Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Types of Stamps You Can Buy Online

Stamps can be used for both business use and for personal use. They can be a fun tool to use in crafts or art projects or a serious tool to use to make business easier and to help present a professional image for your company. Whatever you reason for purchasing stamps, you need to make sure that you find a reputable supplier who can provide for all your stamp-related needs at reasonable prices.
Different Kinds of Stamps You Can Buy Online
There are many different types of stamps you can buy online and almost everyone can find exactly the type of stamp that they are looking for. For example, here are some of the different types of stamps you can buy online:
* Arts and crafts stamps.
These stamps are normally Rubber Stamps that are mounted on a mounting block made of pressed plastic or wood. They come in a variety of different shapes, images, sizes and colors. You can, for example, Purchase Stamps that have images of animals, baby products, plants, nature or holiday themes. You can Purchase Stamps with motivational words or sayings, or with different phrases on them. For instance, you might wish to purchase a stamp with the phrase Get Well Soon to use for cards, or you might wish to purchase a stamp with a shamrock or turkey on it to make holiday decorations.
The types of arts and crafts stamps are literally endless and can be used to make cards, collages, place cards, notes or anything else you can imagine. Even better, if you don't happen to find the exact stamp that you are looking for, you can typically have a stamp custom designed and made to specifically meet your needs. This gives you the ultimate in creative freedom and ensures you can truly have a stamp for just about anything. 
* Business stamps

You can also buy stamps for your business online as well as stamps for personal use. Stamps for your business often take the form of Rubber Stamps mounted on a wooden handle for greater durability. You can also purchase self Inking Stamps that come in a heavy-duty plastic frame so that you can use them without the need for an ink-pad for added convenience.
When you buy Business Stamps, you can choose from pre-established phrases and stamp patterns. For instance, you might buy a stamp that can be stamped on items to signify who the item was inspected by. You might buy a stamp that reads "Copy" to identify something as a photocopy, or a stamp that reads "Confidential" to announce that the documents should be kept away from prying eyes.
Business stamps, like arts and crafts and Personal Stamps, come in a wide variety of different forms. Again, like Personal Stamps, you also have the opportunity to Customize Stamps for your business. This, too, helps ensure that you have exactly the stamp products you need. Only the Internet offers this type of flexibility, and when it comes to the types of stamps you can buy online, the sky is the limit.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Purchase Online Stamps

Who has time to run out and buy stamps all of the time? In many areas, the post office is located miles away, making it inconvenient to dash in for a quick visit to purchase postage. Once we get to the Post Office we have to stand in a crowded line. What choice does one have? Thanks to the wonders of technology, one can purchase stamps and postage online.
There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to purchase actual rolls or sheets of stamps from the U.S. Postal Service's web site. In addition to postage, you can also buy mailing envelopes and boxes. A shipping fee will be incurred and you will receive your postage within a week.
The other way to get stamps online is to conveniently print them out from the comfort of your own home. It's quite really quite simple. If you own a computer with a printer, you can print stamps. In most cases, you can place money into an account. Every time you need to print postage, the amount is deducted from your account. Instead of the postage meter mark you're used to seeing, your computer prints a bar code called an "Information-Based Indicium's," Encrypted in this bar code is the amount of postage purchased and the destination zip code. This secure process is approved by the Postal System.
Keep in mind that you'll have to pay a monthly fee to purchase stamps online. If you prefer convenience over cost, this service is certainly for you. For many folks it's worth it not to have to stand in a long line. Something else to keep in mind however, is being properly credited after experiencing misprints or other technical difficulties. What happens if your envelope jams in the printer or the stamp doesn't print? Is it easy to get credit? In many cases you can file your refund request online or through the regular mail, within about 30 days of misprinting the postage. You'll need to fill out a form and provide proof of a misprint. After receiving your claim, the company in which you purchased your online stamps will submit your request to the US Postal Service on your behalf.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Buying Stamps Online - What You Ought to Know

Thanks to advents in technology particularly in broadband networking and digital photography, the process of buying stamps online has been made very easy and convenient. Whether you are looking for some unclear information about a particular stamp's value by networking with people who collect stamps like you, or you simply want to buy postage stamps online, the internet can be an invaluable tool for pursuing this hobby of stamp collecting.
Of course, one has to take special precautions when looking for stamps online, especially those that are highly priced. Firstly, you need to ensure you are dealing with an authorized website or platform such as eBay. Before making any purchase, you should ensure you know exactly what you want to buy and from whom you are buying. You also have to understand the level of protection and circumstances of protection available for buyers like you.
When buying stamps, be advised that sellers in eBay are required to adhere to very strict stipulated rules, which help protect you as a buyer. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the Code of Conduct of selling stamps, which clearly outlines those kinds of stamps that sellers are allowed to offer and how. This helps you make an informed decision when you come across an item that seems to violate the eBay's Code of Conduct, or if the deal is too good to be true.
When you buy stamps online, you have the factor in the cost of delivery in your final price. If you will invest a huge amount of money, you should ensure the stamp seller insures the stamps when shipping. You should also always ensure you complete all your transactions on eBay - either with a bid, Buy it now or Best offer. This is for the simple reason that eBay's protection measures and programs do not protect any transactions of buying stamps online, carried outside of eBay.
Still on point, you should never pay when you buy stamp online through instant cash wire transfer services such as Money Gram. Such payment methods are unsafe when paying a stranger, particularly for the first time. Generally though, you should rest assured there is some buyer protection you get when you adhere to the Code of Conduct when you decide to buy stamps online. More often, when buying stamps on eBay, you will pay through PayPal, hence you can rest assured that in the unlikely event something comes up during a transaction, your money will be well protected.

Shop Online With EBT, SNAP Or Food Stamps

Many families are enjoying the ease and convenience of online grocery shopping. Until now, this privilege was reserved for those in higher income brackets, with more money than time. One company is changing that, and making this option available for those in middle or lower income brackets - those who may be using public assistance, or food stamps to do their grocery shopping. The process is the same as if you were paying with a Credit Card.  
You log on, start a customer account, browse the extensive selection of quality, name brand food items, choose your items in the sizes and quantities you prefer, and then proceed to the checkout screen. Once at the checkout screen, you enter the number on your EBT,SNAP, or food stamp card, and another credit or debit card to pay for the shipping charges.  
It's just that easy.
Granted, shipping charges are usually around 40% of the total grocery bill, but if that seems like too much to pay, you can utilize the marketing plan of the company. And refer your friends to sign up as well. When they have spent $200 dollars, they become "active", which means they are qualified as independent representatives. If you sign up 6 new customers or representatives, the company will ship your groceries to you for free, and give you a $300 dollar commission for doing so.
Free shipping, plus a commission on their grocery purchase, plus a commission, or referral income for signing up 6 people. You could use the commissions to pay for your groceries, and then the groceries AND the shipping would be free.  How cool is that? Or, if you prefer, you can exchange the $200 in groceries that the company awards you with for signing up 6 people,  and get a $200 Walmart gift card. 

How to Purchase Online Stamps

Who has time to run out and buy stamps all of the time? In many areas, the post office is located miles away, making it inconvenient to dash in for a quick visit to purchase postage. Once we get to the Post Office we have to stand in a crowded line. What choice does one have? Thanks to the wonders of technology, one can purchase stamps and postage online.
There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to purchase actual rolls or sheets of stamps from the U.S. Postal Service's web site. In addition to postage, you can also buy mailing envelopes and boxes. A shipping fee will be incurred and you will receive your postage within a week.
The other way to get stamps online is to conveniently print them out from the comfort of your own home. It's quite really quite simple. If you own a computer with a printer, you can print stamps. In most cases, you can place money into an account. Every time you need to print postage, the amount is deducted from your account. Instead of the postage meter mark you're used to seeing, your computer prints a bar code called an "Information-Based Indicium's," Encrypted in this bar code is the amount of postage purchased and the destination zip code. This secure process is approved by the Postal System.
Keep in mind that you'll have to pay a monthly fee to purchase stamps online. If you prefer convenience over cost, this service is certainly for you. For many folks it's worth it not to have to stand in a long line. Something else to keep in mind however, is being properly credited after experiencing misprints or other technical difficulties. What happens if your envelope jams in the printer or the stamp doesn't print? Is it easy to get credit? In many cases you can file your refund request online or through the regular mail, within about 30 days of misprinting the postage. You'll need to fill out a form and provide proof of a misprint. After receiving your claim, the company in which you purchased your online stamps will submit your request to the US Postal Service on your behalf.

Buy Stamps Online

Did you know that you can buy stamps online via the Internet and print them directly to your printer? No more trips to the post office. No more standing in long lines to buy a book of stamps. No more carrying change with you to the stamp vending machine. Did you know that not only can you buy regular fist class mail stamps online, but that you can also buy priority mail and even express mail stamps online? Yes, from the comfort of your own home or from your office, you can go online and select the type of postage you want, and your stamps can be printed out directly to your printer within seconds!
All you need is access to the Internet, some adhesive paper on which to print postage, a stationary weighing scale, and a printer. You simply log onto the Internet and prepay a set amount for stamps that will be deducted from as you purchase them. What about special-sized envelopes? You can also request your local post office to have any quantity priority and express mail envelopes delivered to you for free. What about delivery confirmation and tracking numbers? These can be issued online too, at the time of printing.
What about trips to the post office? You don't ever have to go to the post office. You can always drop outgoing mail in your own mailbox. But if you have an oversized package that doesn't fit in your mailbox, you can contact the post office and request them to come and pick up your packages from you directly any day of the week. Because you can buy stamps online, you can ship anything without ever having to leave your home or your office.

Can You Buy Postage Stamps Online? How to Purchase Stamps Without Going to the Post Office

Do you know that you can now buy postage stamps online?
This should not come as a surprise since nowadays it is very possible to buy just about anything through the Internet. Mailing stickers isn't an exemption at all. They can be bought directly from the postal service's website or from an authorized vendor.
How can you buy stamps online?
1.    Log in to the national postal service website and place an order. Here you will need to select how many stamps you wish to purchase and make your payment either through debit or credit card. You have to make sure that the payment connection is secure. Your order will be delivered via letter carrier and delivery timeframe depends on the postal service.
2.    Buy from authorized vendors. In nations like the United States, the national postal service outsources buying mailing stickers. To know which vendors are authorized to sell these, go to the postal service site and look up the contact details of these merchants. When dealing with vendors, you will most likely be asked to register for an account and maintain it with a monthly service fee. Vendors may not mail your purchase to you instead, you can print them on special sheets or directly onto the envelope with the recipients mailing address and yours (sender's).
You can also buy postage stamps for parcels online. Postal service sites and vendors can calculate the necessary postage to send a parcel of a certain weight and destination. One benefit of this is that you no longer need to go to the post office and stand in line to have a package delivered. You can simply purchase what you need through the Internet and drop your parcel into the nearest mailbox.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Aspiring Singers Are Enrolling in Vocal Training Classes to Put Their Stamp on Contemporary Music

Those who have taken note of the sudden success of Il Volo, the Italian trio of teenagers, have surely had the thought of taking vocal training classes cross his or her mind. The fresh-faced youngsters immediately bring to mind memories of The Three Tenors, what with their blend of booming, operatic voices and the mathematical certainty that there are indeed three of them. And just like Luciano Pavarotti, they hail from Italy. For those aspiring singers who do not naturally possess their pipes and vocal range; a reputable vocal training program will teach everything from proper breathing techniques and protecting the voice to harmonizing and ear training.

A complete vocal education program combines creative and technical development with regular live performance - a thorough curriculum that will allow students to not just sing, but to communicate effectively with their audience. It is imperative for students to find or recognize the vocalists that inspire their creativity. Finding a stylistic identity is Step One when building confidence as a professional performer, since performing live is about more than the ability to belt out the notes.
Students in either an Associate of Arts or Bachelor of Music in Performance program undertake various vocal training classes that will develop, polish, and expand the limits of their vocal instrument. Lyrical interpretation, stage presence, presentation, and microphone techniques are all covered in the vocal performance classes that have been designed to produce skilled yet versatile contemporary vocalists.

An intrinsic knowledge of music theory and vocal techniques will become second nature to any performer worth his or her salt. As such, these vocal training classes serve as a prerequisite to topics related to performance. Learning the anatomy and physiology of the voice, the importance of proper breathing techniques, and how best to protect the voice teaches students about the science of voice production. On the other end of the spectrum, pitch registers, vocal techniques (such as vibrato), sight-singing, and music theory are invaluable skills when it comes time to lay down tracks in the recording studio. Training the ear to distinguish between major and minor scales, intervals, chord qualities, and the like is a necessary component to harmonization.

Even if a potential student is not a tenor or even a fan of opera, vocal training classes will transform each student into a stylistically versatile contemporary vocalist. These programs incorporate regular seminars and clinics with personal counseling sessions with internationally known performers. Classes are the foundation for any well-rounded vocalist. Before a performer realizes her vision on stage or in the studio, she must be capable of working and communicating effectively with her fellow musicians.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How Postal Shipping Rates Vary

Before an individual decides to go and send a parcel, he needs to be armed with basic information about how the postal office works. Knowledge of different services offered at the post office is essential for a start. Different services will have different prices and this requires an understanding of how rates are charged for services that are offered. Some parcels cannot be sent by ordinary mail due to their nature. The parcels may either be too heavy or too bulky and can only be sent by parcel shipping. This behooves the sender to understand how the postal shipping rates vary.
The first overnight services are quite expensive when compared to other shipping services. This kind of service guarantees delivery of the goods the following morning. While it may look as a very fast option, the postal shipping rates for this service are very high because it requires unscheduled courier pick up service that is also charged. Furthermore, irregularly shaped items that cannot fit well into the containers are also surcharged. The rates even get much higher for items that are perishable or containing hazardous materials. This service is therefore very expensive.
Delivery services for second day delivery to major cities in Europe also prove to be quite expensive. The case even gets worse when dealing with international express who charge for their services with special emphasis on weight and the destination of the package. Their postal shipping rates increase with weight of the package. This is quite expensive and almost applies the same postal shipping rates as the first overnight services.
A postal shipping service that brings a big variation in terms of fees charged is the third day delivery service. The postal shipping rates for this service is much cheaper compared to the first two mentioned earlier. Using this service can save a little money or can allow an individual to send two parcels of a similar kind to the same destination.
Furthermore, there are some delivery services that are more concerned about security of the package and not speed. This kind of delivery service is quite cheap compared to the rest. Though they may take up to one whole week to reach their destination, the parcel is normally safe. The postal shipping rates are fair as compared to the previous ones. This may be attributed to the fact that there is no sense of urgency in this type of postal delivery. Safety of the parcel is of essence.
Different delivery services will have varying postal shipping rates basing on what they charge. Some will place great emphasis on the urgency or speed of the parcel, while others will base on the weight of the parcel. Some will base their fees on security that is required when handling a parcel while others will charge their fees basing on the distance to be covered. Some delivery companies will combine the different factors in arriving at the postal shipping rates. The different factors will therefore bring in the variations in terms of the fees charged to deliver the parcels.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Resolve to Stamp Out Procrastination!

"I can do that tomorrow . . ." How often do you say that about both the large and small things in life, the important and the trivial? How often do you procrastinate, intentionally postpone, needlessly delay, drag your feet, slack off, and habitually avoid taking action. How often do you put off actions that you must eventually perform? How often do you shove your dreams to the back burner out of fear of failure, laziness, or perfectionism? The answer to each question is undoubtedly "Yes, at times" - thanks, in part, to human nature. Each one of us falls victim to the Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome: "Someday I will _________."
There is a better alternative. Why not replace the Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome with a more powerful, positive, and productive daily habit: "Today I am _______." You can do it if you so choose, but you have to admit you are procrastinating, examine the reasons why, build a plan that will enable you to change your behavior, and create a new set of habits by 'doing'. You are probably thinking "easier said than done" and you are right. It is easy to procrastinate. When you are doing it you 'feel like you are not risking anything'. When you shove a task, activity, or dream, to the back burner it is 'out of sight, out of mind'. You don't have to think about it. You can go on about your life and focus on things that you really want to do, tasks that are more fun, more enjoyable, and less threatening.
Actually, however, the task that you are ignoring is still on your 'Things To Do List', and every time you review your list - or worse, every time your boss, or spouse reminds you that the task must be done - it creates a pang of anxiety, or worry, yet the procrastination persists. You put off doing the task until the last possible moment, creating unnecessary stress in the race to completion. Sadly, in the case of dreams, day-to-day life marches on, your dream goes unfulfilled, and you end up with painful regrets for 'what could have been' at the end of your time on Earth.
Instead thinking about it: "Maybe I'll stop procrastinating tomorrow," do something to improve the quality of your life today. If you wait until tomorrow - tomorrow may never arrive. If you are waiting for a better time to act, it may never happen. Do the best you can with your time, talents, and the circumstances in which you find yourself, today. Make a decision to stop procrastinating and put that goal at the top of your priority list, knowing that it will improve your life. If you need some help, consider these simple, common sense steps that will result in a plan that enables you to live for today rather waiting for a tomorrow that may never see the light of day:
  1. Find a quiet place where you can think, perhaps your favorite coffee house, or maybe a park. Pull out your your journal and put your thinking cap on. Examine your life and your daily habits. Make a list of all the things, large and small, that you are postponing. For instance: Tomorrow I will begin saving money for an emergency fund. Tomorrow I will plan that dream trip to Italy. Tomorrow I will go back to school and finish my college degree. Tomorrow I will write my novel. Tomorrow I will begin an exercise program. Tomorrow I will make peace with my family. You get the idea. Develop a comprehensive list.
  2. Examine each item on your list and ask yourself "why" you are procrastinating. What is standing in the way of starting, and finishing, each task on your list? Some tasks are mandatory, yet you delay: Perhaps you are postponing a work project because it is something that you are fully qualified to do, but it's not a job that you enjoy, so you are dragging your feet. Some tasks invoke fear, so you hold back: You are worried that you don't have the skill, or ability, to write that novel you've always dreamed about; or perhaps your exercise program didn't provide results quick enough, so you gave up. Some tasks take a lot time and loads of sweat equity: Perhaps you want to tackle that long list of home improvement projects, but you never seem to find enough time, or energy. Some tasks involve resources you don't believe you possess: Perhaps you want to begin saving for retirement, but you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, so you are waiting until your finances improve. There are so many scenarios, each one unique to each individual. What is important is that you draw an accurate picture of your own life.
  3. Admit that you are procrastinating and make a decision to change today. Make a promise to yourself to stop procrastinating, and to replace that bad habit with a good, proactive habit: Today I am tackling my dreams and responsibilities with enthusiasm and pride.
  4. Recognize that you cannot immediately tackle every item on your list. Prioritize the tasks and dreams. Which one can you tackle right now - and finish today? Start with that task. It's an easy 'win'. Then, knock off all the quick, easy 'Things To Do', rapidly, one after another, as soon as it is reasonably possible; it will shorten your list and allow you to focus on the tougher tasks. It will also send you down the path toward building a new, healthier habit: Proactive vs. Procrastinate. This effort will contribute to your confidence, self esteem and momentum, as you prioritize and tackle, one-by-one, all long-range, labor-intensive tasks on your list.
  5. Study your list and determine which items are time sensitive and must be handled, sooner rather than later, then set up a timeline and tackle them based on their deadlines. Comb through your list and pull out your cherished dreams, and determine which one invokes the most passion, interest, and desire. Make a firm decision today to pursue that dream because it is something that you would love to do. Put that dream at the top of your priority list for the next 12 months, then do your homework about what it will take to fulfill your dream, build a plan, and tackle one small goal, one day at a time for one full year.

Monday, October 29, 2012

6 Article Marketing Mistakes That May Stamp S-T-U-P-I-D On Your Articles

Are you making article marketing mistakes that stamp S.T.U.P.I.D. on your articles? No worries; you can put a stop to any S.T.U.P.I.D. article marketing mistakes. Here are 5 article marketing mistakes and how to avoid them written into the S.T.U.P.I.D. acronym. Implement them now and create another income stream that produces more site traffic and double your sales.

1. Skimmers - ignoring the skimmers. Do you make your articles easy to read? Cater to the skimmers. New millennium readers are busy professionals. You could be missing out if you don't. Your article readers want to skim your piece for the top points. Give them tips, lists or numbered points to make it easy to pick and choose interests or read fast.

2. Titles - nondescript titles. Examine your article title. Does it do its job well? Will it get any attention among the hundreds of pieces of information streaming into your reader's consciousness each day? If not, you must re-craft your title until it sizzles. Aim each title and article at one specific audience. You will be less effective if you try to be everything to everyone. Then revise it and slant it toward another audience. For example, your article writing coach re-wrote the S.T.U.P.I.D. articles for 3 different audiences: article marketing, book writing and self-publishing.

3. Understanding - lack of understanding your reader. Do you understand your audience? Are you aware of their needs or desires? If not, you should campaign to find out. You could create a simple survey to collect information about what their greatest challenge is in your field. Then write articles to fill that need or to bring understanding to your readers. Before long, you will have a whole fleet of articles circulating to promote your business or product to success.

4. Prelude - no hook introduction. Does your short introduction grab attention right away? After your sizzling title has grabbed their attention to read your article then the introduction should hook them right away. You could start with a question about where they are now with solving their problem. Follow up with your article's thesis and benefits to the reader. To get more people to read always include what's in it for them in your introduction.

5. Information - information shift in bio. Don't forget to spend time on your bio. Upgrade your signature box to Web 2.0. These days the focus is not so much on your credentials as it is the reader benefits and especially the offer. Keep it simple; grab your reader's attention again and make a free offer for a report, ezine or even min-course.

6. Do it - just do it. There's one more point I need to make about erasing the stamp of S.T.U.P.I.D. on your articles. You must take action to reap the benefits of more traffic and eventually double sales and leads on your email lists. If you do the same thing you've always done, you will get the same results. Changing your actions will change your results. So that leaves one thing left to do; just do it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Challenge: Fly Just Five Model Airplanes

It seems like we all own more model airplanes than we know what to do with. In my case, it has been years since I bought a brand new model airplane kit or ARF. I just don't feel the need. I'm always picking up used models from other local pilots. There seems to be no shortage of fire sales, if you keep your eyes open and act fast. Between folks moving away, passing away, dropping out of the hobby, going broke, or just plain getting tired of the models that they own, I have built up a large collection of perfectly serviceable models.

The problem that I have, like so many others, is that then I end up with a whole bunch of models that just collect dust. What if instead I only allowed myself to own five model airplanes? Fly the hell out of them, and then when they break beyond repair, throw them out and get a replacement.
I know what you are thinking. You would then be forced to pass up on all these fire sales! The horror! This is what you can do about it. Whittle down your count to just four, so you have an open slot in your stable to add one on the spur of the moment.


I see many advantages to this strategy. Of course, it will keep your flying costs down. You will be forced to honestly assess every purchase before you make it. Are you in love with the airplane? Are you absolutely sure you will enjoy flying it, weekend in and weekend out?
No more broken airplanes lying around waiting for "someday" to get fixed. Guaranteed. You will either fix them right away, sell them, give them away, or just throw them away. One of your five slots is just too valuable to be left idling by in your hangar.

Much more importantly, you will become a better pilot. You will learn all the quirks of the five airplanes, and will then be able to focus on improving your flying skills.
Honestly, I'm not ready myself to commit to this limit. It would take some planning to do it well and make it work. But I am a lot more careful about what airplanes I buy than I used to be.
A local friend, Les, uses this strategy. He has given himself a personal limit of four airplanes to own. To keep things simple, everything he owns is glow powered. He's been doing it like this for a while, and he seems happy with the arrangement. However, as he described his latest fire sale purchase, I counted five...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rare Coins and Stamps! A Lifetime Gift For Collectors

My mother would kill me if I ask her to give me $500 for buying a 1600 AD coin. For her it is sheer waste of money and is stupidity, but for me it means a lot because I like to collect coins.
Collecting rare things has been a popular hobby for many years. People are fond of collecting different items like coins, stamps, decor pieces, cars and bikes of different models and jerseys of famous players. For people who love to collect different things, these things are priceless but for others it seems as a waste of money. The hobby of collecting things arouse from reading history books and stories of different times, when people are more aware of the history, they like to preserve it with themselves by collecting different rare items of old-times.

In earlier decades, collecting rare things was very difficult because by then communication was not very easy as it is today and people had to travel thousands of miles to get their specific collectibles and sometimes travelling for thousands of miles goes in vain because of misinformation. But now in this modern era, as information technology has advanced tremendously, the collectors can easily track their respective collectibles such as rare coins, stamps, decoration pieces, old cars, jerseys of legendary players, etc. Internet is the biggest revolution in information technology and you can call it "a mine of information". It is very easy to extract relevant information from that mine through different search engines.

Technology has made life easy and now the collectors are at ease of collecting rare items of their interest than the collectors of past. But there is one major issue at this age and that is the prices of rare items. The price of one rare coin can be up to $1000, so it is hard to buy that expensive coin. But still those people who have passion to collect the rare items somehow manage the finance to get their desired collectible items and by the virtue of internet, the collectors can get the desired rare item while sitting in their houses via online shopping sites. There are different antique stores operating online and they get order on the internet and supply that product at your doorstep. Therefore, the collectors of today can make their desired collection very easily and conveniently. If you have a friend or relative who loves to collect rare items then you can give him/her some rare items as a gift, these rare items are bit expensive but when it comes to loved one then the price does not matter.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What If the USPS Ran Without Fuel? Case Study

Well, I don't think anyone is surprised the United States Post Office is having trouble paying their bills, or staying in business at the current price they are charging for stamps. Also I don't think anyone would be surprised that if they raise the price of stamps further, fewer of us will mail letters. Indeed, it is also very obvious that we are all using more e-mail, faxes, and other ways of communication, and therefore the old art of letter writing is dead. Of course, this amounts to billions of dollars in lost revenue at the USPS, and some wonder if this is even a viable method of delivery anymore?

In the future, folks will use 3-D facsimile, or 3-D printing to order various things for their home and they will get delivered without the post office, UPS, or FedEx Home Delivery. Perhaps the biggest question is how do we cut the cost at the USPS so they can still operate until they are no longer needed, perhaps in a couple of decades, or maybe less? One thought which keeps reoccurring at our think tank, and is especially popular amongst the global warming alarmists, and their new religion of alternative energy is to have the USPS get all hybrid vehicles.

Consider if you will the huge cost of fuel for the post office, as the price per gallon is up over four dollars here in 2012. Can they go with all electric vehicles? Actually, since postal vehicles only drive a small distance each day, and they go on the same route, and those routes are quite close to the post office, the reality is that yes they could use electric vehicles. Interestingly enough many post offices already are, and the vehicles come back, plug-in at night, get charged up, and the next day they go out on the route. It actually works pretty well, and there is some savings there.
However, there is a big problem and that is the cost of batteries, and those batteries weigh in at quite a bit, and most of the new postal vehicles are not really set up for all that extra weight, and therefore they have to be redesigned. The post offices that do use electric vehicles have custom electric vehicles, not modifications of old jeeps, or the new LLVs.

Does a hybrid vehicle makes sense instead?

Actually, there are some post offices that have hybrid vehicles as well, and the answer to that question is yes. Unfortunately, the money has to come from somewhere to buy these vehicles, and they are quite a bit more expensive. There are many reasons why these types of vehicles cost more, one is that any time a vehicle has dual systems, you have to pay more, and the second reason is they haven't bought them in bulk for all the post office is yet.

Many folks would like to see more hybrids on the road. Having the post office make a huge expenditure and buy hundreds of thousands of these vehicles all at once, and with that lower price whichever car maker gets the contract, they can also make hybrids for all the rest of us to drive around, which would also keep the price low.

Buying Garden Tools - Why Does Made in USA Matter?

Why does buying tools made in the U.S.A. matter? Few time in our history have demanded more loyalty to products "Made in the USA" than the present. Purchasing garden tools made in the USA is a way to support American labor and get high quality implements at the same time. It also boosts the rest of our economy because the dollars spent on items made here tend to stay here.
In addition, when products made here are purchased, American jobs are created. With unemployment soaring, buying American products takes on huge significance. It may not sound important at first but if you consider the huge variety of tools required to maintain even a small yard or property, made in the U.S.A. means something. Now add in all the larger properties like parks, estates, municipal properties and the like. Just think about all the different types of tools, implements, apparel, and accessories that are needed, and the impact is pretty apparent. I'm talking about things like simple garden spades, shovels, rakes, tillers, and on up to lawn tractors and tool sheds.

Buying Garden Tools Made by Your Friends and Neighbors Counts

There are many examples I could give, but I think you'll understand what I'm saying! Please take buy tools, implements and accessories stamped "made in the USA". Would you have ever thought that buying garden tools made here could make such a difference to our economy? Now that it's clear how significant buying implements stamped with "made in U.S.A." is, let's consider how our local Home and Garden and Hardware stores can help.
Think about the tools stocked by most of our larger store chains. Have you checked the "made in" stamp? Let me challenge you to do so. I believe you'll be amazed at how little of their stock is made in the U.S.A. I certainly don't have a problem supporting any other country, region or economy. But it has to make sense for OUR economy. I encourage you to help make a difference. Let your local stores know you want them to sell our products. Let them know that you think stores who earn their profits by selling to Americans, ought to be selling garden tools and implements made by Americans.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

From Tragedy to Triumph

There is nothing in life that is too large to overcome. There are no challenges that you can't face successfully. The things we experience in life do not define us. The decisions we make are what design our life.

What is your biggest fear? When you face that, all of the smaller obstacles fall to the way side. When we experience something catastrophic, something so challenging that we initially feel like we can't get through it, this is when we are faced with an area where we can grow.
When we are presented with difficult events in our life, it comes down to what we do with the experience. Will you live in the tragedy or will you triumph?

Triumph over a difficult situation allows for growth. True joy in life comes from growth. To feel alive we need meaning in our lives. Often times these extreme situations (which we all experience in one way or another) are blessings in disguise.
I have seen it time and time again, those that are successful first hit rock bottom. When you are at the bottom you find that driving force to propel you upwards at an extreme level. Its a feeling of need, it 'must' happen, so you create the way.

There is an internet marketer that went from living on food stamps to 3 months later making $20,000 a month. How does this happen? She found belief that it was possible by seeing someone she related to achieve this. Her belief level was raised, she became certain in the ability to achieve. Then she took the action with a burning desire to make it a reality. She triumphed over tragedy and grew. Now she continues to grow and produce extraordinary results over and over again. She just needed that initial proof that it was possible. In that moment she changed forever.
Once it becomes real and you have that break through, you become limitless. The bar becomes officially raised and you can soar.
Whatever negative emotions you are experiencing find that opposite emotion and fuel the feeling of that emotion. Tap your potential by drowning out the negative energy in your life with positive energy.

In order to really thrive we need 4 areas of life to flourish: personal development, career, adventure/fun, contribution.
Challenge yourself, set career goals, explore what the world has to offer and always find a way to give back. Everything is energy. If you aren't giving you aren't keeping the flow of the Universe working properly in your life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Stamp: Rooting Out Redundancies

Working with one of our customers, I was engaged to facilitate a major revitalization of their business. This undertaking would include determining a fresh business focus, developing new products, streamlining processes, and renewing the skills and attitudes of the staff.
It immediately became apparent that everyone was very busy. The question, of course, was "busy doing what?". People were expressing concerns about workload pressures and aggressively were promoting the notion that resources needed to be increased. I pushed back, by stating my belief that there had to be significant chunks of activity that were merely "busy" work and that if we could identify and jettison that stuff, then we would free up staff time for more important work. And here's the story of The Stamp.

When chatting with the support staff regarding their work environment, I challenged them to identify activities that might be done differently or that they could stop doing altogether, with no negative impact on the business. Someone said, "Oh, you mean, like, The Stamp."
This organization reviewed engineering designs, some of which could be up to 200 pages. As part of the review process, each page had to be stamped (and there are 4 copies). Judy had to wear a special glove and by the end of stamping 800 pages, her hand was about to fall off. My immediate reaction was that this was insane and that we would either get out of stamping or find a machine to do it. They stated that legal counsel had verified the need to do the stamping.
After the meeting, I came down to Judy's desk to see The Stamp. Now this wasn't a little rubber stamp, but rather it was a heavy thing, encased in a metal frame that rotated as it was pushed down. I could understand why her hand would ache.

I spoke with the President about The Stamp and his reaction was exactly the same as mine. I told him that I wanted to have some fun with legal counsel. I marched into Tom's office and stated that I was here to talk about The Stamp. He didn't seem to know what The Stamp was about, so I related the activity to him. He didn't recall rendering a legal opinion on The Stamp.
"Tom, the President and I have reviewed The Stamp and we feel that The Stamp, by itself, is insufficient. We think that legal counsel should be initialing each page, too. In fact, we're of the opinion that legal counsel really should be doing the actual stamping!"
Tom quickly agreed that The Stamp was a mindless activity and that if there, indeed, was a legal requirement for The Stamp, that it needed to be addressed in some other manner. He asked me to find out the history of The Stamp. I had Judy investigate the situation.

It appears that over 20 years ago the procedure for The Stamp was initiated. Engineering designs had to be taken apart to be micro-fiched and The Stamp was a means for ensuring that the pages didn't get out of order. So it had nothing to do with a legal requirement, although that was the common belief. It wasn't even document control. It was merely page numbering!
And the Judys of the world spent hundreds of hours a year for the last twenty years doing The Stamp! What a waste of precious resources. What demeaning (make) work for human beings. What a vacuum of management attention.

Over time, all organizations develop a variety of activities like The Stamp. Unless management is rigorous in systematically eradicating The Stamp, it will creep into the acceptable norm of the workplace. Procedures that do not add value are redundant and debilitating. They suck out vitality, rendering staff dispirited and mindless. Management needs to establish approaches to actively solicit process improvements from their staff. Only active listening and remedial action will doom The Stamp.

To do this, begin by describing the business, identifying all the elements and how they inter-relate. Then map out the processes that support the business functions. Critically question whether each of the processes is really necessary. Evaluate how the processes are implemented and challenge all features of the current regime. Get rid of redundant processes and re-design other processes. Keep an open mind to ways that technology might be used to create efficiencies and eliminate redundancies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

China Stamp Collecting - A Connection With the Past

Whether you are a beginner or an old hand at collecting postage stamps, China stamp collecting can be very enjoyable. China's exotic past and quixotic recent history will expose you to many different eras. It is a history that spans from stamps produced as the 2,000 year-old Imperial era drew to a close to the stamps rich in history and cultural content used by modern China today.

Unless one lives in China, collecting Chinese stamps presents a challenge from the onset. Researching and learning about philatelic China can be enlightening in its own right, presenting an opportunity to learn more about one of the world's oldest and most intriguing cultures. Native Chinese have discovered the joys of China stamp collecting as well, as it has become a huge pastime for millions of hobbyists.

The history of Chinese stamps begins in 1878, with the issuance of the 'Large Dragon' series. This was the first public mail service, descended from a private diplomatic courier service for consular transactions and diplomatic corps communiques.

The Imperial Post Office, established in1897, ran until 1911. In between, many remarkable stamps were issued and the use of overprinting to recharge discontinued stamp stock created many rare collectibles. What followed over the next 40 years was a period of political turmoil, replete with a Japanese occupation, war-created hyperinflation and a victory by Communists revolutionaries in 1949. The strife helped to create a treasure trove of stamp collectibles that reflect the times.

Stamps produced during the last half of the 20th century reflected domestic China. The use of propaganda and nationalism throughout the period make stamps issued some of the most interesting in the entire philatelic world. The 'Cultural Revolution' alone produced extraordinary examples of Soviet realism art.

China stamps represent a virtual historical narrative of the Chinese travails from its Imperial past to today's cultural and economic powerhouse. Collecting China stamps can be rewarding and enlightening.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Firefighter Challenge Coins - Honoring Heroic Actions

Unless you know a firefighter personally, you may not be familiar with firefighter challenge coins. These unique medallions serve as unspoken expressions for courage, honor and selflessness exhibited by firefighters during the course of duty. They are awarded for multi-faceted reasons from heroic actions to posthumous keepsakes for surviving family members.
To receive a coin that was commissioned for a specific firefighter's benefit, celebrates the individual and fellow co-workers. Let's look at several occasions, which merit this accolade.

The Posthumous Firefighters Challenge Coin
The posthumous challenge coin is custom created in tribute of the deceased firefighter. Each custom-crafted coin is as unique as was the individual. Working with text, drawings and/or a picture of the firefighter, the designer processes a completed coin from original ideas. Text usually consists of names, dates and perhaps the fireman's unit number. The chosen text is engraved using a laser process.
The photograph goes through offset printing and is finished out with an epoxy dome to preserve the image. Although we generally think of coins as round, there are a myriad of unusual shapes to select from.
Challenge coins distributed during the firefighter's memorial service may be presented in black velvet, either a box or bag. This provides a discreet and classy aura to the presentation, during a solemn moment in time. The velvet container also safeguards the luster and life of the medallion.
The tangible tribute to the fallen firefighter is often showcased at his/her fire station to preserve their memory and incite a team-working persona in fellow firefighters.

Ceremonial Firefighter Challenge Coins
Firefighters put their lives on the line on a daily basis. It is not unusual for an individual or an entire unit to go beyond their calling and demonstrate extraordinary valor.
These brave men and women should and sometimes are honored at a special ceremony. The challenge coin is symbolic of heroic action, making it the ideal award for outstanding bravery in the line of duty.

First Responder Reward
In times of disaster, firefighters are deemed first responders on the scene. During the drastic days following September 11, 1011 or 911, firefighters worked tirelessly around the clock in effort to save lives and locate the deceased.
In ordinary times when emergencies arise, firefighters are deemed first responders. They assess the situation and are often responsible for keeping people alive, prior to other responder's arrival on the scene.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why Doesn't the US Just Mark All Secret Documents "Copyrighted" and Use Copyright Law?

It is amazing how much controversy the WikiLeaks release of confidential, secret, and classified information has caused the world. Such events trouble our military, and they appear to have hurt our State Department which is quite a fortunate. You see, we need to keep opening channels of communication between our allies, trading partners, and even our enemies. And we need to assess all those communications, as there are cultural differences, and we need to talk about that amongst our own team.

Every nation has to do that because people come from different places, ways of thinking, and even religious backgrounds. Such information needs to be kept close to the vest, as each side discusses how they're going to go about negotiating, or deal with the differences in culture. Unfortunately, when such discussions get blasted into the world media it may cause hurt feelings, and therefore, in the future there may be less communication, because there is more mistrust.
After all, if your communications which you talk about in private are blasted all over the media, the chances of you having future communications are less likely. Fewer communications can cause a more likelihood for political impasse, which could lead to war. So, whereas, WikiLeaks believes that it is helping by putting all this information out of the public, actually, it creates an atmosphere of animosity and mistrust, therefore it could lead to war sometime in the future. That's not okay, and that is what much of the concern is about.

Nevertheless, we talk a lot about the need for whistleblowers to keep our politicians, decision-makers, and even our government honest with the people, not only the people the United States, but all the people in other countries, and around the world. So there seems to be a challenge of where the balance should be. It is amazing how much of a stir this whole WikiLeaks fiasco has caused, but there are solutions to these problems you know.

You see, if we truly care about whistleblowers, and we want to keep our world leaders honest, and if we demand transparency, then it is very hard to jump out of the political correctness to put the Wiki Leaks founder in prison for disrupting the government. After all we want freedom of the press, because we all believe in that, or at least we do the United States.

One way to combat this problem is simply to stamp a little "C" (for copyright) at the bottom of each memorandum, whether it is classified, secret, or confidential. This way if anyone gets a hold of it, they are not allowed to copy it, to put it in the media, or to place it on a website. If they do they are breaking international copyright laws, and therefore, we could shut down the website for breaking those laws. Indeed, I hope you will please consider this, because I guarantee our world leaders are, because what's happened is a detriment to human societies and the future of peace on earth.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stamp Collecting Basics

Stamp collecting is the most popular hobby in the world. Philately is a broader term for the study of stamps, and it is frequently - but wrongly - equated to stamp collecting.
Through stamp collecting, people find information about history, currency, science, politics, arts, architecture and customs of different nations and countries of the world. All stamp collectors have fun with their stamps because no collection is ever complete, and there is always a challenge.
First, decide whether you would like to collect unused (mint) or used (canceled) stamps. If starting a mint stamp collection, purchase unused stamps from the post office. And if you see interesting stamps coming in the mail - collect them.

Many collectors prefer used stamps because they are less expensive or they may cost you nothing.
Some collectors save stamps by "topic": for instance, if you are interested in ships, you may want to collect stamps of ships and boats. Car fans often collect stamps with cars on them. You can disregard the countries and only collect stamps that have pictures that you like. Some people like to collect stamps of one or several countries, but which are all of the same subject. Popular topical themes are birds, cats, butterflies, flowers, sports, space, art, chess, famous people and other.
Specialized collecting means that you can collect all the varieties of a single stamp or collect stamps used for a special purpose.

Country collecting is usually done chronologically by date of issue, sub-divided into reigns or political periods.
Some collectors specialize in collecting only the first stamps, one for each country that has ever issued a postage stamp, or collecting first-day covers.

Some areas of collecting cost less than ten cents a stamp, while others can cost thousands of dollars.
A lot of people collect "Cinderellas" - stamps that are not official stamps issued by a country's postal administration. Cinderella collectors include in their collections local postage issues, telegraph stamps, tax stamps, forgeries and counterfeits.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Discover Topical Stamp Collecting - Photography on Stamps

As a member in good standing with the American Topical Association (ATA), it is always with joy that I receive the association's bi-monthly magazine, Topical Time, which is jam-packed with great topical stamp collecting articles written by the members along side with regular features such as, (to name just these few):

- Award Winners
- Checklists Updated
- Cinderella Corner
- Index to Advertisers
- Jack's Journal
- Postal Stationery
- Show Calendar
- Topical Meter Stamps
- Topical Postline
- Topics on Postmarks
- Units in Action
- Youth in Topics

A paid Membership Directory is also available which contains a listing of all the topics collected by their members.
Do you know how many topical subjects are indexed in the general listing?
No less than six hundred and seventy (670) different subjects; from abacus to zoology!
Furthermore, inside the "Famous People" category, sixty-five (65) known personalities from Hans Christian Andersen via Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley up to George Washington, are listed as active topics.
Since I recently got myself into digital photography, I scanned the listing to see if my passion was listed. Yep! Photography on stamps, is listed under topical code 617 and, cameras on stamps, under topical code 618.

This means other stamp collectors as well are interested in this topic with so many areas of interest:

- photography pioneers (Lieven Gevaert, Niepce, Daguerre....)
- worldwide photographers
- old and modern type of cameras
- scientific photo techniques
- great and famous photographs
- wildlife photography of the year contest winners

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Online Postal Stamps Save Money

Did you know that you can save money with online postal stamps? From the comfort of your home you can print postal stamps and labels that you need for all your shipping needs. The good news is that you can take advantage of the online postal stamps services to save you and your business money.

Online postal stamps can save you money if you have a home based business or your company has a great deal of shipping and postage. The majority of these company offer postal meters. They want you to be able to meter your items from your home or even the office.
For new business owners that would like to use meters it can be a challenge because finances are often tight. With the online postal stamps services many will provide a free postal meter or one at a greatly reduced price. Before you ever send your first piece of mail from your company you are already saving money.

How many times have you had documents to mail and were unsure of the postage amount? You did not want to go stand in line at the post office to get the envelope weighed. Instead you put several postal stamps on the package and hoped that you had enough to cover the weight. More than likely, you just paid too much for postage. Using online postal stamps services will save you money because you will never over-pay postage again because you did not know how much it weighed.
Often there are ways to save money on the type of shipping that you select. There is a different rate for overnight, express, bulk, bulk media, and so forth. The online postal stamps services will specifically let you know what options are available to you when you put in the dimensions and weight of items. Again, you will not be stuck over-paying for shipping and save money in the long run.

It can be beneficial to your company presence to print a company logo next to the stamp area on packages and envelopes. Yet, if you use a regular offline company to process your mail and handle your metering, adding something as simple as a company logo or holiday text can become quite expensive. Using the services of a company that handles online postal stamps can save you tremendous amounts of money and still provide you with the services that you both need and desire.
As you can see the use of online postal stamps can save you and your company a great deal of time as well as money. The biggest advantage is that you will not be over paying for postage or spending money on gas for repeated trips to the post office. Nor will you be spending money on employee wages for them to stand in line for hours a week at the local post office when they could be doing other business related tasks for you and your company. You can also save money on mail processing services with the online postage stamps types of companies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Getting Your Stamp Collection Started

Stamp collecting is definitely a fun and interesting hobby for those who get the bug. It gives you an opportunity to collect tiny pieces of history from all over the world. You might even consider them as little artifacts that open up a new world of exploration. By following a few of these suggestions, you'll be on your way to an enriching and past time.

First, you'll need to decide if you'd like to choose a theme for collecting, such as a specific group of countries or a timeline, perhaps only stamps with animals depicted or nature scenes. It's up to you, and the choices are virtually endless. Then again, having a "general" collection of everything is a great choice too!
You may want to start out by purchasing sheets of new stamps, maybe even from specific countries. You could even ask family and friends to save stamps for you from their mail. This is a good, easy way to begin your collection. It adds meaning to your stamps too if you receive some from someone who's important to you.
Once the word is out about your new hobby, you'll probably receive gifts of stamps for holidays and birthdays. This will help your collection grow, and special limited edition and commemorative stamps may be acquired too.

You can then begin to narrow down what your preferences are. Do you prefer old stamps over new? New stamps are easier to find, but if you're up for a challenge, old stamps are exciting to try to track down. Save any you don't want to keep for trading with other collectors down the road.
Gathering supplies is an important step as well. You'll want to keep your stamps in order and in good condition. A loose leaf binder with plastic removable pockets, small glassine envelopes and stamp tongs for gentle handling are all important tools you should acquire. Eventually you'll want to have a magnifying glass to inspect stamps closely, and stamp books or catalogue with information about stamps available.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Air Force Challenge Coins Rules

Air Force challenge coins have been called military coins, unit coins, commander's coins and a variety of other names. The reasoning behind calling them challenge coins is due to the rules that follow the coin.
According to one interpretation of these rules, if a group of military members - from any of the armed services - goes out together one person can call for a 'coin check.' The group must be within arms reach of each other. If everyone has their coin, the person who challenged the group to show their coins must buy drinks for everyone. If one person cannot produce their coin, they must buy for everyone.

Other rules are recognized for the Air Force challenge coins as well. The challenge can be made by one member to another by tapping their coin on the bar or a table or showing it to everyone in the group. They name the person they are challenging to produce their coin and if the person produces it within 60 seconds, the challenger buys them a drink. If they do not, they must buy the challenger a drink.
Still another rule is if a challenge is made and the coin drops on the floor, everyone who sees or hears the coin dropping is owed a drink by the owner of the coin. There are a variety of rules that are observed by those who carry these coins. Regardless of the challenges that are made by members who carry Air Force challenge coins, they have become a distinctive character of the military expressing beliefs and attitudes.

The coins are given to members of the Air Force for service that sets an example for others to follow. In addition, the coins strengthen morale and are separate from the awards and achievements denoted by the patches and ribbons that are placed on uniforms. An act that may not qualify for an official award, but may be just as important to the unit can be recognized by the giving of an Air Force challenge coin.

Each military coin is unique with the logo or the identifying mark of a particular squadron. They are typically made of some type of metal including bronze, gold, copper, nickel and silver. There is a logo that may include why the coin was given or it can be the name and number of the squadron. The coins do not have to be round. They can be custom made in many different shapes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Short Story - A US President Fails to Disclose Use of Bi-Polar Disorder And ADHD Prescriptions

The US was at war as we had just been cyber attacked, everything was down and the elections were postponed. Yes, it was a contentious election over economic issues, civil rights, foreign aid, and a myriad of other single issue debates to harness the votes with each candidate putting forth attack ads in the media like there was no tomorrow. And for the media and the Internet, there actually wasn't a tomorrow, but no one quite knew that yet until everything went dark. Still, until then they were busy attacking each other for not releasing their medical records, tax returns, college transcripts, and would you believe it even their birth certificates.

Some folks on the radio and TV joked that perhaps they should also release their underwear size, and get fully measured for their breast size and male reproductive part. Yes, this was an election against a man from one party, and a woman from the other. Although the Independent party candidates didn't stand a chance, the election was going to be close enough so it would matter how many votes they pulled away from either side. Since one of the candidates was older than the other, they demanded in absolute terms that the medical records be shown, all the while concealing there's.
It turned out that the HIPPA Laws protected people from anyone disclosing their medical records, and yet we expected our future president to reveal there's. The reality was they couldn't have told us anything because all of those HIPPA records had been hacked, and they were now available on Wiki Leaks - so much for US Cyber Security initiatives. Except for the younger presidential candidate, their records were available. They hadn't told anyone that they had been taking psychological drugs throughout high school and college due to their bipolar disorder, and challenges with ADHD.

In college, they had even been diagnosed with mild schizophrenia. Well, when one of the psychologists came forward who had retired long ago with this information the media lambasted him, called him a liar, and refused to report on the story, a story which turned out to be true and was actually verified by the candidate's grandmother, who herself was under special care and losing her marbles. Now there was nothing to confirm or deny these rumors, except for paper records still in an old-school filing cabinet, they were immediately ordered sealed by the courts, and only a few knew the truth.

Of course, now that the Internet was turned back on everyone was e-mailing back and forth and it had become an almost epidemic scandal. Then there was the war attack orders, the then current president with the sealed records was diverting everyone's attention to the counterstrike from the cyber Pearl Harbor attack on our nation. In the next chapter, we will discuss the outcome of the election and how the president with a different psychological disorder convinced the American people that he was still fit to lead even with these new realities coming to the surface. Please consider all this and think about it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why Custom Stamps Are Important

The Custom Authorities do use a number of custom stamps and are great customers for the Rubber Stamp manufacturers but the words custom stamps mean that the rubber stamps they buy and use have been made according to their own design.

But not only the customs people do that. In the modern world using modern technology it is possible to produce rubber stamp products with almost no limit to the design for text and logos a customer would like to order. Hence the words "custom stamps". With modern laser technology it makes it possible to even transfer a picture of a person in so great a detail from a small piece of rubber used as a text plate in a rubber stamp that the person is easy to recognise when stamped on a piece of paper.
The technology available today to produce text plates for rubber stamp products and all the different varieties of self-inking stamps now available has helped to increase the demand for custom stamps in an otherwise world wide declining market.

Even though computers can generate a lot of paper they have succeeded in reducing a huge number of different types of documents that were used in companies as a way for information to flow inside the organisation. The need for generic rubber stamps such as "DELIVERY RECEIVED" or "PAID WITH THANKS" has thereby been reduced, since most of these documents would have needed some kind of a rubber stamp impression. It would be natural to assume that the market for rubber stamps generally has slumped to an all time low.

As an example of what has been happening - not too long ago a delivery note would have been stamped and signed when goods arrived at a company warehouse gate and the delivery note would be circulated inside the organisation to be stamped many times before it ended up being filed. Now it is all in cyberspace. When the goods arrive at the gate the staff will look up the order on a monitor and sign it as received on line and immediately the information that the goods have arrived is available for everyone who needs to know this. No rubber stamps are needed to stamp any documents.
However, because technology has evolved to the stage where the quality of the print is far superior to anything that could be produced prior to computers taking over the information flows, different uses are now being found which require far more customisation than before. For example, if a franchise business provides custom stamps to all of its franchise operators, the same brochures and information sheets can be distributed to everyone in a large print run and the specific details of the local franchise address and contact details can be stamped onto them as and when they are needed. This cuts down wastage and keeps costs to a minimum.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

10 RC Airplane Challenges

1. Pylon Racing
Chuck, a local friend, is a big fan of this one. In fact, we are about to reintroduce a pylon racing contest at a local club after a hiatus of several years. I watched a pylon race many years ago. You really have to pay attention to keep up with it. These airplanes move fast! In those days the pilot stood inside a metal cage near the pylons. Nowadays the system that they use is much safer. Everybody stands well clear of the flying airplanes.

2. Lighter Than Air
I hardly hear anything about this one, but the impression that I get is that there are small pockets of fans throughout the world. I once went to a pro basketball game, and during the breaks, I was very surprised to see a local flying buddy come out with a large RC electric blimp to entertain the crowd. Turns out he had been a fan of lighter than air RC models for many years. I have seen large helium-filled fish that swim around like real fish. Looks like fun, and very relaxing.

3. RC Combat
I keep dropping hints around town that I would love to watch some RC combat. So far, no takers. I attended a contest once, and it looked like a lot of fun. Crashes are common, so safety is important and disposable airplanes even more so. It is very hard to do! The airplanes were just a blur as they flew around trying to cut the other airplane's paper streamer.

4. Old Timers
These are the domain of the Society of Antique Modelers (SAM). They claim that the antiques are the models, not the pilots, but sometimes I wonder... These are some gorgeous models, partly because the folks that put them together are usually the most experienced builders around.

5. Fun Fly Competition
I was a judge at a fun fly competition a couple of years back. Most were indeed competing just for the fun of it, but all the top finishers were very serious about it. One participant even had a custom-built airplane just for fun fly competitions.

6. Control Line
I flew control line a lot while growing up. I was living in Queens, New York at the time. A local park had a couple of circles set aside and they were pretty popular. Those were my "Cox.049 days", since that is mostly what I flew. Very inexpensive, and relatively safe. It is not as popular as it used to be, but there does not appear to be a shortage of guys that still fly them around here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Have the Peace of God

You don't have to look at or listen to the news long to realize that our nation and our world have some serious challenges ahead. They concern us because they threaten the quality of life we have come to know and love. The question is, how can we have peace in a world as turbulent as ours?
During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said these words to the multitudes: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink: or about your body, what you will wear" (Matthew 6:25). I believe that many people today would have difficulty obeying what Jesus says here. That's because these basic needs-food, water, and clothing-are among those things that many people today do worry about daily. In fact, if it were not for food stamps, homeless shelters, charities and the like, many Americans today would literally starve to death.

So how can we possibly live in this world of uncertainties, under all the pressures of life, and not live in worry and anxiety? Well, first let's talk about what causes anxiety and worry. They result when we face challenges in life that overwhelm us and we can't figure how to bring them under control. You see, as long as we have everything running smoothly, we have peace. But it's when things come off the rail and we can't get them back on track that we experience anxiety and worry.

So let me share with you a couple of pointers on how to have the peace of God in your life. First, the Bible says that God will keep those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). So to realize perfect peace, we must do those things that help us to keep our minds on Him. These include coming to church to hear the Word of God, personal Bible study, listening to and viewing Christian content on the Internet, TV, radio, etc. We must do these things in lieu of abiding in empty, worldly environments and listening to the local and national news all day long.

Secondly, to have the peace of God the Bible says, "Do not anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV). This passage, written by Paul the apostle, echoes what Jesus said earlier. We are to be anxious about nothing. When we obey God in this regard and simply make our requests known to Him, He gives us supernatural peace.
God wants us to make wise decisions in life. He wants us to do smart planning for the future. But He does not want us to worry. He is our heavenly Father, and He promises to take care of us completely. When we truly believe that, His peace will fill our lives.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Discover the USMC Challenge Coin

A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion bearing an organization's insignia or emblem and is carried by the organization's members. They are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale.
Origins of the challenge coin
Like so many other aspects of military tradition, the origins of the challenge coin are a matter of much debate with little supporting evidence. While many organizations and services claim to have been the originators of the challenge coin, the most commonly held view is that the tradition began in the United States Army Air Service (a forerunner of the current United States Air Force).
Air warfare was a new phenomenon during World War I, when the army created flying squadrons and manned them with volunteer pilots from every walk of civilian life.

While some of the early pilots came from working class or rural backgrounds, many were wealthy Ivy League students who withdrew from classes in the middle of the year, drawn by the adventure and romance of the new form of warfare.
As the legend goes, one such Ivy Leaguer, a wealthy lieutenant, ordered small, solid-bronze medallions (or coins) struck, which he then presented to the other pilots in his squadron as mementos of their service together. The coin was gold-plated, bore the squadron's insignia, and was quite valuable.

One of the pilots in the squadron, who had never owned anything like the coin, placed it in a leather pouch he wore around his neck for safekeeping.
A short while later, this pilot's aircraft was heavily damaged by ground fire (other sources claim it was an aerial dog fight), forcing him to land behind enemy lines and allowing him to be captured by the Germans. The Germans confiscated the personal belongings from his pockets, but they didn't catch the leather pouch around his neck.

On his way to a permanent prisoner of war facility, he was held overnight in a small German-held French village near the front. During the night, the town was bombarded by the British, creating enough confusion to allow the pilot to escape.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are You a Collector of US Military Coins

If you collect U.S. Military coins, unit coins or challenge coins as they are sometimes called, there are varieties that can be chosen. Avid collectors will find coins from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. They are available in a number of shapes, materials and embellishments.

Military Coins in a Range of Shapes
Often special units within the military have their own unique coins made and they are only available in limited numbers. This may include the Navy Seals or Special Operations Units. Some coins are round, but many are designed to include shapes such as wings, swords, airplanes, a key and even a heart.
Navy coins frequently have anchors, helicopters, flags and of course, ships. Marine coins incorporate stars, flags, skull and crossbones, eagles and more. The Army coins contain various elements that are similar to other coins within the Armed Forces - flags, guns and swords. The American flag is one element that is used by all.

Information Imprinted on the Coins Varies
The information included on the U.S. Military coins can contain virtually anything from 'Presented for Excellence' to battalion, infantry and unit name. There are coins that incorporate who it was presented by - for instance - a unit commander or other official.
Messages on the coins will vary since the coins are all representative of a special circumstance or for appreciation of services above and beyond the call of duty. They may also be given to represent the brotherhood felt by a particular group of the armed services. Therefore, the information that is imprinted is just as unique as the coin.

U.S. Military coins are generally made from brass, nickel, copper, silver or gold. There are some other metals that may be used for the coins. More ornate coins often have rope, wave or cross cutting around the outer edge. This is dependent upon the preferences of the person ordering the coins.
Collecting military coins is a hobby enjoyed by those who are currently enlisted, retired and family members with military ties. There are also some people who collect them for their unique look and just because they like the coins. Some coins are quite valuable. Coins that were given to a member of the military by a general or another high-ranking official can be worth a lot of money. U.S. Military coins of limited mints are another type that is valuable.

Collections can be displayed in a number of ways. If your coin collection includes ones that are valuable, they should be displayed in a locking cabinet. There are all types available with glass allowing you to share your collection in an office setting or in your home. Some even have lighting. Keeping them in a display case has other advantages as well.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stamp Duty Land Tax - Linked Transactions

What are "Linked Transactions"?
Where two or more transactions are deemed to be "linked" then the consideration on which the tax calculation is based is the aggregate of the considerations pay in each transaction. This will lead to tax being charged at a higher rate where the aggregate consideration is above the threshold of any of the individual considerations.
Two transactions may be considered to be linked if they are either between the same parties or between connected parties and together they form a single arrangement. The term "connected" parties is quite broad and can include relatives, spouses, partners (romantic or business) or even friends. There are two main ways in which a linked transaction can arise.

Linked Transaction Example 1 - Two Parcels of Land are Part of one Property
Let's say Mr and Mrs Smith decide to buy 1 Nowhere Street from Mr Jones but rather than buy it as a whole, Mr Smith buys the house for £120,000 and Mrs Smith buys the garden for £60,000. Individually no duty would be payable for either transaction as they are both below the £125,000 minimum threshold but based on the aggregate consideration of £18,000, £1,800 would be payable (1%).
Mr and Mrs Smith are clearly connected since they are husband and wife and they are both buying from the same seller, Mt Jones. Do the transactions form a single arrangement? Well, it is unlikely that they would want to buy, or that Mr Jones would want to sell, either the garden or the house alone, so the deal in reality is that the Smiths will buy 1 Nowhere Street for £180,000. It makes no difference from a stamp duty point of view that there are two contracts and two transfers.

Linked Transaction Example 2 - Buying a Portfolio of Properties
 Another way in which transactions can be classed as linked is if the same or connected parties are involved in a series of dependent transactions. For example, Mr White is a property investor and Mr Black is a is builder. Mr Black builds three properties and markets them for £200,000 each. Mr White makes an offer of £540,000 for all three and Mr Black accepts but on the condition that Mr White does buy all three. He will not sell just one property for £180,000 or just two for £360,000. Mr White agrees to buy the three properties at intervals of two months.
If these transactions were dealt with individually then the total duty would be £5,400, as duty would be charged at 1% of £180,000 on each one. If however the aggregate of the three considerations is taken to be the total consideration for tax purposes (i.e. £540,000) then the duty payable would actually be £21,600 because it would be payable at 4%. It is the higher figure that would be due in this case because, although the three transactions do not happen simultaneously, there is in effect an agreement in place to buy three properties for £540,000. If the price per property was £180,000 whether or not Mr White purchased all three then the transactions may not be considered to be linked.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Joy of Stamp Collecting

Collecting is a hobby that is as old as time itself. Since the first human was attracted to an object the art of collecting began, and the types of collections are as varied as the population of the world itself. However, one of the most unique collections for hobbyists would be that of stamp collecting.
Stamp collecting has been a hobby that has been in existence since stamps came into existence. Part of the intrigue with stamp collecting is the idea of owning a small piece of artwork, which is in essence what stamps are. The fact is that if you look at some of the more antique stamp designs you might be surprised to discover just how many were inspired by famous artwork, not to mention, how many might have actually been designed by famous artists.

Seeing the trends of artwork in some of the first stamps can hold many surprising revelations into the world during that particular time frame. Another reason why stamp collecting has become so popular, especially in the last couple of decades tends to have more of a basis in the interest many people have when it comes to history. During the last 20 years or so, stamps have been released that feature some of the most famous icons in the last century.

The people who helped to shape the various aspects of the world in areas such as music, art, history, sports and other forms of various Medias of our society have been featured in many of the stamps issued; this was meant to commemorate their accomplishments. Many people love stamp collecting because they feel it bridges the past to the present and gives them a feel for the various points in history, while others enjoy the challenge of acquiring hard to find stamps.