Thursday, December 30, 2010

Get Organized 4 Success this New Year!!

Learn How To Organize
And Get Things Done

Do you feel like you’re always working to keep up, but don’t really get anything done, especially around holidays? In his best-selling book Getting Things Done, David Allen gives you an effective time management system to help you organize your stuff, your work activities and your personal life.

Allen’s key idea is to start with a “mind sweep” ─ get everything out of your head and down on paper (or other written form). Once your mind is cleared, your productivity goes up and you can focus on creative action. His five basic stages of mastering your personal or professional “workflow” are:

1) Collect. Capture anything and everything that is on your mind.
2) Process. Decide what each thing means. Is it something you should do? Do it now or later? Can you delegate it (and track on a “Waiting For” list)?
3) Organize. Place the items in categories, such as Projects, Calendar, Next Actions and Waiting For, and sub-categories of your choice. (To help you visualize this, he includes a diagram for navigating through the processing and organizing phases of your workflow.)
4) Review. Go over Calendar and Action lists daily and do a weekly customized review to get clean and current.
5) Do. Make choices about your actions based on what you can do, how much time and energy you have and your priorities.

Another one of his most popular methods is the “two minute rule.” If any task can be completed in less than two minutes (for example, a quick email response), do it immediately. Stop putting those little things off.

Allen says Getting Things Done is “just advanced common sense.” But once you learn how to get everything under control, real change begins.

Millions of people around the world have found that his methods work. To order the book, search for “Getting Things Done” at

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gift Cards Just Got Better!!

You may have hesitated to give gift cards last year because of the confusion over fees and expiration dates. Now they’re better to give ─ and receive ─ because new protections went into effect in the U.S. in August. Here’s what you should know:

The gift card must be good for at least five years from the date of purchase. Money added must be good for five more years. If the card expires and there’s unspent money, you can request a replacement card at no cost.

Fees are limited and must be disclosed on the card or its packaging. Note: You can be charged a fee if you haven’t used it for at least a year.

Rules affect store gift cards and cards with a MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover logo. Some other types of prepaid cards aren’t included.

New rules don’t apply to cards purchased before August 2010. So if you have some sitting in a drawer, be sure to read the documentation that came with them. Look for fees for “dormancy,” “inactivity” or “maintenance.”

To make the most of a gift card, use it right away. If you aren’t going to use it, give it to a friend or swap it on a web site like

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Save Money with Your Holiday Dry Cleaning Bill

How to Stay Healthy and Save
Money with Your Dry Cleaner

Does it seem unusual to see an article about dry cleaners? Perhaps. But dry cleaners are one of the most complaint-ridden businesses in the United States, according to the Better Business Bureau. At the top of the complaint list are lost items and damaged garments.

Worse yet, some of the chemicals dry cleaners use can be downright dangerous! Clearly, there are reputable dry cleaners, but next time you drop off your items, here are a few tips for protecting yourself as a consumer.

 Always Ask For A Receipt. When you drop off an item to the cleaner, ask for a receipt indicating what you had cleaned. It’s helpful to include the size, color, and brand name if possible. When a dry cleaner acknowledges they lost a garment, they are supposed to pay the full price of a replacement. A detailed claim ticket will be your best argument.

 What To Do About Damaged Clothing? Damaged clothing is a different story. Dry cleaners refer to the Fair Claims Guide published by International Fabricare Institute to assess the depreciated value of damaged garments. One-year-old cotton suits, skirts, shirts in average condition get just 40 percent of their original price. A 5-year-old wool blazer will get you 15 percent of the actual cost. If they ruin an item classified as an heirloom (such as an antique Persian rug) demand fair market value for its replacement.

 PERC Is A Toxic Chemical. Most dry cleaners use PERC (prechloroethylene) a probable human carcinogen, to clean your clothes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety found that dry cleaning industry workers were 25 percent more likely to die from cancer than the general population. Remember, this chemical is on your garments. Take the plastic bags off, and air out your garments before wearing.

 Watch Out For “Meet Or Beat” Gimmicks. The BBB warns that dry cleaners are notorious for “bait and switch” advertising, where the dry cleaner claims he will match or beat a competitor’s price. The catch is you will have to walk in with the competing dry cleaner’s price list to qualify for the discount.

 Watch Out For The “Special Handling” Charge. Women are often charged more than men for dry cleaning similar items. Women’s shirts are a common item of contention that dry cleaners claim need “special handling” for a variety of reasons. Ask up-front if any women’s clothing needs “hand-cleaning” and how much you will be charged for the work.

 Ask Your BBB For Help If You Have A Problem. You may also go to Small Claims Court if you have a grievance against a dry cleaner. There is no guarantee small claims will get you a settlement, but sometimes the threat of action is enough to settle a dispute.

Taking a few small actions and asking the right questions of your dry cleaner can save you considerable money and headaches in the long run.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How to Use Your Old Coffee Grounds

Don’t Throw Away Your
Old Coffee Grounds

Did you know there are many uses for your Java besides drinking it? Both the grounds and the liquid can help you around the house.

Use coffee grounds in your garden or flower pots for composting. As the grounds decompose, they add much needed nitrogen for your plants. Plus, they increase the acidity of your soil. Adding water to grounds makes a great liquid fertilizer, and you can even feed it to your friendly garden earthworms.

You can also use coffee grounds as pest control. Spread some of the grounds around ants and their mounds. Caffeine appears to be a deadly poison for the little critters. Plus coffee is much less harsh and expensive than chemicals.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's Your Deductible?

A Simple Way to Save BIG
On Auto Insurance…

Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. That’s certainly true with minimizing your cost of auto insurance. Here’s a quick way to almost instantly save 10 to 30 percent on your auto premiums.

Simply take a close look at your deductibles. By increasing discretionary deductibles, such as comprehensive or collision, you can save you a bundle on your insurance premium. This is especially true if you have a good driving record. So check your policy and call your agent – it’ll be time well spent!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What to Look for in a "Green" Home

Q. I’m planning to buy a “green” home. What do I need to look for?

A. Here are some of the features you should look for, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB):

Energy-efficient. Look for appliances, windows and water heating systems with ENERGY STAR® ratings and efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Renewable energy sources further decrease energy consumption in the home.

Water-efficient. Look for programmed, low-volume irrigation systems, rainwater collection systems, wastewater treatment systems and hot water recirculation systems.

Resource-efficient. The home should use strategies to reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. It should contain renewable materials and recycled-content materials in carpets, tiles and concrete formulations.

Indoor Air Quality. The heating, air conditioning and ventilation system must be appropriately sized. Look for low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and finishes.

To ensure the home is “green,” look for the Green Certified mark issued by the NAHB Research Center.

If you have any questions, or need capable and trustworthy representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CPR Is Now Spelled C-A-B

If you saw someone in sudden cardiac arrest, would you know what to do? According to new guidelines from the American Heart Association, you should begin chest compressions immediately.

The Association has changed the order of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from A-B-C (Airway-Breathing-Compressions) to C-A-B (Compressions-Airway-Breathing). Instead of tilting the victim’s head back to open the airway first, you should start with chest compressions to help pump oxygen-rich blood to the victim’s brain and heart sooner. The sequence change applies to adults, children and infants (excluding newborns).

If you see someone who suddenly collapses, the Association recommends Hands-Only CPR (CPR without breaths). Take the following steps: Call 9-1-1, and push hard and fast on the center of the victim’s chest (at a rate of at least 100 times a minute) until professional help arrives.

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 Foods That Fill You Up

If you’re watching your weight, you can eat more than salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner. These foods will help fill you up, not out:

• Oatmeal (not instant). It’s a healthy carb with a high fiber content.

• Eggs. Eat them for breakfast and you’ll have about 330 calories less than usual throughout the rest of the day.

• Dark chocolate. Researchers say compounds in dark chocolate slow down digestion and make you feel full longer. But don’t eat the whole bar!

• Soup. A Pennsylvania State study showed that people who had two servings of low-calorie soup daily lost 50 percent more weight than those who ate the same number of calories in snack foods. Choose broth or vegetables, not the creamy variety.

• Pine nuts. They contain pinolenic acid, which stimulates hormones that suppress your appetite. Plus, your mouth likes the crunch.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Know The Do’s & Don’ts Of Travel Complaints

Have a bad travel experience over the holidays? Follow these tips to make your complaint heard:

 Relate every little thing that went wrong. You’ll sound like a whiner and the travel company won’t know which point to address. Just hit the “high” points that are most important to you.

 Tell them a sob story. It’s unfortunate that you’re on a fixed income and you need the refund, but so are lots of other travelers.

 Copy everyone in the world, including the CEO, the Better Business Bureau and your grandmother.

 Threaten to sue or never to do business with the company again.
A) Your letter may end up in the Legal Department; B) you don’t want to be labeled as a “difficult” customer; and C) you may have to use them again (for example, your family wants to take that cruise line).

• Put your complaint in writing, whether by email or letter, but keep it short and professional, without rage. Take the high road and tell them you’re looking for reasons to do business with them again.

• Include any documentation. List exact times, places, names and dates. You’d be surprised how many people forget the most relevant details.

• Give the system time to work. You may have to write a second letter or email if you don’t get a response in a reasonable period of time. But if you were legitimately disserviced, the airline or travel company will take you seriously and want to make it right.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Your Challenge: Get Your Family Fit In 2011

Do you start every new year by resolving to exercise more? You need a program like the President’s Challenge, which will help you and your family commit to daily physical activity, set realistic goals and track your progress during the year – plus it’s free! Here’s what you can do to make your resolution a reality.

Study the program. Go to Talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you and your family. Sign up as an individual, start a group (a school class) or join one (it’s a worldwide program).

Know the goals. Adults (over 18) need to be active 30 minutes/day at least five days a week for six out of eight weeks. Or, achieve 8,500 steps/day on a pedometer. Kids need to be active 60 minutes/day in the same time frame.

Choose your challenge. Take the Adult Fitness Test (on the website) to estimate your level of aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. Kids and teens take the Physical Fitness Test, which includes curl-ups, shuttle run and endurance run/walk. You’ll take these tests over again to see how your fitness changes during the program.

Improve your fitness. You’ll add exercises according to the FITT principle: F (Frequency); I (Intensity); T (Time) and T (Type).

Choose from 100 activities, from biking or swimming to walking, dancing, yoga or skating. You can even choose the interactive video game, Wii Sports.

Move on to the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge or the President’s Champions Challenge. These activities will help make physical fitness an integral part of your everyday life.

Enjoy the benefits. You’ll know you’re helping your heart, building stronger bones, maintaining a healthy weight and having fun with your family.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why You Should Learn To Text

Do you think texting is just for kids? It’s more important than you think. Here’s why you should learn how to send and receive text messages (just don’t do it while you’re driving!).

It improves your chances of communicating when it counts. During an emergency, such as a natural disaster, voice networks can get congested and calls may not go through. Texts, which use less bandwidth, have a higher likelihood of being transmitted. Plus, if you’re texting, you are freeing up the voice lines for emergency officials to use.

You may soon be able to receive Presidential alerts on national emergencies, imminent threat alerts on things such as hurricanes or tornadoes, and child abduction alerts. The government is developing a nationwide system to allow participating wireless service providers to send these texts to their subscribers. A number of colleges and universities already have systems.

Your kids are used to communicating this way. You should know how to speak their language on a basic level. If you don’t know how, look online or ask them for a lesson.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Get Your Home Ready to Sell this Spring for Less!!

Q. We are purchasing a new house this spring, and are selling our existing home. We don’t have a lot of money to fix up our existing home before selling it. Do you have any inexpensive suggestions?

My first suggestion is to deep-clean the house and “make it sparkle!” Here are a few more tricks of the trade to help you get the most for your money:

• If your master bedroom looks drab, add new linens, pillows, and shams to spice it up the bedroom and add a little color.
• Buy a bright colored shower curtain and rug to perk up a dull bathroom. Re-grout if your bathroom grout is chipped or discolored.
• Eliminate clutter. Remove photos, knickknacks, refrigerator magnets and other personal items. Organize your cabinets and closets.
• Clear off kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Put away appliances.
• Arrange your furniture so it focuses on your home’s strongest feature (it may a view, a garden, flowers, or a painting). Remove excess furniture. Create a “model home” look, clean, attractive with well-place items.
• Dress up your rooms with attractive area rugs and framed prints.
• Install new light fixtures if they’re damaged or unappealing.
• Paint your walls in neutral tones. Paint the front door if needed.
• Trim bushes and make sure the outside landscaping is neat and clean.

If you are in the market for a buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Important News About Blood Pressure

Here’s important news about lowering your blood pressure! In a recent study that appears in the Journal of Hypertension, researchers evaluated 25 studies on the effects of dietary fiber and blood pressure.
They found that by adding fiber to the diet, there was a reduction in both systolic (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure.

Today, over 50 million Americans and 1 billion people around the world have high blood pressure, so this finding comes as BIG news!
Dietary fiber includes fruit, cereal, fiber pills, and vegetables. In the study, the fiber intake ranged from 3.8 grams per day to125 grams per day. So, if you’re concerned about lowering your blood pressure, you’ll want to add more fruits, veggies, and cereal to your diet, exercise daily, and watch your weight. You’ll be glad you did!

Monday, December 13, 2010

How Interest Rates Affect You

Interest rates can have a huge impact on your finances, especially if you carry a lot of debt. Here’s some important information that can help you manage your money more successfully:
1. Credit cards. When the Federal Reserve raises rates, expect to pay more. It’s best to pay off your credit card debt, or switch to a card with a lower interest rate, Go to for credit card rates.
2. Home-equity line of credit. You can use your home-equity line of credit if you can pay off the amount you borrow within three years. If you’re unable to pay off the amount in three years, obtain a home-equity loan with a fixed rate. Go to for bank rates.
3. Mortgages. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage you may pay more as rates go up. Financials advisors recommend an adjustable-rate loan with a five or seven-year fixed period.
4. Bonds. When rates go up, generally the yields on most bonds go up. For your protection, invest in funds that hold Treasury and high-quality corporate bonds.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December is a Great Time to Get Organized!!

Are You Hopelessly Disorganized?

Can’t find your keys? Missed an appointment? Still looking for that file you misplaced? Well, if you’re like thousands of people, searching for simple solutions to a big organization problems can be a problem!

There may be hope. Here are five quick tips to get (and stay) organized:

1. Keep an errand basket by the door for returning books, videotapes, dry-cleaning, etc.
2. De-clutter your junk drawer using plastic cutlery trays that come in a variety of sizes.
3. Keep a donation box in your laundry room or garage. Add unneeded clothing, books, toys, or small appliances and drop off monthly.
4. Do one small chore each day (dust, straighten one room, vacuum).
5. Have a key rack near the door with two sets of car and house keys. Remember the adage, a place for everything and everything in its place!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kindness Is Good For You!

When was that last time you noticed you were grumpy, then, out of the blue, someone does or says something nice to you? Didn’t it make you feel better…even a lot better?

When you are kind to other people, it also makes you feel good about yourself. And it’s good for your health. Researchers have found positive people have fewer health problems. In his book, It’s a Meaningful Life, it Just Takes Practice, author Bo Lozoff writes about the importance of being kind and building a better community. That community encompasses family, friends, co-workers, and the people you meet in your daily life (the bank teller, cashier, the parking lot attendant).

So as you go about your day, be kinder to your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, and wherever your travels take you. Then see if adding a little more kindness to your daily diet makes a difference in how you feel, how other people respond to you, and how others feel when you are kind to them. It’s a worthwhile experiment!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

7 Simple Steps To Happiness And Success!

Are you feeling stuck on the roadmap of life? Have you longed for greater success and happiness, but haven’t yet hooked the brass ring?

Albert Schweitzer once wrote, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Here are seven steps you can take today to achieve more happiness and success in your life:

1. Believe In Yourself. Identify your natural talents and abilities. Do what you enjoy and what you do best. Truly successful and happy people find joy in their working lives. Invest your time in what you do best. Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses.

2. Develop a Vision. First, define your path and start working your plan. Write down a vision for yourself and your life. Be specific. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want your life to look like in 5 years, 10 years?

3. Develop Good Habits. Happy and successful people choose good habits. If you’re watching too much TV, chronically late, or eating poorly, make a commitment to change your bad habits into habits consistent with your goals.

4. Show Gratitude. The happiest people are also the most grateful people. Count your blessings frequently and you’ll quickly start seeing a change in yourself and the world around you.

5. Take A Chance. Seize opportunities! Success and happiness does not come to those who sit and wait for it to be brought to them.

6. Give to Others. Studies reveal that the happiest people are also the most generous. Do, say, or give something nice to another and see how your own life improves.

7. Take Responsibility. You hold the key to your future. Take responsibility for your actions. Choose the work you like to do, and do it well. Ultimately, you are the master of your fate. You choose your own future by the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Protect Your Medical Privacy

Do you have a medical condition that you don’t want anyone to know about? Whether it’s heart disease, high blood pressure, a STD, treatment for alcoholism, mental illness, depression, or HIV, your medical records can end up in the wrong hands, which can cause you embarrassment, financial troubles, and serious problems by forcing you out of a job, or being passed over for a promotion.

The insurance industry wants your information. Any future employers would like to know what’s in your medical records. And any legal action filed by you, or against you can lead to an invasion of your medical privacy. How can you protect yourself? Here are a few tips you can take to protect yourself:

1. Limit the amount of information you give out.
2. Do not sign the customary blanket waiver at your doctor’s office.
3. Be careful when filling out questionnaires at any doctors’ offices.
4. Don’t use public health screenings unless you know the results are kept confidential.
5. Make sure you get a copy of your file before it is sent to any third party.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is On-Line Dating for You? Works for More People Every Year!!

Are You Looking For Love?

Surfing for love is now more popular than ever. With over 50 million people surfing for love on-line, Internet dating has gone mainstream. Whether you 20, 30, 40, 50, or older, all you need is a computer and email. The most popular dating sites are:,,,,, Each have a monthly fee ranging anywhere from $24.95 to about $29.00.

You can visit these sites to see which one might appeal to you. There are also specialty sites geared to your age group, religion, or ethnic group.
After you’ve found a site you like you can post your profile on one of the sites. You’ll want to make your profile interesting and appealing, but don’t oversell (or undersell) yourself. Secondly, be specific about what you want. Tell a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests, special skills). You can even post a picture of yourself.

When dating, don’t expect too much. Most people e-mail several times before meeting. Your first date should be short and always in a public place. Lastly, you may want to check out your on-line dater. Do they really work at the company they said they did? It’s best to be safe.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Want to Start Your Own Blog?

Hey, What’s A Blog?
And How Do I Start One?

Whether you’re in China or Brazil, whether it’s cars, magic tricks, or paleontology, you can hold on-line discussions with people around the world...just by logging onto your computer. And they’re called “Blogs.” Blogs are very popular Internet sites, also known as “web logs.”

They’re somewhat like a chat room, but you can go to specific information “blogs,” to gain information, contribute your knowledge and opinions, or hold an on-discussion about a particular subject. To find a blog, go to or other search engine, and type in the subject you’re interested in, plus the word blog. Or go to: .

If you want to start a blog, there are several books on the market that explain what to do: We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs, and Blog On: Building Online Communities with Web Logs.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is Weight Loss Surgery Really For You?

Five bites of chicken. A tablespoon of mashed potatoes. A bit of broccoli. And a nibble or two of salad. That’s your typical meal after weight loss surgery.

People who undergo weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, underestimate the dietary changes they will have to make. Last year over 103,000 bariatric procedures were performed. And many surgeons are booked a year in advance. A typical surgery averages about $25,000 and in some cases is covered by insurance.

In the most popular procedure, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the surgeon staples the stomach leaving a pouch the size of a golf ball. The first section of the small intestine is removed. The surgeon then attaches the middle portion of the intestine to the upper pouch. The body’s ability to absorb calories is limited by bypassing the lower part of the stomach and small intestine. Most patients lose about 75 pounds in the first year.

But what are the dangers of weigh loss surgery? Here’s vital information you should know, and important tips to consider before contemplating weight loss surgery:
1. A patient must eat slowly. The average meal weighs about two ounces, yet it takes 30 minutes to eat. Eating too fast can cause cramping and nausea.
2. Eating refined sugar can cause too much glucose into the blood, triggering nausea, diarrhea, hypoglycemia and a sudden plunge in blood sugar.
3. Fatal leakage can occur at the area where the small intestine has been joined to the stomach.
4. Less than 1 percent of patients have died from pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). Smokers and the heaviest patients are at the greatest risk.
5. Some patients required daily B-12 supplements.

So before you, or someone you love, decide to have weight loss surgery, consider all options and do your homework.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Should We Buy That Fixer?

Q. We’re thinking of buying a fixer-upper as an investment. What’s the best way to find a deal without being taken to the cleaners?

A. Many people make good money buying rundown properties, fixing them up, and reselling them for a profit.

The best strategy for finding a profitable fixer-upper is to find the least desirable house in the most desirable neighborhood. Then, examine whether the cost of fixing up the property to its full market value will yield a significant profit.

You can find a fixer-upper in most communities—even in more affluent neighborhoods. One of the best ways to find a fixer-upper is to ask a real estate agent. Most agents have one or two properties they don’t like to show. You also can look for advertisements with phrases like “handyman’s special,” “needs TLC,” “or earn your down payment.”

The most profitable fixer-uppers will only need minor repairs like inside and outside painting, new carpeting and flooring, new light fixtures, new kitchen cabinets, landscaping, or a thorough cleanup. Look at properties that can be bought at 20-30 percent below what the house will be worth after fixing it.

Avoid homes that have serious flaws like a sinking foundation, structural damage, serious termite infestation, or that need a new roof. Also, avoid fixer-uppers that don’t fit in their neighborhoods, such as a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in a neighborhood of three and four bedroom homes.

To get an idea of the finished market value, look at comparable properties in good condition. To determine the cost of fixing any existing problems, hire a good inspector. A competent inspector can save you from making a bad investment. You can find one through the American Society of Home Inspectors’ website:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Steer Clear Of This Invisible Killer!

Do you spend time around gas-burning motors, generators, stoves or heaters? If so, this little article may save your life! CO (or Carbon Monoxide) poisoning is responsible for thousands of deaths per year. And because the gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, many times the inflicted aren’t aware of their exposure. Yet it can kill in seconds. Generally, the initial symptoms of CO poisoning include the feeling of being intoxicated followed by nausea. Here are a few tips for keeping you and your family safe from CO poisoning:
 Buy one or more CO detectors for your home and install them according to product instructions,
 Never spend time around a running gas-burning auto, boat, generator, stove, or heater without adequate ventilation,
 If you feel you’ve been exposed to CO, immediately get into fresh air and seek medical assistance.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are You “Stuck In Neutral?”

Are you someone who puts things off until the last minute, or misses deadlines? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Everyone does it sometimes. But procrastination can lead to even more stress. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time and reduce your stress:

• Time Management. Use a schedule planner or notebook to plan your day or week. Use a timer or alarm clock to help you keep on track.
• Break Up Large Tasks. If you know you’re unable to concentrate on a project for three hours, divide your work into one hour blocks for three days.
• Plan To Play. Plan your work and plan your play. If you know you are going out for fun later, you will be able to start your work and concentrate on it now.
• Create Short-Term Deadlines. Many people feel they work better under pressure. But if you always work under pressure, you will increase your stress. Decide to reach some short-term goal before stopping your work for the day.
• Avoid Perfectionism. If you accept nothing less than a perfect performance, you may never get to work on a task because you’re worried that it won’t be perfect. Strive for excellence, not perfection.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here’s The 21st Century Energy Bombshell!

Are you ready for the coming energy revolution? We’re headed full-speed into a new age of technology that’s going to revolutionize your everyday life. What is it? It’s gas—hydrogen gas! Very soon, you’ll be able to instantly recharge your cell phone, drive an electric car for hundreds of miles before charging, and keep your laptop running five times longer.

Right now, Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai, and Volkswagen are either developing or testing fuel cell powered vehicles. In fact, Toyota and Honda recently delivered fuel cell vehicles to the Japanese government—leased at a rate of 1.2 million yen (about $10,212) per month. While the first fuel cell vehicle is currently commercially unavailable in the U.S., your future car may one day be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

But the revolution goes farther than mere automobiles. Today in Europe and Japan scientists are testing hydrogen fuel cells to heat and power homes. And if that isn’t amazing, the airplane of the future may be powered by fuel cells. Boeing is already testing a fuel cell powered aircraft for future use.

1. What Is A Fuel Cell?
A hydrogen fuel cell is an energy conversion device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, producing electricity and heat in the process. A fuel cell provides a direct current (DC) voltage that can be used to power lights, electrical appliances, boats, buses, and motors. There are several different types of fuel cells, which are classified by the type of electrolyte they use.

The fuel cell that will most likely power your car—and maybe even your house is the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Micro-fuel cells, currently being developed by Hitachi, NEC, and Toshiba, will replace lithium-ion batteries used to power your cell phone and other wireless devices.

2. Why Is It Important?
Hydrogen and fuel cell technology could revolutionize the way we live and use power globally by providing cleaner, more-efficient alternatives to the combustion of gasoline and other fossil fuels. This technology is important because it offers a way to make power more efficiently and with less pollution.
And more importantly, the use of hydrogen as an energy source can address our global energy problems, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

3. What’s Being Done Now?
Scientists are focused on developing low-cost, reliable, and high-performance fuel cell systems for transportation and buildings. Today, there are over 2,500 fuel cell systems that provide power or backup to hospitals, hotels, office buildings, schools, utility power plants, and airports.

4. Where Do We Go From Here?
The biggest roadblock facing fuel cell technology is the big price tag. Fuel cell technology is still in its early stages. Right now, the cheapest way to extract hydrogen is from natural gas; extracting hydrogen from water costs twice as much. Eventually, hydrogen fuel cells will be as cost efficient as today’s gasoline. And as more fuel cells enter the marketplace, mass production of fuel cell powered cars, boats, motorcycles, and computers will bring the price down.

The future is here…the hydrogen fuel cell technology race has begun…and it really is a gas! Want to learn more? Go to