Category: Uncategorized

How Bugs Bunny Helps Me Design Rooms and Can Help You!

When I was a child I was a huge Bugs Bunny fan. The clever rabbit was (um, still is??) very cool, calm, and collected and had a great question when he viewed turmoil around him. The question: what’s up Doc?

It was the question that he often asked in funny episodes with Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Donald Duck, Elmer Fudd, and Marvin the Martian (hmmm, do these names bring back memories?).

Okay – so what on earth does this have to do with decorating? Bugs Bunny’s question ‘ignites’ the creative process, but instead of asking ‘What’s up Doc?’, we can ask ‘What else Doc’?

I have incorporated Bugs (yes, we are on 1st name basis) calm attitude with the question that always inspires a creative answer.

I look at rooms that may be a bit chaotic looking (or bland), and ask myself ‘What else Doc?’ What else can we fit perfectly into this room that would make my clients find the room ..

o more enjoyable,

o more relaxed, or

o more productive.

The ‘What else Doc?’ question inspires me and can inspire YOU to think outside of the box. This article is to get you thinking about what else you can incorporate into your home, and below are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:

Living room ….What else doc?

Besides the standard design of sofa and coffee table, perhaps you can incorporate a side table that you can use as your designated game table. Maybe you can store games underneath, leave a puzzle partially completed on the table, or even start a chess game that you are not worried about picking up the pieces or rushing through the game to finish because you can leave on your designated ‘game table’

Bedroom … What else Doc?

Perhaps you can fit a comfy chair that turns a corner of your bedroom into your special cozy reading area.

Bathroom … What else Doc?

Perhaps you can add ottoman storage where you can keep spa supplies (like foot massager, lotions, etc.). Having the items accessible will inspire you to use it more and treat yourself more often at home, instead of having the items stored in a closet where you have to get a ladder to reach. If your bathroom is too small to add a seat with storage, then perhaps you can add a storage hook-on system into your tub walls to give you easy access to your ‘spa supplies’.

Kitchen … What else Doc?

Perhaps you can organize your stemware and dishware in a way that can give you more room that you thought you even had. Then you can use that additional space to store cookbooks and regular books (yes, even the romance steamy novelty books).

I had a project once in which the main focus was to design a large living room. As soon as you walk into the apartment you entered the living room, and it was connected to the kitchen (a galley way style) which lead to the bedrooms and bathrooms. So, where on earth was the dining room? There was no designated nook for it – well, not until I surprised my client with a design that incorporated a designated dining area. I still remember how her eyes light up when she saw the design realizing that she could have an elegant dining area after all.

So, I ask you. What else Doc? Are there rooms in your home that you can use for more than one purpose?

I’ll be happy to take a peek at your rooms with our most economical with our Quick Room Analyzer.

What to Consider When Selecting Generators For Home and Business Use

Perhaps you have seen that commercial where it is a very snowy evening and as the camera rolls down the street house after house is dark when suddenly they come upon a house that has all of the lights on and you go inside and the family is laughing and playing games while cooking something on the stove. The message? A generator will save you during a black out. Well, perhaps a bit over-dramatic, but it is true, during a blackout, whether it is due to a storm or a problem at the power plant a generator can make all the difference for you and your family or business, especially if the situation lasts more than a couple of days.

When it comes to selecting generators for home and business use, you really have a lot of options. you can choose portable gas generators, a home standby generator that hooks to your house and uses natural gas to run, portable diesel generators, generators designed to power a single room and generators that can power several rooms and everything in between. Propane generators and natural gas generators are great because they do not have the smell that a gas generator, however you need to consider the cost of these gases when considering your choices.

Another great option if you are thinking about selecting generators for home and business use are portable solar generators. Solar power is the wave of the future and you can power a generator for up to three days depending on the solar batteries that you use. While the generator may cost more, the cost of running it is free and during the day it will charge itself as long as the sun keeps coming out. This is especially cost efficient for homes and businesses that lose their power for several days (and this can happen too, homes in Florida, for example, had no power for two weeks due to Hurricane Charley).

No matter what your needs are, whether you are looking for a marine generator for your boat or a backup system for your home or business, there are generators out there for you. Just make sure that you do your homework when selecting generators for home and business use so that you purchase the right generator for your needs.

How I Make Money From Home and Have Decreased My Anxiety and Agoraphobia

I read a while back in the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook that you cannot fully overcome your anxiety until you have found your purpose in life; or until you are using your mind creatively. When I first read this, I didn’t think much of it since I have 2 kids and am agoraphobic. I didn’t think I would ever find anything that I could do to make myself feel like I was actually worth something. Most days I would sit at home on the computer, taking naps, reading books and feeling bad about myself.

I find it hard to even drive my daughter down to the end of the road to the bus every morning, so it’s not like I can go out and get a job. Plus my spirits were crushed even more when I was turned down for disability. I didn’t want a “free ride” I wanted some help with healthcare so that I could begin to work on my issues with a therapist and have regular doctor’s visits. I haven’t been to a doctor since 2008 and one of my anxieties is that there is something physically wrong with me.

Since my husband and I have 2 kids and he works long hours for little money, we are unable to pay for healthcare on our own. So I was stuck. Unable to even go to the grocery store by myself, but labeled by Social Security that I was “perfectly able to work a normal job.” State healthcare is another joke, in my state you have to make less than $1300 a month for a family of four in order for the parents to qualify for assistance with healthcare, plus the “basic health plan” has had a waitlist for the last 3 years or more.

A few years ago, I would occasionally work on a website for freelancers. This site enabled people from all over the world to “bid” on jobs, like data entry, web design, graphic design, writing and more. The people who need this work done are those who can’t afford to hire full-time or part-time employees, website owners, or other people who need something done that they are unable to do on their own.

I stuck with data entry; where I would look up contact information for companies. An employer would give me a list of company names and I would have to find their website, email, address, phone number, fax number, etc. I also did some product descriptions that paid a little more than the data entry, but it was still a lot of work. I gave that up shortly after since it seemed like I was working full-time from home and making much less money than I was worth.

Then I went back into my “funk” for a few years and this last year became completely agoraphobic and unable to hardly leave the house with someone, let alone by myself! In February of 2011, I was bored one day and decided I might try to use the freelance site again in order to help make us a little cash since we would be moving soon. This is when it really took off quickly! I started out applying for product descriptions and data entry, just like I had before; when I stumbled across a job listing for “Proofreading”. I have always been an excellent proofreader so I figured it was the perfect job for me! My bid was accepted and I started making a whopping $0.20 for proofreading one 500 word article. I probably took a lot longer than was necessary since I have OCD and am very picky about the way people use grammar and if words are spelled incorrectly.

Since I was pretty much re-writing all the articles I was proofreading, the project manager offered me the job as “article writer”. I never put much stock into the fact that I was an excellent writer in high school. I was in college level English 101 when I was a Sophomore in high school and every essay I wrote was used as an example to the entire college level class. Once I got started, and began making five times as much as I had been when I was just proofreading, I noticed that I started to feel really good about myself.

I wrote 70 articles, 500 words each, in the first 2 weeks, I have insomnia so it was a good thing to help distract myself from negative thoughts while I laid in bed for hours unable to sleep. When I made my first $70 I was proud of myself for accomplishing something and providing a little extra cash for my family. On a day when I had no work to do for my project manager I decided to go back to the freelance website to see if I could find a quick job to do since I was bored and needed something to do. I started applying for as many article writing jobs as I could find and found out that I could be making much more than $1 per 500 words.

Since then I have been hired by about 6 different employers that I do work for just about every day. When I get too busy and need help, I will hire other freelance writers to help me out and I make a small profit off of the articles they write for me. For the last 3 months, I have averaged about $1200 a month, just by writing articles from home! This isn’t for everyone, not everyone can whip out 20 articles a day like I can. Also, not everyone has the gift of writing with excellent grammar, punctuation and spelling like I do. I am not trying to be conceited, I just know that I have found what I am good at and that not everyone can do it.

On another slow day, I thought to myself that I should start a website and start marketing my article writing that way. So I began researching other article writing websites to get some ideas. Then I found a few that were actually hiring writers for even more than I was already making. I signed up for a few of these and have had a little bit of work through them. Since there are usually more writers than there is work, it can be very difficult to get jobs through these article writing websites. Most employers like to pay less and will choose to hire freelancers rather than article writers through a website.

I decided against my own article writing website since I see how competitive it is, and decided instead to start my own blog and continue writing for my current employers. And since now I am making enough money to pay for our rent each month, we are moving to a nice new apartment and we should be able to get health insurance after we pay off a few of our other bills. I am using my blog to help those who have agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, panic disorder, OCD and GAD to realize that they are not alone. There are millions of people out there suffering from agoraphobia, anxiety and many other mental health conditions who are alone and are suffering, unsure of what they need to do to get better. My blog also helps those who are agoraphobic and unable to work outside of the home, find work at home so that they can fill their minds with things other than negativity and worry. So they can feel like they are actually doing something and helping to make a difference in their lives and their families’ lives.

Whether you have a mental health condition or not, writing articles from home is a legitimate and free way to make money from home. When you go through a freelance website, you will be more protected and it will be more likely that you will get paid for your work; but if you decide to go off on your own and trust employers to pay you for your work, you want to make sure that they are trustworthy enough to pay you.

I can say that I have been working very hard and my self-esteem is much higher than it was 4 months ago. I still have insomnia, so it is very hard to sleep at night, but instead of lying there thinking that the world is going to end, I am up writing about car insurance or jewelry or even plumbing companies! Just a few days ago I left the house with my husband and went farther and stayed out longer than I have gone in the last year. With only a small, but frightening panic attack, I was able to pick up my laptop and start writing an article; this instantly took my anxiety away and I was able to continue the hour and a half ride, stand outside in the cemetery at my Great Grandmother’s funeral, and make the entire ride back home; while even stopping to use the restroom at a gas station!

This might all seem very minimal to someone who doesn’t have agoraphobia, has never had anxiety or panic disorder, or those who think mental illness is “all in your head”; but for those of you who have ever suffered from agoraphobia, anxiety, depression or any other mental illness that makes it difficult for you to function like a real person; you will know that I am making great steps in overcoming my anxiety and my agoraphobia. I know that writing has had a big impact on my current mental health and I wanted to share this information with those of you who think you will never get better, never be able to provide for your family, or those who think so little of themselves that they sleep or play games on the internet all day. That used to be me, and now I am working full-time from home! I know I have a lot more to go, but I can feel that I am breaking free of my anxiety and I know that if I can do it, you can too!

Social Networking For the Hotel, Tourism, and Gaming Industries

Social networking is on the forefront of every business person’s mind these days. How do I use it? How do I capitalize on it? How do I justify it versus considering it creative loafing for my staffers? You have heard all the buzz about MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You may have even heard about Squidoo and the seemingly thousands of other sites that are focused on connecting people to people, people to causes, people to industries, even people to businesses but you may have said, “Yea, well, I have a website. I don’t need all the rest of that stuff!”

OK… I hate to break it to you but here is a reality check. Music no longer comes on records and very few people read newspapers anymore. The same is becoming true of static websites with just a few pages of stuff that you consider interesting about your product and a couple of pictures that haven’t been changed in a year or more. Your website should enable the consumer to interact with you product, learn about food choices, sites you recommend to visit in the area, and why your beds are better for your comfort and posture than your competitor’s. Communicating through video, audio, podcasts, pdf files, ebooks, reports, and social network links is critical to staying viable in today’s world. Think about it this way, what sells you more a still picture of a new car or a test drive in that same vehicle from the dealer? Because people are so busy, experiencing communication overload, and now depending more and more on recommendations from their friends rather than research everything themselves, the rise and domination of mind space goes to social networking activities.

Hold it, let’s stop here for a moment to reinforce what you have known about people is still true. People are still people. They are still quirky. They still have their opinions, even the unfounded ones, that they will defend until death or tomorrow, which ever comes first. You know, if you have been in the hotel or tourism business for any length of time that people are critical, many times impressed by silly little things, and sometimes choose unpredictable outcomes, just because they can. You also thought you knew that people were emotional, buy on emotion, and even though some of them try to appear very analytical, they are really superficial analytical and still connect deeply on an emotional level, even if they will not admit it. You also realize that for your communication message to get across to your targeted consumer you must continue to bombard that consumer with your message over and over until it finally cuts through the clutter and overload in that consumer’s mind. Yes, advertising and marketing is a repetitive, educational game that usually requires a tremendous expenditure to produce even dismal responses. You do all you can but success seems to elude you.

Wait! Could the winning number finally be here? Is this social networking really better than winning the lottery? Is it some kind of hypnotic social mass communication that really connects with people on an individual basis? What about all those people that respond to your brand, your choice, your individual product with loud-mouth whining and complaining online that serves to diminish your brand and drives other potential consumers away from your business or industry? How do we even enter this fray let alone compete and become successful? Should we just not try?

Don’t play and have a zero chance of playing in the big leagues! Begin to play and do something, even if it is wrong, and at least you will be suited up and ready to play in the big leagues after you swing and earn a few strike outs or settle for a base hit rather than a home run. Here is an important thing to remember, even the best of players strike out some times but they tried, suited up, and took a swing at it with the potential of amazing results. Well, keep reading and I will share with you some secrets to producing your early successes and to keep those successes coming long into the future. Ready to learn and earn? Here we go!

First, people are people are people. No matter how unique they say they are, each has several similar emotional buttons that you can push to many times elicit the response you desire. Emotions are the first button. Emotions of warm and inviting bring forth the connection to home as a child, grandma’s home, and loving family memories. Help them recall those happier, less stressful times, and they will connect with you quicker. Earn that connection and they are beginning to trust you. Trust and a call to action can produce sales and income in your bank account.

A fair portion of people respond to ego. Massage their ego with compliments of how smart they are to investigate and make this purchase or to save money for their family’s needs with the inclusion of your product in their lifestyle. Soon you will see their psyche respond by trading some other item of perceived lesser value, their money, for your item(s) of greater value, a night on the town or a leisurely trip to your noted rendezvous destination. The ego compliment can also be addressed to them for another person with a message like she will really love you for respecting her and taking such good care of her for a full, relaxing weekend in the city without the kids. Now they both win and so will you as they favor you with their money. A number of other secret triggers exist within your targeted audience. All of them can produce a significant outpouring of money when enacted correctly with your marketing strategy.

For instance, the lack and loss strategy. Hurry, now before this is completely sold out, it will be gone forever, and you know that if you don’t act now then your future could be without a Valentine on this special day of the year. Those that bet on the stock market and tried to tell you how smart they were are reeling now from the losses, act now or you will join them if you don’t make your move now to invest in 24 karat gold bullion. Your dollar is losing value, global exchanges are considering downgrading the dollar, move to gold now and not only save what value you have now but improve your position as gold heads towards an all-time high.

Now that you have had a short review on triggers and secrets to moving your targeted audience into the buying position for you, your brand, and the specific benefits of your industry, it is time to revisit the social media portion of your marketing plans but first, a short stroll down memory lane. You see, when newspapers entered the market and became the medium of choice, they eclipsed the town criers. When radio entered the market and gained wide acceptance, they eclipsed the newspaper as the standard. The same thing happened with television eclipsing radio. Each time it was a new level of communication, a new method but communication between people never stopped. Oddly enough, newspaper, radio, and television were considered mass media because they forwarded the communication message out to the public but did not establish a return communication loop to verify the receipt of the message and the interaction for questions and other needs to insure desired actions by the consumer. Without this portion of the communication loop, the verification of the message received, marketers could never be truly sure of the receipt of the message and if the targeted audience actually understood what was trying to be communicated to them.

Along came call-out research, Arbitron ratings for radio, Nielsen rating for television, and other communication message verification like focus groups, in-store survey’s, and long-form printed questionnaires being mailed out. All of these only took a scientifically significant sample and extrapolated those numbers to imply the entire survey size group. Still, marketers had to trust statisticians and these bean-counters had to convince clients that all these numbers were really real. This furthered the favored notion that “figures lie and liars figure” as committed to great sayings of history.

Now, enter the computer. This super brain was supposed to help calculate large math problems, drive rocket ships to the moon, and forward standardized accounting practices in businesses around the world. With the gained popularity in business, soon it was realized that computers could do much more including assist with communication issues. Sending messages from one side of the building to the other soon became the select choice of sending one electronic message from one side of the globe to the other. Department talking to department, business talking to business, all the while people talking to people with important business and people talking to people with small talk, chit chat, and friendly interpersonal relationships that grew from one-on-one to group speak environments.

Group speak environments began to realize that they could focus on topics, around certain individuals, or center on a cause. These fan clubs, neighborhoods, and individuals connecting for a variety of reasons soon migrated to newly designed social networking architecture forums and communities. Welcome to Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, along with Yahoo Groups, CompuServe communities, and others. Futurist John Nesbit pointed out in his 1990’s best seller MegaTrends that the more high tech we as humans become the more high touch our internal demands become. Thus, more high tech equates with more high touch.

For a number of years we have experienced and embraced the high tech revolution that gives voice to the individual. Email, chat rooms, groups, all focus on the individual voice being heard – sometimes not very loud, sometimes not very well, but individual nonetheless. Now, fast forward as we couple in more technology advances with critical mass of individuals wanting to voice their thoughts and you have the advent of social networking.

Social networking is today’s electronic evolution of the 1950’s staple of talking to your neighbor over the backyard fence. The individual was still valued, the news or information of the day was shared, and quality value opinions were formed. While it was typically a one-on-one exchange, buying habits could be influenced, brand priorities could be adjusted based on another persons experience, and brand fortunes changed one little communication at a time. Social networking today works much the same as a medium that can influence, change brand priorities based on another persons experience with that brand, and via communication efforts brand fortunes can be changed. The difference is many more people connecting at once via a friends list or opt-in system and brand fortunes can be made or destroyed in a few mere electronic seconds. Brands, including personal brands, raised up or shot down faster than you can read this writing.

Some people have thought that not having a presence online in any form or at least not in the social networking portion of all things electronic will eliminate them from harm. Frankly, think about the last time you were wronged. Just because that person or brand was not around, did it stop you from relating your bad experience to someone else? The same is true of your online and social networking presence, no presence does not equate with no talking about you. In football and many other arenas, the best defense is considered to be a great offense. Social media is the same. Having a presence, interacting with your audience one member at a time, and witnessing a no fear attitude are usually the better offenses. It also gives you a front row seat to any complaints and rebuttals or actions your brand cares to take and, even more importantly, talk about to the others monitoring the situation.

Imagine the hotel that has a guest complain that all the floating equipment for the pool is already taken and in use by other guests. Picture the fast acting manager sending a staffer to the local Walmart to purchase some additional items and returning within minutes to the mother who is trying to satisfy her children at the pool. This mother will tell all her online friends and family of the amazing efforts put forth by the establishment, the manager, and the brand. You will not only have a client for life but an array of multiple benefits soon to be realized from her tweets, posts, and instant messages. Further, the wise manager asks her to record a quick video sharing these sentiments so that the manager can post it on the brands’ YouTube channel, even further extending the reach and influence of her voice. Quite literally, her voiced opinion could be influencing hearts and minds via this emotional selling moment for thousands of potential clients and years to come. Smart, very smart!

Consider the time and workforce oriented to working and maintaining your social media outreach a very valuable investment. Savvy use of the array of opportunities to connect with your target audience one-on-one via that huge communication media channel of the Internet is awaiting you and your brand. Use it to chat. Use it to let your audience know of your special offerings. Use it to survey your guests. Use it to offer off-season specials, business packages, or even a package for a typically slow night or weekend. You could even create your own special day, featured week, or event-centered promotion like Official Gear Head Night where anyone bringing in a spark plug receives a free 20 minute massage to help you relax and get your sparks flying. How about the Home Schooler Special to visit the actual battlefields of Gettysburg and star in an actual reenactment of the battle, a once in a lifetime opportunity that your home schooler has to re-live history!

Imagine your website or brand video channel featuring action-packed videos of tours of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio which includes a teaser of an air show event that will be coming up at the museum on a special date package your organization is preparing. Grab the views of the Grand Canyon that stress in the audio that you really have to be here to experience the full grandeur and majesty of the new overlooks and the trails that lead down into the gorge. Share a mixture of video and still pictures of a cruise to Alaska that features a humpbacked whale inviting your target audience to come along, share the fun, and for anyone that captures a picture of a live humpback whale playing in the water, they will win a $200 discount off their next tour with you and your brand.

Audio’s can also lend to the brand experience you offer as you read a book, provide an audio copy of one of the great writing of Abraham Lincoln that can be listened to over and over including as you tour the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on President’s Day this year. Include a free eBook about how to set up a tent and store your food in the woods to keep wild animals away as you journey with us on a special tour of the scenic Appalachian Trail. Enjoy this retrospective collection of famous restaurants and hotels of the world from the actual visits by our clients as you share the moments, just picture your own journey making its way into our collection to share with our family of clients. Please let us know now where you will be going and when, then we will look forward to having our team review your pictures for the best moments to be included in our Families, Food, and Historic Hotels Collection in Pictures.

Literally, thousands of applications, some even potentially generating additional streams of revenue, can be yours as you plan your marketing and include offers and activities with social media, websites, video’s, audio’s, ebooks, and so much more. Let your creativity explore the possibilities and remember to connect at the heart with your target market for incredible results!

Top Web Design Terms and What They Mean

Whether you’re a web designer, someone studying web design, or someone who is just working on the web design for a website you plan to commission, from time to time you’re likely to come across an industry term that truly seems to be in a foreign language, or a an acronym that you just can’t make head or tail of. If someone’s just told you that you’re HTML, JPEG and PHP for your CMS is not SEF or accordant with W3C guidelines and you have no idea what they’re talking about, here’s a quick rundown on common web design terms and acronyms for you:

Browser

A browser is computer program that displays websites on the internet. Without browsers there would be no web design. An example of a browser is Internet Explorer.

CMS

CMS translates to Content Management System. A CMS is a system used in web design to add or amend text on a web page.

Database

A database is a collection of data stored on a web server. Databases are used in the web design of search pages.

E-Commerce Website

E-Commerce websites are those that are specifically established to enable the purchase or sale of products or services over the internet.

Flash

Flash is a Plugin produced by Adobe that enables rich functionality in web design. Flash is often used in the design of games and other animated features.

HTML

HTML translated to HyperText Markup Language. It is the primary scripting language used to write web pages.

Homepage

A homepage is the first page that is displayed when a user opens a web browser or selects the “home” button on the browser menu. People often have their home page set to popular or useful sites such as Google or a news feed such as MSN or CNN.

Hosting Company

Hosting companies offer space on their web servers for public sale or rental. Every website must have a host so operating a hosting company can be a lucrative business enterprise.

Hyperlink

A hyperlink is a link to another image, document, download or website that is embedded in a web page.

JPEG

JPEG translates to Joint Photographic Experts Group. A JPEG is a type of image file and is the common image format required for images used in web design.

PHP

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocesser. It is another computer language mainly used to create dynamic (moving or interactive) web pages.

SEF

SEF translates to Search Engine Friendly and refers to any element of a website that works toward optimising the visibility of a website on popular search engines such as Google.

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation that is a system of methods used to boost a website’s placement in search engine results listings.

Search Engine

A Search Engine is a website that has been specifically designed to allow users to search for information on the internet by entering key search terms to direct the search and order the results according to their relevance. Google is the most well-known search engine.

W3C

W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium. The W3C is an organisation that dictates standards of web design and development on an international scale.

5 Great Ideas and Games

Looking to throw a party? Don’t forget to incorporate the five main party activities of every party which have been developed over the history of parties. They are crafts, games, music or dance, gift giving and eating. All of these activities may show up at a party or only a few of them. It often depends on the type of party and the host’s inclinations.

Most craft activities are seen at children’s parties as a way of keeping the kid’s involved while still giving them something to take home and remember from the party. You can set up a little craft activity with glitter, glue, markers and construction paper.

Games are usually present at any kind of party, from adult to child. You’ve got your board games, outdoor games, and silly made up games all designed to get guests involved and laughing, some examples of each are clue, football and pin the tail on the donkey.

Music and dancing can also serve as a game. We’ve all heard of musical chairs or the cake walks at a church bake off. But it can also be a way of getting out that extra energy coming from the excitement of just being at the party. Gift giving is mostly seen at birthday parties or Christmas and Retirement type parties. Of course we all love getting and receiving gifts and setting up this activity, even at a party that doesn’t usually involve it will create a sense of anticipation in your guests. Last but certainly not least there’s eating. It seems that eating something is an essential part of the party going experience. It keeps up blood sugar levels and gives guests something to do during party moment lulls. Always make sure to at least set out a plate of cookies or bowl of chips at any events.

3D Ready TVs For the Latest in Movie and Gaming Technology

The most recent technology in theater these days is 3D, or three dimensional, viewing. Many of the latest big budget films are now all employing the same special effects and vivid images using three dimensional techniques to enhance the depth and realism of the movie. Now this technology, normally only viewable in theaters, can be enjoyed on your home TV.

With more 3D movies on the horizon, advances in the field are being made already with the announcement of 3D ready television sets and programming. Cablevision, ESPN, and Sky UK all plan to launch 3D channels in early 2010, and will require a 3D ready TV for viewing. Most major manufacturers have either placed compatible televisions on the market or will be releasing three-dimensional TV’s at some point this year. They range anywhere from $1500 to a few thousand dollars in price, with some glasses being sold separately. Though slow to start, the breakthrough of this type of viewing experience is no doubt going to be significantly improved upon and found in more and more electronics in the future.

3D ready TV’s are designed to work with LCD shutter glasses, which use a wireless link to allow the viewer to experience a more realistic movie and gaming experience. Video games especially benefit from this type of imaging because the high quality graphics work in unison with virtual cameras, or “native 3D”, making the virtual image look smooth and realistic, popping from the screen. This makes them perfect for home TV sets. The game industry has released quite a few titles already with more to come. Already Disney, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PlayStation have released virtual video games, with more due out this year.

The difference between 3D in theater and home TV is minute, mostly being that the home TV is just a smaller scale version of a theater screen projecting three-dimensional images. Theaters also use a different type of glasses, but this doesn’t mean much when compared to the home TV, just that it is according to what type of screen the image is being viewed on.

Reportedly plasma is the better choice for a 3D ready TV as opposed to LCD, with plasma displays showing a sharper image and better viewing angle, meaning the viewer can be sitting in different positions without losing picture quality. It’s important to know that the 3D feature can be turned off on TV’s so it can be watched in regular, 2D format.

The convenience of having a TV at home that can play movies just like theater scale films is a huge plus for consumers. With so many movies and games being marketed, stores are beginning to fill up with a variety of different genres for families to choose from.

As more and more companies introduce 3D imagery and content into their current line, the need for a compatible yet affordable home television to keep up with the trend will be greater. Between programs, video games, and movies, within a few years many American households will have virtual capability in their homes.

How to Make Your Home Poker Games Feel Like You’re in a Casino

After analyzing thousands of chips over the history of casino gaming some manufacturers have arrived at their own edgy designs. For a poker chip to be interesting they found they needed to look legitimate and tell a story. The best sets garner a little bit of Las Vegas style and exhibit a fresh look at the history of gaming. Chips become superior for four reasons: Inlays, Edge Spots, Molds and Materials.

Inlay design is the most important component of the manufacturing process and each chip is designed by a team of artists. You need to ensure that every inlay design employs cutting edge techniques and that each chip appears as if it could have come direct from the casino floor. Every inlay tells a story and evokes a feeling of nostalgia.

Employing a four-color approach to edge spots makes the chips more interesting. Each poker chip has a base color and three accent colors used on the edge spot. All sets use a different color scheme. This process yields an exciting and wonderful array of colors on your poker table. The edge spots are also unique and exciting.

Avoiding the simple 8 stripe approach or a boring dual colored rectangle when designing the chip edge spots. Triangles, tri-stripes, quadrangles and multi color rectangles are all part of a more exciting edge spot arsenal.

The key is to design unique and interesting molds that create an engraved impression (known as mold marks) around the chip. You need to make sure that your Poker chip Sets are not simply boring flat smooth discs. The mold marks provide the chip with an identity even before you place the inlay. Casinos use a mold mark for uniqueness and branding. If your chips do not have mold marks, then they will not look or feel authentic. Mold markings give a poker chip texture, security and authenticity. Mold markings give poker chip sets a personality.

Using the finest clay’s and composite materials during the production process is essential. The best chips use only casino quality raw materials in their molds. Not only do the chips look like they have come off the casino floor, but they feel authentic.

When designing a new poker chip the best manufacturers create fictitious casinos to help bring authenticity to the other aspects of the poker chip sets. One such popular style of Poker Chip Sets is called “Bluff Canyon Casino”. This clay composite Poker Chip comes in several count sets and either a wooden carousel for the lower counts or an aluminum case for the higher count sets. These chips come in various denominations. The Bluff Canyon inlay is set upon a Greek Key molded poker chip. These chips have twelve thin stripes in bunches of three for its edge markings. The layout of this chip is similar to the wildly popular Venetian Poker room casino chip. The inlay itself uses a group of evergreen trees as its fictitious logo, but conveys a rugged outdoor’s theme. The fictitious casino destination “Bluff Canyon Casino” is written on top of each chip. The denomination is large and placed near the bottom of the inlay.

Designing the Ultimate Game Room – Ideas To Get Started

Many people would love to be able to create and have their ultimate game room. When you spend a lot of time entertaining others or you enjoy having extra space in your home to relax and have fun, a game room can be a great way to be able to have room for the kind of activities you love to do. If you really want to design the ultimate game room, you need to have the right ideas to get started. Here are some ways that you can begin the planning and renovating process.

Turning your game room ideas into a reality will take a list of things that you want to include in your new room. Think of this as the ultimate Christmas List that will contain all of your wildest dreams in a game room. Maybe you want to have video games that you can play over and over or an old-fashioned pool table. Think about your favorite images of a game room and then make a list of the elements you like most about the room. This is not a time to think about price or feasibility, but rather just to find out what you really want to do.

Ultimate Game Room

Next, you need to create a budget that is realistic for your life. For many people, they will begin with the cheaper parts of creating an ultimate game room, like the flooring and the wall coverings. As this process progresses, they will begin to add pieces that add décor and then the actual game playing pieces. Unfortunately, you will not have your game room up and running by the weekend, but you will eventually have the room of your dreams – it just may take a little longer.

Don’t forget to add the luxuries that make an ultimate game room a place all your friends talk about. For example, add in a bar and a keg cooler or a place for a refrigerator for snacks. You want to think about all the things you might want down in that room and then figure out ways to add them. A leather couch and a flat screen TV will help you entertain friends that aren’t actively playing games, but will ensure they are having a good time.

Discovering an Eye For Design With Bratz Games

Could you still recall the last time you visited an office which made you say “I want to work here!”? Or how about some home that did not have gold faucets or diamond encrusted clocks, yet was the most tasteful you’ve seen? Perhaps back then the interior designing bug bit you. If so, why not shake it alive now (or re-awaken it) by practicing your designing skills and upgrading your taste in making stylish decisions. Alright, persuading your mom to agree with your choices on how to fix up the living room according to your taste may earn you a discouraging answer, but this really does not stop you from taking a seriously a career which could be your life’s work! But now you can’t even begin to imagine what kind of things you can come up with since you cannot even touch the furniture and those antique vases. The solution? Practice your interior designing skills with Bratz games !

So what are the Bratz anyway? These are 10-inch dolls which have ‘a passion for fashion’ and which have grown to become the just-as-stylish Barbie’s single biggest worry. The first few Bratz in 2001 went by the nicknames of Cloe (Angel), Yasmin (Pretty Princess), Sasha (Bunny Boo) and Jade (Kool Kat). People are asking what made the Bratz clicked to today’s youngsters. Is it because of their uniqueness compared to other similar products? Maybe its the flashy outfits? Whatever the reason, Bratz is indeed a global sensation!

Meanwhile, Bratz games on some Internet websites not only give you the opportunity to try out dress-up games, but there you can try creative thinking and imagination challenges that test your elan. For example, in the case of the Bratz, Cloe and Sasha may have a hard time getting their living room to jive according to the current season of the year. Work your way to gain a good reputation on interior designing!

The challenge sometimes gets better and better. One case is that the living room itself is alright, until the Bratz got a new sofa which clashes with most of the colors and fabrics in the living room! Help these fashionable girls do a room makeover with Bratz games .

The first step is of course the floor plan of what you want the room to look once everybody’s done. Then put the lights in order, while making allowances if next time the Bratz want additional dim lights for a lounge party. Think of a way for the colors of the floor carpet and the sofa to agree. As your eye moves from anything at the bottom going to the top (e.g. carpet to furniture, celiling to wood), your eye ought to see increasingly lighter hues. Do not leave out of your plans the television and the home theater set. After you’ve finished everything, celebrate your efforts with a well-earned glass of bubbly.

Is Atlanta The New Home of Game Design?

A career in the gaming industry would likely be the dream job for many gaming enthusiasts, and thanks to the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, relocating to Atlanta, GA might be a great career move for these individuals. The legislation, first passed in 2004, gives game design companies incentive to relocate to Georgia by offering a 20% tax credit to companies choosing to make the move. In recent years, Georgia has become one of the top game design locations in the country, and with over 100 companies now established in the city of Atlanta there is a new-found demand for a workforce trained in game design, game programming, and video game testing.

When the career prospects/opportunities in programming began to increase, industry officials approached Gwinnett Technical College to help them in locating more workers possessing game programming skills. There were already programs focusing on game design being offered at Savannah College of Art and Design and also at the Art Institute of Atlanta, but there were not enough game programmers to create a sufficient and steady supply of jobs for the game designers. As a result, Gwinnett Technical College launched a simulation/game development two-year associate’s program.

Parents may feel uneasy at the prospect of their children pursuing a career in gaming, but a spokesperson for Gwinnett is quick to reassure parents that game programming skills aren’t just used for the entertainment industry. There are a wide variety of other practical applications for these skills. For example, the military employs game programmers to create simulators that train personnel in battlefield tactics, tank-driving simulations, and even virtual weapon simulations. The medical industry uses game programming to simulate clinical scenarios for medical staff, and also to simulate pharmaceutical trials before actual live testing begins. Logistics companies also make use of such programming to track drivers, and to inform them of any potential hazards on their route.

Gwinnett does, however, warn that students should be passionate about game programming. The course will require superior mathematical skills, and students will need to focus diligently on their work in order to get their head around game programming logic. Students will discover very quickly if game programming is right for them.

John Thacher, director of Gwinett’s Computer Sciences program, claims that most of the game programming students are very passionate and curious about gaming. Thacher says, “In other classes, I’ll see students in the back of the room playing tic-tac-toe or texting, but our students are glued to their screens.” The course offers students a very intense learning experience that will prepare them for a career in game development. As the industry continues to grow, many Georgia companies are hiring new game programming and game design staff. While not every graduating student will get a glamorous job working for a video game production company, there are many opportunities available in the industry that can help start new graduates onto the path of a successful career.

Home Staging – Game, Art Form Or Marketing? the Definition of Today’s Real Estate Necessity

Because the concept of home staging – preparing a home for sale in a specific way to appeal to the maximum number of buyers – people are always asking me what it is.

Is it purely marketing? I know that the presumption there would be : if home staging is marketing then why can’t my realtor just do it as part of their marketing scheme?

Alright then, you hear people talking about the art of staging…. so then, is it an art-form? i.e. Do I need a real designer, with years of interior design training and an ASID certification? After all, this is my biggest asset, with a lot of money on the line.

Or is it a game? In which case, don’t I need a coach, a playbook and a set of rules to follow? Are there boundaries? Who refs the thing?

Here’s my answer:

For sure, it’s a game. There’s competition, a race against time, and the perception that if one side wins the other has lost. There’s a better way to play, but I do define staging as a game. A game where when everyone wins the game has been played correctly.

Certainly it’s an art-form, it’s all about design. But it’s a general form of design, so that the house appeals to the maximum number of people. Interior design is all about using the vast array of options to create the perfect space for one person/family.

Absolutely it’s marketing, because it’s all about presenting a property in its best light. Maybe you could even see it as “spin”… identifying every possible asset and putting it forward… and presenting every negative in a way that doesn’t cover it up but shows you the “up” side.

So, what is home staging? It’s a form of marketing that incorporates elements of design into a game where everyone wins. That game? The Home Appreciation Game – adding value to a cherished property now being offered for sale.