Tuesday, May 31, 2016

4 Serious Reasons Why Not to Eat Out

Reason #4. Customer service is not what it once was. I mostly experience this when I order at the drive thru. I’ve experienced rudeness from the employees, loud music playing at the window, and the worst one of all, receiving the wrong items. It’s not inexcusable, but there is little to zero consciousness for it. The body language and tension from the employees nowadays is so negative. What happen to being polite and the customer is always right? No more smiles, just I hate my job faces. I don’t know, but if this keeps up I’m officially not eating out at all and it’s mainly fast food restaurants.

Reason #3. Receiving cold or poorly cooked food. I don’t know about the rest of you but when I receive my food I expect it to look like the advertisement. There’s been too many times where after I received my food I thought to myself, what is this? Why is this so small? Waitress is this counted as one of my chicken fingers or is it a crumb? I expect to get what I pay for. Worst of all are the cold or barely cooked French fries. Half the time you don’t find out their cold until you’re back on the road. If they have a stale taste and look extra greasy they’ve been redropped into the grease to heat up, trust me I know. One time it took a restaurant three tries to get my fries brown. This has got to stop!

Reason #2. The cost of eating out instead of cooking at home. This one is a no brainier but the one we least think about. We can save a lot of money and make better quality food by taking an hour or two and going the grocery store. Yeah I know the temptation and convenience of eating out. I always think to eat out first and often feel too lazy to get off the couch and cook something. Eating out on lunch breaks add up and asking to borrow money because of cravings makes you look bad. Let’s get familiar with the kitchen we spend the least amount of time in.

Reason #1. And the number one reason is high gas prices. Yes high gas prices! If I could make it to work in a reasonable time riding a bike I would. It seems like gas prices go up without me even noticing. Ever time I look up it’s up another five to ten cents. It’s ridiculous and becoming unaffordable for many people including myself. Gas stations are places I spend a lot of time visiting while on the road. When I get home from work I often want to leave but I know I can’t afford to. So before you decide to buy the biggest hamburger on the value menu make sure you have enough money for gas to make it home.

Tags:4 Serious Reasons Why Not to Eat Out

4 Reasons Why You Should Make Time for Netflix

Nowadays everyone has a Netflix subscription. Me and my friends are constantly trading stories of our latest finds and recommending must-see movies and shows. I have been watching Netflix for about a year now (yes, I was tardy to the Netflix party) and while I have wasted hours of my life, that I can never get back, watching some really boring flicks, I have also come across some really good finds.

The following is my list of top 4 hidden gems I’ve found on Netflix.

Another Day

Another Day stars Shannen Doherty and Julian McMahon. Given that these are two actors from my favorite TV show, I was immediately interested in watching the movie. What also intrigued me was the plot which involved Shannon traveling back in time and the related challenges of her trying to change past events. As usual with these types of stories, her actions indirectly cause the very event she was trying to prevent. This movie makes my top 4 list because, although it wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, it actually had a great ending which is rare in these types of stories.

Teen Witch

Teen Witch was one of my favorite movies when I was a child. To re-discover one of my old favorites, and be able to share something I love so much with my kids, was a great feeling. This one makes my top 4 list because the story is as relevant today as it was when the movie was first made in 1989. The struggle we all have to fit in with the school crowd and the lengths to which we will go to gain popularity are relatable and important lessons to learn; and always will be. If you haven’t yet shown this movie to your high school-aged kids, take the time to do so today.


Legacy stars Idris Elba as a Black Ops operative who returns home after a mission gone wrong. The entire movie there are some strange things happening, weird conversations are taking place, and some other odd stuff is going on. This movie makes my top 4 list because there is a shocking ending (that I won’t disclose in case anyone reading plans on watching) and Idris did an outstanding job playing this role; he totally had me hooked.


Archer is a totally outrageous, hilarious adult cartoon. Archer is the main character and the story centers around him, his work at an international spy agency, and the myriad of issues he deals with –from his wacky mother, many lovers, wild staff, and arrogant self-indulgent attitude. This show makes my top 4 list because of its total entertainment value and the way it keeps me laughing from the time is starts until well after it’s over. It’s inappropriate, full of betrayal, humor, and complete confusion. With a combination like that, what’s not to love?

More from Carin:

I Am Forever Charmed

The IPad Is Not a Babysitter

Why Buying a House in 2008 Was a Big Mistake

Tags:4 Reasons Why You Should Make Time for Netflix

4 Remodeling Projects that Will Increase Your Home's Value

Home owners remodel houses primarily to make it fit their family needs and person tastes. Unless the owner is flipping the house or has a reason to anticipate that it will soon be sold, increasing the market value of the house will be a secondary purpose. However, most people want to believe that remodeling is an investment in the building that will pay off financially at some point.

Some projects will add more value to a home than others.

Very little if any value is added to a home by remodeling if it is too specific to the current owner. Turning a bedroom into a darkroom will not be a plus unless the house is sold to a photographer who develops film at home. Dedicating too much space to a single item can lower the value. For example, installing an indoor swimming pool that takes the entire basement in a small house will make the property hard to sell and cost you money when it does sell. There are plenty of remodeling projects that are almost guaranteed winners at selling time.

Any type of bathroom remodeling is usually a safe bet to increase home value.

People like to buy house where the bathrooms have modern appliances and fixtures. Upgrading the vanity, commode, bathtub, and shower are good ways to add value above their cost. Improvements in the flooring and wall coverings should be considered to round out the effect. Enlarging most bathrooms by even a little is generally worthwhile and can be huge financial dividends at selling time.

The kitchen should be a high priority when making renovations.

Of course, the kitchen can easily be the most expensive room in the house to remodel. Even low cost cabinets are hardly cheap. An upgraded sink and faucet combination may soar above $1,000. Installing an island, stone floors, and granite counter tops will help assure you of not only a better selling price, but a quicker sale. Adding plenty of light and lighting accents can only enhance any improvements in the kitchen.

Outside remodeling projects that increase curb appeal will always give a nice return on investment.

Besides new landscaping, there are other outside improvements that add to curb appeal. These projects may also improve living conditions inside the residence. A good place to start exterior improvements is adding replacement windows and doors. Upgrading the front door can enhance how the home will first be viewed. If your home has aging windows, the new units will stand out immediately. The addition of new siding should not only dress up the exterior of the house, but along with the doors and windows, should lower utility bills. The home should have better soundproofing because of these modifications.

Finishing off additional space in the basement will add value in the form of extra living space.

Basement family space can be viewed as a premium by potential buyers. The same is true for bedrooms and another bathroom. If it is well done with good lighting, it should seem more like a lower level than a basement. People like feeling like they are getting two for the price of one. A finished basement can seem like a second apartment or house if it is properly completed.

Tags:4 Remodeling Projects that Will Increase Your Home’s Value

4 Red Flags that Say It's Time to Close Your Lawn Maintenance Business

Typically in my articles I look at ways of helping people save or make more money in their lawn business. This time, however, I’m going to take a look at other side of the lawn care business dream.

Here are four red flags that may reveal you need to seriously change or close down your lawn maintenance business.

1. Your Debt Is Rising

Here’s the first red flag to watch for. It’s called your debt-to-asset ratio. Lawn business owners will often times borrow money to purchase assets like lawn equipment. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if the debt is rising and is slowly increasing while your assets are barely moving, you could be on the verge of becoming over-leveraged.

What percentage should one look for? Typically the sign of trouble is a debt-to-asset ratio of about 50% or more. What you do or don’t do varies from lawn care business to lawn care business. But no matter what box we put this into, a rising debt-to-asset ratio is not a good thing.

As most know, leverage is a powerful weapon that is more like a two-edged sword. We all want to be on the right side of it.

The bottomline – the greater your leverage or debt ratios, the more debt you have to take care off which in turn drains your lawn maintenance business profitability, and the less equity you have in your business.

2. There’s a Hole In Your Financial Pocket

You’re losing money in your lawn maintenance business and the losses are growing. Depending on where you live there may be some areas in the tax code, such as the ability to depreciate assets that may actually be appreciating in value, make it possible for lawn care businesses to reduce their profit or show a loss even though the business is actually doing quite well.

Showing a tax loss is typically not a bad sign but if your lawn maintenance business is losing money outside of this and the tax code is only bringing that loss out in the open, there’s a good chance you’re staring at another red flag.

So if your losses are growing and don’t seem to be disappearing, there will come a point in time where you have to look at your lawn care business and decide whether it’s realistic to assume you’re going to be able to come out of your losses. Can you really get over this “hump”?

3. You’re Out Of Money

You can’t seem to get any more money for your lawn care business. Everybody knows about businesses that were moving along nicely and then a loan application of some sort was turned down. Not good.

Yes, sometimes a reluctant banker may actually be helpful in letting you know that your lawn maintenance business is not as properly planned or viable as you think it is. Sometimes lenders keep borrowers out of trouble or at least, from getting themselves into deeper financial trouble. Like a splash of cold water on your face, a loan rejection can be a fast reality check for anyone who thinks his or her current problems aren’t a big deal.

4. You’re Not Smiling

You’re not smiling. If you aren’t having fun then you better look out. I believe a key to success is that you enjoy what they’re doing. If you get up in the morning and you can’t stand the thought of running your lawn maintenance business, then the truth is it’s time to take a hard look at shutting down.

Tags:4 Red Flags that Say It’s Time to Close Your Lawn Maintenance Business

4 Reasons Why You're Better Off with the iPad 2 WiFi-Only Instead of a 3G Model

If you’ve decided to buy an iPad 2, you’ll instantly be faced with a dilemma: should you buy the WiFi only model or spring for the more expensive 3G version. While you might be tempted to opt for the iPad 2 3G, following are several reasons why you shouldn’t.

The Added Cost

The first thing you’ll notice when trying to decide on whether you’ll want the 3G or WiFi-only iPad 2 is the price. In order to gain the ability to possibly have 3G on your tablet, you’ll have to shell out an additional $130 [¼th of the original price] to have a 3G capable iPad 2. In addition to the $130 for 3G capabilities, you’ll also pay as little as $360 or more a year for the actual 3G service. If you were to simply add the $130 for 3G and the $360 a year service, you’d have paid twice as much as someone who opted for the Wi-Fi only iPad 2 in just a year’s time.

Data Caps

Sometimes you get what you pay for, and considering the high costs associated with 3G access, buying an iPad 2 3G isn’t one of those situations. One of the biggest problems associated with owning a 3G capable iPad 2 is that data caps enforced by AT&T and Verizon are insane ‘” and the overage charges are even worse. If you need to have access to the web enough to warrant springing for the 3G Apple tablet, odds are that you’ll need to have more monthly bandwidth than AT&T and Verizon will offer.

There Are Too Many Other Alternatives

The 3G iPad 2 models might make sense if they were the only means to connect to the web via their respective models, but the simple fact is that they aren’t; when it comes to connecting to the internet via the iPad 2, there are way too many other [better] alternatives. It makes no since to shell out an additional $130 for 3G access because WiFi hotspots are everywhere, mobile hotspot devices are becoming very popular, and most smartphones offer tethering the internet directly from your phone’s service provider.

Most Outdoor Activities Won’t Require the Web

If you really stop to think about what you’ll want to do with your iPad outdoors, it’s likely that most things won’t require 3G internet access. Activities like reading eBooks, typing papers, playing games, listening to music, watching videos, and using most apps in the Apps store won’t require internet access – and even if you needed internet access, there are great iPad apps that will show you the nearest free WiFi hotspots in your area.

Tags:4 Reasons Why You’re Better Off with the iPad 2 WiFi-Only Instead of a 3G Model

4 Strategies to Overcome Asperger's Social Challenges

Since I have Asperger’s syndrome, I find communication to be a brilliant, mind-boggling process. Observing “neurotypicals” (term describing people without an autism spectrum disorder) engaging in a witty, prolonged conversation never ceases to amaze me. However, the inability to fully grasp the concept of socializing, a characteristic of Asperger’s syndrome, may lead to isolation and an illusion of incompetence in the workplace, eliciting feelings of inadequacy and even depression. Fortunately, I have comprised a list of four effective strategies to help you or someone you know overcome Asperger’s social hurdles and live a more fulfilling life! Here they are:

  • Strategy #1: Make an effort to increase your energy! Socializing successfully requires multiple attentions, which makes mastering this skill especially hard for an “aspie” (term describing people with Asperger’s) since poor multitasking skills is common with Asperger’s. Being consistently, physically active, for example, will naturally raise your endurance, which means you will have more energy to focus on socializing.

  • Strategy #2: Sign up for a communication class! This is hugely beneficial for an aspie. The class breaks down the art of communication into an understandable process and explains how communication is more than just words being spoken. You will learn the interpersonal skills to help build successful, meaningful relationships, increasing your sense of well-being and overall satisfaction with social interactions.

  • Strategy #3: Discover other aspies’ experiences. There are tons of forums, blogs, websites, and autobiographies that exist, sharing unique life experiences accompanied with Asperger’s syndrome. These resources give a deeper insight on the issues of Asperger’s and can further unify the community.

  • Strategy #4: Use observational learning! Observing others’ social behaviors, such as facial expression and conversation, displays a model for acceptable social interactions. It may be helpful to observe people whose social skills you admire. Find someone who you are comfortable with, mirror and practice these social skills with them by having regular conversations and keeping eye contact. Just remember it is only through practice that you retain and improve your skills.

So there they are — four easy and effective strategies to combat Asperger’s social challenges and live a more sociable and satisfying life!

Tags:4 Strategies to Overcome Asperger’s Social Challenges

4 Steps to Avoid Foreclosure in Bowie, Maryland

Within the Bowie market there have been a significant number of foreclosures. The current inventory of home for Prince George’s homes is still well over the 12-18 month range. Some Bowie homes are getting multiple offers on them simultaneously. Many of those Bowie homes are on significant discount and have been on the market extended periods of time. We are seeing signs of improvement with may purchasers looking to take advantage of the $8000 stimulus package. Yet we are not seeing things move quickly with the banks that are still processing short sales in 90 days or more.

The Bowie foreclosure market presents many deals for purchasers. I would hope that more people in their homes could keep them which would help stabilizes some of the home values. Here are a few options you can use to help avoid foreclosure in Bowie.


Many people that are late on their property just do not respond. It is much easier on you as an individual if you talk to your lender. Not all lenders or servicers are accommodating but you truly never know until you ask. It is in your best interest to open and respond to all correspondence from your lender or servicer.


Because of the current economy in Bowie the state has a hotline that has counselors for free. These counselors are focused on help Bowie residents along with all counties in the state. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) are working with HOPE housing counselors at 1-888-995-HOPE. They HOPE team has many options along with other options.

The Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc. has bilingual capacity and seeks to help people in the Bowie and Prince Georges County area specifically. The company can be contacted at 301-699-3835. There are many organizations available to aid in counseling through this process. This two are just good examples of the many options available to Bowie residents.


Within the Bowie Maryland area DHCD has several loan products available to residents. The counselors help to
determine eligibility for the programs. Some of the available programs include:

• LifeLine Refinance Program

• Homesaver Refinance Program

• Bridge-to-Hope emergency loan program

Bowie residents have a number of loan refinance options available to them. The fact remains, Bowie residents must call in order to initiate any of these programs. You can reach out to www.mdhope.org to get more details.

Avoid Foreclosure “Rescue” Scams

Having a pending Foreclosure, Bowie residents are susceptible to loan scams. Many people will offer to help with a focus of ripping you off. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau and DLLR to see if there are any issues with the account. Your best option is to have a lawyer review all documentation before your move forward.

The key point to know as Bowie resident is you must take action. If you stay in touch with the servicer, reach out to the counselor, get a lawyer, and avoid the scams you will be in a better position to save your home.

Tags:4 Steps to Avoid Foreclosure in Bowie, Maryland

4 Responsibilities of a Home Economist

In the 1940s, they were called homemakers. In the 1980s, they were called stay-at-home moms. Today, they are called home economists – women who make careers out of running their home. But go a step further and today’s moms and wives are taking charge of more than the dishes and ironing. They are becoming the primary money managers for their family unit – finding ways to creatively stick to a budget and stretch the family dollar. Their primary goal? Institute frugality. But what exactly does that mean in today’s economy?

Plan a budget and stick to it.

When money comes in, a home economist must delegate the spending to make sure there is enough for all the necessities to run the house. This includes mortgage or rent, utilities, food and gas for the car. And what good is a budget if you can’t stick to it? A home economist must also be responsible for administering and policing the money to make sure there is always enough.

How is this done? The budgeting tools online and in the store are endless. But I’ve found the most effective way to not only establish but manage a budget is to simply write it out (plus, not purchasing a “tool” is your first step toward frugality). Look at your spending in the past 6 months and divide it into categories. Consider monthly savings for emergency fund, new clothes or shoes, toiletries and pet supplies. Write each category on a piece of paper (or at the top of a dry erase board) with the amount designated for that category. Tape each piece to a wall where they are easily seen by the entire family. Whenever an item is purchased, the amount must be written on the piece of paper under the designated category, subtracted from the amount and the spender should put their initials next to the purchase. Having the budget displayed reminds the family how much money is available each month, which keeps from overspending, and the initials indicate ownership and accountability to the family spending.

Teach your children about money.

Lots of parents give allowance, but how often does the child actually do something to earn it? It is a home economist’s responsibility to teach their children about money and the value of a dollar.

Allowance is a valuable tool in teaching responsibility personally and as a member of the family. As soon as the child is able to perform tasks, give them allowance. Give a small reward for tasks such as: cleaning up toys, making their bed, brushing their teeth, taking a shower, taking out the trash, bringing their dishes to the sink, putting their clothes away, etc. Make a chore chart and give the child choices to how many tasks they want to perform and how much money they could earn.

When the money is earned, decide what you want to teach them about handling money. For each “lesson” you want to teach, label a jar (ie: saving, tithing, giving, spending) and keep them in plain sight either on their dresser or in the kitchen. Make sure your child knows the money in each one of these jars is strictly for the designated category.

Some parents go a step further by acting as the family “bank.” Children open up “accounts” with their parents and are able to withdraw and deposit their allowance whenever they want. This teaches them how to manage it in a more independent way.

Never miss an opportunity to teach about spending wisely. For instance, if you are at the store and there are two bottles of shampoo on the shelf, ask your child which one they would buy based on price and quantity. Let them cut coupons with you. Have them make partial decisions on the budget such as how to wisely spend the money tagged for family entertainment.

The more you include them into the family money-making decisions, the more they will see your own money management skills at work.

Manage the meals.

Budget management also includes taking care of the family meals. After all, groceries are a variable expense and with a little creativity and planning, can be manipulated to its maximum cost-effective potential.

Consider a family of 4 going out for dinner at conservatively $8 a head – that’s $32 a pop. Now let’s say that family goes out twice a month for a year. That’s $768! I’m sure you could have thought of some pretty nice things to do (or buy) with an amount like that.

A home economist tries creative recipes and food manipulation to get the most out of the very least.

Some ideas include:

Pre-planning all your meals a week in advance. Usually my husband and I make one big lunch and one big dinner meal on Sunday to eat for the entire week. Sure your palette can get bored, but the extra time and money saved from extra ingredients for extra meals is worth it.

Simplify. You don’t have to feed your family a full-course meal (appetizer, salad, meat, 2 sides and dessert) for each meal. Instead make your meals compact. Consider a meat and one side or a casserole or soup and salad. Their waistlines (and your pocketbook) will thank you for it.

Ditch meat once a week. Beef, chicken, even fish, can get pricey so consider making one vegetarian meal a week. Maybe black bean tacos or vegetable chili.

Buy generic. When grocery shopping, do a little product comparison with the store brands. Most of the time the ingredients are the same. It is just in different packaging.

When cooking consider substituting with less expensive food items. For instance, exchange bread crumbs with cracker crumbs. Instead of buttermilk or sour cream, use plain yogurt. Substitute corn syrup with white or brown sugar. And don’t forget the cost-effectiveness of spices, like using garlic powder instead of a garlic clove.

Run your home like a well-oiled machine.

You know the saying, failure to plan is planning to fail. That’s why a home economist must organize the activities, schedules, meals, responsibilities and chores under her watch. Such organization keeps the family from disorder, overload, frustration and panic. But it also allows your family members to contribute and feel the home is a place of calm where they can relax and recharge.

How can you do it?

For activities and schedules: Have a central calendar. Make it easily accessible and big enough to have large spaces to write multiple events per date. Color code the activities by family member. Sit down with your family and review the calendar on Saturday night to affectively plan for the week ahead. Ask if treats need to be made, special clothes need to be washed or ironed, papers need to be signed, etc. This gives each member a chance to be heard and their needs met without rushing last minute to resentfully provide any necessary items.

For meals: Many home economists make a meal plan on Saturday night or Sunday morning for the next week. Decide which meals you will be making, what ingredients you will need and how much you anticipate as leftovers. Some families have a list of items commonly purchased at the grocery store. Once a week, every family member will circle the item(s) they feel are needed or would like in the kitchen. This works good for picky eaters and teenagers.

For responsibilities and chores: Have a clearly visible chart and reward system in place. Family members not only will know who is responsible for what, but can hold each other accountable and give congratulations when the chore is completed. This sets up the family as a team, and the children equal players in creating success. Many families create different reward systems – from stickers to privileges and allowance, do what works best for you. For instance, have Popsicle sticks with chores written on them in an envelope on the chore chart. Each family member can choose which chores they want to do by picking the corresponding stick. After performing the chore, they put the stick in their named envelope on the chore chart. At the end of the day (or week), they receive a dollar for each stick.

Look for inspiration

Always look for better ways to streamline processes in your home. In a book called “The Duggars: 20 and Counting,” mom Michelle Duggar has created a way to manage the laundry of her 19 family members. Instead of carrying clean clothes from the laundry room to the bedrooms to be put away, she had racks installed around the walls of a clothing room next to the laundry room. Everyone’s clothing is hung and sorted by item, color and size and children are expected to go to the room before bed each night to pick their clothes for the next day.

Need a place to start? Visit LifeOrganizer.com, a one-stop site dedicated to de-cluttering home, office and every other part of your life. From finances to holidays to green living, you can find tips and tricks to streamline and become a true home economist.

Tags:4 Responsibilities of a Home Economist

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Manifestation Powers

There are several simple ways to help you manifest what you desire quicker.

We will explore four of those ways in this article. It is now accepted throughout the world after the release of the movie The Secret that we attract what we think about most. It is also accepted that we attract what we unconsciously think about as well. That is why we always want to program our subconscious mind to attract the abundance we desire by default as it is doing for us anyway. Why not have our subconscious mind work for us instead of against us.

Most people get really confused as to how to effectively do this. Anything we intention is an order for the subconscious mind. If we intent something, the subconscious mind will try and bring forth the answer for us to achieve that goal.

All of our intentions are literal orders to our subconscious mind. With this basis, we can now follow so simple steps to install the programs and outcomes that we desire to manifest.

Let’s go over these steps.

# 1. Before you begin to visual, do affirmations, or feel the feeling of haven already achieve the goals you desire it is important to establish within yourself that anytime you visualize, do affirmations or try and feel the feelings of success now – that all of this is an intention for the subconscious mind to uninstall the programs in your mind that are not in alignment with what you desire. Once you establish this, you will always be working on removing the beliefs that are not working in your favor on an unconscious level.

# 2. Practice visualization in a progressive way. What does that mean? It means giving yourself time to improve your visualization gradually. You may want to start just by visualizing a picture of your goals already achieved. Then you may want to turn it into a movie. By making you visualization progressive you give yourself a break by building on your visualization skills and keep yourself motivate.

# 3. Focus only on the feelings and not visualization for some time. It is important to focus on creating the feelings of already having what you want. It is may be more important than visualizing. Do this by asking yourself “how does it feel to have this now”. Repeat various versions of this question to yourself until you begin to create within yourself deeper and deeper feelings of pleasure with association to what you desire.

# 4. Get physical. Standing up and raising your hands in the air in victory will help you create the feelings that you desire. Smiling at your achievement will also produce positive emotions. Finally, laughing in joy because you achieved your goal is one of the most powerful tools for personal transformation. After you practice smiling at what you desire, go into laughing, smiling makes for an easy transition into laughing. What better way to increase the power of your intention then by associating fun and laughter to it?

Take 10-15 minutes a day to practicing these techniques and you will see powerful personal transformation taking place. This will help you attract what you desire almost by default.

Tags:4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Manifestation Powers

4 Simple Steps to Painting Woodwork

Anyone can paint a piece of woodwork. Very few, however, know how to accomplish this task with a professional quality outcome. This quick guide will detail the steps required to paint any piece of woodwork the right way.

The golden rule of painting is that quality counts. In other words, you get what you pay for. Make sure that the paint you use is of a high quality and that the wood is undercoated with a good sealer before you begin.

Here’s the run down, step by step.

Step 1:

Both old and new wood needs to be sanded before you begin to paint it. If it’s been painted before this will clean the older paint away and smooth any rough edges or blemishes. If the wood has yet to be painted the sand will prep the wood to accept an undercoat or primer. You can accomplish this task with a sanding block or hand sander to make quick work of it.

Step 2:

Once the item is sanded, the dust and debris will need to be cleared away using a shop rag. Make sure the project area is completely clean and then seal or undercoat the project. You will seal the project if the wood is new and undercoat it if you are using rescued material.

Step 3:

Tape off the areas which you desire to go unpainted and lay down your first level of paint. Different projects work best with differing methods, but a roller is an easy go to fix all when looking for an even coat. Some people will prefer spray painting the project to achieve the perfect coat. Remember, if this is the method you choose, make sure you keep the can or spray gun steady and at a level distance from your project for the entire job.

Step 4:

After the first coat of paint goes down and has dried you are going to want to lightly sand the entire project a second time. Don’t strip the paint from the project just clear out any bubbles, ridges, or streaks formed from the first layer. Once you’ve cleaned off the debris repeat step 3 to finish the job.

Tags:4 Simple Steps to Painting Woodwork

Monday, May 30, 2016

4 Rising Stars in the Classic Car Market

Usually, the most coveted vehicles at classic car auctions are flashy, two-seaters; muscle cars; or vintage automobiles, such as Ferraris or Duesenbergs. And, although their popularity is unlikely to wane any time soon, there are some unexpected vehicles that are starting to get a lot of attention. These unlikely upstarts are no strangers to car auctions, but in the past, they were most noticeable because of how they contrasted with the more highly-prized players. Now, they just might be ready to break into the big leagues. Here are 4 of my picks for rising stars in the classic car market. What do you think — could these be the next hot vehicles?

Second Generation C/K Chevy Trucks

Several of the older model Chevy pickup trucks, such as the 1955 ½ to 1957 models, are already sought-after collectibles. However, the second generation C/K Chevy pickups, which were built between 1967 and 1972, are just beginning to make their presence known. The original owners of these clean-styled, often two-toned pickups are putting them up for sale, and restorers are buying them, either to return them to factory-fresh condition, or to convert them into barely street legal hot rods. Based on recent sales of these trucks at auctions, they are selling from $12,000 to $30,000, in original restored condition, with highly modified versions topping out at $55,000. Although these prices are at the lower end of most collector vehicles, judging from the increasing number being sold at auctions and the quality of restorations being performed, you can expect prices to go higher.

First Generation Ford Broncos

First generation Ford Broncos, which were built in the 1970s, didn’t provide much to get excited about, with their no-frills, plain interiors and boxy exteriors. However, these SUV-like vehicles were soon enhanced by the addition of large tires, and upgrades to both suspension and engine. These modifications made the Bronco a great off-roads vehicle, and to many, it was synonymous with fun in the great outdoors. Although the Ford Bronco will never reach the prestige of a muscle car in collectibility, it shares some of the nostalgic appeal of these cars from the past, which is an attributing factor to the attention they are getting on the auction circuit. Off-road modifications have already been made on the vast majority of these Broncos, but a few are still in stock condition, with no customizations. In the classic car world, scarcity equates to collectibility, making originally restored Broncos a hot item, as evidenced by auction prices ranging from $20,000 to $39,000.

MicroCars (Messerschmitts/BMW Isettas)

When European-built microcars from the 1950s make an appearance at car auctions, they are always crowd pleasers. It’s hard to resist these cute, miniature cars that seem more like toys, than actual modes of transportation. The two most popular microcars are the BMW Isetta and the Messerschmitt. Each has unique features, other than their small size, that make them desirable to prospective buyers. The Isetta, with its single door, swings open from the front, to allow the driver and passenger access. The Messerschmitt has a canopy-style top that hinges to one side for entry. In this two-passenger car, the passenger sits directly behind the driver. These cars may not be for everyone, but they are beginning to pop up at many classic car auctions. You’ll have to pay at least $20,000 to take one home, and some have even broken the six-figure barrier. In fact, a new record was recently set when an extremely rare 1958 Messerschmitt Tiger sold for an astonishing $322,000 (including buyer’s premium).

1950s and 1960s Volkswagen Bus

Before the minivan, there was the Volkswagen Bus. During its heyday, the VW Bus was the vehicle of choice for family camping adventures, or in its second life, perfect for a cross country trip with a group of friends. Because of its role in bringing people together, it makes an emotional connection with many car enthusiasts, and it’s no surprise that collectors want to tap into the sentimentality of this iconic bus. Because of its desirability, the time to pick one of these cool-looking vehicles may have already passed. Currently, entry level pricing on a restored VW Bus is at least $30,000, with one of the more desirable 21-window models reaching $165,000 at a recent auction. It’s anyone’s guess, how high they will go in the future. If you sold one of these good time buses years ago, you could try to buy it back for what you sold it for, or the owner might be willing to trade it for your Corvette.

Tags:4 Rising Stars in the Classic Car Market

4 Simple Ways the Updated PayPal iPhone App Can Save You Money

PayPal recently added cool new features to its preexisting iPhone App, including Bump Technologies, money transfer, alerts, calculators and more. The new PayPal iPhone App update is more than cool and it’ll save you money. Here’s how.

The new update makes getting paid back on loans easier than ever

The recent update on the iPhone’s PayPal app makes getting money back from those mooching friends of yours easier than ever, by using money requests and Bump Technologies. The new Bump Technologies added with the new update to the PayPal app on the iPhone allows users to simply bump phones and instantly transfer money to the bumping phones. After this update, friends can no longer make the excuse of not having cash on them or having to go to an ATM as you’ll be able to request a phone bump to get your money back. If your mooching friends aren’t around, you can send a money request via your iPhone and shoot them a phone call or text message to confirm the process.

Alerts will keep you from making money mistakes and being delinquent

Being delinquent on payments and bills can result in fines and overdraft fees from your bank. The new update to the iPhone PayPal app lets you set up reminders and notifications to help keep you in the clear (and out of the red) by letting you know when money needs to be transferred, sent, and after it was spent. This recent update to the PayPal app is a very convenient method to keeping up with your money and is sure to save you money that you would have lost due to forgetfulness.

Keeping up with restaurant tabs has never been easier

The added tip calculator and bill splitter features of the new PayPal app update on the iPhone will keep eating out at restaurants a lot more organized and you’ll be able to stop taking the bulk of restaurant bills. Using these features of the PayPal iPhone app will let you know how much cash is due to tip the waitress and how much you owe on the overall bill; instead of just guessing and paying the extra money left over after your mooching friends have fled the scene.

Easily transfer money to and from PayPal on the go

If you’re out on the go and need to handle a little bit of business with your cash, you’ll be able to use the PayPal app to easily transfer cash to and from your PayPal account using your iPhone. Sometimes money has to beat the clock (if you know what I mean) and you might have spent too soon or spent a little more than was in your account. This PayPal app update will allow you to make up for you silly mistake by sending money to offset the damage you might have done.

For more read PayPal Debit Cards Are the Best Way to Spend Online and Offline, Apple Bans Anything Remotely Sexy from the IPhone App Store, and The Coolest Features to Look Forward to with Windows Phone 7

For more of the latest tech news, visit my blog.

Tags:4 Simple Ways the Updated PayPal iPhone App Can Save You Money

4 Stupid Things People Do on Their Facebook Profiles

Facebook is the most popular social networking site, and therefore one of the most agonizing to look around on–bad habits get started, and they don’t get stopped. Here are four things that people do on their facebook profiles that are unnecessary and completely irritating.

1. Joining Groups with A Member Goal. So what you’re telling me is that some dude named Jason is going to name his child Thor if this group gets 10,000 members? Why the hell would he do that? Why are you inviting me to help him? When I see that someone has joined a Facebook group with a member goal, my opinion of them immediately drops. Not that they should care, because I’m an egotistical prick, but I’m not alone in this–anyone who wants 5,000,000 People To Join This Group To Convince Facebook To Ban Fratboys is probably a person in the last stages of syphilis.

2. Bad grammar on the Facebook status. Now that Facebook has made it so that you can get rid of the “is”, there’s no excuse for having a Facebook status like “Joel Smith is Yes we can” unless you’re clinically retarded. Seriously, it takes maybe half a second to come up with a sentence that is at least readable and double check it–and that way, I don’t have to read that “Jill Chambers is is tired from jogging”.

3. That bumper sticker thing. What the hell is it? It might be a fun little application if it actually showed anything resembling bumper stickers, but as far as I can tell it’s just a thing that posts pictures on peoples’ profiles. But we already have that–it’s called “pictures.” Why the hell would you recreate that and rename it “bumper stickers?” There’s obviously something incredibly different about the two that I’m missing. Does one cost money? I’m completely lost on the bumper sticker thing.

4. Complaining About The New Facebook. This is the most annoying thing that you can do on Facebook, whether you’re joining a group, hosting an “event,” or just writing a note about how much the new features piss you off. The thing is, the new Facebook is almost exactly like the old Facebook. The major difference is that things are easier to find. When you complain about how much the new Facebook pisses you off, you sound like an old person complaining about how your spouse moved the couch and now the TV glares; there is no glare, just like there is nothing particularly bad about updating a five year old website.

Tags:4 Stupid Things People Do on Their Facebook Profiles

4 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Office More Green

Many people spend a lot of time in their home offices and if you are trying to live a green lifestyle, there are many things you can do to make your home office green that provides benefits to you and your family as well as the environment. Here are few simple things to help you create a green home office.


When decorating your home office make first to choose green furniture. There is a variety of nice furniture that is made from renewable resources that are free of harmful chemicals and materials that can hurt your and your family and the environment. Green furniture is a great start in creating a green home office.


In all ways possible, attempt to limit the amount of paper you use. Limiting the amount of paper is a simple way to make your office greener and help save trees, which benefits the environment. Of course you will have to use a good deal of paper in your office, but you can cut back. Avoid printing unless you need to or for simple documents, reuse the backsides of sheets of paper. For longer documents you can print on both sides of the paper to help conserve how many sheets of paper you are using. Another great way to cut back on paper and printing is keeping a lot of files stored on your computer for easy access. Then you can view them any time you need then without having to print. You could go paperless, but we all know that is not usually a feasible task.


Of course you will be using a decent amount of paper, so it is important to recycle. Like in many other aspects of living a green life, it is essential to recycle the materials in your home office. Offices of all types typically have a lot of paper and it important to recycle paper that is not needed. You can use a special box or trash bin to put all of your recycled paper and then empty once a week, or as needed. For paper that has sensitive information you can shred it first before placing it in the recycling container.


Turn off electronics and appliances when they are not in use. By simply turning off unused equipment it conserves energy, which helps the environment and cuts down on your energy costs. When you leave the office turn off the lights, computer, printer, and anything else that you are not using. It does not take much time to turn things off and it is beneficial for you and the environment. Another great way to conserve energy is unplugging appliances that are not used frequently. This is a great way to conserve energy.

With these simple things you can easily make your home office a greener place that provides benefits to you and the environment and makes your home a greener place. Greening up your home office will make you feel good and even help you save money.



Tags:4 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Office More Green

4 Signs that He Doesn't Deserve You

The difference between dating a nice and unconventional artist and dating a loser with no job and future plans can be extremely difficult to establish. But you must decide if your partner is a day dreamer or just some lazy guy. Here are some obvious signs that you should leave him.

First, we have to establish that you can’t keep a relationship that doesn’t bring you any benefits. I’m not talking about the financial part, but rather about the degree of comfort given by that relationship. Even if your partner is going through a more difficult period, there is a limit between someone who has minor problems and another one who has problems every day.

Here are four situations that should help you find out if your partner doesn’t deserve you:

1. He’s always broke

Maybe you have financial problems too, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. It becomes a problem when he does nothing, asking always for your support. In the first months, you can help him, but if you notice that things don’t get better, then it’s better to give up your relationship. That until he will find a new sponsor, and you’ll end by feeling used.

2. He’s lazy

When you go out, he sleeps; when you come back, you find him on the couch, watching some stupid TV shows. A few minutes later, he goes out with the boys. Certainly he didn’t have time to do anything useful, because he was too tired, as he got home at 3 o’clock in the morning. The best would be to lock the door and to leave him, because laziness can be contagious.

3. He’s too messy

You claim that he’s unconventional, but the psychologists say that he’s massy, being unable to keep anything under control, not even his own existence. The apparent mess in his room reflects his lifestyle.

4. He wants to be supported financially

Regardless of how much he loves you, your partner mustn’t be supported financially by you. As I was saying at point 1, you can help him but you can’t give everything without getting anything in return. Help him to find a job and watch his reaction; if he really wants to do something with his life, then he will make everything possible to fix the problem. Men in love are usually protective and generous; do you think your boyfriends fits in this category? If not, it’s better to leave him.

Tags:4 Signs that He Doesn’t Deserve You

4 Steps to a Concrete Sidewalk

A sidewalk can be a great way to get the most out of your front entryway or other entrances to and from structures and areas of interest around your yard. But you don’t have to hire a professional concrete company to do the work for you. You can easily do the work yourself using basic concrete materials and tools, a little elbow grease and these four simple tips for building your own concrete sidewalk.

Prepping the Area

Determine the width and length of your sidewalk. Use a string or garden hose to layout the sidewalks path, then mark the grass using layout grade spray paint. Using a sod cutter, remove the sod from the between the path, leaving a little extra for play on each side. Next, cut a 2×4 two feet bigger than your sidewalk is wide. Turn it on a slight diagonal and use it to grade the soil flat and level. Don’t cut it to fit evenly between the sidewalk grade, I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Setting the Forms

Straight form work should be made using 2×4’s as long as you can get for nice straight lines. Use a 1×4 or piece of plywood for curved sidewalk forms. Set the forms the required distance apart and evenly on the ground. Use 1x1x24 stakes for a secure set of forms. Drive stakes just below the top of the forms about every four feet apart and nail the form from the outside in using 8d duplex nails. Once the forms are set to the stakes and secured, backfill in any voids with excess dirt and level using the grading 2×4.

Pouring the Concrete

The next step is pouring the concrete. Whether you hire a concrete delivery truck or you mix the bags yourself, be sure to dampen the ground before you pour any concrete to help preventing it from drying prematurely. Pour the concrete in sections small enough that you can handle like four foot at a time. Use a small 1×2 form to break the concrete pour evenly. Pour the concrete into the form and fill it to the top. Using the grading 2×4 you cut wider than the form, screed the concrete smooth using a sawing motion back and forth as you pull excess concrete or add it as needed.

Finishing the Concrete

Using a small hand trowel, a margin trowel, a curb trowel and a finishing broom, you can finish the concrete sidewalk from a rough finish until it’s completely smooth using the hand trowel. Use finish broom to drag a scratch surface for grip on the sidewalk. Use the curb trowel to create a finished border up against the forms. Once hard, pull off the forms and use the margin trowel to fill any voids on the side of the sidewalk.

More Articles by Eric Brennan

Build your own Shish Kebab Pit

4 Steps to your own Privacy Fence

13 Budget Friendly Home Improvement Projects

Tags:4 Steps to a Concrete Sidewalk

4 Things Bands Should Consider When Uploading MP3s to Myspace

Myspace is one of the best places for bands to promote and distribute their music, organize shows, and generally handle the active business side of being in a band. The social networking giant also allows bands to upload a few songs in mp3 and similar formats for fans to listen to and download.

If your band has a Myspace page, here are a few things you should consider before uploading any mp3s to the website.

1. Don’t upload mp3s that have been converted more than once. When an mp3 is converted, it undergoes compression, and if your band decides to re-convert an mp3 to make it smaller, it will undergo that compression twice, leaving an mp3 that sounds distorted and bad. Combine this with the not-too-great audio quality of the MySpace music player, and you’ll have an mp3 that doesn’t exactly sound impressive. Only upload mp3s to Myspace that were converted from a lossless format, such as WAV.

2. Consider whether you want to allow fans to download mp3s. When you upload a song onto your band’s Myspace page, Myspace gives you a checkbox that you can click to allow fans to download your songs directly from the site. There are two quite different schools of thought on this subject; does the added freedom help your fans get the word out about your music, or does it simply take money away that you could have had if you’d sold the mp3s? I lean towards the former school of thought, but remember that you can always upload a few mp3s and only allow downloads on one of them. That way, you’ve got your bases covered. Whatever you do, talk it over with your band first.

3. Choose your “auto-load” song carefully. Whatever song your band chooses as its primary Myspace mp3, that’s the tune that will play automatically when a visitor comes to your webpage, so choose it carefully. My band prefers to use a song that fades in, as it gives listeners time to realize that a song is about to play and lets them know to turn down their speakers if they’re in a public area. There’s a box to make the auto-load song choice random, but it’s better to use the opportunity to your band’s advantage–pick one of your best songs, something that will really hook new visitors that may not know anything about your band.

4. Upload a good picture with your mp3. It makes your band look more professional, and gives listeners something to associate with the song that’s playing. An album cover or a flyer from a recent show is a great choice. Be sure to properly format the picture to Myspace’s standards, or it will appear warped.

Does your band have songs available on their Myspace page in mp3? Post your thoughts and tips in the comments section below.

Tags:4 Things Bands Should Consider When Uploading MP3s to Myspace

4 Sure Bets for Valentine's Day in Columbus

The cold Midwestern winter months can make it difficult to enjoy the company of loved ones. Don’t despair – let the warm spirit of Valentine’s Day free you , if only briefly, from winter’s icy grip. As luck would have it for Central Ohioans, Columbus offers a few unique opportunities to spend quality time with loved ones . As a bonus, by finding a little extra time to spend with loved ones , you’ll be adhering to the year’s most common New Year’s resolution: spending more time with family and friends.

For four sure-fire Valentine’s ideas in Columbus, keep reading.

Cocktails at the Conservatory
Want something more “grown-up” than the bar scene? Cocktails at the Conservatory offers the opportunity to enjoy the warm intimacy of the Franklin Park Conservatory. For Valentine’s Day, the Conservatory offers six wine and chocolate pairings. Music by The Shaw Brothers and Elijah Aaron. Tickets are $11.

Couple’s Package at Mohican Lodge
Wanna get away from it all with your Valentine? You can do just that at Mohican State Park Lodge. On top of being nestled into one of Ohio’s most picturesque locations, a couple’s packages offer even more. Each two-night package includes a bottle of local wine, locally made chocolates, dinner and breakfast.

Valentine’s Love Trek to Chapel Cave
If you’re the adventurous sort, for $25 per person, you and your Valentine can take a hike. Literally! Down in Hocking Hills State Park, you and a loved one can explore Long Hollow with a professional naturalist over an approximately two hour hike. Hot chocolate and and cupcakes are included. If you’re unable to make it on Valentine’s Day, no worries, the offer continues through the 16th of February. Hikes begin at 1 pm.

Romantic Dinner
If you would prefer a more traditional romantic dinner with your Valentine, Columbus has quite a bit to offer. The following three restaurants offer unique interpretations of Valentine’s Day favorites, paired with wine.

Camelot Cellars Winery, located in Columbus’s Short North, is offering a three-course dinner for two. Performance by local jazz musician Colin Lazarski.

Wyandotte Winery, tucked away near Blendon Woods, is offering a six-course dinner paired with a variety of wines. Cello by Robin Coolidge.

Plum Run Winery in Grove City is also offering a six course dinner paired with wines. For more information, call 614-594-9330.

If none of the ideas above appeal to you or perhaps you’re spending Valentine’s Day single, consider checking out Columbus Alive for more options to get out of the cold and enjoy the warmth of good company this Valentine’s Day.

John Holbrook has been a teacher in Columbus for seven years. He and his wife are planing on having a romantic dinner, then rushing home to their newborn.

Tags:4 Sure Bets for Valentine’s Day in Columbus

4 Stress Management Tips for Families During Holidays

There is a lot of energy spent on making sure that the holidays are enjoyable for everyone. This can lead to a lot of stress. Thankfully things do not have to be this way. Here are some tips to help you beat the stress the next time a holiday rolls around:

1.Keep your priorities straight. Start by figuring out what your top 3 priorities are for the holiday season, then write them down somewhere that you can see them. If you are married, you will want to take your partner’s wishes into consideration here as well. Once these 3 priorities are in front of you it will be a lot easier to stick to your commitments and make compromises in order to make sure that you do so.

2.Think about the enjoyable memories that you have from the past holidays. This will help you remember what the holidays are truly all about. Once you come to this realization, you will be able to incorporate more of these things into your holidays. You may need to pull out some old photographs from previous holidays in order to help you out here.

3.Do not have your holidays spoiled by commercialism. While there is a big push to spend a lot of money and go into debt, this really isn’t going to make you happy even while you are doing it, much less when the credit card bills begin appearing. A good rule of thumb here is to stop shopping just as soon as you are no longer having fun. You may also consider using the money that you would normally spend on gifts for your family on a weekend getaway instead. Another idea that will not only bring you great joy but also put a smile on your recipient’s face is to make some homemade gifts this year. After all, the holidays are more about relationships than gifts anyway.

4.Get started early. Make sure that you have plans in place and that you take care of yourself throughout the holiday season. This may mean that you will have to simplify some things. Nevertheless, it really is more important to make sure that you enjoy the holidays than anything else.

Regardless of what holiday season it is, these tips will help you be able to enjoy the season a lot more.

Tags:4 Stress Management Tips for Families During Holidays

4 Steps to Managing a Public Relations Crisis on Social Media

There is one thing that unhappy employees and customers have in common and that is the ability to tarnish your company’s reputation with just one negative comment/review on your social media channel or online review sites, such as PissedConsumer.com, Yelp.com, and Ripoffreport.com. A PR Crisis can be a result of an honest mistake or an intentional attempt to draw negative attention towards you. Either way, the right thing to do is respond to the criticism/comment professionally, competently, and calmly. Here are 4 steps you should take to manage a PR crisis on social media without having to provoke more drama.

Understand the issue. This is one of the most important, yet overlooked steps in online reputation management. Before you respond, take the time to gather the facts, analyze the situation, and understand the nuances. Often times, companies rush through their response without thinking – making a situation go from bad to worse.

Write up the response on Word before you publish it. Jot down a few notes- the who, what, where, when, why, and how. Your response should only address the concerns the reviewer brought up. Avoid haphazardly fire-hosing out lots of details that are irrelevant to proving your point. Let someone who has never read the review or comment read your response and try to identify the issue. If the reader is having a difficulty identifying the issue, there are too many details inside that should not be there. The key here is to be honest, but not overtly honest at the same time.

Address the comment immediately. There’s no need to spend days consulting management, other employees, and lawyers before responding to the comment/review. By that time the crisis could already be already out of control and out of your hands. It only takes a few seconds, at most a few minutes, for a message to go viral. Time is of the essence! When you do respond, respond in the most engaging, humble, and funny way possible.

Reassess. Reassess your own practices. Speak with your staff about the importance of customer service and what they can do to deflect a bad situation. Bring in professional development experts that can equip staff members to make informed decisions and deal with Public Relations crisis without relying on management to get out of hot waters.

The important thing to remember is to stay calm and not panic. If your customer wants an apology, then apologize. In some cases you’re not wrong, so there’s no need for one. You should then apologize for their bad experience and reassure them that their feedback is always appreciated.

If the customer is requesting a refund, ask them to call you to discuss the situation. Never speak about money issues in public or online. Nominate a neutral party who would be able to make a decision based on the facts and not emotions. Write a blog post – speaking about the experience and how your company has successful resolved disputes internally.

By Alex Noudelman

Tags:4 Steps to Managing a Public Relations Crisis on Social Media

4 Steps in CD Production that Most Bands Skip

CD Production is a long and involved process–except, of course, if you simply skip large portions of it. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to do things, and if your band isn’t approaching each part of the CD production process carefully, you’re going to make less money and end up with a product that you’re not happy with.

Here are a few major, important steps in every CD’s production process that bands often skip or ignore.

1. Practice – Before recording anything, your band should have its music where it wants it: the tempos should be clearly defined, your timing should be perfect, and nobody should be making major mistakes (you’ll find out how many little mistakes you’ve been making when you start to record). Otherwise, your band’s looseness will come through on the recordings, and by that point, there’s nothing that you can really do about it. Schedule a few hour long practices the week before recording begins.

2. Sequencing – Once everything’s recorded, a lot of time is spent mixing the CD and applying effects, but sequencing is often ignored, despite the fact that the track order can completely change how an album effects a listener and his/her perception of the band as a whole. If there’s no strong starting track, for instance, the rest of the songs might be ignored by a casual listener. Spend time sequencing your band’s CD, and have a good reason for placing each track where it is.

3. Mastering – Without good mastering, your band’s CD will sound uneven and amateurish. Mastering gets all of the songs on an album to the same level, evens out the overall sound, and generally makes everything sound clean and professional. Overall compression is added to tracks, and many radio stations won’t even consider a CD that hasn’t been mastered for this reason–without that standard compression, songs simply don’t sound good on the radio.

4. Shopping around –The first CD production company you consider will probably not be the least expensive or the best option out there. Look around, get different pricing quotes, and realistically consider what you need: if this is your first CD, do not order 1,000 copies. You won’t sell them. Try a short order of 100, and find a company that can do a good job while giving you a good deal.

Has your band had a CD produced? Post in our comments section below.

Tags:4 Steps in CD Production that Most Bands Skip

4 Things You Don't Want to Say When Getting Divorced

When you are going through a divorce your emotions and tension levels are naturally heightened. Your heightened emotional status can lead you to say things that are hurtful and damaging to the people that you interact with, including your ex-spouse, your kids and your friends. If you are going through a divorce right now then there are four things that you don’t want to say, even if you feel that you mean them at the time. These things can burn bridges that you may need later on down the road.

#1 – I hate you!

“I hate you!” is a phrase that most people going through a divorce want to say at the top of their lungs to their spouse and to other people in their life. However, saying this phrase is generally a mistake until the final divorce papers have been signed. If your spouse and their attorney hear you say this then they know that you are emotionally off balance and in a very emotionally vulnerable state. They can use this to their advantage in court. Also, saying this to your ex-spouse can hurt your children if they overhear you say this or if they are told that you said this. If you feel you need to say this then say it in the privacy of your own home when the kids are not there.

#2 – I don’t care, do whatever you want.

“I don’t care, do whatever you want” is another phrase you don’t want to say to your attorney, your ex-spouse, your kids or anyone else in your life. This statement gives away all of your power and puts you in a dangerous position. Even if the person you are dealing with is a hassle to deal with, you need to stay in control of your life, especially during a difficult divorce.

#3 – It’s all your fault!

Again, even if it is mainly the other spouse’s fault, you really don’t want to state that the divorce is all their fault. This is not to say that you should blame yourself, but from a negotiating standpoint, once you start the blame game your ex-spouse is going to shut down and become resistant to reasonable negotiations.

#4 – Marry me.

While “marry me” may not sound like something you would say during a divorce it has been known to happen. As you navigate your way through a divorce you may start thinking about all the good times that you had with the person that you are divorcing and you may reconsider the divorce. However, there was obviously some problem that got you to the point where divorce seemed like the only option that you had. If you want to reconsider getting divorced that is fine, but you don’t want to jump right back into a married relationship until you have figured out the underlying problem in your relationship. You also don’t want to jump into another marriage right after getting a divorce. Take things slow and give yourself some time before recommitting to another person.

Tags:4 Things You Don’t Want to Say When Getting Divorced

Sunday, May 29, 2016

4 Tenets for Finding Your Way in Penny Stock Investing

People will all tell you that penny stock investing is not a good idea. They will tell you that penny stocks are not reliable long term investments and that penny stocks will all fail in the end and that penny stocks are just schemes from corrupt individuals and much of the time these are things which can be true. However I’d counter that penny stock investing may be the last way for average individuals to play in the stock market. Penny stocks are for the most part quite affordable, they make sense for the investor who does their investment homework, and particularly in such a quagmire of an economy, penny stock investing is all that many people can afford. Still, you need to find your own way in the investing world and you need to do what makes sense for you. If penny stock investing does interest you, consider these four tenets to finding your way in penny stock investing.

Consider the Source: One of the easiest ways to get suckered into a bum bet in penny stock investing is to listen to unreliable sources of information. That is, the chat rooms, discussion boards, even websites like the Yahoo! Contributor Network. We are all just platforms for you to do your own discovery. Truth be told no one on any online chat rooms knows any more about what is going to happen in any particular stock than anyone else. If there were real information being spread in the blogosphere that is a crime called insider trading. Most companies; reputable or not; don’t want to have insider trading traced back to them. Not only does it involve jail time but it also makes their company less legitimate in the eyes of investors. Consider the source before you run after a flagging penny stock investment.

Consider Your Portfolio: What else is in your portfolio? Do you have a balanced investment sheet or is this something you do in small amounts? For every dollar you have invested in penny stocks, consider setting aside a dollar for, say, bonds. Or CD’s. Or savings. Or blue chip stocks. You have to have a balanced investment portfolio; there is no time like the present to divvy up your assets across a number of different investments.

Consider the Industry: What does the company you’re investing in produce? What is their market potential? Where do you see this business going in 1 year? 10 years? If your penny stock is trying to make waves in an already established industry, this could be a tough racket to enter. Consider the place in the market for this company’s product or service. Does this company deal in bio-technology and are they making partnerships with industry leaders? Or is this a very specific niche industry with not a lot of potential upside? If your company doesn’t have an innovative way of doing old business, then they’re just old business.

Consider Your Life: Okay this is a big one, you need to remember that these are investments which can (and very well may) go all the way down to nothing. That said, don’t go after penny stocks with rent money or your child’s lunch money in the hopes of flipping it for a double. You may track a penny stock down and up and down and up every day at these 100% turnaround points, but you can’t know that this is going to continue. Consider the fact that you need to still live your life with or without these massive gains.

Penny stock investing is not as easy as many think. It used to be that you could throw some money at the market and whatever stuck would go up 10-fold. This is not the current economy we live in. That said there still is money to be made in penny stock investing for even the small time investor. Go for it!

Tags:4 Tenets for Finding Your Way in Penny Stock Investing

4 Things I Have Learned Through Divorce

Allow me to paint you a picture. Not a literal picture, by any means. I am horrible at painting. I once tried to draw Godzilla as a child and it turned out looking like a Tyrannosaur. My lack of painting skills aside, I want to paint this picture for you with my words. My sweet, comfortable, sexy, sexy words.

I sit alone in a one-bedroom apartment. Though, I say alone, I am not completely alone. I mean, I was alone for the past five months or so, but not now. No, now I am harboring my sister and her three sons. So, it’s kind of a crowded household right now.

For the purpose of this scene though, let’s just say I’m alone. So, I’m alone, right? Let’s all agree on that. Ray is alone. Why am I alone? My last article was obviously a step in the right direction of personal growth. It was all about being a father and the amazement I had at the birth of my son! Apparently I didn’t grow as much as I thought I had, according to my now-estranged wife. Why do I say that? Thank you for asking unnamed reader! You’re always so caring. It’s because last May, I was served divorce papers and immediately kicked out of the house that I had been paying on for two years.

Now, I might sound bitter, but I know that there’s a silver lining in any situation. Except this one. There is no silver lining. More like an abyss that is an all-consuming tornado of emotions and tears. Oh, the tears. I may have trailed off from my picture painting. See? I told you I was horrible at painting and this is my metaphorical Tyrannosaur in writing. So the picture is, I tried really hard the first month to win back my wife. Well, I say I tried really hard. It depends on if drinking yourself to sleep every night and sending texts full of sadness is trying or just being pathetic. After about a month and a half, I accepted the situation and moved on the best way that I could. If you’ve read any of my previous stuff, you ought to know that I’m probably not the most graceful at acceptance. It was a difficult road, and there are many things I learned.

Don’t beg for her/him back

The biggest fault I have is that when I’m sad, man, I am sad. If you ever find yourself at the broken-hearted end of a divorce, one of the worse things you can possibly do for your self-esteem is beg. Much like a dog goes away disappointed when you fail to give him a pepperoni from your pizza, or hell, even the crust. Give that poor dog the crust, at the very least. Well, much like that poor dog, you walk away disappointed and kicking yourself for losing your composure like that. Don’t get me wrong, you will feel like crap either way, but you don’t have to belittle yourself at the same time. No one likes it when you beg, and the same goes for a relationship or marriage. Your ex-significant other will only see you as pathetic and sad, not as someone they want to spend the rest of their life with.

That first month I was a mess. I cried myself to sleep at night, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What I did do that was wrong was I let her know. That only reaffirmed her decision to divorce me because it showed that I obviously couldn’t handle the heat. Much like the heat of the oven burns my rugged man hands when I forget the oven mitts because I’m a man and I don’t do kitchen stuff.

Give your spouse what they want

If you find yourself with divorce papers in hand and you sincerely want to save this marriage, keep calm. There may still be time. Communicate your desire without argument, and if the other still feels divorce is the way to go, give them the space they so desperately want. Move out with all of your stuff in tow. That dresser that was yours? Take it. That TV? Still yours, buddy. Anything that you brought into the marriage that you didn’t buy together, take it all with you and don’t look back.

Now you’re probably asking me something like, “How is that supposed to save my marriage? I can’t just give up on it!” You aren’t giving up. You’re giving your spouse what they want, and it’s likely that during the course of the marriage, she/he felt that they weren’t getting what they wanted from you. In the second month of my divorce, I finally came and got everything I owned out of the house, packed it up and unloaded it at my new apartment. The next few weeks came with several calls from my estranged wife, who was obviously missing me at this point. However, I was trying my hardest to move on and was becoming quite successful at it. This still didn’t lessen the impact that her words had on my emotions. My sweet, damned emotions.

Date. Find dates, anywhere you can, just date someone

You might think that finding someone else will be counter productive to saving your marriage; I thought so too. But by the second month, I no longer cared, despite my wife showing signs of regret. If you let it be known that you’re a strong-willed person and you are moving on with your life, that will impress your spouse. It will also make them jealous and possibly crazy. Try not to let them get crazy. Crazy is bad. Crazy stalks you, throws you in a trunk, ties cinder blocks to your legs, throws you in a lake and leaves you for dead. That really isn’t good for anyone and most importantly not good for you. But yeah, the moving on part, it shows that despite what your spouse thinks, you’re grown enough to accept the situation and make good decisions for yourself and that you’re capable of moving on. A deep human flaw is that we all want what we think we can’t have. If your spouse sees that you’re out dating again, they may see that they have lost you and sure enough, they’ll want you back.

This very thing happened to me, my friends. By the third month, I was not exactly dating but I was hanging out with female friends that I hadn’t seen in years. My wife knew this, mostly because I’m an honest person and told her what I was doing. The fact that I had other women in my life that would be there for me seemed to bug her to no end. Albeit, she would never admit that, but jealousy is easy to spot. There was one significant friend in particular that I have, though and I never would’ve made it through the whole ordeal without her. I won’t expand anymore on this particular friend but it’s a good thing to have because that brings me to…

Fall back on your friends

When you get married, you lose touch with a lot of the friends you used to spend time with. It’s natural, and everyone understands it. Once those papers are served though, you now have all the time in the world to catch up on those friendships and rebuild old bonds. Without a good network of people that you trust, the days of divorce will be that much more rocky. Much like Rocky himself punching you in the face over and over. It feels a lot like that.

It wasn’t until I saw something that I shouldn’t have seen of my estranged wife’s, the details of which I will not disclose, that I decided it was time to reach out. So I reached out to this one particular person that I haven’t seen in years, but she has been there for me through many hard times. It’s important to have that one friend that you can count on, that you can tell anything to and vice versa. The type of friend that if you woke them up at 3 in the morning, they wouldn’t chase you away with a shotgun. Those friends are hard to find, but they are out there, and everyone needs at least one.

I learned a lot in the past five months. A lot about myself, a lot about my values and even a lot about human nature. I’ve learned that even if your life comes crashing down around you, we are all our brother’s keeper. What I mean by that is we all need someone. Don’t withdraw into yourself and allow it to tear you up inside. You have a life, live it, even if it isn’t with the person you thought you were going to live it with. No matter who you are, there are people out there that care. Hold onto those people, because they will be there when you need them most.

I’d like to end this on the note that my wife and I are in talks of working things out now. We do have an 18-month-old son together, and he truly is my world. Through the hardships that I have been through with my wife, it’s going to take a lot, and I mean a lot, to fix the marriage. If it doesn’t work though, I know that I’ll be OK because I have an amazing family and the best friends that I could ask for.

Tags:4 Things I Have Learned Through Divorce

4 Things to Know About the IRS Appeals Programs

The IRS has an assortment of provisions in place to protect a taxpayer’s rights. One of those rights that an individual is free to exercise is to request an appeal. Here are four important questions I may need to ask about the IRS appeals process.

What can Appeals do for me?

According to the IRS web site, Appeals “serves as an informal administrative forum for any taxpayer who disagrees with an IRS determination. Appeals provides a venue where disagreements concerning the application of tax law can be resolved on a fair and impartial basis for both the taxpayer and the government. The mission of Appeals is to settle tax disagreements without having to go to the Courts and a formal trial.”

What actions can I appeal?

Most decisions of the IRS can be appealed. These include the proposed assessment of taxes and the collection of the tax.

There are two programs that the IRS uses to administer the appeals process. They are a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing and the Collection Appeals Program (CAP). See the articles linked below for an explanation of these two programs.

Through these programs, a taxpayer can request to appeal the intent of the IRS to take collection actions (such as a levy or the filing of a lien), the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien or the issuance of a Notice of Levy on wages or bank accounts, a notice of a defaulted Installment Agreement, or a notice that the IRS has rejected my request to make installment payments.

Other appealable actions include property seizures, a denial of request to have property discharged from a lien, a denial of request that the IRS subordinate a lien, and a denial of request to have a lien withdrawn.

I can also request the appeal of the assessment of a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, the rejection of my Offer in Compromise, the denial to have penalties abated, and disallowed audit reconsideration claims, although all these appeals are handled separately from the above CDP and CAP programs.

Do I qualify for an appeal?

Yes, if I have a notice from the IRS that outlines my appeal rights. All appeal rights are provided in writing and accompany an IRS notice advising of one of the actions discussed above. If I only have a tax bill from the IRS, and there is no mention of the option for an appeal, then the appeal program is not an option for me.

If my concern solely rests with an inability to make payment, then an appeal is not appropriate. However, contact the IRS and they will review eligibility to have the debt deferred due to financial hardship.

How do I request an appeal?

If using the CDP program to appeal one of the actions reviewed above, request an appeal by filling out and submitting Form 12153, Request for a Due Process Appeal. If applicable, this form will accompany the notice. The IRS generally gives 30 days to request this.

If requesting an appeal under the CAP program, use Form 9423, Collection Appeals Request. Alternatively, request a CAP appeal of one of the above actions over the phone, or, if the IRS says the account has been assigned to a Revenue Officer, by speaking directly to him or her.

Other appeal options are outlined through the branch that oversees the program, such as the appeal of a denial of an Offer in Compromise.

More from this Contributor:

What is an IRS Collection Due Process appeal?

What is the IRS Collection Appeal Program?

How to appeal an IRS notice

Tags:4 Things to Know About the IRS Appeals Programs

4 Things You Never Knew Could Harm Your Credit Rating

If you’re a little paranoid these days that everything could harm your credit – you should be. More and more companies and creditors are turning in payment records to the credit bureaus because potential damage to your credit rating is great at scaring people in paying bills. In some cases, seemingly benign actions can do huge damage to your credit score.

Renting a Car

Car rental companies, such as Budget, perform credit inquiries when you rent a car with a debit card, because the company wants to determine whether you are likely to have enough money to cover any damage. Credit inquiries usually do no more than 5 points of damage (out of 850), but people with the highest credit ratings can see a drop of up to 35 points, according to Lynnette Khalfani-Cox of DailyFinance.

Parking Tickets

Sending parking tickets to collection agencies is the new “it” thing for governments to do these days. Instead of letting citizens get away with not paying fines, governments are finding that they profit more from selling the debt at a discount and eliminating the administrative costs of collecting on tickets than attempting their own collection efforts. A collection account could do more than 100 points of damage.

Renting an Apartment

Landlords want to know that they won’t have to hunt you down for rent every month, so they often run a credit check. A credit inquiry related to renting an apartment will hurt you score like a check from a car rental agency, however, you can never really know if a landlord wants to run a credit check. Private lessors often do not run checks because of the cost involved, but some landlords might just charge an application fee to offset the costs of running a credit check.

In addition, rental histories are beginning to appear on consumer credit reports, notably those from Experian. The good thing is that Experian only started reporting late payments in 2012, so there is no need to worry about missed payments from 2011 and earlier.

Retailer Financing

It seems innocuous enough that retailers would help customers finance expensive items, such as furniture and large appliances like fridges and stoves. The major credit bureaus, however, consider consumer finance loans the worst type of loan to have because people taking these loans tend to have no other option. Thus, while you typically need a credit card and traditional loan, such a mortgage, to build a credit history, store financing should ding your credit rating.

Avoiding Credit Damage

Always pay off balances owed to a creditor or business as soon as possible. You never know when a company will decide to sell a debt to a collection agency, even loans less than $50. I know I had an unpaid gas bill for $25 that ended costing my credit rating about 50 points.

Ask rental companies, landlords and anyone else that provides you a service if they perform a credit check. In general, you want no more than one or two credit checks within a 12-month period.

Tags:4 Things You Never Knew Could Harm Your Credit Rating

4 Things You Need to Know About Media Mail

The US Postal Service’s Media Mail has been a very popular shipping option recently because it costs less than other alternatives. However, there are 4 important things that you must know before you mail your media with this service.

1. It is only for books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes, printed music, and recorded computer-readable media.

The USPS heavily restricts the items that can be shipped through Media Mail. While the term media may seem like a very broad category, it is very specific on the USPS website, referring to “books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes, printed music, and recorded computer-readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes).” The USPS reserves the right to inspect packages shipped through Media Mail to ensure that they qualify for this rate. If they inspect any packages and determine that it is not eligible to be shipped under Media Mail, the recipient will be liable for the additional charges. While this may be rare, it has occurred in the past.

2. It can be slow.

Media Mail is in the lowest tier in terms of priority (below First Class Mail). Because of this, items sent through Media Mail can take quite a while to arrive at their destination. Basically, these packages are transported if space permits meaning that they are sometimes left in USPS facilities if there is a large amount of Express, Priority, and First Class mail. This can be especially problematic during the holidays when there is a large surge of mail.

Most of the time, Media Mail can be relatively quick; however, in some cases, it has taken up to three weeks.

3. It is not for fragile items.

Because Media Mail is intended for books and other durable material, postmen often treat the packages as if they were unbreakable. While most books would be fine, it can be damaging if the book is a collectible and/or fragile. If you are sending something of value, other shipping methods are strongly suggested.

4. It is not always the cheapest option.

Media Mail rates are cheapest for heavier packages. For lighter packages

Media Mail is a great new service that allows people to ship certain media for a greatly reduced price. However, it is important to understand what the service means before choosing it.

Tags:4 Things You Need to Know About Media Mail

4 Tips for Booking Your Band at Bars

Booking your band at a bar can be a bit daunting to bands that are just getting into the bar scene. Here are some tips from St. Louis artist John Krane, whose CD is available:

1. Be polite and concise. Bars typically field requests from dozens of bands to book a particular night, especially in cities of any reasonable size, so the best way to get your foot in the door is to show respect and say exactly what you want from them. Have a demo ready with no more than 3-6 songs, tell them where you’ve played before, what your typical draw is, and what kind of music you play. I prefer to introduce myself face-to-face to the bar owner, but if you’re calling in, you need to be even quicker and ask what the process is for booking a show, then following whatever instructions they give you (uh, within reason, I suppose).

2. Feel out price. When the booking person at the bar asks you how much your band would want, tell them that it varies according to night, size of room, etc. Ask what they typically pay and take what they offer. If they give a range, say that the higher number of the range is perfectly fine. There, I just made you some money. Use it to buy my CD.

3. Take a bad night. You’re probably not going to get a Friday or Saturday at the hottest bar in town if your band hasn’t proved itself, so be willing to take a bad night, a Sunday, or Tuesday, for instance, to prove yourself. Once you have the show booked, don’t book any other gigs around it and promote as hard as you can. Use word of mouth; if you get 6 close friends to commit to bringing 5 people each, that’s a pretty decent crowd for most bars. Once they see that you’re serious about your shows, you can ask for a good night and most bars won’t mind giving you a great spot.

4. Be honest. If you can’t bring 100 people, don’t say that you can. You might get the gig, but you’ll never get asked back, and good booking is a long term process. If you can only bring 20 people or so, try for a small bar or ask to be put on a bill with an established band. Offer to make and put up flyers, handle the door charge, or handle some other small task; most bars are pretty kind to bands that are trying to get their foot in the door, as long as those bands are willing to earn their keep.

5. Perform. Do well, practice a lot before the show. Bring lots of people and make sure they’re having fun. There, not so hard, eh?

Tags:4 Tips for Booking Your Band at Bars

4 Time Tested Stop Smoking Methods...That Don't Work

Smoking is said to be a harder addiction to kick than heroin, yet many people kick the cancer sticks every year. Many more fail. Here’s a look at a few common stop smoking methods that not only don’t work, but they may even make your addiction worse.

1. Cold turkey. The problem with simply deciding that you’re not going to start smoking that next cigarette is that it cultivates a sense of being denied something good. Your mind has spent a lot of time convincing itself that it derives pleasure from cigarettes or whatever form of tobacco you use, and stopping cold turkey is telling yourself, “this is something I enjoy, but I’m going to stop doing it.” You’ll want to smoke more and more, and no matter how long you go without smoking, you’ll still have the psychological addiction. If and when you do begin smoking again, your addiction is likely to be even worse than before.

2. Hypnosis. Many smokers try to use hypnosis to convince themselves that they get nothing out of smoking. This can be effective, but the problem is that hypnosis is only as good as the hypnotist, not all smokers respond to hypnotherapy, and it’s expensive. Only go to a hypnotherapist if they’ve been recommended to you by another smoker, and check to make sure that any therapist you’re considering actually has experience helping smokers–party-trick hypnotists won’t do the job.

3. The patch/gum/other nicotine replacement therapy. Again, this type of therapy merely ingrains the belief that you need smoking to be happy. The nicotine is still being fed into your system, and when it’s stopped, it remains as strong as ever. Weaning works with infants, but not with smokers. The smoking habit is more of a psychological addiction than anything else, and nicotine replacement therapies just encourage that addiction. Besides, consider the problem from the perspective of one of the companies that makes nicotine gum or patches: what incentive do they have to cure your smoking habit? They’ve got a much bigger incentive to get you hooked on their own products.

4. Other replacements. Some smokers think that they need to replace their cigarettes not with nicotine-containing devices, but with carrot sticks, gum, and other “soft” replacements. Again, this makes smoking seem more attractive to the smoker’s mind, not less attractive. The physical habits of reaching for and smoking a cigarette are easy to break, but the mental addiction isn’t, and the carrot sticks and gum simply serve to remind smokers of what they think they’re missing.

Were you a smoker? How did you quit? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Tags:4 Time Tested Stop Smoking Methods…That Don’t Work

4 Things to See on a Trip to Berlin

The capital of Germany, Berlin, has a rich history. Architectural treasures and momentous events color this city and give it its character. There are a number of things that you can do on a visit to Berlin, including entertainment, drinking, eating, drinking, and sightseeing. And drinking. But there are four things that you should not overlook on a visit to the city. Your trip will be greatly enhanced when you keep these things in mind.

Murdered Jews of Europe Memorial. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe opened in May of 2005. It is near downtown, so it is easy to visit while you are taking care of other business or looking at other things. Plus, it is close to public transportation (this is the best way to travel, no matter where you are in Europe). A beautiful garden is one of the more serene features of the memorial. Stories and histories of the Jewish victims of World War II are displayed, some with photos. It serves to remind us of what we should not let happen again, to any race or people.

East Side Gallery. Another monument to Germany’s painful past, the East Side Gallery is the name given to the longest stretch of what remains of the Berlin Wall. Artwork covers its length, much of it in bright colors (contrasting almost-jarringly with the bleak cityscape). Emotional and political statements are present, and some of the artwork is quite good.

St. Nicholas Church. This centuries-old church is an example of architectural work in progress. Some portions of St. Nicholas Church date back to before 1307. The church is one of the many edifices built in honor of the saint known for his giving, that later became the Santa Claus of legend. Ornamental towers and a presbytery are among the features added through the centuries. During World War II it was hit by bombs, and the ruined sections were not rebuilt. It is meant to testify of war’s destruction.

Chartlottenburg Palace. For lovers of Baroque architecture, this palace is a must-see. Even for those who do not have a particular for love architecture, this immense building is well worth seeing. A guided tour is not necessary, and you can take in the grandiose rooms on your own. However, there are some opulent treasures that can only be viewed as part of the tour. Pick up an information sheet on your way in though (available in many languages), since the tour is only conducted in German.

Tags:4 Things to See on a Trip to Berlin

4 Tips for Changing Your Guitar's Tuning Keys

Whether your guitar’s tuning keys are rusting over, falling apart, not staying in tune, or you just want to upgrade your axe, you might consider switching out the tuning pegs. Here are a few things to consider before changing any guitar’s tuning keys.

1. Buy the right tuning keys. Obviously, you need to match the make of your guitar to the tuning keys you’re buying, but many guitarists don’t realize that within a certain design of a guitar, there might have been many different tuner types used as the design of the guitar progressed. A good example is Gibson SG guitars, whose vintage tuning keys are a different size and operate differently from their modern tuning keys. Make sure whatever tuning keys you’re buying, they’re actually approved for use with your guitar. There are a number of guitar forums that can help you confirm that you’re getting the right tuning keys.

2. Consider hiring a professional to switch them out. While it’s not incredibly difficult to switch out tuning keys, you might want to pay a professional guitar repair tech $20-30 to switch them out for you, unless you’ve got an affinity for doing your own guitar repair. If they switch out the tuning keys, a guitar tech will often take care of any problems that may result, and you won’t have to worry about damage to the headstock from trying to get the original tuning keys off. That being said, if you do decide to do it yourself, it’s not ridiculously difficult to switch out a guitar’s tuning keys.

3. Changing tuning keys is as simple as removing the old ones and putting on the new ones. How simple that actually is depends on your guitar, but you’ll usually be removing a hex nut and possibly unscrewing a tuning key to get it off. Google your guitar’s model and “switch tuning keys” or “tuning pegs” to get specific information for your model of guitar.

4. Check your intonation. Once everything’s switched, it’s a good idea to make sure that your guitar’s intonation’s OK, and play it for a while to get a sense of the new tuners, which you may need to tighten or loosen. To check the intonation, by the way, you’ll get the best tuner you can find, tune your guitar perfectly, and then check the harmonic at the 12th fret of the guitar to see if it’s also in tune.

Do you have any other tips for switching out guitar tuning keys? Post in our comments section below.

Tags:4 Tips for Changing Your Guitar’s Tuning Keys

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...