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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Chloe Rhae, Patricia Rhae, COlette, Jennifer VanDyke

Chloe is a needed companion for Patricia Rhae.

Animals are needed by many people for therapy. Animals don’t judge. Animals provide companionship, acceptance,  unconditional love, emotional support and entertainment; yet, it’s more difficult than ever to find living quarters which will allow tenants to have an animal without a prescription outlining reasons as to why he or she may need a service animal. Some conditions, such as blindness, are quite obvious; however, what of mental or emotional conditions? What of the elderly people who are accustomed to having the ongoing companionship of their now deceased spouse? They too have emotional needs which must be met somehow because their lives are lacking that relationship. Elderly people often need various other prescriptions which may conflict with some anti-depressants or other psychiatric drugs meant to ease the pain of loss, not to mention the fact that the majority of elderly people are on fixed incomes and are forced to choose between buying food or medication.
It’s my belief that people who need service animals, especially elderly people, deserve a break. As a pet owner, I can personally attest  to the fact that I depend on my animals just as much as they depend on me. Additionally, provisioning for therapy animals such as veterinary expenses, leashes, treats, and food ought to be covered as a write-off  for people who are aged 60 or above. In the long run, the cost of  a therapy animal is considerably less than the cost of psychiatric care. Therapy animals have the potential to prolong independent living; thus, reducing the the problem of overcrowded nursing homes.
This could also increase the need for services of businesses designed to help with yard cleaning, pet grooming, and reduce the homeless animal population. It would also help reduce the homeless animal population. What do you think?

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Imagine, you’re ready to shop for something unique,  perhaps it’s a hard to find gift for your grandmother’s 69th birthday, or maybe you simply need a pair of shoes– either way, you won’t find this item locally, so you drive yourself to the virtual mall in hopes you’ll find what you’re looking for.

The Corridor, Bath

You step into the corridor and notice it bends and turns,  it’s infinite. The shops that are lined along the sides will change every couple of minutes. Thankfully, you have a tracker in your pocket that will record the name of every shop that you enter during your quest. You shout, “Unique gift for grandma!”  The shops along the corridor change rapidly, and the most popular stores that are relevant to your request are situated closest to you.

You step into the nearest virtual store and see photographs displayed all over the walls. You notice there’s a mannequin with a sign that reads, “If you have any questions, ask me!” standing in the shop. After looking through a couple of images, your interest is piqued upon the discovery of  Tailless Sock-Monkeys for sale; therefore, you ask  the mannequin if they’re vintage. You wait for an answer; but, the mannequin does nothing.

A pair of homemade sock monkeys.

You walk back out to the corridor and shout, ” Vintage Tailless Sock- Monkey!”  and again, the shops change to accommodate your request. You walk into the closest shop and notice the walls have photographs of Tailless- Sock Monkeys, toy trains, metal doll houses, every classic toy you could possibly imagine; however, it’s a bit expensive and you want to compare prices. You hit the button on the tracker in your pocket to record the place so you won’t have any problems locating it in the future.

You notice that every store you go into has the same mannequin, with the same sign; however, the clothing is different on each. You ask questions with the exact same results.

Where am I going with this? The answer is simple. Part of getting good online sales involves reciprocation. I’ve noticed how businesses utilize their websites and they seem to fall short of that element. Businesses will hire the IT guy to throw up a website and load the content, then they keep the IT guy to fix all of the technical problems in the office. The business web presence is an afterthought; therefore, it’s lacking. Businesses want to hire an SEO to be sure their shops are the first ones you’re going to see; but, is that enough? For a business to hire an SEO to bump up its rank in a search engine is only the tip of what one needs to do in order to generate sales.
A good SEO will pay attention to potential clients and people who think enough to care for your

English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

business. A good SEO must read blogs in place of asking probing questions and providing good information when relevant. It’s up to the consumer to decide what to get and when to get it. Sales people in stores usually get a base wage in addition to commissions; however, when a person is online it’s all commission only. An SEO must research, know how to communicate effectively and have the drive to write regularly, have an eye for design, understand how to network to other sites and reciprocate. A good SEO is constantly networking, which means he or she will leave relevant comments on the blogs of consumers and build relationships.

It isn’t enough to bring your store and products to consumers. Advertising may be infinite on the world wide web; however, it isn’t free. Is it fair to expect the IT guy to go above an beyond repairing every bit of technology in the office and wear a second hat as a writer and editor, graphic artist, photographer and photo editor,  market analyst, advertiser, and sales agent? IT guys are some of the busiest people I know, and most of them don’t want to do any of the above. IT guys are the ones every person in the office approaches without asking, “How are you?” and instead are asked, “How do you download this app onto my iPhone?”

In-store sales agents are there, the products and agents come and go. In-store agents aren’t putting up signs, creating logos, writing essays about the products, analyzing the market, taking photos or editing them. All of that work is done for them. However, if a business posts something on the internet, it’s there for as long as a company wishes it.

You really can’t be in two places at once. Do your business a favor, hire a Social Media expert who knows SEO and remember, nobody should have to work for free.

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English: Union Station in Ogden, Utah.

English: Union Station in Ogden, Utah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, I volunteered at the Ogden Union Station. It was decided that the task which I could best serve the community was to wash the glass. I was grateful I was told to take my time, as it was understood that the contents of the building and cases were of interesting historical value. If you know Ogden’s Union Station,  you know about the museums contained within the building. Of these displays, the one that stood out to me the most was The John M. Browning Firearms Museum.

If you’ve ever walked into this museum, you’d feel as though you were among large, glass dominoes, all alit to reveal the precious, encased firearms within.

As I was obviously putting my most excellent glass washing skills to use, I couldn’t help but realize that such a collection was worth more than a life. I stared down the barrel of an old pistol, wondering who may have owned the weapon, who may have been injured by such an instrument, and who wasn’t so lucky to survive seeing the very same sight.

I began to question how a single man was able to generate so much revenue just by patenting and crafting better killing machines. The name of the game is to outdo the competition; but, where could this possibly lead?

English: John M. Browning's son Lt. Val Browni...

As I took a small breather, the man in the museum told me a love story  about Val Browning and his wife, Ann Chaffin Browning. Apparently, Ann liked to shoot clay pigeons and wanted to have a more ladylike shotgun, so her husband lovingly crafted one for her. Although the sentiment was very sweet, I often wonder why humanity values something such as a gun.

I admire the creative ingenuity to make human life more simple; however, guns are an art form that gives one power to end a life in an instant without even requiring the need to think about it first– just pull the trigger.

In conclusion, I wonder how society can place so much more value on an object such as a gun, yet undervalue artists who work  diligently to get those who participate in their works to face humanity, to value life, to think, and to actually care.

Even though I washed every inch of glass in that room, I’m not sure how clear patrons of The John M. Browning Firearms Museum will be able to view the contents inside.

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It was early September 2007 when I drove to the bank while contemplating my divorce. My intent was  to open my own checking account in order to begin separating the funds so I could start saving money for a new place to live. My home of nine years was no longer my home anymore.

After parking, I exited my car and was ready to start my new life when I heard the most terrified, desperate cry. I looked down to see a skinny, little black kitten, whose pupils were so large that the color of his eyes couldn’t be determined. I bent down to pick him up; however, he was so scared that he ran and hid in a nearby bush. There was a very busy intersection uncomfortably close by,  and my main concern was that this kitten would be killed.

For that moment, my looming life changes meant nothing, even though for months my thoughts were overwhelmingly occupied with how disappointed and bitter I had felt over my failed marriage. Wearing my favorite dress, I got down on my hands and knees, crawled through spiderwebs to the kitten, then I scruffed the little guy. I carried him to my car, sat down, and closed the door. Realizing that I hadn’t accomplished what I had intended to, and utterly puzzled as to what had just happened, I scratched the kitten’s  chin and said to him, “Oh great, what am I going to do with you?”

I then moved through the drive up teller and while I was cashing my check, the kitten perched himself upon my shoulder, rubbed himself on my head  while purring loudly in my ear. I asked the teller,  “Would you like a kitten?”

But, the teller met me with an answer I neither expected nor understood; she simply stated,  “I hate cats.”

I drove the kitten home and have had him ever since. This kitten has grown to be a very important companion for me. I look forward to coming home after my long work days. No matter how my day has been he is always very warm, welcoming, and filled with love.  I must say I’m thankful that he came into my life and rescued me.

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Most little girls wanted to be a princess or a ballerina when they grew up. Of course, I was different from most little girls. I liked to wear a dress at all times, even if it meant I had to wear pants underneath it so that I could climb into bushes and play in the dirt. I also didn’t want to be a princess or a ballerina, I wanted to be a cat! I came to this realization when I was a toddler. I imagine it’s partly because my family had a tabby who was the friendliest, sweetest cat you could ever know. To this day, I don’t know what happened to Tabby; but, I’m sure it was the positive impression she left which has ultimately resulted in my  lifelong fondness of cats.

"Fishing": "Print shows a cat w...

As a little girl, I’d regularly spend my Saturday mornings wearing a dress over my pajamas and watching cartoons while my young parents would sleep in after a long week’s worth of working. Among my favorites were Felix the Cat, Tom and Jerry, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Rocky and Bullwinkle. I had admired cats so greatly and thought nothing of them terrorizing fish in cartoons, except I concluded fish had to be delicious or cats wouldn’t work so hard to eat them! One day, as I was watching  cartoons, I was reminded of how much cats were depicted as always trying to eat a fish and it just so happened that my mother had purchased a pair of goldfish for my sister and me.

I walked into the kitchen and I grabbed a fork, then I walked over to the fish tank. I reached into the water with my fingers gripping the fork’s handle, missing the confused fish as they wildly swam about. Realizing the fish weren’t going to comply with my efforts to spear them, I climbed on the arm chair placed next to the tank so I could reach in with both of my arms.

Black cat watching fish at the bowl-aquarium

Black cat watching fish at the bowl-aquarium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I caught one fish, but he slipped under the tank console and I couldn’t retrieve him. There was one more goldfish fish left, and I was very determined to catch it!  It took a while; but, I was finally able to grasp the remaining goldfish with one hand, and jab the tines of the fork firmly into its slippery little body with the other. I pulled the fish out of the water and with its tail flapping frantically, I slowly shoved the fish in my mouth. After I had secured it behind my teeth, I pulled out  the tines of the fork. The fish began to thrash around and to my surprise, it tasted horrible! I spit the goldfish out onto the floor and it continued to thrash and jump. I caught the fish and noticed the four little holes in its side. I’m not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me that I had hurt the fish until then; however, I felt bad and after a few remorseful pets, I gently returned the poor thing back into the fish tank with the other fish, which were my mother’s Neons and Mollies. The goldfish swam pathetically sideways and when my mother awoke, she was surprised to discover one goldfish was completely missing, and the other goldfish murdered and floating among its iridescent, loose scales on the top of the water. Meanwhile, I worked very hard at scraping the nasty tasting scales off of my tongue, and picking the rest out of  my teeth that had stuck like popcorn hulls. I didn’t know better, but I probably deserved it.

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If you’re a Gen-Xer like myself, you’ll likely remember the days when you had to dress your best before entering employment establishments to fill out applications by hand. You were able to interact with potential employers, who then got a “feel” for your style and could determine if you were a possible fit for the company. I never would’ve pictured having the ability to submit multiple applications online while dressed in pajamas (or even your underwear) all in one day, let alone utilizing the convenience of Google Chrome‘s auto fill tool. Somewhere along the way, we’ve exchanged amiable personal interactions for less mileage on our cars and inadvertently, we’ve become impersonal search terms in a computer file scan; thus, making it far more difficult to have a chance at proving ourselves or meeting some kind of potential fit which would include personality traits.
Like many of my LinkedIn contacts, when I initially set up my account I did so with hopes of being that one contact a business would hand-pick for my skills and to enhance my career search; however, was this a realistic expectation?  I think not. Why? Because the majority of my employment applications haven’t required any of my LinkedIn information. Honestly, LinkedIn does have a lot of potential to help boost users with their career searches. Users are able to personalize their profiles which can include photographs, feeds, and endorsements from fellow professionals.
In conclusion, who do you think utilizes LinkedIn more? Do you have a LinkedIn account? If so, then this poll is for you! Let’s see, shall we?