I really enjoyed reading your pieces. I'm sorry that I didn't get to read all of it. It's late here and I have to rest coz I still have classes but I intend to visit your page again and continue reading. I hope you don't mind:)
Your journal post, two cents, was a wonderful read. Many years ago, I was told by my college physics professor that when seeking advice, always take into consideration what that person has to lose or gain from the situation. The person who has the least to gain (and nothing to lose) is typically the person giving the best advice. They have no reason to push you in a direction for their own needs or wants. I'm not sure if I totally agree with that philsophy, but it is something that I consider when seeking advice (especially when dealing with professional advice).