Instead of Getting Angry, Learn to Write a Complaint Letter in Business Format

This is the correct business format for a Letter of Complaint to another business. Use your words with caution because people are often funny about their money.

Tips and Hints to consider:

Keep in mind that Business Writing is about “Getting to the point”

Think about what you want to say before you start writing and get your facts straight.

Stay objective and considerate throughout the letter even if you are feeling angry.

Your letter will include the following:

1. Contacts

2. The complaint

3. Reason why you are complaining

4. The amount to be refunded

5. How long you are willing to wait (be reasonable please)

6. Reason why they should refund you

7. “Thank you” as well as any enclosures such as statements, receipts etc…

Remember to send copies of the receipts, not the originals. However, the original letter you type up and sign should be sent to the recipients. Make a copy for your records.

If you do not receive the response you had wished for, you may want to consider writing a second letter with a firmer tone, or you can contact the next person on their chain of command.

Your number and street address

Your city, Your state Zip code

Phone: Your contact number

Email: your email

The Date

Their Name, Company Title

Company name

Their company street number and address

Their city, state and zip code

Dear Mr. Name,

It has been excellent for my company to use your services for many high-quality door and window projects. I have always been satisfied with your services, however I am writing to you with a concern that I hope you will be able to address.

My company ordered from Custom Wood on July 2 by telephone. We ordered double-glazed, made-to-order oak French doors. When they arrived on July 25, my carpenter informed me that the doors were cut too small. Instead of measuring a total of 11 feet by 8 inches, the doors measured 11 feet by 4 inches.

After waiting three weeks for the door to remodel a kitchen, it was obvious that the customers were not going to wait any longer to have their kitchen finished. My carpenter was able to fix the mistake and did so at the expense of $455.50.

I am requesting that Custom Wood reimburse the $455.50 paid to fix the doors sent in error to my company. I am including the carpenter’s bill, and would appreciate prompt attention to this matter.

I would like to continue business with your company, as I have always been very satisfied in the past. Thank you very much for you time.

Sincerely,

My name

Company name

Enclosures (2)



Source by Nelly Ulima

Type 2 Diabetes – Is Cathodal Direct Current Stimulation A New Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

Diabetic foot ulcers occur when part of the skin covering an area of the foot dies. This is caused by damaged blood vessels and indirectly by nerve damage…

  • blood vessels throughout the body suffer when blood sugar levels are abnormally high.
  • nerves are damaged when blood vessels are unable to supply them with enough oxygen and nutrients. Damaged nerves are called diabetic neuropathy, in which there is numbness and tingling in a stocking-glove distribution. Feet are particularly susceptible, but the condition is also seen in the hands, arms, and legs. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to wounds because often people with diabetes do not feel sharp objects under their feet.

Healing is slower than in non-diabetics. Some tissue may die from lack of oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Infections can then set in and when the infection progress through to the bone, it is called osteomyelitis which must be treated with intravenous antibiotics and can result in the need for amputation.

In March of 2017, the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice reported on a new technique for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers involving dead tissue. Investigators at the Hamadan University of Medical Sciences and several other research facilities in Tehran, Iran, tried electrical stimulation to help diabetic foot ulcers to heal. The technique, known as cathodal direct current, stimulates the release of molecules that encourage new blood vessel growth.

Thirty people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetics and who had foot ulcers were assigned to either an electrical stimulation group or a non-treatment group. By the end of twelve weeks, healing molecules were measured at almost ten times the amount seen in the non-treatment group.

Among the most common medical problems experienced by people with Type 2 diabetes are problems related to their feet…

  • when you walk around or when you exercise, do so in comfortable shoes. Shoes with rubber soles are often recommended over leather soles as the rubber helps absorb shock.
  • wash and carefully dry your feet every day. If you notice a cut or scratch on your foot, apply a mild antiseptic and cover the area with a dry sterile bandage. If the area does not heal within a day or two, call your doctor.
  • file your toenails straight across so they are even with the skin on the edge of your toes. If you suffer an ingrown toenail or other foot problems, see a podiatrist as ingrown toenails can become infected and cause serious problems.
  • numbness, shooting pains and a pins-and-needles type of pain in your feet are signs of nerve damage. When Type 2 diabetics begin to feel numbness and tingling, medication can be given to allow red blood cells (carriers of oxygen) to pass through the blood vessels more quickly.
  • people with Type 2 diabetes also need to walk to encourage circulation. When pain from walking becomes too much to tolerate, take a break until the pain subsides and then walk some more.

Controlling your blood sugar is the best preventative measure of all because of the serious complications of Type 2 diabetes linked to high blood sugar. Maintaining your blood sugar within your normal range also accelerates the rate at which your body heals.

Foot ulcers require immediate attention and can be difficult to heal so do not hesitate to contact your health care professional who will be able to help you.



Source by Beverleigh H Piepers

Voice Over Microphones – How to Choose the Best One For You and Your Budget

The biggest mistake voice over artists make – and that includes some professionals – is using the wrong microphone. It can wreck your work. If you market yourself on Voice123.com or Voices.com, the wrong microphone will insure you do not get hired, or if you do, that you will not get hired by that same person again.

Here we'll look at the three types of microphones most often used, their strengths and weaknesses, cost, and how to determine which one (s) to go for.

We'll talk about the types, then look at specific brands, models, and prices.

Before we start, the most important thing I can say to you is that your microphone is the most important part of your entire audio chain, no exceptions. You can have the most fabulous gear in the world downstream from the mic, but if the mic does not cut it, it does not really matter about the rest of that gear. On the other hand, a terrific microphone followed by average-priced gear will give you a superior audio product.

What are you looking to do? Are you looking for a mic that's smooth and sweet, or hard-edged and in-your-face? Are you male or female? If you want to do movie trailers and screaming car dealer ads, you need a different mic than if you're doing "guy or girl next door" – realistic – voice work, or standard announce voice work. Here are the types of mics to consider:

Dynamic

Dynamic microphones are what you see in radio stations and are what live vocalists (singers) most often use. They're rugged, reasonably good-sounding, and okay for most voices, meaning one might not sound absolutely fabulous on your particular voice, but it will not sound awful, which is not true of other types, including some very expensive microphones. A dynamic also is not nuanced. The part that pics up your voice, the diaphragm, is connected to a coil of wire; Air movement from sound makes the coil move between the poles of a magnet. The sound has to overcome the mass of the coil, and very small sounds do not get through.

This does not make them bad. Rush Limbaugh's Golden EIB microphone is a dynamic, and, again, most radio stations use them. They are good general-purpose mics, and many voice over pros use them. They are equally good for male and female voices, and you can do most any type of style with them.

If you're on a budget, a dynamic is the only choice, because the other two cost a lot more for ones that are worth it. There are cheap versions of the other two, and you do not want one!

So if dynamics are so useful, why spend more for a condenser or ribbon?

Condenser

A condenser microphone, of which there are two types, transistor and tube ("valve" in Europe), does not have the moving coil of wire attached to its diaphragm. It modifies an electrical current generated by an external power supply (found in most computer interfaces or with an external power supply, see your dealer for info, or internal batteries). Without the mechanical resistance of a dynamic mic's coil to overcome, a condenser is far more sensitive to nuance, and therefore sounds much more intimate.

Condensers come in two flavors: transistor and tube. A tube condenser, which is an expensive instrument (there are cheap ones and they make good paperweights but not microphones), is almost always the very best way to go. They sound very intimate and full, and have a great up-front sound without being aggressive. They are quite subject to problems from non-vocal speech components – 'f', 's', 'p' – and require a pop screen (see your dealer). Tube mics also produce what's called harmonic distortion, which we do not consciously hear but is responsible for what's called "tube warmth" (nothing to do with temperature!) And sounds quite intimate.

Condensers come in two other flavors: large diaphragm and small diaphragm. Large diaphragms are for when you want a big, intimate sound. Small diaphragms are said to be more accurate. However, the right one for you is the one that sounds best after making several-minute recordings with each and seeing if one is more fatiguing or if one just plain sounds better to you than the other. There are no rules. Both kinds are used for voiceover.

Many voice over artists prefert tube condensers over transistorized ones, but in all cases, what sounds best on your particular voice is what you should get. How to choose a mic? We'll get to that in a minute.

Ribbon

Here's the third type, in a class by itself: the ribbon microphone. While dynamics and condensers 'hear' with diaphragms, a ribbon microphone "hears" with a short, narrow, and very thin piece of corrugated aluminum suspended between two poles of a strong magnet.

You've seen the big, pickle-shaped microphones on Letterman's and Larry King's desks. They are RCA Model 77 ribbon microphones (used as props in this case), invented, I believe, in the 1930's. They were found everywhere for half a century. RCA quit making ribbons in the 1970's, and an enterprising genius named Wes Dooley bought all of RCA's stock ribbons (the ribbons themselves) and probably single-handedly re-introduced the ribbon microphone to the US market. His company is called AEA, and even the AEA logo is so designed as to closely resembled RCA's logo.

Ribbon mics are warm and smooth, jazz guys like to record with them, they're very nice for ladies' voices, and for certain male voices they add a nice satisfing depth. They also have a low output, which means that you have to crank up the input on your system to get a decent level from them. But raising the input results what's called the noise floor, and you can end up with a recording where you can hear hiss in the background. Wes and other ribbon mic manufacturers deal with this problem well, however, and some companies are making preamplifiers (talk with your dealer about this) specifically designed for ribbon mics.

Whether a ribbon – or any mic, for that matter – will sound good on your voice can not be known without actually trying one out. Ribbons are quite sensitive to moving air; If you blow into one to test to see if it's on, there's an excellent chance you'll destroy the ribbon. When ribbons were in common studio use, they were 'bagged' – a fitted bag was put over them – just to move them from place to place in the studio, to avoid ribbon damage from the air passing across them as they were moved .

Brands

Dynamics

There are a million brands, which of course goes for condensers, but not that many ribbon brands.

Not to worry, because there are several industry standards with which it's hard to go wrong. Here are the three most popular dynamics, and they probably outsell all the rest put together:

Electro-Voice RE20
Sennheiser 421U (see dealer about the specific one for your purpose)
Shure SM7
———
Shure SM57 / SM58 – less expensive and can be used if you do not have the money for the others

These mics, except for the last two, are in the $ 350- $ 700 range. Although each has a characteristic 'sound,' they are pretty close together in that respect. Each is well-made and dependable over the long haul, as in decades.

The Sennheiser, and, I believe, the SM7, have what are called proximate effects: if you get right on top of them they accentuate the lows. Many announcers in radio stations like to eat them; They want that deep "Voice of God" sound. They're better used at a distance of 6-10. "The RE20 is known for its lack of the procurement effect. Etc. The RE20 was also made under a different model name, PL20. Instruments and is no longer in production. I found a PL20 for $ 150 and am still jumping up and down, for the average used price of a PL20 or RE20 is double that.

For price-to-quality, none of these mics can be beat.

Condensers

Two flavors, here: transistorized and tube. As mentioned above, a tube condenser, like any well-designed tube device, generates overtones, which our ears perceive as "warmth." I say well-designed, because ever since tubes were "rediscovered" about 25 years ago, a lot of low-priced gear with a tube or two in them has hit the market, but they are not necessarily designed by people who understand exactly what They do nor how to design a tube circuit for best effect. This section deals with condensers in general.

Probably the most-recognized condenser mic name in the world is Neumann (pronounced NOI-man), and its most popular model is called a U-87. They sell new for around $ 3500, around $ 2000 or less used. A Neumann either sounds incredible on your voice or it sounds honky. It is the microphone National Public Radio uses exclusively.

It is found in just about every recording studio of any size. It will love your voice or hate it.

There are more expensive Neumanns, and a series of low-priced models prefixed with the letters TLM. A good number of voiceover artists use TLMs (<$ 1000); In my opinion they are not nearly as natural-sounding as the U-87 or a good dynamic. I had one but sold it after a few months. It could sound really good to your particular ear, however. I make this point because tastes different, and it is surely true that one voice can sound bad on a certain mic and superb on the next voice. So how does one choose? We'll get to that in a sec.

First, you must use a pop screen on a condenser. This device stops those blasts of air from non-vocal speech components, most notably "P" sounds, to which condensers are especially sensitive. Put your hand in front of your mouth and say "P." Feel the air? If that blast hits a condenser, let's just say you do not want to be wearing headphones at the time. Now, it's a good idea to talk across (at 45 degrees) not straight into, any microphone, because all of them will react badly to P pops; It is just that condensers REALLY react to them. Many RE20 users put pop screens in front of their mics even though most people do not use pop screens with dynamics.

Cheap condensers: a big no-no.

Cheap condensers are all over the market. You can buy a microphone with a nice spider shock mount and in a beautiful aluminum flight case all for $ 75. Um, I do not thin 'so, Looooxy. They are unnaturally bright at the top end and boomy at the bottom.

The really nefarious part of this is that, if you're just starting out, your ear is easily fooled into thinking that this sounds good. It does sound sort of exciting, but it is extremely fatiguing to listen to a recording made on one. As Phil Spector famously put it, "It's all in the middle." Americans like to crank up the treble and bass. If you have a mic delivering lots of highs and lows, and someone boosts the highs and lows on their music system, your work will sound worse than awful. Expensive microphones have rolled-off low ends and smooth high ends. Upon first using one you may even think, "Wow, what's the big deal about this thing? It's boring." No, it's natural. Unboosted highs and lows. In other words, it sounds like you, not you-through-a-microphone. That's as it should be.

Remember, you are competing with people who own high-end condensers, and that's how they sound. I'll take a $ 400 dynamic over a $ 400 condenser just about every time.

Ribbon microphones

I have experience with exactly one ribbon: an AEA R84. It sounds really good. It's an updated version of an industry-standard RCA ribbon, the Model 44, invented long ago and used forever, like the 77. It's tres cool-looking, and comes with a snarky-looking padded, fitted maroon bag for transport and protection. It's about $ 990.

There are other ribbons that have excellent reputations, more hitting the market all the time, see your dealer. I'm not aware of ribbons being used that much for voiceover, but I think it's because a great number of people do not know about them. I think it's also due as much to inertia as anything – everyone learns what everyone else is using and continues suit. Also, ribbons do not have the in-your-face sound that dynamics and especially condensers have.

How to choose the right mic for you

The really best way is to call a professional recording studio and book an hour or so of their time, and have them set up an array of mics around you and test read you, each mic going to a different track of a recording. It's infinitely better to match the mic to your particular (and unique) voice than to get just anything and try to make it fit using equalization (Google "equalization for voiceover" and read it!). I recommend you test no fewer than five mics, making sure to include all the ones listed above except the Shure SM57 / 58. When you listen to yourself recorded on each one, the best one will usually make itself plain, and it's a good idea To ask the recording engineer's opinion, for s / he knows what to listen for. My method is to listen to the records of the first two, choose a winner, compare it to the third one, choose a winner, compare it to the fourth, and so on. Then do it again, only have the engineer mix up the playback order.

Do not try this test in an amateur home studio. They almost certainly will not have the mics you need to make the test meaningful, and the person recording you will almost certainly not be competent to evaluate which mic to use for voiceover; Most home studios exist for the purpose of recording music and sung vocal, not voice acting and voiceover.

What if you do not have a studio within 50 or 100 miles, or their rates are too high (although I think paying $ 100 to test several thousand dollars' worth of microphones will save you unbelievable heads, sending mics back, etc.)?

Here's what to do: if your budget allows, buy either a Neumann U-87 or a Lawson L-47 MPII. The Lawson is around $ 2000, or $ 1500 bucks less than the Neumann. The Lawson is the mic I have used for nearly 10 years. It sounds like Disney, but even more importantly, I have yet to record a voice on it that has not sounded really good.

It is sold factory-direct through a fella named Gene Lawson in Nashville, at Lawsonmicrophones.com. If you call them, you can talk right to Gene. He's a great guy.

Absent that kind of budget, get an Electro-Voice RE20, Shure SM7, or Sennheiser 421U (they come with a couple of variations so tell your dealer that you're using it for VO.

If you're not sure whether you really want to be a VO artist but would like to give it a trial shot, get a Shure SM57 or 58. They are $ 100 dynamics. As I said before, they are okay, and never sound bad on anyone's voice.

Where to get it?

If you're going to get an RE20 or Sennheiser or Shure, get it from your local music store (the best choice because service is right there, no mailorder hassles). If you do not have one, go online to one of the big catalog outlets such as Sweetwater, Full Compass, Zzounds, or Guitar Center. They have fairly liberal return policies and are easy to work with. They sell a lot of stuff and have competitive reputations to maintain. Plus, their prices are usually identical from piece to piece so they have to make up for it with really good service, all to our advantage.

If you've got the bucks for a $ 1500 – $ 2000 + condenser, go online to SoundPure.com. (Lawson are sold factory-direct only at Lawsonmicrophones.com) Sound Pure has professional sound recordists to talk to, and at those prices you need to talk to pros. Not that the catalog stores do not have pros, but their level of expertise varies. I've talked to guys who knew nothing about what I wanted and guys who knew a lot; At Sound Pure they're all pros and they are really interested in getting you what you need and not a penny more.

Tell them everything you want to do, what other gear you have, what to buy if you do not have any gear yet. They really give a great big rip about their customers and about the pro audio business in general. I can not say enough good about them. In case you're wondering about all this nice stuff I'm saying about Lawson and Sound Pure: not only am I not getting paid by them, they do not know I'm writing this article!

To sum up: If there's a pro studio near you, book an hour and test their dynamics and condensers using the method above.

When you're ready to buy, if you want to spend $ 200- $ 700, get a dynamic: Electro-Voice RE20, Shure SM7, or Sennheiser 421U. Check your local music store first – everything's so much easier that way. From $ 1500 and above (which your local store probably will not have) get a tube condenser: Lawson L-47 MPII from Lawsonmicrophones.com, or for others, go to SoundPure.com and call them. Re the RE20, EV also makes an RE27. Some people really like them, some people really do not. I'd go with the RE20.

I've worked for years to get a good sound and am writing this to try to save you some time in finding your great sound.



Source by Michael K. Holmes

Luxurious Hotels in Columbus

Columbus is located in Ohio, one of the largest cities named after the famous Christopher Columbus. This city owns the Ohio State University, the largest in the US. It has concluded in one of the magazines to be the rising “global city,” being the 8th best city to live in. The residents are called Columbusites.

The increasing population of tourists and residents brought rise to many hotels in the vicinity. Listed here are some of the commendable accommodations.

Doubletree Guest Suites Columbus

Doubletree Guest Suites is an all-suite hotel conveniently located in the downtown of Columbus. It overlooks the beautiful Scioto River. It is also a 15- minute drive from the Port Columbus International Airport, accessible to Huntington Bank Center, Riffe State Office Tower through shaded paths, and many other local landmarks and business offices.

It is very ideal to those people traveling on business. The hotel caters on short and extended stays, having comfortable meeting rooms and banquet spaces for business and other social gatherings. It also provides services for business like photocopying, facsimile machines and audiovisual equipment. Guests are warmly welcomed upon checking in. The staff gives out chocolate chip cookies as their trademark.

This hotel features plenty of recreational activities for guests. Some famous local attractions to visit are the Columbus Art Museum, Blue Jackets Hockey, Clippers Stadium, Convention Center, Crew Soccer Stadium, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio State Fairgrounds, and the Nationwide Arena.

Doubletree features homely and comfortable double-room suites. Guests can also choose the penthouse bi-level suites for the ultimate downtown experience, providing the lovely views of the river. All of their guestrooms are spacious and are complete with amenities that can guarantee a memorable stay, whether short or a long one in Columbus.

Amenities included are: living and sleeping rooms (separate), high-speed wireless Internet access, voicemail, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, wet bar with refrigerator, microwave oven and coffeemaker, and complimentary tea and coffee. The hotel takes pride of its friendly and courteous staff. They also offer laundry and valet service. They have venues for special occasions like a business center and comfortable meeting rooms. The hotel also provides wireless Internet connection. It is a pet-friendly hotel, and is wheelchair accessible.

You can dine in the Caucus Room Restaurant inside. It serves delectable American dishes everyday. Guests can also request for a room service.

Lofts Hotel and Suites

This luxurious hotel offers distinctive and unique features. It is designed in a clean and contemporary style, contrasting yet blending to the strong and majestic features of the building. It elucidates a sense of rich history and beauty.

It is located near many local tourist attractions. Worth seeing are the Arena District, The Arena Grand Theater, Short North, Columbus Art Scene, German Village, Ohio State Football and Athletics, and the Memorial Golf Tournament.

Lofts Hotel features large rooms with floor to ceiling windows with amenities such as high-speed Internet access, garden tub suites (for booking), Frette linens, concierge service, Frette terry robes, Aveda products that are all-natural, coffee service (in-room gourmet), two-line telephone, and fitness facilities.

Meeting rooms are spacious for movement and can be designed according to one’s preferences. Loft’s Hotel’s staff are ready to assist to make any event a big success. This hotel also caters to wedding planners. Helping them to assist is their sister’s property, The Crowne Plaza in designing with their professional staff.

The hotel offers several packages. The Andy Warhol Exhibit Package for Two features films, paintings, videos, drawings, and other arts for exhibit. The Knock-out Boxing Wellness Package is inclusive of an overnight accommodation in one of the splendid rooms. The hotel offers a free DVD “Rocky” movie, boxing workouts, Swedish massage after the boxing workout.

The Soho Package covers overnight accommodations, breakfast for two, champagne, chocolates, rose petals and valet parking. The Boulevard Getaway includes overnight accommodations, champagne and chocolates, Cameron Mitchell Gift certificate worth 50$, rose petal turndown, breakfast for two, and valet parking.

Other popular packages here are the 5th Avenue Package, Chocolate Lovers Package, Do the District Getaway, Hockey Getaway, Art-A-Go-Go, and Zoo-A-Go-Go.



Source by David Urmann

Online Music – The Best and Worst of the Web

Viral widgets allow members to place music players on websites to expand the fan base – Lots of tools to promote your music, build a buzz and track promo efforts – Customized email newsletters for fans – Seamless integration with Facebook, Bebo – Free streaming music

CONS: None

RECOMMENDATION: For musicians, this is an amazing tool. For fans, it's a great, interactive way to find new music and support independent artists.

ILIKE – ilike.com – 5

Major artists from Tori Amos to Missy Elliott, as well as independent musicians, post their music, videos, photos, shows, etc.

PROS: Free – Seamless integration with Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, MySpace, Orkut, iTunes – iCast feature lets the artist post text, audio or video directly from a cell phone – Sidebar feature lets you play music and videos by your favorite artists free

CONS: None

RECOMMENDATION: Definitely yes – an excellent, inexpensive way to keep in touch with your favorite artists

FACEBOOK – 4

Users who are musicians can create a page to profile their bands. That's nice, but even better, Facebook integers seamlessly with iLike (see review above). My only criticism is that Facebook can be confusing to navigate.

GARAGE BAND – 3

Operated by iLike, but focuses on independent artists seeking greater exposure.

PROS: Free – Write your own music reviews – Partnerships with podcast and webcast radio stations

CONS: Less professional than similar sites

RECOMMENDATION: The review feature is fun, but you'll get more out of ReverbNation and iLike.

MYSPACE – 0

Musicians can post music, videos and the usual, but this pioneering social network site has been gradually sliding downhill. Now that it's been eclipsed by Facebook, why would you bother?

PROS: Free

CONS: Interminable time waiting for pages to load – Terrible customer service

RECOMMENDATION: Skip it.

MUSIC DOWNLOADS

ITUNES – apple.com/itunes/ – 5

Who does not know about iTunes? Apple dominates the market with this well-designed program, but you're out of luck if you have an mp3 player other than an iPod.

PROS: Largest selection of titles (8 million) – Video, movies, podcasts and more

CONS: Songs only play on the iTunes software (PC or Mac) or an iPod

RECOMMENDATION: The gold standard (ranked # 1 by Top Ten Reviews).

NAPSTER – 4

Napster recently lifted its business model from a subscription-based service to selling mp3s. Earlier problems with certain browsers and platforms have apparently been resolved.

PROS: Compatible with all mp3 players – Vast selection of 6 million titles (but not as many as iTunes)

CONS: Annoying woman pops up saying "Click on me to get started" – Monthly $ 12.95 subscription fee if you select that option

RECOMMENDATION: Highly recommended by reviewers (ranked # 2 by Top Ten Reviews).

RHAPSODY – 3

One of the most popular music download sites, Rhapsody offers subscription and pay-per song options, but it's not cool that they thumb their noses at Mac users.

PROS: Unlimited streaming of songs – Play and share your own music mixes – Easy drag-and-drop interface

CONS: Monthly $ 12.99 subscription fee if you select that option – Windows only – Not all of their 4.5 million titles are available for purchase – Non-purchased songs are encrypted and will no longer work if the subscription is cancelled

RECOMMENDATION: Rhapsody gets good ratings from many reviewers, but there are better options for streaming music without a fee.

AMAZON MP3 – 2

Amazon is in the process of converting its music catalog to digital downloads. With their ubiquity, they may well surpass iTunes and Napster. They are not very artist-friendly, though, charging musicians high distributor fees and an annual fee.

PROS: Large selection of 5 million titles (but less than iTunes and Napster) – Compatible with all mp3 players – no Digital Rights Management encoding like iTunes – Some tracks priced at only 89 ¢

CONS: Greedy

RECOMMENDATION: Convenient for customers, but if you want to support independent musicians, take your business to iTunes or Napster.

INTERNET RADIO

PANDORA – pandora.com – 4

Pandora describes itself as the "music genome project." As you listened to each song, you tell Pandora if you like it or not. Pandora learns from your responses and finds songs that match the qualities of the songs you like.

PROS: Free – Available on iPhone and other cell phones – Create your own customized music stations and share them with friends – Vast selection of artists

CONS: As a work in progress, the "matching" can be a bit hit or miss – You're only allowed a limited number of skip options within but a given time frame, but hey, it's free

RECOMMENDATION: Great for streaming free music by artists and genres you select.

LIVE365 – live365.com – 4

Search for genres or for stations playing an artist you like, check out the details, and click "play" to start listening. It's that easy.

PROS: Informative listings about each station including listener ratings – Easy to use – No plug-in required – Extensive listings at your fingertips

CONS: Advertisements unless you pay a $ 5.95 monthly subscription fee

RECOMMENDATION: Sure you can invest more time and find listings in other ways (after stumbling through dead links, pay for play stations, etc.), but Live365 is quick and easy. Spring for the cost of two lattes if you really detest the ads.

MUSIC BLOGS

MOG – mog.com – 4

Designed for bloggers who like to write about music, but its appeal is much clearer than that. Beside allowing you to listen to millions of songs for free, you can share opinions, keep current with music news you might otherwise miss, and discover recommendations by users who share your musical tastes.

PROS: Free – Lots of interesting tidbits of information – Find people what expressions you trust

CONS: Weak search function – Anyone can claim to be an expert

RECOMMENDATION: Worthwhile even if you do not intend to post your own articles.

OTHER

SIX SONGS OF SEPARATION – 3

Load up your own music library playlist (the site imports the list from your music player, eg, iTunes or Real Player). Once you have your own account up and running you can see music from members with similar musical tastes. Or you can search for songs, artists or albums that you enjoy and find related music based on what other people are listening to.

PROS: Free – A creative way to be exposed to new music that you're likely to enjoy

CONS: You must click on a link to iTunes or Amazon to listen to a song sample

RECOMMENDATION: I did not find the matches especially relevant to my interests, but it's an intriguing concept that may improve with time.



Source by Jon O'Bergh

The Beauty Of This Online Business – Affiliate Marketing

Most of the people out there complaint that online business is a fraud. It is rendered as myth. There are two reasons why they do not believe in online business – they never tried it with their own hand and effort, or they failed hard from their past experiences. Let’s forget about the group on never really take any action on building their own online business yet complaint the online business model is just a myth. They are the naysayers. I will talk on the group that failed hard from their past experience.

The reason why many people failed from their online business venture is because they do not follow the blueprint, or the ultimate system to create wealth online. They are always changing the direction of the sailing ship, which eventually sail to nowhere. It simply means they are always attracted by the next shiny objects out there in online business. They quickly jump to another object before they can master the current job.

One of the shiny object that most people fall for, and many time, failed hard from it in online business, is product creation (digital product). The idea of product creation sounds magical and wonderful to many people. The notion of owning entirely something that they created, with their name attach to the product, is feeding their gratification. Here’s a hard cruel solid fact about product creation: most of the digital products that were created by amateur online marketer still sit on their digital bookshelf! Simply put, the digital products are not generating a single dollar for them.

It is a stone cold fact that sales and marketing is the number one skill in making money online. It is the holy grail of any online business. Without the possession of mature sales and marketing skills, product creation is just a wild goose chase. You may be good in creating a product, but without sales and marketing in place, no one will know your product existence.

That’s why it is extremely important for an online marketer to first possess the sales and marketing skills, before they jump to product creation. The best place to learn, train and improve sales and marketing skills is through AFFILIATE MARKETING. By leveraging other people’s hard work, all you need to do is to carry out the sales and marketing part which involves driving traffic, converting those traffic and earning money from it. This way, you can learn sales and marketing effectively. Since the product belongs to someone else, and they had put in the hard work in creating the product, you have all the more reason to say that affiliate marketing is by far the best place to learn sales and marketing, which is the holy grail of online business.

The truth of the matter is that you should be selling and promoting other people’s products from your own website as if those products are yours!



Source by Eric Jee

3 Steps to Reducing Everyday Stress

YOU know the time. You’re feeling footloose and fancy-free, with tender equilibrium, and then, without warning, a flood of things comes your way to do, or some emotion-initiating event happens, and you’re undone in a flash. Or, perhaps you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed or anxious at the mere thought of the unknown coming at you. Maybe you can’t enjoy the good moments for the fear it won’t last. Could be you’re just exhausted.

Welcome to the club!

A recent study[1] revealed that 30-45 percent of Australians found seven factors significantly stressful: issues related to personal finances, personal health, family, healthy lifestyle, health of others close to you, workplace, and relationships in general. Added to this, the fear of missing out was a significant stressor for those aged under 45.

There are two ways of looking at reducing everyday stress:

1. Acceptance of those matters that cannot be changed.

2. Courage to challenge and shift what can be changed.

Here are three steps to reducing your everyday stress:

1. Accept the things you cannot change – some things like low income, the health of others, some relationships, and family (to some extent) we simply cannot influence. Make a list of the things you cannot change and agree with yourself to stop stressing about them. (Regularly praying the prayer at the bottom of this article will help.)

2. Change the things you can – budgeting, personal lifestyle, and some relationships you can impact. Again, make a list of the issues of stress you face that you can influence. Develop strategies to instil change. Of all things, we find hard it’s developing new habits. Persevere and results do come.

3. Discern the difference between things that cannot and can be changed – wisdom is so important for managing stress and the keeping of perspective in life.

Praying this prayer – The Serenity Prayer – on a regular basis will help reduce stress:

God, help me to accept the things I cannot change, give me the courage to change the things I can, and grant me the wisdom to discern the difference. Amen.

Faith in God through Jesus Christ helps mobilise such a prayer of wisdom, bringing its fruit into our lives even as we pray and apply it.


NOTES:

[1] Australian Psychological Society, Stress & Wellbeing – How Australians are Coping with Life. Australian Psychological Society, 2015.



Source by Steve Wickham

The Differences Between SodaStream Models

Many people want to get a SodaStream but have no idea which model is best for them. It can be difficult to choose, especially when the SodaStream company has no information highlighting the differences between the models. Here is a brief overview explaining which features are unique to the models.

There are currently eight SodaStream models available. They are The Revolution, The Source, The Fizz, The Crystal, The Pure, The Fountain Jet, The Dynamo and The Genesis. First, let’s address the similarities of all eight types. All of the eight models can make soda or sparkling water in the convenience of your home. All come with “stay fizzy” bottle closures that keep the carbonation in longer. All are compatible with the standard 14.5 ounce carbonation cylinder which is capable of carbonating up to sixty liters of soda or sparkling water.

There are four models which are capable of using either the 14.5 ounce carbonation cylinder or the larger 33 ounce cylinder, which is capable of carbonating up to 130 liters of soda or sparkling water. Those four models are The Revolution, The Dynamo, The Fountain Jet and The Fizz.

All eight models use the CO2 tank as a power source to carbonate. The Crystal, The Pure, The Dynamo, The Fountain Jet and The Genesis require no additional power source to operate. The Fizz and The Source do require a battery to operate the display components. That battery is included. The Revolution is the only model which requires electricity to work. Keep this in mind, as it will need to be near an outlet when used.

The Crystal comes with a dishwasher safe glass carafe. The other seven models come with BPA-free plastic bottles that are not dishwasher safe. You can buy dishwasher safe bottles separately that are compatible with those seven models, but you can not use the glass carafe with any model other than the Crystal.

The Dynamo, The Fountain Jet, The Pure, The Fizz and The Genesis all require the user to twist the bottle into place. The Crystal, The Revolution and The Source all lock the bottle into place without twisting, making them a little easier to use.

There is only one fully automated SodaStream available at this time. That is The Revolution. You simply press a button to tell it how carbonated you would like your drink and it does the rest for you. It also measures the CO2 levels to let you know how much is left in your carbonation cylinder. The Fizz is not automated but it does monitor and display the amount of carbonation in your drink as well as the level of CO2 in your cylinder. The Source has three LED lights to let you know how much carbonation is in your drink, but does not monitor the CO2 left in your cylinder.

I hope I have shed some light on what makes each SodaStream model unique. Click HERE for more information on SodaStreams and to see how the different models look. Remember, this will probably sit on your counter at all times, so you’ll want something that looks good in your kitchen.



Source by Heather Krasovec

California Vacation – Part 7 of a Day-by-Day Diary

On Thursday, we met some really nice folks from Canada while lounging by the pool. Randy was on his third beer and I was on my second by then so he asked the Canadians to join us for drinks. When we drank all the beer we had, they went to their condo and got their last four cans, and we finished those off. I do not know why I'm gaining weight; We drink light beer.

For lunch, I had three olives with my sandwich at the condo. Whew, were they hot and spicy! If you think pickled bleu cheese does not sound very tasty, you may be correct. I thought they were pretty good, but Randy does not like them at all. Waste not, want not. I'll pull the hard, dry stuffing out and eat the olive.

We attended a street festival on Thursday night on Palm Canyon Boulevard, hoping to find cheap souvenirs to take back to our friends. It was only 101 degrees that night in the desert so walking would have been tolerable if it were not for my ankle. It was probably coming from my downtown 5K run in high heels on Tuesday.

Since we were only able to get one week of timeshare at Lawrence Welk Desert Oasis Resort through RCI, we had to pack up and move to Cimarron Golf Resort for our second week of vacation. Once we settled in, Randy watched a movie while I picked up email. Yes, I finally got to get online. We celebrated by having turkey sandwiches and olives.

Wednesday, July 11 was my Nanny's 92nd birthday. I remembered it on the Saturday after. That's also when I remembered Scott's (my son-in-law) birthday. We made a mad rush to Bed, Bath and Way Beyond in search of something left on their bridal registry-Scott's, not my grandmother's. My daughter and Scott have been married about six weeks. After having the customer service clerk print the registry, I found that I could afford one plate and one saucer of the place setting they had on their list. I got a gift certificate instead. Then, we found a card shop (aka The Dollar Tree) and the post office. Unfortunately the post office was closed on Saturday and I could not figure out how to use a debit card in the stamp machine. Randy took care of it somehow, and I have redeemed my status as The Belated Birthday Boob.

Back at the condo, we had pizza for dinner. I garnished it with four olives. We have to eat all these green balls we bought at the winery before we go back to Tennessee.



Source by Yvonne Perry

The Power of Planning

I am surprised how few sales professionals, independent consultants, and small business owners take the time to plan the strategy for their business. Most people spend more time writing out a grocery list or planning a vacation than they do planning the direction or exit of their business. Many will determine a vague or general idea of ​​what they want to accomplish but very few actually identify the specific action steps that they will need to take in order to achieve their goals. I'm not suggesting you create a 25-30 page business plan like a good friend of mine writes every year, but I do recommend that you start outlining the goals you want to accomplish and how you plan to get there.

It is one thing to set a target for yourself, it is quite another to actually plan how you will achieve it. When I establish my annual goals (which get more challenging every year), I ask myself, "How will I accomplish these goals?" This forces me to plan the tactics, strategies, and actions I need to undertake in order to achieve my targets. For example, if your business relates primarily on referrals, identify what you can do to increase the number of referrals you receive.

In her book, Get Clients Now !, author CJ Hayden suggests using a monthly tracking sheet. This means setting specific monthly goals, planning what action you will take to generate new business, and tracking your progress. She suggests that you engage in a minimum of ten different marketing activities each week. This can include; Networking, prospecting, cold calling, sending mailers, speaking, etc. A speaker I know spends most of his Monday planning and strategizing his week, determining exactly what activities he will execute in the upcoming few days.

How should you plan your business? It all depends on what you want to accomplish and what is important to you. I know I could probably increase my revenue significantly in the next 12 months, but it would require spending less time with my family. Only you can determine what is important. And this will change depending on what stage of life you are in. What is important to you now may be completely insignificant six months from now. Here are five key areas to plan.

Revenue. If you are like most businesses, you probably have more than one product or service. Therefore, breaking down your sales into specific categories makes sense. This allows you to track your progress in each area and see where you can improve year over year. Plus, I can also determine the products or services I should stop selling because they do not generate very good sales.

Profit. Obviously, determining your gross sales is important. More importantly, though, is the amount of money you have left over at the end of the day. In other words, what profit are you going to generate? A professional speaker I know plans his business by deciding what profit he wants to earn by each year. He then creates his plan backwards to determine how he will achieve this. Remember, you can incredible sales but still go out of business.

Expenses. Controlling expenses is a critical aspect of running a profitable and successful business regardless of the size. All large organizations budget expenses but most independent business owners "wing it" and pay the bills as they come in. If you want to increase your revenues, you need to know how much it will cost you to generate your targeted sales. I remember talking to another trainer a few years ago who had learned this lesson. She began analyzing all of her expenses and found several areas she could trim. This freed up cash which she used to market her business. The result was more revenue with no additional out-of-pocket expense.

Vacation or Personal Time. How much free time do you want for yourself in the next year? I have learned that it is very easy to get sucked into the vortex of running a business and forget to take a vacation or personal time to recharge my batteries. Block those days in your calendar early in the year. This signifies a commitment and allows you to plan your business around these personal days. A friend of mine spends most of his summer scuba diving so he plans the rest of year accordingly. He works extremely hard but this frees up almost 3 months for him to partake in his favorite past-time.

Personal Development. I have found that the people who invest in themselves consistently outperform those who do not. Identify the skills that will help you become more successful. Determine what books, programs, courses, or people can help you learn these skills and take action.

Planning does take time. However, it is time well invested. Make the time in your hectic life to create a plan for next year's business. Review it regularly and make the necessary changes as you progress forward. You'll be glad you did.

Copyright 2004 Kelley Robertson. All rights reserved



Source by Kelley Robertson