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

3 Critical Mistakes That Are Harming Efficiency at Your Business

Business Efficiency Multi-tasking Time Manager

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High efficiency levels are something that all companies need to achieve today. After all, if your business is not operating efficiently, it means that you are not using your time to best effect, and ultimately this is going to impact your bottom line. The problem is that a lot of companies are making errors that are having a negative impact on their efficiency levels without them even realising it. So, let’s take a look at some of the mistakes you need to avoid:

Doing everything in-house

There is only one place to begin, and this is with trying to handle everything in-house. It is understandable. It is your company and you do not want to relinquish any control. However, by maintaining this approach and refusing to outsource, you could be doing your business a lot more harm than you realise. You can find more information on outsourcing the right way at realbusiness.co.uk. After all, at the moment, it is likely that you are simply spending a lot of time on activities that are not directly related to your core activities. This time would be better spent on doing what you do best and focusing on your products and services, rather than being tied up with the likes of bookkeeping and accounting.

Failing to embrace the latest technologies

It seems that a day does not go by without new tech being released onto the market that can benefit businesses. It can be frustrating in one sense: you feel like as soon as you invest, there is something else on the market. Nonetheless, you cannot remain stagnant in today’s ever changing business world, so it’s important to continually assess the tech that is out there and ensure you implement anything that will result in efficiencies for your business. You can find out more about this at DataServ.com. Their revolutionary OCR software can enable you to spot trends in any type of documents – be it images or PDF files – with easy by converting them into readable and searchable data. This is something that could reap huge results for a lot of businesses.

Holding onto each and every customer

You need to realise when it is better to let go. Yes, getting rid of a customer can be frightening. After all, this person is bringing in money to your business, and customers are valuable. But, you need to ask whether that customer is really making you any money? If they are problematic and you are spending an excessive amount of time on them, you could be losing money. Your time will be better spent looking for new customers to bring in instead.

If you are making any of the errors that have been mentioned above, it is important to take the necessary steps to put them right. If you do, you are bound to notice instant improvements to your business, and these improvements will only get bigger and more significant over time. Ultimately, it will result in things running smoothly, quality improving, and more money in your back pocket!

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3 Incredibly Useful Monitoring Systems

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Monitoring systems can help us to keep track of the various things happening in our lives. They can ensure that we are safe and help us to save money. Here are three types of monitoring systems that are vital and that everyone should use.

Security

There are few things as important as your home security. You should feel safe to sleep at night and not have worry about being burgled or people breaking into your home. With that in mind, you should have some kind of monitoring system for your home security. This might come in the form of cameras that monitor the exterior of your home or an automated light that turns on around your house to deter unwanted visitors. The footage captured by the security system can help to find the criminals who were in your house and having visible cameras can help to put off potential thieves in the first place. A security system is especially important if you live in a large property or have land of some kind. This is because you can’t keep an eye on all of it at all times, so having a monitoring system can help spot crimes and help prevent them, too.

Tyres

Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) keep an eye on the pressure of all of your tyres at all times. You might be thinking, why do I need a TPMS? The reason is that the tyres in your car will lose pressure over time, so having a system that monitors this will be a big help. This is because if your tyre has a low pressure, then you can cause damage to your car. This can be expensive and time-consuming. Having your tyres at the correct pressure can also increase the tyre’s lifespan, and this means that they will need replacing far less frequently. This again saves you both time and money. A TPMS is a small device and will have no impact on your driving or how you use your car other than to tell you when you need to add or remove pressure from your tyres. It can save you a lot of money in the long run, and that is why it is such an essential item. You can, of course, buy handheld pressure checkers, but these require you to regularly manually check your tyres.

Electricity

If you know how much you are spending on your electricity and at what times of day, then you can take steps to reduce this or at the very least understand what you are spending your money on. Electricity monitors come in many shapes and sizes and can be of varying complexity. You can have a monitor that just tells you your current usage, while others allow you to control your electricity to various appliances and rooms from a single place. Both are useful tools, but the later allows for more control. It does, however, require more work to be done on your house to allow for this kind of control. With this in mind, it is worth considering which is the best fit for you.

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Gift Ideas for Final Fantasy Mega Fans

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Final Fantasy is a media fantasy and science fiction franchise, which centres on a series of fantasy role-playing video games. With more than 130 million units sold across the world, it is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. So, it’s really no surprise if you have a Final Fantasy mega fan in your life. If you do, they will certainly love a Final Fantasy based Christmas gift, and you can have the peace of mind that you have chosen something that appeals to them. So, let’s take a look at some good ideas…

  • Final Fantasy soundtrack – The Final Fantasy XV Collector’s Edition Soundtrack is a great choice. Not only do you get the full soundtrack from this series, but you will also benefit from some added extras too. This includes a booklet, which has interviews with the composer – Yoko Shimomura, as well as a behind the scenes Blu-ray with Florence + The Machine, and a special assortment of piano versions from the game. It is a real treat for any fan.
  • Final Fantasy game – If your friend or family member is a Final Fantasy fan, they probably have all of the games. So this may seem like a stupid suggestion. However, there are plenty of other games on various platforms, for example, the Final Fantasy mobile game. You can find out more about this at https://www.finalfantasyxvapp.com/. In fact, if you do a quick search online, you will see that there are many different games to choose from, so you should be able to find something that your loved one does not have.
  • Figurines – This is a gift for someone special in your life, as they can be rather expensive if you buy figurines directly from Square Enix. However, this is probably where any Final Fantasy will want to their figurines to come from – the real deal. So, only go down this route if you are prepared to pay $100 or more. They are real collector’s items, though, and so they are bound to make an amazing impression.
  • Yoshitaka Amano art books – This is a really unique present, which shows you have put a lot of thought into the gift. Yoshitaka Amano is the famed concept artist for the Final Fantasy series. The ethereal artwork Yoshitaka has created is breath-taking to say the least. You can find many compilations of his work, some of which only focus on Final Fantasy. This would make a special gift for anyone who loves the gaming series.
  • Final Fantasy trading cards – If you are looking for a Final Fantasy based gift that is not going to cost a lot, this is a good suggestion. There are many different creature and characters to choose from with the Final Fantasy trading cards that are available. If your loved one doesn’t have any cards already, why not purchase the three starting decks? Each deck comes with a different theme, i.e. Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Plushies – If figurines are too expensive, or don’t sound like the recipient’s type of thing, why not buy a plushie? Or, in other words, a soft, squidgy toy! There are plenty of adorable options, and you can buy them directly from Square Enix too. Plus, you can pick up one of the characters for a fraction of the price of a figurine. From cute versions of stoic characters like Lighting and Cloud to iconic mascots like the Chocobo and Moogle, there is something for everyone.
  • Gaming tech – Make your loved one’s gaming experience a more exciting one by purchasing some exciting new tech. If you don’t know where to start, check out our blog post for more information: https://lifespaceblog.com/2017/01/09/pc-gaming-tech-just-got-serious-heres-why/. You will find out about the recent progressions in PC gaming tech, which will give you a good basis to do your shopping based on.
  • Clothing – Last but not least, the final suggestion is to purchase Final Fantasy clothing. If you take a look online, you will see that there are plenty of themed garments available, with T-shirts being the obvious choice. Or, why not go for a backpack or beanie hat instead? You could even get your own unique T-shirt printed. The options are endless.

Hopefully, you now have plenty of suggestions regarding Christmas gifts for the Final Fantasy fan you have in your life. No matter what option you go for, you can’t fail by choosing something based on the media fantasy and science fiction phenomenon.

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Simplifying Your Health Care Regime

Nowadays we live such hectic lifestyles that it’s easy to allow our health care regime to fall by the wayside. With demanding work deadlines, little ones to look after, and social lives to maintain, we can end up prioritising these areas and neglecting our own health and wellbeing. Sure, if a problem isn’t severe and doesn’t require immediate attention, we’re likely to put it off in favour of other ventures. But this can often happen time and time again until the problem becomes a major cause for concern, which is ridiculous seeing as it could have been prevented in the first place. So how do you go about ticking all of your lifestyle boxes without putting your own health and well-being on the back burner? Well, the key to balance is to simplify your healthcare regime. This organisation will reduce that amount of time that you dedicate to monitoring your health without cutting the process short. Here are a few ideas to help you along the way.

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Online Consultations and Prescription Services

While your local health practice may be relatively near, you can often still find it difficult to get the time to book in for a face-to-face consultation. Appointments generally have to be booked on the day, and you might not be able to get there at such last minute notice while still getting to your nine to five position. Luckily, many practices have taken this into account and now offer online consultations. This is essentially an extension of telemedicine (where you communicate with your general practitioner over the phone). Before engaging in telemedicine or online medicine, you need to assess whether your situation is appropriate. If you are in severe pain or discomfort, are experiencing bleeding or difficulty breathing, or have had an injury or knock to the head, you’re going to need to contact the emergency services. However, if you are experiencing less urgent issues such as seasonal allergies, chronic illnesses, cough and sinus problems, or have dermatological concerns, online physician consultations are likely to be a good option for you! A qualified health practitioner will be able to deal with these cases from a distance. Online prescription services are also boosting in popularity. So if you have a regular prescription, you can fill in your request online, then simply have to pop into the surgery to pick up your slip. Perfect!

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Taking it Easy When Needs Be

When it comes to your health, you need to show a little initiative from time to time. If you’re beginning to feel a little run down or worse for wear, chances are that you need a break! So rather than attempting to keep up with your usual routine, take a break and take it easy. Slow down your social calendar and show yourself a little TLC at home with your feet up, good quality healthy food, and plenty of liquids. This short period of relaxation, rest, and recuperation could prevent a more serious and debilitating onslaught of illness.

Don’t let life get in the way of a healthy and relaxed lifestyle for yourself. If you feel that things are getting out of hand, take back control. Following just these two simple steps can make all the difference!

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5 Hybrid All Wheel Drives That Will Give You Great Winter Performance

‘Tis the season to be jolly. It’s also the season of hard starts, coughing, spluttering engines and frozen fuel lines. It’s the time to load your car up with winter tires, check the brakes and make sure the timing belt will survive until spring. The winter brings with it a specific set of maintenance challenges when your trusty steed starts to look a little worse for wear. It’s the time when many of us find ourselves fantasizing about something newer, sturdier and more reliable. Winter is the time when we find ourselves in the market that will protect our families from the inevitable perils of icy roads and erratic drivers. You’ve likely also thought about the environmental and long term cost advantages of a hybrid.

If you’re wondering whether sustainability needs to come at the cost of performance during a season when performance is of paramount importance… don’t worry, it doesn’t! Here we’ve compiled a list of some of the year’s best hybrids from around the world that will give you the robust performance you need to handle anything the winter weather throws in your path.

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Hybrids are great for winter

There’s a common misconception that due to their lower ground clearance for increased aerodynamics and their low-roll resistance tires hybrids are inherently inferior to gas engine vehicles around this time of year but that’s not necessarily a given. Gas engines are particularly thirsty when travelling in low gears at low speeds such as when traversing icy roads or travelling uphill. This does not make for great fuel economy. Hybrid vehicles, however engage their electric engines under these conditions making for some excellent fuel savings. With the right set of winter tires and regular checks and inflation (the cold causes air molecules to contract which can make for an apparent sudden drop in tire pressure), there’s no reason why your hybrid can’t match or surpass cars with gas engines when it comes to winter performance.

Without further ado, let’s check out some of the best winter ready AWD vehicles on the market this winter. These vehicles have been selected with performance, fuel economy and safety in mind. It’s a sad fact that the season brings with it not only perilously icy roads but occasional dangerous drivers. Drink driving and driver fatigue are unfortunately prevalent at this time of year. If you’ve been involved in an accident on the road this season it’s important to seek justice with a lawyer like Craig Swapp car accident settlement. It’s even more important, though, to make sure you choose a car that’ll make you feel safe on the road in winter.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

It’s that time of year when many of us pile our families into the car and do the rounds to visit friends and family all around the country. This means keeping a very full car on the road for long hours. If this sounds achingly familiar, Toyota’s RAV4 could be for you! It’s interior is among the most spacious in its class with ample room for family and luggage. Even when full, it’s uncommonly quick off the mark offering excellent acceleration as well as a superb fuel economy of 32mpg combined. It handles beautifully and gives you a real sense of safety and security on the road. Starting at $29,970 it offers exceptional value for money.

Volvo XC90-T8 Plug-In Hybrid

Trust the Swedes to make cruising through the snow look this good. While this vehicle may be toward the pricier end of the spectrum (starting in at $72,795) you can see where every penny of that money goes. Beneath its sleek exterior the vehicle boasts 400-horsepower powertrain that enables its rear drive to travel up to 14 miles solely on electric power. The XC90-T8 Plug-In Hybrid stores a WIlly Wonka’s factory of engineering marvels within the same housing as the traditional XC90 models.

Nissan Rogue Hybrid

Remember those old ads, “You can with a Nissan”? This is one of those times when the Japanese manufacturer has actually lived up to their claims. The Rogue Hybrid is built very much with value in mind, offering a fuel economy of 33 mpg in hybrid mode when equipped with All Wheel Drive. For all it’s efficiency, it’s no slouch in the performance department either, with an acceleration of 0-60 in 9 seconds. With a surprisingly low margin of cost between the hybrid and its gas guzzling cousin we know where the smart money goes.

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

If it’s exceptional handling and performance on the road you’re looking for you’ll find little offers you a better feeling of power and control on the icy roads than the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The German manufacture may not be best known for its commitment to green vehicles but this hybrid surpasses even the highest of expectations. Just take the acceleration at 0-60 mph in an eyebrow scorching 5.4 seconds. It comes with AWD as standard and starts at a reasonable (by Porsche’s standards) $79,750. It offers a fuel efficiency of 22 mpg in hybrid mode and has the kind of luxurious interior you’d expect from the brand.

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Lexus NX 300h

There’s a pronounced lean within the market towards the compact SUV and if you’re in the market to scratch this particular itch, you’ll find an excellent fusion of luxury and fuel efficiency in this offering from Lexus. While it stands in at around $5000 in cost over its gas equivalent the NX200t its combined fuel economy of 31 mpg combined with the beautiful interior and superb infotainment system (featuring HD radio, traffic and weather as well as the Bluetooth and USB connectivity that one expects going into 2018) merit the $40,695 price tag.    

Acura RLX Sport Hybrid

Of course, if you happen to have around $60,000 burning a hole in your pocket, there’s no hybrid on the market that offers better performance throughout the winter months than the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid. This sedan comes with a surprising array of amenities as standard within its utterly luxurious interior and its responsive performance will make you the undisputed king of the road.

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Easy Ways To Enhance Your Interiors

Some people revel in the thought of carrying out an interior makeover, but for others, the prospect of redecorating is much less appealing. If you’re in the second camp, we bring good news! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune or devote every waking second to DIY to make your home look more attractive. Here are some easy, affordable ways you can enhance your interiors.

Try a new color

If you’re bored of your interiors, changing the colorway is one of the simplest and most effective ways to breathe new life into your decor. Choosing a new shade will alter the look of the room instantly, and you can transform each space without spending too much time or money on the project. Think about what you use each room for and select tones that complement the style and function of the room. In the bedroom, for example, you want to avoid bright colors that will energize and reinvigorate you and opt for soothing shades that will help you relax. If you’ve got a small space, swapping dark colors for lighter tones will create the illusion of a larger, brighter room. Take a trip to the hardware store, look at some paint charts and get some testers. It’s also a good idea to look online and flick through interior design magazines to get some ideas and inspiration. If you’re doing the painting yourself, remember to clean and sand the wall before you apply primer and your first coat of paint.

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Focus on the details

You’re probably familiar with the saying ‘the devil is in the detail’, and it’s a really good idea to embrace this concept when you’re decorating or redesigning your home. It’s not always about buying that statement piece of furniture or choosing bold printed wallpaper to bring your living room to life. Using accessories, you can set the tone of the room and introduce quirky, personalized touches that will make your home unique. From toilet brushes and matching toothbrush holders in the bathroom to cushion covers, rugs and lamps in the bedroom, the finishing touches can make all the difference. You’ll find inspiration at Home Spa Select if you’re short on ideas for stylish touches in the bathroom and sites like Pinterest are great for bedroom and kitchen designs. If you’ve got plain walls, you can use your accessories to introduce a new color theme. You can also use these details to add texture, for example, faux fur on a wooden floor, and to combine different styles and trends.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/scandinavian-living-room-2132348/

Upcycling

Upcycling is a hugely popular trend at the moment. If you’ve got chests, wardrobes or tables you don’t really like anymore, don’t throw them away. Paint them, strip the wood or alter the shape slightly to produce a new piece that will steal the show. If you’re new to the concept, there are some fantastic guides online.

Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/chairs-shop-vintage-table-270621/

 

Are you hoping to spruce up your interiors without spending a fortune or devoting every weekend to decorating for weeks to come? If so, hopefully, this guide has given you a few ideas to get you started.

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Dealing With The Ticking Alzheimer’s Bomb

It’s never easy when a loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. While the disease doesn’t receive as much recognition as it deserves, few other diagnoses can tear a family apart like this.

But, as with any illness, it’s essential to tackle the issue head-on. The chances are that, by the time a medical confirmation is reached, the condition is relatively severe. It may start with small moments of forgetfulness. But, most don’t receive a conclusive diagnosis until things have gone far past that point.

Hopefully, though, your loved one is still lucid enough to express their wishes. Hence, you can ensure you’re giving them the best care, and deal with things the way they want you to. While it will be a difficult time, the aftermath of the diagnosis is crucial. The chances are that you don’t have a great deal of time until things get worse. So, you should consider the following as soon as you can.

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Covering the costs

Sadly, with an illness like this, you need to be practical. So, the first thing you and your loved one should discuss is how you plan to deal with the costs. For the most part, this involves long-term care and even nursing homes down the line. There will inevitably come a stage when it’s no longer feasible for them to live at home. And, by that stage, they won’t be in a position to make sound financial decisions. So, you need to talk about it straight away and learn as much as you can, while you can.

First, ask about medical insurance. If they’re on a specialized plan, find out if it would cover the costs needed. But, if they’re on a standard medicare plan, you may need to look at the supplements like those mentioned by this company here. A standard plan generally only covers some of the doctor’s bills and 100 days of care. Look out for a plan which offers a more long-term solution.

Making difficult decisions

And, of course, that isn’t the only complicated issue. As morbid as it sounds, it’s also worth tackling topics such as power of attorney. This ensures that, when your loved one is no longer able, you, or whoever they choose, can take control of their estate and finances. To ensure that the selected individual sticks to their wishes, encourage them to make a will. Make sure, also, to talk about their desires so that you’re all on the same page.

Spend time together

Technical stuff aside, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is a time bomb. As it stands, there’s no escaping the explosion. So, it’s also crucial you have fun with the person in question, and make the most of the lucid time they have left. You don’t want to look back at these meetings and wish you had done more. Take them for days out, and encourage them to do things they love. Life is too short, and a diagnosis like this should prove as a stark reminder of that.

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