Understanding the different types of acne

Though all pimples form the same way, they often take on different shapes and characteristics, and react differently on different people. Acne is formed when a hair follicle becomes clogged and what is called a comedo is formed. As the follicle becomes clogged with more oil, the comedo becomes larger, inflaming the skin around the area and forming what we know of as a pimple. There are several types of acne, each requiring different methods of treatment. This article covers some of those types, explaining each and making treatment suggestions. Non-inflammatory acne often takes the form of a closed comedo, or whitehead. This occurs when the plugged hair follicle stays beneath the surface of the skin, and appears on the skin as a small whiteish bump. An open comedo, or blackhead, occurs when the plug enlarges and pushes through the surface of the skin. Its dark appearance is not due to dirt, but rather to a build up of the dark pigment of the skin called melanin.

Blackheads are also a type of inflammatory acne. The mildest form of inflammatory acne is a papule, a small, firm, pink bump appearing on the surface of the skin. These bumps can be tender to the touch, and are often considered an intermediary step between non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne. Pustules are like papules in that they are small, round lesions. Unlike papules, pustules are clearly inflamed and visibly contain pus. They may appear red at the base with a yellowish or whiteish center. Pustules do not generally contain a great deal of bacteria, but are inflamed due to chemical irritation from sebum components. Nodular or cystic acne is usually very painful. Nodules are inflamed pus-filled lesions lodged deep within the skin. They develop when the contents of a comedo has spilled into the surrounding skin and immune system responds, producing pus. The most severe form of this type of acne may persist for weeks or even months, eventually hardening into a cyst.

Both nodules and cysts often leave deep scars. Acne conglobata, a rare form of inflammatory acne, forms primarily on the back, buttocks, and chest. It is characterized by pustules and nodules, and severe bacterial infection may ensue. Acne cosmetica is a relatively mild form of acne caused from topical cosmetic products. It is characterized by small pink bumps, and local inflammation on the cheek, chin, and forehead.

It may develop over the course of a few weeks or months, but usually does not cause scarring. Since it can persist indefinitely, it is important to find out which topical products are causing the problem and eliminate their use. It is important to understand what is causing your acne so a suitable treatment can be found. Before you can solve the problem, you must know its origin.

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Effectively finding products to sell on ebay to consign or not to consign

I remember the first time I sold something for someone on eBay. It was a great feeling. Not great, like, I’m getting married tomorrow or, I just won the lottery, but another type of great. I felt as thought I had helped someone out and made some extra money. Those two things combined can create such a fulfilling feeling. This act, however, that of taking ownership of someone’s belongings, then selling those belongings and receiving a commission is commonly called consignment. Consignment is a great way to start an online auction business. After selling all the unwanted items lying around your house, you are probably not going to have that much experience in any one type of niche products.

If you are able to have a variety of other people’s things to sell, you can get the hands-on experience of handling many different types of items and eventually focusing in on one particular item. That is the biggest obstacle to overcome when you start out on eBay. I even hate to say it here to you because I have read so very much: What should I sell? Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt and sometimes, as in this case, it is necessary. It goes without say that it is necessary to decide what you want to sell on eBay before beginning an eBay business. You guys know this. When thinking about ideas of choosing what to sell, it’s easy to let a small amount of bias get in the way. Ok, come on now . . . you know that everyone wants to sell what they like. I, for instance, love books and though I’m having a little success currently, I will have to eventually decide if the market is too competitive.

As will you in deciding what you want to sell. Of course, don’t count what you like out. It’s really of matter of deciding what is practical and not letting too much bias get in the way. Maybe you don’t want to start a consignment business. It’s just not for you. There are many other ways to decide what to sell. Terms like market research are intimidating to me and may be to you also. So, let’s just call this part . . . Looking for the Expensive Stuff Honestly, that’s what we want to do. And where do you find them? The very place you started out on. Right there on eBay. The most effective “market research” you can do is looking at closed auctions in any given category. Let me tell you the easiest way to do this. Make sure you’re signed into the eBay website. Avert your eyes ever so slightly to the upper right hand corner. What do you see? White space? Ok, a little to the left (depending on your monitor resolution) and you see a search box. That tiny box that gives you access to all the consumer products you can imagine. Don’t type anything in it. Click on the link directly below it that says Advanced Search. Now you have the portal to look for the expensive stuff. Choose your category on the left, type in your keyword, then click on the Completed lists only checkbox. You can also search within certain price ranges and highest or lowest price first. This is the best, freest way to find what is selling well on eBay. The key is, to stay consistent. Look for trends and even though you think what you like may not be practical, check it out anyway. You find yourself selling what you love and making money at the same time. And when that happens, you’ll be helping yourself out and making some extra money.

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The contour years

Replacing the Ford Tempo is the Ford Contour. It strictly competes with the Honda Accord, the Chrysler Cirrus, the Dodge Stratus, and other compact and mid-size sedans. This vehicle is crafted and manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in the United States and has been made available in a couple of trim levels including GL, LX, and the sporty SE. This vehicle exudes performance, refinement and an overall execution. This vehicle has a standard dual airbags and optional features comprise of antilock brakes, and traction control. Also, this vehicle’s other features are bumpers that could withstand a five mph impact, and a base engine that was a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine that could produce 125 horsepower that works well with a 5-speed manual shift or the optional electronic 4-speed automatic transmission. This vehicle suffered from several mishaps in several of its parts.

The automatic transmission had a faulty manual lever position sensor. If the parking brake cables held some ice during the winter month, this will not allow the brake to release. Its dashboard lights were somewhat faulty with the charge warning lights glowing. Since its production in 1995, it already suffered from performance faults. The list included front seatbelt anchor tabs cracking, fuel-tank filler reinforcements leaking, the metal shield on its plastic fuel-filler pipe developing stating charge during refueling that could be an ignition source, passenger airbags inflator body cracking, overheating at head lamp and wiring-harness terminals that could result in open circuit for instrument lights, parking lamps, and tail lamps, front coil springs fracturing as a result of corrosion in several extreme environments, and owner guide manuals not being sufficiently clear. However, because of these mishaps, the Ford Contour underwent several drastic changes so as to fully facilitate a greater driving experience for its users.

In 1995, the Ford Contour reduced its chrome stripes on its bumpers and its body had been colored. The front seats were now recessed in the back so as to improve rear seat leg room. A year after, the traction control and heated mirrors were no longer an option. The remote fuel door release was removed. Made available were interior trunk lights, tilt steering wheels, and power antennas. The year 1997 made the Ford Contour sport new designs in its front and rear ends. The roof line was altered and the rear deck shorted so as to further improve rear seat headroom.

For the last year of its production, 2000, each trim level received different changes and restyling. The 2000 Ford Contour held a DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with aluminum block and heads. It had a Ford EEC-IV engine control system with port fuel injection. It had a power of 170 bhp at 6250 rpm and a capability of 165 lb-ft. of torque at 4250 rpm. It sported a transmission of a 5-speed manual. It held a curb weight of 2910 lb. The Ford Contour’s wheelbase was 106.5 inches and a length of 183.9 inches. http:// premiumcarparts.

com provides Ford Contour owners and Ford enthusiasts a complete line of the highest quality Ford auto parts like Ford Countour parts.

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Nerf bars side bars and tube steps a buying guide

Some people call them Nerf Bars, others call them Step Bars; my mother calls them "those shiny tubes." Whatever you call them, they're an item that many people overlook in their quest for truck greatness. Whether you're looking for convenience, protection, or looks, installing a set of custom step bars on your ride is always a good decision. Nerf Bars; Attitude in a Box In addition to the fact that they make vehicle entry easier, nerf bars add to your truck's aggressive attitude. Nerf bars fill the gap between the ground and your vehicle's rocker panel; creating an illusion that your truck stands taller than it actually does. Combine step bars with a suspension lift and/or body lift kit and we're talking serious intimidation. Nerf Bars; Your Bodyguard Another benefit of installing nerf bars is protection. They mount several inches from the side of the vehicle. Therefore they are your first line of defense for anything that could cause body damage. Whether it's a boulder you try to drive over while off-roading or a stray shopping cart at the local supermarket, these babies have got your back. In Conclusion Not all nerf bars are created equal. There are different brands on the market with different finishes and warranties available. The Westin Platinum Step Bars have a lifetime warranty as do the stainless step bars available from Smittybilt. For more information, please visit http:// stylinconcepts. com.

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Car and truck alternators

Has your vehicle’s alternator failed? Are you absolutely certain that it isn’t your battery or starter? Determining which part has failed is essential toward avoiding unnecessarily replacing something that hasn’t failed, like your battery. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to determine that your alternator, in fact, has bit the dust. If you own an alternator testing machine, you can test to see whether your car’s alternator is charging correctly. For most people this isn’t practical as few motorists own such an expensive piece of equipment.

For everyone else, there is a practical way for you to easily check to see if your alternator is working properly: Connect a volt meter to your car's battery Start your car Observe the voltage output on the volt meter so that you can make an accurate determination. If there is an increase in voltage when you start your car, then your alternator is more than likely working just fine. Likely, you battery is the culprit; check the battery itself and the connections to make a final determination. If there is no increase in voltage, you are likely looking at having to replace your alternator. The next step, of course, is to determine whether you will replace the alternator yourself or have someone else do the job. Some things to keep in mind as you weigh your options include: If you trust your vehicle to a mechanic, what will the total cost of the work be including the part and labor? Is there a guarantee? If you decide to do the work yourself, do you have all the tools on hand to get the work done? Do you own a repair manual? Do you want to purchase a new alternator or will a remanufactured unit suffice? Your choices today are much greater than they were ten years ago, before internet shopping became a strong factor in reigning in high auto parts prices. Several online wholesalers, including the Auto Parts Warehouse, are in business to sell auto parts directly to you. Costs are generally much lower than local retail establishments and parts are from well known manufacturers, names you can trust in the business. Doing the work yourself can save you time and money as well as give to you a sense of accomplishment. With a trusty repair manual at your side you can replace your vehicle’s alternator quickly and accurately.

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A renewed view of the modern business culture

Life can sometimes be unexciting if not refreshed by the will to create according to one's own conscience and freedom. Often, the power of passion fuses into unexciting or appealing activities. One sometimes expects to be free from the demands, the macro-strings of the society, so that one could do what one wishes. In many different ways, one could say that freedom of this nature may bring about towering creativity though it can also breed chaos. How to find a method that could encourage a pleasing freedom as well as bring about the desirable creativity is very important for the society in general and for business in particular.

In short, a balance needs to be sought and erected. But the balance, as I will show, is the one that encourages conceptual creativity to soaring heights while it limits dispositions or practice in line with the prevailing macro - or micro-culture. I wish to drive my car the way that pleases me. I wish to work the way that gladdens my soul. I also wish to work at my own pace, and the work I do does not have to follow any deadlines that will make me work under pressure or needless stress; for I am my own person as is reflected in the claim that my rights and freedom are mine and nobody else's. The society must not impose habitual order in my creative ability; else, I may choose not to create, or I may create at a snail's pace or at a pace that does not interest me the way it originally should. And if most or, at least, many people in the society think the way I do - which I believe they do - then they are quite dispirited as I am because they cannot do what they wish or desire. But this kind of unrestricted personal freedom clashes with structured arrangements that are loaded with laws, rules, regulations that tend to organize our daily lives in a direction other than what we would have wished.

Ordinarily, we call these structured arrangements 'culture'. And because, as individuals, we must conform to the requirements of culture, we cannot do what we wish anyhow, any time, and anywhere. For if we can do otherwise, then my wishes may clash with yours and others. What I like, you may not like, and others may not like though I agree that there will be some commonalities with regard to our likes and dislikes. In fact, clashing likes and dislikes contradict the meaning of a society; they hint at disorder, and breed the kind of brazen uncertainties that, nevertheless, some thinkers support and tag the name "anarchy". Anarchy simply is an enemy to the concept of a society.

Anarchy fosters the individual lifestyle, and this also advances iron selfishness. There is no doubt, then, that the freedom of the will poses a grave danger to the idea of a society. If you grant that I should will what I want and not listen to what the laws, the regulations, the rules of the society say about this will, then I'm the person of the moment, the pleasure-seeker who is not checked by the simulated forces of the society. But I cannot go my own way in a society in which order is the rule and anarchy is a threat to harmony. The job of culture is to check personal excesses and see to it that our doings fit into the cultural scaffold.

Our lives, thereby, become orderly, agreeable in the collective or socializable in prominent manners. We have a macro-culture that is about society in general, and we also have a micro-culture that is about business. Usually, the micro-culture mirrors the macro-culture. The former has to proceed according to the natural movement of the latter. And were it to be that this connection is twisted, then both the societal culture and business face trials and suffer errors that may endanger growth and development. Businesses face chief snags when they rehash foreign techniques in order to bring about quick developments. A business executive - call him James - sees that a counterpart business is doing better in many areas and strives to copy from the latter. James' lack of foresight resides in the fact that he ignores the differences between his business and that of his counterpart in the field of culture. He does not realize that the mores, customs of his counterpart's society are very different from his; that the cultural foundations of his counterpart's business have been shaped largely by what transpires in that society in the area of macro-culture.

The fact that culture A is different from culture B has to do with differential natural histories, with differential reflexes to environmental stimuli that have shaped all the areas of life in differential ways, including, of course, the area of business. And this process has taken countless many years to get to its present stage and form. As is expected, culture A does business in a way different from culture B. Culture B substitutes nonsense for foresightedness by thinking business has nothing to do with culture. By duplicating A's method of doing business, B transforms an entire business organization, root and branch, thinking that competing effectively with A tallies with this new approach. B says: "A's business method, in fact, the structure that has created A's huge advancement, has to do strictly with business elements, not the peculiar wind that blows from the culture surrounding the seat of business." B ends the matter in this simple, naive way. Surely, confusion cannot be avoided if B copies from A in the way stated. For a macro-culture has its own unique language, history, belief systems, patterned or habitual dispositions, collective frames of mind that instruct other relatable activities such as business. But in abandoning a previous business structure, or, at least, heftily transforming it, one also stains the new business structure with corrupted ingredients of the said macro-culture.

The business hybrid that emanates may not serve the good interest of the society; often, it does not, since it will tend to destabilize the existing macro-culture in assorted ways without an end in sight. In many ways, A's overwhelming success need not unsettle the calmness of B or any other business that faces a similar test or is in a similar position as B. A chief confusion that A must have brought to the field of business is a revisionist approach that tends to belittle and, indeed, scorn the role of culture in business activities. A sees monetary profit as the supreme measure of business success and advances organizational strategies, plans, that wields this ambitious conception into any business-oriented activity. It is in the spirit of money, of profit, that the sense of business has become progressively technical instead of humanistic. And the technical conception of business thrives on the principle that businesses, irrespective of differential cultural determinants, could merge for the purpose of generating more monetary profit in line with technical efficiency. Other prominent elements of the business structure such as the flow of culturalized ethics, the human fibre, so to speak, are sidelined, thrown out of set priorities. A globalized business enterprise that appears more real than ideal is born from this business wrinkle. It wins great favour because, little by little, culture is seen as superfluous in the planning and implementation of business ideas.

Since this seems to be the point, culture appears to be dying faster than one must have thought. Business occupies centre stage in all conceivable areas of the society. Humanism recedes as it is taunted into obscurity. Perhaps, a much more difficult matter to address - though smaller in scale - is about the composition of a workforce that happens to be multicultural; that is, a workforce that has employees from different cultural backgrounds. Consider business C whose employees are from different cultural backgrounds and who, therefore, react differently to business ideas and will work in dissimilar ways - though not easily visible - if not micro-managed according to structured principles.

In what ways should management promote creative ideas from such employees? Should creativity be allowed to proceed according to what each employee desires or wishes without the patterned intrusions of management? Or should creativity be streamlined according to the structure of management such that what an employee creates ought not be related to personal desires or wishes? Suppose the former approach is adopted, then creative ideas that are so desirable for innovativeness in direct production will be much more than expected. In other words, creative ideas will inundate the platform of theories, and management will have the glad freedom to choose which ones could enhance the quality and quantity of production. The latter approach may limit creative ideas to some few patterned ones that, according to management, suit structured strategic plans. Often, numerous creative ideas are preferable to limited ones. One has more to choose from with regard to the former than the latter - richness in business life, is it not? In matters of practical work, that is, in matters of just doing what management wants in direct production, the multicultural make-up of employees may have to be shunned. In the name of culture, differential dispositions lead to differential consequences in production. This could be chaotic, both in the quality of production and the quantity. Yet, one must not lose sight of the fact that all sorts of culture-based creative ideas enrich the knowledge base of business. My ultimate conclusion is this: Practical production requires conformity; mental creativity needs no conformity - or so it seems.

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Build customer experiences not relationships

Firms believe that forging relationships with customers will make them more profitable. But people recognize a company’s true goal: to take their money. To succeed with CRM efforts, firms must make each interaction a satisfying experience in its own right. Customer relationship management (CRM) is all the rage, as companies increasingly use technology to craft relationships with consumers. The goal: improving customer acquisition, retention, and lifetime value. Firms believe they can achieve this by: Increasing contact. To expand their mindshare with customers, firms craft additional ways to interact with customers. This ambition drives automakers to pack cars with telematics equipment and just about every Global 3,500 firm to launch email campaigns. Harvesting data. Companies expect that data logs will reveal customer desires. To create as rich a record as possible, companies meld third-party data, such as credit bureau reports, with their own customer information. Tailoring offerings. From wireless telephone carriers’ custom calling plans to Amazon. com’s book recommendations, companies attempt to pitch just the right offer to the right person at the right time. Customers Don't Want Relationships In theory, CRM tactics mimic the way that interpersonal relationships evolve -- spending more time together, learning about each other, and exchanging something of value. But the similarities are misleading. Unlike person-to-person interactions, person-to-company interactions will never grow into relationships because consumers: Like anonymity. A person may gladly share secrets with his friends, but he doesn’t like to disclose information to a vendor. In a recent survey of nearly 6,000 North American online consumers, 69% of respondents told us they are either very or extremely concerned about losing control of their personal information. Pursue their own agendas. People don’t contact companies for a friendly visit or an impromptu chat. Consumers interact to accomplish specific goals. That’s why only 3% of visitors to consumer packaged goods (CPG) sites look for lifestyle content -- despite CPG firms’ significant investments in this content. Remain suspicious. Companies’ desire to build long-term relationships with customers falls prey to other objectives, such as meeting quarterly numbers. Customers see this in firms’ high-pressure sales tactics, reluctance to replace defective products, and seemingly arbitrary contract termination fees. And highprofile events like the 1980s junk bond debacle or today’s Enron scandal solidify people’s belief that companies simply can’t be trusted. CRM Must Focus on Customer Experience Since customers will rebuff corporate relationship advances, firms need a new CRM focus. Forrester recommends that companies build and sustain their customer base by obsessing about customers’ experiences at every touchpoint. To succeed, firms must: Redesign internal processes, not customers. Changing the way a company operate may be hard work, but changing human nature is nearly impossible. A large hotelier recently realized that confused customers called the reservation line for tech support, and vice versa. Rather than bracket the numbers with instructions that no one would ever read, the company built a consolidated contact center. Fulfill current goals -- don’t rely on loyalty. Firms must redouble their efforts to anticipate user behavior, expecting increasingly empowered consumers to forgive even fewer missteps. Companies should use the questions of Scenario Design -- who are your users? what are their goals? and how do they accomplish those goals? -- to guide the design of customer-facing systems. Measure outcome, not activity. Companies must evaluate interactions from thecustomer’s perspective. An immediate but nonsensical answer to an email inquiry may fulfill internal metrics for responsiveness, but it ultimately dissatisfies the consumer. To avoid this, firms must measure what matters to the customer — if and when an initial problem was resolved. http:// illusivecreations. com Calgary Web Design

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Repairing discrepancies in your credit report

Most everyone knows how important your credit report is… it can determine whether or not you are eligible for various loans, credit cards, and even some jobs and other social positions. A poor credit report can have a negative effect on your life in general as you find it much more difficult to get some of the things that you need, whereas a good credit report can open doors for you that you might not have even known existed. If you have poor or bad credit, it's possible that you might not even know it… and to make matters worse, you might not even deserve it. It is entirely possible for companies that make reports to credit bureaus to make mistakes, and unfortunately those mistakes can have a serious effect on your credit score. The information provided below is designed to get you on the right track to checking your credit report information and making sure that everything is as it should be… and getting things corrected if they are wrong and causing damage to your credit score. Checking Your Report Obviously, the first thing that you need to do to check the accuracy of your credit report is to obtain a copy of your report. These can be purchased, gotten free through certain companies and services, and in some cases are even provided free by the government if you live in certain countries or meet certain criteria. Once you've received a copy of your credit report, take a little time to look over it and get a feel for how the data is displayed… it may vary slightly, depending upon which reporting agency issued the report. Confirming The Information Begin checking over your credit report to see which accounts and loans of yours are listed and what the status of each is. You might not find all of your current accounts and loans on the report, but don't be alarmed… some lenders and credit issuers don't report regularly or at all. Check over your information for any accounts that you simply don't recognize, and make a note of which accounts you do recognize and what they correspond with in regards to your bills. Finding Errors At this point, you should make a note of any accounts on your report that you don't recognize since they can be a warning sign of identity theft. You should also begin checking the status of each listing that you do recognize… make sure that accounts that are up-to-date don't list you as having missed payments, and that accounts which are no longer active aren't listed as open and behind. Take the time to make notes of any incorrect information that you find, because there's a good change that any incorrect information might be bringing down your credit score more than it should. Fixing Credit Errors Once you've compiled a listing of mistakes and accounts that you don't recognize, you should draft a letter to the issuer of the credit report to question the authenticity of the account claims. The credit reporting agency will begin to investigate the claims, requesting up-to-date information from the account issuer to show that the account listings that they have made are valid. If the information is found to be incorrect, it will usually be repaired; if the account issuer doesn't respond to the inquiry within a certain time limit, then the negative report will be removed entirely. This can greatly improve your credit score with minimal effort on your part. You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:

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Trading the gap

There are a number of common theories and misconceptions about opening gaps and how to trade them. Trader Jack himself has always maintained that it is wise to 'mind the gap', and strongly recommends not dashing madly after a market powering away unless you REALLY know what you are doing. We therefore felt it might be useful to investigate common gap trading ideas and comment on them for our readers at traders101.com . Here are the results of a study on the Nasdaq, including every gap in the last 15 years. At first glance, the Trader Jack rule 'never chase the gap' looks like a good rule - over 70% of gaps get filled on the day they occur, i. e. the the market falls back to the previous day's close before the end of the session. Also worth noting - the average size of a gap on the Naz (both long and short) is just over 1.16%. As you might expect, small gaps get filled more often than big gaps - there is 'less work to do' for the market to reverse a small gap. Larger gaps have a tendency to stay open more than small gaps - for example, a gap that is twice as large as the average gap (2.33%) will typically remain open over 60% during the session (although they may get closed again the next day). Likewise, a gap 3 times the size of an average gap will remain open almost 65% of the time on the day. At the top of the scale, gaps that are 3.5% larger than an average gap remain unfilled almost 90% of the time on the day they occur. They may only get filled 21% of the time during the week, too! This data tends to suggest that a reasonable gap trading strategy might involve trading against (or 'fading') small and average sized gaps, and to 'go with' a large gap. So how does one implement such a system? Let's take a closer look. Given that we might want to consider fading a small gap, we can give a it a bit of 'room' to develop before committing to a trade - it is, after all, likely to come back. The average trader seems to prefer watching the first hour (the time when allegedly the 'silly' money comes and goes), and then deciding on a trade. Within this first hour, a small gap will often have 'settled', or even begun the process of falling back towards the previous close. Whatever the situation, a 'range' will have been defined by that first hour's action - generally the strategy then would be to go long above that range, and short below it. With this in mind, it is helpful to consider the trading on the basis of the '4 types' of gap that are generally supposed to exist. The first of these is the 'Full Gap Up'. This happens if the opening price is greater than yesterday's high price - A big jump, in other words. Likewise, a 'Full Gap Down' is when the opening price is less than yesterday's low. A 'Partial Gap Up', on the other hand, happens when today's opening price is higher than yesterday's close, but NOT higher than yesterday's high. In the same way, a 'Partial Gap Down' is when the opening price is below yesterday's close, but NOT below yesterday's low. These 4 gap types each have a long and short trading signal, giving us 8 gap trading strategies which are discussed in detail on traders101.com . All are based on a gap trading strategy in which you wait 1 hour after the market open so a trading range can be established. Trading before that time is up is possible, although it involves more risk. As always, sensible stoploss methods to minimize losses if things go wrong are mandatory! Good luck with it!

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A step by step approach to the federal acquisition marketplace

Doing business with federal government agencies can be very lucrative for the people who lean how to maneuver through the maze of registrations, certifications and regulations. But if you are ready to start, these are the first steps you need to take to open the door to federal business opportunities. Step 1: Identify your product or service. It is necessary to know the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and the Federal Supply Classification (FSC) code for your product or service. Most federal government product/service listings and procurements are identified by their NAICS code and/or FSC code. You can find the codes relating to your business at these web sites: NAICS codes: http:// census.

gov/epcd/www/naics. html and FSC codes: http://fpdcapp. gsa. gov/pls/fpdsweb/PscWiz Step 2. Check with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine that your business falls within the established table of small business size standards based on NAICS. sba. gov You may be very surprised just how big a company can be and still be considered “small” in the eyes of the federal government. Step 3: Obtain a DUNS Number from Dunn & Bradstreet. This is a business identification number that is used much like a person uses a social security number. If you do not have a DUNS Number, contact Dun and Bradstreet to obtain one. dnb. com There is no charge for assigning a DUNS number and you must have one to proceed. Step 4: Register in the Centralized Contractor Registration (CCR) System. You must be registered in CCR to be awarded a contract from any federal civilian or military agencies. CCR is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. CCR also affords you the opportunity for fast electronic payment of your invoices. ccr. gov And you will want to get paid quickly! Step 5: Determine if your firm qualifies for 8(a), SDB or HUBZone certification. These certifications are detailed at sba. gov. They are essentially for companies that are owned by individuals who have experienced some sort of disadvantage in the business environment. This may be based on economic factors, race or geographic location. Firms with these certifications may compete for set-aside contracts – those contracts specifically designated for certified companies. Step 6: Register in Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). ORCA is a brand-new e-Government initiative that was designed to replace the paper based Representations and Certifications process. This will be a central repository of all of your company’s certifications and can be accessed by any federal agency. http://orca. bpn. gov Step 7: Begin to search for current federal government procurement opportunities. Identify current procurement opportunities in your product or service area by checking at the FedBizOpps web site, the federal civilian and military government single point of entry for many opportunities over $25,000. Once you start to search for current open bids you will get a good feel for the market for your products and services. fedbizopps. gov Step 8: Familiarize yourself with both the federal Civilian and Department of Defense (DoD) contracting legal procedures. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) can be found at http:// arnet. gov/far/. The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) are located at http:// acq. osd. mil/dpap/dfars/index. htm. These are the legal regulations for federal acquisitions. While they are not “light reading” if you are serious about federal procurements, you need to know and understand the legal requirements and regulations pertaining to federal contracts. This is a good time to look for an attorney who is experienced in federal procurement policies. Step 9: Investigate if “getting on the GSA Schedule” is right for you. Federal agencies can use General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Supply Service (FSS) Schedule Contracts and Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) to make purchases. These pre-approved contracts are used to buy commonly used products, services, and solutions needed to fulfill their missions and day-to-day operations. These opportunities are rarely announced on the FedBizOpps site in Step 7 above, but are normally competed amongst pre-qualified vendors already under contract. gsa. gov Step 10: Seek additional assistance, as needed, in the federal civilian and/or DoD marketplaces. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are federally-funded organizations that offer free help. PTACs can be found at http:// dla. mil/db/procurem. htm Step 11: Familiarize yourself with the budget forecasts for your targeted agencies. Each federal agency typically produces an Annual Procurement Forecast, as required by the Small Business Act, which is maintained by their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) or equivalent. You may contact each agency OSDBU for specifics. firstqov. gov. Use this budget to determine if they are good prospects for you. Step 12: Explore subcontracting opportunities. Regardless of your product or service, it is important that you do not neglect a very large secondary market - subcontracting opportunities through prime contractors. Although there is no single point of entry for subcontracting opportunities in the federal civilian procurement marketplace, SBA’s SUB-Net is a valuable source for obtaining information on subcontracting opportunities. Prime contractors, government, commercial, and educational entities, may post solicitations or notices here. sba. gov/sub-net For DoD - The SADBU Website lists all major DoD prime contractors by state and provides a point of contact (Small Business Liaison Officer) within each firm. Investigate potential opportunities with these firms. Many of these firms also have websites that may be useful. Partnering with a prime contractor as their subcontractor can be an excellent entry platform to the federal marketplace. http:// acq. osd. mil/sadbu/ Step 13: Investigate government programs. There are several SBA programs that may be of interest to you, such as the 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protйgй Program, the Small Business Innovation Research Program and Small Business Technology Transfer Research Program and the Technology Resources Network. sba. gov There are several DoD programs, some derived from the aforementioned programs, that may also be of interest to you, such as the Mentor-Protйgй Program, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions Program. Information on these and other programs is available on the SADBU Website. http:// acq. osd. mil/sadbu/ Step 14: Market your firm to the right contacts. Identify your prospective government customers, research their requirements, and familiarize yourself with procurement regulations and strategies require determination, direction, discipline and resources. There are many procuring organizations to consider, and educating yourself about their roles and missions will be no small task, but essential nonetheless. When it is time to market your product or service, present your capabilities directly to the people who buy it. Wherever possible, arrange marketing visits to agency project and program personnel. Provide catalogues and brochures to key personnel within the agencies. Many Federal agencies hold small business fairs that emphasize how to do business with the government and provide information regarding their program activities. Realize that, like your own, their time is valuable/limited. If the match is a good one, you may be able to provide them with a cost-effective, quality solution to their requirements. Gloria Berthold is CEO of TargetGov. tv. She teaches federal government marketing strategies through national audio conferences and in-person speaking engagements. Check targetgov. tv for more information.

Online A step by step approach to the federal acquisition marketplace

Sales force of the future it s not about selling

Jeff Gitomer coined the phrase at a recent convention: "It's not about what you are selling, it's about what the customer is buying." In reality, the customer is not buying your product, he is buying fulfillment for a need. Salespeople need to diagnose customers' business needs and create solutions that help improve customers' business performance. What is the customer really buying? Thomas Winninger, America's marketing strategist states it simply with the following examples: "BMW doesn't sell cars, their customers buy a driving experience." "Kodak doesn't sell film, their customers buy a magic moment." "Hertz doesn't rent cars, they get you out of the airport faster." Nowadays, salespeople must be problem solvers able to generate solutions for customers in their time of need. Therefore, they must possess a great deal of knowledge about their customers' business. Often, they must actually define what those needs are because the customer may not know, nor take the time to explain. Customers want the "Sales Force of the Future" to have the knowledge and intelligence to comprehend and analyze their problems before showing up at the door. Customers will listen and buy from the salesperson that finds the "pain" and takes it away. They want solution providers, not the "coolest technology" with three adjustable speeds. The "Sales Force of the Future" recognizes that it's not about what you are selling. It's not all about the product. They are knowledgeable about the customer's problem, what he/she is really buying, and translates the solution into the sale. Old and New Formulas As today's sales environment leans toward a more multifaceted atmosphere, salespeople must become strategists with a plan. This plan requires more knowledge about the business, better relationships and better solutions. Some old school salesmen may believe they know what it takes. They have the experience. They've been around a long time. They also may be wrong. The world is changing. The "Sales Force of the Future" is doing things differently. They recognize we can't afford to become complacent. Complacency destroys competitive advantage. As sales professionals, we can't become full of ourselves, no matter how long we've been in the field, no matter how much experience we have. Thomas Winninger emphasizes my point in telling the story of the tortoise and the hare. In the fable The Tortoise and the Hare, the tortoise didn't win the race. The hare lost it. He lost it because he was stupid. He was too busy looking over his shoulder wondering what the tortoise was doing instead of taking advantage of his strengths. He was better, faster, quicker and smarter - but he forgot, he became complacent. On the flip side, the "Sales Force of the Future" understands that everyday is a new learning experience. In the old days when I was a salesman growing up in distribution, sales success had a simple formula: Relationship Selling. A mentor of mine drilled that formula into my head. Formula of Past Success: Develop a strong relationship with your customer, make friends with him, and he will find a way to buy from you. Relationships alone will not get you the sale today. Of course, they are still very important, especially to get a chance to even apply today's formula for success. Today's formula is just as simple as in the past, but remember, it's not about what you are selling, it's about what the customer is buying. Figure out what he is buying - what solution the customer needs. Formula of the "Sales Force of the Future:" Figure out what the customer is really buying. Become a total solution provider by taking away the pain. Find the pain and make it go away, even if it has nothing to do with your product. It's about being a total solution provider. Today's formula works because it creates competitive advantage. It is the secret to success for the "Sales Force of the Future." In times past, salespeople were trained to focus on their product. They knew everything about it - what features it had, the benefits, how long it could last and what the red button did when pressed. Salespeople talked about the product until they were blue in the face. Armed with brochures and warranties, they were ready to attack. But, in today's environment, customers want more, not just the latest technology and the best "widget" a person can buy. They want complete solutions to all their problems. Suddenly, the brochure and other marketing materials are simply support functions. Buyers are more educated, more professional and seek more than just products. They want efficiencies, market share and profit generation. As Jeff Gitomer says, "You cannot puke all over your customers with features and benefits." In the old days, we were taught to spray the purchasing agent's office with talk about these features and benefits. When they asked questions we were trained to watch their lips, and when they took a breath, that was our sign to talk some more. In contrast, the "Sales Force of the Future" needs to LISTEN more than 80% of the time. UNDERSTAND the customer's behavior, goals, industry, problems, his way of thinking, how he makes money, his customer's customers, and ultimately, their problems. Again, it's about what the customer is buying. Caution: The Solution May Not Be What it Seems That is why it is important that the "Sales Force of the Future" understands the customer's customer and the customer's industry. Sometimes a solution that seems obvious is obviously wrong. My eight-year-old grandson, Zayne, drove that point home to me just last week. We got in the car to go down to the store. Being a responsible grandfather, I put him in the back seat and told him to buckle his seat belt. "Gee, Grandpa we're only going down to the store on the corner. Do I have to?" "Zayne," I replied, "It's a proven fact that more than 75% of accidents happen within 20 miles of your home." With the seriousness and pure innocence of an eight-year-old, Zayne looked at me puzzled and said, "Then why don't we just move? " Finding the Pain Be more knowledgeable and conscious of your customer's problem. You're no longer selling a product, you're selling a solution to make their life easier, happier, better, less complicated, or more fun. By understanding the customer's business and his customers, you help them make a profit through both cost reductions, improved efficiencies, increased value and increased sales. Those solutions come in many forms and may have nothing to do with your product. That's okay. Look for the pain regardless of what it is and focus on the solution. Customers don't want products, they want profits - or ways to make profits. They want satisfaction, feelings of comfort, pride, praise and self-esteem. They are people just like us. Well, maybe they don't have the same crazy genetics that we have as salespeople, but they are just as smart, just as caring and have similar personal needs and feelings. So, how do salespeople find the customer's pain and identify the problem? How do we figure out what they are really buying? You gain much of this knowledge by listening. I mean really listening. You don't focus on pushing product. You focus on the customer and what he is telling you. You research his industry. You talk to his customers and even his competitors, but carefully. Once you have this knowledge and understand your customer completely, you can provide intelligent solutions to almost any challenge. You have raised your customer's expectations of you and your company, which creates competitive advantage. It's all about value - not the value-added built into your product or your service, but it's about adding value to a situation, to your relationship. Do this and you create a real partnership with your customer and his company. It's Not Rocket Science Steps to follow: Relationships are still very important - Build them. Analyze the situation - Understand the customer's problem before you talk about the solution. Listen, listen, listen. Be familiar with the customer's past, present and future goals and adjust accordingly. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to hear? What would you do? Talk to the "head man" - the hub - the one who makes the decisions and knows the company inside and out. Know the industry - Talk to your customer's customers. Do your homework - Surf the net and do research. Learn your customer's business, his market, his competition, how he makes a profit, his customer and, most importantly, his personal pain in doing business. As stated earlier, relationships are still important. In fact, there should be multiple layers of relationships between your customer's firm and yours, not just one. What's the difference today? The relationship is just the ante to play in the world of professional sales. Once we've established those relationships, we must manage them well to provide maximum value to our customers. The lone wolf sales approach of the past, the one I too grew up using, won't work in today's environment. The "Sales Force of the Future" understands that. Times have changed. Consolidations continue to occur. Purchasing is a profession. Customers are smarter. They gain more market power everyday. The "Sales Force of the Future" understands that it is no longer about Power & Politics, it's now about Principle & Process. Success for the "Sales Force of the Future" depends on an architecture aligned with customers' needs and profit opportunities. Remember, it's not about what you are selling! Copyright 2005 Rick Johnson

Online Sales force of the future it s not about selling

Cisco ccnp certification bcmsn exam tutorial the hsrp mac address

To pass the BCMSN exam and earn your CCNP, you've got to know HSRP inside and out! Part of that is knowing how the MAC address of the virtual router is derived, and another part is knowing how to change this address. We'll look at both features in this tutorial. We've got two routers on a segment running HSRP, so first we need to find out what the MAC address of the HSRP virtual router is. The show command for HSRP is show standby, and it's the first command you should run while configuring and troubleshooting HSRP. Let's run it on both routers and compare results. R2#show standby Ethernet0 - Group 5 Local state is Standby, priority 100 Hellotime 3 sec, holdtime 10 sec Next hello sent in 0.776 Virtual IP address is configured Active router is, priority 100 expires in 9.568 Standby router is local 1 state changes, last state change 00:00:22 R3#show standby Ethernet0 - Group 5 Local state is Active, priority 100 Hellotime 3 sec, holdtime 10 sec Next hello sent in 2.592 Virtual IP address is configured Active router is local Standby router is expires in 8.020 Virtual mac address is 0000.0c07.ac05 2 state changes, last state change 00:02:08 R3 is in Active state, while R2 is in Standby. The hosts are using the address as their gateway, but R3 is actually handling the workload. R2 will take over if R3 becomes unavailable. An IP address was statically assigned to the virtual router, but not a MAC address. However, there is a MAC address under the show standby output on R3, the active router. How did the HSRP process arrive at a MAC of 00-00-0c-07-ac-05? Well, most of the work is already done before the configuration is even begun. The MAC address 00-00-0c-07-ac-xx is reserved for HSRP, and xx is the group number in hexadecimal. That's a good skill to have for the exam, so make sure you're comfortable with hex conversions. The group number is 5, which is expressed as 05 with a two-bit hex character. If the group number had been 17, we'd see 11 at the end of the MAC address - one unit of 16, one unit of 1. On rare occasions, you may have to change the MAC address assigned to the virtual router. This is done with the standby mac-address command. Just make sure you're not duplicating a MAC address that's already on your network! R2(config-if)#standby 5 mac-address 0000.1111.2222 1d12h: %STANDBY-6-STATECHANGE: Ethernet0 Group 5 state Active -> Learn R2#show standby Ethernet0 - Group 5 Local state is Active, priority 150, may preempt Hellotime 4 sec, holdtime 12 sec Next hello sent in 3.476 Virtual IP address is configured Active router is local Standby router is expires in 10.204 Virtual mac address is 0000.1111.2222 configured 4 state changes, last state change 00:00:00 1d12h: %STANDBY-6-STATECHANGE: Ethernet0 Group 5 state Listen -> Active The MAC address will take a few seconds to change, and the HSRP routers will go into Learn state for that time period. A real-world HSRP troubleshooting note: If you see constant state changes with your HSRP configuration, do what you should always do when troubleshooting - check the physical layer first. Best of luck on your BCMSN exam!

Online Cisco ccnp certification bcmsn exam tutorial the hsrp mac address

Blogs blogs blogs what they are and why they matter

I remember that it was not that long ago that I did not know what a blog was or what one was for. Now blogs are everywhere and anyone with a computer and Internet access may be writing one. If you are new to this whole blog phenomenon let me explain a little about what a blog is. Blog's got their name from combining two words "Web log" to make one word, "blog". For most people, blogs started out as something like an online diary for friends and relatives to read. Instead of going to the trouble of sending out individual emails to all of your friends and relatives to let them know how things are going in your life, you could simply write a blog for all of them to view. This way everyone could know all of the interesting developments in your personal life and you could save time and energy by not writing to everyone individually. This was the origin of blogs.

Oh how far we have come since then. Blogs then grew into marketing devices, ways to get revenge, and methods of raising awareness on important issues. Some of the more famous blogs are ones written by current disgruntled employees of large corporations. These large corporations, such as Microsoft, have been scrambling to deal with the bad public relations created by these blogs written by angry employees. There are many ways that you can set up a blog. Whether you want to use a blog for professional or personal reasons you can find a service to help you out. Many companies have been scrambling to create blogging software for consumers.

However, there are also many blogging sites that will let you use their software for free. Of course, the software that you have to pay for comes with many added features that the free blogging software does not include. Online businesses are beginning to realize the impact that a blog can have on their business and the number of people that they can get visiting their websites. Blogs generate new text on a regular basis, depending on how often you update it, which helps in search engine rankings. The major search engines such as Google and Yahoo give higher rankings to websites that have regularly updated content. Blogs make this happen in a very simple manner. The only trick to all of this is to make sure that your blog is directly accessible from your homepage.

This is a rather simple process of changing some of the HTML coding. By using a blog to add new content on a regular basis saves you the trouble of redesigning your entire website every time you want to add content. It would not be realistic to go in to your website a few times a week and change the content because it is so much work. However, a blog will accomplish this for you in a matter of minutes. Some website owners have taken the blogs even further and incorporated keyword densities into their blogs. This further aids the websites search engine rankings and helps to drive more potential customers to the website. As you can see, having a blog on your website can offer a great deal of benefits. In addition to the fact that you can increase your search engine rankings with a blog, many people may come back to visit your site on a regular basis just to see what new information you have to offer them by way of your blog.

For example, if your blog offers weekly updates on what is new in your product or service line, a potential customer may be interested but does not make a purchase today. Then this potential customer returns in a week to read your blog and continues to do so until he or she reads something in your blog that convinces he or she to go ahead and make the purchase. Blogs are very versatile marketing tools. You can update your blog with industry news, news about your particular company, new product offerings, or new services that you are providing. Any of these methods, or a combination of them, can be extremely effective in closing a sale on a potential customer who is sitting on the fence. No matter how you choose to employ blogs to improve your website, always be sure that you have connected your blog to your website in an easy to read and easy to find format. Link your blog to your homepage so that visitors do not have to search for it. If you can customize your blog template to look just like the rest of your website, then your visitors can move between your blog and your website with the feeling that they have not left one to enter the other. Blogs have grown enormously over the past year and all indications are that they will only continue to grow.

Blogs are more than a passing Internet fad; they are successful business tools that are already being utilized by many successful webmasters.

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Chase platinum credit card chase extends promotional period

Consumers looking to obtain a new credit card may just want consider the Chase Platinum Visa card. The Chase Platinum Visa card has been in existence for a long time, but just recently some strong improvements have been made by the J. P. Morgan & Chase Co. making the card a strong competitor in a highly competitive market. Is the Chase Platinum Visa card right for you? Please keep reading to find out for yourself. Extended Introductory Rate In the credit card business, all the top cards are still offering 0% APR for an introductory period. Six months is the standard length of time, with some offering a twelve month introductory rate period. Chase, on the other hand, recently served notice that they are extending this introductory rate out for a full fifteen months to qualified customers! If your credit history is good and your application is in order, you may be eligible for this extended introductory rate offer. Balance Transfer Offer When applying for the Chase Platinum Visa card you're eligible to transfer balances from high interest rate credit cards to your new card. You could potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars in interest costs by transferring your balances to your new card. No Annual Fee Many platinum or premium credit cards charge annual fees, but with the Chase Platinum Visa card no fee is assessed. Free Travel Accident Insurance Chase Platinum Visa cards offer up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance, an amount much higher than what most credit cards are offering today. Save money on insurance premiums as the Chase Platinum Visa card plan includes this type of insurance for free! Free Car Rental Insurance Use your Chase Platinum Visa card when renting a car and your rental insurance is completely covered too. For a one week rental, this type of insurance could easily tack on an additional $100 to your bill. With the Chase Platinum Visa card you are completely covered. Chase’s offer is all the more remarkable in the face of constantly climbing interest rates. As you probably already know, most credit card rates continue to rise along with the upward swing in all consumer rates. Thus, the Chase Platinum Visa card is truly a unique opportunity for the savvy consumer. So, if you have a good credit rating and are in need of a new credit card, the Chase Platinum Visa card may be just right for you. With credit card rates surging, taking advantage of a card offering 0% APR for 15 months is a surefire way toward saving yourself plenty of money.

Online Chase platinum credit card chase extends promotional period

Make more money to eliminate your debt

How can someone stay far away from debts? You must have a plan, and if you can't, find a coach or a financial adviser, and get a good money management plan. First, you must eradicate bad habits: 1.Don't spend more than you earn even if it seems difficult, it is the best way to stay away from debt for good. That is why you need to get more money, otherwise this point alone will be very difficult to apply. 2.When you have any debt, try to clear it right away. Another reason to get more money. 3.Write everything (Computer or Paper). You must keep a record of all your debt with you, and know what is going on in your account on a daily basis. 4.Give your card to your husband(or to your wife – or mother -) 5.Stay away from gambling (not for everyone). 6.Don't accumulate debts months after months. It seems very easy, but people just fail to follow this simple plan, and the consequences are often painful... Divorce, foreclosures, bankruptcy... So you must: ==> Change your habits ==> Choose an action plan ==> Write down this plan ==> Stay away of your credit card ==> See the interest rate as your enemy ==> Don't go to a “Debt continuation service”, “Christian” or else ==> Learn how to know and control yourself(your emotion) ==> Earn more money Internet is giving to everybody an easy way to start and be in business in less than one week starting from scratch. It is the solution to a lot of problem, and the best is that if it doesn't work(I prefer to say if you did not put your heart to make it work), you just start another business the same day, and this one may become profitable. In 2006, more and more people will start successful Internet businesses. There is a lot of opportunities to profit from. “Debt isn't the real problem, the source of the problem is that you need more money.”

Online Make more money to eliminate your debt

Alcoholism signs ten warning signs of alcoholism you should know

Alcoholism signs - are there ten warning signs of alcoholism? Yes! Understanding alcoholism signs can help you determine whether there is alcohol abuse or dependency. Consuming a drink or two per day for healthy men and a drink a day for healthy non-pregnant women is generally considered acceptable consumption without health risks. However, as the amount of drinking per occasion or per week increases, one or more of the ten warning signs of alcoholism can develop as a result. Alcohol dependency is the most severe alcohol disorder. Two alcoholism signs associated with dependency are tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is the need for increasing amounts of alcohol consumption to become intoxicated. Withdrawal symptoms occur when alcohol intake is reduced or discontinued. Alcohol abusers are drinkers that may drink heavily at various times. Alcoholism signs for alcohol abusers can be related problems such as drinking and driving, violent episodes, or missing work or school.

In the USA alone, as many as 14 million adults are chronic heavy drinkers that abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. What is considered 'heavy drinking'? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking more than the amounts shown below would be considered heavy drinking: • For healthy men under age 65, consuming no more than four drinks a day nor more than fourteen drinks a week. • For healthy women under age 65 or healthy men over age 65, consuming no more than three drinks a day nor more than twelve drinks a week. What are ten warning signs of alcoholism? Here are alcoholism signs listed (in no particular order): 1. Drinking Alone 2. Making Excuses, Finding Excuses to Drink 3. Daily or Frequent Drinking Needed to Function 4. Inability to Reduce or Stop Alcohol Intake 5. Violent Episodes Associated with Drinking 6. Drinking Secretly 7. Becoming Angry When Confronted About Drinking 8. Poorer Eating Habits 9. Failure to Care for Physical Appearance 10. Trembling in the Morning Alcoholism signs can also include the inability to remember portions of the events of the previous evening or feeling anxious in a social situation where alcohol is not available. As you may know, it can be called 'problem drinking' when it becomes 'drinking that causes problems'. Does heavy chronic drinking have health consequences? You bet it does. Chronic heavy drinking can result in serious damage to the liver, heart, brain and other vital organs. Such severe physical damage may irreversable and result in serious illnesses or even early death. If the above ten warning signs of alcoholism help create interest in exploring possible alcohol addiction and finding help, the good news is that help is available. Consider contacting your physician, counselor or other qualified professional. Another time-tested source of help would be Alcoholics Anonymous. AA has local groups that meet regularly throughout the USA and other countries around the world. No matter how many alcoholism signs may exist, it is never too late to begin recovery from alcohol addiction. Obviously, the sooner recovery begins, the better. Copyright 2006 InfoSearch Publishing

Online Alcoholism signs ten warning signs of alcoholism you should know

Shaver razor batteries

What’s available, and how to keep it new Electric razors are a wonderful invention, but can be quite costly. It is important to know how to keep you razor in good condition so it will last a long time and will save you the expense of purchasing a new one. The right type of razor battery and the right type of charger can help to maintain an electric razor and save money in the long run. There are several familiar brands that make some great electric razors. Braun, Remington, and Norelco all have very good electric razors. Norelco’s new razors have a jet clean and charge system, an all in one set up that helps maintain the quality of the razor. Remington razors have titanium, self-sharpening blades that help maintain the best performance. The Braun razors also boast a cleaning system, and a special design that captures more hair than ever. Razors typically use an Nickel Metal Hydride or NiMH battery. NiMH is a newer technology in portable appliance batteries that holds twice the capacity of its traditional counterpart. NiMH batteries do not suffer from the memory effect. They are also more environmentally friendly because they do not contain heavy metals. The batteries are usually not that expensive, around $10 to $20, which is much better than purchasing a new razor for $100 or more. Since the NiMH batteries do not suffer from the memory effect, charging is not as much of an issue. With most razors, you simply just place it on the charger after use and do not think about it again. Protect your investment, take care of your razor, and buy the best razor batteries. It will help your razor maintain performance for years to come.

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Understanding the notion of borderline autism

The concept of autism can sometimes be very confusing. The syndrome first explained by Austrian psychiatrist Leo Kanner in the 40’s has generated many controversial opinions throughout the course of history. Autism is a very complex neurological disorder that can lead to different forms of behavioral, communicational, social and cognitive impairment. People with autism rarely fit the standard symptomatic profile introduced by medical scientists in the past. In fact, the syndrome generates a very wide spectrum of symptoms that can be experienced on multiple levels and at various intensities. In most cases, the criteria of diagnosis introduced by Rutter and other scientists may be enough to identify some categories of autistic children. However, some children may only present some characteristics of autism, showing no other signs of the disorder. Contemporary medical scientists have argued many times whether it is appropriate to consider this category of children autistic or not. Patients who partially fit the autistic profile could be referred to as “borderline”. The concept of borderline autism is very common these days and it generally includes patients who show clear signs of abnormality but they only reveal some symptoms of Kanner’s syndrome. In the past, many children with borderline autism were inappropriately diagnosed with psychosis or schizophrenia.

Patients who don’t fit the exact profile of autism but present certain signs of the syndrome might nowadays be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Due to their common features, Asperger’s Syndrome and Kanner’s Syndrome were considered to be the same concept. Many scientists believed that Asperger’s Syndrome described a milder form of autism, while others completely failed to distinguish between them. In fact, the syndrome discovered by Asperger described patients who didn’t fit the exact pattern of autism and hence, it could be referred to as a form of “borderline autism”. Asperger’s Syndrome revealed how difficult it was to draw the line between autistic and normal children, proving that it was possible for patients to have only certain characteristics of autism. As Asperger’s theories became popular, many children that have been previously diagnosed with “mild” autism were now considered to suffer from Asperger’s Syndrome.

Children with Asperger’s Syndrome seemed more responsive to external stimuli and presented less preoccupation to sameness. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome also seemed to have higher levels of performance intelligence and better communicational skills. Unlike autistic children, who hardly made any progress as they reached more advanced stages of development, some children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome could be partially recovered in early childhood. With the help of specific medical treatments and with the means of appropriate educational programs, most children with Asperger’s Syndrome showed signs of improvement on both behavioral and communicational levels. Nowadays, most patients diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome can be successfully integrated into the society and they can even live their lives independently.

As adults, many patients with Asperger’s Syndrome have proved to be very responsible and socially aware, showing few signs of neurological impairment.

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How to find a qualified massage therapist

It's essential that you trust the person who will be touching you. You should feel confident and comfortable with your massage therapist. The place to start is with credentials. Regarding state regulation, 33 states and the District of Columbia now regulate massage therapists. If you are in one of these states you will want to find out if your prospective massage therapist is licensed, though in some states it is referred to as state certification or registration. Some local governments may also have some form of regulation. The primary national credential is the designation Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, which is designated by the initials NCTMB. Professional certification differs from governmental regulation because it is private (i. e., non-governmental) and not compulsory. The designation NCTMB is awarded by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), which is a non-profit corporation. The Board is elected by the people who are nationally certified. People earn the designation NCTMB by meeting certain requirements, generally involving education and experience, to take an exam.

If they pass it, they become nationally certified for 4 years. They must then complete certain requirements to re-certify every 4 years. What is especially significant for the consumer is the national certification program has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), located in Washington, D. C. This means the national certification program has been thoroughly evaluated by an outside agency according to very rigorous standards. AMTA is proud to have been a primary contributor to the creation of the national certification program.

Another criteria is education. The minimum number of hours of training AMTA recommends looking for is 500 hours, which is the standard followed by most of the states regulating massage therapists, though the required number of hours is increasing in some places. AMTA recommends you look for a graduate of a training program that has been accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) or an agency with equivalent standards. Why? To become accredited by COMTA a training program must offer a curriculum that meets certain requirements, submit an extensive self-evaluation, undergo a site visit inspection by a team of experts, and be evaluated by an independent accreditation board. This means a training program accredited by COMTA has qualified faculty to teach, proper equipment and classrooms, required teaching subjects, and other features needed to adequately train students in massage therapy.

In turn, you the consumer can have some assurance about a massage therapist’s training if your prospective massage therapist graduated from an accredited training program. Another factor to consider is whether a prospective massage therapist belongs to a credible professional association, such as AMTA. Of course, this being AMTA’s Website, we’re partial to AMTA .... and for reasons that are also good for consumers and the public.

To belong to AMTA, a massage therapist must either pass the national certification exam, graduate from a training program accredited or approved by COMTA, or have a current AMTA accepted state, provincial, or city license. AMTA has practice standards that promote the highest standards in the profession. AMTA members must also follow a strict Code of Ethics, to which AMTA members are held accountable. Violations are subject to grievance procedures.

AMTA is a non-profit organization whose leaders are democratically elected by its members, so its dedication to high standards and advancing the profession remains strong. Next, you might want to ask about your prospective massage therapist’s approach to massage therapy. While some massage therapists may only use one or two types of massage, most massage therapists employ a variety of techniques in their practice. What you want to find out is if what the massage therapist offers is compatible with what you need. You can find out more about the various types of massage by looking at the glossary of definitions.

The more specific your needs, the more important the massage therapist’s approach and specific skills may be. You could also ask about how many years experience the massage therapist has. By the way, some massage therapists with many years experience may have started out in an era when there weren’t as many training programs around and many of the profession’s standards were not yet in place. You can, if you wish, take their experience into account when considering their credentials. Finally, you may find just the "right" massage therapist for you the first time you try. However, you may also need to try several massage therapists to find the "right fit" for you, because, besides credentials, there is also a personal element to massage. Personality fit is important too, so is trust. You should feel confident and comfortable with your massage therapist. Communication is an important element in massage therapy. Don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns.

We have a way to make finding a massage therapist a little easier .... AMTA's Find A Massage Therapist® national locator service! By using the this service, you can receive the names of several qualified massage therapists near you. If you or someone you know needs to find a massage therapist, AMTA's Find A Massage Therapist® national locator service is available on this Website to assist you. Questions to Ask When Looking for a Massage Therapist - Are you currently licensed as a massage therapist in this state? (If you are in one of the 33 states or the District of Columbia which regulates massage therapy) - Are you a graduate of a training program accredited or approved by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), OR - Are you certified by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork? - Where did you receive your massage therapy training? How many hours of training did you complete? - Do you have advanced training in any specific massage techniques? - Are you a member of AMTA?

Online How to find a qualified massage therapist

How to remove tarnish from silver without losing any of the silver

: Tarnish occurs because surface molecules of the silver react with sulphur from the air, or certain foodstuffs such as eggs, to form a compound called silver sulphide. So when you polish it off, you are actually removing some of the silver. For silver plated items, this means that with repeated polishing over many years there is a danger of wearing completely through the plating and exposing the base metal. The only solution then is to have the item re-plated. So a better idea is to remove the tarnish by converting the silver sulphide back into silver. This is quite easy to do and doesn't require any sophisticated equipment. You will just need a bowl large enough to allow the silver item to be completely submerged, some hot water, some aluminium foil and some baking soda.

Line the bottom of the bowl with aluminium foil and put in the silver item, making sure it is in contact with the foil. Boil enough water to immerse the item and pour it over. Sprinkle the baking soda into the water, using about 1 tablespoon for each pint of water. It will froth and foam and may spill over the top of the bowl, so best do this in the sink. Straightaway, you should see the tarnish begin to disappear. For lightly tarnished items, it should all be gone in a few minutes. For heavily tarnished items, you may need to re-heat the water when it has started to cool and repeat the treatment. So how does it work? Well, it is an electrochemical reaction. In the hot water and baking soda solution a small electric current is generated between the touching aluminium and silver.

The electric current causes a chemical reaction between the aluminium and the sulphur because aluminium has a greater affinity with sulphur than silver has. The sulphur in the tarnish is attracted into the solution and towards the aluminium, leaving the silver behind, where it belongs. The reaction happens faster when the solution is hot. The compound formed when aluminium and sulphur react is called aluminium sulphide and that's what you will find floating in the bottom of the bowl or stuck to the foil when you are finished. And your silver will be bright and shiny.

Online How to remove tarnish from silver without losing any of the silver