How to Prepare for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is seen as a fresh start for many people.

Bankruptcy is prominently mentioned in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution provides:

The Congress shall have Power To… establish… uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States…

Bankruptcy is a necessary option for those with high debt to income ratios. However, it does come with serious consequences. Your credit will be ruined for up to 10 years, the process will cost you atleast 1-2,000$ to file and lenders will be very weary of you. As a Bankruptcy paralegal myself, I would not recommend anyone file for bankruptcy who has less than 10,000$ of debt. Debts can be paid down, negotiated, and so forth without destroying your credit report! However, if you find yourself in the midst of a foreclosure or simply cannot see a foreseeable way to escape, then bankruptcy could be your best option. If you are thinking about this option, consider these 10 strategies.

  1. Pass the “Means Test”: If you are single and make under $40,000 per year, you will most likely qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are married and your combined income is less than $80,000 per year, you will most likely qualify. Some couples will strategically file for separation during a bankruptcy process in order to reduce their household income, however, the bankruptcy trustee will investigate your living situation to ensure it is a legitimate separation.
  2. Replevin Orders are often needed to recover property from a debtor, which require the creditor to take you to court. Small items such as toasters, Televisions, or any item that is worth less than $1,000 is often able to be retained if the debtor is brave enough to call the creditor’s bluff. Replevin orders cost money and time. In my years working as Bankruptcy paralegal, it is extremely rare to see any creditor file for a Replevin order on any item worth less than a grand.
  3. Credit scores can be strengthened after bankruptcy if you obtain a secured credit card and pay it down fast after making small purchases.
  4. Do not purposefully rack up debts on entertainment(non-essential) items and then immediately file for bankruptcy. Most debts younger than 90 days are generally scrutinized and are considered “fraudulent” debts in many bankruptcy cases.
  5. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will save your house from being foreclosed upon, however, it will only buy you a few months. If you fail to make payments on your Chapter 13 plan, the foreclosure process starts all over again.
  6. Chapter 7 bankruptcies will not clear out mortgages and auto loans. Expect to give back those properties after your case has completed unless you enter into a “reaffirmation agreement”.
  7. Negotiate your reaffirmation agreement with your lawyer or better yet, try to avoid signing into one! See if the creditor will continue taking payments at the same rate as before. Oftentimes, creditors will try to get you to enter into a new agreement with higher rates to benefit themselves.
  8. Child support is a non-dischargable debt. However, filing for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you reorganize your child support debt and save you from getting your drivers license suspended.
  9. Student Loans and owed Tax debt are generally considered non-dischargable. In some rare circumstances, they can be discharged.
  10. Show up to court! If you don’t get a notice in the mail from your lawyer, call him/her! Missing your court date can cause huge delays and possibly have your case thrown out. It is imperative that before you file for bankruptcy, you save up some personal time off from your employer. The judge doesn’t care about your excuses. If you don’t show up, it takes a lot work from the lawyers, paralegals, and courts to get a new court date. Your lawyer and the paralegals who assist will certainly thank you for making their job much easier!

These are just a few basic tips when it comes to filing for bankruptcy in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. If you have any additional questions. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

Source by Randell Stroud

RV Covers for the Hot Days of Summer

When December arrives, many RVers head home to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. During the winter months RVing slows down while people wait out the winter but the “snow bird RVer” has the luxury of heading south for the winter to enjoy the warmer temperatures in Florida, Arizona, and Mexico. The “snow birds” have discovered how to have the best of both worlds. They leave their extremely cold year round home and head south where they store and use their RV as a winter getaway home to enjoy the warmth of the South. These snow birds fly south to their RV park right after the holidays to enjoy the warm winters until the snow is gone in their northern home.

When the snow melts and it is time to leave their winter home, the Snow bird RVer wants to leave their motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer protected with an RV slip cover that will keep their winter home clean and free from dust & dirt and dings & scratches. They want a storage cover that is water repellent and will protect their recreational vehicle from the occasional southern rain storms, but most importantly the “Snow bird” RVer needs to find a cover that can withstand the harsh UV rays of the sun that will destroy their RV’s exterior while they are back home.

There are only two RV covers that can provide summer heat and UV protection for the motor home, fifth wheel, or travel trailer. All the rest will disintegrate from the extreme temperatures. A slip on dust cover (like the Traveler or the Poly Pro 1) will protect the RV for a while but it will be in shreds all around your trailer when you return. This type of cover cannot stand up to the extreme heat that your RV will encounter while you are away. The three ply top / single ply sided covers (like the Poly Pro 3 Deluxe or the Expedition) claim to give all weather protection but they also will not be able to handle the heat. They might still be covering your RV when you get to your southern home but most likely only parts of the cover will be still covering your RV. If you invest your money in any of these covers you will be replacing the cover every year.

What you need is the protection of best cover that will not disintegrate after 6-8 months of exposure to UV rays. The two covers that can stand up to the heat are the Goldline RV cover and the PermaPRO RV cover. The Goldline RV Cover is made by Eevelle in Carlsbad, California. The Goldline cover is a made to order RV cover that comes in two colors: desert tan or silver cloud grey. Since it is a semi-custom, made to order motorhome or trailer cover it will take up to 4 weeks before it can be delivered to your southern address. This Goldline trailer cover is rated the #1 RV cover by customers and dealers alike. These RV storage covers are made of a strong yet supple fabric that will outlast all other RV covers. The Goldline cover is made of a water resistant extra plush Tru-Weave fabric with a Durapel finish that provides super duty UV protection and the Goldline cover is backed with the longest, best 5 year warranty.

The PermaPro RV cover is distributed by Classic Accessories in Kent, Washington. The PermaPRO cover is made of the newest extra-strength ripstop fabric, the first RV cover fabric to claim to be tear resistant. Not only is it tear resistant but it also repels water, protects against sun damage by blocking the UV rays, and even provides snow protection if needed. The PermaPRO cover is also available for the extra tall RV that stands a little taller than the usual 9 ft RV. An extra height RV cover is required by those Class A and 5th wheel RVs that stand up to11 ft tall. The PermaPRO cover, like the lower end RV covers, gives your RV dirt, dust, and scratch protection, and it is protected by a 4 year warranty.

As winter slowly melts away and the warmer days of spring arrive, the time will come for the Snow birds to begin to prepare to fly back north to the confines of your year round home. Remember if you want to truly give your trailer the best RV cover with the best UV protection, you will need to spend a few bucks more and purchase the Goldline RV cover or the PermaPRO RV cover. Those are the only two RV trailer covers that will still be protecting your RV when you return to your winter stomping grounds next year.

Source by Mary Speir

Eyewear Fashion for Women

Many different women may be looking for new glasses. Some women might be in need of new eyeglasses, while others are looking for a nice pair of sunglasses. When looking for eyewear fashion for women, there are many different options. The first thing a women should consider is what type of glasses she needs. Once she has made a decision, she will want to purchase high quality sunglasses or designer glasses. There are cheap models of sunglasses out on the market, but they break and do not block the UV rays like designer sunglasses.

Women who are looking for designer eyeglasses will be able to choose between several different brands. This includes glasses from Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Police. Many of the different glasses offer variations so women will have a choice in the different styles. Some women who are looking at Givenchy frames will want to check out the VGV 118 and the VGV 200. Both of these frames are stylish and affordable. The 118 has three different variations, so women will have choices in what they want as a design and colour on the frame.

Designer sunglasses can be purchased online as well. Some can even be sold as prescription sunglasses for women who want to block the UV rays and be able to see clearly if they have vision needs. Brands of prescription sunglasses include Bolle, Oakley, and Serengeti. Anyone will like being able to have the option of customizing the Oakley sunglasses. Non-prescription designer sunglasses can be found from Adidas Originals, Roberto Cavalli, Tag Huer, and Silhouette. Al of these sunglasses can be found at great prices. People will be able to compare them side by side as well if they are looking at them online.

With so many different options when it comes to sunglasses, prescription sunglasses, and eyeglasses, some women may have a hard time choosing just one pair of glasses. The will have to consider their glasses needs and check out the different brands that fit their style. It is all about picking out glasses that are functional and durable. Anyone will be able to do this when they go online and check out the designer glasses available.

Source by Emory Crider

How to Complete a DA 1380 for Retirement Point Credit and Pay

There are two ways you can get the DA 1380. One way is through an Internet search. The other way is from your unit. Once you have your DA 1380, how do you get started?

Here’s a scenario.

You reported to Fort Eustis one morning, at their aviation medicine, to do your Phase 1 Airborne Physical. Phase 1 takes you all morning to complete. You’re finished in the middle of lunch.

You come back the following week for Phase 2. After Phase 2, you return to your unit and provide them copies of the results of your airborne physical. While doing this at your unit, you also prepare and submit a school request.

While you’re there, you decide to sign for missing field gear that you need for the upcoming field training exercise. You see your supply sergeant. Right after you sign for your needed items, he informs you that additional items came for you from battalion supply.

By the time you get done with all of this, you have 15 minutes left to catch lunch at the DFAC.

How would you record this scenario on a DA 1380?

If you have a fillable DA 1380 form, open it up. If you have a blank copy, make another copy of it, and fill it out with pencil. Use a black pen on the actual copy for the neat finish if you do this by hand.

Block 1 is “date.” Since this is related to pay, or something that could affect pay, you want to use DFAS’s date format. That’s the “YYYYMMDD” format.

Block 2 is “from:” Print or type your unit and your unit’s address.

Block 3 is “Retirement Year Ending Date.”

Your Retirement Year Ending Date (RYE) is based on when you originally started your Army Reserve contract. This is based on your continuous contract. For example, your reserve contract started on November 1. Your RYE will be October 31 the following year.

Let’s say that you were on active duty before that, from April 1, 2010, to October 31, 2014. Your reserve contract began on November 1, 2014, the day after the last day of your active contract. Your current RYE would still be October 31, 2015, not March 31, 2015, because your initial active reserve contract, in a continuous reserve run, determines your RYE.

Review AR 140-185 for Retirement Year End Date details.

Fill this block using the “YYYYMMDD” format.

Block 4 is the “to” block. This will be the address of the staff that updates your record. For soldiers in the Troop Program Unit (TPU), this usually is your full time support staff.

This staff, mainly one of the unit administrators, will process your DA 1380.

Type “commander” all capitalized in this block. Underneath that, type the address of your unit where the support staff is located.

Your support staff will process this for retirement points if you used an “N” code. They’ll process your DA 1380 for retirement points and payment if you used a “P” code. If your support staff is unable to process this at the reserve center, they’ll forward this to the Battalion S1.

If you are an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA), or a member of the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR), you’ll use the HRC address for the office that updates your records.

Block 5 is your name. Type your name in the block in the order the block label shows.

Block 6 is your grade. Type in your pay grade. This is the alpha numeric code for your rank.

Block 7 is your branch. Enter your “Soldier’s Area of Concentration” (AOC) code/Primary Military Occupational Skill (MOS) in this block.

Block 8 is left blank unless block 4 is different from the unit of assignment.

Block 9 gives you an opportunity to mark the kind of training, duties, or instruction that you are involved with.

If you choose “other,” type the description in the box right next to “other.”

Block 9, Column A, is the date that you participated in the training. If the day, month, and year, are in separate columns, use the DD MM YYYY format respectively within the day, month, and year columns.

Block 9, Column B, list hours of training that you did.

Block 9, Column C, is the retirement points that you earned. There are two different coding to mark whether you get retirement points and pay or just get retirement points.

An “N” code marks non paid time. You only get retirement points. A “P” code marks paid time, you get both retirement point credit and pay.

A “1” right next to one of the lettering codes represents one training block of 4 hours; 2 hours if you participated in funeral honors as a member of the funeral detail. A “2” represents two training blocks. You could only get a maximum of “2” per day.

Using the above Airborne Physical scenario, you’d use “N1”. Phase I took the morning and part of lunch time to complete, approximately 4 hours. “N1” will give you one retirement point, but no pay.

In another scenario, where a Soldier does a full day RST, that day would be marked “P2”. A “P2” would give you two retirement points, and pay for two training blocks, or two training days.

Block 9, Column D, lists the nature of the duties that you performed, or training/instruction that you received. For the airborne physical scenario, you could put, “Airborne Physical, Phase I, at Fort Eustis, VA. Retirement points only.”

For the RST scenario, an example of the description could read, “Rescheduled Training (RST) to make up for battle assembly missed on October 25, 2014.” The second RST day would go in the next line, with the same information assuming that a full day of training was made up. The comment in this line could read, “Rescheduled Training (RST) to make up for battle assembly missed on October 26, 2014.

This scenario assumes that the Soldier did two RST days to make up for missing two days of drill.

Block 10 is a typed name, grade and position of the officer/NCO/official that observed you, or was aware of you performing the duties on the DA 1380. The names of the support staff members that observed you are common entries for block 10 and block 11.

Block 11 is the signature of the Soldier or qualified official listed in Block 10.

Some additional Notes:

1. If you’re assigned to a unit, submit this form to your unit. If you’re assigned to the IRR or IMA, submit this form to Human Resources Command (HRC). Submit it to the office that manages your pay, records, and points.

2. If you’re assigned to a unit, and you’re submitting this form straight to your Regional Personal Action Center (RPAC) or to HRC, you’re contributing to them being overwhelmed. This reduces their ability to do their own assigned mission.

3. Use one DA 1380 to cover one month. If your training event overlaps two months, submit two DA 1380s, one covering each month.

3. Don’t complete a DA 1380 for your Army correspondence courses/computer based courses if you complete them on your own.

If your commander authorized you, in writing, to enroll into a course, and to complete it, in order for you to get paid, then complete a DA 1380 for the course you just completed. Submit a certificate of completion, and the completed DA 1380, to those that manage your records. Check with your unit for specific policies covering this.

4. Depending on Army Reserve funding, and your unit, you can get paid to do your structured development courses on your own. Check your unit’s policy on this. If this is applicable to you, and you want to get paid, bring a certificate and a completed DA 1380 with you to your unit.

5. If your unit puts you on AT orders to come in to complete your structured development courses, then you only get paid for your AT orders. Use the certificate as documentation that you completed the course.

Additional References:

1. AR 140-185, Retirement Year and Retirement Points

2. Army Human Resources Command, “Earning Retirement Points.”

3. Office of the Chief, Army Reserve, Memorandum dated February 10, 2014, on using the DA 1380 to award retirement points.

Source by Travis Hill

"For Crying Out Loud!" What is the Origin of This Strange Expression?

What’s going on with the expression: “For crying out loud?” Have you ever thought about that? I mean, what the heck does that expression mean anyway? Where did it originate from?

Expressions like “Hot dog!” or “Man alive!” make sense to me. Hot dog implies that you’re excited about something- About as excited as you’d be if someone gave you a free hot dog. “Man alive” means your surprised about something; it was likely coined by mountain climbers when they found half-dead men in the snow- Imagine running across a boot sticking out of the snow, and when you tug on it a semi conscious Sherpa is attached to the other end. You’d yell “Man alive!” too, and you’d have every right to do so.

My dad was a big advocate of the “for crying out loud” expression. He’d yell it at me when I’d do things like draw with crayons on the wall, or put the cat in the dryer. Every time I heard it, I’d sail into the cannonball position and try to roll myself into a tight nook where he couldn’t reach me. One day as I was stuffing myself into a hamper I thought: “This for crying out loud expression makes no sense to me. The English language certainly has its share of strange expressions and illogical grammar points, but expressions like this are just plain reckless. Frankly, they make me a little uneasy, and I refuse to use any expression that doesn’t have at least a semi-logical origination.” (Yes, I spoke like this when I was 8 years old). I had reached the bottom of the hamper as my dad’s footsteps approached. “For crying out loud Marcus, where the heck are you!?” It was then and there that I made a decision. With a sock stuck to my cheek I declared: “I WILL get to the bottom of this irresponsible expression, for good or ill!”

So today, 25 years later, I’m happy to report that I have unearthed the origination of the “for crying out loud” euphemism… kinda. The expression is part of a long list of sayings that find their origin in Christian culture. They’re called “minced oaths,” and they allow you to express your frustration without saying something sinful.

For example, if you were a peasant back in the dark ages and someone stole your sandal, you wouldn’t want to yell out an expression like: “When I find you, I’m gonna stick that sandal up your…!” You’d instead say something like: “For Pete’s Sake!” which calls to attention Jesus’ right hand man, St. Peter. You’d still get to express your anger, but you’d slip it right past god without him even knowing what happened. And who knows, maybe St. Peter can help you get your sandal back.

Expressions like “Gee” are even Christian based. The “G” sound represents the “G” sound in Jesus Christ, and is also responsible for Hip Hop’s famous saying: “G-Unit,” which gangsters use as an underground codeword when referring to their personal lord and savior.

“For crying out loud” is said to originate from the expression “for Christ’s sake.” How you get from “for Christ’s sake” to “for crying out loud” I don’t know, but I bet it has something to do with a father who was displeased with the incessant crying of his sprout. He was likely an influential man, and as he held himself at the brink of saying: “For Christ’s Sake,” he instead said: “For crying out loud!” His eyebrow probably flew up right after he said it; the “ah-ha” kind of eyebrow we all strive for. And with that, the expression was coined.

Euphemisms play an important role in our culture, and I tip my hat to my dad for having the gall to carry on the tradition. The next time you hear an expression who’s meaning alludes you, think back to our early Christian forefathers and thank them for their contribution. I mean for crying out loud, at least they provided us with some fantastic comedy.

Source by Mark Sing

Parsley for Bad Breath

A number of herbs have been used to treat bad breath, but parsley for bad breath is probably the most common herbal home remedy of all. Petroselinum crispum, a plant native to southern Europe and Asia, is cultivated all over the world: it has made it’s way into virtually every cuisine. For some, the flavor, distinct and yet complementary to so many others, is it’s main virtue. For others, the clean fresh smell it gives to the breath, and particularly its ability to mask garlic and onions on the breath, is its best feature. Almost incidentally, parsley is very nutritious – high in antioxidant vitamins A and C, and iron, and providing significant amounts of a number of other vitamins and minerals. If you don’t already love this herb, try to acquire a taste.

A traditional parsley remedy for bad breath will use the herb in one of two ways. The simplest is just to grab a sprig of fresh parsley and chew it thoroughly. Particularly effective after a meal containing garlic or onions, this will also work as well as any breath mint as a quick fix for more chronic bad breath. The other use of parsley for bad breath involves simmering a handful of fresh leaves in a couple of cups of water with several whole cloves or some ground cloves. The solution can be used as a mouth wash as often as required. Be sure to use fresh parsley for both of these remedies: dried parsley has neither the admirable breath freshening ability nor the exceptional nutritional value of the fresh herb.

A weakness of any parsley remedy for bad breath is that, like many of the breath freshening products on the market today, it has little value for long term treatment of a chronic bad breath problem. Though it does have some antiseptic qualities, and contains lots of chlorophyll, another natural remedy for bad breath, it doesn’t seem to do much more than temporarily mask the odor characteristic of chronic halitosis. To tackle chronic halitosis, you will need to use a product that has more ability to kill or displace the odor producing bacteria that live in the mouth. Natural alternatives to parsley for bad breath that are designed to provide a more lasting effect are available.

Regardless of how severe your breath odor is, using parsley for bad breath is not going to do any harm, in fact it’s nutritional value alone is a good reason to use more of it. Add a fresh sprig to your dinner plate or decorate your sandwich with a cluster of leaves. Throw some into salads to get a fresh sharp taste reminiscent of celery. Some people carry a handful around in a plastic bag in a pocket so that they’ll have a parsley remedy for bad breath whenever they need it. Though not the most powerful breath remedy around, parsley is a healthy choice, and surprisingly effective in the short term.

Source by R. Drysdale

Cotton Yarn Vs Acrylic for Crochet Dishcloths and Scrubbers

In general, I prefer to use cotton yarn when crocheting dishcloths and scrubbies. This is primarily because cotton is natural, soft and durable. However, over the years, I’ve had many crocheters tell me that they prefer to use acrylic for washcloths and scrubbies. So really, it boils down to personal preference; but in this article I’m going to go over several reasons why you might want to choose one over the other.

Cotton Pros:

Natural. As already mentioned, cotton material is natural. To be honest I don’t know if this makes a difference or not, but it does put my mind at ease when making scrubbies for fruits and vegetables. With that said, I try to stick with the white or off-white yarn as you don’t want any colorful dyes leaching out into your food either.

Scrubbing Action. Cotton is soft for the face, yet it makes an effective scrubber for dishes and pots and pans.

Cotton Cons:

Shrinks. With cotton you have to be careful when you stick your rags into the dryer because it will shrink the material. Thus, when making dishcloths and other washcloths or scrubbies, make sure that you make them slightly larger than what you need them to be. Or, simply avoid sticking anything into the dryer.

Drying Time. Another downfall of cotton is that it takes forever to dry. One solution I have found with dishcloths is to simple drape them over your dishsoap bottle. But if you have a hanger handy above the sink, that would work even better.

Expensive. Cotton material is generally more expensive than materials made from man-made fibers. However, on the plus side, as already mentioned; it’s also more durable, which then helps to balance it out.

Acrylic Pros:

Dries Quick. One of the good things of using acrylic yarn is that it dries fairly quick.

Static. I find that acrylic has a natural static that when swept over the floor or a dresser it picks up the dust much better than cotton does.

No Shrinkage. Acrylic material doesn’t shrink. However, I find that it does tend to stretch out more over time.

Economic. It is fairly cheap to purchase at the store.

Acrylic Cons:

Unnatural. Unlike cotton, acrylic is made from unnatural substances. For most people this poses no threat; however some might experience itching, or may even get rashes if used on skin.

Not Durable for Tough Scrubbing. The yarn is not as durable for tough scrubbing in the kitchen or around the home. It’s fine for facecloths and dusters, but for heavy scrubbing needs, I personally would resort to a cotton.

So there you have it. I hope you’ll experiment with both.

Source by Rhelena R.

RSS For Rookies

What are RSS newsfeeds?

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, or for Really Simple Syndication. Both mean the same thing, so don’t let it confuse you. An RSS is something a website (or a blog) offers to readers provide a “news feed” of their information. It’s available for everyone to add to their own “news reader” for free and gets displayed on your desktop or in your web browser.

It works almost like a stock ticker, delivering exactly the information that you have anonymously “subscribed” to, eliminating the need to go out and check your favorite outlets for new information, because they’re already delivered to your computer.

Who needs RSS?

Well, everyone need it. It’s so much more efficient than going to get it, or getting endless email newsletters. Having the paper delivered to your home makes more sense than driving to the store every day, doesn’t it? In the same vein, let’s say that you want only the latest news about only certain subjects, and routinely go out and check several websites to see what’s new. Using RSS, those individual websites will deliver that news right to your desktop, suitable for reading, clicking, printing, or ignoring.

How can you use RSS?

There seems to be no single definitive answer, because there are so many ways to use it. I’ll tell you about the easiest way to get RSS feeds that I know of, but by no means is that the only way. That is; on your homepage of your web browser.

First, you need an RSS newsreader, (a.k.a. “aggregator”). The good news though is that you may already have one. Since millions of people have Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail or Google accounts, I’ll walk you through adding a news feed to your MSN home page. Go to and sign in. If you don’t already have a hotmail account, go ahead and create one. If you’d prefer, you can go to and do the same) It only takes a minute go get a new account.

After signing in to My MSN, you’ll see quite an array of news, weather, sports, ads, stock quotes, local information etc. Think of this as your canvas, and you’re free to arrange or remove the information how you see fit. Each of these sections you see can me easily moved or deleted. To move them, just click and drag from the top right of each subject area. To remove them, click the minus (-) sign in the top left of the subject area. Feel free to delete them all, since you can always add them back later.

Now go to top left of the screen, right above the “Welcome” area you’ll see “Add content” below your name. When you go there, you get four choices (Tabs) for adding content. The default tab that comes up is “Search”. and from here you have four options and each is clearly defined. If you know the exact web address (URL) for a company’s newsfeed, you can enter it right here. The other three tabs might be worth exploring too, since they let you browse by company names and subjects. Then you just click a box for all you want.

After signing in to My Yahoo, you’ll notice that there are already several news feeds from Reuters listed there, with “Top stories”, “world News”, “Politics” and “Business”. Above those stories, you’ll see a big yellow box in the center explaining how you can “Add Content”. Click the link to “add content” and you’ll come up with a search box allowing you to “find content” about a given subject. Type in a search phrase, and you’ll be presented with search results that all have an “Add” button next to them. Hit the “Add” button by the ones you want, and then hit the “Finished” button at the top right, and you’re done. You just added that RSS news feed to your My Yahoo page. Scroll down at the My Yahoo main page, and you’ll see those news headlines you added at the bottom of your list. To rearrange the order of your news feeds, just hit the small “edit” button at the top right of each news section. To remove a news feed, just hit the X like you would to close any window.

Customizing your own news feeds

Now suppose you don’t need to “find” a news feed on a subject, because you already know you want to add a particular one. Well that’s easy too. Al you have to do is identify what the “RSS feed URL” is for the information you want to add. Most blogs or news organizations show you these now on their websites.

Look for a small orange box on the website that says XML or the words “RSS Feed” or “News feed” and click on it. In the case of large organizations, like CNN for example, you’ll be taken to a page with a nice set of instructions, and a whole list of RSS news feed URL’s that you can manually copy and paste into your news reader.

Sometimes though, you’ll be taken to a page that looks like gibberish code. Don’t let that scare you like it did me the first time I saw it! When that happens, you are actually looking right at the feed itself, and all you have to do is copy and paste what’s in the address bar of your web browser, right into your news reader. That’s called “knowing the specific URL of the feed” on MSN, and “”Add RSS by URL” in Yahoo.

In My Yahoo, to manually add a news feed, go to the “add content” area, and choose the link to the right of the Find button that says “Add RSS by URL”. Once you paste your URL in that window and hit “add” the news headlines should show up there. If they don’t, then you may have copied the URL wrong, or added a space at the end. Then just hit the “Add to My Yahoo” button and you’re done! In MSN, you’ll paste the URL of the news feed right into the search box, then check the box when it shows the result.

Delivering exactly what you want and only when you want is how the internet is supposed to work. Things are only getting better.

In researching this article, I notice that My Yahoo seems to be having problems adding certain manual URL’s. Oh well. Nothings perfect.

Source by Scott Hendison

Cost Estimates for Your Sturgis Rally Vacation

If you are headed to Sturgis for the Black Hills Rally and Races in Sturgis South Dakota you may be wondering how much your trip to the Black Hills will cost? As with any vacation it’s always best to have a budget and plan your trip based on your budget. So with that in mind here are some estimates of typical costs related to a vacation to Sturgis South Dakota for the Bike Rally.

Lodging or Camping:

Hotels in and near Sturgis can be very tough to find during Rally week. If you can find a Hotel room expect to pay nearly $300-$400 per night for a Super 8 type room. If you are camping you usually reserve a space that covers you for 15 days that allow for time before and after the Sturgis rally. This can range from $100-$175 per camper using a tent site. If you have an RV expect a charge of $400 for 30 Amp or $450 for 50 Amp service. Many campgrounds also charge a per camper fee on top of this so add that $100-$175 back on. You can rent a house for around $2500.00 which might work for groups of riders.


Since you’ll be riding a motorcycle you will obviously be consuming a fair quantity of gasoline. Typically you’ll get around 25 miles per gallon so to figure out your gasoline costs look at it as $12 per 100 miles. Take your distance to and from Sturgis and then look at the riding you’ll do on a day to day basis. When I tour around the Black Hills I usually ride about 300 miles per day. So for me 1200 miles to travel to and from Sturgis and 900 miles touring gives me a fuel cost of $252.00. Of course if you trailer your motorcycle you’ll need to adjust your costs for the MPG that your truck or car or RV gets.


Much of the food you’ll eat is fast in nature. You’ll eat a lot of fair type foods and diner type foods. It would be fair to estimate $15 – $30 per day for food (not including alcohol) depending on where you like to eat.


If you like to party you can expect to spend a lot on alcohol. Just like a concert or football game if you buy beer in a bar or campground concerts you can expect to pay $6-$7 per beer + tip. So how much do you drink? Take that number of beers and multiply by $7 to get your estimate. You can save money at some campgrounds by keeping an inexpensive cooler and ice and buying beer by the case.

Total Sturgis Trip Cost:

So for a couple of riders on a 5 day trip from the Midwest here’s the cost estimates I’ve figured. Tent camping in around Sturgis $300.00. Fuel for both riders $500.00. Food at $50 per day for the pair $250 and three days of partying $180.00 I didn’t include souvenirs but from my figures this trip for two riders would run about $1230.00 I’d recommend just bring $1500 and you’d be covered. As you can see Sturgis is a very economical vacation but it has a lot of cost variables that will affect the total cost of your vacation to the Sturgis Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Source by John Gall

Five Conditions for Innovation

Incremental innovations occur everywhere, but revolutionary innovations-the kind that leverage new technologies and business models to drive down costs, increase accessibility, and improve services-are not typical. I believe that the reason for this is an improper realization of the conditions that foster both ability and motivation for innovation. These five conditions include:

  • Experimentation
  • Phase-out old products and services
  • Feedback loops
  • Incentives for product or service improvement
  • Budget constraints

To illustrate how these conditions affect the innovation process, let’s examine each one.

Experimentation. Any organization that wishes to adapt to a changing environment needs a mechanism for experimentation with new technologies and delivery models. Without the ability to develop an experimental infrastructure, fundamentally new and different approaches rarely emerge.

Phase-out old products and services. If an experiment is successful, a new challenge arises. Many organizations lack the ability to freely remove outdated technology and business models. This requires invested leadership with the ability to meet challenges that arise with change.

Feedback loops. It’s no surprise that strong feedback between clients and the organization are required to motivate investment into and adoption of the most valuable innovations. Explicit feedback is needed for managers to judge when to focus on the improvement of services versus the reduction of costs.

Incentives for product or service improvement. Equipped with the knowledge of what clients want, suppliers can improve their offerings if sufficiently motivated with access to increased revenue and/or reduced costs. The key to incentives is to appropriately aligned them with the goals of the organization.

Budget constraints. Budgets force prioritization. Not only do limits force people to prioritize, they also create incentives to cut costs. For innovation to take hold, leaders should ensure that budget constraints exist in order to motivate the appropriate prioritization. In some situations, such as individually distributed services, the constraints should be placed on the customers. In other situations, such as in purchasing, the constraint should be placed on the person responsible for the acquisition. Regardless of where the constraint falls, it is vital that budget incentives are used to force prioritization.

These five conditions for innovation make continuous change possible, and the difference between success and failure is the ability to create or preserve most if not all of these five conditions.

Source by Douglas Rugh, PhD