General Helpful Hints

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Knox girls, West boys prevail

Knox girls, West boys prevail
Salisbury Post - Mar 10 7:21 AM
West's Rowan's boys and Knox's girls won Mid-South Conference eighth-grade basketball championships on Wednesday. Coach Erich Epps' top-seeded Bulldogs (13-0) rolled over No. 2 North Davie 58-40. Darius Moose scored 22 points. Kevin Parks had 16 points and 12 assists. Chris Smith had 12 rebounds.Save to My Web

Boys and Girls Club offers break place
Muskogee Phoenix - Mar 11 1:08 AM
The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club is providing an answer for parents that must work, but have children on spring break. The club will offer special events, crafts, computer lab, and many different activities planned so youth can experience a great week with children their age.Save to My Web

Seniors looking to lead another girls title run
Press & Sun-Bulletin - Mar 10 11:41 PM
A year ago, after a 9-8 regular season, the Seton Catholic Central girls basketball team embarked on a magical run through the postseason by winning seven straight games, the last of those victories netting a Class C state championship.Save to My Web

Metro roundup: Northview boys, girls still leading WIC all-sports trophy race
Terre Haute Tribune Star - Mar 10 9:56 PM
Northview High School maintained its lead in the boys all-sports standings and increased its margin in the girls standings during the winter, it was announced Wednesday during the Western Indiana Conference winter awards banquet at McCormicks Creek State Park.Save to My Web

Call girls gun game ends in fatal shooting
Kathimerini - Mar 11 3:06 AM
Police have launched a search for two call girls, both nationals from the ex-Soviet Union, after they were involved in the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old businessman.Save to My Web

Jharkhand girls sold in Haryana, Punjab for bearing babies
New Kerala - Mar 10 8:09 PM
Ranchi: Tribal girls from Jharkhand are being sold by an organised racket of traffickers in the northern states like Haryana and Punjab where they are forced into sex and abortions till they deliver male babies.Save to My Web

San Carlos Teacher Accused Of Taping Girls In Court
Bayinsider - Mar 10 4:33 PM
SAN MATEO -- Two CDs allegedly displaying more than 100 young girls in partial stages of undress and other images of child pornography were viewed by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge John Runde Friday at the preliminary hearing of a former San Carlos middle school physical education teacher.Save to My Web

Salisbury girls look for 2nd 2A title in 3 years
The Charlotte Observer - 19 minutes ago
Never mind that the Salisbury girls are making their second N.C. 2A state championship game appearance in three seasons. Hornets coach Jennifer Shoaf feels the pressure, despite her team not being the Central Carolina Conference 2A preseason favorite, but rather, "just a team that lost everything" to some observers.Save to My Web

Monday, February 27, 2006

Shampoo, set, smile

Shampoo, set, smile
The Cincinnati Enquirer - Feb 24 2:43 AM
It's hard to tell sometimes what Mary Barkley does best: style hair or make people smile. Could be a tie. Infecting others with her cheer has been Mary's style.Save to My Web

The "B-More" sound - Feb 27 4:53 AM
The thud rattles your chest and spine, as if you're standing on the floor of an empty 16,000-seat arena with the sound system cranked. Thump. Thump. Thump.Save to My Web

Warner Music, Skype ring up a deal
CNET - Jan 30 8:07 AM
Partnership will allow Skype to sell ring-tone snippets culled from original recordings in Warner Music library.Save to My Web

Warner Ringtones on Skype VoIP - Jan 30 12:40 PM
Next time your Skype phone rings, dance a little.Save to My Web

[A&E] Dem Franchize Boyz cut a strong, snappy album
The Minnesota Daily - Feb 23 3:30 AM
Dem Franchize Boyz use very little to make a big sound. A hollowed bass and finger snaps are the backbone of all their songs. They occasionally throw in a couple of catchy synthesizer loops and some horns. But basically, DFB keeps the music as sparse and minimal as possible.Save to My Web

Friday, February 24, 2006


Before taking up the garden vegetables individually, I shall outline the general practice of cultivation, which applies to all.

The purposes of cultivation are three to get rid of weeds, and to stimulate growth by (1) letting air into the soil and freeing unavailable plant food, and (2) by conserving moisture.
As to weeds, the gardener of any experience need not be told the importance of keeping his crops clean. He has learned from bitter and costly experience the price of letting them get anything resembling a start. He knows that one or two days' growth, after they are well up, followed perhaps by a day or so of rain, may easily double or treble the work of cleaning a patch of onions or carrots, and that where weeds have attained any size they cannot be taken out of sowed crops without doing a great deal of injury. He also realizes, or should, that every day's growth means just so much available plant food stolen from under the very roots of his legitimate crops.

Instead of letting the weeds get away with any plant food, he should be furnishing more, for clean and frequent cultivation will not only break the soil up mechanically, but let in air, moisture and heat all essential in effecting those chemical changes necessary to convert non- available into available plant food. Long before the science in the case was discovered, the soil cultivators had learned by observation the necessity of keeping the soil nicely loosened about their growing crops. Even the lanky and untutored aborigine saw to it that his squaw not only put a bad fish under the hill of maize but plied her shell hoe over it. Plants need to breathe. Their roots need air. You might as well expect to find the rosy glow of happiness on the wan cheeks of a cotton-mill child slave as to expect to see the luxuriant dark green of healthy plant life in a suffocated garden.

Important as the question of air is, that of water ranks beside it. You may not see at first what the matter of frequent cultivation has to do with water. But let us stop a moment and look into it. Take a strip of blotting paper, dip one end in water, and watch the moisture run up hill, soak up through the blotter. The scientists have labeled that "capillary attraction" the water crawls up little invisible tubes formed by the texture of the blotter. Now take a similar piece, cut it across, hold the two cut edges firmly together, and try it again. The moisture refuses to cross the line: the connection has been severed.

In the same way the water stored in the soil after a rain begins at once to escape again into the atmosphere. That on the surface evaporates first, and that which has soaked in begins to soak in through the soil to the surface. It is leaving your garden, through the millions of soil tubes, just as surely as if you had a two-inch pipe and a gasoline engine, pumping it into the gutter night and day! Save your garden by stopping the waste. It is the easiest thing in the world to do cut the pipe in two. By frequent cultivation of the surface soil not more than one or two inches deep for most small vegetables the soil tubes are kept broken, and a mulch of dust is maintained. Try to get over every part of your garden, especially where it is not shaded, once in every ten days or two weeks. Does that seem like too much work? You can push your wheel hoe through, and thus keep the dust mulch as a constant protection, as fast as you can walk. If you wait for the weeds, you will nearly have to crawl through, doing more or less harm by disturbing your growing plants, losing all the plant food (and they will take the cream) which they have consumed, and actually putting in more hours of infinitely more disagreeable work. If the beginner at gardening has not been convinced by the facts given, there is only one thing left to convince him experience.

Having given so much space to the reason for constant care in this matter, the question of methods naturally follows. Get a wheel hoe. The simplest sorts will not only save you an infinite amount of time and work, but do the work better, very much better than it can be done by hand. You can grow good vegetables, especially if your garden is a very small one, without one of these labor-savers, but I can assure you that you will never regret the small investment necessary to procure it.

With a wheel hoe, the work of preserving the soil mulch becomes very simple. If one has not a wheel hoe, for small areas very rapid work can be done with the scuffle hoe.

The matter of keeping weeds cleaned out of the rows and between the plants in the rows is not so quickly accomplished. Where hand-work is necessary, let it be done at once. Here are a few practical suggestions that will reduce this work to a minimum, (1) Get at this work while the ground is soft; as soon as the soil begins to dry out after a rain is the best time. Under such conditions the weeds will pull out by the roots, without breaking off. (2) Immediately before weeding, go over the rows with a wheel hoe, cutting shallow, but just as close as possible, leaving a narrow, plainly visible strip which must be hand- weeded. The best tool for this purpose is the double wheel hoe with disc attachment, or hoes for large plants. (3) See to it that not only the weeds are pulled but that every inch of soil surface is broken up. It is fully as important that the weeds just sprouting be destroyed, as that the larger ones be pulled up. One stroke of the weeder or the fingers will destroy a hundred weed seedlings in less time than one weed can be pulled out after it gets a good start. (4) Use one of the small hand-weeders until you become skilled with it. Not only may more work be done but the fingers will be saved unnecessary wear.
The skilful use of the wheel hoe can be acquired through practice only. The first thing to learn is that it is necessary to watch the wheels only: the blades, disc or rakes will take care of themselves.

The operation of "hilling" consists in drawing up the soil about the stems of growing plants, usually at the time of second or third hoeing. It used to be the practice to hill everything that could be hilled "up to the eyebrows," but it has gradually been discarded for what is termed "level culture"; and you will readily see the reason, from what has been said about the escape of moisture from the surface of the soil; for of course the two upper sides of the hill, which may be represented by an equilateral triangle with one side horizontal, give more exposed surface than the level surface represented by the base. In wet soils or seasons hilling may be advisable, but very seldom otherwise. It has the additional disadvantage of making it difficult to maintain the soil mulch which is so desirable.

Rotation of crops.------------------
There is another thing to be considered in making each vegetable do its best, and that is crop rotation, or the following of any vegetable with a different sort at the next planting.
With some vegetables, such as cabbage, this is almost imperative, and practically all are helped by it. Even onions, which are popularly supposed to be the proving exception to the rule, are healthier, and do as well after some other crop, provided the soil is as finely pulverized and rich as a previous crop of onions would leave it.

Here are the fundamental rules of crop rotation:
(1) Crops of the same vegetable, or vegetables of the same family (such as turnips and cabbage) should not follow each other.
(2) Vegetables that feed near the surface, like corn, should follow deep-rooting crops.
(3) Vines or leaf crops should follow root crops.
(4) Quick-growing crops should follow those occupying the land all season.
These are the principles which should determine the rotations to be followed in individual cases. The proper way to attend to this matter is when making the planting plan. You will then have time to do it properly, and will need to give it no further thought for a year.
With the above suggestions in mind, and put to use , it will not be difficult to give the crops those special attentions which are needed to make them do their very best.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Herbal remedies for sleeplessness

Do you take morphine for headaches? No, I thought not. Why is it then that millions of people each year reach for the valium bottle the moment sleep resists them? Make no mistake, valium is a strong drug, and its use should be severely restricted. Even if taken for only a couple of weeks it can and does cause a lifetime’s dependence. Is that worth a few more hours of sleep? But there is another way. A healthy and natural way that has been used for thousands of years and is still being used today. Let me tell you about herbal remedies for sleeplessness. For the last couple of decades herbal remedies have had a bad reputation as being kind of ‘hippyish’, something altogether new-age and not for the likes of normal modern people. With the onset of the internet, though this pretty narrow-minded view is beginning to change. You can sell everything on the net, that has been tried and tested. There are very few overheads involved which increases profits. So it was only a matter of time before someone started selling herbal remedies on line. Now it is a booming industry and one that is here to last.
Before we go on to which herbs are best for sleeplessness, though, it is very wise to find the cause for sleeplessness. Usually stress is a direct factor, or illness and pain. Even being excited because of a future event can cause you to stay awake at night. Ask my four year old around Christmas time. Each different cause of sleeplessness needs a different approach to rectifying it. There are even several different kinds of insomnia to contend with. There are people who just can not go to sleep at bedtime no matter what they do. Others fall asleep in two seconds but find themselves waking up in the middle of the night. Usually several times, while others wake up very early in the morning before they would like to. So, there are several ways in which we can not sleep and several hundred possible causes. And you just want to take a valium and hope for the best? No, course you don’t, and here is where herbal remedies fit in.
There are more herbs and other natural remedies in existence than you can shake a stick at, and certainly more than could be listed here. These though, are considered by researchers to be the most beneficial.
Valerian is a perennial plant that grows wild all over Europe and the United states and has been used for centuries to treat one ailment or another. The roots of this plant are used and although they might smell like dirty underwear don’t let that put you off. Valerian is used as a mild sedative to reduce anxiety so if you can’t sleep because of a stressful job or marriage (or both) then valerian could help you. You can take it in a tea or tablets or even add it to a hot relaxing bath. Another good source is the passionflower. This contains a gentle relaxant when taken in tea form. Then there are other herbs like chamomile and kava, California poppy and basil. All of these have for centuries been reported to have sleep aiding properties.
Perhaps the most important factor when thinking about taking herbal remedies is that they are all perfectly safe and without serious side effects. So throw the valium away and try some herbs. What do you have to lose?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Get Wise – Prioritize!

Learning to prioritize is one of the biggest challenges for people today. It doesn’t matter if you work in or out of the home, prioritizing is extremely important in your daily life. Someone who does not prioritize tasks and their daily schedule will likely feel overwhelmed, stressed, and unhappy throughout the day. These feelings can affect every aspect of your life. By prioritizing your life, you can learn what really needs to be done immediately and what can wait until later. Use these tips to help get you started with your new organized schedule!

Learn To Say “No”
A problem that many people have today is the inability to say “no” when asked to do something. If someone asks you to do something for them, it does not automatically mean you must commit to doing it. Of course, you should help others out when you have the time, but if you don’t have time, politely pass. Unless the matter is urgent, you should never rearrange your schedule for a request from a co-worker or friend. If you do this once, they will assume they can call on you as much as they want. By not being able to say “no” to some tasks, you will likely over commit yourself. Over committing will leave you completely overwhelmed. There is no reason to get your self in this type of situation. If you simply do not have time in your schedule to help with the task, just be honest and tell them so. Perhaps they will be shocked at your rejection, especially if you have never said “no” to them before, but it is worth it for your own personal happiness and health.

Make Lists
Experts will say that you should spend most of your day working on important tasks. To do this, you must choose which tasks are important to you and which tasks can wait. This can be tricky. The best way to prioritize your tasks is by making a list. Write down everything you think you need to accomplish. Then number each by importance. Something that may be important to you, may not be important to someone else, so this step is about personal preference. Display your daily list in a place that you will constantly see. This will help you stick to your daily plan. List making may seem juvenile, but making lists actually take the stress out of jobs. Many times when you see a task written on paper, it looks much less intimidating then when it is only floating around in your head.

Time Management Skills
Prioritizing you life also involves the use of time management skills. Time management skills can help you accomplish more in a day, without feeling the stress of working harder. By using simply tactics like making your phone calls while waiting to pick your child up from school, you will accomplish more. Multi-tasking is a great way to get more done. Some people get more stressed by multi-tasking, so if you hate the thought of it, don’t even try it. If you feel confident with multi-tasking however, go ahead and get as much done as you can. You will be surprised what you can do waiting in a doctor’s office or at soccer practice.

Put Family First
When you plan your day, be sure to use your morals and personal judgment. Prioritizing your life does not mean not including the most important aspects of your life. You should always make time for your family first. It may seem difficult to do this, with a million other things going on in your life. When your family is happy however, you will find that you are happier. Happiness makes for a more productive person. So, be sure to add family time to your daily schedule. Even if you can only schedule enough time to sit down together to eat dinner, you will see the rewards.

By getting your life in order, you will become less stressed in general. Making lists and sticking with them is a major part of the formula. Crossing off tasks as you complete them will help you feel like you are accomplishing a lot and push you to do more. Using your time management skills will help your day flow smoothly, allowing you to get the most out of your time. Putting your family first will help you stay grounded and remember what really matters in life.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Managing Risk: the Disaster Plan.

A very important factor in any business is how you manage risk – yet it is a factor that is often ignored by home businesses.
You have to realise that any time you start a business, you are taking the risk that the business might fail. What experienced people do is shield themselves from risk at every opportunity, to make sure that they can keep a business going for months on the brink of disaster, and wind it down gracefully if it really has to go under.
You need to have a plan for what you’re going to do if your business looks like it’s going bankrupt. Are you going to borrow more money, if you can? Sell your car? Raise prices? Get rid of staff? Done right, you should have a good package of ‘rescue measures’ that really do have a chance of rescuing the business.
If you need to borrow more to keep your business afloat, take great pains to avoid looking desperate. Act like your business is moderately successful but needs more investment, and you’re far more likely to succeed in getting more funding.
Bye-Bye Staff.
This is a bad idea, but not always a terrible one. In a home business, you presumably only take on staff because you have enough business to cover it, don’t you? So it makes perfect sense to get rid of the staff when things start to go wrong and go back to doing it all yourself.
Price Hike.
When your business is in trouble, there are few things guaranteed to destroy it faster than a price rise. Just don’t do it, however tempting it might be – cut costs instead. If you absolutely must raise prices, do it by scaling back what you get for your money in each of your price ranges, without actually raising the prices.
I know of a struggling bus company that kept its fares the same for years but gradually started to run fewer buses and send them all over town, making journeys take longer. People reacted a little badly to the longer journeys, but it was nowhere near the scandal that there would have been if prices had risen.
Keep Staff Pay Aside.
Whatever you do, make sure to keep staff pay separate from the other business finances, and pay it out immediately if the business looks to be heading for trouble with its creditors. It is far better to be paying your staff on the last day than to be giving all that money to the creditors. Leaving staff unpaid will destroy your reputation, not to mention hurting a lot of innocent people.
The ‘Closing Down’ Sale.
If you plan it well, your last day in business might not be so bad. Just make sure everyone knows that you’re closing down for real, but still price everything ever-so-slightly above cost. In this way, you can avoid the drastic loss-making ‘Everything Must Go!’ mentality, and come out of your business the same way as you would if you’d decided to shut it down that day for some other reason.
Selling Your Business On.
If you’re shrewd about it, you might be able to keep your business going long enough to sell it to someone who could turn it around. There’s nothing dishonest about this route – it’s the one most big companies take if things start to go wrong. You might even find that one of your competitors is willing to buy, even if only for your established customer base.
It’s Up to You.
Disaster plans are very personal, and they depend a lot on how much risk you’re willing to put on yourself. If you do things the sensible way, then you’ll go as far as you can to avoid selling or borrowing against any of your own assets just to keep a business afloat. On the other hand, if you’re really determined and a bit of a risk-taker, putting some things of your own at stake might buy you enough time to recover from whatever hit your business.
It’s a little like playing poker: are you going to be the guy who walks away and leaves his money on the table, or are you going to throw your car or house keys onto the table and raise the stakes? That’s risk management for you.

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