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Vacation Deals by Elderhostel

Elderhostel Amelia Island

Elderhostel Amelia Island

I was browsing the front page of America Online (AOL) last night and a headline caught my eye. It said, “Vacations Just for Boomers, Get 3 nights in Amelia Island, Fla. for $488: Deals for Ages 55 & Older.” Curious, I clicked on the link. It leads to the Elderhostel Web site (www.elderhostel.org) and after you click on the deals in Florida you find, Fernandina Beach, Florida, Adventure on Amelia and Cumberland Islands: History and Culture.

It goes on to read, “Your study of historic Amelia Island will take you to the quaint fishing village of Fernandina Beach. On a river cruise, learn about the area’s rich history, colorful nature, and enjoy spectacular views from the Intracoastal Waterway. A trolley ride with an historian will showcase the historic village with stops along the way. Ferry over to Cumberland Island, a national seashore famous for its abundant wildlife and untouched beaches where daily visitors are limited. Hike through the maritime forests to the pristine white beach to become familiar with the diverse ecosystem on Cumberland Island. Study the dynamics of two of the most beautiful barrier islands, one in Georgia and one in Florida. Taste the local cuisine at special restaurants.”

I think that it is great that our island has made the front news page of AOL. What a fun trip it would be for people 55 & older to travel to our fair city to study the history. We do love our little corner of Florida and it is good to share our piece of paradise with the tourists and a vacation deal is just the thing to entice people to visit.

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Swiss Banks are Turning the Table on the IRS

Swiss Banks Turn on IRS

Swiss Banks Turn on IRS

Many Americans are finding another reason to somehow apply for another Nation’s passport to save their hard earned cash. Swiss banks are turning the table on the Internal Revenue Service. The Swiss matriarch private bank Wegelin and Co, which was founded in 1741, announced Friday that it will stop doing business in the United States and with Americans. Just a few days after I published the story “Faulting Entire Swiss Banking System is a Witch Hunt”, this oldest private Swiss Bank, headquartered in scenic Sankt Gallen near Zurich said their decision was a response to stricter measures introduced in the US against tax evasion and projected changes in U.S. estate tax laws, which could make some non-U.S. citizens liable for U.S. taxes if they inherit U.S. securities.

Although it was not mentioned in the release, insiders also state that new US government demands that offshore banks giving investment advice to U.S. persons must register and qualify under SEC rules. This, in and of itself is of course a blatantly illegal attempt to extend American law well beyond its normal jurisdictional area (which ends at the U.S. border, regardless of what the feds may have you believe).

IRS/SEC extraterritorial measures have become so drastic that even members of the U.S. Congress have protested they go too far. Wegelin Bank says in a letter to their investors that the liability resulting from potentially and inadvertently making false declarations to US Tax authorities will be too great to assume, especially since definitions in the IRS proposed rules are lacking
clarity. Well that’s nothing new in my opinion.

On balance we now have three Swiss banks refusing American customers. They are UBS (albeit for selfish reasons), Credit Suisse and Wegelin. It is already confirmed that British Bankers have been discussing a ban on U.S. clients as well. Sure there are still Swiss banking institutions willing to serve American clientele, but that maybe only temporary and requires the signing of an IRS Form W-9 www.irs.gov allowing the bank to report required information to the IRS. So much for financial privacy!

Wegelin made another stinging observation in their letter to the investors, saying it believes the U.S. government overestimates its attraction as a financial center, thus Wegelin is advising its
clients to pull out of all U.S. securities investments. Maybe a inappropriate zinger to many here in the U.S., but it certainly reflects reality when we look at the net capital inflow of foreign assets in the U.S. which dive bombed from more than 700 billion positive dollars in the second quarter of 2007 to 100 billion dollar negative in the first quarter of 2009. And that is going to change the America as we have all loved for most of a lifetime. 20 Years of a debt party with the manic phase starting around 1999 has caused the last 18 months of repression.

The massive government induced bailouts may actually ‘revive’ the old habits of spending discretionary and beyond means for a little while, until the big one bursts and since Wegelin Bank has a 270 year banking history (before the U.S. became a nation) their archives may hold some interesting comparisons that shed light on this advise to its clients.

It’s already disturbing to me that highly reputable Global Finance has published its annual World’s Safest Banks list and it takes getting to rank 32 before the first American Bank makes the list. Check for yourself at http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/.

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Fernandina Code Enforcement Hearing

Fernandina Beach, FL

Fernandina Beach, FL

Thursday, September 3, 2009, brings a Fernandina Beach Code Enforcement and Appeals Board Hearing held at 6:00 PM at the City Commission Chambers located at 204 Ash Street.

Here is the Agenda:

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL/ DETERMINATION OF A QUORUM

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August 6, 2009

4. OLD BUSINESS
4.1 LISA JONES, JACK & DIANE’S, 708 CENTRE STREET (CASE 09-00031). Status report to Board (R.O.W. ENCROACHEMENT HAS BEEN BROUGHT INTO COMPLIANCE).
4.2 ROBERT MARTIN ESTATE C/O THOMAS A. SANDERS, 1115 SOUTH 11TH STREET (CASE 08-00033), REQUESTING BOARD DETERMINATION OF DEMOLITION FOR LACK OF COMPLIANCE OF 22-26(8) ADOPTION; STANDARD UNSAFE BUILDING ABATEMENT CODE, 1985 EDITION AS ORDERED BY THE BOARD. Requesting Board determination of demolition.
5. BOARD BUSINESS
5.1 DISCUSSION ON NOISE ORDINANCE #2009-11

6. ADJOURNMENT

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Reflecting on our Childhood it is a Surprise we Survived

Remember the Big Wheel

Remember the Big Wheel

Reflecting on your childhood and the laws that were not in place, makes you wonder how we survived at all! To all the kids who grew up in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, these should bring a smile to your face.

• First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

‚Ä¢ They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

• Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

• We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

• As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

• Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

• We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

• We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

‚Ä¢ We ate cupcakes made with Lard, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank FLAV-OR- AID made with real white sugar. And, we weren’t overweight. WHY?

‚Ä¢ Because we were always outside playing….that’s why!

• We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

• No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

• We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

‚Ä¢ We did not have Play stations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

• WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

• We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a bare hand and no one would call child services to report abuse.

• We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

• We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

‚Ä¢ We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

‚Ä¢ Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

• The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

• These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

• The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. What can kids today do besides push buttons?

• We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

• If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

‚Ä¢ Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?

‘With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?’
By: Jay Leno

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Seven Salty Snacks Under 50 Calories

Pretzel Sticks

Pretzel Sticks

Craving a little something salty for a snack? If you are watching your weight, here are seven salty snacks with less than 50 calories to take away the guilt.

1 ¬Ω Cups lightly salted air-popped popcorn
1 Dill pickle
6 ounces V-8 juice
¼ Cup shelled edamame, lightly salted
1 Medium sliced cucumber sprinkled with 3 Tablespoons vinegar and lightly salted
8 Ounces miso soup
1 Pretzel rod

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Fall Pottery Classes on Amelia Island

Pottery Vase

Pottery Vase

Once again things have changed for the better for the art lovers of Amelia Island. Chris Jones and Jim Tipton have opened a new studio called Amelia Pottery Works to teach clay classes that start September 1. They will be offering both beginner and intermediate classes in wheel throwing and hand-building techniques. Newcomers to clay will want to start with hand building where you learn about clay and how to items that are either functional or artistic – or both. In wheel throwing – sometimes referred to as spinning pots or turning clay – you learn how to use a potter’s wheel to create pottery. The classes are kept fairly small, with only about 4 – 6 people, so students have plenty of room to work and get more personal instruction.

Chris Jones' Pottery Studio

Chris Jones' Pottery Studio

Clay classes are $175.00 for a six week term and run 2 hours each scheduled day. They have day and evening classes, so it is convenient for all schedules. Classes are taught at their studio at 821 South 8th Street in the Pelican Palm center next to Redbones and include 6 hours of open studio time for practice. For those who want studio space, open studio time is available in packages of 10 hours a month for $100.00. Visit their Web site at: http://www.ameliapotteryworks.com to view their schedule and get more information.

About the instructors:

Chris Jones took art classes at Valencia Community College in Orlando, FL. It was there he received inspiration from his instructor, Mike Galetta that opened up the world of clay to him and fueled his lifelong love of clay. He also learned the realities of making a living as a full-time potter. He moved to Amelia Island in 1997 to continue college classes and started working with his father who also has a love for pottery. They worked hard to improve their skills and ventured out to sell at local galleries and art shows. Eventually they parted ways and in 2002, Chris began a pottery residency at Atlantic Pottery Supply in Atlantic Beach, FL. In In 2005, he built his first real studio and gas kiln. In 2007, he teamed up with Andrea Adair-Lasserre to open a teaching studio we called StudioArt. It was a shared space where they taught classes – she art and he clay. He also started teaching on cruise ships. In 2009 he teamed up with Jim Tipton and together they formed Amelia Pottery Works. Chris exhibits at fine art and craft shows around Florida, and has work in several galleries, including Amelia SanJon Gallery at the corner of 3rd and Ash Street, the Ritz-Carlton, and The Greyfield Inn.

Pottery School Location

Pottery School Location

Chris can be reached at 583-1948 or chris@jonespottery.net and their new Web site is http://ameliapotteryworks.com.

Jim Tipton has a master’s degree in education with a major in art from East Central University in Oklahoma. He was an art educator for 30 years and lived in Fernandina for 12 years. He built the Pelican Palm Center where the classes will be held. In his free time he helps his wife, Judy Tipton doing theatrical productions at Fernandina Beach middle school. Their daughter, Jayme Taylor runs Amelia Awards and his son, Jeramy Tipton lives in Jacksonville. Jim has worked with clay all his adult life and participates in many art festivals and accept commission work. He can be reached at 753-0608 or ameliaawards@comcast.net.

Written By Suzanne Batchelor – Suzanne is a writer, designer and artist on Amelia Island. She can be reached at www.ameliaislandartist.com

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The Advantage of Economic Bubbles

Housing Bubble

Housing Bubble

Bubbles are created as a product or service is capitalized on and more layers are added to the base cost. In addition profits are also added, as this continues to grow so does the bubble.

The Real Estate bubble continued to grow at a rapid rate basically due to more and more layers of profits being added to a certain region or type of property. Now I don’t recall anyone complaining about a bubble as it is being inflated, in fact everyone is trying to figure out how they can get inside that bubble and share in some of the profits, thus another layer is added and the bubble grows.

So what causes a bubble to burst? In my opinion, as bubbles continue to grow they become weaker to the economic weather forecast. I know, right now you’re saying he has dropped off the deep end this time. Allow me to explain. Bubbles grow and become more and more dependent upon economics remaining consistent in order to survive. Just as in in our Real Estate bubble, the banking industry ran into rough times, due to sub prime mortgages and people who bought homes that in reality they could not afford in the first place. As these loans began to default, banks began to tighten the money supply, business owners started laying workers off, unemployment was rising and more and more home were falling into foreclosure. This is what I mean by economic weather reports. As long as the “weather” doesn’t change the bubble will continue to survive; one hiccup and look out.

When we see a economic bubble burst, is that at good thing or a bad thing? Bubbles come and go simply because of an economic storm here or there. The one good thing about a bursting bubble is the opportunity to rebuild it. Will our Real Estate bubble come back? Absolutely it will, maybe not as fast or as large as the last one, but it will come back. Everyone including our government always predict that next time it will be better and we will never let this happen again. Sort of reminds me of New Years Eve and the resolutions that are made only to be forgotten before January is over. By nature we forget very quickly the past, only to be driven by inflating new bubbles. Stick around and you will have an opportunity to blow some life into new bubbles.

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Smile and Have a Positive Attitude on the Job

Smile on the Job

Smile on the Job

The importance of a positive attitude on the job is something that we hear so often that it has become a platitude. This is unfortunate because a positive attitude is the energy that drives the other components of success – competence, expertise, and a strong work ethic.

There is a good deal of academic and scientific interest in the influence of attitude on the human condition and how we conduct business. The largest psychology class in the history of Harvard University (according to the Feb. 15, 2006, issue of the Harvard Crimson) was Psychology 1504, Positive Psychology. The course was described as the study of “happiness, self-esteem, empathy, friendship, goal-setting, love, achievement, creativity, mindfulness, spirituality, and humor.”

Taking seriously the importance of a positive attitude has yielded some scientific results. Something as simple as a smile, for example, has been shown in brain imaging studies to “light-up” areas that register happiness and affect attitude. Not only that, the scientists studying this phenomenon discovered that even a fake smile could light up the happiness parts of the brain.

At about the same time that the smile research was going in the 1970s, the Andrew Carnegie Foundation sponsored a survey of more than 300,000 professionals to try to determine what made people successful. This study, cited in an online newsletter by business coach and speaker, Scott Hunter, found that only seven percent of success was determined by an individual’s knowledge, 12 percent was determined by skill, and a whopping 81 percent of success was determined by attitude.

Hunter also asserts that half of all employees hate their jobs, and this negative attitude not only impedes personal career success, but it is also costing business dearly. He goes on to say that emotions such as fear, anxiety, despair, rage, and hatred tend to attract negative consequences to the very people who have those negative attitudes. This is most certainly not a formula for success.

On the other hand, he says, a positive attitude based on gratitude, joy, excitement, and passion tends to attracted positive consequences. And, as the Harvard psychology course description and the studies on smiling suggest, we can literally “put on” a good attitude with positive self talk and a smile.

Of course there are external events that may trigger positive or negative emotions, but our attitude is ultimately a choice that we make internally. Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” a smile is a good way to “re-boot” your positive attitude if you find it crashing.

When my computer is acting sluggish, I know that re-booting will improve its performance. I challenge each of you to find a way to re-boot your attitudes when you find yourself going down a path of negativity. Surround yourself with positive people and smile. I guarantee it will make your workday better.

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Goldman Sachs Leadership Contributing to the Destruction of US Economy

Godfather and Goldman Sachs

Godfather and Goldman Sachs

Anyone who has missed that the profound influence by Goldman Sachs leadership at the Department of Treasury has contributed to the destruction of the US Economy and the US banking system has simply been asleep since 1992. JP Morgan is the other principal player. Neither will likely ever be prosecuted, since they ARE the US Government on all matters and dealings financial. The entire Enron sequence of lawsuits proved JP Morgan will never be pinned down and prosecuted or successfully sued. Accounts of the third World Trade Center building on 11 Sept 2001, where Enron records were kept in JP Morgan offices, read like a bad James Bond movie with a Warren Commission cloak. Treasury Secretary Paulson has pulled off a successful Coup d’Etat to usurp power, by means of assumed prestige, claimed expertise, naked intimidation, and clever contract language.

Here is a sidetrack. US Fed Chairman Bernanke has been so busy playing with his financial toys that he forgot to drop any helicopter money at all to the Main Streets of America. We were told that was his main job description. At least that was his sales pitch to obtain the job. Instead, he drains funds from the private mainstream banking system in order to pour those funds into Wall Street firms. The press networks constantly repeat that Bernanke is flooding the system with liquidity. Yet he is only flooding Wall Street balance sheets and enabling executive bailouts. Is it necessary to be a Goldman Sachs veteran to obtain a US Administration Cabinet post, or to be head of a Canadian central bank? One must wonder. Has anything gone right in the US Economy or US financial system at the conclusion of a presidential term with Goldman Sachs men in cabinet posts? Our recent history indicates, no.

Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari seems to me no different from Sonny Corleone in the Godfather family, but mine is a suspicious eye. Does anybody notice that the name Kashkari is close to Kash & Karry? His testimony last week as Assistant Treasury Secretary resembled a slippery snake oil salesman. He actually had the audacity to claim that the lack of US financial market collapse was proof that they wisely administered the funds. THEY WENT 85% TO EXECUTIVE BONUSES TO FED RESERVE BANKERS!!! In fact, the lack of market collapse is proof that the $125 billion was not desperately needed for banks to avert a disaster. Kashkari is careful in his words. For instance, he claimed that his office has no contractual agreements with big banks to limit lending and horde cash. All pressures have been stated verbally only!

Hank Paulson is treated with kid gloves by the media networks. He is really the wrong messenger for the entire Wall Street mortgage related bailout. Paulson was one of the five executives who went to the Securities & Exchange Commission in 2004 to plead for permission to lever upward the Wall Street firm businesses even more, like to 30:1 or 40:1 ratios. Without any question, he was an architect in the crisis.

AS PRESTIGE WEARS OFF ON GOLDMAN SACHS, GOLD WILL FILL A VACUUM. There are reasons why the Goldman Sachs gold short position in Tokyo has dwindled to nearly zero in the last two years. Goldman is secretly going long gold, in my view, just like they went short the mortgage bonds just a couple years ago. THE WALL STREET ELITE MIGHT SOON TURN ON A DIME AND GO LONG GOLD, WHEN THEY PULL THE SWITCH AND IGNITE REFLATION IN ORDER TO PREVENT A SYSTEMIC COLLAPSE.*

*some out takes from Jim Willie CB Blog

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Dead Critters are not Just Victims of Their Poor Choices

Jedi Squirrels

Jedi Squirrels

We‚Äôve all seen dead critters on our roads. These are not just victims of poor choices when crossing the road. This is nothing new regardless of where you live. I’ve noticed lately on Amelia Island this event is taking place way too often. If critters could read there would definitely be warnings posted on the critter version of AAA. So why the sudden increase? Well to begin with, the Fernandina Beach area has more homes making less natural land for these animals to roam freely.

Next is the increase in everyday traffic, our roads are experiencing higher volume on a consistent basis with no signs of slowing. So with no way to change existing homes and commercial structures back to natural land, and the thought of ever seeing fewer cars on the road is less remote than Bernie Madoff being released from jail to handle the state’s pension fund. So, what can conscientious citizens do? First is to drive responsible; watching not only for small animals but children as well. Be aware that at any moment evasive action could be necessary to avoid an accident.

One feature on every car that could help avoid many accidents is the horn. When you see squirrels feeding next to the road or a raccoon that’s making plans to run out into traffic blow your horn to scare them, most often they will scurry off in the other direction.

We live in a little slice of paradise here on Amelia Island, and living with nature should be priority one for each us.

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Seven Chronic Conditions that do not Require Medication

Maintenance Medications

Maintenance Medications

In recent years, more studies are showing that diet and exercise are effective solutions for chronic conditions that we routinely use medication to control.

These seven chronic conditions can be managed without medication:

1. Osteoarthritis
2. Cholesterol
3. Dementia
4. Depression
5. Type 2 Diabetes
6. High Blood Pressure
7. Bone Health

Osteorthritis – Osteoarthritis, the deterioration of cartilage that cushions the joints, is the most common form of arthritis among the elderly. A pill-less approach to improve this condition might include: getting proper nutrients; assuring vitamin D levels are healthy (sun exposure is your best source!), omega-3 fatty acids, which are very helpful for your immune function; and regular low-impact exercise.

Cholesterol – The only way to truly correct your underlying problem is through diet. By eliminating sugar and most grains, you will effectively reduce your insulin and leptin levels, which are the underlying causes that create LDL particles that are too small to circulate without sticking to the interior walls of your arteries. No single pharmaceutical drug can modulate LDL particle sizes. To normalize your cholesterol level naturally, these strategies work well most of the time: daily exercise; eating a low grain, low sugar diet; and, taking a high quality omega-3 supplement.

Dementia – Alzheimer’s disease is an epidemic. Appropriate diet and removal of heavy metals are the ABC’s of optimal brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention. Keeping your insulin levels normal, getting the right amount of omega-3 fats, avoiding sugar, eating more vegetables (high in folate) and foods with high antioxidant content are dietary changes that can help prevent cognitive decline. Avoiding and removing mercury and aluminum can also have a major impact. Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, and common sources of aluminum include antiperspirants and cookware. You should also avoid all flu vaccinations.

Depression – Antidepressant drugs do not in any way, shape or form treat the cause of your depression. To address the underlying problem, few things work better than a combination of a high quality omega-3 combined with exercise. Last but not least, learn how to use an energy-psychology tool. Energy psychology tools are one of the most powerful methods I know of, and really are a crucial element of a successful treatment program.

Type 2 Diabetes – The thing everyone should know about type 2 diabetes is this: it is completely preventable and is almost always curable, using nothing but dietary and lifestyle modifications, including:
-Limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet
-Exercise regularly and intensely
-Avoid trans fats
-Get plenty of omega-3 fats from fish oil or krill oil
-Get enough high-quality sleep every night
-Maintain a healthy body weight

High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure can be a serious risk factor for cardiovascular disease; as many as 90 percent of Americans may be affected by it. The single most important factor in normalizing your blood pressure is to get your insulin and leptin levels normalized. This is done through limiting grains and sugars and making certain that exercise levels are appropriate. Interestingly this is the same strategy that normalizes high cholesterol level.

Bone Health – Just as exercise and diet work in tandem to beat obesity, the same can be said for osteoporosis. Vitamin D and K are also crucial factors. Diet is, of course, also tremendously important for strong bones. One thing you can do is to increase your consumption of vegetables. Another basic tool to maintain your bone health is sun exposure, to allow your body to metabolize sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Here on our beautiful sunny Amelia Island, this may be the easiest one of these seven adages to follow!

Let me emphasize: DO NOT STOP CURRENT MEDICATIONS WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR’S CONSENT! For more information, go to www.LiveScience.com.

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amelia island,driving,animals,road kill,safety,

It’s Time to Take Care of Yourself SearchAmelia Classifieds Can Help

SearchAmelia's NEW Classified Ads

SearchAmelia's NEW Classified Ads

As the Publisher of SearchAmelia, I have a few tips for you to take care of yourself. You see, I grew up in Europe in the post-war, post depression era, the message we all got from our parents did not leave any space for misinterpretation. Throughout their lives, they felt that it was entirely up to them to make their own way in the world, even when that world seemed to be crashing down around them. They showed us that the tougher things seemed to get, the more they “went out there” and doubled their efforts to find extra work. Mom, besides raising five sons decided on podiatry and pedicures and developed a business by appointment for the elderly. Dad besides his daytime job in financial controlling did business people’s accounting and later even expanded that to include teaching Dutch girls English so they could communicate with American soldiers stationed in the area. These were the nineteen fifties. Together they put their five sons through college and gave them a future.

In tough economic times – like right now – you may feel that there’s nothing you can do. And sometimes it feels like you’re completely on your own. Truth is nobody is going to give you a bailout, nobody owes you a thing, and you have no right to anything except that which you create and are willing to commit yourself to. That sounds tough but it’s actually quite liberating – because you have full control over the direction you take with your life. What you decide to do is entirely up to you.

That’s a good enough reason for me to say, ‚ÄúLet’s catch the wave, now. Get out there and sell yourself!” Use every means and every channel at your disposal to market your home based or online business and create new sales opportunities. And if you don’t have one, start one!

Here are a few things you can do – starting today…

1. If you are marketing only online, start including offline channels as well. That includes sending postcards, printed letters, flyers, newsletters, and catalogs by regular “snail mail.”

2. If you don’t have an Internet presence, it’s time to get one. You can start by placing an ad on Google – so when people search for keywords related to your product or service, your ad will be displayed.

3. Start thinking of “online” and “offline” as two different yet complementary marketing channels. Realize that both should be part of your overall marketing strategy. We know from experience that marketing through multiple channels is the most effective way to
build a business.

4. Pick up the phone. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and fire off e-mails. But in an ever-more-disconnected world, people appreciate personal touches. Call your best customers to thank them. Check to make sure that they are getting the most out of their product or subscription, and take that opportunity to inform them about other
products or services on offer.

5. Upsell. The moment someone places an order… that’s when they are most likely to make another purchase. You can take advantage of this by offering items related to what they just bought. For example, offer a notebook to everyone who buys a pen from you, a multi-vitamin to everyone who buys an herbal supplement from you, an e-book to everyone who subscribes to your information service. (You get the idea.) Doing this can greatly increase your average sale or transaction value.

6. Start e-mail marketing. Create a free report with useful information that will attract potential customers. You want to implement anything that will give you a reason to start a new sales dialog with people. Place an ad for this free report on your website. You can use an auto reply service – such as aweber.com or getresponse.com – to send out the report automatically.

7. Buy remnant advertising space. If you want to increase your marketing activities without increasing your advertising spending, you need to start buying remnant space. Most newspapers and magazines have unsold space that they have to sell before they can go to print. You can get a 20 percent, 50 percent, even a 95 percent discount on this “last-minute” space and save yourself a fortune. Even local and regional TV ad space at minimum cost can be picked up everywhere.

8. Turn every transaction into a marketing opportunity. How could you do that in your business? Could you print product info on your invoices – or include a flyer about a special offer in the envelope?

9. Test your prices, test your sales messages constantly and learn what split testing means and do it! When sales are slow, business owners often think that offering discounts is the best strategy. But it may not be. The only way to know for sure is to test the price of your wares. You may even find that by bundling products and services together – and throwing in a few free reports – you could end up selling the entire package for more than you got by selling those items individually.

10. Offer free workshops and classes. There’s nothing quite like meeting customers and prospects in person. It helps you forge strong relationships and increase your chances of future sales. One way to do this is to offer free workshops and classes. Going back to one of my earlier examples… if you sell bathroom fixtures, you could have free tiling workshops or classes on how to do simple plumbing repairs. And you would not only provide attendees with practical information, you would also give advice and refer to the products and services you sell.

Catch the wave of opportunity. What you do with that opportunity is up to you. There’s never been a better time to test and try new ideas and new angles – never a better time to “Get out there and sell yourself!

Go to http://classifieds.searchamelia.tv/ and place your classifieds, as many as you like, IT’S FREE!!! Sell yourself and your talents. We’re here to help.

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Major Differences Between the North and South Explained

North and South Humor

North and South Humor

If you have lived in the South for any amount of time, you come to realize that there truly are major differences between the North and the South. This list showed up in my inbox the other day and it puts things into perspective if you’ve ever had any doubts on the subject.

The difference between the North and the South – at last, clearly explained…

The North has Bloomingdale’s, the South has Dollar General.

The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses.

The North has dating services, the South has family reunions.

The North has switchblade knives; the South has .45’s

The North has double last names; the South has double first names.

The North has Indy car races; The South has stock car races.

North has Cream of Wheat, the South has grits.

The North has green salads, the South has collard greens.

The North has lobsters, the South has crawfish.

The North has the rust belt; the South has the Bible Belt.

FOR NORTHERNERS MOVING SOUTH

In the South: If you run your car into a ditch, don’t panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don’t try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don’t be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Do not buy food at this store.

Remember, ‘Y’all’ is singular, ‘all y’all’ is plural, and ‘all y’all’s’ is plural possessive

Get used to hearing ‘You ain’t from round here, are ya?’

Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it.

Don’t be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can’t understand you either. The first Southern statements to creep into a transplanted Northerner’s vocabulary are the adjective big ‘ol and good ‘ol, such as in big ‘ol truck, good ol boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.

Be advised that, “He needed killin”‚ is a valid defense here.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, “Hey, y’all watch this” or “hold my beer” you should stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he’ll ever say.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn’t matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.

Do not be surprised to find that 10-year olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.

In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.

AND REMEMBER: If you do settle in the South and bear children, don’t think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we ain’t gonna call ’em biscuits.

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Finding a Lost Pet

Dog Digging Out of Backyard

Dog Digging Out of Backyard

If you have ever had the misfortune of trying to find a lost pet, you know how upsetting it can be. Does your dog have a tattoo? This may seem like a strange question, but it is not. There are many different ways to identify your pet such as dog tags, micro chips and yes, tattoos.

When our dogs were about one year old, they escaped the comfort of our Amelia Island backyard unbeknownst to us and pillaged and plundered the neighborhood for an undisclosed amount of time. Trixie, one of our German Shepherd/Husky sisters, was found injured on our front porch by my husband. Shadow, never came home. Our daughter was devastated!

They have identification tags on their collars, but they have this not-so-harmless habit of removing them from each other. Trixie’s collar was buried somewhere in the backyard and Shadow’s collar was sitting on the kitchen counter.

Searching the neighborhood, we knocked on doors and asked everyone we encountered if they had seen our seventy pound girl. No one had seen a thing. We called the Veterinary Clinics on Monday and checked with our County Humane Society; no one had seen her. So, we put up signs. We had posters on street lights, telephone poles, street signs and the doors of our local convenient stores. Our next step was to put an ad in the newspaper. Finally, we received a phone call on Wednesday from someone who said he had seen her on Sunday, but had no idea where she went. My husband made his daily round of phone calls to the clinics and animal shelter and by Wednesday we had a hit. She had been turned in to the Humane Society. Ours had a happy ending, as we sprung her from the pound and brought her home unharmed.

There are three good ways to identify a lost or missing pet. Identification tags, micro chips and yes, tattoos. Tags are required in most cities, but they do fall off and can become unreadable as they wear out over the years. We also write our phone number and pet’s names on their collars in permanent magic marker. A simple and pain free injection will place a micro chip under the skin of your pet, which both of our dogs now have. About the size of a grain of rice, it contains an identification number along with your name, address and phone number and the information is stored in a database. The chip can move and shift over time and may be difficult to locate when needed. Tattoos, usually put into the ears, made fade over time, but they can be retraced. All of these methods, used separately or combined, will help your lost pet find its way home, safer and quicker than no identification at all.

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