Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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Friday, February 4th, 2011

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How You Can Color Fireplace Flames

Friday, February 4th, 2011

If you enjoy sitting around your fireplace and watching colorful
flames dance, you’ll be happy to know you can color your own
flames quite cheaply. Basically, there are three methods of
coloring fireplace flames. You can soak the logs in an alcohol
solution which contains certain chemicals. Or you can soak the
logs in a water solution containing certain chemicals and then
dry them. And finally, you can just throw certain chemicals
into the flames. The various chemicals or salts required for
certain colors of flames are as follows:

potassium sulphate ( 3 parts) and potassium nitrate (1 part)
for violet flames

strontium chloride for red flames

calcium chloride for blue flames

magnesium sulphate (Epson Salts) for white flames

baronsalts (borax) for yellowish-green flames

copper sulphate (blue vitrol) for green flames

sodium chloride (table salt) for yellow flames

You may also treat pinecones, coarse sawdust or cork waste and
throw them into the fireplace to color the fire. They are far
easier to treat and take less time to dry. Here are two methods
for treating bases such as course sawdust, pinecones and cork
waste.

Best for sawdust – Dissolve the chemical in water. Stir
in your base. When the solution is completely absorbed, spread
the base out in a thin layer to dry.

Best for cork-based chips – Add 1 pint of liquid glue to 7 parts
of water. Crush the chemical to a fine powder and add 1 pound
of the powder to each gallon of glue-water. Put into the liquid
as much of the sawdust, cork waste or pinecones that it will
take, stirring and adding more base until all the liquid has
been absorbed. Spread out on a rack to dry.

It is better to treat separate portions of your base with the
solution of a single chemical than to treat the base in a single
mixture of various chemicals. After drying the separately
treated portions of sawdust or cork waste, you can then mix them
together in order to achieve distinctly colored flames.

There is no fixed proportion of chemicals to be used to a given
amount of water. As much of the powdered chemical should be
mixed with water as will dissolve, until you have a saturated
solution. The only exception is ordinary table salt (sodium
chloride), in which case you should use 1/2 ounce of salt to
each pint of water.

Coarse hardwood sawdust is better than pine or other softwood
sawdust as a base. Cork waste also makes an excellent base.

Fair Debt Collection

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

If you use credit cards, owe money on a personal loan, or are
paying on a home mortgage, you are a “debtor.” If you fall behind
in repaying your creditors, or an error is made on your accounts,
you may be contacted by a “debt collector.”

You should know that in either situation the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act requires that debt collectors treat you fairly by
prohibiting certain methods of debt collection. Of course, the
law does not forgive any legitimate debt you owe.

This brochure provides answers to commonly asked questions to
help you understand your rights under the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act.

What debts are covered?

Personal, family, and household debts are covered under the Act.
This includes money owed for the purchase of an automobile, for
medical care, or for charge accounts.

Who is a debt collector?

A debt collector is any person, other than the creditor, who
regularly collects debts owed to others. Under a 1986 amendment
to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, this includes
attorneys who collect debts on a regular basis.

How may a debt collector contact you?

A collector may contact you in person, by mail, telephone,
telegram, or FAX. However, a debt collector may not contact you
at unreasonable times or places, such as before 8 a.m. or after
9 p.m., unless you agree. A debt collector also may not contact
you at work if the collector knows that your employer
disapproves.

Can you stop a debt collector from contacting you?

You may stop a collector from contacting you by writing a letter
to the collection agency telling them to stop. Once the agency
receives your letter, they may not contact you again except to
say there will be no further contact. Another exception is that
the agency may notify you if the debt collector or the creditor
intends to take some specific action.

May a debt collector contact any person other than you concerning
your debt?

If you have an attorney, the debt collector may not contact
anyone other than your attorney. If you do not have an attorney,
a collector may contact other people, but only to find out where
you live and work. Collectors usually are prohibited from
contacting such permissible third parties more than once. In most
cases, the collector is not permitted to tell anyone other than
you and your attorney that you owe money.

What is the debt collector required to tell you about the debt?

Within five days after you are first contacted, the collector
must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money
you owe; the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money; and
what action to take if you believe you do not owe the money.

May a debt collector continue to contact you if you believe you
do not owe money?

A collector may not contact you if, within 30 days after you are
first contacted, you send the collection agency a letter stating
you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection
activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a
bill for the amount owed.

What types of debt collection practices are prohibited?

Harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse
any person. For example, debt collectors may not:

- use threats of violence or harm against the person,
property, or reputation;

- publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay their debts
(except to a credit bureau);

- use obscene or profane language;

- repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone;

- telephone people without identifying themselves;

- advertise your debt.

False statements. Debt collectors may not use any false
statements when collecting a debt. For example, debt collectors
may not:

- falsely imply that they are attorneys or government
representatives;

- falsely imply that you have committed a crime;

- falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit
bureau;

- misrepresent the amount of your debt;

- misrepresent the involvement of an attorney in collecting a
debt;

- indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when
they are not;

- indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms
when they are.

Debt collectors also may not state that:

- you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt;

- they will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or
wages, unless the collection agency or creditor intends to do so,
and it is legal to do so;

- actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you, which
legally may not be taken, or which they do not intend to take.

Debt collectors may not:

- give false credit information about you to anyone;

- send you anything that looks like an official document from
a court or government agency when it is not;

- use a false name.

Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair
practices in attempting to collect a debt. For example,
collectors may not:

- collect any amount greater than your debt, unless allowed by
law;

- deposit a post-dated check prematurely;

- make you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams;

- take or threaten to take your property unless this can be
done legally;

- contact you by postcard.

How To Borrow Money Interest Free

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

There are a number of ways to borrow money interest-
free if you take the time to operate the methods.
However, one of the simplest ways is to borrow it from a
bank which offers “overdraft protection.”

You’ve seen those offers by banks which extend to you a
loan for the amount you overdraw your checking account.
By setting up two or more (and the credit limits can go up
to $5000 each) you can write yourself a “loan” from one
bank, cover the loan with a deposit from another bank
where you have overdraft checking, and then repeat the
process over day or two.

By covering each withdrawal with another deposit, you will
not be charged interest since it would take two or three
days for the records to catch up – by that time, you’ve
made another deposit which covered the original loan.
Operated thusly, you can keep the money interest-free for
quite some time.

How To Preserve Old And Brittle Newspaper Clippings

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Dissolve 1 milk of magnesia tablet in 1 quart of club soda.

Let stand overnight

Stir well and pour into a shallow pan

Lay newspaper clipping flat in pan and soak for 1 to 2 hours

Carefully remove and place on soft towel to dry

The clipping will remain preserved for several decades.

The Bare-Bones Basics Of Multi-Level Marketing

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Multi-level marketing is the biggest growth industry in the
1980’s. It is the industry that has made corporate giants of
Amway, Shaklee, Mary Kay and Herbalife. It has been termed as
the last true rags-to-riches opportunity left in North America,
and its ability to bring enormous incomes to almost anyone is
legend. In fact, it is expected to make more new millionaires by
1990 than any other industry, and soon after will be the single
most popular method of bringing new products to the consumer.

The first multi-level companies sprung up in the 1930’s, but
they were dinosaurs compared to modern marketing strategies. It
wasn’t until the mid 60’s that MLM gained international
prominence. In 1985, it is estimated that $5 billion worth of
new products will be sold by this method.

MLM offers the opportunity for anyone to operate their own
business. For less than $50 in many cases, you can get involved
with a legitimate MLM program and earn from $100 a month to
hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Most incomes naturally
fall between those two extremes, but the earning potential in
almost any good company is virtually unlimited. The only limits
are set by marketer himself, by his time, energy, persistence,
and faith in his product the people he works with. A superstart
in MLM need only be a caring, sharing person, energetic and
highly motivated. Some of the most amazing success stories in
MLM have been hard-luck Harry’s and bored housewives with no
previous marketing or sales experience.

The root of MLM success is the sponsoring of new people into
their businesses, much in the same way sales agents find new
retailers to handle their products. Successful organizations
such as Amway and Mary Kay have thousands of distributors, but
even these had to start with one or two motivated people
sponsoring a few other motivated people.

The ultimate test of an MLM company is the quality, price and
reusability of the product. A good firm is usually founded on
products with rapidly expanding popularity, day-to-day use in
the home, and a regular repurchase required. They should be
better quality and at least as competitively priced as the same
goods bought in stores.

Here are the barebones mechanics of MLM

1. You become involved with an MLM company first as a customer
because the product offers substantial quality and savings.

2. Because the products are good, you tell others about them.

3. Rather than send these people to your distributors, you
become a sponsored distributor yourself for these new people.
And if these people, let’s say the are five, know five other who
will buy the product, you have 25 people buying products through
you.

4. If these 25 each know five people, you have 125. If those 125
know five people, you have 625 at the fourth level buying
through you in a distributor’s network you built from only five
people. If these people purchased only $30 month worth of
products, that would be $300,000 in gross sales, and you could
expect to earn at least one quarter of that figure, probably
much more.

5. Commission and bonuses vary with product and company, but
most go through four to eight levels, and have two or three
levels at which substantial higher commissions are paid. This
encourages new distributors to build those levels.

6. Some of the networks-inside-of-the-networks will end at
certain levels with people buying but not sponsoring new people.
And some will involve more than five people. Distributors will
always be your best customers and biggest moneymakers.

7. The best companies are the blue chip firms offering a wide
range of products such as Amway and Shaklee. New ones emerge all
the time and some of the faddier MLM companies die quickly. but
they can still make good money quickly for distributors with
established “downlines”.

How You Can Dry Flowers/How You Can Wax Fresh Flowers

Friday, January 28th, 2011

You can enjoy the freshness of a flower garden throughout the
year by cutting and drying your favorite flowers. The two
easiest and least expensive methods are sand-drying and
air-drying.

Sand-drying can be used to dry a wide variety of flowers, such
as roses, tulips, dahlias, marigolds and snapdragons. Flowers
which last only one day, like day lilies, do not dry well. Do
not dry asters, azaleas, chrysanthemums, geraniums, petunias,
phlox, pinks, poppies or violets. But feel free to do your own
experimentation.

To prepare for sand-drying, cut the flowers at the peak of their
show as any imperfections will be exaggerated by drying. Pick
the flowers after the dew has fully evaporated. Make sure the
stems are dry.

Prepare the flowers by reinforcing the stems and blossoms with
florist’s wire or with white glue. For daisy-type flowers and
flowering shrubs, push a 6″ piece of wire through the stem and
right through the flower head; bend the end of the wire into a
hook over the flower head and then pull it down, thus securing
the head to the stem.

For flowers such as roses and tulips which are dried face-up,
cut off most of the stem except an inch or so and insert the
wire as above.

For many-petaled flowers, use glue instead of wire. Diluting
the white glue with a drip of water and using a toothpick, dab a
thin coat of glue at the base of each petal, working the glue
into the base of each flower to attach each petal to the base.
Dry completely.

To dry the flowers, slowly cover them with white sand in deep,
open boxes. Cup-shaped or rose-shaped flowers should be dried
face-up. Make the sand deep enough to hold the flowers in an
upright position, position the flower carefully and slowly pour
the sand around the base of the flower, then around the sides
and under and over the petals. Pour the sand evenly and slowly
in order to preserve the natural shape of the blossom.

Daisy-type flowers should be dried face down. Make an even base
of sand in the box and make a little dip in the sand the same
shape as the flower. Hold the flower steady and carefully build
up the sand around the blossom until it is fully covered.

Snapdragons, lilac, elongated flowers and flowering branches
should be positioned horizontally in the sand, flowering
branches face up. Carefully pour the sand around and between
the flowers and into individual blooms. A soft artists’ brush
will help you in lifting the blossoms slightly as you pour the
sand so that they won’t be flattened by its weight.

When all the flowers are completely covered with sand put the
drying box in your drying area and leave undisturbed for one to
three weeks. Rapid drying in a very warm, dry and brightly-lit
place will produce bright blossoms; slower drying in a more
humid spot will produce more muted colors.

Removing the sand should be done very carefully, tipping the
container slightly, allowing the sand to flow slowly from one
corner of the box. As each flower is released from the sand,
lift it gently out.

If you wish to store your dried flowers for later use, seal them
in airtight containers such as tins or plastic boxes sealed with
masking tape, or in sealed cardboard boxes enclosed in airtight
plastic bags.

Air-drying can be very successful with herbs, everlastings and
ornamental grasses. Choose perfect plants with long stems,
removing the lower leaves. Put the flowers in small bunches,
fastening them together with an elastic band; then open each
bunch into a fan shape. Hang the flowers head down from nails
in a dry, dark place for one to three weeks until they are
completely dry. The colors will usually be muted. Display your
flowers in the house or store them as above.

You may want to experiment with waxing fresh flowers. This too
is simple; just melt some paraffin wax and plunge each
individual flower into the wax. Remove and shake the excess wax
off each flower. Put it into the refrigerator to set and harden.

Having dried, preserved flowers in your home year-round can
really brighten it up. You may want to give dried flower
arrangements as Christmas gifts. It is a wonderful, satisfying
hobby to preserve your own flowers. You can also make lovely
cards by pressing your flowers and covering them with clear
mac-tac on a piece of construction paper. It’s easy to do and
looks lovely.

How To Start Your Own Mail Order Publication

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

If you are an old hand at mail order, or a newcomer to the
business, sooner or later you are going to want to try your luck
at having your own publication.

There are some pro’s and con’s to running your own publication.

The good points:

Prestige – You are the Editor and Publisher.

You can get free advertising for your products.

You can earn profits on the publication.

You can get a name in the mail order field.

You can write articles and editorial opinions.

Some of the con’s:

You have to be careful in selecting a format. Too many people
spend all their money trying to start a publication and don’t
plan far enough ahead to keep it going.

It takes time – doing layouts, collecting material to use,
pasting up ads. You will learn more about tricks of the trade
in this report.

So, if the scale of interest tips toward your desire to give it
a try, be prepared to put some time and dollars into getting it
off the ground.

Your best format, and the cheapest, is to use an 8-1/2 x 11
standard letter size sheet. Fold it in half, making a folder
of 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 size. You now have what is termed as a 4-pager
publication. An 8-pager would be using a second sheet, folded
to the 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 size and placed inside of the first sheet.

Then after you have your publication launched, you will make
things easier by having some layout sheets printed in
non-reproducing blue ink. The layout sheets are divided into
two columns per page, and into column inches. There are sixteen
1-inch spaces per page (eight per column). This is the starting
point in determining the cost and selling price per column inch
for ads.

Take a layout to your local quickie printer, and get a price for
1,000 copies of your 8-1/2 x 11 sheet, printed two sides.

For an example, let’s assume you printer wants $20.00 for 1,000.

On a four page publication, you reserve the front page for your
masthead (name of the publication) and three pages for
advertising.

You have 16 one-inch spaces per page times three pages, so you
have 48 spaces available to sell. If you sell each space at
$5.00 net to you, you will generate 48 x $5.00 or $240.00 in
revenue for one sheet folded into a four pager.

Remember, if you use an eight pager, you are generating $80.00
per page from advertising, so every ad of your own (or articles
that use up ad space) reduces your income. An eight pager, less
the front page, generates 7 pages of advertising revenue, or
$560.00. Your cost for an eight pager for printing would be
approximately $40.00 for 1,000 quantity, leaving you a profit of
$520.00.

Start by putting together a layout – a four pager. Select a
name that tells it all, in one or two words if possible, i.e.
“The Mail Box.” Decide how often you are going to publish -
once a month – bi-monthly – quarterly. Write your editorial
copy for the front page; a typewriter is all you need. Type
your copy on separate sheets in two columns and paste it up.
Tell all about your publication… what, where, when, who, etc.,
and be sure to tell the circulation you will have – 1,000,
2,000, etc. The more circulation you have, the more you can ask
per inch. When you are first starting out, with only 1,000
circulation, you may not be able to get $5.00 per column inch.
It may be necessary to charge only $2.50 per inch to get
advertisers to buy your space.

Your next step is to paste up some ads. If you have products
that you sell by mail order, use them to fill the pages. You
may also write to some who are advertising in other publications
and offer them an introductory ad at a reduced rate for the
first issue. The back page should be reserved for your
advertising order blank, calling attention to the special price,
and inviting potential advertisers to complete it and mail it in
with payment.

When pasting up ads, make sure to keep them in a neat column
width. And if someone submits an ad on colored paper, dip it in
household bleach and place it on paper towel to dry. The bleach
will take out the color background so that your printer can
handle the reproduction.

Co-Publishing

Most publications in mail order are co-publications. This means
that if you are the prime publisher, you insert a box on the
front page with “Co-Publisher” printed above it. Co-publishers
are your advertisers. Each may run an ad in your publication
one time, paying the full rate, and agreeing to mail 25, 50, or
more copies with his name stamped in the Co-publisher
publication. The prime publisher does not solicit ads directly,
but refers all ads through a Co-publisher. The Co-publisher
sells ads by mailing out copies. If your establish a rate of
$6.00 per 1-inch ad, your Co-publisher keeps 50% and sends the
ad to be run, along with your 50%, to you.

This is a method of distributing your publication without having
to mail it yourself. However, experience has proven that only
about 40% actually mail their copies, so your publication may
not get distributed and results would then be very discouraging
to you and the advertisers, (even though they did not do what
they agreed to do).

The best idea is to get your hands on many other publications as
possible. Type up labels with all advertisers, and prepare your
own mailing list; you may wish to supplement this with a list of
mail order buyers that can be purchased from list houses for $30
to $35 per 1,000.

Inquire at your local post office for information/instruction on
bulk mailing. Current ruling is a minimum of 200 pieces, and if
you get up to 2,000, you really should consider bulk mailing.
You will find that a permit is necessary, which involves a fee,
but bulk will cut your cost tremendously. You do have to sort
and tie your mail by zip codes, but the savings per piece is
quite substantial. compared to first class.

To improve your professional touches, learn more about graphics
by purchasing books on graphics, layouts and techniques
available from many sources – or go to your public library. You
will learn about reproducing photos, reducing, enlarging, using
press-on type for headlines. These are all elements you will
learn quickly when you put out your own publication. If you
have a local printer, you might be surprised to find he is
willing to help you by sharing information and shortcut tips.
Also, study other publications for style and format, and make
notes as to how you could improve them.

When you have progressed to a circulation to 5,000 or more, you
should look into a changeover to tabloid format (newspaper
style) which is printed on Webb press – the savings are
tremendous. But for starters, stay with the 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
format.

Aerobics — Dancing For Profit

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Although the national obsession for group exercise has
begun to level off, estimates claim 23 million Americans
participate in aerobics in health clubs and exercise gyms.

This includes people enrolled in programs run from
community facilities, YMCAs, and gyms, to dance studios in
shopping malls.

This figure represents 10% of the US population who
exercise occasionally, definitely a fraction of what it
used to be 10 years ago when the craze was at its peak and
America was waking up to the urgent message of the
importance of exercise.

NEW MARKETS
The decline of enrollment-based fitness programs have
forced many studios to expand their services.

For example, some jazz exercise studios now offer skin
care and nutritional counseling. Some offer shiatsu
classes.

The biggest problems for any stationary fitness program is
being able to organize classes that work around the
schedule of its potential clients. The interest in
fitness remains. The market did not dwindle as the
figures suggest. The biggest challenge in this industry
to identify new ways to deliver its services to the
market.

BUNS OF STEEL
If you are an aspiring exercise entrepreneur, here are
three avenues by which you can deliver and sell your
services to your market:

CORPORATE CONTRACTS.
Many businesses recognize that healthy employees are
productive employees, something the Japanese realized
decades ago. You can send instructors to a business
location to conduct exercise classes that are subsidized
by the employer.

SATELLITE CLASSES.
You can lease community or church facilities, recreational
centers or school gymnasiums and hold classes for people
in that community. Some very large apartment complexes
have halls or functionareas where classes can be held.

VIDEOS.
Students who attend your class once can continue the
routine on their own time. That’s the convenience video
can offer. Instead of coming to an organized exercise
class, piople will attend an exercise class in front of
their VCRs. In fact, a video tape can be an excxellent
add-on product to corporate contracts, satellite classes,
or studio classes.

How To Catch More And Bigger Fish

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

1. Don’t be a purist. Use live bait. Try to match it with what
the fish normally feed on.

2. Using lighter fishing lines. The small size line can’t be seen
as well.

3. In order to use those light lines, it’s a must to have a good
working drag on your reel.

4. Smaller, sharper hooks work just as well as the big ones -
sometimes better.

5. Try to fish for the type of fish that maybe spawning or hitting.

6. The way to find this out is to spend some time on the phone
calling bait shops. You could spend some time hanging out at a
good one, listening and talking several days prior to when you
are planning a trip, and plan accordingly.

7. Start on the bottom and work your way to the top in stages. Once
you catch a fish, try to keep your bait at that depth and just
move around until you find where they are hiding. If you aren’t
catching, move until you do. Keep repeating the procedure.
Bluegill, crappie, white bass, black bass, sauger, etc!! are all
schooling fish. This means more than one around. Once I find
them, we usually catch a bunch.

8. A tip on crappie – they are not like other fish. They don’t
like to go down after a minnow or bait unless they are in a real
feeding fit!!, so fish above them.

9. You can catch more fish by leaving 8 inches to a foot between
your hook and sinker.

10. Whenever possible, fish dead line (no bobber) over the side of
your boat or off the bank. This will sometimes allow them to set
the hook on themselves and you have better control of what you
are fishing.