How Has the Internet Changed the Retail Industry?

The Internet is continually evolving and changing the way we do business in this world. It is now practically mandatory for a retail store to have an online presence. Having a website with your location and contact information is important but more and more retailers are also offering their products to be purchased online. Beyond e-commerce, social networking has redefined how we do business as well. Retailers are realizing the value of offering their fans and followers exclusive deals online because it increases customer loyalty and, in turn, increases profits. All of these changes have affected the expectations of consumers and in order to capitalize on these changes, it is important for retailers to cater to these new preferences. Here is a rundown of ways in which online culture has affected traditional brick and mortar stores.

Information is power

Knowledgeable sales associates are vital to retail stores. This is the Information Age and nearly all customers expect that if they have a question about a product, then the employee helping them knows the answer. If the associate doesn’t know, they better be able to find out quickly. When a customer can click on their smartphone and find out more information than a person in front of them can offer, why would they bother visiting your store? Customer service is more than just a friendly smile – it is a willingness to learn and to know the important points about your product.

Short Lines

There are plenty of people nowadays who will see a long line at a store, put down their merchandise and buy their choices online instead – unless they find something else they like better along the way. With the option of shopping at home, in one’s pajamas, retail stores have to make additional effort to make shopping at their store pleasant. Making sure that lines move quickly and efficiently is a key strategy to doing so. Having point of sale software that allows you to streamline the purchasing process will reduce wait time for your customers. Otherwise you risk losing customers to online retail, where you cannot guarantee they will end up buying from you once they’ve done their search.

Comprehensive Inventory

Making sure that you have sufficient inventory in stock for your customers is another important shift in this online world. If you are out of something in your store, you can point customers to buying it online. But unless you actually order the product for them, there is no way to guarantee that sale. And unless the customer is very specific about getting your particular product, chances are even if you offer to order it for them, they’ll politely decline and insist that they can order it themselves when they get home. By the time they get home, they may have decided they don’t really need your product. Or they may decide to shop around and find something else they like. This is another case for a good point of sales software for your retail store. A good POS system can track your inventory, alert you when you need to reorder and also keep track of what is selling quickly and what is not. You’ll find that you can offer a much more satisfactory experience to your customers when you have the right tools helping you manage your store.

5 Reasons Why People Prefer Serviced Apartments Instead of Hotels

Temporary residences like serviced apartments and furnished suites are specifically designed to cater to short term and even long term accommodations complete with amenities and features that you need when you travel away from home. This kind of accommodation is very popular among business owners and companies. The good news is that leisure travellers and vacationers are starting to know and appreciate this kind of living arrangement. There are reasons why more and more people are renting furnished apartments and other types of alternative hotels and accommodation, these are:

  1. It is definitely cheaper compared with regular hotels. If you are going to average it based on the number of occupants and days, you get better bargain. In addition, the price of rent is fixed and you do not need to bother about service charges and other taxes. Vacationers find the home atmosphere convenient and the kitchen feature is a blessing as they will not worry about spending more money for tips and other service charges once they use the kitchen to cook their own food.
  2. Travelling in groups is never more fun. The downside of using hotel rooms is the fact that there are limited number of occupants allowed per room. With serviced apartments, your group can stay in one place; thus, there is no need to knock on many doors just to meet and talk with them. Serviced apartments or furnished suites also have living rooms where you can stay and spend time away with your group.
  3. It offers an ambiance as if you never left home and went on vacation. Hotels are too impersonal and very often makes guest go outside to look for enjoyment in order to avoid the cold atmosphere hotel rooms in general have; thus, it is an additional expense for leisure travellers and vacationers. The absence of a reception or lobby area is not a detriment as most apartments of this kind offer amenities and features regular hotels provide like meeting rooms, housekeeping, laundry, restaurants, and even parking spaces. So, one can have a residence and an office at the same time when you rent furnished apartments and other types of alternative residences in places that you travel.
  4. It is a home away from home since it has amenities that hotel rooms do not have like kitchen and dining area, furniture like a sofa bed, an office desk, and features which usual hotels offer like strong Wi-Fi connection, working area, and direct telephone lines.
  5. You can choose your desired location; you can choose one near your office or you can book one that is near famous landmarks and interesting places if you are a vacationer. You can have a single bedroom apartment for rent or a three bedroom apartment if you travel by groups.

Based on these reasons, it is not surprising that in days to come, serviced apartments will be the preferred choice when it comes to accommodations.

What Style of Goalkeeper Gloves Do the Professionals Wear?

With so many different styles of Goalkeeping Gloves on the market the question I hear many Goalkeepers asking is this. ‘What style of gloves is most popular with the pro’s?’. Hopefully after reading the following article I will have answered some of your questions and helped you make the right choice next time you buy a pair of gloves.

Petr Cech:

Glove Manufacturer: Adidas

Style: Response Pro

To the untrained eye you may think that Petr Cech has been wearing The Adidas Fingersave Pro for the last season and a half. Unfortunately this is a massive scam by Adidas! Cech actually wears the Response Pro with ‘Fingersave’ printed on the back of the index finger. However this glove is not available in the shops. The Fingersave model retailing at around Ā£60 has Petr Cech’s name on the wrist strap. Very cunning plan to make money from Adidas. The Reponse Pro has a negative style palm and Cech has also been known to use yellow and green coloured palms as well as traditional white.

Gianluigi Buffon:

Glove Manufacturer: Puma

Style: Powercat 1.12

Buffon who was originally a Reusch wearer switched to Puma and became one of the lead names of the brand in the early 2000’s. Again similar to Cech, the Powercat is a fingersave glove but Buffon chooses to wear the glove without the finger spines. Buffon’s gloves feature a conventional flat style palm which is less popular these days especially in this country.

Ben Foster:

Glove Manufacturer: Sells

Style: Wrap Elite

With the weather conditions in Britain a large percentage of the keepers decide to wear roll finger palms. Ben Foster is no exception to this. Having been a proud endorsee of the Sells Wrap series since its early years he seems very comfortable with the roll finger palm.

Tim Howard:

Glove Manufacturer: Nike

Style: Premier SGT

Another keeper who has adapted a glove and put his own twist on it. The Nike SGT range traditionally has a laser cut palm which contours the shape of the palm. Tim Howards personalised ones have a flat palm but a rolled index finger. The glove is pre curved.

Brad Friedel:

Glove Manufacturer: Adidas

Style: Fingertip

‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!’ Brad Friedel has a been a long servant of the Adidas Fingertip. Featuring a roll finger style palm the gloves fingers are wrapped over the top to create a snug feel around every finger.

Medical Billing – Electronic Billing Pros and Cons

Everything in our world is becoming more and more automated. The days of paper are becoming things of the past. Who uses typewriters any more? True, they’ve been replaced by computers and printers, but with the advent of email and modems, information doesn’t have to be printed at all any more. This is also true of medical billing to insurance carriers. With electronic billing, no longer do we have to send them a paper HICFA, but is it all good? We’re going to take a devils advocate approach to electronic billing and examine both the pros and cons of sending your bills electronically.

The pros are easy to see. With electronic billing, you obviously save a lot of paper. No longer do you have to print out each bill. With electronic billing, by using a modem, you can send that bill directly to the carrier. Not only does this save paper, but it also saves postage. The cost of that phone call, which in most cases is an 800 number, is a lot less than the cost of sending these bills snail mail.

Another pro of electronic billing is accuracy. The programs that are created to send these claims electronically have built in checks for errors, since a human still has to enter the information. After the information for the bill is entered, you can run another program that checks to make sure that everything and we do mean everything, is filled out completely. Anything missing or in error is displayed on an error report which can either be printed or viewed directly on the computer.

Another pro of electronic billing is speed, not only of how quickly the claim gets to the carrier, since they don’t have to wait for the mail, but of how fast claims are paid. The reason claims are paid quicker in this manner is that the receiving carrier also has a program that checks for errors, so the claim itself doesn’t have to be manually reviewed. This speeds up the process.

It would seem from all of this that there can’t be anything bad about electronic medical billing. Oh, if only that were the truth. Unfortunately, there are things that can go wrong and all too often, do go wrong.

For starters, computers act up. Programs have bugs, especially when they are new. Because the medical industry is constantly changing, these programs have to be constantly updated. When this happens, bugs do pop up. When that happens, claims can’t be submitted until the bugs are fixed. This can effectively shut down billers for days. Not a pretty sight.

Another problem is with the actual transmission of the data itself. Modems can act up and often do. Sometimes there’s just a problem with the phone line. There may be noise on it. Unlike talking on the phone, the transmitting of data requires a perfect connection or the data doesn’t transmit properly. When this happens, the claims are rejected even though they may be valid. The data just becomes corrupted.

For the most part, electronic medical billing is a wonderful thing, but problems do occur and it is important to be prepared for those problems.

State Lines and PIs – To Cross Or Not to Cross

State lines and PIs: to cross or not to cross that is the question. A Shakespearian conundrum.

Your driver’s license is accepted in all 50 states. So is your marriage license. What about your PI license?

The NASIR stated, several years ago, it hoped one day the PI license too will be accepted in other states. Today this is not the case…or is it. Read on.

In researching this article I learned there are as many opinions on the subject as there are people and no real consensus of opinion or understanding of the subject matter. However, we are in search of facts and law, not just opinions.

I spent some time in Texas last year. You can drive for days and not leave that State. Here in New Hampshire I can be in three different States in 60 – 90 minutes. Many residents live here and work just over the border. Crossing State lines is an important issue here in the Granite State.

What do you do on surveillance when the subject crosses the border? Tough call. Steve Byers, my good friend and mentor, feels this is like following a subject to a members only club, like the American Legion. Surveillance stops at the door. You have no legal right to enter. The client should be happy with the results and your professionalism. You didn’t trespass.

Steve feels the same concept applies to crossing State Lines. Stop at the border, unless you are licensed there. Many licensing authorities mirror this sentiment. However, this does not make it right…or wrong.

Your driver’s license is accepted in all states, temporarily, as long as you are just passing through and not living there. Your marriage license is accepted permanently. Why not your PI license?

Licensing Agents here in New England seem to subscribe to the philosophy that a license is required to cross the line to do any part of an investigation.

One New England licensing agent recently stated, to a licensed PI, that crossing the line and having a “conversation” with a witness was not an investigation, but if you “interviewed” the witness, you were “investigating.” I would explain this further, but I don’t quite grasp it.

There are several scenarios possible: A mobile surveillance where the person unexpectedly crosses the State line. What about a case for a NH attorney? A case in NH Court and one witness lives over the border? Or the witness lives in NH but his wife tells you he is at work, in a bordering state, close by. He does have time to see you today. Do you go?

There are a myriad of opinions and possible solutions. I network with a lot of PIs in neighboring states. I can pick up a phone and get it done. But this does not answer the question. When can you cross a State line?

DISCUSSION

Some interesting data can be found in American Law Reports, 93 ALR 2nd.

According to this compendium of cases, a licensed individual who performs a single act, or isolated transactions, in a foreign State, willnot be considered as engaging in that occupation, within the purview of the law requiring licensure of that occupation.

The Courts look at the intent to engage in these activities with any permanency: In other words, holding themselves out for hire, or “do business” in the foreign state.

A foreign (out of State) Corporation/individual, by doing a single isolated act of business, with no purpose of doing any other acts there, does not come within the provisions of a statute requiring foreign companies to comply with specified conditions before they are permitted to do business within the state.

To “do business “is to carry on any particular occupation or profession.

According to data in 93 ALR 2nd: when confronted with a single or some isolated transactions, the Court, in reality, determines the intent of the individual. This is, it seems, to differentiate the intent to complete an assignment from the intent to “do business” or hold oneself out to do business in the foreign state.

STATE BY STATE

The Dept. of Safety in New Hampshire has stated that one must be licensed in New Hampshire, period, to enter the state on any investigation.

Iowa is a bit more flexible. In order to determine jurisdiction they apply a more flexible approach:

“The Department will consider the following factors in determining jurisdiction. Types of activities that are not, by themselves, viewed as demonstrating jurisdiction in Iowa include, but are not limited to the following:

(1)A non-Iowa based private investigation business works on a criminal, civil or administrative case that that originates and is filed in another state, but contains some investigative elements in Iowa.”

In North Dakota they have not had to review this type of scenario, having to cross a state line to finish an assignment. They assured me, in their letter, each case would be reviewed independently by the Board. The board feels it would be best “for an investigator to comply with our licensing requirements in anticipation of any such occurrence.”

Vermont states that you must obtain a Transitory Permit (Temp. license) before entering the state. I did this once. The client needed the information ASAP and wanted me to get it. It took 30 days to get the permit. I am not complaining by the way. I have several friends in Vermont who it on the Regulatory Board. I think they have the best system in the country. I used it as a model when drafting our legislative proposal to overhaul the system in NH.

Kentucky did not answer the question. They did supply me with a copy of their licensing law but it did not address the issue directly.

Connecticut also would not answer the question, stating they cannot give legal advice and referred me to read their laws…which do not address the issue. If you need to go into Ct. don’t bother to call, I guess.

INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCES

A NH licensed investigator ended up in Vermont on a W/C case, having followed the claimant from Claremont, NH unexpectedly. He taped the claimant engaged in very strenuous activity in Vermont. The case ended up in Court, and the question of his legality was questioned by the claimant’s legal counsel. The judge ruled it WAS legal because of the circumstances. The investigator was: hired in NH, by a NH attorney, to watch someone whose legal address was in NH. There was no way for the investigator to know the claimant had purchased land in VT, and was excavating to start building a house. The PI was not “doing business” in Vermont.

Closer to home is the experience of my colleague Jim Collins from Massachusetts. I have known him for many years and he is a “by the book” kind of guy yet he ran afoul of licensing authorities and he prevailed.

It was a mess dealing with the authorities in Florida mostly ex-cops at the licensing division in Florida, Jim told me.

The most informed and reasonable person he met was a female attorney general who agreed with his arguments and she killed both cases, dismissed them eventually.

In one case a subject was followed from Massachusetts to Florida. Jim later testified in Probate Court during her divorce. The wife had started an affair with a younger man from another State, and they met in Florida. Her attorney made a big deal, in Court, of Jim not having a Florida license.

Jim did not know for certain, when he started, where she was going to end up and thought (from client supplied information) she might be going to Virginia, where her suspected paramour lived.

Her attorney “reported” him to Florida Dept. of State and gave them his investigative report which made its way into the record in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Judge reviewed the Florida statute and agreed that Jim was not in violation of Florida law at all, as he was not “operating” a business in Florida. The Judge pointed out Florida citizens could not even find him in Florida to hire him, as he had no ads, no telephone listings, and no office.

The Massachusetts Judge said the primary reason for “business licensing” is to protect the public from unqualified persons. Jim’s Massachusetts license took care of that.

Jim is regulated by Massachusetts, the Judge said, so the people up here who can find him and hire him are protected by the Massachusetts licensing authority.

The Judge in Probate & Family Court allowed all of his testimony on that case. That reduced (by at least $50,000.00) the divorce settlement proceeds the subject received. She and her boyfriend came at him with a vengeance, filing complaints and lawsuits against him 1,500 miles away in Florida. Jim prevailed. He was not operating a business in Florida.

The other case started in Mass. and ended up in New Jersey. A disability case worth millions and one day after a deposition the subject boarded a plane suddenly and Jim’s investigator followed her to Florida. Should he have parachuted out or just abandoned the assignment?

They reported him when he testified at a deposition. He testified in Massachusetts and in New Jersey.

Both parties were upset and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) because of these investigations. That is why they vindictively filed complaints with Florida authorities. Hell hath no fury…

Incidentally, while they were “guests” in Florida, they checked in with all local Police Departments, with Massachusetts PI Id’s and they could not have been treated nicer.

According to Jim, (just like the TV show):

“The biggest reason we prevailed was always our solid case that we were ‘not running a detective business in Florida.” Judges kept coming back to that point. We have no special police powers to do the tasks we do, the PI license is simply a business license.

The Florida Judge pointed out that when he was an attorney he often went out of state to take depositions and he was not licensed as an attorney in the foreign state. The tasks we were completing in Florida, looking up public records, monitoring someone’s activities, researching, taking photographs in a public area, do not in and of themselves require a special license. Many others do those same tasks and have no special licensing. The PI license is for “conducting the business of a Private Detective in Florida” which the judges said we were not doing.”

If these seems ridiculous to you consider this: Jim’s firm was “doing business” in Massachusetts on a Massachusetts based case. He was visiting Florida to complete the assignment.

CONCLUSION

As I researched this article, I posted to many PI lists expecting to be inundated with replies. I got very few.

This is an issue that does not affect all of us but could affect many of us. If the circumstance arrives on our own doorstep, I think it is important that we are aware of the issue, potential problems, and the way this is viewed by the Courts and licensing authorities.

It is obvious that Courts view this differently than the majority of licensing agents. Apparently the licensing agents need to be educated and that is our task. Licensing is designed is to protect the public by keeping unqualified people out of the profession, not to prevent crossing state lines.

Crossing a State line is apparently different than “doing business” in the foreign State.

Each State has different standards to obtain the license. This could be a piece of the puzzle. A few require no license and in Rhode Island each town/city issues the license. They have debates, from time to time, about the license being valid in other cities and towns.

Perhaps in the future we will see more consistency in licensing standards and this will help to alleviate this problem.

Motorola SB6120 Vs SB6121 – Which Of These Modems Should I Buy?

Motorola SB6120 vs SB6121 – Which To Choose?

You wanted to buy the Motorola SB6120 but your friend told you to buy the SB6121. So you are not sure which of these Motorola modems to buy now. Don’t worry, you should be able to get a clear picture on Motorola SB6120 vs SB6121 stacks up in this article and make the appropriate decision.

What Are The Motorola SB6120 and SB6121 Modems?

Before you proceed to evaluate the SB6120 vs SB6121, the most important point to note is that both of these two modems from Motorola are modems that are compliant to the DOCSISĀ® 3.0 standard. What this means is that they are very fast modems and theoretically you can get data rates of more than 100 Mbps in both directions through the use of channel bonding technologies. They are also backward compatible to DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 1.x and 2.0 and supports IPv4 and IPv6.

What Is DOCSIS 3.0 And Why Is It Important?

DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. Motorola worked together with a consortium led by Cablelabs to release the DOCSIS 3.0 specification in August 2006. DOCSIS 3.0 is important because with DOCSIS 3.0, cable internet providers are able to provide ultra-fast broadband services through the use of channel bonding technologies.

How Does Channel Bonding Works?

Conceptually this is very simple. Just imagine right now you have a data channel that gives you a maximum throughput of 40 Mbps of data. What if you can expand this 4 times? With the DOCSIS 3.0 specifications, you will get theoretically 4 x 40 Mbps or a whopping 160 Mbps of throughput. That’s why most users of either SB6120 or SB6121 will find that they get an enormous speed surge when they switch over to either modems.

SB6120 vs SB6121 – A Comparison Of The Specifications

I do not want to reproduce the technical specifications here but you could easily download the technical specifications from the Motorola site or the link at the bottom. In every comparison basis, for example when you are comparing the SB6120 vs SB6121, the easiest way to see the difference is to put them side by side. However with these two and as far as the technical specifications are concerned there are no differences at all!!!

However there are some very minor differences in these areas:

  • Modem shape – The SB6120 is more rectangular and boxy in shape while the SB6121 is rectangular but rounded in shape. The SB6120 is slightly bigger but thinner at 146mm x 146mm x 38mm while that of the SB6121 is smaller and thicker at 133mm x 133mm x 42mm.
  • Modem price – Depending on which merchant you buy the modem from, the SB6121 could be priced higher by a few dollars as compared with the SB6120.
  • Modem Availability – As Motorola is replacing the SB6120 with the SB6121, you may find that merchants may run out of the SB6120 as they will not be replenished as stocks are cleared.

SB6120 vs SB6121 – Which to Buy?

By now you would have come to a clear conclusion. The reason you are looking at a comparison of SB6120 vs SB6121 is because you want a fast blazing modem so that you can enjoy your internet experience; be it for work, surfing, entertainment or playing games. Both modems will deliver that.

As both products are 95% identical, your choice actually come to whether you are willing to buy an old product box design that is discontinued by the manufacturer or buy the latest redesigned box for a few dollars more.

How the Foreclosure Cleanup Industry Has Changed: A New Property Preservation Model

The field services industry, which is commonly referred to as the “property preservation”, “foreclosure cleanup” or “REO trashout” industry, has changed considerably over the years.

When the mortgage crisis and eventual housing fiasco first seized the real estate industry, a great number of smaller foreclosure contractors entered the market. Many of these micro companies performed assorted mortgage field services tasks for lenders, banks, financial institutions, REO conglomerates and asset management companies in hamlets and diverse regions across the United States of America.

A ton of larger, national entities were also part of the landscape that was fast becoming a burgeoning property preservation industry.

A great many of the larger entities such as those of Pemco, Sentinel, Cyprexx, Safeguard, Chronos Solutions (previously known as Matt Martin Real Estate Management), and a great number of similar companies, were direct, first hand components of HUD (“The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development”).

These larger companies hired smaller debris removal, cleaning and trash out services as subcontractors to handle duties such as lawn maintenance, property securing (boarding doors/windows), property inspecting, trash/debris removal, winterization and de-winterization jobs, repairs, lock changes, home maintenance, painting, carpet removal, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, tree removal and many similar property upkeep and maintenance duties.

Services were often performed on vacant houses, many of which mortgagees had walked away from after getting foreclosure letters from their mortgage companies.

Multiple Subbing Opportunities, Jobs and Contracts for REO Service Vendors

Contracts and work order requests were received in numbers, and many small companies had to rush to hire subcontractors to assist with the overflow.

As a result, these smaller contractors made a ton of money in the property preservation and foreclosure cleaning industry at the height of the mortgage crisis.

A Changing Property Preservation Industry

However, fast-forward five to seven years, and its evident the industry has changed, exponentially.

The New Trashout Business, Foreclosure Cleaning Services and REO Property Preservation Model

In recent years, foreclosure cleanup and trash-out services have not only begun to target new key customers and client bases, but they have also added a number of new very profitable mortgage and field services and inked new necessary policies and procedures that work specifically for their own services and businesses — regardless of who their companies may be aligned with or who they may be servicing as vendors and subcontractors and working for, whether it be on a local, national or regional level.

Using Color Psychology to Sell Your Home

When painting your home for resale, choosing the right colors can make a huge difference in your paycheck at closing. For instance, did you know that the exterior color of houses selling most quickly is a certain shade of yellow, but that choosing the wrong shade of yellow can kill a sale?

You’ll find many brochures in paint stores, showing various combinations of exterior paint colors. But most people don’t realize that most of those combinations actually include three colors, and not just two. Limiting your exterior paint scheme to just two colors also limits your income potential.

For a fast sale, think fun colors and go for a third, or even a fourth, exterior color. Think “Disneyland Main Street,” where every shop is painted in glorious multi-colors. Adding more colors will also add definition to the various architectural details of your home. Use gloss or semi-gloss paint on wood trim.

The Psychology of Exterior Colors

When choosing exterior colors, take the sales price of your home into account. Certain colors, especially muted, complex shades, attract wealthy or highly-educated buyers, whereas buyers with less income or less education generally prefer simpler colors. A complex color contains tints of gray or brown, and usually requires more than one word to describe, such as “sage green,” as opposed to “green.”

On the other hand, simple colors are straightforward and pure. Generally, houses in the lower price range sell faster and for higher prices when painted in simple colors like yellow or tan, accented by white, blue, or green trim.

The Psychology of Interior Colors

Using colored, rather than bland, white walls will increase your profit potential. Lynette Jennings tested the perception of room size and color, and discovered that a room painted white appeared only appeared larger to a few people when compared to an identical room painted in color – and the perceived difference was only about six inches! Most people also look better when surrounded by color, and feel happier, and since buyers pick houses that make them feel happy, that knowledge can put dollars in your pocket at closing!

Entryways should bring the exterior colors into the house. Repeating shades of the exterior throughout your home will make the entire home seem to be in harmony. Living and family rooms painted in a slightly lighter shade of the exterior color will ensure that you’ve picked a color your buyers like, because if they didn’t like your exterior colors, they wouldn’t have bothered to look inside. If they loved the exterior colors, they’ll love the interior, too.

When choosing interior colors, consider the use of each room. For instance, kitchen and dining areas that are painted in “food colors,” such as coffee browns, celery greens, and scrambled egg yellows, feel natural.

Since, deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity, I like to paint master bedrooms a medium shade of green or blue for warm selling seasons, and rouge red for cooler weather. Other bedrooms can be painted in creamy tones of green, blue, or a pale shell pink. (See the chapter on the Psychology of Color in my book “Joy to the Home: Secrets of Interior Design Psychology” for further information.)

Selling Season

Always consider your selling season (the time of year you’ll be marketing your home) and climate when choosing colors. Estimate the amount of time you’ll need to get your home ready for sale, and then add on extra days for unexpected delays. Use cool colors, such as blues, greens, and grays, to sell during spring and summer, and warm colors, such as yellows, reds, and maroons, when selling in the fall and winter.

Color Intensity

My husband and I usually use lighter colors when painting the exteriors of our investment dollhouses, because it makes them appear larger. On the other hand, our cabin in the woods looks richer when painted a darker color. When we decided to have it painted, I considered the usual cabin colors of dark brown and barn red, but fell in love with Olympic’s gorgeous “Gooseberry” plum color.

When getting ready to paint your house, look at the colors of neighboring houses and choose colors that harmonize, yet stand out from the crowd. Colors that clash badly with other houses will detract from the overall neighborhood.

At the beginning of the article, I told you that homes with yellow exteriors sell the quickest. But which shade of yellow sells best? First, the yellows to avoid: yellows with green undertones look sickly to most buyers, and yellows with orange undertones give buyers an impression of cheapness.

The best-selling yellow exterior color is actually a pale, sunny yellow, especially when complimented with one or more carefully-chosen accent colors. For instance, a semi-gloss white trim will give your home a clean and fresh look, and adding a third color, such as green, can make your home even more attractive to prospective buyers.

Colors affect human beings in many ways, and by using the principles of Color Psychology, you can make your home stand out from the competition, sell more quickly, and at a higher price.

(c) Copyright 2014, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Indoor Furniture, Outdoor Furniture – What’s the Difference?

In the world of furniture manufacturing, there are companies that specialize in indoor furniture, outdoor furniture and between the two there is a limited amount of crossover. Outdoor furniture is built differently than the indoor variety, and while you can always use outdoor furniture inside, the opposite is not always the case. If you are debating moving some furniture for outside for a party or a much longer period of time, know what should and shouldn’t be used, and what can be made over to better handle the elements.

Be a material girl:

You don’t have to be Madonna to figure out that some materials are better suited for the outdoors than others, depending on type of furniture. Outdoor materials need to be sturdy enough to withstand variant temperatures, a certain amount of moisture from rain, dew, etc. and humidity.

Common sense dictates that there are certain materials that should never be taken outside, unless you’re absolutely sure that the weather will be perfect. For instance, carpeting is a disaster when it gets wet. It takes forever to dry, and can mold, and it also gets really stiff when it’s cold. That’s why rugs not meant for the outside should stay inside. Likewise, materials like suede, fleece, and dry-only materials should also not be taken outside. Companies manufacture cushion and deep seating fabrics that mimic the feel of more luxurious materials, but are fully waterproof.

Then there are certain pieces that can go outdoors for limited periods of time before you have to worry. Wicker, for instance, though technically considered patio furniture, is not that strong and holds up much better in sunrooms and away from prolonged exposure to sun and rain. Then there are things like thin pottery, ceramic and plastic pieces that are waterproof but not suitable as furniture, outdoor or in. They aren’t strong enough to withstand extreme temperature changes or strong, inclement weather. Untreated metal is also okay to get wet for short periods, but for much longer than that and you risk it rusting.

Then there are those materials intended for use as outdoor furniture. Outdoor materials are especially hearty but still look visually pleasing. Examples of tables, chairs, planters, and more can be seen made out of the following: treated wood and hardwoods, galvanized metal, powder-coated metal (aluminum, wrought iron, zinc hardware), stone and cement (as tables, benches and umbrella stands), marbles, clay and reinforced ceramics (as planter pots), poly resin plastics and waterproof nylon (used in canopies and as cushion covers).

This list only begins to scratch the surface of the multitude of materials that make up our lives. In all, use your best judgment about whether something can go outdoors. Take into account weather patterns. If it’s really nice out, you can be more lenient about what you take outside as furniture. Outdoor conditions can change rapidly, though, so keep an eye out.

Treating Wood

The best thing you can repurpose for use as indoor furniture/outdoor furniture is wood. It’s no more difficult than adding some varnish and it might save you from unnecessarily buying all new furniture. To begin with, take a look at the wood you’re working with. Stay away from old wood that’s in bad condition, as it will deteriorate at an even more rapid pace once taken outside. Next, check what species of wood you have. Some of the naturally stronger woods, like teak, pine, cedar and cypress, are great for the outside. These woods are already strong and durable on their own and require little extra protection. More delicate woods will require extra sealant and even then they probably won’t last as long outside as hardwoods.

To begin the weatherproofing process, you will need to cover wood with a fade-proof, UV-resistant finish. Sand away any lacquer that may already exist on your furniture. Whatever finish is on there is most likely intended for inside, and while it will give furniture a high gloss shine, it’s not the right kind of varnish that will protect it from moisture and the outdoor elements. After the surface is smooth, even and clean you can apply a sealant, usually an oil-based varnish, unless you’re working with a wood that produces its own oils, like teak and cedar furniture. Outdoor atmospheric elements will dry out wood more quickly than furniture that’s kept indoors, so it’s important to protect the surface and heartwood against cracking, rotting and warping. Once that’s complete, you’re good to go. From then on, simply oil and clean your wood furniture once to twice a year to keep it healthy.

High School Pop Quizzes – Great Teaching Tool?

In an ideal world, teachers intend to do what’s best to prepare their students for the real world. In other words, when they plan their lessons, grade their papers, and give their lectures, they do so not simply with goal of having students do well on whichever test or project is coming up next, but also in order to give them the skills and instincts they need to one day tackle problems and situations in the real world. After all, what is the point of school if not to prepare students for what they will encounter when they leave school?

There is, of course, a difference between the types of challenges students face in the classroom as opposed to the ones they will encounter once they leave school grounds. The situations they find themselves in when inside the classroom tend to be much more structured and predictable than those that the real world will throw at them, so it stands to reason that trying to create a classroom environment that is, at times, less structured and predictable, can be quite beneficial for students.

One tool that teachers and professors might want to take advantage of along those lines is the pop quiz. A pop quiz is basically a small test that students do not know is coming. Whereas most quizzes are announced ahead of time, and students are told what sort of material is going to be covered so that they can prepare, a pop quiz comes out of nowhere. Students might think that a given class day will be focused around a lecture or a discussion, but then they find out, immediately beforehand, that they need to be ready to take a quiz.

That way, students are caught off guard and must rely on whatever knowledge they have up to that point. This is bit more like life outside of school, because when you are not in high school you don’t necessarily know what kind of tasks will be demanded of you on a daily basis–sometimes things just ‘pop’ up and you must be ready to do the most that you are able to do at that moment.

However, there are some people who are not big fans of pop quizzes. There are those who say that it is unfair to base a student’s grade off of something that he or she was not able to prepare for ahead of time. After all, if students are taught to approach their academic challenges in the normal way–that is, to learn ahead of time what is required and when it is due, and then take time to complete the task by the assigned due date–then how can they be penalized when they fail to do something that falls outside of those guidelines?

In all likelihood, the best way to address this situation is to compromise between the two different approaches. In the first place, the skills needed to do well on pop quizzes are skills that people need in the real world, and if teachers, especially high school teachers, are not preparing their students accordingly, then those students will be in trouble. However, because some high school students may not be used to this sort of thing, teachers who wish to incorporate this technique could use some level of warning. This could be anything from just making it clear, on the first day of class, that pop quizzes are on the table and could happen at any time, or it could be the professor giving a range of possible dates for a quiz, such as “you will have a quiz sometime between Monday and Thursday, so be ready.” That way, students will have some idea that something is coming, but they still don’t know exactly when.

The Best Joe Walsh Album

Joe Walsh’s magical music career has spanned well over four and a half decades. Between his stints with the James Gang and the Eagles, Walsh hit a productive and artistic peak in the early 70’s with the release of: “Barnstorm” (1972), “The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get” (1973) and “So What” (1974). “So What,” the best Joe Walsh album, is the crowning gem of this tremendous trio.

Composition, performance, and production are the three primary elements that separate “So What” from “Barnstorm” and “The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get.”

Seven of the nine compositions on this album are some of Joe’s best work. While “Barnstorm” and “The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get” contain some great tracks, the sum of the songs on these two albums don’t hold up as well. “Welcome to the Club,” has some of Joe’s best guitar chord work coupled with some of his better lyrics. Great drum work dominates on this track as well. “County Fair'” glides the listener through a sonically enchanted journey, highlighted by Joe’s reverse recorded guitar solo. “Falling Down” features vocal arrangements that remind me of Brian Wilson’s best work.

All of these great tracks are supported by superior performances by the assembled musicians along with Joe Walsh unique guitar work. In addition, “So What” contains fantastic backing vocals by Randy Meisner, Don Henley and Glenn Frey of The Eagles, along with J.D. Souther and Dan Fogelberg. Their work alone sets “So What apart from other Joe Walsh efforts.

This is by far the best produced Joe Walsh album. Producers: Joe Walsh, John Stronach, Bill Szymczyk and Engineers: Al Blazk, John Stronach, Bill Szymczyk, crafted a record that is cleanly mixed with a distinct separation and definition of sounds while incorporating innovative techniques such as Joe’s reverse recorded guitar solo on “County Fair.” The arrangements and use of synthesizers and strings are complex, but never give the listener the idea that the music is over-producer or that the producers are “reaching” for something that isn’t there. Concurrently, Joe Walsh’s voice never sounded better than it does on these tracks.

Most importantly, there is also a greater depth of emotion on “So What,” exemplified by “Help Me Through the Night” and “Song for Emma.” Emma was Joe Walsh’s four-year old daughter. She was tragically killed in a traffic accident by a drunk driver while her mother was driving her to preschool. Joe dealt with this tragedy by composing a very moving and spiritual ballad that in very few words captured the beauty, uncertainty and mystery of life.

If you don’t have “So What” in your CD or record collection, you are missing an album that stands well, the test of time.

How To Use Color To Heal And Ease Your Grief

When the grieving process begins, it strikes hard. When someone close to you dies, a loved family member or friend, the loss of a family pet, your job, relationship or something that once belonged to you, now gone, forever, there can be feelings of overwhelming pain and grief.

If you have ever worked in the volunteer field on friendly visiting or hospice programs you know that to team up with clients is to provide support so patients can maintain a quality life, with some semblance of normalcy on a daily basis. As well, you lend support to family members throughout the entire process should a patient pass on.

For some, to grieve can feel lonely, isolating and often times dealing with grief can be very personal. In a wave of emotions, your thoughts and feelings bubble to the forefront of your mind. It is during these moments of grief and pain one can actively seek color therapy to reset the balance and harmony in life. Grieving though color can help shift your state of awareness and emotion as a way to release and get through the wall of pain by ‘letting go’.

Find out how you can benefit from using color while going through the grieving process weather it be for yourself or to help a friend in need. Let us look at a three-step process one must come to grips with first.

Step 1. Shock and Denial – Disbelief and feeling numb is what you must overcome through acceptance of a loved ones death.

Step 2. Experience Acute Mourning – You must get through fits of crying spells, feelings of guilt and anger, depression, insomnia and fatigue

Step 3. Solutions to Rebuild – Acceptance to go on, allowing yourself to move forward, reorganizing, returning to yourself, awareness of grief and being able to think about the deceased without feeling pain tells you that you have in fact made great progress in carrying on with living and life

There are countless ways to add color to your life when moving through the grieving process. Top five suggestions;

1. Color Visualizations – Restores your equilibrium in the body, mind and emotions.

2. Color Meditations – Brings energy of the mind to a natural relaxed state of quiet.

3. Color Crystal Healing – Allows you to cleanse, clear, ground, energize, balance, bringing peace and harmony to your body mind and soul.

4. Plants and Color – Red to stimulate and energize, blue for calm, bringing peace and help with communication and expression, purple to balance and sooth the mind to name a few color remedies with plants or flowers.

5. Color Essence – can quickly restore and balance your energy.

Now let us get specific, review how the qualities of color are valuable, and can be used to enhance your emotional state of awareness while going through the grieving process.

Rose – Helps sooth your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wounds providing sympathy and solace. Rose is spiritually revitalizing and understanding paving the way for compassion and support with it’s gentle energy.

Red – A color symbolic of what we need to survive, red brings us into focus and gives a boost of confidence when needed. Allow red to permeate your life when you lack enthusiasm and interest for living, feel insecure, fearful or anxious.

Orange – Used in times of stress, or shock, it returns the body to a state of balance. When you feel unable to ‘let go’ of a situation or something, resentment, lack of interest in surroundings, orange gives you the courage to face your fears.

Yellow – Improves your concentration, allowing you to stay alert. If you feel confused, weak nervous or exhausted, yellow like the light of the morning sun, is stimulating which helps the memory function of your brain, especially for decision-making.

Green – Restores your equilibrium. Fear of the unknown or if you feel the need to let change happen, green is forgiving allowing you to ‘let go’ and move on.

Blue – In times of grief, blue helps us to understand that death and loss are cycles of life. Perhaps you feel agitated, unable to express or communicate your thoughts needing peace or detachment, in the color blue you will find solitude and rest.

Indigo – Has the energy where you can draw from it strength to forgive, find peace and allow time for contemplation and meditation. Indigo is especially good when you seek relief of physical, mental, emotional pain dealing with life issues.

Violet – This is a great color for insomnia and restlessness (tip: a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at night for peaceful sleep) encouraging the flow of imagination bringing ideas into focus. When you lack balance in life or your body, depressed, lethargic and face many obstacles you need to ‘let go’, you will find unity in the color violet, balancing your actions and mind.

Transitioning through grief often requires people to lend friendly support in a time of need, acting as an advisor or personal confident. Just letting those who have experienced the loss know you care speaks volumes. Listening, as they share their pain, allows everyone to express themselves, so they can forgive, ‘let go’, and move on with daily tasks.

Surrounding yourself with color can ease tensions for yourself and family members allowing room for warmth and love to continue. Color, used as tool in therapy for thousands of years and its application to your life when grieving offers much in the way of re-setting the balance and harmony to your life, improving well-being.

Through the eyes of color processing your grief, remember to acknowledge your pain, make room for change, and look to the future to live a full and happy life. Believe in the possibilities and power of color.

Coral Calcium: The Preferred Source of Absorbable Calcium

Coral Calcium is an excellent source of readily accessible and absorbable calcium in the body. Superior 100% pure fossilized, coral calcium is harvested from above ground, meaning that no harm is done to any living coral.

This unique formula contains a form of calcium, which is alkaline, and supports the body's pH (potential hydrogen) balance to promote tissue health. Coral calcium promotes healthy oxygen levels in the body and helps to maintain immune system function as well as promote waste removal.

The Importance of Alkalinity

Maintaining an alkaline pH is critical to cellular health, and if your body's pH is unbalanced, you will have problems effectively assimilating vitamins and minerals. According to Bob L. Owen, Ph.D., D.Sc., author of "Why Calcium?", "When coral calcium is added to water it raises and balances the body's pH levels. Consumption of this alkalinized water also balances the body's acid / alkaline levels, thus bringing about many health benefits. "

The Importance of Oxygen in the Body

Scientists have discovered that a low level of oxygen can disrupt the body's natural functioning ability and can cause harm to the immune system. Coral calcium promotes healthy oxygen levels, and helps to process and remove toxic wastes that may build up in the body.

Why Fossilized Coral Calcium is Superior

This advanced formula contains an organic composition very similar to that of the human skeleton, and contains calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and other trace minerals essential to good health.

Please click here [http://www.immunewellness.com/product/17.htm] for more information about Coral Calcium.

What Is Calcium And What Does It Do?

Taking calcium from bones to perform other functions replaces this lost calcium. So, you should get sufficient calcium from your diet or supplements. 99% of calcium absorbed by the body is stored in bones and teeth.How much ever calcium you take in your diet, it won’t get absorbed if you don’t have sufficient vitamin D levels in your body.Hence both calcium and vitamin D are essential for you. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption in the body. It helps to reduce the risk of fractures in elder patients. Adequate calcium with vitamin D3 intake as a part of well-balanced diet may reduce the risk of bone health. People who have digestive disorders that make it hard to break down and use calcium are also at a higher risk for calcium deficiency.

That’s why it’s important to try to get calcium from the food we eat. When we don’t get enough calcium for our body’s needs, it is taken from our bones.

What is Vitamin D and What Does it Do?

Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting your bones and your body requires it to absorb calcium. Children need vitamin D to build strong bones, and adults need it to keep their bones strong and healthy. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may lose bone, have lower bone density, and you’re more likely to break bones as you age.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

WOMEN AND MEN

Under age 50 – 400-800 international units (IU) daily**

Age 50 and above-800-1,000 IU daily**

Some people need more vitamin D.Vitamin D and calcium can be your best friends if you want to keep your bones healthy. Get the right amount and you’ll be less likely to break one or get a bone-weakening disease called osteoporosis.

To figure out how much vitamin D is right for you, you need to get familiar with something called an “international unit,” or IU for short. That’s how vitamin D is measured. For calcium, the amount you need depends on your age and gender

All adults 19-50: 1,000 milligrams

Adult men 51-70: 1,000 milligrams

Adult women 51-70: 1,200 milligrams

All adults 71 and older: 1,200 milligrams

Pregnant/breastfeeding women: 1,000 milligrams

Pregnant teens: 1,300 milligrams

How Do You Get Vitamin D and Calcium?

Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body, not all of them well-understood. You can load up on calcium from a lot of different kinds of food. For example, add some dairy to your diet, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Or try veggies like broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage.

Want a simple plan to get the recommended 1,000 milligrams a day? You can do it if you eat a packet of fortified oatmeal, a cup of fortified orange juice, a cup of yogurt, and half a cup of cooked spinach.

Another source of the nutrient is the sun. Your body makes it from sunlight. But you need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin, and that blocks your body from making vitamin D. Also, it can be hard to make enough from the winter sun, depending on where you live.

If you’re not getting all the vitamin D and calcium you need from food, you can get it from supplements.

What are some calcium deficiency signs?

Calcium deficiency symptoms (also known as hypocalcemia) range from minor – numbness or tingling of the fingers, muscle cramps,problems with proper blood clotting, lethargy and poor appetite – to more severe, including mental confusion, skeletal malformations, dermatitis, and in infants, delayed development in children’s growth and development. Illnesses such as osteoporosis (brittle, thin, porous bones that easily break) and rickets are also associated with a deficiency.

Who should consider calcium supplements?

Even if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you may find it difficult to get enough calcium if you:

Follow a vegan diet

Have lactose intolerance and limit dairy products

Consume large amounts of protein or sodium, which can cause your body to excrete more calcium

Have osteoporosis

Are receiving long-term treatment with corticosteroids

Have certain bowel or digestive diseases that decrease your ability to absorb calcium, such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease

In these situations, calcium supplements may help you meet your calcium requirements. Talk to your doctor or dietitian to determine if calcium supplements are right for you.

Reading Food Labels – How Much Calcium am I Getting?

To determine how much calcium is in a particular food, check the nutrition facts panel of the food label for the daily value (DV) of calcium. Food labels list calcium as a percentage of the DV. This amount is based on 1,000 mg of calcium per day. For example:

30% DV of calcium equals 300 mg.

20% DV of calcium equals 200 mg of calcium.

15% DV of calcium equals 150 mg of calcium.

In general, you shouldn’t take supplements that you don’t need. Calcium supplements are available without a prescription in a wide range of preparations (including chewable and liquid) and in different amounts. The best supplement is the one that meets your needs based on convenience, cost and availability. When choosing the best supplement to meet your needs, keep the following in mind:

Read the product label carefully to determine the amount of elemental calcium, which is the actual amount of calcium in the supplement, as well as how many doses or pills to take. When reading the label, pay close attention to the “amount per serving” and “serving size.”

Take most calcium supplements with food. Eating food produces stomach acid that helps your body absorb most calcium supplements. The one exception to the rule is calcium citrate, which can absorb well when taken with or without food. Calcium citrate works well on both empty stomach as well as with food and can be taken anytime.This is also found to be a better option for elderly folks,who has less stomach acid to absorb the product.

The total daily dose. Calcium is absorbed most efficiently when it’s taken in amounts of 500 milligrams (mg) or less at one time. So if you take 1,000 mg of calcium a day, split it into two or more doses over the day.

When starting a new calcium supplement, start with a smaller amount to better tolerate it. When switching supplements, try starting with 200-300 mg every day for a week, and drink an extra 6-8 ounces of water with it. Then gradually add more calcium each week.

Necessity of vit k with calcium. If you take oral vitamin D,you also need to take vitamin K2.Vitamin K2 helps to move calcium to proper areas where its needed and removes it from sites where it shouldn’t be present like arteries and soft tissues. When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move the calcium around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren’t realized. So, really, if you’re taking vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2.Vitamin K2 deficiency is one of the reason why people suffer from vitamin D toxicity symptoms which includes improper calcification leading to hardening of arteries.And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.

Choosing The Right Calcium – What About Supplements?

The science is clear: the kind of calcium you ingest is of utmost importance to your bone health.

Obtaining as much calcium as possible from foods is optimal, but it’s understandable that maintaining a high enough daily dose with foods alone is nearly impossible. So turning to supplements makes sense.

However, it’s crucial that the supplement you choose be bioavailable and easily absorbed. It should also be a fairly low dose, so you are not taking in more calcium than you can absorb. After all, high doses are not necessary if the maximum amount of calcium is being taken up by your system.Before taking calcium supplements make sure that there is a proper balance between calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2 and magnesium.Lack of balance of these nutrients can lead to calcium supplements related health risks such as heart attacks and stroke.Therefore,taking calcium supplement at right time and in a proper way can help us to stay healthy and fit.

Tonsils Swollen – How to Treat Tonsil Infection?

Are your tonsils white and swollen? Does it feel like someone has injected your throat with a vile of bee stings causing your throat to swell up like a balloon? If so, then you most likely have a tonsil infection.

Tonsil infections are usually classified into a bacterial or a viral infection. The most common symptom is inflamed or swollen tonsils, also called tonsillitis. However, you may also suffer from a fever, headache, ear ache, sore throat, chills and aches. You also mostly likely are having trouble tasting, swallowing and talking.

There are several different ways to treat tonsillitis depending on what type of infection it is. For viral infections, you can ease the symptoms by taking pain medication and throat lozenges. However, there are no prescribed medications for viral infections. Like a cold or flu the virus will go away after a few days.

You can help relieve the symptoms by bathing in Epson salts, which can stop the fever and aches. You can also drink plenty of veggie juice which will boost your immune system and help your body fight the infection. You can also mix pure boiled water with turmeric and pepper powder which can coat the throat and stop the pain. Or you can mix lime with salt and water which can also soothe your burning throat.

To treat a tonsil infection caused by bacteria, you will need to take antibiotics. First you need to visit your doctor who will take a throat swab to confirm the presence of the strep bacteria. He will normally prescribe you with penicillin which must be taken for the allotted time. If you only take the pills until you feel better, the tonsil infection may come back. You need to finish your pills, even if your feel 100 percent better after a couple of days.

Unfortunately, penicillin or not, some people are prone to recurrent or chronic tonsillitis. In some serious and recurrent tonsil inflammation cases, or when the tonsils are constantly getting infected, you may consider having your tonsils removed. This is also called a tonsillectomy. Although the procedure is considered safe, there are certain costs and precautions that you need to consider and discuss with your doctor.

So if you look in the mirror and notice that your tonsils are swollen, there is no need to panic. Get some rest and take care of your body so the infection can clear up and you can get back to your normal, swollen-tonsil-free self.