The Internet is Not a Business

The internet is a vehicle for generating business activity, just like a store front or office. Online business is not different to managing and growing a physical business, and more often than not, you need to bring similar structures into your online business. Many online operators still hold a subconscious, or conscious, belief that the internet is their business, in and of itself. That drives a particular form of behavior which may be counter-productive to longer term success.

As with any business, you would firstly want to establish your own business name and have it registered so at the end of the road, you have something to sell, as an asset.

You want attached to that asset, a customer base ie a list that adds value to the unit you are selling. For example, I have four separate entities that I could sell at various future stages – my Forward Steps website domain name, the Triggers e-zine publication and its distinct mailing list, the daily Forward steps publications and its own mailing list, all my other Domains and users of those service.

In addition, there will be future products that I create such as e-books, questionnaires or audios, and their landing pages with their own domains. Each will be able to be sold as separate entities should I want lump sum cash in the distant future, without having to sell my entire business in one piece.

I see many, many thousands of online travelers who join businesses as an affiliate and pump out their links at communities and directories, plus send spam emails to hundreds. This is a very scattered approach and not highly leveraged, effective business building. The internet appears to be the gold field of the modern age. Guess who made the most money in the gold fields? Those who sold the pick, shovels and wheelbarrows!

In a physical business, do you see people jumping from one business to the next in a matter of weeks or months? Most times business owners commit to laser focused action in one specialty for years to producing a successful end result. Later, they employ staff to enable them to move away from spending so much time in their business after a few years of doing much of the activity themselves.

Similarly online, it is important to make that level of commitment and do the hard yards in the early days: establishing credibility, a client base and automated structures that will eventually lead to less personal time input.

In setting up any business you really want to have an exit strategy in mind before embarking. Know what it is that you want to accomplish, as an end result. Then you create a solid plan to produce that result, taking the necessary and clear actions that will bring you the income for which you planned.

You do not want to create "busy-ness", you want to create a "business: a commercial enterprise or establishment". Rather than building yourself a 'job', you want to build a structure that develops passive income flow, and preferably one that you personally own rather than being attached to someone else's business and holding your breath that they stay in business, for your personal income Security.

Avoid hanging "your hat and good name" on fly-by-night ventures that come and go. "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." If you think about that, you'll do things differently. " ~ Warren Buffett – Investment Entrepreneur ~

Get to work, and build your own enterprise, of which you can be proud. Get to know what it takes to grow a profitable, self-sustaining business and have a plan that you will follow, for clear direction.

Know the specific daily actions that will move you toward or away from your desired end result. Measure as much as you can, such as the results of advertising, get to know what works and what does not. Then do more of what works, and over time eliminating the non-productive activities in your days.

You can stay where you are right now or you can take Napoleon Hill's advice and learn how to concentrate.

Scam Alert – Cosmetic Dentistry Secrets The Dental Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

Are you considering getting some cosmetic dental work done? Before you plunk down the big money, there are certain things you should know about this type of dentistry that will not only benefit your health but also save you a lot of money.

Although there are dentists and dental offices that specialize in performing cosmetic dentistry, it should be noted that there is no such thing as a “Cosmetic Dentist” as the American Dental Association (ADA.org) only recognizes 11 areas of dental specialties ; Dental Public Health, Pediatric, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

Because of the growing market of people who want “cosmetic” (or restorative as it’s properly called) dentistry done on them such as bleeching, contouring, esthetic partials, veneers, porcelain crowns, teeth reshaping, caps, etc., there are those dentists who are trying (and succeeding!) in exploiting their patients by getting them to pay more money than they have to for procedures which, in many cases, can be done by a regular dentist (crowns, bridges, caps) for a lot less money.

The bottom line is don’t just assume you need to see a “cosmetic dentist”; have a regular DDS or DMD dentist examine you first and if they can’t help you, have them recommend a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry.

Four Most Popular Types Of Cosmetic Dental Work

Porcelain Veneers – It is a known fact that veneers (porcelain laminate veneers, technically) are gaining in popularity, especially among wealthier folks. Veneers are very thin porcelain ‘false fronts’ for your teeth. They are custom-made from a meticulous mold of your teeth, which are then applied directly to the fronts of your teeth to produce instant perfect whiteness. They are most often used to cover stains that cannot be removed through other methods, to fill in gaps, and to cover surface damage. In the world of cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers are just about the most expensive solution. Prices vary considerably, depending on the renown of the dentist you use and where you live. Expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $1,000 per tooth. While some people have all their teeth done, the vast majority who choose this option have just their front six teeth done (top and bottom). This translates to a total price tag of $4,800 to $12,000.

Professional Tooth Whitening – These days tooth whitening is the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry, by far. Millions of Americans have this procedure done every year. The process involves applying a gel mixture containing about 35% hydrogen peroxide directly to the teeth via a mouth tray (similar to mouth guards worn by football players). Your dentist then uses a plasma arc light or laser to quickly heat the hydrogen peroxide, which then oxidizes the stains on your teeth. You usually have a choice between having the teeth whitening done in the dentist’s office, or using an at-home system that he or she devises and manages. The in-office procedure is more expensive, but is also quicker and often produces more whitening. At-home systems are slower and may not produce as much whitening, but they are less costly. In-office whitening will run you $450 to $1,200, while at-home systems generally add up to $300 to $750.

Tooth Shaping – This type of procedure is becoming popular as a way for people who have generally good teeth to fine-tune their smiles. Some people have long teeth or maybe their canines are too sharp for their liking. A very simple and relatively inexpensive procedure in the pantheon of cosmetic dentistry at just $30 to $70 per tooth, the entire process is painless and can be finished in as little as thirty minutes and one office visit. The dentist uses an instrument to essentially file or sculpt the teeth in question to the agreed upon shape. Only bits of enamel are removed, and the tooth’s nerve is not disturbed, so no pain is involved.

Gum Lifting – Gum lifting is another increasingly popular form of cosmetic dentistry. A small portion of the gum line (usually the upper gum) is removed in an effort to make the gum line appear uniform. You’ve probably seen people with ‘gummy’ smiles, where the upper lip exposes most (or at least too much) of the upper gums. This procedure reduces the amount of gum showing when a person smiles, as well as making the gum line even across the teeth. Gum lifts are done tooth-by-tooth, and involve a mild local anesthetic to deaden the nerves in the gums. Patients generally report only very mild discomfort for a day or two after the procedure. This can be a fairly expensive procedure, depending on the number of teeth that need to have the gums above reduced. A gum lift will set you back $70 to $200 per tooth.

Making Cosmetic Dental Care More Affordable

Most people who get cosmetic dentristry done these days pay out-of-pocket for this service. This is because very few dental insurance policies cover so-called “elective procedures”, even though some of these procedures (ie. braces, dentures, root canals) would be considered anything but “elective” by most people. However, there are a couple of steps you can take to reduce how much you will pay for cosmetic-related dental procedures, especially if these procedures are not covered by your existing dental insurance coverage;

(1) By far the best way to reduce what you pay for cosmetic dentistry is to shop around. Don’t be taken in by fancy newspaper advertisements of glowing testimonials about how much better a person feels about themselves after they’ve went to this dentist or that dental office, do some old-fashioned comparison shopping. Start by going to a dentist that you trust and after explaining to them the type treatment you’re looking for, ask them what your options are and how much they will cost. Then if you need to go somewhere else for treatment, ask your dentist for a referral.

(2) Another easy way to save money on cosmetic dentistry is to enroll in a discount or reduced fee dental plan. These plans allow members to save 15%, 20% and in some cases as much as 25% on any cosmetic procedure done by a dental specialist (Periodontist, Orthodontist, Oral Surgeon, etc). The problem with these type of plans is that unless you live in or near a large-size city, the chances are that you’ll find few if any specialists in your area who will accept a discount dental plan, so before you join any plan, make sure that plan has at least one orthodontist, periodontist and oral surgeon within a reasonable driving distance from where you live.

Choosing A “Cosmetic Dentistry Friendly” Plan

But how do you know which discount dental plan is best for you and your specific cosmetic dental needs? There can literally be dozens of plans to choose from, each one with their own participating dentists, monthly premiums and dental fee schedules, so it can be easy to pay too much for a plan. The National Association of Dental Plans (NADP.org) reports that 68% of all buyers pay too much for their dental coverage which is why its a good idea to shop around for the plan that’s best for you.

Articulate a Message That Motivates

During a recent workshop I asked sales leaders to prepare a quick "elevator speech" that explains the compelling reasons for their strategic imperatives. Overwhelmingly, the individuals laid out the facts and figures that supported their reasoning. While technically correct, most of these speakers lack something. While they identified the key business drivers, and logically laid out the reasons for change, they did not connect to the emotional reasons for change.

In addition to identifying the financial and market drivers behind an initiative, leaders also need to connect to the values ​​behind the change and communicate these values ​​to the organization in addition to just providing pure financial numbers and facts figures. While they support the reason for change, facts and figures by themselves are also boring. They show the logic behind the change while values ​​and vision communicate on the emotional level. They motivate and inspire people to change.

There is a real need for leaders to create a vision for change, not just providing the bottom line numbers that are driving change. In talking about vision, Kotter states that "… the real power of vision is unleashed only when most of those involved in an enterprise or activity have a common understanding of its goal and direction. That shared sense of desirability can help motivate and Coordinate the kinds of actions that create transformations "Kotter, 1996, p. 85).

The same is true in communicating the link project and value to the team. This is the opportunity the leader has to remind the team of the purpose of the project, what it means to the team and to the individuals. This type of communication has potential to help ensure that during a change initiative there is not a steep drop in performance by motivating the team behind the project.

Kotter also points out that one of the most common mistakes by change leaders is not communicating enough about the change. He tells us that "Without reliable communication, and a lot of it, employee's hearts and minds are never captured" (Kotter, 1996, p. 9).

Most leaders underestimate the amount of communication needed. They feel that giving a resounding kick-off to a project is enough. For this reason Kotter feels that leaders actually "under communicate by a factor of ten, or one hundred or even one thousand" (Kotter, 1996, p. 9).

If teams are to understand the importance of the change project, the manager must communicate the project and keep it front in the minds and hearts of their employees. This means not just communicating once, but constantly reminding and updating the team about the project and how the team is doing. It also means linking these messages to a vision and core values ​​that resonate with the team.

Communication can not be seen as a one off. Indeed, it is likely when the communications stop and the focus shifts to other projects that the team interprets that the change project is over and they can focus their attention elsewhere. Articulating a vision, linked to values ​​and communicating about the process continues through an initiative and is strengthened if communication about the process are more frequent than not.

Leaders should remember as they articulate their message to their teams, that it is not important that they have all the answers. Leaders are part of the change effort just like everyone else in the organization. They may not have all the answers, and it is OK to admit it. They may need to learn as the team moves forward, just like the team members. More important than knowing all of the answers, with all of the supporting facts and figures is that leaders provide a vision of the project linked to a team value, and plan a way to communicate it to the team, effectively and often. As Gary Yukl points out, "It is necessary to attend an elaborate plan with detailed action steps." The leader should not pretend to know all the answers about how to achieve the vision, but instead should inform followers that they will have a vital role. In discovering what specific actions are necessary "(Yukl, 2006, p. 275).

It is important that the leader engages the team in a way that motivates them and inspires them to move forward. Too often, leaders think facts and figures will do this. Unfortunately, facts and figures alone will rarely motivate and inspire change. In order to truly motivate action, leaders must first examine the values ​​of the team and the vision of where they want to go and find ways to communicate these visions and values ​​often in order to help drive the team forward.

Dirt Bike Trails

Motocross is my favorite thing to do on a dirt bike, but when I'm not able to go to a track I love to ride on trails. Dirt bike tracks are usually safer than motocross tracks, and they are a lot of fun to ride on if there are challenging obstacles. This article will give you an idea what dirt bike tracks consist, the dangers that can lurk in them, and some tips on how to protect you and your bike.

Trail riding is a cheaper alternative for riding your dirt bike instead of motocross racing. There are many trail riding areas in pretty much every state, so finding one within a reasonable distance should not be that difficult for most people. For those of you that do not have state or local trails near you, or riders that just do not want to pay for a state trail sticker, you can make trails on your own property if you have woods. I make my own dirt bike trails and they are a blast to ride on, especially with some buddies.

There are many aspects that make trail riding unique and unusually exciting. First of all, when else are you going to be blitzing through the woods with trees flying past your face on a vehicle? It's the adrenaline of trying to master the obstacles in the trails that makes it so exhilarating. The things that make dirt bike trails challenging are the Traction-less hill-climbs, the trees smacking your hands, roots causing you to lose balance, or the hills that you happen to high-side and fall down. Other things like the fallen trees or added obstacles such as big rocks, logs, cars, wooden walls, and anything else riders can think of make it all the more exciting. It's that "I think I can" spirit combined with the adrenaline rush that makes trail riding so purely awesome.

Fallen Trees

Getting over these objects is easier said than done. Riding over big trees is not always simple to do, especially if the tree is at an awkward angle. To get over big trees you can not just go fast and hope for the best. You want to go nice and easy, otherwise you'll end up tipping over or the bike will land on top of you. To get over a big tree you should sit more towards the rear of the bike and raise the front of the bike up with the throttle and arm strength, then once you get on top of the tree you should move your weight to the front of the Bike so you do not flip. It often happens that the bottom of the bike will hit the tree. This will scratch up the frame and possibly the engine. Do not let this happen, so guard the frame and engine with a Works Connection Skid Plate.

Hill-Climbs

I love riding up big and steep hills on my dirt bike, and it's even more fun when there's trees, branches, and ruts that you must surpass in the woods. To have great trails you must have elevation change, and that is sometimes difficult to come by if you do not have state trails nearby. So if you have a good amount of hills then you are lucky. Riding up hills often requires momentum, traction, power, and balance. Of course you do not always need all of these, but they are the things that will help get you up those nasty slopes. Getting momentum is simply building up as much speed before the hill as possible. This takes skill and guts sometimes, but also makes riding a lot more exciting. Traction comes from body positioning / balance, a good rear tire, and throttle control. Normally you should put weight on the rear of the bike to get traction, unless the dirt is really tacky, and rolling on the power instead of snapping it will allow the tire to hook up more. It's the rider that makes it up the hill and usually not the bike, but a little extra power does not hurt (check out my "FMF Fatty Pipe Review" for more power).

Roots / Ruts

Roots and ruts …. "What's the difference?" You may ask, and I will tell you because you do not want to get them confused when talking to another riding buddy. Roots are the vines of the trees that come up on trails usually from a lot of use and rundown. They are usually not difficult to ride over, but if there are a lot of roots that criss-cross and face every angle they tend to mess up your balance at times. Probably the easiest way to get over roots is to stand up and stay neutral on the bike, that way way you can shift your weight more easily if you need to, and you might have to use your legs as suspension if you hit a rough root or Three.

Ruts are the grooves that form after continuous use of one line. The tracks of ruts often get so deep on dirt bike tracks that your foot pegs drag on the ground. The deeper the rut is the nastier it will be to get in and out of it. The key is to get maximum tract so you can ride through the entire rut. To have traction you must be smooth with the throttle and sometimes have momentum coming into the rut. You want to get the most traction so you can get through the rut, and so you will not roost and eat away the dirt. Roosting is fine if you want to do it on your own dirt bike trails, but try not to on state trails because it just ruins it for other riders.

Rocks

Rocks can be very difficult obstacles to overcome. It's not just the size of the rock that's intimidating, but the shape also matters because it requires a lot more strength to keep the bike balanced while riding over them. Getting over a rock is similar to riding over big logs, except you have to be more careful with your weight distribution and throttle control. Too much throttle and you'll tip over, and you'll fall if you are not balanced. There can be luck involved with getting over big rocks, but it's mainly skill and experience. Rocks can be dangerous to you and your bike. Your elbows can easily get scraped or punctured, along with the rest of your body. You can protect them with some Fox Elbow Guards, or your body body with EVS Body Armor, you'll be glad you did. Pipes can also get damaged; Rocks dent, crack, and puncture pipes, sometimes beyond repair. Protect your two-stroke with a Pipe Guard By E Line.

Branches / Trees

What is more annoying than your hands constantly getting whipped by trees and branches while trying to hold on to the handlebars? I know I hate it, and I'm sure you do not enjoy it. A good way to dodge branches is to stand up so you can easily tilt and turn your handlebars. But to do this you need balance, strength, and stamina. After a while it gets tiring if you are moving the bike, so instead of using up all of your energy you could protect you precious hands with a pair of Pro Taper Hand Guards.

All of these obstacles that I mentioned and more give the challenge that riders want. Riding on dirt bike trails is a relatively safe activity for dirt biking. It's even more satisfying when you ride on trails that you personally made. So if you have some land, go out and make some trails, even if there are state trails near you. Either way, get out and ride some trails, especially if you have not tried it. They are blast, I can guarantee it!

Good luck, and ride safe.

-Tom Stark

The Truth About Countertop Water Filters and How to Find the Best One

I do not know a thing about you, but I'll bet that like most of us you've heard the frightening recent reports that our drinking water is contaminated. And countertop water filters are the next best thing to having a whole house water filter. For those of us that live in apartments it may in fact be our only way of providing safe drinking water for our families. Its pretty much a must have along with the fridge and stove.

But how to choose the best countertop water filter that's the question that's on our minds.

I mean we all see the commercials promoting countertop water filters like they are going out of style. But what makes a good buy?

Of course price is always a key factor, but what you and I are after is safe drinking water for our families. Just like you I am all about protecting my families health so here's some keys to choosing that are always to be looked at before purchasing.

Luckily for us affective countertop water filters need not cause us to get a second mortgage. In fact less than a couple hundred bucks and you can choose among the very best countertop water filters out there. So that should put your mind at ease. However there's more ahead on the road to making a good buy.

What it cost to continue to own your unit is just as important when looking at costs. There can be filter replacement cost hidden in some of the countertop water filters out there that can make you cringe. But keep in mind that a filter that protects you and your family from dangerous contaminants like lead and prescription drugs and chlorine by-products is whats most important here. Ruined health is much more expensive.

Also you'll want to find out what the unit will cost you per gallon of water cleaned. Get the best cost per gallon you can for your money but do not go for cheap trash units. Its more about getting something in exchange for your money than about pinching a penny until Lincoln screams.

Second and more importantly, how well it removes contaminants from your water. Let me tell you the single stage filters just do not live up in this respect regardless of there price or size. A tested and proven combination filter that uses more than one type of filtration is the key here.

Not to mention the throwaway cheapo units out there, stay away from these. They'll need filters replaced every time you blink and you'll in up paying more than if you had gotten the best countertop water filter out there.

And while where talking of size thats a key factor also for most of us we just do not need some over sized contraption on our counter blocking out the sun. Attractive well made countertop water filters will match the best appliances out there.

How its constructed is another factor. You'll wish you had taken more time on researching if you go with the wrong unit. Cheap breakable plastic connectors and leaking fittings can be come a nightmare in themselves. Especially if you've got kids around, they just are not always careful and delicate with things you know.

Also installation should not mean you have to call a team of numbers, the very best units are simple and do not take very much time and effort. That shows a company thought about it's customers when designing there product.

So there you have it,

* Price- initial and ongoing,

* Size and construction,

* All important affective combination filtration and

* Ease of installation

These are where you start in your search for the best countertop water filter.

Your next step is to wade through the flood of countertop water filters out there and see what they are really worth. Until next article good luck hunting for the best countertop water filter.

Vacuum Cleaners – What You Shouldn’t Do to Your Vacuum Cleaner

Practically every household these days has a vac. After all, this handy contraption makes cleaning the house much easier – particularly if you have kids running around every time trying to make a mess of everything. If you are one of those families that rely on them to get the cleaning done, it would help to make sure that the model that you have in your home is properly maintained to ensure that you’ll get to use it for a long time. Here are some tips.

1. Do not use faulty extension cords:

One of the worst mistakes that you can commit when using a vacuum cleaner is plugging it to a faulty extension cord. Extension cords come with amp ratings and their wattage’s are clearly marked to help you determine just what types of appliances they can power. Make sure to use an extension cord that can handle vacs. Using unsuitable extensions is a common mistake that a lot of households commit. You could be risking irreversible damage and even fire due to faulty wiring if you overlook this.

2. Never pull the cleaner by the cord:

You can damage the vac if you pull it or even carry it by its cord. Using vacs with faulty cords is also risky. You can suffer from electrocution, and fire can break out. Make sure to inspect your electrical cords every month to ensure that your cleaner is still safe to use.

3. Never use it where it is not supposed to be used:

Another mistake that a lot of people tend to commit is using one designed for the home outside the house. You can’t use an indoor cleaner outside because it is not designed to handle the debris commonly found in your garage. You also shouldn’t use cleaners on a wet surface.

4. Don’t pick up hard items:

Before you think of picking up a penny using a vacuum, you might want to consider the damage it could do to the appliance. Hard objects can crack the fan blades on the vac. Make sure to scan the room first for these objects before you run the vacuum all over the floor.

5. Do regular vac maintenance:

Vacs do not require much maintenance. You only need to clean the brush role, empty the dirt container, and wash the filters once in a while. Make sure to allot some time to regularly maintain your vac to ensure longevity of the appliance.

How to Make a Podium – Things to Consider in Building a Podium

I’ve never taken notice of podium until the day I was asked to make one. Furniture is more like my thing and it never occurred to me that I’d be building a podium as well. Making a podium is not that hard although there are some basic consideration you have to keep in mind.

Some of the things you have to keep in mind are:

WOOD

You can choose a hard wood or a soft wood in making a podium. It’s not much of a must to be using sturdy wood in podium than it is with furniture. However, I’ve always liked using a hardwood for my woodworking projects so I’ve used an oak wood.

If you like your podium to be easily portable, it is even imperative to use lighter materials. And wheels with industry strength would make the podium even more portable. If you opt to have a wooden base, make sure you use sturdier materials to ensure a strong sense of balance for the user.

FEATURES

The good thing with podium is that you can just make a basic structure and add some embellishments later on. However, you may need to build some extra features to the podium for a more customized use.

Some features I’ve personally built in the podium I’ve made are:

* Panels to allow more space for the speaker’s resources.

* Holes for cables and microphone stands.

* Cabinets to allow some space for the sound system.

PODIUM PLANS

One thing you have to deal with in building a podium are dimensions. You may want to take into consideration the average height of the possible user of the podium. This goes into planning the height of the podium. As for the other dimensions, I found it easier to follow a ready-made plan than go through the trouble of making one myself.

Don’t Get Stuck Snowboarding!

I see it all the time at the resorts. Snowboarders who have dropped into a line that eventually leads them into a long drawn out gulley. You see them suffer as they flail their arms around trying to move forward or eventually take off their snowboard completely and walk out. For most snowboarders this is often a horrible experience. You get so tired from trying to push yourself out, you get hot and sweaty with your goggles fogging up, your skier friends are waiting for you, Ugh! It gets even worse on powder day and even worse than that if it is really deep. The core muscles you need just to push yourself up and out of that awkward hole makes you wish you had trained a little more in the summer and pre-season.

Then there are the snowboarders who are searching for a fresh line of powder just like everyone else. They get into these traverses that seem endless. Our legs are pumped, so pumped that we have to take a break when we reach the line we wish to drop into. Oh and that’s if you make the traverse. Often, we don’t make the traverse and we end up having to drop in early thus getting separated from our friends, cliffed out, or just lost.

You may even find yourself stuck in the middle of the traverse, holding up the entire pack of people behind you. Often times these are your “dual plank wank” comrades who yell and curse you for screwing up their traverse as well. I can’t help to yell at you too if I’m snowboarding and you screw up my own traverse because you laying there like roadkill. Does this at all sound familiar? Maybe it doesn’t if you don’t go off-piste very often but I see you too, stuck in the flats on the groomers.

Snowboarders have many different techniques for getting themselves out of those low-lying areas. There is the good ol’ bent over knuckle drag push, there are the smart ones who actually learned how to snowboard with only one foot in and “skate” their way out of trouble. Recently, I have noticed more and more snowboarders doing this weird shuffle thing where they stay strapped in and more or less try to walk on their tips and tails, kind of like a crippled chicken. Not only does this look you are a beater but it is incredibly dangerous.

Collisions while skiing or snowboarding is one of the most common causes for injury. People can be seriously hurt when they make contact. They can even be legally liable in a crash. Did you know it is illegal to leave the scene of a ski collision?

With skiing and snowboarding becoming more popular than ever, collisions happen more frequently and hopefully you are smart enough to wear a helmet. I think that everyone who heads out to the resort should have to re-read that, “skiers and snowboarders responsibility code” Too many people simply don’t abide and it’s dangerous for all.

Back to being stuck while snowboarding. There are just certain parts of the resorts that become bottlenecks of traffic. These merging points, cat tracks, funnels or whatever are a nightmare. I hear they really suck if you ride in Southern California. We all need to move through them as quickly as possible at a speed that is safe. If you are on your snowboard doing that crippled chicken thing, you are a bogey. Avoid the bogeys at all costs! I have two simple solutions to not be, “that guy.”

The first solution is to get you in riding shape. Engage in a ski or snowboard specific training regimen. Having a strong core, legs, arms, and necks will only assist you. Your legs will handle those traverses, your back won’t hurt as bad, and you will just have a better experience if you do get stuck. You will be de-stuck quicker. Yah!

The second solution is really simple. Tune your snowboard! A well-tuned snowboard is easier to turn, protects your investment, and most importantly, helps you glide ride on past all of those other snowboarders. Wax is paramount to getting through the flats. You will be amazed at how far you can glide on the flats with a fresh coat of ski or snowboard wax. It also helps to protect your base from freezing and much more. A simple wax coat is easy to do. You don’t have to take it to a shop and pay out your hard earned money. With a few simple tools, you can do it yourself. I personally like to wax my board almost every three days of riding. Even more if it is going to be a powder day. I’ll discuss how to wax and tune your equipment another time but do yourself and everyone else on the mountain a favor. “Tune your body and Tune your board!”

Free Social Media Marketing Plan – The Top 4 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Online Marketing

Where can you go to find a truly effective free social media marketing plan? Most people in business and in the online marketing industry understand that social media is a massive, powerful way to network and promote your business, but what are the best ways to use it so that you will be noticed and taken seriously? Well here is a free social marketing plan that you can start using now to improve your online marketing efforts today.

Free Social Media Marketing Plan- The Top 4 Ways to Use Social Networking and Media for Online Marketing:

1. Social Bookmarking: This is a clever way to essentially give your content more votes and improve its ranking on the search engines. Simply use a bookmarking site such as Digg or Propeller to bookmark a link to an article or video that you have done and immediately improve your rank on Google or yahoo.

2- Forums: Another great method of free social media marketing is to participate strategically on online discussion forums. Provide value and helpful links and info while also providing links back to your websites or blogs through anchor texting.

3. Social Networking: Twitter and Facebook are excellent free social media marketing tools that you can use to promote your business while making fantastic connections and contacts to share helpful tips with and provide more opportunities for driving traffic to your websites and getting more prospects. Just be sure to have a balance. Remember that social networking is all about making a connection and providing value. Never make a nuisance of yourself by just spamming and posting your links all day long.

4. Keyword Research: While this may not appear very social at first glance, it is so important to keep in mind that with everything you do online to market your business as well as any free social marketing, it is absolutely critical that you remember to Use relevant long-tail keywords within your posts to be sure that the search engines will find your content and give you priority placement among the search page results.

When it comes to free social media marketing, and any of the other most popular internet marketing tactics, is often not enough to just use a word search engine, but there is a company that offers over 10 hours of professional Keyword research to their members while providing massive lists of the best keywords to use within your online marketing campaigns and titles so be sure that you do your homework to locate the best Online Marketing program to ensure that you will have an edge on your competition and stand Out in the marketplace!

Where to go to Learn Social Media Marketing:

Remember, that free Social Media Marketing and Networking is a technique that requires patience, balance and careful strategy. Be sure to look for a legitimate Internet Marketing school and mentor with the experience to train you to be as effective as possible in all your online marketing efforts. You must provide value and connect in an honest and open way. Remember, that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care!

Colic's Causes and Cures – That's Not Gas, That's a Smile

When my three kids were born, I had hoped they would be gurgling Gerber babies who never gave me a moment's trouble. Much to my surprise, they fought and screamed uncontrollably, thanks to what my pediatrician said was colic. He said colic was natural and normal and there was not much I could do about it. Does this sound familiar?

But he was wrong. Colic can be easily and naturally treated, and colic can be just as easily prevented. But first, let's review what colic is and what causes colic so you can understand what to do if your baby experiences it.

The technical definition of colic is uncontrollable crying for unknown reasons. Your baby is not hungry, wet or tired and yet keeps crying seemingly without stopping. The symptoms typically occur later afternoon getting progressively worse into the evening, and in severe cases, extreme crying can persist all day.

If you do a Google search for symptoms of colic, you'll find that it is crying for seemingly no reason and the crying appears to have no correlation to pain. This is not so. Your baby is crying because they are in pain – a lot of pain – and it's much the same kind of pain you experience when you get gas.

But while they can not tell you that they hurt, your baby makes sure you know it by crying (or screaming), kicking their legs and flexing them toward their tummy, clenching their fists and tightly drawing their arms to their torso. In a few years, you'd call this a temper tantrum, but right now it's a real physiological issue, not a psychological one.

Since it's normal for babies to have a little round tummy that sticks out a bit, how do you know if your baby has gas? Just light touch their protruding tummy and if it is extremely hard without any bounce, then there is trapped gas causing your baby pain and distention, just like you when you get gas.

Causes of Colic The first step is to determine if colic is really the problem. If your baby cries for no reason, appears to be in pain, and possesses a tight posture alternating with quick extension of the spell and an expulsion of gas, chances are they have colic.

The next step is to understand the causes of colic. One of the most challenging challenges every newborn encounters is in coming home to a whole new environment. For the last nine months, they have been inside your uterus where they were safe, secure, warm and protected, with everything they could have provided to them effortlessly.

But once they're born, they have to deal with a completely different way of life and processing foreign sounds, sights, smells and sensations, including the entirely alien concept of eating through their mouth.

While this is a normal occurrence for us, it is an entirely new experience for your baby, and their body has to learn how to process nourishment in an entirely different way from what they've been used to.

Colic begins when your voraciously hungry baby is gulping in a tremendous amount of air along with their food. This makes excessive intake of air the single most common cause of colic.

The second most common cause of colic is the existence of air in the stomach, and the best way to eliminate that captured air is by burping your baby. This is very important because air in your baby's stomach will take up valuable room that is needed for food, so even if it takes a while, make sure your baby burps after ever meal.

The third cause of colic is gas-forming foods ingested by you if you're nursing or the ingredients in formula if you're bottle feeding. If you are nursing, you're still eating for two, except now you may need to alter what you eat to meet your baby's special nutrition needs.

Foods for You and Baby When you're nursing, it's best to avoid raw vegetables and foods high in roughage or fiber like whole wheat and corn, apples pears and salads, except for spinach salads which are nicely and easily digested.

Instead, stick to applesauce and cooked vegetables, and foods like nut butters, potato bread, rice, eggs and good protein sources like lean cuts of beef, turkey and fish. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of nutrition for both you and the baby. This routine may make eating boring for you for a while, but it will not last forever and it will help your baby strongly.

If you're bottle feeding, you've got lots of formula choices, and the only way to know which one works best for your baby is to see how your baby responds to a particular formula within an hour of a feeding and after they're ' Ve been burped. Sometimes, a switch to a different formula can make all the difference in how well your baby feels.

The process of proper feeding to avoid colic is basically the same whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding because within the first minute of feeding, your baby will have swallowed a significant amount of air.

The only difference in feeding styles is that bottles Let milk pass much more quickly than breastfeeding in a minute of time. Since it takes longer for a nursing baby to draw the same amount of milk from your breast, your baby will take in much more air if they're being fed with a bottle than if they are breastfeeding.

Successful Burping Here's the secret to a colic-free baby: feed your baby for one minute – literally count to 60 or watch the second hand on a clock. Then stop feeding and burp your baby. DO NOT feed your baby again until they have produced an adult sized burp.

No doubt your baby will be mad that you've interrupted their food, but they'll be even more upset later when they try to pass the air out the other end, and when they can not, they'll let you know about It with a lot of noise.

This first burp is the expulsion of most of the trapped air in the stomach, and will probably be so loud you never thought it could come from such a small person. It's actually cause for celebration!

Once your baby has burped, they are ready to eat more, and now that the air is gone, they will have room for more milk. Resume feeding for two minutes and then burp your baby again. This burp will not be quite as big as the first one.

Resume feeding. If you're nursing, switch to the other breast and if you're bottle feeding, switch to feed your baby with the other hand. Not only does this give you a break, but alternating back and forth is crucial for your baby's neurological development, so make sure you switch sides every time you resume feeding after burping your baby.

After you have changed sides, your baby may eat as long as they want to. Your baby will get most of the milk they need within the first five minutes of eating, and after that, much of feeding guarantees comfort and play. Then burp your baby; This final burp may be merely a bubble since all the excess air is now gone from their tummy.

Because the first two burps release most of the trapped air, be sure to take the time at feeding time to elicit a burp. If you do not, you and your family will be paying for it later – usually in the middle of the night when everyone would rather be sleeping. Sometimes, it might be difficult to get your baby to burp, and you should get them to burp before they get too mad because they will suck in more air and the cycle will begin again.

Hidden Burps Here are a couple of tricks to find a hidden burp. First, place your baby over your shoulder and ever so gently, squeeze the lower aspect of their ribs. If your baby squirms or acts as if they have been tickled, there is probably residual air in their stomach.

Work your way from the lower aspect of their ribs all the way up to just below the armpits, continuing to gently squeeze. At the point where they flinch, rub their back from that point upward to coax the trapped air upward and make sure no air is displacing any potential food space.

If you have a receiver burper and you know air is still trapped and just will not erupt, position your baby's head lower than their bottom for about five seconds, then quickly and smoothly bring them back upright.

This will force the air bubble to the top of the stomach much like a construction level. Attempt to burp again and do not be surprised if your baby releases a good belch on their way up.

Moore Wellness Colic-Prevention Formula

* Feed your baby for one minute.
* Stop feeding your baby and burp. You want a good, strong burp to get most of the trapped air out.
* Continue feeding on the same side for two minutes.
* Stop feeding you baby again and elicit another burp to get the rest of the air out.
* Switch feeding sides and let the baby eat as long as is appropriate for both of you.
* Burp again, and if you get bubbles, that'll be one happy and well-fed baby.

I know it may seem a bit too systematized for a really personal moment, but the results are well worth it. This process can make the difference between a happy, peaceful where everyone gets the sleep and calm they need, or a home that is full of stress and turmoil because no one can rest.

Occidentally, you may need to rush the process of feeding your baby, but if you do not take the time to feed and burp your baby properly now, you'll both pay for it later. Your baby does not know about appointments, clocks and time commitments, so you might want to take their feeding schedule into consideration as you plan your day.

The third cause of colic is a hiatal hernia which occurs when part of your baby's stomach bulges upward out of their belly and into their chest cavity. Just about every baby has this because of the changes in the way their body now has to process food.

While your baby was in your womb, their digestive muscles did not have anything to do, but now they have to learn how to push food down into the stomach. And when milk hits the stomach, the stomach muscle says, "This is new. What do I do with this?" And it goes into a bit of a spasm as it begins digesting.

When it goes into a spasm, part of the stomach pulls up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity and the lower portion of the stomach remains in the abdominal cavity. This creates an hour-glass configuration of the stomach – the stomach will stick out between the ribs on the center of the stomach and appear as a small water balloon.

To put your baby's stomach back into a normal position, take your thumbs one on top of the other and gently apply pressure downward toward their belly button. Keep repeating the movement from the bars down until your baby's stomach is soft and no longer distracted. Use a very light pressure so the muscles will not tighten up.

Advanced Colic Treatment

The other techniques for relieving colic are using two reflexes in the lower abdomen. One is in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen called the ileocecal valve where the small intestine joins the large intestine and the other is called Houston's valves which are at the lower left. Both of these valves open and close to control the flow of food and waste in the digestive system.

If your baby is in agony and has their legs drawn up toward his tummy, take hold of their right leg and gently flex their thigh toward their abdomen. At the same time, apply very gentle pressure at a spot mid way between the hip bone and the belly button with the pads of your fingers.

It will be very tender and the muscles will fight you if too much pressure is applied initially, so be careful to start slowly and add slight pressure as the stomach softens.

This technique will work even if you do not completely understand what you are doing. The worst that will happen is that you have spent some great time with your baby. The more you do it, the more kindly you are to recognize the results and your baby will have nice soft tummy.

Do the exact same procedure on the left side. Bring the leg into the flexed position to take tension off the stomach, and then apply minor pressure at the midpoint between the belly button and the hip bone. Wiggle your baby's leg and play a bit to make it as fun as possible for your baby.

The last spot is the small intestines' reflex point. Apply very easy pressure on top of the belly button directed toward the spine to alleviate any knots that may have developed in the small intestines as the digestive system. When you do this correctly, there will be and almost immediately relief of your baby's pressure and discomfort.

Happy Baby, Happy Family

After what you may have been told or read somewhere, colic is not inevitable and can be effectively and safety treated and prevented. With proper feeding and burping, and he correct formula or foods if you're a nursing mom, your baby and the rest of your family will be all smiles.

The Versatility of Boys Hoodies

In the year 2009, hoodies are as popular with young adults now as they have ever been. It seems that the majority of boys and girls have a selection of different styles and colors of hooded tops in their wardrobes which they wear whatever the season. Hoodies are an extremely versatile item of clothing, they can be worn in the winter months, layered up, or they can be worn in the summer with a light top underneath and a pair of shorts or a skirt.

These days hoodies do not just come in thick, sweater form, they also come in light cotton and bright colours. It is this that makes them so wearable for all different walks of life, but in particular, young boys and teenage boys follow the hoodie fashion. Far from what the media would have you believe, hooded tops are simply not only for trouble making yobs and thugs, they are also worn by law abiding citizens who do not wear them to hide their identity, but because they are comfortable, casual and stylish.

Boy’s hoodies are extremely practical, offering protection and warmth in all different kinds of weather. The hood offers protection from the rain and as it can usually be adjusted through a drawstring toggle, it also protects the face from strong winds and cold weather. Boy’s hoodies can also be worn when taking part in sports and they are particularly popular with boys who are interested in skateboarding or “skaters” as they are often referred to. Hoodies are loose and thin enough to be comfortable, and to allow the wearer to move freely but at the same time, thick enough to be warm and to be worn as an over-garment.

For the summer months, boys often wear hoodies which are more like hooded t-shirts, although they tend to have long sleeves. These hoodies do not have the trademark large frontal pocket, and are made from a thin cotton material (often layered with a long sleeved shirt under a short sleeved shirt). Worn with jeans or shorts, they are a practical, casual garment and they give great protection from strong sun or heat while remaining breathable and fashionable.

Another type of boy’s hoodie is the zip-up, or the zipped-hoodie. These tend to be made out of thicker, sweater-like material and are worn as a jacket over a thinner layer. These are great for wearing in the spring or autumn when boy’s require a little more than just a plain t-shirt but also like the option of unzipping their top to cool off. As with other styles of jackets, zip-up hoodies have pockets for storage, although these are situated at the front of the jacket on either side of the zip. They are also usually a feature of the top rather than simply being a hidden hole as is often the case in other styles of jacket.

Boys hoodies [http://www.joebloggsclothing.co.uk/store/c195/2-195/Home//BOYS-HOODIES/details.aspx] are an extremely comfortable, versatile item of clothing which can be worn with anything, over anything, and at anytime!

How to Perform a Site Inspection Like a Pro

When a professional meeting, event or conference planner goes to evaluate the suitability of a venue for a client this is called a site inspection. There are three basic areas to be considered:

  • Appearance and accessibility of the location

  • Service and quality of catering

  • Amenities and special features.
  • Without a doubt, choosing a venue for your affair is the most significant aspect of the event planning process. No venue = no event. Choosing the proper setting for your organization is of paramount importance. If you find yourself in a position where you are unable to have a professional planner perform a appointment inspection for you, the following checklists should get you started.

    Appearance & Accessibility (Outside)

  • When you initially approach the building, is the façade well maintained and pleased to the eye? Is there someone available to greet you at the door and direct you where you need to go?
  • Is the location centered and roughly equidistant from the areas from which your guests will be traveling?
  • Is parking available for all of your guests? If not, is there a parking alternative outside the facility?
  • Appearance & Accessibility (Inside)

  • As you move inside, what is your impression of the inside of the facility? Wallpaper and paint well maintained? Carpets and floors clean?
  • Are there tables and chairs lying about from previous functions? At the very least, tables and chairs should stacked neatly and out of the way.
  • How far is the actual room where the event will be held from the entrance?
  • Will the room itself be spacious enough to accommodate all of your guests and still have room for at least ten more should your count unexpectantly increase?
  • Does the room have a built in sound system (if applicable)? Does the facility have in-house audiovisual equipment or will you need equipment from a rental agency?
  • Is the room clean and in good repair? Wallpaper and carpets well maintained? Any visible cracks, stains or tears?
  • Is the room well lit? If you need to darken the room for a presentation, make sure that the lights are adjustable.
  • Is there room for a registration or display table if applicable?
  • Service & Catering

  • What entry do the waiters use to come in to set up the food? Make sure to stipulate that the catering tables will be placed in a position where the waiters and guests will be able to have access, but also in a position where the wait staff will not have to pass in front of your speaker if they need to set- Up during your program. (If you do not have a speaker presentation, this, of course, is a moot point.) The facility manager can assist you in making a decision.
  • How receptive was the staff to your request to view the facility? Were they pleasant and courteous? Did the facility manager greet you with a handshake and a smile upon your arrival at the venue?
  • Sometimes catering or banquet halls have an adjoining restaurant. This is a perfect opportunity to sample the facility's cuisine. Observe the attitude of the wait staff towards their customers. Do they seem pleasant and attentive? Are their uniforms neatly pressed? How often do they come back to check on your table? This is a fairly reliable indicator of the service that you will receive on the day of your event.
  • If the facility does not have an adjoining restaurant, you are perfectly within your rights to request a small sample tasting. Most facility managers should be happy to oblige.
  • Amenities & Special Features

  • Amenities may include any number of items such as a built in sound system, in house audiovisual equipment, valet parking, complementary floral arrangements, a mystery dinner theater or any special perk that sets that venue apart from others. It may be helpful for you to make a list of these features, so that you can compare the various sites that you have inspected. No facility is perfect. If you look hard enough, you are bound to find some small flaw in service or in the maintenance of the building. Use the following checklists as a guide for evaluating the facility as a whole. Do not drive yourself crazy looking for every rip and tear! Only you can decide what type of venue is right for your event. If you are sufficient enough to find a venue that meets all of your requirements and fits within your budget, you've hit the goldmine! However, this may not always be the case and some form of compromise may be required. For instance, you may choose one venue over another because it is more conveniently located for your guests, although you may have felt that the other site was more elegant. Only you can determine what factors will come into play when making your final decision.
  • Just remember the basics. The following should never be compromised:

    1. Cleanness and proper maintenance of the facility both inside and outside.
    2. Convenience and accessibility of location.
    3. Attentive and courteous service.
    4. Quality and presentation of catering.

    My Husband Makes No Attempt To Understand My Feelings

    The vast majority of people that I hear from do not feel understood or heard by their spouse. I find that many folks do not comprehend just how serious of a problem this might be. Sure, no one is perfect at communicating or at reading someone else’s clues. And sure, all marriages can withstand a few misunderstandings. But if you go through your life, and through your marriage, for any significant period of time feeling constantly misunderstood, this can’t help but have a huge impact on your marriage and how you feel about it. This can be true even if your spouse is sincerely trying to understand, but just can’t. But it’s even more true if your spouse appears to be making no effort whatsoever to try to understood you. It can make you question if he thinks that you are not important enough or not even worth the effort.

    For example, I wife might think: “why doesn’t my husband even make the slightest effort to understand me anymore? When we were dating, it was like he was fascinated at what made me tick and what contributed to my happiness. But today, he acts as if I am overly complicated rather than unique and fascinating. I am trying to make some positive changes in my life. And my husband is totally resistant to this because all he can see if that the changes might be putting him out or inconveniencing him some. But what he doesn’t seem to get, or remotely care about, is that the changes are important to me. He doesn’t understand that I need to tweak some things in my life in order to be authentically happy. But he doesn’t take the time to try to analyze my thinking or ask himself what I need in my life. He acts as if I’m only trying to inconvenience him instead. So I’ve tried to explain myself, but I’ll find myself passionately talking about something and I will look over, only to find that my husband is giving me a blank stare. His eyes are sort of glazed over and he is almost slumped down, as if even listening to me is a heavy task for him. It’s so discouraging. It makes me think that he doesn’t care about me at all. Am I wrong in thinking this? Why else would a husband not even make the slightest effort to understand his wife?”

    You’re right to be concerned. When you start to see this type of apathy and indifference toward you (or toward what is important to you) it can be sort of warning sign. Not always, of course. But sometimes, it is. That’s why you can’t ever be too careful. I can think of a few reasons that you might be seeing this behavior. I’ll list some of it below. And I’ll start with the most benign and then work my way up down to the most troublesome.

    You’ve Caught Him At A Bad Time Or On An Occasion Where He’s Preoccupied With His Own Issues: Sometimes, we just catch our spouse’s at an inopportune time. We all have times in our lives where it’s just not feasible to give someone our undivided attention. How do you know if this is the case? Well, you can ask yourself if this is an isolated incident or if you’ve noticed him tuning you out or not treating you with importance more than this one time lately.

    He Doesn’t Really Understand Your Thought Process, So He’s Just Trying To Appear As Attentive As He Can: This one is actually pretty common, especially when we are talking about emotions that are not as natural to men. When we start to discuss deep or emotional thinking, men do tend to tune out a bit, because this is just not how their own brains work. They can’t relate and so they might be staring at you (or looking at you when you’re having a conversation,) but their wheels aren’t necessarily turning. It’s the same with me when my spouse tries to discuss sports. I try. I really do. I even enjoy some sports. But I don’t have the depth of understanding that my husband does, so I try to nod in the right places, but I’m sure my face looks kind of blank. The thing is, I don’t think my husband cares too deeply because, although he love sports, they aren’t vitally important to him – in the way that your authenticity is to you. And, the more important something is to you, the more you want your spouse to “hear” you and to “understand” you. So this was a topic that was already charged for you, but your husband may not have realized it at the time.

    He May Be Acting Indifferent To You Because He Is Starting To Lose Connectedness To And Empathy Toward You, Which Is A Warning Sign: OK, I’m only mentioning this because I wish someone had given me the “heads-up” when I was going through something similar. If they had, perhaps I would not have ended up separated. By no means am I saying or suggesting that this is the case with you. I can’t possibly know that. I’m just saying that it’s never a bad idea to take an honest look at your marriage and evaluate this. Because when couples are deeply connected, they at least try to make an effort to understand one another, especially about things that matter in the way that this matters to you. Granted, I glaze over when my husband talks about sports sometimes. But if his voice talks about something that I know to be quite important to him, I sit up and take notice.

    Setting Up Your Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera to Shoot Videos

    THE NIKON D3400 VIDEO SET UP

    The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level DSLR camera designed by Nikon for people who are moving up from bridge cameras or from compact cameras and whilst it takes excellent stills it also shoots superb video. One of the selling points of this camera is that it shoots Full HD video which is 1080 at 60 frames per second, which is really very impressive, and gives you a very smooth and very high quality video reproduction. One of the downsides however is that it doesn’t have an external microphone socket and that is very much in common with most cameras in this category – though ironically its predecessor, the Nikon D3300, does have an external microphone socket and I would say that if you’re going to shoot a lot of video, which will require a lot of sound when you’re actually recording the video – perhaps you are doing interviews or you are recording bands – then you might want to look at the D3300 rather than this camera.

    On the other hand one of the things that I really do like about this camera is that it has a lot of effects and modes, so that you can be quite creative with the way that you shoot stills and those effects are translated through to videos too which is really quite fun. So you can have a lot of fun with photo illustration which shoots a sort of comic effect but in video. You can have fun with the miniature effect which shoots a sort of time lapse but within the miniature effect option, and you can also have some great fun which I found with toy camera effect which gives a really OLDE WORLDE type of shot through video with vignette and quite unsaturated color.

    Before you shoot video you need to change some of the settings in the menus. So first of all switch the camera on and press the menu button and you are looking for the shooting menu. The video options are right at the bottom of the page so you could use the multi selector to go all the way down or you can press it one up and, because it’s on a rotating dial, it means that you go straight to movie settings. Then you can choose your FRAME RATE and FRAME SIZE. There are two different frame rates one is NTSC which is mainly for America and that will give you 60 frames per second or 30 frames per second, and the other is PAL which is mainly for Europe which will give you 50 frames per second and 25 frames per second. It is quite important that you choose the correct one for your country so it’s worth checking if you are not sure. I would recommend 1080 at the highest frame rate, obviously. It will go down to 720 which is perfectly acceptable for social media for YouTube etc. If you move one down on the menu you can have a look at movie quality which, of course, should be high rather than normal and then go down one more option to microphone. The D3400 doesn’t have an external microphone socket, but it does have an internal microphone which can be reasonably effective over short distances.

    You have three options for microphone – the first one is AUTO, which is okay and worked reasonably well for ambient sound, the second one is MANUAL, which I would recommend because it gives you more control over the sound that you’re recording. If you are in manual you should be aiming for your sound to peak at 12, so if you can test out the recording before hand – if somebody’s talking for example – then what you’re really looking for is when that person is at their loudest, to peak on 12 and you can use the multi selector to move the sensitivity up or down to ensure that that happens. The final one is to switch microphone OFF and I don’t recommend that at all even if you don’t intend using the sound used having the sound on the video is actually a very useful way of selecting clips when you’re editing. Coming out of that you then go on to wind noise reduction which doesn’t make a huge amount of difference. The final option is manual movie settings. If you leave that off, then even if you go into manual on here you won’t be on manual settings because you’ve switched it off here. If you switch it on here you can use the manual settings and the auto settings so I would recommend that you switch that on.

    Once you’ve changed the menu settings you can start looking through the camera to see what you’re actually seeing when you want to shoot a video. In order to do that you have to press the Live View button at the back. There are two quite important buttons here for when you are in Live View and one is the info button on the top and the other is the i button which is down on the bottom left-hand corner next to the screen. When you switch initially to Live View you will see a lot of information going along the top of the screen. Now, because you have switched on to Live View this isn’t yet on to video mode and so a lot of the information is, in fact, for stills so for example you will have what mode it’s in, whether it’s on auto or manual aperture priority, flash on/off, the shutter setting, the auto focus settings, the picture control setting, the white balance and whether the stills size and quality. If you press the info button on the top once then, you will now be in video mode, and that tells you more relevant information about what you have actually got as settings for video. If you are in this mode and you press the i button, that gives you all the things that you can change when you are in this mode. If you are on auto it allows you to change the frame size and quality, the microphone settings, the wind noise reduction and the focus mode. If you switch the camera to M for manual and go into that setting then it will give much more information. It will show movie frame size and quality, the white balance, the microphone settings, ISO, the picture control, wind noise reduction, auto focus area mode control and the focus mode. So that is one really useful way of seeing what is available to you when you are shooting video. If you press the i mode again to come out of that and then press the info button again, then that information disappears, so that the screen is fairly bare, but we do get the marker showing the extent of the video. When you’re shooting video you will notice that you don’t get the entire full screen that you would when you’re shooting stills and that is because the area of the sensor being used to shoot video is smaller, and so you get a smaller area on the screen that actually is included within the video range. That will change slightly if you’re shooting 1080 or if you’re shooting 720 so it’s worth keeping an eye on. If you press the info button one more time, then you get the grid so that you can keep everything level.

    In many ways the settings for shooting stills or videos on a DSLR are the same. For example, you can use the dial mode to select the mode in which you want to shoot either stills or video. You can have it on AUTO you can have it on Manual and the parameters are effectively the same. You can change your ISO, you can change your aperture or you can change your shutter speed. The only extra element when you are shooting video is your frame rate and that is selected when when you chose 1080-60 or 1080-50 or 30 or 25 or 720, so the frame rate is the extra element for video. Now if you are shooting at a given frame rate it is recommended that your shutter speed is twice that frame rate. So if you are shooting at 30 frames per second, the shutter speed should be about 160th. Likewise if you’re shooting at 60 frames per second then your frame rate should be about 125th. You do have some flexibility here, you could easily go up to 1/200th or 1/400th if that’s what you want without the video suffering too much.

    In terms of keeping quality as good as possible then you’d like the ISO to be as low as possible and the aperture, of course, will control your depth of field. The three elements here, ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed can all be changed when you are in the manual setting. The odd one out, in a sense, is aperture because you cannot change the aperture when you are actually shooting the video, so you need to pre-set your aperture and you can only do that outside of Live View. When you are in the back screen you can change aperture by pressing the exposure button on the top and using the main dial. Now at this point you can also change the ISO and the Shutter Speed in exactly the same way. You can change the shutter speed by using the main dial on its own and you can change the ISO by looking at the i button and moving across and choosing the ISO and changing it. However you may want to change either the ISO or the shutter speed whilst you are actually shooting the video, in which case you can either use the function button which you have preset to change ISO and use the main dial which will change the ISO, even if you’re shooting at the same time. Or you can use the main dial on its own to change the shutter speed. Again even if you’re shooting video at the time and the great thing about using the back screen is that you can instantly see the change, in either changing shutter speed or ISO, the image will go lighter or darker.

    Big Game Bow Hunting

    If you’re a bow hunter, you may have seen stories on TV about hunting in exotic locations, but have you ever considered that you could take your own trip to places like Africa, Alaska, or even all the way to New Zealand, just to go hunting. It may seem just too far or too expensive, but those that have felt the thrill of hunting exotic big game often can’t wait to go back again, and again.

    Traditionally used as a term to refer to hunting Africa’s big five (lion, elephant, cape buffalo, leopard and the white rhino), the term ‘big game’ is now used to include a wide range of large animals in Africa and across the world, including tigers, antelope, moose, bears, and bison.

    Big game hunting has a long human history. Cave paintings portray early man hunting mammoths in groups with spears or rocks. Two of the most popular hunting methods, using a tree stand or spot and stalk, are both popular with big game hunting. Blinds may also be used at some times of year, usually in the dry season when animals visit the watering holes more often.

    In Africa, there are up to ten big game species available at any one time, and you can expect to shoot around six animals during a ten day hunt. You may not realize just how much variety you’ll find in both the animals and experiences. As well as those you hunt, there are other exotic animals you can simply enjoy being so close to.

    Africa also offers a wide range of climate and terrain to give you the best experience available. Some private ranges are set up specifically for bow hunting, and so give the best quality game and conditions available. The main bow hunting season runs from late May, through to September/October, with July and August being the most popular months to visit. This is because they are the driest months, and so animals visit the watering holes often. Many of the animals rut in late May to June, and so this can also be an exciting time to hunt.

    Many visitors are surprised to find out how modern the infrastructure and accommodation is in some African countries, giving you all the comforts of home. There are also other hunts available for those who would like to experience the ‘old Africa’ and hunt in a more rugged environment, including hunting and tracking on foot. The climate and terrain of African ranges make them ideal for bow hunting with either method. Many groups and agencies now offer specialized guided tours for big game hunting. These tours often include guides who are highly experienced with big game hunting, and the type of animals in their particular area. They will also often have their own blinds or hides set up in the perfect places.

    Before you’re getting ready to go, remember to check the minimum equipment requirements with your tour group. If you are not already, you should get comfortable with taking shots from hides and elevated positions. Shots can be made from around twenty yards, but follow up shots could also be made from more than thirty yards. When bow hunting in Africa, accuracy is definitely key.

    Another amazing location for bow hunters, and an easier trip from mainland USA, is Alaska. If you’ve never visited before, the scenery on its own is worth the trip. From snow capped mountains and glaciers to blue water and amazing tundra in the summer, you’ll want to make sure to bring your camera. You may want to consider more than one trip to take advantage of all the different game available at different times and locations.

    One of Alaska’s most sought after big game is the brown bear. Here, they grow larger than anywhere else due to the abundance of food available, in particular salmon from the annual spawning. The bears average around 8 and a half feet, but can be over ten feet, and weigh more than 1,800 pounds. The longer daylight hours in Alaska make for an amazing brown bear hunt.

    Grizzly bears are also abundant in some parts of Alaska, and there is one area that is open for grizzly hunting year round. The best time to visit for grizzlies is June, August, and September. Alaska also offers hunting for moose and black bear. Just like the brown bear, Alaska’s moose are the biggest available and the occasional one has reached over seventy inches. Hunting moose can also give the added thrill of travelling to the hunting grounds via airboats and jet boats.

    During July to September, the tundra gives unprecedented access for hunting black bears. It’s not uncommon to see over forty bears in a single week in early spring. Other species available for game hunts in Alaska include Sitka deer, mountain goat, dall ram, wolf and wolverine (some may require additional licenses).

    New Zealand is a destination that many bow hunters may not have thought of, but it’s well worth a look. As well as spectacular scenery, it offers big game animals that you may not experience anywhere else in the world, including stag, deer, wild boar, goat, ram and water buffalo. The main trophy hunting season is from March to September, but bow hunting is available year round, and so there’s plenty of opportunity for any non-hunting members of your family or group to enjoy other activities too.

    Hunting in New Zealand can involve traveling over some challenging terrain in all weather conditions, and so you’ll generally enjoy a hunting trip here more if you’re fit and in good physical condition. However, many safari groups have alternatives available for those who need it.

    When going on any big game bow hunting safari, you will want to be very well equipped for any situation, perhaps more than you are going hunting locally. Each area will have minimum regulations on the draw weight, and crossbows are also illegal in many countries. There may also be restrictions on the materials and length of arrows, as well as the type of broadheads used. Some broadhead arrows can only be used on particular species.

    Once at many of the safaris or guided trips, particularly in Africa, you’re unlikely to be able to purchase any equipment or emergency bow supplies. It’s therefore recommended that you bring along a good supply of arrows, bow strings, and any other spares you think you may need. Good camo colors for here are usually muted gray, brown and yellow.

    As well as your bow and arrows, other recommended equipment include an arrow bonnet to protect arrows while travelling, more than one release, gloves, arm guards, a mask or face point, small set of tools to make bow repairs on the go, a sharpening tool, wax, lubricant, glue, a pocket knife, binoculars, a range finder, and a small day backpack.

    You may also want to consider a portal bow press, extra strings and cables, peep sights, arrow rest, sight, stabilizer, limb dampeners, silencers, shafts, vanes, nocks, weight tubes, and targets. You will be unlikely to able to buy any spare parts once you’ve arrived, and having a broken bow on the trip would be a disaster.

    So, next time you see a big game hunt on TV and wonder what it might be like to experience it, grab your computer and check out some of the safaris available. Many tour operators put together special bow hunting trips or group packages, making a trip to hunt exotic big game more affordable than ever.

    A big game bow hunting destination you may not have considered is Australia. Like Africa, the country offers beautiful and diverse landscapes. Although big game hunting in Australia is generally restricted to the water buffalo, the hunt is a fantastic experience for bow hunters, and a different trophy than many will experience. The remote location in the north means that you can hunt in truly unspoiled wilderness. The animals are unpredictable and need to be treated with caution, making for a challenging hunt.