Monday, September 03, 2007

Car Maintenance Verse

Fall is already here and in a short time
It just can't let go of this infernal hose.
As if it were only a mote in the eye of lime
Sailing here without a moose...

Fall into a Great Routine for Car Maintenance

Fall is already here and in a short time, winter will be upon us. As you gear up for the colder temperatures, now is a good time to take preventive measures to care for your vehicle.

Maintain Your Car's Value and Appearance

According to the International Car Wash Association (ICA), regular professional washing and waxing will help maintain your car's appearance as well as its value.

"Most car owners understand the value of changing motor oil regularly to protect the engine," explains Mark Thorsby, executive director of ICA. "But if they forget and instead choose to replace the engine, the car could still be as good as new. However, a car with oxidized paint and a rusted-out body can never be economically restored. The best prevention is regular washing and waxing at a professional car wash."

With more than 22,000 professional car washes around the world offering a wide range of services to protect a car's finish from detoriating rusting, there's no excuse not to keep your vehicle in great shape. Car washes offer basic to extensive operations to suit all your car care needs.

For starters, try an exterior tunnel wash to automatically provide protective waxes and undercarriage treatment. Also, consider detailing or custom polishing for more extensive protection. By applying and buffing a premium polish, you can restore the shine of your car. On the detail side, you can vacuum everything from the rugs in the trunk to the air conditioner vents.

A Quick Fix

If you are running short on time but need your car professionally cleaned, try a self-service car wash that provides a variety of effective, self-cleaning services to choose from. For best results, follow the step-by-step instructions posted in the self-serve bay that call for starting with a pre-soak to loosen road grime. Next comes the high-pressure soap wash. For gentle scrubbing, use the foaming brush next, followed by the fresh water rinse. Also, remember to take advantage of special tire and wheel cleaners. For maximum protection and shine, the wax application is a must. Finally, many self-serve washes offer a spot-free rinse. All the solutions are specially formulated to clean tough road dirt and protect you car's shine.

Protect Your Car from Winter's Hazards

To get a jumpstart on protecting your car from winter's effects, remember that the most damaging thing you can do to your car during this time is nothing! Don't worry about your car freezing -- washing salt, slush and mud off your car in cold weather is vital.

The best thing you can do this winter is to wash your vehicle frequently at a professional car wash, even every few days if the temperature rises and falls from freezing and you've been driving on salted roads. Washing also should include an undercarriage rinse (available at most professional car washes) to remove salt from hard-to-reach areas that are likely to rust, such as the bumpers and in the wheel wells.

Now is the time to get your car in gear for the winter season with the preventive maintenance measure of having your car professionally washed -- you and your wallet will be glad you did. To find the location of a car wash near you visit

Courtesy ARA Content,

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Wallet Ode

Talking about money...
What could be more sadistic.
The air was frosty fresh and tasted of honey
More mystic than realistic.

Want to Loosen Uncle Sam's Grip on Your Wallet?

Talking About Money...

The average person pays more than $6,000 in federal income tax, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If you cringe at sending a big chunk of change like that to Uncle Sam, you may be looking for ways to keep a little more jingle in your pocket. I'll give you some tips, but, like me, you should consult a tax advisor before taking steps that could affect your tax status.

Maximize deductions

Give to charity. Support your favorite cause or clean out the attic and donate items you don't want to charity. Be sure to get a receipt for donations exceeding $250.

Deduct qualified medical expenses. Consider scheduling elective medical and dental procedures if you think your bills will pass the threshold for deducting medical expenses (7.5% of your adjusted gross income). Don't forget, long-term care insurance premiums may qualify for the deduction.

Add up miscellaneous expenses. These and many other costs may be deductible if they exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income: union dues, subscriptions to professional journals, tax preparation fees, costs for a uniform you wear at work, expenses incurred looking for a new job and continuing education expenses.

Plan for Your Retirement

In addition to being a great way to save for retirement, employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, offer savings on your current income taxes. Generally, the money you contribute to your plan is taken out before taxes, so your taxable income, and thus your tax bill, is lower.*

If you're eligible to make deductible contributions to a traditional IRA, the same principle is at work.* But instead of making pre-tax contributions, you make a contribution with money that's already been taxed, then claim a deduction for the amount on your income tax return.

Accept Your Losses

If you have both winners and losers among your investments, you might consider selling some losing investments to offset the capital gains of the winners. Capital losses can be used to offset capital gains, dollar for dollar. In addition, you may use up to $3,000 of losses to reduce your ordinary income. If you have losses exceeding $3,000, you can carry them forward and apply them to next year's taxes.

Be Smart about Higher Education Costs

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created a number of tax-advantaged ways to pay for college. Many of these tax benefits are subject to income limitations and, in some cases, may not be combined.

Education IRAs, set up for children under age 18, offer potentially tax-free growth.

The HOPE Scholarship Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit may help you lower taxes with a tax credit.

Deducting interest paid on a student loan is another possibility.

Withdrawals from a traditional IRA before you reach age 59 1/2 are allowed without the usual 10 percent penalty if you use the money to pay higher education expenses.

Since tax laws are complex and change frequently, it's important to consult a tax expert to help you plot a strategy for trimming your tax burden.

* Taxes will be due upon withdrawal at ordinary income tax rates. Withdrawals made prior to age 59 1/2 may be subject to an additional 10% penalty.

Jim Larranaga is Executive Vice President of Priority Publications, a Minneapolis-based publisher of financial newsletters.

Courtesy ARA Content,

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E-books Opus

A novel re-definition through experimentation of
The poem that really sucks!
The empty promise of glove
That really need to stop wearing slacks.

E(merging) Books

A novel re-definition through experimentation of the classical format of the book is emerging.

Consider the now defunct BookTailor. It used to sell its book customization software mainly to travel agents - but this technology is likely to conquer other niches (such as the legal and medical professions). It allows users to select bits and pieces from a library of e-books, combine them into a totally new tome and print and bind the latter on demand. The client can also choose to buy the end-product as an e-book. Consider what this simple business model does to entrenched and age old notions such as "original" and "copies", copyright, and book identifiers. What is the "original" in this case? Is it the final, user-customized book - or its sources? And if no customized book is identical to any other - what happens to the intuitive notion of "copies"? Should BookTailor-generated books considered to be unique exemplars of one-copy print runs? If so, should each one receive a unique identifier (for instance, a unique ISBN)? Does the user possess any rights in the final product, composed and selected by him? What about the copyrights of the original authors?

Or take On the face of it, it presents no profound challenge to established publishing practices and to the modern concept of intellectual property. Members register their books, obtain a BCID (BookCrossing ID Number) and then give the book to someone, or simply leave it lying around for a total stranger to find. Henceforth, fate determines the chain of events. Eventual successive owners of the volume are supposed to report to BookCrossing (by e-mail) about the book's and their whereabouts, thereby generating moving plots and mapping the territory of literacy and bibliomania. This innocuous model subversively undermines the concept - legal and moral - of ownership. It also expropriates the book from the realm of passive, inert objects and transforms it into a catalyst of human interactions across time and space. In other words, it returns the book to its origins: a time capsule, a time machine and the embodiment of a historical narrative.

E-books, hitherto, have largely been nothing but an ephemeral rendition of their print predecessors. But e-books are another medium altogether. They can and will provide a different reading experience. Consider "hyperlinks within the e-book and without it - to web content, reference works, etc., embedded instant shopping and ordering links, divergent, user-interactive, decision driven plotlines, interaction with other e-books (using Bluetooth or another wireless standard), collaborative authoring, gaming and community activities, automatically or periodically updated content, ,multimedia capabilities, database, Favourites and History Maintenance (records of reading habits, shopping habits, interaction with other readers, plot related decisions and much more), automatic and embedded audio conversion and translation capabilities, full wireless piconetworking and scatternetworking capabilities and more".

Sam Vaknin is the author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" and "After the Rain - How the West Lost the East". He is a columnist in "Central Europe Review", United Press International (UPI) and and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia. His web site:

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Online Degree Colleges Poem

Any student who is on the lookout for
The urge to lunge forth and purge
See funny clown, bunch a balloons on floor -
All overloaded, but try to do splurge...

Why Are Some Online Degree Colleges Better Than Others?

Any student who is on the lookout for online degree colleges would probably have been swamped with the many options marketed to them over the internet. Therefore, it is not a wonder that many students feel confused on the right college selection as they may not know the way to nail down the advantages that certain colleges have over others. Although many renowned colleges charge higher fees for their courses, the extra costs incurred may not necessarily be justified by the facilities, recognition and educational value that they provide to students.

For one thing, different online colleges are accredited by different authorities. Therefore, it is important to find out whether the degrees offered are actually accredited by the relevant educational association for your particular state. Otherwise, you may end up having a degree that is not valid and be rejected by your employers. There are also times when colleges may be in the process of getting accredited. Therefore, this information is important to you as their applications for accreditation may be rejected by the authorities later.

Once you are certain of a college’s accreditation, you should then determine the history of the college. How many students have graduated as compared to the enrollment numbers? How long has the course been offered? Answering these questions will give you an idea on the level of experience and expertise that the college has to offer for the particular course you want. After all, you are paying them for online education and deserve to get value for your money.

Apart from that, different colleges will have lecturers of different educational levels. Of course, it would be best that a college have more lecturers with Ph.D. qualifications. Most lecturers should at least possess a Master’s Degree in order for them to qualify teaching an undergraduate course. Again, the quality and quantity of lecturers will give you a good gauge on the standards of the college.

You can also check on the lecturer-student ratio that the college is proposing. In order for online education to be successful, the lecturer-student ratio should ideally be low. Better colleges will recognize the importance of this, and will ensure that they don’t over-enroll their online students so as to maintain the quality level of their courses. With a low ratio number, students will be assured of having adequate time to work with lecturers.

Apart from that, different colleges impose different rules on their students. For example, some colleges allow students to go on overdrive mode and complete their credit hours over a shorter period of time. On the other hand, other colleges have a minimum course study period that a student has to adhere to and therefore will not be allowed to accelerate or take up extra credit hours for the course. There is good and bad to both of these scenarios as certain colleges want to ensure quality by not allowing students to sacrifice quality for speed of completion. It is therefore up to the discretion of the student to determine if slowing down on their course would be acceptable to their circumstances.

Finally, always ask for a hotline number from the online college that you are planning to enroll in. Legitimate colleges will have a number and someone qualified to answer your questions whenever you need help. Call them up before you enroll and test them out by asking a couple of questions. Also, check with them on other numbers and the suitable time that you can call should you encounter problems with your coursework. Through practical experience and gut feeling, you will then be able to make the right decision on choosing the right college for your online education experience.

Rose Musyoka is an article contributor at where you find answers, information and advice on distance learning colleges, accredited online degrees and online courses.

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Family Budget Serenade

A budget is a very important tool when
The dogs dance with rabid glee.
For here we go, for when or for then?
Weeping for the love to set it free.

Make a Budget to Help Your Dreams Come True

A budget is a very important tool when you are trying to meet financial goals. It helps you to see where your money is going and therefore helps you determine where you can cut back. It also gives you something to go by when you get paid rather than piddling your money away. If you are serious about managing your money, a budget is an absolute necessity.

When my husband and I first got married over 14 years ago, we had no idea of how to manage our money. Well, my husband had a little idea, but not me. I worked but I was very frivolous and piddled my money away. We always had a hard time paying our bills because of this. I had nothing to show for my money except make-up, restaurant reviews and other un-necessaries. Then my son came along and changed all of that. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.

We also wanted to have more money to travel, save for retirement and college funds, and purchase our own home. This was our motivation for preparing a budget. We knew we had to start managing our money better to be able to do these things and it seemed impossible to have any of it at the time but we had to start somewhere. You should do some thinking as to why you'd like to have more money. Everyone wants to have more money for some reason or another. When you think of reasons, write them down at the top of a piece of paper. This will help you stay on track and give you motivation to stick to your budget.

So anyway, we made a budget and we stuck to it because we had our goals in the back or our mind -- first and foremost, to be able to stay home and raise our son. The way we made our budget was to list out everything we HAD to pay to live. We listed rent, power, garbage, phone, gas and food and the amounts we paid on them in a month. Then we listed our credit card bills and the monthly minimum payment amounts. We listed miscellaneous for items like clothing or birthdays that come up. You can list your budget list on the paper that you listed your reasons for wanting to save/manage money. You'll have to put some thought into some of these items such as food and gasoline. Be sure to be accurate and honest about how much you spend on these items. Look back into your checkbook and add it all up. If you write down less than what you actually spend, it will be harder to cut back.

Once we had made our list of everything we had to pay, we looked at it to see if there was anywhere we could cut back. We saw that we could probably cut back the money we spent on food by using coupons, shopping sales and discount stores, so we lowered the amount we originally budgeted. We saw that we could probably cut back the amount of money we spent on gasoline by making fewer trips to the store, only driving when absolutely necessary, etc. So we lowered that amount also. We vowed to cut back on our power usage -- turn off lights when leaving a room, dry clothes on the line, wear sweaters so we can set the thermostat lower, etc. We stuck to these amounts and made it.

At first we didn't have any money left after paying our necessities but that was okay because we had a roof over our head and I was able to stay home and raise our child. As my husband got raises then eventually started his own yard service, we began to have a little extra money left after our budget was paid. This enabled us to go out once in a while and add a new amount onto our budget called `savings'. Our savings account is where we strive to save for vacations, home improvement, retirement funds, etc. We currently put 20% of our income in there.

Within a few years, we were able to purchase our own house, remodel it a little at a time, make our credit card bills smaller (we eventually hope to be rid of them), buy a nice car and truck and visit Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. The reason I tell you this is to show what can happen if you do make a budget and stick to it.

Monica Resinger, Monica is a married, stay-at-home mom who is a freelance writer and publisher of three home and garden ezines. To read more of Monica's articles, go here: If you like this article, you will probably like Monica's newsletter `Creative Home Money'. It features articles like this and reader's questions and answers about living frugally and making money from home. Find link on site!

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Surveillance Technology Verse

The technology of surveillance equipment
While traipsing through the way to pain
Is more neccesary for shipment
For flashing clerks who have no brain.

Just What Is Surveillance Technology?

The technology of surveillance equipment is continuing to advance at a very rapid pace. As a result surveillance equipment has become almost ubiquitous in retail stores, public schools, gas stations, and airport terminals all across the United States. There is a wide range of surveillance technology that is available on the market. Surveillance equipment ranges from wiretapping phone and internet based equipment to high tech facial feature recognition computer software known as biometrics.

Surveillance equipment makes the world infinitely more manageable for people who need to protect their belongings and protect people and make its far more difficult for people who actually want to commit crime. As more of the high-tech surveillance equipment becomes more and more easily available to the general public and small business owners, more and more people will reap the benefits.

The basic concept that underpins a piece of surveillance-equipment is one of 'you will be seen'. The gist of it is that criminals may well think twice about committing a crime if they think they might be seen, identified and then found later on and be charged with a crime. Although it is unlikely that everything can be caught on surveillance camera at one time, on the occasions when surveillance does pick up activity, it does provide enormous help to security and police in identifying the offenders.

These days the more advanced surveillance equipment operates in the same way in an effort prevent crime from occurring, so it has not veered from its original intent. Indeed many small businesses decide to install dummy cameras that don't actually record anything, indeed don't even turn on, but act more as a preventative measure for potential offenders.

One of the main reasons for the establishment of surveillance equipment is to prevent the theft of merchandise from stores and warehouses. Usually offenders come from outside the company and so the theft can be caught on tape and referred to the police. But on occasion the offender will actually come from within the company and then employee policy needs to be implemented. Upon discovering the internal offender that employee will usually find themselves without a job.

Apart from the examples outlined earlier, shopping malls, parking garages, office buildings, and warehouses and financial institutions all now commonly use video based surveillance equipment in order to protect their wares and to also to limit the costly losses incurred by dishonest employees. Major department stores who have high internal theft rates use these video surveillance systems to actively prosecute thieving employees.

Julianna Munro is the owner of First Surveillance which is a premier source of information about Surveillance. For more information, go to:

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Faking Camera Lens Ode

Here’s a neat tip for digital photographers trying
To wear smoke-coloured glass shoes.
Dancing and singing, selling and buying...
Was it all yours to lose?

Faking An Image Stabilized Camera Lens

Here’s a neat tip for digital photographers trying to shoot at slow shutter speeds without image-stabilized (IS or VR) lenses. Actually, it can even be helpful for those using IS/VR lenses when you’re really pushing the limits of hand-holdability.

Set your camera to burst mode, frame your subject, brace yourself as firmly as you can, and squeeze the shutter button gently. Hold it down so that you fire off a burst of about 5 images. Odds are, once you get back to your computer and examine the images, there’ll be one image that’s considerably sharper than most of the others. Delete the duds, and keep this good one!

The downside is obvious - you’ll use up a lot more space on your memory cards.

If you’re shooting in JPG mode and want a quick way to tell which image is the sharpest, just look at the file sizes. The one with the largest file size is nearly always the sharpest shot. This is because the JPG algorithm tries to preserve detail - the sharper your image, the more fine detail is present, and the less the JPG algorithm is able to compress the image. Incidentally, this is why high-ISO JPGs are larger than low-ISO JPGs of the same scene - the higher noise in the high-ISO image adds lots of fine detail, so the image can’t be compressed as much.

Of course, just like real IS/VR this technique only helps with correcting for camera shake. A moving subject and a slow shutter speed will still result in motion blur in the image.

Darren is the owner of One Stop Under, a web site for professional and serious amateur photographers. For photography news, links and more tips like this one, visit

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Home Decorating Poem

Something as simple as changing a light
Is just a message from the Gods above...
His jacket was put on way too tight
And they just ended up smoking upon cloves.

Show Your (Decorating) Colors

Because of recent tragedies, Americans are looking more to home and family this year and want to create a safe and comforting haven in their homes. We are seeing a resurgence of national pride, as the flag is being flown everywhere. For many, money allotted for travel and entertainment will be re-channeled toward creating a refuge for our hearts, bodies and souls this fall and winter.

Something as simple as changing a light bulb from bright white to soft pink can make a room feel cozier. Filling in the empty spaces of a bookcase with books and symbols of our country will help to close-in a room. Draping tables, chests and chairs with old shawls or chenille throws depicting our flag will soften the area. Extra cushions with stars and stripes placed around the room, on chairs and even on the floor can add warmth.

Country and folk décor has long used the American flag as a theme. Red, white and blue are a great combination to accessorize a casual, comfortable mid-American home, a beach house with a pale color palette, or even a log cabin with a rustic and darker color range. As primary colors, red, white and blue mix and match with any setting.

Remember to think in threes or thirds. Select three colors -- in this case, red, white and blue -- in tones that work in your home. You should choose a main color, a contrasting color and an accent. Use the accent color in three places in the room. Choose three patterns, making sure they are in different scales so they don't compete -- for example, a large plaid, a medium star pattern and a small stripe. Keep proportion in mind, using the main print on two-thirds of a large area such as the walls or a sofa, and a secondary, contrasting print on the remaining one-third such as windows or a chair. The accent print should be used in three smaller areas such as cushions, lampshades or window shades. Patterns can be mixed on the same piece of furniture or wall.

Using striped wallpaper with a coordinating border is a classic decorating scheme. But if you are looking for a more casual look, try mixing two patterns on the same wall, again dividing by thirds. Apply one print over two-thirds of the wall and the other print over one-third of the wall. On furniture, upholster a chair or sofa in a stripe and finish with a star back. When mixing patterns, remember to give the eye a rest by including several solid color fabric and textures.

The news in the coming months will provide plenty of fodder for group gatherings and conversation. Having a comfortable setting for family and guests to discuss world events is important. Good furniture configuration is the basis of all room design, making your rooms both welcoming and functional. Decide if you want an intimate or open setting, and be sure to consider proportions. If the room is square, limit yourself to one conversation area, perhaps around a coffee table. But try angling the sofa or loveseat into a corner, rather than against a wall, or float two love seats opposite one another.

Don't be afraid to use large pieces of furniture in small areas. An oversized buffet or armoire can give the impression of space more effectively than several, small fragile-looking pieces that guests may hesitate to use. Even today's larger-scaled rooms with high ceilings and great floor space can provide intimate settings. If the room is large or rectangular in shape, create two or more conversation areas anchored with rugs. A valuable idea for lowering high ceilings is to paint the ceiling in a dark, warm tone. Hang large, vertical pieces of art or the American flag on walls to add a depth to a room.

Ideas for patriotic decorating will show up in most home decorating magazines and newspapers in the coming months. Some will be elaborate and difficult for the average homeowner to execute. Hanging a wall border, however, can be done in an hour. If you decide to hang wallcovering, remember to prime the wall first for easy installation and removal later. If the paper has a dark background, ask your dealer to tint the primer to prevent any seams from showing through. Now is the time for showing our true colors. We all support our country; the place to start is in the home.

Chesapeake Wallcoverings has a list of its patriotic borders and sidewalls that can be viewed at local wallcovering showrooms or on its Web site, Three of their recent collections, Family and Friends, Beekeeper's Inn, and Angels and Ivy, offer homeowners a valuable resource for decorating tips and room concepts using these patriotic themes.

Courtesy ARA Content,

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Forehead Jewelry Serenade

It is forehead jewelry and was inspired by
Searching we are... for a bit of old-age...
Shoes begin to dance but knocking at my
Internal diamonds gone through red rage.

Forehead Jewelry is Not Anti American

No the Intuitive Eye (patent pending) is not Anti American. It is forehead jewelry and was inspired by Henrietta Jacobson’s practice of Kundalini yoga, which has nothing to do with Islam or the Middle East.

The word Yoga comes from the Sanskirt root "Yug" meaning to join. Yoga literally means yoke or union and speaks of the union of the individual spirit with the universal consciousness. The basic techniques evolved in the monasteries of India & Tibet over a period of thousands of years. Even though Kundalini yoga originates out of India, it was brought to America in the 60’s with Yogi Bhajan. Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness, consists of simple yogic techniques that can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter his or her age or physical ability. It is a complete science that includes breath(pranayam), yoga postures (asanas), sound, chanting (mantra) and meditation.

It is designed to provide you with the experience of your highest consciousness through the raising of your Kundalini energy. It is like counseling through the body instead of the mind.

Americans may think if someone is wearing something on their forehead they are from the Middle East. Sikhs wear turbans but are not Islamic, Muslim or from the Middle East either. The confusion seems to come from the practice of Middle Eastern Dance or belly dancing. The title "Belly Dance" is a direct translation of Arabic "raks el-batn". Raks is to dance and batn means belly.

Most belly dancers wear headpieces and Indian & Egyptian women wear forehead jewelry. This of course has not stopped American’s from wearing belly chains and armbands or even belly rings.

So why be afraid to wear your Intuitive Eye. Teens are wearing them, brides are wearing them and women that meditate are wearing them.

The Intuitive Eye (Patent Pending) has become a meditation tool for some and a unique piece of jewelry for others. As a single mother Henrietta, a psychiatric nurse and pharmaceutical consultant spent 10 years raising two boys. With previous training and experience in sewing and fashion design, she had always had a passion to design jewelry. It seemed only natural once the children were grown to return to that passion. She enrolled in a jewelry design course finally ready to follow that dream.
Kundalini yoga and meditation provided the inspiration for the design of the Intuitive Eye. Kundalini yoga is a wonderful tool for enriching a woman’s life and has become an important part of Henrietta’s life in many ways. It is a type of yoga for women of all ages; it is like counseling through the body and cells instead of the thought processes to heal the mind, body and spirit.
Henrietta is currently working on a unique and full Chakra Jewelry line!

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Business Disputes Opus

Business owners have four options to resolve
All, therefore art is playing wet pink.
Then, loser lost but time dissolves...
Without regret or even time to think.

Four Ways To Work Out Business Disputes

Business owners have four options to resolve disputes with partners, vendors or customers. Each option is based on different assumptions, and entails a different cost. Therefore, it pays to understand them better.

Option #1 – Direct negotiation

Direct negotiation is certainly the cheapest - but not necessarily the easiest – way to resolve a conflict. A good place to start, is to get clear about what one wants, why, and how much one cares for the future relationship with the other person. The next step, is finding out how the situation looks from the other person’s perspective. This task requires effective questioning, listening, and observing. The final negotiation step, is crafting an agreement that both parties believe to be better than all other alternatives.

To negotiate successfully one needs some planning, communication and negotiation skills. Without them, it is easy to end up with no deal, or a bad deal, or even a personal war.

Option #2 - Mediation

The goal of mediation is not to find who is right or wrong, but how the problem at hand can best be resolved. Mediation is a process in which parties who disagree meet with a neutral third-party, who facilitates their negotiations. The mediator doesn't have any decision-making authority. The parties decide how to resolve their problem, in a way that is mutually acceptable.

Since mediation is confidential, mediation discussions and materials are not admissible in court. In a sense, when people mediate they have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If they are able to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with the mediator’s assistance, that’s great. Otherwise, they can still use the remaining two options. And in that case, whatever they have said or heard, offered or counter-offered during mediation, doesn’t matter.

Option #3 – Arbitration

The business dispute is submitted to a neutral arbitrator, who examines the evidence, listens to the parties and renders a binding decision. The conflicting parties must accept the arbitrator’s decision, no matter whether they like it or not. Arbitration is past-oriented, and requires a certain amount of fact-finding. Therefore, generally it takes more time (and money) than mediation, but less than litigation.

Option #4 – Litigation

The fourth option is to let the judge decide which party is right or wrong, based on the facts and the law. In actuality, though, the vast majority of civil cases never get that far (some statistics say up to 90%). They settle out of court. A few days – or even hours – before the trial, the two conflicting parties, assisted by their respective attorneys, prefer to negotiate their own agreement, rather than running the risk of losing in court.

For business owners – as well as for anyone else - litigation has two major drawbacks. First, it inevitably has a detrimental effect on the future relationship between the parties. Second, it can be quite expensive in terms of time, money and stress. Nonetheless, when a business dispute cannot be resolved any other way, litigation is a valid option.

Giuseppe Leone is a Business and Workplace Mediator. Past President of SPIDR (Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution) Hawaii Chapter. Mediator for Hawaii District Courts. Email:

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Advertising Verse

Most of the ads I see are either ego-driven
With mace, sarin and strychnine too!
Seems better than getting goal number seven
But goal number six is hunting you!

Understanding The Basics Of Advertising

I get the L.A. Times delivered to my door every day, but I don't read it for the articles. It is a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, but the articles just don't interest me. Unlike most people, I read the paper for the advertisements because there is a lot to learn from them.

Over 90% of the ads run in the Los Angeles Times are horrible! Most of the ads I see are either ego-driven, have no headline, have no call to action, don't appeal to what the buyer is truly looking for or needs help with, or they're trying to be clever for clever-sake, and fail miserably.

When writing copy, I live by this premise:

"The purpose of advertising is to sell something."

Advertising is like an investment that you hope to get a great return on. However, most people treat it like they're playing Roulette in Vegas and bet all their money "on black."

The basics of good copy is to think in terms of words that sell.

Following are some basics in advertising that should help you make your advertising more effective.

- Concentrate on your prospects. In the end you must persuade him/her no matter what method you use. And to do that, you must understand how he/she thinks.
- Know your product - its materials, its manufacturer, its use, etc. Know its features inside and out.
- Find the problem your product solves. The solution would, of course, be the benefit. It may be a mental, spiritual, physical, or financial benefit, but as advertising legend Maxwell Sackheim once said, "your product must have an excuse for its existence."
- Never start writing your advertisement until you're totally excited about the task at hand. If you're not excited about your product, it will come out in your writing, and hence, the lack of results your ad produces.
- Advertising is essentially news. Your ads must inform, educate, enlighten, inspire, or promise a reward for taking action. Apply your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to your news angle. The USP works great as a news angle because if you're the ONLY one in town that does , isn't that news? If you have the lowest price in town and you tell them why you can beat every one else, isn't that news? It sure is. Ads should educate and inform, as well as persuade and move people to action.

Understanding these basics of advertising will put you head and shoulders above your competition. Why? Because in my blunt opinion, 90% of all advertising stinks! And, most business owners (and some advertising agencies) don't understand that "the only purpose of advertising is to sell something."

To learn how to write hard-selling copy and to master the basics of advertising from a world-class copywriter, get Joe Vitale's new course, "Advanced Hypnotic Writing" at:

Craig Valine is the publisher of the The AwfulMarketing Alert Newsletter, "Where you learn GOOD marketing strategies by looking at those who do it really BAD." To subscribe his free newsletter, go to:

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Approaching Women Ode

Approaching and dating women successfully starts here.
But the cool news of relations flow on.
They has been loosed upon world and everywhere
When tried to get under when you tried to get on.

Approaching Women, Building Confidence

How To Start Building The Self Confidence You Need. Approaching And Dating Women Successfully Starts Here.

So now that you have all the tips you need to start dating women, what do you do next? Start approaching and asking women out for dates of course! If you are having problems approaching women then there are a few things you need to pick up before you can be truly successful at dating women.

Firstly, approaching and meeting women is easy once you have the confidence to do so. In fact, you could even say that women are naturally attracted to confident men. So if you want to start approaching women and getting dates more successfully there is definitely one thing you need, self confidence.

It’s actually a known fact that women are attracted to men who are confident. (Do note though that confidence is very different from arrogance. Arrogance is a big turn off. Confidence is not.) So before you start dating women you have to ask yourself, are you a confident guy? If the answer is maybe or no, then you have to build up your confidence if you want to truly enjoy dating and women.

If you are not naturally confident it’s okay because like everything else, confidence can be faked or built. Building confidence isn’t hard but you will have to understand that it’s not something you can achieve overnight. Having self confidence is like a habit that you cultivate until instead of making an effort to ‘pretend’ to be confident, you will become naturally confident.

For example, when you first started riding a bike you were not confident of going to fast because you were afraid of falling. But after time and practice, you can now take on bumps and turns at speeds you weren’t able to before. This is because you are now more confident of your skill at riding the bike. This same example applies in real life.

Building up your confidence in approaching women isn’t a piece of cake. But it’s not as hard as you would imagine either. You can try building your self confidence by walking up to any woman and trying to make small talk with her. This can be a granny at the park or a lady at the store. Whether or not these are women you’d even think of dating, try just getting the courage to walk up to them to start up a conversation. Practice this every single day and the more you do it, the better you will be at it. And as you get more confident in yourself and your abilities, start to meet and talk with women who are more and more attractive!

It’s not a confidence building method that will work overnight but this way you will soon be confident enough to approach absolutely gorgeous women! Approaching women and asking them out for dates will be easy after all this practice. And if you’re as confident as you can be, don’t be surprised when you naturally attract women without having to lift a finger.

Cher Sern Lim, Visit now to get more FREE tips to double your dating success overnight! Discover the players’ secrets to meeting, dating & seducing women.

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Killer Sales Letter Poem

Writing a sales letter doesn’t have to be
Drowning in dreams, as they can't avoid.
Brain barn has surely lost little pea
Carving out a smiling android.

Tips On Writing A Killer Sales Letter

Writing a sales letter doesn’t have to be that difficult all you need is the right writing style and some tips to knock out a killer sales letter.

Benefits The first thing you need to do is focus on the benefits the reader will find useful. Tell the reader what’s in it for him. Promise them increased sales, better skin, better results in writing a resume or whatever it is that you’re selling. Tell them how your product can help them. Don’t beat around the bush and get right to the point. Stick to benefits, facts and features. Whatever you do don’t be vague it will turn them off.

Give additional benefits. Show additional value other than main benefit. Give product/service features. Support benefit promises with product/service facts. Show how your company will help him. Don’t start sounding arrogant and brag.

Writing Style: An emphasis should be placed on “you” and not “I”. Use words like you and your, so that the reader feels you are writing for him. Write clearly. Make sure your reader doesn’t have to think about what you’re saying. Your main points must be understood immediately. Make yourself believable. Make sure your claims or representations appear to be realistic and believable. Don’t promise a 200% increase in sales because most people won’t believe it even if it’s true! You must be able to back up your claims. Use repetition; repeat benefits throughout letter. Present the same ideas and benefits in different ways.

Ask for action. Ask the reader to place an order, return the sales envelope or the sales card or phone for more information. Give reasons to act now. For example: Make your offer time sensitive a limited supply, two-week sale, and special purchase. Most sales letters fail to do this.

Understand that people are emotionally motivated. They want to:

1. Make more money
2. Save money
3. Do a good job
4. Experience love
5. Have a satisfying home life
6. Get something for free
7. Look good

Use simple graphics to get the reader’s attention:

1. Bullets
2. Dashes
3. Check boxes
4. Numbers
5. Asterisks

Some Things To Remember When Writing Your Sales Letter:

Put yourself in the reader’s place. Note your reactions while reading the letter. Have your friends and associates give you their honest opinions. Don’t tell them you wrote it! For some reason they think it’s bad manners to criticize their friends. Look at their reactions if they roll their eyes then you need to rewrite your sales letter. If they ask you, “Where can I find this?” You got yourself a winner! Listen to any and all comments. Re-write any parts that turn others off.

Be logical when you state your argument. Don’t try to fool them with outrageous claims that border on the fantastic. Your readers are too smart to fall for such trash.

When you begin writing your sales letter try to accentuate important statements using:

1. Underlines
2. Exclamation points
3. All capital letters (Careful here don’t over do it)
4. Highlight with a second color (Yellow)

The very last thing that should appear on your sales letter is the P.S. Remind your customers of the time deadline and the limited supply of bonuses. Urge them to pick up the phone and call or order immediately. Your P.S. is often read first by customers. So entice them to read the letter by mentioning the free bonuses and the limited time offer. Remember to put a P.S. (post script) on all sales letters.

Sample P.S.

P.S. At $29.95 the Super Car Wax is an incredible bargain reserved for past customers only. Act now, and get a bonus super car glass cleaner yours free! While new customers are forced to pay $39.95 for this one of a kind car wax you get it at significant savings! Act Now by calling 800-123-4567

Copyright © 2001 Andres Munoz Andres publishes the "MyBiz E-zine" newsletter featuring articles about Promotion, Internet Marketing and Home Business advice and tips. The MyBiz reader will receive an article rich e-zine with few ads. To subscribe visit and download your 4 free e-books.

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