Monday, November 16, 2009

love me some bbq

Over the last few months, I've done a lot of research on many different types of grills. Many of them are good, lots of them aren't. But what I found is that there is one brand of barbecue grills, both charcoal and gas, that stands far above the rest. Weber, a name that everybody knows and respects. Why? Because their products have stood the test of time, decade after decade.

I can remember as a kid the Fourth of July cookouts at my Grandparents' house with a huge hunk of beef on the Weber grill. The sound of the rotisserie will stay with me always. My Weber Performer is the same basic grill my Grandfather used back then. It just shows you the quality of their grills holds true still today. That is why I highly recommend Weber products.

I've listed five of the top selling Weber Grills that I recommend:

Smokey Joe Grill

The Smokey Joe Grill is a great grill for apartment dwellers who have limited storage space. This table-top model features a 14 inch grate for 147 square inches of cooking capacity. Its great to take on you next picnic too. You can count on the quality and dependability that you've come to expect from Weber products.

The One-Touch Gold Series Grill

The One-Touch Gold Series Grill is a great starter grill that will last you many years. It's the classic Weber Kettle Grill design. The great feature of the Gold Series is the convenient Ash Catcher. It makes it very easy when it comes time to empty the spent ashes. You can choose between the 18.5 inch model for a cooking capacity of 240 square inches, or the 22.5 inch model for a capacity of 363 square inches. Again, the Weber quality is always present. A great grill for the price.

The One-Touch Gold Series 26.75″ Grill

The One-Touch Gold Series 26.75″ Grill is the next step up in charcoal grills. Its massive 26.75 inch grate provides 508 square inches of cooking capacity. Plenty of space for any size brisket you have. This model features a built-in thermometer, as well as the convenient Gold Series Ash Catcher. Many other feature abound. This grill is for the serious barbecuer.

The Weber Performer Charcoal Grill

This is the ultimate in charcoal grilling. The Weber Performer Charcoal Grill features the classic Weber Kettle Grill design built into a cart format. The unique Touch-N-Go gas ignition system lights your charcoal with a small LP gas burner. No more lighter fluid!! It also features the convenient Gold Series Ash Catcher as well as a dual purpose thermometer and weather protected charcoal storage container.

I've personally used the Performer Grill for the last 9 years and I absolutely love it. I wouldn't do without it.

Well, there you have it... I sincerely hope that these recommendations will help you in your grilling quests.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Winter Park Resort is great for snowboarders and skiers alike. Fantastic trees, the most snow of all destination resorts in Colorado, a cool new Village and the most convenient location of all major ski resorts in Colorado.

Trees, trees, trees - besides powder isn't that the reason to snowboard? Well Winter Park Resort has some pretty amazing trees. The new Panoramic Express, the highest six pack ski lift in North America, takes you to the top of Parsenn Bowl to experience the finest gladed and ungladed (natural) trees in Colorado. Head to the top of Mary Jane and you can experience the winter solace of 'topher's trees. Truly perfect tree skiing can be had at the Resort.

Powder, powder and more powder - if it isn't trees it's has to be the snow, and lots of it , that makes snowboarding so fun. Well here in the Grandest of all Grand Counties Winter Park Resort averages over 350 inches of the fluffy white stuff every year. Last year the total was almost 30 inches over the average topping out at 378 inches of snow. You can not find better, more consistent snowfall in Colorado.

Winterpark just opened a cool new base village last ski season that now has three new restaurants and a couple of new stores. Lime is a great place to get a margarita and a burrito after a hard day on the slopes. At the Cheeky Monk you can get the finest Belgium beers and some of the best fries and mussels around. At Goody's make it crepes and some ice cream for the kids.

And lastly what makes Winter Park Resort best for snowboarders is how close and convenient the resort is to Denver International Airport. From the airport you can be on the slopes in 2.5 hours. It is a 67 mile trip from Denver to Winterpark. and you do not have to deal with Eisenhower Tunnel traffic.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009


What is the focus of our politics? mine is not on any one party line or platform, I believe in Jesus, and so His principles are the basis to my political stance. I believe in true freedom, in the idea a true free market system. no give aways, no government handouts. Minimal taxation and minimal regulation. It is the churches place to take care of the widows and the poor. Government never had or has the authority to deal with it, nor the capacity. Education also is supposed to be community and faith based, not state and federally regulated and funded, enough of that. Well I could go on forever, enough for today.

presidential quiziness

Learning some US Presidents trivia is an important part of the education of any student who goes through the American school system. The American presidents from the first to the most recent have each played an important role in the shaping of the history of the country. Learning about them helps anyone to understand the sacrifices that were required to birth the country, as well as the principles which it was founded on and has been governed under.

The first part of any US presidents quiz must concern George Washington. Washington became the first president of the country after the American Revolution. He helped build all of the basic building blocks of our government, and advocated a strong government and neutrality in foreign affairs.

Tomas Jefferson, the third president, is equally important. Generally accounted one of the country's greatest presidents, he was one of the most important figures in the creation of the declaration of independence (although that event predated his presidency.

The sixteenth president is generally accounted one of the two greatest presidents the country has ever had. Abraham Lincoln was the first republican president, and was responsible for, above all else, bringing about an end to the tradition of slavery in his country. Lincoln's assassination, like that of JFK's, is an important part of the US presidents trivia that everyone learns in today's school system.

Not all of the items that show up on a US presidents quiz are about these heroes of the past however. While there are many more of those, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, there are also those which have left a less impressive legacy.

Richard Nixon, resigning because of the Watergate scandal, is one of the more infamous chapters in the history and trivia involving American Presidents. The sad stories of both Presidents Harrison and Garfield are also important to recognize, as the two shortest serving presidents. Harrison died after a little more than a month in office, and Garfield was shot four months after being named president.

Trivia regarding the American Presidents also can look at what has happened in recent times politically in the country. The election of President Barack Obama marks the historic event of the election of the first African American president. He also recently became a member of a very select group of American presidents who have received one of the world's highest honors, the Nobel peace prize.

risks of skiing and snowboarding

Many people have already known that snowboarding and skiing are the great things they always want to do all the time. Recently, you can prove the fact that the snowboarders and skiers are increasing in number. In fact, such thing is followed by the increase of the number of injuries. Definitely, the high awareness is needed to make sure that people finally can do snowboard and ski safety.

Perhaps, you have already known about the fact that snowboarding and skiing have brought many victims every year. As a note, during the course of a year about 11 million skiers and 4 million snowboarders in the U.S. alone are on the slopes at least once. In this case, the average number of visits to the slopes is around 60 million. For every 1000 skier visits, there are around 2.5 serious medical injuries.

But, the death rate of snowboarders is 40 percent lower than alpine skiers; they are more likely to be hit by skiers gone out of control than the other way around. And then, the falling skiers will possibly cause them to be 3 to 4 times more likely to crash into something or someone. Please remember that a snowboard acts more like a seat anchor, preventing sliding. The death is usually caused from hitting something.

One of the great recommended solutions to reduce the risks of both snowboarding and skiing is that you have to take some lessons from a qualified instructor. The main important thing is to get the proper equipment. The final conclusion you will see is that you are responsible for your own safety. The best anticipation will be great to help you enjoying the great time without risks.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

really good deed

This guy arrives at the Pearly Gates. He has to wait to be admitted, while St. Pete leafs through his Big Book.

He's checking to see if the guy is worthy of entry or not. Saint Peter goes through the books several times, furrows his brow, and says to the guy, "You know, I can't see that you did lots of good in your life but, you never did anything bad either.

Tell you what, if you can tell me of one REALLY good deed that you did in your life, you're in."

The guy thinks for a moment and says, "Well, there was this one time when I was drivin' down the highway and I saw a Biker Gang assaulting this poor girl. I slowed down my car to see what was going on, and sure enough, that's what they were doing. There were about 50 of 'em torturing this chick.

Infuriated, I got out my car, grabbed a tire iron from my trunk and walked straight up to the leader of the gang. He was a huge guy with a studded leather jacket and a chain running from his nose to his ear. As I walked up to the leader, the Gang formed a circle all around me.

So I ripped the leader's chain off his face and smashed him over the head with the tire iron. Then I turned around and yelled to the rest of them, 'Leave this poor, innocent girl alone, you slime! You're all a bunch of sick, deranged animals! Go home before I teach you all a lesson in pain!'"

St. Peter, extremely impressed, says, "Really? Wow, when did all this happen?"

"Er.. about two minutes ago."


Have you ever wondered how those people in your bowling league are consistently bowling over 200's? Next time you bowl, look and see how they throw the ball. I can almost guarantee that they bowl with a hook. This is what separates average bowlers from the great bowlers.

When you throw a straight ball, you are leaving the pin action to chance. When the bowling ball strikes the pins on a straight line, it is at the mercy of the pins. Believe it or not, the pins can and WILL change the trajectory of your bowling ball. And herein lies the reason you need to learn how to bowl with a hook.

Now think about this for a moment. When a bowling ball has a hook on it, the ball is hooking INTO the pocket making it hard for the pins to change the trajectory of the ball. Chances are that ball is going to plow through the center of rack causing more movement of the pins. This results in more opportunities for strikes! And what will that do for you?

A higher score!

I have been bowling for many years yet I have not been bowling with a hook for that long. I just learned about 5 years ago and I'm sure glad that I did! Within two weeks of learning how to bowl with a hook did my average climb an additional 15 pins. I now carry an average of 213 along with two perfect games under my belt. I am not bragging rather trying to explain to you just how important it is to learn to bowl a hook. It can literally raise your game to a whole other level!

The good news for you is that it isn't as hard as you may think!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Join Me at i5

Join Me at i5

overcrowded chruch

The two thousand member Baptist church was filled to overflowing capacity one Sunday morning. The preacher was ready to start the sermon when two men, dressed in long black coats and black hats entered thru the rear of the church.

One of the two men walked to the middle of the church while the other stayed at the back of the church. They both then reached under their coats and withdrew automatic weapons.

The one in the middle announced, "Everyone willing to take a bullet for Jesus stay in your seats!"

Naturally, the pews emptied, followed by the choir. The deacons ran out the door, followed by the choir director and the assistant pastor.

After a few moments, there were about twenty people left sitting in the church. The preacher was holding steady in the pulpit.

The men put their weapons away and said, gently, to the preacher, "All right, pastor, the hypocrites are gone now. You may begin the service."

building a home may be cheaper than you think

But there are other criteria as well to be taken into consideration, as a home can last a lifetime, and this way paying more at the start can mean having better living conditions for centuries. The roof, plumbing or floor coverings may be twice as expensive, but if it lasts twice as long, then you can say you've made a good decision.

There are a few factors that influence cost per square foot. Firstly, there is the built in profit your home builder works with. This quote is up to the builder, and it can be anything from 10% to 50%, depending on what services are you contracting.

Then there is the quality of the built-in materials. The same home can be built with the double of the cost, because the higher quality of the built-in materials. Another factor is the quality of labor: you can have professional workers doing the job, or you can hire beginners: the worker's experience reflects very well in the hourly wage they are working for.

The cost per square foot can be influenced also by the number of stories you choose. Design complexity has also a lot to do with the cost of the home. There is also the complexity of foundations and roofline: if you keep those items simple, you can save a lot of money. You will also have to spend on the cost of permits and fees: usually these expenses are incorporated also in the cost per square foot. There tens of thousands of dollars differences from one building jurisdiction to another.

The cost of structural materials can vary a lot. There are lots of ways to build your home, you can consider choosing anything from traditional stick framing to SIP panels or steel framing. The cost of labor to build these structures varies over a large scale.

If you want to save money, you may consider hiring a home building coach: an industry professional with vast experience can guide you thorough those tough decisions about your future home, and you'll have total control on the cost per square foot.

Architects, builders, retired builders, designers, contractors, and construction managers can all make excellent coaches, and you will find plenty information about home building on the internet, from simple "how to" descriptions to tips and tools, surveys, videos and even free on-line courses

that's a line if i ever heard one

Fishing seemed so much easier when I was a child. It seemed like all I needed was my rod, reel, small tackle box with a few sinkers and hooks, and my trusty dog. Okay, my reel was always half-stocked with a spool of monofilament line, I was still able to catch some awesome fish. I'm grown now, and my fishing gear now includes close to thirty rods and reels, each with their own purpose. These rods and reels are spooled with a huge variety of fishing line types; each as unique as the rod and reel they are spooled on.

These days, the tackle industry is complete with an array of fishing lines, but most mainstream fishermen need only three basic types: monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided. Each has a distinct purpose and defining characteristics, whether you are fishing in freshwater, saltwater, or offshore.

For roughly the last half century, fishermen have chosen to use only monofilament line, and it is one of the best selling lines still on the market today. It is made from a single filament of extruded nylon, and is very cost efficient.

Monofilament line is extremely strong and rather pliable. It is also fairly stretchy when tense, which is a definite plus when you are fishing for a fighter, since it acts as a shock absorber.

Monofilament line has one major drawback: it has a memory. This means that it has a tendency to spiral off of the spool when cast, and the springy coils soon become tangles, knots, and have other problems. The stretchiness can also create problems, particularly when you are fighting to pull a largemouth from thick weeds or prevent a huge striper from escaping by slipping between rocks.

Braided line solves many of these problems, and is made from tiny braided synthetic fibers. It does not have the memory problem that monofilament has, and it is very strong for its diameter. In fact, a 30-lb braided line has the diameter of an 8 lb. monofilament line in most cases, meaning that you could realistically fill a small trout or bass-sized reel spool with 20 or 30 lb. test. This line does have its own limitations, however, and it has very little resistance to abrasion and is very visible. For this reason, only fish with braided line when you are using a non-visible leader.

The final of the basic fishing lines, fluorocarbon is nearly the perfect answer. It has many of monofilament's advantages and none of braided line's drawbacks. It is almost invisible underwater, and is excellent for fishing in shallow water where the fish are easy to scare. Fluorocarbon is also very effective in clear deep water with a high level of light penetration. Abrasion resistance is high, and fluorocarbon is even used for leader material. However, it hasn't always been popular, and was given bad press in the beginning because it made spooling and casting more difficult due to its rigidity. After ten years of negativity, Fluoro is now very popular and reliable due to advancements in technology.

The types of line available today are unique and individual tools used to make fishing easier. When used right, these lines will also help you catch more and bigger fish.

Maybe fishing was simpler when I was a kid, but my knowledge and familiarity with fishing techniques was childish too.

To be honest, I could have kept fishing in my childlike manner, but the desire to learn and reel in bigger fish lured me, and I began to discover the benefits of choosing the right kind of line and lure color, and then other helpful things. So, in essence, fishing may not seem as easy as it did when I was younger, but I am very glad that I can now recognize the tools I have today. I know one thing for sure; they've helped me catch more fish.

that's koizy

If you are going to install a koi fish pond then first realize that you are going to need to be committed to its maintenance. It really does not make sense to build a beautiful water garden, stock it with lovely koi fish and then not look after it. It doesn't matter how lovely your pond is, if the koi fish are not healthy, then it is just going to take away from the overall beauty of the fish pond.

Koi fish are a wonderful addition to your pond. They certainly are attractive but they are also delicate. Therefore if your choice is the Koi fish then make sure you learn about them so you can tend to them properly. You want the color of your fish to remain vibrant and intact, and you want them to be active in your pond. So you need to be prepared to do some work.

Keep it clean:
These fish demand a clean environment. If the water starts to become contaminated then before long you are going to have some sick or even dead fish. In order to prevent this it means you must inspect the overall condition of the water on a regular basis.

Water inspection:
Aside from being clean, you have to watch for other water issues as well. The PH level of the water is important. Ideally if possible stay away from concrete ponds because it affects the PH level. You also need to be diligent about things such as chlorine and ammonia buildup which can be harmful to the Koi. Also do not subject the Koi to sudden changes in water temperature; this is a risk you run when you change the water.

Koi's like company:
You must have enough Koi for them to make a group. You want them to be in a happy environment. This means it must be as close to their natural habitat as possible.

Feed the Koi properly:
Koi fish are a part of the ornamental variety of carp, therefore their diets and nutritional needs are pretty much the same. A high fish protein diet is important and be sure that "fish" is at least in the top 2 ingredients of your koi food. During the summer months koi may need to be fed up to 8 times a day. The colder months require very little feeding, or even none at all if the temperature drops below 55 degrees. Treat your koi to delicious fruits and vegetables. They will enjoy cut up shrimp, and even earthworms.

Don't over feed your Koi:
One of the easiest ways to contaminate your water is by overfeeding the fish. Unused food will fall to the bottom of the pond and will rot over time. If this has already occurred you will need to scrape or vacuum up the unused food.

Don't hand the Koi unless it's necessary:
They have a protective coating on them. If you don't handle them properly or handle them too much you will damage that coating. Once you do this you are subjecting them to bacteria.

Regular Inspections:
Make it a habit when you do your water inspection that you look at the Koi closely to be sure that they are all in good health. If one were to be sick you would want to remove it quickly so it doesn't contaminate the others. You must make every effort to determine why it is ill as well.

Maintaining a healthy environment for your koi fish is essential in keeping your fish disease free, playful, and colorful. Follow these suggestions and you'll be sure to enjoy your koi fish pond for years to come.

party time!

Now that summer has faded away, it is time to set our sights on the upcoming holidays. Halloween is just around the corner, then comes Thanksgiving and soon after that it is Christmas time again. This is the time of year that many people host holiday parties in their homes. A holiday party is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and most people are very pleased to receive an invitation to a big party during this period of the year.

Halloween is the perfect time of the year to throw a party. Why not create a guest list of all your favorite people and invite them over for a costume party? Young people and adults alike love Halloween parties as it is a great chance to let your hair down and have some good clean fun. If you have decided to throw a Halloween bash, be sure to select Halloween invitations that will grab the attention of your guests and make them want to attend your party. Remember when choosing the invites that the holiday is centered around ghosts, goblins, bats and jack-o-lanterns. You can find some of the most unique and funny Halloween invites online. There are many online retailers who specialize in nothing but party invitations and it is here that you will find the best prices and widest selection of holiday invitations. These stores also will allow you to customize your message on the invitations and you can often even take your own photograph and use that as the front of your card. You only need to run a quick online search to find these invitation specialists. You will be amazed at the amount and types of invitations you can choose from so take your time and have a good look around before making a decision. Remember that the most clever invitations will yield the best results. If your invitations are enticing, it is more likely that your invited guests will come to your party so be sure to select invitations that grab attention!

If you love to have guests over to your house at Christmas time for a bit of holiday cheer, be sure to send out invitations in the mail. Today more and more people are taking the easy way out and sending email invitations, but quite frankly that is not the same as receiving a hand signed Christmas invitation in the mail. People really do appreciate receiving invitations in their 'snail mail' and it conveys the message that you do indeed wish for them to attend your holiday party.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

house plants

Having plant indoors is a good way, not only to keep your home looking good, it also helps cleanse and purify that air that circulates inside. In fact, indoor plants are highly recommended for poorly ventilated or closed areas to improve the quality and Oxygen level of the air. Here are the ten of the best indoor plants that can do the job:

One: Angel Ivy Ring Topiary. This beautiful plant is also known as wire vine and grows up to 12 inches high and 8 inches in diameter. You can wind up new growth around the topiary to keep it looking good. You can even use this as a living frame and grow flowering plants at its base. It's suitable indoors as it thrives in indirect sunlight. Care must be taken not to overwater this plant or let its soil dry out either. Keep it healthy by trimming away dry leaves and protecting it from insect pests.

Two: Cactus Combo Bonsai lives up to its name by behaving like a dessert plant. It's a very low maintenance plant that requires minimal water but lots of light. You don't even have to water it during winter as it goes dormant. And being a bonsai, it only grows up to 8 inches high. It's perfect for those who don't have time to tend their plants or those who's always away from their homes.

Three: Palm plant varieties are very good indoor plants because they are known to be excellent air purifying plants. Apart from that, they are also very adaptable to indoor growing conditions and don't need to be watered frequently. Some of the palm plant varieties are bamboo palm, ponytail palm, areca palm and lady palm. However, these plants are not small and some can grow up to six feet tall.

Four: Chinese Evergreen is another indoor air purifier that's relatively easy to take care of. It grows well under low light conditions and must be kept in warm temperatures. Make sure that the soil is dry between watering, otherwise it may kill the plant. It can grow up to three feet in height.

Five: Moth Orchid is for those who love to grow flowering plant indoors. Moth Orchid has white blooms with small striped of fuchsia and can last up to three months. It likes indirect sunlight and can be placed in any area of your house. It's a good air purifier, too.

Six: Peace Lily is an elegant-looking plant that has bold and shiny leaves that are sometimes decorated with white flower stalks. It takes away some harmful toxins from the air. This plant likes to be kept away from direct light and must be dried out between watering. But be careful, especially with pets and little children, as it can be mildly toxic when ingested.

Seven: Spider plant is a recommended house plant for beginners because it lives well in almost any conditions and can be placed in any areas of the house. But it grows best with indirect sunlight and little water. With its long narrow leaves, this plant reduces pollutants from the air and purifies it.

Eight: Pothos is a cascading vine plant with beautiful leaves which makes it an excellent hanging plant. It is very tolerant of any conditions including low light and irregular watering. It can be potted in any container, can even grow roots in a glass of water and grows abundantly in warm area.

Nine: Snake plant is a bug repellant plant and is an awesome indoor plant for bedroom because it releases Oxygen during the night. It is a tough plant that can handle indoor environment, but grow best under low light and warm conditions. Just take care that it is not overwatered. Otherwise, it will rot.

Ten: African Violet is one of the most popular indoor plants because of its flowers. It is an awesome looking flowering plant with many color variations such purple, pink, white, etc. It doesn't grow tall which makes it a great indoor decoration. It requires little exposure to sun but soil must be kept moist (not soggy) at all times.


Learning the blackjack betting system is very important if you are serious of becoming a good player. Usually beginners in the game will tend to place the same amount of bet all the time whatever the odds are. This is good if you are still a novice player. However, betting this way all over again will not let you win that much money.

Betting is the essence of gambling. This is what makes casino gambling more fun and exciting. Just like in any other forms of casino games, players should learn how to place bets at the right moment during a game. As a player, you should be able to identify the most favorable moment to increase your bets so that you can win big amounts of money.

There are many betting systems in playing blackjack. This can also be used as an effective strategy so that you could successfully win in the game. Knowledge in card counting will give so much advantage whenever you decide on how much you should bet during the game. Most of the professional players based their betting decisions according to their card count. When you see an advantage against the dealer, do not hesitate and place a huge amount of bet.

Here are some of the basic guidelines in the blackjack betting system. You can make use of these guidelines to improve your chances of bringing home loads of profit. When the count score is negative, do not bet. If you want to risk it, make sure that you only bet in a minimal amount. Let us say for example $10. Do not bet higher than that because the chance of winning in a negative score is very slim. You can make a minimum bet (about $10) when the count score is +1 or +2. Double your bet when the count score is +3 to +5 and triple it when the score is from +6 to +10. Betting like this will surely let you win big. You can even quad your bet if the score is +11 and more because when the score is like this, it is most likely that you are guaranteed to win.

As you may observe, to increase your bets when the count score increases is the most preferred system in betting. This is because when the count score increases, the possibility of getting high cards is high. This type of scenario is always favorable to the player than to the dealer. But of course, whatever the odds are, you should only bet in an amount which you can afford to lose or win. This is because no one actually has the full control over the cards being dealt in every game.

There are many other more advanced ways on how to place bets in blackjacks. These ways require great skills and knowledge. Most of these advanced betting systems will usually give a bigger picture on how to effectively bet in blackjack and win big money. Whatever blackjack betting system that you want to use, ensure to play and gamble responsibly and stick to real purpose of casino games which is to have fun.

are you stressed out?

Stress has long remained America's No. 1 cause of illness. In 1983, stress was declared as "Epidemic of 80's" by Time Magazine. So what has changed now? Situation is same in 21st century or even worse?

After that Time magazine article actually got published in 1983, till today, in these 26 years. Our life has become more complicated, become more technology oriented. In all these years we have introduced mobile phones, internet, email, 24/7 news channels (those keep on telecasting brutal crime scenes). We are facing financial crises, have mortgages, credit cards bills, self managed retirement plans. As a nation we have concerns of terrorism, bad economy and global warming.

All these elements are causing more stress. An average American's stress levels are far higher than that was in 80's.

Influence of this stress is devastating on our physical and mental health. The AIS (American institute of Stress) has estimated 75 - 90% of all visits to physicians are illness caused by stress and heart disease. 1 in every 12 Americans or 8.09% of population is heart patient. A research conducted in 2001 shows 30.3% of deaths due to heart disease. It's about 725,92 deaths every year. Situation is far worse in year 2009. Stress factors are increased and stress levels are sky rocketed causing more people to become heart disease patients and die of worrying. Today stress is truly the No. epidemic in United States of America.

Now question arises how an average America can reduce stress without changing the society or economy. The answer can be found in stress management techniques. However managing stress when you are stressed too much, almost close to your limit can be very challenging.

I've met several people who are stressed to the point they feel overwhelmed, almost lost their senses. In condition where they can't even understand and listen to sincere advice. There are exercises, yoga programs those can help you release stress.

To reduce stress, you first have to know what stress actually is; "stress is circumstances that you are facing and the way you think about these circumstances." So, if you can't change circumstances, stress management techniques can change your way of thinking about circumstances. These techniques can teach you how to neglect bad thoughts and to concentrate at positive things, making you a cool headed person, strong and a better human.

What if you become a strong person? You can handle difficult situations without trembling, without losing your mind in tough times. This is what an average American needs, to become cool, pleasant and strong at heart & mind to face the challenges in life.

Real estate 101

If you are like the rest of us that own or rent office space, property costs are one of the largest business overhead expenses. It is very important that we comprehend the terms used in Real Estate. It is important that you understand the ramifications of taking over the title to a property or entering into a lease agreement with someone. Always consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate law. This will keep you out of a lot of problems which you do not need in business.

Real Estate Terms List:

1. Appraisal: This is a written report by a state-licensed appraiser that includes an unbiased analysis of the properties value and what led to that opinion. This is always required on all commercial property sales. If you are borrowing money, you will need an appraisal.

2. Broker: This is the person that brings together a buyer and a seller, or a landlord and a tenant, in a real estate transaction. All brokers must be licensed by the state where they work. Some work on a salary but most work on commission. They either represent the seller or the buyer; the lessor or the lessee.

3. Concessions: Benefits or discounts given by either the seller or landlord. This helps to close a sale or lease. Common concessions may include moving expenses, remodeling of office space or upgrades. This can also be used as an inducement of reduced rent for the initial term of the lease.

4. HVAC. An acronym for "heating-ventilation-air-conditioning" system in the unit. In a commercial building, the landlord generally is responsible for maintaining the HVAC. Often, they tenant can be responsible also, it depends on the terms of the concessions or lease.

5. Lien. This is a legal claim filed against a property for payment of a debt or money owed. If a property owner fails to pay, for example, the creditor can place a lien on his or her property. A lien will halt the sale of a property. It is important to know if there is a lien on a piece of property you are considering buying.

In conclusion, this is just a few terms that are important in a real estate transaction. Understanding what you are getting into is important. Always consult with a Real Estate Attorney before entering into a real estate traction. Remember, investigate the property you are considering investing in. This is called "Due Diligence" on your part before signing on the dotted line.

the neighbors will love you

Practice and jamming sessions are vital to the success and progression of any band, however the same problem is generally found by many bands, which is the matter of finding a location to actually practice within. Renting a studio room can often prove rather pricey, but the sound generated by a band is often too much for any home to cope with, so what is the solution? There is actually quite a simple answer to this question, which is to soundproof a room/basement and use said room as the basis of all band practice and jamming sessions.

Although this is a simple solution, the act of actually carrying this out can sometimes prove to be a bit difficult. So with this in mind, how do you actually go about soundproofing a room or basement? You can do this in a number of ways; it basically depends on your budget and ability to carry out the job. If you are looking to professionally soundproof a room/basement for your band to jam in then there are number of steps that you would need to take, you would need to have all of the electrical wiring and plumbing in place and then you would have to hang drywall on one side of all the stud walls of the room to be soundproofed, so that the room is closed in but you still have access to the interiors of the walls.

Once the above is in place you would then be able to apply fiberglass insulation batting to the walls. This would need to be packed in pretty tight and the thicker your material the more sound you would be able to stop.

If insulating the room/basement in the above manner is something that you can't achieve at this moment in time then don't worry as there are a number of other avenues in which you can go down, for example, another great way of soundproofing a room is by decorating it with rough-surfaced furnishings. The reason for this is the fact these furnishings absorb sound, unlike smooth surfaces, which allow sound waves to travel back and forth. Furnishing are just the beginning however when it comes to other ways in which you are able to soundproof a room/basement, on top of this your walls can also be treated as a means of helping to reduce the amount of sound output. What this basically involves is tacking some sort of heavy material to the walls that will block sound waves, prime examples of what this material can range from is carpeting to blankets to manufactured paneling.

Any changes that you can make to the room that helps block out sound waves is an improvement in terms of soundproofing a room/basement. You basically need to pad the room out as a measure of containing sound within it. By taking any of the above steps you will be well on your way to achieving this and you will be well on your way to practicing and jamming with your band as often and as much as you want.

multiple positions?

"Hold'em is a lot like making love: Position is everything." - WPT Host Vince van Patten

In Texas Hold'em poker, determining your opponents' playing styles is important, but gaining knowledge from your position is key. Table position is where you sit in relation to the dealer's button. The three basic table positions in poker are early (the Big Blind, Small Blind and Under the Gun), middle and late (including the Cutoff and the Button). The importance of position is the reason the dealer button rotates after each hand.

The strength of position comes from the fact that the betting moves in a clockwise fashion. When playing in late position -- which is the strongest position -- you get to see how other players react to their hands before the action comes to you. The Pokerism™ "Position is power" comes from this simple idea.

Though your hole cards are crucial, how you use position to decide your betting strategy is the most important tool in your poker skill set. One of the gravest mistakes you can make is playing your starting hands the same, no matter what position you are in. Though you may understand the strength of playing premium starting hands, incorrectly entering every pot without considering position is costly. The more information you possess, the more you increase your chances of winning the hand.

Your margin for error is less when you are sitting in early position. If you bet with a marginal hand pre-flop from early position, you can easily end up with a raise or even re-raise by players betting after you. This places you in the untenable position of immediately having to decide whether your hand is worth losing the extra chips (two or three small bets in limit, to an All-in in no-limit) just to see the flop. If you make the correct move and fold, you lose the chips you already put in the pot. Therefore, if you are in early position, you should restrict the hands you play to the top premium hands, because you have no way of knowing what the other players in the group are holding. Statistically at least one of the players behind you also has a premium starting hand. Though the big and small blinds are in early position, they have the advantage of acting last pre-flop.

If you are playing from middle position, you have players waiting for action and others that have already played. Though your pre-flop hand selection increases in middle position, in most situations you are still limited to playing strong opening hands. Since several players may be in the pot, you get better odds when playing weaker hands, but still have greater risk with the players behind.

Poker Legend Doyle Brunson once remarked, "If I had position on a player, I wouldn't even need to look at my cards." Being in late position with a good hand has major advantages over being early with a good hand. A player in late position holding a premium hand has the ability to manipulate the pot size, making future bets easier to call on the turn or river. Late position is especially important when playing marginal hands, such as suited-connectors or Aces with weak kickers. With the advantage of seeing your opponents' actions before you act, you can expand the range of your starting hands, often playing weaker hands from late position. If you do not consider position when playing a hand, you give an edge to players who do understand its importance.

Since the button is the strongest opening position, many players try to bluff or over-bet a weak hand from this position. Gaining knowledge of other players' styles helps to determine if they are overplaying a hand from the button or actually have a strong hand. It also provides a clue for how strongly you should protect your own blinds.

The type of game and the stakes involved can magnify the importance of position. In a low-stakes, limit game, with a table of loose players, position means less, since these players tend to play any two cards and draw to the end regardless. As the stakes get higher, position becomes more important. Position becomes even more important in no-limit play, as the threat of the All-in on each hand considerably raises the stakes more than in limit play.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

got a new puppy?

f you are thinking of getting a new puppy you should first take steps to puppy proof your home. Young puppies love to get up to all sorts of mischief so first make sure your home is a safe place for your new puppy so he will come to no harm.

I have to admit that when I got my puppy, I was totally unprepared to have a new puppy in the house. I blame my wife! I was not planning on getting a dog but one day she came home and surprised me with a new puppy. When I saw puppy I was totally smitten and have never regretting having her for a minute, but as I said, I was totally unprepared.

She was such a gorgeous and lovely little puppy dog, but it soon became apparent that puppy obedience training and puppy toilet training would need to begin immediately. But it wasn't until she had jumped on the coffee table and ate all my multivitamin pills that I realised that I needed to puppy proof my home. The pills were in a plastic container but she had managed to chew through it and eat the pills. I was so worried, but luckily there were no ill effects. But I shudder to think what would have happened if there had been paracetamols in that bottle instead! I had only left my puppy alone for 5 minutes.

So please make sure you puppy proof your home before your puppy gets up to any mischief and suffers the consequences.

Make sure any medicines are stored away and harmful cleaning fluids are put away in a safe place out of your puppy's reach.
Use baby gates to keep your puppy confined in safe areas and to keep him from exploring unsafe places like garages where harmful chemicals may be stored.
Put all house plants out of puppy's reach. Some plants can be poisonous and your puppy may get curious and want to chew them.
Make sure there are no small items left laying around the house, such as jewellery, money, remote controls, paper clips, rubber bands etc. Puppies love to explore with the their mouths and could easily choke on small items.
Make sure all rubbish and waste paper bins are out of your puppy's reach. Puppies have a strong sense of smell and they love to rummage through bins.
Always keep a close watch on your puppy because you never know what he will get up to next.
If you follow the above suggestions and puppy proof your home you will greatly reduce the risk of your puppy getting up to mischief and running into potential danger.

twisted addiction?

Are you one of those that just can't get enough of Farmville? There is a steady stream of people joining Farmville daily. Once they start playing, it seems that they can't get enough. In just a few short months, Zynga's Farmville has built up an average monthly user base of over 60 million players. This figure continues to grow weekly.

There are several reasons that Farmville is so appealing to so many Facebook users:

1. Some of us use Farmville to wind down and relax. They tend to their farm by planting seeds, harvesting crops, milking cows, etc. It's a calming activity that lets the stresses of the day fade away.

2. For others, it is an activity they participate in while they are chatting with other users. They can farm without focusing 100% of their attention on it.

Either way, as you farm, you advance in experience. As you progress, you are able to unlock a wide array of new items. Beginning at level 3 you begin to unlock additional items but achieving level 5 really starts getting the farm going. New seeds, animals, and more are unlocked at each additional level. This is when your farm can start being very diverse.

Leveling up in Farmville requires accumulating experience points. How do you do gain those experience points?

To level up quickly, you will have to bear in mind that focusing on experience points will, for the first stages, advance you fairly rapidly. This is a game that requires a bit of planning when you start so that you are getting enough return on your crops to be able to replant. Don't clear more land than you will be able to plant or your farm won't grow as quickly as you'd like.

At first, you need relatively few experience points to move up levels. With level 8 you will begin to need more and more points to advance. As you progress, you will have to keep an eye on what gives you the most points. Use that knowledge to build your points up faster.

While it may be tempting to plant strawberries because they are ready in 4 hours, they do wilt after 8 hours if not harvested. So if you will not be frequently logging in to harvest, plant a crop that you can manage easily and that will be there when you have time to harvest.

Future of the newspaper?

The infrastructure of a business model is evaluated one niche market, one customer segment at a time. It is hard work. It takes quantifiable research. It takes experience to know when to proceed with the analysis and when to cut bait.

But the first requirement is objectivity.

This may be a little tough for passionate, dedicated intelligent journalists to take, but if a productive dialog on business models is desired journalists have to get past being enamored with 'What you do', and move on to being completely focused on 'How you do it.' Journalists need to take the emotional turn from being captivated with investigative journalism, and move to being absolutely dedicated to how to hasten news sites' move to a healthy balance sheet.

The second requirement is the ability to function through disruption.

Simply put, the newspaper industry was disrupted; they were unprepared and continue to reel from the changes. Disruptive technologies upset markets. Innovative marketing can shock an industry and demand reactions over time.

Implementing new business models in old established industries is unsettling and troublesome.

So the real question on the future of journalism is not the desire for change, but the ability to embrace change. That downward spiral is a trend that will continue; that is not a hockey stick in the making!

The building blocks of income generation for news sites are no different than other businesses: consistent growing revenue base, competitive advantages, happy customers who see results and repeat business. Like any other business, news sites need to have consistent income to support their efforts; they need to offer what businesses and consumers want to buy.

"Deliver new ways for advertisers to communicate directly with qualified prospects helping advertisers close business quickly while providing consumers access to business they want to find" is a discussion point, albeit disruptive, but a discussion point.

Once journalists are ready to be objective and unsettle their own world, then they will be ready to proceed toward a healthy balance sheet.

are you on drugs kid?

In today's day in age, anti-drug messages can be found almost anywhere. Ranging from TV and radio commercials, billboards, magazine ads, dot-com ads and educational programs. Through nation-wide interviews and polls of our youths, information was divulged regarding the types of media and the drug-related media pitches that they indicate as being influential. Youths mentioned television shows and movies as general sources of information (both anti- and pro-) about drugs. They thought that, in general, TV glamorized violence and drug use; TV characters would use drugs, but there would always be a happy ending. Youth of all ages were aware of anti-drug ads in the media. Responses to these ads were generally similar.

These ads are generally ignored and labeled as just another commercial. Many kids feel that if they don't come in contact with the problem, it is not something to worry about.

These studies show that more effective means of instructing our youth outside of the classroom must be sought out and employed. When it comes to communicating important messages, the parent - child or teacher - student connections are not always the strongest. TV and other entertainment outlets, however provide much easier access to his or her emotions. In some cases, TV and movies may subtly dictate choices made further down the road. Not necessarily subliminal, but well-placed themes and lessons can prove beneficial to ethical development.
Few Americans know of a hidden government effort underway to convey anti-drug messages into the most pervasive and powerful billboard of all, network television programming. Government officials and their contractors have now begun approving, and in some cases altering, the scripts of shows before they are aired to conform to the government's anti-drug messages.

Congress has created an enormous financial incentive for TV programmers to push anti-drug messages in their plots. Stacking in at as much as $25 million in 2007, with the promise of even more to come in the future. Some of America's most popular shows; including "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI," "Ugly Betty" and "Monk" are accordingly peppering their episodes with anti-drug pitches to cash in on a piece of this government advertising subsidy.

It seems like a product placement plan, but for a good cause. Without a surprise, there is a flip side to this coin. A good question is, why has this plan not been disclosed to the American public? How far will a network go for a price? Some media watchdogs view this plan as propaganda, which is priced and ready for sale. Maybe the government is setting up for future unabated media manipulation. If it pays to employ subtle anti-drug messages, who's to say money hungry networks won't grease their palms and incorporate other plans that benefit the government more so than it's people?

Unfortunately, above the surface, studies have shown that since the late nineties, close to 1 billion government dollars have been spent on the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which has lead to paltry results. Some might conclude that this campaign has inadvertently encouraged drug use amongst our youths. With a score of 6 out of 100 from an internal white house review, this program failed in the areas of results and accountability. These types of reports have lead Congress to gradually cut support to the program. From 2007 to 2008, Congress has slashed the anti-drug advertising budget by 40%, from $99 million to $60 million.

Partnership for a Drug-Free America is an example of a nonprofit, American ad agency that started up in 1986 and has seen its share of scrutiny and with good reasons. This collective donated ads against drug use and received enormous tax breaks because of this strategy. The shocking part was the large amount of funding that came directly from legal drug corporations that profited from the sale of alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals. This begs the question, when large amounts of cash change hands for these advertising deals, who is the beneficiary?

In conclusion, these ideas and interventions have their pros and cons. The pros are; if properly executed, subtle anti-drug tactics seem to be a more effective method of getting a positive message across to our youth in the TV and media generation than a full blown expensive campaign. For the TV networks this could serve as a good chance to earn funding. As for cons; for a price, the networks seem to be forfeiting their first amendment rights and they could be setting themselves up for future government offers that hold less moral value. This is debatable, however, maybe the government dollar would be of better use physically removing drugs from the streets of America.

Tires, what do you know?

Tires are the only point of contact that the car has with the surface of the road, just like we human whereby our shoes are the only point of contact with the floor when we are walking. Can you imagine what will happen when you put on a slippery or a worn out pair of shoes?

Would you usually go out with a pair of shoes with a slippery base? Same thing goes for the car, when you think that it is time for a change of tires, you should get it done. Why choose to risk your life over cost? Also, in order to improve your handling, you are always advice to pump to the correct pressure at all times. When you pump to the correct pressure, the contact from the tires to the surface of the road will be increase to maximum.

Although this would seems to be a hassle, but at the same time you are also reducing cost as the lifespan of the tires will be prolong. When you have a set of tires pump under pressure, you will realise that the side of the tires will wear out faster than the center. Likewise, if you have over pressure, the center will wear out faster than the side. In both situations, you will be force to change your tires at a very short time as the it no longer provides the grip needed.

Do you also know that usually the normal lifespan of a tire are about two years? if you can delay the time you change your tyres by another year, when others change three sets of tires, you would have only change two. You are saving costs.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

is network marketing for you?

One of the major dreams of many people is to own their own business. They feel that it is a means to financial freedom. Most of the small businesses which start up, however, fail within the first few years. With a huge outlay of cash required through loans or savings for individual brick and mortar businesses or franchises, it is a huge investment and perhaps a gamble. Due diligence is required plus an enormous time commitment in order to succeed.

A popular means of attaining that dream without a large financial investment is a home based business. There are many opportunities to earn money, but finding a good one is not always easy.

Network marketing (MLM or multi-level marketing) businesses are plentiful. Anyone can get involved in this industry for a small outlay of cash and a commitment to buy products every month. Network marketing has gotten a bad rap over the years with a 97% failure rate in the industry. Yet it is true that it remains as one of the few ways where financial success is possible for a small investment. Some people are making phenomenal amounts of money, and some network marketing company owners are becoming extremely wealthy.

While many such "opportunities" will suggest buying expensive kits and extra product when starting out, the option is generally available to start with a small outlay of cash. It is necessary to have some money to buy the products which are usually sold at higher prices than comparable products in retail outlets. In order to make any money at all, the person must be "active" which means buying a certain amount of product on auto ship each month and filling any requirements of the particular network marketing company.

No special skills or education are necessary to begin a business in this industry. Anyone who is willing to sign up may join almost any company as a distributor. In order to see any success, however, it takes a lot of work and dedication. It is not an easy business for the average person. Finding a mentor or joining a group to help with recruiting often spells the difference between success or failure.

here are the ones i am involved with if you care to take a look

entertaining right!

Designing a media room for your home can be successfully done if you've taken the time to do some research and learn all about home theater designing. Your mission is to create the same the look, sound and feel of a real movie theater in the privacy of your own home. Visit online websites and retail appliance stores to get an idea of what kind of equipment is available for your room. Read reviews to get honest opinions about brands of home theater systems and make sure that you set a budget, it's easy to get carried away and add too many extra bells and whistles that you really don't need.

You may want to decorate your media room before you start filling it with screens and amplifiers. There are many different types of fun wall paper and home theater carpeting that can add to the enjoyment of your theater media room. Many of the floor and wall designs are done in a theater theme, featuring boxes of popcorn, reels of film as well as some really interesting patterns. Theater chairs that resemble the seats in real movie theaters add to the authentic feel of your media room. You might want to check out some of the Berkline theater seating selections, they have some really comfortable designs. Add a few decorative media theater lights and movie posters to the walls and you'll have a room that satisfies any movie buff's needs.

Now that you've decorated the room to your liking, it's time to do the real work and find the perfect system for you. One of the most popular choices are the wireless home theater systems. They allow greater flexibility and convenience for home owners, eliminating the endless amount of unsightly cables that often accompany a home media system.

The most important components are the theater surround sound system and the home theater screen. You want the film to look and sound exactly like it does in the theater. The picture is huge and crisp and clear and the sound is moving around the room from speaker to speaker and you want this same effect at home. Choose the largest screen that you can and make sure your surround sound system has at least 5 speakers so you'll be able to spread them around the room.

When your media room is finished, you'll be the envy of all of your friends and family. And when they decide they must have a media room like yours, you'll be able to teach them all about home theater equipment and design fundamentals.

Failure a blessing?

We should have a love/hate relationship with failures. On the one hand, they are learning lessons; on the other they are haunting albeit stimulating specters. They should be respected and feared but not to the point of complacency or paralysis.

They should be respected because nothing like the fear of failure can monopolize every ounce of resourcefulness and energy available. They should be feared because that's what gives them significance.

A man who has not suffered failures is by that same token a failure. He is a failure because he has never moved out of his comfort zone, never pushed his limits and therefore has never really grown.

Great achievements are built on past failures. Nothing really great ever was created on the first try. Someone pushed to the point of failure, lessons were learned, new strategies were devised and success was ultimately achieved.

A world-class athlete will fail ten thousand times before he ever puts his hand on the first medal. Great achievers leave behind them stories of heart wrenching failures. The stories of success are written on the pages of past failures.

We may get a lot of satisfaction from our successes but unless they brought us dangerously close to the brinks of failure, very little learning and growing was achieved. Growth is the result of outstretching existing resources, something that is best done when facing the abyss of a possible failure.

We have to learn to cohabit with failures if we really desire to evolve and grow. We must understand that it's a necessary evil on the path to self-actualization. There is no glory and no quantum leap in personal growth without some failures. It's a force that we need to tame and control.

An excessive fear of failure has a paralyzing effect and too little fear of it has a debilitating effect. Excessive fear will kill attempts toward worthwhile objectives and too little fear will instill complacency and precociously terminate what could have been achieved with more sustained efforts.

Sports give us an excellent example as to how failures should be viewed. No player ever wants to lose but the fear of losing will not stop him or her from playing the game. The same attitude should be taken in professional life. A battle lost is not the end of the war. Winning means getting up one more time than we have fallen down.

Only the strong ego can stare at failure and not crumble under the pressure. Only a person of valor can remain unscathed by the criticism and the cynicism that always accompanies a defeat. It takes a healthy self-esteem to stay above the onslaught of public opinion in difficult times.

Failures should be seen as battle scars and should be worn like badges of honor. They are the hallmarks of the warrior and a symbol of courage. So long as the battle was valiantly fought, failure is nothing to be ashamed off. Nobody wants or likes to fail. Unfortunately it's an inherent part of life and whether we like it or not, we have to deal with it.

There are three things that should be remembered about failures:

1) Paralysis caused by the fear of failure is the worst of all failures.
2) So long as everything has been done to avoid failure, failing is nothing to be ashamed off.
3) We should wear the scars of valiantly fought albeit lost battle as a Badge of Honor. They are testimonials of strength and courage.

Trust in relationships

The greatest need we commonly share is the need for acceptance. However in order to be truly accepted by another person in a relationship, you need to be able to trust that person with the knowledge of who you really are - your dreams, your weaknesses, your failings and your strengths. You have to be brave enough to trust them with delicate information.

For many this gets harder and harder to do as they become older. It's a case of once bitten twice shy and so the more times we trust only to have that trust broken - the harder or even less likely it is that we'll trust again and take the same risk.

Unfortunately with relationships there is no substitute for trust and you must take the risk. What you can do however is lessen that risk through learning from your past mistakes and using your better judgement. There are definitely right and wrong people to trust when it comes to relationships and often it's a feeling which tells you which is which.

When you trust another person with intimate information about yourself it a way it gives them an increased power to be able to hurt you. This is the risk factor we must all accept in relationships and why it can be so difficult to recover from the ones which have failed in the past.

The best advice is to give yourself to the relationship is an even and mature way, you'll learn to feel when the relationship is deep enough for you to trust more and more and hopefully develop a wise sense of judgement when it comes to other people.

The rewards of a fulfilling relationship are enormous, it is worth the risk.

Negotiation 101

Everyone knows this axiom: What are the three most important factors in Real Estate? Location, Location, Location. Well, when it comes to negotiation, the three most important factors are Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Yet lack of preparation is the most common mistake I've seen, even among experienced professionals. Here is a list of eight more mistakes that you should avoid in your negotiations:

1. Not recognizing that this is indeed a negotiation. When you're in the business of selling and buying on a regular basis, much of your time is actually in some stage of the negotiation process. Everything is a trade-off and everything has some degree of value. If you immediately start the conversation by identifying what is of little value to you, you've potentially given something away that you could have used in exchange for something later.

2. Thinking this is a zero-sum game. Someone has to win, therefore someone has to lose. I recall one member of a negotiation team who simply couldn't shake her concern that the other party might be getting "more" than they needed to have in the negotiation, even though we were getting exactly what we needed. She thought we should continue to push because this somehow wasn't fair. She didn't seem to grasp that an ideal negotiation has both parties believing they got what they needed.

3. Not establishing objectives up front. I've observed that people get very stressed out about negotiations because they are afraid that the other party is going to somehow get the better end of the deal. This, even before they've figured out what is a good deal for themselves! In other words, they don't know what their objectives are. Establishing your objectives not only minimizes the stress of the negotiation, it also helps you know what specifically to ask for, and how far you can go in the negotiation.

4. Not knowing when you'll walk away. The industry term for your walk away position is the BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). In other words, if you can't get what you want, identify the alternative, and seek THAT. The biggest frustration I've observed during negotiations is the feeling that somehow you're being taken advantage of. This feeling is greatly minimized when you know the point at which you can walk away.

5. Not exploiting time constraints for yourself and for the other party. Negotiations that have no known time constraints can become unproductive quickly. There is always some constraint from one or the other parties, and figuring out what that is can be crucial for pushing closure of items. For one party, it might be making a particular revenue amount in a quarter. For the other party, it might be resource availability for closing the agreement. Understanding these factors is crucial for determining how far issues can be pushed.

6. Not spending sufficient time on what matters to THEM. A successful negotiation allows time for trade-offs between the parties where both feel they have gotten what they needed from the business arrangement. For you as a successful negotiator, you need to know what the other party's needs are so that you can present alternatives that will optimize both your and their objectives.

7. Mistaking your wants for needs. When you enter a negotiation, there are specific items that you must have in the final outcome (these are your "needs"). This could include things such as a certain cost point, a particular quality level, or a specific timeframe. You will also have particular "wants" which could include the way the item is packaged or a particular contractual clause; but these wants are not make-or-break objectives for the negotiation. The rub comes when you get one of your wants but sacrifice a need in return (I got this great termination clause (which I'll likely never use), but I'm paying more for the service than I budgeted for!).

8. Inability to re-frame issue to meet both party's objectives. I heard a great example of this from a negotiation instructor recently. She described a purchase she was making when shopping on a Caribbean cruise: she asked the salesperson what kind of a reduction she could get if she purchased two necklaces instead of one. The sales person said they had a strict policy against negotiating. Instead of walking away from the purchase, this instructor asked the sales person if they did any type of volume discounting. When she described the reduction as a volume discount, rather than as a negotiation, the sales person was able to utilize a different method for giving the reduction to the instructor. The instructor got her discount, and the store made a sale. Both parties got what they wanted simply by re-framing the situation.