Neighbors – Campfires, Marshmallows, Wine and Cheese

In choosing where to live next, I put on my wish list "a neighborhood, with neighbors I would greet and meet". I wanted to know there was life out there and to no longer be hidden in the woods. I've gotten over the idea that the "best life" is the life where one never sees a neighbor or a neighboring property. I've spent a lot of time searching out and creating these kinds of environments.

Recently I had the idea to write my housing history as a way to suggest to others that this history gives clues to how we like to live and how we'd like never to live again. I grew up in the country living on a lake and then moved to the historic district of a City (well, Kalamazoo is a city). There were lots of neighbors, street life, noise and an ever-changing landscape. Our streets had three fraternities affiliated with the nearby university. Later living in New York City choosing to escape to the country mean hiding from all the noise and "those people". Well, I'm over that.

In this new phase, I consciously choose to get out of the woods. I wanted to know there was life out there. Now excluded and living solo, I'm sure engendered this. So my wish list went like this:

1. A small house, cottage-like

2. A neighborly neighborhood

3. Walking distance to a village

4. A manageable space

5. An at home studio

6. A yard to dig in, easy to maintain

For the easy to maintain piece, I forgot to add 'without moles or chipmunks' and probably no grubs would have been a good thing to add. The moles and the chipmunks have moved in big time. I'm not the only one complaining. Is it just our neighborhood or is it a nature phenomenon? The world wide underground web is now connected through the yard and flower beds. Ripping up most of the front lawn has only solved the watering problem. I am considering a backyard grass makeover and for the [http: //www…..tune] in next spring. Do moles and chipmunks swim?

I'm now perched on a corner that allows me to see the world as it passes by and welcomes drop-ins for a hello. It's funny because soon on sitting in my garden, or looking out the kitchen window or from the porch I'd see people walk by and wonder who they were. I created my stories about who there must be. Now they have names and real life stories.

As we approach the upcoming holiday season, I'm reminded how much anxiety and ambivalence this creates within me. With little family, the question always arises: what will I do this year? I've made and appealed hundreds of trip plans for the holiday period. The truth I came to is, I dislike traveling at this season. It creates an even greater sense of loneliness. So each year is a new opportunity for this year's tradition. Having joined this neighborhood, I've been welcomed to a neighborhood Christmas Eve party just across the street. We all bring food, there's music by the kids and no ceremony or have-to's attached. It's just about getting together. It's just perfect.

The neighborhood has given way to other seasonal get-togethers. Someone will invite for a summer outdoor gathering. Or in the dead of winter a gathering happening on a Sunday afternoon for no reason except the good reason to see each other.

I have recently written about thoroughly enjoying my neighbors . I decided to celebrate them with a late summer, call it Fall, (we totally missed the summer) campfire with smores, wine, cheese and other offerings of food. I was not sure how to "create" this evening; meaning how to set it up in an interesting and functional way. This is actually the part of entertaining I love – setting the stage, the interactive zones and of the food and people of the party.

For years, I held onto a magazine clipping showing a garage turned into a backyard 'play' house. I recently tossed the clipping. But the idea obviously stayed with me and came around when I thought to do exactly that with my studio. I opened the back doors to the stone patio and fire pit. I took the opportunity to do a long overdue studio cleaning and cleared the work tables for food and beverages.

We had long overdue news to share. One woman had just returned from Paris and Dubai. Another had horse stories to share; another a celebration of her web site completion; another a retirement; another shared angst about a child off to college, and on and on it went around the campfire. The food offerings were delicious and ever so generous. I was happy to be making smores like Girl Scout days gone by.

The interior lights shed their glow onto the under lite patio along with the fire, candles and camp lantern. The evening was cold and crisp. We were warmed by a roaring fire (and possibly some wine) well into the night. It was neighborly and magical …. another wish from my wish list come true.

El Tigre – Restaurant in Oaxaca is As Authentic As They Get

It'll cost María Sara and her husband Hilarino about $ 7,000 USD to get electricity for their tiny, roadside eatery, located about an hour outside of the City of Oaxaca. It's feasible only if they can get some of their neighbors to chip in. But that would detract from the allure of their restaurant: fresh meats delivered to the promises daily and kept cool in an insulated box; hours of operation governed by nature; no stove or oven, nor mixture din of an electric fridge; and no TV revisiting Mexico's last soccer triumph.

El Tigre is about the last vestige of Old Mexico you'll encounter on a visit to Oaxaca, while at the same time as comfortable, accommodating, and safe for North American gastrointestinal tracts as you'll find in the finest white linen restaurants in the downtown core. Sure, the wood-burning hearth over which all of their daily offerings are prepared, produces distracting smoke from time to time. And it's doubtable that the blocks of ice cooling the Coke, Fanta and Corona will keep the beverages as cold as most are accredited. But save and except for these shortcomings, if you're heading to Mitla, or out towards Hierve el Agua, a visit to El Tigre is not to be missed.

You'll be warmly blessed by María Sara and her daughter-in-law Alma. Conceivably Hilarino will be there as well. He runs the mezcal operation along the restaurant, the implication being that if you order mezcal, it's on the house.

But you're stopping for the food and the open air ambience and basically nothing more. There's no menu, so you'd better either have a minimal knowledge of Spanish, or read on and take notes. Each morning María cooks up a different stew, be it beef in green sauce, pork in red, or something similar. Otherwise the standard choices available every day are quite simple: grilled chorizo ​​(Oaxacan sausage); a plate of cecina (sliced ​​pork lightly dusted with chili); tasajo (thinly sliced ​​beef); eggs, either scrambled alone or with chorizo, or fried; quesadillas; and memelitas. María is used to this writer bringing by North American tourists, who have often commented that it was the best meal they've had in Oaxaca. You can ask for anything to be cooked on the comal, over open flame, sans lard, oil or butter.

The accompaniments are sliced ​​tomato and onion (disinfected), boiled black beans, and freshly made salsa with garlic, chili, tomato, and little more, served hot off the grill in its molcajete, the pestle and mortar used in preparation. You'll generally see a pot of simmering corn kernels being softened and readied for the next day's grinding into a masa for making tortillas. And yes, of course the tortillas, made with hand-ground cornmeal and prepared on the comal before your eyes complete every order.

Since 1994 El Tigre has been serving the surrounding communities, the odd visitor en route to and from Hierve el Agua, and those in transit between Oaxaca and the district known as the Mixe. The main attraction for many Mexicans is the mezcal produced on site by Hilarino, using the age old traditional techniques of his grandparents and their forebears. But for those who yearn for a taste of down-to-earth, unadulterated southern Mexico, El Tigre is a must — exclusively Oaxacan, and as fresh and flavorful as you can get.

El Tigre is open 7 days from morning until 7 pm, Sundays until 2. It's along highway 190, sometimes a 15 minute drive beyond Mitla, on the left hand side about a half mile before you get to the San Lorenzo Albarradas cutoff which takes you to the bubbling springs.

Use Process Analysis to Find Nonfiction Writing Ideas

When using nonfiction writing methods discussed in this series, the question to ask about each method is: Can I use this method to enhance my explanation of my topic? For this article, the question is: Can I use process analysis with my topic?

PROCESS ANALYSIS DEFINED
A process analysis referers to instructional writing, setting down the step-by-step instructions to accomplish a task or goal. These individual steps need to be done in sequence or the instructions will not work. In fact, warnings and warnings are often included to prevent physical injury if the steps are done out of sequence or wrong.

Usually the tasks or goals relate to doing something physical, such as installing a garage door opener, baking a cake from scratch, or fixing a photocopy machine with a jam.

If you are writing a process analysis, it is best to actually do the steps as you know them, note the steps in sequence, and record all relevant details that might affect the user's performance in finishing the task. Remember, you are familiar with the process and may forget some of the lesser steps or details. Your readers need these details to accomplish the task. If you think your reader may need some reasons for doing the process in this order, include the reasoning.

Also think as if you are an average person, not paying attention very well while trying to perform this new and unfamiliar task; note any warnings or warnings that the user might need "heads-up" for to prevent injury. This is especially true when working with electricity and other potentially fatal elements.

Process analysis, or instructional writing, often including visuals, showing the user each step, often with diagrams showing the part exploded (so the user can see how the part is put together). Think of those bookshelf assembly instructions you have read and used.

WHEN TO USE A PROCESS ANALYSIS
If you have a step-by-step process somewhere within your topic, or could add one to enhance understanding, then use it.

TWO EXAMPLES
In addition to the three listed above, you could also describe the steps to changing your own oil in your car.

You could also write instructions (which I used in my Composition classes, to hysterical results) of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You would be amazed how many sandwiches had the knife still in the sandwich or had only one layer of bread.

QUESTIONS FOR DETERMINING USE OF A PROCESS ANALYSIS
1. Does your topic include one or more processes that need to be explained? Do they enable the reader to do a physical task that uses tools or ingredients or such?
2. Would you need to include visuals to enhance understanding?
3. How much space would such a process analysis take, including visuals? Does your writing project have that kind of space available?
4. At what reading level should you write the instructions so that you audience can really understand the steps and task?
5. Where should you place these instructions: within the text, in their own section or chapter, or at the end of the book or workbook?
6. If the task is really complicated, should you break the steps up into sections or groups of tasks? Name each section with a unique, telling name, to be used as an outline.

Process analysis offers details bought after by readers since they are always looking for good, accurate, easy to understand "how to" information. Make your topic more useful to your readers by including process analysis where appropriate in your writing.

The other method relating to writing instructions is called writing General Advice, which will be discussed in the next article in this series.

LCD Flat Screen TVs or Plasma TV – Which to Choose

Many people are unsure as to what the difference is between LCD flat screen TVs and plasma TV sets. In fact it is only the screen and the way that the image is created that is different between these two, and even between them and your big cathode ray tube TV: the rest is pretty much the same.

Let's look first of all at what LCD and plasma really are. Most people are acquainted with LCD from the display on their calculators but have never come across plasma before. So what is plasma? It has nothing to do with the clear fluid in the blood, but it is a fluid of a sort in that it is a gas (which is technically a fluid).

The plasma in a TV screen is formed from neon and xenon gases that, when electrically charged, turn into what are known as ions. As the energy passes through this ionic cloud of gas they start moving faster and faster, and the negative and positive particles that make up the ionic gas become attracted to each other. When they collide they release a photon of energy. A photon is akin to a 'particle' of energy that is part particle and part wave.

This plasma is contained between two plates of glass with a tiny space between them. The inside surface of the plate that you view is covered with hundreds of thousand of tiny cells, each of which is covered with phosphor, a substance that emits light when hit by a photon. These can be excited to produce either blue, green or red light, and which are excited by the photon is determined by the energy of that photon.

The TV signal is converted to electrical energy that excites the photons of the plasma gases to specific energies according to the color of the original subject, and so excite the particular set of phosphor needed to produce the color. As red, blue and yellow can produce just about every other color of the rainbow, so red, blue and green do the same with photon sensitive phosphors.

On the other hand, an LCD (liquid crystal display) screen is totally different, and much more difficult to explain. To put it in simple terms, a liquid crystal is one that is more liquid than solid, and which structure can be oriented by electromagnetic fields to either block polarized light or allow it through. Polarized light is light that is arranged so that its vibrations occur only in one plane, so that it is easily filtered.

Basically an LCD works by cells either allowing light through or not. This is colored by the use of red, blue and green filters in the front of each pixel, so that if light is passed through a pixel it is colored. If it is not passed through, then it is not colored. Therefore, both systems work through the use of the same three colors of light, just as the old cathode ray color TV does. With CTR the screen also contains red, blue and green phosphors, just as with the plasma screen, which are excited by a beam of electrons aimed at each specific pixel.

The choice between plasma TVs and LCD flat screen TVs depends on your specific needs that are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that each has its own merits and drawbacks, and whichever you choose will likely be a compromise. The situation will remain that for many years since High Definition TV is not dependent on any particular system, other than it it is certainly not the old CTR, or Cathode Ray Tube TV.

The Amazing Quick-and-Hard Ab Workout

Most people look for the quick and easy. Not here, though. To get results you always have to go hard, weather you’re on the treadmill, the bench press, or abdominal crunches.

One great way to blast your whole midsection (upper abs, lower abs, and side obliques) is to do weighted abdominal twists while sitting on a mat. You can use a medicine ball (2-6 pounds for beginners, 8-12 pounds for intermediate, or a 25-pound plate for advanced).

What you do it sit perpendicularly on a mat (so that the long sides are to your right and left). With your knees up, lean back with a straight back, making about a 45-degree angle to the floor (pretty much the halfway point of a full sit-up). Now, lift your feet off the floor, making sure to keep your knees bent.

Once you find a balance, grab your weight and start twisting! The key here is to rotate at the upper body and shoulders, not just your arms. You want to touch the weight on the mat right near your hip or as far back as you can reach on each twist. It helps if you look back with your head, as well, instead of just facing forward.

To get a better and more intense burn, you want to add speed to this twist. Strive to increase the speed of this twist-and-touch movement, and feel your abs burn!

The way you count these is for every two touches equals one rep (once to the right and once to the left). For beginners, try to perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions. As you advance, you will want to increase upwards to 25 reps. Once you feel comfortable with this weight, increase your weight.

If you are having difficulty with this workout, you can leave your feet on the floor for added balance. Just remember that when you do lift your feet, you engage your hip flexors and lower abs way more.

Get those amazing abs doing this quick and HARD ab workout!

Importance of Applying Protective Coatings Over Paint

Now that you have driven your car off the lot, you want to keep it in as neat condition as when you first received it from the Showroom. The automobile industry has made great strides in technology and the innovation of Protective Coatings have greatly improved the longevity and durability of Vehicle Paint.

Various forms of protective coatings can be applied to protect your vehicle from the elements such as Sealants that seal the paint from the harsh environment and provide long lasting protection, Waxes that provide a deep wet-look shine and offer unique protection and gloss enhancing properties, Ceramic Coatings that chemically bond to paint and provide superior durability, making maintenance much easier.

Let us closely examine the reasons why protective coatings are of utmost importance.

  • Daily, your vehicle endures all forms of surface ‘attacks,’ from scratches to contaminants that are an inescapable part of owning a vehicle. The Gtechniq product range provide a tough, protective surface to the car’s paintwork. Developed through Science, products chemically bond to the vehicle paintwork, thereby adding a protective layer that can combat a great deal of damage while at the same time retaining deep gloss and shine levels on the paint.
  • Crystal Serum – Gtechniq’s most ultimate form of paint protection, can only be applied by a Gtechniq Accredited Detailing Facility and is not available to purchase over the counter. Unlike waxes and sealants which will, at most, protect paintwork for a period of six months, the coating is warranted to last on your paintwork for seven years and is capable of protecting paint against acidic components and bird droppings.
  • Upon application of the coatings, the vehicle surface is not only protected but is also a breeze to maintain. Due to the hydrophobic top layer, water and dust easily repel meaning that the vehicle can be washed and dried within minutes.
  • Coatings would also be applied to Wheels, Glass, Trims, Interior Leather, Fabrics, Dash etc. with the main goal to achieve a top coat hydrophobic finish and make maintenance very easy.

The car enthusiast who look to have both, a product that not only protects the car but at the same time also improves the appearance should always opt for the application of a Ceramic Coating. Due to their exceptional protection and longstanding value, Ceramic Coatings are an ideal choice for car owners who desire to keep their cars in a state-of-the-art condition for a long span of time.

How to Get Out of a Timeshare Contract

It’s a growing phenomenon: as more timeshare owners try to exit their contract, they are facing down some startling fine print. When digging into the fine print, you may just hit on a shocker.

There’s no easy way out of a timeshare contract.

In fact, it might prove difficult to show that there are nearly any exits at all. Unless you’re able to sell your timeshare, there are few, if any, alternatives.

You’re saying to yourself: that doesn’t sound right. I can always give back my timeshare to the resort.

Well, that’s where we go back to the timeshare contract. There are no words in the timeshare contract that explicitly state that the resort must take back the timeshare. Instead, it says the opposite. Your vacation home is your property, and if you don’t like it, there is little you can do about it.

So now you probably feel like you’re stuck. There’s this timeshare weighing you down, keeping you from enjoying financial freedom, and there’s nothing you can do.

Well, thankfully, there are some solutions.

The simplest and best way out of a timeshare contract is going to be to utilize a fee service that will get rid of the timeshare for good. This means that all the maintenance fees and any other billings are take off your shoulders. Your name will be off the deed forever. In order to take your name off the contract, you’re going to have to go with a timeshare company that has a guaranteed exit solution and has a stellar rating with the Better Business Bureau. For those unfamiliar with the BBB, you can check out their website for more information. Doing a search will allow you to check on the claims made against the company, and to see if they were resolved satisfactorily. Some of the timeshare removal companies that have excellent ratings with the BBB are Timeshare Relief and Transfer Smart.

Make Good Use Of Extra Storage Containers

Like many households, my kitchen cupboards are full-to-bursting with stuff. Boxes, cans, pots, lids, packets, utensils – you name it, I have it. It seems I've been able to toss out any kitchenware I received or purchased dating back to the time I had my first apartment! Since several moves since those glory days, I've diligently packed up all that stuff and hauled it to my next new home. While my thriftiness may have made my grandmother happy (some of my stuff even came down from her!), It's left me with a cluttered kitchen and an inefficient cooking environment.

I recently decided to change all that. At the encouragement of a friend, I became a Pampered Chief representative and splurged on a ton of new, high-quality equipment. My old stuff paled in comparison. While I felt strongly now was the time to get rid of the odds and ends, I could not bring myself to toss them all out to settle in the landfill. I got inspired to re-purpose many of my pieces, including those miscellaneous storage containers we all seem to have.

First off, I sorted the storage containers out to see which pieces actually had a mate (matching top or bottom). Those which did and were still in good condition, I placed in a box intended for Goodwill. The storage containers without lids were further sorted, and those which had an interesting size or shape became forms for my kids to use in their sandbox. Easy way to help them make castles, yes?

The smallest storage containers became catch-alls for my new office desk. Paperclips, rubber bands, thumbtacks and jump drives fit perfectly into four which I bound together with hot glue.

To me, these little steps were very important ways in which I stuck to my principles about reducing, reusing and recycling.

Silver Mountain – Rags and Riches in Bolivia

At more than 13,000 feet above sea-level in the Andes, we were as close to heaven as most mortals can hope to get – and closer to hell than anybody would want to be.

A group of miners steadily chewed coca leaves, mixing the wad with ash. They claimed it immunized them against cold and hunger. Armed with carbide lamps, most not wearing safety helmets, they began to file into the mine, ducking to avoid broken timbers, crawling through puddles.

I thought about the dark stains smearing the mine entrance. They were from the blood of the llamas ritually sacrificed to appease El Tio, the devilish deity who rules underground.

Coca juice numbed my mouth and claustrophobia gnawed at my stomach. My heart thumped with the exertion at this altitude. What the devil was I doing here, deep in the depths of Cerro Rico (rich hill), the mountain that broods over Potosí in Bolivia?

The astounding wealth below the surface of the cone-shaped hill, called Sumac Orcko (“beautiful hill”) in the Quechua tongue, was discovered by Diego Gualpa, an Indian, in April, 1545. One story says he detected silver when his llama scratched the earth.

If Diego had known how much suffering his find was to bring to his people in the former kingdom of the Incas, he would surely have kept quiet. But five rich veins were located close to the surface, the mountain was renamed Cerro Rico and soon Potosí had 160,000 inhabitants, a colourful mixture of officials, traders, desperadoes, and millionaires, plus at least 800 professional gamblers and 120 prostitutes.

From its mines poured an estimated 46,000 tons of silver, worth anything from US$5,000 million upwards in modern terms. It brought undreamed-of wealth to a handful of adventurers, adorned churches and palaces, and helped pay for Spain’s Great Armada and a series of wars. It also brought misery and death to thousands of Indians forced to work below ground.

In Potosí only the best was good enough for the silver barons. They competed in licentiousness and conspicuous consumption. They shipped their finery back to Paris to have it properly dry-cleaned while their ladies wore elegant shoes with heels of solid silver.

Today the city, declared by UNESCO a World Heritage site, is remote and sleepy and conditions underground are still perilously primitive, as I learned when a young student guided me through some of the 785 kilometres of tunnels honeycombing Cerro Rico. Little silver comes out these days for the most accessible veins are exhausted.

Tin replaced it in importance, making fortunes for a lucky few. But, after the bottom fell out of the tin market in 1985, thousands of miners lost their jobs and only a few mines struggle on.

The dream of easy wealth contributed to Spain’s stagnation, helping to impoverish it for centuries. The riches of the Indies were frittered away – and that perhaps is the revenge of Potosí.

Those who carried off its treasure were left with nothing either. Except memories of the silver rush, enshrined in a popular Spanish phrase: “Vale un potosí! It’s worth a king’s ransom!”

Use Common Sense to Find Your Ideal Apartment

When it comes to apartment hunting, the bulk of the work comes from learning to use your common sense. Of course, you might argue that the toughest task is actually finding an apartment-especially in a tight market like the Dallas apartment market. It is certainly true that it can be difficult to find and secure an appropriate apartment in the face of high-level competition. If you do not use your common sense as you go about the matter, however, your chances will be even worse than otherwise indicated.

Do not Settle

The biggest trap that you will run into when hunting for a Dallas apartment is settling on something only to find that it does not really meet your needs a few months later. If you do not use your common sense when you go hunting, then this can easily happen to you. You may fall in love with a place that turns out to be completely inconveniently located, for example. Problem is, you always knew where it would be located and you simply overlooked the potential inconvenience in order to get the view that you never get to see now that you're always in transit. If you had taken a little time to think about this issue before you signed the lease though, you might not be in this position.

Pay Attention to Your Instincts

Finding the perfect Dallas apartment to meet your needs means knowing them and knowing where a compromise is acceptable and where it is not in the long run. Additionally, it means paying attention to signs that an apartment might not be right for you. These can include indications that the maintenance is poor or that the neighborhood is bad. They could also be simpler things, things that just nag at you while you consider a place. Resolve these issues before you sign a lease in order to ensure that you get the rental experience you want.

Cost Reduction – Straight to Your Bottom Line

In any business focussing on cost, price and sales volume will dramatically improve cash flow and profit. There are a number of articles in this series on how to improve prices and sales volume but cost control is an ongoing internal matter that all your colleagues should be participating in.

Ask your accountant to create a spreadsheet of all your cost categories. Let’s just pick three: IT, cleaning, raw materials.

Create a spreadsheet with the costs of each of these three for the last year displayed. Now involve your staff in some creative thinking about how each of them can reduce one of those categories by just 1%. Anyone can achieve a 1% improvement but if you asked them for a 10% improvement they would all say it is impossible. But a lot of 1% cost reductions rapidly add up to 10%. This is extra money straight onto your profit.

Let’s start with IT. How much equipment do you have, is it all necessary? Would one monochrome laser printer be more cost effective than coloured ink jet or laser document production. Can you store your information in the Internet Cloud rather than on your own servers. Let the Cloud providers run the virus control eliminating the need for you to worry about that cost. Do you have in house IT personnel, if so would it be cheaper to hire them in on a needs only basis?

Create a Bubble Map of all the ideas your staff come up with then pick the immediate winning ideas and implement these cost savings immediately.

Similarly on your office cleaning bill, when did you last negotiate the cleaning contract or ask for other quotes.

If you are a manufacturer then your raw material costs will probably be constantly under review. But call your production staff together for an ideas session for a morning on how to reduce scrap by just 1%. I did this once on three plastics extrusion lines and hundreds of ideas were put forward to improve efficiencies. Record every idea, then start with the easiest to show some quick hits. This will energise everyone to continue working on the more difficult cost improvement challenges.

If you invite your work force to come up with ideas to just save 1% of costs, improve prices by 1% and sales volume by 1% then profit could immediately improve by 10%. Everyone is capable of seeing a way of improving at least one of these variables by 1%.

How Entrepreneurs Make Money Selling Global Brands On and Off-line

Did you know that thousands of companies from all over the world are looking for enthusiastic individuals to represent their products overseas? That person can be you. From Chinese toys to Brazilian bikinis people are making money reselling all kinds of products for a profit.

Don’t fret if you’re new to the Internet! Thousands of “ordinary people” leverage the Internet to sell global brands on and off-line. I say ordinary people as a reference to the rest of us, those who log online simply to read email, check the latest headlines, and to look something up on Google. Does this describe you? If so, you can literally start earning money representing firms from all over the world who are eager to establish contact with motivated entrepreneurs.

Having lived and worked in three continents, I can assure you that there are thousands of great companies with awesome products or services anxious to promote their goods overseas. Don’t be intimidated if you think you don’t fit their professional profile. You probably do and proof of that is my remarkable experience with successful representatives reselling Brazilian Bikinis.

–Case Study–

I often receive phone calls and emails from men and women all over the world wanting to know more about importing and reselling Brazilian bikinis. We get requests from students, single moms, shop owners, and entrepreneurs who work full-time but would like to make some extra money on the side.

–Getting Started: From Concept to Execution.–

Selling international brands is easier than you think! To help you better understand the process we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions that have empowered representatives to take the plunge and become successful international sales representatives. We list 10 questions you should ask your potential supplier but this shouldn’t prevent you from requesting more information.

–10 Questions to ask your Supplier–

1. Can I trust doing business with you in Brazil or a country I can’t even pronounce?

2. I’m worried about buying online. How do I pay for the goods?

3. Okay, now that I’m convinced that you’re a reputable supplier of premium brands, what’s the next step?

4. Which samples should I order? How do I pay for them and how much does it cost?

5. I find your prices higher than others.

6. What about import duty?

7. How much should I price your product in the market?

8. The samples arrived and they are absolutely gorgeous! What next?

9. The reaction has been positive. Friends and others want to buy. What next?

10. Are you flexible with payment terms?

Note: Answers to these and other questions can be found on our site.

Armed with answers to these and other questions you’re now well on your way to making money selling global brands on and off-line. Remember, the Internet serves as a powerful tool, as a means to reach your objectives. It should be used in conjunction with offline sales efforts in your respective markets. If ordinary people with little online experience can do it you can also.

Local Area Network

If you want to transfer some of your data files from one computer to another in your office what will you do? One option you have is to take a floppy or CD and copy the data into it from source computer and go to destination computer and download the file in it. This method is very much time consuming and also you can not copy the data more then 1.44MB in floppy and around 800MB in CD.

What if you have more than 2GB or more data to transfer? Here we can use LAN. A LAN is a group of two or more computers that can share information and resources. You can have 1000’s of computer in your LAN depending on the size of your organization as long as the computers are kept in one building or location. Here I am going to tell you how to build a small Local Area Network of 5-10 computers. First of all we need to know the equipments that are required to setup a LAN.

Computers: – Obviously you need 2 or more computers to build a network because one computer can not make a Network

Cables: – Depending on your network size and utilization you can select the category of the cables. For a small network you can use CAT5 cable which supports 10/100Mbps speed. However you have option to purchase Cat 6 Cable also which support speed of up to 1Gbps. Here I will use CAT5 Cable.

Hub / Switch: – This is a device the will be put in a central location and all the PCs will connect to it. These devices can be of 4, 8, 16, or 24 ports. They come with more ports also. These days switches are being used everywhere as they are more advance then HUB.

NIC: – Network Interface cards are required for you PCs. Here also you have option to get a card of 10/100 or 10/100/1000Gbps speed. Again it depends on your requirement and budget. One end of network cable will connect to NIC in your computer and another end will go to switch. Note: – Most of the computers these days comes with built in network card so you don’t really need to purchase NIC if you already have one on your computer’s motherboard.

RJ45 Connector: – These are small jacks that need to be punched at both ends of cables. You don’t need to buy these connectors separately because readymade cables are available in market but of course if the desired length cable is not available then you will have to get the RJ45 Connectors and punch them at both ends of cable as per the cabling standard.

Once you have all the equipments you are ready to do connectivity among your computers and some windows settings. Follow the steps below to get your network up and running.

Step1: – Open your computers one by one and install the NIC. As I mentioned above if you have built in network card on your computer’s motherboard then you don’t need to do this activity. Better you buy PC with built in network card this way you can save lots of time.

Step2:- Connect all the computers one by one to your hub/switch. Once you connect all the computers just power on the switch.

Step3: – Now you have you to do some settings in your PC. All the PCs should have a unique identification so that another computer on network can identify it. Just in human beings we know people with their names, in computers they identify each other with their unique IP Address. These are 32 bit octets in the form of 0 and 1. We write IP address in the decimal form like 192.168.1.1. You have two options to provide IP address one is manual by sitting on each computer and typing the IP address and another is through DHCP Server. You can say DHCP server as a service of Microsoft Windows 2000/2003 Server which automatically provide IP address to computers as soon as they boot. For a small network of 10-20 PCs you don’t need DHCP server but for big network it would be very confusing and time consuming to provide IP address manually. In our scenario you can give IP address manually because we are setting up a network of just 10 PC. Now log in to PCs with administrative privilege and follow the steps below to give IP address to PCs.

a. Click on Start – Settings – Network Connection and then double click on Local Area Connection.

b. From the new Window click on properties and on the new window scroll down to select internet protocol TCP/IP. Double click on it or click on properties to give IP address.

c. On the opened window give an IP address in the space provided. Just below IP address there is an option of subnet mask. As soon as you will give the IP address the subnet mask will come automatically depending on the Network Class you have selected.

Once you are done just save the settings by clicking on apply and OK. Repeat all 3 steps above on all your computers but remember to give unique IP address to each computer. You can check the connectivity among the computers by running a command called PING on each computer. Just go to command prompt and type ping IP ADDRESS (For example Ping 192.168.1.1) you should get reply from another computer which has the IP address 192.168.1.1, remember the PC you are trying to ping should be switch ON. If you get a message saying REQUEST TIME OUT that means the PC you are trying to ping is switch off or there is some problem in the connectivity. So you will have to check it.

These settings are enough to get your LAN up and running how ever in IP settings page you have some more options that you can define as long as you have installed these services in you network. For example DNS, Gateway or WINS.

What's Inside Our Tap Water That We Would Be Happy About?

This is something that most of us would prefer not to know about as it spoils the image of a safe, refreshing drink that our bodies just can not do without.

Many of us recognize how unpalatable tap water sometimes is. It tends to have a funny taste and we may wonder what it is.

The truth about tap water is that it's an unsafe beverage for us to get straight from the kitchen tap without filtering it first. There have been studies that have shown up to 2100 chemical contaminants floating around in it and some of those chemical are extremely harmful.

Let's take for instance the bleach that is used to clean water, chlorine. All public water contains chlorine but what can also happen is if the chlorine mixes with bacteria then a chemical reaction occurs called THM's.

This by product, so to speak, is highly toxic and a known carcinogen. Research has shown that regular exposure to it will mean that you are twice as likely to get stomach cancer.

Other nasty things that have been found in drinking and bathing water are drugs, cysts, bacteria, trace elements of industrial pesticides and many more.

To ensure that you know what's inside our tap water you need to become proactive in filtering your own water at home. This will then give you the peace of mind that comes with the assurances that you know that you are protecting yourself and your family.

Make sure that your filter has the same ability as mine and is able to filter out to nearly 100% all harmful chemicals while at the same time leaving in essential mineral salts for good health.

Filtering your water makes it tastes so much better and it also does not leave a horrible thick scum mark around the cup after drinking a cup of herbal tea

For more information about what's inside our tap water visit my website www.clean-safe-filtered-water.com today.