The More You Read, The More You Learn

Why learning is important..."It is critical that a company create the kind of environment in which people really believe they can learn, grow, and prosper. The focus has to be on developing people."


Google

Friday, March 28, 2008

Are You Satisfied With Your Search Engine Positioning?

If you have a website or blog, the bottom line is...you want to bring traffic to your sites. If you have a service to offer, a product or affiliate products, traffic means readers. Readers can turn into potential customers, which is most probably your goal. You may have the best content or a site with all the bells and whistles, but without traffic, who knows your site is even there?

I'm sure you realize a strategy that will accomplish your goal is Search Engine Optimization and it is a very important step in creating the traffic you want.

What strategies have you used? Are you happy with the results of your efforts? If not, it might be time to think about a professional service to provide the presence you want online and stand above the rest of the sites out there. The traffic that is not visiting your site is essentially going elsewhere and you are not only losing readers, but potential customers.

Brand Identity Guru provides expert SEO (search engine optimization) along with tracking and analysis capabilities. According to Brand Identity Guru, stats indicate that 70 to 80% of traffic comes from search engines like Google and Yahoo. If your site is not among the top 10, your site is not in front of the eyes of potential visitors.

You can expect from Brand Identity Guru the following strategies and SEO:

* A comprehensive web site analysis (goals assessment, target market profile, and surveys on industry status and past success)
* Assessment of your competition's search engine positioning
* Keyword and popularity breakdown
* Search engine optimized copy writing
* File name, meta and body tag optimization
* Manual submissions to search engines and directories
* Comprehensive review and analysis of performance
* Complete maintenance and monitoring services
* Research on link building opportunities and implementation
* Online promotions for your website

If you think it is time to consider professional help to gain top search engine positioning for your site(s), Brand Identity Guru might be just the expert help you need to accomplish your goals.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Climate Change: Long Term Effect on Water Supplies

The American Water Works Association gives a less than perfect picture of the effects of shifting global weather conditions on the United States and the world.

Some of their findings include:

· Precipitation will be less frequent but more intense, leading to increased flooding

· Periods of drought will increase, leading to increased risk of forest fires.

· Increased drought, flood and forest fires will negatively affect water quality. Drought increases sediment in reservoirs, while floods and forest fires can overwhelm downstream water sources with an onslaught of debris.

· Changes in snow pack, the melt season and run off will aggravate storage capacity deficiencies. This will then push water utilities to invest in increased storage capacity.

· Rising sea levels will cause salt water to intrude upon freshwater aquifers.

The report recommends that we create new water sources through recycling and desalination, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging conversation, and factoring the effects of climate change into long term planning.

Everyone just needs to pitch in with the many ways one can help our environment. We can make a difference

Comparison Shopping Saves Money

I recently needed to purchase a birthday gift and as usual, I did my shopping comparison before deciding where exactly to purchase the item. I decided on an electronics product and I searched until I arrived at a price that was to my liking.

I was able to save $79 for the same product other online sites were selling the item for. That is a nice chunk of change!

One comparison site is Digxa (dig for the best price). This site offers comparison shopping on home and garden products, electronics, computers, clothes, kids toys, jewelry and so much more.

Once you find the product you want to find the lowest price for, you click on the item. This will then bring you to a page where you will find all the online store listings. You can sort though these listings by product reviews or price. It will indicate a price range, product reviews and the number of stores selling the item you are interested in.

I suggest when looking to do a little online shopping to do your comparison pricing before you buy the first product you see. If looking for higher priced items such as computers or electronics, you will definitely save money. It is worth the bit of extra time to search for the lowest price.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Buying Foreclosures Can Be A Win-Win

Sales in the Real estate market have been booming for years, but now the majority of home sales have slowed down. We are in what is considered a 'slow market'. Homes are not appraising for what they once did, so the selling prices have dropped. You can no longer get the price you once wanted. There is a large inventory of homes for sale. The mortgage meltdown, where there are no longer hundreds of subprime lenders have an impact on the market.
The resets of adjustable mortgages have home owners scrambling to pay their mortgage each month, which is causing foreclosures to reach an all time high.

It can still be a good time to purchase property. Many first time buyers and real estate investors buy more real estate in slow markets because they are able to purchase properties at lower prices than previously possible. Now is a great time for sellers to offer Owner Financing, which would allow more buyers the opportunity to obtain home ownership. If the seller markets the 'deal' and not the house, more interested buyers will come your way.

If you are looking to purchase property in today's market, one might consider buying a foreclosure property. First-time home buyers are looking into foreclosures because this is an excellent opportunity to buy a house at a lower than market-value price.

If you approach a homeowner facing foreclosure, you can offer less than it's current market value, but still offer more than what they owe the bank. This can be a win-win situation for both parties. Take into consideration the state of mind the homeowner is in if facing foreclosure. This will not be a happy experience. Actually a very stressful time for them, but if they can sell their property before the actual foreclosure takes place, this may enable them to walk away with money in their pocket.

ex: A Home is currently appraised at $400,000. They owe to the bank approximately, 200,000.00 A buyer offers them $300,000.00. This home owner could actually walk away with $100,000.00. If their home went to foreclosure auction, they probably would not receive appraised value or receive extra money to keep in their pocket. They may only receive what they owe to the bank. If they tried to sell their home on the market, they may run out of time.

When a home owner is in the pre-foreclosure stage, potential buyers and/or investors will be able to do the most good for the homeowner and for themselves. Pre-foreclosure is where further damage to the home owner's credit rating can cease and the home may be sold before getting the lender involved. The best potential leads to locate a property at this stage is from a foreclosure database.

Browse The Country’s Largest, Most Comprehensive Foreclosure Database Free Today at RealtyTrac.com!


According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions were reported on 223,651 properties nationwide during the month of February 2008, a 4 percent decrease from the previous month, but still a nearly 60 percent increase from February 2007. The report also shows one in every 557 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the month.

RealtyTrac offers information on the buying and selling of foreclosed properties. They provide Coaching and learning services, which includes an education section, questions and answers, MLS listings, search by state and pre-foreclosure information.

A 7 day free trial offer can be found on their site enabling you to search over 650,00 properties. Once a member of this free trial, you can search the properties in the state you wish and receive all the property details.

RealtyTrac - Find A Great Home In Your Area

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Drugs in Our Water?

I do not regularly read the newspaper, but today someone left a copy sitting in front of me. A headline caught my eye, so I had to read the story. The headline read…’Drugs in water danger viewed as minimal’…what? Drugs in our water?

The article went on to say that the effect of prescription drugs in our drinking water is not known, but it is not likely a threat. Well, if the effects are not known, how and who says it is not threat? It continued with stating for the majority of people it is probably not a threat, but elderly and pregnant women could be more sensitive. The Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute at Rutgers University needs to determine whether or not there are areas where the concentrations of prescription drugs in the water are higher than just trace amounts.

A five month study was conducted and it showed that trace amounts of prescription drugs were in the drinking water. Approximately 41 million Americans are affected. The study’s report was released on March 10 and said the drugs detected were antibiotics, pain medications and heart treatments among others.

In northern New Jersey, trace amounts of metabolized angina medicine and the mood stabilizer carbamazepine were detected in the drinking water. In Philadelphia, 56 pharmaceuticals and byproducts were found in the city’s drinking water.

Prescription drugs are said to get into the water by people dumping unused drugs down the drain and medicine not completely metabolized and leaving through the human body waste. Also if a water supply uses surface runoff as a source can also contain trace prescription drugs. Chemical treatments are not able to remove all the prescription drug traces.

So…is our water even remotely safe to drink? What were your thoughts after reading this post?

Makes me feel uncomfortable knowing our water might not be as safe as I thought

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You Can Do More With Vodka

Seems there are other uses for Vodka than drinking it. Below are some alternative uses for Vodka...

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves adhesive.

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry.

6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxin s from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.

8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.

9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, re-freshable ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.

10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.

11. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.

12. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.

13. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

14. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.

15. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Opportunity is Knocking

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

TWO GLASSES OF WINE


There are different variations of this story, but the moral remains the same. This version is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy this story and remember the moral.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle... when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses
of wine...


AND THE STORY GOES...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items
in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very
large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf
balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that
it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them
into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the
open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if
the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if
the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the
table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling
the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you
to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things; your family, your children, your health, your
friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was
lost and only they remained, your life would still be full."

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job,
your house, and your car. The sand is everything else; the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "There
is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life."

"If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you
will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay
attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with
your children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your partner
out to dinner. Play another 18. Do one more run down the ski slope.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take
care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your
priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented. The professor smiled."I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem; there's always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend."

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Generation Gap in the Office

Have you ever wondered if how your co-workers communicate can be due by their generation?

The technological revolution may cause conflict in the office due to the pace in which change has occurred. Baby boomers and Traditionalists think about picking up the phone first, Generation X'ers tend to use email and Millenials may use texting.

If a business plan regarding etiquette is not in place, this can cause conflict among the 4 generations. If a company is solely concerned about the appropriate communication and is dominated by one generation, it may be time to re-evaluate and consider what the client wants instead.

Embracing the differences between the generations, you will find opportunity...it's not about right or wrong, or better or worse.

The 4 Generations: Which one are you?

Traditionalists:
(ages 63 plus - 5% of today's workforce)
* loyal, have faith in institutions
* value logic ad discipline
* slow to embrace new technologies
* want to build a legacy

Baby Boomers:
(ages 44-62 - 43% of today's workforce)
* Idealistic, question authority
* Competitive, seek out titles and recognition
* wary, but open to adapting new skills
* want to build a stellar career

Generation Xers:
(ages 28-43 - 42% of today's workforce)
* skeptical, distrustful of institutions
* resourceful and self-reliant
* highly adaptive to change
* want to build a portable career

Millenials:
(ages up to 28 - 10% of today's workforce)
* realistic, value-diversity and change
* globally concerned
* have fully incorporated tech tools into life
* want to build a meaningful career


According to PriorityMagazine.com, a 2007 study found that 65% of all business executives generally prefer to communicate via email, up from 34%
just 10 years ago

Source: PrioityMagazine.com

Thursday, March 6, 2008

News Update: Explosion in New York

Explosion Rocks NY's TImes Square

Damage to US Military Installation in Manhattan happened early today.

Read more HERE

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dealing With Difficult People

Do you find yourself dealing with a difficult person at work? I believe every workplace has drama...a difficult person or two that just makes being in the office exhausting.

You may find a difficult person acts in many different ways. They may just be generally obnoxious, affect more than one person, might attack you or undermine your reputation at work. Some talk constantly, the never ending gossiper that brings other people into the situation. Maybe they don't keep their work commitments and in turn, affect you. Do they make false allegations against you to a manager, just to gain a boss's positive opinion or are they fighting for more power or privilege?

Some difficult people always undermine you, which makes you feel as though you constantly have to watch your back. Some form cliques and leave you out, wanting you to feel as though you are powerless and alone.

Whatever situation a difficult person is creating, I think it needs to be addressed and not be ignored. If you chose to let it be, the constant conflict at work will not get better...it will only get worse.

If you find yourself in continual conflict and unable to handle the situation, you may be the one labeled as the difficult person. If you constantly just complain, your boss may see you as the one that is unprofessional and not able to handle a difficult situation, so he may consider replacing you.

Some ways to deal with a difficult person:

Ask yourself if you are the one who may be overreacting to the situation. Are you taking things too personal?
Make sure you are focusing on the person's actions, not on the person themselves.

Ask a trusted friend or co-worker to look at the situation from an objective view. Sometimes we can't see things clear while in an emotional situation. Ask for help to find ways to address the problem you are facing.

Ask the person to have a private conversation and discuss the experience. Starting each sentence with "I"...I feel this way...or I feel like... if starting the discussion with "YOU", it may come across as an attack. It may turn out the other person didn't realize how he or she was coming across or how you were interpreting the experience. Try to reach a positive agreement and move forward.

If you've made an attempt and did all you felt you could, then you can consider going to your boss. This will escalate the situation, but if you have had no success, this may be the next step. Stick to the issues at hand. Do not bring up personal issues you have with this person. Keep notes

You can also try to limit yourself from this person. Protect yourself, but protect the needs of the business.Do not hurt yourself in the process, but avoidance is an option.

If all else fails, you can consider leaving your position. You may ask WHY? I wasn't the problem, but you have to weigh the good with the bad. If the bad wins, leaving your present employment might be the only solution in terms of success and well being.

Have you come across a difficult person in your office? How did you handle the situation?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Set The Mood With Oysters

A topic that came up during some girl chatter were foods that are considered an aphrodisiac.

Oysters was on the top of the list. It's said that oysters enhance your mood, therefore creating passion. Why? I know oysters are good for your heart, so I guess anything that's good for your heart should help the rest of your body, right?

Since the Aphrodite tale stating she was born and emerged from the sea, this sexy shellfish has been thought about as an aphrodisiac.

Oysters are loaded with vitamins, Omega3's and contain testosterone-boosting zinc.

My first experience with oysters was while down at the beach, my friend was drinking a cocktail containing raw oysters, then for lunch oysters again. Hmmm, setting the mood for romance later in the evening?

Most people chose to eat Gulf oysters raw, but might be leery thinking they were not shipped or refrigerated properly. There's even a myth that oysters shouldn't be eaten during the warmer months and only eaten during the months that contain 'r's in them.

But today, processing has advanced and with technology such as the Post Harvest process, even at risk consumers can enjoy raw oysters. There are three post harvest treatments: individual quick freezing, low heat pasteurization or heat cool pasteurization or high hydrostatic pressure. With these new processes, at risk consumers can now enjoy with reduced risk of Vibrio vulnificus illness

So...go ahead...set the mood....dim the lights, eat your oyster stir fry and let the effects take over. Enjoy!

Oyster Stir Fry
Yields 4 servings

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-1/2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3/4 pound oysters, shucked and drained
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Mix cornstarch with one tablespoon of water in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add garlic, onion and ginger; stir-fry for approximately one minute. Add oysters, orange juice and soy sauce; stir fry for an additional 30 seconds. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until sauce just starts to thicken, about 1 minute more. Serve immediately with rice.


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