Finally Back

•February 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Finally I am back. Haven’t had a chance to write a lot as I am way too busy. 2007 was a very busy year and January 2008 has not shown any signs of letting go some of that pressure. I finally found time to re-order my focus contact lenses as I am sick of wearing glasses. I actually found out that I am suffering from the dry eye syndrome and that the contact lenses help to protect my eyes from completely drying out. I will have to talk to my eye doctor the next time I have to go for my annual exam to see if I can get plugs for my eye canals as those will help to keep the eyes moist. Sorry, if this is boring for you, but when working in front of a computer screen all day this really matters. 😉

•May 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Refinance Rental Property – Don’t Sell It

You own a rental property for years, and never see the “big pay-off.” Is it time to cash in on your investment, now that you’ve paid down the mortgage, and values are up? Maybe not.

The Problem With Selling

Selling means you’ll have to pay a large capital gains tax. This can be avoided if you reinvest through a 1031 exchange, but then the point is that you want your money, right? Also, a good rental gets more income as rents go up. Do you want to lose this inflation-indexed retirement plan? What’s the alternative?

Refinancing Rental Property

Have you considered that if you refinance, you can get much of your gain out of the property, without paying a penny in taxes? Borrowing money is not a taxable event. You can take it and spend it however you want, and still keep your rentals.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose you have owned a small apartment building for years. You bought it for $240,000, with a downpayment of $40,000, and mortgage payments of $1650 monthly on the balance. Now it is worth $400,000, you only owe $120,000, and your cash flow is around $800/month. How do you get at that equity?

A bank will probably loan you 70% of the value, or $280,000. After paying off the first mortgage, you are left with $160,000. With todays lower interest rates, your payment on the new mortgage will be about the same. At most you might lose $50/month in cash flow.

An even better scenario: Use $40,000 for high-return upgrades to the property, such as carports or laundry rooms, and then raise the rents. You could have $120,000 left over to spend any way you want, AND have higher cash flow. Does that sound better than selling your retirement plan? Don’t sell. Refinance that rental property!

Rap Song Ringtones

•May 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Premiership Transfer Window Review – Part Three

David Walker completes his review of the January transfer window and how the moves will impact each team’s success, or survival at the end of the 2005/06 season.

Portsmouth

If ever there was a manager who enjoyed a bit of business during the January transfer window it was Harry Redknapp. He is running out of time to form a team capable of keeping Pompey in the top flight after 34 players have come and gone this season.

He has brought in £4.1 million Auxerre striker Benjamin Mwaruwari to try and fill the void left by Yakubu while midfield steel and creativity should come in the form of Tottenham trio Pedro Mendes, Sean Davies and Wayne Routledge. Noe Pamarot, also of Spurs, Ognjen Koroman and goalkeeper Dean Kiely will assist defensive duties.

The most intriguing of Redknapp’s dealings is the loan capture of Andres D’Allesandro, once tipped to be the next big thing out of South America. However, his career stalled following a move to Wolfsburg two and a half years ago.

Pompey are second from bottom in the table and lie five points from safety. The bookmakers don’t fancy their chances of survival and quote 4/9 on relegation and 13/8 on staying up.

Sunderland

Sunderland are rooted firmly to the bottom of the table with just nine points from 23 matches and nine points adrift of nearest rivals Portsmouth.

The Black Cats are without a home win all season and have won just twice in their last 44 Premiership matches stretching back to a previous stint. Such dire form has made Mick McCarthy’s side a relegation certainty with odds of 1/1000 being offered.

However, if you believe in miracles, Sunderland are 100/1 to stage the comeback of all comebacks and remain in the Premiership for next season.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs have been the surprise package of the season thus far and maintain their fourth place position in the Premiership despite a run of three matches without victory and an FA Cup exit at the hands of Leicester City.

Manager Martin Jol signed Egyptian midfielder Hossam Ghali from Feyenoord and Charlton Athletic’s Danny Murphy. Even though Spurs are four points and two places above North London rivals Arsenal the bookmakers do not rate them as highly in the “without Chelsea” market, pricing the White Hart Lane outfit up at 66/1.

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom are staring at a fight against relegation for the second successive season but have proved they have the stomach for the battle once before. Out of the bottom seven sides in the Premiership the Baggies have won the most home matches which will give manager Bryan Robson optimism.

Nigel Quashie arrived in a £1.5 million deal from Southampton while Jan Kozak and Williams Martinez joined on loan from Artmedia Bratislava and Defensor respectively. Last season’s top goalscorer Robert Earnshaw was allowed to leave for Norwich in a £3.5 million deal. The Baggies are available at 4/5 for relegation but a better bet may be for them to stay up at Evens.

West Ham United

The largest deal of the transfer window was Dean Ashton’s £7.25 million arrival from Norwich City. Following his seven goals last season for the Canaries, then fighting a losing battle against Premiership relegation, Ashton is seen as the man who can fire West Ham into Europe this term.

Another striker, Yaniv Katan, joined from Maccabi Haifa for £100,000 while Deportivo defender Lionel Scaloni has signed a loan deal with the club. If you are fond of speculative punts, striker Marlon Harewood, with six goals in his last 12 Premiership matches, is available at 40/1 to top the Premiership goal scoring charts at the end of the season.

Wigan Athletic

Wigan have had a remarkable first season in the Premiership. They are fifth in the table, one place above former Champions Arsenal, just three points adrift of a Champions League spot and a place in the Carling Cup final secured.

Paul Jewell has worked wonders at the JJB Stadium and it is not surprising chairman Dave Whelan has sanctioned a £2 million move for Brann defender Paul Scharner, the free transfer of midfielder David Thompson and loan arrivals for Liverpool’s Neil Mellor and Tottenham Hotspur’s Reto Ziegler.

It would be foolish to bet against the Latics qualifying for Europe next season but at present they are the only side in the top 10 with a minus goal difference. They are 300/1 outsiders to win the Premiership in the “without Chelsea” market.

Online Dating

•May 26, 2007 • 2 Comments

A Ball, Some Friends, and a Soccer Goal

If Pele, Maridona, and Beckham don’t sound at all familiar to you, or if you think Freddy Adou is a guy you may have gone to high school with, keep reading… please. This article covers all the equipment and skills you’ll need to join the rest of the world in playing the wonderful game of soccer.

Actually, the rest of the world plays football – they call the sport that Steve Young used to play American football. The term ‘soccer’ came into being in the later part of the 19th century when people began abbreviating the French variation of ‘association football’ to soccer. Whatever name you use (I’ll call it soccer for the purposes of this article), it refers to the fast-paced, exciting game that has captured the interest of more and more Americans in recent years. If you’ve found that you’ve been left behind when it comes to the sport, here’s a few equipment tips and skills you’ll need to have to start playing.

As the name ‘football’ suggests, you’ll need a ball. Soccer balls come in many different sizes, materials, and styles; and league specifications vary depending on the age and level of the players. If you just want to buy a ‘normal’ ball, double check with the store clerks to make sure you’ve chosen the right one; or if you’re buying online, you can check the ball size against the standards found at http://www.fifa.com. The best material for your ball depends on the type of surface you’re going to play on. If you’ll spend any time at all kicking the ball around on the street or playground, I would shy away from buying a nice leather ball – the asphalt will tear it up. Synthetic materials will usually hold up better on those surfaces, and typically cost less.

Once you’ve got your ball, you’re going to need at least one pair of feet; however, if you want to do more than just kick the ball against your garage you’re going to need at least two sets. There are a number of different techniques when it comes to kicking the soccer ball – I’ll just summarize them all by saying that the goal of kicking the ball is to hit it with some part of you’re foot and make it go in the direction you want it to. In fact, in soccer matches you may use any part of you’re body to move the ball except your hands and arms. If you grew up playing catch in the back yard, the first couple of times you try to kick the ball you’ll probably look even more awkward than you feel, and it’s very likely your kids are going to laugh at you. Practice makes near perfect, and you’ll get better over time. Kicking the ball back and forth between two or more people helps. Once you feel like you might be able to kick the ball and jog/run at the same time, you’re ready to graduate to playing a game.

Goals (pronounced ‘gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!!!’ in actual soccer matches) in soccer are scored by kicking the ball through a rectangle shape appropriately called the goal. Though the rectangle is standard, goals can be made by placing any two objects a few steps apart. I have personally played in neighborhood games where the goal posts were chairs, barrels, younger siblings, and shoes (if you’re playing barefoot, make sure no one is wearing cleats). Kicking the ball below head height and more or less between the makeshift goal posts constitutes a goal, though you will find each goal will be heavily debated.

Competitive leagues almost always require shin guards, and you can usually pick up a decent pair for pretty cheap. Even in a friendly park setting, players can get pretty passionate, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to wear them during the game.

The rules are simple and easy to learn. The basics you need to know are that you should try to avoid kicking people, you can’t tackle people like in American football, and you can’t use your hands. In that sense, except for the hands restriction, soccer is a lot like life. Other rules apply more in competition, but it wouldn’t hurt to read up on them at http://www.fifa.com.

As with any sport, the most important thing is to look good, so go out and buy yourself some silky soccer shorts and jerseys. Long hair and an Italian accent certainly won’t hurt your chances of going pro – but if neither of those is an option for you, just remember to have fun and play fair.

Self Improvement Blog

•May 25, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Managing Your Fears and Anxieties While You’re At Your Job

It is not easy to deal with your fears and anxiety problems while in the business world. The first step is that you should talk to a professional who can get you started in the right path of getting better. In addition, here are some other techniques a businessperson can use to manage their problems.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. Focus on the present and stop trying to predict what may happen next week. Next week will take care of itself.

A good way to manage your fear is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.

Sometimes, we may be nervous doing a certain task that may be scary. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship hockey game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that your playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Take a vacation day to relax. Many people work two jobs nowadays. Sooner or later, the long work hours will catch up with you and take a toll on your health. Take the day off and do something you enjoy.

As a Layman, I realize it is not easy to deal with all of our fears, however there are all kinds of help available. The key is to be patient and not to give up. In time, you will be able to find those resources that will help you with your problems.

Growing Up – Again

•May 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Fishing To Be Added As Winter Olympic Event In 2010

The Winter Olympics….

Once again the fishing world has been ignored.

As I sit watching a spine tingling, heart thumping, always tension packed Olympic Curling event competition, I can’t help but wonder why a fishing event has never been represented in the Olympics.

What are they trying to say?

Are they saying that there is no athletic prowess involved when trying to flick a #12 Adams to a 20 inch ring created by the kiss of an 18 inch Rainbow trout!

Is the firing of a high powered rifle after skiing around on a pair of wooden planks any more demanding than fording a riffle packed stream and tossing a chunk of powerbait deftly into the “honeyhole” pocket containing an 8 inch stocker?

I see no difference.

But then I’m an idiot.

Or am I? Let’s at least take a look at some future options for the winter Olympics, that can finally give the fisherman his due when it comes to skill and athleticism….

1) What event shows stamina and grit more than ice fishing? I propose a winter Olympic event that is comprised of ice fishing. In this event, contestants will be timed on their ability to saw a hole in 8 to 10 inches of a frozen lake surface, run in sneakers across the frozen ice to a designated staging area where they will grab up a rod, and stool, and sprint back across the ice to the open hole, bait up, and sit for hours in a fierce northern wind. The athlete then will hopefully, eventually catch a fish, pull his fish from the ice hole, drop it in a bucket, and sprint again across the ice, into a 1975 Ford pick- up truck, drive across the finish line to the cheers, flag waving,and cow bell jingling of his fellow countrymen.

More challenges? Perhaps a couple of fellas name Swen and Ole can sit across from the contestant and constantly be throwing a verbal barrage of “You Betcha’s” and “Don’t ya know’s” at the athlete, as he or she agonizingly attempts to coax a fish out of the water.

Talk about grit!!

Of course the Norwegian contingent might not have a problem with this and be at a decided advantage.HOW do you say “you betcha” in Norwegian anyway?

We will all watch as the hole starts to skim over with ice,and the athlete frantically chips away at the hole to keep it ice free.All the while precious time clicks away as the fish only nibbles at the bait.

They can even hold this event indoors at the Olympic Hockey or Figure Skating venues. It might even make the hockey games more interesting with a few holes in the ice, and figure skating?PLEASE… a double axle into a gaping hole in the ice will add more excitement than Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan living in the same trailer park. Or they can leave a few frozen fish on the ice to help add to the Olympic ambiance.

The events could also easily be held as a “two man” competition with one athlete fishing, while the other builds an ice shack.

If the extreme thrill of the Downhill is your cup a tea, imagine if they hold the event on thin melting ice. The now famous runs of Franz Klammer and Hermann Maier will pale in comparison to the crackling of ice beneath the ice fisherman’s stool as he scrambles for shore before disappearing into the frigid waters.

Talk about the agony of defeat….

2)Boat Slalom. Never mind the luge, bobsled, or skeleton(which at first glance appear to require the two major athletic skills of courage and alcohol), try standing up in a drift boat while running a classIV rapid with a 40 pound salmon stripping line off of your reel, hell bent for return to the ocean. Yes, athletes in ten layers of clothing including the mandatory flannel outer jacket, will try to stay afoot while “the driver” navigates the boulder choked channel of a stream. Not only are the contestants timed in this event, but style points are given for the degree of difficulty the athlete shows while doing “gunnel grabs”, “spins”, and the ever popular “aerials”. Throw in a number of slalom gates, and you have the making of an event made for television. Fall in or lose your salmon, and it’s sorry Charlie–see you in four years.

“OOOHHH, tough break Vern–Elwood has been training all his life for this moment, and to see it all go overboard in one instant is heartbreaking….”

3) No offense to our Canadian friends north of the border, but –CURLING!!! CURLING!! A combination of bowling on ice and a group of shop keepers trying to keep the storefront spiffy.

Gawd, the winters must be awful up there.

Outside of the obvious “sex appeal”of the Olympic Curlingevents, the only thing more thrilling would be to watch Dick Cheney go quail hunting.

But, given that there is a place on the podium for chiseled curling athletes, I’m sure we could find a spot for the skilled athleticism of the Winter Fly Tying Team !This event would obviously be dominated by the American squad, which has trained year round in a meat locker in Detroit. Size #28 midge after miserable size #28 midge, the Americans have relentlessly been training, by tying these little buggers to 8x tippet–in a meat locker kept at 14 degrees below zero.

That’s minus 26 celsius for our European competitors.

There at the Olympic Fly Tying arena, in frigid weather, teams of fly tiers will take to the vice, and tie up various flys. We will watch pained expressions and complete intense concentration as athletes try to get their fingers to work in the icy cold. We will hold our breath as they try to get the hackle and dubbing just right. Precious time will tick away as they blow on their hands, and we watch split screen images of just where the Olympic hopefuls lost time along the way.

Of course,in this two day event, athletes will be judged on speed, style,difficulty, and the ability to catch and release fish.

So, here’s to the athletes of the XX th Olympiad, and I will see you fishing rod in hand, in Vancouver in 2010.

Adult Diapers

•May 23, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Throwback Jerseys – Treading Down the Memory Lane

Throwback jerseys are a latest fad among the sports fans of all ages. A throwback jersey is the jersey of a team or player of the past. Throw back jerseys are available for all popular American sports. Throwback hockey jerseys, throwback football jerseys, and NBA throwback jerseys are some of the popular ones among the throw back sports apparel range.

What is a Throwback Jersey?

Throwback jersey is a replica of the authentic jersey of old teams and players. They have become popular among the sports fans who would like to relive the old days when their favorite team and player was on the pinnacle of popularity and success. A throwback jersey may be of times when your favorite player starred in an old team or for and old player of an existing team. A Michel Jordan jersey of Washington Bullets design is a perfect example of replica throwback jerseys.

Throwback jersey has become a collector’s item and you would find many persons with amazing collections of replica throwback jerseys. This is in some aspects similar to the vintage collection whereby each jersey will have its own history. Throwback jersey relives the history of that particular sport, team or player and provides you opportunity to recognize and remember teams of the past.

A throw back also gives you a detailed account of the style and trend changes in the team gear. The throw back has gained enormous popularity because of the fashion and music industry. Many music videos feature performers wearing a throwback jersey. This adds to the growing demand for authentic throwback jersey or replica team gear of the past.

Replica throwback jerseys are a great business opportunity for sports apparel manufacturers and sellers. According to estimates, NBA throwback jerseys account for 20 percent sale of NBA sports apparel. Same trend is witnessed for replica throwback jerseys of all other popular sports.

Mortgage Refinancing