Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekly Fun Facts

Welcome to the Monday edition of the Weekly Fun Facts. We are now between our last two holidays of the year, Christmas has ended and we are all looking forward (eagerly) to the beginning of the New Year. This week's fun facts will include some New Years facts along with just plain strange fun facts. Hopefully you can use some of these odd tidbits in your upcoming holiday party...

This Friday we will be saying goodbye to 2010 and at midnight welcoming in the new year 2011. For many of us, we will be very glad to see 2010 go, but then again, we said the same thing for 2009... Did you know where the tradition of welcoming the new year came from?

In Agrarian times, the new year was celebrated during the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox (the first day of spring). This was the most logical time for celebrating the "New Year" because with Spring comes rebirth and new life. Over time, as the Romans tried to manage the calendar, the dates and schedules got more and more confused. Julius Caesar in 46BC established the "Julian Calendar" which established January 1 as the new year. As you know, not even this calendar was entirely accurate, every 4 years we have to add a day to our calendar to synchronize it with the sun.

The tradition of creating New Year's Resolutions did begin during the time of the Babylonians. Usually they just resolved to return borrowed farm equipment. Now we make resolutions that can range from losing weight or being a better person.

Speaking of resolutions, did you know that 63% of the people still keep their resolutions after the first 2 months?
67% of people actually make 3 or more resolutions each year?
The top resolutions usually involve promises to exercise more (37%), increase the time devoted to study or work (23%), losing weight, stop smoking or drinking and to eat healthier.
People make more resolutions to start a new habit (84%) rather than to break an old one (16%).
65% of the people made their resolutions between December 28th and New Year's Day
Of those who actually achieved their top resolution, 40% of them did so on the first attempt. The remainder made multiple tries with 17% finally succeeding after more than 6 attempts.

Do you know when the use of a baby began to symbolize the new year? This tradition began in Greece around 600 BC. They carried around a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of Dionysus (the god of wine...go figure...) . Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth and fertility.

Traditionally it was thought that you could affect your luck for the upcoming new year by what you ate or what you did on the first day of the year. Japanese will sit up to watch the first sunrise of the new year. Others celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Certain foods are also believed to bring luck if eaten on New Year's Day (Donuts (YEAH!!!), black-eyed peas, cabbage, hog's meat and rice to name a few).

1907 is the first year that New York drops the famous ball from Times Square. At that time it was a five foot ball made out of weed and iron and weighed 700 pounds.

As of 2011 the ball is now 12 feet in diameter made out of Waterford Crystals and weighs 11,875 pounds. It is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED's (light emitting diodes). By mixing the four colors (the ball now has 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green and 12 white LED's or a total of 8,064 LEDs of each color) the ball can now create a palette of more than 16 million colors and billions of patterns. For 2011, Waterford Crystal has designed 288 new "Let There Be Love" crystal triangles featuring a romantic pattern. 288 triangles are emblazoned with last year's "Let there be Courage" design defining triumph of courage over adversity and 1,152 triangles sparkle with "Let there be Joy" design. The remaining 960 triangles are the original "Let There be Light" design of a stylized radiating sunburst.

This ball has dropped every year except in 1942 and 1943 due to wartime lighting restrictions.

For those of you planning on drinking champagne this weekend - a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top...

There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos. Now how do the people in the casino's celebrate New Years?

And lastly, for those of you who live in the warmer desert regions - a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion will make it instantly go mad and sting itself to death. Now you know what to do with that liquor you didn't drink on New Year's eve...

Have a wonderful New Year's and be safe. Enjoy your weekly fun facts and enjoy amazing your friends with your new-found knowledge... If you are looking for some way to earn extra money in the new year, you may want to see what opportunities we have to offer on our website. We may have something that you would love to do. Or, if you are making a resolution to keep your vehicle cleaner, we have a variety of waterless cleaning products to help you to achieve that resolution.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Did you survive Christmas?

Well, did you all survive another Christmas? Hopefully you all were able to celebrate they way you wanted to for this holiday. For us in Arizona, we enjoyed wonderful weather for this holiday weekend. Unfortunately many other parts of the country did not fare as well, so again, hopefully, even with the weather issues, you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend.

The 24 hours of Christmas music is now off the radios, and on Sunday, those who did not receive what they really wanted could go shopping for items at great discounts. Since I am not very fond of shopping, I stayed away from all the areas shoppers would frequent today. Today was spend catching up on household chores and watching football. Overall, it was a great weekend for me too.

I must say, it has been a great build-up this year for Christmas. With luck, many merchants will be able to see increased sales this year over last. If they start seeing increases, then that means we may actually be on the very long road to economic recovery. If this thought and Christmas wish does come true, many Americans will no doubt breath a sigh of relief. It has been a very long, hard several years, with the government not recognizing any economic crisis until at least a year after we all have noted the decline. No matter who sees what, the best Christmas wish I have had this year was to see the end of this economic mess we are in and to start seeing signs of improvement. I would love to see less home foreclosures and more people back at work.

So, here is to hoping that my Christmas wish comes true, a good, solid economic recovery and a significant decline in home foreclosures for the remainder of this year and on through 2011.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What happeed to the days before Christmas

Hi everyone. I have a big question tonight...what happened to the days before Christmas? This is a two-fold question. The first is...where did the time go? Last time I looked we had at least a month before the holiday...and now we are less than 3 days away... what happened?

The next question I have is, what happened to the "goodwill toward men" in the days leading up to Christmas? Have you noticed how people tend to keep their heads down when walking around? Sometimes I think they are keeping their heads down so they can better head-butt you if you accidentally wander into their path. Have you noticed that few people are smiling lately too? What happened to the good cheer? Right now the only cheer I have heard is "get outta my way..."

We won't even talk about the driving this time of year. My goodness, when did we sign up for an Indy race team? Where is everyone going in SUCH a hurry? Did anyone notice the beautiful sunsets that have been occurring? What about the beautiful sunrises? I know there are many places in the country right now that don't have the greatest weather, but that does not really give anyone the right to be mean and/or rude. Is it me, or are people ruder now than they have been in the past.

I hate to really note how much I have aged, but PLEeeaseee!!! do you have to not only cut me off on the freeway, but to flip me off too? Why did you have to squeeze into that one car space in front of me just so that you could slam on your brakes and almost crash into the back of the car I had been following? When did this time of year turn into a frantic race? By the way, what are we racing and where are we racing to?

Even the news has gotten really depressing. Many people seem to want to take advantage of so many other people. There are a record number of scams going on this time of year, people taking advantage of the few of us left who believe in the goodness of mankind. When did we forget about the real meaning behind Christmas? Even if you don't want to delve too deeply into the religious aspect of Christmas (that is for another time...), the concept of Christmas was to help your fellow man. Right now, it appears the large majority of people are out to help themselves, and forget about their fellow man.

What can we do to recapture the feeling of goodwill toward men? We have all allowed our day-to-day work lives to overflow into our home lives. I can freely admit to not very nice thoughts this time of year too. This time of year is always stressful, the desire to find the "RIGHT" gift for that certain person, the issues with not spending too much money, the extra demands on your time... all of these add up to a whole bunch of very grumpy people.

We all (myself included) to learn to stop and take stock of what we do have and to remember to be grateful for what we do have. We need to learn to stop looking at what we don't have and look at what we don't need instead. This is not an easy task, but once we get past the hard part (actually stopping for a minute or two...) the rest is not so hard to do. Tomorrow, I promise to not be as crabby, and to remember to smile (even though I may not WANT to SMILE) when I meet anyone. It is truly amazing how people light up when you smile at them for no particular reason (and no, snarling is not smiling...). I even took the opportunity tonight to wish a phone solicitor a Merry Christmas as I was completing a phone call. It was really amazing to hear their voice change when they realized I wished them well.

Take care, and let's all try not to get too stressed these last few days before Christmas. As much as we might strive to capture our child-like wonder of Christmas, we need to remember that we are now adults and need to look at Christmas as adults. We still need to be nice to others, and help when and where we can. It is amazing how much better you feel when you have helped someone, even if helping may only mean that you helped someone reach an item from the top of a grocery store shelf.

Hopefully we will finally realize what happened to the days before Christmas. We just forgot to be a little bit less stressed. With luck, we will all find the time to slow down just a tad and enjoy this special holiday time of year.

If you are stressing about finding that "right" gift for the impossible person to buy for, check out our website, we have a wide variety of items that are not run-of-the-mill. We have vehicle cleaning accessories for that mechanic in the house. We also have some really cool headwear for those who like to ride motorcycles. Take a brief wander through our site, you may find just what you needed for that special someone this holiday season...

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hello, Mother Nature

I am not overly fond of spiders, and if they are very large, will actually try to catch and then release them outside. Smaller spiders are asked to leave, and if they do not vacate the bedroom immediately are immediately squished. Yes, I have conversations with critters that do not belong in my bedroom...

big spider 2

I find spiders fascinating, but not in my bedroom. There are different responses to finding a large spider in my bedroom. If I find a large spider in my bedroom, and the spider is too close to my face, my first reaction is to yelp. That is usually not very useful in making the spider go away, so I then take a really hard look at the big spider.

Depending on how large the spider is depends on my next set of reactions. If the spider is large, but not as big as a silver dollar I would usually bounce around the room hoping I might accidentally step on the spider. Usually that doesn't work too well because the spider is more times than not on either the wall or ceiling. The next step I take is the then stop, take stock of what type of footwear I am wearing, and decide if the footwear would be appropriate for squishing the large spider to kingdom come. If I do not have the proper footwear that can be used, then I rush around the bedroom looking for an appropriate squishing device while keeping a wary eye on that blasted spider.

Once an appropriate squishing device has been located, I go into action. I will strive to squish the spider without embedding it into the wall or ceiling. This usually doesn't work well because if I don't hit it hard enough, the spider doesn't die. Then I smack it until it turns into a dark spot on the painted wall.

Again, depending on the type of spider (if it is poisonous or not), I may just be brave enough to grab a glass and a piece of cardboard so that I can catch and release the spider back into the cruel wide world outside of the house. This also the technique I would use for spiders larger than a silver dollar (unless they are larger than a breadbox).

Now if I get a multi-legged creature in my bedroom, or any other room of the house that is bigger than a bread box, what I have done in the past has been to go to bed and hope it goes away. (Yes, I really did that...I had a millipede in the house that was longer than my shoes and easily as thick around as my thumb). I ended up crawling into bed and hoping it wouldn't crawl in with me. Days later I found a dead millipede in another part of the house.

The reason I didn't kill the millipede was that I didn't have anything big enough to kill it with. I don't believe in killing half of a creature, and there really was nothing I had that would kill the whole millipede. I didn't even have a container that would have held that sucker. I am forever grateful for all the residual bug spray along the baseboards of my home, because I suspect that was the ultimate downfall of the millipede.

In a nutshell, I do not like spiders or scorpions for that matter but really don't like to squish them. Scorpions get squished all the time, but I will try to save most spiders and put them back outside. If I think I have a brown recluse in the house though, that sucker gets squished. Actually, I still have the remains of a squished brown recluse on the wall of my closet as a warning to other spiders to stay away. Since I have seen no other signs of spiders, I hope my warning worked.

Hopefully we will not see any spiders the remainder of this year (yeah, a whole 10 days).

Until tomorrow...

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Fun Facts and a Total Lunar Eclipse

As you may remember, on our blog last week, we discussed the upcoming total Lunar Eclipse for Monday night (tonight...). Well, in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is not too conducive to seeing the eclipse. Even here in Arizona, where the weather is great most of the time, we have some light cloud cover. The good news is that we can still watch the eclipse. The cloud cover only makes the moon look fuzzy, but you can still see the full moon and as I run back and forth, I can see the beginnings of the Lunar Eclipse. The total eclipse should be about 12:40 am MST and will last approximately 72 minutes.

If you have the opportunity to run outside, the Lunar Eclipse is just beginning (approximately 11 PM MST). hopefully you can get a glimpse of this year's Eclipse, especially since it falls on the Winter Solstice. The reason this particular eclipse is so unique is that it falls on the Winter Solstice. The last time a full Lunar Eclipse fell on a Winter Solstice was 372 years ago on December 21st 1638. The next full Lunar Eclipse that will occur on a Winter Solstice will be on December 21st, 2094. I am not sure, but I don't think I will be in attendance for that one...

Ancient documents from Asia, Europe and the Middle East are full of references connecting eclipses with subsequent dark events such as famines or the death of a monarch.

In many traditional cultures, a total lunar eclipse occurs not when the moon enters Earth's shadow, but when a mythological creature swallows the moon.

The Chinese believed the heavenly dog swallowed the moon, the Maya sometimes depicted the eclipse creature as a serpent, while in the Andes, it was often a puma.

In Iraq, lunar eclipses were believed to have been eaten by a whale.

For most people the majority of the time, most eclipses meant trouble. Eclipses were regarded as disruptions of the world order.

In Japan, people still cover wells in order to avoid being poisoned by the disease of the moon during the eclipse.

Native residents of Arctic regions have been known to turn over their utensils to avoid contamination.

The arrangement of boulders in England (Stonehenge) have long been associated with celestial meaning. It has been discovered that if you place stone markers strategically atop 19 columns in the array, a known 47 month cycle of lunar eclipses becomes apparent.

Do you know why the moon turns reddish during a Lunar Eclipse? - Earth's thick, dust-filled atmosphere filters the sunlight shining through it, resulting in the rusty hue of a total lunar eclipse.

Hopefully you enjoyed tonight's fun facts about total lunar eclipses and also had an opportunity to view this years Total Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Working hard for the Holidays?

Bet you guys are super busy this time of year. Nothing like trying to balance your normal work life with the family and add to that all the additional activities that go on during this time of year. It is amazing how much more we squeeze into a day this time of year. We all thought we were busy before, but during the Holidays, we seem to double up on the things that must be completed.

The advantage to this whole mess is that there is a definite beginning and end to all of this activity. By the beginning of January, all the holiday parties will be completed and all the extra visiting will have been done. January is when we all sit down and end up taking stock of where we ended up. This is not a bad thing, but we should not just rely on once a year to take stock of where we are versus where we wanted to be.

In all the rushing around, we need to be sure we have not lost sight of our priorities. If you have trouble remembering priorites when you are slammed from all directions from everyone in your life, you may want to write a list of things that are important, and post that list on the bathroom mirror or the kitchen refrigerator. This way, at least twice a day you see that list and remind yourself of your true priorities. This list should also reinforce why you are doing all these extra activities during the holidays.

In deference to the importance of prioritizing, this blog tonight is going to be short. I continue to run out of time to get everything done, but do not want to leave you all in the dark as to what is going through my mind (sometimes not very much...). In keeping with my personal priorities, I continue to keep to a pretty strict schedule so that I do not end up running myself into the ground by the end of the year. Because there are so many additional demands on our time, we sometimes forget why we are doing what we do, and we may tend to forget why we are so busy. As more tasks get added to your plate this month, continue looking at what else you are doing and start making the decision to let some of the other priorities drop in rank for a short period of time.

It is more critical to keep your health by good time management rather than sacrificing all your health for the good of everyone else. That is actually self-serving and ultimately, you will not enjoy this time of year at all. You will have a much better quality of Holiday fun if you learn to drop some priorities for the short term so that you can complete all the additional tasks that have magically appeared on your plate. Remember, if you don't take care of yourself, no one else will either. You do yourself and your family a disservice if you allow yourself to be controlled by circumstances rather than you controlling the circumstances.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekly Fun Facts

Welcome to this weeks installment of Fun Facts. Because this time of year can not only be fun, but extremely stressful, it is always a good idea to take a few moments out of your hectic week and laugh. Hopefully this weekly update will allow you to chuckle a little and forget all the stresses of the week for at least a few brief moments.

For those of you who have had the wonderful opportunity to place a computer tech call to India, did you know that the number of births in India each year is greater than the entire population of Australia? Now you know why all of your calls go to India and why that won't change anytime soon..

Sunday night we talked a little bit about the full lunar eclipse that will occur next Monday, December 20th. Did you know that every year, the moon moves 1/2 an inch further from the earth? That begs two questions, one - who is measuring and how do you know the earth's surface is not shrinking? and Two - how long before we can't see the moon anymore??? As if we REALLY care???

Thinking about space (or was that just being spacey???) in space you cannot cry because there is no gravity to make the tears flow. So, if you stub your toe in the Space Station, you won't cry, but probably just whimper.

Did you realize that the Roman Catholic Church did not acknowledge that the earth revolves around the sun until the mid 1990's?

Also on Sunday we discussed the meteor shower that occurred last night. As you watch the "shooting stars" you do realize that the lights are basically rocks and debris falling into our atmosphere? Two objects have actually struck the earth with enough force to destroy a whole city (no, not a movie line...). Each object, one in 1908 and again in 1947, struck regions of Siberia. Not one human being was hurt either time.

We now have a great definition of an island - In the Scottish Hebrides, an island is defined as being an island only if it is big enough to sustain 1 sheep. So, does that mean you don't need a sheep herder???

For those of us typing much of the day - a typist fingers travel over 12 and a half miles in an average day. Wow, too bad you can't lose weight that way...

Despite a population of over a billion, China has only about 200 family names...I think I know some places here in the US that have similar statistics....hehehe...

If you told someone that they were one in a million, you'd be saying there were 1,800 of them in China...

Lastly, if you are in traffic and hear people beeping their car horns, did you know that American car horns been in the tone of F?

Hopefully this Weekly Fun Facts got you to smile for a little bit. Perhaps you can use some of this mostly useless information to entertain friends, family or irritate co-workers. Have fun and strive to not get too stressed out this week. The new year is just around the corner.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sick Bird Update

It has been a while since I have updated everyone about my bird who had a stroke the end of August. She is still hanging in there, we are just challenged because she still has not regained the use of her legs from below the knees. The one foot that had been closed did fully open, so we thought that she was regaining the use of that leg and foot.

Unfortnuately, the sum total of that improvement is that her foot is now open, but she cannot move it and grasp anything at will. Her other foot, has now become more useless. The good news is that the toenail that she almost yanked out of her foot has healed and did not completely fall off. It is starting to grow again, so I will be forced in the near future to figure out a way to file her nails down without getting her seriously stressed out. I have tried clipping her nails in the past, and she DOES NOT like that. We then went to grinding the nails (when she was healthy) which left a better shape and no rough edges. The problem is still that she HATES anyone fiddling with her feet and toes.

Now that her feet are pretty much useless, I can fiddle a little more with her feet, but she can SEE what I am doing and doesn't like me messing with her feet, even though it does not appear that she can't feel a thing.

I am also happy to report that she is continuing to gain weight. Her chest is getting fuller again, there is a lot less bone (her keel) showing, so she is recovering. Right now my major challenge is figuring out a way to keep her elevated from her feces. This is my biggest problem. Since she cannot lift her body up and is forced to drag herself around using her "knees: and wings, she gets pretty messed up quickly. I have been soaking her butt weekly, but do not want to bathe her too often, especially since the days are much shorter and cooler.

If any of you have any ideas how I can elevate her in some kind of sling, but still allow her the ability to move around her cage, I would be grateful. I have thought about creating some kind of hammock, but again, it is centered in one place, all she has to do is to let go, and she will swing back to center. Not a bad idea, but I can't imagine that she is going to enjoy that too much. I don't know that a track system would be any more effective, the cage is about 2' x 2'. Also, she does periodically like to stretch her wings out, and with the hammock/sling I was thinking about, that would trap her wings against her body.

Currently I have various phone books in her cage for two reasons. One reason is so she has something to tear when she has her temper tantrums. The other reason for some phone books is so that her cage floor is not entirely flat. This way she can kind of prop her body up and not always be lying flat on the floor. Unfortunately, she has not learned to poop over the edge of the phone book, so trying to teach that isn't working too well either. The good news is that she has not fouled her food, so she is aware somewhat of when she goes to the bathroom.

Her appetite is great, she is eating almost everything I present to her. I think she eats better than I do. She gets bits of my regular food along with her regular food. Since I have been working to have her gain weight, I have not been careful about the types of food provided, I wanted her to gain weight. Once she gains a few more grams, I will start monitoring her diet closer, but until I feel she is back to a good weight, she gets whatever her little heart desires.

So, overall, my sick "Parrotpalegic" is doing pretty darn well. Her eyes are bright, she periodically sings, and dances to the best of her ability (now it just consists of her spinning her head back and forth - she used to dance in circles when spinning her head). I will continue to keep her as clean as possible and continue searching for some way to keep her off her fecal matter. I do not want to put a grate down for fear that she will catch up her feet and do herself more damage.

Tomorrow will be our Weekly Fun facts...I am a bit off on schedule, but am at least catching up...

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Upcoming Meteor Shower and Lunar Eclipse

Hello everyone. Bet you were wondering where I wandered off to this time... Well, I managed to flirt with a cold this last week and decided to listen to my body instead of continuing to push myself. I spent the week sleeping and resting so that the cold developed into nothing more than a slightly stuffy nose and a continuous headache. When the sun went down and I got sleepy, I went to bed. It is amazing how much faster your body heals when you listen to it in the first place.

Anyway, enough about why I wasn't online very much last week. Tonight we have a really interesting event to discuss, the upcoming meteor shower and total lunar eclipse.

This week's meteor shower is expected to be the best to be seen in 2010. This will also be the only lunar eclipse for the year too. There is the returning meteor shower that comes around this time every year, the Geminid meteor shower. We should begin seeing the effects of this meteor shower tomorrow, December 13th. The "shooting stars" show should peak during the night hours between December 13th and December 14th. If you can manage to either stay awake until the wee hours of the morning, or have the desire to set your clock to get up in the pre-dawn hours, you should not be disappointed.

The best time to view the Geminid meteor shower is after midnight on December 13th when the earth is heading directly into the meteoroid stream. If you are unable to stay up that late or get up that early, you will still stand a good chance of seeing some pretty cool meteors earlier in the evening of December 13th. You will just have to be more patient when looking for the "shooting stars" earlier in the evening than if you watched after midnight. Since we are continuing to have some amazing weather in Arizona this week, those who live in Arizona should get a great view of the Geminids. I would also recommend getting a comfortable lounge chair so that you can sit outside and just gaze at the sky. I have stood and waited for the showers, and enjoyed the show, but ended up with a nasty crick in my neck the next day. Using a lounge chair or a reclining chair while star gazing makes for a much more comfortable viewing. The downside is that you don't want to get too comfortable, because you could then fall asleep while watching for the meteor shower.

These showers should be so bright that you will not need a telescope or binoculars to view the meteor shower. For those of you who may be new to watching a meteor shower, these "showers"' are caused by fragments of old comets entering our atmosphere as the earth passes through the trail of debris from the comet's orbit. If you are far in the desert, where there are no other sounds of civilization, there may even be the rare opportunity to hear the meteors if they come relatively close to your location.

The Geminid shower is unique because it it not really associated with a comet, but an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.

Even more exciting than the return of the Geminid meteor shower is the full lunar eclipse that will occur the nights of December 20th (next Monday night) and December 21st in North America. For the Western Hemisphere, the eclipse is "officially" expected to begin on December 21st at 12:12 am EST (right after midnight...) This is expected to be the best lunar eclipse until April 2014. The last total lunar eclipse occurred on February 20th, 2008.

The entire lunar eclipse will be visible from all of North and South America. It is estimated that 1.5 billion people will have an opportunity to enjoy viewing this total lunar eclipse.

Remember to stay warm. You know I will be out there watching both the Geminids and the Total Lunar Eclipse. Enjoy.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Today, December 7th, is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day for those of us who call the United States home. Today commemorates the day, 69 years ago, that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 69 year after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, survivors of the attack gathered at the base on Hawaii to remember those killed. About 100 survivors (the youngest in their late 80's) traveled from all over the country to attend the ceremony today.

They gathered across the harbor from the USS Arizona which sank in the attack and where the remains of nearly 1,000 sailors and Marines are still entombed.

At dawn on Sunday, December 7, 1941, the naval aviation forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the United States Pacific Fleet center at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii along with other military targets. The goal of this attack was to cripple the US Fleet so that Japan could attack and capture the Philippines and secure access to the raw materials needed to maintain its position as a global military and economic power.

Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned to service later during the war) and four other battleships were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one mine layer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded in the attack. Japanese losses were light, with only 29 aircraft and 5 midget submarines lost. They had 65 servicemen killed or wounded and one Japanese sailor was captured.

This attack came as a shock to the American people and led directly to our entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. December 8th, 1941 the United States declared war on Japan. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11th (we reciprocated the same day).

Lack of any formal warning by Japan, especially when negotiations were still ongoing with the U.S., led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy'".

The expected result of the attack was to cripple the U.S. Pacific Fleet, preventing aggressive action against the Imperial Forces of Japan. This goal eluded the Japanese as U.S. forces became very active in the South Pacific within 60 days and the fleet was fully effective within the year. It was sheer luck that three of the Pacific Fleet carriers that normally would have been at Pearl Harbor that morning were either on sea exercises or undergoing maintenance on the west coast of the continental U.S. Because the Japanese forces did not make their third attack, the Pacific Fleet submarine force, critical maintenance facilities and fuel supplies were not demolished. The survival of these enabled rapid repair of the fighting capability of the fleet.

So today, if you have not had a chance to do so, thank a vet for continuing to protect our freedoms. Even better, if you know a Pearl Harbor Survivor, take the time to thank them for their service and stop to listen to their story. What these heroes saw is history and we need to never forget.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fun Facts Weekly Installment

Well, ever so slowly, I am getting back into the swing of this increased workload. It is truly amazing how much work is generated this time of year, even if you didn't plan on taking on extra tasks.. Welcome to this week's installment of Fun Facts. Since it is Monday, and since we are now officially in the Holiday Season, it is critical to remember to laugh. We can all too easily forget that this holiday season is not supposed to be a grind, but we are supposed to renew our goodwill toward mankind (I know, it can be especially difficult to be NICE this time of year, with everyone rushing around being extra rude...). So, now it is time to sit back, take a deep breath (don't forget to exhale too...) , relax and be prepared to take a few minutes to read some fun facts and have some fun...

Don't know how many of you watch football, but I saw this brief editorial in a local Independent Newspaper (Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent) and got a kick out of it:

"Training at the Cardinals practice field was delayed nearly two hours this morning after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the ground. Initially the Cardinals thought it was a prank! Training was immediately suspended while police ad Homeland Security officials were called to investigate. After a complete analysis, Glendale Police forensic experts determined that the white substance, unfamiliar to most of the players was, in fact, the goal line. Practice will resume this afternoon after police and Homeland Security decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again."

Did you know what to call a group of unicorns? (other than non-existent???) A Blessing.
A group of Kangaroos is called a mob.
A group of whales is called a pod.
A group of ravens is called a murder. (that was sort of weird)
A group of owls is a called a parliament.

If you ever want to make friends with a rabbit, they love licorice...

Remember 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Did you know that the eye of a giant squid is fifteen inches in diameter - the size of a basketball?
In light of that, the giant squid has the largest eyes in the world...

The average garden variety caterpillar has 248 muscles in it's head....ewww...

For those of you who love penguins - the penguins that inhabit the tip of South America are called jackass penguins...really...

The Emperor Penguin is the largest of the penguin species and can weigh up to 90 pounds. The Fairy Penguin is the smallest and weighs only 2 pounds.

Depending on the species, a wild penguin can live 15-20 years. During that time, they spend up to 75 percent of their lives at sea.

Penguins are found only in the Southern Hemisphere. While most people associate penguins with Antarctica, they are much more widespread and penguin populations can be found in South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The northernmost penguin species is the Galapagos penguin, which lives year-round near the equator.

Lastly, I thought I would include some fun labels...just in case you thought people were getting smarter:

On a Sears hairdryer - "Do no use while sleeping" (and when would YOU use your hairdryer?)

On a bag of Fritos - "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside." - uuhhhh...

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding - "Product will be hot after heating." Really???

On most brands of Christmas lights - "For Indoor and outdoor use only" - OK, you got me, where else would you use them???

I saw this on a peanut tin - "Warning contains nuts." - boy, you really needed to know that didn't you?

This one really made me wonder about how the warning came about - On a Swedish chain saw - "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."....ouch...

Hopefully this brought a brief smile to your already busy day. Don't forget to take a deep breath and smile, it really isn't all that bad out there. Just look around, you will find funny stuff all over. Once you start laughing, your attitude and outlook will get better. Hopefully you enjoyed this Fun Facts Weekly Installment.

Take care....

Until tomorrow...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Millionaire Focus on Larry Ellison

Welcome to tonight's Millionaire Focus. Tonight we are going to briefly look at Larry Ellison and perhaps glean some gems on how he became Forbes sixth richest person in the world. As of 2010 Larry Ellison has a personal wealth of about $27 billion.

For those of you who may not have heard of Larry Ellison, he is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation. Oracle is a major enterprise software company that specializes in developing and marketing hardware systems and enterprise software products, in particular, database management systems. Larry Ellison came from humble beginnings, he was born in New York City, to a 19-year old unwed Jewish mother. He was given (at his mother's request) to his aunt and uncle in Chicago to raise and was adopted by them when he was 9 months old. He grew up in a middle-class Jewish neighborhood. He left the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the end of his second year, spent a summer in Northern California, then attended the University of Chicago for one term which is where he first encountered computer designing.

He became a computer programmer for Ampex Corporation where his primary project was crafting a large-scale database for the CIA. This database was code-named "Oracle". He then put up $2,000 of his own money to start Software Development Laboratories in 1977, in partnership with Robert Miner, his boss from Ampex. The new company was renamed Relational Software Inc in 1979. It was here that he prepared to release Oracle Version 2, a commercial database system. In an interesting note, he never released a Version 1 because Larry Ellison observed that people did not typically purchase Version 1 of any new software because Version 1's were typcially buggy. So, as a marketing tactic, his first release of Oracle was Version 2, which by the way, was as buggy as any Version 1 would be. This Version 2 sold well and in 1983 the company was again renamed, this time after it's flagship product, Oracle. Oracle Corporation went public in 1986, was on the verge of bankruptcy by 1990 but has since rebounded and has been profitable ever since.

Larry Ellison plays as hard as he works. He co-owns the sixth largest yacht in the world, named Rising Sun. He is also a financier of BMW Oracle Racing which in the 2007 America's Cup was the Challenger of Record. They were eliminated from the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series in the semi-finals. On February 14, 2010, Ellison's yacht, (Ellison was a crew member for this race) USA 17, won the second race of the 33rd America's Cup. Ellison and his BMW Oracle team became the first challengers to win a "deed of gift" match. The Cup returned to American shores for the first time since 1995.

Larry Ellison is also a licensed pilot and has owned several aircraft, including fighter jets. He owns many exotic cars and has styled his home in Woodside, California, after feudal Japanese architecture, complete with a man-made 2.3 acre lake. In 2004 and 2005, Larry Ellison purchased more than 12 properties in Malibu, California. His entertainment system cost $1 million and includes a rock concert-sized video projector at one end of a drained swimming pool.

As a balance, Larry Ellison has also made considerable charitable donations to various organizations. In 2004 Forbes noted that Ellison had donated $151,092,103 in the preceeding year, or about 1% of his estimated personal wealth. In August of this year, it has been reported that Larry Ellison is one of the 40 billionaires who has signed "The Giving Pledge". Ellison wrote: "Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95% of my wealth to charitable causes. I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. Until now, I have done this giving quietly - because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter."

Hopefully, as we all work towards our own personal Millionaire and Billionaire status, we too will remember to be generous with our charitable contributions. We all have the ability to come from humble beginnings and work to become financially free. Hopefully there were some tidbits of information from Larry Ellison's examples that you will be able to use in your business ventures.

If you are searching for a business opportunity to get involved in, please feel free to visit our website for some second income ideas. We would be more than willing to answer your questions regarding starting a home-based business or how to begin to build a second income.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday Craziness

Well, I have been off-line for a full week now and am soooo glad to be back on the computer. No, I did not manage to get another virus, I just followed what I preach, taking care of home and family first, then business. Granted, the Thanksgiving holiday / weekend was only 4 days, and I was off-line for 7, but I do have very good reasons...Thanksgiving Holiday Craziness...

The craziness is not as bad as it sounds. First off, I was blessed, and thankful for having my father visit us for this holiday weekend. This is the first time we have had him over in a very long time, and it was a real pleasure to have him visit. Now, because it has been so long since he as come to visit, there was also quite a bit of anticipation and worry too. The house had to be cleaned, (my rules, not his), the menu for the weekend had to be prepared and appropriate food purchased (again, my rules, not his) and then there was trying to figure out what to do for the 4 days that he was going to be visiting.

This planning took it's toll on me, I am not a big one for planning meals, and usually like cooking less than that, but since it was a special occasion, I gladly threw myself into the task of preparing menus for the weekend. What I had not anticipated was the exhaustion related to all the planning, rushing around and organizing prior to the VISIT. By Wednesday, the day my father was to arrive, I was already tired and I had yet to prepare dinner for the evening. As it turned out, my father was late in arriving (no big surprise there because of the holiday traffic) so I didn't have to rush as much as I had.

So, once my dad was safely at home, then it was time to catch up on all that we could not discuss over the phone. After a light dinner, we spent many hours talking late into the night. I spent the next morning preparing food to bring to the Thanksgiving Dinner our neighbors hosted. We wandered over to their home and spent a wonderful Thanksgiving sharing time and tales with others. My dad had the time of his life, taking pictures of all the people at the meal, and making new friends. We then waddled back home and sat in a semi-comatose state watching football the rest of the evening.

The rest of the weekend was spent running around doing little errands and sight-seeing and then being home, cooking, eating, and watching football. Since the holiday traffic was so difficult, we all agreed it would be best if my father remained through Monday. This was the best idea we could have had, and we all felt much better knowing my father would not have to navigate traffic on his way home.

I was extremely surprised about how tired I was Monday night. When I returned home from work, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I fell asleep almost instantly on the couch and didn't wake until the wee hours of the morning. I guess the Thanksgiving holiday craziness carried over into Monday...

Tuesday was almost as bad, but I did learn a very valuable lesson on Tuesday... when I got home from work, I wasn't terribly hungry, but was craving some yam casserole. I LOVE yam casserole, and had made enough to last into the week. Well, all I ate on Tuesday was Yam casserole, and boy, it tasted great. The problem was that after I had a full belly of yams, I fell asleep again...

The bigger problem??? Well, if you eat enough yams and nothing else, you will clean your internal pipes the next day... I forgot about that little detail when gorging on yams Tuesday. Waking up Wednesday morning to a belly ache, I thought I had just consumed too many yams... little did I know how that feeling would change... let's just say that even the pain passed.... I think I lost 10 pounds of ugly yuch from my guts.... The good news is that once all the yams made their way through my system, everything calmed down. I now have a very clean set of pipes and learned never, NEVER to eat just yams for dinner. Thankfully Thanksgiving comes only once a year. So next year I will be better prepared for Thanksgiving Holiday Craziness.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. We have so much to be thankful for.

Tomorrow we will have another millionaire focus.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun Trivial Facts

Well, as promised, tonight we provide some more fun trivial facts. Even though this may be a short week for many, the stress of the holiday can be almost worse than working a full 5-day work week. So, to help you lighten your load, here are some fun trivial facts to annoy your friends and entertain at the Thanksgiving dinner table:

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin thought that the turkey was so American that he wanted it as our National symbol instead of the Bald Eagle?

Until 1863, Thanksgiving Day had not been celebrated annually since the first feast in 1621. This changed in 1863 when Sarah Josepha Hale encouraged Abraham Lincoln to set aside the last Thursday in November "as a day for National Thanksgiving and Prayer."

90% of American homes eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day and 50% eat turkey on Christmas.

Mature turkeys have about 3,500 feathers. The Apache Indians considered the wild turkey so timid that they would not eat it or use the turkey's feathers on their arrows.

It appears that turkeys originated in North and Central America. Evidence indicates that they have been around for over 10 million years. So, if you think the bird on the dinner table is tough, perhaps it was an OLD turkey...

Did you know that a spooked wild turkey can run at speeds up to 20-25 miles per hour? They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50 and 55 mph in a matter of seconds. That is great, except for the fact that they can only fly for short distances. Don't try getting a domestic turkey to fly, they cannot.

Turkeys can have heart attacks. When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead. I bet the farmers were a tad irritated about that... I suspect this only relates to farm raised (domesticated) turkeys. I can't imagine that wild turkeys would be so delicate. The wild turkeys are very cunning...

Wild turkeys have excellent vision and hearing. Their field of vision is about 270 degrees which is why they continue to evade some hunters. They (the turkeys) can also see in color.

While the turkey has excellent hearing, they do not have ears

Turkeys (again domestic) can drown if they look up when it is raining.

A 16-week old turkey is called a "fryer", a 5 to 7 month old turkey is called a "young roaster" and a 1 year old turkey is called a "yearling". Any turkey older than 15 months is called "mature" (like so many of us...)

Turkey breeding has caused turkey's breasts to grow so large that the turkeys fall over...

A turkey's head changes colors when it is do some people I know...ooohh, shouldn't have said that ...hehehe..

Lastly, each year the President of the United States pardons at least one turkey. During the Bush (W.) Administration, his dog almost ate the pardoned turkey...ooops... All the pardoned turkeys live the rest of their natural lives without worrying about being someone's dinner.

Really last...the earliest claim of presidents pardoning turkeys was mentioned by George W. Bush in 2001. According to his statement, the origins of the president pardoning a turkey date back to Abraham Lincoln, who pardoned his son Tad's pet turkey while Lincoln was president.

Hopefully you enjoyed your Turkey Fun Trivial Facts for this week.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and don't forget to say a prayer of Thanksgiving to our soldiers who continue to protect our freedoms.

Until tomorrow (or most likely Sunday since I will be preparing/cooking TURKEY and the fixings starting tomorrow evening...)...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Adventures in Thanksgiving Shopping

Tonight was supposed to be the Weekly Fun Facts, but we will push that off until tomorrow. There is so much more fun to be had talking about grocery shopping three days before the Thanksgiving holiday this upcoming Thursday. Tonight's topic is my annual Adventures in Thanksgiving Shopping...

Don't ask me why, but I ended up putting off grocery shopping until the Monday night before Thanksgiving. Actually, I did to a little shopping on Saturday, but the crowds were so crazy, and the people so rude, I did the bare minimum and decided to shop later on... Well later on is now and boy, I am not sure that Saturday was all that crazy now. At 7 pm, there were so many people in the grocery store that you could not go down any aisle without having to ask someone to move.

The crowds were one thing, but the way they were behaving was very entertaining. Granted, I went shopping because I HAD to go shopping, but it was fun to stand back and watch all of the activities going on around the store. For starters, in the produce aisle, there were people rapidly pushing carts around the fresh produce like it was a NASCAR track. I didn't know the shopping carts cornered that well, especially with their high center of gravity. People were in the fresh produce section literally grabbing fresh vegetables without even looking at them and then tossing them into the carts.

As I struggled to find my way into the bakery section, it was very difficult to find any loaf of bread that was not over $4.00 per loaf. All of the inexpensive bread (primarily used in making turkey stuffing) was gone, the shelves were almost licked bare. You could not even locate a crumb where the bread had been placed. The people in the bakery section were not quite as frantic, most likely because they already had their stale bread for stuffing.

The second most entertaining section of the store was in the meat department, as you can probably well imagine. There you had people 2 and 3 deep, buried up to their shoulders in the open freezer boxes, digging for that perfect turkey. Not only were people looking for that perfect turkey size, but they were looking for the very few birds that still had the $0.29/pound price tag. Once someone was able to locate that rare bird, they would squawk (the people, not the turkey) in delight, hug the frozen turkey to their chest and scurry back to their badly parked shopping cart.

The fun part was watching all the people try to squeeze into that one opened spot by the freezer so that they can have a turn diving into the freezer and locating their turkey. I think it would have only been more fun if lights, bells, whistles and confetti would be included in the hunt for the perfect frozen, cheap turkey. The sad part was when some little person would look into the freezer, and only see a 12 or 18 pound bird way down at the bottom of the freezer. These people were so tiny, that I suspect if they tried to lift the bird out of the freezer, they would be pulled in instead. Occasionally, one would have to rapidly dodge the carelessly tossed frozen bird from a customer who may have decided to either go for a ham or just quit shopping altogether. Then, once that tossed bird settled to the bottom of the freezer compartment, people would literally flock back to see if that newly discarded bird would be perfect for them.

What made shopping such an adventure for this Thanksgiving was the inclusion of the electric carts along with all of the shopping carts. Some of these people would get so tangled up with the shopping carts, that you might consider sending in the search and rescue teams. One poor woman got herself stuck in the middle of an aisle, and tried to make a U-turn. The problem was that there was extra stuff in the aisle, so she kept bumping into one stack of product, backing up into yet another display, so much so that some customers came to her assistance to move the products so that they did not topple onto this poor woman.

Believe it or not, buy the time I was able to locate my remaining groceries, the lines (which had been insanely long when I arrived) were only 1 or 2 people long. Perhaps I entertained myself too long watching everyone else get stressed out, but all the same, I had the pleasure of going through the check out line much faster than it took me to navigate along the length of one of the aisles.

I pity the store workers this time of year. The cashier that took my money had been working at this particular grocery for all of 2 days and had no idea whatsoever where anything was. At least she didn't ask me if I found everything OK. What could she do if I couldn't locate that odd bit of canned matzo balls? Better yet, I had spent almost 15 minutes looking for pickling spices in the spice aisle. I had asked two employees who looked at all the spices and said with surprise, "Pickling Spices...huh...should be here....", and then wandered off. Another customer took up my cause (because the store employees had no idea where to look) and between the two of us, we located on small bag of pickling spices. So even in the heat of trying to get the last minute shopping done, there is still good in many people and they are willing to help their fellow human being.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Enjoy your own personal adventures in Thanksgiving shopping. Hopefully when you do sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner this Thursday, you will all find a lot to be thankful for.

And yes, the weekly fun facts will be tomorrow, Tuesday. That way you can have some fun trivia to entertain all at the Thanksgiving dinner table this Thursday...

Don't forget to check out our website for business opportunities (if you are looking for one) or for some cool Holiday ideas.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blue Moons

Well, tonight is the night of the Blue Moon. If you live in an area with a lot of cloud cover, do not fret, the moon is not really blue tonight. It is not even made of blue cheese as I had been told as a child. I also remember hearing the phrase, "Once in a Blue Moon". That phrase was intended to mean that the particular event happens rarely.

There are actually two definitions of Blue Moons. The first definition, which is the one I was aware of, was a second full moon in a single calendar month. Since the lunar cycle is usually 28 days, at some point you may encounter two full moons in the same month, or 13 full moons in a calendar year. Since there is only a few days difference between our calendar months and the lunar months, the occurrence of a double full moon in one month occurs about once every 2-3 years.

There are even very occasions where we have two full moons in one month, and then no full moons in the following month. That occurred in 1999 where there were two full moons in January, none in February (a traditionally short month, and then two full moons in March. The next time we can see a double Blue Moon will be in 2018, so now you have something to look forward to...

The second definition comes from an old Farmers Almanac definition. In the Farmers Almanac, a Blue Moon occurs when an extra full moon occurs in a season. So for November 21, 2010 we will have already had our 3rd full moon, with the 4th full moon occurring in December. Generally, a season only has 3 full moons in it.

Based on both definitions, November 21, 2010 is a Blue Moon, but this agreement does not always occur. Some people prefer to use the definition of the third full moon of four in a season is the more accurate definition of a Blue Moon because it appears to be the older definition. Whichever definition you personally prefer, tonight is truly a Blue Moon.

If you have clear skies tonight, enjoy the full, Blue Moon. Otherwise, you can look to the sky, use your imagination and enjoy the Blue Moon that is there, but you can't see it...

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Boredom Cures

There are many times throughout the day that I find myself working a task that I find insanely boring. The key is to find SOMETHING interesting about that task to make it easier to complete and not bore you to death.

288/365 Sleepy Drunk...

How to cure boredom can be very challenging. If you are working for a company or working for yourself, you can also get very bored with the same types of tasks day in and day out. Some tricks I developed to cure boredom are to find something different about the current boring task I am currently doing. If it is a form of data entry I would search the screen for any anomalies, or look for patterns that I hadn't noticed before.

For boredom when working a home based business (and yes, even though working your own business can be very exciting, there are times when things get extremely dull) I look for opportunities to improve processes. If I am recording financial data from the business, I will not only work on entering the data, but on ways to improve the data collection and try to determine how I want my reports to look. Even if you have a report that you currently like, there are many different ways you can look through data and analyse the information. I find it exciting to discover new ways to look at old information and see if new ideas can be generated from that new approach.

If I am unable to cure boredom from some of these exercises, it is time to move to "Plan B". That usually entails getting up from the desk, and taking a brisk walk around the block. That brisk walk can be very interesting and very invigorating especially since some of the blocks I may walk around are not your standard city block. If it is raining outside (and I get VERY bored when it is raining) I will take out my exercise ball and play on that for about a half an hour.

Basically, if I find myself getting bored and unable to get past the boredom, I will get up and do some light exercising. Exercising tends to clear my head and allow me to re-look at what I am doing with fresh eyes. While exercising, I will put on some up-beat music or a comedy show on the TV. This gives my brain a break from the boring task at hand so that when the exercise is complete, I am both mentally and physically prepared to complete the original task.

If even exercising is not effective, then it is time to go to "Plan C" which is to hop on the motorcycle and take a ride. The best part of that ride is that I point the bike in a direction and just go, there is no plan in place. By not specifically planning my ride, I leave myself open for more opportunities and a fresh outlook on life in general. I have yet to discover myself bored after going on a motorcycle ride.

The best part about beating boredom is that when you actually sit back down to complete the boring task, you are more energized and will complete the task quickly and accurately. I have discovered that if I try to just work through the boredom without taking a break, mistakes will occur and you end up working that particular boring task for much longer than was necessary.

Good luck kicking boredom to the curb...

If you are looking for an additional income opportunity, please check out our website.

Until tomorrow...

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Growing your Business

Last night we reviewed some ideas on new business opportunities. Tonight we are going to briefly cover other ideas on growing your business. When the economy is great, money flows easily and readily. When the economy is robust, even poorly run businesses survive. They say that money cures many evils, which is true. But when the money flow slows, or even comes to a halt, that is when we separate the good from the poorly run businesses.

As money coming in slows down, many business owners finally take a good hard look at their financial statements (sometimes this is the first time they have looked in a very long time) and start finding ways to reduce expenses or basically cut costs. It is in times like these where you find the efficient businesses begin to grow. In times of economic downturns many new business opportunities spring up, filling the gap from those that no longer exist. It is less expensive to find rental space, products may cost less and more companies and people are more willing to sell at lower prices.

If you want your business to grow though, you always have to remember the customer. Continue to build your long-relationship with them. Don't forget to do a follow up call, find out if the customer is happy with your product or service. Find out what else they would like to see you provide. They may offer some very helpful insights into growing your business or product line. Keep your customers happy because they are one of the best marketing tools that you have. If your customers are happy, they will do all the advertising for you at no cost to you. But, conversely, if your customers are unhappy with your business, product or services, they will tell more people than you could ever reach with expensive advertising campaigns.

As we have discussed before, the customer is king and they are your best marketing tool. Be sure that you have under-promised and over-delivered. Always smile, and smile honestly, do not put on a fake smile, the customers can tell the difference. If you are having a bad day, strive to not let that problem run over onto your sales floor so that the customers may experience it too. Be sincere, and most importantly, be honest with your customers. They will remember and reward you with your honesty by keeping a long-term relationship with you.

If you have a list of customers who have utilized your products or services in the past, don't be afraid to send them a brief newsletter, letting them know what is happening and what new promotions you may currently have in place. You may be surprised to see some older customers come back because of your brief newsletter. In your newsletter, do not try to sell your customers something, more importantly, offer a service for them. Become a "go-to" source of information for your customer. Allow them to feel comfortable asking you questions without them fearing you are going to push a sale onto them. You want your customers to see you as a valuable asset, not someone to be avoided.

If you keep your communications up with your current and old customer base, you may be surprised at the positive response you receive. Don't send them countless messages about sales, send a brief, monthly newsletter and perhaps sprinkle that newsletter with some fun anecdote's. People are always looking for something to feel good about, perhaps provide a positive, or inspirational story (again brief) and you may discover your customers looking forward to your monthly missives. If they like what they read, they may even share your newsletters with others, again advertising for you.

The benefit for keeping the message short should be obvious. How many of us have time to read all of the messages from our Inbox anymore? Keep your message short, don't advertise too hard, and allow your customers to have fun reading your monthly message.

Hopefully these ideas were helpful and will benefit you in growing your business.

If you are looking for an additional income stream, we do offer some small business opportunities. Feel free to review our website for ideas and contact us with any questions you may have.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looking for a Business Opportunity

All right, that question can go either direction. Am I looking for a business opportunity, or are you looking for a business opportunity? For the record, I am ALWAYS looking for business opportunities, if I didn't then I would stagnate (not literally). By always looking for the newest trends, newest products, or just different opportunities, I keep my own ideas fresh. There is also the distinct possibility that I will find an awesome business opportunity to incorporate.

So, the million dollar question that is most likely burning in the back of you head is... what business opportunity should I get involved in, and is it legitimate? Unfortunately, that is a very difficult question. There are so many "business opportunities" out there that really aren't opportunities (at least not for us) and won't turn into a legitimate business. You don't necessarily want to throw your money away, yet you don't want to miss an up-and coming opportunity either.

There are so many new and very good pitch-men (or pitch-people) out there, that you really have to do your homework before putting money into any opportunity. Tonight I am going to suggest a few places you can look for your next opportunity and let you decide if anything looks interesting. Perhaps, with the ideas I throw out there, they will trigger something that will cause you to discover an opportunity that has not been mentioned.

You may also be wondering, why would anyone want to get involved in a new business opportunity in today's depressed economy. The answer is really pretty simple. Costs of buildings/rentals are low, product costs are going down, and people are motivated to sell stuff for relatively low prices in order to drive business. If you are able to get a business up and running in this economy, think of how successful you will be when the economy picks up (and yes, it will get better...eventually). So, now is a great time to start a business, either a home-based business or a brick-and-mortar business.

If you want to get started on a business, but don't know what you want to do, here is some food for thought: do you have the ability to help others live better for less money? Are you able to help others to trim their expenses and still live comfortably? There is a huge demand for people with that talent right now. Do you have ideas for helping cars to increase their fuel mileage? Can you organize car and van pools to help people save on fuel costs? How about helping people collect coupons (perhaps you provide the coupon service for a small fee...) so they can save at the store? Can you help people invest in higher yield investments?

If you are looking for a business opportunity in today's market, you need to look at what people are complaining about and see if you have the particular skill set to resolve their problem. Don't just take one person's problem and strive to correct it, but find a common theme and then see if you can find a solution to the overall problem. That can become a very lucrative business segment for you.

These are just a very few ideas that are out there to generate a business opportunity. The overall key is to find a need and fill that common need. That way your customers win and you win.

If you would like some other business opportunity ideas, please feel free to visit our website. We can help you start your own vehicle detailing service, or we can show you how Pre-Paid Legal could help you, or we can introduce you to our Stem Cell Nutritional line that has the ability to provide you an additional income stream. We would be more than willing to talk with you about your thoughts and ideas and answer any questions you may have. Happy business opportunity hunting...

Until tomorrow...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Funnies and Fun Facts

Welcome to Monday's Funnies (new addition) and Fun Facts. Since Mondays are usually pretty tough on many, providing some silly jokes and useless fun facts should help put a better spin on what may have been a pretty grueling day. Tonight we are going to add a few jokes to the fun trivial facts. I am not very good at telling jokes (usually mess up the punch line) but perhaps there are many of you out there who have impeccable timing. How many of you also deal with engineers in your day-to-day business dealings? Tonight we are going to poke a little fun at this very interesting profession. Enjoy this week's installment of Fun Facts.

"Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, 'Where did you get such a great bike?'

The second engineer replied, 'Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, 'Take what you want.'

The first engineer nodded approvingly, 'Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit.'"

This Monday was particularly difficult for me. At one point, I had two decisions to make, neither of which were what I wanted to do. I decided that if I must choose between two evils, I was going to pick the one I ever tried before....

Have you ever noticed that the hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread?

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have any film... (I know a few of those...)

For the fishermen out there - There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot... (you know who you are...hehehe)

When you were a kid, do you remember Popeye the Sailor? He ate spinach to get strong and get out of bad situations. My parents also insisted that spinach was loaded with iron which makes you stronger. Guess what? Popeye and our parents were wrong. In reality, spinach has no more iron in it than any other vegetable. This spinach misconception dates back to the 1950's when a food analyst made an error while calculating the iron in spinach. His decimal place was off by one place, suggesting that spinach had ten times as much iron content than it really did. Now you can go back to your parents and tell them that you KNEW spinach wasn't all it was cracked up to be...(I still love spinach though...).

Current news in Arizona, they have finally tallied all the votes and have now passed a law allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed in the state. Did you know that Marijuana was not illegal in the United States until October 1st, 1937, when Congress passed the "Marijuana Tax Act"? The total debate time on the House of Representatives floor concerning this issue was 90 seconds. This act did not actually ban the substance - it simply stated that one could not sell marijuana without a license. Of course, Congress refused to issue any licenses. Congress finally banned marijuana outright in 1970. Now the states are slowly allowing it back legally in medical instances. California was first, now Arizona has followed suit...

And, one last poke at my favorite profession - engineers - "Normal people... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet." - Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle

Hopefully this brightened your Monday and hopefully you can use some of what was posted in Monday Funnies and Fun facts. Have a wonderful remainder of the week.

If you are looking for a second income or a home based business opportunity, perhaps we have something that would interest you. We have several business opportunities ranging from Stem Cell nutrition, to Pre-Paid Legal Services, nutritional juice drinks to waterless vehicle detailing services. Please feel free to ask us about some of our business opportunities, we may have something that would work well for you.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Millionaire Focus

Welcome to this week's Millionaire Focus. Tonight we are going to briefly cover one of Forbes' Richest People, Isaac Perlmutter. Most likely many of you have not heard of this person, but if you were involved in watching Marvel Comics over the last 7 years. He is noted as a a new billionaire who flipped Marvel Entertainment to Disney for $4 billion dollars. Isaac netted nearly $900 million in cash and 20 million shares of Disney in the transaction.

We strive to bring you not just interesting people to read about in this Millionaire Focus but also struggle to locate millionaires who are self-made. Isaac Perlmutter is on such billionaire. Despite the large deal with Disney, Isaac Perlmutter has kept a very low profile. Apparently he is so shy of publicity that he attends movie premiers in disguise. He has gotten so good at disguising himself that at the premier of Iron Man not even his close friends recognized him.

It has been difficult gathering information of Perlmutter's early years other than that he was born in 1945 in what was to become Israel. He fought during the Israeli Six Day War in 1967 and soon after came to America with about $250 in his pocket. When first in America, he would sell toys and beauty products on the street. His first fortune was made selling surplus goods to dollar stores after he taught himself how to read balance sheets. Isaac Perlmutter had a knack for finding distressed businesses and at one point owned a controlling interest in Victor Kiam's electric razor manufacturer Remington Products.

His comfort was in the toy market though. He first encountered his future partner, Avu Arad, during a dispute over royalty payments. In 1990 they teamed up to run Toy Biz and struck a deal with Marvel's then owner Perelman to sell action figures based on Marvel characters. When Marvel got into financial problems, Perlmutter and Arad jumped in to acquire Marvel. Even after the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment by the Walt Disney Company came in 2009, he remains CEO of Marvel Entertainment.

Perlmutter shuns the trappings of wealth, with his only known indulgence being tennis. He likes to observe and absorb what is going on around him without needing to be in the middle. He seems to be the kind of person you wouldn't notice in a room. He is well known for penny-pinching and he watches all costs, no matter how small. Even though penny-pinching can be thought of as a negative, Perlmutter was able to help turn around Marvel with his ability to watch costs. One colleague notes that Perlmutter may now be a mogul of enormous wealth, "but he knows the value of a buck."

Hopefully you enjoyed this week's Millionaire Focus and found some tidbits to help you with your own business dealings. As you can see, being in the right place at the right time, along with staying alert can possibly bring you from rags to riches.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans' Day

Happy Veterans' Day to all of you who have served or are serving to protect our country. Today we, as a nation, should take the time to honor all of our hero's who have protected our country. It is because of all of our Veteran's sacrifices that we have the freedom to say mostly what we want and to travel where we want. We have the freedom to vote for who we want, we can worship where we want, and we can protest if we want.

There are many times that I have heard people complain about the "military" not doing what they should, or misbehaving on foreign soil. Some people do not even like our men and women who have served or are serving in the military. They are more than entitled to their opinion, but in all honesty, these people who complain, are complaining BECAUSE of what our brave soldiers have done. If it were not for our soldiers standing up to protect our freedom, we wouldn't have the ability to complain about anything.

As you may remember (from your history, we are not all that old...) 91 years ago, Veterans' Day was originally called Armistice Day to mark the official cessation of hostilities in World War I. That ceasefire came on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. The actual peace treaty was not signed until the following year, but the for original moment of peace, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th, Armistice Day. This was originally a time for prayer, thanksgiving and appreciation for the sacrifice of those lost. Normal business was to cease only for a few minutes around the armistice time.

Nineteen years later Congress turned November 11th into a federal holiday to honor all veterans of World War I. Following the end of the Korean War (in 1954), the word "Veterans" replaced the word "Armistice" in the holiday legislation.

Did you know that there is only one living veteran in the United States from World War I? We need to be particularly aware of our veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam as they are all getting older. These wars are our history, and these veterans have seen much. Each time I have the opportunity to talk to a veteran, from any war, I am amazed about how much more I learn about that microcosm in time. You get general information in your history books, but by talking to veterans of wars, and listening to their memories, the dry history comes alive.

Take the opportunity to thank our veterans for all that they have done to preserve our rights and freedoms. They are the ones who have stood on the wall at night, protecting us from all types of evil, so that we can sleep peacefully. Even though today we are honoring those who have served, take the time out of your day to also thank those who are currently in harm's way. It is also because of them that we are living in relative peace and prosperity now.

There are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States
9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65
1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35
1.8 million veterans are women
7.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975) which represents about 33% of all living veterans
5.2 million veterans served during the Gulf War (from August 2, 1990 to present)

Have a Happy Veterans' Day - remember to thank those who have served and salute our fallen heroes.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fun Trivia Facts

Well, I know, it is not Monday, but it is the Wednesday "Hump" Day and since we missed Monday, tonight we are presenting Fun Trivia Facts. If you have had a rough day and are not looking forward to the rest of the week, perhaps this brief respite will help you survive.

Tonight we are going to rejoice that we are not living in England between 1558 and 1603:

At that time, medicines were not so advanced, it really was not wise to get sick. If you did get sick, you may have been asked to ingest some powdered burnt swallow feathers (do you know how stinky that is?), red coral, pigeon's dung or your own (YUCK!!), mistletoe may be taken in the month of March, swallow syrup of poppy, earthworms, or consume a prepared pill or suppository coated in gold. One cure for kidney stones was a mixture of white wine (OK, I can do that...), salad oil, powdered crab's eyes (do you KNOW how little those are?) and the bone in a carp's head. I think I would rather be sick than to take any of those medications!!!

The women's clothes were not quite as you would think during this time either. The clothes were mix and match (sort of like today...but not..). Sleeves, bodices and skirts were not connected. You connected the different pieces with straight pins (OUCH!). That is largely because safety pins were not invented until 1849. You really didn't want to bend too much for sure... At least if you had two dresses, you could make a lot of different combinations this way...

How many of you think men's codpieces were places to put the man's "junk"? They were not used for that at all...often they were stuffed, and a man could keep important things (no, not the "family jewels") like money, papers, etc in a codpiece for storage...

Now if I was worried about being poisoned, I would wear a ring containing a piece of a unicorn's horn because if I wore that, I was protected from poisonings. The problem? No such thing as Unicorns...ooops..

In England, young men would play female characters in theatrical roles. Women were not allowed on stage at the time. Elizabethans believed there was a difference in genders right from the start. A male fetus was thought to grow on the right side of the womb and the female, the left. Fortunately, the reasoning for malformed or unusual-looking children was switching from the idea of the mother sleeping with the Devil to the more "forward-thinking" concept of Maternal Impressions. If a pregnant woman saw something that startled her, the baby born would have some resemblance to that particular thing (like a boy with scaly skin like a fish, or a horsey face child..). Craving strawberries could cause a woman's unborn child to be born with a "strawberry" birthmark on their skin.

Hopefully you are now happier that you are here now, instead of in England between 1558 and 1603. We all need to be glad about something.

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Until tomorrow...