What Clients Want From An Article

Writing has emerged as one of the most preferred freelance career options for people who have good language skills. By writing online, a person can now make good money. However, it needs to be understood that not everyone can write articles that will be accepted by the online clients. What the online media needs is a writer who can follow some basic writing rules so that the articles that are written by him or her meet the purpose.

In most cases, writers are needed to write online articles that comply with certain rules and standards that will make the client’s webpage rank higher. This is perhaps the most important and basic purpose of article writing. The clients therefore look for writers who understand SEO and other such techniques that make the article more visible thereby making the online business of the client more prominent over the World Wide Web.

Here are the basics that a writer should know about what a client looks for in the articles:

1. Uniqueness – The first aspect about writing articles for clients online is to maintain uniqueness. The fact that you have been paid for the articles you write is a reason enough to understand that you are being paid for your efforts to research on the provided topic and write and not to copy from the information already or readily available on the internet. There are various tools that help you to check the originality or uniqueness of the article you have written. The most popular being Copyscape. It is unique and original content that will be ranked higher and help your client increase the visibility of his online business.

2. High quality – The next important thing about the articles that you write is the quality. It is important to keep in mind that the language you choose to write the article in should be very familiar to you. If you are writing articles in English, you need to be sure that you write flawless articles which are perfect in English grammar and thought flow. This applies to writing articles for clients in any other language as well. No matter how unique or SEP streamlined your article is, the client will always want to pay for articles that have good content so that the readers get attracted to it.

3. Keyword-rich content – When writing for online submission or online publishing, it is important to understand that the articles that help the webpage or blog rank higher are always that are preferred. This means, that you need to have a proper understanding of what keywords you need to use in your article and the keyword density you need to follow. In most cases, the clients will state the keywords and keyword density. It may help you even further if you are able to o some keyword research using tools like Google AdWords to further enhance the visibility of your articles by the search engines.

Writing articles for online clients to get paid is definitely an easy way to earn some passive income. However, it is important to get some basic training on content development to enhance your exposure and understand the above parameters better.

Tips to Conduct an Effective Drug Testing Program

The main purpose of conducting a drug testing program is to ensure that the dangerous habit of drug abuse is completely eliminated among the people. But to achieve the desired positive results, the program should be effective. And for effective implementation of this program, there are certain aspects to be taken care of. Here are a few tips that enable effective implementation of the program.

Explain the importance:

Teachers, parents, employers or any other personnel conducting the drug testing program should make it clear to the suspects that the purpose of the program is to ensure better and healthy living of the individual. It is their duty to explain the benefits of detecting and preventing the drug abusing habit. By doing so, the individuals will be encouraged to take the test without any inhibitions.

Determine the best method:

Drug testing methods are classified into different types depending on the sample used – hair, saliva, urine and blood. Of these methods, choose a method that is convenient. The convenience of the test should be judged in terms of ease of conducting and effectiveness in giving reliable results.

Be aware of drug detection windows:

Knowing drug detection windows is important for effective implementation of the program because, the drug detection periods vary from sample to sample and from drug to drug. For example, in case of amphetamines the drug detection period is 1 to 3 days in urine, 24 hours in blood, 90 days in hair and 0-24 hours in saliva.

Implement preventive methods to avoid sample alteration:

There is a probability that the suspects adulterate or manipulate (alter) test samples. Hence, make sure that the testing area/room does not contain any kind of materials/solvents which can be used to adulterate the test sample. It is also important that while collecting test samples, the donors should be monitored.

Use reliable test kits:

The effectiveness of the program is also dependent on the effectiveness of the equipment. Since testing at schools or workplaces requires on-site testing tools, drug test kits are recommended. These kits can also be used for home drug testing as they ensure privacy of results. These kits are cost effective, fast, safe, accurate and reliable. They are of different types based on the specimen used (saliva, urine, hair, etc.) and the design of kits (cups or strips). FDA approved kits give accurate results as they abide by the SAMHSA cut-off levels.

An effectively implemented drug testing program not only fetches accurate results but also plays a vital role in eliminating the habit of drug abuse.

Shakespeare on Addiction: Sonnet 129

Something interesting happens every time I teach Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129. I’m reasonably certain the term “sex addiction” didn’t exist in his day – and neither did 12 step groups for it, with Elizabethans turning up in their flamboyant garb – but that doesn’t mean that the problem, and its attendant degradations, didn’t exist. Just ask Shakespeare about his Dark Lady.***

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Why am I thinking about sonnet 129? Shakespeare’s sonnets beg for interpretation, and it’s not just because they are formal masterpieces that we should, as intelligent folk, feel compelled to dissect for dissection’s sake. No, there’s more to them than that. His sonnets are relevant today and I’m going to show you why.

A few years ago, I came across an hour long documentary made about Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside. The area has been ravaged by an influx of drugs and its victims, earning it a reputation for being something of an elephants’ graveyard: it’s where addicts go to die. The film was called Through a Blue Lens and was shot, mostly, by two beat cops who wanted to portray the lives of the addicts living there. It’s not a warm and fuzzy film about drug addiction, but it’s not condemnatory either. Here’s an excerpt:

The plight of those living in that part of Vancouver became a minor cause célèbre in 1999, in part because The Globe and Mail published a photo essay of its denizens that left a lot of Canadians gasping. It made us aware, in a none-too-gentle way, that we had inner city problems just as bad as some cities south of the border. Vancouver’s port is a gateway for the drug trade and it seems at least some of these drugs don’t travel far: they form the lifeblood of those immiserated souls living in the downtown area.

So why look at Canada’s Skid Row when we’re talking about Shakespeare? It’s because his definition of addiction is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s relevant today and that’s because when addicts talk about their suffering, they report (albeit less eloquently) many of the same things. And when I say things, I mean they report having many of the same feelings and experiences described by Shakespeare. Those haunting sounds of agony — the addict’s anguish — are distilled, painfully and thoroughly, in this poem.

It begins:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Shakespeare believes we forfeit our spirit – our soul – when we engage in addictive behaviour. The expense, or the price of the addiction, is paid with it. Waste here is used literally (implying that lives are wasted by addiction) and also symbolically to denote a place. This double meaning is made obvious by the use of the preposition in, as “in” a waste of shame. Waste as a place bookends neatly with that other inferno, hell, mentioned in the closing couplet.

Lust is Shakespeare’s drug of choice and the belief is that it was aimed at the infamous Dark Lady, that promiscuous creature that had Shakespeare, and others, utterly intoxicated.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust

What are the signs of Shakespeare’s enslavement? The form of a sonnet is strictly prescribed: it is made up of three quatrains — three groups of four lines — and a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme tends to alternate lines, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, the second with the fourth, etc. The lines are usually made up of phrases that go towards forming sentences. However, in this quatrain, the last half is simply a list of adjectives or adjective phrases, enumerating Shakespeare’s agonies. And these agonies are stated strongly, with words like murderous, bloody, savage and extreme.

This is a man in the throes of an obsession, an obsession that won’t even allow him to form coherent thoughts; instead he spits out a list of adjectives to convey his feelings. Shakespeare the wordsmith created this list for a reason. It’s there to denote a burst of feeling that can’t be contained.

But does this fury of Shakespeare’s capture the state of those sad and emaciated souls wandering the downtown eastside? I would argue it does and the key word here is shame. Ask any active addict how they feel about their life and you are bound to discover, underneath the anger and street braggadocio, a deep and murky well of it. That shame is what keeps them using; it’s what keeps them from wanting to feel.

After Shakespeare establishes his narrative voice, he turns to the cyclical nature of his malady. In the second quatrain, he states:

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Here we see the structural and thematic rendering of the cycle of addiction. Let me translate: the addict no sooner enjoys (uses) her drug when she starts to despise its consequences straight (right away). However, beyond all reason she continues to hunt for it, and again, as soon as she consumes it, she hates it beyond all reason because she can’t stop. Then Shakespeare expands the subtle animal imagery and lays blame on suppliers and enablers. Her drug is like a trap laid on purpose and it makes her, the taker, mad. Mad here is being used in the British sense of the word, meaning insane.

It’s usually at this point in my class that I stop and ask students to think of an activity, any activity, they do to excess. Do they spend too much time online? Eat too much of the wrong kind of food? Text incessantly? And it’s also here that I tell them my own little story of addiction, the one that had me frequently rushing to the neighbourhood corner store, in Toronto, when I was a student.

I had an addiction and it was to Swedish Berries, those soft red candies that taste heavenly but are of no nutritional value whatever. These darlings came in handy at midnight when I had an essay to finish and needed a sugar boost. However, the problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. The store sold them in bulk and I didn’t have the discipline to buy only a few. My reasoning, as I stood in front of that bin and ladled in scoop after scoop, was that I would save some for later.

Right.

So I would eat them until I felt sick and this process, over the last two years of my undergrad degree, repeated itself more times than I care to remember. But it was the sequence of events in this process that was important. I would come to the realization it was late. I knew I had to keep working but didn’t want coffee. Then I would think: Hey! Swedish Berries! Great idea! And I would haul myself off to the store, come back and eat way too many of them. Only afterwards would I say to myself: “Did I really have to scarf down that whole bag?” Or: “Good idea? What was I thinking?”

So too goes the cycle of addiction: there is the chase, the consummation and the aftermath. In other words, the anticipation, the imbibing and the remorse. This cycle will be expanded upon in the next quatrain.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

The first quatrain establishes, through the use of enumeration, Shakespeare’s lo
ss of control. The second establishes the cyclical nature of his addiction. This last is significant because it does not provide new information. However, it does repeat the three part cycle and repetition in Shakespeare is always significant: he uses it to let us know we need to pay attention. Here we are told, again and with more emphasis, that an addict is mad while chasing the drug and mad while consuming it. And of course it is that madness — that inability to reason — that starts the cycle all over again.

But take a look at the second line. Shakespeare reverses the order of the cycle: he starts with the aftermath: had, moves to the consummation: having, and then moves to the first stage of the cycle, the chase: in quest to have. He does this to create the impression of a back-and-forth motion: the addict moves forward and backward, forward and backward, ad infinitum. Why? Because that’s what happens when one becomes addicted: life stalls.

At the start of this article, I said something interesting happens every time I teach this sonnet. Here it is: after I read it out loud, I tell my students to look closely at the panhandlers, especially the young ones, when they pass through the Atwater metro, the metro that services Dawson. I almost always get the same reaction: the class goes silent, the flow of air in the room stops, and these young people, with their futures ahead of them, pay closer attention. This suffering, rendered so poetically by Shakespeare, is only steps away.

And it happens elsewhere. When I drive home, I stop at a busy intersection leading onto the highway. That’s where I often see a young woman, her blonde hair in dreadlocks, holding up a sign asking for spare change. I always give her some and now she knows to come to me. If the traffic light permits, we may even exchange a few words.

I’ve been criticized for doing this — “she’ll just spend the money on drugs” is what I hear — but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how we can stop people from “committing suicide on the installment plan,” as a good friend of mine puts it.

Shakespeare didn’t know either, but luckily for us, that didn’t stop him from looking deeply into that darkness and writing about it anyway.

***I will be, for the sake of brevity and compression, be referring to the narrator as Shakespeare.

How to Promote a Cake Decorating Business

Promotion is an important aspect of a business. Even those who are working on small home businesses such as a cake decorating business have to think of the best ways who to promote it to others. Customers have to be aware that delicious and beautifully decorated cakes are available for them to order and to enjoy eating. Business owners who are able to provide the best quality products will in no time gain more customers. People who are able to get the chance to order can see their great designs and they may also enjoy excellent taste of their cakes. They will then recommend it to others.

Another way to promote a cake decorating business is to make use of networking. Business owners can tap the various groups or associations that they are currently involved in. They may be able to let them know about their cake decorating business especially when there are special events or occasions that are being celebrated. The different people in their network have their own networks as well and those who are in business may have the chance of being known to them through the promotional campaigns that they can launch via their own network of family members, friends, neighbors and other groups where they are a member of.

Aside from exposing the cake decorating business to the personal networks of the owners, they can also extend its exposure to the industry. Those who are in the cake business may work with wedding photographers, dressmakers as well as caterers and other business owners who provide the best services to clients who need them. They may also enter agreements to those whose business is to organize various events like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings as well as other important occasions. Wedding planners for example need dependable individuals or business enterprises that can provide them with the best designs and the best taste for wedding cakes.

Although spreading the name of the business through word of mouth is very effective, people who are into the cake decorating business also have to make use of a website. Most prospective customers today rely on the internet to find what they need. It would be easier for them to find out about those who are offering great cake designs for special events. Business owners have to provide all the necessary information about the things that they are offering to their customers. However, they should also be ready to accommodate them and meet their needs whether they have placed the order personally or through their website via online placing of order. These are some effective ways to promote products especially for those who are in the cake decorating business.

How To Spot Cocaine Addiction

There is no definitive way to spot if someone you know has an addiction to cocaine, but if you suspect that this may be the case, then there are some signs that you should be looking out for. Some are easier to spot than others.

If the individual in question seems to be getting a lot of nosebleeds, and this was never the case previously, then this should be a cause for concern. Nosebleeds are one of the classic signs that a person is using large amounts of cocaine on a regular basis, as the drug will begin to damage or even destroy the lining of the nasal passages. A runny or blocked nose can also occur with regular use of cocaine, and may actually present as symptoms before the nosebleeds begin.

The person in question may be undergoing a dramatic change in personality, losing interest in people that they would previously have seen on a regular basis, and giving up on activities that they used to enjoy. Cocaine has become the most important thing in the life of the addict, replacing everything else.

A common feature of people addicted to cocaine, and sometimes other drugs as well, is that they will stop going to work, school or college, and may end up losing their job if the situation becomes too bad. Linked to this may be financial problems, which are bound to become worse if they do lose their job. An addict will think nothing of spending all the money they have to obtain more cocaine, which may not be immediately obvious. However, if you notice that they are looking to borrow money or sell their possessions, then this should be a very big cause for concern.

Changes in mood can also be a sign of cocaine use and addiction. When cocaine has been taken recently, a person will tend to be extremely happy and talkative, chatting regardless of whether anybody is paying attention or not. This is known as a cocaine high, and can last anywhere between fifteen and thirty minutes. Once the feeling of being high has worn off, the cocaine user will feel short of energy, possibly depressed, and a lack of mental clarity may set in. The only way to prevent this from happening is to take some more cocaine, and it will be apparent that this is the case if the person disappears to find some privacy. If cocaine has been used over a long period of time, in large amounts, then it is likely that the person will sleep excessively for several days.

If excessive amounts of cocaine have been used over an extended period of time, then it is possible that paranoia can begin to set in. Sometimes, panic attacks can occur, with symptoms of chest pains and heavy sweating. A normal social setting may also cause feelings of anxiety.

Another sign that may indicate a drug addiction, whether cocaine or something else, is if the person has largely replaced all of their friends with new people that you have not met before. This is because a drug addict will begin to spend time with other drug addicts, who will not ask questions or try to prevent drugs from being used. When a friend begins to take drugs and forms an addiction, this is always going to be a difficult situation.

If cocaine is used for a long period of time, then you will start to notice physical differences in the person. One of the most obvious will be weight loss. Cocaine reduces the appetite dramatically, so as the drug use increases, the amount of food being eaten will drop rapidly. Weight loss is a classic symptom of cocaine use and abuse.

Making a Good Income From Home – Is It Possible?

Is it possible to make a good income from home? Is it even possible to make a better income from home than you would in a high profile corporate job?

Let’s explore the possibilities:

Tutoring online

If you have a teaching background, you can always tutor online. Mathematics and English are two subjects that are in high demand. You can create your own tutoring website, or you can join one of the many tutoring websites that are available online. These exist to help put you and students seeking tutors together.

Selling stuff

You can find a good dropship wholesale website. This means that a company offers you products at wholesale prices which you can then sell at retail. When you make a sale charging retail prices, the company then ships the product for you without showing the price they paid. They just include a packing slip and you invoice the customer yourself.

Being an affiliate for another business is also possible. You find a big online business like Amazon or Clickbank, build a website featuring their products or reviews of their products, and when you make a sale, you get paid a commission. This may be a good way of selling as you don’t have the hassle of invoicing and shipping as you never sell the product direct. You just lead the customer to the website.

Customer Service

Many people are looking for someone who can do their customer service for them. You will have an 0800 (or 1800) number directed to your phone, and you handle all the enquiries that come in for the business that hire you. This service is getting more and more popular as many small businesses outsource this.

Virtual Assistant

Many small business owners need their admin tasks taken off their hands in order to free them up for doing what they’re good at. Here you will be doing admin related tasks like answering the phone, typing, filing, sorting and book-keeping. Some Virtual Assistants can even create websites using the Microsoft Office Suite. This service is also getting more and more popular as it is a cost-effective way to have someone work for you, without any employment related hassles.

Network Marketing Home Business

Network Marketing or Multilevel Marketing (MLM) is another possible way to work from home. In fact, this is the only business where you don’t have to trade time for money. However, most people are wary of this as there are many scams around. However, there are many good companies out there that offer a legitimate way to build your own business.

My advice would be to find a company that you can join for free. These companies are the most successful as they don’t need your money. If you want to pay a joining fee and pay for a kit, you need to do your research to find a company with a product that you believe in and feel passionate about. You have the internet, and can do the research. Check the company’s reputation while you’re at it. It is best not to go for a new company as they have no track record yet.

It is entirely possible to replace your day job with a profitable home business. It is even possible to earn the same amount as a corporate level job would pay. You only need to do your due diligence in order to not get scammed.

Europe – The Best Way to Explore Your Destinations

Our main modes of transportation consisted of the Eurorail, TGV, Metro and walking. But, as with every other aspect of trip planning, it is important to research because there are numerous options available.

There is the choice of whether to get first or second class train tickets; there really is a difference between the two although in the end, they both get you to where you want to go. With first class the seats are very comfortable, there is leg room and ample space for luggage, as well as drinks are offered by passing porters. We chose this option because of the length of time we would be spending on Eurorail while travelling through three different countries.

However, from Paris to Switzerland, we chose the TGV train system which travels at 320 km hour and often faster. This cut our train travel for this leg of our journey from over six hours to about three hours. We chose not to make reservations which would have been an additional cost, deciding to take our chances on not having to wait. Because we left early for the train station, and because the trains leave hourly, we were fortunate in not having a long wait time.

While in Switzerland we were able to use our Eurorail pass. If we had not had this pass, we would’ve had to purchase Swiss passes for transportation while in Switzerland. Our Eurorail pass also gave us passage on the ferries in both Lucerne and Interlacken as well as the cogwheel trains we took up Rigi Kulm Mountain and Jungfrauloch Mountain in Switzerland.

When we purchased our rail passes, based on the fact that we would be travelling to three countries, we got the three country, seven day pass which was ideal for our requirements although as it turned out, the two country pass would’ve been sufficient since the TGV had to be purchased separately. The cost of the pass is determined by the number of countries you visit and the number of days you are using your pass. Purchasing Eurorail passes outside of Europe is cheaper. The open tour bus in Rome was an additional cost. When we were travelling by train, we had to be aware of what the station before our stop was so we could get our luggage and be ready to leave the train when it came into the station.

While in Paris and Rome, we used the Metro system of transportation or by walking to our destinations. Both Metro systems were quite easy to use and in Paris in particular, almost every station had people available to answer questions. Also in Paris, the route you needed to take to get to the train level you wanted, was very clearly marked on the walls at each fork. While in Rome we only used their Metro system one day and had clear instructions on which line we needed to take and the station we had to get off. In both Paris and Rome Metro systems, the next station is shown overhead on a flashing sign so you are given ample warning.

The only taxi we took while in Europe was to the airport to catch our flights home. We could have taken a shuttle or bus to the train station which, between connections, would have taken several hours. For an early morning flight, and with the difficulty of having luggage to worry about, the cost of a taxi was well worth the extra money spent.

Before travelling, make sure to research, plan and organize so that things will go as smoothly as possible and time isn’t wasted trying to get information when that time could be spent travelling and getting to your point of destination more quickly. This is especially true when your travel time is limited as ours was – three countries, eight cities and other specific areas in just two weeks.

Woodstock CT Historic Homes: Roseland Cottage

Beautifully situated across from the Woodstock town green is Roseland Cottage built in 1846 by Henry Bowen with its colorful array of flower gardens. A classic example of the Gothic Revival architecture that was just becoming popular in the mid 19th century characterized by a steep roof line crowned with ornamented chimney pots, intricately detailed gables overhanging diamond leaded window. The siding has always been painted in a vibrant coral pink that has given the cottage its popular name as the “Pink House.”

Henry Bowen grew up in Woodstock and built a successful dry goods business in New York City specializing in silks. He and his wife Lucy enjoyed summers away from the city and Roseland Cottage was their country house where they entertained friends and powerful political connections including four United States Presidents. Henry and Lucy Bowen had ten children and Woodstock with its rural atmosphere and Henry’s long family history rooted in the area was the perfect retreat from the summer heat and congestion of the city.

Joseph C. Wells was the architect commissioned by Bowen in 1845 to design the 6,000 square Foot Gothic Revival Cottage for his growing family. The layout and design were deeply influenced by the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing who was a leading 19th Century landscape architect. The grounds include a garden house, carriage barn, an icehouse and aviary, but most notably an extensive 3,000 square foot boxwood parterre garden.

After 1850 when the Bowens began spending each summer in Woodstock, they planted the garden that graces the front of the cottage. It’s comprised of 600 yards of boxwood hedge surrounding twenty-one beds of spectacular annual and perennial flowers that have been a central feature of the cottage and Woodstock ever since.

According to family legend, Roseland Cottage was named after the family’s favorite flower, the rose, and it has always been painted pink. A scientific analysis by Historic New England identified thirteen shades of pink in the layers of paint over 160 years with the current coral pink being the color in the 1880’s that’s consistent with other decorative details in the restoration of the house.

Bowen was a political activist, an abolitionist and early supporter of the Republican Party which was the liberal party at the time that fielded the first abolitionist presidential platform in 1856. His dry goods business went bankrupt leading up to the Civil War due to his anti-slavery activism which caused irreconcilable differences with his Southern clients. He refused to support the Fugitive Slave Law and told Southern clients they could “Buy my goods – not my principles.”

After his business failed, he co-founded a successful insurance company, as well as founding and becoming editor of a popular anti-slavery newspaper, The Independent. With this newspaper, he became an important player in politics as the Republican Party grew stronger throughout the later part of the 19th Century.

Lucy Bowen tragically died from complications of giving birth to their tenth child in 1863. Henry remarried two years later Ellen Holt who became a loving mother to his children, and gave him a son. As his family continued to grow and his children had grandchildren, Bowen expanded Roseland Cottage and purchased lots surrounding the cottage until in 1870 the property was approximately six acres.

Beginning in 1870, Henry Bowen began hosting Fourth of July Independence Day parties as a way of promoting patriotism that drew hundreds of distinguished guests and thousands of attendees every year for the next twenty-five years. Four United States Presidents including Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley took part in these festivities.

The Fourth of July parties eventually grew to be so big that Bowen purchased sixty-acres in Woodstock to develop a public park to host the celebrations. Roseland Park featured a windmill that pumped water from the lake into 3 marble fountains with statues, there were fields of hitching posts for the “parking” of the horses that people rode in on.

It had a two-story bathing shed that were changing room where you could rent a woolen bathing costume weighed 20 lbs when wet, with a band-stand above it where bands would play music to the gathered picnickers. Roseland Park was first opened in 1876 during the centennial celebrations and in keeping with Bowen’s will has been open to the public ever since.

Roseland Cottage is open to the public between June 1 and October 15. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992, and widely regarded as one of the best preserved examples of Gothic Revival architecture in America makes Roseland Cottage one of Woodstock, Connecticut’s most important historic homes.

How To Properly Remove A Bumper Sticker and Blend the Paint to Match

No matter what your reasons may be you’ve decided its’ time to remove that old faded bumper sticker from your vehicle. Lucky for you in just a few minutes and with a small amount of effort your car can be bumper sticker free. This process can be repeated for just about any type of adhesive stuck to your vehicle. It can be used to remove inspection stickers from windows, or vinyl lettering/vinyl graphics from the vehicle as well. The most important part is to be very patient and not try to rush through any steps. All of the steps below should be completed in a garage, under a carport or during dawn/dusk to provide as much time as possible before the adhesive remover dries on the car.

What You Will Need:

Razor Blade (Single Sided Square Blade Recommended)

Citrus Based Adhesive Solvent (Goo Gone Automotive Cleaner Recommended)

Automotive Paint Safe Bug Brush (Can be purchased at Walmart, or any auto parts store)

Microfiber Towels

Wax

Compound

Applicators

STEP #1: Take your razor blade and carefully slide the edge of the blade under a corner of the sticker. With the edge of the razor blade under the sticker gently tease up the corner of the sticker.

STEP #2: Grab the freed corner of the sticker and slowly pull the sticker in the direction of the remaining sticker. NOTE: If the sticker becomes too difficult to pull without tearing, apply your citrus based adhesive solvent to the adhesive sticker backing during this step. The solvent will loosen the adhesive, making it easier to remove the sticker. It is recommended to wait at least one minute to allow the solvent to penetrate and break down the adhesive.

STEP #3: Once you have removed the entire sticker, there will still be bumper sticker adhesive left behind. Now apply the citrus based adhesive remover to your automotive paint safe bug brush. Using the bug brush, apply some citrus based adhesive remover to the remaining adhesive on the vehicle in a circular motion. NOTE: This step may will most likely have to be repeated in order to remove all the adhesive from the vehicle. To ensure everything is removed, run your hand across the area once dried. Any remaining sticker glue will create a rough/sticky feeling. If there is still some leftover then repeat step #3. If there is no residue or leftover you may proceed to step #4.

STEP #4: Remove the excess adhesive remover with your microfiber towel.

Note: There will be some slight scuff/mar marks as well as a discoloration of the paint depending on how long the bumper sticker was on the car. This will need to be removed by compounding and polishing the area to smooth out any blemishes and blend the clear coat to match the rest of the bumper.

STEP #5: Now that the bumper sticker has been removed and all adhesive cleaned up it is time to make it look like the rest of the bumper. Follow the steps on how to properly compound and polish a car to remove light swirls and scratches.

STEP#6: Inspect the area where the sticker was to ensure it is satisfactory. Remember to apply a couple coats of wax, since it has been a long time since this portion of the bumper saw any.

Removing a bumper sticker can seem like an insurmountable task, and often people will give up because of the difficulty. With a little patience, the right tools and know how anyone can learn how to properly remove a bumper sticker without any blemishes to the paint.

Panama 2009 – My First Adventure Outside the USA

In the summer of 2009 I made my first trip outside of the Country. At the ripe age of 39, I boarded a plane and headed to Central America. I’d never been though customs, immigration and had a naked passport. I wondered if the representative at the desk would question where I’d been for the previous 39 years, thankfully he didn’t.

Confession Time – I immediately fell in love with the thrill of landing in a foreign location and soaking up all the ambiance. I fell in love with the fun of working remotely from an exotic destination and even the thought that only my team knew where I was and the clients I chatted with had no idea.

My loving and fun guide on this adventure was my fantastic partner, Tomie who had previously visited Panama on several occasions. While this was my first trip, I’d been there many times in books, magazines and via the web. I began to look at moving to Panama when after the summer of 2004 in Central Florida I endured weeks with no power after 3 hurricanes visited. Shortly after that summer I learned that there were no hurricanes in Panama, plenty of infrastructure, friendly people and warm weather.

We ventured into the old City of Casco Viejo, out to the beaches of Santa Clara and into the jungle 3 hours down a winding road from Santiago. We boarded a speed boat and enjoyed an entire day and night out on Tobaga Island. From the condo we stayed in we could see the ships as they waited in line to go through the Panama Canal. While on the island we enjoyed an entire Saturday and Sunday with no internet, it was absolutely liberating.

In 7 days we ate, drank, swam in the ocean, enjoyed siestas and made some new friends. We happily lived without our Blackberries, or as I use to call them, Crackberries. Oddly enough the first two days without checking the silly thing to see if someone sent me an email was tough, then well it was actually liberating. Along the way we enjoyed wifi at most hotels, I was easily able to connect with my team, answer client questions and even make phone calls.

I learned a valuable lesson that I don’t think I could have here in the states where my phone easily let’s me get interrupted all day long. I learned that while I’m pretty important to some people, everyone who wanted to connect with me had no problem waiting a few hours or even until the next day or so to get a reply. Not responding with in seconds or minutes to an email didn’t make the earth spin out of control or my business to suffer. It actually helped me gain focus, clarity and some much needed relaxation.

Fearing the unknown often times keeps us stuck, makes it impossible for us to enjoy the life we truly want. Life is meant for us to enjoy it ~ so make a list of the places you want to visit, the things you want to do and start doing them.