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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DC'S Best Keep Secrets

Book Peak Season Rooms At Off Season Rates-One of the best places to stay in DC is the Tabard Inn.
www.TabardInn.Com 1739 N  Street NW. Located just 5 blocks from the White House,  this quaint, historic boutique 40 room hotel consists of  three 19th century row houses. And the rooms go for just $120 to $165 even during Cherry Blossom season. Even if you don't stay here, make sure you stop by for brunch. The food here is absolutely outstanding.

Explore The Local Art Scene - On the first Friday of every month, DC residents flock to Dupont Circle. There, the local galleries turn into a bustling un-snooty fete. Here you can expect live music and free wine until 9pm. Check it out at  starting at 9 Hillyer Ct NW and visit www.ArtsAndArtists.org

The Two Best Crab Cakes In Town  Check out the Old Ebitt Grill at www.Ebbitt.Com where crab cakes are $17. Or make it over to the amazing alternative at CF Folks http://www.cffolksrestaurant.com/ where the scrab cake sandwich is just $14.

Go Behind Closed Doors when DC'S top 30  embassies open their doors on just two days: May 7 and and May 14.  During prime time afternoon hours, hit the embassies on International Drive which tend to be larger and less hectic than the rest.   For more info see "passport DC" at  www.CulturalTourismDc.Org   

Where The Locals Chow Down Without Dinner Reservations On Barracks Row, you'll find eateries that serve everything from soul food to authentic Indian cuisine. You'll find the majority of these low key dining spots on 8th Street between Pennsylvania Ave and M Street. Just stroll along until you find a menu that peaks your interest or see http://www.barracksrow.org/

Reserve Advance  Half-Price Tickets To DC's Best Concerts , plays, operas and more at the
the downtown ticket outlet located at 407 7th St NW or see www.TicketPlace.Org

The Best Spot For Lunch In DC  is the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian. The museum's sunny Mitsitam Cafe is considered one of the best spots in town. It pays homage to Native American culinary traditions like buffalo burgers, glazed salmon and more. Its located  at 4th Street and Independence Ave SW. Or see  www.Nmai.Si.Edu    

Sunday, March 27, 2011

7 Tips On How To Get A Locksmith To Pick Your Lock Instead Of Your Pockets

  1. Some locksmiths in the phone book and online are scam artists. They’ ll quote you a great price on the phone. But when they get to your or business, they’ll say that you have a special lock and they can’t pick it. So they’ll have to drill it open. Then they’ll replace it with a lock you can buy at a big box store for $25.

Also, make sure you look for company advertising and identification. Also, call a local qualified locksmiths that bring a reliable familiarity within your area matched with strong community reputation. When contacting a locksmith, if the legal business name isn’t stated, ask for it. If there’s hesitation, there’s cause for concern.

Hang up and move on. Written estimates should be supplied before work begins, along with an itemized invoice upon completion. All service vehicles, vans and trucks should be clearly marked with the company name and identifying details. The locksmith should have a valid state locksmith license/registration where applicable.

The qualified locksmith should always ask for your proof of ID and authorization to begin work upon arrival, as well as supply his or her own professional identification and credentials. If, for any reason, you’re uncomfortable, it is your right to refuse service.

2. To find a reputable locksmith, check to see if any are Better Business Bureau members in your area at http://www.bbb.org/

3. Keys stamped “Do Not Duplicate” are duplicated all the time. Ask you locksmith about high security locks with keys that can’t be replicated at a hardware store.

4. Don’t believe car dealer who says only he can duplicate your key. In most cases a locksmith who specializes in automotive work can duplicate a key much cheaper than the dealer.

5. If you have a housekeeper who needs a key, then ask your locksmith to key your door so that your master key works on both the dead bolt and the door knob, but hers just works on the knob.

6. Before you call a locksmith, try the door. If the locksmith comes out and finds your door unlocked, he still will charge you for the service call.

7. If your key won’t turn, try WD-40 or silicone spray. Sometimes the lock pins get jammed. And 25 to 40% of the time, that solves the problem.

Friday, March 25, 2011

25 Dirty Secrets Human Resource People Don’t Want You To Know

1. If you’ve been unemployed for six months or more,
they assume that other people passed over you and
they may not want to hire you.

2. When it comes to getting a job, who you know
really matters. No matter how great your
qualifications may be, connections count. So make
you network as much as possible.

3. If want a job at specific company, its best to
bypass the HR department completely. Try to
go through someone you know or go directly
to the hiring manager.

4. You will not be taken serious if your e-mail
address does sound professional like BobJones
@ gmail.Com. BobbyLikes2Booze@ Yahoo.com
just won’t cut it.

5. Most companies practice discrimination.
If you’re in your 50's or 60's, don’t put the year
you graduated on your resume.

6. HR people get irritated about a job hunter
cramming an entire resume on one page in 2 point
type. Use two pages if necessary, but three pages
is pushing it.

7. Most HR people use applicant tracking systems
that scan resumes for key words. To get your resume
through the system make sure you put key words directly
 from the job description on your resume.

8. Try to avoid using colored ink and paper when
you submit your resume. Also, dropping off your
resume in person is a no-no.

9.If you want to be considered for a job, make
sure you learn as much as you can about the
company before your interview.

10. A lot of HR people don’t want to hire applicants
with young children. Although its illegal to ask you,
they will pull all kinds of tricks to find out. Some
will put photos of kids on their desks even if they
don’t have children. Then they hope you’ll ask
about the kids and mention your own children.
Or, they may walk you out to your car to see if
you have car seats.

11. HR managers routinely discriminate against
people who are over weight or obese and if you
have a weak hand shake, it will count against you.

12. If you don’t want to blow the job interview,
make sure you turn your cell phone completely

13. Make sure you’re pleasant and cordial to everyone
you encounter at the company. If not, the HR  manager
will hear about it and it will count against you.

14. If you have a real personal emergency and you
can’t make your interview, and you have a  legitimate
excuse, most HR people probably won’t  believe you.

15. Never reveal or on a resume that you were fired.
If you do, it will be trashed. Nine times out of ten,
most state laws on reference immunity and your former
company’s policy will prevent most HR people from
ever finding out.

16. Make sure you know how to pronounce the name
of the person who will interview you. If you must,
call the company receptionist and find out. Also,
make sure your personal  hygiene is impeccable.
You should  well groomed, and  make sure
you wear your best suit or dress for the interview.  

17. When asked to talk about yourself, make it
short and to the point. Avoid being a blow hard.

18. Wait at least a week before you send a thank
you note for the interview. In that time, the HR
manager will have interviewed a lot of other
people and your thank you note will stand out.

19. HR managers find persistent people annoying.
Sometimes they’ll tell applicants that they hired
someone internally just to get rid of them. If you want
to check back on your status, limit it to one or two contacts.

20. If you did not get along with your former
supervisor, do not list his direct line as a reference.
Instead, just provide the HR phone number at
your former company. Most will only give out your dates
of employment and your title.

21. If you’re credit score is below 650, it will count
against you when you apply for a job. But since back
ground checks are expensive, HR managers sometimes
bluff and will not even run one.

22. Don’t quote Salary.Com when negotiating pay.
Reason? It’s usually 10 to 20 grand higher than actual
salaries. Plus it annoys HR people like crazy. And
when discussing salary, most HR people try to lock
you in early by saying, “the position pays 35K to 40K.
If they ask you if that’s acceptable, say “no”, “it depends”,
or “it may not be out of the question”. That way, they
can’t lock you into that salary area.

23. If you already have a job, and they start giving you
the worsts assignments possible, with impossible
deadlines, they are setting up to fail so they can terminate it.
So start looking for a new job immediately. Also, watch out
if you’re put on a performance improvement plan and they
say that they want it to work out. They may be looking to
sack you. And the third signal that want to give you
the boot is when you’re a high level employee, and they
start taking away your responsibilities to work on special
assignments. Start sending out resumes fast.

24. If you get laid off, you’ll probably get a separation
agreement where you agree not to sue. Before you sign
it , try to ask for more severance money, a glowing
recommendation in writing or more Cobra. The worst that
could happen is that they'll say no.

25. If you’re asked to travel to attend a conference, try
not to say no. It could end your career.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why The Internet Is Making Us Stupid

An experiment at UCLA showed that spending one hour per day on the web alters our neural pathways. Another Canadian study asked 70 people to read a short story on a computer screen. Some read traditional text, while others read  a version containing  hyperlinks. Only 10%  of those who read  the traditional text  reported any difficulty  following the story versus 75% who read the hyperlinked version. Those who read the traditional text did so faster.

Simply ignoring online distractions does not work. That's because our brains must make a split second decision not to be distracted  which breaks our concentration.  For  instance, reading books  is often considered  a  passive activity when compared to web surfing.  But we think more deeply  when  we read a printed page compared to an Internet page. The quiet space afforded by the printed page lets us mull over what we read. That quiet space does not exist online, so we're less likely to formed reasoned conclusions  about the  validity of what we  read.

If we want to increase our concentration and comprehension when we read e-books or text online, we should close our e-mail programs, our facebook page, and other competing info feeds on our screen.

How To Avoid The Hidden Dangers In Your Clothes And Bedding

Wrinkle free fabrics contain perfluorochemicals ( pfcs) for stain and wrinkle resistance. Clothing labeled no iron, permanent press and wrinkle free often contain pfcs. They last long because they are hard to break down.They accumulate in the body and been linked to reproductive toxicity and liver problems.The chemicals in clothing may be absorbed through the skin or inhaled when they out gas.
Numerous cyclesin the wash may release some but not all. Also, synthetic fibers, contain polyvinyl chlorides a known carcinogen.So to play it safe, try to wear clothes made from 100% natural fibers like cotton and wool. 
Dry Cleaning Dangers  In dry cleaning, a chemical called perchloroethylene (perc)is used to saturate clothing to remove dirt and stains. But a lot of the solution remains in the clothing fibers after cleaning is done. Exposure to perc had been linked to kidney and liver damage. Plus it causes cancer in lab rats. Even short term exposure results in dizziness, headaches and rapid heart rate. One study found that elevated levels of perc remained in clothing after dry cleaning for 48 hours. California and other states have mandated that dry cleaners stop using perc by 2023. In the meantime, you can air out your perc dry cleaned clothes by removing the plastic and hanging them outdoors or in a garage for one or two days. Also, make sure you wear a barrier like a T-shirt when you wear clothes dry cleaned in perc. You can also find a green dry cleaner that uses liquid carbon dioxide instead of perc. 

Problems With Mattresses Most innerspring and foam mattresses and made from polyurethane It is so flammable its considered solid gasoline. To neutralize that, makers are required to add flame retardants to the mattresses. Before 2005,  these  included  highly toxic polybrominated ethers and heavy metal antimonies that disrupt hormone activity and may interfere with normal brain functions. If you're sleeping on a mattress made prior to 2005, consider replacing it with an organic mattress made from natural latex and or wool. If you buy a synthetic mattress, take off the outer wrapping and let air out for a few days outdoors or in a garage. You can also  purchase a natural latex mattress topper or one  made from cotton or wool  to act as a barrier between you and the flame retardant materials.

If It Smells Clean It Could It Could Be Bad For Your Health The National Academy of Science reports that up to 95%  of  substances used to make fragrances for  detergents, plug-in  air fresheners,  fabric softener,  are made from petroleum  that can trigger asthma,  and may cause  problems  with the nervous system.  So when you can, try to use  non-toxic  natural fabric softeners and detergents around the house. Also, you can find  reusable clothes dryer sheets online  that are not coated with chemicals.   


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Land A Job For Someone Else And Make Up To $250 An Hour Or More

With the local unemployment rate at 9% and up to 40% in some areas, job seekers are in full supply. So that means resume writers are in high demand. So to get training and network opportunities, its critical that you hook up with the Professional Association of Resume Writers.  You'll  also need to join the  National  Resume Writers Association for more credentials and leads. After your training, make sure you sign up for the PARW'S $225 certification exam. For more info go to  www.PARW.Com  and  www.TheNRWA.Com.  Another good resource  to find  new clients  is  www.MovinOnUpResumes.Com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

GPS Owner Security Alert


"Wednesday, I approached my truck from the passenger side to place my computer case in the front passenger seat. As I reached to open the door I noticed there was a hole right under my door handle. My first thought was, "someone has shot my truck !" I began to think about it and inspect it a little closer and the "light" slowly began to come on.

I phoned my friend who owns a body shop and asked if he had any vehicles with damage to the doors that looked like a bullet hole.  "Yes, I see it all the time. Thieves have a punch and place it right under the door handle, knock a hole through, reach in and unlock it, just as if they have a key.

No alarms, broken glass or anything.  I then placed a call to my insurance agent and explained it to him I was puzzled that they left my GPS and all other belongings. Here is where it gets scary! "Oh no, he said, they want the break-in to be so subtle that you don't even realize it."

They look at your GPS to see where "home" is. "Now they know what you drive, go to your home, and if your vehicle isn't there they assume you aren't and break in your home."

He says they will even leave a purse or wallet and only take one or two credit cards. By the time you realize there has been a theft, they may have already had a couple days or more to use them. I didn't realize my situation for two full days! They even give you the courtesy of re-locking your doors for you. Periodically walk around your car, daily if you are in a shopping center or other parking area.

Report thefts immediately....your bank w/missing check numbers,  your credit card agencies, police, and insurance companies, etc."