Home Business Concepts: June 2011
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Using Sport Pedals with Cleats

Posted by Linda | 9:20 AM

Since I started cycling to work, I feel like I have joined an elite group of keen cyclists in my area. These guys are always talking about their bikes every little chance get - how cool it is to ride around in this big city and not bother with the heavy traffic that's so common these days. Some of these guys I still bump into when I go for my Saturday morning ride, so we're sort of becoming friends in the process.

Two days ago, I mentioned to one of the guys about my new cycling shoes and how cool they were, but the pedals could do with a replacement. He suggested I look at the Shimano bike Pedals This is my first clipless pedal so I don't have much to compare it to but my experience so far with it is great. Easy to adjust the spring tension which makes it easier or harder to clip in or out. Also, like other reviewers noted this pedal comes with cleats.

Just a word of warning to everyone who hasn't installed a pedal before, BE CAREFUL when threading the pedal into the crank. This was the first time I had ever installed a pedal and I must have forced it in just a little bit because the pedal was cross-threaded (the threads didn't match up perfectly) and it wore the pedal threads completely bare. My pedal literally fell out of the perfectly smooth hole where the threads used to be. It's now at the shop costing 35+ dollars to repair.

This is definitely not Shimano's fault but be very gentle and careful when threading pedals into the crank!

10 questions you should ask the interviewer

Posted by Linda | 3:06 AM

You bought a new suit and you are ready for the interview. Also your CV is flawless and you even seem great on paper. Now, for the last piece of the successful job search puzzle you need to impress them at the interview.

How do you do it? Try asking questions. Besides showing your interest in the position and the company, asking questions gives you an active role in the interview and lets you steer the interview into areas where you shine. To make sure your next interview is as smooth as your freshly pressed suit, try these 10 questions on for size:

"What type of growth and advancement opportunities does this position and the company offer?"This tells the interviewer that you have a long-term vision for your professional future and that you're not just looking for a paycheque; you're looking to secure a career.

"How do you see me benefiting the company?"Finding out why you were selected out of possibly hundreds of other candidates gives you a chance to expand on the qualities that caught their eye, further making the case for your hire.
"What exactly are the job responsibilities?"Job ads usually list the general areas of responsibility for a position. It's always good to confirm what the actual duties will be. You don't want to start your new job as an engineer and find out you're responsible for the weekly doughnut run.
"What would my first project be if I'm hired?" This will give you a specific idea of what you can expect when you walk into the office that first day after being hired. It also can give you a heads up as to what will be expected of you, allowing you to build on those attributes during the interview.

"Who will evaluate me if I'm hired?"Ask this question, and you'll discern the company and departmental structure under which you will be working. For instance, will you report directly to the vice president or will there be a succession of middle managers between you?

"Are continuing education and professional training stressed?"This shows your willingness to learn new skills and adapt to new challenges or initiatives. Adaptability is very important in today's changing economy and could be key to retaining your job in a reorganisation.

"What is the company's culture?"This will reveal those "intangibles" of a company that have nothing to do with professional experience or required education. If you need a traditional, office/cube environment to stay focused and get the job done, a more creativity-driven workplace which allows music streaming from computers, nerf hoop tournaments and ultraflexible schedules may not be conducive to your productivity.

"Why did you choose this company?"Hearing why a current employee opted to work at the firm can give you some insight into some of the strengths and opportunities within the organisation.

"When will a decision be made on the successful candidate?"Knowing this helps you determine the timing of your interview follow-up activities.

"May I contact you if I have other questions?"It's always good to wrap up the interview with this question. It keeps the door open for further communication, giving you one last chance to make your case.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - The Extended Edition

Posted by Linda | 2:17 AM

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - The Extended Edition - Firstly 5* for the movie. Been waiting for the Hi-Def Extended edition. Thank you New Line.

Secondly, here's a logical reason for having two disks, and it's basic mathematics. Here goes, hope some of you learn some lessons here:

A Dual Layer Blu-Ray 50GBytes of storage = 400 G Bits of data (there are 8 bits in a bytes - remember this from Tron)

One 400 G/Bits Blu-Ray at around 210 Minutes per Movie = 12,600 Seconds of Movie. Therefore on a Dual Layer 50GB Blu Ray the average bit rate you could force on it for 210 Minutes of footage is 400,000,000,000 / 12,600 Seconds = 31.746031 MBits per second.

Now, as we all know the Max Blu Ray Bit rate is Spec'd at 36 Mbits/second. So, you will NEVER NEVER fit a full highest quality 1080P movie at 36 Mbits/sec. OK, so the average bit rate will not always be needed at 36 Mbits/sec (* see note below!), but lets face it technically you'd bee pushing it to compromise on Quality by squeezing it on 1 Disk.

Obviously Audio / Alternate sound tracks adds to the bit rate, although to be honest a couple of 192Kilobyte/sec audio tracks is a small % of that needed for video. The Main DTS would be 754K/bits per second so a bit more of a chunk into the 36MBits.

So, no way people. technically the movie WOULD BE INFERIOR is fitted onto 1 disk. Get real!

You seem to want New Line to defy the laws of physics - no way, so give it a rest hey over the number of Disks. You can't do it technically at 1080P.

Thanks to the people who queried the 36MBbs rate. This is, obviously(!), the spec of 1x Speed Data read rate - the minimum requirement of the most basic BD-ROM reader.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - The Extended Edition

Squirms, Screams and Squirts: Going from Great Sex to Extraordinary Sex

Posted by Linda | 9:41 AM

I haven't finished reading this book but I have really learned a lot from it. I can't wait to use my new knowledge to improve things in the bedroom. The author speaks as though he is speaking directly to you & it doesn't feel awkward or perverted at all. If you're a normal person w/ an interest in enhancing your sex life this is the perfect book for you. It's mostly geared towards men but if you want to find a way to communicate to your man this will really help.

I'm not the type that loves reading about how to spice up my love life from a book. There's nothing like one size fits all when it comes to love, so knowing how to handle ones individual love life is the key here. It does not matter a jolt to read the whole book on this planet on how to satisfy your partner, if there's no communication and respect, it will always end in disaster.

So if you are serious about bringing that spice back, then Squirms, Screams and Squirts: Going from Great Sex to Extraordinary Sex is a must.

Pearl iZUMi Men's Select MTB Mountain Biking Shoe

Posted by Linda | 5:03 AM

Pearl iZUMi Men's Select MTB Mountain Biking Shoe - Since I sold my car early this year, I decided to take up cycling. It has changed my life - this is the sort of thing I should have been doing for years. Not that I don't like cars, I love having evening and Sunday morning drives, but using the car everyday, for me was a waste of money on gas.

I finally decided to sell it and go for a push bike when the insurance company put up my premium. In the last 6 years or so, I only put in claim once - that was for a windscreen replacement. Since then I have not made any other claims, so was not happy when the renewal pack came through with an increase in 30%.

Today, I'm much healthier, lighter and happier. Flogging the car in the first place was a hard decision, it felt like I was letting a part of me go. I've had it for almost 10 years, during which time it has become a huge part of me.

I went for a ride this morning, the temperature was in the low 50s. I only went out to test my new Pearl iZUMi Men's Select MTB Mountain Biking Shoe which I got yesterday. It is a nice shoe for serious riders - fits in quite well, stiff and hard on the sole with toughened studs. The inside is well padded with added comfort.

I rode for about 2 hours in the local park with other riders - everyone showing off their gears, helmet and mounted cameras. I should get myself one of those cameras as well. Especially those that can be mounted on the bicycle's handle bar.

This is a new found freedom for me - it not only allow me to save on gas, insurance and tax, it also gives me the much needed opportunity to keep fit.

HMRC plans to crawl web to catch tax cheats

Posted by Linda | 5:23 AM

Tax collector plans to deploy "robots" to scour web for information on companies and individuals to find evidence of evasion

HM Revenues and Customs says it plans to used “web robot” software to crawl the Internet for evidence of individuals and companies evading tax.

The proposed system will integrate data collected from websites with HMRC's Connect system, which compares tax records with third party information sources to discover incidents of tax evasion.

The technology will support four forthcoming campaigns by HMRC. These will target 'VAT rulebreakers', individuals offering paid training without paying tax, untaxed online marketplaces and traders.

"We will use the information we gather to pursue people who choose not to use the opportunities we provide for them to put their affairs in order on the best possible terms," said HMRC director of risk and intelligence, Mike Wells. “It will be more expensive if we come and find people, so I urge them to come forward and disclose voluntarily.”

Connect is based on a system called NetReveal from BAE Systems' IT security subsidiary Detica. According to a departmental report in 2009, the system uncovered VAT repayment fraud worth £330 million in its first year of use.

Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper

Posted by Linda | 7:02 PM

Baby Einstein musical motion activity jumper - I was looking for an activity seated toy for my 4 month old. I was torn between a jumper and a saucer. I decided I wanted a jumper as my little girl loves to bounce. I did quite a bit of research before deciding on the baby Einstein musical jumper (blue).

As always, Amazon's delivery of my item was very quick! I had it in less than a week (even for a large item like this one!).

The jumper was a little difficult to put together but my husband and I had it together in about a half an hour. Once it was together, it was exactly what I had hoped it would be.

It has a ton of toys to keep her busy and I love that the seat swivels so if she does get bored I can change her view! And you can add your own toys as there are extra space for that purpose. She's too little to work the bounce yet but I'm sure she will love it when she can. The music is very pleasing to the ear (as most electronic music can be sharp and annoying). Plus the "piano" has different options. It will do shapes and colors in english, french, and spanish or she can make her own song in the piano setting or it plays 4 or 5 different song with one touch. It's very stable and well made. I can see it holding up through the torture of this child and hopefully the next.

Overall, baby einstein musical motion activity jumper was a great purchase! If your looking for a jumper that swivels like a saucer this is the jumper for you! And the price is a steal too!

Free $5 Kellogg's Coupon

Posted by Linda | 11:34 AM

I received an email from a friend that Kelloggs are giving $5 free coupon simply by just by signing up to their newsletter, I quickly grabbed mine. It is very simple, you don't need to buy anything to get the free $5 coupon - you simply need to join their list to receive this offer instantly in your email. Click here to join

Please make sure you keep checking if the site is busy - this offer is proving to be very popular so there's currently a huge load on their servers as I write this. If it times out, give it another few minutes before trying again. I have managed to register 3 emails - that's free $15 off my shopping cost. The cool thing about this is that you can print it out and use it in your local shop. It tells you in the response email where in the country you can redeem them if you prefer to shop online.

I just thought I would post it here in case some of your find it useful.
Hurry up! This offer ends this Friday, so sign up now and receive your free $5 coupon instantly in your inbox now. These free coupons are great for saving on everyday items, so if you are not using them, you may be losing out. They are free and you should grab them with every opportunity.

Kelloggs Coupons Update: Looks like the site has a connection issue as pointed out by one user. I've tried it again myself and it was indeed not connecting. If however, you manage to get through please let us know.

Go the F**k to Sleep

Posted by Linda | 5:59 PM

Oh wow! I love this book! Our 7 month old just reached teething; my patient, loving husband ordered this & when it arrived last week he read it to me after our son was (finally) conked out.
I laughed so hard I had to run to the bathroom in mid-rhyme during my husband's storytime!
Awesome! So worth the price to be able to laugh that hard with my parent-partner. I love my son, we all love our kids, and the sanity we give up as conscientiously-parenting adults makes bonding experiences like this so worth it!

My favorite parts are actually the pics: the kid running naked into the hall (all you see is the shadow of a bare bum), the bright-eyed awake child amid the peaceful slumbering animals, and the blessed papa taking the toddler back to bed while mama sleeps on the couch. Beautiful.

For all the partners & dads who care for the kids, while mom sleeps, I thank you!
Occasionally I've needed that primal scream, but this book helped even more when my loving son bit me yesterday with his cute little sharp teeth.

Turbotax Deluxe 2009

Posted by Linda | 3:12 PM

Turbotax Deluxe 2009 - In this economic times, one way to survive is through self employment. Although it could be touch initially, but the benefits out-weigh the struggles, sleepless nights and time put into it. But as your business begins to grow, you will eventually have to apply for tax registration number, and then start paying your taxes. It is against the law to not pay taxes and you could find yourself dragged to the courts and possibly sent down for it.

So, if you are a small company, chances are that you don't have enough budget for a full time accountant. These guys cost a lot to hire, and given the state of the nations economy, there's no guarantee that they will have jobs several months down the line. So, one way to file in your tax returns at the end of the year is through self assessment.

Luckily, there are lots of tools out there that just about anyone could use to help file in their returns. One of the best we've seen so far is the Turbotax Deluxe 2009. Don't let the name fool you - it is a tool that is constantly updated. It comes with a simple, yet powerful step-by-step guide to help you file in your federal returns. A great number of people now use Turbotax Deluxe 2009 because of its simplicity and easy of use.

Who Should Use Turbotax Deluxe 2009?

One thing that makes Turbotax Deluxe 2009 stand out is not just the cost, but how easy it was made so that anyone can start using it the moment it's installed. My dad runs a Bicycle shop - and having tried many other tools, have settle for Turbotax Deluxe 2009 because he felt at home right from the start.

Using it was a breeze for him, it automatically pulled up all the details - names, address, SSN and telephone numbers, without requiring him to re-enter them all over again yearly. Apart from the federal returns, it comes with at least one free TurboTax State product download. It comes absolutely free with the main Turbotax Deluxe 2009. If you run a business in one of the states, you can just adjust the settings and download the product for that particular state.

Apart from that, it has a built-in support for over 350 kinds of deductions and automatically double-checks your return for errors priory to sending. For some people, this is the only tax tool they know, they've used it since inception and it's been a massive shift from the days of Spreadsheet. It does not matter who old or young you are, the Turbotax Deluxe 2009 is ideal for anyone running their own business and are looking for effective and efficient way to file in and save themselves from the stresses and headache.

Get paid to receive junk mail

Posted by Linda | 2:37 PM

Marketing companies make huge sums selling your details to other companies, whether your address, phone number, email, salary, preferences, date of birth and more. A new site promises to let you get some of its cut for selling this personal data.

How does it work? First it opts you off all other lists (if you just want to opt out yourself for privacy see the Beat Cold Callers & Junk Mail guide), then you select what you're willing to do, and what information you're willing to go out there.

How much can you get? It's told us you can make anything from a few pounds right up to a few hundred a year if you fill in all its categories (and don't mind getting a lot of spam!)
It's currently free to join and says it'll give you 70% of its profit from selling your data (can take up to 8 weeks). There' s a limited number available, so it's first come, first served.

Is it worth doing? Frankly we've no idea - this is a brand new concept and while it could be a brilliant easy money spinner, equally it could be a total damp squib or worse. We have been using it for over 3 weeks now and will be paid at the end of the month.

We will update this post along with the link as soon as we get paid so you too can sign up.

Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT25 50-inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV, Black

Posted by Linda | 3:11 AM

Panasonic developed the Plasma TV in the beginning so it makes sense that this TV is the latest in Plasmas with "new" fast response phospors (pixels). Every review I have read about Plasmas complains about image retention. I will address that first.

Image retention is not the same as image burn in. Now to understand this phenomenon, stare at a light source for 20 seconds, then close your eyes. For several seconds you will still see the image in front of you. So in a very dark room watching any TV will induce your eyes to have "image retention" when switching from very bright scenes to very dark scenes. Image retention on this TV is similarly annoying as the mottled look that the Sony HX810 LED LCD has in "black" scenes.

If you plan to watch CNN or any other channel with still images, logos, etc., 24/7; a plasma TV is not for you. If you watch alot of movies, a plasma will be a very good investment. Panasoninc recommends 100 hours of break in before watching programs with still images that last more than 15 minutes to reduce image retention and burn in. That figure is very accurate. When I first got this TV (Feb 20, 2011) and set it up, I played several video games and watched movies on it. Image retention is most noticeable in a dark room with scenes switching from light and fading to black. If you have played Gran Turismo 5, the switching screens are perfect examples. Now that I have used the TV over 100 hours the image retention is reduced. Image retention gets better with every day. I believe any Plasma, just like CRT's can have images burned into them. I have looked at new Samsung and LG plasmas and Panasonic's image retention (or lack of) is much better.

2D images are just like any HDTV. Very clear and sharp. Blu-rays look excellent! Colors are very crisp and beautiful. Watching movies at night are better than going to the theatre. Very dark blacks. Standard definition is better than the Sony HX810 LED LCD.

Now the reason I got this TV in the first place was for 3D. I am glad I did. This TV can do 2D to 3D conversion, and it does it better than the Sony HX810. I know Samsung has this feature, but I can't say how well it does. 3D movies and games are excellent with this TV. The glasses had to be purchased separately, but they are very lightweight compared to the heavier glasses for the Sony. When watching 3D on this TV, you can move around and lay down and tilt your head, as long as you're looking at the TV everything stays in 3D and the image stays sharp. Convergence is dependant on each individual and settings either in the movie, game, or TV. The Sony HX810's 3D is not as flexible, as in, you have to stay sitting perfectly straight to watch and tilting your head more than 10 degrees left or right, and the image blurs and no more 3D.

Now to comment on sound. Why watch an HDTV with "SD" sound? I have my TV hooked up to a 7.2 receiver. Before I hooked everything up, I did watch a few programs with the TV with the speakers on, and it sounded good, but nothing beats speakers outside of a "flat" TV. The TV has audio return channel ARC, and so with the receiver hooked up, I also get the added feature of HDMI switching. With just the TV remote, I can turn on the TV and the receiver will come on. With everything off, I can open the Blu-ray player and insert a movie and the TV and receiver will come on with the correct inputs switched on. The ultimate in laziness!

Watching motion on this TV is excellent. No blurring and fast scene switching. I have noticed motion blur and induced scene stuttering from my PS3, but the TV has no problem keeping up with motion. Compared to the Sony LED @ 240Hz, the LED can't keep up with some fast scenes. On LCD's, response times (pixel going from black to white and back to black; off, on, off) are measured in milliseconds, and the only info I could find for the Sony is between 2ms and 5ms. Slower response times will induce "ghosting" on motion scenes. The bigger the screen, the more pronounced it becomes. But because response time is so fast on this plasma TV, it doesn't need to be measured, and picture processing is done with a 600Mhz sub-field drive.

This TV has streaming internet video, and I have used the feature several times, but I'm not much on internet videos. I also have hooked up my PC a couple times. Don't forget that this TV is THX certified!

I would buy this TV again.

True Grit

Posted by Linda | 12:47 PM

"You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free except the grace of God." After her father is murdered Mattie Ross hires Marshal "Rooster" Cogburn (Bridges) to help bring him to justice. Together the two of them and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Damon) begin to track down Tom Chaney. I have to admit I was a little leery about watching this. See the Blu-ray/DVD Combo

I have heard nothing but good things about this movie, but I am a huge John Wayne fan and did not think this sould be re-done. I will admit that Jeff Bridges is a great pick to take over for The Duke. After watching this I noticed that it is nothing like the original at all (it has been a while since I have seen it though), so much so it's almost hard to compare the two.

That being said, I really enjoyed this movie a lot more then I expected to. This is far and away the best western that has come out since "Open Range", and my favorite Coen Brothers movie since "O Brother, Where Art Thou". Bridges does a great job of making the part his own, and Hailee Steinfeld (in a break-out preformance) does a fantastic job of holding her own against the heavyweights of the movie.

If you go in looking for a re-make of the John Wayne version you will be dissapointed. If you are looking for a different take on it then you will enjoy this one. Very, very good movie. Overall I would say that with all the hype behind this movie, it does a good job of living up to it. I give it an A-.

Would I watch again? - I think I would, after watching the original again.

*Also try - Goodnight For Justice & True Grit (The Original)

The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice

Posted by Linda | 7:30 AM

I've been following Brendon's work for a while now and jumped on the chance to get an advanced copy of this book. I can honestly say that the number of, "ah ha!" moments I had in this book amounts to a positive change in my life.

Ever read or hear something that immediately after you think, "well, of course, that's common sense," but before that you weren't thinking along those lines? That's what kept happening to me with this book. So much more of the expert industry just makes sense to me now, and I'm in the process of revamping how I present my work to the world.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn how to share their expertise with the rest of the world. Add in all the FREE training Brendon gives on his various sites and I suspect that you'll be well on your way to improving your career goals.

Canon Pixma MX882 Wireless Office All-In-One Printer (4894B002)

Posted by Linda | 4:18 PM

This Canon replaced a non-wireless Canon for my family and, as of right now, I'm definitely happy with it (my parents are enjoying my old Canon, which is still trucking along quite well!). I wanted this one because it's wireless and, as I use a laptop and move around my house and outside, I really wanted it for its wire-free features. It was a pain to have to plug in to print and wait there until the printing was done. I felt a bit chained in place with my old Canon. With this one, I'm all set.

The set-up for the wireless feature was relatively simple and, as soon as it was all installed, I was good to go! Wow. So much easier to just press print and have my stuff print in the other room, rather than going in to connect (Wow. I'm so spoiled with all this technology. Heaven forbid I should have to get up and plug in a plug. Still...I like being spoiled in this way!). Now, if you're an Ethernet person, you'll have to go back and forth between it and the wireless but, since I'm a wireless/USB chick, I was all good. (Don't know if that's something they're going to fix or what but, there you go.)

Since there are five ink cartridges instead of just two, my colors are so much crisper and clearer. I love the pictures that I've been able to scan and print. While the scanner isn't the fastest thing in the world, it's so nice to be able to scan in old pictures and send them to family and friends. It's like reliving the old days, looking at those. I can't wait until I have a chunk of time to upload a bunch more and post them for everyone. Plus, when I run out of a certain color, I just have to replace that one cartridge, rather than the whole "color cartridge".

When printing on just regular paper (make sure you don't get the cheapest kind or it'll jam up on you), the speed seems a bit slow but that's probably because I'm used to the laser printer at work, which just spits them out. However, it's not any slower than my other Canon and the pages look even better (both black and white and color). I guess if I'm going to continue to print large documents and I want speed, I'll have to upgrade. But, for now, this printer is more than capable and does a bang-up job.

Because I don't have a land line anymore (I went the way of the cell-only crowd), I was unable to try out the fax but, since I don't really fax anything, that wasn't a selling point for me anyway. If you're interested in this feature, check out some of the other reviews who address this aspect of the printer.

All in all, I'm quite satisfied with my new Canon in its pretty black shell (which is a huge dust-collector but oh, well. It forces me to be a better housekeeper...or not.)

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