Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Creamy Skin?

It's kind of funny, but none of my fictional characters ever seem to be either a) old enough to need special creams or procedures to stop wrinkles, or b) worried about it if they do. When you think about the fact that I tend to write about main characters in the same age group as I am, myself, that really is kind of an interesting fact about how I think. Is it a purposeful slight? I never have my heroine needing a top wrinkle cream, or patting on moisturizers before heading off to a romantic night with "Mr. Right." Maybe part of it is that I'm so far removed from the dating 'scene' that I don't know if they would, and it sure does seem like it would kill some of the romance. Maybe I should have them patting a bit of wrinkle cream on before going out, or mention it on one of the off moments when they aren't faced with a lip-lock with Mr. Right.

The thing is, that part of life seems so mundane; so ordinary. It's something I do all the time, and my Mr. Right is quite used to seeing me with a face full of cream.

Creating an Internet Server

Have you ever wondered how hard it would be to start your own Internet service? I have. Every time my server goes down, I mumble under my breath about how I should start my own. Even my husband gets in on the act when he's home. Starting up your own basic Internet service is not nearly as complicated as you might think it is. While major corporations tend to rule the big megacenters of Internet connectivity in major cities and suburbs, the rural areas are still ripe for the entrepreneur to bring better services to those who can’t find adequate connections. You need some equipment and basic technological abilities, and a lot of time. The biggest hurdle for private Internet service companies is the ability to be on call 24/7 in case their server goes down.

Get funding. Check into local and federal grants and funds set up to help bring Internet service to small towns and rural areas. These funds will help get you started quicker, and easier, with the ability to connect to more people, but you will need to be good at writing grant proposals, and have a very good business plan in place that also shows the need for new services in the area you want to start up.

Rent an appropriate space. If you live in the area you wish to serve, have a big enough home, don’t mind people coming and going at all times of the day and night, and it is allowed by your zoning office, you could run your ISP from your home. Keep in mind that an Internet Service Provider company is a 24-hour a day business in the modern world. In the early days of the Internet services could get away with not being available during evening, night or weekend hours, but not anymore. People expect their Internet connection to be available, and when it’s not they expect the tech support people to be available to tell them why at all times.

Find a server to act as a backbone. The entire business of the Internet is basically a pyramid scheme. An Internet Service Provider is simply reselling the services they buy from a higher provider. You need to obtain T1 connections that you can split up to your customers. In most cases, you can put hundreds of users on one single T1 connection.

Decide on the type of connection you want to provide. Dial-up is far too out-dated to be an option. In most rural areas they already have dial-up service and they want to switch because they want, or need faster speeds and more reliable connections. The two most typical types of Internet connections for rural areas are wireless and satellite. Wireless is the only type that requires an intermediary (you), but it is somewhat more reliable than most satellite companies. If you are going to be providing ISP service to smaller towns you might be able to financially afford to lay cable which is the best form of connection when it is feasible. Depending on the type of service you decide on you will need the hardware to run it. For wireless service that includes radio receivers for each end user, a broadcasting antenna for your end, and a computer to regulate the signals.

Buy the appropriate equipment and software. You need a Primary Rate Interface (PRI) which routes traffic to the connection. Your customers will route through your PRI to the main T1 line. Between your PRI and the main source you also need servers. These servers each provide unique functions. There are separate servers for email, DNS, web browsing.

Although you can use one machine for all of the services you provide, as your company grows that may overload the system causing many failures and a lot of unhappy customers, not to mention a lot of sleepless nights for you. If at all possible ask your T1 provider if you can place the servers at their offices to make them more secure (the less distance between server and source the more stable the connection). However, it MUST also be accessible to you and your technicians so they can be repaired when they go down.

If your main ISP is too far away to travel to fix it, keep the servers closer to home. Lastly, you need a hub to connect all of the servers together for a seamless platform your users can access without even knowing they are going between one or another. The hub connects to the main access switch leading to the T1 connection so you can turn it on and off when needed for servicing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Invitations and Memories

When you are planning a special event like a baptism you need the right Baptism invitations to commemorate the day. The invitations are not just something you send out to hopeful guests, they should be something they can keep to remember your baby's special day. The baptism invitation should be the quality and have the appearance you would be able to use to add a page to your child's memory book so they can look back at them as adults, or you can use to tell them the story of their birth and childhood. Sometimes memories like that can help parents reunite with their teens when things are getting strained. Don't cheat on your potential memories. Send beautiful baptism invitations to your friends and family, and keep some for those special times when you need to remember early days.

Backlink Values

I have a question that maybe some of you who freelance may know. If you shorten a link to post it on Twitter does that link still count as a backlink? I would still use them because a long link string takes up too much of the Twitter word limit, if it doesn't exceed it altogether, but it cuts the value in half.

There are two values to a Twitter or Facebook backlink: one is to get traffic. That would still occur even if the link isn't a valid backlink for search engines. The other reason is to get search engine recognition for incoming links of value. Facebook and Twitter are both valuable backlink sites. So losing the link juice from a "cloaked" link would destroy that part of the value.

Finding the Right Cream for Eye Circles

I am plagued with dark circles under my eyes. I have had them since I was a child, they are not the result of aging or environment. However, they do get worse when I don't get enough sleep, I spend too much time staring at the computer, or eat right. They have improved some since I quit smoking, but I still always on the lookout for the best eye cream for dark circles. My eyes have always been a double-edged sword. At one time my best feature and my worst. If it weren't for the dark circles, I have deep-set, piercing blue eyes and I really like them. I don't show them off enough because of the circles though.

Blog, Ping, and Tag

Increase your blog or website exposure with things you do everyday anyway. Most people post on Facebook and Twitter, but forget to include links to things they write for their website or blog. You can increase your traffic and get your articles read at a much higher rate than just letting it sit online and hope someone stumbles on it. Pinging is important too. When you post new information to your site use a ping service to alert search engine spiders so they get there faster. You can use tagging services like Digg, too, but many of them do not like you to hit up your own sites. It is more effective to use social media to get people to see your blog or site.

Kick Your Metabolism

A good diet and exercise plan isn't always enough to help reduce body fat percentage and lose weight. You can lose weight and still have bulges and uncomfortable fat deposits. A fat burner helps reduce those areas as well as keeping more from forming. You can even improve your own diet with natural fat burning properties like pepper. Everyone always says foods like onions, garlic, and pepper are good for you, but most of us rarely understand what that means. Along with health properties helping to keep you from getting sick with common ailments like colds and flus, they also help kick your fat burning metabolism into high gear.

Freelancer's Day

September 24th is International Freelancer's Day. Bet you didn't know that. What you should know is that on the 24th and 25th at there will be plenty of FREE instructional courses for freelancers to help them build their skills, clients, and income levels. Don't miss this event. Check it out and mark it on your calendars so you can take advantage of the information and develop your business for the new year to come. It's time to break out and really get the most out of your freelancing business. If you haven't even started yet, maybe this will give you the jump start you need to get your business off the ground and let you work from home full-time.

Visualizing Costumes

Do you ever have your characters in costumes? Whether you are writing about a modern character going to a Halloween party, or writing about a bunch of people living in an era or location where the clothing is different from what you wear everyday it can be very important to describe it accurately. Make sure that what you see in your mind is being related on the page.

You can get a lot of practice from the fact that Halloween is coming soon and most of your family will be wearing costumes. You can describe costumes and events like Halloween parties, haunted houses, and other festivities and decorations on a blog, in a journal, or even writing a short story to get some experience writing about costumes. Makes sure you don't use pictures: that's cheating.

Muse Gone Missing

Calling all fiction writers. Here's a question for you. What do you write about? I'd really like to hear from any of you out there, and find out. For years, I always had some kind of running script in my mind, a proverbial movie in my mind. Lately that seems to have gone missing. I still write, but I can't find my fiction loving writing ability anymore. Maybe the question should really be, where do you find the muse when she's gone missing?

Burn It Up

I've used lipo 6 for her and think it is a really good product with good results. It doesn't leave your heart racing like some diet pills, but really does block the absorption of fat from your diet. It speeds the metabolism without the jitters formerly associated with fat burners. It helped me lose quite a bit of weight over a few months. Used with an intelligent diet and exercise it added a lot to my eating plan. Having tried to lose weight with just the diet and exercise without much success after a few weeks, I had gotten frustrated. The Lipo 6 For Her product helped relieve the stress and get rid of the weight.

Parting Words

"Sweet Home Alabama" is a touching movie that always makes me smile. It's one of those that should be a tear jerker, but really just gives you that cozy, warm feeling. It's the type of romantic comedy I love to see. A lot of movies try to find that magical element, but only a few ever really achieve it. "Pretty Woman" was another. These movies always have one special element to them, even if everything else is different. They all have magical final lines, (or in the case of SHA, close to final lines) like: "So I can kiss you anytime I want" or in "Pretty Woman," the line "she rescues him right back."

Writers Behind the Screen

I can tell you one way not to lose belly fat: sit at your computer all day. Unfortunately that's something writers tend to do. That noticeable rear end spread used to be known as "secretary's spread" but it may as well be writer's butt now. Butt, belly, thighs, and everything else because it's hard to get enough exercise when you're sitting behind a screen. You have to get up and move. In fact, that not only helps you lose belly fat, it improves circulation and many other aspects of your health. Spend some of your valuable research time learning how to lose belly fat fast so you don't have to spend all day trying to lose weight and you can get back to the business of writing, but don't forget to do something each day. You'll be surprised what even a little bit of movement will do for your overall health.

Healthy You

What is being fit? It seems like now-a-days everyone associates being fit with skinny. Being thin is good, although not to thin, but it isn't the whole picture. Being fit is about what condition your body is in and how it performs. I suppose the reason it came down to weight is that weight makes a big difference in how you move, feel, and of course, look. A good healthy lifestyle develops a fit body. What a lot of people fail to realize is that you don't have to go on extreme diets, in fact it's not good to lose weight too fast. A sound eating plan, and reasonable exercise program will help you get into shape. It may take more time than hours of exercise a day and strict calorie limits, but you'll be happier, and healthier in the long run.

Healthy Flax Benefits

The biggest flax seed benefits revolve around heart and cholesterol control. It's easy to incorporate flax seed into your diet, or if you prefer take a supplement each day. Flax seed is a grain, but it's low carb so it has little impact on your body's sugar levels or weight loss plans. What it will add to your healthy lifestyle is plenty of vitamin B and minerals like magnesium and manganese.

A little known fact of flax seed is that it contains ALA, the earlier form of omega 3 oil so touted for heart health and found in fish oils from Salmon and such. Eating fish is good for you, but there are limits to how much you should eat thanks to the pollution of the water sources they are found in, so adding flax seed to your diet helps boost the healthy oils you have in your eating plan.

Cleaning Up

"Hoarders"-- now there's a program that epitomizes the peak of reality TV. Showcase the very worst of personal depravity and mental instability for the whole world to see. Now I suppose there are positive aspects, such as informing others of serious illnesses, and getting people help. However, help on these shows tends to be something along the lines of yell and scream at them, browbeat them, trample their egos into the ground and tell them how horrible they are until they break. This show really reeks, literally. Houses full of garbage and piled to the max with dirt. It rivals the older version "How Clean is Your House?" I do know one positive aspect of these shows for my own personal life: it sure makes me want to clean my house.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Life Insurance on Terms

It's going to be time again soon to renew my life insurance. I can't wait to proudly tell my insurance agent that I have quit smoking for over a year. That will really improve my rates. He's been bugging me for years to quit. I am considering switching form whole life to term life insurance too. Term life is much more affordable which will be helpful at this time as we make transitions into retirement years ahead. We don't have the big overhead expenses to cover if we both pass that we did before, so really we just need to cover the expenses of our burials so the remaining spouse isn't left with big bills, or our kids aren't made to make difficult decisions. A term life policy for 20 or 30 years will more than cover our time left, and cover all our bills, burial, and even leave some money left over for the one of us remaining, or our kids. Life insurance can be hard to think about because no one wants to have to use it, but no one wants to be left without it either.

Getting Over Quitting.

Well, it's been a year of firsts, and re-starts, and getting back to basics. At the same time, I am still struggling with the straggling ends of quitting smoking, and the mild depressions, mental cloudiness, and probably some form of ADHD or whatever that attention disorder is called. It was much, MUCH worse when I first quit, but I still feel the effects. Sometimes I wonder if the effects are in my mind, and a product of the addiction because every so often I find myself thinking I'd have been better off not quitting, I should just start smoking again and all my troubles will disappear... they did all seem to start right about that time, but mainly I think it was partially coincidence, and partially a true after-effect of quitting that I have to accept as a rite of passage to a healthier life. It's only been a little over a year now. That's a relatively short period of time considering I smoked for 30 years. Hopefully it won't take a full 30 years to get over the lingering aspects of quitting. I don't have quite that long.