Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Boomers Future

The term late bloomer is the perfect way to describe me. I had to hit 50 before I admitted that I was not enjoying my life. I had a good job, nice car, traveled all over the country and had more friends than I could count. What was wrong with me?

When I really started digging into the source of my discontent, it came down to the fact that I am nocturnal. Getting up to an alarm clock five days a week was not fun. I always felt sleep deprived because I seldom went to sleep before 1:00 AM. I forced myself to play the 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM game, not realizing that I had options.

At 50, I determined that I didnt want to live out my working years in this mode. I joked around about having made a profession of being laid off. I accepted my last severance package about six months after I turned 50. I literally felt like I had been let out of jail. But, what do I do now? How do I pay my bills?

A friend sold me on the idea of financial planning. I lasted about a year. This was definitely not where I belonged. But, I had a knack for meeting people and making introductions to others. My clients had needs and I had the resources to point them in the right direction.

I began giving lectures on the subject of the non-financial side of life planning. I also talked about my experiences as a working caregiver. That led me to writing my first book. By my miod-50s, I had published three books and was a professional speaker and educator. I am now speaking to thousands of people each year, teaching them the value of getting their ducks in a row. Do I feel good? You bet I do! Seldom do I set an alarm clock, and if I do, its because Im making that choice. My office is in my home. Im my own boss. And, Im making a living doing things I love, and on my own terms.

Would I recommend this choice to everyone? No, because it takes confidence, determination, and focus to be self-employed. You must have a purpose and be passionate about it. It works for me; it might not for you.

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur, but neither is everyone meant to be 8 to 5. As we Boomers near the age of traditional retirement, we are starting to question what our future (our next chapter), has in store. We still want to work just not as hard. We want to give back to our community. We want to continue learning maybe get that illusive degree or learn something completely new. But, we dont seem to want the status quo. Remember, 78 million of us have changed every decade weve lived in. Does anyone think that will change now, just because were getting older?

Countless meetings are taking place across the country with one question in mind: What are we going to do with all these aging Boomers? They talk about programs and projects they can develop for us. But has anyone asked us Boomers what we want? Im willing to bet if you put ten Boomers in a room and ask one question, you will get eleven different answers. Thats just the way we are. You build a box and we will walk around it. We want choices and options. But, if we want our next chapter to be different from those who have gone before, we need to challenge the status quo and create what works for us. I did and its working for me.

Linda S. Thompson a Baby Boomer. She is also the founder and president of Life Path Solutions, who specializes in the practical side of wellness. And she is the author of Planning for Tomorrow-Your Passport to a Confident Future, a common sense guide to life planning. Linda is a professional speaker who often talks about the generational differences and Boomers in particular. Linda is available to speak on various topics in the life planning field and can be contacted at For more information about Linda's books, CDs and lecture topics, along with other free articles, please visit her website at

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lighting Up a Seniors Life - Baby Boomer Alert!

Lighting for seniors requires attention to some specific details. When planning a lighting design for aging baby boomers we want to provide both adequate light to see clearly and a safe environment. With a combination of recessed, pendant, track and wall fixtures, these needs can be met. It is very important that certain areas be well lit. Areas like stairs and bathrooms where so many accidents occur or basements, which are usually dark. Kitchens require a great deal of light so food can be prepared safely.

It is fact that as we age our eyes needs change and we need more light to see properly. What may be suitable at 25 may not be good enough at 40 and what may work at 40, just wont cut it at age 60. Task lighting can help in a kitchen by installing under cabinet lights. A good choice for under cabinet lights is fluorescent for the simple reason that they require very little maintenance. This is another important aspect to consider. We want to try to choose lighting that requires very little maintenance and does not require tools to change bulbs. Placing the light fixtures in a location that makes it easy to reach to change light bulbs is also a good choice. Wall sconces are a good choice to solve this problem. A wall sconce placed in a stairway for instance can provide light as well as eliminate the need for a ladder to change the light bulb.

Wall sconces can be a solution in other rooms as well. Two wall sconces; one on each side of the vanity does a great job of illuminating the room and ease of bulb replacement. Just be sure when choosing a fixture that the wall sconce has an open top or bottom so the bulb can be replaced without having to remove parts. A bar light above the vanity with exposed bulbs is another good alternative. The fixtures you want to try and avoid are those in which small screws need to be loosened or removed to get to the bulb.

Another point to consider is outdoor lighting for security. Be sure to provide plenty of light at all entrances and exits. These lights should also be on a timer or photocell so that they are on when needed. Someone may leave expecting to be home before dark and get delayed. In this case having the lights come on automatically will allow them to enter the house safely. Motion detectors can also be used in places that we dont want to keep the lights on for extended periods. Areas like walkways along the side of a house or a path where the garbage is taken out. Driveways are another good location for a motion detector light.

In fixtures where changing a bulb is a little difficult, using a compact fluorescent is a good choice. With a compact fluorescent, the bulb will last as long as 3 years and sometimes longer. A great place for one is in a shower light, just be sure to get a big enough bulb to light the area adequately. Outside light fixtures are also a good choice unless you live in an area where the temperature gets below freezing a lot. Another place for fluorescent fixtures are closets, which can be extremely dark for an elderly person.

The key points to remember are to make sure all areas are adequately illuminated and use fixtures that require a minimum of maintenance.

Paul forte has been in the lighting industry for over 25 years. For more info and tips on lighting and other electrical needs please visit Lighting Tips - for help with laying out recessed lighting

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Car Audio - TUNE it Up!

One of the best things you can do for your car audio system is to properly tune it. There are several variables to consider when doing this, and I am going to walk to through the most important ones so you will have a good understanding of how to get the most "bang" for the buck from you system.

Assuming you have an amplified system with one or more subwoofers, you can dial in your system to give you the best sound and have the durability you want from it. It starts at the head unit. You want a head unit with a good, strong output signal, between 4 and 5 volts on its pre-outs. Audiophiles tell us that 2-3 volts of good clean signal is good too, but that will require a little more amplifier power to get the decibels we're looking for. You also want a head unit with an adjustable subwoofer level. Start by tuning the stereo without the subs on. Add your bass and treble until you get the desired sound with minimal distortion at the loudest volume setting you will listen to it at. This is generally about 2/3 max volume.

Once you are happy with the low/mid/high sound from the multi-range speakers, we can add in the subs. If applicable, tune the sub outputs to about 2/3 maximum, and head to the amp. Start at the amp and adjust the frequency and the level to minimum, and turn the volume up to the the same loudest point we were working with earlier. Pull your frequency to about half way, and slowly adjust the power level upwards. If you hit the zone you want, stay there. Keep in mind, this is only a safe adjusting technique with a speaker system that matches the power output of the amplifier. If you want more from your system, incrementally adjust the frequency down slightly with the increases in power level.

Your goal is to get a loud, clear bass from the subs that DOES NOT CLIP OUT under the loudest conditions you anticipate. If the amp clips out, then adjust the power level lower until it is back in the safe zone. Once the system is set where you want it, don't mess with it. Leave the levels on the head unit and the amp alone. The mistake I see with blown speakers and amps is trying to show them off with all the levels maxed out. This produces a lot of power at a high distortion level, which is damaging to the speakers and the amplifier. If you want a louder sound than what you have by tuning your system this way, it may be time to upgrade.

Keep these guidelines in mind when configuring your systems, and you should be able to build a car stereo system that will sound great and have great durability. Good Luck and stay TUNED!

Majestic Modifications is the complete car customization concept, specializing in auto accessories, air intakes and performance upgrades, body kits and exterior accessories, glow gauges and interior accessories, wheels and tires, mobile video, car audio and electronics. You can also visit the Car Audio Installations Blog for more info.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Architect Spa Design Floor Plan - Relax and Chill Out

An architect design floor plan can be found on the internet and in architectural magazines. One set of plans located on the web, Sage Springs Club and Spa, show a luxuriously appointed club and spa. The first floor of this spa/gym has a large luxurious lobby and reception area., a spa and fitness store that sells exercise clothing and various other spa products. Also on level one of this spa are a relaxation lounge, massage therapy rooms, wet room with vicy shower and a pedicure/manicure room.

The second floor of this architectural design spa floor plan has a conditioning room with a glass wall overlooking the tennis court below. This room also has Precor cardio equipment, cybex strength circuit, four screen television theater music channels with wireless headphones. There is also a movement studio for aerobics, yoga and stretch and toning exercises. At every station in this spa, you are treated like royalty. Membership in spas like this are costly, but well wroth the expense.

On the ground level the floor plans show five full size regulation Tennis courts and 3 lane indoor lap pools and spa.

There are lots of floor plans for different spas and gyms available on the internet. Almost all have some of the amenities of Sage Spring Spa and Club but this one had the most interesting floor plan of them all. Before joining an expensive spa or gym, check the ones you are interested in. Compare services, amenities, and prices before you sign anything.

Floor plans for detached condos are laid out similar to a home not part of a condo complex. One floor plan for a detached condo in Michigan has a large family room,/dining room area, master bedroom with private bath, small kitchen area with an island, a powder room, and second-floor bedroom. There is also a garage on the first floor. A basement which can be finished has the potential for at least two more bedrooms. Detached condos are ideal for people who dont have the time or inclination for yard work. It would also be good for elderly people no longer capable of cutting grass or shoveling snow.

About the Author
Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for home buyers and consumers on purchasing a variety of Dream Home which includes Cottage Plans, Beach House Plans, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

After the Clutter: 5 Steps to a New Daily Routine

I've noticed that in the two years since the major de-cluttering of my apartment, clutter has been creeping back in.

So what DO you do after you've cleared the clutter? If your day-to-day routines are continuing to create clutter, then you'll always be one step behind it.

5 Steps to a New Daily Routine

1. Identify the problem. Think of things that tend to sneak up on you in your life - annual things like tax time, monthly things like invoicing clients, weekly things like running errands or daily things like meal times. For this article, well use the example Im always rushed in the morning.

2. Identify the costs. If the costs arent that high, you probably wont be motivated to do anything to change it. The costs of being rushed in the morning may include: poor choices for breakfast or no breakfast at all, poor digestion from eating too fast or perhaps not eating at all and having coffee on an empty stomach. Then, getting to work in a rush results in stressful travel, impatience and unpleasant interactions with fellow travelers. This will affect your whole day.

3. Back it up. So youre rushed in the morning what choices did you make up to this point that resulted in being rushed?

4. Experiment with some changes in your routine. Dont be rigid; youre in the lab here. One day you can try going to bed a half hour earlier and waking up a half hour earlier. The next day try laying out your clothes the night before. The next day try putting your lunch (and any other lunches you have to prepare) together the night before. The next day try a 5-minute meditation break in the morning.

5. Commit to a new daily routine. Once youve experimented for a week or so, look back and reflect on which strategies made the most difference to your morning (and the rest of your day). Use structures as reminders (tack up a list of your routine), inspiration (post a photo that represents the kind of relaxing morning youd like to have) or tracking (give yourself a gold star or another fun and visual marker on the calendar for every day that you implement your new routine).

Remember that its not about keeping a perfect routine or beating yourself up for straying from it its about making healthier choices every day. If you slip, your very next choice can set you straight again.

(c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, is the author of The Everyday Self-Care Workbook. To receive one of her free monthly newsletters, subscribe at

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Be Free with Wireless Speakers

Are you tired of laying wires through your house, creeping through small places just to get the right sound effect? Wireless speakers are the answer to your headaches. With wireless speakers you gain the freedom to move your music to where you want it to be without the hassles of cables. Planning to have a party outside? Don't move your whole entertainment system outside while you can make use of outdoor wireless speakers which can move right along with the party.

Want to have hi-fi quality sound through your laptop computer? Why should you be tied to wires while using a portable computer? Make use of wireless speakers to give you the freedom to work or play on your computer where you want to, while having the high fidelity sound you deserve. Here are a few examples of how you can use wireless speakers to improve your way of living.

Listen to your favorite music collection while taking a bath.

Have a BBQ or party outside without having to move your whole stereo system.

You can store all your favorite music on your computer and listen to it anywhere in your home.

Listen to music while working in the garden.

When your computer is doing certain time consuming tasks, have it play a sound when it is done with the task or when there is an error and have your wireless speaker notify you while you are lying next to the pool.

Get the perfect surround sound effect by having the freedom to move the speakers to exactly the right spots without getting tangled in wires.

Let your computer notify you of upcoming tasks or appointments by playing a sound through your outdoor wireless speakers, while you are washing your car.

Let your wireless speaker notify you discretely of intruders by connecting it to your alarm system.

Use you wireless speakers as a portable intercom system.

There are however a few things you need to watch out for when shopping for wireless speakers. Some are listed here:


Some wireless speakers may interfere with other wireless devices in your house like cordless phones. A good wireless speaker system will allow you to tune it to a different frequency to overcome these interferences.

Battery life

Battery life is not always too great on wireless speakers, as it consumes power to drive the speakers, internal amplifier and RF receiver. So, if you want to use your wireless speakers for extended periods of time, it may be wise to make use of the AC power adaptor. Now this may not always be practical - the whole idea of wireless speakers is to get rid of the wires. Rechargeable batteries might be the answer and some of the models even come with rechargeable batteries -something to consider when you need total freedom, even from power outlets.


Most wireless speakers can work fine within a range of 150 to 300 feet from the transmitter. (Which would be located at the source of sound i.e. your hi-fi or computer) The RF frequency is high enough for it to work through walls and furniture. You do not need a line of sight, but bear in mind that obstacles weakens the signal, and the more obstacles between the transmitter and receiver, the shorter the range will become.


Outdoor wireless speakers are claimed to be weatherproof, but if you do not need to use your speakers outside all the time, rather store them inside. This will definitely extend the life of your valuable outdoor wireless speakers. If you really need to leave it outside all the time, try to find a spot where it can be hidden from the most harsh weather conditions.


Not all wireless speaker systems include two speakers to give you a stereo experience. Especially the outdoor wireless speakers are sold as single units. This can easily be overcome by purchasing two speakers, obviously doubling the price.


Wireless speakers use RF signals which may interfere with other RF devices. Make sure that the frequency range is legal in your country. If it is sold by a reputable dealer in your country, this should not be a problem. Wireless speakers are till a fairly new technology and some still have issues to be sorted out. So you have to do your shopping wisely.

Arno Esterhuizen

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Why Everyone Should Own a Swatch Watch

The Swatch Group introduced their first collection of watches on March 1, 1983, and since then, they have produced a large range of different quartz watches. The company began as a way of rebuilding the Swiss watch manufacturing business, which had lost ground to Seiko and other Japanese watch companies during the 1960s.

Swatch's first collection of watches, unveiled in Zurich, Switzerland, introduced a very bold style and design. The watch mechanics were simpler and required fewer parts, a design which made the watches both easier to work on and more efficient to manufacture. It was this innovative new design that helped put Switzerland back on top of the watch market.

Swatch - a name which comes from combining the words "second" and "watch" according to Chairman Nicolas Hayek, launched a very aggressive marketing campaign alongside its new line of watches in 1983, and it was this campaign that allowed the company to easily sell 1 million watches that year. This campaign also saw Swatch reaching its peak in the United States during the 80s. In the US, the Swatch fad quickly caught on. In fact, the brand was so popular that people often wore two of them or used a Swatch to hold up their ponytails. Swatch even started making some very different kinds of watches, like the Pop Swatch, a Swatch that could be attached to shirts or vests. Artists also stepped in to create very unique, very trendy Swatch backgrounds and bands.

Swatch also gained popularity within the hip-hop community. In marketing to this community, Swatch created watches with interchangeable faces and bands. Swatch owners could quickly and easily change their watches look, color, and overall fashion statement by changing the cover and attaching it to a new vinyl band. Day-glow, neon colors, and pastel bands were all the rage.

Today, Swatch sales have dropped since the 80s, but the Swatch Group is still on top of the world's watch manufacturing industry and is the largest watch company in the world. The company has purchases Swiss luxury brands, including Breguet, Omega, Lonines, Tissot, Calvin Klein, Hamilton, and Endura, and has began diversifying its catalogue.

Swatch offers over a dozen different watch types, including specialty watches made for diving. Another innovative Swatch watch called the Papprazzi series allows watch wearers to connect to the internet and download news, weather reports, and more. Another watch, the Flik-Flak, is targeted at children, while the diamond-encrusted Swatches are designed with upper-class erudites in mind.

In addition to being known as a very innovative watch company, Swatch is also the main sponsor of the Beach Volleyball World Tour, for which it specially developed a Swatch for beach volleyball players. The company has also served as the official timekeeper of the 1996, 200, and 2004 Summer Olympic games.

James Dunn is the owner of Watches Visit Swatch Watches to learn more about Swatch watches or Fake Watches to learn about Fake watches.

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