Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photo shoot for new product launch

Well, tonight we spent in Scottsdale, AZ at a photo shoot. I have never attended one of these before and had a great time. Some of you may be aware that we are involved with a new company preparing to launch a new and innovative product. It is a new twist to energy products, and I am so very EXCITED about the imminent launch.

The new company is called Wink Energy and it is going to offer to the public an energy product that is more convenient than the 5 Hour Energy drink. Another good part is that our price-point will be better than the 5 Hour Energy, and you won't have an energy boost for 5 hours. This new and innovative product will only provide a 20-30 minute "alert". You can take as much as you want and one dose has about 1/10th of the caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.

We have final approval of the formulation and are now only waiting for the formulator to create the product and package it. We expect to have the company doors open in about 2-3 weeks when the first retail shipment of Wink Energy is available.

This product is the coolest thing since slice toast (my humble opinion) and I can't wait to tell you all more about this new product. In the near future, you will be able to find Wink Energy in your local grocery stores and local convenience stores.

In the meantime, we had an absolute blast with the photo shoot tonight. The models were great, the weather was great and we all had a fine time. I look forward to creating more photo shoots as Wink Energy starts flying off the shelves. In the next few months we hope to travel around the Las Vegas and Phoenix areas with our Wink models showing people this great new energy product.

I will keep you posted as to when we will actually open the doors to Wink Energy. Wink Energy is the next and newest generation of energy products. If you are interested in getting more information on Wink Energy, please e-mail me at HollyWinkEnergy@yahoo.com. Our website should be up in the next week or so too. These are exciting times...

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Need for Small Business Motivation

How do you stay motivated in your small business when it feels like you are continually struggling? You start struggling with the tough questions: is now the right time for my business; do I have the right product and service mix for the current customer base and lastly, should I call it quits? These same questions have most likely plagued all small business owners at some point (or at many points) of their business career. There is a very strong need for small business motivation. It is very tough right now to remain successful and when times get tough, it is hard to remain motivated to keep your small business going.

We have discussed in other articles the need to keep an eye on your competition to see what they are doing correctly or incorrectly. Then you strive to fill the gaps that your competition cannot fill. We have also discussed keeping your products and services appropriate for your customer base, changing or adjusting products and services as your client tastes change. What we didn't review lately is how to remain motivated while you are working to keep your small business profitable and hopefully growing.

One way to know you are going in the right direction with your business is to regularly measure your progress against your established milestones. These metrics should have been included in your business plan, but if you did not include any measurements for growth, now would be a good time to get those benchmarks developed. By measuring your existing business metrics against what you believe should be, you are able to verify either improvement or problems. Either way, you will be motivated, if you are doing better than expected, you will be motivated to continue the momentum. If you are not doing as well as expected, then you are more motivated to get your small business back on the path to financial success. Either way, instead of worrying about where your business might be, you have measured your current business standings and know for certain where you should be taking your business going forward.

Another way to stay motivated with your small business is to talk to others about what you are doing and what you plan on doing in the near future with your business. Because you have taken your ideas out into the light (talking to people) you are now making yourself more accountable for your plans, others will begin asking how you are progressing. Knowing that you have others watching with interest your success will help keep you motivated and continue on with the plans you had discussed. Sometimes we come up with so many plans, we get overwhelmed and end up not implementing any plans. By discussing these new ideas with close friends or other business associates, you can manage and prioritize the ideas (some for implementation now, others for implementation down the road) and then remain motivated to keep your new ideas moving into your business.

Lastly, remember that difficulty is part of being in business. If you look at almost anyone who has started and run a small business, most of the time the business did not grow without difficulties. You need to understand and appreciate that you will be working under pressure (a lot with a new business start-up). Some tasks will be much more difficult than other tasks, and all tasks will most likely be more difficult than you first thought they would be. The difficulty of the task should not stop you from performing the task, just keep in mind it will most likely be challenging. If it was easy to start and continue to run a small business, everyone and their brother would be in a small business. The motivation here is knowing that everyone who has started a small business has experienced difficulties. The bigger motivation is knowing that once you have passed that difficult stage, you can look back and appreciate where you came from and enjoy where you currently are. Remember, odds are that if the task is difficult, the rewards will be higher, and the personal satisfaction will be greater once you have completed the task.

Hopefully these points will help you to remain motivated while you are building your small business. The current economic times are very tough, many businesses are shutting their doors, now is the time to really focus on keeping your business successful because once the economy starts on it's upswing (and yes, it will come up again) you will be riding the front of that wave and wonder why you questioned your business.

If you are looking for a second (or third, or fourth...) income along the lines of a home based business, we may have something that would interest you (www.hawgwash.net). We offer business opportunities in StemTech (adult stem cell nutritionals), Pre-Paid Legal, Waterless cleaning technology and in Mona Vie nutritional drinks. These business opportunities all have a great pay plan and are very reliable business opportunities. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding these or any other business opportunity you are considering.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What is a Harvest Festival

I know many of you already believe you know what a harvest festival is, but perhaps you were not aware of all the history related to Harvest festivals and Harvest Moons. Tonight we are going to answer the question, what is a Harvest Festival, and cover some of the traditions related to it. In today's mechanized society, the need for harvest festivals is pretty slim and this time of year just seems to rush by and quickly turn into the holiday season. Tonight, I would like to take a little time to stop and smell the proverbial dried leaves...

What is a Harvest Festival? A harvest festival is the annual celebration which occurs around the time of the main harvest of a particular region. Each region has it's own harvest time, so the dates are not necessarily set in stone. These festivals traditionally include large meals with family and friends. Usually the meals are centered around the particular crop that has been harvested. The concept behind the festivals are to give thanks for a plentiful harvest. The hard work is now done and it is a time for farmers and families to celebrate. These celebrations will include eating, playing, music, contests and romance.

The word, "harvest" is from the Anglo-Saxon word, "Autumn". It then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other farmed products. It is a celebration of the food grown on the land. As we talked about last week, the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon. This is why, in ancient traditions Harvest Festivals were traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon. Early English settlers took the tradition of harvest thanksgiving to the United States (at the time North America), the first harvest Thanksgiving was held in the U.S. in 1621 by the Pilgrims.

Harvest Festivals remind Christians of all the good things that God provides for them. This makes them want to share with others who are not so fortunate. In schools and in Churches, people bring food fro home to a Harvest Festival Service. After the service, the food that has been provided is usually made into parcels and given to people in need.

At the start of the harvest, communities would appoint a strong and respected man as their "Lord of the Harvest". He was responsible for negotiating the harvest wages and organizing the workers. The end of the harvest was celebrated with a big meal called the Harvest Supper. The "Lord of the Harvest" would sit at the head of the table and a goose stuffed with apples was the centerpiece of the table along with a variety of vegetables.

Encyclopaedia Britannica traces the origins of Harvest Festivals to the "animistic belief in the corn (grain) spirit or corn mother." In some regions, the farmers believed that a spirit resided in the last sheaf of grain to be harvested. To chase out the spirit, they beat the grain to the ground. Other places wove some blades of the cereal into a 'corn dolly' that they kept safe for luck until seed-sowing the following year. The corn dolly had a place of honor at the Harvest Banquet table.

Now you too can answer the question, 'what is a Harvest Festival?'. Hopefully you enjoyed this little bit of historical trivia. Have a wonderful evening.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Interesting Trivia and Fun Facts

Since I was having major Internet issues last night, I was unable to post any of our traditional Monday Fun facts and interesting trivia. So, today we are going to catch up on the fun we missed yesterday (before I tried to drop-kick the wireless card into the pool). This week we are going to look at some of the odd and interesting trivia bits from the American Civil War (1861-1865):

There was a new invention called the hypodermic needle. This new contraption made it easier to get morphine into a soldier's bloodstream when he needed a limb amputated while still on the battlefield. These needles were eventually sold through the Sears and Roebuck catalog, so that the soldiers who ended up hooked on morphine could get fresh needles to inject more morphine...

On a slightly brighter note, the popular romantic way to spend a date was to walk hand in hand through a cemetery. You have to wonder what to talk about when taking a romantic walk through a cemetery. Perhaps that is what kept the pregnancy rate so low????

The electric telegraph was patented by Samuel Morse (the same man who created Morse Code). This was the beginning of mass communications. I wonder what Samuel Morse would think about communications now?

This was the time of the Industrial Revolution. With the Revolution, we got some really great inventions, like the elevator, which was first presented in 1852 at a New York Store. This was such a strange contraption at the time that some people encountered "Elevator Sickness" because of the fast motion of this new invention.

The book, "On the Origin of Species", by Charles Darwin was published in 1859. The shocking observations contained within this writing was considered an atrocity by many church-going people. If you have not perused this book, Charles Darwin basically threw out the theory of evolution and propounded the heretical theory of "survival of the fittest". Basically, in his book, Charles Darwin outlined his theory of evolution. Only the fittest of the particular species survived. It is fascinating reading for those who love history, there are great descriptions of the Galapagos Islands and what Charles Darwin found there.

Lastly, with P.T. Barnum, the art of hoaxing and humbugging came into vogue. The Feegee Mermaid was on of his most famous hoaxes. The "Mermaid" was the head of a monkey sewn onto the body of a fish. People flocked to see this "Mermaid" and believed it to be real. Perhaps on the heels of Darwin's "Origin of Species" people became more willing to believe in the strange and outrageous...

Since I fell behind on blogging last week, (largely in part to Internet issues) tomorrow we will follow up on the traditions of Harvest Festivals which I promised to have last Friday. We will again get back to focusing on the techniques of various Millionaires again this Friday. In between now and then I have a few surprises (hopefully) in store. If you don't see the blog, I will hold my Word document very close to the computer so you can read what should have posted...(that is a JOKE, with luck the Internet speed issue has been resolved...)

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Can't post blog tonight

I have had problems with the wireless network all evening and have been unable to successfully post tonight. You all are not being forgotten, I just can't post more than a paragraph before the wireless dies. Will have it repaired tomorrow and will post then. Sorry for the delay, I have a bunch of great blogs for you this time... until tomorrow...really...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First full day of Fall - Fall Equinox

Did you know that today was the first full day of fall, but that it officially began at 11:13 PM EST? What makes yesterday evening so cool was that we had a "harvest" moon shining for the first time since 1991. Now some of you may not really care about that, but for those of us who like all kinds of fun trivia, this is really cool stuff.

How many of you remember what a Harvest Moon really is? Ah ha, thought so... For those of us who "forgot" this information that we may have learned in elementary school so many aeon's ago, the full moon closest to the September Equinox is the traditional definition of the harvest moon. So, it is really and truly a harvest moon because we had a full moon ON the September equinox.

I thought it would be nice to have a little information on the Fall equinox. I remember in school that I was taught the Fall and Spring Equinox were supposed to have the length of day to be exactly as long as the length of night. Apparently, my instructors were incorrect, or, most likely, I got my facts mixed up. The true days of day/night equality fall AFTER the Fall equinox and fall BEFORE the Spring equinox. This clarification came from Geoff Chester who is a public affairs specialists with the U.S. Naval Observatory (does he observe belly buttons??? hmmm...)

Basically though, for most of us, essentially the most important thing about last night was that is was basically as long as the daylight hours were. From here until the Winter solstice, our daylight hours will get shorter and shorter and the night time will be longer and longer. Unfortunately for us working folk, we do not get to sleep longer because the nights are longer, it just means we get very little daylight to play in. Granted, we get more daylight than in Alaska, but we do get short days.

On the Northern Hemisphere's Fall equinox (today), a person standing at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signaling the beginning of six months of darkness. Today a person standing on the South Pole would also see the sun go across the horizon, which now begins their six months of uninterrupted daylight.

Another cool thing about the Autumnal equinox is that this is only one of two times a year when the sun rises due east and sets due west. So, if you are lost, that is the day you know where due East and due West are... This is also one of two times in our year where if you were standing on the Equator, you can see the sun passing directly overhead. The other time of year that this occurs is in the Spring.

So, now you have some fun actual facts regarding the Autumnal Equinox and what a harvest moon is. I will see if I can rummage up some fun traditions for the Fall equinox and provide that information to you tomorrow.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Keeping it short

I really like this quote from George Burns, "The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible." I realize that sometimes these blogs can get lengthy, usually because I have a "wild hair" and need to vent. Other times, I really should break these into separate articles. My desire is to keep these relatively short and sweet and still get my thoughts across to you concisely.

Tonight I have no particular topic to expound upon, and do not want to take away all the Monday fun by adding more fun trivia facts on "Hump Day". So I just wanted to sit down with all of you and say "HI". Hopefully you have been enjoying my blathering, perhaps some of what I talk about has caused you to laugh, or to think. My goal is to have fun, both for me writing and for you in reading.

It has been an interesting month so far, and looks to get even more fun as the month draws to a close. I am sorry I missed the "unofficial" Run for the Wall Southern Route reunion last weekend in Kerrville, TX, but am already planning on finding some way to attend next year's event. The one redeeming factor has been all the activity on Facebook by the RFTW family. They have been great about posting pictures, continuing to make comments and generally stay in touch with each other. By chatting on Facebook, it is almost like being with my extended family.

If you have never participated in Run for the Wall, this is an event that begins 10 days before the Memorial Day weekend. We ride motorcycles (some of us also travel in cars and RV's - we are getting older...) from the Los Angeles, CA area to Washington, D.C. in order to visit the Vietnam Wall. It is an event that everyone (including non-military people like me) should do at least once in their lifetime. It has been a life-changing experience for me and I would not miss it for the world.

Other than missing my RFTW family, we have been busy here preparing for a new business launch. I cannot tell you much about it now, but in the next 3-5 weeks, we will be launching a new and very innovative company and product for all to see. This product is going to put the energy drink market on it's ear. I can't wait to tell you more, but I have been sworn to secrecy and if I told you now, I would have to kill you. Suffice it to say, the minute I can talk specifically about the product launch, I will be shouting it from the rooftops (and from the blogs...).

I know I said it was going to be a brief blog tonight, and I have once again lied. So, on that note, have a wonderful evening and I will continue our conversation tomorrow.

Until then...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Discovering a Business Breakthrough

I have been talking at length about home based businesses and presenting various ideas on how to grow your business. Some of you may have been in business for several years and may be currently stuck in the proverbial rut with your current small business. It is times like this when you need to find that business breakthrough that will propel your business into the next level. For many of us with a small business, it is hard to find the time to discover a business breakthrough. We have our hands full with the day-to-day processes, sales and associated issues and concerns.

Tonight I would like to suggest a few different ways to view your current business. By taking an outside view of your business, you may find that critical breakthrough that you have been searching for. Most of the time we need to step back from what we do to take a fresh look at our businesses. It is very hard to do when you have so much that must be completed on a daily basis. You end up getting into a routine and not even realizing that you are doing the same thing day in and day out. That is when your business may become stagnant. Hopefully these questions will help to get your creative juices stirring.

These ideas are similar to free-association, hopefully they will get you looking at your current business situation in new and different ways. It is very difficult to discover new and better ways to do things if you don't have an uninterested third party looking at what you are doing and asking questions. This is a way that we can simulate an uninterested stranger looking at your business and asking questions.

How do you see your products or services changes in the next 3-5 years? Do you see yourself adding or removing product or service lines? If so, why would you change? If you changed products, why did you offer the products in the first place?

Is there a new way to market your product to your customer base? Is your product environmentally friendly? What does your product do that your competitor doesn't do? Is there some off-the wall use for your product that works, but you never tell your customers about? If so, why don't you talk about it? Sometimes a new application for your product can revitalize sales.

Can your products be used by children? Or, if you have products for children, can they also be used by adults? What would need to be adjusted if you changed your demographics?

Is there a different way you can introduce your products to new customers? Do you have testimonials? If not, why not? If you do, are they current? I many businesses I have visited, I have noticed that many testimonials hanging on the walls are years old. Does this describe your business? If you walked into another business and saw testimonials years old, what would go through your mind?

Can you do any word association with your products? Is there a way you can create a silly jingle for your products or services? (i.e. wacky widgets, squeaky clean mouse car cleaners, donut dusters) Even if you don't publish your jingle, it may be enough to get you thinking about your product or service in a new light. That may then suggest other marketing ideas for you. Have fun with the jingle, the only person who may ever hear it could be you. Be sure to record all of your attempts, then come back to your attempts another day. Taking several days to create a jingle and then review it may help to again find new advertising ideas.

Hopefully some of these questions will trigger other ideas for you, they are not meant to be followed religiously, but they are intended to get your creative ideas flowing so that you can come up with even more creative ideas for your specific products or services. With luck you will discover a business breakthrough that will allow your business to be even more profitable than it currently is.

Check out our website if you are interested in adding a second income to your current portfolio. We may have something that will compliment what you are currently doing, or we may have an opportunity that will expand what you want to do.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Fun Facts

This Monday brings us another session of fun, and probably useless facts to fill our brains up. Today we are going to have some more fun with little pieces of trivia to amaze your friends and frustrate your family. As you are aware, since Mondays are usually tough on all of us (the first day back to work after a way too short weekend) it is helpful to have something fun to read to forget the Monday blues. Welcome to Monday Fun Facts.

How many of you have looked at statues in the park? How many of you even know that there are statues in many parks? Well, for those of you with inquiring minds, you may have noticed that some statues have men on horses. In the older parks, especially on the East Coast, there are many statues dedicated to the brave men who fought for our freedoms. I had always seen some of these statues with the horses rearing, or the horses just standing still. I thought it was artistic license as to how the horse was portrayed, I did not realize that there was a meaning behind how the horses were presented. If the horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle, if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of a natural cause.

For more landmark fun, did you know that the Boston University Bridge is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane? Wow, took me a few minutes to visualize that...

This piece of trivia I picked up while traveling the country last year. Did you know that the Eisenhower Interstate system requires that only one mile in every five miles must be straight? These straight sections of the interstate are usable as airstrips in times of war or for other emergencies. I had never really noticed how many miles of straight highway I was driving versus how many curves there were in the road. I can tell you that after learning this tidbit, I have paid more attention to how many and how long the straight sections of the highway are. It effectively keeps me aware of what I am doing and where I am driving. No more highway hypnosis for me...

Did you ever wonder why New York City drops a big ball in Times Square every New Year's Eve? Time balls, which were large metal gloves in the Victorian Era, were placed up on tall structures in cities and would drop and rise again at noon so people could set their watches by them. Wow, I just thought that huge ball in Times Square was only for New Year's Eve celebrations.

For another time-related bit of trivia, did you ever notice on analog watches that they always are set to 10:10? The watch makers do this because then the arms frame the brand of the watch and make it look like the watch is smiling. Nothing like a little subliminal marketing here...

More marketing "oops" - Colgate faced big obstacles marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries because the word "Colgate" translates into the command "go hang yourself". When the Nova car was manufactured, they had to change the model name when marketing it in Mexico. Nova, can be roughly translated to "no go"...who would want a model of car that already states it won't go?

It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million dollars to make a film about it. What is wrong with this picture?

Hopefully these little pieces of trivia brightened your day.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stem Cell Research in the news again..

When driving around running errands last week(assuming I am not on a motorcycle) I try to make good use of my time by listening to news. I find I get more news in a shorter period of time than if I watch the news on TV. As I was listening to the news last week, I heard a brief report that researchers are trying to get government funding re-approved to begin embryonic stem cell research again. In mid August this year the courts had halted new Federal funding for Embryonic Stem Cell research. The reason for the halt in funding is again the concern of the destruction of embryos. It seems that every month or so stem cell research is in the news again.

Many people believe that embryonic stem cell research will help improve lives of many, and possibly save many more lives. The hope is that embryonic stem cells, when used properly, can cure diseases, deformities and repair spinal cord injuries. There is another type of stem cell that can, in time, improve your overall health, the adult stem cell. Granted the results are not as dramatic, but if we can get a head start on keeping our bodies in optimal health, we are better off in the long run. We all have adult stem cells and if we harness the power of our own adult stem cells, then we can see improvements in our personal quality of life. What our adult stem cells can do is to go out and help our bodies to renew themselves. These adult stem cells will travel to the area of need and turn into the cells for tissues, muscles or organs that need to be repaired. As we age, our adult stem cells may not be able to get out as much and repair the areas in need in your body.

We have a relatively new product line by StemTech, that enhances your own body's ability to release it's own adult stem cells into the circulatory system. By allowing your body to release up to 25% more of its own adult stem cells into the circulation system, you are improving your body's ability to renew itself. Did you know that your intestinal lining is completely renewed every 5 days? Or that your liver is completely renewed every 3-5 years? Your pancreas and lungs are completely renewed every 4-5 years and your heart can renew itself every 15-20 years. If you can take a product that allows your body to release more adult stem cells for renewal, wouldn't that be a good thing?

The great part about the adult stem cells is that it is not nearly as controversial as embryonic stem cell research. From the time we are born, we all have the adult stem cells in our body. Our product, StemEnhance does nothing more than allow your body to release about 25% more of your adult stem cells from your bone marrow into your blood stream. Then, once in the blood stream, these adult stem cells migrate to the areas in need and go to work, turning into the cells that need repairing or replacing. There is no embryo to worry about destroying, there is no controversial research, heck, there is even no significant controversial news to report on the research of adult stem cells. Our core product, StemEnhance, naturally allows your body to release more of it's own stem cells so that the body can naturally renew itself.

So, despite all of the legal battles on the ethics of embryonic stem cell research, we do have an alternative to keep our bodies healthier today, using our own adult stem cells. If you are interested in more information on adult stem cells, click here. If you want to look at the complete StemTech product line, check out www.hawgwash.stemtechbiz.com. We are also always available to answer any e-mail questions you may have.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is More Important?

It is a tough question to determine which is more important, where you live or what you do for a living. I will strive to explain my position tonight...

Arizona desert

Many times you hear that for successful business it is location, location, location. I suppose that where you live would be more important than what you do for a living. Where you live could have an impact on what you do for a living, but then, once you think about it, what you do for a living can have an impact on where you live.

The upshot though, in my humble opinion, is that it is more important where you live rather than what you do for a living. If you are not comfortable where you live, then you will not really be comfortable doing what you want to do for a living. Having a good location for where you live is just as important as a having a good location for your successful business. If you are in a bad location for either where you live or where you work your business, neither will do well. You cannot focus on making a living if you are worried about where you live.

The problem with people in general is that they seem to tend to define themselves by what they do for a living. The biggest issue with that is once those same people retire, then they have essentially lost their identity. A balance needs to be reached, you need to like what you do for a living, that is important, but you should not allow yourself to develop your identity by your work. I can make this statement because I have been guilty of defining who I was by what I did for a living. What I discovered is that what I did for a living was not allowing me to live at all.

Location for where you live can allow you to develop who you in a healthier way. By having a good location to live, will allow you to have more free thoughts, more time to develop other skills that are not related to what you do for a living. Having a good location to live may even allow you to modify or improve what you do for a living. Where you live can allow you to expand your horizons, and possibly develop a better balance between your work and non-work life.

Where I live is very important for me. I love the views I have of the local mountains, I love the space and I especially love the people that are also living around me. This way, whatever I choose to do for a living is balanced by other things I love. The best part for me is that what I do for a living can be done in and around the wonderful comforts of my home. Not everyone is so blessed. Even when traveling, it is nice to be able to come "Home" and know I have a wonderful location to come home to. Location for where I live helps to provide me balance and solace whereas what I do for a living can change from day to day.

If you are interested in adding an second income to what you are currently doing so that you can enjoy making a living, please feel free to visit our website for second income ideas.

Until tomorrow...

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

4 Tips to keep moving your small business forward

Tonight we are going to cover 4 tips to keeping your small business moving forward. In the current economy, it is very easy to find that your business is not moving forward and may even be moving backwards. Instead of considering packing it all in and calling it quits, now is the time to get back to basics. New, trendy ideas right now are not what is going to gain your customers' trust, they are tired of empty promises. What is really going to resonate with your customers is good, old fashioned customer service.

As we have become more digitized, we are losing the personal touch with people, in particular our customers. How many people now choose to order products directly from the Internet instead of dealing directly with a living, breathing person. Granted, since we are all so busy, it is extremely easy to order products and some services over the Internet, but now is the time to find a way to personalize your customer's Internet experience. So many websites gather e-mail addresses, names, phone numbers, but none the ones I have seen actually thank you for providing that information. I am personally uncomfortable providing all that information when I know what I want to order. I worry about receiving mountains of junk e-mail after submitting that information. It is important as a small business to collect this information, but perhaps instead of collecting it in order to send out more marketing pieces, perhaps you would want to send out a nice, homey, friendly (and SHORT) letter to your customers, thanking them for their patronage. Do not sell them anything, just thank them for coming to you with their request. If you want to open a dialog with them, ask them for any suggestions to improve their shopping experience. I like to periodically (about once or twice a year) send just a little news letter that is entertaining. I will not sell anything directly, but will provide my website and phone number at the bottom if the recipients are interested. You want your customers curious and happy about receiving occasional messages, not dreading all your selling pieces. This friendly, fun newsletter will keep your name uppermost in your customer's mind without all the negative feelings.

Another suggestion to keep your business moving forward is to do the right thing for your customers, even if may not be the most profitable thing for you to do. Customers will remember a bad experience 3 times longer than they will remember a positive experience. If there is a problem with your customer's order and you catch it before your customer does, do the right thing and correct the error instead of waiting for the customer to come to you. It may hurt initially, but your customer will remember your diligence far longer than your brief pain. Your customer will happily tell all their friends about your integrity and honesty when you correct a problem before they even knew about it. Sitting back and hoping the customer will not notice a problem is not realistic. Sometimes customers will discover a problem and if it is minor, will not let you know. The downside is that they will probably not ever shop with you again. You may not know how many customers you lose this way, you may just notice a decrease in customer activity. If you find a problem, be proactive, let your customers know and resolve it without being asked to. This gesture will increase your loyal customer base much faster than you can imagine.

The third tip is to treat your customers like family. No, not like a dysfunctional family, but care for them. Listen to their concerns, because those concerns may provide clues for you to assist your customers further. Families talk with each other, air their concerns and offer support to each other. Do the same for your customers. Listen to their concerns, strive to assist them where you can, and honestly care about their well being. You have to honestly care because your customers will know if you are not sincere. Your customers will return to you more often if you stop to listen to what their needs are instead of trying to tell them what you believe they need. Family strives to help each other for the betterment of the whole, you should do the same for your customers. Then both you and your customers will win.

The last tip to help move your business forward is to over deliver on your promises. This all goes back to good customer service. I am not suggesting always giving more product than what the customer purchased, but to be sure you go above and beyond what your customer was expecting. Remember the days of the "bakers dozen"? If you purchased a dozen donuts, the baker might throw in an extra donut. Didn't you feel special when you found that extra donut? Do a little something extra for your customer. It does not need to be expensive, but provide a little extra service or product so that your customer will be smiling when they see what they have. Especially now, when money is tight, based on your customers' needs, find something small, that won't impact your business financially, but will give great pleasure to your customers when they get a little extra something with their purchase. If you have products to deliver, always be sure to deliver on or before the date you told your customer. They will always appreciate accurate and timely deliveries.

Following these for tips may make the difference between remaining successful or closing your doors. Remember to treat your customers with respect, do what is right, not what you think you can get away with, care for your customers like you would your family and lastly over deliver on what you promise. These four tips will pay dividends for years to come.

If you are looking for a business opportunity that requires minimal cash outlay, check our our website. We offer business opportunities in stem cell nutrition, Pre-Paid legal services and Mona Vie - a nutritional drink. We can also help you start up your own waterless technology vehicle detailing business if that is what you are interested in. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Fun Facts

Today we have another installment of fun facts and trivia. Since Mondays are traditionally difficult, especially after a really fun weekend, I thought we could take a little of the sting out of Mondays by having a fun fact/trivia evening. Tonight will be a bit of a mish-mash of trivia, I have stopped specifically looking for interesting trivia from 1910. There are so many fun facts out there that I wanted everyone to enjoy..

I am sure that many of you knew that the first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903. But did you know that the carburetor on that motorcycle was made from a tomato can? For those of you who have followed the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise of Harley Davidson, the thought of a tomato can as a carburetor is not entirely surprising (I am thinking back to the AMF days, when it seems we would have been LUCKY to have had a tomato can...).

I don't know about you guys, but when someone cracks their knuckles around me, my stomach turns. I originally pictured the joints just grinding over each other and "popping" back into place. Apparently, my imagery was incorrect. The sound that you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting. Talk to deep sea divers, they can crack their knuckles just by closing and tightening their fist. This is due to all of the nitrogen they absorb after so many deep water dives on mixed air... It makes you wonder though, for those who make a habit of cracking their knuckles (which still makes my stomach turn), are they lighter in the water than the rest of us because they have more nitrogen in their system? Something to think about...

Some more trivia on the human body - some of you may know this tidbit, but human hair and fingernails continue to grow after death. Anybody in the mortuary business is painfully aware of this...

Did you know it takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body? I didn't know my circulatory system was that efficient...wow...

The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air. Wow, that just makes me feel creepy... does that mean a cornea can live without being attached to our body? More food for thought...

Intelligent people have more Zinc and Copper in their hair. I wonder where they get it since hair is basically waste product of your body...

The average person laughs about 13 times a day. I haven't had my quota today, hence this fun fact blog... ;-()

Here is something fun for the parents of the world. In an average day, a four year old child will ask 437 questions. I bet many of you parents out there believe that number to be significantly higher than that. But geez, 437 is a lot of questions... it is a wonder more parents don't go crazy by then...

Do you know the only two animals that can see behind themselves without turning their heads? It is the rabbit and the parrot. Their eyes are placed right on the side of their heads so that they can easily see forward and backward without turning their head. I might get confused if I could look forward and backward at the same time. I have enough trouble walking forward that I can't imagine how I could see behind myself too... How do rabbits run so fast if they can see both directions?

This last tidbit made me giggle, probably more because I am tired, not because it is truly funny. Granted, I believe animals should not be mistreated, but I also believe there are many "animal activists" that go too far in promoting their agenda. This fact just tickled my fancy, though nobody really won: Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.

And lastly, do you know the names of the three wise monkeys? Personally, I didn't even know they had names, but yes, they do. There is Mizaru (See No Evil), Mikazaru (Hear No Evil) and Mazaru (Speak No Evil).

Now that you are smarter than you were at the beginning of this blog, I will leave you for the evening. Have a wonderful evening and day tomorrow. I will post more serious information tomorrow.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Millionaire Focus

Hi guys, sorry about being offline for the last 2 days. As you know, I have been taking Saturday's off, but this last Friday, I was so tired after it got dark, I fell asleep. I then intended to post on Saturday to make up for my missed Friday, but again fell asleep. I guess I needed the rest. I am back in the saddle this evening and will pick up tonight where we should have been on Friday - Millionaire Focus.

Tonight, we are going to cover some spending tips that are used by various modern millionaires. As we have discovered in prior posts, many of our modern millionaires do not spend money like we had seen in the past. Many do not go in for the gigantic estates, the fancy cars, etc. Many modern millionaires are much more frugal and it could be useful to see what they do and perhaps mimic some of their behaviors.

Forbes posts a list of the world's billionaires, and as of 2010, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu (Carlos Slim) currently holds the number one spot for being the world's richest billionaires. He is now richer than Bill Gates ad Warren Buffett as being the wealthiest person on earth. He is also known for his frugality. His net worth is somewhere around 60.6 billion dollars. What that means to you and me is that he can spend $1,150 a minute for the next 100 years before he runs out of money. What would you do with that much money.

Part of Carlos' frugality includes living in the same home for more than 40 years. Just because you have the money does not necessarily mean you need to get a larger home. The key is to keep your home simple, get the best you can, within your means. Before you go out and purchase that huge mansion, ask yourself, do you REALLY need all that extra space? With a larger home comes larger maintenance costs (electric, water, cleaning, etc.). Consider all the costs involved with a larger home and determine if the larger home is necessary for your comfort, or if you are just looking for a larger, more expensive home because you want to impress friends and neighbors. By keeping your home simple, you should be keeping your costs more reasonable. Just because you may be making large quantities of money now, does not mean that cash flow will continue indefinitely. By keeping things simple, you are increasing your chances of success for the long term.

Another trick many millionaires use it to purchase their clothes off the rack. Do you really have to have that designer outfit that costs hundreds of dollars? Will anyone really care how much you spent on your clothes. Make sure you have good quality clothes, but you do not need to go overboard on clothing. Some frugal billionaires believe it is not worth the effort or expense to purchase designer clothing. Heck, you may meet some billionaires who predominantly wear jeans and a t-shirt. It is not the clothes that make the person, but rather the person who makes the clothes.

Carlos Slim also does not own a yacht or a plane. He does not spend on any luxury items that he does not need. The key to remaining wealthy is to reduce the amount that you spend. If you do not purchase what you don't need, you can invest your money elsewhere, where it will work for you instead. You should not be working for all the "toys" you purchase. Making your money work for you instead of the other way around will help you to continue to grow rich. Another billionaire who skips many luxury items is Warren Buffett. He believes that "Most toys are just a pain in the neck."

As we continue our our odyssey of examining millionaires and billionaires, we will most likely continue to discover a commonality, that most of these people are extremely frugal. If we can reduce the amount of money we spend on things we really don't need (analyzing want versus needs...) we stand a better chance of keeping our money where it belongs, in investments. If we spend less than we make, and reinvest the money we have saved, then there is a good chance that we too can enter the ranks of the millionaires. If nothing else, we will become richer without having to work much harder.

If you are looking for a second income stream to help build your cash portfolio, you may find some interesting business opportunities on our website. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the business opportunities we offer. If we don't have what you are looking for, we may be able to at least point you in the right direction.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sick Bird Update

I wanted to provide a brief update tonight on how the bird is doing. No, she didn't pass away, I just didn't want to bore everyone with a daily update on a bird recovering from a massive stroke. The good news is that she is getting stronger each day. The bad news is that she still cannot use either of her feet.

The bird has been getting a steady dose of StemEnhance and ST-5 with Migrastem every day. Even though these items are intended for human consumption, I have reduced the dose down to a bird-sized amount. What I have been doing is putting approximately a quarter teaspoon of ST-5 in a quarter cup of water. I have punched a hole in one of the StemEnhance pills and sprinkle a light amount of StemEnhance on top of the water and ST-5 mixture. Both of these products are quite soluble, so it is very easy to mix the whole thing up into a very drinkable mixture. As the day progresses, I do add water (the evaporation rate here in AZ is pretty high) and change the mixture out every day. The stem cell nutrition works well for Zardoz as it has been working well for me too. (Click here if you are interested in any of the StemTech products. I would love to discuss them with you further)

The bird (Zardoz) drinks deeply from this mixture several times a day. I also make sure that she has a good supply of fresh clean water. She is now also back to eating some bird seeds along with cooked pasta, rice, pizza crust, and anything else she even remotely desires. I realize this is not necessarily the healthiest mixture, but right now, she is still so thin that anything she is willing to eat, she gets. She is definitely getting strong every day, she is preening now, even though she cannot clean her underside since she cannot stand on either leg.

Her tail feathers are getting pretty mangled right now because she still backs up more than pulls herself forward, but her legs (not feet...yet) are getting a little better. She is not using her wings quite as much to move around and is balancing better on her legs. She still gets her feet tangled underneath her, but I am hoping with time, she will regain full use of both of her feet. One foot is showing some small signs of movement, the other foot (the one that is curled) has opened up for a little while today, and is now curled up again.

Her attitude is much better, she is getting feisty and loves to flap her wings (her version of flying) upon being lifted from her cage. Because she appears to really like to stretch out her wings and flap, each time we take her out of her cage, we run around the house with her in our hands and let her believe that she is flying around. Each day she flaps her wings for a longer period of time, so I know she is slowly improving. The attached pictures are showing what she looks like in her personal "flight simulator".

I guess there is more good news, we are getting more exercise because we are literally running around the house with the bird in our hands. Granted I have not weighted the bird (more afraid than anything else) but she is feeling slightly heavier than when she first had her stroke. I can see that her chest is slowly starting to fill out, so she is beginning to put some weight back on. As she is gaining weight, I am losing weight. Perhaps I am providing her the weight. That is a thought, but I really don't want the bird to gain more than a pound or two, and I really want to lose more than a pound or two.

That is the sick bird update for this week. Hopefully the next time you all see Zardoz, you will see a healthy bird that is able to perch and climb around her cage. I am doing a lot of Physical Therapy with her when I am not running all around town.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In defense of my vice:

My favorite vice is stone carving. Is it crazy, or is there a logic to this vice? Only time will tell... I have had many vices in the past, but this is my current love and it has been with me for quite a few years and will continue to be with me for many more years...


My vice is stone carving. It is a vice in that I would rather be carving than doing anything else. I love the sound that the stone makes when being struck by the chisel and hammer. It sounds like when struck properly, the stone is singing. The more I can get the stone to sing, the more I love to carve.



Once the stone starts singing, I have a clear picture what is inside and it is now only a matter of clearing away all that excess stuff to let the true sculpture in the stone come out. It gives me so much pleasure to free the creature from inside the stone.



When I am in the middle of a carving, it is odd because others cannot see what I see in the stone. Many times people will come by and ask what I am carving, when to me it is obvious. I sometimes keep a lump of clay near so that I can either shape in the clay what is in the stone, or I can point to the already modeled clay so that all those who cannot see will understand what I am doing.



I find it humorous that people cannot see what I do. What I see in stones is similar to when you look at clouds and describe shapes in the cloud formations. If people can look at clouds and see shapes, why can't they see that in the stones? All the same, if everyone could see the shapes inside the stone, then there would be too many stone carvers out there and I would have a hard time finding that perfect stone with that perfect shape inside. Many of my friends think my vice is strange, but it gives me so much pleasure.



Another wonderful aspect of this vice called stone carving is that after a really bad day, I can sit in front of the stone, and start whacking away at it. I like to think of that type of carving as controlled breakage. Think of how much of a release it is if you could just break things after a frustrating day. I do respect the stone, even in my fits of controlled breakage. I keep un-carved pieces of stone just for days like that. Un-carved stone usually requires a LOT of controlled breakage before the shape that is within begins to emerge.



To me stones are alive and if you ask them nicely and politely, they will show you what is truly within. Hence my love of stone carving... With luck I will never quit and when I die, I will be with the stones again...

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

5 ways to grow your business

Many of us with small businesses may sometimes experience slumps in that business. No matter how hard you plan for the fluctuations in customer's buying pattern, it is still educated guesswork. This is the time when you should be referring back to your business plan and confirming that you are still on the path you had originally set. If you feel that your original plan is not working properly, take time to work out a modification to that plan, be sure to include measurable actions in it and continue working. If you are working your business plan and are still having some concerns, now might be a good time to look again at why you started your own small business in the first place. Tonight we are going to talk about 5 ways to grow your business even when you feel like nothing positive is happening.

1. - Now is the time to go back and re-discover why you loved going into business for yourself. When times get tough, it is hard to remember why you started down this path. Hopefully when you initially created your business plan, you included all the things that you loved about starting your own small business. Go back and rediscover why you were passionate about your business. Fall in love again with what you wanted to do, do not let the current economic problems color your feelings (hard to do, I realize, but important to not let current the situation ruin your long-term plans) but strive to remember what you were passionate about. Imagine yourself a year from now and where you want to be. Work to see past the immediate problems and you may be able to figure out a solution to the current obstacle.

2. - Make sure you have a vision of where you want to be. Not where you want to be tonight, but where you want to end up after all is said and done. Once you know where you want to end up, then make a decision that you will make it happen. After deciding you will make the outcome become a reality, start slowly making steps towards that destination. If you are able to focus on your long-term goals, the short-term problems will begin to resolve themselves because you fought to find a solution to them. Your short-term problems are not insurmountable if you are always looking towards the future.

3. - Don't be afraid of the obstacles that crop up as you work towards your ultimate goal. It may sound corny, but the difficulties you experience now will make you a better business person in the long haul. Another way to look at difficulties is, think of the success story you will have to tell. There are many millionaires out there that failed miserably in one endeavor or another, some may have even bankrupted themselves, but they still got up, dusted themselves off and started to work toward their dream again. How do you feel when you hear these millionaires tell you of the times that they failed? We are all human, we will encounter difficulties, we will fail, but we will get up and start again. Failing is only one way of discovering what not to do next time. Won't you feel good being able to stand in front of hundreds of people telling them that there were times that you thought you couldn't go on, but despite the problems and difficulties, you prevailed? It proves you are human.

4. - You need to continue working towards your goals. No matter how hard things get, nothing will ever beat out good old-fashioned work to help a business succeed. Do not fall into the trap that there are businesses out there that do not require large amounts of work in order to be successful. To find a business that does not require any effort on your part is like finding a needle in a haystack. Again, referring back to the numerous millionaire profiles we have been doing, they all have put in the sweat to get their business going. You need to work in order to reap the rewards. There is no free lunch, no matter how many Internet marketers will try to tell you otherwise.

5. - Lastly, don't believe your friends and family when they tell you your business will never succeed. New ideas always seem strange to many people. Inventions like the light bulb would not have occurred if people were afraid to follow new ideas. As long as you have a solid business plan and reasonable chance for success, do not let some people tell you it will never work. Some of the modern millionaires were told their ideas were stupid, but they continued anyway only to end up making millions more. If you decide to discontinue one particular line in your business, be sure you are terminating it for solid business reasons, not because you are bending to outsiders telling you that your idea will never succeed.

Hopefully these ideas will be helpful in igniting lagging enthusiasm in your small business. Times are tough, many businesses (even long-established businesses) are falling by the wayside. The key is to remain flexible, strong, and keep measuring your successes against your business plan.

If you are looking for a second income, perhaps we have something that will appeal to you. Please let us know if you have any questions about the business opportunities we offer on our website. We would love to assist you in finding an additional income stream, and hopefully even helping you to achieve the financial freedom you have dreamed of.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Origins of Labor Day

Today was a day that many of us enjoyed because we didn't have to go in to our regular job. It is now a day of rest for many and a signal of the end of summer for others. How many of you actually remember learning about the origins of Labor Day? I had some inkling, learned about it in grade school, but thought a refresher course may be in the cards. The cool things about Memorial Day and Labor Day for me was that one was the last Monday of the month, and the other was the first Monday of the month. There was a symmetry about that which I always appreciated.

I always remember that the summer is bracketed by two holidays, Memorial Day and Labor Day. As a kid, I would occasionally get the two holidays mixed up because they both represented something about summer and school. School would end shortly after Memorial Day and start up again right after Labor Day. Now with different schools taking different holidays, and some schools essentially year-round schools, Labor Day does not quite mean the same thing anymore. No more end to those long relaxing summer days. No more vacations... time to get ready for school and start thinking about cold weather. I am not even sure if the school systems teach the origins of Labor Day anymore, so here is a brief history lesson.

In the late 1800's working conditions were not very hospitable. There were more often than not extremely long hours, low pay and uncertain jobs. Children worked alongside their parents and there was no sick pay allowed. People were afraid to stay home sick for fear that they would be replaced by others eagerly looking for work. Essentially it was an employers market, and many of the employers took advantage of the workers. In time, a man named Peter McGuire, son of an Irish immigrant, got tired of the long hours, poor work conditions and started learning about economic and social issues of his day. There was talk of organizing workers in order to pressure the managers to improve working conditions and shorten work hours.

In time, organizing workers according to their trade spread across the country and those organized groups became the labor unions that we know now. These organized blocks of workers were better able to negotiate improved work environments and shorter work hours for decent pay. The unions were also able to make the jobs the workers had more secure, including being allowed sick time. Peter McGuire decided that a planned holiday for organized workers would be a good idea. They chose early September (about half way between Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day) as appropriate for an annual holiday. On September 5, 1882 the first Labor Day parade was held in New York City to commemorate the first planned holiday for the workers. In 1884 it was decided that the first Monday in September would be the official holiday. Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker.

So, now you have had a brief history lesson on the origins of Labor Day. Many people look forward to Labor Day because most businesses are closed and it becomes a last tie to enjoy the remaining summer weather without having to take additional time off of work. Some of us are perhaps more blessed, we do not have a Labor Day observance because we are self-employed. We can take the time off and do nothing, or choose to work, at our discretion. If you are interested in learning how you can earn an additional income or ultimately become self employed, please feel free to contact us through e-mail or check out our website for some income earning ideas.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 3, 2010

More thoughts on Millionaires

As you may be aware, we have been having a weekly discussion on modern millionaires and what they do in order to create their wealth. I have been researching the people who did not start with a lot of money, but now are worth millions. The thought process is that if we can understand how they managed to become millionaires, then we can do the same thing. Granted there are occasions where millions were made by being in the right place at the right time, but that is not always the case.

Last week we talked about our perceptions of what a millionaire is and why shouldn't we be one of them. We reviewed some of the strategies these self-made millionaires used to get to where they are today. We are going to continue this line of thought tonight.

Two of the traits of millionaires we have covered were to stay focused on where you want to go and to continuously educate yourself. Another very important trait that they all seem to have in common is passion. You need passion for what you do. We have talked at length about how hard it is to get a business going. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, then the work to get there will be that much harder. If you are not passionate about what you do, odds are you will not be successful. You may earn an income, but there is more to being a millionaire than just money. You need to believe in what you are offering and you need to have emotional satisfaction with what you are doing. If you are not passionate about your business, then you may be in the wrong business. Passion denotes emotional commitment that that is necessary for a successful business opportunity. That passion will carry you through both the good and the hard times.

Another commonality among modern millionaires is the fact that they make their money (even a little bit of money at first) work for them. They are not working for money. They make a point of spending far less than what they bring in. Then the money that they have saved, they reinvest in a place where that same money will grow dramatically. Obviously, the key is to find the right investment to grow your money. There are innumerable ways to make extra money to invest, but they all do require that you be willing to do the work. We all have some skill or talent that others are willing to pay for. Most importantly, you need to not spend every extra dime you earned. Take that money and invest it in at least a retirement fund or some savings fund if you don't know what else to do with it at the moment. You will be amazed at how fast that little bit of money will grow if you continuously spend less than you bring home. Even if you put the money in an interest earning savings account, your money is now starting to work for you and not the other way around.

What all the modern millionaires also have in common is their willingness to go out on a limb for what they believe in. If you are not willing to take risks, then you will most likely not earn that additional income. Again, you need to learn to take calculated risks, but if you take no risks, then your money will not grow at a very fast rate (like putting your money in an interest earning savings account that only earns 1%). You do need to take some risks in order to grow your money. Do your homework before taking that risk, but life is all about risk taking, so you might as well give it a shot. The light bulb would never have been created if Henry Woodward didn't continue to take risks. Each time he failed, he tried something else until he was able to get the light bulb to work. (Henry Woodward sold his patent for the light bulb to Thomas Edison who ultimately developed a better light bulb). The upshot here is that both of these gentlemen took a risk, calculated, but they still took a risk and followed a path that they were passionate about.

We all need to keep these in mind when we are working towards being our own millionaire.

If you are looking for a small business opportunity that may help you to earn that extra income, we may have something that would tickle your fancy. We have several business opportunities on our website, and one may just ignite that passion you didn't know you had. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Scorpion Attacks

Just when I thought things might calm down enough for me to get back to business writing, more fun occurs. Tonight we are going to talk about scorpion attacks. Some of you may have only heard about those nasty little bugs, but for those of us that live in the desert, scorpions are very real. The worse part is they seem to be like the cockroaches of the desert. I have never, ever liked scorpions, I like them even less than spiders. At least with spiders, I catch them and throw them outside. I am not as charitable with scorpions. If I see them, they get squished, no "and's if's or but's" about it.

When I first purchased my current home, despite what the prior owner said (she flat-out lied to me..) the house was infested with scorpions. There was no where I could go where I didn't encounter scorpions. The prior homeowner even left her cats at the house and the only reason I let the cats stay was because I had been told that cats are great at getting rid of scorpions....NOT!!! A word to the wise, do not trust anyone who would willingly leave their cats behind when they sell a home, no matter what they tell you about the cat's amazing ability to keep your home safe. After about a year of squishing scorpions myself, I fired the cats and found a loving home for them (I am allergic to cats, couldn't just give them to a shelter..). After that, I had an exterminator come in regularly to rid the house of unwanted scorpions (and millipedes and all other nasty bugs that were poisonous..)

Since then, the house has been mainly scorpion free. I usually find a scorpion in the house about once or twice a year, that's it. Well, since we have been on the road, I have not had the exterminator in the house (obviously) for a good period of time. Arizona has also apparently had a pretty wet year, and the scorpions are out in force.

So, today, as Steve and I were sitting down in preparation for a conference call, he starts fidgeting with his ear and then begins yelling he was bit... I figured he just poked himself with his hangnail..(yeah, he gets no respect at all...) or pulled a wild hair, but he did start bouncing around and continued yelling. As he is bouncing all over the place claiming he was now stung (a second ago it was bit, then stung, then bit...you get the idea he had NO IDEA what was going on...) we started frantically looking for the culprit so we knew how to counter the bit/sting. We found nothing, which was no surprise. Steve was still bouncing all over, literally flipping anything on the floor over in hopes of finding something, the dogs were frantic and barking, I am trying to methodically find the bug and all of this is happening in a 10x12 room that does have furniture in it... I end up going to the kitchen (still believing he got stung by a spider) to mix a batch of baking soda and water to calm the bite down and then slap the mess on his neck. Try doing that to someone who won't sit still because he couldn't find the offender...

Steve claimed he flicked whatever it was onto the floor, but also tore his shirt off his body. Eventually, after exhausting all other means of searching, he picks up his shirt (I think he was planning on putting it on...) only to discover the offender on the back of his shirt, that nasty little bugger, the bark scorpion. He then proceeds to freak out again, wad the shirt up into a ball and start running for the pool. I wasn't sure what was going in the pool, the shirt, him, the scorpion or the whole group... What we did was lock the dogs inside, we had the shirt, Steve and the scorpion outside. Next task was to squish the bugger, but Steve was barefoot, bare handed and not thinking straight. I take off my flip flops and hand one over so Steve could have the pleasure of the total annihilation.

Steve slapped at that nasty little bugger (about two inches long including it's tail) until it was not twitching anymore. Then, to add insult to injury, Steve grabs some box tape, catches the remainder of the squished scorpion on the tape and proceeds to tape the dead scorpion with detached tail (something about repeated slaps with a flip-flop made the tail break...go figure) onto a piece of paper. He is now carrying that whole mess around with him. We do a quick search on the Internet to find out solutions to scorpion stings and basically found that if you don't have an allergic reaction, you just have to tough out the pain of the sting (which feels like a white-hot pin stuck in your skin) for the next 24 - 48 hours. After that, we did take a trip to the local Fire Department to make sure Steve was not experiencing any of the potentially fatal reactions to a scorpion sting (he wasn't and the FD guy was not entirely impressed with Steve's scorpion stuck on paper...).

So, Steve gets to spend the next 24 - 48 hours with a very sore neck (right behind the ear) and just basically pissed because he got stung. Needless to say, I will have the bug guy back shortly to the house to treat it for all kinds of critters that bite and sting. Steve will survive, his pride is not quite intact, but given a few days, you can bet that 2 inch scorpion will grow in size...even though we still have the exact proof of "who done it...". Now you know what happens when a scorpion attacks, it is not fun, but at least all involved survived...and I think Steve will be carrying that little bugger around with him for some time to come.

Next time you see Steve, ask about his pet scorpion...hehehehe...

For those of you who had been hoping for a more serious business article, that should occur tomorrow, unless we have more excitement. Otherwise, if you are looking for business opportunities, check out our website for some ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions regarding the opportunities listed on the website.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Funny Sick Bird Story

A few days ago I talked about our sick bird. She seems to have experienced a stroke which has currently paralyzed both of her legs. So all she can do right now to move around is by pulling herself around with her beak and wings. Each day she gets stronger, and we are starting to see some movement with her legs. Her feet do not move at all, one is curled up, the other is just left open. The good news though is that she is learning to use her legs and feet in their current positions. Don't worry, this lead-in is not a bad thing, but preparing you for the funny sick bird story.

My bird is not getting her legs as tangled up as in the first few days, but the bigger problem for her is that she cannot get off the bottom of her cage. Since neither leg works, there is currently no way on God's green earth that she can even think about perching. If she is unable to regain the use of her legs, we are considering building a ramp so that she can climb to a higher area. The problem right now is that she has a problem with pushing herself off of things. Since I have been working with her almost around the clock, she is on the couch or on a pillow a lot. The problem is that when she gets antsy, instead of pulling herself around, she pushes herself backwards and has a propensity for pushing herself off the edge of the couch or pillow, or anything else I may have placed her on.

The newest challenge is finding a place to put the bird when not in the cage. As a result, either Steve or I have to be very vigilant and cannot take our eyes off her for even a moment, for fear she will try to commit suicide by pushing herself off the couch and onto the floor. She is currently too fragile to handle even that foot and a half fall to the carpeted floor. The first few days after her stroke, I had been placing her on my chest so she could rest, stay warm, and I could keep a close eye on her. The first few days she was too weak to do much more than eat and sleep. Now she is getting stronger, and tends to get bored sitting in one position for more than 10 minutes.

Well, as she is improving, she is getting fussier about going to the bathroom. Now, when she has to go, she starts fidigting so that she can move her butt somewhere so that her excretment can go where she is not sitting in it. The problem is that we can't tell when she has to go. Originally she just fidigted because she just wanted to shift position.

Two days ago, she was sitting on Steve's chest, started moving around and ended up getting her tail in his face. He thought that was pretty funny until he hear this nasty fart sound and then all the stuff she had been holding came out. All of this hot, sticky, wet goo when down both sides of his neck. He couldn't move fast because the bird was perched on his chest, and then he had all this stinky poo slithering down the sides of his neck. Since is is not as familiar with handling the bird, he was afraid to pick her up. He had to resort to calling me (I was outside working with the dogs) on my cell phone to get me to come back inside to pick up the bird so he could get up and get the poo off his neck. I couldn't stop laughing, because her stuff stank sooo bad and it was EVERYWHERE on his neck. Even went down his back a little....

Then an even more terrible thing happened, when he tried to take his shirt off over his head, he was unaware of extra poop on the shirt. As he lifted the shirt over his head, he managed to get a mouthful of more poo. I could hear the yelling from the other end of the house...

So, yesterday, again, Steve had the bird this time lower on his belly and she started fidgeting yet again. This time I was inside, heard him bellowing because he thought she had to poop again. I started to come to his rescue until he said she was going to poop. I lost it and couldn't move another muscle. I started laughing hard and he started yelling even more which made me laugh so much more I couldn't move. Then I heard this ungodly fart coming from this little, sick bird, and then the noise of the poop....I was rolling on the floor at this point, and Steve is going crazy because again he was christened with this wet, hot, sticky, stinky stuff now oozing all over his stomach. I am finally able to grab the bird and move her to a clean, dry spot while Steve just starts bouncing around.

I could smell her poop from my location, so I can't imagine how bad it was for Steve. He again was wearing a t-shirt and was not happy about having to once again lift that nasty, dirty, stinky mess over his head. Again, I could not control my laughter. As Steve stalked off to once again change his shirt, I kept snickering as I placed the now happy and comfortable bird back in her cage. One of these days, Steve will learn how to properly pick up a sick bird and not get bit. He will then be able to remove the bird before she empties her intestines on his chest or neck.

The good news is that she is getting stronger every day, she is also having more bowel movements every day which also means she is eating more daily. She is not entirely out of the woods, but her personality is back and she is doing everything she can to bother Steve. (she always likes screwing with Steve) With luck, in the next few weeks she will regain the use of her legs and feet, so she won't be reliant on us to move her around a bunch.

So, even during these trying times, we are able to see the humor in caring a very sick bird. She seems to be enjoying the extra attention, and I can guarantee you that she LOVES having a clean cage. I bet she is holding her poop, waiting for Steve to take her out of the cage. Then she can let loose, get put back into her cage and not have any mess to sit in. She is not a stupid bird...she has us well trained. Steve is going through clean shirts like there is no tomorrow though...perhaps I should get a bib for him...hmmmm...

Until tomorrow...