Using Prepaid Credit Cards Can Make Traveling Overseas More Comfortable

People going overseas on vacation break are more and more being advised to use a prepaid credit card for their vacation expenses. This is due by credit card abroad comes with added paybacks, counting extra safety, expediency and their number of uses in a crisis. On the other hand, some prepaid cards present you the chances to put up your credit score that has made them very fashionable.

Additionally, nowdays tourists are conscious that if they do take a prepaid credit card with them on their vacation break, they will be competent to make use of in most tourists' places. Traveler's checks still remain demanding, though they do not move on the way to with some of the supplementary benefits seen with travel prepaid cards. Get big amounts of hard cash is noticeably even less advantageous because it is hard to prove how much you had and how much should it find stolen.

There are assortments of these prepaid cards that have been designed specifically for use overseas, and it is imperative that you regard as your entity requirements and conditions when you weigh against travel cards since some charge commission on purchases overseas. However, luckily, some do not. Since traveling will take you to one or more destinations for a few days, you have to cautiously arrange the things that you will carry with you.

It is made-up to be a relaxing doings, whether you do it for commerce or vacation, and if your preparation does not turn up, or you fail to remember something, then it can be more dramatic than the work you have left at the Back, or it can just be a catastrophe. The single thing you will have to regard as while roaming is your everyday expenditure. For certain, you should be on familiar terms with that this is not necessarily the most excellent time in our cost-cutting measure. This, suddenless, should not hamper you from enjoying the striking sites or taking on a venture.

Also, some prepaid credit cards for traveling will present zero percent interest on shopping made overseas, if they are made inside a set amount of time from the time while account opening, and some card's even presents tragedy protection should the most terrible come about when out Of the country, which acts as a good match to your travel insurance. This can consist of services such as very quick card replacement and emergency hard cash advances.

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People Learn Culture, Rules, Through Communication

Most of our waking hours are spent sharing thoughts, message or information with others. When we communicate, we are experiencing one of the most critical aspects of our lives.

With increased domestic diversity and globalization of the marketplace, we are experiencing a growing need to communicate more effectively at work and in our communities, as we try to better understand people representing cultures much different from our own.

To understand the basics of communication, we need to recognize that communication or how we share with others our thoughts and feelings, and culture are tightly interwoven. Culture – think of it as how we go about doing things, the rules we follow – is perhaps a less familiar word, but it is a way of life that is formed by and transmitted through communication.

Culture can also be defined as the rules for living and functioning in a particular group or society. These rules, of course, vary from one group or society to another and are learned through communication.

There’s an old song that goes, “Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage… and, you can’t have one without the other.” This is how closely these two functions of humanity work together — even moreso.

Try remembering the first time you went to an ethnic restaurant. Did you know what to order? Did you try reading the menu? If the menu was in another language, how did you understand what you were ordering?

Did you bring a pocket foreign language dictionary to use? Or did you watch what other people were ordering and order the same if it looked good? Did you try to signal the attention of a waiter and ask for help?

Did you make an educated guess and point at something on the menu? When your meal was over, were you satisfied with the results?

The point is this. Culture and communication are dependent on each other. Culture is formed and transmitted through communication and how people communicate is determined by culture.

Say that you visited a French restaurant and put your hand in the air, and quietly said “Garçon.” You would have been using impolite communication, contrary to what some of us have heard. In a French restaurant after you sit down, it is considered rude to use the word Garçon which means “boy” or “waiter.” Instead, saying s’il vous plaît or “please” will probably get you more responsive service. The more appropriate and respectful your communication is to the culture, the better the experience you will typically have.

For many, the word culture is a new vocabulary word. The U.S. is a large country and many do not have the opportunity of getting acquainted with people of other cultures. But as we become more diverse and global, this reality is quickly changing.

We learn how to function and maneuver in our own culture from our day of birth, as we model others and learn the rules of deportment; we keep learning about operating in our culture throughout our lives. Because our own culture is so familiar and so ever present, we sometimes say these rules and behavioral expectations are instilled or embedded, allowing us to react to social situations without having to think. Sometimes we think all cultures are alike, that we if understand our own, we can easily operate in others, drawing upon our instincts.

But what about entering a culture where the rules and means of communication are very different from our own? How do we grasp how things are done when visiting a different country? Or when spending time with an unfamiliar ethnic or social group? Or when changing jobs and moving into a new corporate culture?

“Gary” went to work in a very formal corporate culture. He didn’t last very long, because he wore loafers to work with tassels. After he was fired, a co-worker explained to him that the shoes were inappropriate for this company’s culture and caused his problem. What did he learn? Several things, he later told me – including that he would always be more careful of where he accepted employment, that he would first consider the culture.

Another culture story: my husband and I spent a week as guests in an Italian home. Our host carefully explained the rules of going to market. The first and most important rule is not to touch what you’re buying until you’ve paid for it. This may seem illogical because it is hard to tell if that a tomato is good if you don’t pick it up, but in Italian markets, unless you’ve been given special permission by the vendor, you’ll tell them what you want and how much of it you want and they’ll get it for you. In such settings, problems can arise, especially when it comes to communication of lack thereof. Had we not been told and/or observed these rules, we would not have been welcome and probably people would have talked about those impolite Americans, long after we returned home.

Culture and communication are tightly woven, both experiences show. People learn the culturally appropriate and expected way of doing things, or rules, through communication. We should expect that communication styles vary, if people’s behaviors vary from culture to culture. These differences go way beyond obvious difference of language and vary in both verbal and nonverbal communication.

How people use communication – when to use communication and why – are products of each culture, for instance. What works in one culture may or may not work in another culture. In cross-cultural exchange, the accepted, normal communication practices of one person can wind up being offensive to another.

A Russian exchange student, living with us during his junior year of high school, asked for us to help him correctly celebrate a friend’s birthday. The friend, also an exchange student from Russia, was missing his home and family. “Max” knew that Americans did not typically celebrate birthdays the way in which his friend was accustomed, spending all day and evening together, with lots of homemade food, extended family members, storytelling, homemade gifts and other such gestures.

We had a wonderful time, helping this exchange student feel some of the culture he was missing. And we had the opportunity to learn something unique and wonderful about his culture, too. As we diversity and globalize, these unique opportunities will only increase and benefit us,if we allow them to. Let’s enjoy these opportunities to their fullest.

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Things to Do in Orlando Florida, Places to See in Orlando, and How to Get There

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is the premiere shopping and nighttime entertainment complex located inside Walt Disney World. There is no admission fee for entering Downtown Disney, and many families use Downtown Disney on their final day in Orlando as a chance to pick up last minute souvenirs and their last bit of Disney magic before heading home. Downtown Disney is split up into three sections: The Marketplace, Pleasure Island and The West Side.

The Marketplace

Most of Downtown Disney’s stores are located in the Marketplace, an outdoor shopping mall. The main attraction is the World of Disney store, the largest Disney store in the world with over 50,000 square feet of merchandise. Almost every souvenir sold at Walt Disney World is found inside, besides those related to specific theme parks and rides. In the various rooms the magic of Disney is represented through huge sculptures, giant screens and even Audio-Animatronics. World of Disney is also home to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, a magical salon for girls wishing to become Disney princesses.

Inside the salon girls can receive a complete makeover from a “fairy godmother in training.” If you are on a budget, keep in mind that packages range from $45-$180. Booking in advance is essential to ensure an appointment. The reservation number is 407-939-7895. You will be asked to provide a credit card as a guarantee you will show up for your appointment. If you didn’t get your Disney fix through World of Disney, there are many other Disney stores to visit as well. Disney’s Days of Christmas celebrates yuletide all year long and sells ornaments, stockings, plush and other seasonal decorations. Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories is a great place for scrapbook makers, with a large supply of craft related souvenirs, frames and books. This location is also the only place where you can get a Disney postmark on your postcards. The Art of Disney store sells high end Disney merchandise for the Disneyana fan including paintings and sculptures from talented artists. Even if you aren’t a collector, it’s well worth of visit to enjoy the wonderful artwork. Goofy’s Candy Company is a wacky candy shop with all sorts of sugary sweets to sample. For those brave enough to tackle the sugar rush, the Oreo cookies with fudge center and elaborate toppings are heavenly. The budget-minded should head over to Mickey’s Mart, where all merchandise is under ten dollars. Pooh Corner is geared toward the stroller set, with merchandise related to the classic characters of Winnie-the-Pooh as well as Playhouse Disney characters from the Disney Channel. Those with pets at home should enjoy Disney Tails, which features Disney merchandise for your pet including costumes. Catering to the new fad of pin collecting, Disney’s Pin Traders offers a large selection of cloisonné Disney pins. Mickey’s Pantry is a one stop shop for Disney themed kitchen supplies, including ice cube trays that make ice shaped as the famous mouse himself. Team Mickey is a large sport store, with both Disney and non-Disney items related to all things athletic. Once Upon a Toy is full of toys and games for the young and young at heart.

There are other non-Disney stores at the Marketplace as well. Summer Sands is dedicated to the beach culture, and sells high end summer wear and Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts. At Basin, you can buy soaps and scrubs to pamper yourself with when you get back home. For the architect in all of us, the Lego Imagination Center is a large store dedicated to those wonderful colorful bricks. The impressively large sculptures outside the store made out of Lego are definitely worth a look over. At the Arribas Brothers glass shop, you can purchase beautiful works of crystal art. You can even get your crystal ware personalized from an artisan working at the shop. If you get hungry, there are also a few restaurants at the Marketplace as well. Rainforest Café immerses guests in a tropical rain forest, complete with animated figures and an occasional thunderstorm. Chocolate lovers will find heaven at Ghirardelli’s Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, which serves rich desserts and amazing ice cream sundaes. Delicious sandwiches, soups and salads can be found at The Earl of Sandwich. Pizza and pastas from the world famous chef Wolfgang Puck can be found at Wolfgang Puck Express. There’s also a large McDonald’s as well.

Pleasure Island

This area was once gated off and required admission to enter, now it’s free to walk through but admission is required to enter the nightclubs. Parents with small children might prefer to avoid walking through Pleasure Island at night and instead take the path around it as Pleasure Island can get quite rowdy sometimes. There are five dance clubs including the Rock ‘n Roll Beach Club, the 80s and 70s club 8 Trax, the top 40s club Motion, the hip-hop BET Soundstage Club and the techno-trance club Mannequins Dance Palace. There are also two comedy clubs. At the Comedy Warehouse, guests are treated to live improvisational humor and have an opportunity to affect the antics on stage. The most unique club on Pleasure Island is the Adventurer’s Club. Inside you’ll discover a bar themed to a 1930s gentlemen’s club where costumed actors perform cabaret style shows and interact with the guests one-on-one. While the humor and atmosphere may not appeal to everyone’s tastes, it is a very original concept and one-of-a-kind. There are a few shops at Pleasure Island, including one selling Harley Davidson merchandise. There’s also Raglan Road, an Irish pub with good food and great live entertainment. We recommend making a reservation for Limo Service with Orlando Limo Rental to avoid run-in with the law after leaving Pleasure Island. Or you can check the GOAA “Greater Orlando Aviation Authority” for a list of permitted companies in Orlando.

The West Side

The West Side is home to many entertaining places to visit and dine at. The AMC 24plex Theater is a great place to see a first run movie while visiting the Walt Disney World resort. The two-story Virgin Megastore has a large collection of CDs, DVDs, books and related pop culture merchandise. At the House of Blues, you may enjoy a live concert from various bands that come through on tours. The world-famous Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba show features impressive acrobatic stunts combined with dazzling theatrical artistry. Hollywood memorabilia lines all the walls of the restaurant Planet Hollywood. Bongos Cafe presents diners with some delicious Cuban cuisine. There are many other shops, including a huge selection of magnets at Magnetron Magnetz, tricks and gags available at Magic Masters, all sorts of sweets at Candy Cauldron, and authentic American collectibles and memorabilia at Starabilias.

DisneyQuest

An attraction unto itself, DisneyQuest represents a more interactive side of Disney. Where most Disney attractions take you along for a ride, DisneyQuest features attractions that put the guests in control of the experience. Cyberspace Mountain lets you design a roller coaster and then actually ride it via a high-tech simulator. Music lovers can attempt to create a top 40 hit at Radio Disney Song Maker. The award winning Pirates of the Caribbean sends guests on an adventurous voyage complete with 3-D effects. On the Virtual Jungle Cruise, guests travel back in time and use paddles to virtually sail down a turbulent river filled with dinosaurs. In addition to the original attractions, DisneyQuest also features a large collection of arcade favorites, both past and present. Nearly all of the attractions inside DisneyQuest are included in the general admission price ($38.34 per adults and $31.95 per children), making it near nirvana for video game fans.

If you want to avoid crowds, do not visit Downtown Disney on Friday or Saturday nights, as many Orlando locals also use it as a nightspot. Downtown Disney is often a choice of guests on rainy days, but is honestly no better than a theme park to visit considering it’s an open air environment. Downtown Disney has something for all age groups, but is probably best suited for pre-teens and older.

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Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT – Who Would Buy The 2595LMT GPS?

While researching the latest Garmin GPS devices on the internet, I discovered the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT GPS. With all the GPS devices available on the internet, some people may be overwhelmed and confused by all the information that comes up with just a simple internet search. This article will reveal why technology fans, business travelers, or even those looking for a large 5″ display would want to buy the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT.

Latest Technology Fans

Those looking for Garmin nüvi 2595LMT portable GPS reviews are more than likely technology fans who are searching for a reliable portable GPS system. My search for information concerning the Garmin nüvi 2595lmt revealed it is rather easy to operate so it would be ideal for individuals who frequently travels or needs help with directions or to avoid traffic jams with its Traffic Update feature.

The bluetooth feature will also excite technology fans, simply pair your cell phone to your 2595LMT and now you will be able to make and receive calls through the GPS speaker, instead of fumbling with your cell phone.

And the Voice Command is another exciting feature, no longer will you be reduced to clicking through screen after screen on your GPS. With the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT, you simply speak and this GPS answers and changes the route or directions on the display.

Families or Business Travelers

The Garmin nüvi 2595LMT is a great unit for a family who plans to use a GPS when traveling through a new city or just finding the fastest route to get through town. Others needing a portable GPS as a tour guide when vacationing in a new city.

Imagine having your own personal tour guide to show you are on vacation, with over 8 million points of interest, the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT will guide your steps allowing you to visit more places without the hassle of carrying one of those clumsy travel maps.

The entire city will be in the palm of your hand, if your family wants to enjoy a meal or visit a park, simply follow the step-by-step directions offered by your 2595LMT.

Those Looking for a Large Easy Viewing 5″ Display

Those looking for an easy to see display will find that the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT has a big 5″ touchscreen display that is easily visible when mounted on the dash or windshield.

The large 5″ color touch screen display size has a resolution of 480 x 272 and you will be able to see even in bright sunlight, unlike some GPS devices. You can even increase the magnification of the screen if the default is too small, making this Garmin nüvi 2595LMT the perfect GPS for those looking for a large display.

Those Looking For a Portable GPS

Another bonus we found while doing the 2595LMT review is the ability to be used as a Portable Pedestrian GPS system, simply carry the 2595LMT while sightseeing!

The 2595LMT GPS will automatically sense when you are walking, and you will receive a display prompt that asks if you would like to go to pedestrian mode. The entire city in the palm of your hand, what could be easier than that.

And getting back to your car couldn’t be simpler, set the Park Position Recall, and when you are ready to return to your car simply hit the “GO” button on the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT to return to its parking spot.

In Conclusion

When searching for a new GPS device, I realize the confusion that most have because of the enormous amount of information that overwhelms most people when looking for detailed info about a particular device. With this article, you have discovered why technology fans, those looking for a large display, or people looking for a portable GPS will find the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT would be the perfect GPS that they could buy today.

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3 Little Known Tips to Saving Money on Beach Vacation Travel

Here’s a really simple way to save on beach vacation travel. We are going to show you 3 ways to save you some bucks when booking your next beach vacation. The beach is an incredible experience. No matter whether you’ve traveled to far western Australia or taken a quick weekend trip to the Jersey Shore, barring rain, the beach is usually a really enjoyable experience. We’ve taken trips all over the world we’ve missed giant opportunities of money savings that were seemingly all around us if we had just taken the time to do a little extra research. Well, you are in luck. The travel research has been done for you, all you have to do is be willing to keep reading. Before you know it, you’ll be taking the beach vacation of your life, for a steeply discounted price. Here we go:

1)Buy it used. Well, not really used: more like discounted (or unused actually). Sometimes, people can put their vacation opportunities up at real discounts. Did you know that there are all sorts of people out there who own time shares but can’t use them for various reasons? Maybe the season isn’t right, or they can’t seem to get the flight that they need. eBay has a thriving market for timeshare opportunities. A lot of the listings are permanent (e.g. people looking for others to buy their times shares out completely), but sometimes people are just looking to monetize a weeks worth of timeshare that they can’t seem to use themselves. Their loss can be your opportunity. eBay is an auction, and the highest price wins usually.

2) Compare everything. Guess what? Expedia and Orbitz seem like they are juggernauts of internet travel and they control a lot of the market. BUT, they don’t have every vendor available. A lot of the discount airlines like SouthWest and JetBlue don’t use either of these massive companies and you can only get their deals by going directly to their website. Don’t’ tell anyone, but from what we’ve heard JetBlue is supposed to have really nice seats and monitors on new planes with really good prices. We haven’t used JetBlue ourselves yet, but it’s supposed be really good (especially at delivering good value on Northeast to Florida routes). That tip alone could save you some bucks while getting you a really nice flight.

3)The first 2 points are perfectly valid in any trip planning but almost worthless when you consider that you might have to shell out a lot more bucks for destinations abroad. There is a beautiful beach state located not too far from anyone East of the Mississippi. That’s right. Florida. Florida is back and it’s beaches are still fantastic. Florida is still beautiful. There has been a lot of development of Florida during the last 50 years, but Florida is still a massive state with plenty of undiscovered beaches. The state of Florida can be great if you know where to look. It’s pretty nice. Trust us….the undiscovered spots of Florida can really be something else. However, they are becoming more and more difficult to find as thousands of people move to Florida every month.

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A Moving Experience: Making Your Move Easy on Your Parrots

Moving is about as stressful a time as any in our lives and the lives of our fids. Having just completed moving the "gang" into a new house, I thought I would share some of the things that helped our move go smoothly. The feathered crew (Alex and Zeke, African Greys and April, Umbrella Cockatoo) have settled in nicely and things returned to normal quickly. Granted, the move was to a nearby city and we were not on the road in the U-Haul for more than an hour, but I believe preparing the birds had everything to do with their reduced stress level and smooth transition.

I also want to mention that there is the coolest service for moving called PODS (Portable On Demand Storage). I had it delivered to my old house the weekend before the actual move. This allowed me to pack up all my non-essentials at my leisure, clear out the house and cut down on the stress and chaos of the actual moving day. They took the "POD" away and stored it at their warehouse until the day I scheduled it to be delivered to my new house. I only had to rent a U-Haul for a few left over things and the bird cages.

Everything but a blanket, pillow, alarm clock, bird supplies and cages (that did not get into the POD) were packed up in the U-Haul the night before the actual move. Renting the U-Haul for an extra day was really worth it! All I had to do on moving day was gather up a few things, place the birds in the carriers, load up the cages and away we went to our new home. My "POD" was delivered to my house later that afternoon and I had as much time as I wanted to unload it. It arrived on a Friday and I scheduled the POD pickup for the following Tuesday.

The reason I recommend a service like PODS is that it relieved so much stress. I was calm, the birds were calm and I could focus on making them more comfortable instead of running around loading things up at the last minute. I will never move without PODS again – it was that good!

The move actually took place in several stages.

Stage 1 – Keep the Fids Informed

House hunting is always both exciting and exhausting. But, when I found a house I really liked and the offer was accepted, I showed the flyer with the picture of the new house to the fids and told them all about it. I told them how nice it would be for them to have a bigger room with nice big windows and everything. Yes, I really did this! They may not understand all the words, but they get the fact that something is up.

When my old house sold and the paperwork was progressing along nicely, I started packing. I made sure they saw what I was doing and I would talk about the moving day and how exciting it would be.

Stage 2 – Prepare the Fids

A few days before the actual move, I cleared out my master bedroom and moved the fids out of their normal "bird room" and into the master bedroom. It was only across the hall, and not in totally unfamiliar surroundings. But, it conveyed the message to them loud and clear that change was coming. I made the move in the morning so they would have time to get used to the new room before bedtime.

After their first night in the master bedroom, I introduced the idea of ​​travel. They have all been in carriers at one time or another, but I did not have three carriers, I only had one. I went and bought a new one and borrowed another to make three. Three days before moving day, I placed each carrier in front of the cage of the bird that would be using that particular carrier. I placed them there all set up and ready to go with the doors open.

After they stated at the carriers for a few hours, I took each parrot and placed them in the carrier briefly. Just long enough to close the door, tell them how good they were and take them out again. The next day I kept them in there a little bit longer, about 5 to 10 minutes or so. The third day, I placed each into their carrier for about a half an hour. I also picked them up in it and walked around the house. All the while telling them how good they were and about moving day the next morning.

Stage 3 – Moving Day

I woke up early. We were invited to arrive at our new house at 8 am because the phone company, cable and internet company, etc. Were arriving that day to set things up. And you know them, they are so exact on the appointment times, "Sometime between 8 am and noon" was about as precise as it got. I needed my phone and internet hooked up pronto, of course, what's an online parrot supply store going to do without the online part and a phone?

I spoke to the fids for a little bit and told them this was it. Moving day was here! Then I put them in their carriers and started loading up their cages. (They have big cages.) They all went in their carriers without a fuss. I put them by the front door so they could watch their cages being loaded and telling them how exciting their new home was going to be. The last thing I did was put them all on the front seat of the U-Haul with me and drove off to our new house.

Along the way, I picked up my helper for the day who would help me get their big cages up the steps to the new house. April actually granted her with a big "Hi!" She was not stressing at all! Upon arrival at the new house, the first thing we did was bring the birds inside and put them in their new room. Of course, I was talking to them the whole time. Then, we unloaded cages and one by one they were placed inside. I prepared their food and water like I always do and tried to keep things as normal as possible for them. All that was completed and the birds completely set back up in their cages before anything else was done.

Stage 4 – New Digs

I kept things as normal as possible for them. After a day or two they were pretty darn comfortable. That's when I started being a tour guide. Each was given a tour of a different room. I went from room to room, one a day or a whole house tour. It depended on the bird's comfort level. I made sure to point out the windows to them and have them touch it so they know not to fly into it. Things returned to normal quickly and they really love their new space!

I really believe that it went so smoothly because each of the steps prepared them for the next. I was shocked at how quickly they adjusted to life at the new house. They were even back to talking within hours of the move. April even talked in THE U-HAUL. I hope this has been helpful to anyone considering a move in the near future!

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The Importance of Good Negotiation Skills to Your Business Success

Having good negotiation skills can be the difference between success and failure in the business world. Those that know how to negotiate tend to rise to the top of whatever industry they are in. At the same time, those that do not know how to negotiate tend to stay where they are or fall backwards.

If you want to be successful in the industry, a study of developing negotiation skills should be at the forefront of your mind. Here are a few things to consider about the importance of good negotiation skills to your business success.

One of the primary benefits of having good negotiation skills is that you will be able to save money. If you represent your business or if you are negotiating for yourself, you will be able to negotiate a cheaper price when buying something. When making large purchases, you need to be able to negotiate with the sales representative and get a better price. If you simply take the price that is being offered to you, it is very possible that will get taken advantage of. Learning how to negotiate will allow you to save substantial amounts of money over a period of time.

Another important reason for developing good negotiation skills is that you will be able to make more money for your business as well. If you are trying to sell a product or secure a contract, you need to be able to negotiate in order to make it happen. By doing this, you will be able to secure a larger selling price and increase your profit margins. Increasing profit margins is one of the biggest objectives for most businesses. If you can learn how to do this, you will be invaluable to your employer and this will be directly related to your business success.

In addition to being a better negotiator, you will also develop several other traits that are essential in business. Many of the same skills that you use in negotiation will translate over to other areas of the business.

For example, when learning good negotiation skills, you will learn how to be an effective listener. In order to be successful in negotiation, you have to be able to listen to the other person to see what they want. This skill will be very valuable to you in other areas of the business. If you are a manager, you will need to be able to listen to your employees to see what motivates them. If you are dealing with customers, you need to be able to listen to what they are telling you so that you can find a product or service that matches their needs.

When you are aiming to achieve business success, developing good negotiation skills should be at the top of your priority list. This is by far one of the most important skills that you can develop as a businessperson. It can easily take you from where you currently are to where you eventually want to be.

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Is a Blog Right For Your Business?

Lemmings are cute, but dumb. If you tell them to jump off a cliff, they will. Just like the people who start blogs because everyone is doing it. Guess what happens after a little while? The blogs die.

In managing a list of many Web sites, most of which are blogs, I deleted countless sites from the list because the sites and blogs no longer exist. The people ran out of steam or had no reason to start them in the first place.

How do you know when a blog is right for your business? Learn why people start blogs, how they find their niche and how blogging tools can be used for more than blogs.

Some people like to read blogs, others like to read newsletters, still others like to rely on feeds and some read a few or all of them. No matter the method the information is distributed, each medium has one thing in common: content. Having a blog connects your newsletter and your business with all of these readers and deliveries important content in a particular style.

I've been blogging since June 2000. If you review my early blog entries in meryl's notes, you'll notice they're more personal. When blogs first hit the scene in the late '90s, they were personal diaries and journals. Like the blog business, my blog has transformed from personal to business speak, although I still add personal notes here and there.

Few bloggers tend to talk about their work, their products and their little world. That may work for celebrations where fans want to know everything about them, but it does not work for the average business person. Other business people want information on how to succeed and when a blog spends time hawking products offering information of no value, few people will return. The people whose products sell well are the ones who provide valuable information. Readers already know what kind of information they're getting, so they trust that when they buy something, it will be of the same or better quality. This value must be reflected in their blog. It's much like people who only sign up for a newsletter after first seeing an example.

No one wants to be a lemming (I would hope). How do you decide whether or not to set up a blog? The answer is not black or white (what did you expect?). Ask these questions:

  • Can you regularly update it – at least five times a week?
  • Do you have something to say other than just linking to others?
  • Do you read other blogs or feeds?
  • Can you provide information of value to others not just to yourself?
  • How large is your newsletter subscriber list?
  • How many unique visitors do you get on an average day, week or month?

The big decider is whether or not you can write in the blog almost daily. The people behind the high traffic blogs post multiple times a day. Although resourceful, merely linking to other sites does not give visitors much reason to make the effort to come to yours. Reading other blogs or feeds is a great way to learn how to carry a discussion. Find other blogs covering topics similar to yours and check them out. Disagree with their opinions? Write about it and explain your reasons. Cross-blog discussions are common, and that's where trackback comes in handy.

Trackback is a blog feature. If you decide to comment on another blog posting in your blog instead of that blog's comments page, then you link to the conversation through the trackback link. Trackback is similar to the permalink, the permanent URL for the blog entry, but it has a different URL for copying and pasting in your blog's trackback box.

Aside from the technical aspects of operating a blog on a daily basis, subscriber list size and Web site traffic are good indicators of what kind of reaction you'll get when opening a blog. Starting from scratch with little traffic means you have a long road ahead and lots of work to do. There is no magic formula anyone can sell you for $ 97 to make your blog an overnight success. But with some perseverance and ingenuity, your blog can engage many prospects and clients.

Considering there are numerous blogs out there, pick a niche topic when starting a blog for a better shot at attracting and keeping an audience. Meryl's notes focuses on three areas: webby, geeky and wordy. In reality, this is too much. What I need to do for my readers is create three separate blog entry points, so those interested in writing, newsletters and Internet marketing get nothing but the wordy entries. Those interested in Web design get the webby stuff and the technophiles receive the geeky content.

I also manage a personal blog separate from meryl's notes. It's about cochlear implants and deafness. This could fall under the geeky category, but it's a personal blog and does not belong in meryl's notes. This blog is written for a different audience.

The blogging tools for both of my blogs come with syndication capabilities so those using feed readers or aggregators can read the content through the software. When sending a new issue of a newsletter, comment on it or link to it in the blog, that way the blog and feed readers will get the goods, so all three bases are covered.

Blogging tools are not just for, well, blogging. Such tools are an excellent way to help you update your web site more often than you otherwise would. I use it to manage the list of tableless Web sites. Using blogging tools is much easier than the way I managed it before, updating the HTML files by hand. Although using a blog tool, it is not a blog. In this case, the blog tool has become a content management system (CMS).

Small business owners do not have a need for the fancy and pricey CMSes out there. They find it easier to use blogging software to manage their sites or hire someone to adapt the tool for their site.

Blogs have found a place in businesses and people are finding creative ways to use them. Some companies have a blog on the intranet for communicating project status, bureaucies and metrics. They're used for knowledge management. With information pouring in, blog tools provide a way to share, organize and process the information.

Being a follower can be good or bad. No one wants to walk off a cliff with the lemmings, but everyone wants to succeed. Best practices will not help, since the decision to blog is based on the organization's mission, needs and goals along with its target market's desires and needs. A blog about lemmings? There is one, sort of. Or maybe you'd like to start your own and talk about dumb business moves.

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Trailering Older Horses

Long distance transport for the older horse

The details for preparing an older horse for a long trip are pretty much the same to move any horse long-distance, remembering that the recovery time for an older horse is longer than for a younger horse. Here are the steps to keep a horse safe and to make it a good experience. First let’s talk about the things that you should not do before setting off on a long trip. It is never a good idea to trim your horse’s feet or to vaccinate them a couple days before transport. How many times have we seen horses become footsore because of that trim. And of course, older horses have a higher chance of running a temperature after being vaccinated. If your horse requires a rabies certificate or requires new shoes, please do it several days prior to shipping.

The day of shipping, particularly when it is warm outside, to not grain your horse. Even with slight dehydration, a horse can impact colic from undigested grain in their system. Another note here, horses that are not great shippers have a higher incidence of ulcers. Transport can be highly stressful. Many horse vets recommend medications like Gastrogard to reduce the ulcer risk.

We’ll spend some time here talking about you transporting your horse. Later in the article I’ll have some thoughts about what to expect for your older horse by shipping with a commercial carrier. After you have successfully loaded your horse, one of the most important things you can do is to make their journey comfortable. You should not keep them tied. This prevents them from dropping their heads and keeping their sinuses clear, leading to congestion and possible pneumonia. Next, bring a sufficient supply of hay that they have been eating. Just as we are careful to slowly switch our horses from old hay to new hay at the barn, it is also important to be careful here, and not switch hay, if at all possible.

I recently transported a yearling filly The folks where I picked her up went out to the grain store and bought hay to go with her. It was not the hay that she was used to and she had loose poops as a result. It’s also important to have water available for your horse too. Most horses will not drink in the first 12 hours of transit. Particularly when it’s hot it is important to have water in front of them. We hang a Foraflex bucket and fill it half full while we are moving.

I recommend that you carry water that the horse is used to. It is not always possible but like hay it’s important to keep them eating and drinking the same things they used to at home. It’s also important carry water with you when it is hot weather, if for any reason you are delayed in transit. The last two things to consider when moving your horse cross country are blanketing in winter and rest. I encourage my clients to put a sweat sheet beneath the blanket. That way if the horse is a little upset and sweats up, the sweat has a chance to be wicked away from the body and not stay in the blanket and give them a chill. There are many thoughts about resting the horse in transit.

One is to stop for an hour every four hours to let the horse rest. Recently a study done at Texas A&M found that short periods of rest were not effective. Because I transport horses alone I need to stop each day for an eight hour rest period.

This gives the horses a chance to rest and recover and rehydrate. They come off the trailer fresh at the end of the journey. If time is not an issue and you want your horse off the trailer overnight, I recommend websites like HorseTrip.com that lists horse hotels across the country.

I wanted to take a moment to discuss commercial carriers and how they operate. Most commercial carriers have two drivers, and so equipment really never stops moving. Horses never get a chance to rest and recover. Also many carriers, never give horses their head, but keep them tied. Horses finish their trip often exhausted, dehydrated, and even sick. There are many trucking companies out there that the drivers are just that, drivers not horseman. They’re hauling freight, not horses. The other thing that happens with long-distance commercial carriers is that they don’t take the most direct route. Most recent example I can give you was a transport that I bid on and the person who bought the horse decided to have another hauler to the work, because he was cheaper. What the hauler did not tell him when he picked the horse up in Georgia to go to New York was that he was going via Texas.

Two things occurred here. First, the horse was coming from warmer climate to a winter climate and should have been blanketed for the second half of the trip. And second, the trucker did not tell the client that he was not taking the most direct route. The horse was on the trailer three days longer than necessary, exhausted and sick. So much for saving a couple hundred bucks for the transport. So when you need to use a commercial hauler there a couple of things that you should ask and get answered. First, is it the most direct route possible and second, you need at least three references. I What you horse reaches its destination. It is important to give them at least one day of no work to recover from the trip, and two days with no work is even better. I also suggest that y u give them a full day to rehydrate and not feed to any grain.

That’s it from here. Safe travel.

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Mali – Places to Visit on Vacation

The Republic of Mali, situated in West Africa, is home to legendary locations such as the city of Timbuktu, the mosque at Djenné and the river port Mopti. Mali is part of the Southern Saharan desert and is mostly made up of rolling plains, deserts, Savannah and also the Niger River. This African nation is quickly accessible with flights readily available from Paris, Europe and New York. The former French colony is comprised of an enormous array of persons: Bambara, Songhai, Mandinka, Senoufo, Fula, and Dogon. Visiting the Dogons is particularly interesting owing to their cliff-side villages and artistic skills.

Timbuktu, a name really familiar to everyone but forever a mysterious location, is he celebrated tourist destination in Mali. Its fame hails from its strategic location that became a convergence of camel-caravan routes from West Africa towards Mediterranean given that the medieval times. Nowadays, it truly is but a shadow of its former glory but the holidaymakers still come to travel to it to determine the quite a few cultural museums, mosques and markets.

The mosque of Djenné is the biggest mud-built structure on earth. Boxed in by colorful markets and madrassas (schools in which kids learn the Qur’an), this mosque is like an apparition that gives testament to its rich record. The ruins with the Jenné-Jeno as well as the bogolan mud-cloth are a few of the popular attractions and products available in Djenné.

It’s a ought to to visit the port town of Mopti, a lively position in which boats unload their assorted cargoes to sell. Traders sell their wares, fruits, and livestock in Marché Souguni exactly where quite a few spices, medicines and foodstuff are being sold as well.

The optimum time to visit Mali would be from November to January when the climate is cool and daylight temperature ranges are in their 30s. Visit Mali in January to experience their well-known musical occasion referred to as the “Festival inside Desert of Timbuktu”.

Don’t forget to be careful when walking at night or riding a train in Kayes or Bomako wherever thieves usually roam. Tourists should also carry extreme precaution in Northern Mali where bandits have been identified for kidnapping.

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