must experience each MORE than once.

One of the most difficult of all life’s lessons is the one where you have been sorely wronged and must deal with it in your own way. For some people this means running down to the local hunting shop, purchasing a powerful weapon, some ammo and then proceeding in hunting down the person who wronged us and making sure it doesn’t happen again. To anyone.

Of course, the rest of the population tries to find forgiveness in some other, less violent way. Most people know the word “forgiveness” but most of us mistakenly identify what it really implies. We are soaked with the ideals that forgiveness means to forget and let it go. WRONG! True forgiveness does not mean to forget and let it go.

Here are some tips to real forgiveness:

  1. Recognize your inner pain as truly painful.
  2. Express your emotions about that pain.
  3. Protect yourself from having that same hurt performed on you again.
  4. Forgive yourself!
  5. Do not forget or pretend it never happened. You must mourn and feel the pain to learn completely.
  6. Do not excuse the offender. Recognize that they did WRONG.
  7. Do not give permission to allow the pain to continue or to be repeated.
  8. You do not have to reconcile with the offender. It is your own choice and you are right in either decision you make.
We all find forgiveness in our own way. But there is one last factor in forgiveness. That is, did the offender admit their wrong and ask for forgiveness? If not, then beware of that type of person and keep them far away from you. They will find other victims. That is just what they do in life. And they are probably good at it, because they are the epitome of self-centeredness. Allow them to go their own way and realize that the Goddess usually makes sure that they get it back in the end three times three.

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