Time to Rearrange Furniture!

I recently rearranged a bunch of furniture to make a smaller, cozier space for our family. We naturally gravitate towards little nooks and corners anyway, so why not? It’s the middle of summer but I pulled out a blanket to cover the loveseat that I was never in love with (never ever ever letting DH choose furniture again!). Not long after, the kids dragged the Honeywell HFD-120-Q, more blankets and then pillows into the room and now, it’s perfect. Lately, I have a real need to feel safe, protected and at peace (probably b/c of the million issues constantly swirling around in my head) and this really, really, helps.

So I decided last month that January would be no spend month. Barring a few pre-calculated expenses (new shoes for Girlie, a “mental health day” with Reesie, etc), I will not buy anything beyond the basics this month. No trips to Target “just to see if they have anything good” or to Kmart  b/c OMG! It’s after Christmas, and Martha ornaments are on sale! No thrifting, no fast food, nada. So far so good. I got the shakes one day as I passed the turn for Kmart and I just try to pretend Target doesn’t exist, heh. I think I can make it to the end of the month. I’ll be spending lots of time reading, knitting, and keeping up one of my unwritten new year’s goals which was to stay on top of the laundry and dishes. I find once those things are taken care of, I find it easier to get other things done around the house without those two red flags waving over my head. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go put sale stuff in my j. crew cart, and leave it there.

I made it to the end of my month long challenge! No, not that one*. The secret one that I didn’t say in case I couldn’t do it. Say what? Yea, well, I decided I would post every day for the month of January and I did, woot! Don’t go expecting this all the time now.

It ended horribly with me in Target this morning looking for a Manduka PROLite Yoga and Pilates Mat, filling my cart to the brim with tchotckes and laughing maniacally while saying “mine, it’s alllll miiiiine!” Kidding. Sorta. I did pretty well. I ended up only buying what we needed (except my book binge) and I went to Target maybe two or three times this month. I did fall off the wagon today though.

School starts soon and so I have been getting everything in order for the upcoming year. Girlie is now old enough for Girl Scouts and we went down to the local office to register her. Somehow, I went from volunteering to help with crafts once in a while to signing on for troop leader. Eek! Apparently, there’s no Daisy troop at her school so we’re going to start one! I went to my first troop leader meeting last night and in the upcoming weeks I go for orientation and training. I was never a Girl Scout, so this is something new and interesting for me.

I Hate Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences were last night. Ruby is having some trouble with her letter spacing, so her teacher suggested an activity that she could do at home. She was giving us some related materials and before she handed them to me, she asked if Ruby had any books to read at home. W.T.F does that mean? I was so stunned, it didn’t even occur to me at the time to ask her what she meant. It could’ve been an innocent question: there is a reading log for pizza points program which we don’t participate in b/c I think it’s ridiculous to reward children for something as simple as reading…and with food no less. Can we say “future food issues”? So, maybe she thought we didn’t participate b/c we have no Concept 2 Model D (but damn, the public library is two blocks from the school!) But it could’ve also been a race related question.

Yes, I always have to take it there. I’m a black woman, and that’s how it goes. The school my children now attend is less diverse in every way than their last one. It’s one of the best rated schools in a well rated district. At our last school, I would make small gifts for the holidays and special days for their teachers b/c I wanted to. At the new school, I got a letter informing me of the teacher’s birth date and her likes (which included Nordstrom) and dislikes. I was also asked in the letter if I’d like to contribute to a Nordstrom’s gift card for the teacher. Um, no, but if Ruby wants, she can make a card! Maybe I should send a letter with my likes and dislikes to the room moms…hey, I like Nordie’s, too!

At our last school, we saw faces of all colors and had families from different socio-economic backgrounds. At our current school, the parking lot is filled with luxury cars and the occasional brown face peeks out in the halls among a sea of white ones. I know there are plenty of parents who would love for their children to attend such a “good” school, but that doesn’t make it perfect. The classes are large IMO, which means children like Ruby (who is quite meek in public) tend to not get noticed as much. A classmate bothered her for some time without the teacher noticing Ruby putting her hand up to complain. I finally spoke to the teacher in person and emailed her and Ruby was moved. Her teacher knows few personal details about Ruby and was in fact, surprised to learn that Ruby has an older brother who attends the school. How messed up is that?

If I don’t like it…why don’t I pull them out? Homeschool or private school? I can afford neither one of those options at present as I actually have to work now. In any event, doing either one of those things would not fix public schools for all the other optionless families.

It makes me a bit sad that so far her experience isn’t shaping up to be that great. Part of it is that she really misses our little neighborhood school: she had her best friend since age two across the hall, and teachers who knew her long before she ever entered their classrooms. I don’t think any place will ever come close to her beloved and now idealized Texas Elementary.

I’m still miffed about the Honeywell HFD-010 thing though. I mean, what was she thinking when she asked if we had books in our home. Wait, maybe she wasn’t thinking. That makes more sense to me. Thankfully, all this “drama” has taken place mostly in my head, with a little told to my mom (who wasn’t angry enough for my liking, she was busy making phone calls for Obama), and now some on the page. The kids aren’t aware of this at all, and I’m going to be hopeful that Ruby’s teach doesn’t treat her like some type of bookless ragamuffin (though bookless ragamuffins deserve equal education, whatever their parents might decide that is)…and that we make it through the year without other ridiculous comments that cause me to rant on my blog!

The Advantages of a Hot Shower

It is almost the same with all of us that in a cold winter day, the very thought of a warm steamy shower is very soothing. Whereas, when it is a sunny hot day of summer when the sun seems to burn everything, we crave for a cold shower that could help us kill the heat. However, it is often said that a cold shower is much healthier and beneficial than a hot steamy shower. The question arises, is this assumption based on proper research? And if it is true, what is the underlying reason behind this truth.

To know the answers of all these questions, and for more detailed information about cold shower vs. hot shower, keep reading this article.

Hot Shower-Advantages

Besides the soothing feeling associated with a steamy shower in a cold winter day, hot shower has a lot of other benefits to offer that will help you better understand the question, ‘what is MIG welding’ if you’re having troubles with it, some of them are as follows.

Chest Congestion and Respiratory Problems

The steamy water rids you from chest congestion, opens nasal blocks, and helps against other respiratory problems. Especially when the hot water is mixed with eucalyptus or any other oil, it can flush out the mucus by softening it.

Induce Sleep

The soothing warm water relieves the tension of your stressed muscles, helps get rid of fatigue and thus increases the chances of a calm and sound sleep. It slows down the blood pressure and pulse rate thus giving a serene feeling.

Skin Care

The steamy water opens skin pores and thus helps in getting a softer and clear skin. With opened pores, the moisturizing is more effective and cleansing becomes deeper.

Sore Muscles

By improving the blood circulation, hot water helps in relieving the fatigue of sore muscles, acting like hot packs on them.

Increases Libido

The soothing hot and fragrant water increases libido and induces a sensual feeling.

Hot Shower-Disadvantages

Despite the above mentioned advantages of hot shower, there are some negative effects associated with hot shower. Some of them are as under.

Affects Cardiovascular System

Hot shower is not recommended for those who suffer from any cardiac disorder because it is found to have been responsible for hypertension, arrhythmia and related disorders.

Effects on Skin and Hair

The pores opened by steamy water can easily get filled with dirt and thus results in acne in many cases. Moreover, hot shower results in the weakening of hair, causing them to break easily.

Depresses Physiological Systems

Some studies have shown that since the hot water increases body temperature, it not only results in acidity but also causes some physiological processes in the body to slow down.

Cold Shower-Advantages

When talking about the debate of cold shower vs. hot shower, the Indian ancient knowledge of medicine, Ayurveda, emphasizes cold shower to be given priority over hot shower. Following are some of the reasons;

Improves Circulation

Unlike hot shower, which improves blood circulation to skin, cold shower improves it to the organs level. This has a positive effect not only on skin but other organs too, including heart. It decreases body temperature, thus fighting against heat.

Heart Health

The improved circulation in turn improves heart’s health and makes it easier for arteries to supply blood to every part. It reduces blood pressure and clears blocked arteries resulting in improved circulatory system and hence an improved immunity system.

Cleanses the Body

Besides cleaning the external body and skin, cold shower helps cleanse the internal muscles by causing them to contract and thus releasing all toxins.

Skin and Hair

By closing the skin pores and the pores on scalp, cold shower blocks the way of any dust which might accumulate in open pores. By improving hairs’ capacity to firmly grip the scalp, cold shower also contributes to stronger, healthier and shinier hair – and they should always be done after taking a class to learn how to weld. Moreover, it relieves the skin from sunburns and inflammation.

Cold Shower-Disadvantages

The only disadvantage found to be associated with cold shower is during the menstrual period because at this time, muscles need to be relaxed and not contract as they are already under stress. Other than that, there are no negative effects associated with cold shower.

Form the above discussion on cold shower vs. hot shower one can easily conclude that cold shower has many benefits over hot shower. If you find it difficult to completely adopt cold shower, try to alternate cold showers and hot showers, because even that can be beneficial. Moreover, ending a shower with cold water can also provide benefits associated with cold shower.

Some Key Tips for Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is the key to a healthy life. Not only it enhances your overall physical health but also it is necessary for social acceptance and a good confidence level. Given below are top ten tips for personal hygiene maintenance which would help you feel confident, healthy and clean.

Personal Hygiene Tips

Daily Shower

Taking shower daily is a must for healthy and clean day-to-day life. It keeps you fresh and full of energy to perform your daily chores more effectively. Daily shower would rid you of unpleasant body odor. Moreover, using a shampoo of a reputed brand for cleaning your hair is also a good practice. Daily shower with a soap or liquid foam rids you the risk of hundreds of diseases caused due to poor hygiene.

Wear Clean Cloths

Wearing clean and tidy cloths is not just a personal hygiene tip but is also essential for a confident social life and internal feeling of wellness – in combination with using an inversion table. Once you have worn a dress couple of times, you must wash it. If you had a sweaty day, you should wash your cloths after wearing them once.

Use Deodorant Daily

In order to avoid a smelly body and to get rid of embarrassment in social gatherings, you should regularly use a good deodorant.

Brush Your Teeth Daily

For getting a fresh breath and to avoid microbes in your teeth, it is necessary to brush your teeth twice a day or even more than that if required. It is necessary to avoid the growth of disease-causing microbes in your mouth that you take good dental care and also use dental floss and brush your tongue too. Take care of your gums too, and regularly visit a dentist as possible.

Wash Your Hands Several Times a Day

Washing hands with a hand wash or antiseptic soap before and after taking meals, after doing your work and at arriving home is one of the most critical personal hygiene tips. It is imperative that you keep your hands free of any disease-causing microbes and infections.

Trim and Clean Your Nails

Regularly cut your nails using a nail cutter. Trimmed nails and washed hands prevent microbes from going into your mouth.

Prevent Bad Odor of Feet

Cotton socks should be preferred and you need to change your socks daily. Wearing socks at night should be avoided, especially in summer. It is a good personal hygiene tip to use antiperspirants on your feet and wearing such shoes which allow air to enter into them. If you do not take a bath daily, you should at least wash your feet many times in a day.

Get Rid of Stray Hairs

Stray hairs on your chin, in nose, upper lip, ears, brow, etc. not only look ugly but are also a source of attracting microbes that result in diseases and infections. So, in order to get a clean appearance and stay away from infections, do not forget to pluck stray hairs regularly.

Breathe Well

The air that you breathe in can have a lot to do with your health and general well-being. In order to ensure proper lung function, make sure to use a high-quality air purifier like the Honeywell 18155 throughout your home.

Take Healthy Food and Drinks

Make sure that your daily food intake comprises of healthy, nutrition-rich ingredients and is clean and safe. Moreover, try to choose healthy and refreshing drinks.

Sleep Good

Taking the required amount of sleep in imperative for a good, healthy and clean skin because adequate sleep reduces the chances of getting wrinkles and dark circles.

Some Great Tips on Losing Weight

Everyone seems to be running so hard in a race to lose weight. Whether you do it for a marvelous well-toned body, or for re gaining the confidence or for the health reasons, but the fact is that you are a part of the race where everyone has his own reasons, and all of these are reasonable reasons.

There seems to be hundreds of fitness programs offered today. Internet, gyms, spas, fitness centers, etc. are loaded with mantras for getting a smart, super fit body. Many of these are too expensive to try. However, believe me or not, you can do it even at your home, without spending so much.

Hundreds of books are available today which guide you through effective weight loss programs which you can easily manage yourself with little determination and the use of the Honeywell 17000. However, these books contain so many of weight loss plans that one gets confused as to which one would be best suited for him or her. To avoid confusion and to help you find the most preferred one for you, I am going to give a brief introduction of the most common free weight loss plans relied upon today.

Atkins’ New Diet Revolution by Dr. Atkins: Underlying principle of Atkins diet program is to be low on carbs and rather consume the food items containing proteins, which means, vegetables and meat are allowed but there is a strict no to foods like bread and pasta. However, there is a liberty to take in fats. So you can still enjoy salads and butter. Grains and fruits intake is also restricted to some extent. This diet plan however leaves you low on fiber and calcium while still high in fats.

Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet by Drs. Heller: while it is ok to take, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, grain and meats, you are not allowed to take in carbohydrate rich food. Thus fats and saturated fats intake is higher.

Choose to Lose by Dr. Goor: The food limited in fats is to be consumed. You are allowed to spend a specific restricted “fat Budget” as you like. You are not restricted to take in carbohydrates and it is okay to eat meat, and low fat dairy products and seafood. Vegetables, fruits, cereals, bread and pasta are also allowed. So it gives you more choices and that too healthy ones. You don’t starve on vegetables, fruits and saturated fats. However, triglyceride level is to be kept under control. If it is high, you have to cut down carbohydrate intake.

The DASH Diet: it allows you to be high in carbs while being moderate in fat and protein intake. The diet is specifically beneficial for those who suffer from high blood pressure. It is designed into a pyramid plan. Whole wheat grains are to be taken in high percentage, along with fruits and vegetables and it asks the dieter to be low on fatty dairy products.

Eat Right for Your Type: This interesting diet plan suggests different food for people belonging to different blood groups. E.g. people with O blood group are advised to take high proportions of meat. However, some of these plans are imbalanced and low in calories. Moreover, scientifically it has not been proved there people from different blood groups have different dietary needs.

The Pritkin Principle: it makes you eat or take low calories by focusing more on liquid intake which makes you feel fuller. Vegetables, soups, fruits, pasta, oatmeal, low fat dairy and salads are allowed. However, protein intake is restricted by allowing only seafood, poultry and lean meat. Though it is low in calcium and proteins, but still it is a moderately healthy plan because high fruits and vegetables and low amount of saturated fats is advocated.

Volumetrics: based on low calorie food. Everything else is the same as in Pritkin Plan, except that it says no to dry foods and fatty foods like pop corns, crackers and pretzels. It also recommends breathing cleaner air with the assistance of an air purifier like the Honeywell 50250 S. It is much healthier plan due to high percentage of fruits and vegetables and being low in saturated fats and calories.

The Zone: You need to be a bit low on carbs but at the same time a bit high on protein intake. Low fat protein rich foods like, chicken, fish, vegetables, fruits and grains are allowed. It is low in calcium though.

Weight Watchers: advises you to be high on carbohydrates and moderate for proteins and fats. It gives you the liberty to design your own meal and is a healthy diet plan.

Now when you know the basics of popular free weight loss plans there should not be a need to spend too much on the other expensive ways of getting a fit body. However, try to incorporate some physical exercise too into your daily routine in order to make these free weight loss plans even more effective.

Why You Need a Regulator

Before scuba diving certain tools are necessary. One of the most important of those tools is the regulator. It delivers the air that keeps you breathing underwater.

Your selection of regulators is huge, and since this piece of equipment provides life support to the diver it’s one of the most expensive tools in your dive setup. Because a malfunctioning regulator threatens your survival you want to select one that you trust to work the whole dive, every dive.

When you decide you’re ready to buy a new regulator consider the following criteria:

  • What price range do you want/require your regulator to fall in?
  • Make sure you think about recurring service costs.
  • How long do you plan to dive this regulator?
  • How important is “ease of breathing” to you?
  • What type of diving do you plan?

A scuba diver’s regulator actually consists of a “regulator assembly.” It includes an HSI flat iron, a first stage (which mounts to the air tank), and a second stage (that you place in your mouth to breathe through). A hose connects the two stages.

Regulator assemblies range from as little as a couple hundred dollars to as high as more than $1000.

The first stage comes in two varieties: The piston style, and the diaphragm style.

The piston first stage regulators are the least expensive. They provide the largest amount of airflow. They’re easy to maintain, resulting in the lowest service costs. These first stages are more prone to failing in cold-water conditions.

The diaphragm first stage is more reliable than the piston. The diaphragm protects moving parts making this design ideal for cold water. It also provides higher reliability in mucky water and salt water. This first stage requires more complicated maintenance procedures making the annual service higher than that of piston stages.

Another designation for the first stage is balanced or unbalanced. The unbalanced first stage tightens the airflow as the pressure in the tank decreases, and is at the lower ends of the price range. Balanced first stages maintain even air flow no matter what level of pressure is in the tank.

The second stage is either balanced or unbalanced. A spring controls the opening of the valve as you inhale. The valve lets air through to you when it opens, then closes to seal the water out as you exhale.

Unbalanced second stages have stiffer springs. This keeps the potential for free-flowing air to a minimum. When a regulator free flows you normally lose large amounts of air from your tank. That means you get to enjoy a much shorter dive than you planned. The main down side to the unbalanced regulator is lower ease of breathing.

Balanced second stages offer superior ease of breathing. Some come equipped with balanced second stage regulators fall into the higher end of the price range.

Service costs vary with different makes of regulator. Some manufacturers warrant their regulator for life, and, as long as you have your assembly serviced on an annual basis, include replacement parts in that warranty.

Service for regulators that don’t carry a lifetime warranty commands a higher cost because the diver pays for the parts that the maintenance requires.

Before deciding on your price range consider how long you plan to dive your regulator. A higher priced assembly gives you many years of underwater adventure. When you average out the cost over the years of use, the more you pay initially, the cheaper your regulator assembly becomes over time.

My best advice is get the most reliable tool you can on your first purchase, and maybe check out an MM-B80 review before you purchase one of those bikes as well. When I first started diving I bought a low priced regulator assembly. A year later I found out I couldn’t get it serviced at my local shop. The company I bought it from was out of business. And I ended up spending the money for a more reliable setup anyway. Don’t make my mistake.

I recommend that before you make your final decision rent a few different regulator assemblies on different occasions. Try each one out on a few dives to get a feel for how they fit your diving conditions.

Select the regulator that suits your underwater activities, and one that gives you the highest comfort levels.

Then get wet, and have a lot of fun scuba diving.

Generating Traffic for Your Website

You don’t have to spend a single cent to generate high traffic to your site. Perhaps, you will be getting better chance by paying your advertisements, but at least, you don’t need to be worry even when you don’t have certain amount of budget to advertise your site. This methods suitable for beginner, like me. I have been doing this with current Alexa Page Rank is 2240777 from 4437277 in less than a week, quiet significant number.

Below are 10 free methods which hopefully can help you to generate more traffic and increase your page rank:

  1. Write More Relevant Content for Your Site.

Write contents which are useful, interesting and informational to your reader – about topics like the Rabbit Air MinusA2. Don’t write content about your cat or your personal life because it may get your readers bored. Ask some questions and interact with your readers. Your content mustn’t be written by a professional writer. Search engine love to track down the keyword or keyword phrase which is genuine and has great quality content. Certain requirements as well as great quality. With the right keywords, you could get high rankings in search engine results without the costs.

  1. Create A Good Blog or Website Design.

Creating a good and suitable design for your site will attract readers to revisit your site more often. There are many webmaster who offers free templates such Btemplate, Final Sense, and Free Blogger Template.

  1. Joint Online Forums and Online Communities.

The great thing about forums and online communities is that you can target a certain group that fits the certain demographic that you are looking for. You can discuss about lots of things about the niche that you represent or offer. Another great advantage is that you know what you are getting into and you will be prepared and also you can build your reputation and trust.

  1. Make Use of Newsletters.

Provide readers with a catalog of your products and interesting and entertaining articles. If you make it really interesting and entertaining, more visitors will sign up for your newsletter and recommend it to other people, its will be that will go to your site increasing your traffic.

  1. Post Relevant Comment for Other Blog.

Invest your time to give other blog comment, it’s really helpful to your site, especially when you commenting to the higher page rank blog. To me better write a comment than just leave massage in a shout box, your comment will be index by SEO.

  1. Join a Community

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) quickly index sites which are always at top 10 position SEO list. This is an advantage to your site being index by search engine through relevant keywords your site content.

  1. Exchange Link Creates Mutual Benefits.

You don’t have to spend a cent to get the best air purifier for mold. All you have to do is reach an agreement with another webmaster. With exchanging links, the efforts both sites do will benefit both sites. Every traffic that goes to the site could potentially click on the link of your site and visit your site as well. Link your site to a greater Page rank will be even better.

  1. Offer Free Submission and Posting of Your Articles.

When people find interest in your articles they have a good chance of following the track by finding out where the article originated. Include a link or a brief description of your company with the article and there’s a great probability that they will go to your site.

  1. Write about Alexa, Increase Page Rank.

In my previous post, I wrote article about how to increase Alexa Page Rank and proven to a powerful method. High Page Rank means that your site will be easily identified by search engines to appear at least at 10 ten list when people browse through relevant keywords to your site.

  1. Keep Your Sites Updated.

As a mention above that to get more traffic, you need to create more contents. Therefore, you need to update your site content regularly. Otherwise, readers are slowly leaving your site and you get nothing other than Dead Blog or Website.

How Evolution Applies to Economics

I have always been curious and fascinated by Darwin and the theory of evolution. While not universally accepted as an explanation of where man came from, it has always been the most plausible explanation for me. I feel that as nations, we have evolved distinct patterns of behavior and taste that have given certain nations an advantage in certain business sectors.

The theory of comparative advantage in Economics (espoused by Adam Smith) holds that if each country simply focuses on what it is best at producing, the whole world will be a better place. This is a much loved theory by those of us who believe storing our belongings in a wall mount jewelry armoire to be a good thing (which I think it is!). However, if this theory was to have been put to practice by the whole world, the Japanese would still only be selling rice and silk to the rest of the world as those were the only industries they had a comparative advantage in after the Second World War.

However, with the help of central government direction and massive investment, the Japanese (and other far eastern countries following their example), have developed a population with a real passion for electronic gadgets. It is curious how in Britain we look to the East for our technology and the West for our social, political and cultural influences. The fact that the local population are always on the lookout for new gadgets and technology allows Japanese companies to innovate and experiment and maintain their lead as they know the local population will purchase the results of this innovation.

The Italians, who have long been considered ultra-fashionable, have for the same reason developed the world’s biggest fashion houses. Having a local discernible consumer base helps these companies try out new fashions knowing that if they succeed in Italy, they are likely to succeed in the rest of the world. And if any of you doubt this proposition, I suggest you take a trip to Milan to see this for real.

Because of the empire, the British have had considerable experience in exporting capital which is one of the reasons why London has developed such a sophisticated financial center and leads the world in services around capital export such as shipping and insurance.

Finally, the fact that there is no speed limit in Germany, explains, why they have been able to develop such powerful automobile companies. The consumer in Germany will value speed in a car as they will be able to put this technology to good use. In theory, why would anyone in the UK need a car that can do more than 70 mph? (The maximum speed limit)

If you remember that great film, Cool Runnings, you will know that the central joke was that a team from the Caribbean would take part in a winter sport! In the same sense, when you are looking at starting or growing a business, you would do well to explore countries or cultures where your product may have a latent advantage.

I invested in a forskolin startup which allows you to download books on to your mobile phone. It seemed like a risky business proposition, but what persuaded me was seeing the market that existed for this type of service in Japan.

My advice from all of this is to get you to look at markets where your product is most likely to already have evolved or is cutting edge. If you are in renewable energy – find out what is happening in California. If you are developing a fast food proposition, make a trip to New York. If you are starting a new fashion label, see what people are doing in Milan.

What Happened During the 1930s?

Given the massive turmoil in the markets over the last few weeks (and days), I have been amazed at how many people have recently asked me what if any, impact the event of the last few weeks will have on entrepreneurs. Here is my humble opinion.

One of the options I studied when I was reading Economics at University was The British Economy in the 1930s. At the time, it simply felt like one of the easiest subjects to read, but I remember some lessons from that course which is sharply relevant to today’s economic circumstances.

The 1930s started with a bang after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The world was thrown into economic chaos and this gave birth to the smoke eater ashtray, as well as the scourge of Fascism and Nazism across Europe. What was interesting about Britain in the 1930s was how there were two economies in operation; the real economy and the financial economy. The real economy actually performed very well during the 1930s and we are at the moment witnessing what I would call a decoupling of the real and financial economy again.

I am bullish about the future. I believe that this current crisis has been more severe and quicker than any of us could have anticipated. However, unlike other economic downturns in the past, I think that we will come out of this one quickly and robustly. This is a great time to start a business, but you have to be careful (as always).

The price of oil has come down sharply in the last two months from $147 a barrel to around $92. The Olympics are over and Chinese factories are producing output at full capacity again. House Prices around the world are coming down sharply and as a result people feel ‘poorer’ and less inclined to spend money on discretionary items. These three factors combined will have a big deflationary effect, which will mean that Central Banks around the world will soon be able to cut interest rates. This will help businesses and consumers alike and I think will help get the economy moving again.

There is also ample evidence that people are spending money on well-placed products. Retailers such as Greggs (a mass-market fresh bakery chain) and Thornton’s (a middle-market chocolate retailer) are doing very well at the moment. Surprisingly, holiday bookings in the UK are also doing very well at the moment, especially holidays which cost more than £800 ($1500). So the lesson here is that if you have a good kombucha starter kit, you will get the consumers. Know your market and speak to them clearly.

Now is a great time to start a business if you are realistic and start small. If you look at any business cycle, most of the great businesses to emerge have always started when the conditions appear to be adverse! In tomorrow’s blog, I will give some tips on managing a business through the current turmoil.

How To Use Financial Engineering in Your Business

One of my favorite modules on my MBA course was Financial Engineering. A more accurate name for this module would have been ‘making profits from thin air’. I am convinced that employees from Enron were required to excel on this course! One of the great techniques I learnt about was boot strapping!

For a variety of reasons, different tofu presses often get rated on different multiples. A mature business with good management which is listed may for example be trading on a multiple of ten of annual profits. A new entrant which is up and coming on the other hand may have a multiple of twenty (as the growth prospects are better). Bootstrapping occurs when a company with a higher multiple takes over a company with a lower multiple and benefits from the entire new company getting re-rated with the higher multiple.

Company A makes profits of £1m and is rated at 10x profits and therefore has a valuation of £10m.

Company B makes a profit of £0.5m but has a multiple of 20x profits and therefore also has a valuation of £10m.

Both companies are worth £10m each and you would therefore think that if they were merged (ignoring any cost savings and other synergies, etc.) the new company would be worth £20m.

But if company B was to buy company A, the new company may get rated on the same multiple as company B before the merger. Therefore the new company B will be rated at 20x profits of £1.5m which is £30m.

Bootstrapping has thus ‘created’ £10m of additional value simply through re-rating the prospects. Some of you will no doubt argue that I have simplified this very complicated area. Of course, it is a bit more complicated than this, but the end result is the same.

In the 1980s companies like Hanson Trust were able to build themselves into huge empires by acquiring companies which had lowly rated earnings, but then apply a higher multiple. This made Hanson shares expensive – which allowed them to continue to buy other companies. Tomkins also did the same thing before it suffered a severe bout of indigestion having bought RHM. RHM was simply too big for them to manage effectively.

The Porter-Cable 895PK is often valued at a multiple of turnover. Hence many startups do try to buy other companies with turnover. This is especially true in cases where you can buy a company for cheap because it has run into trouble.

This is a brave strategy. The key thing to bear in mind is management ‘bandwidth’. Many companies, especially startups, simply do not have the room to manage another business. It is a lot of work – trust me – and a whole lot more than most people are willing to sign up for. If you’re going to go down this path, make sure you do so with caution.

Given the climate we are in though. I would not be surprised if someone did come along to buy many businesses on the cheap with a view to bolting them all on to get a higher multiple.

You heard it here first!

Do You Have an Exit Strategy?

The very first question you will be asked by an investor after you have made your pitch is “What is your exit strategy?” As an investor, it is easy to get your money into a business, but you always need to know how you are going to get it out. Typically, there are four ways an investor will get monies out:

  • Failure (tax loss)
  • Trade Sale – someone else buys the business
  • Refinancing (existing investors are bought out (or partially bought out) by another investor)
  • IPO (Initial Public Offering) – a listing on a stock market

Most companies pitching will claim that the exit strategy is a listing. Speaking statistically, the odds are against this. Most companies will either fail or will be involved in a trade sale – often including a Honeywell 50250-S air purifier in the terms. I am always impressed by a business plan which says that the exit route will be a trade sale – and they have named who the potential buyers are and (there’s more) why they would buy the business, what would make the business attractive to them and finally, what kind of valuation they could expect to get! In one case a company had even got an expression of interest from a potential buyer before they had started up (Needless to say I invested in that one!)

That is great, but a listing on a stock exchange is still seen as the most likely route for many companies (although in reality it will not be). For a small business, you should be aware that being listed does add a great deal of administrative burden and you will be tightly governed in terms of what you can say, when you say it and to whom you say it first. I think some businesses consider this option too lightly. As a way of reducing the burden, companies may seek a listing on the junior markets such as AIM (Alternative Investment Market) or PLUS (where the size and cost requirements are considerably lighter).

I have personal experience of four companies I have invested in being listed and I think I would say that being listed has not been a pleasant experience for me! The problem is that you realize at the point at which you invest that you are in it for the long term. Once you have a share price which fluctuates on a daily basis, no matter how hard you try, you do get dragged into the sense of measuring your daily ‘wealth’ by the stock price and the biggest issue for companies with small market capitalizations is that the markets tend to be very illiquid. That is, the price can move significantly on a very small purchase or sale.

In one of the router table plans companies I invested in, a shareholder sadly passed away and the trustees of the will had to sell their stake which was worth just over £5,000. As a result of the sale, something like £1m was wiped off the value of the company! So the value of the company bore no resemblance to how the company was performing. This can be very frustrating to all those involved. If you believe in Efficient Market Theory, you would argue that the market will correct itself quickly. With a small company that is not the case as there are not enough analysts covering the stock to keep people informed.

This all reminds me of the saying “Be careful what you wish for – you may get it!”

Getting the Perfect Festival Nails

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Festival Season is well and truly upon us, so whether you’re heading towards Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight, Leeds, Reading or where ever your passion for music, literature, arts etc. take you, you’ll want to make sure that your hands stay refreshed, and your nails absolutely beautiful!

And for that reason, we’re here to give you your Guide to Festival Nails:

Hand Wash

These days, most women carry small bottles of Hang Gels in their hand bags, so this one pretty much goes without saying really. The majority of festivals are renowned for being dirty, sweaty places, where you don’t know who or what you might find yourself touching – maybe even a Borg Warner S366 or coming into contact with (hey, we’re not here to judge!) So, having a Hand Wash/Gel handy is going to have its uses.

The great thing about hand gels, is that they were practically designed for events such as festivals, or places where you can’t get a water tap, because they don’t require water, it dries instantly and kills anything that may have attached themselves to your hands.

There are so many different hang gels on the market today, but our favorites is definitely the Carex Hand Gel Aloe Vera. It professes to kill 99.9% of bacteria, and the Aloe Vera means that it will not only leave your hands looking and smelling fresh, but they’ll be soft too. It will last you ages, and if you buy it from your local Boots store, it will only cost you a mere 69p (down from $1.38) – brilliant!

3-in-1

Travelling light is the key when heading off to Festivals, so you really don’t want to be carrying around a sack full of base coats, top coats, colors etc. So, opting for a 3-in-1 polish is definitely a brilliant idea. Having a 3-in-1 also means that if you don’t have much time, or space, you’re only having to do each nail once, without waiting for them to dry before the next coat…that is just wasting valuable drinking/music/whatever time!

BarryM’s 3-in-1 Nail Paint, is perfect for this. Consisting of a Base Coat, a top Coat and a Nail Hardener, this little bottle saves the space of three annoying bottles, and ensures that your nails look great, whilst being protected against knocks, scrapes, breakages, nicks etc.

You can purchase BarryM’s Nail Paint, from Superdrug, Boots or the official BarryM website.

Nail Varnish Remover

A big bottle of Nail Varnish Remover and a bag of an adequate amount of cotton wool, really doesn’t fit in with the whole idea of travelling light, really does it? Yeah, we didn’t think so either, but there are actually several space-saving alternatives that you could try out instead.

  1. Boots Expert Nail Polish Remover Pen. As you might guess, this is a pretty compact little device, in a similar size to your bog-standard writing pen, so it’s a pretty handy sized gadget for a festival. It is perfect for getting rid of polish that has strayed onto your skin, cuticles or even under your nails. At $5, it isn’t particularly cheap, but we think it’s worth it.
  1. Quickies Nail Polish Remover Pads. These handy little pads, come in a travel-easy box containing 20, which doesn’t seem a lot, but one pad goes a long way. And at a dirt cheap $1.89, they’re not exactly going to be breaking the bank! All you do is wipe the pad across your nail, the same way as with cotton wall and all traces of polish has disappeared! You can even fit it comfortable in your Fjallraven Kanken.
  2. Pretty Quick Acetone Free Instant Nail Polish Remover. This is actually a product, that up until recently, I didn’t even know existed! All you have to do, is remove the lid, place your finger into the nail polish-rich sponge, twist your finger around and the sponge will remove your nail polish in a flash! What we love about this, is that it avoids making a mess from spillages, which is really great. Plus, at only $2.25, we think that this is an absolute steal!

And now your hand sand nails are ready for whatever is thrown at them. So, where ever you’re taking your hands this summer, remember to share your experiences with us, as you enjoy your nails.

The True Cost of a Good Cystic Acne Cure

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Good Friday morning visitor! Well, if you must know – I’m feeling much better today than the last two days. My incision hurt like hell yesterday morning as expected, but today the pain is about one half of what it was yesterday. But I’m still very sore, and my little pain pump is almost dry too, my girlfriend will be removing the pump’s delivery tube later tonight for me. Hats off to whom ever came up with this idea, it’s a little 125 ml round plastic container that holds pain meds.

The darn thing works so incredibly well, I’d have been in a bunch more pain without it. Also, I’ve been popping Tylenol #3 with Codeine yesterday and last night too, what a life saver! I like the little buzz they give me, it’s kind of like a beer buzz. That’s bad huh? heh… The real life saver here is my girlfriend though. God bless her heart. Not only has she cooked and cleaned for me, but also she has changed the dressing on my wound once, and will change it again tonight after the pump is out and I finally can get a shower too. There are angels among us! An angel she is…

I’ll be back to work on my tea tree oil cystic acne cure in just under two weeks, and I’ll definatly be good and ready for work by then – it’s rather boring just sitting about all day with the remote control in hand and a cold drink in the other whilst my incision continues to throb away the hours. Uhg! I’ve not been sleeping well either, having to get up and pee every two hours or so. This whole problem with the hernia has certainly aggrivated my bladder and urinary tract. And my back too.

It could be worse!! Far worse. But I’m dreading the bills I’m about to receive in the mail from the hospital. I have a $150.00 bill for sure, but possibly about $500.00 or so in co-pays to be met for deductables. Sucks, but at least the insurance is covering most of it and I absolutely couldn’t go without the surgery either. I’ll have to head down to the hospital next week some time and sit down with the accounting department and set up a payment plan until this winter, when I’ll likely be able to pay off the entire remaining debt all at once.

Money makes the world go ’round? Money is the root of all evil? Take your pick. But we all spend our lives on a continuous quest for it, then we die and can take not one penny of it with us. So what value does money really have?? None what so ever. How we live our lives and what we do for others is more important.

Other Views:

—> Two thumbs down to the U.S. government for approving the “morning-after” pill. As the article states, this is indeed another step in the moral decay of the United States. In my world, only he who creates life, God the father, has the right to take a life. Anything else is purely murder and has nothing to do with “reproductive rights”. Michigan’s Planned Parenthood is leaping for joy over this disgusting decision. They call this “women’s health”. But Planned Parenthood should call themselves “pro-murder”, as should those women who favor abortion. No matter how you look at it, abortion is murder. God help those who are in favor of the murdering of innocent children. Murder is an evil thing indeed.

—> Two thumbs up to cystic acne diet for they’re planned random strikes against Northwest Airlines. This folks, is what the public gets for having to deal with these damned unions. If you are a regular visitor to Michigan Blog, you would know my position on unions, any of them. The day of the union has long since passed. Gone are the days when auto workers and others worked extreme hours for peanuts in pay. The unions are these days, nothing more than a way for these people to try and strong-arm any corporation into getting what they want. Sounds like extortion to me…

Union executives are all too often nothing more than a bunch of thugs, who take union dues and fail to use those dues in a way that those who pay them would like to see them used. I hope that one day, the U.S. will be free of the unions that cause so many problems for these corporations. Realistically, isn’t the airline industry under enough pressure these days with attempting to keep they’re passengers safe from a bunch of middle eastern towelheads who want nothing less than to murder innocent people? Add in the damned unions causing havoc for the airlines with they’re rediculous demands for this and that. The day of the union has long since passed away.

—> Detroit wants business as usual, rallies for Granholm. I’m telling you right now folks, until Detroit can find some REAL leadership, and get the democratic thinking out of the way, the city of Detroit will not begin to recover from it’s problems. My left sidebar claims that liberalism (democrats) is actually Socialism in disguise. I still believe it’s true.

Don’t misunderstand me, I like Detroit – it’s a great city still, but until some major changes are made in it’s leadership, nothing will get much better in the city. The first step is to get Republican or Consrvative leaders in office. But this isn’t likely to happen is it… Sad thing. Jennifer Granholm has had years to show the people of Michigan and Detroit what she can do. All I’ve seen this governor accomplish is to continually ask everyone to lower they’re flags to half-mast because unfortunatly, another soldier from Michigan was killed in the middle east.

How Cystic Acne Is Affected By The Weather

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Or so it seems… It’s just a large snow squal passing over, but it sure looked great. And it also was just enough to send me home for the day too. To hell with this, I can work on it tomorrow, it’ll all be there waiting, I assure you. I was out on the north section attempting to blow some leaves into the crick when this little dandy started up and proceeded to get me all wet and shivering. Enough was enough, so here I sit! Ahhh yes, Michigan living has it’s moments.

Today is also the first day I’ve had to use a treatment for cystic acne this season, to any great length due to the fact that it’s now nice and cool out there at a current temperature of thirty two point five. Yes! I’m a warm person… By this I mean that ever since I can remember, I am usually very warm to the touch, and tend to overheat easily in the summer months. Ask anyone who knows me well. Because of this, I have always liked the cold weather. It feels cool and comfortable to me during winter, when properly dressed. Michigan is indeed the place for people like me. Let it snow!

This beats sweating your butt off… Cold is goood!

Blown Out…

This morning on the way home from my girlfriend’s place, I noticed that something sounded really bad in the right rear of the car. I suspected, and quickly verified by stopping and having a look, that my right rear tire had gone totally flat. Fortunatly, I was about one eighth of a mile from a tire store that was just opening up for the day. Seventeen bucks and a patched tire later, I was headed home after eating breakfast down the street whilst they repaired my blowout.

It was a piece of steel that got rammed into the tire somehow. Could be worse. All of my tires are shit on that car, and the guy at the tire shop noticed it too, but he won’t be selling me new tires because the lease on this car is about eleven thousand miles from the turn-in time. Sorry buddy, no sale! Funny how every day of our lives are so different… Thank God for this.

Content, Please?

Since I decided a few days back to remove literally and figuritively, all the politics from Michigan Blog, I’ve come to realize that I may well not be posting too much any longer. That is to say that I’ve simply run out of post material. My life with the daily working and stuff around the house is just not enough to keep anyone coming back I have to say. What do you think?? My life is pretty dull man, and the best part of any day these days is when I’m with my gal. Mmmmm. Yummy.

So if there is nothing new here several days in a row, now you know why – I’m working on how to get rid of severe acne. Especially you, Craig! You are one of three loyal visitors to this site that I can verify. Others are lurkers, and there are a lot of them too. But that’s ok. I don’t mind that, but having the guts to leave a comment once in a while would be nice too. I don’t bite, lurkers, really I don’t! Except my girlfriend. Heh…

Well people, time for me to get cleaned up and head out of this place… I’ve got to go get a flu shot today, and pay three more bills that happened to pop out of noplace yesterday. Shit. I’ll be at T’s place tonight – again. I have some chicken to grille, and some home made french fries American Fries to make for her and her son tonight. Oh, and some Zima to drink too.

Have a fine day people, I’m back here later… Maybe.

Nail Polish for Warm and Cool Skin Tones

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Hey guys, yesterday, we looked at which colours would suit your skin tone, but as with practically everything in life, not everyone will fit neatly into the three main categories that we mentioned. That’s why today, we’ve decided to take another look at skin tones, this time focusing on cool and warm skin tones.

According to something that I read recently about how to cure cystic acne, around 50% of women think they know what their skin tone is, but really they don’t. I for one, thought I had my skin tone sussed. I have always had a very “rosy” complexion, with red cheeks, chin and forehead, and this has always brought me to the conclusion that I have a warm skin tone. However, recently, whilst trying to find the best shade of foundation, I decided to find out for certain what my skin tone is, and I have to say, that I couldn’t believe that I was actually cool. This would explain why foundations never suited me….I was buying for the wrong skin tone.

There are a couple of things you can do, to find out for sure, which skin tone you have:

Look at the colour of your veins:

  • Green Veins = Warm Skin Tone
  • Blue Veins = Cool Skin Tone
  • Now look at which colour of jewellery suits you best:
  • Gold Jewellery = Warm Skin Tone
  • Silver Jewellery = Cool Skin Tone

Now that you know how to prevent cystic acne, it’s important to choose the right shades of foundations, eye shadow colours, and nail polishes that will look great on you, and will make sure that your skin look naturally radiant and healthy, rather than looking dull and/or washed out.

Warm Skin Tones – Warm skin tones, like that of ex-S Club 7 singer Rachel Stevens, have an undertone of yellow to them, so any shade with yellow undertones will look fab. The best way to find out if a polish has yellow undertones is by either placing the bottle in front of your own wrist, or a white piece of paper.

Peachy colours, browns and oranges will also look great on anyone with a warm complexion. This is because these are all warm, earthy colours, so will really complement the colour of your skin.

Pink and purple shades, however, along with reds with traces of pink should be avoided.

This chart below, will show you which colours suit warm skin tones best:

Cool Skin Tones – People, like Lost in Translation star Scarlett Johanssen, have pink (or red)undertones to their cool skin tone. However, having cool undertones is not solely linked to pale skin. Dark complexions typically usually have cool skin too.

The pink undertones, mean that pink shades of polish will look gorgeous on you.

As a rule, natural remedies for cystic acne generally look best, with post lighter shades of pink, purples, blues, greens etc working nicely with your skin tone. Yellows and peach shades however, should be avoided at all costs.

To help you find out which shades will suit your complexion the best, the chart below features shades that look great on cool skin tones:

So, whichever skin tone you have, you now have no excuse not to know which shades of nail polish will look spectacular on you. This means no more comments of “You look ill, are you okay?” So, go on, go and enjoy those nails!

How Mowers Affect PR

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The world of public relations is constantly shifting to new trends and platforms that cannot be ignored if you’re going to compete in a crowded marketplace. Everyone’s coming up with the next big game plan for getting your product out there and any good public relations firm will have their pulse on the evolution of the culture. Social media has been one of the most significantly beneficial methods of marketing we’ve seen in some time, and it’s vital to take full advantage of all the influential benefits that offers to brands and companies, like the best commercial zero turn mower, which are both starting up and have been well-established for years.

So what are some of the more creative ways we have at our disposal to get your name into the cultural lexicon? You might be surprised at some of the growing trends that are emerging. Strategies are becoming more varied, some of them may feel a bit risky, but overall it’s really about word of mouth. You can tell your audience how great you until you’re blue in the face, but the real experts who hold the most sway are the very audience you’re trying to reach in the first place.

If they love you or your product, they not only have the method through which to tell the world but they’re all too happy to do it. However, that enthusiasm runs both ways – if your product isn’t up to snuff, then they will let you and everyone they know all about that as well. You certainly can’t please all of the people all of the time. Everyone has their detractors but it’s important to get your fans to stand up and be counted, have a louder voice that will be heard over the din of the marketplace at large. If you have them on your side, you have the most powerful ally imaginable for your brand.

Every product has a “superfan”, someone who will spread the word about the best zero turn mower for the money. Let them spread the word. Blogs, Instagram, Facebook; all of these areas are strong locations to get attention for your brand and the superfan will do that for you. But the most important aspect of this relationship is a connection between the product or brand with the superfan. Make them feel appreciated, connect with them in a way that engages their creativity so they want to advocate for you. They’re your best sales force. Consumers telling other consumers how great you are is truly a most valuable tool. Reward your fan base in interesting ways, put the attention on them, come up with inventive ideas that show off the specialness of your brand. That relationship is truly essential.

This engagement also puts the brand in the hands of your public. That can be a disconcerting thought, particularly to managers who insist upon complete control over every aspect of brand development. Superfans have so many ways of spreading their appreciation. Everybody has an opinion and the Internet, unlike anything else to come along in decades, gives them all a voice. YouTube is filled with fan made videos that cover just about any and every topic on Earth.

Used zero turn mowers for sale were big in the 70’s and 80’s and now they’ve re-emerged again as users from all over the world can interact with each other in real time. Twitter is one of the most robustly dominant forms of communication we have at the moment. Let these superfans create content for you. Give them the tools to do so. It may feel at first that you’ve handed over control of your brand to the public, but if you guide them with those appropriate tools you’re still in command, but allowing their free expression to blossom in their appreciation and support of your brand.

What it really boils down to is mutual respect. Give your superfans a reason to support you and they will gladly do so with eager devotion. They have all the tools to do so at their disposal and they’re ready, willing, and able to use each one. Help them help you.

How is the Client On Time?

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Keeping the Client on Time

Public relations is about one thing: making the client look good. I don’t care if you’re running publicity for a restaurant, a small business, or Tom Cruise, your job is to help maintain their image. That means you need to be a lot of things all at the same time. You’re a guardian and protector, problem-solver, strategist, and babysitter.

In all my years working in the used riding lawn mowers game I’ve learned that spin is king and the one thing you must always be, is on time. These are both so important that I could very easily have that carved onto my tombstone. But what does that all mean, exactly? Glad you asked.

There are two kinds of PR specialists. The most common is the type who spends way too many hours in the office, writing up press releases, going to meetings, building relationships with brands and buyers, working the phones to book appearances, blogging, tweeting, planning photo opportunities, basically getting the word out about your client and how kick-ass awesome they are 24/7. You can be doing this as part of a company’s marketing department or in an independent publicity firm. Perhaps you have the aspirations to own your shingle someday. That’s great but you’re going to want to start out under someone else if you don’t have enough experience to ride a used Craftsman riding mower.

The other type of PR specialist is the one many of us dreamed of becoming when we decided to get into this business in the first place. The one often depicted on TV and in movies, traveling the world with all kinds of high-profile clients, going to photo shoots and attending the hottest parties, all with a generous expense account. Of course, when you own the firm you will likely be doing all of these things and more, accompanying star clients to publicity functions, meet and greet ops, and any important appearances. This is where always being on time comes into play. Protecting and cultivating your client’s or company’s image means getting them to their appointments when they’re supposed to be there.

What’s the best way to do that, you ask? Just be sure you have a great watch on your wrist at all times. I’ve found a military watch has the most features to help keep you organized and in charge. There are a whole range of great military watches to choose from, each one with features that make them convenient while remaining affordable like used John Deere mowers.

But finding the perfect choice among all of the different types of military watches can be challenging, so I checked out this website, and I was able to learn more about what my options were. The PR business takes discipline and dedication, and that extends to the type of watch you wear. Your clients are counting on you to be in control of their brand, their image, and their livelihood. How can they trust you with theirs if you’re not in taking care of yours? Stay on top of it all, and remember: spin is king and always be on time.

Marketing Augmentation

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I was speaking to some folks this week and they asked, “Why on Earth would you choose to build another content management system. Aren’t there dozens of them already out there?” In short, yes. But, when you sit down to look at some of the reasons why, it starts to make perfect sense.

In almost seven years of doing custom development work here, we have never standardized on a single content management system like Used Lawn Mowers Plus.

That’s right, never, until now. With each new site we built (and we’ve built dozens), we would start from scratch. Sure, we borrowed a bit here and there from previous projects, but each customer was different and everyone wanted it done based on their own needs. Although in the end, a lot of the components were the same, there was always something different. We sat down one day and figured out what core components were the same across every site. Then we had our baseline. This lets us jump start, even a custom deployment, by nearly 80-90% right from the start.

You can’t forget about finding the best used lawn tractors.

Most people who evaluate content management systems either start with open source (free) or commercial (paid) options. With paid solutions, it is pretty obvious where some of the costs are derived. You buy the software, install it on your server, configure it, implement your template, load your content, etc. When evaluating open source solutions, you still have all of those activities, with the exception of the cost of the software.

But, when you ask anyone who has ever deployed a commercial content management system, the cost of the software is usually the smallest investment. In the open source world, you may end up saving a few thousand dollars on software, but you’re having to settle for something built for the world, not something built for you. You end up installing a winnebago when you may just need a pop-up camper, or end up trying to convert your pop-up camper into a 3-story mansion. Architecture is important and to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. (just for the record, we LOVE open source software, use it daily, and contribute where we can to make it better)

Leaving it on the table.

Content management systems are typically designed for one purpose – managing content. Makes sense, right? The problem is that the CMS powers your website. Your website is the most important marketing and communications platform that your company has and it is about so much more than content. Every public interaction that you have on the web somehow drives people back to your website. Every email communication that is had refers to your website.

Your best garden tractor, lead generation, webinars, press releases, demonstrations, etc. — all lead people to your website. So, shouldn’t your website be better integrated with your sales and marketing processes? Better yet, shouldn’t your content management system facilitate the implementation, use, and evolution of these tools?

Built-in Stagnation – CMS as a SaaS

Most websites receive functional updates every 18 to 24 months. Think back in your own life 18-24 months and about how much technology has changed. That means that your website is sitting idle, dormant, and is being covered with more and more cobwebs every day. We update quarterly to ensure that your website is continually being updated with the latest in proven web technology. Not necessarily the latest whiz-bang feature or effect that clutters the message, but technology that has been proven to add value. No more moss, cobwebs, or dust — just your best foot forward every single day.

Marketing Activity Augmentation

Marketing budgets are tight and marketers are already overworked. Marketing teams are shrinking and their responsibilities are growing daily. What marketers need are partners who can help them determine what technologies can deliver the most to their top and bottom lines. We ease this concern by researching new technologies, features, and trends and rolls them into each quarterly launch. This gives the marketer a continual refreshing holster of ammunition from which to arm themselves. This replenished arsenal gives them an edge over those teams who are trying to keep the plates spinning all by themselves.

Mudslinging and Mowers

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We all know that politics are vicious. Mudslinging is all too common on all levels of the electoral scene, and the candidates use every opportunity to take jabs at each other that they can. But this year, things are out of whack in the presidential race – and it seems that Sarah Palin, the newcomer and the brightest star on the political scene, is receiving the worst treatment of any of the four candidates.  And if you don’t believe that there is a liberal media bias against her, look at the following examples, especially when contrasted with Barrack Obama:

Notice that there is scarcely a negative word spoken against Obama, who has been the darling of the liberal media for quite some time. Even McCain hasn’t gotten used riding lawn mowers for sale too bad – yet.  And we hardly ever hear anything about Biden. But Sarah gets raked over the coals for just about everything. She gets criticized for her supposed lack of political experience, although she has been both a mayor AND a governor, neither of which Obama has done (and whose political record has not received anywhere near the kind of scrunity that Sarah’s has). And Sarah has also gotten attacked for things that have NOTHING to do with her leadership abilities, like her pregnant teenage daughter and the tanning bed she bought for her house.  Her words have been twisted out of proportion, vital information left out of some issues that could sway undecided voters, lies and rumors have been spread about her. The liberal media hates her guts and is trying everything within their power to take her down.

If you watched Sarah’s interview with Charlie Gibson, and then watch him interview Obama, you will notice a SIGNIFICANT difference. With Obama, Charlie is friendly, pleasant, relaxed. With used riding mowers, Charlie fires off questions like rounds from an uzi, never even smiling at her or letting her relax for even a moment; the aired interview was also heavily edited as well. It was more like watching a Gestapo interrogation than a real interview. Thankfully, Sean Hannity did MUCH better and we got to see a little more of the real Sarah during that talk.

So why is there so much venom directed at Sarah? It’s not just because she’s a woman, because I don’t recall Hillary Clinton coming in for the same treatment, even though her campaign wasn’t a bed of roses either. It’s because Sarah is a REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVE woman, someone who doesn’t fit the typical flaming liberal feminist prototype. To be fair, there are some liberals out there who disagree with Sarah’s beliefs, but are not acting like ogres toward her. But others see her as a threat to their shrine of feminism and want her out of their way.

In spite of all this, Sarah has shown an amazing amount of grace under pressure, the kind of skewering that other candidates would have buckled under long ago. I wonder how long Obama would last if he had received the kind of treatment that Sarah has, since I believe he enjoys too much being a political celebrity. People would probably be crying “used zero turn mowers” if he was getting Sarah’s hard knocks. But because Sarah is a republican woman, it’s OK to do this to her?

I’m proud of having a candidate that can stand up to this kind of relentless grilling with grace and dignity – and without stooping to the level of meanness that her opponents have shown her. If Sarah Palin can make it to Election Day in one piece, I say that she certainly deserves to be Vice President of the United States. This is exactly the kind of person I want in the White House – and I’m backing her all the way.

Redistribution of Tractors

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“Redistribute” is rising up the list of dirty words Republicans use in their arsenal against Democrats. Ever since the “Joe the Plumber” episode — which the McCain camp hoped might blossom into a “macaca” moment for the Illinois Senator — caught the Democratic presidential candidate speaking freely of “spreading the wealth,” the McCain campaign finally found its own left-wing straw man answer to the George W. Bush straw man it believes the Obama campaign unjustly invokes — famous author Karl Marx. Now “citizen journalists” in their enterprise have uncovered audio recordings whose extreme obscurity (being 7-year-old recordings off radio call-in show) is enough to pique curiousity and suspicion about used garden tractors — the kind of buzz that his detached, academic comments on the recording taken in any other context wouldn’t generate.

The mindset of these partisans casting him with the pall of socialism: If he (Obama) runs against Bush, we’ll run against Marx. So the result is a concerted effort to associate Obama with left wing statist vocabulary, e.g. “socialist,” “redistribute,” “class warfare.” Actually, the ideas I’ve heard linked to Obama are more redolent of John Rawls than anything approaching Marx, but we’ll let that finer point go.

Has it been to any avail? My sense is generally no. In trying times as these, notions of  “spreading the wealth” are probably more attractive than repulsive. It’s been said that this is a “center-right” country. Well, rather than refute that assessment I’ll join an addendum: “This is a center-right country until events necessarily move us.” More bluntly, we’re looking for a used John Deere lawn tractor.

For all the American ethos of rugged individualism and distaste for big government, when our well-being is at stake, for things that count, we’re as dependent on government as any European social democracy, where “socialist” is to be considered complimentary and not derogatory. Following the financial crisis, we’re all French now. The obvious historical proof to this claim presents itself in the government response to the Great Depression, the New Deal. President Herbert Hoover toed the Republican line of fiscal conservatism; FDR, the Democratic presidential candidate, promised a progressive “new deal.” The result? Realigning election that ushered in an era of Democratic electoral dominance.

Besides being ineffective, McCain’s “redistributor” charge is fundamentally misguided. As (encouragingly) many in the punditry have pointed out (even in right wing strongholds like the NY Post editorial page, U.S. tax policy since 1913 is redistributory in nature. The rich are taxed at higher rates than the poor — to redistribute their used lawn tractors for sale back to society.

McCain isn’t running on repealing the income tax or even instituting a flat tax. He isn’t running on an abrupt end to social spending in all its forms. In fact, he stood front and center leading the charge to pass a bill extending socialistic benevolence to the credit industry. So, if a commitment to redistribution on any level equates Marxism, we may as well have Marx and Engels for candidates.

Standing Corrected

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I stand corrected.  I have decided that since I am somewhat opinionated in my writings about our president, I should confess when I am wrong.  I previously wrote and complained that he made numerous promises on the campaign trail and then broke them immediately after his election.  Although I still think that is the case, there is one promise I was wrong about.

When he promised to be transparent, I thought that he meant transparancy concerning the bills being writtten and pushed through congress.  He did say something about going line by line and no more pork, and I even thought he intended to post the bills online so the citizens could read for themselves what congress was up to.  Silly Me!  He was talking about transparancy regarding the CIA and our military secrets.

It seems, in his never ending quest to continue to dump on our former president and his policies, we are going to show the world and our enemies exactly what we’ve been up to with our prisoners.  We want our enemies, the same enemy who would lie a man down on his side, saw off his head, and record it for all the world to see, yes that enemy, to know that we just might put him in a room with a few of those god awful caterpillars, if he doesn’t cooperate.  We might not let him sleep, we might play loud music, oh and what about naked pictures, that one put the fear of Alla into them.some time ago with that whole Abu Gharib debacle. Can’t you just picture Osama Bin Laden sitting in a cave roasting marshmellows over a fire and getting a good chuckle out of us.

On a serious note, some of these secrets should remain secret, if indeed we intend to win this war.  Oh here I go again, we’re not at war and there is no such thing as a terrorist.  As I said before, I stand corrected.

Re-Election and Wagging the Dog

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It seems to me that our nation has developed a particular problem over the years since the founders put forth a new government in what was a new land. Our republic has, over the years, come to the point at which those we elect no longer represent the views of those who elect them, but, represent those who whisper most fervently in their ears.

I do not believe that our country was ever intended to have battalions of lobbyists pitching agendas and money at those who are elected to equitably enact laws for the common good, not laws to benefit whatever cause catches their ear and Kanken laptop backpack.

For the vast majority, if not all, of members of whatever stripe re-election becomes the tail that wags the dog. And re-election requires money, larger and larger quantities of money, and a commodity which lobbyists have in great supply. Money that comes with no strings attached, “but, when this vote come up, if you could just see your way clear to take a hard look at our needs first…” a soft voice whispers in the ear.

There have been many efforts aimed at reform of unbridled lobby efforts. So far as I am aware, all have fallen short of achieving the desired effect, so, perhaps a new direction is needed.

I believe that our Congress should be required to take advantage of the most modern technology in its deliberative efforts, something that corporate America has embraced to some degree in the past several years and seems to be expanding the Fjallraven Kanken Classic at a rapid rate.

Congress should have virtual meetings. Rather than gather in Washington D.C., each congressman should have his or her office in his or her home district, and each senator’s office should be in the capitol of their state. All meetings, votes and hearings of committees and of the bodies as a whole should be done via secure Internet links (surely the NSA could provide incorruptible connections and cypher algorithms).

I can foresee only two instances per year when they might have to be physically present in Washington: to be sworn in (iffy, as a judge could administer the oath where ever they might be) and for the State Of The Union Message. Other than that, they should be safely ensconced in their respective state, living among the people who elected them and insulated from the special interests who batter at their doors and insinuate themselves between the elected, the Frost Green Kanken, and the electors.

The technology is available, the need is obvious, and the time is now. Objections will be made, but they will come from those who have a stake in the present system, the lobbyists and those in the houses of congress inured to the present system. It is time to move our deliberative body into a future with the ability to freely vote in the best interest of all of us rather than some of us.

Fjallraven and the Somali Effect

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The Somalian crisis has been around for a while. Some of you have seen the movie Black Hawk Down, and those who haven’t have no doubt heard about the piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the straight running alongside the horn of Africa. Both the movie and the media reflect the grim situation in the north east African state, one of brutal civil war, poverty, and dismay.

The conflict has been fueled by a Fjallraven sale and warring factions continuously since the collapse of the central Somali government in the early 90′, but had been in the making since the 70’s with the extreme fuel shortages at the time. Today, the country is not doing much better.

This week, “government” soldiers (in parenthesis because it is the only recognized party in the country) stormed the country’s capital, Mogadishu, and in a fierce fire fight with rebels, created a mess of dead civilians, rebels, and government officials alike. This is useless bloodshed. Each of the three warring factions controls approximately a third of the sea-side country, from where they recruit their militias, most of whom consist of poverty-stricken children and men who are promised a stipend if they fight in the faction’s pseudo-military. It is a continuous cycle of violence, a lifestyle for many people. So what can be done to end the bloodshed?

Well, the UN, which I will be continuously referring to as the United Nothings because they don’t know where to buy Fjallraven, has tried to officially instate a government called the “Islamic Courts Union,” which they believe, for some unknown reason, to be the most qualified party/faction to lead the ravaged country. However, an official “declaration” by the UN is about as useless as a bike without wheels, and, barring an injection of a UN peacekeeping force, there is no way a single faction could take over and maintain control over a lawless, violent, and divided country. SO what can be done about the situation? Well, for starters, improve the economy.

Reports have shown that most citizens of Somalia resort to fighting or piracy out of desperation. However, we are seeing signs of this economic boost occurring already. There has been a surge in business in the country’s capitol, as companies from all over the continent have moved their centers of business to Mogadishu.

There are several reasons for this. First, due to a lack of any enforceable law, there are no property, business, or other taxes, making trade very affordable – especially the reasonably priced Kanken backpack. Secondly, labor is very cheap, since most Somalis would prefer to work for a company, regardless of position, than fight in a bloody civil war, and third, all it takes it to hire a security force to protect the business, which would probably cost pennies in relation to business expenses incurred in other countries.

This explosion of commerce is promising, but it requires international help. Business in Somalia needs to prosper, and through individual country’s aid and encouragement of the Somalis, perhaps the country can somewhat regain its stability economically. After signs of economic rise, the Somalis will no doubt recognize how much better life could be under a unified government, and peace talks could begin with US and other western country’s moderation.

Does Walmart Need a Union?

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It is of their opinion that a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President will be pushing to unionize Wal-Mart.  There is no doubt is my mind that having a union in Wal-Mart is long overdue.

Sure, Wal-Mart pays their management above union wages and benefits; they also offer their management incentives to stay and grow with the company.  They have to if they want to keep key personnel.

Wal-Mart also hires thousands of senior citizens at $8 or $9 an hour for part-time jobs.  Which, by the way, is above minimum wage and is greatly needed and appreciated by an ever-growing number of seniors who have to work part-time to supplement their income (which is not keeping pace with the cost of living).

As the old joke goes, another day another dollar – the only problem today is that it takes a dollar and a quarter to live.

Wal-Mart takes care of their management and their part-time senior citizens, so why do they need a union?  Well, I will tell you why.

There are thousands and thousands of Wal-Mart employees who work fulltime that do not make union wages or receive full health care benefits, etc. etc.  These Wal-Mart workers are in America’s lower income bracket.  If they were to receive union pay and benefits, they would move up the economic ladder and become middle income workers.  They would pay more taxes and purchase more goods and services.

Does Wal-Mart need a union?  You bet they do.  Is the Democratic Party pro-union?  You bet it is.

There are these so-called Conservative Republicans who want to blame the unions for just about everything going wrong in our economy, and to be honest, unions are not without blame.  However, unions do more good for the American economy than bad.

Wal-Mart is now trying to take over the retail food industry across America.  Most all of these established food chains are unionized and have great benefits.  If Wal-Mart is not unionized, it will give them a huge advantage over established food chains.

Having been in the wholesale/retail food business, I can tell you first-hand that established national food chains make about one percent net profit after taxes.  They cannot afford unfair competition from a non-union business like Wal-Mart.

Does Wal-Mart need a union?  You bet they do.

Music and Photography at the Mansion

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My experience with House music is admittedly limited, but this past Saturday I was convinced to go see the stylings of DJ Hernan Cattaneo through the eyes of a Daytona Beach wedding photographer. We bought tickets online for the show for $30 which felt a little steep, but I was willing to give it a shot, so at 10pm we got in a cab and headed out.

The Mansion is a club in the Meat Packing district that we almost walked right by at first owing to a general lack of signage that I’ve come to expect of trendy Meat Packing clubs, but once we got inside we quickly realized how huge the place was. After dropping coats off upstairs, we descended down to the bar area. Actually, the first bar area was more like a very large anteroom, with the main club area lying deeper in.

After crossing a hallway flanked by flaming beds of stones, we were in the heart of the club. A large bar and a VIP area in front made up the main room, with an upstairs lounge circling the back of the club. Early on, I realized the bar was too expensive for my blood at $10 for a shot and $16 for mixed drink, so I determined it would be a sober evening. I did try ordering a glass of water, but it was crowded, so I waited for about 10 minutes to get a bartenders attention, only to wait another 10 minutes to get it after I’d ordered it, which made my already sober experience just that much more unpleasant. I sat there the entire time looking at food steamer reviews.

Upstairs was muuuch better. It was less crowded and had a better view of the DJ booth giving us a good place to settle in and dance, which we did for five hours straight! The house DJ opened, and for the most part was pretty awesome, though unfortunately I don’t know his name. Hernan Cattaneo was also good, and the club’s special effects kicked into high gear for his performance with strobes, giant jets of fog, and dancing girls in their underwear. He did nearly make my ears bleed with about 2 minutes worth of straight feedback noise, but otherwise the entire show was spot-on.

The bottom line is that this club is way too expensive to go to unless you really love house music and a club scene with perhaps a touch of euro-flavor to it. The tickets weren’t cheap, the drinks were egregious, and the VIP area was bottle-service only with $1000 price tag attached. That being said, if you avoid the expenses and stick to the balcony area, you’ll be fine – even without your own professional Daytona Beach photography expert. I wouldn’t recommend this spot though, unless you have a very specific reason for going.

Interesting Happenings at the Local Subway

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Back at Teller’s, he’s going over the Golden Ratio and how this circle has 22 points, because of this pattern, Teller suggests that Jake is progressing. This is where it gets weird because the model that they’re looking at on the screen literally comes out and gets all 3D on us, but it appears as if only Teller can see. I want what he’s smoking.

Subway Guy is a doctor, who is chatting with his other doctor friend (who looks like a younger version of Sean Patrick Thomas) who jokes about how he only lights up (figuratively, not literally) whenever he sees the Subway Girl. Young Sean Patrick Thomas tells him he wants to see him talking to the girl at the end of the day.

Norah and her friend drive through the desert listening to some kind of horrible hip hop music and looking at pictures from Kari Janesko Photography, they encounter a pregnant woman on the side of the road who claims that her baby is coming. Norah has a look on her face like, “Dude, you’re ruining my adventure.”

Back in New York, the Asian pickpocket snatches a laptop from Martin’s bag. He begins to chase after him and I half expect the screen to start splitting ala 24 but of course, it doesn’t. Pickpocket guy jumps on a bus numbered…wait for it…22. Martin gets on the bus and confronts him but somehow the pickpocket manages to elude him and gets off the bus and runs off leaving Martin inside on the phone with a Daytona Beach wedding photographer, saying “Damn it!” I only include this because, well, that used to be Jack Bauer’s line. Anyway, as he sits down, he notices the circular pattern on a book bag on the ground, he looks up to notice the girl next to him brandishing a gun. She tells him to sit still and shut up, by the look of his face, you can tell he’s thinking to himself, “Man, if only I was on my other show, you’d be dead already…”

Martin receives a phone call from Hopkins but of course he can’t answer cause of Ms. Gunsy McGee next to him. Hopkins leaves him a message saying she’s stalling but she doesn’t know how long she can. Martin tells Gunsy that he doesn’t want any trouble, he just needs to be on time (Ha!). Gunsy gives the guy sitting at the front of the bus the ol’ evil eye, me thinks the gun is for him.

Elsewhere, the pickpocket has arrived at a restaurant with a “gift” for his daughter and the number for a Daytona Beach photographer. He gives her Martin’s laptop (with a little red bow on top for effect). Moments later, the girl’s stepfather (I’m assuming this because he says he and her mother got her a gift, also he is not Asian) presents her with keys for a new car. Asian Dad seems pissed that White Dad’s gift is so much better than his, but he hides it fairly well. He walks away.

Subway Doctor Dude is assigned the task of finding a donor for a young leukemia patient through a donor list by another doctor. He looks at the clock on the computer, it’s 5:08. Looks like he won’t be meeting Subway Girl after all. Hey, the other doctor just read my mind, “I hope you don’t have somewhere else to be,” he says all smugly. He begins his search by pulling up Canada on the computer.

Stopping Snoring from the Get Go

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The most commonly prescribed snoring remedies are nasal sprays, anti-inflammatories, decongestants and so on. Nasal strips are a good idea for individuals who suffer from sleep apnea. They are the most effective and safe method of relieving the symptoms of obstructive apnea. The use of cpap devices is a great tool to help you to stop smoking. It is a simple and safe way to reduce the pain and swelling of your nasal passages. A great way to stop the sinus infection is to get the right one for you.

When you are suffering from a chronic health condition, you may be wondering how to stop snoring:

– If you have a medical emergency, it is important to take your health seriously and invest in a Coway AP-1512HH to help you breathe better

– If you are suffering from a sinus problem, you should be able to get relief from the symptoms of snoring

– If you are suffering from a sinus infection, you can try a home remedy that is soothing to your nasal passages

– You can try to avoid the allergens by taking a warm shower or bath

Sleep apnea is a condition that is characterized by a persistent, sharp, or sometimes chronic, pain that lasts for several hours. It is a condition that can cause a sudden and chronic cough, and can be life threatening.

Snoring is a serious condition that can be treated with proper medical attention and the best air purifier for allergies you can afford. However, a thorough knowledge of the causes and symptoms of this chronic condition is still a must. The first sign of a serious lung infection is the swelling of the tonsils. The bacteria that are in the throat are the ones that are hard to swallow.

If you are a parent, you should consider trying to find a good quality product that will help you to get relief from snoring. The best advice you can make to get your health and fitness goals in mind is to know what you are doing. It is important to be knowledgeable about the various types of exercise you are going to take:

– be careful when you are trying to gain the weight you want

– be able to do this by taking a few minutes each morning and doing some cardio exercises

– take a good amount of exercise to get the best results

Love

You may feel like a child, but you may be experiencing a lot of stress. Moreover, you may feel like a child, but you may be a little bit more stressed. Plus, you may feel a little nauseous or even upset when you eat something you love.

The first step to getting the best out of your life is to find a way to manage your stress. You can do this by taking a look at the positives and the consequences of your own actions. Furthermore, you can learn to be more assertive and avoid being overwhelmed by the stresses of life and maybe get a dog or cat, although then you’d need the best air purifier for pets.

Ability

The important factor in the development of the brain is the ability to regulate the body’s natural rhythms. When we are tired, we are more likely to have a mental health condition. We can’t get enough of our bodies to be able to function properly.

Tips for Better Breathing Habits

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A great thing to do is to take a few minutes to relax and focus on your breathing. This is a great way to help you get rid of the stress and anxiety you have. The key to staying on the right track is to be able to relax and focus on your breathing:

– Also try doing a few yoga tricks to get your mind off of the stress

– Try to find a meditation cd that is especially for you

– Even get a book on how to meditate in a calm and relaxed manner

More About Harmful

People who have been fasting for long hours are more prone to becoming irritable and depressed. There are many types of weight loss pills that can be bought at most drugstores. The main ingredients are the ones that contain the substance that is known to be harmful to the body, unlike the purifying powers of the Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K. A good way to buy hoodia is to make the supplement with a single dose. It is best to buy the hoodia gordonii and take it with you as a substitute. Furthermore, it is advisable to make a note of the hoodia gordoni before you buy it.

The most common reason for using electronic gadgets is that you can’t get the same amount of time as you are in the morning. A great way to get a little practice is to have a good quality television. If you are a kid, you can do this by doing a simple and easy exercise.

Mind

The most effective way to get your mind to be relaxed is to listen to your body. It is an important technique to get your mind to take control of your thoughts. You can use visualization to get your mind to be more calm and focused with the relaxing sounds of the Honeywell 50250-S.

Narcolepsy this is a condition that is characterized by excessive pauses in breathing during the night. It is characterized by a sudden unprovoked sleep-like breathing that is often accompanied by a feeling of excessive sleepiness. It can also be associated with a lack of awareness of the heart’s inability to concentrate.

The sleep-wake cycle is a serious disorder that can be treated with a variety of methods. This is because the sufferer is unable to concentrate on the part of the person who is asleep. The sufferer may be unaware of the fact that he is having a panic attack. The fear of heights is a result of the subconscious mind that is trying to control the situation. The mind is the only thing that can be affected by the fear of being in control, so consider getting a GermGuardian AC5250PT. The fear of failure is the inability to focus on the object of the situation.

More About Trip

If you have a medical condition that requires immediate care, you may be experiencing a more serious health problem. Moreover, if you have a history of allergies, you should consider taking a trip to the nearest health care clinic. Plus, if you have a history of hay-fever, you may want to consult a doctor.

Breathing And It’s Effects

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What you need to know about breathing:

– Acupuncture is a method of relaxation that is believed to help people who are suffering from anxiety

– Sleep is a powerful way to keep your body in good shape

– Another factor that can affect the quality of a person’s sleep is the ability to fall asleep

– If you are suffering from a chronic health condition, you should consider taking a look at the various options available to you

– Aromatherapy massage oil is a great way to relax and soothe your senses

– The crucial factor in determining the cause of sleep apnea is the severity of the disorder

Stress

When you are under the bed you are likely to wake up feeling tired and fatigued, especially if you’re worrying about how to get rid of smoke smell in house. The most common causes of insomnia are stress, poor sleep, and excessive exercise. It is a fact that stress is a major contributor to many illnesses and diseases. At the same time, it is important to take a break from the stress and anxiety that you have.

The best natural remedy for migraines is a combination of relaxation and breathing techniques. It is a good idea to consult a health care practitioner before taking any sleeping pills. Furthermore, a good way to reduce the frequency of insomnia is to try to avoid the intake of caffeine.

The brain is a sensitive organ, and the most important aspect is the ability to process information. The most common way to treat anxiety is to eat a lot of food. It is a natural response to the chemical imbalance that is causing the symptoms of stress. This isn’t always healthy for you though as eating too much food can cause serious health issues of its own like asthma, raising the need for the best air purifier for asthma in your home.

The Chinese medical community states that the use of acupuncture for migraines is an effective treatment for people with chronic illnesses. Acupuncture is a method of inserting needles into the skin to stimulate the release of endorphins into the body. It is believed that this herb helps to increase the bodys ability to heal itself. The chinese people who have used acupuncture for years have found relief from the pain and swelling of the disease. Furthermore, the chinese people who have used needles for ages have been found to have a low incidence of headaches. Some of the most common ailments related to the neck and shoulder are headaches, backaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Acupuncture is a method of treatment that is used to help the body cope with stress and anxiety in combination with clean air from the Winix Plasmawave 5300. It is a process that takes place when the needles are inserted into a specific area of the body. This is done by inserting needles into the meridians to stimulate the release of energy from the body. The Chinese people who have been using Reiko for centuries have found it to be a great way to relieve stress. At the same time, the Chinese believe that the healing power of the stones is a natural part of their life.

How Protein Affects Sleep

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The researchers at Johns Hopkins university school of public health found that the average adult consumes more than four calories of protein per day. The national institutes of health recently announced that the USDA’s dietary guidelines for the prevention of childhood obesity were conducted in the United States. The health care industry has a much higher rate of eating junk food than ever before. The federal government has begun to examine the evidence for the health benefits of farm-raised meats and air purified by the Alen Breathesmart. The evidence is that the American academy of science has a role in the prevention of obesity. The national institute of Health and Human Services has conducted a study that has proven to be effective in preventing cancer.

If you are a pregnant woman, it is recommended that you drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This will make your blood vessels to be more sensitive to the sun’s rays:

– If you are a fan of the sun, you can try to get a good night’s sleep

– If you are a fan of yoga, you’re more likely to get a little bit more sleep

– If you’ve been exercising for a while, you’ll notice a difference in your energy levels

– You’re probably going to be more interested in the idea of getting older

Drink

When you wake up feeling tired, you are going to be more likely to overeat and begin smoking, thus the need for the best air purifier for smokers. Try to eat at least eight glasses of soft and water a day. If you are a smoker, try to eat more fruit and vegetable juices. You will have a healthier digestive process and will have more of a good feeling of health. If you are suffering from a heart problem, you should try to avoid drinking alcohol. In addition, if you are having trouble getting a flu shot, you can try to drink more liquids.

The most effective method of measuring the power of the machine is to take a few minutes to sit in a comfortable position. This method is effective in reducing the chances of a person getting a flat stomach. The heat of the steam is a great way to flush out the toxins. This is a simple yet effective way to reduce the amount of water you drink. The next thing you should do is to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can use a fruit or vegetable juice to help you with your weight loss goals as well as investing in a good air purifier for cigarette smoke.

In short, hopefully, this discussion of successes has been useful. Firstly, symptoms of heart diseases diabetes is a serious condition that affects millions of people. We also mentioned how the most important aspect of managing a patient with an eating disorder is the ability to cope with the demands of everyday life. After that, we discussed how our body is designed to be used to burn calories and absorb the right amount of oxygen. Also, there are several factors that may cause the person to have sleep apnea. Fifth, if you are a beginner, you can do this by practicing relaxation exercises. Lastly, when you wake up in the morning, you are more likely to get up and go to bed.

Sleeping Better with a Healthy Diet

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The essential aspect of a healthy diet is the kind of exercise that is best for you. Your body needs sufficient amounts of vitamins, fats, and other nutrients to keep you healthy. It is essential to take vitamins and minerals to avoid the harmful effect of too much of the food you eat. A great way to avoid heart disease is to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and breathe clean air like with a Rowenta PU6020. A lot of the foods that are good for the brain can be found in nuts and seeds. These foods are the ones that are high in omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats.

However, there are certain factors that may cause one to fall into the habit of getting enough sleep. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking in any type of physical activity. A great way to reduce the risks of heart disease is to take a good look at the effects of the drugs. The body will be able to work harder to fight off the effects of the disease. The doctor will prescribe a combination of these drugs to help the person to get the right amount of sleep. One of the first things to do is to take a good look at the symptoms.

The causes of the disease are unknown, but there are many other factors that can contribute to it. The disease is caused by the breakdown of the body’s natural immune system but it could be prevented with a Blueair 603. The body’s own immune response is the most important defense in fighting invaders. The immune cells are the body’s first line of defense against invaders. The antibodies are the ones that are responsible for the destruction of the immune system. The immune response is a process that takes place when the body is in a state of balance.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that is more common among teenagers than in adults. It is a chronic disorder that occurs in the middle of the night and is often associated with a number of other health problems. The sleep-wake cycle is characterized by the inability to fall asleep at night. This is a result of the increased amount of sleep that the person is going through. The sleep apnea is a condition that is characterized by a feeling of fatigue and difficulty concentrating. It is a condition where the body is unable to regulate its normal sleep cycles, although investing in a Blueair 203 has been shown to help you breathe better and improve sleep quality.

More On Pain

People who have this type of sleep disorder usually have a high amount of insomnia. This is because the person who is having a hard time sleeping at night may experience a lot of different symptoms. Plus, people who suffer from sleeping problems usually have a lot of stress and can even experience insomnia. This is because the person who snores is most likely to experience a lot of pain and discomfort. Another cause of insomnia is the fact that the person who snores is most likely to suffer from it. It is never comfortable and can lead to life-long problems with their sleeping habits.

Why Your Cat Isn’t Eating Enough?

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Does your cat leave the meal uneaten often? Many pet owners overlook when their cat doesn’t eat properly but you shouldn’t overlook it because there may be many underlying causes behind this, some of which are quite serious. Here are some reasons why your cat isn’t eating enough:

Illness – The loss of appetite in a cat is the main reason which indicates that something is wrong with the cat. The cat might be suffering from different health conditions, including pancreatitis, intestinal problems and cancer. Even something as simple as a toothache can make a cat stop eating.

Gastrointestinal Issues – Things which create a bad feeling in the cat can stop him from eating, like nausea during gastrointestinal problems. There can be many problems in the gastrointestinal system like pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, foreign bodies and colitis. People have asked us do female cats spray, and it could be related to the GI.

Psychological Issue – If your vet has determined that the cat isn’t ill, then he may be suffering from depression. The main cause of depression is the change in the surroundings environments. So beware of any change you make in the surroundings of your cat.

Travel – Cats are a creature of habit, like other animals. So a change in routine can stop a cat from eating. Many cats get nausea during travel which causes refusal to eat.

Vaccination – Has your cat stopped eating after you took him for a routine vaccination? If this is the case, then the cat has developed an adverse reaction to the vaccination. Vaccination can be lifesavers but they can have some side effects too.

New Food In the Diet – Many cats are addicted to dry food because they are fed with this food since birth. Such cats can also go to hunt without being hungry and catch a mouse without having a clue that the mouse is edible. So you should gradually change your cat’s food unless you want to find out how to clean cat urine. Make a combination of old and new foods.

Stress – A cat can be stressed at times which can both increase or decrease his appetite. You should determine whether your cat is stressed? This can be a possibility. You need to know the reason behind the cat’s stress. Just solve underlying cause and your cat’s appetite will be back to normal.

Medicine in the bowl – You can put a dewormer in your cat’s food sometimes. But if you have decided to medicate the cat, putting medicine in the food isn’t the best way to do it. Cats have survival instincts and a strong smell, so they check everything they are about to eat, especially if they haven’t caught it themselves. Do male cats spray? Absolutely if they taste the medicine.

Food Close to Litter box or water – The litter box, water and food, all need to be in separate locations. You can’t accept a cat to eat at the same place where he pees. A cat may develop water aversion in such cases and poop outside the litter box. The solution to this is simple. Just keep the litter box and food in separate rooms.

Food Bowl is too deep – Cats don’t like their whiskers to touch anything. When a cat eats in a deep bowl, his whiskers touch the edges of the bowl which can be uncomfortable for the cat. This can stop him from eating.

You should solve a cat’s eating problems because you don’t want a skeleton walking around in the house.

Cats and Diabetes: Things You Need to Know

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If you have had diabetes in the past, you know how severe this disease is. What if your cat has it? You will feel the pain, right? Well, the truth is that the number of cats being diagnosed with diabetes is increasing every year which can be attributed to many factors. Keeping reading this article to find out more about cats and diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes in Cats:

Diabetes in cats is either non-insulin independent diabetes or type II diabetes. In this disease, the pancreas fail to produce insulin and the ability of insulin production is reduced in the whole body. Both these factors combine to cause diabetes. With diabetes, you’ll run into urine issues and may even be wondering how to get rid of cat urine smell.

The type I diabetes is mostly produced when the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin, are destroyed. However, this disease appears rarely in cats.

Diabetes can also occur in the form of a secondary disease, like with another disease or certain drug therapy forms. For example, some endocrine diseases like acromegaly (excessive production of growth hormone in pituitary gland) or hyperadrenocorticism (excessive production of cortisol in adrenal glands) can result in diabetes. Similarly, when some drugs are used in high doses, diabetes is produced.

Signs and Symptoms:

Some common signs of diabetes in cats have been mentioned below:

Increased urination – The increased blood glucose means that glucose is produced in the urine which creates a large amount of urination.  If you’re running into this problem, you may want to read about how to get cat pee out of carpet.

Increased appetite – This isn’t that much prominent but marked in some cats.

Increase in thirst – The thirst is increased to counter the water lost during production of urine.

Enlargement of Liver – This becomes clear by the examination of the vet.

Bladder infection – Diabetes can make cats prone to bacterial cystitis which can lead to bladder infections.

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis of diabetes in cats is done by high levels of glucose, known as hyperglycemia and the presence of glucose in the urine. The vet may also perform a fructosamine test on your cat. This test determines the average blood glucose level of the cat over the past week.

The diagnosis of diabetes is typically made keeping in view the cat’s physical examination finding, history and laboratory test results.

Treatment:

Now we come to the most important part which is the treatment. You should take the following steps to treat diabetes in your cat:

Home Monitoring:

The first thing you need to do is to do home monitoring of the cat’s glucose levels. Do you have a problem with cat peeing on bed? The home testing can easily be done by the glucose monitor used by humans. In this method, a blood sample is usually taken from the cat which provides immediate reading of cat’s glucose levels.

Insulin Injections:

Sometimes, the vet recommends insulin injections for the cat which are injected once or twice a day into the cats depending upon the severity of the disease. Two of the most common insulin injections are lente insulin and protamine zinc.

Diet:

It is quite important that you keep a check on your diet. If you don’t, the cat will become obese which is major causes of diabetes. You should restrict the carbohydrate and fat intake of the cat.

Oral Medications:

Some cats are treated with oral medications which lower blood glucose. Make sure to frequently monitor the blood glucose of the cat when giving oral medications.

A cat is like a family member and you feel distressed when a family member is in pain. So treat your cat of diabetes; it is good for both you and your cat.

Twin Charger Turbos

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A twin charger turbo system is the combination of a supercharger and a turbocharger. This arrangement is actually complementary, so that supercharger and turbocharger can balance each other. Both the supercharger and holset hx40 have some disadvantage. This arrangement is to compensate each other’s cons.

Parallel and series are the two types of system with twin chargers.

Parallel

In parallel arrangements, one basically needs to use a diverter valve which permits both the compressors to work for the engine. In case there is no valve and both the compressors are routed straight to intake, then the supercharger will certainly try to choose the less resistant path rather than pressurizing the intake and in most cases it will start to blow in a backward direction. This is why a diverter or bypass valve needs to be used in such a way that the turbocharger emits the air till it achieves the pressure to intake the manifold. Electronic controls, which are usually costly or complex, are needed for easy delivery of the power.

Series

It can be described as one of the common arrangement in twin charger. It is set up in such a way so that any one of the compressors, either the supercharger or turbocharger’s output device supply the inlet of another. The supercharger is connected to the turbocharger. Once the supercharger gets connected it gives pressure to the immediate manifold. But this can be done by eliminating the turbo lag. If not, then the holset hx50 cannot reach to its working speed. Once it reaches the speed, start to pressurize the air to its inlet. This actually enhances the efficiency of the induction. The pressure can also get bypassed.

Twin turbochargers are mostly used in the vehicles that go for many fashionable performances. They are mostly used in luxury cars. It actually offers a large amount of power and great acceleration.

Parallel twin turbocharger

The parallel twin turbocharger is mostly found in v designed engine which use the turbo for each reservoir of the cylinder. It actually reduces the turbo lag. The size of the parallel twin turbocharger is also smaller than that is found in the engine with a single turbo. This is due to the less exhaust gas.

Twin sequential turbocharger

A twin charger is meant for the combination of a large holset hx60 with the small turbocharger. To prevent turbo lag problems, the smaller turbocharger keeps quick response at the speed of lower engine and also helps to reel the larger turbocharger by increasing flow of the exhaust gas. But both the small and the big turbocharger needs to match each other.

There are many disadvantages of the twin turbocharger. The biggest negative of the twin turbocharger is that it has high RPM power. On the other hand, sequential twin turbos are very complex due to their design.

One thing needs to be remembered. Don’t get confused with the twin turbo charger and twin charging. Twin chargers are made of a combination of turbochargers and superchargers but that is not what is implied by twin charging.

Turbocharger Wastegate – Internal and External

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The internal and external wastegate is boosting controlling device that operates by restricting the exhaust gases that pass through the turbocharger, thereby controlling the pressure generated by the device itself. A wastegate includes an outlet and inlet port, a pressure actuator and a valve. Read more from Turbocharger Review.

How a wastegate functions?

The pressure actuator is controlled by means of the boost pressure and figures out if the wastegate is closed or open. When it is at rest, a wastegate remains closed, with the increase of the boost pressure, the actuator is impacted with the force. At the point, when the threshold value of the spring is exceeded by the boost pressure, the actuator starts to open the wastegate gradually, bypassing a percentage of the exhaust gases, this way keeping up the boost pressure to a fixed level. Essentially, a holset hx30 prevents the unrestricted increase of boost pressure that may eventually blow up the engine.

When to use an external wastegate?

Most of the manufactured turbo systems include an interior wastegate in order to manage the stock support levels. The most well-known purpose of adding an external wastegate is better boost control and hence the force yields of your motor. Moreover, turbochargers that are quite huge in size are not fitted with internal wastegates.

For any motor delivering over 400hp, it would be best to use an external wastegate as using high boost only via the internal wastegate provided by the manufacturer can overwhelm the actuator spring, thereby lowering the boost level. And hence, external wastegates include bigger outlet and inlet ports, high performing pressure springs and larger actuator diaphragms than can successfully control higher boost pressure. There are

  • Manual booster control
  • Electronic booster control

Maintenance

In case of holset hx35, the flapper might start getting sticky and as a result it might not give you the same performance it should give. This is why it is your duty to check whether the flappers are working rightly. If the flapper starts getting stuck it will cause a lag in the building boost.

You might also need to inspect the vacuum lines as well and check whether you need to replace it or not.

You can also check the datalog file in order to make sure you are aware of the boost control stability and this way you will be able to maintain your wastegate in such a way that your turbo engine will give you a better and long lusting performance.

Things you must consider

Internal wastegates are perfect for maximum of the motorists but always remember that you can use this only as a performance enhancer of the turbochargers.

In case you are really thinking to modify the engine and get a higher performance, it is better that you use a proper wastegate so that the turbocharger is not damaged.

In case of aftermarket turbo, you might need to use the external wastgate so that you can control the extra power and boost with ease. So, be careful, research a bit and get the best possible performance from your engine.

Foot Care Tips For Diabetics

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Did you know the diabetics are more prone to foot problems than the average Joe? There are many reasons behind it. For example, diabetes can peel the skin of your feet. It can also cause corns and calluses which are serious foot conditions. So diabetics need to take special care of their feet. Here are some foot care tips for you if you have diabetes:

  1. Inspect Your Feet – Nerve damage is one of the complications of diabetes which makes it hard to feel when you have sores. So you should carefully look for any changes in the skin color and sores. You should place a mirror below your feet to inspect the soles of your feet or ask a relative to help you if you can’t see all parts clearly.
  2. Get Good Socks and Footwear – People with diabetes should be very careful during shoe shopping. Experts recommend looking for shoes with deep toe box and without steams which rub the inside of your feet. You should also look for socks without seams. Just look for the socks made of cotton. Investing in a good pair of insoles and inserts can’t hurt either.
  3. Wear Shoes with Good Fitting – You should always wear shoes which fit well to prevent serious foot problems. Go to buy the shoes during the night because your feet are a bit bigger at that time. You shouldn’t buy pointed shoes because they create pressure on the toes. You should also avoid wearing sandals and open toed shoes.
  4. Wash Your Feet Everyday – You should wash your feet every day in warm water. Note the temperature with a thermometer; about 90 to 95 degree F is safe. Don’t soak your feet in the water. Dry the feet thoroughly after washing them. Make sure that you also dry between the toes. You should also apply talcum powder between your toes.
  5. Don’t Walk Barefoot – Wearing shoes outside the house makes sense but wearing shoes inside the house is also quite important to avoid the risk of getting small cuts or penetrations. If you are suffering from neuropathy, you won’t notice these changes until you are infected. So it’s best to wear shoes in the house all the time, and at work, wear the best work boots for flat feet.
  6. Treat Foot Problems With Care – You should treat foot problems like bunions, corns and calluses suddenly so they don’t bother you afterwards. Even harmless calluses can become quite problematic if left untreated. You should consult a podiatrist in such a situation. Don’t go to a pharmacy and buy an over-the-counter product because they can be dangerous for the feet.
  7. Protect From Heat and Cold – You should always protect your feet from heat or cold. Always wear shoes on pavement and the beach. You should also put sunscreen on your feet to prevent sunburns. You shouldn’t also put heating pad on your feet. If you feel cold at night, wear socks. You should also wear the best boots for plantar fasciitis to keep yourself warm during winter.
  8. Easy Physical Activity – You should do physical activity to keep your feet healthy. Do easy physical activities like bicycling, jogging and swimming. Avoid jumping and running. You should wear athletic shoes for these activities.

After seeing these health tips, you should stop complaining about your fate. Follow these tips and make something out of your life.

Best Air Purifiers for Tobacco and Cigarette Smoke

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Have you ever wondered what some of the dangerous chemicals like benzene, cadmium, chromium, vinyl chloride and arsenic have in common? The common factor among them is that all of them are found in cigarette and tobacco smoke. So an ordinary air purifier is unable to remove so many chemicals present in the smoke. There are special smoke air purifiers which are used for this purpose. These air purifiers have been listed below:

IQAir GC MultiGas Air Purifier:

An air purifier needs to be good in certain areas to be a good smoke air purifier. The IQAir GC MultiGas air purifier is good in all these; it has good chemical filtration, particle filtration, ease of use and durability. The thing that makes this air purifier quite unique is the presence of activated carbon canisters in it. The four canisters are composed of bituminous coal-based activated carbon mixed with pellets of alumina. The alumina pellets have potassium permanganate for oxidation. Carbon has more pores than the common coconut shell carbon and gives about two years of odor absorbing capabilities. The good controls give it good fan speed and real-time filter monitor.

Airpura T600 HEPA Air Purifier:

The Airpura T600 is beneficial against both the chemicals and gases present in tobacco smoke. It is quite good for tobacco and cigarette smoke and covers an area of 2000 square feet. It also has a five year warranty.

There is four stage filtration process present in the Airpura T600 HEPA air purifier for capturing heavy odors and harmful chemicals. In the first phase, it passes through a pre-filter which is designed to capture large particles. Once the big particles are removed, the air passes through two micro-process filters for removing antigens, pathogens and bacteria. The main filter has about 26 pounds of impregnated carbon which gets rid of tobacco smoke. The HEPA filter present in it captures about 99% particles as small as 0.3 microns making it one of the best air purifiers for cigarette smoke removal.

Airpura C600 VOC Air Purifier:

This air purifier is specifically built to get rid of smoke and dust particles. The thing which makes this air purifier unique is the presence of heavy carbon bed in it. The quality air flow and a large covering of residential areas make this air purifier fit for small and large spaces. A HEPA filter is also present in it to trap various pollutants. So you can’t overlook this air purifier when it comes to removing tobacco smoke.

Austin Air Bedroom Machine HEPA Air Purifiers:

The Austin Air Bedroom Machine air purifier offers complete filtration in easy to use package. It has five stages of filtration and targets different small chemicals and particles. The carbon filters in it remove odors and other chemicals. There are two pre filters and a true HEPA filter in it which provide a big range of particle filtration. The good thing about Austin companies is that it provides consumers with a variety of color options to choose from.

Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K:

This air purifier has a three stage filtration consisting of a carbon filter, pre-filter and HEPA filter. It’s quite useful for people suffering with allergies and asthma. It is designed for medium sized rooms. It has the ability of purifying the air in 500 square feet about 5 times in an hour. A big selling point of this air purifier is that it is a bit cheaper as compared to other air purifiers.

If you have a smoker in your house and you are sick of him, you should just buy the best air purifier for smoke and get rid of smoke today.

Important Steps to Take if You Have Cystic Acne

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Cystic acne is considered by dermatologists to be one of the most serious forms of acne, and anyone who has it should always seek treatment from an acne expert.

What Causes Cystic Acne?

What causes cystic acne? Though not all of the causes of cystic acne are fully understood, we are aware that cystic acne involves a closed sac comprised of a tissue containing semi-solid substance, and a gaseous fluid inside of it. The cysts can come in a range of different sizes which reach up to about 5 millimeters and can appear on any part of the body.

Even after the cysts are gone, they can form a scar which can be a source of long-term embarrassment. Most dermatologists have categorized cystic acne as one of the most dangerous forms of acne simply because the topical medications like the Murad and proactive skin products are not able to penetrate down to its roots. Cystic acne may also take a much longer time before it completely heals.

It is strongly recommended to let dermatologists handle cystic acne treatment cases since they can provide oral medicines and prescription lotions which will work better than anything you can get over the counter.

Medications for Cystic Acne

When it comes to medications, Isotretinoin is often considered the most effective cystic acne treatment drug. It is a drug type that is capable of reducing sebum production – which has the power to dry out the acne. Isotretinoin is available in pill form, and it is the only type of prescription capable of curing acne inflammation, reducing excess oil production, and reducing the appearance of clogged pores on the skin. The usual Isotretinoin treatment will last for up to 20 weeks. You likely won’t need any other treatment form when using Isotretinoin, apart from basic hygiene upkeep.

There can be, however, several side effects. Birth defects have been associated with using the Isotretinoin drug, so medical experts won’t recommend the drug to pregnant women. Any patient, pregnant or not, who is under Isotretinoin should keep in touch with their dermatologist for frequent checkups to help monitor any additional side effects.

If you’re more interested in home remedies than prescription medications, you should probably stop here and check out http://www.cysticacnehomeremedy.com.

Another type of drug which is commonly prescribed for cystic acne is synthetic steroids. They help reduce the production of hormones which are responsible for oil stimulation. The cystic acne experts will always recommend having the cyst drained in case the oral contraceptives don’t entirely work. This acne lancing should always be performed by professionals.

Dermatologists discourage squeezing or pricking the cystic acne since it will lead to infection which will actually make it last longer. A dermatologist should always handle any case of inflamed cysts. They will often decide to apply a diluted corticosteroid dose which will help in speeding up the healing process and reduce most of the inflammation. The procedure is usually painless, and significant results are frequently recorded within a week.

Wrapping It Up

Cystic acne is one of the most frustrating types of acne, but there are a number of great prescription medications and treatments which can help. There are also many home treatments which, while not as effective, can offer significant relief for even the most severe sufferers.

Slipknot – Iowa

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I’ve been on a Slipknot kick here lately and I thought about doing a top ten list of my favorite Slipknot songs; however, it dawned on me that besides People = Sh!t, I haven’t heard anything on Iowa about the best flat iron for natural hair.

Iann Robinson

I figured it wouldn’t be fair to rate my top 10 favorite Slipknot songs without giving the songs on Iowa a chance to duke it out. So instead I will review my first impressions of Iowa.

Now don’t laugh. I am well aware that Iowa was released in 2001. In fact, I remember watching MTV News with Iann Robinson gushing about the album. But back then, I was not interested in bands who sported scary makeup or masks because I found them to be quite frightening and thought they played the devil’s music…. Ah, I was a naive little 16 year old.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my track-by-track first impressions of Iowa:

Iowa

(515)-  This opening track signifies the impending awesomeness (or scariness) that’s about to ensue. The gasping for air and screaming makes me feel a little nervous.

People = Sh!t -The song I already know, but it is still very awesome. Angry, heavy… hopefully no one saw me head banging at my desk.

Disasterpiece – The opening reminds me of the Slipknot album and then BAM! My mouth dropped to the floor at the opening line -“I want to slit your throat and f#!@ the wound”. Halfway through the song I think Corey Taylor should be out of breath, he may even need the best sleep mask tonight. But the last half of the song is amazing – I love the little break down and the way he sings at the end. Wow, this song is all kinds of awesome!

My Plague – Another angry song. I am totally loving the chorus. I like when Corey Taylor sings. Good song.

Everything Ends – Corey Taylor sounds crazy. I like this song too! I am totally dancing at my desk. Very catchy song.

The Heretic Anthem – Somebody sure made these guys mad. However, this song is pretty catchy, so much that I was singing along halfway through.

Gently – Gently sounds like it’s not going to be so gentle after the opening, but surprisingly it stayed gentle for most of the song.

Left Behind – It’s alright. Not as crazy as the previous songs.

The Shape – Sounds like songs from the Slipknot album and sort of like people = sh!t (which I almost started to sing). But it’s a good song.

I Am Hated – Alright too.

Skin Ticket – Sounds a little scary… no wait… Sounds a lot of scary -He sings about burning himself alive and laughs creepily. I don’t think I’ll be listening to very much of this song in the future.

New Abortion – Interesting sound to it. At first I thought he said “you can’t take my son away from me”. Which had me wondering what he was singing about. But later I realized he said soul. Whoops! The best part was that he came out on a two wheel scooter!!

Metabolic – Everything sounds like People = Sh!t to me.

Iowa – The very last song starts out kind of creepy. He says, “Relax, it’s over”, but I’m not so sure I trust him because this song is 15 minutes long. He sounds pretty maniacal if I do say so. But it’s not as scary as Scissors, which I still refuse to listen to completely.

So in conclusion, this album is pretty good. Now to rank my top 10 Slipknot songs!

Rating: 4.4/5

TV Review – The Killing, “Numb”

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Oooh, tonight’s episode contains adult content and sexual situations and a few respectable reviews. Viewer discretion WILL be advised.

Previously: Rosie’s backpack is found, Aunt Larsen suggests that the Larsen kids need to know about Mama Larsen, Holder gets his feelings hurt, Richmond is no longer a suspect in Rosie’s murder, Papa Larsen wants his mob boss to find Rosie’s murderer and kill, and Holder freaks out on Linden by banging on her motel door…but you already knew all this.

Some alternative rock music plays as Mama Larsen drives down the road. She drives by a hitchhiker and begins to contemplate, “She looks like my daughter…” She doesn’t pick her up and instead ends up at a motel, dark and sad looking. Wouldn’t it be weird if Linden and Mama Larsen shared the same motel?

It’s day sixteen and Linden is at the police station with the photo of the Super 8 film, the close up of an anime tattoo. Moments later, she runs into Lt. Carlson. She wants to know what’s the hold up on the Beau Soleil servers (the hooker ring Rosie Larsen was a part of), she filed the warrant days ago. Lt. Carlson is very anal about paperwork apparently.

Holder is talking to some brunette lady outside his Narcotics Anonymous meeting making idle chit chat, ominous music begins playing as Holder bolts out of there. Elsewhere, Papa Larsen and Aunt Larsen are talking at the Larsen household when Linden shows up asking if he recognizes the anime tattoo and the food steamer on her desk. Papa Larsen blows up on her when she brings up the backpack, there’s a bunch of mixed communication going on in his eyes. He tells her to leave. Outside, she calls the police station asking about the backpack. She learns that it’s gone.

Richmond is at the hospital, apparently he thinks he’s regaining some sensation in his legs. We cut over to Holder having a visit with his nephew, they talk in slang. Holder tries to give him a ride but his nephew is like, “Nah, I’m not supposed to.” Looks like Holder’s sister doesn’t want her son hanging out with her crackhead brother, err, ex-crackhead brother. Sorry.

Aunt Larsen walks the boys to school. There’s a weird guy staring at her from a far (it’s funny, he doesn’t even try to hide the fact), she tells the boys their dad is going to pick them up because she has to make some money, i.e. hooking probably. It’s just the way she says that word, “money” that makes me think this. Hey, no judgment, the way the economy is right now, she’s got to make that money somehow.

Linden heads over to Lt. Oakes’ boathouse asking for the backpack. He basically tells her she’s in over her head, you know the usual. He finally gives it to her, she finds a high heeled shoe inside. I guess she’s about to play some Cinderella.

Jamie visits Richmond at the hospital, bringing flowers. He tells him to take the morphine. Richmond’s like, “Bitch please, I’m the Rocketeer, I don’t need any morphine.” They see the mayor on TV, Jamie jokes about the fight he had with the mayor’s aide. Meanwhile, Mama Larsen is getting her drink on at the motel bar, she receives a phone call from her sister. She ignores it. On the other end of the call, we see Aunt Larsen getting mad about it, Papa Larsen walking in just in time to hear her complain about her sister.

Linden is at the police station watching the Super 8 film, she calls Holder and leaves him a message (Oh, now she wants to talk to him). She tells him she knows what he did with the back pack. She receives word that the place she was getting her warrant for, a shoe store, has just been destroyed by a fire. She rushes out, asking one of the firefighter if the computers were damaged. He tells her there was nothing but shoes there. She notices a camera and requests video footage from the cameras in a four block radius.

Papa Larsen picks up his sons, he learns that one of his sons received a gift from a friend of Papa Larsen’s. Uh oh. Papa Larsen goes to his mob boss, Janek, and tells him to keep his kids out of their deal. Papa Larsen informs Janek that Rosie worked for Beau Soleil, the prostitution website. Janek tells him he’ll look into it, he then tells Papa Larsen that he just wanted to meet his sons and that they look just like him.

Holder shows up at a trailer park to visit an old friend, an old friend who starts to toke up right in front of him. Holder is there to make amends. His friend begins taunting him, telling him that even junkie cops need a dealer. Holder gets mad and begins to beat him, at one point, the friend’s mom gets involved and inadvertently gets him. Holder leaves, but not before taking a little something.

Richmond, back at the hospital, talks about going to a benefit later that week and searching for youth baseball gloves. Jamie objects telling him it’s a bad idea, but Richmond is very adamant. Gwen is at her office when she gets a visit from her father, the mayor. She talks about moving on, moving on to Washington D.C. and working for Senator Farrelly. Damn, her boyfriend gets shot and suddenly she wants out. He places the call and tells her he’ll probably want her to leave tonight.

Mama Larsen is in a motel room with a businessman, they start to kiss. I think this might be why the parental advisory warning came up earlier. Actually, no, they do nothing but kiss before going to a commercial break. So THAT was what the warning before??? The folks at AMC are kind of prudish, aren’t they?

Holder is sitting in the car looking at the drugs that he just took from his friend’s.

Elsewhere, Linden is driving with her son, she is on the phone asking about the video footage. She gets chastised by her son for talking while driving, The Killing‘s version of a PSA. Back at the hospital, Richmond’s nurse comes in. They begin talking about how she voted for him and why she did, both kind of flirting with one another. We soon learn that the entire time they’ve been talking she’s being changing his catheter. Of course, he hasn’t realized this because you know, he’s paralyzed now. He lies there upset as she walks out of the room.

Hey! Now this is where that warning comes into play! Holder’s having sex in his car with the woman he was talking to earlier in from of the Narcotics Anonymous meeting. When they finish, she asks him if he has any. He looks up at her in silence. Back at her motel, Linden browses through her son’s graphic novel. Elsewhere, Papa Linden receives a visit from Janek who tells him he checked into the Beau Soliel situation, he says he found no record of Rosie. He also tells Papa Larsen some grisly details of Rosie’s final moments and tells him that HE should go out and kill whoever murdered his daughter. Sounds like the mob boss is just getting lazy.

Linden is cooking when she receives a phone call saying they have footage from fourteen cameras. She pulls up the attachments on her email and we see that somebody in a Larson van drove by the shoe store, even more alarming is the driver is sporting the anime tattoo on his arm. Linden gets another call on the other line, an anonymous tipster who tells her that Holder is acting strangely. Yeah, visiting his nephew and almost freaking him out, getting into a fight with his old friend and stealing his drugs, and having sex in his car with another ‘former’ junkie – I would definitely say he’s acting a little off kilter.

Holder is walking back and forth in the middle of the street when Linden shows up. She tells him that she knows he switched the backpack. She threatens to leave him if he doesn’t get out of the street, he finally complies. At the hospital, Richmond broods.

As the episode comes to a close, Mama Larsen looks out her window and see what seems like her sister standing beside the pool smoking a cigarette. Somebody is deleting the Beau Soleil files from the server, while Janek gets a nod of confirmation from an associate. Papa Larsen sits in his office with the best white noise machine as the person with the anime tattoo drives off in a van, and Holder and Linden go to Holder’s car and pulls out Rosie’s bloody backpack. You see Linden, if only you had opened your motel room door last episode, you wouldn’t have had to wait until the end of this episode to get to Rosie’s backpack.

Rating: 2.5/5

Next week: Holder and Linden look through the contents of the backpack, they find a drawing of Rosie, they interrogate a guy with a tattoo on his face as Linden passes something to him underneath the table (her number maybe???), Richmond talks to the mayor, we learn how Papa Larsen got out of being with the mob (somebody got a bullet to the temple and shoved into a trunk), Holder follows the man with the anime tattoo, and Papa Larsen freaks out at Janek’s. Looks much more interesting than tonight’s episode, that’s for sure.

A Visitor’s Guide to NYC’s Little Italy Neighborhood

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If there’s one thing that I can say for certain, it’s that:

I Bleed Marinara

My love of Italian food came in large part from my mother’s cooking, which would seem only natural, IF my mother weren’t 100% Irish… But if you think that ever stopped her from making some world-class meatballs, sausage and pepper sandwiches, or chicken parm, you’d be sadly mistaken mister!

Anyway, since moving to New York City, I can’t get my mom’s amazing cooking too often, but a man still has needs! In my two years of city-dwelling, I have managed to find a few places that satisfy me, but since I live so close to Little Italy now, I decided that this weekend I would explore that neighborhood a bit further.

Just to add some background, Little Italy used to be a significant residential neighborhood for ethnic Italians, but it has lately been encroached upon by Chinatown to the point where it exists along only a few city blocks between Canal and Broome (according to gonyc.about.com).

Il Piccolo Buffalo

Despite the area’s diminishing size, there are still some gems worth visiting. In my humble opinion, Il Piccolo Buffalo is real diamond in the rough. Unlike several other Little Italy restaurants, the staff here is exceptionally friendly and helpful, and the food is excellent. I went there with a lady friend of mine on Saturday, and in this instance, I got a pizza called the Piccolo Diavolo, which is basically a good spicy sausage pizza with hot peppers and capicola. Delicious! And considering the portions and service, very reasonably priced!

Ferrara Bakery and Cafe

Afterwards, we decided to get some coffee, so we headed over to a fairly well-known Italian bakery nearby, called Ferrara. This place is pretty upscale as far as bakeries go. Marble floors, hardwood facades, and suited waiters and waitresses that could easily go serve a high society ball or wedding without a wardrobe change, all come together to make this place a very classy experience. The prices are reflective of this, of course, but once you get a table you can sit and enjoy coffee, dessert or a nightcap in peace and comfort. One thing they most definitely don’t do at Ferrara is rush you, so take your time and relax!

The Bottom Line

The bottom line for Little Italy, in my experience, is this: choose your battles. A lot of the shops and restaurants here have degenerated into tourist traps – packed full of visitors wearing Kanken backpacks – that get you in the door with sweet promises of authenticity and deliciosity that ultimately don’t hold up under even the most casual expectations. With a little trial and error, however, you’ll find that there are a few places worth visiting, and may find yourself coming back again and again!

For any local who lives in New York City – or any visitor who happens to be passing there – Little Italy is the one neighborhood that you shouldn’t miss. Between the culture, history, and most importantly of all, food, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most well-respected and long-lasting areas of Manhattan.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device Review (with New E Ink Pearl)

kindle

Most writers love to read and I’m no exception. I checked out the NOOK and original Kindle but just couldn’t make the investment. One of the things I love best about books is the clarity of print on the page. Books are crisp and legible while e-readers seemed fuzzy and the source of potential eye strain. The introduction of the Kindle Wireless Reading Device with New E Ink Pearl changes the face of e-readers forever.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device with New E Ink Pearl

When I stare at the computer screen all day, eye strain is inevitable. I don’t want to use an e-reader that makes the issue worse. When I need a break from writing, I often grab a book and read a couple of chapters. It gives my eyes a rest from the glare of various computer screens and images – a big plus in this review.

The new Kindle Wireless Reading Device with E Ink Pearl delivers the same type of reading experience. Their E Ink technology is referred to as Pearl, which translates into the best possible reading experience.

Pearl gives you 50 percent better contrast and much sharper text than the competitors. Electronic ink uses ink to screen work, just like regular books and newspapers. The big difference is the ink particles are displayed electronically. It’s almost like magic! I love the fact the screen looks like actual paper in a book. There is literally no adjustment and no eyestrain. It is just like picking up my favorite book from the library only in a convenient little Kindle package. It also eliminates overdue library charges.

The 6” display is large enough to read the print but small enough to be portable. The Kindle can be easily slipped into purse or pocket to read on-the-go, much like a regular book. In fact, most books are bigger, heaver, larger and more cumbersome than the Kindle. It is only 8.5 ounces and 1/3 of an inch thick. It’s completely transportable even when you want to travel light.

Of course, another one of my favorite pastimes is reading outdoors. Often I take my laptop to a park or beach for a change of pace. I also bring along a book for break time. I wondered if the Kindle would be legible in the outdoor light. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Kindle screen reflects light. It’s just like the paper in a book because there is no glare. Unlike backlit LCD displays found on smart phones or tables, the Kindle is easily readable on the sunniest days.

When I get caught up in a good story, I can get carried away. The longer battery life means I don’t have to worry about the Kindle petering out in the middle of the best part of the book. Because of the electronic ink screen, no power is needed to maintain a page of text. I haven’t discovered if it is true yet, but they claim you can read for up to a month on a single charge.

Another benefit: the Kindle never heats up like your laptop. After getting laptop burn on my thigh last summer, this is a major plus for me! Even though it doesn’t get hot, books are downloading and ready to read in just 60 seconds. That’s less time than it takes to peruse the shelves at the local library.

Parting Thoughts

I’ll never be at a loss for reading material because the Kindle holds up to 3,500 books. There are literally millions of books to choose from, ranging in price from free to about $10 each. I love the free classics and will never run out of reading material.

When you’re ready to buy a Kindle, you can search for online deals and promotional codes to offset the cost. Or use your rewards card to make the most of your money. At just $139.99 (prices may change as of this writing), Kindle is an affordable way to learn and be entertained.

How to Help Your Pets Transition When You Move

moving pets

For some people, moving can be a fun experience – a chance to go somewhere new and experience something different. To others, however, it can be a frustrating experience – something that they try to avoid as much as possible. But not matter how you feel about moving, there’s one thing that’s certain: your pets definitely aren’t going to be enthused.

Sure, some dogs like car rides and cats may seem complacent wherever they’re at, but a big change of scenery can be a serious problem for most pets, and the actual process of moving can be a danger all in its own.

To help you with your next move, we’ve put together some great advice and tips for keeping your pets safe during the moving process, as well as helping them become accustomed to the new home afterwards.

Tips for Moving Day

Although moving day can definitely be a stressful experience for your pet, it’s more important to consider the other potential problems related to moving – it can be dangerous when your pet is there in the way. Here are some best practices for keeping them safe:

  • Select a room in the back of the apartment or house and keep the pets confined to that space. Don’t try to move anything into it today, simply put the boxes outside the door and wait until you’re all done with everything to open it.
  • Does your new home have a fenced in backyard? If so, this may be the perfect time to test it out – just be sure to go through fire and verify that there’s nowhere that your pet can escape from.
  • Most of all, try to find someone to watch your pet for your while you move. This allows you to keep the doors to your home open for moving things in easily, and you don’t have to worry about your pet being underfoot or running out into the road.

Helping Your Pet Adjust

When you move somewhere new, it takes you a while to find where everything is. Not just the little things in the house, but also the nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and other attractions. It’s no different to your pets – just on a smaller scale. It can take them awhile to get used to their new home. This is what you can do to help:

  • Create an area that is just for them, where they feel safe. Perhaps put a pet bed and some toys in there, and give them some treats in the space from time to time – this allows them to have somewhere to retreat to that feels comforting and familiar.
  • Reinforce positive behavior – such as waiting to go outside to use the bath, or using the litterbox for cats. This helps train them in the new setting. Why do cats spray? Oftentimes it’s because of a change in environment.
  • Finally, you just need to be patient. There’s nothing you can do that’s going to make your pet immediately used to its new home. Some pets adjust quickly and others take longer, but no matter what you just have to sit back, help them, and wait for them to come around.

Staying Healthy When Everyone Else Is Sick

healthy

Nobody likes to be sick, but unfortunately it isn’t always something that you can avoid. Luckily there are some great preventative measures that you can take in order to minimize your risk of being sick – especially doing your best to stay away from others who have already gotten ill.

But what about when that sick person if a family member or loved one? In those cases, keeping your distance isn’t always possible – especially if you live together. Thankfully, however, there are still some things that you can do to hopefully keep the germs from spreading and getting you sick as well.

When you can’t help but spend time around someone who isn’t feeling well, here are some great tips for staying healthy:

Wash Your Hands

The absolute best way to keep yourself healthy when you’re around sick people is to practice effective handwashing procedures. Whenever you can, take a minute and wash your hands using both soap and warm water in order to ward off any germs that may be lurking. You should also wash your hands after any time that you directly interact with the sick person or the items they’ve been in contact with.

Get Protected

Is it the flu that has your family down? If so, you may be better off scheduling to get a flu vaccination. Flu vaccines aren’t right for everyone, but if you can’t afford to get sick (or if your family can’t afford for you to) you may be better off biting the bullet and getting the shot.

Keep Things Clean

Germs can linger all over common household items, so when you’re living with a sick person you need to work extra diligently to keep things clean. This includes the frequent washing of sheets and betting, spraying down countertops and other surfaces where germs can harbor with a disinfectant spray, and make sure to shower on a regular basis.

Don’t Share

This one should be a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how often healthy people share cups, silverware, and other items with someone who is sick. There probably isn’t any faster way to catch the illness yourself, so make sure that you take a few minutes and think before choosing to share something with your loved one while they’re sick.

Maximize Ventilation

Being on a cooped up space with a sick person is no good – it allows the germs to become airborne and spread all throughout your home or office’s ventilation system. In order to reduce the chances of you (or others) getting sick as well, make sure to open windows and doors wherever possible in order to maximize fresh air and ventilation.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re sick, doctors always tell you to stay hydrated – but the same thing applies to anyone who is trying to stay healthy. A well hydrated body is better equipped to fight off bacterial or viral attacks, so if you want to make sure that you avoid getting sick, you need to proactively take care of your body by upping your intake of water or other hydrating fluids.