Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Featured Article - October 2010: No National Foreclosure Moratorium Needed to Move Housing Market from Crisis to Calm

By Raphael Bostic, Assistant HUD Secretary for Policy Development and Research

When I accepted the invitation to write a guest column for RealtyTrac in mid-summer, I fully expected to be writing about the continuation of months of improvement in the foreclosure environment and how the Administration was preparing for the next phase of our assault on the greatest crisis the U.S. housing market has seen since the Great Depression.

The experiences of the past few months have borne out this expectation, and we have seen real progress in the housing market.  Foreclosure starts are down by nearly 30 percent from the peaks of a year ago.  In the last 18 months, more than 3.3 million families have received restructured mortgages with more affordable monthly payments, which is more than twice as many foreclosures that have been completed during that time.  And a steady stream of foreclosure completions means that the backlog of distressed properties - the source of a gloomy overhang over housing markets across the nation - is starting to settle out.

Unfortunately, the recent revelations about foreclosure processing - that some banks may be repossessing homes of families improperly - have cast new clouds over this optimistic and hopeful landscape, and these warrant commentary.  The Administration clearly understands the threat this represents, both to general recovery efforts and, more importantly, to homeowners across the country who now fear that banks and servicers might be taking shortcuts that cause them to lose their homes.  That is why the Obama Administration is marshalling the resources of a broad coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies to examine the issue and take appropriate action if wrongdoing is found.

The importance of this is obvious - no one should lose their home as a result of a bank mistake.  Given the problems that have already been found and admitted to by some servicers, the Obama Administration fully supports the voluntary moratoria that are already in place and others should they be deemed necessary.

While voluntary moratoria have been established in many quarters, some have argued for the need to go further and impose a national moratorium to halt all foreclosures by every servicer in every state.  I do not favor this as a pre-emptive action, as it would likely do more harm than good.  Vacant and abandoned homes destroy the value of neighboring properties like almost nothing else, with their negative impacts being more than three times greater than the impacts of occupied homes just entering the foreclosure process.  Halting foreclosures would halt the resolution of these properties, hurting both the neighbors that must endure the continuing negative effects of a foreclosure sign near their homes as well as those who see these properties as opportunities to become homeowners, some for the first time.  And with foreclosed homes making up 25 percent of all home sales in some markets, a full scale moratorium would put a chill on precisely those housing markets that need these distressed properties to be sold and renovated in order to return to stable footing.

So, where does this leave us?  The recently passed Dodd-Frank legislation to reform Wall Street and banking represents a significant improvement to our banking and housing finance systems, and will help enhance stability and market efficiency.

Another way that stability and market efficiency are achieved is through the availability of high quality data and information about the markets themselves.  As you know, the Obama Administration has made data availability and transparency high priorities, with the belief that people make better decisions and judgments when they are armed with good data.  Through this housing crisis, RealtyTrac and other companies like it have been important sources of information about the incidence and prevalence of foreclosures, and have helped spark many conversations about foreclosures and how to heal the market.

**More Articles could be found in our "News and Opinion" section at RealtyTrac.com & also be sure to check out our channel on YouTube, where you'll find many more videos, including "How-To's" & Interviews and Specials:

RealtyTrac Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac's "News & Opinion" Section: http://www.realtytrac.com/content/

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making the Most Out of Your Thanksgiving Gathering

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? If so, have you thought about making sure your gathering is successful? Unfortunately sometimes when it comes to hosting a gathering such as Thanksgiving, there are many hosts who tend to worry more about their guests than themselves. While it is always important to make sure that your guests are enjoying themselves, why host a gathering if you cannot enjoy it as well?

When it comes to making the most out of your Thanksgiving get together, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that you, as well as your guests, have a good time. Perhaps, the easiest way to do this is to start planning and preparing early. Early preparation helps make sure everything is in order before your gathering gets underway which likely reduces or eliminates the stress associated with planning such an event. Examining all of your supplies ahead of time will help you notice whether or not something is missing. This eliminates that worry about having to run out for extra supplies just as your gathering is getting underway.

It is a good idea to start preparing your Thanksgiving dinner the day before. Of course there will be some items on the menu, such as the Turkey, that you will want to cook the day of your gathering, but there are other items that you could easily prepare and store in your refrigerator, such as deserts or the cranberry sauce. Limiting the number of tasks you will have to do during your gathering or the day of it will likely make it easier for you and your guests to enjoy the day.

In addition to starting your cooking early, it may also be a good idea to ask your guests to help you. While many hosts do not like to do this as they feel they are intruding, it is quite normal. Each year, a large number of party hosts, in fact, many ask for assistance from their guests. You will also find that many of your family members or close friends would be more than willing to help you with your Thanksgiving dinner whether they come to your home and help you cook or just bring a side dish that they prepared themselves, you will likely benefit from the help. The more help you receive, the less stressed you are likely to be and the less stress you will have, plus the more you should be able to enjoy your get together.

When you invite guests to your Thanksgiving gathering, it may be a good idea to ask them to RSVP either yes or no regarding their invite. This will without a doubt make it easier for you to plan and enjoy your Thanksgiving gathering because by knowing how many guests will attend, you should be able to get everything prepared early and on time. Of course, you will always want to prepare for a few extra guests, but by asking your guests to confirm their presence, your Thanksgiving gathering should be a lot easier to plan and enjoy.

As you can see, there are a number of steps that you can take to make planning and hosting a Thanksgiving get together easy and stress free. As previously mentioned, the less stress you have, the more likely you are to enjoy yourself as well as your guests. Also, whether you ask for assistance from your friends and family or start your preparations early, you should be able to enjoy yourself at your own Thanksgiving gathering.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Featured Article - September 2010: Favorable Financing on Fannie, Freddie

By Daren Blomquist, Staff Writer

A growing number of delinquencies and foreclosures on government-backed loans - combined with generous incentives for purchasing foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD - means buyers and investors will have plenty of opportunities in the coming months to pick up properties at bargain prices with low down payments and preferred financing.

The two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) - Fannie and Freddie - are acquiring real estate owned (REO) properties through foreclosure at a significantly faster pace than overall growth in REO activity based on RealtyTrac data from the second quarter.  Fannie Mae took ownership of 68,838 REO properties in the second quarter, an increase of 114 percent from the second quarter of 2009, while Freddie Mac took ownership of 34,662, a 58 percent increase from the previous year.

Overall, REO activity was up 38 percent over the same time period, according to RealtyTrac, and the two GSEs together accounted for 38 percent of the total 269,962 REOs reported by RealtyTrac in the second quarter.  Throw in the 23,435 foreclosed properties acquired by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through Federal Housing Administration-backed loans gone bad, and the three "Fs" accounted for 47 percent of all REO activity in the second quarter.

That's good news for homebuyers and residential real estate investors.

Indeed, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have acknowledged that these delayed foreclosures will increase in the months ahead. Moreover, Fannie, Freddie and the FHA all reported spiking pre-foreclosure sales, or short sales, over the past year - although the numbers of sales are still relatively low.  FHA reported a 161 percent increase, Fannie a 171 percent increase and Freddie a 179 percent increase.

Favorable Financing

Both the FHA and Fannie Mae have favorable financing for homebuyers and investors.

FHA financing is available on the HUD properties, including programs that benefit borrowers with less- than-ideal credit and require only a 3.5 percent down payment.  In addition, buyers may be able to take advantage of the FHA 203(k) rehab loan program, which allows an owner-occupant borrower to get one loan that covers both the acquisition and rehabilitation of a foreclosed property that is need of repair.

Fannie Mae offers special financing for both buyers and investors for many properties it lists for sale.  The special financing includes down payments as low as 3 percent, no mortgage insurance and no appraisal requirements.

And Fannie Mae and FHA have programs in place to encourage buyers and renters using a local Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), a federally funded initiative that provides grants to state and local governments, as well as non-profit developers, to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosure properties and offer down payment and closing cost assistance to low- to middle-income homebuyers.

Fannie Mae waives the 5 percent earnest money deposit requirement for individual homebuyers using public funds to purchase a Fannie-Mae owned property. Deposits can be as low as $500. In addition, buyers using NSP programs have 15 extra days for closing and the ability to renegotiate their offer after obtaining an NSP-required appraisal.

**More Articles could be found in our "News and Opinion" section at RealtyTrac.com & also be sure to check out our channel on YouTube, where you'll find many more videos, including "How-To's" & Interviews and Specials:

RealtyTrac Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac's "News & Opinion" Section: http://www.realtytrac.com/content/

Start searching for your next home today with RealtyTrac and save money. Join now!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Origin of Halloween Costumes

Remember as kids having had a great time donning Halloween costumes we either have made or our parents have bought or rented for us? We got together with the rest of the neighborhood kids and went door to door screaming “trick-or-treat!” like there was no tomorrow, leaving our voices hoarse the next day. Well, we have basically experienced it and now we let our kids practice it, but do we really know the origin of wearing Halloween costumes in the first place? Some of us may already know, but for those who don’t, here’s the story.

The origin of the celebration can be traced back to ancient Celts and the feast called Samhain. This was a festival held during the end of the harvest season and at the start of the Celtic New Year.

According to Celtic beliefs, this was the time of year when the spirits of the dead would go to the surface world and try to posses the bodies of the living for the coming year. To prevent there bodies from being possessed, Celts would light bonfires and dress up in all sorts of morbid costumes to try to discourage the spirits of the dead from entering their bodies.

However, the practice of donning costumes in America can only be traced to as recent as the 1900s. It was only in the 1930s that Halloween costumes began to be mass produced. The usual costumes that people rent or make are those of different monsters including but not limited to vampires, ghosts, ghouls, demons, witches, and skeletons.

Even if it is the night that evil is supposed to surface, “good” costumes are also a common choice among children and adults alike. In fact, princess, fairy, and angel costumes often times make it to the top ten of top Halloween costumes.

Also popular are pop culture costumes which mimicked famous personalities, fictional characters, celebrities including Lady Gaga or even Snookie, and even politicians have an equal share in exposure during Halloween. Women, no thanks to commercial advertising, have also found this a good time to wear sexy outfits to show off their bodies and sexual prowess, but that is another story.

Other costumes that seem to have a following include clowns, nurses (including provocatively portrayed), cats, and that lowly Halloween symbol, the pumpkin. Superhero characters are also fast becoming popular costumes no thanks to the comics and movie fever that have hit the silver screen in recent years. The demand for new and modern costumes have made costume makers busy and costume rentals fully booked.

The fact that Halloween costumes have become so diverse has caused the modern tradition to overshadow the earlier tradition that makes wearing costumes during Halloween different from other dressing up for the originating Celtic feast. That is where the concept of dressing up during Halloween has come to mimic the supernatural, the ghoulish being, or basically the scary stuff.

Nevertheless, who are we to keep traditions from adapting to the modern times? Things will always evolve. That’s just how things naturally work. We can’t simply insist on wearing only scary stuff during Halloween as creativity will play a role in this aspect and people will always crave new things.

So not withstanding the darker origins of wearing Halloween costumes, we and our children and their children will continue to celebrate this day for as long as there are goodies to share and creativity to spare.

With that what would you like to be for Halloween? Adults as well as children can wear costumes for this special day, and if you don’t have the creativity to make a costume, you can still be creative as far a dressing up.

Star Costumes has a variety of costumes available to don the character you or you child would like to be. Check them out here to see what you can be.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Featured Article - August 2010: How Wall Street Reform Benefits Foreclosure Buyers

By Peter G. Miller

With the passage of Wall Street reform now a done deal in Washington there are probably few people who did better than real estate investors. Stricter mortgage standards plus less federal emphasis on homeownership means there will be a new and growing demand for rental housing.

'In previous eras, we haven't seen people question whether homeownership was the right decision. It was just assumed that's where you want to go,' Raphael Bostic, a senior official with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, told the Washington Post. 'You're not going to hear us say that. What we've seen in the last four years, is that there really is an underside to homeownership.'

The change in government policies impacts the demand for investment real estate because a growing population combined with a smaller percentage of owner-occupants means more demand for rental property.

The Wall Street reform legislation homogenizes the mortgage marketplace and assures that there will be no shortage of conventional, VA and FHA loans. Lenders are entirely free to offer more exotic financial products, but only if they're willing to set aside reserves, eliminate prepayment penalties and face potent lawsuits from borrowers and mortgage investors enabled by the new standards.

For buyers and investors with proper paperwork and visible finances the new loan requirements will be a low hurdle, however, for many borrowers mortgage applications will suddenly become more difficult. Application reviews will stiffen and lender standards will rise, meaning that many loan applications will be declined. We're already seeing this with the new devotion to higher credit scores.

The tougher financing standards will create two results. First, there will simply be fewer buyers than might otherwise be the case. Second, there will be fewer buyers who can 'stretch' and afford a bigger mortgage for a given income. In the end these two factors will create less pressure to push up home prices.

Rentals & Foreclosures:
Since the end of World War II, we have had a steady need for additional rental units to accommodate a growing population. In 1950 we had a population of 153 million, a figure that will soon top 310 million. Now we have massive numbers of foreclosures adding to demand.

'For 2010, the midyear numbers put us on pace to exceed three million properties with foreclosure filings by the end of the year, and more than one million bank repossessions,' said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. 'The roller coaster pattern of foreclosure activity over the past 12 months demonstrates that while the foreclosure problem is being managed on the surface, a massive number of distressed properties and underwater loans continue to sit just below the surface, threatening the fragile stability of the housing market.'

Marketplace Changes:
Although there's plenty of property demand, that demand is not actionable. Individuals who might once have bought are effectively being shut out of the marketplace by such issues as tougher loan standards, unemployment, reduced wages, credit reports with major black marks and changing federal policies. And while such individuals may not have the financial muscle to buy a home, they often have sufficient income to afford a good rental.
Time & Place:
So is this the time to buy investment real estate, especially short sales and foreclosures? In many markets there's a fusion of discounted acquisition costs, historically-low interest levels, falling vacancy rates and rising rental rates. This doesn't mean specific real estate investments are attractive everywhere or for all buyers, but in areas where such trends exist and seem likely to continue this may well be an unusually good time to consider short sales and foreclosures, two ways to acquire discounted real estate.

Start searching for your next home today with RealtyTrac and save money. Join now!

Banks Delay Foreclosures and Pray Property Values Increase

Banks Delay Foreclosures and Pray Property Values Increase


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How Does Satellite Radio Work?

Satellite radio is one of the largest innovations in broadcasting since the introduction of FM. A satellite radio signal can be broadcast for more than 35,000 kilometers or 22,000 miles with a clear and high quality sound.

The idea behind satellite radio first appeared in 1992 when the Federal Communications Commission granted a spectrum of the S band (the 2.3 GHz frequency) for Digital Audio Radio Service. This license to broadcast in that band was allocated to Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio in 1997. Today there are three companies that provide satellite radio in the world: Sirius and XM in Northern America and WorldSpace in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Each of these companies offers a different broadcasting system since the radio signal of each is proprietary. This means you will need to purchase different hardware depending on your subscription to one of these companies. However, there are three components common to all satellite radio services: the satellites, the ground repeaters, and the radio receivers. Different satellite radio companies broadcast the radio signal in different ways. For instance, XM satellite radio uses geostationary satellites which have orbits synchronized with the movement of Earth. These satellites are located above the equator.

In order to allow subscribers to receive crystal-clear signal despite obstacles such as buildings, hills or bridges, XM satellite radio service has installed a network of repeater antennas that receive the radio signal from the satellites and retransmit the signal to the subscriber’s receiver. Sirius, on the other hand, uses satellites that have unique elliptical orbits around Earth. These orbits allow satellites to get higher in the sky than geostationary satellites and this prevents loss of signal. This is why Sirius has fewer terrestrial repeaters than XM.

Satellite radio services have digital broadcast centers where a huge amount of music in digital format as well as CD format is stored. Radio programmers have the task of selecting which song has to be played at which time. There are also a lot of studios managed by digital radio companies where artists perform live. All songs and material are transmitted to the satellites in digital format so that the signal contains very high quality sound. The signal is encoded by the satellite and then retransmitted to the repeaters antennas which then transmit the signal to the radio receiver which in turn decodes it and plays the sound. The entire process is very quick and reliable.

In addition, satellite radio would not be possible without digital compression. Digital compression is a technique that uses sophisticated algorithms to compress as much material as possible on the available bandwidth. Once you subscribe to a satellite radio provider you will need the appropriate radio equipment. Traditional radios cannot decode the signal received from satellites so you will need the special equipment.

The popularity of satellite radio has exploded due to much technological advancement that enabled manufacturers to offer the receivers at very attractive prices. The fact that satellite radio is commercial free for many of its channels is also a major selling point.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

How Vanessa Hudgens Started Her Acting Career

How did Vanessa Hudgens get started in her acting career? Born Vanessa Anne Hudgens on December 14, 1988 in Salinas, California, her looks can be attributed to her parents’ backgrounds. Her dad, Greg Hudgens, is an American with a Native American and Irish background while her mother, Gina, a Filipino, grew up in Manila with traces of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish blood.

Career Path

Vanessa was prone to the performing arts since she was a child. At eight years old, she got involved in musical plays. She was in the lead and supporting casts of plays such as "The Wizard of Oz”, "The Music Man”, "Damn Yankees", "Evita", "Carousel", The King and I", and "The Music Man”. Everything happened by chance for little Vanessa. Her first gig was a commercial, but she landed the part purely by accident. She went on the audition because her friend, who was supposed to audition, got sick and asked her to go in her place.

After completing seventh-grade at the Orange County High School of the Arts, Vanessa opted for a home school setup.

In 2003, her film debut was in the feature film "Thirteen", starring Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter. Vanessa also starred in "Thunderbirds", an action-adventure film, but Hudgens hit it big after playing the part of Gabriella in “High School Musical”, a Disney Channel original movie that was first released in 2006. That same year, she released her debut album “V”. In July of 2008, her second album “Identified” was released.

In addition to movies, she also had bit parts in television, including guest spots on TV shows such as “The Brothers Garcia”, “Still Standing”, “Quintuplets”, “Drake and Josh”, and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”.

Hudgens continued to play the role of Gabriella Montez in the two equally successful “High School Musical” TV movies, when she played the love interest of real-life boyfriend, Zac Efron. Their roles had given them the “Best Chemistry” award given by the Teen Choice Awards. The first movie also had a hit soundtrack, and it brought the group on a worldwide concert tour. A book series was also made out of it.

With all the success she has garnered, Hudgens became number seven on Forbes magazine’s top earning list of stars under 21. She was 18 years old at the time with an estimated $2 million of earnings. “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” was released on October 24, 2008.

She was also ranked 62nd of the Most Sexiest Woman on FHM, and she was also number 12 on Maxim’s 100 Hot List. She was also part of People magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People.

Life in the Spotlight

Her career was marked with controversy when provocative pictures of Hudgens proliferated on the Internet on September 6, 2007. The photos were passed through emails, mobile phones, and other devices. There were also rumors then that she would be pulled out from the High School Musical franchise because she was no longer fit to be called a model for the youth.

Above all that, however, everything was settled with Hudgens apologizing to fans and her family. After that, all is well again for this young superstar. Just looking back on how Vanessa Hudgens got started in her acting career will inspire young minds about this craft if they are planning on joining the bandwagon.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Tips on How to Help Your Children Finish Their Homework

Homework is always the point of contention between parents and their children after school. One side just wants to rest after a whole day of schoolwork while the other side wants their children to learn the value of hard work; therefore, that side wants them to complete the work assigned by their teachers when they get home. Homework is a necessary part of the school life and does not need to be something that parents and children will fight about. In fact, parents can even help their children with their homework without really providing the answers to it.

Here are some of the ways that you can do this. They are so obvious that you may already even be doing them with your children.

1. Put Value Into It

Children are logical beings. When you explain how important it is to do their homework, they will learn to place value into it. You can do this by rewarding your children for a job well done. Award them with toys that they like when they get into the Top Ten of their class or give them certain privileges when they make good grades.

Rewards do not need to be something material. They can be in the form of praises and words of encouragement. This is especially true for children who are sensitive or those who get frustrated easily.

You should be careful in giving too much reward because too much tends to make children focus more on the rewards than on the deed itself. That can be a problem because their motivation and their efforts to do things will depend on the reward. If they do not want the reward, they will not do anything, or worse, when there is no reward, children will feel it is not worth the effort. So keep it balanced, and then you can teach your child values in the process.

2. Make It Fun

Studying and doing homework may be serious, but you can make it fun too. You can do this by giving your children a special corner for themselves. Having a spot where they can work will emphasize the importance of studying and doing their homework. It also gives them something to look forward to so that they will be motivated to study.

Another way to make it fun is to inject games into the learning process. Create tests that they can answer as a review for their lessons. Also, create some guessing games or word games for their English and history lessons. You can also perk up the learning process by giving your children colorful and child-friendly reference materials. For instance, if you plan on buying an encyclopedia, don’t buy the heavy ones. Rather, purchase those that are age-appropriate with accompanying pictures.

You can also give your children access to the internet. Here, your children can find virtually anything that can help them with their homework. Of course, when doing this you have to make sure that there is an adult that will guide them.

This will help your children learn the importance of hard work, not only in school but also in their adult lives. Remember, skills begin to develop at an early age.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Safety Tips For Outdoor Grilling

Grilling Outdoors

When grilling, there is no better place to do it than outdoors. Food produced by grilling is complimented by the ambiance of simply being outdoors. However, grilling outdoors is not completely safe as it could pose some hazards to safety. In fact, there have already been serious cases attributed to outdoor grilling. Structure and outdoor fires are also some serious cases, and that is why with grilling, safety is an important issue.

So to make your grilling experiences safe, here are some important tips you should consider the next time you decide to grill.

Check Your Grill

If using a gas grill, always check for leaks each time you start grilling. Leaks can catch fire from the grill top and could cause very serious cases, so make sure there are no leaks. When doing this, make sure you don’t use a lighter to find where the leaks are. Take note that lighters are only to be used to start charcoal-type grills and never on gas grills, especially when testing for leaks. This would save you from a lot of danger.

Also, make sure your grill is stable and not shaking with the possibility of toppling over. The fire on the grill top can cause a lot of hazards if the grill topples over. In addition, make sure fire extinguishers and first aid kits are readily available. You never know what could happen while barbecuing, so it’s best to be safe and ready.

Check The Area

Make sure your outdoor grilling area is safe, and by safe, take a few measures. Mark the grilling area as a “no play zone” for your kids, and only allow them to get near if the grill has completely cooled down. Also, make sure pets are away from the grill at all times. Since it is an outdoor grill, the name itself already explains where it should only be used. It should only be outdoors at all times and never indoors.

The grilling area should also be away from objects that could catch fire and could easily spread it to the house itself, or even the bushes, trees and shrubs. Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from any of those places. The grill should be isolated and ideally should stand alone away from everything else in the backyard. The grill should also be kept away from electric cords and outlets because having the latter two exposed to heat can have them explode and catch fire.

Other Guidelines

When grilling, never leave the grill alone while the fire is still burning. Even if a long process would not have you on the food, you should still make sure you are carefully watching the grill at all times. Also, make sure you use long utensils while grilling because not only are you more versatile while on the grill with them, but you are also safer from burns you can get from the grill. Make sure you also watch what you wear.

Shirts or aprons with tails or frills that are hanging can catch fire. As much as you want to enjoy grilling, you also want to be safe. The guidelines provided to you here should be of great assistance.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Prepare for the worst hurricane in the best way possible

Believe it or not, the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines of the United States are regularly battered by hurricanes – about five on average – about every 3 years.

It is a fact that hurricanes bring about a lot of windy conditions, some of which are as strong as a hundred miles an hour. Hurricanes also come with water surges that reach as high as twenty feet.

Such cyclones are extremely dangerous; therefore preparing for their onslaught, especially during the months of June up until November, is a smart and practical thing to do.

The following are tips and advice you could do to best prepare for the worst situation that could happen when hurricanes come.

Be aware and beware

Understand and know that every hurricane is different. Preparing for possibly the worst is usually the best option as it makes one prepare and become pro active.

Make a list and check it twice

Make a list of all the items found in your backyard or front yard that you think you need to bring inside a hurricane hits. Items you could include in your list are yard tools or lawn furniture.

Trim it

As much as possible, keep shrubbery and trees trimmed. Doing so prevents any unnecessary entanglements brought about by tree branches or the like. Remember what happened during Gustav?

Drain it

As much as possible, ensure that all gutters as well as drains area are appropriately cleared. This is to prevent further flooding, especially during bouts of long and heavy rainfall that usually accompany strong hurricanes.

Use shutters specifically designed for hurricanes

Using permanent shutters for doors and windows is much safer and a better alternative that simply taping all the glass as doing the latter does not in any way prevent the glass’ breakage. You could also protect the window from the outside by using plywood or the shutters.

Plan for an evacuation

As much as possible, develop an evacuation plan. Try to communicate with your local emergency management chapter or Red Cross office.

They may be able to provide you with an evacuation route as well as nearby shelters.

Prepare blankets

Have sleeping bags and blankets ready just in case there is a need to rush to a shelter.

Think about your pets too

Know in advance what you to do to take care of your pets. A lot of animals were abandoned during the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina.

Gather necessary emergency supplies

As much as possible, prepare supplies beforehand. This list of supplies should include flashlights, batteries, a radio, water and food, first aid kits, and a can opener.

Also, turn the temperature on your fridge to the highest setting. The reason for this is when the power goes off, the cool air of your fridge will get to stay a lot longer, thereby preserving your food a lot longer.

Elevate your home and furniture

It is also a good idea to elevate your house especially if hurricanes and flooding are common in your area.

All in all, preparing for the worst is always the best course available. It could save you precious time and energy as well as possibly save your life as well as that of your loved ones.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do You Have A Positive Attitude? Take this Quiz

Reconfirm and enhance you knowledge on positive attitudes. The following five questions will help you.

1. Am I happy being where I am today?

This is a trick question without a standard answer, but knowing how to deal with it is crucial. Believing you are happy can actually increase your happiness and contentment and give you the confidence and positive attitude for anything you wish to achieve. So do not simply wish to be happy, but come out and believe that you really are. Enjoy life and be thankful for the little things in life and see what a difference it makes.

2. Am I appealing to the opposite sex?

Even if you do not have an answer for this, it shouldn’t stop you from doing anything you wish. So start shaping up by changing your dressing style or hairdo, your attitude towards people or life, and do it as if you were appealing, and it shall conduce to your benefit. Remember what matters most is how well you can carry it off rather than exactly what you are trying to carry off.

3. How much could I have?

Operative here is not a standard that could define having too much or having too little, but rather how the question of how badly you really need or want it. This boils down to asking yourself what, and how much, you are willing to work and sacrifice for something you think you want. If you really are willing to sweat for it, no matter what, work towards what you have set your heart on and the sky is the limit.

4. What motivates me?

Human desires are endless, and there are infinite variations to the things that make people happy. If you do not know what drives you or sets your pulse racing, approach life like a buffet service. Try everything piece by piece until you locate your favorite dish.

5. What Really Makes You Tick?

Understanding what really makes you tick is not only being able to define your goal but also the path you seek to chart towards that goal. So identify what you really want and what you are willing to do for it. It’s all about knowing yourself. Own your limits and do your own cost benefit analysis rather than any very profoundly philosophic quest.

Think about these five questions, and you will be well on your way to a positive attitude!

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Planning a Backyard Barbeque Party

Since 4th of July weekend is coming up, I thought this would be a good read.

If you regularly barbeque, you are not alone. Barbeque grilling is a popular American pastime, and while many individuals barbeque for their family, not everyone decides to host a backyard barbeque party.

If you like socializing and sharing good food with your friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors, you may want to, at least, think about planning a backyard barbeque party.

Backyard barbeque parties, like most other parties, require planning. While the planning associated with a backyard barbeque is not as large as most other parties, it is still important. Proper planning, including for a barbeque, will help to ensure that your party is the best that it can be. For that reason, you may want to start making party plans as soon as you make the decision to host a party.

Since backyard barbeque parties are centered on food, you will want to think about what to serve. To please all of your party guests, you will want to have a fairly large selection of meats. This will help you be sure that all of your party guests are able to eat what they like. In addition to meats, you may also want to think about side dishes. Popular barbeque party side dishes may include, but should not be limited to, tossed salads, macaroni salads, coleslaw, and fruit salads.

In addition to the foods you will serve, you may also want to plan how you will prepare those foods. Of course, the purpose of a barbeque party is to grill the foods then, but most of the side dishes will need to be prepared ahead of time. Plus you will need to prep your meats ahead of time; you may want to marinate. To ensure that your side dishes are prepared on time, you may want to start cooking them the day before your barbeque or earlier that morning. If you are having a large party, you will need to prepare a large amount of food. In this case it may be a good idea to have party guests bring a small side dish.

Aside from the main food served at your barbecue, you may also want to think about drinks and snacks. For a reasonable price, you should be able to purchase an amount of different snacks and drinks for your barbeque. Great snack ideas include crackers and cheese, cookies, chips, and pretzels. For drinks, you need to decide as to whether or not you want alcoholic beverages served at your party. Regardless of whether or not you choose to serve alcohol, you should be able to purchase your party drinks from most supermarkets.

While backyard barbeques center on food, additional activities may be a good idea. At most department stores, you should be able to find a number of affordable toys or backyard activities. Many individuals, especially teens or adult males, enjoy playing sports, so football, basketball or horseshoes may be great activities to add to your backyard barbeque. If children will be attending your party, you may want to have child friendly games on hand.

If you have a pool, it’s a good idea to incorporate a pool party into your backyard barbeque; however, it is optional. If you are planning on allowing your party guests to use your pool, you may want to think about establishing some rules. These rules should focus on pool safety and children in the pool. While establishing rules at your barbeque may seem like a bad idea, it is not, especially when it comes to pool safety.

Of course, you will also want to invite your guests to your party. This can be done with formal invitations, a quick phone call, or a quick email. In addition to informing guest of your impending barbeque party, a guest list may also help you prepare for the big day.

Search Amazon.com for Backyard Barbeque

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finding the Best Music Download Service for Your iPhone

Ever since the iPhone hit the market, people have become crazy about it. In fact, iPhone sales today are still skyrocketing and people are still buying it, even as the device itself upgrades! So, just what makes iPhone so popular among the masses?

For starters, the iPhone has a lot of capabilities no other phone has. With a touch screen LCD, you don’t have to fiddle with keypads anymore. Plus it has amazing graphics that will blow you away. The LCD itself is considered the largest in mobile phones, and you can clearly see movies in it without having to squint your eyes to see the details of the movie or the video you are watching.

The Apple iPhone also allows you to go online through WiFi internet access. You just have to be inside a WiFi hotspot, and you will be able to surf the internet with your iPhone.

The best thing about the iPhone is that it also functions as an iPod, which allows you to listen to your favorite tunes while you are on the go.

So basically the iPhone is a hybrid between iPod and a cell phone.

So with music playing capabilities, you may want to know which website you should visit to download your favorite music.

To start downloading music in to your iPhone, it is always safe and legal to go for a paid website. Although you will need to pay a subscription fee in order to download your favorite tunes, you can rest assured your computer as well as your iPhone will be safe from malicious programs, computer viruses, and spyware. Also, you can be sure that it is 100% legal since most free music download websites are P2P websites that are known to be dangerous and illegal.

So for a minimum subscription fee, you will be able to download your favorite music to your iPhone safely and legally.

When searching for a website to download your music, you might want to join a website that offers a variety of download options. You have to make sure they have a huge library of music files available for download. You also need to remember that some people may like pop music while you may not. You should go for a website that offers a variety of music genres, such as pop, rock, acoustic, nu-metal, emo, classical, and others.

Another important thing that you should look for is the download interface. Is it easy to understand and operate? Is it easy to navigate from file to file? Always make sure that the interface is simple to use so you can make the most of your download time. Also, make sure that the download speed is fast enough so it won’t take you an hour just to download a single song with a high speed internet connection. In fact, it should only take you 2 to 4 minutes or even less depending on your connection speed to download a song.

Lastly, look for an after-sales customer support service on the website where you plan to download your music for your iPhone. Technical support is important as there will be times where you may need help to troubleshoot when you are facing difficulties with your downloads as well as your iPhone.

Remember these tips and you can be sure that you will be able to find the best music website to download your favorite tunes for your iPhone.

Search Amazon.com for Music Downloads for iPhone

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Children and Craft Projects

Are you a parent who finds that one of the most rewarding things that you can do with your children is to do craft projects together? People who work with children on a regularly basis are able to benefit greatly from the world of crafts. Craft projects will help children show their creativity as well as the ability to show off some new skills. You don’t even have to be creative with crafts to enjoy making things with your children.

What you will want to do is to make sure that the craft projects you do with your kids are appropriate for their age and their skill level. This can be difficult when you are working with a number of children in a classroom setting, or when you’re working with your own children and there are multiple skill levels. It can be difficult to find a project that you can work your way into more sophisticated techniques, but the most important part of craft projects is something that you will be able to enjoy with your children.

When we were children, one of the most basic craft projects we learned to do was coloring with crayons and markers. This is a great easy project to do with children because you can find many educational coloring books. Instead of just having simple construction paper pictures on your fridge, you may want to think about encouraging your child to do more intricate projects. Use them to decoupage or make them into greeting cards. Grandparents love getting birthday cards featuring drawings from their grandchildren!

You may want to research some fun projects for you to teach your children. An example of such would be about the importance of recycling and how they can use recycling to make beauty objects. For example, use newspapers to do paper mache projects and create candles out of old crayons. You should be able to go online and purchase some craft books to give you ideas on how to recycle things like tin cans and tissue boxes (things you would normally throw away) and make beautiful projects out of them.

It is important to do projects that are safe for children. You will want to keep in mind that your child is still developing mentally and physically. Therefore you do not want to subject them to harmful chemicals that may make them vulnerable or worse, hurt them. Learn which chemicals to avoid and check the labels! This is especially important for paints, glues, and modeling clay. Make sure to watch younger children very carefully, since even non-toxic substances can be harmful if they get into your child’s eyes and, in any case, can be difficult to remove from carpets and walls!

If you are not really into craft projects, you may want to change your mind even for the sake of your children. You will find that the craft projects don’t have to be expensive, messy, or even difficult. They can be simple, but because you are doing them with your children, they can be extraordinary. If you notice that your child is taking a real interest in arts and crafts you may want to get them enrolled in classes so that they can enhance their skills and embrace that aspect of their world.

Search Amazon.com for Children and Craft Projects

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Motivation to Exercise

Exercise is a do-it-yourself venture. Neither anyone else nor a machine can do it for you. This is why it is important for someone who is into exercise to have the motivation to stick with a routine for better health and fitness, not to mention self-confidence.

This is what those who are not in the best shape should understand. Although it is easy to follow a set of instructions, this is not the case for almost 35% of Americans who are unable to get in shape.

Of course, once we become out of shape, we usually want to change that for a whole lot of reasons. Some reasons are related to physical condition and fitness, while others want to enhance their physique and appearance. It’s important to note that it is never too late to be fit.

In the past 50 to 75 years, physical activity has become the exception rather than the rule, whether at home and on the job. People tend to drive where others once walked. People also tend to flip a switch, and machines do the hauling, lifting, pushing, and pulling for them.

However, people who try to lose weight tend to believe that weight gain is likely to happen if they will not start taking the steps to stop it.

The point is that health experts believe people lose their way, especially when it comes to dieting. These people tend to go back to their old eating habits even after learning to enjoy low-fat eating. In addition, they tend to return to inactive ways even though they enjoy exercising.

But despite the momentum toward weight gain, experts say you can stop it from happening. There are plenty of good reasons to avoid excess pounds, reasons that go beyond vanity or social appearance. There are many reasons for you to keep motivated to exercise and to stay healthy for the span of your life.

Below are ways to stay motivated to lose big for better health, fitness, and self-confidence:

1. Have an Explicit Goal

A statement like, “I want to lose some weight,” is ambiguous and indefinite. It is not enough to motivate you to start exercising right away.

It is important to be precise with your goals. It is better to set a detailed and realistic amount of pounds that you like to lose. Envision yourself what you will look like after reaching your desired weight. This will inspire you to lose weight, in fact; maybe even more than what you have originally planned. The idea is to use that figure to assist you to remain resilient and dedicated.

2. Develop a Strategy

Strength of will does not work alone! If you are to exercise and stay with the routine, your strategy must comprise of both exercise and diet. One or the other will not work.

Start motivating yourself by tossing out the clothes that have bigger sizes. This will put you in a situation where you only have your smaller sizes and you will have to make a choice by staying motivated to exercise or else. Which would you rather?

3. Make Small, Assessable Measures

Practice actions that will suit your lifestyle. This means implementing moves that you and you alone will benefit from and not somebody else.

The idea is to opt for a more positive and attainable goal and not just to shun away from being plump and chubby.

4. Produce Monitoring that has an important effect

It’s a good idea to have somebody to monitor your progress and development. This will inspire you to continue doing what you have started. Having somebody listen to your achievements is definitely a better prize than just achieving your goal alone.

Besides, it’s assuring having an extra hand to support and cheer for you when things start to fall short. It is the idea of hearing somebody believing in you and what you do that is one of the greatest motivations for you to keep exercising more.

5. Construct a Vigorous, Sensible Timeline

What do you plan to achieve in the next year? Suit your objectives to your calendar, and do not look forward to seeing the results in a snap.

The bottom line is that staying motivated to exercise entails a lot of hard work, which is contrary to what most people believe. The main idea is to let people change their lifestyle because it is only through this way that they will absolutely change themselves for the better.

Search Amazon.com for Motivation to Exercise

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reasons For Making Your Own Beer At Home

Did you know you can make your own beer at home? Whether it’s a family project or a personal hobby, it can be fun and easy. However, many people do not understand why others make their own beer. They wonder why they would want such a big mess and all that clutter that comes from creating their own brew. These are people who think it is just easier to go to the store and get what they want when they want it. Well you know what? This is not about the convenience or the cost of getting beer at the store.

The real reason why a lot of people make their own beer is because it can be fun and exciting. This is something people do as a hobby as well as keep busy. Some people create their own brew because they have never tried it before and would now like to try the experience.

There are many different recipes for making beer that have been handed down through different generations of families. People are using recipes their ancestors have used and seeing if they can do what they did and creating great tasting beer. Many of these recipes are easy to follow and have ingredients that are easy to find. In addition, there are different things people can buy to make their beer-making experience more exciting.

With the right kit and the right beer-making recipe, anyone can try making their own great tasting beer. Even if it is a one time thing, it will be worth seeing if they can create a beer that is just as good as the stuff that is purchased in the store. You can create anything with the supplies that you can find in a store or online.

Buying brewing kits is going to make it easier for a lot of people. You can get everything that you need with this kit, and it will make your beer brewing easier. Finding these kits will make the beer brewing adventure even more fun for someone that has not yet had the opportunity to try making their own beer.

Learning how to make your own beer is easy. Go online and get the facts and tips you will need to get started on making your own beer. Many tips and advice you can use can be found by checking out beer brewing articles online, such as the article you are reading now. You can use this information to get creative and find a new past time in making your own beer.

Search Amazon.com for Beer Making at Home

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rep Schroder's HB 1296

You can see from this article that a Louisiana House Committee has advanced legislation on this bill. http://www.2theadvocate.com/blogs/politicsblog/93031814.html

Below are details of what has occurred:

Sent: Monday, May 03, 2010 2:32 PM
Subject: Rep Schroder's HB 1296

Below is a letter and reply between Tom Aswell and Rep Schroder concerning Rep Schroder’s HB 1296 which would require taking leave for holiday’s for the next fiscal year. I think you will find it very interesting and I hope you will respond by either calling or emailing Mr. Schroder’s office. The phone number is 985-893-6262 and the email address is schrodej@legis.state.la.us.

I spoke with Mr. Aswell this morning he sent me this link that his letter which was posted on Dead Pelican.com (http://www.thedeadpelican.com/) he also told me it was published in the Jena, Ruston and Eunice newspapers, sorry I don’t have the dates.

Appreciate your time and hope that your will forward this to all you know who are State Employees.

From: Tom Aswell
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:35 AM
Subject: Schroder

Mr. Schroder responded to me last night. Here is his response (My reply to his email is below in larger, black type):

From: Schroder, Rep. (Chamber Laptop) [mailto:jschrode@legis.state.la.us]
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 11:53 PM
To: 'azspeak@cox.net'
Subject: RE: Rep John M. Schroder, Sr.

You have me confused with someone else!

Thanks for the info.

Now, bear in mind, this email was sent from his House chamber laptop and was tagged Rep. Schroder.

That was about as lame a response as I’ve ever seen from anyone. Here is my reply to his email:

I don’t think so; you’re the only Schroder in the House and you’re the only one authoring those civil service bills. And I notice you sent this from the House Chamber laptop. Gee, who else could it possibly be? Oh, and by the way, I did later learn that you don’t make $145 per diem, but $159, effective last Oct. 1. That’s a 9% increase while you were busy eliminating state employees’ 4% merit increases. And the House doesn’t meet on Fridays, either, so you (and every other legislator) owe the state a $5,883 refund for the 37 days you aren’t going to be in session this year but for which you will be paid.

(This shows the elusiveness of Politicians denying what laws they are trying to introduce)

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:15 AM
To: Tom Aswell

If you are the person that wrote this we (my friends and I), think you are just awesome!!!!

This was written by a state worker to Mr. Schroder, were do I sign this guy up to run for office.

Mr. Schroder:

You have my heartfelt sympathy for failing to get that state police job you so desperately wanted a few years ago. But I fail to see why you would wish to exercise your frustrations by pursuing a vendetta against honest, hard-working state civil service employees. After all, it wasn’t us who rejected your application; that was someone who knew you far better than we. I certainly do not understand why you would:

(a) Wish to have the full legislature assume “full authority to provide for pay increases for persons
in state service.” After all, you don’t know bean dip about the quality of my or any other state
employee’s work. How can you possibly be so arrogant as to assume you are more qualified than my
department head to evaluate my job performance?
(b) Wish to punish state civil service employees by forcing them to use annual and sick leave for legal
holidays. State salary levels for classified employees generally range below that of our
counterparts in the private sector. For example, I make less than $60,000 per year while those
who do similar work in the private sector average between $80,000 and $100,000. You and the
other 143 “hard-working public servants” in the legislature make $16,800 per year in salary; an
annual (un-vouchered) expense allowance of $6,000; a free laptop computer for the Capitol and a
free desk top computer and free high speed internet service and up to three telephones for your
district office; $2,000 to $3,000 per month for salaries of legislative aides who, you may recall,
are unclassified employees (oh, and by the way: legislative aides who are already at the $3,000
salary cap receive an automatic 4% raise for each year of service after reaching $3,000); a
supplemental office allowance of up to $1,500 per month; and legislators who are already in a
public retirement system or whose service in the legislature pre-dates 1997 are eligible to
participate in the state retirement system and get this: they retire at 3.5% of their annual salary
for each year served whereas we pampered, spoiled, lazy, and unappreciative state civil service
employees get 2.5% of our annual salary. Hell, I can see why you wish to bring us in line. Each
member of the legislature (excepting House Speaker, Speaker Pro Tem, Senate President, and
President Pro Tem, who get even more), in addition to the salaries, expenses, computers, office
allowance, phone lines, etc. also makes $145 per day in per diem for legislative sessions. Now I
know that you have just started the even-year, 85-day regular session. But what most people do
not know is that you get that $145 per diem even on weekends and holidays when you are not in
session. That comes to 12 Saturdays, 12 Sundays, and Memorial Day. The Senate doesn’t even
meet on Fridays; that’s another 12 days. So here’s what I would propose if you insist on pushing
HB1296: You and every other House and Senate member refund $145 for each day you don’t meet.
That comes to $380,625 for the house ($3,625 per member and $209,235 for the Senate
($5,365 per member), or a combined total of $589,860 that you are overpaid. (Actually there are
many who feel you are overpaid for every day of the 85-day session, but I’m giving you the
benefit of the doubt.) Can you believe we pay 144 legislators more than $1,780,000 to consider
such weighty measures as Saints license plates, registering antique boats, consideration of
whether or not anyone may seek political office after reaching 70 years of age, allowing the sale
of athletic event tickets for more than face value, and other such drivel?
(c) Wish to terminate 4% pay increases for civil service employees while ignoring pay raises of 4.5
to 4.9 percent for state judges. These raises, unlike civil service increases, are statutorily
automatic. While I’m at it, allow me to let you in on a little secret you obviously have not bothered
to research: Those so-called automatic 4% raises for civil services are anything but automatic.
Not everyone gets them. Moreover, once an employee maxes out all his allocated pay increases for
his pay grade, there are no more raises. Period. The employee only resumes qualifying for
increases if he or she is promoted, which may or may not occur. There have been no cost
of living increases for years.
(d) Wish to terminate the State Civil Service Commission and the Department of State Civil Service
(HB753). Civil Service was created as a means of preventing politicians (like yourself) from
intimidating state employees into campaigning for or being forced to contribute to candidates. In
fact, civil service employees are expressly prohibited from participating in political campaigns on
behalf of any candidate. This is another trade-off we accepted when we began our careers as civil
service employees, but it is a good law. If you succeed in abolishing civil service, you will leave
tens of thousands of state employees exposed to intimidation and to a return to the “deduct box”
spoils system mentality where job security depends upon political allegiance. As recently as 1983,
a newly-elected superintendent of education attempted to clean house at the Department of
Education. Only the Civil Service Department protected those employees whom the new
superintendent wanted to replace with his own hand-picked political allies.

Don’t try to invoke the cost savings argument; in my office, when an employee making approximately $27 per hour (or less) leaves, we are unable to fill his or her position. The only recourse is for our office to retain contract workers to perform their jobs—at $50 per hour. Saving money? I think not. We were forced to sell off our fleet of vehicles that are needed for several of our employees on a daily basis. If they take their own vehicles, they are paid a maximum of $99, no matter the distance traveled. Again, the only recourse is to lease a vehicle from Enterprise
Car Rental at $35 per day. At 20 days per month, that’s $700 per month. The last time I leased a vehicle, my lease payments were $325 per month.

By now, you have obviously (or maybe not; I think you may be a few croutons short of a salad) figured out that I am a state civil service employee. But if you think you can threaten me with my job, think again; I am preparing to retire and I really don’t care if it’s today, next week, or next month. I am a firm believer in representative government but I abhor political rhetoric and grandstanding—especially from someone taking his marching orders from Booby Jihad or anyone else.

If civil service is abolished as you—excuse me, as the governor—wishes it to be, some 60,000 civil service employees and their families will be free to campaign and to make political contributions on behalf of political candidates. I’m reasonably certain many of them will remember the legislators who tried to put them into the unemployment lines. People do, after all, vote with their wallets. By the time the next election rolls around, I will be long retired, so you may rest assured I will personally campaign for your opponent in return for the way you have wantonly painted every public employee with the same broad brush and to heartlessly ignore the effect your actions will have on thousands of dedicated, if disgruntled (you expect us to be gruntled?) employees and their families.

All because you didn’t get your state police job. How pitiful, petty, and childish.

Tom Aswell
107 North College West
Denham Springs, Louisiana 70726

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Laws of Attraction Help in Personal Development

The Laws of Attraction can be very crucial when trying to understand your personality and its development. Success and failure are just parts of life and should be taken in the same spirit.

The ideal thing is to take all your failures and turn them into life lessons. Use these incidents to understand your limitations and what you did wrong so you do not repeat them in the future. This is how you pave the way for success.

Also, deal with your failures as and when they occur. Keeping them locked inside you and dragging them along wherever you go will only complicate your present and future.

What you think is what you are. This is one of the most important laws of attraction. If you are always surrounded by negativity, pessimistic thoughts it will only hamper your growth and personal development.

Below are some things you should consider and seek out if you are working towards a positive personality:

Learn you accept yourself the way you are. You may have shortcomings and limitations, but so does everybody else. If you can’t love yourself, how will you love and accept other people? This is one reason relationships do not work out and why others have trouble starting or building relationships. No matter how many things are going wrong around you, learn to take control. The moment you start self-pity is the moment you have already lost half the battle.

Even if you are surrounded by people with a lot of negativity, don’t let that get to you. Try and make those people see the brighter side of life if possible. Moreover, learn to step away as and when they start getting to you.

No matter how screwed up things are, tomorrow will be a new day and a new beginning. Stop mulling over your failures and try fixing things the best you can.

It’s important to set goals for yourself, but make sure they are realistic goals. Also reward yourself as and when you achieve desired results.

Learn to have self-confidence. If you are sure about what you want go ahead and go for it. Don’t let anything put you down or stand in your way.

Developing your personality means discovering your weaknesses and working on them. Learning from your failures and making sure you don’t make the same mistakes over and over is crucial.

Finally, learn to be good to yourself and do things that make you happy. If you are good to others then you would attract the same kind of behavior and people. Learn to be positive and happy and everything will start looking up.

Search Amazon.com for Laws of Attraction

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Benefits of Boxing Training for Fitness

You can improve your health and get physically fit by getting into a boxing training fitness program. Experts say this is the best way to get a stronger body and gain confidence. Boxing workouts can also help to get you in your best fighting form.

Many see positive results from boxing training programs. You can build stronger and more defined arms and legs, and these programs can also help you gain a sense of inner strength and emotional balance.

Boxing training programs got across to the mainstream of physical fitness training a few years back. Some of the benefits of these boxing training workouts include cardiovascular and the toning of the muscles. Tae-Bo workout videos have also popularized these boxing and kickboxing exercises.

Cardio boxing training and innovative variations of sparring jabs, power punches, defense, and fitness have all blends of aerobics exercises. You learn the proper execution of the punch and kick combinations for a more intensive workout that can help you become stronger and more confident.

The combinations you perform on the blocks, jabs, and kicks are executed to an imagined opponent. You may see classes where participants throw punches and kicks on the air. You will also find training camps that have quality equipment such as punching bags, and you may also have the option of getting a partner that has padded hands.

You may also enjoy additional benefits aside from the physical aspects of boxing trainings. Cardio kick boxing workouts allow you to burn 350 to 500 calories in just one hour. These workouts also help in maintaining the heart rate at a 75 percent to 85 percent regular beat. This has been proven to be good and is the recommended range if you are exercising or training.

Moreover, these boxing training programs help improve your speed, resistance, and strength. Flexibility and the reflexes of the muscles are also enhanced. In addition, repetitive motion on arms by sparring and jogging while you punch helps your arms and legs gain strength and power.

These workouts also enable your joint movements to build very efficient fitness results, and the movements require you to develop balance and coordination that enables your body to be stable and maintain good form.

The physical benefits you gain from boxing and kickboxing are just a few of the many benefits that they can provide. You will also be able to learn more about defense mechanism skills which you may use in case of unwanted instances. You will also feel the satisfaction when you punch or kick, and you will develop relaxation and self-motivation.

Another benefit is feeling a sigh of relief as well as the feeling of being released from stress. It feels good having cleansed all the stress that has built up inside, not to mention getting rid of any anger that is inside of you. Once these things are released, you may feel lightness into your body and peace of mind as well.

Many aerobic and fitness experts recommend boxing training for beginners as this allows one to work out at a desired pace and body condition. Boxing classes also let you to push yourself to the limit as long as you are safe and well conditioned.

Positive results await you with boxing training. You will enjoy a physically fit body and will get and stay in better shape. You have the option of working out and exercising at your preferred level and skill. This will allow you to enjoy the fun of these boxing training programs.

Search Amazon.com for Boxing Training

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Discover Your Personality

One of the most significant aspects of the modern world is the way you look and carry yourself. People are more inclined to appear like the movie stars or models or any fashionable person that they admire.

These famous personalities are considered to be the archetypes of fashion and beauty. Yet we always need to understand that beauty is not just about wearing the right attire and looking hip.

The most important factor that fashions beauty is your personality. We hardly look into this factor anymore, but once your personality is refined, you will have mastered eternal splendor.

Research reveals that men often prefer people who might not be very good looking but are sweet, interactive, and trustworthy. This shows that women who are not considered to be conventionally beautiful but have great personality do attract a lot of attention.

It is not a conflict between personality and good looks. Allow both of these aspects to mature simultaneously, and you will notice that your personally will accentuate your good looks and vice versa.

There are important factors to consider in discovering your personality. Three of the most important factors are described below:

Know Yourself

The primary thing that you need to do is to know and understand yourself. It is essential for you to comprehend your personality in order to refine it so as to improve your physical beauty. Let the process be slow and gradual.

You can also consult various books and other available content to help you locate your character. Take personality quizzes and check out the help teams that are found on those quizzes to help you to know yourself better.

Each Person is Distinct and Special

One person can always consider another person’s character and attitude in a negative light. Often people consider hyperactive or unusually quiet people to be crazy or odd. This notion is rather relative since each one person can appear a little strange to another person. Always utilize your attitude to improve yourself.

Supervise Your Virtues and Vices (Your Features)

First, sort out your virtues and vices. Then, be a good person and get rid of all your negative points. Finally, focus on your virtues. If you wish to make your personality an instrument to be more appealing, then definitely concentrate on your virtues and let them be the focus of attention. Each person is special and distinct in his or her own way. So let the good in you shine in front of others!

Personality is an essential component of oneself. By perfecting your personality you will be able to reveal the beauty that lies within you.

Personality is not distinct from your external beauty; it is just an external manifestation of your internal splendor. It is important for you to let people understand that beauty is not just about good looks or sporting stylish attire. An impressive personality is just as significant.

So look into yourself and see what you can do to make yourself shine!

Search Amazon.com for Discover Your Personality

Friday, April 9, 2010

Multivitamins – A Vital Ticket to Daily Health

For some time an increasing number of the world’s population has been eager and interested in looking after their health and in keeping in tune with their well-being. It is important to note that this awareness is progressively contributing to the creation of several health supplements to benefit both adults and children. As such, dietary and vitamin supplements have constantly proven their worth to health conscious individuals.

Not only does an excellent daily multivitamin supplement develop your general bodily functions, but it also improves your mental and physical condition and well-being. Occasional specification is needed to appropriately supplement nutrients to deal with any individual’s needs. For example, heart disease patients they would have to take in CoQ10 in helping to prevent said condition. Alzheimer’s disease can effectively be prevented with a regular combination of Vitamin C and E intake.

Multivitamin supplements necessarily include all the vitamins and nutrients essential for a recommended daily dosage. They may also be formulated to meet the needs of individual conditions such as pregnancy and specific age brackets. It is a well settled fact that multivitamins in liquid form are more efficient than the ordinary pill forms. This is due to the fact that the body can easily absorb liquid nutrients five times more than ordinary multivitamins in tablet or capsule form.

Basically, the body needs 13 essential vitamins to function properly. In regulating the crucial performance of the body, it needs to have vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, B12, and the 7 B-complex vitamins. A majority of these vitamins are obtained by our body through the foods we eat. Moreover, the danger of illness or even mortality is in the deficiency of some of these essential vitamins. This is where vitamin supplementation comes in. This counteracts the illness caused by such deficiency. With this information it would be very unlikely for someone to refuse vitamin supplementation on a daily basis. So now the question is, why is it necessary for individuals to take multivitamins when majority of our daily diet can provide us with the basic nutrients we need? It may not be compulsory, but everyone can benefit from daily multivitamins.

As previously mentioned, the clear benefit of taking multivitamins on a daily basis is to prevent vitamin/nutrient deficiency. Also, some personal circumstances may increase dietary needs. Take expectant mothers. During their first trimester, they are recommended by their doctors to take multivitamins. This not only provides these mothers with sufficient nutrition but also proper vitamins that will benefit the unborn child. Taking multivitamins everyday reduces the risk of transmitting malnutrition from an expectant mother to her unborn baby. Other conditions such as old age, alcoholism, smoking, and exposure to excessive pollution have long-term detrimental effects to the body system which can successfully be counteracted with multivitamins.

Stress is also a risk factor that requires serious supplementation that multivitamins provide, especially with people who have so much to do and have a hard time in keeping up with their health needs. For them multivitamins are a must to keep them on the go without any health complications in the long run. Stress formulations benefit both your mental ability and your daily endurance. Aside from the mentioned benefits, daily multivitamins also minimize the risk of cancer or any cardiovascular disease.

Most people, if not all, testify to have a feeling of comfortable health in regularly taking multivitamins. This is due to the synergistic or combined effects of the supplemental ingredients found in multivitamins. A fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin, such as Vitamin E, works to neutralize probable harmful free agents in the body. Vitamin E also maintains healthy skin through protection of cell membranes, blood circulation, heart, nerves, red blood cells, and muscles. Another antioxidant is Vitamin C which effectively fights blood cell infection and is vital in collagen formation, wound healing, formation of bone structures, capillaries, and teeth. This vitamin is also helpful in the iron absorption from plant sources. Vitamins A, D, K, and other supplemental nutrients found in multivitamins have specific functions that benefit bodily functions.

While daily intake of multivitamins has proven to be beneficial, it is not a 100% guarantee to make individuals immune to serious illness attributed to other factors. There is often a misconception that symptoms of disease may always be cured by taking multivitamins. Health experts have the better opinion of immediate medical assistance rather than resorting to multivitamins alone.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Get to Know Yourself Better Than Now

We meet new people everyday, whether for work, play, or in any other situation. Whether or not we interact with them we develop instinctive likes and dislikes towards other people. This has lot to do with others’ personality.

Your personality is made up of not only the way you look, but also your ideas, the way you think, your priorities in life, and your emotions. These are all vital things that comprise your personality. Hence why you need to understand and accept yourself the way you are if you want to be happy.

Take personality tests to help you determine out what kind of personality you have. A substantial number of these are available online and in different books. Think about how much you know yourself. What are some things that are important to you?

Put all society and family expectations aside for a minute and think about what you really want to do. What would make you happy? Knowing yourself well is important and will serve you well in various situations.

When you are looking for a job, for example, it would be ideal to not get stuck with something that you don’t want to do. Knowing yourself would also help you accept other people as they are. It will help you develop an open mind.

One way or another, the ultimate thing is to do things that are important for you and make you happy. If you are an introvert, spend some regular quality time with yourself. Also, keep a diary if you feel uncomfortable sharing your deeper thoughts with other people. Don’t hesitate to stand by what you believe in.

This is important for you to be happy. It will be good for you to develop a constructive hobby. If you are an introvert don’t succumb to peer pressure and compulsively spend time with people. Learn how to say no. Draw lines around you and your space whenever you feel the need to.

Extroverts on the other hand should get involved in group activities such as for example, theatre. Learn new things whenever possible, and don’t hesitate to experiment. Stay in touch regularly with your friends and family.

If you have any introvert friends learn to accept them as they are.

While you were growing up, a lot of things were going on around you. These things have and continue to shape your personality. Some experts also believe that a lot of genetic factors go into making you who you are, but it is important to accept yourself the way you are.

If there are certain things about you that you don’t like however, you can try to make minor alterations, but remember to always be yourself.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

To Lose a Buck Quickly, Do This...

Pull the lever...lose a buck.

Pull the lever...lose another buck.

Pull the lever...lose yet another buck.

Do you find this fun?

Honestly, I can't understand why people do it when the odds are SO against them. Hmm...

Don't pull the lever, and don't fall for their trap. Not when there's something so much better....but...

...but here's the deal:

A. Don't do this as a business

B. Do it for fun only

C. If you do this, have a proven system

Check out what this PhD discovered about the odds and how to beat them.

PhD System for Mortals - Click Here



P.S. This could be addicting so make sure you don't let a little success go to your head.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The ObamaCare Problem

It's the same problem as all the other things our government runs.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combine create a 46 Trillion dollar hole.

Yup, that's "trillion" with a capital T.

In other words, with the total annual economy (GDP) of the USA at $14.2 trillion, we would need to use every penny of the economy for over 3 years just to pay for this unfunded obligation!

And now we're digging the hole a few trillion deeper with ObamaCare. You see where this is headed?

Now don't think I'm letting the private sector off the hook; there are plenty of pensions that were promised by big corporations that are now gone as well.

But let's face it; the big spenders in Washington make the corporate guys look like "pikers" in comparison.

What are you going to do about it?

Voting is a good start, but vote for who? It seems that both sides like to spend other people's money with equal vigor.

All that's left is to control what you can and that starts with making a choice of counting on the government or some big corporation....


I trust myself a LOT more than the other 2. If you think you would be better off controlling your future, then check out this amazing story.

Drop Dead Reliable - Click Here



P.S. I love the way these guys toss Billion dollar bills around as though they were nickels and dimes. Kinda scary!

Amazing Front End System - Click Here