A triathlon is a grueling event, so knowing how to train for a triathlon is highly important if you want to come through the event without injuries. Training for a triathlon requires a steady growth of your stamina in three different activities with three different sets of muscles. Learn how to train simultaneously for all three phases of the triathlon is a different experience from training only for a swimming exhibition, a cycling race or a running competition.
I’m assuming that most people reading this article will have never “ran” a triathlon before, so I’m assuming you’ll be wanting to know how to train for a “beginners triathlon”. That’s what this article focuses on. There are also intermediate or “olympic triathlons” and the hard core “ironman triathlons”, which include long bike rides and swims along with a full marathon. If you’ve never been in a triathlon before, start with the beginners triathlon.
How To Train For a Triathlon – Beginners Triathlon Training
A beginners triathlon is typically a half-mile swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run. The biking and running might not sound that grueling, but until you’ve swam a mile before you’ve performed these other exercises, your body and mind won’t be used to the stresses place them.
- Train To Your Weaknesses – Inevitably, you’ll have one of the three aspects of the triathlon that is your weakness. You might be a strong runner and a good cyclist, but you might not have ever trained much for swimming. Even if you have trained for each three, one of these phases of the triathlon will still be weaker than the others. When you start to train, don’t train to your strengths, but train to your weaknesses.
What does “training to your weakness” mean? That means if you are weakest at swimming, you need to build up your skill and stamina at swimming. If you aren’t so good at running or biking, then focus on either one of these that is your weak point. To many times, people train to their strengths, because that is what they are good at and therefore they’re less likely to get frustrated training their strong suit.
- Train to Run a Triathlon – When you train to run a triathlon, you need to start running in any capacity, but you choose the track. Start running on a treadmill or elliptical machine if you wish, but also take it to the local track or even the streets if you want. Remember not to run too hard to begin, because legs injuries from over-running can set your training back for weeks. I would suggest no more than 10 minutes of running at intensity at the beginning of training.
- Train to Cycle in a Triathlon – Train on the bike at the middle of your comfort zone, going maybe 10 or so miles for 10 minutes at a time when you start training. Once again, this can take place on a road bike or a stationary bike.
- Train to Swim a Triathlon – Find a local pool to swim at when starting to train for a triathlon. If you can’t find a swimming pool for a daily swim, then start rowing on a rowing machine. This builds the arm stamina and upper body strength needed to swim 1/2 a mile.
- Switch the Training Day-to-Day – Train at each of the three phases of a triathlon, but don’t train at each of them daily. Switch between running, biking and swimming from day to day. Build up your stamina at each, but don’t burn yourself out by training at all three on any given day. Rotate the training and build up your intensity and time as you go.
- Build Up to 1 to 3 Hours Per Day – By the time you’ve finished your training, you’ll need to be training from one to three hours per day when preparing for a triathlon. If you’re a beginning triathlon athlete, you’ll probably be closer to the 1 hour than 3 hour training process. If you can’t commit to at least one hour per day on a consistent basis, you don’t need to be competing in a triathlon. Train about five to six days a week on this schedule.
- Rest When You Are Tired – If your body is tired, take a day off. Consistency builds stamina, but you don’t want to set yourself back by straining your body or injuring yourself.
- Train the Proper Length of Time – People who are in average shape should build up their stamina and ability for six months before running a triathlon. Those who are in better-than-average shape should train for at least three months for a beginners triathlon.
- Build To Distances 2 Months Before Race – Be able to handle the distances of the race up to two months before the triathlon. That is, be able to handle the three mile run any given day, or the 12 mile bike ride any given day or swim one-half a mile any given day. This does not mean you should try all three any given day. Just be able to handle each one at a time, but have your stamina for each built up a couple of months before the triathlon date.
- Put the Pieces Together One Month Before Race – One month prior to the triathlon, be able to put all three triathlon events together into one workout. Make these high intensity workouts for relatively short distances. Get your pace up for each leg of the triathlon. Don’t worry about conquering the distance aspect of each phase of the triathlon, because you could causes injuries through stress or blisters that would end or set back your triathlon preparation.
- Taper Down One Week Before – One week before the triathlon, taper down your training to relatively short intervals at relatively light intensities. This keeps your muscles fit, but lets them relax and regenerate. You need to build up your strength in preparation for the triathlon, while continuing to hone your triathlon skills.
- Get Plenty of Rest – In the week before the triathlon, get plenty of sleep. Also eat high-carbohydrate foods and lower your fat intake in the week before the race. This should be done throughout the triathlon training cycle, but you need to focus on this in the days before the race. You want to build yourself to peak efficiency on the day of the triathlon race.
In the early part of the 1900’s, the only way to get ice was to have it delivered to your home in a big block. It would be placed in the ice box (which is where the term for a refrigerator comes form) to keep your food cold. When the ice melted, you had to have another block delivered. When the refrigerator became available to consumers, they all had a small freezer at the top. To get ice you had to fill trays full of water and put them in the freezer until they froze. Woe be to the person who used up all the ice but didn’t fill up the trays again.
So you can see just how convenient modern day ice makers are. You no longer have to keep filling up trays or cracking the ice cubes yourself. You don’t have to pay for an expensive block to be delivered once a week. Ice makers are simple, easy, and do all the work for you. But how do ice makers work? How do they get water? What causes the water to freeze? If you ever wanted to know the basics of ice makers, here is how they work.
How Does It Get Water
When your refrigerator is installed in your kitchen, there is a water line that is hooked directly to the back of it. The line, which is either copper or plastic tubing, may go under the kitchen sink or directly into the wall. Water travels through the line and into the ice maker. The water line connects to the water inlet valve, which controls the flow of water into the ice maker. When the ice maker needs more water, the inlet valve on the unit receives an electrical current. This triggers the solenoid on the valve and allows water to flow through the outbound water line, into the freezer, and into the ice maker.
How Does It Freeze
Inside the ice maker is an ice mold similar to the flexible plastic ice trays you put in the freezer. Once the mold is full of water, the freezing process begins. The ice maker does not actually freeze the water into ice. The refrigerator’s coolant system does that. There is a thermostat built into the ice maker which monitors the temperature of the ice. Once the ice reaches a certain level in temperature (approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit) the thermostat closes a switch in the electrical circuit which triggers a heating element.
How Icemakers Make Ice Cubes
There is a small electrical heating coil under the ice mold. After the water has frozen into ice, the heating element starts up. The heating element melts the ice at the bottom of the tray enough to loosen up the separate cubes from the mold. Next, an electrical circuit activates the icemaker’s motor. The motor spins and rotates a gear which is attached to a long plastic shaft. This shaft has several ejector blades sticking out from it. When the shaft spins, the ejector blades revolve and scoop the block of ice cubes up and out of the mold. The cubes get pushed to the front fo the ice maker in one unit because they are still connected to each other. There are nothces that line up with the ice cubes to break them apart into individual cubes. From there the cubes fall into the collection pan at the bottom of the ice maker. That’s how icemakers make ice cubes.
Once the ice in the mold has been ejected and pushed intot he collection pan, an electrical switch is triggered and the inlet valve opens up to fill up the ice mold again and the cycle starts over. If the collection pan is full, it prevents the switch from being triggered as it interrupts the cycle. That way your ice maker doesn’t overflow with too much ice. When you are ready for some ice, all you do is press the button on the front of the refrigerator and individual ice cubes fall out of the dispensor.
What movies are coming to DVD in 2010?
We currently only know the names of movies coming to DVD in 2010 for January and February, and a few hints about March.
The early DVD season will be dominated by Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which did big numbers at the box office. Expect I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell to be big at frat houses and 16 year old boy’s sleepovers everywhere.
Here are the upcoming 2010 DVD releases that we know for sure right now.
Movies Coming to DVD in January 2010
- Big Fan
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
- Lorna’s Silence
- Post Grad
- The Final Destination
- Brothers At War
- Halloween II
- In The Loop
- X Games 3D: The Movie
- Death In Love
- I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell
- The Escapist
- Whip It!
Movies Coming to DVD in February 2010
- Good Hair
- Couples Retreat
- Free Style
- Law Abiding Citizen
- Black Dynamite
- Love Happens
- The Time Traveler’s Wife
- Coco Before Chanel
- Private Lives of Pippa Lee
- Women in Trouble
- Dead Snow
- The Informant!
- The Vicious Kind
Movies Coming to DVD in March 2010
- Matlock: The Complete 4th Season
- Have Gun Will Travel: Season 4, Volume 1
- Capitalism: A Love Story
- The Stoning of Soraya M.
- Walker Texas Ranger: Seventh Season
- Hawaii Five O: 8th Season
- Monk: Season 8
- South Park: The Complete 13th Season
- Bigger Than Life
- Days of Heaven
You might also be interested in this article about good movies to rent at Only Good Movies. Also, please note that if you buy something via our Amazon link, we make a small commission. (So please pre-order some DVDs!)
This post is part of a series of posts we’re making about 2010 movies. Other posts in the series include:
- What Movies Are Coming to DVD in 2010?
- What Movies Are Coming out in 2010?
- What Movie Sequels Are Coming out in 2010?
- What New Horror Movies Are Coming out in 2010?
- What New Marvel Movies Are Coming Out?
How to Buy Emerald Engagement Rings
Not every woman wants to wear a diamond ring. (See What Do Women Want in a Man for more information about what women want.) Concerns about diamond sources are higher than ever, with the release of high-profile documentary movies charging that the diamond trade is responsible for suffering the world around. Other reasons exist to explain why some women don’t want diamond engagement rings — aesthetic concerns being the most common. Some women just don’t like to wear diamonds.
The second most common stone after diamonds is emerald. Gemstone engagement rings don’t have to be diamonds — in fact, it has long been a tradition among royalty to wear gemstones other than diamonds on their wedding and engagement rings. Emerald engagement rings are beautiful and are more affordable than diamond.
When it comes to picking out emerald engagement rings, you have two options to start with. Either you’re buying it yourself and surprising your fiancée, or you’re taking her with you to pick out what she wants. Some women want to pick out their own ring — they know what they like, and by picking it out they can wear it and determine if it feels good on their finger.
If you’re planning on surprising your bride to be with an emerald engagement ring, you just have to take a few proper steps in order to pick out one that she’ll love.
Do Some Investigating
You need to look at your future bride’s jewelry, ask some leading questions, and ask her friends and family questions so you can figure out what kind of ring she would pick out for herself. If you’ve paid attention to her jewelry preferences over the years, you may be a step ahead of the game.
1. What metal color does she prefer? Most women have a specific preference toward silver, gold, white gold, platinum, etc. Women who like silver or platinum or white gold tend to be against wearing yellow gold, and the same works the other way around. You can figure out what kind she prefers by looking at her jewelry collection.
2. What style of jewelry does she wear? Are her jewelry pieces bold and contemporary or vintage and mellow? Most women are either classic, contemporary, or vintage, and you may need a little help from a friend or your bride’s sister to figure out what style of engagement ring she wants.
Figure Out What Looks Best On Her Hands
Now’s the time to figure out what type of hands your girlfriend has. Are her fingers shorter or longer? Fatter or skinnier? The answer to these questions will help you pick out a ring.
A “long” shaped emerald (or elongated emerald) cut into a marquise or oval shape can turn short fingers into longer looking, sleek hands. Wide ring bands, on the other hand, tend to make fingers appear shorter, so if your girlfriend has long fingers, a wide band may be in order.
Bold styles are easier to wear for women who have long fingers or large hands, while delicate or smaller settings work best with smaller hands and fingers.
Figure Out the Shape and Setting
Emeralds in emerald engagement rings come in many different cuts. You can pick from
Each shape will look entirely different on each woman’s hand, so your best bet when picking a shape is to ask a friend or a female relative of hers to come with you and figure out what shape of emerald you want.
Round emeralds are the most common — but that doesn’t mean our future bride will want a round emerald. Other popular emerald cuts right now are the elongated marquise, the pear-shaped stone, and the oval stone. If your bride to be likes bold contemporary styles, there are shape cuts such as heart that work better in bold settings.
Now consider the setting of the emerald in her engagement ring — would your bride prefer a single cut emerald on a band, or a cluster of emeralds? Again, looking at the jewelry in her collection at home may help you decide.
You need to think about your fiancée wearing this ring in her everyday life. If she has a job as a teacher or some other profession where she uses her hands often, is around a lot of people, or stays pretty busy, you may need to find a ring that is able to withstand a lot of rough housing, taking the ring on and off, etc.
Other considerations — are you buying her a ring that will look too gaudy for her lifestyle? A bold, multi-faceted gemstone with high prongs and other features can easily get snagged in clothing or on furniture and they can be more difficult to keep clean.
Figuring Out Her Ring Size
You may get off easy here — if you can find a ring that she doesn’t wear too often, you can bring that ring to the jewelery store and get a good estimate of what size ring she wears.
If you can’t secure a ring to size, you may just have to come out and ask her, or have a relative ask her in secrecy. Be creative. If you truly want your ring to be a surprise, you’ll have to go about finding the ring without raising too much suspicion.
Though an emerald engagement ring may not cost as much as a diamond ring, emeralds are still precious gemstones and are not exactly cheap.
The budget you have is the most important consideration of all. If you plan to go shopping without a budget in mind, you’ll probably get nowhere.
There are lots of good options for cheaper engagement rings with emeralds, from small solitaire stones to rings mixed with other less expensive gemstones.
Obviously, the price of the emerald engagement ring you choose for your bride has more to do with facts about the stone (clarity, color, size, etc) than anything else, so you may find a wide variety of prices on these rings at different stores. You don’t have to become a wedding planner to make good decisions about your wedding; shopping around is a frugal technique that will help you find an emerald engagement ring in your budget that your wife will love. (Then you can start deciding on the best wedding love songs for the event.)
- How to Be Romantic
- How to Write a Love Letter
- How to Celebrate Valentines Day
- How to Find Your Soulmate
- Single Cruises
Pillsbury Coupons 2011
Pillsbury is a very recognizable brand of baked goods and frozen items with an iconic spokesperson–the Dough Boy. Though best known for premixed dough and frozen food items, Pillsbury’s product line is huge and includes way more than just crescent rolls. Founded way back in 1872, Pillsbury is now wholly owned by General Mills. What started as a simple grain processing company is now one of the most beloved brands in America.
When you think “Pillsbury” you think of the dough-boy and various baked treats, or maybe of dinner rolls or special Thanksgiving desserts. Pillsbury offers everything from refrigerated cookie dough, easy bake dinner rolls, pie crusts,frozen breakfast food, refrigerated breads, and biscuit dough. Almost all Pillsbury goods are distributed directly under the Pillsbury brand, though same are branded for specific chain stores–specifically, Pillsbury is in
charge of popular frozen pizza brands Jeno’s and Totino’s.
Since you probably already buy a ton of Pillsbury goods, finding coupons to make them cheaper is a good way to save cash on your bill at the grocery store. Here’s how to find coupons and deals on your favorite Pillsbury products.
Online Pillsbury Coupons for Toaster Strudels and Crescents
Like most things, the first place to search for Pillsbury coupons is directly from their website, Pillsbury.com. When you join their membership club, you’ll get free coupons, recipes, a newsletter, and access to easy to find online printable coupons directly through Pillsbury.com. Not just Pillsbury branded products, either, but almost all General Mills products are covered by these coupons. Signing up with Pillsbury.com is free and doesn’t take more than a minute–as soon as you sign up, you’ll have access to $30 in coupons and special promotions. These promotions repeat monthly.
Another place to search for Pillsbury coupons are the popular third-party coupon gathering sites. Simply running a Google search for “Pillsbury coupons” should bring up dozens of coupon gathering sites where Internet users post coupons and deals they’ve found in one location. Sites like 8coupons.com and coupons.com have the occasional Pillsbury coupon, though they are not as common now thanks to the existence of the Pillsbury.com member newsletter.
Other Pillsbury Coupon Sources
Your local newspaper prints a coupon section that often has a few Pillsbury coupons. Check your Sunday edition for coupons good at most retail settings on Pillsbury brand and General Mills brand goods.
When you buy Pillsbury products, they often have coupons for other Pillsbury goods printed on the label or inside the packaging. These coupons aren’t huge–usually good for a quarter or two off another Pillsbury product, but every cent counts.
Pillsbury is a trusted name in food, and now that you can join their members-only newsletter and get exclusive coupons (and you can search third-party coupon websites) you can save money on the Pillsbury goods you’d buy anyway. Don’t pay full price for chocolate chip cookie dough or crescent rolls–check out Pillsbury.com and join the club to start saving money right away.
- Applebees Coupons
- Bed Bath and Beyond Coupons
- Best Buy Coupons
- Clairol Coupons
- Cheerios Coupons
- Charmin Coupons
- Chex Mix Coupons
What is “gonadotropin”?
Gonadotropin, also known as hCG, has been in the news lately as the suspected source of major league baseball star Manny Ramirez’ steroid troubles. The Los Angeles Dodger’s big gun was sidelined for 50 games after testing positive for a “performance enhancing drug”, which authorities refused to outright identify as a “steroid”. Ramirez, who is not planning to appeal, claimed that the substance he tested positive for was administered by a doctor for treatment for a “personal medical issue”, and that neither Ramirez nor the doctor knew the drug was on the league’s “banned substance” list.
Gonadotropin is a glycoprotein hormone produced by an embryo soon after conception. The role of gonadotropin is to enhance the production of progesterone – a “steroid hormone” – during a woman’s pregnancy. Gonadotropin has other medical uses, mainly as replacement therapy for people whose natural production of testosterone or estrogen is reduced either by disease or injury.
The implication is that Ramirez was receiving Gonadotropin to replenish testosterone levels. Unfortunately for Ramirez, one of the main reasons that otherwise healthy individuals need to replenish such a level is abuse of steroids. This could lead to an even bigger story, as Manny Ramirez has not yet been “outed” as a potential steroid case, though many in Major League Baseball have, including stars like Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and Roger Clemens.
Added to baseball’s banned substance list a year ago, hCG is a hormone that is almost exclusively produced by the placenta or an embryo. Interestingly enough, hCG is the hormone that will signal that a woman is pregnant in home-pregnancy tests. Steroid users are attracted to hCG as a natural “restart” to the body’s normal production of testosterone following a cycle of steroids. Why is this necessary?
When you take steroids, the drug tends to “turn off” the human body’s internal mechanisms that produce testosterone. In essence, the testicles are “turned off”. They shrink in size leading to a severe decrease in the production of testosterone. The only way to get around this reduction in testosterone is to take a steroid-hormone to reverse the negative effects that steroids have on the testicles.
According to the website “anabolicsteroidsguide.com”, steroid users might take hCG injections for a period of two or three weeks during steroid use. A direct quote from that websit e– “Since occasional injections of hCG during steroid intake can avoid a testicular atrophy, many athletes use hCG for two to three weeks in the middle of their steroid treatment.”
Chemically, hCG is no mystery. Doctors often observe that during a combined steroid/hCG treatments, the athlete can see the best results in terms of gains in strength and muscle mass. The medical community has acknowledged that by taking hCG the athlete’s testosterone level increases rapidly while a large concentration of anabolic substances present in the blood is further induced by the steroids the athlete is taking.
It is unclear at this point whether or not Ramirez was taking steroids, though he has not yet tested positive for such a substance.
However, detecting steroids during an hCG treatment appears difficult. A paper published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine in 1991 depicted a case study where an athlete undergoing testosterone and hCG (illegally) before a competition tested negative for testosterone, but positive for hCG. In other words, hCG appears to have a masking effect on certain banned substances. The case against Ramirez is stacking up even while he sits idle until July 3rd.
There don’t appear to be any medical reasons for Ramirez to be taking hCG. It was thought in the 1950s that hCG could be used as a weight loss aid, although tests proved this theory false.
Rumors were floating around the mainstream press this past week that Ramirez was undergoing treatment for “erectile dusfunction” – a condition that is not treatable with hCG, and is in fact easier treated with more conventional ED drugs like Viagra. No ED drug is on the MLB’s “banned substances” list.
Who shot the rapper Dolla?
Dolla, an up and coming rapper from Atlanta, was shot in the head and killed in a brawl outside of a shopping mall in Los Angeles on Monday, May 18th. The shooting allegedly occured shortly after 3:00 PM near the La Cienega Boulevard entrance to the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, after a fight between a group of individuals broke out. Some witnesses report that a woman was seen firing a handgun. Another source told TMZ that a male suspect was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport as he attempted to board a flight — we now know the identity of the male suspect.
The Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately release the identity of the victim — the story was instead broken by his publicist, Sue Vannasing.
Dolla, whose real name is Roderick Anthony Burton II, was 21 years old at the time of his death. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dolla was shot while waiting for friends at the Beverly Center’s mall valet — Dolla was with fellow rappers DJ Shabbazz and Scrapp DeLeon. Dolla’s publicist said that just before the shooting a man and a woman were seen “trailing” the rapper. As of this writing, Los Angeles Police have “two persons of interest” in custody. The cops picked up one man at the ticketing area of the Los Angeles International Airport with a gun in his possession. As of this morning, the man in custody, Aubrey Berry, has been charged with murder — TMZ was the first to release the identity of the suspect.
Writing on his Myspace page, Dolla said “My music is universal. I can do street music or pop music. But whatever I do, I attempt to make meaningful songs with substance.” Dolla had a couple of releases under his belt, but was still hard at work on his first album for Konvict Music Records.
In fact, Dolla was in Los Angeles to continue work on his much anticipated debut album, A Dolla & A Dream. The rapper was born in Chicago, but his family relocated to Atlanta when he was five after the suicide of his father. Dolla was first a member of the Elektra Records signed group known as “Da Razkalz Kru”. After breaking with “Da Razkalz”, Dolla worked his way up the Atlanta hip hop scene, building reptutation and talent. He was eventually recruited by Sean Combs (“P. Diddy”) to be a model for Combs’ Sean John fashion line. Around the same time as Dolla began to work with Combs, the rapper hooked up with Akon, who quickly signed Dolla to the Konvict Music Records label early in 2007. At this time, Dolla recorded the hit “Who the F*** Is That?” with the artist T Pain. The song reached Number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dolla’s follow-up single “Feelin’ Myself” was featured on the soundtrack of the film Step Up. Dolla’s publicist released a statement after the shooting, saying that Dolla ” . . . had a very promising career. He was being hyped as the next Tupac [Shakur]. He chose music to get off the streets.” While the comparison to Tupac may be a bit too much, we won’t ever know now how much talent Dolla had.
According to TMZ, the police picked up Aubrey Berry at LAX airport. Aubrey Berry is believed to have dropped off a rental car before he was found at the airport with a handgun. Airport police spokesman Sergeant Jim Holcomb told the media: “As the officers approached the suspect, they asked him ‘Do you know why we’re here?’ ” According to Holcomb, Berry then put his hands up in the air and said, “Yes, I’ve got a gun in my waistband. Don’t shoot me.” Police recovered a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun from Berry, who is currently being held in Los Angeles county on $1 million bail.
Los Angeles Police Sergeant Ronnie Crump insisted that the other unknown people with the alleged gunman are also “persons of interest”, though no arrests have been made thus far. It was not clear how many people were with the gunman or what the argument was about.
Sports news has never been easier to get than it is today. Online sports news makes it quick and simple to get up-to-the-minute sports information every hour of the day. In fact, with the proliferation of sports news, it’s hard to know where to get fast and reliable news updates from the world of sports.
So where is the best place to get sports news? First, I’d like to go over some of the most famous sports news sites and give my own critique of them. Some I use every day, but take their information with a grain of salt. Let’s start with one of those, the so-called “first name in sports”.
ESPN Sports News
ESPN specializes in sports news, so it’s now surprise that this sports website is a good place to get your sports information. Because athletes from most of the major American sports enjoy being on Sportscenter and getting the attention only ESPN can give, you’ll find more personal sports interviews and sports stories than anywhere else on the internet.
I’ve noticed something in the last few years with ESPN, though. Because there is a tremendous pressure to get “scoops”, it seems like ESPN runs with unsubstantiated news reports. They also occasionally go for the sensational story on the ESPN homepage, when there’s really not a whole lot of new information or much of a story at all. So when you’re reading ESPN news, you’ll have to wade through some useless news stories and a whole lot of fluff articles.
I cite ESPN sports news to point out that this is common throughout the sports journalism world these days, and therefore ESPN is a great example to cite. I think this is because sports news outlets want to be able to say “We broke the story”, so they don’t take the care to double-check stories, where they would have 10-20 years ago. The demand for sports news is that great, I guess, though I would prefer to have accurate news an hour later than erroneous news stories as soon as possible. Heck, I never remember who breaks the story, anyway, unless the story turns out to be false.
Sports News Websites
Sporting News Sports – SportingNews.com is a good place to get straightforward, relatively un-sensational news reports. The Sporting News is a big name in the sports news business, with a large infrastructure ranging from a newspaper publication to a nationally syndicated sports radio network. Their sports news website also has an interesting function, somewhat like what you’ll find on Digg (not quite like it, since you don’t give it a thumbs up), where readers can see instantly (next to the byline) how many other readers have commented on the story. Their “related stories” section to the right of the page is better than ESPN’s. Where ESPN simply plugs unrelated stories from the sports world, “Sporting News” give the latest headlines on the team in question and the league in question. For instance, I’m looking at a story on Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys right now. You’ll see in the sidebar “Latest Cowboys Headlines” and “Latest NFL Headlines”, with 8 stories each.
For those with a slower page-loading speed on their computers, Sporting News loads a lot quicker, because it doesn’t load down the home page with pictures and photos the way ESPN does. Also, you don’t have the annoying Sportscenter clips that automatically load up about 10 seconds after you log onto the site. Finally, you don’t have links to stories you can only read the first paragraph for, which is a huge problem with ESPN.com. On the ESPN website, visitors without the “ESPN insider” designation are not allowed to read a significant percentage of the material. Becoming an ESPN Insider is relatively cheap for a year’s subscription, but I resent the idea that ESPN is trying to solicit membership by teasing insider stories all day long. I’ve tried the service before and it’s really not that special, by the way.
USA Today Sports – Another good sports news website is “USA Today Sports”. Many people rank the USA sports page as the best daily sports page in the newspaper business, so it’s only natural that their online sports content would be first rate, also. USA Today lets you read their sports content (and other news content) without registering or signing up. Even when that’s free, I don’t like when websites want me to register to read their content. Personally, with so many sites out there (like the New York Times and Washington Post) that don’t require registration, I just move on to some place more convenient.
Like most of the sports sites, “USA Today Sports News” divides their content into major sports leagues or major sports. So across the top of the USA Today Sports homepage, you’ll see the following categories: “MLB”, “NFL”, “NBA”, “NHL”, “College Football”, “College Basketball”, “High Schools”, “Motor Sports”, “Golf” and “More Sports”. I was amazed that their “fantasy sports” is the first link you can click on, so all you fantasy football owners out there should know that USA Today Sports places a premium on fantasy sports.
One thing about USAToday Sports is the frequent advertisement when you click on links. You probably know the drill from other sites. You click on a news story and you’re asked to watch an ad or click “skip ad” before getting to the link you clicked on in the first place. Now, I understand sites have to advertise, so I’m not too upset when I have to skip an ad, but I am giving fair warning to readers who hate that kind of factor. I would much rather be able to click on the skip ad feature and read the sports story I wanted to read than get to the page and realize I have to be an “insider” to read beyond a few sentences.
Fox Sports – I’m going to mention “Fox Sports Online”, but I’m not going to recommend it. Fox Sports still seems to be the cheesiest major sports network in the business. Their silly robots and sound effects are annoying during the football season, but I noticed they were taking it to a whole other level during their recent broadcast of the Daytona 500.
There was a caution flag that came out after a minor spin-out early in the race. The Fox NASCAR broadcasters showed the wreck, but they had to put their animated gopher graphic, “Digger”, on the screen. The announcers laugh that Digger didn’t see the wreck coming, acting like this is a perfectly normal way to cover car racing. Very silly.
Another reason I don’t pay much attention to Fox Sports is their reliance on Jay Glazer during football season. I hold it against Jay Glazer from several years ago, when he was working for CBSSportsline on their fantasy football coverage. One Sunday morning, Jay Glazer had “breaking news”, where he indicated that Deuce McAllister had spent the previous night in the hospital and fantasy owners needed to take him out of the lineup immediately. Sure enough, when it came gametime, Deuce was in the Saints lineup, and the story about him being in the hospital the night before proved erroneous.
That’s what I’m talking about when I say the sports journalists these days rush to get the scoop, and you have to take their breaking news with a certain amount of skepticism. Many of these online sports news sites seem so concerned about breaking the news first, that they don’t break the news correctly.
So where is the best place to get sports news?
Don’t get me wrong about ESPN sports news. I look at their site just about every day. But I wanted to compare it to a couple of other sites and say I believe in stories submitted by USA Today and Sporting News more than I do ESPN or Fox Sports. Maybe I had a bad experience or two with these and the other two are just as bad, but I’m not so certain about that.
PF Changs Coupons – Printable 2011
PF Changs China Bistro is a popular Asian-style dining option located in most states in America. With plans to expand into Mexico and the Middle East, it seems like new PF Changs locations are popping up all the time. There are currently 180 locations, mostly in large urban areas. PF Chang’s China Bistro has a menu made up of American-style “upscale” Chinese food–and for those of you that like a Tsingtao or Tiger beer with your noodles, Changs has a full bar. Popular dishes served at Changs include Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry, lettuce Wraps with Citrus Soy or peanut sauce, Shanghai Noodles with Grilled Rib Eye and Broccoli, and Ginger Chicken Salad. Changs tries to offer an American take on real traditional Chinese restaurant menu items.
PF Changs is a little pricier than your typical American-style restaurant, so using coupons and promotional codes is a good way to enjoy PF Changs without saving for a month beforehand. There are printable coupons, online coupon codes that can be redeemed online or at the restaurant, and promotional items and other ways to save. Never pay full price for potstickers at Changs again.
Free Online PF Changs Printable Coupons
Like most restaurants, the easiest way to find printable PF Changs coupons is to go directly to their website. Once you’re on the PF Chang’s homepage, you can sign up for a free “warrior card” program and email promo list that gives members menu information, restaurant news, promotional announcements, and even a couple of printable coupons a year. The free warrior card that you sign up for will actually give you 10% off your total bill.
Third party coupon hunting sites (places where coupons and promo codes are gathered from around the Internet) occasionally host coupons for PF Changs, though not as often as with less expensive or fast food restaurants. RetailMeNot.com, a popular third party sire, has posted everything from a 10% off printable coupon to a coupon for a four-course dinner for two (a $39 value) for a reduced price–the deals they offer change regularly, so check these sites before every visit to PF Changs.
Since PF Changs has both a Facebook and a Twitter page, “following” or “liking” these pages can often be a good source of promotional deals. PF Changs Facebook and Twitter updates sometimes have exclusive promotions and coupons deals, sometimes even printable coupons for their fans.
Other PF Changs Deals
If you’re craving PF Changs food and don’t want to go out to the restaurant, you can find PF Changs “Home Menu” meals in the frozen section at the local grocery store. Like all grocery items, there are coupons for PF Changs Home Menu meals in local advertising circulars and in the grocery store’s own ad page in newspapers or in your mailbox. This is a great way to save a ton of money and still enjoy the PF Changs foods you love.
PF Changs isn’t exactly “authentic Asian food”–it is an American version of dishes rooted in Chinese cuisine. Still, people who love PF Changs would walk miles on their hands and knees to enjoy their favorite Changs appetizers and entrees, so for these people finding coupon deals for Changs is like getting free money in their pocket.
- 2011 Braums Coupons
- 2011 Buffalo Wild Wings Coupons
- 2011 Benihana Coupons
- 2011 Nicoderm Coupons
- 2011 Blackeyed Pea Coupons
- 2011 Blimpie Coupons
- 2011 Bob Evans Coupons
Founded in 1964 in New Jersey and currently headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Blimpie is a sub sandwich shop that doesn’t have the name recognition of Subway but is known regionally for offering affordable deli-style subs and other sandwiches. The big draw for Blimpie is the fact that their sandwiches are slightly cheaper than Subway.
There are over 2,000 Blimpie franchises in the country, offering both hot and cold subs and other sandwiches. There’s at least one Blimpie location in every state in the continental US, so finding a Blimpie coupon online or in the newspaper means easy access to inexpensive deli sandwiches.
But where do you find Blimpie coupons? The easiest way to find them is through third party coupon sites, advertising in the local paper or circular, and direct from Blimpie itself.
Printable Blimpie Coupons
The easiest way to get your hands on a Blimpie coupon is directly from Blimpie. Go to Blimpie’s website right now and print out the coupon they’re offering right now–it changes from season to season, and as of this writing it is good for a free 6-inch sub with the purchase of another 6-inch sub. You can print this coupon out and use it as many times as you want, but only once per visit to the restaurant.
To stay on top of the new coupons Blimpie is offering, follow their social media pages on Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes you get exclusive coupons that are only posted to the Facebook and Twitter pages, and other times Blimpie will let their “fans” know about a new coupon being offered at the website.
While it isn’t exactly a “printable coupon”, Blimpie offers many sandwiches on their special “$4 after 4 o’clock” deal. Just walk in to your local Blimpie and pick something off the special $4 menu for a quick discount.
Blimpie Coupons Online 2011
If you join the Blimpie “birthday club”, you’ll get a free 6-inch sub on your birthday every year. To join this club, fill out the short form in the store or on the Blimpie website.
Popular coupon site 8coupons.com goes the extra mile when it comes to locating Blimpie coupons. The site recognizes your physical address and figures out if there are any specials going on at Blimpie locations near you. Check it out here and find local deals on Blimpie sandwiches.
RetailMeNot’s Blimpie section usually has a coupon or two you can print out and use at most Blimpie locations. Right now, they’re only offering the same deal you can find through the Blimpie website, but it is common to find a couple of other deals there as well.
Blimpie is not as popular as Subway and doesn’t have the television advertising dominance of Quizno’s, but there are rabid Blimpie fans anywhere you can find a Blimpie franchise. Your sub sandwich lunch just got a little cheaper by using printable online coupons and coupons directly from Blimpie.
- Nicoderm Coupons
- Blackeyed Pea Coupons
- Benihana Coupons
- Bob Evans Coupons
- Boston Market Coupons
- Bath and Body Works Coupons
- Babies R Us Coupons
If you’ve decided to day trade Forex, you might want to look into purchasing one of the numerous day trading Forex systems available on the internet. Day trading allows you to buy and sell during the same business day, and the internet now lets almost anyone participate in a field once dominated by professional investors, financial firms and world governments. Forex day traders in the United States will also be interested to know that New York is the second biggest Forex market–with London being the largest–and their peak hours of operation are between 8am and noon (EST).
So why day trade Forex? This is a question asked by many potential investors, and the answers should provide an optimistic view of the opportunities available for those willing to brave the foreign exchange market. A few reasons include:
- Nobody can control the FX market for an extended period of time. This is due to around $3.8 trillion a day being traded. This means big opportunities for even the most humble Forex day trader.
- Forex is also the world’s largest market. If you’re going to risk your money, why not do it on the biggest stage possible?
- Whether the market is going up or coming down, you can still make a profit.
- When you compare the start-up costs of day trading futures or stocks, getting started on the Forex is much cheaper.
- Speculating on Forex allows you to take control of your own money and put it to work for you.
- The traditional stock market has a dizzying number of stocks to choose from. With Forex, you only have to concern yourself with about eight major currencies and a few dozen smaller ones. This allows you to stay more focused.
- Since it’s a worldwide market, Forex trading is taking place 24 hours a day on Monday through Friday. When one nation’s market closes, another nation’s market opens. There’s no need to wait for an opening bell.
- Free demo accounts are available which allow you to day trade Forex without risking actual money. When you have a feel for the market, then you can day trade for real.
- Is doesn’t matter where you live in the world: If you have an internet connection, you can enjoy the thrill of day trading on the Forex.
- When you day trade Forex, you’re the boss. You can work as much, or as little, as you want.
- Stocks offer 1:1 or 2:1 leverage, while Futures offer 15:1. The Forex blows them all away with an impressive 100:1 leverage.
- The Forex often responds well to technical analysis, thus increasing your chances of being able to recognize market trends and capitalize on them.
- The foreign exchange (also known as Forex or FX) is known as the most liquid market in the world. Whether you’re opening or closing, you can be confident of finding a fair price.
Day Trading Forex Systems
Now that you’ve read about some of the benefits of trading on the Forex, let’s take a look at a few of the leading day trading Forex systems. There are many systems to choose from, and you might be wise to make a thorough search before handing over your money. In some cases, you can also find free day trading Forex systems.
- The Day Trade Forex System – This day trading Forex system costs $99 and is available for a risk-free trial offer. Available in PDF format, the Day Trade Forex system will teach you the following:
- How to trade in your spare time.
- How to begin a Forex day trading business with no prior experience.
- How to trade whether the market is rising or falling.
- How to take advantage of breaking news which might affect the market.
- How to utilize the same tools used by professional Forex day traders.
- How to use the free demo before moving on to live day trading.
- How to take advantage of price swings.
- How to manage risk.
- How to use stop losses to your advantage.
- How to recognize the best times to get in and get out of an investment.
- How to use the various time charts to maximize your investment potential.
The ultimate goal of this system is to keep losses to a minimum while still making small to medium profits. Just remember that a risk always exists when trading on the foreign exchange market, so your success may vary.
- Forex Trading Machine (http://forex-trading-machine.com/) – This day trading Forex system was created by Avi Frister, a full-time trader with over 11 years of experience. He claims to have experimented with over 150 different systems during this time, with his product taking elements of all the best. This system relies entirely on the price of the currency pair and a time element to achieve success.
The Forex Trading Machine is a 180-page course which emphasizes three distinct strategies. They are:
- Forex Cash Cow Strategy – At the conclusion of each trading day, you’ll check to see if the first condition of the system has been met. It’s estimated that this step will take only 10 seconds. If the first condition has been met, the Forex day trader makes three types of orders with their broker the following day (limit order, stop loss order, and profit objective). After that, all you have to do is wait for the results.
- Forex Runner – To implement this strategy, you’ll only need the price of the currency pair. This strategy isn’t supposed to take more than an hour to learn, and many users are doing live trading with a day. To use, you’ll first need to choose your timeframe. Next, choose the currency pair or pairs you wish to trade. After applying the Forex Runner rules to identify a trade, you’ll enter a buy or sell order, plus a stop loss order and profit objective order.
- Forex Flip & Go – Each currency pair has specific characteristics, and this particular strategy will help you to identify them. This should lead to high probability and low risk trades.
- 5EMAs Forex System – One of the best known of the day trading Forex systems, 5EMAs is based on the method of predicting market movements and correctly managing money. With the proper exit strategy, users can expect monthly returns between 30% and 55%. Using this system, you’ll also gain the following benefits:
- More freedom for those who don’t have all day to sit in front of a computer and day trade Forex.
- Rules for the system are easy to follow.
- Learn how to maximize your profits from price swings.
- Over 160 pages cover all aspects of Forex day trading.
- Predicts market moves sooner than other systems.
- This system can also be used for swing-trading or scalping.
The 5EMAs Forex System is available for $97. In addition, you’ll also receive three bonus items which will help you increase your profits on the foreign exchange market.
- ForexCourse – This currency trading video course will cover all aspects of being a Forex day trader. Created by Peter Bain, this system offers the following products for $495:
- Over 6 hours of live instruction
- A Forex trading course on DVD or CD ROM.
- Daily reviews and analysis
- Discounts for newsletters, books, and live seminars.
- Daily Pivot data for the major currency pairs.
- Detailed workbook.
- Follow-up membership program.
Once you receive the above course, you’ll learn the following:
- How to make use of the Pivot system used by floor traders.
- How to follow daily steps to achieve success.
- How to avoid “dumb money.”
- How to identify signals which promise almost guaranteed profits.How to properly use stop loss strategies.
- How to identify false buy/sell signals.
- How to use chart patterns to increase your profits.
- How to trade the Forex with up to 70% accuracy.
- And much more.
There are numerous management techniques for professionals to aid them in organization and work ethics. They tend to come and go like the latest diet craze. But occasionally a management technique comes along that people swear by. One of the more popular ones today is Getting Things Done. Getting Things Done (or GTD) is a type of stress-free management technique created by author and consultant David Allen. The system is laid out and described in a book bearing the same name. It is designed to help people who are overworked and overloaded with tasks to be able to operate at a stress-free level. The system was developed by David Allen over a course of several years. The basics of the principle is to organize and create an inventory of all of your commitments, listing them externally. It is a very simple and flexible technique that hopefully will help to make you more productive. So how does it work? How does one go about implementing it in their daily work routine? Let’s take a look at how GTD is set up to help.
How Does “Getting Things Done” Work
The main point about GTD is dealing with “stuff”. Stuff is all of those things that float around in your head taking up space, and clogging the mental gears. Stuff is distracting and can pile up. In the most basic of terms, the first method of dealing with all this stuff is to identify it. Next, you want to get rid of all the stuff that isn’t yours. Basically, if it isn’t your problem, don’t worry about it. There are other things to take up you time. Also, if it is stuff you don’t need right now, get rid of it, too. After that you want to create a place that is appropriate for your working style to put all of this stuff. Once you have it all organized, you can take care of each item of stuff in a way that is time efficient for you.
Our Reminder System
According to David Allen, our mental “reminder system” is not efficient enough to keep up with all of our different tasks. When there are too many items crowding out head, our mental reminder system seldom reminds us of items in a timely fashion. Thus, by creating an external list of all of our tasks, it frees up our minds and makes it easier to keep track of everything.
Three Models for Success
David Allen does not stress priorities in GTD. Instead, he focuses more on control and perspective. According to the system, there are three models to use to go about gaining control and perspective in your work. You can create a workflow process, a framework that six different levels of focus, and have a natural planning method.
The workflow process consists of five different principles: collect, process, organize, review, and do. In the collect phase, you want to get, or collect, some of the stuff that is floating in your head and record it physically somehow. You can do this by writing down in a notebook, putting it in your email, leaving a note on the refrigerator, or whatever works for you. Allen refers to this physical place as your bucket. Once you have it recorded somewhere, you can act on it and keep track of it. Every week, you should empty your bucket of all tasks that you have completed.
The process phase refers to how you deal with your bucket. According to GTD, you start at the top of the list and work your way down. You deal with the items one at a time and never put an item back in the bucket once you take it out to deal with it. The system uses a “two-minute rule” which means that if a task only takes two minutes to complete, you should do it immediately.
The organize phase deals with exactly what it sounds like: organization. For every task that you complete, you need to organize a follow-up task. Other tasks can be broken down into ongoing projects, waiting for tasks that have been delegated to others, and then the tasks that are to be completed someday but not immediately.
The review phase is all about reviewing your list of tasks every day to evaluate your process. By reviewing your list of tasks, you can keep up with anything new that comes up and track those items that you have delegated to others or are otherwise waiting on.
The do phase is very simple. It means, don’t just spend your time organizing and reviewing. Do it. Get to work and get the tasks completed.
Besides the five methods above, Allen’s GTD also uses focus to gain control and perspective in one’s work. There are six levels of focus that are implemented. These levels of focus help to keep your eye on the big picture, so to speak. The levels of focus are Current Actions, Current Projects, Areas of Responsibility, Yearly goals, 5 Year Vision, and Life Goals.
The last model that GTD stresses to retain control and perspective is planning. Most of the time, the first two models are sufficient enough to do the job. Sometimes, though, when there is a particularly difficult task, you need to plan. The planning method has five different stages:
- Defining the purpose and principles
- Envisioning the outcome
- Identifying the next actions to take
Use of Folders
Allen also mentions the use of the 43 Folders method. This is the use of 12 folders for each month of the year. From there, you use one folder for each day of the month. Thus, 43 folders in all. You can easily keep track of tasks by placing them in appropriate folders that you can check on a daily and monthly basis. This is just one more method to help you keep track of your externalist.
Reviewing Your Work
GTD stresses daily and weekly reviews of your work. You should review your work from all angles, both horizontal (which is side to side scanning of all new tasks) and vertical (to-do list from top to bottom). This is to make sure that your levels of work are all acting in concert and you are not neglecting any tasks.
You don’t have to keep an external list recorded on paper somewhere. With the popularity of the Getting Things Done system, there has been a large number of supportive software appear on the market that can be used with the system. This software handles stuff from project planning, brainstorming, list managers, and task outlining. There are also web sites that offer services dealing with GTD.
What Is the Minimum Age Limit For Employment?
Specific laws bar or allow people of certain ages to work specific jobs. 16 years old is the minimum age to get most jobs. Employers can hire people under 16 years old in certain circumstances, but in other circumstances, employers cannot hire people under 18 years old.
The list of exceptions is long. This page lists all of the exceptions to the rule that a 16-year old can work most jobs. 13-year old, 14-year old, 15-year old, 16-year old, and 18-year old workers should study this to avoid applying for jobs they cannot be employed at.
13-Year Old or Younger People Can Work These Jobs
- Newspaper Delivery
- Actor/Performer in Theater, Radio, Television, Motion Pictures
- At a Business Solely Owned/Operated By Your Parents
- On a Farm Owned/Operated By Your Powers
Note: Parents cannot employ their children in mining, manufacturing or other jobs considered potentially hazardous.
14 & 15 Year Old People Can Work These Jobs
- Agriculture: Farming, Orchards
- Golf Course: Caddy
- Hospitals, Rest Homes, Hotels, Motels (Except Food Service, Laundry)
- Household Chores for a Homeowner
- Insurance Companies
- Newspaper Delivery, Shoe shining
- Professional Offices: Lawyers, Accountants
- Summer Camps (Licensed)
- Town Offices: Recreation Departments, Libraries
- Yard Work for a Homeowner
14 & 15 Year Old People Cannot Work These Jobs
- Barber Shops
- Manufacturing Industries
- Mechanical Industries
- Recreational Locations
- Restaurants or Food Service
- Retail Stores, Grocery Stores*
- Service Industries
- Theatrical Industry
- Any Other Job Not Specifically Listed Under the “Can Work” List
*Note: A 15-year old can work at a grocery store under two circumstances. One, only on Saturdays during the school year. Two, during non-school weeks. Both of these apply to work as a stock clerk, bagger or cashier.
You Must Be 18 To Work These Jobs
- Making/Storing Explosives
- Driving a Car or Truck on the Job
- Using Electric Tools, Electric Equipment or Circuits
- Working in a Saw Mill
- Manufacturing Brick, Clay or Tile
- Operating Metal-Shearing, Metal-Punching or Metal-Forming Machinery
- Any Job That Exposes You to Radioactive Material
- Demolition or Ship Breaking
- Animal Slaughtering, Meat Packing or Meat Processing
- Food Processing
- Tar Processing
- Processing Leather, Tanning Leather
- Bottling Beverages
- Glazing, Glass Cutting
- Dry Cleaning or Laundry Work
- Manufacturing Ice
- Manufacturing Paper, Plastic Products
- Manufacturing Pharmaceuticals
- Manufacturing Synthetic Fiber
- Manufacturing, Processing Rubber or Synthetic Rubber
- Operate Power Presses, Foot Presses, Hand Presses
- Pressure Testing
- Sewing Machine Operation
- Tire Recapping, Tire Vulcanizing, Tire Manufacturing
- Textile Machinery Operation
- Working With Trash Compactors, Cardboard Compactors
- Maintaining, Repairing Electrical Machinery/Equipment
- Spray Painting, Dipping
- Construction Work*
- Motor Vehicle Maintenance/Repair**
*Construction Work Exceptions – 18 Year Olds Can Work These Jobs
- General Yard Work, Cleaning (Except Riding Reel Lawn Mowers)
- Landscaping: Planting Trees, Shrubs
- Brush Painting
- Window Cleaning (No Ladders Over 6-ft tall; Can’t Work with Flammable Cleaners/Thinners)
- Clerical Work for Construction Firms
- Shipping, Stock Work for Construction Firms
**Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Exceptions
- Changing Tires on Passenger Cars, but no Trucks
- Island Work
- Use Air Hand Tools
- Sanding, Masking Cars in Preparation for Painting
- Hand Cleaning, Washing Motor Vehicles
- Clerical Work for Motor Vehicle Maintenance Company
- Bench Work for Motor Vehicle Maintencance Company
If you know of any additional exceptions or information that we should have included in this “how old do you have to be to get a job” article, please leave a comment.
- Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
- How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Hotel Room?
- How Can You Get Paid to Drive a Car?
- Which Colleges Earn Their Graduates the Most Money?
- How Old Do You Have to Be to Babysit?
- How Old Do You Have to Be to Be a Bartender?
- How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?
One of the most scenic states in all of the New England states is New Hampshire. For those looking to glimpse the stunning fall foliage in the region, taking a tour of New Hampshire wineries can add a little fun and excitement to the trip. Every year thousands of visitors take the trip to New Hampshire to witness the glorious change in colors on the trees from deep reds to vibrant oranges. While spending time admiring the wonder of mother nature, explore the vineyards in the area and sample the wine produced by this lovely part of the country.
A fine example of the quality vineyards in New Hampshire is the Candia Vineyard. It is a small New England vineyard, which captures the spirit of the state with its rugged individualism. Candia Vineyards produce wine that is nationally and internationally recognized for its unique flavor.
Another fine example of wines produced in New Hampshire come from Flagg Hill Winery. There is a nice variety of wines at Flagg Hill winery that produces dessert wines along with fruit and grape wines. Visitors are welcome to explore the vineyards and stop into the winery for a sample of the wine.
The New Hampshire wineries are putting the state on the map in the wine industry. With quaint bed and breakfasts located throughout the state, it is an ideal spot to plan a romantic getaway. New England is a beautiful region of the country through the entire year, but it really shines during the autumn. While visiting New Hampshire wineries, spend some time enjoying the harvest from this unique New England state.
Wine tasting events are featured during the year in New Hampshire that will show off the bounty of New Hampshire wineries for visitors to enjoy. New Hampshire has a quaint small town feel in many of the towns and cities in the state. It is a great place to bring the family and explore New Hampshire wineries.
Vintner’s Cellar Winery
Portsmouth, NH 03801
What is a Safe Fast Diet?
A safe fast diet is just what it sounds like–a quick but careful way to drop pounds in weeks or even days as opposed to longer term diet plans.
The safe fast diet that everyone is talking about is called the calorie shifting diet.
The best part about the calorie shifting diet and other diets like it is that you aren’t being restricted to some extremely low amount of calories — in fact, you can eat just about the same number of calories as you do normally. Like the name implies, you’re “shifting” your caloric intake around. The idea is to increase your metabolic rate by manipulating what kinds of calories you’re eating.
People who hype calorie shifting diets say you can lose as much as ten pounds in just eleven days without starving yourself or taking diet pills.
The principle behind calorie shifting is that changing your caloric intake from day to day keeps your metabolism active, constantly adapting to new amounts of caloric intake. A constant change in your caloric intake keeps your metabolism “on its toes”, whereas eating the same amount of food every day makes your metabolism a constant and unchanging thing.
This is not some radical crash diet — a gradual weight change of less than ten pounds over the course of more than eleven days is not bad for your body, and will produce a subtle change in weight that your friends and loved ones will notice.
The diet is also very adaptable — if you want to lose a little more weight, you simply stay off the diet for three days and start the process again — in the three day off period, eat healthy and exercise every day, and you may found you’ve lost a slight amount of weight in the interim.
Fast diet plans are often seen as unsafe, and many of them are. Eating iceberg lettuce and smoking cigarettes for two weeks (the ballerina plan) or taking pills you buy off a college kid in Greenpoint (the Olsen twin plan) are at the low end of the safe (and legal) spectrum, while at the less extreme (and less likely to show you good weight loss) end, there is the calorie shifting plan. You’re not going to lose 20 pounds in a week, but if you’re looking to shrink that waist size, the calorie shifting plan may be the one for you.
We’ve written several other posts about specific diets. These include:
What Are Hinduism Beliefs?
Hinduism is the oldest known spiritual tradition. Thousands of years before anyone was talking about Christ or Buddha, people in India were worshipping a set of Hindu gods and practicing their spiritualism.
Many historians and followers of the religion claim that some form of Hinduism has been practiced on Earth since before recorded history. We know for sure that as long as 6,000 years ago the people of current-day India were practicing Hinduism.
For being the world’s oldest religion Hinduism is a mystery to most of the Western world. We have stereotypes (lots of gods, incense burning, strange rituals) but we don’t really know what Hinduism is all about. Here’s a breakdown.
Hinduism is as varied as Buddhism, meaning that different families practice different forms of the basic religion, but there are some things that unite all Hindus. The main tenent of Hinduism is a belief in Brahman. Brahman is the ultimate force that makes up our existence.
According to Hindu texts, people are trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth as long as they are ignorant of the fact that we are all one with Brahman. Much like Buddhism, the goal of Hinduism is to liberate our spirits from this cycle of death and reincarnation. The Buddhists have Nirvana, the Hindus have Moksha.
There are many texts held sacred by Hindus, but the most important of these are the “four Vedas”. There’s the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
The Vedas had a serious impact on all religions of Southeast Asia (Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc) but is traditionally the realm of Hinduism. Though Hinduism holds that these texts were created at the beginning of time, scholars have worked out that the Rig Veda was written about 1500 BCE and not printed until around 300 BCE.
The Vedas are a mashup of hymn books, rituals, and even spells recovered from ancient India. The Vedas are easily the most ancient religious texts still in existence.
A Collection of Beliefs
A strong belief in the karmic system means that Hinduism has become part of the structure of the Indian social system. Yes, the caste system of India came out of Hinduism — though it has been abolished, the caste system still hands out certain advantages to people whose families were of a higher caste .
The tradition of bhakti, which translates roughly to “devotion”, is really a complex expression of criticism against practices like the worship of idols and the caste system itself. Many Hindu people who practice Bhakti will recite long devotional poems and do other things to worship “God” without supporting any doctrine or caste system.
Hinduism is a large and complex religion that just can’t be summed up in a short article. If you’re looking for more info on Hinduism, check out Religious Tolerance’s page on Hinduism right here.
This post is part of a series of articles about Religious Beliefs. The other posts in this series are:
Artists and avid travelers have always needed something to make sketches or jot down some notes into. From the days of artists such as Van Gogh to the travels of Sir H.M. Stanley, notebooks have been an important tool. They allow you to capture moments and ideas, to make lasting memories and be creative. Notebooks come in a wide range and there are many companies that manufacture them. However, no brand is as revered as the Moleskine notebook.
What Is a Moleskine Notebook?
Moleskine (pronounced mol-a-skeen-a) is a popular brand of notebooks for artists, travelers, journalists, or anyone wanting to keep personal notes or document their life. Moleskine are more than just sketchbooks or diaries. They are universal in their use and high in quality.
Moleskine are designed for travel. Their sturdy manufacturing includes a stitched together spine so that the book can lay flat open and you don’t have to deal with the pages trying to flip back. When the book is closed, it can be held together by an elastic strap that wraps around the cover. It even has a pocket on the inside that can expand to hold loose notes and pages.
The History of the Moleskine Notebook
The original Moleskine notebooks were produced by a small bindery company in Paris. The made the classic black notebook which was popular with the artists and intellectuals of the late 19th century. The traveler and art entrepreneur Bruce Chatwin favored the notebooks. He praised them for their versatility and always traveled with one. Chatwin was the first to coin the phrase ‘moleskine’. But in 1986, the French company that manufactured the notebooks went out of business and moleskine notebooks disappeared.
Who Makes Moleskine Notebooks Now?
In 1996, an Italian publishing company in Milan called Modo & Modo started up production of the current brand called Moleskine notebooks. The idea was to bring back a product that was so synonymous with classic artists and idealists.
In 2006, Modo & Modo was unable to keep up with rising demand and sold their company to the French investment firm Societe Generale. In 2007, the firm changed the name of the division that makes the notebooks to Moleskine srl. The notebooks are still manufactured in Italy and distributed all over the world. Moleskine srl has a branch in the U.S. called Moleskine America, Inc. with offices in New York.
Is Moleskine Really Moleskin?
Animal rights activists can relax. Despite the name, the books are not actually made from the skin of a mole. The covers of Moleskine notebooks are made from a sturdy cardboard material and covered in a waterproof oilcloth. The covers on most of the books are black but there are some different colors for different types.
How Many Types of Moleskine Notebooks Are There?
Moleskine notebooks are currently available in four types depending on the intended use. The different types are folio books, notebooks and journals, diaries and planners, and city notebooks.
Folio books are for writing, sketching, collecting, and being artistically creative. They come in two different sizes: A4 and A3. The quality of paper varies depending on the different uses. The folio books for writing have pages that are ruled. The folio books for creating and sketching are horizontal but the books for drawing are horizontal. The folio books for collecting are the most different with folders instead of blank pages.
Notebooks and Journals are the most varied. Two of the most popular are the Hard Black Cover notebooks and the Hard Red Cover notebooks. These are the classic Moleskine notebooks with the inside pocket and the elastic closure. They also have a Soft Black Cover version of these notebooks.
Other types of notebooks are Volant, Cahier, and Museum. Volant notebooks come in packs of two and a variety of colors. Cahier journals are versatile, come in packs of three and four different colors. Museum notebooks are another type of notebook that were launched in honor of the Van Gogh exhibit in Amsterdam. Museum book covers are silk shantung and come in six different colors.
Reporter notebooks are bound at the top of the book instead of the side. Similar to the traditional notebooks journalists and reporters use to use to take down hand notes, the pages are ruled and the book is small enough to fit in your pocket.
Diaries and Planners and for making schedules and keeping dates for important information and events. All planners have a special insert. The Black Hardcover planner has an address book and 28 lined pages with labels. The Red Hardcover planner has 24 lined and tabbed pages and 224 sticky labels. For the different types, there is the 18 Mont Planner, 12 Month Weekly Planner, 12 Month Daily Planner, 12 Month Weekly Notebook, and 12 Month Daily Notebook.
City notebooks are great fro travelers or city residents. They can organize and keep references about different areas of the city such as addresses of places such as restaurants, shops, friends, or places of interest. The notebook has a map of the city, alphabetical street listings, and a map of the metro and subway systems of that particular city. City notebooks cover major cities in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Where to Buy Moleskine Notebooks
Moleskine brand of notebooks are available all over the world. In the United States, there are stores in almost every major city that carries them. You can find moleskine in most bookstores as well as art supply centers.
You can also
buy Moleskine notebooks at Amazon.
You can also buy Moleskine online directly from the manufacturer or from an online retailer.
Does you life seem too complicated? Do you just never seem to have time to get everything done that you want to get done? If that’s the case, it’s time to simplify your life. Simplifying your routine requires a comprehensive reassessment of everything you do all day. Once you figure out all the activities that are cluttering your life, you can start to figure out which part of the clutter should be tidied up and which part can be thrown away.
Guide To Simplifying Your Life
Here’s a guide to simplifying your life and make your week enjoyable again.
1. Make a List of Priorities
Make a list of your priorities. Then make a list of the things that are complicating your life. Compare these two lists and see which topics don’t make both your lists. Keep your most important priorities, even if they are also complications. Get rid of the priorities that are listed lower down the list, if they also make it onto your list of complications. And if you have anything that is a complication that isn’t on your list of priorities, that should be the first activity to eliminate.
2. Rank Your List of Priorities
Figuring out your priorities might be “spending more time with my family”. It might be “making more money and saving for the future”. Whatever these priorities are, make certain to rank these in order of importance. Then choose the priorities that are most important to you and focus on those. If you want to make more money or save money, plan ways you can do this. If you want to spend more time with friends and family, figure out activities you want to share with them.
You might want to get ahead at work, start a business on the side, spend more time with your kids, help out in the community, rejuvenate your love life, get in better shape and take a class that (coming full circle) helps you get ahead at work, but that becomes a pretty complicated life. So figure out a handful of these you consider most important and focus on those. You’ll find that, if you focus on one or two or three essentials, you’ll be much better at those activities than trying to focus on eight.
3. Prioritize For Your Kids, Too
If you have children and they have so many activities that they are complicating your life, you have to consider whether your kids’ lives are too complicated, too. If you analyze and decide that’s the case (you might talk to them about the subject), then simplify your kids’ lives, too. Families that need social planners for all their childrens’ activities probably should simplify.
4. Move Closer to Work
Commuters often complain they spend half their life in a car. If you have a long commute, consider moving closer to your office or workplace. This is easier if you don’t have children, but either way, the drive in to work can take up a lot of your personal time. If you drive an hour a day to work, consider if you cut your time in half. That’s a half-hour into work and a half-hour back home. At the end of the week, that’s five extra hours of time you can spend with your friends and family. At the end of the year (assuming two weeks of vacation), that comes to 250 hours of more time spent with your loved ones.
5. Pay Bills Online
You can set up services that pay your bills online automatically, so you don’t spend extra private time sitting at the kitchen table paying bills. These services give you messages when it’s time to pay your bills. Review the charge or bill, okay the payment and move on with your life.
6. Eliminate Debt
One of the biggest complications in a life is being in debt. If you’re in debt, start to figure out a way to get out of debt. Cut up all but one credit card and start paying off your credit card debt, one bill at a time. When the one bill is paid, start paying off the next one. Prioritize your bills, according to the largest-to-smallest debts, the smallest-to-largest debts or the biggest-interest debts. Pay only the minimum payment on the rest, but pay down the debt on your credit card bills one-by-one.
Eliminating your debt will make your life a whole lot simpler. You and your spouse can simplify your life and simplify your spousal relationship if you don’t have to fight over the bills.
7. Learn How To Say No
Finally, you can simplify your life by learning how to say “no” to loved ones. Throughout the course of your life, friends and loved ones will come to you with ideas for entertainment, business or social activities that sound like great ideas, but end up just eating up your time. You don’t want to disappoint your friends, so you kind of “go along” with whatever new idea they have. Learn to say “no” when you know the plan won’t fit into your new schedule. If you need an explanation why, tell them you’re trying to simplify your life. In other words, blame me when you say no.
How To Simplify Your Life By Limiting Media Time?
Some people find that different forms of media cause distractions that can further complicate their life. Here are some steps you can take to simplify your life by limiting media time.
1. Limit Your Television Time
When you were a kid, if you weren’t doing well in school, your parents may have limited your tv time. They did that to give you more time to study by simplifying your life. It works the same now that you’re an adult. There is probably no greater time waster in your life than television. I’m not saying your should throw your tv out the window. I’m saying you should only watch television when you have something specific to watch. Make out a tv-watching schedule and only turn the tv set on when your selected shows are on. TV is one luxury you won’t miss when it’s not there.
2. Don’t Surf the Internet As Much
If there’s a rival to television as a time-waster, it’s mindless surfing of the internet. In fact, this is one I’m guilty of more than tv watching. You can eat up huge blocks of time just drifting from one website to the other online. The internet can take up as much time as you want it to, and I’ve found this is especially true at taking away time I should be sleeping. Like your tv schedule, set an itinerary for your netsurfing and stick to the schedule. You’ll find huge chunks of time you never thought existed if you stay off the internet.
3. Read Fewer Publications
Those who read two or more newspapers a day should limit their news reading to one newspaper publication per day. Those who have all kinds of magazine subscriptions that never get read should cancel their unwanted magazine subscriptions and only read what is essential or entertaining. Publications stacking up around the home or office make for clutter, and they similarly clutter your life. I’m not saying to stop reading. I’m only saying you make certain you have the time to read everything you have. Otherwise, publications are superfluous.
4. Turn Your Electronic Devices Off Every Now and Then
Don’t be drawn into the cycle of endless phone calls, text messages, emails and instant messages. If most of these aren’t family-related or job-related, cut down on your electronic communications. Otherwise, you’ll be chained to your iPhone or Blackberry. Turn these devices off when you go to eat or go to the movies, or after a certain time every night. If the messages don’t convey information you need to know, just ignore it until you have time.
Ideas For How To Simplify Your Life
The above ideas for how to simplify your life only cover the most common factors that make a person’s life complicated. You’ll probably find problems (bad job, bad marriage) that aren’t addressed, but the formula is the same for simplifying your life. Figure out what is essential and make the essential things better. Then simplify your time on this Earth by eliminating the rest from your life.
How to Contact Equifax by Phone – Equifax Customer Service
Equifax.com is one of the three major credit reporting bureaus in the United States. Equifax gathers information on you in the form of credit reporting data from sources all over the country — they communicate with banks and credit card companies as well as other debtors, and then set up a credit file on you based on that information. Everyone knows that credit reporting agencies like Equifax offer copies of consumer credit reports, but Equifax is worth more than that — they can monitor your credit report and even handle disputes. If you need to know how to contact Equifax for any reason there are a number of different ways to do just that.
Reasons for needing to contact Equifax vary from person to person. Equifax.com offers a wide range of financial services and offers multiple ways of contacting them to get those services. Some common reasons for contacting Equifax are:
- to get a copy of your credit report
- to put a consumer fraud alert in place
- to ask a question about one of their services
- to dispute something in your personal credit report
- to opt out of the Equifax mailing list
How to Contact Equifax.com to Get a Free Equifax Credit Report
If you need to contact Equifax for a copy of your credit report, you can request a copy of that Equifax credit report by contacting them on the phone or ordering your credit report copy online. To order a credit report by phone you will need to call Equifax at 1-800-685-1111. If you want to place your order online, just visit the Equifax.com website. If you have recently been denied a line of credit, have no fear. You are entitled to a free credit report from Equifax.
How to Contact Equifax to Get Off the Equifax Mailing List
Believe it or not, you can stop getting those annoying Equifax phone calls, emails, and fax machine messages. If you need to contact Equifax to get off of their various mailing lists, you are limited to using the telephone. Call Equifax at 1-888-567-8688 and follow the proper options for opting out of their mailing lists.
How to Contact Equifax Customer Service to Place a Fraud Alert on Your Equifax Credit Report
Placing a fraud alert on your credit report lets creditors and credit bureaus know that something suspicious is going on. If you’ve recently lost a credit card or other vital piece of information, ideally you need to place fraud alerts with all three credit bureaus. To contact Equifax to place one of these fraud alerts on your credit report you can either call them on the phone or make the fraud alert request online. To place the fraud alert by phone you will need to call the main number at 1-888-766-0008. To place the fraud alert online, visit the Equifax Fraud alert website.
How to Contact Equifax About Their Services
If you just have a simple question about an Equifax service you’ve ordered or are planning to order, contact Equifax by logging into the member center on their website. If you click on “Member Center Login” at the top of the page to log into your account, you can then click on the “Contact Us” link to send them an email or find a customer-specific phone number for assistance. The good news is that I’ve already done the work for you — for questions about services, call 1-866-640-2273. You can reach customer service via this number between the hours of 8am and 3pm Eastern time seven days a week.
How to Contact Equifax to Make a Credit Report Dispute
If there’s a mistake on your Equifax credit report, you can dispute the error by visiting the Equifax “online dispute center”. If you have a hard copy of your Equifax credit report, you can also mail your request with a copy of your credit report to the address listed on the report itself — P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374. You can also use that address to contact Equifax by mail for any purpose.
This is always a confusing one for me. I never know approximately how much to tip a food delivery person. I know that they are usually (but not always) just the delivery guy. They are not the chef or cook that prepared the food. Also, some restaurants charge a delivery fee on top of the cost of the meal. So you are already paying for the food to be delivered, right? But I guess that is the same as just going into a restaurant, paying for your meal, and still tipping the waitress for her service. Hourly wages for waitresses are abysmal so that is why they rely so much on tips. I can’t imagine delivery guys making more than waitresses do as far as hourly wages go. They are probably hoping for some nice tips to help pay for the gas. So that brings me back to my question. How much should you tip for food delivery? Is there an unspoken amount or percentage? Are there any other factors that might go into the tip? I did a little research and here is what I found out.
Restaurant Tipping Versus Delivery Tipping
In most cases, when you walk into a restaurant, you are going to be tipping around 30% of your total bill. This is for your waiter or waitress who hopefully takes care of you, makes you feel welcome, and makes sure you get what you ordered without any foreign objects in it. They should stop by the table several times to refill your drink, ask if you want that over-priced dessert, and make sure that everything is okay. You could be at the restaurant anywhere from thirty minutes to over an hour. That is a long time for someone to wait on you.
Now let’s take a look at delivery guys. They are either driving or, if just around the corner, walking an armload of food over to your place. They knock on your door, hand you the food, and leave. They are not coming into your home to set the food around the table, get your drinks, and serve it to you. So the time that they spend with you is pretty short and they definitely don’t stick around to make sure that the food is what you ordered. The bottom line to this is that they aren’t going to get the same percentage as in a restaurant. A fair amount to tip for a simple delivery is going to be around 15% to 20%. However, there are some other variables you might want to consider.
Distance and Time
You should also consider distance and the time it takes to get to your place. Some restaurants will drive a good distance for deliveries. If the delivery person has a long way to travel then you have to figure that it is going to take more gas and will take longer for the food to arrive. You should probably tip more than 15% for this service. And don’t complain if it takes a long time for the food to arrive.
On the other hand, if the restaurant is only a block away and it takes two hours to get your food, then you definitely have cause to complain. But don’t take it out on the delivery person. They were likely waiting for the cooks to prepare the food so it could be delivered.
Quality of Food Being Delivered
This is a big one to think about. There is a difference between ordering food from a quality restaurant and having it delivered versus ordering a pizza. Pizza was just made to be delivered. Those pies get slapped together and taken out the door faster than you can say “Little Caesars”. Tips for pizza delivery and other fast food should definitely be on the lower end of the tipping scale, maybe at around 12%.
Some Other Factors
There are some other factors involved when ordering food to be delivered. A busy time for deliveries is when the weather is bad. If it is storming or there is snow and ice all over the roads, no one wants to get out in those kinds of conditions. We want the delivery people to get out in those kinds of conditions. It doesn’t matter if they have to use a snow plow, we want our food. But, if your delivery driver has to get out in some seriously nasty weather just because you didn’t want to cook, you had better make it worth their while. Tip them big for that service. They may need it for a tow truck.
Another thing to consider is holidays. Some restaurants and fast food joints are open during the holidays and while we get to stay home and enjoy it, there are some poor souls who have to work during those times. If you order food to be delivered, you should also give the driver a good tip, even if it is just pizza. Hey, its’ the holidays.
What Is An Internet Phone, What is VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), And Are They The Same Thing?April 29th, 2013 |
If you’re over the age of 30, all these new high-tech gizmos can be a little confusing sometimes. That’s why people often write in and ask me, “What is an Internet phone, what is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) , and are they the same thing?”. To answer that question, let’s take a closer look at both the Internet phone and VoIP.
What Is VOIP?
VoIP, also known as Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a type of technology which allows you to use a broadband connection to place telephone calls in place of a standard phone line. Many VoIP services utilize your computer to make the calls, while some use a normal phone hooked to a VoIP adapter or a special VoIP phone.
In many cases, you’ll be able to call international numbers, cell phone numbers, local numbers and long distance numbers. Other VoIP services, however, will limit the caller only to communicating with people using the same service.
VoIP works by converting your voice into a digital signal and sending it over the Internet. If you’re calling another computer, it will stay a digital signal. If you’re calling someone on their regular telephone, the digital signal will eventually be converted into an analog signal.
There are a few disadvantages to VoIP service, though. For example, you may not be able to get white page listings with all VoIP services, some VoIP services don’t connect you directly to 9-1-1, and many VoIP services will not function during power outages.
What Is An Internet Phone?
If you’re still asking, “What is an Internet phone, what is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) , and are they the same thing?”, then this next section may shed some additional light on your question. In it, we’ll be talking about Internet phones.
Many Internet phones look and perform just like a traditional telephone. The difference is that they allow your voice signal to be sent across a broadband connection and received by someone else using a VoIP service.
While the network for an Internet phone may be different, the device functions in the same way. Just pick up the receiver and dial the desired number. Within seconds, you’ll either hear ringing or a busy signal.
The clarity of calls is usually pretty reliable on an Internet phone. During periods of heavy Internet traffic, signals can be a bit choppy, but this only lasts for a short time. Since the service does rely on electricity, your Internet phone will be unusable during power outages (although this can be countered by using a universal power supply).
Are VoIP And Internet Phones The Same?
Finally, we have our last answer to, “What is an Internet phone, what is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) , and are they the same thing?”. VoIP and Internet phones are NOT the same thing.
The VoIP is the service which allows you to place online calls, and an Internet phone is the actual device which you use to do so. While they are both crucial to placing online calls, they are NOT the same thing.
The real estate market has had its highs and lows. When it is high, it draws in a flurry of investors, all seeking to turn a profit. When the market is low, those investors disappear like rats from a sinking ship. In truth, even when the market is low, an investor in real estate can still make money. It just may take a little longer.
The problem with real estate investing is many people get into it without any real knowledge of real estate. They think they can buy an old house, fix it up, and turn right around and sell it. But there is a lot more to it than that. You need to have some knowledge of real estate and marketing. You need to have a good eye for sound construction. And you need to know about financing. If you want to learn how to invest in real estate, you need to do plenty of research. But for a quick overview, here is some advice on what you need to do.
Know Your Real Estate
Before you go out and buy up the first old house you see, you need to educate yourself about real estate. Many investors have a real estate license. This is helpful if you already have one but not necessary. The best course of action is to attend a seminar in real estate or real estate investing.
Seminars and courses are available from different groups and professionals offering their services. These seminars have a registration fee and last anywhere from a day, a few days, or even a week. You can do an internet search to find seminars closest to you.
Another way to get educated about real estate is to take some courses at your local college. Some universities and community colleges offer a variety of real estate courses. You don’t have to finish your degree but a few classes wouldn’t hurt.
And lastly, do your own reading. Educating yourself is a good and inexpensive way to learn everything you need to know. You can read blogs and informational websites on the internet or you can check out some books at the bookstore. There are always people willing to share their ideas and experience with you. Just watch out for the frauds.
You’ll Need Capital
Before you can invest in anything, you need money to do it. Not only do you need money to buy the property but you need capital to do any repairs and fix the place up. And unless you have a large stash of cash somewhere, you are looking at financing as your only real option.
You can get financing from banks and other financial institutes. You will need to have already located a property and have a firm number fixed in your head of how much you need. Most properties require a down payment of 25%. Remember that whatever you borrow will draw interest so the less you borrow, the less you will have to pay back.
I should mention that the idea here is attain enough capital to make a down payment and do any necessary repairs. You then want to build up enough equity in the property so that you can sell it or borrow against it. You can then pay off the property and the bank loan and still have enough left over to reinvest in another property.
Different Ways To Invest in Real Estate
Investing in real estate is more that just homes. Sure, a lot of people are buying older homes and building up the equity in them but there are other areas of real estate, too. The two basic types of real estate are residential and commercial.
Just like homes, you can also invest in commercial property. Commercial properties include apartment buildings, shopping centers, private businesses, and restaurants.
When investing in real estate, you don’t have to be limited to local properties. You can invest in real estate practically anywhere in the world. You can invest in property in other states or even some other countries. When dealing with property that is far off, you may have to use a real estate broker as a middleman.
Finding The Property
Now that you know a little more about how to get started, the next step is to find the right property. You can go about it a couple of ways. You could just drive around a look for property for sale. This is a good way to get a first hand look at what is available but is also very time consuming. Not to mention you use up a lot of gas.
If you don’t want to drive, you can check out the classified section in your newspaper. Newspapers always have ads for real estate, developed and undeveloped, for sale. The ads may not have a photo or a price quote but you can get an address and drive out to it for a look.
Probably the most convenient method of finding real estate is to use the internet to do a search. Lists for both commercial and residential real estate properties are available on numerous online sites.
Inspect And Evaluate The Property
Just because you find a property that looks good to the eye, don’t assume that everything is in good condition. Before buying any property, you need to inspect it. To make sure your money is being invested wisely, hire a professional inspector. This is an individual who knows what to look for such as structural defects or other conditions that may prove costly later on.
Undeveloped property (just a bare patch of land) is harder to inspect but should also be pursued before purchasing. Not all types of soil are suitable for being developed. Some soil is too soft or too wet and will cause problems in the future. You also need to make sure there are no contaminants in the soil. If they show up later, you could be liable.
Have the property evaluated before you buy it. You need to study its location, whether there are any new developments happening around it, how much it will cost to fix it up, and other factors. You don’t want to spend money on a property that is not worth the price.
Buying And Turning A Profit
Once you find a piece of real estate and you get the financing for it, buy it as soon as possible. There are other investors prowling the waters and they are looking for the same bargains as you.
After you buy the property, now you need to decide how best to make a profit with it. If it needs some repairs or improvements, then have it done. You may need to hold onto the real estate for a few years in order to build up enough equity. Remember, the more improvements that are done and the longer you hold onto it, the more valuable it will become.
If you plan on reselling the property, you need to pay close attention to timing. You want to sell the property when the market is at its peak and before the price falls. This is tricky because even professionals have a hard time predicting the rise and fall of the market. Do some research and keep an eye on the prices of other properties.
Another method to making money is renting the property out. Rentals provide a steady income but come with their own drawbacks. As the landlord, you are responsible for the property and any damages that the renters might incur while they are there.
Drawbacks To Real Estate Investing
While there are many positive aspects of investing in real estate, there are also some drawbacks. The most significant is that real estate is not easily liquidated. While other assets can be liquidated for quick cash, real estate can sit on the market for years before it is finally sold.
Real estate investing is not quick money. It takes time for a property to build up enough equity. Investors need to exercise patience as the property will not significantly appreciate until three to five years after the purchase.
How to Stop Thinking
Too much of anything is bad–even good things. Too much water can drown you, too much sex can cause a heart attack, and too much thinking can actually get in the way of our plans. Learning how to stop thinking is the best way to free up some mental room to get the results you want from any area of your life.
But how does someone actually stop thinking? How do you know how much thinking is the right amount?
Thinking About Thinking
The old joke about self-help books is that if any of them were effective, the genre would die. The joke here is that if a self-help book is successful, it will spread like wildfire and heal the nation of its productivity ills. Since self-help books are going strong, you can assume that none of them have “the answer.”
I don’t think we should blame self help authors, or motivational speakers, or our clergy–I think the way our human brains process information is to blame. Most people can’t get better because they think too much.
Thinking Gets In the Way
Thinking about a problem for a long time is not always the answer. Most of our problems can be solved with action, and action alone.
Let’s say you want a raise. You feel you’re a valuable asset, that you are “due” for a raise, and you think the time is now.
What will be solved by spending two or three weeks planning, thinking, and brooding about asking for a raise? You should simply walk up to your boss, present the information, and wait for a response.
This is a simplified example to prove a point, but most of our problems in life can be solved this way. Here’s why:
1. Thoughts don’t do anything.
You can think as hard as humanly possible, but you won’t get a thing done. People who “over think” problems tend to be procrastinators, so this abundance of thought is an easy way for them to escape getting something done.
In the simple example above, we see the uselessness of thought. Without taking the action of asking for a raise, you’ll never get it. Thinking is easier to do because it doesn’t require you to step outside your comfort zone.
Thinking is a lot like using a mind-altering substance–no one is going to yell at you for thinking, just like no one will yell at you for having a single beer. But over think everything (or drive thirty or forty beers) and your loved ones will get concerned. Limit your thinking, increase your action.
2. Thinking makes things more complicated than they are.
Even when your life is really complicated and you’re facing a ton of problems, there’s no need to over think yourself into a frenzy. Thinking too much makes your problems worse, not better.
Thinking about something for too long increases its complexity. If we think about something enough, we turn it into a twisted mess, a knot so tight you need surgery to undo it. In the “asking for a raise” example, for instance, you may end up developing a lot of resentment with your boss by over thinking your desire or need for a raise. If, instead, you calm yourself and simply ask for it, you could avoid all that head trauma.
Humans are good at making life harder for themselves. People who over think things end up struggling with themselves so much they have no energy for the real fight out here in the real world.
Stop making your own life complicated–the rest of the world does a good enough job.
3. Over thinking can cramp your style.
Does it seem like a person’s performance on a test would be better or worse when they spend the night before worrying about their grade? Over thinking makes you tense and nervous, and by the time you’ve started to second guess yourself, your performance in any task will be much worse than normal.
How Do I Stop Thinking All the Time?
Thank God there are simple ways to stop thinking so much. If you keep these three tips in mind at all times, you’ll find yourself thinking less and living more.
The first step in curing your over thinking problems is to notice when you are doing it. Just like any bad habit, to break this one you need to be aware of when it is happening.
There’s any number of ways to remember this. Try making notes for yourself that say things like “STOP THINKING” or “Don’t Overthink” and put them in places where you’ll see them. This simple trick could snap your thinking habit quickly.
When you catch yourself over thinking, stop the thought process and go do something physical. Take a short walk, wash the dishes, or make a phone call to a friend. Any action is better than obsessive thought. The idea here is to prevent the thought-cycle from getting out of control.
Rather than waiting months to make a decision, give each decision you have to make a timeline. Have to pick dinner? You’ve got fifteen minutes. Need to relocate? Give yourself a week to pick a new job or new city to live in. The idea here is to set deadlines and then meet them, rather than leaving every decision open-ended.
Join the Real World
People who think too much tend to live in a dream world. Try focusing on the real world around you instead.
Great artists, musicians, and athletes talk about “getting in the zone”, a place where they can perform and create without having to think. They trust themselves by nature, and their bodies and minds fall in line and perform.
The lesson here is to live in the present. Try to break up your routines, trying new restaurants, making new friends, and revitalizing your sense of self.
“Living in the present” sounds very New Age and kind of cheesy, but for people who think too much, it can be a real release. Your body knows the right thing to do, and will perform if you ask it to. Letting go of your over thinking problem may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but just have to let go of all that thinking that can cripple you. And have trust in your capabilities.
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How to Tell a Rooster from a Hen
Keeping a “backyard chicken” or two is gaining in popularity in America. Chickens make good pets and if you play your cards right you’ll have a free source of fresh eggs. Don’t forget that chickens are excellent pest control animals, eating fleas, mosquito eggs, and all sorts of backyard pests. For a pet that helps keep the yard clean and puts food on the table, look no further than an egg-laying hen.
As people get into the backyard chicken business, it is not uncommon for them to have difficulty telling the difference between baby hens and roosters. Most people don’t want roosters in their backyard–for starters, they don’t lay eggs. It is also illegal in many areas to keep a rooster in neighborhoods due to the noise they make early in the morning.
Why Is It So Hard To Tell Roosters and Hens Apart?
Telling roosters apart from chickens when they’re young is not as easy as it is with other animals. Professional chicken handlers can tell the gender of a chicken the day they’re born. This process is called “chicken sexing” and is very important in the chicken industry. How can you work with an animal if you don’t even know what gender it is?
Unfortunately, “chicken sexing” is much tougher than it sounds, and on their second day of life, chickens grow feathers which hide this gender detail. The goods news is you can tell the sex apart even before your chicken is of potential egg-laying age.
The main differences between roosters and hens after they hatch are visual and behavioral. Roosters and hens look and act different from birth.
Comb or Wattle
Check if your baby chicken has a comb or a wattle. Roosters have large combs and wattles, usually brightly-colored and prominent.
So what is a “comb”, anyway? The comb is the tuft of flesh on top of a chicken’s head. Rooster’s combs are bigger and brighter than hens, though both genders have them. Rooster combs tend to be red, though they can be almost any color on the rainbow. Hen’s combs are generally small and pale.
Roosters wear big brightly-colored combs to attract the attention of hens, that’s why a chick with a big bright comb and wattle is almost always a rooster.
The same goes for the wattle–the little bit of flesh on the chicken’s chin. Just like with the comb, a rooster’s wattle is brighter and bigger than that of a hen.
Like with the comb and the wattle, a rooster’s feather color will be bolder and brighter. Hens have less-colorful feathers, usually white or maybe brown.
Roosters are generally larger than hens. Hens may be fatter than roosters, but they will almost always be short and squat.
Birds of a Feather
Look at the tail feathers of your baby chicken. A rooster’s tail feathers tend to be longer and brighter than hen’s feathers. A rooster’s tail feathers are the easiest way to tell him apart from a hen, when he is grown. Unfortunately, as a chick, you can’t really tell the difference.
You could check your chick’s neck feathers for an easier way to tell the difference between the two. The neck feathers on a hen and those of a rooster are very different from a few days after birth. Roosters grow neck feathers that look long, skinny, and pointed, while hen’s neck feathers are short and round on the end.
Listen For a Crow
In general, roosters crow and hens don’t. If your baby chicken is a true baby, you won’t be able to tell the difference right away, as young chicks don’t crow at all. Another problem with determining your chicken’s gender via the crow is that some hens make a very similar sound to crowing around the same time in the morning as roosters, especially when there are no roosters around.
Hens are considered less “sociable” than roosters–they move around less and “display” much less than their male counterparts. Roosters are friendlier than hens, especially toward humans. Roosters are also much more aggressive with other chickens than hens are.
If you wait long enough, you’ll know if your chicken is a rooster or a hen based on the fact that it either does or doesn’t lay eggs.
You can go down the entire list above and decide your chicken is a hen, then when no eggs come and you hear the chicken crowing in the morning, realize you have a rooster on your hands.
The easiest way to tell roosters and hens apart is to wait for the chicken to lay eggs. If your chicken starts laying eggs, it’s a hen.
Take the “Long View”
Don’t go off just one of the above methods of determining chicken gender, except maybe for the egg-laying part.
Think of the above rules as a set of “symptoms”–just because your chicken has one “symptom” of being a rooster does not mean that chicken absolutely is a rooster.
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I ask myself this question whenever an event comes up. Some events are surefire excuses for gifting Champagne — a wedding, an anniversary, or a fancy Christmas party. Other events are less easy to predict. Is it appropriate to bring Champagne to a first date? What about meeting a significant other’s parents for the first time?
There are a few rules of thumb to remember when considering a gift of Champagne. First, let’s come to an understanding of what Champagne is.
All sparkling wines are not Champagnes. Champagne refers to sparkling wine made in a specific region in France. The name “Champagne” is closely guarded, and for good reason. The Champagne region of France is very small, and the people who make and enjoy wine from this region are incredibly proud of their product. Legend has it that Champagne inventor Dom Perignon (a monk) exclaimed “I’m tasting stars!” upon his first taste of Champagne, and if you haven’t tried it yet, your experience will be similar. Champagne, made the traditional way, can be a sublime experience.
How “Fancy” Is The Event You’re Attending?
If you try to bring Champagne to a backyard barbeque, you might embarrass the host or the attendees by overshooting the mark. A backyard barbeque is the perfect place to bring a nice red that matches well with meat — like a Syrah or a Cabernet Sauvignon. Unless the backyard in question belongs to an ex-President, a backyard barbeque is not the perfect place for Champagne. Always consider the set (the people at the event) and the setting (where the event is located) before purchasing an expensive bottle.
How Many People Will Be Drinking Your Bottle?
Since Champagne (real Champagne) can be pretty expensive, with some bottles costing well over $100 or $200 dollars, a large event where a large number of people will be partaking of your wine is not the ideal environment for a Champagne gift. If you’re attending a small dinner party, say 8 people or less, a nice bottle of Champagne (or even two bottles if you can swing it) would make an excellent gift.
If You’re Gifting The Bottle To An Individual – How Well Do You Know Them?
A first date or a casual acquaintance may be a little surprised if you offer them an obviously upscale bottle of Champagne, or any other varietal for that matter. I once made the mistake of bringing a bottle of
Nicolas Feuillatte Vintage 1996 on a first date, attempting to impress the young lady. Not only did she turn her nose up at the taste, she seemed put off by my flashiness. While there are certainly some people who would be impressed by the presentation of such a fine bottle, she was not one of them. This is the risk you run when overgifting Champagne. Similarly, if you present a bottle that’s over the top to a new boss or new employee, you run the risk of seeming too pushy or trying too hard. Never a good move in the world of business.
Use your common sense when considering the gift of a fine product like Champagne. It is a celebratory and often delicious wine, but in the wrong hands it can be an awkward presence. There are plenty of excellent wines that would gift just as well as a fancy Champagne — explore your wine shop and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
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Who is the “National Council for a New America”?
The “National Council for a New America” is a brand new public policy group led by prominent Republicans. The National Council for a New America is a rebranding effort on the part of these Republicans, who believe the party must stand for more than simple opposition to Barack Obama’s policies. Concerned about the post-election perception that they GOP is the “Party of No”, the National Council for a New America is seeking a new brand which discusses new policy ideas and welcomes more opinions into the party. Prominent members of the national council are Jeb Bush and John McCain, as well as Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour.
In fact, many of the leading members of the Republican Party have signed on to participate in the National Council for a New America. This “national panel of experts” will report to Republican congressional leaders. Among the GOP leaders in Congress who are expected to sign their name to the NCNA’s formation announcement this week are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP #2 Jon Kyl, House Minority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, House GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence and Senate GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander. In other words, most of the GOP congressional leadership, several key Republican governors and several prominent retired Republicans are forming this organization to change the image of the National GOP.
Who Is the National Council for a New America and What are their ideas?
That’s yet to be determined. The National Council’s mission statement is to start a national debate on issues and encourage such a debate. The founders say they will welcome non-Republicans to their policy discussions. They are concerned with the perception that Republican leaders want a kind of ideological purity that marginalizes their party and drives moderates out of the GOP.
“Ideological purity” is what many conservative talk shows hosts like Rush Limbaugh call for. They want their conservatives to be conservative on every issue and call out Republicans who don’t. But Rush Limbaugh only has to draw an audience and ideological purity is good for ratings, since he appeals mainly to conservatives. Ideological purity doesn’t win national elections, though, because it alienates too many of the independent and moderate voters needed to swing close contests. Some Republicans have voiced the sentiment they would rather lose elections than compromise their principles, which appears to have frightened certain leaders of the party. Facing an uncertain future where they sit in a clear minority, GOP politicians on Capitol Hill and other Republicans have decided to seize the initiative on policy discussions away from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.
Republicans tend to have more squabbles about what it means to be a “true Republican”. Traditional conservatives would say that a conservative is someone who wants limited government or a more liberatarian view: lower taxes, fewer regulations, fewer overseas commitments. Fiscal conservatives want tax breaks for business interests, a sensible federal budget and measures to rein in the federal debt. A social conservative isn’t too much concerned about material matters: they want to end moral decline through pro-marriage and pro-life stances, as well as faith-based charity funding. The fact is, these various groups within the Republican Party are not going to always see eye-to-eye. Traditional conservatives wants to limit the power of government and they are likely to see “moral” uses of government, like federal control of reproductive rights, federal definitions of marriage and proactive use of military power to nation build and promote democracy as liberal uses of government. A fiscal conservative views military adventures as expensive drains on the budget, while social conservatives are likely to view fiscal conservatives as a bunch of big-money interests back east and just as concerned with material concerns as a liberal.
Each of these draw upon planks in the traditional GOP platform, but they are likely to see the others’ views as liberalism and not within the ideological purity of the party. All of these groups are likely to view their own stance as ideological purity, and many Republicans identify with more than one of these segments of their party. But when you try to meld these interests together, you often get illogical and even hypocritical policy positions. Scapegoating and an enemies list is great political theater, if not very good for political dialogue or solving the problems of the nation. Rush Limbaugh and conservative commentators are among the most successful at appealing to the varied interests of the GOP, because their platforms (radio, tv, books) allow for polemical arguments where there illogical positions go unchallenged. Rush Limbaugh might say a true Republican is someone who wants less government and tax cuts, but with an active, hardline foreign policy that promotes democracy. Limbaugh Republicans believe a true conservative is someone who always opposes liberals and chafes at the mainstream media and those Hollywood types.
That formula worked pretty well through the late 1990′s and most of this decade, but when less regulation leads to economic excesses and lower taxes lead to record deficits, that’s the time for a debate on these policies. When powerful Republicans refuse to learn from recent history and reconsider their stances in the name of ideological purity, then some leaders among the GOP were sure to create something like the National Council for a New America. Both political parties roll out plenty of spin and propaganda, but when you start to believe that spin (it’s not our fault; the liberals are to blame), then you cling to bad policies and losing strategies.
So Are the Republicans Going to Be a Permanent Minority Party?
Pundits and politicians tend to overstate the outcomes of the last election cycle. It was just four years ago where we saw reports that Karl Rove wanted to cement a permanent Republican majority in Congress, and those stories were taken seriously by people on both sides of the aisle. Only four years later and the Republicans have suffered major losses in two straight national elections (2006 mid-terms, 2008 presidential election), have lost control of both houses of Congress and face a young, popular Democratic president who will be tough to beat in 2012. That all happened in four years, so there’s no telling how the political winds will be blowing in 2012.
One reason the Republicans in Congress are getting the reputation as the “Party of No” is there isn’t much reason to sign on to the Obama reforms and stimulus packages. If those initiatives succeed, President Obama and the Congressional Democrats will get all the credit for those moves. The Republicans who voted along with them will largely be forgotten. But if those measures fail to produce results, if the Republicans stay at arms length, then all of the blame will fall on the Democrats. There really is every reason to be the party of “no”, besides the fact that the opposition party tends to stand in opposition and tends to have honest and long-standing differences of opinion on public policy initiatives.
Like Barack Obama said early on, if he fails to turn the economy around in three years, this country will have a new president in four years. And if Barack Obama’s stimulus packages appear to have stemmed the economic downturn and have the country pointed in the right direction, he will in all likelihood win reelection. That’s probably the way it should be: political success depending on policy success.
That’s why the Republicans are where they are right now. They had control of the White House for eight years and control of the Congress for the first six of those years, the Democrats had too small of a majority from 2006 to 2008 to beat a presidential veto. Taking all that into account, the American public decided the Republicans were to blame for most of the country’s recent problems. While Bill O’Reilly made a lot of Barney Frank’s 2005 speech about “no housing bubble”, that speech came in 2005 when Barney Frank simply couldn’t affect policy decisions unless a significant number of Republicans were also voting along with him. No one honestly thinks that Congressional Republicans were listening to Barney Frank when deciding how to vote. The Republicans got the blame for the policies or lack of policies that led to sub-prime mortgages and the global credit crash, so they got voted out of office. And since their policy ideas have been discredited for the moment, they are left with little to do than wring their hands about the Democrats’ proposed solutions.
So who is the National Council for a New America and is this something we should take seriously?
Maybe you should. American political history is full of political falls and the losing party rising from the ashes. If you lived through the New Deal years, it probably looked like the Democrats would never lose a national election. But the China fell to the Communists, the Russians got the bomb and the Truman Administration blundered into a major war versus China in Korea, so the American people decided that the country needed fresh Republican leadership in what looked like an increasingly dangerous world. When George Herbert Walker Bush had just won Desert Storm, it looked like he would have no trouble extending the Republican White House control to 16 years. But a year-and-a-half later, Bill Clinton was the new president-elect. And we’ve already covered how the American political scene looked 4 years ago.
When a party receives a major drubbing, then the old leadership is edged aside and new leaders emerge. The historical Goldwater loss in 1964 is now seen as the year that the modern Republican Party began to take shape. No one seriously thought after Kerry’s loss in 2004 that Barack Obama would emerge as a serious presidential candidate in 2008, much less the winner. The Republican Party looks devoid of leadership at the moment. New leadership will emerge in time, probably with a slightly different game plan and slightly different policies for a new generation.
The Democrats will say that this is a cynical ploy to give a different shine to the same old failed policies, that this is putting lipstick on a pig (I think we’ve heard that one before). That could very well be the case. But let’s give the Republicans forming the National Council for a New America credit that they are intelligent men and women just as puzzled as everyone else that the wheels have come off. If that’s the case, they might actually be searching for new solutions, realizing that conservative principle doesn’t have to mean a stubborn refusal to learn from mistakes. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have had their way for the past eight years, but now it’s time for the adults to take over. At least that’s what it appears the GOP leadership is saying by forming the National Council for a New America.
For the moment, the National Council for a New America looks a lot like the old leadership of the party: Romney, McCain, Boehner, McConnell. In a way, this looks like the old guard of the GOP trying to rebrand their old policies to maintain or reassert their control of the party. But along with these men, new faces are being added to the mix, and even more faces are likely to emerge in the coming years. So when you ask if we should take the National Council for a New America seriously, I would say maybe.
Top Ten Halloween Costumes for 2009
Today is September 10 — that means only fifty shopping days until the best holiday of the year . . . Halloween.
Some people do it big for Christmas, while others wait all year for the foodgasm that is Thanksgiving. Not this blogger.
Ever since I was a kid, Halloween has been the go to holiday. Open season on pranks, a boatload of diabetes inducing sugar, cool costumes . . . what more could you ask for?
Here’s a breakdown of the top ten Halloween costumes for this year, as reported by Halloween retailers and “analysts” — okay, just one analyst. Me, walking around the Halloween sections already popping up at your nearest big box store, marking down what costumes seem to be most popular.
Top Ten Costumes for Adults
1. Michael Jackson
After tragedy comes honor. Expect to see plenty of your neighbors in vinyl jackets and fake Jheri curls.
2. French Maid
Some classics never die. The French Maid costume is a good choice for adults because you can go as clean or suggestive as you want.
Be honest — you and plenty of your friends have read the Twilight series right along with your kids. Why let them have all the fun? A little fake blood around your lips will put the finishing touch on this perennial favorite.
4. Barack Obama
While likely to be more popular among kids (and offering a potential faux pas on the racist side) it would be easy to parody the President’s style of dress. Add a bowl of arugula for a chuckle from your neighbors.
Another costume you can take in a number of directions — you could be a Scarface style 70s Miami drug runner or stick with the classic trenchcoat and “violin case”.
Much like the French Maid for women’s costumes, the Pimp can be an over the top 70s style feather capped Superfly or a more low key “authentic” modern Gigolo.
7. School girl
Some greatness you don’t mess with. The School girl costume is a winner, hands down. Don’t forget your bookbag.
Inexplicably, I’ve got a handful of female friends obsessed with Mermaids this year. Did a mermaid movie come out that I’m not aware of?
9. Sarah Palin
America just can’t get enough of the Chilla from Wasilla. Between SNL parodies and similar entries on the Internet, there’s plenty of material to work with here, don’t ya know.
I thought we covered this with number nine?
Alright adults — we know you love Halloween. But the holiday is really about kids, isn’t it? Here’s the top ten costumes for your little rugrats.
1. Michael Jackson
Much like for the adults, the Michael Jackson costumes will be everywhere. It may be possible to recreate the Thriller music video with Jacko’s from your neighborhood this Halloween.
2. Barack Obama
Hey, what can we say, kids love him. Whether you go with a mask and a suit or a more forgiving likeness, isn’t it great that America finally has a President worth honoring with a costume?
Every year there’s at least one movie that inspires a ton of Halloween costumes. This year, we had at least four –
4. G.I. Joe
and G.I. Joe was another one of them. I spent a large portion of my childhood burying G.I. Joe characters in the sand. It is nice to see the kids getting back into my childhood hero.
5. Hannah Montana
I will never understand the appeal. I will never advise you go with this costume. I have nothing more to say.
6. Tinker-bell and friends
Another inexplicable addition to this list. Why is Tinker-bell so popular again? This is a wide open costume option, as Tinker-bell has been endlessly interpreted in pop culture.
Another movie inspired costume. The best “Spiderman” costumes are homemade. Don’t go for the one size fits all rubber mask . . . have your mom cut up some sheets and sew you Spidey’s red and blue suit. You’ll be the envy of all the neighbors.
8. Harry Potter and friends
Haven’t we had enough of the boy wizard? Even adults are wearing Harry Potter costumes; see this site: Adult Harry Potter Costumes
9. American Girl Characters
American Girl dolls have been popular at least since I was a kid, and it seems they’re more so now. I’m not sure how a girl would dress up for Halloween as “an American girl” (considering most of the girls in my neighborhood already are just that) so maybe this is the modern version of the old “pillow case ghost”.
This is best reserved for the kids who can pull it off. Ironman is an iconic comic book character, and the movie recently made about him was one of the great superhero movies ever made. Is your kid tough enough for the Ironman costume? Let’s hope so, friend. Let’s hope so.
See also: Adult Princess Costume
Many parents tend to worry about how they are going to pay for their child’s college education after they are done with high school. The prices for a college education are on the rise as some recent reports have shown that many families will pay up to $1,400 more this year than they did last year. And tuition costs do not generally cover costs outside of your classes. You will still need to come up with funds for books and living expenses as well.
College Financial Aid
But there is hope! Financial aid is available to those who qualify as there is well over $143 billion in grant money. Most people think of tuition as a huge cost, several and several thousand dollars spent every year. However, it is possible to attend school for much less. Almost 56 percent of students can attend a 4 year school and pay considerably less than $10,000 including tuition and fees. It is possible to pay quite a bit less than the listed price if you factor in all of the grants and financial aid that is out there.
To also put this in perspective, any further education will also make it easier to pay back any loans you accrue. Studies show that bachelors degrees will earn someone over 60 percent more than those who just finished high school. That will add up to at least $800,000 in the potential earning gap.
College Application Process
Now that you realize how affordable college can be, lets take a look at a few steps that you will need to take to ready yourself for the application process. It is suggested that you talk to a school counselor to figure out a game plan as to what you will study, what degrees you will aim for, and how long it will take. Here are some general questions you can ask:
- What is your game plan? What will I need to do to receive a degree and graduate?
- How should I schedule my classes to finish them as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Is there required testing prior to starting college?
- What tools are available to me to better prepare myself?
- How soon before school starts should I fill out paperwork for financial aid, grants and college scholarships?
- Does this school require really good grades to attend?
- Will I need to transfer from this college to another to complete my education?
- What grants or awards are available to me?
So the real question here is not how college tuition works, but how can you make it work for you? College tuition only goes as far as paying for your classes and does not typically cover books, parking, living expenses, or any miscellaneous supplies needed in the programs you may attend. It is crucial to realize this now to better ready yourself for the Fall Term. It is a very good idea to make several appointments with your school counselors as well as trips to local colleges. By using the resources available to you, you should be able to make a smooth transition from high school to college and do it quite affordably.
We get a lot of single readers here at AskDeb.com, and many of them are looking for new ways to meet members of the opposite sex (or same sex, as the case may be). Because of this, one question we’re repeatedly asked is, “Do pheromone colognes work?”
While there’s no definitive answer on the subject, we’ll do our best to examine the issue. We’ll look at some of the top-selling brands of pheromone cologne on the market, plus study the results of research conducted by scientists and news organizations.
Benefits of Pheromone Colognes
So what are the benefits of pheromone colognes? If so many brands are available, the promised results must be pretty amazing, right? Let’s take a look.
- Pheromone colognes will help you get more smiles and eye contact from members of the opposite sex.
- Pheromone colognes will help improve your business relationships.
- Pheromone colognes will earn you the respect of members of the same sex.
- Pheromone colognes will lead to a boost in self-confidence.
- Pheromone colognes will encourage the opposite sex to talk to you.
- Pheromone colognes will put the opposite sex at ease.
- Pheromone colognes will make you more sexually attractive.
- Pheromone colognes will provide a spark for you current relationship.
- Pheromone colognes will lead to more dates and more sex.
- Pheromone colognes will improve the quality of your sex life.
Keep in mind that these are the promised results; that doesn’t mean that pheromone colognes actually deliver on any of these claims.
How Pheromone Colognes Work
When asking “Do pheromone colognes work,” it’s helpful to first know how they work. This section aims to do just that.
In 1703, scientists were said to have discovered the VNO or vomeronasal organ, an organ in the nasal cavity which they believed was no longer used by humans. In recent years, however, some scientists have concluded that this organ detects pheromones, a chemical excretion which attracts members of the opposite sex.
While people naturally give off pheromones, these products claim to boost the normal amount. Pheromone colognes are also designed to replace pheromones which are washed off or covered up by clothing.
Top Pheromone Colognes
If you want to do some personal experimentation to answer the question “Do pheromone colognes work,” you might consider buying some of the product and trying it out. The following list details some of the top pheromone colognes currently available over the Internet.
- Athena Pheromones – Includes genuine pheromones and is recommended for use as an aftershave additive. A bottle of this product costs $99.99.
- Pherlure Cologne – This product claims that it has been tested at a university. A single bottle is $49.99, and two bottles are $99.99 (buy two, get one free). They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- PherX – Costs $29.95 per bottle and contains androstenone pheromone.
- Primal Instinct – Boasts the most potent concentration of pheromones on the market. Each bottle is $69.95.
- Nexus Pheromones – Offers double the concentration of pheromones. One bottle us $49.95, two bottles are $69.90, and four bottles are $129.80.
- Androstenone Pheromone “Full Strength” Concentrate – Featured in Playboy Magazine, this product costs $39.95.
Research by 20/20
To answer the question, “Do pheromone colognes work,” the television news program 20/20 conducted their own research. Two sets of twenty-something identical twins (male and female) were sent to a speed dating event. One twin received a spray of pheromone cologne, while the other received a placebo.
Each twin went on 10 dates lasting five minutes each. Afterwards, their dating partners filled out cards to indicate which people they would like to see again. Sarah (who had the pheromones) drew interest from 9 out of 10 men, while her twin, Bridget, had 5 men interested. Of the male twins, 10 out of 10 women were interested in Dave (wearing the pheromones), while 6 were interested in Paul.
Do Pheromone Colognes Work?
So do pheromone colognes work? While the above research from 20/20 might indicate that they do, keep in mind that this was only one test–hardly enough to be considered definitive.
Many scientists believe that simply knowing (or thinking) you’re wearing pheromones will lead to an increase in self-confidence. Of course, this placebo effect makes it very difficult to actually gauge the effectiveness of the product.
Ultimately, enough scientific data doesn’t exist to prove or disprove the effectiveness of pheromone colognes. The makers of the product will argue this fact, but they want to line their pockets with your money. Don’t trust any sort of “scientific” data found on their websites, as you can bet it’s slanted to their benefit.
If wearing pheromone cologne around the opposite sex seems to help, then go for it. If not, skip it and find a more effective technique. It’s just that simple.
Free Printable Chilis Coupons
Chilis is the “go-to” casual dining restaurant that basically defined the phrase itself. Eating at Chilis is a tradition for lots of people, a good spot for lunch on a busy day, and since Chilis restaurants are often located near malls, they’re common gathering spots for friends during shopping trips or on days out. If you need to save some cash and still enjoy the Chilis menu items you love, Chilis coupons are easy to find and easy to use.
The first Chilis opened in Dallas, Texas in the 1970s. Chilis menu was odd then–serving a blend of casual dining and more “adult dining” foods, it wasn’t fast food but it wasn’t fine dining either. What started out as a higher scale hamburger joint turned into a full “grill menu”, including sandwiches, chicken dishes, seafood items, and more. Now, Chilis is part of a huge restaurant chain conglomerate known as Brinker International. They own lots of different restaurant chains, like On the Border and Maggianos Little Italy.
Where to Get Printable Chilis Coupons Online
The best way to save at Chilis is through the huge number of seasonal promotions that Chilis offers throughout the year. It is much easier to order a reduced-price menu item than to find a coupon, print it out, make sure it works, hand it to the server, etc. At least twice a year, your local Chilis restaurant will run a “3 for $20″ promotional deal which offers you an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert for $20. You don’t need a coupon to take part in this promotion, just show up at a Chilis when the promotion’s running.
The most common Chilis coupons give you cash off your total, saving you money when it comes time to take care of the check. The most common source of Chilis coupons is third-party coupons websites like Coupons.com. You can look around at these sites for different Chilis offers, search by coupon or restaurant name, etc. Another great way to get Chilis coupons is to sign up for the Chilis “e-club”. When you do this, you’ll start getting all the promotional deals you could ever want in your email inbox on a weekly basis. Just for signing up for the e-club, you get a free order of queso.
When you sign up for Chilis free e-club (sign up online or in-store), you will get Chilis promotional offers and coupons sent directly to you e-mail. You will also get a printable coupon for a free Queso just for signing up for the e-club.
Chilis is expanding into social media–so if you are a fan of Chilis, just “following” them on Twitter and Facebook will earn you some special promotions and coupon offers.
How Does E-mail Work?
According to the nerds at Google, people on Earth send 183 billion e-mail messages a day.
As far as most of us are concerned e-mail is magic. You type into a box, click a button on a screen, and a message is immediately delivered anywhere in the world free of charge. More than a technological innovation, e-mail is a breakthrough in interpersonal communication. Imagine talking to your friends, family, and even business associates free of charge and lightning fast. Such a thing would have been impossible not even twenty years ago.
We know that e-mail isn’t magic but most of us have no idea how it works. Read on to find out about the alarmingly easy way that e-mail works to keep you in touch with the world.
The first e-mail message was sent in 1971 by an engineer named Ray Tomlinson. This guy’s literally the father of e-mail and is personally responsible for all of those Viagra ads you get in your inbox every day.
Before Tomlinson’s addition to the world of e-mail, people could only send electronic messages to other users who were setup on a single redundant network. Tomlinson’s innovative idea was to give computer users the ability to send messages to other machines outside of that network using the now familiar “@” sign to indicate to which computer the message was to be sent.
Remember that an e-mail message is essentially a very simple thing, a piece of text with a recipient ID and a sender’s ID. E-mail messages are generally short — most of my e-mail communication is less than five sentences — and even with attachments like photos or music thrown in, the computer still thinks you’re sending a giant block of text. More on that later.
Like most of the good stuff on the Internet, e-mail runs off a server. Servers are software applications that store and deliver information through ports — for a good breakdown on how servers work, check out this article from eHow.com. E-mail servers work just like any other web server, and contain “lists” of e-mail accounts — text files indicating a person’s name and account and containing their e-mail client’s activity.
When it is time to send an e-mail, your web browser connects to a port on the e-mail server, tells the e-mail server the name of the sender and recipient and saves the contents of the message to those member’s text files. That e-mail server then completes the exchange by communicating with the receiver’s e-mail server and the whole process starts again when the e-mail reply is sent.
Sure, I’m condensing the process, but in many ways e-mail really is that simple.
Since e-mails are basically complex text messages, how do attachments like photographs work?
Remember that e-mail messages can only transmit text, and since most of your attachments aren’t made of text, there must be some way of translating your niece’s smudged crayon drawing into text so the e-mail servers can handle it.
Computers these days translate attachments like wedding photos into a specific format (called MIME) and transmit that MIME material to an e-mail server using the e-mail server’s basic SMTP connection where it is then sent to the recipient just like a regular e-mail.
E-mail has changed the way we talk to each other — it has wiped out the practice of letter-writing and is starting in on phone calls.
Even though it has altered communication completely, e-mail is one of the easiest to understand computer activities — it really is just a matter of transmitting text across phone lines.
Keep in mind that though an e-mail may look complex, the basic method of transmission is straightforward and user-friendly. The next time you send an e-mail, think about all the billions of other e-mails floating around your head.
This is part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing about How Stuff Works. The other posts in this series include:
- How Does Soap Work?
- How Does Twitter Work?
- How Does Gravity Work?
- How Does Unemployment Work?
- How Does Wi-Fi Work?
- How Does the Eye Work?
- How Does Rent-to-Own Work?
- How Does a GPS Work?
- How Does Electricity Work?
What is a Sony Portable Reader, and how does it work?
Portable Reader is the result of Sony tossing their hat into the eBook reader ring. The full name is the Sony PRS-500 Portable Reader, but most people drop the nerdy “PRS-500″ label when discussing the device.
The price of Sony’s reader is equivalent to similar devices from Amazon and Barnes and Noble–around $300, though it must be said that Amazon’s Kindle averages about $40 cheaper. The big knock on Sony’s eBook reader is the slightly higher cost compared to the features offered by the device. You’d think if you’re going to pay an extra $50 that you’d get something that the Kindle doesn’t offer. Well you do–if that “something” is sluggish performance, page-turn delays, difficult controls and interface, and a host of other complaints.
The Bad News
My personal pet peeve with the Portable Reader is the library. For starters, the unit I played with had a lot of difficulty connecting to the online bookstore — when I finally connected I was shocked to find that the selection of titles was extremely limited. Turns out that eBooks downloaded to the Portable Reader aren’t compatible with any other devices, leading me to believe that the overall library selection would be extremely small and I was right.
The Portable Reader uses “E Ink” just like the other devices we’ve reviewed so far. E Ink is meant to make print on an eBook look more, well, print-like, and the Portable Reader’s display does not disappoint. The text is crisp and easy to read. Unfortunately, you don’t have as many text resizing options with the Sony device as you do with the Kindle or even the Nook–just three sizes are available, the ubiquitous “Small, Medium, and Large”.
Would I purchase the Portable Reader? If I were a Sony-phile or wanted to stand out in a crowd of other eBook readers (the Kindle and even the Nook are everywhere these days) then maybe I would. The thing that would keep me from buying the Portable Reader is the cost of the books. What’s the point of an eBook reader that charges the same for its eBooks as the bookstore charges for paper books? Another nagging problem–most of the people I know use Macs. The Sony device is simply not compatible with a Mac lifestyle. Also–why no support for Audible.com’s audio books? That seems like a silly oversight.
The Good News
Let’s end this review on a good note. There are some things that Sony did right here. The unit is very slim and easy to carry–I tried to compare the size with the Kindle and found that the Kindle may still be a bit smaller, but still–any device that can hang in with the small size of a new generation Kindle is “small” in my book. The screen is also a success for Sony–requiring no backlight as with other devices, and I’d say the screen is overall one of the best on any eBook reader I’ve used. Another high point for Sony–users can adjust the font size with the push of a single button rather than messing around in a menu.
Sure, the Sony PRS-500 Portable Reader System is a solid platform for reading eBooks and other electronic documents, but I have to wonder if the higher price and lack of availability of compatible books makes this a bit of Sony technology worth passing on.
This is one post in a series of posts we’ve made about various eBook readers. The other posts include:
- What is an iRex Digital Reader and How Does It Work?
- What is a Kindle and How Does It Work?
- What is an Aztak EZ Reader and How Does It Work?
- What is Barnes and Noble’s Nook and How Does It Work?
- What is an eBook Reader and How Does It Work?
The global economy is made up of importing and exporting goods from one country to the next. The management of these goods from point A to point B is known as logistics. Logistics deals with everything from shipment arrangements to customs to storage. In many industries that deal in imports and exports, putting your materials in a bonded warehouse is common practice.
What Is A Bonded Warehouse?
A bonded warehouse is a typical warehouse like any other but the goods which normally have a duty on them has been unpaid. These goods are stored at the bonded warehouse under joint custody of the importer and the customs officers. Bonded warehouses are usually third party institues and are paid a separate fee for the storage of the unpaid products. Some warehouses are run by individual companies while others are government warehouses. This system exists in all developed countries of the world.
Bonded warehouses exist in countries all over the world. They specialize in products such as frozen goods, large quantities of liquids, agricultural goods, commodities, and transportation. Bonded warehouses also store construction materials before they are used on construction projects and sites. This is often the case when there is too much material to store directly at the job site.
Bonded warehouses are subject to specific laws which vary from country to country and state to state. These laws cover who can use bonded warehouses and what kind of goods can be stored there. Specific ports may also have their own set of regulations that bonded warehouse operators need to abide by. This may include proof of insurance, adequate security systems, safety measures for fire prevention.
History of Bonded Warehouses
Bonded warehouses have not always been around. Before they became common practice in England, anything that was imported had to pay their import duties and fees at the time the shipment was imported. If this was impractical for a company, then a secured bond could be given to authorities as a promise for future payment.
One of the problems with doing business this way was that if you did not have the money to pay the fees, you had to immediately sell your goods to raise th emoney. This often resulted in loss of profits due to low markets.
Another problem was that businesses would increase the price of their goods to pay the high duty fees. By doing this, they became less competetive on the market.
In 1733, Sir Robert Walpole tried a solution to the import problem when he came up with his system to place tobacco and wine in designated warehyouses. His system was adopted in 1803 and according to it, imported products were placed in warehouses and importers were given bonds for payment of duties after the products were removed.
Years later, The Customs Consolidation Act of 1853 did away with the bonds and set up a means of securing duty fees. These provisions were also included in the Customs Consolidation Act of 1876, the Customs and Inland Revenue Act of 1880, and the Revenue Act of 1883. According to the Act of 1876, these warehouses were referred to as ‘the king’s warehouses’ and were approved by the crown.
According to the various acts, before any goods can be warehoused, the importer had to give a security by bond or other means that were approved by customs officials for the full payment of the duties. The acts also set up rules that governed the shipping, unloading, inspection, and warehousing of imported goods.
Finally, while the imported products were held under bond, the importer could prepare the goods for market. This included mixing, packaging, bottling of liquids such as wine and liquor, and and manufacturing of raw masterials.
Types of Bonded Warehouses
Bonded warehouses are owned and operated by either a government agency or a private company. Private companies generally contract out their warehouse space. These private companies will sometimes cover the cost of the duties and fees for the importer.
Individual companies must file the correct paperwork with the government and customs officials where the warehouse is to be located. The paperwork can be long and complicated. Companies that are unfamiliar with the procedures can hire a lawyer who has experience dealing with the detailed forms.
Other than government or third parties, bonded warehouses may be maintained by a large import or export company. By having their own warehouses, it is more convenient for companies and helps to speed up the import/export process. Company-owned warehouses that are bonded are a good idea if the company does a large amount of importing or exporting.
Advantages of Using Bonded Warehouses
The common practice of storing goods in bonded warehouses has several advantages. First of all, and most important, the importer can store their goods without having to pay the immediate duties on them. Plus, if the importer sells the products for re-export, they do not have to pay any duties at all.
By placing the goods in a bonded warehouse that has adequate insurance, the value of the goods will be covered should they get damaged or destroyed while in storage. This covers such events as fires, flooding, or other means. If the products are damaged or destroyed, then the importer does not have to pay custom duties.
Custom duties are not cheap, especially on imported shipments of large quantities. By having bonded warehouses, it frees up cash flow for importers. They can also take their time to market their good properly to get the best price possible.
Bubble and Squeak Recipe
Bubble and Squeak is an Irish recipe beloved all over the UK. Though dishes like Spotted Dick, Bubble and Squeak, and Colcanon are fast disappearing from UK tables, they are still popular both in England and Ireland and abroad, especially as “pub food” or among foodie populations.
Bubble and Squeak was traditionally made with leftover bits from a roasting pan. Old-school Bubble and Squeak was usually a “meatless” dish, though the juices and drippings from the roast were still very much all over the leftover roast veggies and other tasty bits, so it can’t be called truly “vegetarian.”
Since most people these days make Bubble and Squeak on its own, without the need for a roast, it can quite easily be made as a vegetarian meal, simply by removing any animal products from the below recipe or the recipe you have at home.
The name Bubble and Squeak comes from the sound the ingredients make in the pan as they cook. Traditionally, this meal was served around Samhain or Halloween, and the bubbly squeaky noises were said to be the sounds of the ghosts, goblins, and ghouls escaping into the air.
Here is how to make traditional Irish Bubble and Squeak, along with some ideas for how to “dress it up.”
1 sm. onion, finely chopped
2 c. shredded cabbage, boiled for 15 minutes
2 c. mashed potatoes
Ideally, these ingredients would be pre-cooked as part of a pot roast or pork roast–you don’t have to use leftovers. Just substitute fresh veggies in place of pre-roasted ones.
1. If you want to make a more traditional Bubble and Squeak, gather the drippings from roasted meat. Alternatively, you could render bacon and start with bacon fat. If you want to avoid meat drippings, you can also start with butter. Either way, heat your fat of choice in a large skillet.
2. Fry onion over low heat for 5 minutes until softened and slightly clear.
3. Add the cabbage and stir this mixture over low heat for another 2 minutes.
4. Fold in mashed potatoes until they are well blended with cabbage. Press this mixture lightly onto the surface of the skillet–the idea is to form a large “pancake.”
5. Cook this mixture for 5 more minutes until the underside has browned lightly. Turn the “pancake” over and brown on the second side for at least five minutes.
6. Serve with a little bit of ham, or the rendered bacon if you so desire. You can also serve Bubble and Squeak with a little bit of applesauce, or sour cream if you want to turn the recipe a bit more Polish or Russian style.
Talent Agent Jobs – Talent Agent Salary
If you think being a talent agent is like being a character on Entourage – all glamour and living the high life — you’re sorely mistaken. Being a talent agent is a demanding occupation, requiring knowledge and experience in a variety of fields. A good talent agent is an expert in marketing, knows how to promote just about anything, and (by the way) probably has a fancy degree in a public relations field. If you’re thinking of pursuing a career as a talent agent to get out of getting a college education, you’re wrong. These days, a college degree is like a high school diploma.
What Does a Talent Agent Do?
The main thing a talent agent is good at is simply recognizing talent and figuring out how to promote it. A talent agent is a marketing wiz, yes, but they are also up to date on current events and know the business side of Hollywood better than 99% of the general public.
Talent agents “work” for people with many different talents. The most common occupation that a talent agent works with is acting — but pretty much anyone who could be labelled “talent” falls under that umbrella. Models, writers, even artists need talent agents to get their work “out there” and to keep them competitive in the workplace.
Talent agents tend to be specialists, working with a specific field of talent. Some talent agents will work only with child actors — a large population in any of the big media and film markets like New York or Los Angeles. Other talent agent specializations include television actors, commercial talent, or exclusively high profile celebrities.
The work of a talent agent would be impossible to pin down. Large talent agencies often employ multiple talent agents to work with their pool of clients. Many talent agents also offer “training programs” or “acting schools” for people who say they’re interested in a career as an actor or other creative type. This way, talent agents get exposed to all sorts of new talent that they otherwise may miss out on. This means a good talent agent also knows how to educate a person in a given field, or at least knows plenty of people who can do that training for them.
What Is the Best Way to Break into a Talent Agent Career?
The best wayto break into a talent agent career can be summed up in one word: internships. Just as large talent agencies offer training in acting and other creative fields, they offer courses in being a talent agent that take the form of office based internships. Mostly, wannabe talent agents do grunt work for already established talent agents, such as running errands, fetching food for clients and bosses, and filling out tons of paper work. You won’t get much (or any) face time with actual talent, but your willingness to work an internship with a talent agency will go far when it comes time to open your own talent agency services.
What Does a Day in the Life of a Talent Agent Look Like?
Talent agents perform any number of duties. Some of the more important daily tasks of a talent agent are like the following.
Arranging for classes or other workshops to allow already signed talent to hone their skills and crafts. Talent agents often hook their talent up with voice lessons, acting classes, or any other specialized training that talent may need to increase their popularity or appeal. Talent agents may also run these courses for wannabe actors and artists, to build up “new blood” for future talent work.
Meeting with future and current clients to find out what different types of talent they may need for upcoming projects. The talent agent’s job here is to connect their own talent roster with their clients’ future needs, and deciding if they need to seek out new talent to round out the agency.
Scheduling or booking auditions and other work appointments for their talent base. This is where the work of a talent agent gets difficult — you need to know your talent’s available working hours, be able to motivate them to take part in any new work you get them, and making sure your talent doesn’t have any special requirements for working hours, such as the limits placed on work performed by child talent.
Marketing your own talent agency. This means promoting your services, or the services of your talent agency, to clients or hopeful clients in order to get more work for your current clients or grow your client base. Talent agencies are as competitive as the clients they service, so Hollywood talent agencies have a lot of competition in this area.
Acting as a businessman, and collecting fess that are due when auditions are booked or your clients get a job. You’ll need to have business experience and know how to bill your talent and your clients on a 30 day billing cycle.
Networking with talent and clients as well as other talent agencies to promote your services and your own talent pool. This helps you land auditions and jobs for your clients, which is how you earn money.
Talent Agency Salaries – How Much Money Does a Talent Agent Make?
It is easy to come up with average starting salaries for talent agents — the details on payment and fees is not exactly hidden. Talent agents with a small client base or few actors at their agency will naturally earn less than larger agencies with lots of talent at their disposal. Beginning salaries for talent agents at larger agencies start at about $30,000 and go up as high as $80,000 for the largest talent agencies in the world. That starting salary tends to come with full benefits and a profit sharing program based on how much work you get for your clients and talent pool.
To start as a talent agent in a non-union or non-industry town, it is important to locate the agencies in that town or one that is not too far from your town. Meeting with the owner and see if there is any way you can help his or her agency.
The life of a talent agent can be glamorous, but to get to that point you’re probably going to have to pour a lot of coffee. The only way to get anywhere in such a competitive business is to work for years and build a reputation for yourself. One day you may be sipping champagne with A-list actors on a Lear jet, but for now you may have to settle for shredding paper at an internship. Your patience, and your education and experience, will pay off.
- How Do I Become a Talent Agent? at Wisegeek
- How to Become a Private Investigator
- How to Become a Boxer
- How to Become a Chiropractor
- How to Become an Event Planner
- How to Become a Chef
- How to Become a Singer
- How to Become a Personal Trainer
- How to Become an Accountant
- How to Become a Paramedic
- How to Become a Firefighter
Obesity is on the rise, especially in the United States. For this reason, the public is constantly bombarded with new fad diets and lose-weight-quick schemes. We get a ton of email on this subject at AskDeb.com, with the most common question being, “What are the most effective weight loss solutions?”
In the following article, we’ll examine which weight loss solutions are the most effective. We’ll also provide tips for healthier eating and dispel a number of wrongheaded notions about dieting and losing weight.
The Harsh Reality
When someone asks, “What are the most effective weight loss solutions,” I know they’re usually wanting me to recommend the hottest new diet. From the South Beach Diet to the Atkins Diet, everyone seems to know somebody who’s lost weight on a fad diet.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that most diets don’t work. Even if you do lose weight in the short term, the odds are very high that you will eventually gain it back. Some of these diets can even be harmful if taken too far.
The Key To Losing Weight
The key to losing weight and keeping it off is through sensible diet and exercise. There’s just no way around it. Of course, most people are essentially lazy (including myself), so they would much rather take a magic pill than diet or exercise for the rest of their life.
According to many nutrition experts, a person should eat at least every 4 to 5 hours. This will prevent binge eating, and you’ll feel full and have plenty of energy throughout the day. At the very minimum, make sure you eat three meals a day.
Exercise is also a key component to burning calories. As your body takes in calories, you need to do something to get rid of them. Sitting on the sofa just isn’t going to do the trick.
Weight Loss Groups
The cheapest options when it comes to weight loss groups are Weight Watchers and T.O.P.S. Stressing a sensible diet, these groups also provide a sense of community between other members. This can prove helpful, as may people need someone else to push them forward. Just don’t expect a magic weight loss solution.
Weight Loss Surgery
If you really want to lose weight and keep it off, you might consider weight loss surgery. From gastric bypass to lap band, this option either decreases the size of the stomach or limits the amount of nutrients taken in from food.
On the downside, the surgery is expensive, and many patients suffer complications. This can range from infections to leakage at the site of the incision.
Weight loss surgery should only be considered as a last resort, however. In most cases, it cannot be reversed so you should speak to your doctor before surgery.
Weight Loss Tips
My answer to “What are the most effective weight loss solutions” may have disappointed some readers. While I won’t recommend some new fad diet for you to waste your money on, I will suggest a few sensible weight loss tips that can work for anyone.
- Avoid snacking in front of the television. This is exactly why so many Americans are overweight.
- Eat slowly and enjoy your food. If you eat too fast, your brain won’t have time to tell your body that it’s full.
- Stop eating when you’re full. There’s no rule that says you have to eat everything on your plate (especially if you’re an adult).
- Never shop when you’re hungry. You’ll end up buying more than you need. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
- You should drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Drinking a glass before eating will also help you to feel full (meaning you’ll eat less food).
- Don’t leave snacks in plain view. This will provide more temptation than you can stand.
- Avoid alcohol. It has no nutrients, but is has tons of calories.
- Cooking with a non-stick pan will keep you from having to use fat when you cook.
- Stop eating if you finish your plate. There’s absolutely no reason to go back for seconds.
- Before going to a restaurant, have a healthy, light snack. This will keep you from pigging out at the restaurant.
Readers of AskDeb.com often ask me, “What movies has Tom Cruise been in? What are the best Tom Cruise movies?” While I’ll often respond with movie titles like Top Gun, that’s just barely scratching the surface of Tom Cruise’s long and influential Hollywood career.
In this article, I’ll start by looking at the five best Tom Cruise movies. Afterwards, I’ll end the article by listing all of the other Tom Cruise movies available on Blu-ray and DVD. When you’re through reading, you should know the answer to “What movies has Tom Cruise been in? What are the best Tom Cruise movies?”.
What Are The Best Tom Cruise Movies?
If you want to know, “What movies has Tom Cruise been in? What are the best Tom Cruise movies?”, then examining his finest films is a good place to start. In my opinion, the following Tom Cruise movies capture the actor at his best.
- Rain Man (1988) – Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a self-absorbed yuppie who takes his autistic brother (played by Dustin Hoffman) on a road trip in an attempt to gain a share of his inheritance. Cruise is great playing the shallow character who learns to care for the brother he never knew.
- Top Gun (1986) – As Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, Cruise became the poster boy for the United States Air Force. Cruise’s good looks and charm stand out, as do the eye-popping aerial dogfights. The supporting cast is also excellent, featuring Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Meg Ryan and Michael Ironside.
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989) – Tom Cruise teams with Oliver Stone to make this movie about the effects of the Vietnam War on those who fought in it. As paralyzed war vet Ron Kovic, Cruise gets to do some serious acting for a change, and in many ways it serves as the antithesis of Top Gun.
- Magnolia (1999) – Joining an ensemble cast with the likes of John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore, Cruise shines as Frank T.J. Mackey, a self-help guru who teaches men how to seduce women. But there’s more to the seemingly shallow Mackey than meets the eye, and audiences get to see Cruise range from over-the-top to absolutely anguished.
- The Last Samurai (2003) – Cruise plays Captain Nathan Algren, a man bereft of self-respect and tortured by his past. After being captured by a group of samurai, Algren begins his slow ascent back towards a life worth living. Beautifully shot, The Last Samurai allows Cruise to demonstrate a wide range of emotions (and the sword battles are pretty cool, too).
Tom Cruise Filmography
Tom Cruise has worked steadily since his movie debut in 1981’s Endless Love. While he has primarily served as a leading man, he has also made the occasional cameo. All Tom Cruise film roles (as of this writing) are listed in the Tom Cruise Filmography below.
- Endless Love (1981) – As Billy
- Taps (1981) – As Cadet Captain David Shawn
- The Outsiders (1981) – As Steve Randle
- Losin’ It (1983) – As Woody
- All the Right Moves (1983) – As Stefen “Stef” Djordjevic
- Risky Business (1983) - As Joel Goodson
- Legend (1985) – As Jack O’ The Green
- The Color of Money (1986) – As Vincent Lauria
- Cocktail (1988) – As Brian Flanagan
- Young Guns (1988) – As Cowboy (uncredited cameo)
- Days of Thunder (1990) – As Cole Trickle
- Far and Away (1992) – As Joseph Donnelly
- A Few Good Men (1992) -As Lt. Daniel Kaffee
- The Firm (1993) – As Mitch McDeere
- Interview with the Vampire (1994) – As Lestat de Lioncourt
- Mission Impossible (1996) – As Ethan Hunt
- Jerry Maguire (1996) – As Jerry Maguire
- Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – As Bill Harford
- Mission Impossible II (2000) – As Ethan Hunt
- Vanilla Sky (2001) – As David Aames
- Minority Report (2002) – As John Anderton
- Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) – As Himself (cameo)
- Collateral (2004) – As Vincent
- War of the Worlds (2005) – As Ray Ferrier
- Mission Impossible III (2006) – As Ethan Hunt
- Lions for Lambs (2007) – As Senator Jasper Irving
- Tropic Thunder (2008) – As Les Grossman
- Valkyrie (2008) – As Claus von Stauffenberg
- Men (2009)
- Tourist (2010)
South Carolina can be a difficult climate for grape growing. However, in the 1600s explorers noted that wild grapes grew in the hot climate on the shores of the state. The climate can be extremely hot in South Carolina, which can be tough on grapes.
Today the wines produced in South Carolina use the local muscadine grapes as well as grapes imported from other vineyards to create spectacular wines. South Carolina wineries are open for tastings. There are some special events and festivals during the growing year that celebrate the wines of the region. While the climate may not be perfect for grape growing, the wineries of the state have found a way to create wines in the region that are distinct and unique.
A trip to South Carolina allows you to enjoy all the state has to offer from fine dining to cultural experiences that you will not find anywhere else in the country. The wineries in the region offer wine tastings and festivals throughout the year. The Williams Vineyard, for instance, celebrates the muscadine grape in fun events for the entire family.
The Valentine Sagefield Vineyard and winery is the perfect romantic getaway for couples with a bed and breakfast available right on the premises. A stay at this vineyard allows you to explore the wines and vineyards and the surrounding area. This winery offers wines made from local muscadine grapes as well as fruits of the region for some interesting hybrid wines.
Lowcountry Winery has a fine selection of wines available that will suit all tastes. Sample wines at this winery that incorporate fruits such as peaches and raspberries in the wines to create a completely unique flavor. The winery is located in an historic area of the state which allows visitors to see the South Carolina of days gone by.
Hampton Street Vineyard
1207 Hampton Street
Columbia SC 29201
1 Highway 261
West Hemingway SC 29554
Valentine Sage Field Vinyards & Winery
1185 N Silverton
Jackson, SC 29831
Carolina Vineyards Winery
4922 S Kings Hwy
Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
A shooting at Camp Liberty in Baghdad has military officials puzzled and concerned.
The United States military reported on Monday, May 11th 2009 that five American soldiers had been shot to death by a fellow American soldier. According to the military, the shooter opened fire on his fellow soldiers at Camp Liberty, which is one of the biggest American bases in Baghdad. The military also reported that the suspected shooter was in custody.
The shooting took place at around 2 p.m. local time in Baghdad. Camp Liberty is a massive and sprawling base located next to the Baghdad airport. The military did issue an official statement, though the names of the dead soldiers were being withheld pending the notification of their family, as is tradition.
The killings appeared to be the worst case of lethal non combat related casualties for the American forces in Iraq since the start of the invasion more than six years ago.
In the military statement released this morning in the United States, Colonel John Robinson, a spokesman for the military forces in Iraq, had this to say: “Anytime we lose one of our own, it affects us all.”
Major news network CNN, citing “un named officials”, said that at least three other soliders were wounded in the violent attack. According to CNN’s sources, the shooting took place at a base clinic for soldiers suffering from “war stress”.
In general, the killing of American troops by their fellow soldiers is a rare even, although it is not unheard of. The most recent Iraq incident of murder among the troops occured in September, when an American soldier was arrested following the alleged shooting of two American soldiers while they were on patrol at their base near Iskandariya. The military is concerned that this outbreak of violence is directly related to battle stress, an issue that is at the forefront of the argument against our military presence in Iraq. Not only does the military have to deal with a high suicide rate among their troops — now they must be concerned about homicide as well.
All three soldiers killed in the shooting in September were assigned to the Third Battalion, Seventh Infantry Regiment, Fourth Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division of Fort Stewart, Ga. The alleged shooter is awaiting trial in America.
Back in late 2006, Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, a soldier serving with the New York National Guard, was charged in a military court with the offense of murdering two officers in an explosion at one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces in Tikrit. The attack allegedly occured in June of 2005. Before that incident, we learned that Sgt. Hasan Akbar, of the miltary’s 101st Airborne Division, was sentenced to death for a grenade attack made on his comrades in March 2003 in Kuwait, at the very onset of the war in Iraq. It is unknown what any of these attacks were motivated by.
Sergeant Akbar, the airborne soldier who killed fellow soldiers with grenades, was convicted of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder after he threw handheld explosives into tents and then fired on soldiers, killing two officers and wounding as many as 14 other soliders at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait.
The death toll from Monday’s shooting was the highest for American personnel in a single attack since April 10 of 2009, when a suicide bomb delievered by a truck driver killed five American soldiers in a huge blast near a police headquarters in Mosul.
While it is true that combat violence has dropped sharply in Iraq in recent months, a series of major bombings by insurgents has raised questions about our troops’ security. All this is happening less than two months before American forces are scheduled to withdraw their combat forces from urban centers in Iraq.
Once upon a time earning a high school diploma meant you had plenty of job options. If you wanted to be a professional or work in certain fields you attended college but most people could get by (and make a good living) with just four years of high school. Heck, some people worked their way up the career ladder with just a high school equivalency degree, GED, or night school courses after dropping out of high school.
This is just not true anymore. These days the difference between earning a high school diploma and earning a bachelor’s degree is about $20,000 a year for the rest of your life. That means a four-year bachelor’s degree is now as valuable as a high school diploma once was. Average salaries for people who earned a high school diploma only is barely above the poverty line — in fact, it is only $9,000 a year over the line that our government draws to distinguish a person as “poor”.
Bachelor’s Degree Basics
A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree granted by an institution of higher learning. It is also called a “four year degree” because it usually takes four academic years of “full-time study” (more on the difference between full and part time later) to earn a bachelor’s degree. All bachelor’s degrees are composed of 120 semester credits or “hours” of study. This averages out to about 40 college courses, more or less depending on the specific area of study you choose.
What’s a Semester Credit?
When people talk about college courses, they describe how many “hours” or “credits” they’re currently taking. Generally speaking, a credit refers to one hour of lecture or lab work per week of study. Most bachelor’s degree courses are worth three credits because they meet for three hours during a week of study. Let’s say you’re enrolled in an English course earning your bachelor’s degree — that course (worth three credits) will meet either three times a week for one hour or twice a week for an hour and a half, totalling three “hours” or semester credits. To earn those credits you have to meet certain academic requirements like attendance, grade, etc.
Upon completion of a certain number of credits, the institution you’re attending will declare that you’ve fulfilled the requirements of study and reward you with a bachelor’s degree.
Alternatives to Semester Credit Systems
Some colleges use different systems for credits, the most common being a quarterly system rather than a semester system. When an academic year is split into quarters instead of halves you’ll usually see a requirement of 180 quarter credits earned for a bachelor’s degree. Most institutions that use academic quarters are private universities or highly academic campuses that want their students to be exposed to a wider variety of study.
What Makes Up a Bachelor’s Degree?
For the most part, about half of the credits toward a bachelor’s degree are in areas of general education. This means foreign language study, physical education like diet classes or exercise studies, liberal arts courses like theater or creative writing, critical thinking courses, psychology, history, mathematics, or any area of study that a student’s main degree is not focused on. The idea is to give you a balanced education — in fact, a bachelor’s degree is really an opportunity to show the world that you’ve “learned how to learn”.
All colleges have specific course requirements. For instance, most colleges these days require all students to take at least one class in public speaking, the idea being that most jobs will require some kind of public interaction and students should be trained in how to do that effectively.
People are often surprised to find that only about 30 to 36 credits — maybe a dozen courses — will be in a student’s “major area of study”. My major was English with an emphasis in creative writing and I had to work my butt of to take just one extra writing workshop at the graduate level just to get more exposure to my craft. A bachelor’s degree in a given subject does not mean you will be immersed in that subject, unless of course you’re taking courses at a conservatory for the arts, which exist to do just that.
Why Get a Bachelor’s Degree
We’ve already discussed the financial incentive for getting a four year degree, but there are other reasons.
For the most part if you want to go to medical school, law school, or get your teaching certificate, you must hold a bachelor’s degree, though the specific subject of your bachelor’s degree may not have to be in the medical, legal, or teaching field.
If you know that a bachelor’s degree is required for your chosen career, you’d be foolish to put off earning this degree.
Another reason many people earn a four year degree is that they hold an associate degree (usually about 60 hours of study) and feel they may as well amp up their education and potential earnings.
Some Specific Four Year Degrees
Some careers do in fact require a person to earn a very specific kind of bachelor’s degree. One example is teaching — if you know a subject that you want to teach in public school, your state Board of Education will require a bachelor’s degree in education or a bachelor’s degree in the field you want to teach as well as a “teaching course”. These degrees for teachers are very specific, including precise course schedules and areas of study, such as Pedagogy and Diversity. Before you decide to become a professional of any variety, you should check with your state’s licensing board for that occupation before you enroll in any bachelor’s degree program in education, nursing, accounting, counseling, engineering, or medical schools in particular. These programs tend to have very precise requirements.
Earning a bachelor’s degree can mean the difference between scraping by and really succeeding in life. But going to college isn’t all about education. A four year degree offers a variety of life experiences you just can’t get anywhere else. Camaraderie with your peers, cheering for your school’s sporting events, trying to drink two year’s worth of British Lit out of your head in one night . . . these are all upsides of the four year degree experience that just can’t be quantified.
Wingstop Coupons 2011
Wingstop is a chain of chicken wing restaurants that started in Richardson, Texas in 1994. With over 600 locations across the country, Wingstop reports they’ve served over a billion chicken wings since the restaurant opened. People are drawn to Wingstop because the wings are relatively inexpensive, especially when you take part in Wingstop’s various promotions, and the wings are advertised to not be prepared until they are ordered. Wingstop has a somewhat cheesy retro-aviation theme, but let’s be honest. No one cares what’s hanging on the wall–they want chicken wings, and they want them fast and cheap.
Wingstop sells “made to order” chicken wings and “fresh-cut” fries. Wings are available year-round in nine flavors, likeHawaiian, lemon pepper, mild, cajun, garlic parmesan, atomic, teriyaki and hickory smoked BBQ. Seasonal flavors appear and disappear from time to time as well. Wings at Wingstop are available for purchase in units of 10, 20, 35, 50, 75 and 100 pieces. At $4.99 for ten pieces and $45
for 100 pieces, the wings aren’t exactly pricey, but who doesn’t want to save cash when they eat out?
Wingstop coupons are available in traditional coupon form in newspaper and ad circulars, but using the Internet to find coupons for your next Wingstop purchase is fast and easy. The next time you have a craving for Buffalo wings or any of the menu items found at Wingstop restaurants, check out some of the below coupon ideas to save some cash while you pig out.
Printable Online Wingstop Coupons for San Antonio, Tucson, Houston, Springfield, and More
Wingstop often has promotional deals, such as special days of the week when wings are cheaper. These are usually “off days” like Tuesday or Wednesday, days when people are not likely to hit the local Wingstop for wings and beer. If you want to save cash on your chicken wing dinner on any day of the week, you can use online printable coupons and promo codes.
Wingstop is not the kind of restaurant that offers lots of printable coupons through third-party sites like RetailMeNot–they try to control their promotional offers and release their own coupons and deals. Occasionally you can find customer-posted coupons at sites like coupons.com, but these are hard to verify and may not work at your local Wingstop.
Other Wingstop Deals
The easiest way to save money at Wingstop is by joining their email club. Signing up for this club is totally free and only takes a second. Once you sign up, you’ll get a coupon for five free wings on your birthday as well as routine emails with coupons and other promotions. You get this email about once a month, so this is a great way to save month after month.
Since Wingstop coupons are hard to come by outside of the company’s own website, you can also sometimes save some cash by contacting your local Wingstop and asking for coupons or deals they have available. Store managers are given permision to make special offers, especially if you call and talk to the manager yourself. For your next wing meal, you can save a little cash just by looking around online or signing up for the email membership.
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The Nobel Prize is without a doubt one of the most important and significant awards in the world. It is mostly known for recognizing individuals who campaign for world peace but there are other catergories for the medal. Since its creation in 1901, the Nobel Prize has recognized men and women for their excellent works in physics, chemistry, medicine, and literature.
The Nobel Prize for Literature is an annual award given out to an author from any country for their contributions to the field of literature. The contributions can be for individual works or a collected body of works. The Nobel Prize for Literature is administered by the Nobel Foundation and is awarded by a committee selected by the Swedish Academy. The prize is not necessarily given every year but only to those that the Swedish Academy feels is deserving of the award.
History of Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prize was founded in 1895 by Alfred Nobel, an entrepreneur and pacifist, who stated in his last will the foundations to set up the prize. He donated much of his fortune to the establishment of the prize named after him. The first Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 1901 and over the years, it has recognized authors of various countries. Some of the recipients have been well-known literary figures while others have been relative unknowns.
The medal for the Nobel Prize for Literature was designed by Erik Lindberg. It depicts a young man sitting under a laurel tree who is listening to a Muse and is writing down his inspirations. The inscription on the medal reads “Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes” which loosely translated states “And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.” The words are taken from Vergilius Aeneid, the 6th song, verse 663. The winner’s name is engraved on the medal underneath the image and the text “ACAD. SUEC.” stands for the the Swedish Academy.
Winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature are called Laureates. Each laureate of the prize gets three things when they win. They receive a diploma, the medal, and a document confirming the amount of the prize money. The prize money is given out in Swedish kronor (or SEK) and in 2008, the total amount translated into approx. $1.4 million in U.S. dollars.
There has been criticism over the awarding of the Nobel Prize over the years. Many claim that some well-known writers deserve the medal while other’s who have won it were not deserving. Much of the criticism centers on international politics and behind-doors maneuvering for international recognition. Such criticisms have stirred up highly debated controversies that has marred the yearly award.
Rules and Requirements for Nobel Prize
Each year the Swedish Academy sends out thousands or requests for nominations. These requests are sent to members of the Swedish Academy, professors of literature, literary societies, former Nobel literature laureates, and chairholders of several writer’s organizations. Authors my be nominated by others but they may not nominate themselves.
The proposals that are returned are examined by the Nobel Committee who then narrow it down from the hundreds of returned proposals to just five names. In October of that year the members of the Swedish Academy vote and the nominee that receives more than half of the total votes is named the the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the responsibility of the Academy to decide if any nominee is to win the prize that year. Some years have been skipped for various reasons, one being that a nominee could not be decided on. The winner is presented the award at a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, which is the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
Nobel Prize For Literature Winners
Since its creation back in 1901, The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to 105 international authors. Here is a list of all the laureates since 1901:
- 2008 – Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (France)
- 2007 – Doris Lessing (UK)
- 2006 – Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)
- 2005 – Harold Pinter (UK)
- 2004 – Elfriede Jelinek (Austria)
- 2003 – J. M. Coetzee (South Africa)
- 2002 – Imre Kertész (Hungary)
- 2001 – V. S. Naipaul (UK)
- 2000 – Gao Xingjian (France)
- 1999 – Günter Grass (Germany)
- 1998 – José Saramago (Portugal)
- 1997 – Dario Fo (Italy)
- 1996 – Wislawa Szymborska (Poland)
- 1995 – Seamus Heaney (Ireland)
- 1994 – Kenzaburo Oe (Japan)
- 1993 – Toni Morrison (US)
- 1992 – Derek Walcott (Saint Lucia)
- 1991 – Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)
- 1990 – Octavio Paz (Mexico)
- 1989 – Camilo José Cela (Spain)
- 1988 – Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt)
- 1987 – Joseph Brodsky (US)
- 1986 – Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)
- 1985 – Claude Simon (France)
- 1984 – Jaroslav Seifert (Czechoslovakia)
- 1983 – William Golding (UK)
- 1982 – Gabriel García Márquez (Columbia)
- 1981 – Elias Canetti (UK)
- 1980 – Czeslaw Milosz (Poland)
- 1979 – Odysseus Elytis (Greece)
- 1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer (US)
- 1977 – Vicente Aleixandre (Spain)
- 1976 – Saul Bellow (US)
- 1975 – Eugenio Montale (Italy)
- 1974 – Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson (both from Sweden)
- 1973 – Patrick White (Australia)
- 1972 – Heinrich Böll (West Germany)
- 1971 – Pablo Neruda (Chile)
- 1970 – Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (Soviet Union)
- 1969 – Samuel Beckett (Ireland)
- 1968 – Yasunari Kawabata (Japan)
- 1967 – Miguel Angel Asturias (Guatemala)
- 1966 – Shmuel Agnon, Nelly Sachs (Israel, Sweden)
- 1965 – Mikhail Sholokhov (Soviet Union)
- 1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre (France)
- 1963 – Giorgos Seferis (Greece)
- 1962 – John Steinbeck (US)
- 1961 – Ivo Andric (Yugoslavia)
- 1960 – Saint-John Perse (France)
- 1959 – Salvatore Quasimodo (Italy)
- 1958 – Boris Pasternak (Soviet Union)
- 1957 – Albert Camus (France)
- 1956 – Juan Ramón Jiménez (Spain)
- 1955 – Halldór Laxness (Iceland)
- 1954 – Ernest Hemingway (US)
- 1953 – Winston Churchill (UK)
- 1952 – François Mauriac (France)
- 1951 – Pär Lagerkvist (Sweden)
- 1950 – Bertrand Russell (UK)
- 1949 – William Faulkner (US)
- 1948 – T.S. Eliot (UK)
- 1947 – André Gide (France)
- 1946 – Hermann Hesse (Switzerland)
- 1945 – Gabriela Mistral (Chile)
- 1944 – Johannes V. Jensen (Denmark)
- 1943 – No Award.
- 1942 – No Award.
- 1941 – No Award.
- 1940 – No Award.
- 1939 – Frans Eemil Sillanpää (Finland)
- 1938 – Pearl Buck (US)
- 1937 – Roger Martin du Gard (France)
- 1936 – Eugene O’Neill (US)
- 1935 – No Award.
- 1934 – Luigi Pirandello (Italy)
- 1933 – Ivan Bunin (France)
- 1932 – John Galsworthy (UK)
- 1931 – Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Sweden)
- 1930 – Sinclair Lewis (US)
- 1929 – Thomas Mann (Germany)
- 1928 – Sigrid Undset (Norway)
- 1927 – Henri Bergson (France)
- 1926 – Grazia Deledda (Italy)
- 1925 – George Bernard Shaw (Ireland)
- 1924 – Wladyslaw Reymont (Poland)
- 1923 – William Butler Yeats (Ireland)
- 1922 – Jacinto Benavente (Spain)
- 1921 – Anatole France (France)
- 1920 – Knut Hamsun (Norway)
- 1919 – Carl Spitteler (Switzerland)
- 1918 – No Award.
- 1917 – Karl Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan (both from Denmark)
- 1916 – Verner von Heidenstam (Sweden)
- 1915 – Romain Rolland (France)
- 1914 – No Award.
- 1913 – Rabindranath Tagore (India)
- 1912 – Gerhart Hauptmann (Germany)
- 1911 – Maurice Maeterlinck (Belgium)
- 1910 – Paul Heyse (Germany)
- 1909 – Selma Lagerlöf (Sweden)
- 1908 – Rudolf Eucken (Germany)
- 1907 – Rudyard Kipling (UK)
- 1906 – Giosuè Carducci (Italy)
- 1905 – Henryk Sienkiewicz (Poland)
- 1904 – Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray (France, Spain)
- 1903 – Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Norway)
- 1902 – Theodor Mommsen (Germany)
- 1901 – Sully Prudhomme (France)
Coupons for Groceries Printable
Now that most people have Internet access, it is easy to use your computer to find coupons for groceries. Printable from your computer or as coupon codes to be entered during checkout at a retail website, online printable grocery coupons are as easy to use as traditional coupons, and most of them can be used both online and in the store. Finding printable coupons for groceries online is easy–saving money on the groceries you buy ever week is as easy as visiting a handful of websites and turning on your printer.
Third Party Coupons Sites for Walmart Coupons
Coupon gathering sites like CouponMom have large collections of printable coupons for groceries. Sites like these (other popular coupon sites include 8coupons.com, coupons.com, and RetailMeNot.com) depend on the input of people all over the world to help you save large amounts of money on groceries of all kinds. Because the deals on these third-party coupon sites are posted and reviewed by random Internet users like yourself, checking their validity before you try to use them is as easy as reading the reviews. Since these coupons are usually offered during a limited time, you should also check the site at least once a week to find new deals. These coupons change on a weekly or even daily basis.
Grocery Coupons from the Manufacturer by Mail
Grocery item manufacturers have been issuing coupons for years–as these companies started developing websites, blogs, and even social media pages, they realized what a good medium for coupons that the Internet can be. Going to the website of a snack food company you love usually lands you a coupon or two. For example, Wholly Guacamole makes a popular line of instant dips. Their website offers anyone who visits a $1 off coupon.
“Like” or “follow” your favorite grocery item manufacturers on Twitter and Facebook for special offers distributed exclusively through social media sites. There are also lots of grocery items produced under large umbrella corporations. General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble–all of these huge companies offer coupons for their individual products through their websites and free email newsletters.
Other Grocery Coupons, Deals, and Promotions
Besides third-party coupon hunting sites, there are other places online that host printable grocery coupons and promo codes. Since these third-party coupon sites depend on user input, there’s often lots of misinformation or coupons that are specific to a very small region of the country. The other good source of online coupons for groceries are coupon blogs.
Mommy Saves Big is a blog that is updated regularly with verified and large-scale grocery coupons. These coupons have been tested by the writers of the blog, and the deals are collected in one place–an easy to read list of coupons and deals from the most popular manufacturers. Mommy Saves Big regularly hosts Sam’s Club coupons as well as coupons and deals for specific grocery items, the best of both worlds.
Coupons for groceries, printable or online, make shopping a little less painful. You don’t have to dig through newspapers and collect coupons in bags anymore–the widespread availability of the Internet has made coupon hunting and saving as easy as performing a few Google searches.
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Planning a golf trip is harder than just selecting a decent hotel near a good golf course, then setting a tee time and golfing every day at that course. A successful golf trip often includes playing golf at multiple courses in the same area. It might involve brushing up on your golf game by hiring a golf instructor or even attending a golf school. Whatever expectations you have for your golf trip, a golf vacation has to be well-planned to meet those expectations.
Planning A Golf Trip
So here are some factors you need to keep in mind when planning a golf trip.
- Pick a Destination – Find the perfect spot for a golf vacation. Check out a full list of golf destinations before you start booking rooms and tee times. You’ll need to find a list of golf courses in your price range and that are worth the trip expenses. You’ll also have to choose a golf destination which is “in season” when you visit and has the kind of hotel and resort facilities you want. Of course, you will want to find golf trips that are in your financial comfort zone, so planning your next golf trip is more difficult than it sounds.
- Keep It Tight – Select a place with a high concentration of great vacation golf courses. Select a vacation area with enough golf course density that you can play different golf courses each day and still play memorable courses. Take the Pebble Beach area, for instance. You probably think of Pebble Beach as the famous golf course where the U.S. Open Golf Tournament is played every few years. But the Pebble Beach Resort is actually four golf courses, while the Pebble Beach area has some 25 different golf links. Golf Magazine voted Pebble Beach the number one golf destination in the country a couple of years ago.
That’s not the only solid golf destination, though. If Pebble Beach is a little too pricey for you, take a look at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama. The R.T. Jones Golf Trail has 25 golf courses of its own (468 golf holes in all), and people plan golf vacations throughout the countryside of Alabama every year. Once again, Pebble Beach and RT Jones Golf Trail are only two options.
- Book Your Trip Early – The sooner you know where you want to go, the cheaper it is to book flights, reserve hotel rooms, rent cars and set up tee times at the courses of your choice. Another big advantage of booking early is you make certain everything is available. If you wait until the last minute, you might find out the lynch pin of your golf vacation is overbooked and unavailable.
- Keep An Eye On The Weather – Since you’re going to be making plans months in advance, this can be overstated. You’re playing around with odds here, though, so study the weather patterns of the region you’re going to be golfing in. Don’t plan a trip during the rainy season or the cold months, because you’re just setting yourself up for a big disappointment. If you plan a great golfing vacation and you get a lot of off-season rain, that’s just bad luck. But don’t make your own bad luck with bad planning.
- Make Plans For the Family – Take into consideration the needs and wants of those you will traveling with. If the plan is a family vacation where you get to play a lot of golf during the day, make certain the family has a full vacation plan, too. Not only is it rude to let the family sit around the hotel room while you golf, but if your family is waiting on you, you’ll end up playing less golf or bringing along one or two non-golfers on your golf trip. So planning for everyone else is both selfless and self-serving.
- Choose the Right Golf Partner – Along those same lines, if you are taking a golf buddy or two along with you, make certain you choose the right golf partners. You want people with the same general expectations from their golf trip. These people should have a similar level of skill and a similar passion for golf. For instance, if you want a nice, relaxing golf trip with a laid-back approach to golf, you don’t want a hard-charger who wants to fit in 54 holes of golf per day. At the same time, if you enjoy 36 holes of golf per day on your golf trip, you don’t want to take golfers who want 18 holes and then head to the 19th hole.
Nothing ruins a vacation quicker than bad company. So when you plan your next golf trip, make sure you get not only the right golf destination, but also the right fellow golf travelers.
With summer right around the corner it is time to break out the grill and invite some friends over for a tasty BBQ. But while you eat hot dogs and burgers, your friends may not. So what do you do? You need to take some time out and plan for your event so you can properly cater to everyone. Provided below are some things to take into consideration when planning your BBQ as well as a few different recipes you can use.
Who is Coming?
This is the most important thing to keep in mind when creating a BBQ menu. The reason being, is that people are so different in what they like to eat or even what they are allowed to eat. For example, you may have someone watching their carb intake or maybe watching their sugar intake. You would maybe consider offering other condiments for the person watching their carb intake and maybe some healthy options as fruit and veggies for the person watching their sugar intake. Other people may have religious beliefs that prevent them from eating various meats or you may find that someone is allergic to something. A few things to keep in mind when making a list of things to eat:
It really will be difficult to satisfy everyone. So do not stress yourself out over it. You will need to make a list of people coming and just go through the criteria above and call around to see who may fit those needs.
BBQ Grocery List
Once you have determined who can eat what, then it is time to make a grocery list. The most important thing to remember here is the location of the BBQ. If you are having it in a park somewhere, it is important to buy lots of ice and if possible, get as few things that need to be refrigerated as possible. The last thing you want is to give your friends and family food poisoning. So if possible skip the potato salad and maybe do a pasta salad of some kind. Anything with mayonnaise should be avoided if possible.
As far as quantity of food, make sure you have enough food to satisfy your list and maybe a few others. It will not hurt to be overly prepared as some unexpected visitors may show up. Not to mention that the leftovers are great!
Beverages will vary. If possible, take the stress of yourself and have everyone bring their own favorite beverage and maybe something else to share. Sort of like a potluck. Not everyone likes the same kind of pop, beer, or juice so that may work out the best. If all else fails, water is the best thing to provide.
As you can see, it really is not that hard to plan for a BBQ menu. The most important thing is to make sure there is a little something for everyone and you are sure to have a great time. As we mentioned above, we have provided a couple recipes below for more picky eaters as well as a short list of things to maybe have on hand as well. Enjoy!
BBQ Must Haves
- Veggie Platter
- Veggie Burgers
- Cocktail Weenies
- ICE X 2
Here are two quick and simple BBQ recipes to get you started.
Grilled Veggie Portobello Mushroom Burger
- 6 large Portobello mushroom, stems removed
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 winter squash – sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 (16 fl oz) bottle balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 (4 ounce) package crumbled blue cheese
- 6 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
Place the mushrooms, eggplant, winter squash, and zucchini into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette, turning to coat evenly. Cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Drain vegetables and discard marinade. Place vegetables on preheated grill, and cook until lightly browned, turning once, or about 3 minutes on each side. (Note that cooking times vary between grills.) Sprinkle the mushrooms with blue cheese, and let the cheese melt slightly.
Open the 6 hamburger buns and divide the eggplant, squash, and zucchini among bottom halves. Place the Portobello mushrooms on top of the vegetables, cheese side up. Top with the remaining 6 hamburger bun halves. If necessary, use toothpicks to hold the buns in place. Serve immediately.
Chicken Berry Salad
- 1 (.75 ounce) packet honey mustard salad dressing mix
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
In a medium bowl, prepare the dressing according to package directions, using vinegar and oil, and substituting orange juice for the water; set aside.
Preheat the grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill the chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool, and slice into strips.
In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, salad greens, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peas, and pecans. Pour in the prepared dressing, and toss to coat.
For more information about how to plan a menu for a BBQ, read:
Just about everyone wants to find inexpensive
car insurance. In this day and age, it is hard to do. Premiums keep going up every year and because shopping for new insurance can be such a pain, most people avoid the hassle and stick to their current policy. Even though it is easier, it can also cost you several extra hundred dollars a year.
So exactly where can I get cheap car insurance? The fact is there isn’t one definite place that offers the cheapest car insurance along with the best coverage. Some companies may be cheaper depending on certain factors but overall, the best thing to do is shop around and compare prices when you decide to buy car insurance. If you want to know more about where can I get cheap car insurance, here are some questions and suggestions.
Will Raising My Deductible Help?
This is one of the best ways to get cheap car insurance. If you have a low deductible, you are going to pay a higher premium. But you can change that and save some money. Simply check with your insurance carrier about raising the amount of your deductible. Yes, you will have to pay more out of pocket if you get in an accident but the odds are that in the long run, you will save yourself some cash.
Can I Lower My Coverage On My Old Car?
If you drive a car that is at least ten years old or more, you can see about lowering the coverage on the vehicle. This is a good idea if you are carrying collision and comprehensive on it. The reason for lowering the coverage is because as a car gets older, its value decreases. So if your old car is valued at $1000 and you are paying a deductible of $1000, then there is really no point in paying for full collision coverage. You are just wasting your money.
Does My Car Insurance Policy Have Any Extras That I Don’t Need?
You need to read over your policy carefully. Chances are there are some extras on there that you were not aware of that you might not feel you need. For instance, you might be paying for a towing fee for a car that you have never had to have towed. You can calculate how much the towing fee has been costing you versus how many times you have been towed. The average tow truck driver charges about $100 per tow. In three years, the insurance’s tow fee has cost you $225. If you have been towed only once in those three years, then you have paid $225 to cover a $100 tow. Do yourself a favor and drop those extra fees on your policy.
Will My Credit Score Affect My Insurance Premium?
Having a good credit score is a sure way to get cheap car insurance. Insurance companies look at a person’s credit score in order to determine the cost of car insurance premiums. They figure that a person with a low credit score may be more at risk for getting into an accident. So if you have good credit, you are going to get a better deal.
Are There Any Websites I Can Check Out?
The first thing to do is to
get a free car insurance quote from Geico.
If I wanted to know more about where can I get cheap car insurance, I would check out the
Internet. There are several sites that give quotes for car insurance. Progressive.com is one such site. They take your information and give you a quote from several competing companies along with their own quote. This is a great way to see the difference in premiums for each company and allows you to choose the best quote for you.
For more information about where to get cheap car insurance, read:
Live football scores on your Blackberry or iPhone is more important than ever, since you have internet access in more places now than ever. If you’re going with your wife or girlfriend to some Sunday afternoon party you didn’t know about until the last minute, getting live football updates on your cellphone is the only connection you have to the day’s football scores, injuries and events. Maybe you want to know why the backup quarterback is in the game, or how the team just scored two touchdowns in a 14-second span. Maybe you have money riding on your football game and you can’t enjoy the party until you know the bet’s going your way. Whatever the case, getting the latest and quickest live football scores for your Blackberry is more important than most people would know.
One of the best places to get live football scores is SI.com. Not only does SI (Sports Illustrated) offer some of the most comprehensive coverage of college football and NFL football, it offers specific services for cellphone users like “SI Mobile”, “Free Alerts” and “My SI”.
On “MY SI”, you can submut up to a total of 6 favorite teams that you get full coverage for. These include the categories NFL, College Football, NBA, College Basketball, NHL and MLB, but you can select all six from among the National Football League teams. You can even switch your preferences, so you can concentrate on NCAA football and then pro football.
When you take “Free Alerts”, you can choose to get scores and news alerts for your favorite sports, as well as the latest news from your favorite SI writers. If these don’t fill the bill, you can even create your own keywords and get alerts according to these key words. The news alerts allow football fans to get live football info such as late scratches or injury updates, so you know exactly why your team is losing to a big underdog (for example).
The “SI Mobile” feature offer special interfacing with Blackberry smartphones between the people at Sports Illustrated and Reality In Motion. All you have to do is download the SI icon on your blackberry.
Live Fantasy Football Stats
There are live football scores, and then there are live fantasy football stats. Any devoted fantasy football owner will tell you that the two are not the same. When you need a live football score, you’re probably satisfied with who is winning the game and how much time is left in the game. Some football fans are going to want to know who scored and how long a scoring drive was, so the fan can get an idea of where the team’s game seems to be headed. That’s usually enough for the non-fantasy football fan.
With a fantasy football fan, though, a person wants to know the stats for all the stars players, and a good number of some of the non-starring starters. Learning whether the Chicago Bears are winning might or might not be important to them, but you can be sure they’re interested in whether Matt Forte has a touchdown or five receptions. In fact, they will want the quickest sports stats they can get, and the fantasy sports owner will want to see scores and stats from every game on the NFL schedule, including those involving the worst teams in pro football. Seeing that Tony Romo threw a 5-yard touchdown isn’t going to be enough. They want to know who Tony Romo threw the TD to and who got the yards and receptions getting the team down the field.
If you’re looking for the latest sports stats from the day’s games, go with one of the big providers of fantasy sports support like CBS Sportsline. While I’m not a big fan of the CBS Sports Line fantasy football league sites, their many years in the ff support industry means they know what fantasy sports fans want.
Live European Football Scores
If you want good places to get live European football scores in English, consider Skysports or BBC News. Both Sky Sports (from Skynews) and BBC News are among the fastest and most thorough sports news sources for the English Premiership. They also cover all the other major soccer leagues in Europe, including the Italian Serie A, Spanish Primera, German Bundeslifa, Dutch Eredivisie, French Le Championat and all the other major football leagues in Europe. And, of course, you’ll be able to get the latest scores from the Champions League, the FA Cup, the EUFA Cup and any World Cup qualifying matches that might be going on.
There are several ways to repair your credit rating. Credit scores rate the likelihood that you will default on a loan and that you will pay off your credit debts, so there are specific factors used to determine your credit rating. So when you try to repair your credit rating, you have to account for these factors and see which ones you can control. I’m not being facetious when I say that you start with paying down your debts, because at the heart of your credit rating is that you show a history of paying your debts and an ability to pay your debts in the future.
Online Credit Repair Companies
First, I want to state that there is nothing that online credit repair companies can do that you can’t do yourself. Keeping this in mind, it’s probably better that you learn the few simple steps to credit repair that these companies have learned. Then you can use them yourself. Instead of paying extra fees for credit repair or debt consolidation, you can allot that extra money to actually paying down your debts. With that in mind, I’ll go over the various types of credit repair firms.
Remember, if a company offers to “handle everything for you” or “no interest loan”, they are scamming you. They want your money and probably aren’t going to do anything for you, so you’ll end up owing more money than ever. A company will have to charge interest if they are helping you, or they won’t make money. Also, a company that is offering to handle everything doesn’t want you interested in what they do with your hard-earned money.
Debt Consolidation Company – This is a company which offers you a debt consolidation loan. Essentially, instead of paying off ten different credit cards bills and student loans every month, you pay off one bill. The debt consolidation company (if it’s on the up-and-up) pays off your debts up front (hopefully), then you owe them money for these debts. You pay them one monthly payment at a higher interest rate than before, but the credit card companies let the credit reporting agencies know that you’ve paid off your debts with them, getting you on the road to a better credit rating (usually two years from the time the bills were paid). You start to raise your credit score, but at the cost of higher interest payments.
Debt Management Company – A firm which helps you set a household budget and advises you how to pay off bills. Sometimes, they offer a debt consolidation loan. There is no advice they can give you that you can’t learn on the internet reading articles like this. Also, there is no personal finance budgeting technique that you probably don’t already know yourself. The best that can be said is that they act like the little angel on your shoulder – someone you have to reckon with if you go over budget.
Debt Negotiation Company – A debt negotiator calls your credit card company and tries to negotiate a lower debt. These companies will often suggest they can get your debt reduced by as much as half. “Debt negotiation” is a real possibility, because credit card companies would rather you pay back 75% of your debt than have you declare bankruptcy and default on 100% of your debt. The idea of debt negotiation is that you have all the power in the negotiation, because you always have the option of going bankrupt. (That may sound like a strange way to put it, but that’s the logic and that’s how your creditor is going to look at things.) The point being, you can negotiate directly with your credit card company and get terms just as good, so there’s no need to hire a debt negotiator.
There are all kinds of other permutations of credit counseling and debt consolidation firms out there, and many of them combine some element of the three listed above. Also, there are plenty of online debt consolidation companies that are scam artists, who sell hope to get your money. My advice is to learn how to repair your credit rating yourself and then pay down your credit debts.
Repairing Your Credit Score
You’re already familiar with some of the concepts involved with repairing your credit score. Now it’s a matter of applying them to your debt situation. There’s no two ways about this: you’ll need to practice household budgeting to pay off your credit cards, while doing a few things to help your credit score while you’re digging yourself out of the debt hole.
- Don’t Make It Worse – To begin with, stop charging up more bills on your credit card. Tear up all but one or two of your credit cards and use the ones you have left only in the case of necessity. You’ll need to start paying off your credit card bills without using your credit cards, too, so you don’t have revolving debt. The first step in repairing your credit rating is that you must stop running up more credit debt.
- Negotiate Lower Debts – Call your credit card companies and see if they will negotiate a lower debt with you. You might think that no sane credit card company would ever do that, because they have you on the hook for the debt you’ve amassed with them. But remember, if you are running up huge credit debts, they are probably getting concerned that you are going to declare bankruptcy. If you do, they never see one red cent from the debts you owe them. So they have an incentive to negotiate a lower debt.
So call your credit card company and let them know you want to negotiate a lower debt. And if you happen to mention that you are considering filing for bankruptcy, that probably won’t hurt the negotiations, either. Usually, you’ll get some debt knocked off, which is money right from the start that you don’t have to pay. It’s worth the call. Don’t go in expected to get your debt reduced to 50%, because that’s what debt negotiators who want your business will promise – and might not reflect reality. If you end up with 75% of your original debt, that’s a lot of money you don’t have to repay. Even getting 10% knocked off helps.
Let the credit card company make the first offer, instead of suggesting a percentage yourself. Don’t take their first offer, but don’t be unreasonable in your counter-offer, either. And if you feel guilty negotiating your debt, don’t. If you’ve been paying interest on that credit card for a while, that credit card company made a profit off of you a long time ago.
- Pay Off Credit Bills One at a Time – Figure out a plan to pay off your credit cards one at a time. Don’t pay a little on one bill and a little on another. When you pay off a credit card debt, that company sends in a report to credit reporting agencies. A paid-off bill helps your credit rating, so start to pay them off one at a time. Just pay interest on the rest, while you focus on wiping out your debt on one card. There are two ways to go about this.
One, pay off the smallest debts first. This way, you get a sense of accomplishment and start to lower the number of payments you have every month quicker. Also, these satisfied creditors will report you have paid them off in full and your credit rating will be helped (in time).
Two, pay off the highest interest debts first. You are saving money this way, because you won’t be paying the most outrageous interest rates for as long. In the long run, you’ll be a smaller percentage of your credit card payments every month in interest.
Choose one of these two methods and go with it. Both make sense, so just figure out which one makes the most sense for you. Most importantly, get a plan and stick to it.
- Get You Credit Report and Dispute Any Mistakes on That Report – The best way to instantly help your credit rating is to dispute mistakes on your credit history report. There are three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – who keep credit histories and sell that information to credit card companies. The reports they sell have your credit rating or credit score. Sometimes, these credit reports have mistakes and clerical errors on them.
Each of these companies will sell you their credit reports for about $15. There are some cases you can get them for free, too. In either case, get a recent credit report and check the facts. You might consider getting all three (if you can afford them at the moment) and cross-referencing the reports. Check the discrepancies. Then go to the website for each of these credit reporting agencies and find the “dispute credit report” link. You can dispute their claims online.
If you succeed in your dispute, the credit reporting agency will remove the erroneous information from your report, and your credit rating will instantly go up (or be repaired). As mentioned earlier, this is the quickest way to get some credit rating relief. Once again, there are companies that can do this for you, but you can do it yourself without much trouble at all and save your money.
- Be Patient – Credit repair is going to take some time. When you default on a debt, that often stays on your record for seven years. When you are late on a payment, that often stays on your credit record for two years. So if you’ve been missing payments recently, your credit rating is going to look kind of ugly for another couple of years. The quicker you start to repair your credit rating, though, the quicker those two years will be over.
Think about it. In two years time with a little budgeting an a credit repair plan, you can repair your credit score and be able to get personal loans and decent interest rates again. So start to repair your credit rating today by learning those few credit skills above, and you’ll live a happier, less angst-ridden life.
During these rough economic times people need to watch their money a little closer. However, basic needs still arise causing you to fork over more money. With that idea in mind, we would like to go over some basic things to consider when you are making an automobile purchase. There are so many options available when it comes to buying a car now that it is very important you do your homework first. You want to be sure that not only your payment is within your budget, but many other things such as insurance and repairs are as well.
Do Your Homework
When deciding to buy a car it is very important to sit down first and see what you have to set aside for a monthly expense. It is very important to be honest with yourself as you will not want to stretch yourself thin. Life happens and if it is a life lesson involving money you want to be prepared. These are a few things you want to shop around for:
Your new car.
Pick one vehicle and 2-3 backups in case your first choice does not work out. Look for prices and figure out roughly how long you will be paying on it for. Many calculators are available online to help with rates.
Check around for prices on all of your vehicles and make sure to get the price for full coverage if you are going to be making payments.
You need to know what the maintenance schedule is for your list of vehicles so you can have an idea of what it will cost you month to month to have it serviced. Also look at general parts such as alternators, starters, and spark plugs. These are most common to break first and there is a big difference in price for a little car to a full size SUV.
It is not only the MPG you need to be worried about. Look to see how big the gas tank is and if the motor can run on fewer cylinders at normal speed. This can cut down on fuel costs.
The Two Biggest Car Expenses
The two biggest car expenses and most important things to look at when buying a car is the payment and your insurance. This will take up about 80-90% of your budget that was set aside. Insurance will probably be the most important of the two since it varies on so many things such as your age, make/model of the vehicle, sometimes color of the vehicle, and even your credit. All insurance companies are different as to what they use for criteria so be sure shop around.
To demonstrate the difference in insurance, I looked up a few examples on Progressive. The figures I have here should shed some light on what type of vehicle you may want to look for. Please remember that these numbers will vary for everyone, but should stay relatively the same as far as difference in price between each other. These are also just the figures for the collision portion and you will still have to figure in liability, comprehensive, etc…
|Chevrolet Corvette ZR1||$500||$2169|
|Ford Mustang GT 500||$500||$2169|
These figures are a 6 month price, but you can see the significant difference. (This is not the total either, just a piece of what makes the month to month total) Another way to look at it is that the more expensive it is to fix, the more you will pay. That is one big piece of criteria the insurance companies look at. How likely you will wreck it and what it will take to fix it. This is also why it is important to shop around. Not every company uses your credit or cares about color of the car. And each company also has their own statistics they run to come up with their prices. Bottom line, do your research and once you know what you want to buy, shop for insurance first before stepping on the dealership. Once you have your insurance quote, be sure when you buy your car to leave a percentage of your budget aside each month for repairs and regular maintenance.
Repairs, Maintenance, and Fuel Car Costs
Fuel will be something to keep in mind when you buy your vehicle. It should not make as much of a difference as your monthly payment or insurance though. The difference between a couple MPG’s will be noticed only over the long run and most people do not keep track of it. So you just need to decide if you want a big car or little one and go from them. Also, many cars are going “green” nowadays, making it easier to save money and the environment.
Repairs and maintenance will make up the last portion of your budget that you set aside each month. Most month to month maintenance will require washing and topping off fluids. But every so many miles, you will have to take it in for its checkup and some vehicles have longer maintenance lists than others. You will want to talk to the dealership or your family mechanic and check on prices for maintenances needed. It is important to have these routinely done as it preserves the life of your car and keeps the warranty intact. Keeping repairs in mind will matter because the bigger the vehicle, the more money general parts such as alternators, starters, tires, wheels, and brakes cost. Some items will be covered under warranty for a short period of time, but outside of that you are on your own. The difference between a little car and a bigger car can mean a couple hundred dollars in difference in the price of the part. Not to mention that if you decide to have a shop do it, you will have to tack that price on as well.
So when you shop for a car the most important thing you can do is your homework on your selected vehicles. If you research our suggestions above you will have a clear cut idea of what you will spend approximately each month. And when compared to your monthly budget you set aside for your new car, you can then compare the two and know how much car you can afford. Good luck in your search!
Not everyone is cut out for a 9-5 job. My father spent his whole life in an office — first in a cubicle, then eventually climbing his way up the corporate ladder. He put in long hours, often bringing work home, and the stress from work nearly killed him. I admire his drive and his abilities, but not everyone is looking to grind out a living this way.
Self employment is the best way to escape the corporate life but still enjoy the quality of life that a good paycheck provides. I work from home, and make a pretty decent living doing so — my friends always ask me: “How do I become self employed?” There are more ways to work for yourself than can be counted — but here are three good places to start looking for your new career.
Opportunities For Self Employment
Seems simple enough, but many people overlook the opportunities for self employment that exist right in the pages of your local paper. While some of the ads may seem too good to be true (“Work from home assembling toys!” or “Be your own boss, get paid to surf the web, $500/day” etc) there are many valid jobs you can find right in the Help Wanted section. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? You’re going to have to do some “leg work” and determine which jobs are real and which are, for lack of a better work, scams.
Be wary of anything that seems just too easy. Being self employed still means working — and anything that seems like too much money for too little work is probably not what it seems. Contact the author of the ad, and talk in detail about the nature of the job. Any potential “self employment” that requires a financial investment on your part is probably not worth it. One common “self employment” scam involves you purchasing a “kit” that will teach you how to assemble toys or other small devices from home, and get paid for it. Other common “work from home” jobs involve spending huge amounts of time on the internet, filling out “surveys” in return for small payments — and if this is your kind of thing, more power to you. Don’t forget to get all the details on the job . . . you may find that the hours required to earn a living are simply impossible. One of my potential “employers” wanted me to spend nearly 11 hours on the web every day, visiting websites and reviewing them, filling out surveys, etc — not only were the hours ridiculous, but the job itself seemed vaguely illegal.
Good jobs that can be found in the classifieds often involve writing. If you have the talent, there is plenty of ‘freelance’ writing work that needs to be done. Many owners of websites need solid content for their pages, and are willing to pay great wages for people who have writing skills.
When searching the classifieds for “self employment”, remember to do your homework. Contact the person who placed the ad, get all the details, and make sure you have the skills to perform the job.
Running Websites as a Business
Running your own websites as a business can be a lucrative and exciting way to be your own boss. You make your money through advertising, and fill your pages with the kind of content you enjoy. You can even hire the content work out to other writers, if you don’t have time to write all the content yourself or simply don’t feel you have the writing skills to get the job done. Here’s a quick overview of how this works.
The first thing you need to do is to acquire some domain names. A domain name is the name you want to give to your website. To get a domain name, you have to pay an annual fee to a registrar for the right to use that name. This step doesn’t instantly create a “website” — it just means you own a name.
Finding a web host is the next step. A web host is basically a company that has many computers connected to the internet. When you place your web pages on their computers, everyone in the world will be able to connect to it and view them. This is a simplistic explanation, but its accurate. You will need to sign up for an account with a web host so that your website has a home.
Once you have your domain name and web host, your next step will be to design the website. You don’t have to be a professional designer to do this, that’s the beauty of owning your own web presence. Although there are many things to consider in terms of web design, and an entire book couldn’t cover the details, if you’re a beginner you can use a WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) web editor. These programs allow you to design your site visually, without having to mess around with the technical details of website creation. The WYSIWYG programs work just like a normal word processor program — very basic, user friendly
Once you’ve built your website, you can create content and find advertisements related to your website’s content easily — Google Ads is just one of many programs that exist to help you place ads on your site — and begin earning revenue.
Be Your Own Boss Through Ebay and Online Auctions
Perhaps the simplest way to be your own boss is through online auctions. You’ve most likely heard stories of people earning tons of cash buying and selling items on eBay and other online auction sites. If you are a collector or have a large amount of valuable items in your possession that you believe there is a market for, you are already stocked with inventory. Almost anything is up for auction online — people are looking for first edition or unique books and comics, baseball cards, antiques, even everyday furniture and houseware items. Signing up with eBay is easy and free, though you should check out the fine print, as there are fees associated with online auctioning. Another bonus to online sales is that you can work at your own pace — seven days a week or just a few days a month — and earn as much money as you need. There’s a huge market for online auction items, and you most likely have an attic or a closet full of items that people are looking for. Give it a test — search eBay for the kinds of items that are selling, and ask yourself if you have the ability and the inventory to join the massive online auction business.
How do you become self employed? The possibilities are nearly endless. You don’t have to slave away in a cubicle, or wear a uniform and flip burgers. In today’s economy, anyone can be their own boss. Do your research, decide what kind of work you’re interested in, and fire your corporate boss today.