Civilization 4 and Why I Hate My Office Phone

If you’re familiar with the strategy PC gaming series “Civilization”, you probably know that it’s only slightly less addictive than crack. I’ve never tried crack, but the “word on the street”, so to speak, is that it’s a bit hard to let go of. I recently purchased Civilization 4, which is the latest in the Civilization series. That in itself isn’t so interesting, but what happened to me at my job as a result of it most certainly is. I work as a network administrator for a large insurance company in Illinois.

Part of my job is to repair PC’s as needed, which is quite often considering how many there are around this place. I informed my coworker, also a big civilization fan that I had the game and he suggested I bring it in for a little test run. Against my better judgment, we decided to play a hot seat game during work. “Hot seat” means that one player takes a turn, followed by the other, which is only possible with turn based games such as Civ. We both figured that there would always be one of us to answer the phone in our little repair-shop cubbyhole so we didn’t see how we could possibly get caught. Boy were we wrong! About four hours into a game things started getting interesting.

My civilization found his civilization and we started going to war against each other, as one might expect. I sat down for my turn and my coworker decided to head off to the bathroom. The phone rang, and I didn’t pick up so that whoever was on the other end wouldn’t hear the Civ theme music or the explosive sound of my Panzers running over his infantry. What I failed to remember is that our advanced phone system allows anyone to communicate with us on an open speaker phone provided we aren’t on the phone already. My boss utilized this function since no one answered while I was taking my turn…o.k., actually while I was taking my turn and bragging out loud to myself about how well I was doing in the game. I found myself in his office that afternoon, but luckily I was only reprimanded and not fired. Not only did I get into trouble, my coworker continues to make jokes about it at my expense.

I hate my office phone.

A Heart Healthy Diet Makeover

1.Use the correct fats: The great fats are found to safeguard HDL (defensive cholesterol) and lower LDL (Bad Cholesterol) levels. The great fats are found in sustenances, for example, olive, canola, and shelled nut oils and also nuts, avocados and olives.

2.Decrease the Saturated Fats: These fats tend to build the cholesterol made by your body. They can expand your aggregate and LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels. Immersed fats are found in creature items, for example, dairy, poultry (particularly the skin), meats, margarine and cream based sauces and dressings. It is not important to overlook these sustenances, simply pick more slender choices and have the higher fat nourishments once in briefly.

3.Remove all Trans Fats from your wash room! : Trans Fats are oils that have been solidified by the hydrogenation procedure, for example, stick margarine and shortening used to make business prepared merchandise, chips, and quick sustenances. Like immersed fats, these fats increment add up to blood cholesterol and LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels and may even lower HDL (Good) cholesterol levels. Nourishment names will be required to list the measure of Trans fats in a sustenance item by 2006. Until at that point, if the fixing list on the sustenance name incorporates the term hydrogenated, or in part hydrogenated, it contains Trans Fats. Dodge these items!

4.Increase Your Fiber! : Soluble fiber helps bring down cholesterol levels in the blood by authoritative to cholesterol in the digestive tract so it can’t be consumed by the body. Great nourishment wellsprings of solvent fiber incorporate beans and vegetables, oranges, apples, prunes, broccoli, carrots, oat grain, oats, and a few oats. Utilize entire grain items set up of their white partners. Eat no less than 20-40 grams of fiber a day. (Most Americans just eat around 12 grams of fiber a day.)

5.Omega-3 Fatty Acids consistently: Omega-3 Fatty Acids are basic unsaturated fats meaning we need to get them from our eating regimen. These unsaturated fats may diminish the danger of blood thickening, diminish aggravation, bring down triglyceride levels, standardize heart rhythms and enhance the safe framework. Utilization of Omega-3 unsaturated fats every day may diminish the rate of sudden heart demise by 50-70%. Omega-3 unsaturated fats are found in: greasy fish, for example, salmon, mackerel, lake trout, halibut, and sardines. Different sources incorporate ground flax seeds, soybeans, canola oil, and walnuts.

6.Five To Eight Fruits and Vegetables a day: Eating products of the soil can diminish your danger of coronary illness, malignancy, waterfalls, and can bring down pulse. Products of the soil are stacked in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The more foods grown from the ground you eat, the more cancer prevention agent action in your body.

How do cell reinforcements function? Consistently we are presented to free radicals from our weight control plans, sun, concoction introduction, contamination, and so on. These free radicals advance the plaque develop in our veins driving us to expanded danger of coronary illness. Cell reinforcements work by killing these free radicals before they can make harm our bodies.

7.Folic Acid: High levels of an amino corrosive called homocysteine in the blood have been related with harm to the vein dividers, expanded blood coagulating, and general expanded danger of cardiovascular illness. Folate is a B vitamin which has been appeared to diminish these homocysteine levels in the blood. Great nourishment wellsprings of Folate incorporate green verdant vegetables, for example, kale, spinach, beet greens, and chard and also vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, oranges, squeezed orange, entire and invigorated grains, walnuts and peanuts.

Find One That Supplies Bulk Products Too

When you contact a vending machine distributor, you have the option to choose from many different types of vending machines. Some distributors specialize in one type of vending machine, such as soda vending machines, whereas others have all kinds for you to choose from. Most of the distributors have a website where you can browse the list of used and new vending machines. When you do choose a vending machine distributor, you should choose one that can also supply you with the bulk products that you need.

Bulk vending distributors have a wide variety of supplies that you can purchase for stocking your vending machines. When you sit down to discuss the business with a vending machine distributor, you can get a good estimate of the costs involved in operating this type of business. You do have to factor in the costs of buying the machines and the bulk vending products that you need. You also have to deduct the commission that you pay the business owners of the locations where you place your machines.

Distributors of vending machines deal directly with the manufacturers and they also have great associations with other vending business owners. If you want to find a vending route for sale, you best source of information is a vending machine distributor. In dealing with the various operators, the distributor will be able to tell you why the person is selling the route and whether or not he/she thinks it would be profitable for you to buy it. There are also bulk vending distributors that sell products only and do not deal in the vending machines themselves.

Take at look at the types and condition of the machines that a vending machine distributor has to sell. Most of the time you will see very little difference in a new and used vending machine. The main difference will be in the price of each one, so after your inspection you will realize how much money you can save by buying used vending machines. Distributors of vending machines also offer payment plans so that you can finance the cost of the machine over a period of time, saving you money on the initial investment. If you are not sure whether or not you will remain in the vending machine business, you can also lease the vending machines from bulk vending distributors.

You won’t find it hard to contact a vending machine distributor when you search online. Distributors of vending machines will deliver the machines to you and will also arrange to pick them up if you decide you no longer want to use the machines of a specific distributor or you want to get out of the business. However, bulk vending distributors do not take back any supplies that you purchase, but you may be able to sell what you have left over to another person just getting started in the vending machine business. A vending machine distributor will be able to give you expert advice on how to operate your vending route and on the products that have the most profit.

Cash Flow Planning for Solo Professionals

You’ve heard it a million times – cash flow can make or break a business. Lack of cash flow planning is the reason why many businesses fail. In fact, many PROFITABLE businesses fail because of cash flow issues. Without adequate cash flow, you can’t pay your bills and you can’t make plans for your business.

So… what is cash flow planning? Cash flow planning is projecting your future cash inflows from sales, services, and loans, and comparing them to your future cash flow needs (suppliers, salaries/wages, loan payments, taxes, etc.). The difference between the two is your net cash flow.

Why is cash flow planning so important? Cash flow planning can help you identify problems down the road, and fix them before they occur. Cash flow planning can also help you make decisions such as should I attend that conference I’ve wanted to attend, should I buy the new computer I’ve been wanting, or do I need to work extra hard this month to avoid a cash flow deficiency next month?

The first step in planning your cash flow is knowing where you spend your money! Solo entrepreneurs need to have a good grip on both their personal and business spending, as most solo entrepreneurs rely on their business income to meet personal finance goals (i.e., pay the bills!). So, you should track both your personal and your business spending, although I recommend that you keep them separate (that’s a topic all by itself).

What’s the best way to track your spending? You can use pen & paper, spreadsheets or a software program. The best method for you is the method that you will actually use on a regular basis.

You should project your spending for at least the next 12 months so that you include annual and other periodic expenses. If you are experiencing a cash flow crisis, you should track & project your cash flow on a weekly basis, instead of monthly.

If you are an existing business, you can project your cash flow for the next year by reviewing your expenses for last year. If you are a new business, you will need to estimate your start up costs in addition to regular operating expenses.

Start up costs include inventory, legal expenses, advertising, licenses & permits, supplies, and many more costs that you may not have thought of. To research startup costs you should contact your local Small Business Development Center, contact a SCORE counselor, join groups of similar business owners, and read as many books or articles you can find on the subject.

To improve your cash flow, you should:

1. Complete the first 3 steps. You have to understand cash flow planning, track your cash flow, and project your future spending needs before you can improve your cash flow.

2. Create best and worst case scenarios and create appropriate responses to both scenarios. For example, if your best case scenario is to increase sales by 50%, how will you use the profits? Will you put the profits back into the company by investing in new equipment, training, etc.? If your worst case scenario is a drop in sales by 50%, how will you continue to cover your monthly expenses? By planning for the best and worst case scenarios, you’ll be ready for any situation.

3. When estimating your future income, realize that some people will pay late, and account for that fact in your projection.

4. Charge what you’re worth. Many businesses, especially service professionals, under-charge when they are first starting out. This is a great way to go out of business. Make sure you are charging what you’re worth, and remember you’re in business to make money, not to give your expertise away for free.

5. Watch your business spending. Focus on the value the item brings to your business, and avoid lavish spending (i.e., do you really need the fastest, newest computer available?).

6. Don’t hire until necessary. Consider using virtual assistants or temporary employees before hiring permanent employees.

7. Give incentives for early payment for products and services. On the flip side, chase down invoices the minute they’re late. Charge interest or late fees to encourage timely payments.

8. Update your cash flow regularly. Your cash flow plan will change frequently as your business grows. You may want to update your cash flow plan weekly when you first get started, then switch to monthly once you’ve got a good handle on your cash flow.

Remember – whether you are a new or growing business, your cash flow projection can make the difference between success and failure.

Keeping Your Heart Healthy

Nowadays there is such a high danger of heart difficulties and issues that can emerge on the off chance that you don’t deal with your heart. In the first place, you need to ensure your eating routine is alright, else you hazard having various genuine heart complexities different issues that can bring about early passing and furthermore undesirable issues. Thus, you need to ensure that you free your eating regimen of a considerable measure of greasy meats and furthermore things that are not all around cooked. Steaks and burgers should be well done consistently or else you hazard having greasy blockages in your veins.

Additionally you need to lessen the oil consumption and that implies the fries and different sorts of dangerous sustenances that can just stop up your heart and make issues. You need to ensure that you eat things with vitamins and a considerable measure of verdant greens and things that assistance your heart remain solid and fit. You can have scrumptious oats that are stuffed with heart sound segments, and also grains and wheat and different sorts of solid angles, and this eating routine will keep your heart sound. You need to ensure that your eating regimen is remained careful, else you will hazard confusions. You additionally need to ensure that you keep this eating routine as a piece of your typical regimen or else you may wind up with such a variety of difficulties, for example, elevated cholesterol and hypertension and in addition conduit squares and heart assaults.

Notwithstanding the eating routine being kept well, you likewise need to work out, you additionally need to ensure that you keep up unfaltering activity, continually running and running and treadmill exercises can truly help keep your heart sound. You need to ensure that working out keeps your heart dynamic, in light of the fact that an absence of activity can make you have major issues, for example, heftiness that can come about on the off chance that you don’t practice enough and set aside the opportunity to work out. Stoutness can prompt obstructed corridors and furthermore a great deal of cholesterol issues and circulatory strain issues, and this will truly enable you to remain fit and solid. You can take day by day strolls and runs each morning and furthermore hop rope and do various different sorts of exercises that will keep you solid and safe and will guard your heart.

Keeping your heart solid and fit and solid, on the grounds that your extremely life relies on it, and the wellbeing of your heart relies upon it in light of the fact that without keeping your wellbeing and eating routine in place your heart will endure and that puts you open to having heart assaults and other heart disappointments. When you put your heart in that problematic position, that is itScience Articles, you should have open heart surgery or even a heart transplant. This can prompt significant complexities and furthermore will lead you to have some different major issues, for example, early onset passing and the finish of everything you could ever hope for and life breath at some early phase of your life. To remain sound and fit is an awesome approach to expand your life.

Competing With Color Levels The Playing Field

According to the United States Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employers. There are an estimated 22 million small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. today. Such companies are constantly challenged with the need to create a huge impact in a noisy marketplace with a limited budget.

Today, affordable imaging and printing technology makes it possible to build an in-house marketing program. In fact, Revival Lighting, a vintage lighting fixtures company in Spokane, Wash., cut the cost of producing marketing materials 90 percent when they brought marketing in-house. In addition, because marketing materials can age quickly and frequently need updating, companies with the flexibility to respond on the fly will impress customers while reducing costs.

Color has become an effective, even necessary tool in marketing materials. According to a study by Loyola College in Maryland, using color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

Bold and multicolored designs can impact people’s moods. Environmental green is considered hip and has taken on new, positive associations, while the combination of blue and floral reds has been found to evoke vintage designs and heritage, according to a 2005 study by The Color Association of the U.S.

In addition to printing materials in-house, SMBs should take advantage of inexpensive and often free marketing services that are available on the Web. For example, HP hosts an in-house-marketing portal for entrepreneurs and SMBs. It contains case studies, how-to seminars and other free tools and information, including over 200 free marketing templates ranging from brochures to an image library.

Blogs-online journals or newsletters intended for general public consumption-are another great tool for learning more about how to use color and create marketing materials in-house. To save time and money, SMB marketing guru John Jantsch, who maintains the popular blog Duct Tape Marketing, recommends that businesses create a marketing kit describing you, your company, services provided and what sets your business apart from the rest.

To improve marketing effectiveness on a shoestring budget, bring it in-house, remember to use color, take advantage of free services and seek out expert advice.

Chemical etching – An innovative process for your all nameplate requirements

Chemical etching is a skilled practice of engraving your brand name on a nameplate. Texas Nameplate Company etches your emblem directly or indirectly on the metallic or non-metallic base and makes it more pliable to any lacerations. Chemical etching can be a substitute for embossing. The chemical etched nameplates are made by masking certain areas of metal by acid resistant material and then taking off desired amount of exposed material by acid. Widely custom name plates are etched on aluminum, stainless steel, brass, alloys etc and then baked after stuffing with varnishes for a perfect finish. The depth of industrial name plates etching varies from 0.0015 to 0.003 inches, depending on the height and stroke of letters and the type of metal or alloy. Along with chemicals gas and electric processes can also etch these wide ranges of metals.

Etching, also termed as ‘milling’ is of different types like laser etching, abrasive etching in which abrasives are used, photo chemical etching which is quite inexpensive and a high quality etching method. Photo chemically etched metals thus produced can be used as cost effective name tags, custom labels, panel boards, personalized name tags, industrial name plates for commercial uses and personalized name plate. Electro etching in which electric current is used instead of chemicals, dry etching does not use chemicals at all, Reactive ion etching which uses electric circuits and gas having chlorine or fluorine as iodized particles and vapor phase etching which also make use of reactive gases and many others to add to the list.

Chemical etching is preferred for practical applications and product identification tag. Name Tags made by chemical etching are durable items, which withstand even the harsh surroundings. Chemical etching makes your custom name tags withstand toughest
environments, high temperatures and extreme outdoor conditions. Thus solve your purpose year after year. Texas Nameplate Company compliments the etching with screen-printing to avoid splitting or other form of wear and tear. Various adhesives are also added to etched metal name tags according to your specifications for pasting or welding. You can use our chemical etching nameplates on truck, tankers and trailer, control panels, dials and gauges of aircrafts, asset and property plates; and operating and warning signs for numerous electronics, military vehicles, and machinery etc. Chemical etching is also used to create stencils for commercial art and woodworks.

You can always depend upon TNC for any queries regarding the etching of your nameplates and sort out material suiting your specific requirements.

Bylaws – The Guts of a Corporation

Most states make forming a corporation relatively painless by providing forms for practically everything. The bylaws of the corporation, however, are an area you don’t want to rely on a form.

What Are Bylaws?

Bylaws are the technical rules that govern how a corporation will be run. They are a private document for the corporation and are not filed with any government entity. The purpose of the bylaws is to set out how things such as meetings, voting and share transfer will occur with the business.

Provisions

Typically, the bylaws will be the biggest document in your corporate book. If you are a single shareholder entity, they tend to be fairly straightforward since there isn’t really any dispute possibility unless you have a split personality. If there are two or more shareholders, however, the document is going to be a key item because it is going to detail voting rights and so on.

Typically, the bylaws of a corporation will cover the following specific issues:

1. Board of Director Meetings – When, where and how meetings will be conducted.

2. Notice of Meetings – The form, time and how notice must be given to board members.

3. Quorums – Before a board can issue resolutions on corporate business, a certain percentage of board members must be present. This “Quorom” is set out in the bylaws.

4. Annual Meetings – The bylaws typically detail when and where the annual meeting of the entity will occur.

5. Special Meetings – The process by which special board meetings may be called when an issue arises that requires the immediate attention of the board.

6. Voting Rights – Language detailing the voting rights of shareholders and board members in relation to passing or defeating resolutions.

7. Share Transfer Rights – Language detailing share transfer issues such as right of first refusal and so on.

8. Directors – Language detailing how many board members there will be, the length of their term, compensation, etc.

9. Amendment – The process by which the bylaws can be amended to reflect the evolution of the business.

10. Removal – Language detailing when and how a board member can be involuntarily removed.

There are numerous other provisions that can and probably should go into the bylaws of a corporation. Make sure to discuss them with your attorney.

Calculating The True Cost Of Disaster Preparedness

Small-business owners who think preparing for a disaster is expensive should think again. Being unprepared-and losing everything-can mean paying a much higher price.

For example, in July 1996, the president and owner of Brookville Mining Equipment Corporation, Dalph McNeil, faced every business owner’s nightmare when the nearby creek crested at eight feet after a 24-hour downpour.

Expensive new machinery was covered in mud and a powerful current of water had swept away inventory and collapsed a 30-foot section of wall. The flood caused nearly $1.6 million in damages and losses.

After receiving a Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan, McNeil relocated his plant away from the floodplain and asked one of his employees to take on the additional responsibility of “safety coordinator.”

Besides doing quality assurance and control, the safety coordinator, according to McNeil, “runs monthly meetings with representatives of the company, making sure all the employees understand the early warning and evacuation plans, and the emergency procedures.”

“You can never be too prepared, as a small-business owner, for disaster,” McNeil remarked. “It’s something you don’t want to think about. How do you carry on business as usual, as quickly as possible, after a disaster? You have to be a bit of a fatalist, thinking in terms of the worst-case scenario for your business.” And while he hopes he never has to use the emergency plans he has in place, McNeil says he is now ready for anything.

Experts say preparedness starts with developing such an emergency action plan that is tailored to the company’s needs and addresses several disaster scenarios. The plan should include a timetable, budget, assignment of responsibility, prevention and mitigation steps to be completed, and a list of risks and hazards to the business. It’s also a good idea to encourage employee involvement in the process.

A communications strategy is a key post-disaster recovery strategy. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your insurance carrier, suppliers, creditors, employees and customers, the local media, utility companies, and the appropriate emergency response and recovery agencies should be updated regularly.

This list should be maintained by a key employee and a backup person. Appoint a spokesperson to get the word out that your business is still open to dispel rumors of business failure.

Making sure your insurance coverage is adequate is another issue. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a recently released survey conducted for the National Hurricane Survival Initiative (done by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research) reports that one in three residents in hurricane-vulnerable states said it had been three years or more since they reviewed their insurance coverage.

When shopping for insurance, think about property damage and the loss of revenue and extra expenses that occur when business is halted by a disaster. Business interruption insurance covers necessary expenses that occur while the business is shut down. Many business owners don’t realize that basic hazard insurance does not cover flood damage. Additional purchased flood insurance is essential; most of the over $10 billion in disaster loans made by the SBA after last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes were for flood damages.

The National Flood Insurance program provides coverage to property owners. For more information, visit the Web site at www.floodsmart.gov. Flood insurance must be purchased 30 days before the disaster hits to be in effect.

Choosing A Vending Machine Company – What To Look For

A vending machine company will supply you with the vending machines you need if you are thinking about starting your own vending machine business. It may be difficult for you to choose a company to deal with if you cannot find a company for vending machines near where you live. There are many of them with an online presence, but you have to consider the cost of getting the machines to you. A vending machine company sells both new and used vending machines so you will have different prices to choose from.

Starting a vending business is not the same as starting any other type of business. You will be home based and just travel your route to service the machines on a regular basis. Servicing means taking the money out of the machines, restocking the products and making sure that the vending machines are working properly. To get started in a vending machine business, you first contact a vending machine company to purchase the machines that you want. You will find both new and used vending machines for sale, so you can make the decision both on the products you want to sell and the cost of the machines.

A vending machine company can take the form of one person operating a home based business or a large company with many staff prepared to take your order. If you choose a company that you find online, you really have to size up the website to help you make the decision. Ask yourself if this company has a wide range of vending machines and whether or not it also sells the bulk vending products you will need. You should be able to browse the list of used vending machines for sale as well as get valuable information about starting a vending business.

If the vending machine company that you start with treats you well, you will of course stay with that company. Changing companies in the middle of starting a vending business will not project a very good image of you to the business associates you make when placing the vending machines in locations. Therefore, it is important that you do research the company before you make a commitment to buy or rent any of its vending machines. If you buy the machines, then you can choose any supplier you wish for the products, but if you lease the machines, you may be stuck with the company until the end of the lease.

Any vending machine company that continually puts roadblocks in your way when starting a vending business is one that you should steer clear or. If you cannot get clear answers to your questions about the used vending machines for sale or about how they operate, you will not be able to develop a good relationship with this company. Since each vending machine company does have different prices for the machines, it is a good idea to check out several companies before you make your final decision.