Give a Ring That Lasts Forever This Valentines Day

According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), an average of 2.2 million couples get married each year. And one of the most popular days for couples to get engaged is Valentine’s Day.
While professions of love are an important part of each Valentine’s Day, for the thousands of men who pop the question on February 14th, the way he proposes is what takes precedence. And no part of that proposal leaves a more lasting impact than the engagement ring. In fact, the Bridal Association of America reports that 85 percent of all grooms propose with a ring. For grooms getting down on one knee this Valentine’s Day, consider the following engagement ring and proposal tips, courtesy of noted jewelry and style expert Michael O’Connor.
* Give a ring that lasts a lifetime. O’Connor is quick to note that an engagement ring is a piece of jewelry that a bride will wear everyday for the rest of her life. Therefore, grooms should look for a ring that’s not only beautiful, but durable as well. Platinum provides the best of both worlds. A naturally white metal, platinum, unlike gold, won’t cast a yellow color into a glittering diamond, but instead, enables the diamond to sparkle brighter. In addition, platinum is a more durable setting than yellow or white gold, an important point to consider when purchasing a ring, especially since you want to make sure that the center diamond is always properly secured.
* Take a cue from celebrity style. These days celebrity weddings and engagements are big news. But for couples not earning celebrity paychecks, it is still entirely possible to afford engagement rings similar to those of Hollywood’s brightest stars. After all, platinum and diamond engagement rings start at under $2,000 from retailers including BlueNile.com, Hearts on Fire, and De Beers.
“Choose a ring style that’s comfortable, practical but also unique to your personal style sensibility,” says O’Connor. The classic platinum and diamond solitaire remains one of the more popular ring designs among celebrities, including Fergie, Beyonce and Rachel Bilson, while other Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Hudson and Eva Longoria-Parker have gone for a more romantic style. They’ve selected platinum settings that have a technique called ‘micro-pave,’ where tiny diamonds are set all over the band and/or center stone to create a shimmering effect.
“Whatever platinum engagement ring style you purchase, always remember to select the same metal for your wedding band,” notes O’Connor. “A white gold wedding ring will lose metal over time, so it wouldn’t look appropriate with a sparkling platinum engagement ring.”
* Craft a platinum proposal. Costly proposals are long gone. Nowadays, men are opting to create a meaningful experience for their future bride. “Take her to the location of your first date, or cook her the best meal that you shared together,” says O’Connor. “Your bride-to-be will think back to this moment for the rest of her life, so I encourage men to spend time planning the perfect proposal and to think of your favorite shared memories.”

Be Mine! Valentines Day Has Mysterious Origins

By Chris Furguson
Every February, couples and lovers from all over the world hand chocolates, roses, and cards to each other to express their love for one another.  But what of the origins of the holiday itself?
One legend says that St. Valentine was a priest in 3rd century Rome.  At the time, Emperor Claudius thought that unmarried men were better soldiers than married ones and forbid young men from marrying.  Valentine secretly defied the decree until he was caught and executed.  However, the Catholic Church has two other St. Valentines listed amongst their saints, all of whom were martyred.
Another explanation was that the Christian holiday was established to supplant a popular pagan holiday known as Lupercalia.  Lupercalia was celebrated on February 15 and was in honor of the Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and the supposed founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.
In England and France of the Middle Ages, February 14th was believed to be the beginning of birds’ mating season.  This led to a tradition that romance should be celebrated in the middle of February.
Valentine’s Day began to flourish in England to the point where, by the 1700s, it was commonplace for people of all classes to exchange small gifts or handwritten notes to each other.  During the Victorian era, however, mass produced cards were popular forms of expressing love as direct expressions of one’s feelings were discouraged.
The tradition continues to this day, with chocolate and roses included as gifts of love or affection.
Did you know?
According to the Greeting Card Association, over 1 billion Valentines cards are sent around the world, making Valentine’s Day the second biggest card giving holiday.  In comparison, more than 2.3 billion cards are exchanged during Christmas.
2.2 million marriages take place in the US every year.  This translates to roughly 6,025 marriages per day.
In 2005, every man, woman and child in the US consumed 25.7 pounds of candy, a decline from 1997, when every person in the country ate more than 27 lbs.
The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005 was 25.7 pounds. Candy consumption has actually declined over the last few years; in 1997, each American gobbled or savored more than 27 pounds of candy a year.

In Other Words

Words Of Wisdom From An Old Philosopher

WORDS OF WISDOM FROM LARRY THE CABLE GUY:
1. A day without sunshine is like night.
2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
9. Support bacteria. They’re the only culture most people have.
10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis?  Raise my hand.
14 OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
15. When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
19. What happens if you get scared half to death…. twice?
20. Why do psychics have to ask you your name?
21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, ‘What the heck happened?’
22. Just remember — if the world didn’t suck, we would all fall off.
23. Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
24. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates. It’s more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow.
PUNS FOR EDUCATED PEOPLE:
1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

Brown Files Bribery Charges Against Public Officials in $102 Million Corruption Case

San Bernardino, Calif.-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos today announced the filing of criminal charges against former Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors William Postmus and James Erwin, former Chief of Staff to Supervisor Neil Derry, on “conspiracy, corruption and bribery” charges related to a $102 million land-development settlement paid by San Bernardino County.