Thursday, December 15, 2016

10 Things You Can Learn on YouTube

It turns out, YouTube isn’t just a repository for videos of people singing off-key, motorcycle crashes and Rickrolling. You can actually learn things on YouTube: Real things that you might want to know.

It all started when my husband took my son trout fishing. They stock the rivers and bigger streams around here, and right after that it’s supposed to be easy to catch trout. But they didn’t catch one. Some other fisherman felt bad for them, so he gave them one of his. A whole trout: head, guts and all. I had no idea what to do with it. So I turned to YouTube, and found several videos showing not only how to gut it, but how to fillet it and how to cook it.

It occurred to me that there might be lots of things you could learn on YouTube. I did a search, and I learned a couple of things about YouTube as well as how to do 10 things I didn’t know how to do before I started.

First, I learned that you can probably learn almost anything on YouTube. I found videos for all of the things I searched for. The challenge was to pick the best ones.

Second, I learned that YouTube recommends related videos to you, based on what you’re watching. That’s how I found the video on how to cook stuffed trout (you’ll have to find that one for yourself, I didn’t include a link to that one). That’s how I found the robot one, below, as well – YouTube thinks it’s related to the Rubik’s Cube video, somehow.

Third, I learned that YouTube allows you to subscribe to other user’s videos, which means you’ll be notified if that user posts a new video. Many of the how-to videos are made by people who make similar videos. The bread videos are examples of that, and the Make magazine people have a lot of videos on a wide range of interesting topics. You have to have a YouTube user account in order to subscribe, but it’s free and easy to set up. I learned how to do it from one of my children.

So, without further ado, here are 10 things you can learn on YouTube:

How to gut a trout. This is not for the squeamish. The guy does it right in the boat; the trout is not even dead yet. I warned you.

How to solve Rubik’s Cube (part 1 and part 2). This one includes instructions (algorithms) which you might want to copy down; they are over to the right, not part of the video. This one has 2 parts because YouTube limits how long videos can be.

How to make a cool little robot out of the head of a toothbrush (a robot that actually works, or at least, walks, if you are able to get your hands on all the parts).

How to make a messenger bag out of recycled plastic bags. This one is really cool, because you can use the procedure at the beginning of the video to make fused plastic that you could then make a lot of different items with.

How to make a catapult. This one is a guy thing. I’m deathly afraid my sons will find this video and build one and shoot each other with it.

How to make craft flowers with a small circular loom. To make up for the guy video above, here’s one no guy would want to be caught dead watching. This looks so simple and so beautiful, I’d like to try it right away.

How to make Naan bread. I’ve seen these breads in grocery stores. This Indian woman has a lot of videos on how to make various kinds of Indian food, and it’s made right in her kitchen, using ingredients and equipment we can easily get here in the States.

How to change the oil in your car. Okay, I don’t want to do this myself. And I also thought I knew basically how to do it. This video actually shows you how to let the oil drain out, where the oil filter is located (well, at least in the car they used when they filmed it) and it’s also entertaining.

How to French braid hair. If you have a daughter, this is a must-see. They show you how to do it step by step; they even freeze frame the video and point out which fingers should be holding which strands of hair, so you can really understand how to separate hair into 3 sections and manage to hold them and braid the hair, despite the fact that you only have 2 hands. This is a very helpful video.

How to make Italian bread. This one has several parts, and is shown in a bakery kitchen, not a home kitchen, but I still think you can learn something from it. I’m including a link to the user’s page because it’s easier to find all the parts that way.

How to make cheese. Really. You can make your own cheese, and all you need is milk, buttermilk, lemon juice and salt. You also need cheese cloth, but other than that, you don’t need any special equipment. The man in the video did say it’s not going to save you money to make it versus buying it in a store, but it would still be fun to be able to say you made your own cheese.

Before I started working on this article, I wrote the title. I knew I would limit this to just 10 things. But I would have found many more if I had continued. I encourage you to search YouTube yourself, and find out how to do something you’ve always wanted to learn.

Labels: 10 Things You Can Learn on YouTube

10 Things I Love About People

There is much to love about the world and much to love about those who show love towards you. But just because someone doesn’t love you doesn’t mean you can’t love what they do. While this list may be redundant at times, here are my top 10 things I love about people.

Gratitude: When people show genuine appreciation for others, this is one of the nicest things that anyone can do for another. Moreover when you recive gratitude from someone, that can be very nice as well. Knowing that your actions were appreciated is great; someone making occasion to let the person know is a very big thing to do.

Consideration: We each go through our lives trying to reach an end. Taking a second and considering how our actions will affect the larger strata is always a good idea. One of the worst things to have to say to someone is “I didn’t even consider that.”

Space: I love it when I can be close to people I care for; I love it even more when those who love me can give me space. Yes it’s a fine line to walk but an important one, I think.

Attention: Being able to breathe when you need to is good; having people you care about and who care for you, being able to dote on you is nice too. It’s often the smallest voluntary gestures which carry the biggest emotional resonance; even though the attention paid may have been comparitivley small, it was also unexpected. That stays with people.

Kindness: Being kind is something they teach you in grade school and something that’s beaten out of you later in life. We’re all taught in youth to be “equal” but really from the earliest grades they start sifting the sands and picking out those with natural ability/potential or whatever to be the best of the best. so we’re always in competiton for limited resources. Its nice, later on in ‘real life’ to take a step back from all that and just appreciate the majesty of the human experience. Nice people do it with kindness.

Empathy: There is nothing worse than suffering a debilitiating blow; there is nothing nicer than having someone there who genuinely cares for your quandary express that. Having someone who will really listen and help you work thorugh a problem is one of the thigns I love about people.

Trust: Trust is a two way street. Dancing that dance with someone over a prolonged period of time is impressive indeed. It is rare but having osmone you can trust is invaluable.

Benevolence: Perhaps the nicest thing that any one person can do is just be there for their fellow human being. A step up from just being kind, benevolence takes that kindness and puts it into action. Benevolence truly shows that you have the best wishes of everyone in mind when you do those things you do.

Appreciation: Showing gratitude and being appreciateive are degrees of the same thing. However appreciation goes that extra mile because you can show gratitude but never do anything about it. when you show appreciation you’re doing more than just saying “thank you;” you’re showing why others actions were important, what it meant to you, and how their good will has helped you accomplish something.

Friendship: A friend is something to be cherished. We go through so many friends in our lifetimes; but true friends are really irreplaceable. You can’t buy true friendship; you can’t win it, you can’t take it; you can only earn it. The fact that you have a few real, good, true friends shows that you’ve put in just as much work as they have; that is one of the best things in the human experience and number one on my list of 10 things I love about people.

Labels: 10 Things I Love About People

10 Things You Can Do to Get Healthy Now

With obesity rates in America at an all time high, it is time that we must make some changes. While nothing that I am going to suggest will make you supermodel-thin in 30 days; I guarantee that in 30 days you are going to feel better about yourself, have higher energy levels, and a better quality of life. None of the ideas that I am presenting are new ideas, just all too often ignored ones. So, in saying that let’s get healthy America!

1) Pass up the fast food! I think fast food is the biggest contributing factor in America’s obesity problem; not to mention the effects on the cholesterol levels. No, cutting out the fast food will not be easy, but you can do it! If you cannot completely remove fast food restaurants from your life at least choose healthier items from their menus; grilled, not breaded and fried, salad or fresh fruit in place of the french fries, milk or water instead of soda. Save the unhealthy burgers, fries, and such for an occasional treat.

2) If you are within walking distance of your destination, leave the car parked. Not only is this better for our health, it is better for our environment and also our pocket books; so put on your walking shoes and save the gas.

3) If you have a sweet-tooth grab an apple, banana, or other fruit. Most fruits are naturally sweet and packed with vitamins. They are also much better for you than that candy bar you have your eye on.

4) Load your iPod with your favorite songs and take a walk. Walking is a great stress reliever and a good way to burn some calories. You should try to take a walk every day; you will be amazed at how good this will make you feel. Start out with a 30-minute walk every day and work your way up.

5) If you smoke, it is time to kick the habit. There are many smoking cessation programs available now; do some research and pick the one that is right for you. Quitting smoking will improve your breathing, decrease the number of colds that you get, as well as decrease your risk of cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

6) Schedule regular health exams with your doctor. Regular visits to your doctor are essential in detecting disease early for optimal treatment and prevention.

7) Go outside and play with your kids! Few of us would consider this exercise but it is. You and your children will appreciate the time that you spend together for years to come.

8) Take the stairs. Elevators are a nice convenience but also a nice excuse for us to be lazy. Taking the stairs will not take that much more time than the elevator ride and you will be burning a few extra calories.

9) Don’t skip meals! This is a very common mistake with people who are trying to lose weight. Skipping meals is actually more destructive to our long-term weight loss success than sneaking that candy bar. Skipping meals causes your metabolism to lower and as a result your body will actually start to store more fat!

10) Set realistic goals that you can live with. Setting unrealistic goals sets you up for failure. For example: You want to quit smoking, so you decide that beginning tomorrow you will not touch even one cigarette. The next day, maybe your will-power weakens, and you smoke. As a result you feel guilty and feel like a failure and just give up the idea of quitting. Set realistic goals and understand that there will be setbacks and learn to forgive yourself for them.

If you take it a day at a time, you can do anything.

Labels: 10 Things You Can Do to Get Healthy Now

10 Things You Need to Know About Maple Story

1.Maple Story is an online Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)which stats to have an unofficial number of 50 million players worldwide.

2.In Maple Story you can assume the role of a Warrior, a Thief, a Bowman, or a Magician. You should make sure that your character has good stats before you begin to play. You can re-roll the stats dice as many times as you like until you get stats that you are pleased with.

3.MTV and Nexon, the creators of Maple Story, will create a premium version of MTV’s Neopets online youth community, where users can purchase virtual items for customization and personalization.

4.Maple Story is a side scrolling 2D role playing game. Most role playing games use a top scrolling format of gameplay thus making Maple Story very unique.

5.The overview of the game is that you as a player must “Maple World” from monsters and develop your character’s skills and abilities. You can interact with any other player in the mini world. You can also form a party of friends or a “guild” and fight monsters together.

6.Fans of Ragnarok Online are also big fans of Maple Story.

7.Maple Story is Free to play.

8.Maple Story has generated a combined total of $310 million USD for its developer and is proof that microtransactions do work.

9.Maple Story is mostly played by Japanese and Koren kids and has yet to become popular in the US.

10.If you start playing this game expect to spend over 100 hours killing mushrooms and other monsters called Jellies.

Labels: 10 Things You Need to Know About Maple Story

10 Things to Consider when Building a Home

When compared to buying a home, building your dream home makes buying seem simple. Although complicated, building a home can be a smooth process when you take the following considerations into account.

Develop a Realistic Budget

Simply asking a builder his average square foot cost to build a custom home rarely gives you a complete budget. Construction costs don’t account for design costs, permit, school, fire district, utility, or various municipality specific fees. Nor does it take into account the most expensive words in construction, “While you’re at it, could you — — .?”

Hiring an Architect

Generally, you already have an idea what you want your home to look like. This is why people build custom homes. Have pictures, magazines or perhaps an address or two of homes that you love when meeting with your architect. This helps to insure that the design reflects your desires. That’s what you’re paying the higher fees for. In addition, an experienced architect will also detail how various finish materials will be constructed.

Pre-Existing Plans

Maybe you’re considering a pre-existing set of plans. You can save thousands of dollars purchasing a set of plans as compared to custom ones from an architect. Pre-existing plans do not come ready to build, for they are not engineered specifically for your building lot. You will need to hire a structural-engineer when purchasing a pre-existing set of plans. The engineer will determine what methods of construction and materials will be most efficient in order to create a safe and long lasting dwelling for you.

Bare Land

Bare land lacking utilities or road improvements is less expensive to purchase than a developed lot and yet is generally more expensive to build on. By the time you build a road, install all of the utilities, and create a sewer system you may wonder why you purchased the beautiful hilltop with peek-a-boo views.

Developed Building Lot

Developed building lots are just that. A developer has already bought the mountain top or ocean front property and provided the roads and other improvements. In fact, the lot will have all of the utility hook-ups located inside each property boundary.


When acting as an owner-builder you are taking on the responsibilities of the General Contractor. It’s not uncommon to realize a 10% savings in construction costs while acting as an owner-builder. You will file for the permits, secure bids, locate materials and supplies, schedule tradesman and deliveries, and answer all construction related questions.

General Contractor

Time is money and scheduling is where the general contractor brings the most value to a project. The builder has spent years weeding through a pool of trade specialists. Sub-contractors, due to their long-term relationships with the builder, are more inclined to bend their schedules for a builder that they have worked for previously and are likely to work for in the future.


Each proposal should clearly state exactly what’s to be provided for in a written scope of work. A detailed proposal let’s you know what to expect and can be referred to in case any issues arise.

Labels: 10 Things to Consider when Building a Home

10 Things God Can't Do

When I went to a football game last year, some well-meaning stranger gave me some literature on the way back to the car.

A pizza coupon? I had heard that Papa John’s gave one free toppings for every TD scored by the home team. What was the score again? 13-7. Damn it. One stinking TD? I guess I’ll take pepperoni.

But it wasn’t a pizza coupon, and it changed my life. Actually, I didn’t even read it until much later. It was titled “10 Things God Can’t Do”. Seemed intriguing. You’d think he could do everything, right? Isn’t that what being a god is all about?

OK, what could the 10 things be? Can’t defy the laws of physics? Can’t perform a miracle that can’t otherwise be explained by natural phenomena? Can’t let my team win one stinking Super Bowl?

My take? Like a top-40 album or the 10 commandments, much of it was just filler. So I’ve just highlighted the major ones.

1. God can’t ever have a new idea: I know a lot of people like this. The coach of my favorite college team calls three runs up the gut, punts, and then hopes the defense can score. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. Wait, this is a good thing?

2. God can’t sin: OK, seems reasonable. But what if he really wanted to? He could, right? What fun is it to be a god if you can’t make your own rules. Walk around the house without taking your sandals off? No problem. Leave the toilet seat up? No sweat.

3. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

4. He cannot allow even one sin into Heaven: We have a similar rule about food and drink in the TV room. But sometimes I let the kids eat and drink during football games if they’re careful. I guess I’m just merciful like that.

5. God can’t lie: Really? Not even to save someone’s feelings? I remember telling my son that he played a great game after he spent most of it staring at his shoes.

*OK, here at the record flip, there’s a lot of scary talk of damnation and that sort of thing. You can’t put that stuff at the beginning or you lose people*

6. After you are forgiven, God can’t even remember your sins: If we leave out the fact that someone forgot the meaning of omniscient, this is just silly. It’s just not a good idea. When the kids get into the liquor cabinet – even if they are sorry and you forgive them – you put a lock on that cabinet. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a lot of fancy bottles of 95% water, 5% vodka. It’s the learning part of “live and learn”. Even my state only lets you drop one traffic ticket with a defensive driving class. You can’t just keep taking it and wiping out tickets – that’s just abuse.

7. God cannot send anyone to Hell: Sweet. Excellent news. Uh oh, fine print-> “Only after you are born again. Offer only in participating universes. Check your local franchise.” The large print giveth, the small print taketh away. It goes on to say that it is you who send yourself to hell. I use this one on my son, too: “You are saying that I am mean, but you are really upset with yourself about your own behavior” I’m not sure he buys it, either.

OK, I think I’ve got it all figured out. But do you really need to hang out at football games to pass this stuff out? To be honest, I had already heard of God. And if I was looking for more information about him, I’d look at the library or use the internet. I would assume that “” might be the place….

Oops, that’s a porn site. I better get working on that forgiveness.

Labels: 10 Things God Can't Do

10 Things About Anorexia Nervosa that Most People Don't Know

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which one in 200 American women suffer from. Since the estimated population of women aged 15-64 in 2009 was 103,129,321, this means 515,646 women in that age group would have struggled with anorexia nervosa for that year. The sex ratio of those with anorexia nervosa is 90% female and 10% male. The mean age for the onset of anorexia nervosa is 17. Overall, 8-10 million people struggle with an eating disorder of some type and approximately 3 percent of women have eating disorders (Addiction and Recovery, 2009).

There are many studies and treatments available for those that struggle with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders. However, if I was the average person (of which I am when it comes to this body of knowledge), there would be 10 startling findings about anorexia nervosa that I wouldn’t hesitate to share with a family member that may be struggling with anorexia nervosa. Here they are:

#1) Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders die.

With treatment, only 2 – 3% of people with anorexia will die. Statistics on anorexia show that mortality rates from anorexia are the highest of any psychological disorder. Anorexia statistics show that 60% make a full recovery, 20% will make a partial recovery, (i.e. able to hold a job and maintain some semblance of relationships but remain very focused on food and weight). They may continue to abuse laxatives or diet pills and remain underweight, while the final 20% stay dangerously underweight.

What does this mean? Treatment overwhelmingly saves lives! The earlier you treat someone with anorexia the better you increase their chances of survival.

#2) Anorexics tend to be perfectionists

Anorexics can be marked by a real need to avoid mistakes and the negative consequences of weight gain that they perceive as a mistake. Perfectionists have a strong need to be in control of everything because the idea is that if they can control their body then everything else in life can become under their control as well, including how others perceive their image and weight. It is a false sense of control and the fallout from these traits is that it leads to intense fear and worry about not living up to societal standards. Their desire to be perfectly in control of their body, but ironically, it results in the opposite–losing control.

Much of research is starting to indicate that perfectionism is an inherited genetic trait. Related to genetic research, another study showed there may be something on chromosome I that lends to anorexia.

#3) History of trauma is behind many that struggle with anorexia.

There is a strong correlation between those experiencing victimization to various childhood emotional traumas and later developing anorexia. For example, estimates of sexual abuse among individuals experiencing eating disorders fall around approximately 30%. When Deborah was on a family vacation at age 11 years, she was sexually assaulted by a group of predators. By the time Deborah was fourteen years old she entered a residential treatment facility for bulimia with anorexic symptoms, along with drug dependency.

What the counselors discovered was that “her binging behavior was a way to metaphorically ‘fill herself up’ emotionally and subsequently push out and occlude some of her feelings of disgust and self-loathing,” according to

Again, if you have a child that you know has been traumatized the immediacy of counseling is a must.

#4) 80-90% of those with anorexia had preexisting struggles with anxiety.

Other personality factors that lend itself to an increased chance of developing anorexia is the existence of chronic anxiety. Research shows that 80-90% of those with anorexia reported struggles with anxiety problems before the onset of anorexia. There is an emotional side to anorexia. People with anorexia tend to have an abnormal amount of fears about things or anxiety going on behind the scenes.

#5) Parents who are highly focused on appearance and frequently diet are more likely to produce children who struggle with anorexia.

In addition to being self-consumed over appearance and losing weight as being key contributing parental factors in producing anorexia in children, levying negative comments about their child’s body image is equally, if not even more destructive to the formation of their child’s approach to food, eating, and dieting. It is never to late to stop one’s own destructive patterns once they see how they have contributed to the demise of another. Reconciling through the seeking of forgiveness from your child and the attempt at transmitting new core values upon personal discovery may lend partial help to the healing process of the one struggling.

#6) Anger is displaced toward the body with anorexia.

People with anorexia may have anger towards certain people but they don’t know how to face it so they in turn take it out on their own body (displacement).

#7) Expect frequent relapses even with treatment

Anorexia and other eating disorders are similar to other addictions in that they are both extremely difficult to bring about 100% victory immediately. In fact, the treating of eating disorders and addictions are similar in that both show a frequent amount of relapses. This is due to the client staying in denial of the problem, minimizing its seriousness, and not willing to fully surrender the problem.

#8) Those with eating disorders and addictions both score high on addictive personality tests.

Should every parent rush to get an MMPI or another personality test early on in their child’s life in order to prevent problems from developing? I would say yes if you are already noticing behavior patterns that are breaching your threshold for tolerance. A person has more to lose by sitting back and doing nothing about early signs of problematic behaviors. Do we not take genetic history tests now to head off problems down the road or to at least enable us to make better informed decisions.

#9) Eating disorders are not classified as addictions in the DSM-IV.

The American Psychiatric Association does not consider anorexia or other eating disorders to be a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel. This surprised me to be honest since eating disorders have the highest rate of mortality among all psychiatric disorders. I figured that since anorexia was deemed a psychiatric disorder that all psychiatric disorders were considered mental disorders.

#10) Those with anorexia or other eating disorders tend to have excessively lower amounts of certain neurotransmitters.

There is evidence that there are possible biological predispositions that influence the tendency for a person to develop anorexia or other eating disorders. For instance, the neurotransmitter serotonin, which manages mood, appetite, sleep, and dreaming tend to be lower in people that develop anorexia.


There is an ample amount of effective treatment centers and counselors out there that can treat anorexia. Here are a few:

1) Remuda Ranch ( 1-800-445-1900.

2) The Center: A Place of Hope ( 1-888-771-5166.

*(most of the information in the top 10 was derived from Dr. Linda Mintle’s lecture from the DVD curriculum “Addiction & Recovery”).


“Addiction & Recovery” (speaker Dr. Linda Mintle). Eating Disorders and Food Addiction, Lesson 302. DVD., 2009

Labels: 10 Things About Anorexia Nervosa that Most People Don't Know

10 Things Every Student Journalist Needs

A good journalist carries more than a pen and note pad or a laptop. Here are a few things that I rely on to do my job and complete school work before my deadline.

A good organizer or planner

I would be so lost of I didn’t have a place to keep track of all of my appointments and deadlines. It’s also a great place to keep to-do lists and reminder post-its. I love my slingshot organizer that I picked up at BlueStockings bookstore in New York City. It’s full of useful doodles and art but also contains information such as measurement conversions and a place to keep contacts. It’s a cheaper, cooler version of a PDA for ADD kids like me. You can order it online from

Andrea A. Lunsford’s Easy Writer (third edition)

This was a required book for my English 1010 and 1020 courses but I am quite thankful for that. It’s a great source for MLA style and it’s well organized and easy to find. I get so stuck on AP style that I forget MLA rules and I end up using this book for every paper I write for class.

AP style book

This is the Bible of journalism. Do you know the difference between continual and continuous? I didn’t until I looked it up the other day while I was writing an article. If you ever take any news writing courses this is required but you should get it even if it is not listed as required for class because this is the official style book that tells you how to not look like an idiot when you get your first article published. Every time you open the AP style guide, you’ll find a new piece of information that will be useful to you as a journalist now and in your future career. You can get one on or amazon used for a dollar or so. Make sure to get the most recently updated version because it changes every few years.

Spare Notebook/Idea Log

Weather you prefer a legal pad or a fancy journal, you need an extra space to jot down ideas when inspiration hits unexpectedly. I have so many of these things laying around at this point; I find the nearest one when I get a good idea for a story or a poem. If you’re really creative and absent minded like me, you’ll be glad for the extra place to doodle.

A Dictionary

Grammar rules and AP style are very important to the technical aspect of news writing and journalism. You should focus on correct grammar and keeping your work consistent, however you don’t want to bore your readers with reusing the same words repeatedly throughout your articles. Invest in a dictionary or a thesaurus to help find synonyms for words that people use too often. My biggest complaint when copy editing is the fact that some authors, despite fabulous grammar and well-constructed plot, lack any interesting language. Don’t use mad, sad, happy, good, bad, etc. They’re fine words and of course don’t edit them out of quotations from your stories, but try to use more colorful language, especially if it is an opinion-editorial article. Be aware that sometimes using the colorful language will editorialize a news article, which should show no bias from the writer. A dictionary is still a good idea.

I also think word-a-day calendars are an easy way to expand your vocabulary. It’s nerdy, but it works.

A Hand-held Recorder

When you’re doing an interview and the person you’re quoting is a fast talker, it comes in handy to have a record of the interview other than your written notes. As you do more interviews, you will develop your own short-hand abbreviations and it is still important to take good notes in case there’s a time you don’t have a recording device on hand.

Also, no one you interview can say they were misquoted in your work if you have a recording.

An inexpensive digital camera

This isn’t important if your staff has a photographer, but it still might be handy. You never know when something newsworthy will happen. Photographs make the story sometimes!

A blog

I have three blogs. But you only need one. Store all of your published articles in one place and give the address to people who may be interested in hiring you or post it to social networking sites. Make sure to choose a title that is professional. You don’t want hotchick37 as your online identification.

I also have a blog for personal thoughts and rants. I have learned from experience not to share this blog with everyone because if you’re like me, you have opinions that may make some people uncomfortable. I just like having an online space to write any obscene thing that comes to mind which is great around exams when I’m very stressed. I have another silly blog for haiku but that’s just because I love poetry and I need a break from the rules of correct grammar sometimes.

A red pen

I am a freelance copy editor and the red pen is my best friend. I also have a red pencil, but pens just show up better. If you’re a writer, people in your English class will mostly likely ask you for help. The red pen is important for corrections in papers and class work.

An Updated Resume

It doesn’t seem that important while you’re still in school, but believe me it is good to have just in case. I was fortunate enough to land a position on the student newspaper at my college this year as Freshman and I have second job as a peer mentor next year that will help pay my rent. The reason I got these jobs was because I made contacts early and made a good impression and I had a resume handy.

If you have a lot of experience, great. If you don’t have much experience yet, it’s okay. You can add things from high school like yearbook staff or newspaper staff. Your possible employers realize that you are young and don’t have professional experience. Making a resume and presenting good references shows you are professional and prepared.

Labels: 10 Things Every Student Journalist Needs

10 Things to Consider Before Making a New Computer Purchase

Choosing a new computer isn’t as easy of a task as it first appears. Here are 10 things to consider before you buy.

New computer purchase tip #1 – Do you know someone who could and would build a custom computer for you?

If you know someone who enjoys building computers, and has experience in doing so, you might want to talk to him or her before you purchase one on your own. Building your own machine, or having someone close to you build it for you, is much less expensive than shopping the Dell website. You will get much more bang for your buck.

New computer purchase tip #2 – What will be the primary use of this new computer?

You might like your current system just fine, but would like a secondary laptop, or even a computer to use simply for storage. The primary use of your computer will determine how much you spend, how your purchase computer, and what specs your computer will contain (or need). A computer built for gaming will look very different from one built for routine office tasks.

New computer purchase tip #3 – What computer(s) do you already have in your possession?

You might already have some old systems lying around that would work satisfactorily for storage, or a backup system. They might just need a little TLC and updating. In the end, they may add significant value to your home computer system.

New computer purchase tip #4 – Are you planning to replace your old computer or do you need an additional computer for a completely different task?

Your computer might be fine, but you might need a new family computer, or a new computer for your son or daughter. You might even want a second a computer for yourself, a laptop for writing maybe? You have to take into consideration who you are purchasing the computer for as well as the purpose of the new system.

New computer purchase tip #5 – Have you considered alternatives to the traditional Windows-based PC, such as an Apple?

PCs are not for everyone, and Apples can be a great alternative. Is your new computer for your son or daughter who is incredibly artistic? If so, you might want to take a look at an Apple. Whether PC or Apple is right for you is completely dependent upon what the expressed purpose of the computer will be. Macs are better at some tasks, while PCs are better at others.

New computer purchase tip #6 – Will you be networking your new computer with your old computer?

If you are planning on adding the new computer to a home network, you will need to ensure that you will be able to do so. For example, if you have several PCs at home, which are all networked, you won’t be looking for a new Apple computer. If your new PC comes with Windows Vista, you probably should upgrade all of the computers on your network at the same time.

New computer purchase tip #7 – Do you plan on disposing of your old computer, and how will you do so?

If you are a computer junkie who likes to play around with old systems, you obviously will want to keep it. However, if you truly have no use for your old system, you might want to put an ad in the paper. You might be surprised at the response. You can also donate your old computer to charitable organizations.

New computer purchase tip #8 – Will your old software work on a brand new computer?

If you have used computers for decades, you may have become accustomed to certain software that is no longer updated. It may work well on your current system, but it may not work on a new one. If you are truly unwilling to give up the software, you might want to hang on to the old computer. When you need to use that software, you can use your old system. No one ever said that you can’t have more than one computer.

New computer purchase tip #9 – Are you planning to upgrade your printer and Internet service at the same time you purchase a new computer?

If you plan your finances carefully, you may wish to upgrade your Internet service and printer at the same time that you upgrade your computer. You are extremely limited with your new system if you still have dial-up. Unfortunately, dial-up Internet service remains the only option in some areas. Printers have really come down in price, and the all-in-one printer, which includes a fax, copier, and scanner, is now the norm.

New computer purchase tip #10 – What peripherals will you need?

You might wish to add a microphone, web-camera, an additional hard-drive, or more to your new system. When you build your own system, or have someone close to you who has the knowledge and experience to do so, it is easier to add the peripherals you need, and insure that they are compatible with your system.

No matter how you look at the situation, there is more to purchasing a new computer than simply ordering one off of the Dell website. There are other less costly options that might serve just as well, if not better. By truly keeping the purpose of the computer in mind, there is less likelihood of making a mistake.

Labels: 10 Things to Consider Before Making a New Computer Purchase

10 Things Every Man Should Be Able to Do in a Successful Relationship

You see a spider! Do you squish it or jump up and down doing your best cheerleader impression? Hopefully, you know the correct answer to this hypothetical scenario but being a man means different things to different people depending upon their point of view. That said, our basis of “being a man” typically comes from the societal norms of what women want a man to be. After all, they are the ones that hold most of the control in a relationship so this article is devoted to a woman’s perspective of what her man should be able to do. Warning, guys: you might not like some of this but if you can do 8 out of 10 of these, you should be in good shape with your better half.

Be a listener, not a problem solver. When your lady speaks to you, listen to what she says and the tone of her voice, her mannerisms, and any other signals available to accurately gauge her emotions. Women do not expect you to solve their problems, but they expect you to understand their plight. So keep your Home Depot Mr. Fix It persona in check and pay attention to her.

Be a provider. Sure, women today are self reliant and don’t need men. However, they choose to have a man (in most cases). Societal norms are ingrained into our psyches and will obviously interfere with your relationship if your job requires the phrase “would you like fries with that” at age 35. Therefore, be a good provider for your mate and future family because a woman’s nesting instincts will be completely shut down if you can’t support an adequate lifestyle.

Be a handy man. I’m not suggesting you need to turn into Bob Vila, but doing simple hands on weekend warrior projects makes your lady feel that she didn’t pick a momma’s boy. I know its stereotypical, but sporting that tool belt might be one of your best friends when it comes to your relationship (hint: a turn on for her). Just remember to avoid the low riding jeans and the plumber’s “vertical smile”!

Be a great father (if relevant). The first time your lady sees you holding your baby while you are passed out in a rocking chair, cradling your baby boy/girl that is wide awake playing with your messed up hair, wrinkled pajamas, and sporting the worst morning breath ever – she will fall in love with you all over again. So be the best dad in the world.

Be a man. Sure, its popular to be a metrosexual in some circles but the reason classics always come back into style is that they’re the best. So wear your version of your “what makes a man a man attitude” with pride. Kick back during football games, play in the mud with your dog, wear your 10 year old college T-shirts, and do your worst John Wayne impression even though she might claim she hates it, she really doesn’t mind. If she loves you and knows you well, the fact that you have fallen into your role as the man of the house will show her that you’re committed to her.

Now that we have some broad topics covered, lets take a different approach by giving very detailed examples of what makes a good man great in his lady’s eyes. These are the stories of worship and praise that make you a legend on ladies nights out or in the twice a week aerobics class.

Its 4am, and your 8 months pregnant wife is hungry. You roll out of bed to make her a peanut butter, pickles and tuna fish sandwich because that is her favorite 4am snack. The smell is horrific, but fortunately you are so sleepy you don’t even notice. This is the supportive side that women are go nuts over. If you do the little things that we men often overlook, you’re set for life with this woman.

You are in a club and encounter your date’s ex boyfriend. He insults her, in front of you and everyone else. What do you do? Common sense and non violent rules should always apply, but nothing impresses a woman like defending her honor. I’m not suggesting you knock the guy out, but stand up for the lady that you brought. If you do knock him out, make sure she’s a lawyer or a orthopedic surgeon because you might need one or both.

Its a dark rainy night and you’re driving back from a great first date and boom! Flat tire. Roll up your sleeves and get it changed without her helping you. Practice in your own driveway if you can’t change it yourself because its incredibly embarrassing to call AAA to change a tire. If you do call AAA, Man Law states that you should be forced to watch Oprah for 24 hours minimum for your lack of basic man skills. While we are on the subject, learn to change the oil in her car and put a roadside safety kit together for her. Its very simple to do and she will love that you are concerned for her safety.

Its your anniversary and you have a well orchestrated special event planned for your lady. Doesn’t matter what the evening entails, but the simple fact that you took the time to plan something in her honor is worth some serious bonus points. It doesn’t mean you’re a wimp or girlie man that you love your lady. Quite the contrary, its one of the best things imaginable to keep a relationship churning on all cylinders.

An evening on the town is planned. You pick up your date, and open the car door for her. You open the door at the restaurant. You pull her seat out at dinner. Yes guys, being a gentleman still works wonders for you. Practicing consistent acts of gentlemanly behavior and chivalry will never go out of style. It might take some time to adjust to this, but remember, only a lazy man’s idea of opening the door for his lady involves pushing the keyless entry button on your car.

The basic point here is to be an all around decent guy, not to be Superman. Being a man is fun, and done correctly its very rewarding on multiple levels. Being a good companion means different things to different people, but at our core, we all crave a certain amount of values and attention so find what your lady likes and build from there. Remember, men are visual creatures and problem solvers so use these gifts to your advantage, remember the concepts here and apply this rules to your current/next relationship and the “he should have” comments will soon be the “oh my gosh, guess what he did for me” comments will make you the envy of the beauty salon.

Labels: 10 Things Every Man Should Be Able to Do in a Successful Relationship

10 Things to Expect at a Nascar Race in Charlotte, North Carolina

Nascar is one of the hottest sports in this country. So many people love to watch the races and cheer for their favorite drivers. My husband is a member of this Nascar fan club and when some good friends invited us to go with them to the Charlotte, North Carolina race there was no way I could logically say no to the opportunity. This was my very first Nascar race and, even though I’m not a fan, I shared my husband’s excited at our trip.

Since we had never been to a race in person, I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived. I knew it would be crowded and loud, but you just don’t know how much so until you arrive and look around in complete and utter shock. Now that I’ve had this experience, I felt compelled to write this article to share with people who have never done it. So, here is a list of my top ten things to expect at a Nascar race in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1) Crowded Doesn’t Come Close – Of course, I’m sure that you expect any Nascar race to be crowded. Unfortunately, “crowded” is an understatement when it comes to the large amount of people that inhabit the seats of a Nascar race. The worst part was at the end of the race when everyone was trying to leave. You are basically shoulder-to-shoulder in a large ocean of people. You will be pushed along with the rest of the crowd and have to fight your way out of it. Luckily, the further away from the track you park, the easier it will be to get to your vehicle. The crowd starts to dissipate the further you get from the track.

2) Be prepared to walk…A LOT – Walking is great exercise and you will certainly get that while you are at a Nascar race in Charlotte, North Carolina. I ended up at the race in my knee-high, high-heeled boots and I would have to discourage anyone else from doing so. Wear some comfortable sneakers because you will need them. We had to park about a mile away from the track and walk the rest of the way. That wasn’t a big deal, but if you want to browse the shops and activities that will add to your walking. Plus throw in the actual stair climbing when you start hunting your seats. Those steps are steep and there are a lot of them. Finally, after the race you will have to walk back to where ever it was that you parked. I’m pretty sure that my friends and I ended up walking around three to four miles while we were there.

3)Shopping – Be prepared to do some shopping. There will be numerous vendors around the track for every popular race car driver. Any kind of race memorabilia that you can think of will be there for anyone to purchase. You may even be able to find some great deals if your favorite driver’s vendor has reduced prices in order to clear out a large amount of merchandise. Make sure you have at least a few dollars stashed away so that you can enjoy yourself.

4) Excitement – I’m not a race fan, so I expected to be bored out of my ever-loving mind, but it really was fun. Everyone around you is so excited and having such a great time that it’s hard not to feel that same enjoyment. My husband was cheering for his favorite driver and all the people around us were having so much fun that I couldn’t help but to feel the same excitement. It’s like a yawn…it’s contagious!

5)Smoking – Smoking was one of the things that I didn’t even think about ahead of time. I should have, but it just never crossed my mind that so many people in the crowd would be smoking while we were all trying to watch the race. I’m not a smoker, and the smell of cigarette smoke gives me a headache, so about an hour into the race I was dealing with a headache. Even the little, old lady sitting next to me was a smoker. It really was ridiculous, but you can’t do anything about it.

6)Noise – Everyone told me “The race cars are loud”, so I knew that they would be loud. Heck, I’ve been to dirt track races when I was a child and my dad was racing, but the noise that comes from these Nascar race cars is louder than anything I’ve ever heard before. They were so loud that you can’t hear yourself speak, much less the person sitting next to you. Luckily, after a while you kind of tune the noise out…. or maybe your eardrums just go into shock!

7)Cramped Seats – For some reason I expected to have decent seating when I went. Unfortunately, all the seats were crammed together. There was literally about four inches between seats. I was thanking the heavens that I had recently lost over one hundred pounds or there would have been some seating issues. Oh and least I forget the few inches in front and behind the seats. I kept elbowing the poor guy behind me in the knees.

8)Tons of Expensive Food – Mmmmm, the food at the race smelled so good. They have a variety of everything you could imagine there. I saw whole pizzas, smoked sausages, burgers, fries, chicken and even giant margaritas. With all of those smells mingling through the crowd you will certainly feel your tummy rumbling a few times. Be prepared for the giant price markups on all of that yummy food though. A simple bottle of water was priced at $3.00 all on its on, so imagine how much the food was.

9)Drinking – Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol everywhere. At the Charlotte, North Carolina Nascar track there was every type of beer imaginable. Most of the alcoholic beverages I spotted were actually brought in by the spectators. People were dragging along their own personal coolers full of whichever type of beer they preferred and no one had a problem guzzling as much as they could in the few hours we were there. We even spotted people drinking in the parking lot of our hotel at on 2 p.m. These same people were drinking long into the night. When the race was finally over at 11:30pm, there were people pushing, pulling, stumbling and flat out falling on their faces while still carrying a can of beer in each hand. It’s one thing to drink and have a good time. It’s another to be so drunk that you don’t remember even being at the race. I do have to add that all of the drunks in the crowd did make for some humorous entertainment when I tired of watching the cars drive around in circles.

10)At Least An Hour In Traffic – Traffic is hectic when you’re going to and from the race track in Charlotte, North Carolina. You will be driving very slowly before the race, but at least you’ll be moving. After the race, you need to plan to spend at least one hour sitting in the parking lot that you parked in before you’ll ever make it onto the paved roads. It’s insane. Once you finally make it onto the paved road, it will be slow going, but at least you’ll be moving. For us, the race was over at 11:30 p.m., we headed straight to the van and worked our way out. We finally made it back to the hotel at 3 a.m. and our hotel was only sixteen miles from the track.

In the end, even with all of the craziness, we had a lot of fun. Like I said in the beginning, I’m not a race fan, but I had a lot of fun and just watching my husband enjoy himself was enjoy to make up for the rest of the annoyances. Sit back, enjoy the race, commiserate with the person crammed in next to you and laugh at the many drunks who will put on a show for all to see. It really is more fun than you will expect!

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Labels: 10 Things to Expect at a Nascar Race in Charlotte, North Carolina

10 Things for Christians Not to Do or Say at a Hanukkah Dinner

I am a Christian (Roman Catholic to be exact), but throughout my life I have always had many Jewish friends. There have been multiple times in which I have been invited to Hanukkah dinners during the holiday season. I have always believed that it was an honor being a Gentile who was invited to celebrate in what is considered to be one of the most sacred Jewish holidays. After my accepting of the offer, some of my Jewish friend have invited other Christian friends to future Hanukkah meals.

There have been many times in which I have been at Hanukkah dinners and seen and heard some very strange things from other Christians that have been invited to these meals. I found myself discussing many of these events with a relative the other day, and realized that it would be fun to share them with others. These are ten tips about what you should not do or say if you are a Christian who is at a Hanukkah dinner. All of these are taken from real life.

10. Do not ask your host, “Do I have to wear one of those little beanies on my head?”

9. Do not start out questions about Hanukkah by asking, “Do you Jews…”

8. Do not attempt to wish your host a Merry Hanukkah, or a Happy Chun-aye-kah.

7. When the meal starts, do not ask if this is the night that is unlike any other night.

6. When the children at the party bring out their dreidel, do not say the following:

“I can’t believe with all of the money that your parents make that they only gave you a top to play with.”

5. You should not insist that Grace be said before the meal.

4. Remember that Hanukkah Harry is a creation of Saturday Night Live, and is not actually believed in by Jewish children.

3. Do not ask the Jewish children in attendance about what Santa Clause brought them for Hanukkah.

2. Do not ask if your host is going to read passages from, “The Diary of Ann Frank.”

1. If you are a smoker, under no circumstances should you ever light your cigarette off of the Menorah.

If you follow these rules, you Hanukkah dinner should be an enlightening experience. It will also ensure that the host, and guests, will be interested in having you back for another celebration in the future.

Labels: 10 Things for Christians Not to Do or Say at a Hanukkah Dinner

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