Bridge Card Game Tips – An Easy Way to Understanding the Losing Trick Count

The Losing Trick Count

Counting losers is a sound way of estimating the playing strength of a hand, particularly a hand which contains one or two very long suits. High card points are best to assess the value of a balanced hand, counting losers works better for the more distributional hands.

Counting S A H AKQJ9765 D 76 C 42 as 14 HCP is missing the true value of the hand which is nine playing tricks. If you bid this as a 14-point hand you will be making a gross underbid. The Loser Count comes into play usually only after you and your partner have established at least an 8-card trump fit (see The Modern Losing Trick Count for a comprehensive exposition of this approach). Nevertheless, it often pays you to count your losers anyway. It will give you an idea of the potential of your own cards and if you can gauge how many tricks partner is likely to provide, you can estimate the combined playing strength of the partnership.

Many systems describe various bids or sequences not just in terms or points, but also in terms of losers or in terms of points and losers. A jump raise by a passed hand (No : 1S, 3S) for example would be described as showing 10-12 points and 8 losers. The value is in giving partner a clearer idea of the hand opposite.

Counting Your Losers

Void : No losers

Singleton suit : Count one loser, except for ace singleton (0).

Doubleton suit : Count two losers except for A-K (0), A-x (1) or K-x (1). Count Q-x as 2 losers.

3-card or longer suit : Count three losers but deduct one for the ace, king or queen. Deduct one loser for each of these top cards.


A8765 = 2 losers

KJ4 = 2 losers

94 = 2 losers

KQJ93 = 1 loser

KQ4 = 1 loser

K4 = 1 loser

J8765 = 3 losers

973 = 3 losers

976542 = 3 losers

AKQ65 = 0 losers

AK = 0 losers

A = 0 losers

In a 3-card or longer suit, count the queen as a winner as long as there is at least one other honour in the suit. If not, count the queen as only half a winner.

AQ765 = 1 loser

QJ764 = 2 losers

Q104 = 2 losers

KQ765 = 1 loser

Q8764 = 2½ losers

Q74 = 2½ losers

Your losers minus partner’s winners is one way to estimate the combined strength (7 losers – 4 winners = 3 losers, i.e. 10 tricks). Alternatively, count your losers, add partner’s losers, deduct the total from 24. The answer is the trick-taking potential.

Places to Work on Your Home Assembly Job

So you have a home assembly job but now you’re wondering where you’re going to work on it at. This can depend on many different factors, including but not limited to, the materials you have to work with, the difficulty of the project you’re working on, and the tools you must use to assemble your product.

Think about the conditions in which you are most comfortable working. Do you like noise or complete silence? Do you have to work around your kids or are you alone? Do you have a hectic schedule or do you stay home most of the time? Do you have another job or is home assembly your only source of income? The answers to these questions can be different for everyone.

It’s usually recommended to have a certain set place where you are going to work on your project every day. Getting into a system gives you the best chance of keeping on top of things. This is the first step of making a consistent income with home assembly jobs.

If your product requires a hot glue gun or any other electrical tool, you will need to have your work place situated near an electrical outlet. Obviously, assembling anything having to do with the use of the hot glue gun will have to be done inside the home or near an outlet, though you could probably get away with assembling the other components of your project which are not hot glue gun related in your car or anywhere else.

Most common places inside the home that people use to assemble their work at home projects are in a personal office, in front of the television, at the kitchen table, or on the back or front porch. Of course, if you’re going to work on your project outside, you need to make sure that all parts of your project that are light enough to fly away from the wind are secured.

Common places outside of the home to assemble work at home projects include inside your car when you’re waiting to pick up children from school or sporting events, on the bus, in the doctor’s office while you’re waiting to be called for your appointment, or any other office requiring you to wait for an important. If you’re planning to assemble your products while on the move, it’s essential to have a travel kit packed up with all of your equipment.

If you have a job other than home assembly, you can always use your break or lunch time to work on your home assembly job. This can be done in the break room, lunch room, or in your vehicle. Once again, a travel kit is essential to this.

So there are a few helpful ideas as to where you can work on your home assembly job. As long as the tools of the job are small and convenient, almost any place is a good place. You can even work on your home assembly job while on vacation. But then again, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of it being a vacation? Good luck and happy assembling.

TV Wall Mounts Will Maximize Your Viewing Pleasure

One of the reasons why you should get one of these TV wall mounts is because you want to maximize your viewing pleasure. Nothing is better than watching your favorite films and television shows on a television placed on a wall mounted TV stand. Finally, you will be able to stretch out and relax without feeling cramped.

Wall mounted televisions are very ideal for small homes. These TV wall mounts are specifically designed to make sure that your television is still secure and offer you great viewing angles. With a TV wall mount, you no longer need to buy a bulky stand that will take up precious space. Indeed, these wall mounting TV stands are the answer to space problems.

It is not surprising that TV wall mounts are the preferred TV stands in most public institutions like hospitals and cafeterias. A wall mounted TV stand, when placed strategically, will be able to please many viewers.

Luckily for you, there is quite a huge selection of TV wall mounts available for sale in the market today. They include lcd TV mounts, plasma mounts and standard TV mounts too. When it comes to durability, you can be sure that the television wall mount you will buy can be relied on to be secure and safe.

For added convenience, you can always choose to check out the selection of TV wall mounts offered online. The best thing is you can compare prices as you make your selection. At the end of the day, you will be getting the best quality wall mount TV bracket at a very, very reasonable price. It will even be delivered right to your doorstep!

Just a reminder, though. When installing, make sure that the TV wall mount is put together correctly and properly attached to the walls before fixing your television to it. This way, you will be able to prevent any unfortunate accidents. Good luck in your search and enjoy!

Gardening Equipment That Should Be In Every Gardener’s Shed

Gardening equipment is something every gardener needs. At least that’s what we all say when we rush off to buy that handy new extra-light shovel that just went on sale! However, not every gardener has all the tools, or even the right ones necessary, and most gardeners will just make do with what they have. Most of the time improvisation is the key.

But if you are serious about growing a garden this year, there are several things you absolutely need to have. A shovel, a hoe and a rake are three of the basics. Pruning scissors are another valuable tool that you should add to your arsenal as soon as you can.

Over the year, I’ve amassed quite a collection of equipment, to the point of not having room for them all in my shed. But out of all those tools, my favorites are an old pair of comfortable gloves and my trusty kitchen knife.

When I can’t find my pruning shears, my kitchen knife takes its place and works just fine. If my hoe or shovel isn’t handy, the tip of the knife can often get the job done. Of course, there are many times when I don’t even go that far and just use my hands to dig the soil.

It may sound like a disorganized way of gardening, but every gardener knows that if you’re knee-deep in the garden, the last thing you want to do is drop everything to go find a tool. In spite of all that, some jobs really are made easier with the right tools and it may be worth taking a minute or two to go get them. One of those is my garden claw.

I’ve got two different types – one for kneeling work and one for standing up. I just stick the claw into the dirt, give it a twist and pull it back out. It does a great job of loosening the soil and is particularly helpful for pulling weeds.

The thing to keep in mind about gardening equipment is that while you might really want something, you also might not really need it. Stick with the basics and your gardening will go smoothly.

An Overview of the Towable Lift

The towable lift is referred to by several names, such as cherry picker, man lift, basket crane, hydraladder, towable aerial lift, and towable boom lift. It is essentially a common type of aerial work platform that features either a flat platform or an open bucket at the end of a hydraulic supporting arm. What makes the towable lift different from other types of aerial work platforms is the fact that it is simply towed behind a truck unlike other units that are self standing and mounted onto trailers. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about these helpful pieces of equipment.

The towable boom lift features an open bucket in most cases that can be easily worked from. This removes the need for the worker to get out of the machine, which is safer in most cases. There is less risk of falling out of the bucket and because the machine is insulated from electricity due to the rubber tires there is little to no risk of the operator getting an electric shock when working on power lines. The operator in these machines also typically has his own set of controls so getting into precisely the right location to work comfortably and efficiently is easy.

Even though the towable aerial lift was originally used for picking fruits in orchards, thus the name cherry picker, it is now used for a wide variety of applications. Most commonly, they can be found on the side of the street where they are used to work on telephone and power lines. When towns and cities put up Christmas decorations they will often use a towable lift as well. Even many fire engines these days are outfitted with a cherry picker instead of a simple ladder, and they can even be used to clean windows. In popular culture, they can be used during stage shows. For example Michael Jackson used one in some of his shows such as during his 1987 Bad tour.

You interested are On the if in purchasing towable lifts , you may want to first Suche for a lift of used towable in order to save some money. If you can find a trustworthy seller you can often get a good deal. Use the Internet to your advantage and search for dealers or individual sellers near you who are offering this type of equipment. Although it can be tempting to purchase a machine that is located in another state, it is often not a good idea because if something goes wrong it will be difficult to get in touch with the seller. Buying from a dealer is the best route to take when possible because you have a better chance of getting a good piece of equipment. However, the price will be somewhat higher.

What is a Stair Elevator?

A ladder or lift elevator is an engine piece of equipment designed to help the elderly and disabled live comfortably within a multi-floor housing or access to an entry raised. The most common type of lift the ladder is the ladder lift. In some situations, such as levels with a deck or a home with a wide open second floor loft area, a ladder or lift wheelchair lift is more convenient.

A stairway lift is basically a seat that runs on a track installed directly to the ladder. Most of the stairs, either straight or curved, can accommodate a stairway lift. There are many different types of stair lifts to suit different needs. Some are more compact and collapsible offer a role to maximize space when not in use. Some have wall-mounted controls and other controls are mounted chair, while other models wireless handheld controls.

A stairway lift can be described as a residential elevator installed directly next to a set of stairs. In open spaces within the home or outdoors, a stairway lift provides an easy way for people to travel between floors, but some plans simply do not permit a lift. Wherever possible, residential stair lifts can accommodate a wheelchair as well as a lift for wheelchair users, but they are attached. They operate like a commercial elevator, only a much smaller scale.

It is not normal practice of health insurance or Medicare to cover the cost of a ladder or lift chair lift, but certain circumstances could justify a partial coverage, so check with your insurance company or Medicare representative. Before purchasing any stairway lift, get some good references to local distributors of medical supplies from a store or ask your insurance company for information. Also, the user considers the specific needs including its ability to easily and independently functioning team, the weight of the lift capacity, and if you need or prefer permanent or temporary installation. A stairway lift residential requires permanently installed, while a stairway lift can be moved and resettled elsewhere if necessary.

More Questions to Consider When Buying a Grill Cover

If you've just got a new grill and want to protect it with a grill cover, you should consider a few things before rushing out to buy any old thing you find. This article will explain some of the questions that need answering.

Does it have a felt lining?
How long are you hoping to use it before having to replace it?
How much are you willing to spend?

The first question was about the felt lining that some covers have. As long as you wait until the grill is completely cool before putting the cover on it there is no need to buy one with a felt lining. In fact, some people find that all they get from that are rodents ripping the felt off of the grill cover, sometimes destroying it.

The second question ties into the quality issue from another article. It is about how long you plan to have the gas grill covers before having to replace them. If you buy the cheapo $ 30 gas grill covers at Lowes or Home Depot, you can expect to have to buy a new one within the year.

The third question asked about how much you were willing to spend on a cover. Obviously, in most cases, if spend a little extra you will get better quality. Opt for the $ 50 options instead of the $ 30 ones and you'll be able to use them for a couple of years, which will save you money in the long run.

While you could just rush out and buy a cheap cover, we feel it's more in your best interest to evaluate these questions and find the best answer before buying, to ensure that you do not get something too cheap which could need replacing after one season .

Construct Your Solar Panel and Save Money

Planning to construct your very own solar panel? Then there are some important things first to be taken into consideration before the commencement of your plan.

When it comes to how you will be able to build? You need to have perfectly detailed instructional guide to build solar panel. There are a number of informational online sites where you can search for the perfectly detailed instructional guide on the build it your very own panel.

Next, what are the parts needed to build your panel and where to buy it? The parts needed to build your homemade panels are the following: solar cells, nuts and bolts, plywood, copper wire, glass pieces and solder to connect all the solar cells together. You can purchase these items at a lesser in your local community hardware or through the internet especially on eBay to minimize cost.

After having the instruction and the parts needed to build the panels. You can now start building your panels. Just follow the instructions carefully. Test it after finishing so that you may be able to see if it works and can generate electricity for you.

There a dozen of people who had already use the simple to do guides to build their own panels and had been successful in doing so. Do not just give your money on expensive readymade panel. If you could have $ 200 does it yourself solar panel. Not only that, do it yourself solar panel also are cost effective and could also bring your electric bills down to the amount that your salary could pay.

How to Cut James Hardie Plank Fiber Cement Siding

If you are faced with a repair or replacement of LP siding on your homes siding and you want to do it yourself it is important to have a system that allows you to make accurate cuts and nail the.

Hardie Plank fiber cement is one of the most popular types of siding when it comes to exterior replacement in Seattle. The biggest issue that one runs into as a do it yourself contractor with James Hardie plank siding is the fact that it is a challenge sometimes to cut. Not only will it crumble at times, but it also will emit a ton of dust. This can be a huge drawback to cutting Hardie Plank fiber cement if you are not working outside. Here are some things to consider when cutting this popular siding brand:

What tools are there that can cut James Hardie Plank siding?

Shears – James Hardy plank siding is notorious for dust and shears are the best option to reduce or eliminate this. When you are cutting siding of this type, you will always be looking for ways to eliminate dust, and shears does it better than anything. These are especially important to use if you are working inside under shelter, otherwise the dust from other tools will literally choke you out of the room. The only real downfall for using shears is the fact that they will sometime make the siding crumble if you are not careful. Otherwise, this is the number one option for cutting fiber cement.

Circular Saw – This option is not recommended as a rule unless you pick up a special blade for cutting Hardy plank siding. If you do not, the dust will literally overwhelm you in no time flat. While it is much better with the special blade, it is still not the best option compared to others.

No Blade Option – You can use a simple utility knife or razor blade to cut basic siding lines. You simply make a straight line with the utility and then snap the Hardy siding over a straight edge. This is primarily used to make perfectly straight lines with no angles and is a Seattle siding basic.

Jigsaws, Angle Grinders and the like – These tools are absolutely necessary for cutting James Hardy Plank siding once it comes time to work around doors, windows and various other things. The angles and shapes are nearly impossible to cut without the plank siding breaking or crumbling without these tools. Make sure you take your time, and change your blades often.

While Hardie Plank siding can be a challenge to cut, it does not have to be the pain in the neck that people say. By using this combination of tools to cut your siding, you can easily cut down on the wasted materials.

Plan Today for the Future!

There are people who tend to put off retirement planning. This is not at all a good idea. For enjoying a comfortable and memorable retirement life, the sooner you start the better. When people are young they rarely give thought to retirement. It looks like a distant day to them. But one day the distant day suddenly arrives and they are taken aback and stranded.

To avoid this kind of situation, one has to plan well for the retirement. Even if you are not in position to save big amounts for your retirement, you can start off with small amounts. Slow and steady can do the trick for you. Find out different options for investment that are available. One good option is to invest in the stock market. Before you invest your hard earned money in any kind of venture, study all the aspects of that venture or investment plan. In this way you will minimize the chances of losing money because of cheating, scams and so on. Never invest all your money in one venture. Diversify your assets. This will help you in the long run.

You can start you retirement planning by opening a retirement account. IRA or the individual retirement account is an example. Have a financial plan chalked out for your retirement years. Try to develop a blue print for the period. Different people have different needs for the retirement. Identify what your needs are. For instance if you have a family think what position will they be in when you retire. Will your children be able to stand on their own? These are some of the issues that you can think about.

Another important issue is debt. If you have borrowed money try to repay it before your retirement. This is because when you work you have a steady flow of income it is comparatively easy to clear the debts. Once you retire this regular flow of income stops and it will be difficult to pay back. Besides carrying your debts to your retirement years is not a good idea. It will give rise stress and tension. Think about the lifestyle that you want to have after your retirement. Make provisions in your plan accordingly. If proper planning is absent your life style will take a hit as your income diminishes.

One of the most important issues is health care. An unexpected illness can upset all the plans that you have made. The best way to get over this obstacle is to purchase health insurance. Cover all the possible risks that can possibly affect you. If you do not like staying idle in the house you can hunt for small jobs in your locality. It will be fun and at the same time you can supplement your income. If you love working with children you can try to work part time in the local kindergarten or primary school. Live healthy. Maintain an energetic lifestyle. Live happily, have fun and enjoy your retirement! Start planning today!

What Is the Best Wood to Use for Stairs?

A new timber staircase can transform your hallway and give the whole property a boost. Even just replacing the banister rail will make an enormous difference to the look and feel of your home, and of course is much quicker and cheaper than installing an entire set of stairs.

Choosing which materials to use, however, is not always straightforward. We take a look at some of the different types of wood available for stair construction.

Scandinavian Pine

Also known as European redwood, this pale yellow softwood is produced in renewable plantations, making it a sound environmental choice. Attractive and affordable, with a knotty appearance adding character, pine is ideal for anyone on a budget. And of course if you’re intending to carpet or paint the staircase, you may feel there’s little point in splashing out on expensive materials that will only be covered up.

Southern Yellow Pine

This is the largest, hardest and strongest type of pine – tougher, in fact, than many hardwoods. Southern yellow pine is a durable, sustainable and cost-effective timber, with an appealing golden colour and distinctive large grain pattern. Grown abundantly in southern parts of the USA, it is ideal for staircases, floors and furniture.


An attractive and versatile softwood with a soft sheen, hemlock has a straight, light-coloured grain that can be varnished to a rich golden colour. Moreover, it is practically knot-free and easy to work with. This makes it a great substitute for more expensive timbers such as oak or ash, so is worth considering if your budget is limited. Hemlock can also be stained, varnished or painted.


There are various types of oak, with white oak considered the best option for stairs. Prized for its strength and durability, it has a beautiful knot-free grain that never seems to go out of fashion. In fact, so dense is white oak that it is almost water-tight, which is why it is used to make, among other things, boats, wine barrels and outdoor furniture.

Another advantage of white oak is that the grain is very stable, with few variations in pattern and shade. This makes it easier to match up new stairs with existing oak fittings such as skirting boards, floors and doors. It also takes wood treatments very easily.

There are two main sources of white oak: the USA and Europe. American white oak is more widely available, and therefore less expensive, with a straight grain and pale biscuit colour. European oak is a slightly darker, golden honey shade with a distinctive wavy grain pattern.


This premium hardwood is even tougher than oak, with a largely straight grain and attractive colours ranging from cream to pale brown. The most abundant type is American white ash. Heavy, hard and highly shock-resistant, it makes excellent stair treads. Because it has an open grain, ash is very flexible, so can be shaped to produce a variety of curved stair parts.


This reddish-brown hardwood looks similar to mahogany, and indeed belongs to the same family. With a distinctive tight, interlocking grain, it provides a strong and cost-effective alternative for use in furniture, flooring and cabinets as well as stairs. Sapele is harder and more stable than mahogany, with a dense structure that is highly resistant to rot and almost completely water-tight. This makes it ideal for outdoor as well as indoor use.


Native to West Africa, idigbo is a pale yellow-brown hardwood with a variable grain that can be straight, slightly irregular or interlocking. It is often chosen as an economical alternative to oak, and can be stained, varnished or painted. Although idigbo is not quite as durable as oak, it offers a good level of strength with little shrinkage, and can be shaped to produce attractive curved stair parts.


There are several types of walnut tree, but the one most often used in staircase construction is American black walnut. Strong and stable, this premium hardwood has a mostly straight grain and ranges in colour from dark chocolate to a pale brown. Black walnut is expensive but versatile and extremely hard-wearing. It can be carved into elaborate shapes, making it ideal for intricate stair components such as balusters, volutes and newel caps.

For Widows Only – 2 Tips To Help You Cope

If you are reading this then something terrible has happened. First let me offer my condolences. As Joan Didion says, "Life changes fast." Next let me extend a heartfelt welcome. You are now a member of an exclusive club – the club nobody wants to be a member of. And though your world's turned upside down, already you're asking questions: "How will I cope? Will things be alright? And oh yeah, Can I please have my husband back?"

Best I can offer is 2 out of 3. As you have already learned, becoming a widow is like sliding down a banister discovering it's a razor blade and landing into a bucket of iodine. Worse still, trying to explain your pain to someone not grieving your loss is like trying to describe the color orange to a blind man.

Now that I've got your attention, I'm here to tell you, you're not alone. And oh yeah, everything will be all right. You can, and you will cope.

Here are 2 things you need to remember:

Number 1. Breathe.

That's right. Assume the position: Right hand on chest, left hand on belly. Now practice sucking air – In through your nose, and blowing air – Right back out your mouth.

Slow- ly.

When people, or the things people say, begin to overwhelm you (and trust me, honey, it will happen), take one step back, and take a deep breath.

Taking deep breaths will ground you and help you regain your focus. In addition, learning to breathe properly will do wonders for your complexion. You'll look good and you'll feel good, too. I know you could care less about what I'm saying right now, but for you, the newly widowed, breathing is a good thing and something that will become a distraction when you need one most.

Number 2. Repeat after me: "I'm not up to this conversation at this time."

Good job.

Now get ready to say these words to the next perfect stranger who asks you an inane question that will cut like a knife and make you want to run and hide.

If everything everyone is saying at this time sounds inane, then you already know what I mean. So just open your mouth and whisper the above words. I promise those people will realize right away you need your space.

Not only will you the newly widowed need space, but you must also realize you will need to conserve energy for other things, like washing your kid's faces, if you got kids; sitting down to eat a hot meal, hungry or not; and performing simple tasks, like brushing your teeth and combing your hair.

I know it's hard to bury a husband. Life as you knew it is changed forever. But it's now onto Plan B, whatever Plan B is. Just remember my 2 tips outlined above, and like a good scout, you will have earned your badge of courage, and be prepared to conquer your new world, which is vital to your survival in the days ahead.

Protecting Data in Today’s Fast-Paced & Uncertain Environment

Protecting Data in Today’s Fast-Paced & Uncertain Environment

Online server data backup and recovery takes hold


By Bud Stoddard, President & CEO, AmeriVault Corp.


Data, Foundation of Today’s Business


Data is not only the foundation of businesses in all industries but remains a vital irreplaceable strategic asset.  But, this asset is threatened today more than ever, given the increasing threat of disaster resulting from the impending war and recent and potential future terrorist activities.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 93% of companies who experience a significant data loss will be out of business within 5 years.


As a result, data protection has become a critical component in an organization’s disaster recovery and business continuity plans.  Today’s disaster planning professionals are responsible for ensuring uninterrupted operation and immediate recovery of data.  Faced with increasingly narrow recovery windows and “zero tolerance” for disruption they will have no choice but to look outside the box for recovery solutions.  The ability of traditional disaster recovery and business solutions to fulfill corporate objectives in the overall business continuity scheme should be evaluated and a new methodology introduced. 


With its ability to most quickly and efficiently perform backup and recovery, online backup is responding to the demands of today’s businesses in these uncertain times.  Its no wonder a technology that used to be seen as unconventional and experimental, is quickly becoming mainstream.  IDC estimates that through 2006, rapid growth will continue in the area of remote backup.


Lawyer’s Weekly, the nation’s top source of legal information for practicing attorneys, has used online backup for years to protect their data.  “My feeling is that you’re only as good as your last backup. Our company has many remote locations without systems administrators. As a result, we really have come to depend on online backup as a means of assuring that our backups are done on a daily basis at these sites,” said Tom Bannister, Systems Manager, Lawyer’s Weekly.


Data Management Evolves


Remarkable changes in the way businesses work, are being fueled by online and other electronic processes going on 24 hours a day.  Business processes are becoming more compressed, and business activities that took days now happen within hours or minutes globally. Companies without a strong foothold in technology will be disadvantaged when facing the evolutionary trend of business changes.  Disaster recovery and business continuity planning must change to coincide with the fast-paced and highly competitive business environment and offer protection against uncontrollable looming disasters. Continuity Planners must turn to solutions that are internet-based.


The recent SQL Slammer virus was a prime example of why contingency planning must change to keep up with technology-dependent businesses.  Although SQL Slammer’s effect could have carried a more damaging payload, it brought down 13,000 ATM machines at Bank of America, making it impossible for customers to withdraw cash for an entire weekend and reportedly caused widespread damage at HP and even Microsoft itself.  The disaster recovery and business continuity planning industry was forced to take notice.


Myths About Online Backup


Whenever an innovative idea threatens to replace current solutions in day-to-day business practices, myths begin to sprout like weeds spotting your favorite golfing green. The uncomfortable reality is that many businesses today suffer from insufficient backup plans.  Data backup is critical for every company. Remember the last time you didn’t suffer from backup headaches? You can’t.


A new solution entered the market in the mid 80’s but didn’t launch until the World Wide Web phenomenon took off.  Only then did it catch the attention of IT professionals responsible for safeguarding mission-critical data.  Online backup or electronic vaulting, no matter the coined term, eliminates many typical backup headaches.  The ability to automate your backup and remove the data off-site to a secure vault with a click of a mouse button is now a reality. Online backup is the most innovative, cost-effective and reliable solution out there today. But dispelling the myths about online backup continues to be a challenge for companies offering this technology. 


Myth One:  Online backup is too expensive.


Initially it may appear that way. Compare a tape scenario for instance. Hardware, software licenses, tapes, personnel — and let us not forget basic human error, add to the cost of traditional back up procedures.  Additional costs accrue with traditional off-site courier service and tape solutions have large up-front and sometimes unexpected costs, while online backup costs are declining.  AmeriVault Corp.(TM) predicts a double-digit annual decrease in cost due to bandwidth and storage hardware pricing declines.  A small ten gigabyte user with daily backup would pay approximately $460.00 for traditional albeit partial service; while the same user would pay approximately $294.00 for complete, automated service. In addition, online backup technology utilizes a company’s existing telecom lines.  A company can better justify the 24 x 7 cost of its dedicated Internet connection.  Online backup eliminates all these traditional cost factors. With total automation, local backup and off-site protection occur simultaneously.


Myth Two: Data is not secure on the Internet.


Online backup utilizes the same technology the U.S. Government uses for its security.  Encrypted, fragmented data is sent over telecom lines — pieces of a puzzle in gibberish language.  Online backup vendors can offers clients a highly secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.  This higher level of security ensures that all communication between the client and the vault is encrypted.  Online backup is actually more secure than storing unencrypted data tapes in a remote vault.


Myth Three: Online Backup can’t handle a fortune 500 company’s data.


Handling large amounts of data over relatively small bandwidth is a popular feature of online backup.  An initial backup or “seed” of the server’s data is extracted.  The Delta Processing technology then seeks out updated portions of changed files.  Only the fragmented change of data is sent to the vault.  Large-volume and highly redundant disk storage systems store the data online.  Online backup providers service businesses with a responsibility to ensure that storage space is always available, no matter what the size.  To further data integrity, reliability and recovery, the massive amounts of data online are backed up to tape on a daily basis, and shipped to an underground vault for safekeeping.


An Inevitable Evolution


Despite the current myths surrounding online backup, unavoidably it is fast becoming the standard in the business of data backup storage.  Online backup has proven itself to be a fundamental component of disaster recovery and business continuity plans.  Traditional recovery solutions must be retailored to accommodate the new recovery and continuity alternatives available to businesses in this fast-paced and uncertain climate.  No longer can businesses rely on protecting their most important asset with inefficient methods.


Loss of data and disasters are inevitable, and so is online backup. The Internet has radically altered the global economy, and with it, the management of securing and restoring data.  Companies who wait until disaster strikes to implement more efficient means of backing up their valuable data, will become extinct like the dinosaurs who once roamed our planet. 

Developing an Identity Statement that Truly Tells Others Who You Are

The identity statement should allow anyone to understand or recognize your business as you would like them to. Taking this one step further, it should also answer the question – Who Cares? … If you are having trouble with your identity statement, ask your spouse, friend or colleague to tell you what they perceive your business to be. This may help you assess if you have been clear in your description of what you do. (Taken from “The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business”, Yvonne Weld, 2007).

Simply put, your identity statement does precisely that; conveys to others what exactly your identity is. Your business name is a start to your identity, but is it really telling others exactly what you do? Your identity statement should not leave any questions in the mind of the person hearing it as to who you are and what you do.

There are five qualities to a good Identity Statement: it is memorable; it is purposeful; it identifies the quality of the service or product; it explains who is served and how; and, it answers the question “Who Cares?” In order to develop an effective statement make sure your statement contains all five of these qualities and to top it off, it should be no more than 3 or 4 sentences in length. Sometimes it is hard to be clear and concise within those constraints. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


If you identify yourself as simply a car salesman who will really care? You are one of thousands of other car salesmen, so what is it that sets you apart? What could you say that will set you apart and want others to do business with you?


An identity statement needs to stay on task – it is meant solely to get others interested in hearing more. Now is not the time to go on and on about why you are better than your competition. Instead sum it up in a two or three word phrase that contains a colorful and catchy verb. Keep the other party interested and wanting to hear more. Rather than telling them exactly what you do, give them a hook; a reason to ask more.

Identifies the Quality

What is it the single most identifiable quality that makes your product or service stand out from others offering the exact same product or service? Would you rather deal with an auto mechanic or an award winning auto mechanic?

Explains Who is Served

It is a well known fact that a particular product or service will not be the be all and end all to every consumer out there. Ensure that your identity statement focuses on who you are targeting. Make sure you have explained it so that your ideal customer will know you are talking to them.

Who Cares

Perhaps this is the most overlooked aspect to your identity statement. Why should the person reading or hearing your identity statement care? Explain what benefits you provide. Remember to think about this from your customer’s perspective because after all they are the ones we want to becoming interested in hearing more of what we have to say.

Let’s look at an example of a good identity statement taken from “The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business”:

Jack’s Toy Shoppe specializes in unique and one-of-a-kind toys for all ages. All toys are custom designed and personally hand built by Jack and his team of toy designers. Toys can be delivered anywhere within Canada or the United States.

Memorability – “unique and one-of-a-kind toys”

Purposeful – “unique”, “custom designed” “personally hand built”

Identifies the quality – “all toys are custom designed and personally hand built”

Explains who is served – “Canada and the United States” “toys for all ages”

Who cares – for those in Jack’s target market they have heard enough to be intrigued to ask more questions

Your identity statement will be a continual work in progress. Don’t expect to get it right the first time you write it out. Remember that a good identity statement has the flexibility to grow as your business grows and thrives.

14 Key Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You Have Dementia

Alzheimer's disease, the most common type of dementia, affects about 5.3 million Americans and every 70 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's disease. It is more common as one gets older. Although dementia is more common with age, it is not synonymous with aging as many individuals over the age of 90 are not afflicted with dementia. Alzheimer's disease is a costly disease. To care for all demented patients it costs 148 billion dollars each year.

Dementia is a syndrome associated with many separate disease processes. It is characterized by memory loss along with language, judgment, problem solving, and comprehension deficits. Dementia is an incurable progressive disease that leads to dependence and death.

Becoming knowledgeable about disease is an important part of having a successful health care experience. Individuals must have a basic understanding of his or her disease. The better you understand your diseases the better you can partner in your medical care.

No one has a greater interest vested in your well being than you. Physicians manage very busy office practices and may overlook some important aspects of your care. It is imperative that you help your health care providers give you the care that is needed to prevent death and disability.

As part of health care responsibility you need to understand your disease. Below are a list of questions you should ask your health care provider if you have dementia.

1. What type of dementia do I have? Although the current state of medical science is often unable to accurately diagnosis the specific type of dementia, it is helpful to know what type of dementia your doctor feels you have.

2. How did you make the diagnosis? A doctor bases diagnosis on an examination, but laboratory evaluation may have been done to rule out other diseases. Sometimes scans of the head are carried out to help make the diagnosis and rule out other disease states.

3. Could I have a reversible cause of dementia? Has it been looked for it? Some conditions – such as infections – can lead to a state of temporary confusion that, if treated, can result in a reversal of the confusion.

4. How severe is my dementia? Dementia is often broken down into mild, moderate and severe. Your doctor can give you a breakdown as to how severe your disease is.

5. How fast will it progress? This is impossible to know for sure but your doctor may be able to give you some guidance as to how fast your disease will progress to allow you to plan for your disease.

6. How often should I follow up with my doctor? Dementia leads to many complications and requires frequent follow-ups with the health care system. Talk to you doctor about how frequently you need to follow up with your doctor or other health care professionals.

7. Are there any medicines that may prolong my cognitive function? Certain types of dementias respond to medicines that may help slow down the disease process.

8. Do I need medicines to control my behavior? Patients with dementia often have sleep disturbances, problems with hallucinations, delusions and aggressive behaviors. There are medicines to control these types of behaviors.

9. What non-drug treatments may aid me in this disease process? Examples of non-drug options include: exercise, physical / occupational therapy, and getting a home evaluation.

10. Am I safe to life independently? As the disease progresses and memory fails demented patients lose the ability to function independently. At some point during the disease it becomes necessary for the patient to have some assistance. The assistance may start in the form of home health aids and lead to 24-hour care. Many patients with dementia progress to a point where they need nursing home placement.

11. What community services would be helpful? Are there any support groups in the area that may help? Dementia is a very stressful disease and it is often more stressful on the family as the disease progresses. Support groups can provide a lot of help for family members including, not only medical resources, but also psychological help.

12. Should I see a psychiatrist and / or neurologist? Psychiatrists are doctors that help patients with mental disorders and often treat patients with dementia. Neurologists are doctors who specialize in the nervous system and the brain. These doctors are not necessary for every patient with dementia, but in cases where the diagnosis is unclear or treatments are not effective, specialty help is warranted.

13. Do I have depression? Depression is a condition that very commonly is associated with dementia. There are many treatments that can help patients with dementia and co-existing depression.

14. Is my disease likely to be passed down to my relatives? Certain types of dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease, have a strong genetic predisposition. It is important for your kin to know that you have dementia so relatives can do all they can to prevent disease.