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Fri Apr 01, 2011

Ten Spider 1,000,000th Visitor!

I rarely blog any more; though I’d like to, I simply don’t have the time. However, I must offer a brief post to thank our visitors for their ongoing support. While it’s taken a while (just shy of eight years, actually), on 3 March 2011 the Ten Spider Enterprises family of websites crossed the one million visitor mark. We have
reached this goal by serving everyone from school children to professionals in personal, business, educational and government venues.

Of course, many websites routinely achieve this level of activity within a week. Others never get there at all. I consider it an accomplishment that we’ve been able to make it this far while substantially improving our sites along the way. I look forward to our second million visitors, and hope you’ll join us by telling others about Ten Spider Enterprises, letting us know how we can improve and, if you are able, contributing a small donation to keep the sites free and growing.

Oh, yes, before I go, there is one other way you can contribute. We need writers. If you are an expert or have a strong interest in one of the general themes we cover, drop us a line to let us know what your interest is or send us an article you have written that we can use as an exclusive. Who knows? You may get published!

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 01, 11 | 10:45 pm | Profile

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Sat Dec 19, 2009

East Coast Snowstorm

What did I see when I woke up this morning? Snow, and lots of it! I ventured outside at 11 AM to take a measurement and recorded 7.8 inches. Just took another measurement at 4 PM; accumulation is now 11.0 inches. Anyway, it's really beautiful outside — at least, if you happen to like snow. For those of you who are snowbugs but don't have any of your own on hand, I thought I'd offer you a photo of what it looks like outside my window. Enjoy!

Late Fall Snowfall
Late Fall Snowfall — Vineland, NJ
Copyright © 2009 Ten Spider Enterprises, LLC


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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Dec 19, 09 | 4:45 pm | Profile

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Sat May 23, 2009

Editorial: Response to "The Financial Disintegration of California"

An article written by Mike Adams on CounterThink.com has raised my ire. In this article, entitled "The Financial Disintegration of California," the author begins by stating, "The failure of California's proposed initiatives that desperately attempted to balance the state budget reveals a sobering truth about every Democracy: The voters will never vote for financial solvency. It is far too easy to vote for debt spending, passing on the burden of today's benefits to tomorrow's taxpayers. And in doing so, the voters destroy the financial future of their own state or nation.

Voters, you see, have no discipline. They lack long-term vision ...."

My response is thus: "The voters will never vote for financial solvency." I strongly disagree with this premise. California voters (those who did vote) have indicated their disapproval for the policies of their legislators; they are tired of being taxed so that others might spend. This sentiment has been echoed nationwide through the hundreds of "tea parties" recently held, organized not by political action groups nor special interests but by ordinary citizens fed up with the Federal government's never-ending "tax and spend" policies. This is the first step to governmental reform.

Currently, there are seldom good choices in politics; you can vote for one corrupt politician or another, or abstain from voting altogether. Apathy is giving way to anger as working Americans realize that they are being taxed into oblivion to support a burgeoning plethora of wasteful projects and mismanaged social programs, all the while lining greedy politicians' pockets, even as programs that have demonstrated high levels of effectiveness go unfunded and ignored because they do not fit with mainstream political thinking.

I believe a policy of "Vote the bums out!" will strike fear into the cold hearts of career politicians as they come to realize that their livelihoods "on the dole" at the expense of taxpayers are likely to come to an abrupt and ignominious end. With this "dead wood" purged from our political system, the true citizen politician will once again emerge to reclaim his and her rightful place as guardian of the Republic, thereby reassuring the citizenry and leading to a reversal of fiscal irresponsibility and renewed prosperity for all working-class Americans.

The author seems content to proliferate the view held in liberal circles that voters are "stupid," unable to think rationally, and therefore in need of the guiding hand of "big government" (read as "Big Brother") to steer them on the correct path and make their feeble lives worthwhile. This concept flies in the face of everything upon which our great Nation is based. It attempts to undermine individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and the very spirit which has elevated the United States to its role as World leader, replacing these pillars of American life with a complacent, "government knows best" philosophy. Having witnessed debaucle after debaucle precipitated by the heavy and uncaring hand of government, can any thinking person honestly believe that more government is what we need in a time of severe fiscal crisis?

I do agree wholeheartedly with the author's contention that both California spending and spending at the national level are irresponsible and out of control. But he completely ignores the fact that, in a democracy, the voters elect their representatives to manage the activities of their government. It is not up to the individual citizen to "do the math." That responsibility ultimately resides with our elected officials, who are then tasked with reporting back to the citizenry in an honest and straightforward manner on the true state of the State or state of the Union. In reality, it is not the voters who bear the burden of blame for the fiscal crises with which we now grapple, but those politicians who have for decades practiced the fine art of deception and trickery to serve their own indulgent self-interests, usurping the will of the voter and ignoring the public trust.

Voters are not, however, blameless. Year upon year, when confronted with the knowledge that certain politicians were corrupt, voters have in large part responded with — apathy. This failure to confront and to demand reform has enabled the corruption to spread and ingrain itself within the very fabric of our political system. Corruption in politics has become a way of life, and it is that result for which we now pay. Apathy, however, can be corrected, while stupidity cannot. I hold the optimistic belief that the apathetic "silent majority" of the voting public (and in California it truly is a majority) will ultimately rise up and let their voices be heard, reversing the tide of corruption and favoritism that has for so long characterized our political system.

Of course, it could be that the author is entirely correct in his assessment of the voting public. If that is truly the case, then the citizens of California and all of us, as citizens of the greatest nation on Earth, deserve to lose the Freedom and Liberty so generously granted to us by our Founding Fathers.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on May 23, 09 | 6:00 pm | Profile

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Fri Apr 17, 2009

Photo of the Day: Aerial Police Surveillance

A little excitement today. The Vineland police were seeking a suspect in what turned out to be a pretty big manhunt lasting about two hours and apparently concluding a short while ago. I spoke to a police officer who was at one point searching my property (woods) for the suspect. Two police helicopters were involved as well as motorcycle cops and at least one police cruiser (more, I'm sure) parked at the corner of my property for well over an hour. I managed to catch a photo of the first police chopper on the scene as it orbited around my own and adjacent properties.


Aerial Police Surveillance
Police Aerial Surveillance Chopper — Vineland, NJ
Copyright © 2009 Ten Spider Enterprises, LLC



The suspect must have done something really bad to warrant this sort of attention! Usually, there are only deer and wild turkeys running across the property, although this guy may have been the latter.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 17, 09 | 4:00 pm | Profile

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Tue Mar 17, 2009

The 2009 Economy:  Why We Should Worry

Here is a list of existing and potential situations that could cause the currency and equity markets, and ultimately the U.S. and World economies, to further destabilize. Be afraid ....


Military situations:

  • Iran's stated intent to become a nuclear power (translate as Iran's goal to develop nuclear weapons);
  • Iran's stated intent to wipe out Israel;
  • Destabilization of the Pakistani government and subsequent threat of an India / Pakistan nuclear exchange;
  • Potential deployment by Iran of missiles capable of reaching Israel and Mideast oil fields;
  • A potential for Israel to launch a preemptive military strike to "take out" Iran's developing nuclear capability;
  • Continued terrorism throughout the world with emphasis on the Mideast and Pakistan;
  • Expected North Korean test of a long-range missile capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast (and the U.S. response);
  • Sabre rattling by China as it jockeys for position as a new global superpower;
  • Basing of long-range Russian bombers in the Western Hemisphere (Venezuela and Cuba);
  • Potential for a terrorist strike on the U.S. mainland (threat low but increasing).



Economic situations:

  • An emerging financial crisis in Eastern Europe;
  • A new wave of home foreclosures due to rising unemployment (Mortgage holders are not eligible for foreclosure assistance if unemployed.);
  • A commercial credit implosion (similar to the subprime crisis and having a similar result);
  • A potential dangerous increase in credit card debt defaults (underway);
  • Restriction by banks of consumer credit (specifically, credit cards), including reduction to customers with good credit records (occurring now);
  • One or more major automakers going bankrupt (GM and Chrysler are on the brink.);
  • Credit defaults by U.S. state and municipal governments (The stimulus package has delayed this.);
  • Economic blunders by major world governments (highly likely);
  • A growing tide of protectionism (This has already begun in the U.S. and will grow worse.);
  • Continuing political infighting and partisan politics by members of the U.S. Congress;
  • Ongoing disputes between Russia and its neighbors over oil and gas pricing and payments;
  • Replacement of the U.S. Dollar with a new world reserve currency;
  • Potential refusal by China to finance more U.S. debt (unlikely due to its financial repercussions, but now being used as a threat);
  • A major U.S. natural disaster greater than Hurricane Katrina, perhaps on the scale of the Indian Ocean tsunami (unexpected and unpredictable);
  • A pandemic or major health threat (unexpected and unpredictable);
  • Unrest among U.S. citizens over the ongoing economic slowdown and increasing government spending and taxation (potential uncertain);
  • Potential runaway inflation beginning in 2010 or 2011.




Note that equity markets tend to "climb a wall of worry." However, when confronted with a fragile economic situation, markets tend to react swiftly and negatively to unexpected economic and political shocks.

Have I missed any situations? Are these enough to make you worry? It's important for individuals to know and understand the financial threats confronting us, our families, our Nation and the World. Comment below.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Mar 17, 09 | 12:15 pm | Profile

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Mon Sep 29, 2008

Does Congress Know a Crisis When It Sees One?

EDITORIAL:

Today's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives against the "economic bailout package" shows a flagrant disregard by our elected representatives toward the American public and a total detachment from reality with regard to the fragility of the current world financial environment. The partisan remarks by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi just prior to the vote were highly inflammatory and reprehensible given the situation, not designed to evoke a positive vote but rather to sabotage it. Likewise, those Republicans who voted against the bill, either due to anger at Pelosi's words or on ideological grounds, apparently consider themselves to be politicians first and Americans second.

The immediate result of this disappointing failure to lead was a 777-point loss in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the largest point drop in history. This is a scratch on the surface of the potential reaction that is yet to come. Overseas markets are certain to plunge prior to Wall Street's reopening tomorrow morning. A market crash is not out of the question. Such an event will ripple violently throughout world economies with devastating impact.

The "bailout bill" was certainly far from perfect. Its purpose was not to provide a final solution to the problem, but to instill confidence to Wall Streeters and the American public alike that our leaders are willing to act and act decisively to bring stability to financial markets.

For those who do not understand what is happening or why we should be concerned, I offer a greatly simplified explanation. This debacle began as a crisis of confidence incurred by the sudden realization (by professional financiers who should have known) that a considerable quantity of "subprime" home loans had been issued without proper verification of ability to repay. At first considered to be solely a U.S. problem, the situation escalated when several European financial institutions announced that they were carrying large numbers of these risky debt instruments.

With mortgage lenders suddenly unable to resell their existing mortgages, mortgage lending dried up, buyers abandoned the housing market and home prices began to plummet. The situation morphed into a liquidity squeeze as financial institutions stopped lending because assets on borrowers' books could not be valued. With confidence steadily eroding, the financial markets have seized; banks are unwilling to lend money -- period. As financial reserves at less capitalized institutions fall to dangerously low levels, these institutions are becoming insolvent (unable to do business due to lack of capital), resulting in failures and bankruptcies. The crisis has now spread well beyond the mortgage market to involve all credit markets and businesses with good as well as bad balance sheets (because no one is certain who owns what).

Ironically, Congress could have stabilized this situation by abandoning partisan politics and demonstrating a united front. Apparently, our lawmakers are more interested in getting re-elected than in serving the better interests of the American public. The continual bickering by politicians, when they should be standing together to address the problems at hand, could ultimately plunge our Nation and the World into a new Great Depression. For those of you who take what I say to heart, do everything you can as fast as you can to get yourself into a better financial position and preserve capital. For those of you who do not believe, watch -- and worry.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Sep 29, 08 | 6:30 pm | Profile

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Mon May 19, 2008

Ten Spider Enterprises Reaches Half Million Visitor Mark

Today marks a milestone for the Ten Spider Enterprises family of websites. While it did take some time to get there, I am proud to announce that we have today served our 500,000th visitor. Achieving this milestone did not come without considerable effort and a certain amount of sacrifice. While ours is certainly not the most popular site on the web (nor do we have any illusion about becoming such), we do boast a small but loyal following, as is evidenced by frequent searches on our name and a regular assortment of website hits from a multitude of nations worldwide.

In response to our growing popularity, I undertook an initiative late last year which involved splitting the website from its existing two domains (the main site and the Ten Spider Business Center) into a total of five. Ten Spider Pets & Companion Animals (Ten Spider Pets), Ten Spider Technology & Science (Ten Spider Tech) and Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology (Ten Spider Weather) are now separate sites, part of what I consider the Ten Spider Enterprises family of websites. I anticipate that the increased focus brought about through use of unique domains will better establish each site as an individual entity and enhance the ability of each to generate additional traffic. While the sites are still bound by a common menu system at the top and bottom of each page permitting easy access to all Ten Spider theme sets, this may change in the future.

I wish to thank everyone who has visited our websites for their interest. I offer each of you the opportunity to provide feedback so that we can continue improving the sites. At the same time, I encourage you to tell friends and acquaintances about us. If you are reading this post as a webmaster and consider our content to be relevant to your visitors, please feel free to link to us. We have for the past five years been dedicated to providing a manually-edited, safe source of information to our visitors with the goal of encouraging business and personal development. That goal will not change.

Looking back over the past five years, it is hard to believe that our sites began with but a single page and have now grown to encompass nearly 450 pages and thousands of links covering a wide variety of topics. I am optimistic that, with your help, the second half million visitors will arrive much more quickly than did the first.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on May 19, 08 | 4:00 pm | Profile

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Sat May 10, 2008

Two Major Tropical Cyclones Kick Off the 2008 Season

The World has yet to absorb the full impact of the devastation wrought by Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Nargis, a tropical cyclone in the North Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal which struck the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (Burma) on 2 May 2008, devastating the Irrawaddy River delta, referred to as the Mouths of the Irrawaddy. The military junta that rules the country has not issued an update to the official death toll since Tuesday, 6 May 2008, when it stood at 22,980 with 42,000 people missing and an estimated one million homeless. It is widely anticipated that the death toll will easily cross 100,000; a Myanmar official has stated that the number of persons killed in one province alone may reach as high as 80,000. With relief supplies only trickling into the country and the rice planting season about to get underway, it is feared that a second disaster waits in the wings, as starvation and outbreaks of diseases could wreak havoc on the remaining populace.

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm NARGIS
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm NARGIS, Visible Image at 0957 UTC 2 May 2008,
eye coming ashore over the Mouths of the Irrawaddy, Myanmar.
Central pressure 937 mb (hPa). Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)


In the wake of Nargis, a second major tropical cyclone has been spawned in the Western North Pacific Ocean. Super Typhoon Rammasun, identified as Butchoy within the Philippines, briefly threatened that country in its formative stages, but turned northward to spare the island nation which is all too frequently visited by typhoons. While Nargis was a low-end Saffir-Simpson Category 4 storm at landfall (stronger than Hurricane Katrina when it struck New Orleans), Super Typhoon Rammasun has reached the upper limit of Category 4. While the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is not generally utilized outside of the United States and is arguably not a superior method for estimating the damage potential of a tropical cyclone, there is no denying that Super Typhoon Rammasun is a significant storm, with 1-minute sustained wind speed estimated at 135 knots (155 mph or 250 km/hr) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the U.S. Navy and 10-minute sustained wind speed estimated at 105 knots (121 mph or 194 km/hr) by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The primary difference between Rammasun and Nargis is that Rammasun is not expected to pose any significant threat to land throughout its lifespan.

Super Typhoon RAMMASUN (BUTCHOY)
Super Typhoon RAMMASUN (BUTCHOY), Infrared Image at 1530 UTC 10 May 2008,
in the Philippine Sea east of Luzon, Philippines. Central pressure 922 mb (hPa).
Photo courtesy Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC)


It is unusual to see two such potent storms generated so early in the Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season, since the ocean heat content (measured by sea surface temperature or SST) is not yet near the maximum expected late in the summer when the season ordinarily peaks. What, then, can be expected for the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins on 1 June? The Tropical Meteorology Project of the Colorado State University, in its Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and U.S. Landfall Strike Probability for 2008, predicts a season above the climatological norm, with 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four intense hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson Category 3 or higher). The forecast also anticipates a higher than average probability that an intense hurricane will make landfall on both the U.S. East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center of NOAA will issue its 2008 Atlantic hurricane season forecast later this month.

So, ladies and gentlemen, it tentatively looks like we had better batten down the hatches in anticipation of an active Atlantic hurricane season, with the outlook for the entire Northern Hemisphere not faring much better. Of course, for storm chasers and those who enjoy following the progress of tropical systems, this is exciting news. As usual, Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology will be tracking each storm in near real time via our Tropical Cyclone, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. We urge you to stop by, and please don't hesitate to spread the word through blogs, forums and hyperlinks to our site. We urgently need you to get the word out about our tracking center; doing so may save someone's life, property or pets.

A parting comment:  For those who will find themselves in the path of a tropical cyclone this season, be it called tropical storm, hurricane, typhoon or cyclonic storm, when the word comes to evacuate, remember Myanmar. The ferocity of a tropical cyclone and the power of storm surge should never be underestimated nor minimized. If your property is of value to you and you lose your life and perhaps the lives of your loved ones protecting it, what have you accomplished? Plan ahead, be vigilant and, should an evacuation order be issued, heed it!

Finally, let's be thankful that, for the moment, the Indian Ocean is quiet.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on May 10, 08 | 5:30 pm | Profile

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Fri Feb 01, 2008

Ten Spider Weather Observes Clear Skies

I am pleased to announce that Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology has been split from the Ten Spider Enterprises website to acquire independent status. This separation, completed on 24 January 2008, will allow for greater focus and name recognition. Ten Spider Weather will remain an integral part of the Ten Spider Enterprises family of websites.

Among its credits, Ten Spider Weather has been granted links from the National Hurricane Center for its coverage of tropical cyclones worldwide and from NWS Lightning Safety for its extensive list of lightning and lightning safety resources.

Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology provides a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of educational and everyday resources encompassing the world of weather and how it affects our lives. It is fourth in a series of website spinoffs derived from the main Ten Spider Enterprises site.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Feb 01, 08 | 3:40 pm | Profile

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Wed Jan 30, 2008

Ten Spider Tech Breaks Orbit

I am pleased to announce that Ten Spider Technology & Science has been split from the Ten Spider Enterprises website to acquire independent status. This separation, completed on 8 January 2008, will allow for greater focus and name recognition. Ten Spider Tech will remain an integral part of the Ten Spider Enterprises family of websites.

Ten Spider Technology & Science provides a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of science and emerging technology information and resources to aid in personal, entrepreneurial and business endeavors. It is third in a series of websites to be spun off from the main Ten Spider Enterprises site.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jan 30, 08 | 8:00 pm | Profile

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