By Ron VandenBoom
Now that Y2K has finally passed and the world has been made safe for computers, I figured it was time once again to clean up some of the odds and ends that I've been putting off.
One such odd or end is a new web site by the Selective Service System -- you remember them, the people who sent out the invitations to WW II, Korea, and Vietnam.
As you probably already know, federal law requires men turning 18 who reside in the United States, citizens and non-citizens alike, to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday.
In the past, this has meant a trip to their local post office. But thanks to the Internet, the process of registering has become a lot easier. Young men wanting to register can now visit the Selective Service Website at www.sss.gov, key in their registration information and instantly receive a Selective Service number. All they need is a valid Social Security number and in about two weeks they will receive formal acknowledgement in the mail.
There are other convenient methods of completing the registration process, but this is the only one that does not require the time delays of the U.S. Postal Service and that can be done from any on-line computer.
For those individuals who have already served in America's Armed Forces, another website might help in efforts to turn military training into civilian credentials.
Many military personnel receive training that is beneficial in civilian life, but it has not traditionally been considered as good or as valuable as training received in civilian schools. This site facilitates individuals wanting to acquire civilian licenses or credentials.
While not fully functional yet, the site will be fully operational in less than a week and provide certification requirements for a long list of civilian jobs including air traffic control, engineers, fire fighters, electricians, and many other fields.
Simply click on the pull-down menu and choose your military occupation. The site will provide you with an overview of both military and civilian jobs and a link to state and/or federal licensing requirements for your area.
Another informative site that has nothing to do with the military is directed toward those who appreciate one of the finer things in life -- a fine wine.
Located at www.winetoday.com, the site offers surfers the latest news and information about wine and the wine making process. It also offers the latest news in the industry and provides tips on the best wines and wineries.
Wine Today is an on-line magazine and provides all of the articles and opinions on wines you would expect of a magazine. What is most interesting about this site at this time is the top wines of 1999 section.
With the dawn of the new millennium, it is not surprising that the best wines of the last millennium would be of interest to readers.
Agree with the findings of the Wine Today staff or compare them to the readers' choices that are also listed on the site. You will notice that the two lists do not agree, which just goes to show that experts and users do not always agree.
One note I should make is that none of the wines mentioned have a cap that unscrews and if you don't want to spend a few dollars on your wine, don't visit this site.
Another site I wanted to mention before running out of space is the Riverdance website.
While not as popular as it once was, Riverdance has remained a sensation both live and in its videos.
Find out why and learn more about Riverdance at its official website at www.riverdance.com.
Find biographies of the performers and read what they call interviews, past and present.
The site contains video and audio clips and other information on this unusual troop of performers that created this newest dance sensation.