Keep That Cable Guy Out Of Our Homes

Thursday, September 20, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

What if I could name a major local business that is losing a lot of money? I am talking about cable.

But that is a very profitable business, along with internet access and digital telephones, right? It is also very competitive.

The cable business like the telephone company is very profitable. But they are also into invading everyone's privacy. They make an initial trip into your home to set everything up. Then every few months they have to come in to correct something to keep every thing working. And that is where a quiet revolution is occurring. People are cancelling the cable. They don't want the cable guy in their homes.

I have a long term Christian friend. Her name is unimportant. For this article I will call her Michelle.
Michelle is type I and II diabetic. It is where a person has no insulin left. They are insulin resistant.
Michelle weighs in at about 350 pounds. She wasn't always that heavy. I suggest insulin had something to do with the weight gain. Her sister is weighing in at around 275. They are both in their 60s. Both are single and most of their lives they have kept up with the housekeeping. Now they are both barely able to live without assistance. Their house is no longer tidy. There are things to put away. But they may never get put away. Michelle and her sister are couch bound a lot of the time. But they can still feed themselves. Still do basic functions. Still go to the store. Only they have no energy left after doing so. And there is the problem. They are short of energy to do everyday basic things.

Michelle isn't alone. Mary has had a problem walking since her 50s. She has gone arthritic. A lot of people have had operations. In a year or two they are back. They are all crippled. A lot of these people do not and cannot keep house. So they do it once a week. Or even once a month. Or never. But they still enjoy the luxury of being their own boss, having their own home. A lot hire someone to mow the law and shovel the sidewalks when appropriate.. But they jealously guard their privacy. No one must know.

I know a lot of people like Michelle. A lot of people that have gotten to the point where housekeeping is a very big problem. Most own their own homes and a lot are on disability or retired. If you count the spots in front of your local grocery with handicap markers on them, then divide by about 3, you have the number of people at any time of day or night that might be a Michelle or Mary. I estimate I personally know about 30 Michelles in my area. I know there are thousands more. I know the local department stores keep 8 electric carts on hand at all times.

I often volunteer to do minor maintenance for some of my friends. So I have seen first hand what their houses look like. I am not their judge nor intend to be. I don't walk in their shoes. But if a toilet is blocked, I can usually fix it. If a sink leaks because of a corroded P pipe, I can generally fix that also. Been known to replace a light switch or an electric plug when necessary, or troubleshoot a fuse that controls an Air Conditioner.

I often keep their PCs running for them. I am probably an intermediate user. I can do most things on a computer. I can make basic repairs. So because I am trusted, they let me in where they would not let anyone else in. So I know what the numbers look like. And those numbers are fairly large. It is a lot more common than anyone realises.

None of the these people will own cable. Why? Because they have to let someone in their house on a regular basis. And they do not want to let a stranger into their living room. I guest-imate a good 10-20 percent of the people out there without regard to age do not want a stranger fixing things in their living room or repairing them constantly every other month.

That means the cable company is losing 10-20% of the business out there because of privacy issues.
If they get a cable company at all, then they install it themselves or do without. Often it falls to a member of the family that is not handicapped. These people have a little bit of technical knowledge.
Often they go to cable alternatives like Direct TV and others.

I think that is why they often go to a company that allows them to install and maintain things themselves. Or they simply put up an antenna and replace it once every 5 to 10 years. Again that chore falls to a relative with some knowledge and the ability to climb.

What the cable company needs to do is reinvent itself. You have two terminals outside your home.
One is attached to the house outside. The other is attached to a telephone pole or a junction box at the bottom of the yard if it is buried. They need a signal junction. This measures the signal coming into the house. That would be in the junction box attached to the house. They need a second signal junction at the pole. This would automatically tell a technician if the problem is outside the house.
Those cute little squirrels have a tendency to chew through lines. So do raccoons and possums. Under the current system, the cable man comes in and uses your modem to determine where the signal went wrong.

I suggest if the problem is in the boxes in the house or the modem in the house, it is detectable from the wires coming into the house from the junction box. All that has to happen is someone needs to unplug the modem or the cable box and take it in to the cable company. The cable company will happily replace both items for you if you can plug them back in at home. If a family member can learn how to do this, no more privacy invasion.

The cable company is the real winner in a situation like this. If someone in the house can plug the boxes up properly and the modem, there is no real need for someone to invade your home. They don't have to pay the extra freight of a technician coming out every other month.

We had a nickname for one brand of modem. They called it the brick. Every time there was any kind of power outage. Every modem in the district turned into a brick. The techs were working overtime just keeping the system together. They started replacing them with something more stable. Anyone need a king sized paper weight? Uverse actually has a battery backup that acts as wall between the modem and the power company. So it is a real problem when the power goes off and comes back on in a surge.

Not every situation can be solved by family. There are times when a tech is necessary to figure out what is going on. Not everyone has an electrician in the house.

If you want to pick up 20% more business. Find a way to keep it Simple. Find a way to keep that cable guy out of our homes.

(authored by Dave Webb)

Marriage: Then And Now

Sunday, September 09, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

Couples have been getting married for years now. The institution of marriage has always been one where relationships are recognized and two people declare their union together. The couple’s wedding day is typically one that is culminated with a big celebration of their love and commitment to one another. Many of the customs that we know and practice weren’t always done the way they are today. Here are some little known facts about marriages then and now and how they originated.

With this ring: The wedding ring is a symbol of a couple’s marriage. The act of giving a ring dates back to Roman times. The ring is placed on the fourth finger because the Romans believed the vein in this finger led directly to the heart. Some cultures, such as Ancient Egypt saw the wedding ring as a connection with their supernatural beliefs.

Carry me: The act of carrying the bride across the threshold is believed to have come from the groom attempting to protect her from evil.

Old, New, Borrowed & Blue: One of the oldest traditions, these items are usually good luck items given to the bride on her wedding day. The something old represents continuity, something new represents the future, something borrowed is a symbol for borrowing happiness, and something blue represents love and fidelity for the couple.

Word is Bond: Older times also saw an agreement between the two families. The groom would give a marriage bond to the court before his marriage. The bond stated the couple could be married and the groom would not rescind on his agreement. The surety was typically a relative of the bride such as the brother or uncle.

White Wedding: The tradition of the white wedding dress comes from Europe and is usually credited to Queen Victoria of England in 1840 when she decided to wear a white dress for her wedding to Prince Albert. Brides typically did not wear white before that wedding and instead wore a variety of colors. The style of a white wedding dress spread and is the norm today for most brides.

Kent Yuen is a writer for JW Surety Bonds, a full service surety agency operating nationwide. 

Getting Married for the Wrong Reasons

Thursday, August 09, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

There comes a certain point after college where everyone shifts from the single or dating scene to the engaged or married scene. Marriage within groups of friends seems to come in waves, and suddenly everyone is showing off engagement rings and planning weddings, and getting married is all that anyone is able to talk about. The total immersion into the world of weddings is enough to make some people second guess their decision to abstain from getting married for the time being and consider popping the question or accepting a proposal. However just because everyone else is getting married doesn’t mean you should be too; here are five of the wrong reasons people get married:
1.      Everyone else is getting married. All of your friends are suddenly engaged or married, and with all these showers and weddings you’re attending it’s enough to make you think that it might be time for you to settle down too. However, unless you’ve met “The One” and know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re making the right decision, you should probably hold out on that marriage proposal or acceptance. Don’t get married just because your friends are.

2.      You want kids. Baby fever. Think it’s not real? Think again. Maybe your biological clock is ticking or maybe you’re suffering from the symptoms simply because your friends are all having kids and suddenly you want to as well, but unless you’re settled in with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, wanting kids is not a good reason to get married. Settling down with someone for the sole reason of having kids is flirting with destruction.

3.      Money. Money can hold a lot of power in a relationship, and at times it can seem like a very motivating reason for tying the knot with someone; however happiness born from money is a finite type of happiness. Sooner or later you’ll reach a point where all the money in the world won’t be enough to sway you from the unhappiness born of a marriage built on nothing more than dollar bills.

4.      To keep a family unified. Getting pregnant out of wedlock compels many people to suddenly view marriage as the only option. Keeping the family unified seems like the best route to take, even if you don’t truly get along with your significant other or have never wanted a serious relationship with them. If you’re toying with the idea of getting married to ensure the best interests of your kids, think again. Your kids’ best interests lie with parents who are happy, and happy doesn’t necessarily mean together.

5.      You think it will fix the relationship. It’s not uncommon for people to operate under the wrong assumption that getting married will be the catalyst that fixes an otherwise failing relationship, or that it will suddenly change things about your significant other that you think need changing. However this thinking couldn’t be more flawed, as marriage often only compounds problems that were already thriving in a bad relationship.
Getting married for the right reasons can result in a beautiful, fulfilling union between two people. However getting married just because you want to have kids or because you think it will change a toxic relationship won’t do either party any favors. Make sure your reasons for saying, “I do” are the right ones before you opt to tie the knot.

Author Byline:
Kelsey  is the editor in chief for findananny. She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through  find a nanny. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

Tips For Finding An Anniversary Gift

Friday, June 08, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

Although your wedding anniversary is an exciting and important thing to celebrate, it can often be hard to know what to buy your spouse for an anniversary gift. You want to give your spouse something that means a lot, but factors such as money, time, and children must all be taken into consideration as well. If you are having a hard time finding an anniversary gift for your spouse, the following tips can help.

Pay Close Attention to Your Spouse’s Likes and Interests

The best way to get ideas for an anniversary gift for your spouse is to pay close attention to their likes and interests. This will allow you to get a variety of ideas so you are prepared when you set out to find the perfect gift. If your wife loves going to the movies or out to dinner at a certain restaurant, make note of this. If your husband loves golfing or going to baseball games, make it a point to remember this as well. If you and your spouse share a particular interest or have been talking about going somewhere specific together, your anniversary is the perfect time to put the plan into action. If money is tight, a card and a nice evening at home with your spouse may be all it takes to celebrate your anniversary. Since every couple is different, the anniversary gift you choose for your spouse may vary greatly from what your friend gets for his or her spouse. Keep in mind that this is absolutely fine, and your love is not always defined by what you can or cannot buy.

Ask Family and Friends for Ideas

If you are having trouble finding an anniversary gift for your spouse, take the time to ask his or her family for ideas and suggestions. Friends and family often know your spouse better than anyone else, so they can be a great source of help. In some instances, they may be able to provide you with ideas that you never even thought of. This is because your spouse may not discuss every little thing they want with you. If you ask friends or family for ideas, you may be able to come up with the perfect gift that will surprise and delight your spouse beyond words.

Plan Together

Since finding the perfect anniversary gift for your spouse is not always easy, you can always resort to planning something together. Sit down with your spouse and hash out a plan for something romantic or adventurous. If money or time is an issue, a weekend camping getaway is an inexpensive, fun idea that may give you and your spouse the perfect amount of alone time. Planning your anniversary celebration together may be just as fun as finding that perfect gift on your own.

Now that you know some tips for finding an anniversary gift for your spouse, you should be able to come up with the perfect idea. Just remember that money does not particularly matter and it is always the thought that counts.

Guest post from Payton Price. 

How Social Media Has Changed Relationships

Thursday, May 17, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

It is true that advances in technology for communicating with others have changed how people form relationships. Social media and other forms of electronic communication offer convenience, but there are issues that need addressing. Some feel that the art of holding a conversation is gone in favor of posting or tweeting on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Direct Communication

Face-to-face communication is the best way to see hand gestures or facial expressions, hear voice inflections, or see reactions to gauge the true meaning of the message. Although it does not offer the same advantages of human interaction or contribute to deepening human relationships, social media does add a layer of complexity to personal communication. In addition, many individuals find it easier to update a post instead of sitting down to talk on the phone or writing an email.

Human Interaction

It is important to form deeper human connections with other people. Unfortunately, social media does not foster the same type of bonding as human interaction. The social networking sites allow users to share and exchange information and media. Individuals who post on these sites sometimes lie on their profiles, and there is no way to know the real identity of the profile presented.

Laying the foundation for learning social skills involves using face-to-face communication and the lack of a sound foundation results in faulty communication. This is particularly important for young adults who are trying to assert their independence and create their own identity. Making a connection with another human being involves more than posting the day’s activities on a social networking site.

Contributing Factors

Some of the reasons why social media is so popular are the convenience and accessibility. At any given time, there is access to family, friends, coworkers, and business acquaintances who share the same interests. Similarly, there are new groups forming everyday attracting new followers to join and share their experience, knowledge, and advice.

Easily communicate with family and friends on the go with a smartphone, laptop, or other mobile device. Grandparents and other family stay in the loop with loved ones and avoid the expense and hassle of travel.

With busy schedules and lifestyles, it does not take much time to update a post on a social media site. However, there are good reasons for using these sites and individuals also find help and support. For example, when a person is going through a difficult time and needs support, finding others with similar experiences is comforting. In addition, there is the opportunity to start or join a support group to converse about specific issues. On occasion, there are times when posting on a social media site leads to personal contact. It has the potential for opening up the possibility of broadening a person’s life with new relationships.

Social Media Drawbacks

Communicating through the written word has its limitations and messages are usually short and choppy. When a post is long, others may view it as a rant. Words on a page fall flat without the ability to convey their deeper meaning, but it does offer users instant gratification. In the end, it is difficult to take back misinterpreted words once a person hits the send button.

Sadly, due to crammed and busy schedules, there is a tendency to multitask or become distracted while posting or tweeting. It is easy to miss visual subtleties and social cues because of the distractions. By no means should individuals stop using social media, but consider how and when it is appropriate.

It is important to communicate but understand that social media and other forms of electronic communication can never replace human interaction or face-to-face communication.

The value of communication is lost when there is no personal contact; however, video allows both parties to see, hear, and experience the communication. Using webcam, smartphone video, or Skype video is similar to sitting down and talking with a person. While it is not a replacement, video is useful in bridging the gap of communicating with friends too far to visit or when talking to loved ones.

Social media will probably be around for quite some time, but remember, it does have limitations when it comes to face-to-face communication.

Author bio:
Ken Thomas is an online media strategist and avid blogger who writes for Street Organ.

3 Tips For Cooking For Your Spouse

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

Whether you have cooked for your spouse thousands of times or you've never picked up a spatula in your life, here are a few tips that can help you present an amazing meal.

1. Use fresh ingredients

A sprinkling of fresh California olive oil will make a much better impression than budget olive oil. Fresh asparagus tastes noticeably different than frozen asparagus. Whatever you're cooking, you should remember that fresh ingredients are often the only difference between professional cooks and amateurs.

There are some dishes that call for canned or frozen ingredients. For instance, homemade pizzas are sometimes better with canned mushrooms, which hold their moisture better than fresh mushrooms when cooked. However, you should generally try to avoid non-fresh ingredients unless you have a good reason to do otherwise.

2. Plan out the timing of the meal

Timing is important when you are cooking for a spouse, so make a list of your courses and their preparation times. Make sure to start cooking all of your dishes at appropriate times, taking into account cooling times for dishes like bread and desserts.

Before you start cooking any of your dishes, double-check to make sure that you have enough ingredients to make the entire meal. You don't want to end up running to the store for another stick of butter halfway through the meal preparation.

3. Presentation is everything

Whether you are trying to cook a romantic dinner for a special occasion or you're simply cooking a basic three-course meal to welcome your spouse home from work, you should remember the importance of good presentation. Fill your spouse's plate with food to make the meal look full and inviting. If you are cutting back on portions, use smaller dinnerware to highlight the meal. Don't be afraid to use garnish to create an aesthetically pleasing dish.

You can easily impress your spouse by cooking a large meal. Remember to check over your menu with your spouse ahead of time and focus on good presentation. By planning your meal carefully, you can give your spouse a nutritious, cost-effective meal that he or she will remember.

3 Tips For Aging Well Together

Thursday, April 12, 2012 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

Older couples often worry about health issues that could affect both partners, but many common health problems can be avoided with regular preventative treatment and light exercise. Partners can help one another stay healthy by paying attention to early warning signs and by working together to stay fit and active. Here are a few general tips that couples can use to age well together in the years leading up to and after retirement.

1. Schedule regular age and gender-appropriate examinations

Women over the age of 50 should speak with their physicians to schedule time with bone densitometers for an osteoporosis examination. Older men should receive regular prostate examinations around the same time.

Regular examinations are important for staying healthy, because doctors will often catch the early warning signs of serious illnesses and conditions like cancer, cataracts, heart disease and high blood pressure. Most physicians will provide a timetable for regular examinations to their older patients on request, but couples should proactively schedule examinations and remind each other of upcoming appointments.

2. Share physically demanding responsibilities

Housecleaning, home repair and even driving can be physically demanding for older individuals. Discussing and sharing these responsibilities is a great way to minimize stress and avoid accidental injuries.

In many households, one partner will handle the majority of the aforementioned activities, particularly if the other partner was the primary source of income before retirement. After retirement, however, couples should split up these responsibilities to keep both partners active, healthy and involved. Older individuals should prepare for particularly demanding activities with some simple stretches and even a light cardiovascular warm-up. After all, some minor household activities are basically workouts, and without a proper warm-up, older individuals are inviting injury.

3. Exercise together

Exercise is always important, but it becomes more important with age. Light cardiovascular exercise is essential, but many older people find it difficult to keep up with a workout schedule, particularly in the years after retirement. 

Couples who go walking, jogging or biking together can stay healthy and motivated while getting some quality together time. Couples should consider joining a gym or spending some time together outdoors. Before starting any new exercise program, older individuals should consult their primary care physicians to develop a safe, low-stress workout plan.