Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

How to Find the Best Vehicle for your Business

Buying a vehicle for your business can be a fun experience, but it can also bring about a lot of concern and worry. After all, you have to think about how you are going to save money, how much the vehicle is going to cost when in operation and so much more. If you do not take all of these things into consideration then you may run into problems later on and this is the last thing you need when you already have so much to think about.

Defining Your Goals

It is so important that you are able to choose the right company vehicle for your fleet and if you want to do this then you need to first define what it is you are looking for. You also need to make sure that your vehicle is fit for purpose and that it is also safe as well. If you know that your vehicle is not fit for a project but you need something similar then a rental car may be more suited to your needs as this can save you space in your fleet and it can also save you a ton of money as well. If you have a van or if you know that this is something that you need to invest in then consider making sure that the payload is suitable for the goods that you are trying to transport. You also need to make sure that it can accommodate the size and shape of those goods as well. one thing that a lot of people overlook is the doors. You have to make sure that the goods are going to provide you with easy access and you also need to make sure that they are going to give you the chance to access the load as well. Health and safety is also another thing that you need to take into consideration here, and if you are not careful then you may end up putting your whole team at risk. If you have specialist equipment or if you know that you have set demands for the van then it may be that you need a converter as well but you have nothing to worry about as these are widely available online. A lot of business owners like to offer their employees perk cars and these are great if you want to try and give them a much higher level of flexibility but you do need to make sure that the car can be branded and you also need to have an all-purpose vehicle if possible. It also needs to be safe, easy to drive and designed to be as efficient as possible.

As if that wasn’t enough, you also need to think about your future needs as well. This includes

where you see yourself in 5 years’ time, how you want to expand and if you are going to need more vehicles like this in the future. If so, it may be possible for you to strike a deal with your vehicle provider. It’s also worth talking with your vehicle finance provider as well to see if they can give you any support with your purchase.

Usage

Another thing that you need to do is try and define the usage of your vehicle. You have to think about what types of roads you are going to be driving on, how long those journeys are going to be and even how often you are going to be doing them. Diesels are much more economical when compared to petrol cars and this is especially the case when you are using them for commercial purposes. For this reason, you should always do everything you can to opt for this fuel type. Petrol cars are better when used for short journeys and if you are going a lot of stop-start urban journeys, such as deliveries in the local area then a hybrid may be a much better option. When you are able to think about these three points, you can then feel confident knowing that you are choosing the right engine size and you can also choose the right specification as well.

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Feedback

It’s one thing choosing a car for your employees, but you do have to also make sure that they are happy with it as well. When choosing your company car it is a good idea for you to work with your drivers to make sure that they are happy with the vehicle and you also need to make sure that you made the right decision as well. Some companies will even let your employee’s test drive the car as well so this is a great way for you to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.

How Many Vehicles?

When you have worked out the car that you want and then your requirements, you need to also find out how many vehicles you need. Vehicles will often be ordered to replace your vehicles that are coming up to the end of their contract so it is a good idea for you to order them as they are needed. Expansions, new projects and even acquisition may see that you need more vehicles for your fleet, or if you are planning on downgrading then you may need to let some go. Working your vehicles around the needs of your business is quite possibly the best way for you to make sure that you are getting the best result out of your purchase and you would be surprised at how much this can help you in the future.

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So by taking the above points into consideration, you can be sure to choose the right vehicle

and this is easier than ever when you have the right information to hand. If you want to find out more, there are so many resources available online to help you, and with new cars being brought out every single year, you are never going to be short of choice when it comes to your commercial fleet.

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Be Sense-Able: Protect Yourself From Hearing Loss

Matti obeyed with alacrity.

(image: flickr)

Listen, hearing loss can come with old age and some prevailing health issues. It sucks, but it can’t always be avoided. However, if you’re blessed with good hearing now, you can take steps to ensure your ears work fine for many more years to come.

Wear hearing protection

If you can avoid loud noises, then do so. Taking a different route when you know there are going to be loud sounds from roadworks is one example, as is avoiding those bars and clubs where you can barely hear anybody when they are speaking to you. However, when you can’t avoid loud noise, wear hearing protection. Having earplugs or earmuffs with you when you’re out and about is useful, as you can put them on should you find yourself in a particularly noisy area. And wearing them when you’re engaged in a noisy activity, such as using machinery or mowing the law, is a good way to protect your hearing.

Turn down the volume

There’s a reason why the neighbours keep banging on the walls! It’s probably because your tv or music system is too loud. If you didn’t realise the volume was so high, you might already be suffering from one of the signs of hearing loss. However, if you have turned up the volume purposefully to immerse yourself in the song or film you are engaged with, then you are putting your hearing at risk. Do yourself, and your neighbours a favour, and turn down the volume to an acceptable level.

Use a smartphone app

If you’re in any way unsure when loud is too loud, use a decibel meter app to measure sound levels. The app will let you know when decibel levels are too high, and you can then take protective measures, such as using hearing protection, turning down the tv, or moving to a quieter and safer place.

Don’t stick anything in your ear

It sounds obvious, but how many of us still stick our fingers in our ear, or any other foreign object when trying to clean out ear wax? Even cotton swabs are unsafe, as they can cause damage to our ear canal if we push them in too deeply, and that will subsequently cause hearing loss. There are safer ways to clean your ears, such as using a damp cloth around the surface of your ear, or using an ear wax softener that is sold by your local pharmacist. You might want to see your doctor too, as they can irrigate your ears with a syringe. These are all safer methods than poking around with a finger or other object.

Avoid bad habits

Sticking your fingers in your ear is one bad habit you need to avoid, but there are others. Eating junk food is one, as studies have shown that a poor diet can affect your hearing. Instead, add these foods to your shopping list, as research suggests they will actually boost your ear health. And then give up smoking, if you haven’t already done so. Not only is this filthy habit bad for your lungs and heart, but studies have shown that tobacco smoke can be attributed to hearing loss. Try vaping instead!

You will miss your hearing when it’s gone, so be sense-able, and do all you can to protect yourself from hearing loss today.

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The Best Courses That Lead To Jobs

You don’t need me to tell you that finding a job is hard. It’s a competitive world out there, so you have to be well-prepared when looking for work. One way to help increase your chances of being hired is by educating yourself. Take a course, gain specific qualifications, and this opens up so many employment doors.

The question is; which courses are worth taking? Today, we’ll discuss the different educational courses that will help lead directly to jobs!

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Dentistry Courses

There are plenty of dentistry courses out there that lead to employment almost right away. I think it’s something like 90% of dental students find a job as soon as they graduate. It’s a shockingly high percentage, which goes to show the value of this type of course. The most obvious path is a five-year one where you train to become an actual dentist. Then, you can add an extra couple of years onto that to specialize in a particular area. Or, there are shorter courses for hygienists or dental nurses, both of which have equally impressive career prospects.

You need the right educational qualifications to do anything in the dental world. So, dentistry courses are extremely valuable as the rewards totally outweigh the costs of the course. When you gain the qualifications, it becomes very easy to find work.

Aviation Courses

Typically, aviation courses are run by universities and last three years or more. With these, you will learn all the skills needed to make it in the aviation sector. There are loads of courses around, and you should have a look online to find more info on the best ones. The jobs they lead into are diverse, and it depends on the specific course you took. From classes that give you a degree in aviation management, to ones that qualify you as a pilot; the sky’s the limit!

What makes these courses so beneficial is that you can’t really get jobs in this sector without the right qualifications. So, you immediately increase your chances of finding work by studying a relevant course and becoming qualified to take on roles that other people won’t be able to apply for.

Web Development Courses

How many websites do you encounter every day? We all spend hours a day loading up sites and browsing the web. But, do you ever stop and think about how all these sites get there in the first place? It’s all thanks to web developers who help code the websites and make them work. As a result, the demand for web developers is going through the roof. The problem is, this type of job is highly skilled, and you need the right training to be good at it. Which is why web development courses have become so popular!

The beauty of these courses is that they’re often very short and you can do them online from home. There are some university courses, but you usually don’t need an actual degree to get a job in this field. As long as you’ve gone on a course and learned all the right skills, that’s enough to find work and get paid. With more and more websites popping up every second, this is a career that will get more and more significant as time goes on.

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Building/Construction Courses

You may not see a job in building or construction as very glamorous, but taking a course on this subject is highly valuable. People who graduate with degrees in building/construction have a high chance of finding a job within a few months. Contrary to what you might think, this doesn’t mean you’ll be getting your hands dirty on a construction site. Often, these courses are more focused on the logistics behind construction and the management of sites. So, you’ll be in charge of overseeing operations and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

There are many courses to consider, such as quantity surveying or property development. These are two of the most popular as they lead to very well-paid jobs!

As you should be able to see, taking specific courses will dramatically enhance your employment opportunities. Most of the options on this list are courses you take in university. However, the web development one proves that you don’t need a degree to find a course that’ll help you get a job. To make things even better, the jobs you get after completing courses tend to be very skilled ones that pay extremely well! So, it’s often worth putting in the effort and studying hard because of the financial rewards you get when you find a job afterwards.

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Not Sure if you are Suffering Hearing Loss? Here’s What to Watch Out For

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Hearing loss is a very common issue. Many people around the world have partial or full hearing loss and it can occur at any time during your lifespan. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to maintain your quality of life, from getting a specially fitted hearing aid to joining communities and learning to sign.

While hearing loss is generally thought of as part of the aging process – and elderly people are particularly prone to it – you shouldn’t struggle on believing that you are too young for your symptoms. Not every sign and symptom will mean permanent hearing loss and it could be that you have an infection that is best treated early.

Hearing aids have significantly improved in design and spec in the last few years. Though you might feel a bit embarrassed to start with, the hearing aid features will soon make you realize that hearing aids can make a real difference to your quality of life. Instead of avoiding the problem, look out for these signs that things may not be quite right and visit your audiologist as soon as possible.

Struggling to Keep Up

When people talk in large groups, we don’t have access to all the information we have during one to one conversations including body language and lip reading. If you are beginning to lose your hearing then this type of social situation might be the first sign that something is amiss.

Hearing loss is associated with a number of health issues but if you are dropping out of conversations and avoiding social situations because you can’t keep up, you must watch out for your mental health too. Loneliness and depression are common in people who struggle to communicate and a trip to the audiologist could make it a whole lot easier!

Mishearing or Not Hearing at All

Another common sign of hearing loss is frequently mishearing what someone is saying to you. When people with average hearing mishear, they can often work out what the word should have been by context. People who mishear more often have less context to go off and therefore either guess (leading to weird answers and exchanges) or have to ask for a repetition.

It seems odd that you might not notice not hearing something but when you think about it, it’s not that strange at all. Other people are likely to point out that you haven’t heard something so don’t brush off their concerns.

Turning the Volume Up

One certain way to tell whether you have hearing loss is the volume button. If you are sat happily watching TV while everyone else is covering their ears, there is clearly a problem! Again, people who live alone might not realize that there is an issue with volume themselves until someone else points out how loud something is.

The phone is another great example of this. Because you are forced to listen without any other linguistic cues, you are more likely to need to turn the volume up or even to speakerphone to hear: a sure sign it’s time to see an audiologist!

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10 Ways To Prepare Your Home And Make It Sell Faster

Every seller wants their home to sell fast and for the best price possible, but it takes much more than will or luck alone to make this happen. Although it is sometimes possible to sell your home as it is, some careful planning and preparation will make it a lot more likely that you’ll receive an offer that you’re happy to accept. After all, no one is going to pay top dollar for a property that smells funny, looks even worse, and is falling apart. If you’re planning to sell your home sometime soon, here are ten things that you should do to prepare and make it sell faster.

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Make The Place Sparkle

Cleaning your home for sale should go far beyond your daily and weekly chores. In fact, to clean the property properly, it will probably take an entire day at best. After all, potential buyers will want to see every single inch of your home, including the places even you rarely think about. With that in mind, you may want to hire a cleaning service to save yourself the work. Once this is done, you should ensure that you clean up after yourself every single day and before each viewing.

Clear Out Your Clutter

Cluttered homes look small and unappealing, which is going to put off potential buyers and distract them from all of the great things your home has to offer. It also makes it incredibly difficult for viewers to imagine themselves living in your house. Because of this, you need to move or hide anything that doesn’t add to the space. Avoid storing these items in your home, as viewers will also want to look at your storage space, so these areas can’t be cluttered up either.

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Tackle Any Necessary Repairs

Every homeowner has a list of repairs they’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t quite gotten around to yet. Before you put your home on the market, it’s important that you tackle this list, so that potential buyers have little reason to haggle the price down. You should also find ways to add value to your property, like investing in double-glazing replacement windows or insulating your loft. Also, ensure that you have your home inspected for any potential structural issues.

Keep The Decor Simple

When buyers go and view homes, they tend to try to imagine what life would be like if they were living there. Unfortunately, this is going to be incredibly hard to do if your bold style choices are distracting them from your property’s potential. To remedy this, you should take some time depersonalizing each room in your home. Paint over bright walls with neutral tones, cover loud furniture choices with slip covers, and put away family photographs and other personal items.

Let The Light In

Natural light can completely transform a room, making it appear larger, welcoming, and open, which is why it’s something that many buyers on are the lookout for. For this reason, you should do what you can to enhance the natural light in your property. Keep curtains and blinds open during viewings and prune any shrubbery outside your window that may be casting a shadow. You can also turn on additional lighting in areas that the natural light may not illuminate.

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Sort The Homey Smells

On the nights and mornings before viewings, you should avoid cooking any food that might leave a lingering and unappealing smell. Spaghetti Bolognese, for example, might taste great but will leave your home stinking of onions and garlic, which may put off potential buyers. If you need to cook something, you should try baking bread or cookies to leave a homey smell and something tasty to sweeten up the viewings. Scented candles also work well if you’re not much of a baker.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

Although you’re selling your entire home, it’s the exterior that gives the first impression, which is why you must ensure that it is a good one. With that in mind, you should take some time boosting your curb appeal and making the outside of your home just as beautiful as the inside. You can start by cutting the grass, removing weeds, and trimming the shrubs. You should also clean the walkways, repair any damage, repaint the front door for a fresh and put together look.

Put The Pets Away

You may be a big animal lover, but that doesn’t mean that every viewer who steps foot through your door is going to agree with you. Because of this, it’s important that find somewhere else for your pets to stay while viewings are being conducted. Of course, with dogs, you could just take them out for a walk, but this isn’t as easy with cats and other animals. For this reason, you may want to ask a friend or family member to look after your pets until you move into your new place.

Try A Test Run

Before you have your first viewing, you should try a test run of your house, inspecting every room as if it’s the first time that you’re seeing them. Potential buyers should be able to move from room to room with ease and without bumping into or tripping over anything. If you find something out of place during your test run, you’ll be able to move or remove it so that it doesn’t become a problem later on when it might cat a shadow over your entire home.

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Go For A Walk

Trying to view a home when the owner is there is incredibly uncomfortable and awkward. In fact, it can prevent potential buyers from looking around properly, making it unlikely that they’ll put an offer in. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you go somewhere else when viewings are being carried out. Your real estate agent knows what they’re doing, so go for a walk or a coffee and don’t go home until they call and say that the viewers have left.

Trying to sell your home without any preparation is a huge mistake. If you want to sell your home fast and for the best price, then follow the advice above.

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Improve Your Aging Parents’ Future With These Tips

One thing that not many of us look forward to is our parents becoming old and frail. This is something that is impossible to prevent, but it can still be a very upsetting prospect. Thankfully, though, your parents don’t have to suffer in their old age, especially if they have you to help support and care for them.

Looking after elderly parents is a big responsibility and not one that should be taken lightly. It will take its toll on you as it can be quite emotionally stressful, and it can also be difficult for them as they have to get used to a role reversal. They will have spent so many years looking after you throughout your childhood and caring for you, that this change in roles could be hard for them to come to terms with.

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It doesn’t have to be so difficult all the time, though. If you use these next few tips, then you can help your aging parents look forward to a much brighter future.

Be Realistic With How Much Care Is Needed

Firstly, you should sit down with your parents and consider exactly the kind of help and support that they might need. Ideally, you should plan for care that they need right now and any forms of extra care and support that they might need in the future. One way to figure out the kind of care that is needed, it’s worth listing all the tasks and things that you currently help them with. It’s also worth considering whether the likes of constant supervision or assistance through the nighttime are required as well. Once you have this list in front of you, it should help you shape your parents’ care plan.

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Club Together With Your Siblings

If you aren’t an only child, you will be able to team up with your siblings and help support your parents together. This will make it a lot easier on you as you won’t be the only individual sole responsibility for all of the help and support. You will each be able to take it in turns to check in on your parents and help them with their various chores and tasks. Don’t worry if you don’t have any siblings. Perhaps you have some other close relatives who will be able to help you out with looking after your parents? Not only will sharing the responsibility give you a chance to get on with your own life in your spare time, but it also gives you someone who you can share the financial pressure of elderly health care with as well.

 

 

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Don’t Harm Your Own Health In The Process

If you are busy with your parents most of the time, then it can be all too easy to forget about your own health and wellbeing. Looking after elderly parents can be stressful even at the best of times, and you need to make sure that the stress doesn’t build up too much. This could have serious implications for your mental health if it does. One great way to stay on top of your own wellbeing and to reduce any stress is to practice good self-care. The main focus of self-care is to make sure that you take plenty of time for yourself and follow a balanced and nutritious diet. If you need any further tips to improve your self-care, it’s worth checking out an online guide like gaiam.com/blogs/discover/5-self-care-tips-for-the-busy-working-female.

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Consider The Different Senior Housing That’s Available

It might be necessary for your parents to move out of their home and into some senior housing. This is usually necessary if one of your parents suffers from a chronic illness and requires regular medical attention and assistance. Even if neither of your parents are ill, they might still be better off moving into a nursing home if they are frail and can’t manage on their own anymore. If one of your parents is particularly ill or quite frail, they might need a home that offers around the clock assistance from skilled nurses. You can find out more about this from mcknightplace.com/skilled-nursing and other sites online. However, if your parents are able to enjoy a bit more independence, then they might simply want to move into a retirement community. These offer apartments or small houses that are built close together and will feature certain facilities like a corner shop. They give retirees and pensioners the chance to live together with people in a similar situation to themselves.

 

 

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Look For Financial Help

There is no denying that support and health care for the elderly can be very expensive. So, there’s a good chance that you might have to find some financial support to fund everything. Thankfully, there are quite a few different support options available. Firstly, your parents should be receiving a state pension. You might want to use all or part of this to put towards their care fees. Of course, any other money from other pensions that they might be receiving could also go towards this as well. There are other government benefits that your parents might be eligible to apply for, especially if they are particularly unwell.

Write Up An Emergency Plan

You never know when something can go wrong, especially when it comes to care for the elderly. Even though you have everything planned out as well as can be, an issue could still arise that might throw a big spanner in the work. You need to know how you will all cope in the event of such as an emergency. As well as this, you also need to have a plan ready that can help you if a parent were to fall seriously ill. Of course, you can never predict some emergencies, but it’s always best to have some kind of idea as to what you will do whenever you are in a predicament.

Hopefully, all of these tips in this post can help you make your parents’ future a better place to be!

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Why You Should Spend Thanksgiving On The Road

Thanksgiving is the art of giving thanks and extending a gesture of peace. Dating back to 1621 when English pilgrims celebrated a generous harvest by sharing a feast with a tribe of Native Americans, the habit was reproduced by several states throughout the years until finally it was made national holiday across the country. The primary reason for Thanksgiving was a way for the population to get together and bond over the harvest and the resources of nature, giving thanks to each other, the environment, the weather, and anybody else who helped to prepare the dinner. Ultimately, nowadays, the meaning of Thanksgiving has been diluted by parades, sports and turkey feast – apparently, the first Thanksgiving feasts didn’t have turkey on the menu. But there’s a ritual has remained: At Thanksgiving families and friends travel to get together. You could break the tradition and travel together instead.

Thanksgiving Dinner Food Autumn Fall Thanksgiving

Take the Thanksgiving table on the road

Everyone will be traveling anyway

Who says Thanksgiving, says traffic jam. While you use Google to help determine the best time to avoid the holiday rush – although most recommendations start at 6 AM and end around 8 PM to prevent late-night driving. The best time to leave the city is as early as possible, but Google warns that you probably won’t be able to avoid traffic altogether. In other words, as you’re going to spend most of your Thanksgiving preps in a vehicle, why not turn your holiday into a road trip instead? Wednesday is going to be the heaviest day on the road. So, think ahead and leave as early as Tuesday before the Thanksgiving Thursday, so that you and your family or friends can get ahead of the traffic.

Plan for out of this world comfort

A road trip, and especially in November, requires some planning. As you’ll spend plenty of time in a vehicle, you might want to ditch the car for an RV – check Forest River Rockwood for the best vehicles – so that everyone can be comfortable inside. Additionally, as a passenger – and let’s be honest, if you’re traveling in an RV there will be plenty of passengers – you need to prepare for the long hours on the road. Make sure to pack sickness motion tablets for your folks – nobody likes to feel nauseous before eating the turkey! You can also add books and music devices – from your kindle to packing all your favorite albums on Spotify.

Best destinations for togetherness

Last, but not least, there’s no point heading into big cities as you’ll face only traffic. You’ll find plenty of small towns that know how to get the Thanksgiving spirit going. Fredericksburg in Texas is a small German-inspired town that is filled with excitement and traditions such as the Thanksgiving dance. If you prefer a peaceful holiday, park your vehicle by the Catskill Mountain where you can still enjoy the last of the fall leaves. Before the ski season. You can even enjoy a picturesque Thanksgiving picnic by the waterfall in Windham!

Thanksgiving cultivates the art of togetherness, which doesn’t force you to stay at home. You can be together anywhere, even more on a road trip that lets you engage with the local nature and population.

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