Seller Profile: Denise Glickler

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Does Your Pet Get Enough Attention?

Deciding to buy or adopt a pet brings with it certain responsibilities, not unlike having a child. You should choose a pet that will match the amount of attention and time you have available to give it. Luckily, different pets have different needs and you have a wide choice.

Dogs

Dogs are very sociable animals and need to live in a pack. Leaving a dog on its own for long periods of time will result in behavioral problems such as destructive behavior, howling/whining, dominant behavior or excessive urination.

Many dogs are returned to dog pounds or kicked out of the house because they have chewed shoes, carpets, doors; or they have started to bark excessively or whine; or perhaps they urinate indoors even though they are housebroken. All these problems can usually be solved by a change in the owner’s behavior.

Take time to exercise and groom your dog. Engage with him at feeding time. This will reinforce your position as pack leader and he will grow to respect you.

Cats

Although cats do not need to be exercised like dogs, they still need your love and attention. Cats like to be stroked each day and will love to hear the sound of your voice as you potter around with them by your side. They like to sit at your feet or in your lap while you read or watch TV.

Grooming is very important is long-haired cats. Many cats end up with skin infections or painful matting because the owner failed to take into account the grooming time needed.

Birds

Birds too need different degrees of attention. Some birds, like canaries, want very little attention, but other breeds such as parrots need a lot if interaction to be happy. Some breeds of parrots will mimic your voice and words. They will listen intently when you speak close to them and will come to you if you reward them with treats such as nuts or seeds.

Reptiles

While not known as affectionate creatures, if you plan on keeping reptiles it is a good idea to get them used to human handling during feeding and cleaning time. The only way to familiarize them with the human touch is to do so often. You will also find that handling your pet will be more enriching as an experience, always within the limits of safety.

Well-Meant Casual Promises of the New Year

Hey! It’s New Year’s Day! First day of the new year, first day to make things better, first day to embark upon those well-meant casual promises you made to yourself that you’re under no legal obligation to fulfill!

But where did the tradition of setting New Year’s Resolutions come from? How did it all start?

It is said that the ancient Babylonians were the ones who started this tradition. While this was in mid-March, when the crops were being planted, they celebrated a festival called Akitu. This is when they made promises to pay their debts and return objects they borrowed at the same time they crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king.

After Julius Caesar changed the calendar and set January 1st as the beginning of the new year, the Romans joined that practice. January is named for Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches. They believed he looked both back into the previous year and forward into the next…so they made promises to this deity of good conduct.

Early Christians made the first day of the new year the traditional occasion for thinking about past mistakes and resolving to do better in the future. In 1740, the English clergyman John Wesley, who founded the Methodist church, created a service for this: the Covenant Renewal Service.

Yet, despite the religious roots of New Year’s resolutions, it’s now mostly a secular practice. Instead of promising to do better to the gods, we’re promising ourselves. We usually focus on self-improvement – which might be why it’s hard to follow through on them. Did you know that as many as 54 percent of Americans make resolutions, but only 8 percent of us actually manage to achieve those goals? Don’t feel bad when you don’t fulfill that well-meant promise! We’re with you! Some of us have even adjusted our resolutions to be more attainable:

  • Lose weight or my temper. Whichever comes first.
  • Stop procrastinating. Starting tomorrow.
  • Get in shape. I choose round.
  • Stop drinking orange juice after I’ve brushed my teeth.
  • Lose weight by hiding it somewhere I’ll never find.
  • Lower my bills by digging a hole to put them in.

How to Buy a Used Motorcycle

Starting a search for a motorcycle is an exciting experience. Before you get carried away, however, think about your level of experience and also how you would like to use the motorcycle. Thinking ahead will ensure you get the right bike for you. Are you looking for a racer, a cruiser or a sports bike? Do you want to ride the bike off-road, drive it to work, or go on a weekend poker run?

Research Motorcycle Prices

How do you get the best deal on a used motorcycle?

Prices can be researched through the classifieds. For instance, check out Motorcycles for sale in Lake City, Florida or Gainesville motorcycles on our classified sites. This will give you an idea of market price and what you can buy with your budget. Researching prices will mean you understand the value and condition of you bike. This knowledge will help you avoid buying too cheap under the impression that you have made a good deal, only to find your bike needs more work than you expected.

Check the Owner History

A motorcycle’s history can be checked at CycleVIN.com . You can find out if it has been in an accident, if it has been stolen or scrapped, how many owners it has had, and the year of registration plus make and model amongst other information. Make sure the paperwork matches the seller’s claims.

Check the Bike:

  1. Start the bike.
  2. Look for signs of an accident or severe rust. Does the bike look cared for?
  3. Drive the bike and try several maneuvers.
  4. Test the fork and the brakes.
  5. Look at the tire tread.
  6. Check for leaks and the quality of the exhaust fumes.
  7. Check the chain and that the handlebars move smoothly

If possible, have the bike checked by your mechanic. Although could be an added cost, it can be worth it. To ensure a pleasant riding experience, make sure you have the right safety gear. Never try to save money when buying gear that could save your life.

Make Time for Manatees!

Winter is the best time to go to see the Manatees in Florida’s warmer waters. These creatures, known both as “Gentle Giants” and “Sea Cows” are very sensitive to cold temperatures, so they migrate in winter and early spring…giving us the perfect chance to meet these 1,000 to 3,500 pound creatures along Florida’s grass flats and aquatic meadows.

You can marvel at them from a platform viewing deck or even go swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking near them. The question is: Where?

And here’s the answer: five great places to spend time with these magnificent manatees.

Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River

This is the largest winter refuge for manatees on the Gulf Coast. While they can be found year round in Kings Bay, the area receives extra protections in winter months, so you can view them from the boardwalk vantage point. From April to November, however, visitors can swim, kayak, and canoe with manatees on scheduled tours. This location boasts crystalline blue waters the make viewing these manatees gliding below the surface ideal.

Blue Spring State Park, Orange City

This area covers more than 2,600 acres. Located between Sanford and Deland, visitors can come from November to March to see the West Indian manatees from the overlooks. There’ a half-mile boardwalk that runs along the Blue Spring Run where you can watch them and there are displays that provide history and education about the wildlife and ecological wonders of the area.

Lee County Manatee Park, Fort Meyers

From November to March the manatees come to this park for its warm waters. This is a protected sanctuary with an observation platform and landscaped park that spans 17 acres. It’s the perfect for a day out with the entire family. The waters are shallow, so visitors have plenty of unique opportunities to see the animals up close at this non-captive natural environment. The park also has many guided walks and educational activities, including a beautiful butterfly garden and a variety of picnic facilities.

Manatee Lagoon, An FPL Eco-Discovery Center, West Palm Beach

This beach has seen up to 800 manatees during a cold snap. There are two levels of exhibit and observation areas for viewing these manatees up close, where a 16,000 foot center features hands-on displays to learn about manatees and the eco-system around Lake Worth Lagoon. They also have guided walking tours of the exhibits.

Manatee Viewing Center, Tampa Electric, Apollo Beach

This is a designated manatee sanctuary where plenty of these gentle giants relax in the warm waters from November to April. Here, visitors can observe them in their natural habitat and there’s an education center where visitors can learn about them. This is a 50-acre facility, so you can take a break to see them swim through the Tampa Bay saltwater from atop the 50-foot viewing tower. There’s also a mangrove exhibit, butterfly garden, and gift shop.

But what about swimming with the manatees?

Crystal River has several companies which offer small, semi-private, and private manatee snorkeling tours. These are conducted from a boat and provide the snorkeling gear and the wetsuit, but of course, you can bring your own. They provide you an in-water guide who is with you from arrival to departure. These companies respect the ecosystem and avoid putting undue stress on the manatees and their habitat, so groups are kept small and you begin with educational videos, teaching you what you are allowed to do on your tour.

What NOT to Wear at an Interview

First impressions are important. The decision to hire an applicant can be made in the first few seconds of meeting you. You will be judged by your appearance to determine if you are neat, concerned with details, understated or dramatic. An employer will even look at your clothing to determine if you understand the type of work you will be doing.

Rule #1: Dress the Part

The most important thing is to dress the part. Imagine you are going to a casting call for movie extras. And whether they pick you for a role is based on how good your costume is.  If the scene is set in the winter, you wouldn’t show up in shorts.

You should look like everyone else who already works there. However, you should not look like everyone else who is applying. What you want to show your future employer that you already “fit.” Dress as though they will hire you on the spot as long as you don’t have to go home to change.

Shorts and Flip Flops

Unless you are applying to be a lifeguard or summer camp counselor, shorts are out. Pants should be clean with no rips. If the company uniform is khaki pants, that’s what you wear. For ladies, skirts should be a comfortable length, pretty close to the knee, with no tugging required.

Shoes should be comfortable and meet any OSHA guidelines for the job. Does this factory floor require non-slip or steel toes? You should know that and dress accordingly.

Tight Fitting Clothes

Find a shirt that fits. You are about to be asked tons of questions about your work ethic and job experience. Do you really want to think all that up while holding your breath? Comfortable clothes give comfortable answers.  So put away the guns, Muscle Man.

Hats

Look around the job site. Does everyone have their own hard hat? So should you. The rest of the crew is wearing hair nets? Where is yours? All the other truckers have hats? Get one fast!

At most jobs, no one wears a hat. Neither should you. A hat says you have something to hide — hat head, baldness, or white hair with green streaks. Be honest about who you are by removing the hat. Hair style should be well-kept and boring, unless you are applying to a hair salon.

Gobs of Make Up and Suffocating Perfume

Light and natural are the way to go. Don’t “cake on” the make up or “stink up” the office. Strong perfumes, aftershave or colognes often give hiring managers headaches. You don’t want the interviewer to remember you as “the one that gave me the asthma attack.”

Cell Phones and Accessories

Leave the cell phone in the car. The interviewer is taking time away from their job responsibilities. Do not interrupt your time with them to answer calls or glance at TXTs.

Purses should be small and understated. Portfolios and briefcases should be easily operated.

Never chew gum. Instead, chew up a mint just before arrival. Don’t carry a rattling container of them.

Noisy jewelry, lots of piercings, and colorful tattoos distract employers from why you are the best applicant. Reduce these distractions and help them see the real you.

Ho Ho Holidays: Little Known Holiday Traditions

‘Tis the season for celebrating, and we’re pulling out our tinsel and plastic Santas. The lights adorn our houses, or in some cases, a menorah is placed in the window, ready for December 10th to come around for the first night of Chanukah.

We’re saying “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Chanukah,” or “Happy Holidays,” or “Season’s Greetings” and almost every radio station has been taken over with Christmas Carols.

We’re in the mood for giving, for loving, for peace on Earth and goodwill towards man.

What are some traditions for these holidays? Let’s take a peek:

One of the common threads in the Jewish tradition of Chanukah is eating fried foods. Because many of the countries on our tour involve the food, let’s start by explaining why fried foods are important.

Chanukah is the “Festival of Lights.” It is a celebration of freedom of religion, where the Jewish people, having been pushed out of their homes and temples by a polytheistic King who tried to get them to worship him, refused. They took to the mountains and hid. Eventually, they formed a rebellion, won their lands and temple back, and began the recovery. In the temple there is an Eternal Flame. It is said that when the flame goes out, the Temple in Jerusalem will fall…so it’s important to keep it lit. Sadly, when they began their recovery, they discovered only enough oil to last for one day. They used this oil to light the flame and began preparing more oil, but they knew it took eight days for this to be ready. A miracle happened though, and the oil kept the flame lit for eight days! This is why Jewish people across the world eat fried foods on Chanukah.

And now, our tour begins in South America.

Jewish people in Columbia have added a new fried food to their menu: Patacones, which is plantain slices fried in oil.

Meanwhile, Christians celebrating Christmas have a few unusual traditions. In Venezuela, for example, roads are closed to let people roller skate to early morning Christmas Mass. On their way, skaters will tug on the ends of long pieces of string tied by children to their big toes and dangled out of windows. Why was this tradition begun? Nobody knows…but guesses are that it is the tropical Venezuela’s alternative to sledding.

Mexicans perform the “posadas” which is a series of nine processions to re-enact the part of the Christmas story where Joseph and Mary go in search of somewhere to stay. This ends in a Church service with food, games, and fireworks.

Moving our tour on to Africa, we come to Yemen and North Africa, where the seventh day of Chanukah is all about celebrating the heroines of the story. These communities mark this with Chag Ha’Banot, the Daughter’s Festival and celebrate Hannah and Judith, who fought against the oppression from the Assyrians. In Morocco, Jewish people also have a “Sfenj,” which is a fried jelly donut with juice and the zest of an orange.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, Christians enjoy their “tasty” Christmas treats of emperor moth caterpillars that are either sun-dried or deep fried. They say the bugs have a similar flavor to tea.

Continuing on to the Middle East, we have a few interesting traditions. In Israel, sufagniyot, round jelly donuts fried in oil, are enjoyed and menorah lights are burned and displayed for all to see them burning. In Istanbul, Turkey, Jewish people often sing a song in honor of the eight candles called “Ocho Candelas” and munch on fritters known as “burmelos.”

In Syria, Christians have its own local legend about the Nativity. Christmas presents are delivered, not by Father Christmas, but by the youngest of the camels that carried the three wise men to Bethlehem. Instead of a carrot for Rudolph, children leave water and hay outside their homes for this hard-working camel, and the load comes on New Year’s Eve instead of Christmas Eve.

Popping over to the Mediterranean, we can visit Jewish households chowing down on Precipizi, which is a fried pastry that involves a lightly sweetened, olive oil infused honey-covered treat.

Portugal’s Christian children eat a meal called a Consoada in the early hours of Christmas Day. They set extra places for “alminhas a penar…” the souls of the dead. Some believe that this is in hopes that the dead will provide a bountiful harvest.

There are many, many more Holiday traditions: Indian Jews dip wicks in coconut oil to light their menorahs, while Christian children there have Christmas banana trees or mango trees to light up instead of the Pine trees they lack.

Christmas brings more fun and funny traditions as well: In the Czech Republic, single Czech women stand with their backs to the front door on Christmas Eve and remove a shoe. They hurl it over their shoulder towards the door and how it lands predicts their romantic prospects for a year. If the toe faces the door, the thrower is destined to marry…sadly, the heel to the door is the opposite.

Whatever way you celebrate, and whichever holidays you observe, we wish you all an amazing Holiday Season!

4 Thngs You Need to Know Before Attending a Self-Storage Auction

Self storage auctions can be a good place to make some easy money once you have some practice under your belt. These auctions take place when the person renting the storage space has not kept up payments to the property manager. After trying to obtain payment and informing the owner that they are to lose their property, the manager has the right to sell the stored property to recoup the missed payments.

People looking to make a quick dollar are turning up in droves at self-storage auctions, prompting two reality shows based on the theme. Many buyers resell the items in the classifieds or at garage sales, with large profits to be made if the items are in demand and valuable. The best way to hear about the next self-storage auctions near you is to contact the storage facility.

Auction houses and individuals bid side by side for items they sometimes have not even seen. This is because the property manager will raise the door to the unit and bidders must bid on what they see, though sometimes everything is in boxes. No-one is allowed to touch anything or go inside the unit.

Self-storage Auction Tips

  1. You are only given 24 hours to clear the unit so it’s a good idea to turn up with a truck on the day. So if you win a large lot, you want to make sure that you get a head start and can clear it out in time.
  2. Cash is the best way to pay, not everyone will accept checks or cards.
  3. A good strategy is important. Be careful of getting caught up in the excitement of bidding, only to win a lot that is not going to make you much profit.
  4. The best items are found in organized neat units. Cash, gold, collectibles, bicycles and more can be found. Toolboxes, safes and gun chests are also a good source of profit-making items.

Self-Storage Auctions as a Home Business

Buying cheap at self-storage auctions and selling for a profit is a good way to set up a home-run business. You could use your front lawn or garage as your shop and place some signs to attract customers.

You will need to start off with a small investment of about $200 which you could use to buy a small unit of items. Look for units with some interesting items in view such as a TV or other appliance; or perhaps a few board games that sell well. To make a good profit, you will need to make a quick mental calculation of what you could get for the items when selling cheaply. Then bid for half the amount you expect to make, leaving the other half as ‘profits.’

Larger pieces that are too bulky to ship to an online buyer should be listed in the classifieds. Any leftovers can be sold at a garage sale with any items of your own that you would like to get rid of.

If you enjoyed the process and made some money, up the ante and buy two lots next time instead of one. You will be on your way to running your own successful business from home.

Holiday Pets: Pet Care When Visiting

Many pets, especially young puppies and kittens, seem to be at the center of any holiday disaster. Pulling down the decorations, marking presents under a tree, and nipping the one person who is a afraid of puppies. Even in the movie A Christmas Story, a pack of hounds destroy the Christmas turkey.

If this is your furry friend’s first Christmas with you, your pet may not know how to behave. Since your little friend is relatively new to your home, and maybe to holidays too, you need to be extra careful with his care and safety. Here are simple tips to ensure he survives with his good name intact.

Staying Home for the Holidays

  • Chewing: keep anything dangerous and chewable, such as ornaments, ribbons and wires, out of reach. Furthermore, do not let your pet chew on a real or artificial Christmas tree. Many holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettia are also toxic if eaten by your pet.
  • Well–meaning guests can feed your pet tidbits that will make them sick, so make clear rules at the start of the visit. Chocolate and caffeine are big no-no’s where pets are concerned.  Sharp pieces of bones eaten by your pet may cause an intestinal bleed so it’s best to avoid giving bones.
  • Escape: Doors left open by distracted guests are also a means of escape so make sure your pet has an identification tag and you have a recent photo. Unusual activity in the house can confuse the pet, it may be better to close them in a quiet safe area until the visit is over. The same rule applies for New Year’s fireworks and noisy parades, these stress the pet so it is better to plan ahead ways of keeping them calm and happy.
  • Water should be available for your pet at all times; it is easy for them to get dehydrated. Do not let your pet ingest ice melt or antifreeze as they are potentially lethal. This is especially important when visiting friends and family during the holidays.

Visiting Someone for the Holidays

It’s important to be considerate towards other people and their homes, and remember that not everyone loves pets as much as you do.

  • Do not take the pet along if he might snap or bite at a stranger.
  • Do not let the pet bother other people with physical contact they may not want. Be tactful and let them ask to touch the pet rather than dumping the pet into their lap without being invited.
  • Do not let your pet run around breaking valuable items, or dropping hair on beds and clothes, or you will not be very popular with the host. Eliminating inside the home should not be allowed to happen either. All these behaviors can be avoided with some forethought and a crate suited to your pet.

Leaving Your New Pet Behind

Sometimes it is just not convenient to travel for the holidays with your pet. Someone in the family may be allergic, not have the space, be scared of pets and a variety of  reasons why you may have to leave you pet home. You may decide to leave your pet with a sitter or send them to an appropriate shelter for the period you’ll be away.

Pet Boarding Center

Make sure you visit the place and ask questions. The facility should look clean and welcoming. Do the pets look happy and well-cared for? Are the staff friendly to humans and pets?

Check with your vet. They may also board pets for the holidays.

There’s also some websites that can hook you up with people willing to board your pet in their home. This allows you to choose someone who might only have a couple of pets at a time, which gives your fur-baby more personalized attention.

Pet Sitter

Introduce your pet to the person (who may be an animal-loving friend or a professional sitter) a few times so that they already know each other and feel comfortable. Your sitter will need a list of emergency numbers to call as well as some information about your pet’s diet and exercise.

Lastly, leave your pet with a calm, confident goodbye to avoid upsetting them unduly.

The Secret Zen of a Koi Pond

Nothing ads more charm to a back yard than an ornamental fish pond. Add an inviting bench and you have your own oasis of peaceful meditation. The essentials are few; and once installed, care and maintenance is minimal.

Japan’s Colorful Carp

Colorful Koi mingle in a small pond.

Koi, meaning ‘carp’ in Japanese, are fish bred for their lovely color markings and can now be found in ponds all over the world. There are many different varieties of markings available, with the rarest (and beautiful) still having to be imported from Japan.

The typical colors of the markings are white, gold, red, orange, black and blue. Koi can grow to be quite large, depending on the size of their pond and the number of other koi in the pond. They can also live to be about a hundred years old.

Zen of a Koi Pond

In fact, the whole purpose of zen gardens and ponds is to bring peace and tranquility of mind.  Behind the typical features of a zen pond lies a symbolic meaning. Ideally your koi pond should have a waterfall and a bridge. The water symbolizes cleansing and purification, while the bridge symbolizes passage into the other world. Other ornaments to include are containers of various sorts made of terracotta, stone, wood or other natural material. Japanese culture reveres age so your zen koi pond could also have some references to age such as gnarled tree trunks, old broken tea pots, and old stone with moss growing over.

If you would like to start out with a few koi and encourage spawning, you should have a few shelves below the waterline for water plant growth and to provide hiding places for the fish. Overhanging rocks will provide shade and some protection from predators.

Plant Life and Accessories

Koi ponds can be as simple or as complex as you wish. They can co-exist alongside a variety of plants such as pansies, honeysuckle, begonia or evergreens.  Bamboo and reeds, as well as water lilies, are a great addition to the pond.

Lights too are increasingly becoming a creative feature of zen koi ponds, making them interesting and colorful at night time. Choose from underwater LED lights, halogen lights and above water lights as a way to accentuate the best features of your pond, such as a waterfall or fountain or fix them along the border of the pond.

Tools for a Koi Pond

These items while not necessary will allow you to keep the water of your pond clear without losing your inner peace.

  • Skimmer – Use this net to collect surface debris.
  • UV Light – Control algae and bacteria growth.
  • Water Pump – Circulate water through filter and UV light and create fountain to aerate the water.
  • Mechanical Filter – Trap solids.
  • Biological filter – Prevent nitrogen buildup.

4 Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays

Everyone feels the cash crunch at the end of the year. Just as in the lesson of the ant and the grasshopper, the winter months often need a little extra, especially for celebrating the holidays. Here are 4 ways to bring in the green.

1. Get a Job

Many retailers and shipping companies are looking for extra help during Christmas. Mall stores and big box retailers often hire temporary seasonal employees. Merry gentlemen can don the Santa suit, and elves that can get kids to smile for a photo are always in demand. Sometimes these seasonal jobs can lead to permanent employment, but usually the position is eliminated after ReGiftmas has ended.

2. Start a Business

If the weather cooperated, you could shovel snow. Many a seasonal business has started by doing similar work. Some seasonal business ideas include:

  • Hanging Christmas lights
  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts
  • Making and selling gift baskets
  • Sleigh rides or carriage rides
  • Selling yule logs, mistletoe, or Christmas trees

3. Sell Your Stuff in the Classifieds

Take a look in the garage, check all the closets, and clean out the kid’s rooms.  Sell old stuff and buy new gifts with it. Help someone stretch their holiday dollar by selling your used items in the classifieds.

Some people worry about when they can sell the item they are replacing. The answer is sell the old one as soon as possible. Let’s say you are getting a new washer and dryer. Selling your current set won’t “ruin the surprise” or leave unable to do laundry for more than a day or two. The best time to sell will be before the holidays.

4. Spend Time Not Money

Most people can remember a handful of gifts from their childhood. But we can remember all the people we shared those moments with.  Make sure that all the extra time and effort you put into the holidays give your family what they really want — time spent with you.

What “Clear Title” Means

Simply put, ‘clear title’ means that ownership of the property (movable and immovable) in question is free from any outstanding legal claims or procedures. In simple terms, the items are yours. Alternative terms for the same meaning are good title, just title, or free and clear.

Another term you may come across in connection with titles is ‘lien.’ This means that the home or car in question has been used as security for a loan, in other words someone has given authority for the item to be taken if payments on the loan are not made. While a lien is in place, the item cannot be sold or transferred to other persons without being satisfied.

Car Title

Having a clear car title means there are no outstanding payments to be made on the car, and ownership is therefore clear and established. Conversely, if you are still paying off a loan for the purchase of your car, you do not fully own that car yet and do not have clear title. A clear title on a car is also known as a ‘pink slip’.

If you are buying a car, check the car’s history at carfax.com. Repossessed cars do not show up on the title, but they do show up on the car’s history. You will need to go to your local DMV to remove any names still holding title over the car.

Property Title

If you are buying a property you need to make sure there are no liens in place. The way to do this is to hire a company to research public documents for you and establish if the seller has clear title and is free to sell. If you pay for a property that was not rightfully the seller’s, then you have wasted your money and own nothing for your trouble.

Not having a clear title on your property may actually mean that you pay less tax and may be advantageous to you. This is because the interest payments you make on a home loan are deductible from your income for tax purposes. Owning your home free and clear will mean you pay higher taxes. If you have finished paying for your home, you could remortgage it for part of the equity value to carry out improvements and raise the value of the property.

How To Determine Used Car Value Using Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book at kbb.com is the go-to site if you want to know the value of a used or new car, motorbike or other vehicle. Their list is published twice a year and is a useful resource for the more than 15 million transactions involving used cars every year. KBB bases its pricing on 75 years of experience using a method that takes into account the new price for the car and market forces that will influence the current price.

Most sellers who want to price a used car correctly, or buyers who want value for their money, consult blue book value. Most sites listing car prices get their information from the KBB site.

While the KBB may be used for transactions taking place across different countries such as USA-Canada, the KBB does not account for regional differences in pricing. For that information, you will want to check your local classifieds to help determine the price.

KBB provides three values:

  • Retail price – the price you could expect to pay a dealer for a used car
  • Trade-in price – the price a dealer would give you for your used car if you were trading it in
  • Private sale price – the price you could expect to collect in a private sale to another person.

In the book, cars are listed by manufacturer and then alphabetically by model. You can find other useful information such as how mileage, extra features and the car condition can influence the price.

Using the website is pretty easy. You can search for the price of your used car using the year, make and model of the car. Then you should select which of the three values listed above you need to know i.e. private sale price or other. Next, enter the zip code of where you are selling the car, the transmission, engine and mileage of the car. Finally, a list of optional features, for example air conditioning, is presented and you can also determine the value of the car if that feature does not currently work. The condition of the car can also be input, choosing from:

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

While KBB values are a good starting point for price calculation, keep in mind that demand and supply, as well as trends can influence the price of a car. A market flooded with a particular make and model, or a defective model, will result in a lower selling price. On the other hand, a highly desirable and popular model in short supply can command a higher price than that stated on Kelley Blue Book. For instance, trucks may be valued higher in rural areas, while compact cars may be valued higher when sold in the city.

Save Money by Insulating Your Home

When you install good quality insulation for your home, you can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. Insulation can be applied around doors and windows, ceilings and outer walls, and floors. Before starting out, conducting an insulation audit is a good idea. You can hire someone to make a thorough check or decide to do it yourself. Compare the thicknesses of insulation you find against the U.S. Department of Energy’s online fact sheet to determine the quality of the insulation you have.

Insulate as Much as You Can

Properly installed insulation can reduce your electric bill.

There is little risk that you will insulate too much, especially in an older home. Air leaks and drafts should be eliminated with spray foam, caulk or weather stripping. If you are worried about air quality, you can hire a technician to check your combustible appliances for emissions. This means that you can have peace of mind that your appliances are not leaking harmful carbon monoxide into your home.

Insulation types

Various types of insulation are available, each better-suited for application to a particular area. You can find out what should be applied by asking at the home improvement store or getting an installer to do it. The following are some types of insulation:

  • Fiberglass Insulation– Fits between joists in walls and attics.
  • Blown In Insulation– Fills in gaps and voids creating a seamless thermal blanket of protection
  • Rigid Foam Board Insulation– Used in the building of the exterior walls. Also used to insulate garage doors.
  • Spray Foam– This expanding foam fills cracks and gaps around doors, windows and pipes.
  • Reflective Insulation– This foil bubble wrap used to insulate walls, roof, and water heaters.

Understanding R-Value

Insulation is measured using the R-value, which indicates its ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. You can find the R-value printed on the insulation. When calculating the R-value of a multi-layered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers. Keep in mind, the insulation must be properly installed to achieve its maximum R-value.

Different flow values are recommended depending on the climate where you live. You can find detailed online guides for your state.

Attics and ducts merit special attention. About 20% of air circulating in the ducts used for heating or cooling is lost, resulting in higher electricity bills. Where the duct is exposed, seal leaks with sealant and check all the connections at registers and vents. Most duct work is in the attic or under the floorboards. If possible, hire a qualified contractor to do the job for you.

An easy way to improve the insulation in your home is to check the attic. As a guideline, your attic insulation should be above the joists. The recommended level for most attics is R-38 or about 12-15 inches of insulation. R-49 may be recommended for very cold climates.

Halloween Stories, Snacks, and the Spooky Origins

Halloween is coming, so now’s the time to have some hauntingly good fun!

This year, we present: The origins of Halloween, a nice little Florida ghost story, and a fun and easy treat to make!

The Origins of Halloween

Before Halloween became the holiday we know, it was an old Celtic festival called Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. This superstition was passed down from generation to generation until the eighth century, when Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as the time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain, and the evening before became known as All Hallow’s Eve…and this eventually turned into Halloween.

Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, and of course, costumes. Oh. And candy. We mustn’t forget the candy! Did you know that one quarter of all the candy sold annually in the United States is bought for Halloween? Naturally, it’s one of a child’s favorite holidays!

And For the “Scary” Story

If you travel to St. Augustine, you might get a chance to meet the ghost that haunts Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill.

The building was constructed somewhere around 1745 and was home to Juana and Fransisco de Porras and their nine children. One of their youngest children was Catalina.

In 1770, when Catalina was about 18, she married Xavier Ponce de Leon. At this point, the house was owned by the British, who had used it as a storage barn. In 1783, the Spanish regained Florida from the British and they returned to St. Augustine. She found the house and she and her husband asked the governor to return it to her. They regained ownership in 1789, but she didn’t get to enjoy the house for long.

In 1785, a mere six years after being back in her childhood home, Catalina passed away. This all was pretty normal, and not much happened until about 1887 when the house was destroyed by a big fire that swept through St. Augustine. Thankfully, there were drawings of the house made in 1840, so a year later, the house was rebuilt on its original foundation to look just the way it had when Catalina had lived there.

There isn’t any particular story of why this house seems haunted, although there are two possible ghosts: Some believe the ghost may be Catalina, but others claim the ghost is a woman named Bridget who appears in a wedding dress. They say it’s a fleeting glimpse: Here and gone in a moment. Most of these sightings happen around the ladies room.

Some people have even caught a scent of the perfume. Of course, sometimes the aroma of the delicious food being cooked at the restaurant do cover that.

And they are not the only ghosts! There’s also supposedly a man in a black suit and hat who has been seen. As two men did die in the building: one in the 1887 fire and the other of illness in 1900.

Breathe easily, though! These ghosts don’t cause harm, and are believed to be friendly. You might get the feeling that someone is watching you, and the lights might flicker…but maybe, just maybe, they just want to enjoy a good meal with you?

Speaking of Food…

Do you like Devilled Eggs? Well…here’s a fun twist…

Devilled Egg Eyeballs!

First, hard-boil eggs and then peel the shells off. Want to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs? Click here to find out how!

Next, cut them in half and scoop out the yolk.

Combine the yolks with pesto, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise and mix until it’s smooth and creamy, then set it aside.

Here’s where the fun comes in: Dip a toothpick into red food dye and draw “veins” on the flat part of the whites.

Fill the holes with the yolk mixture then put a round dab of mayo in the center.

Stick a sliced olive in the middle of the whites, and there you go! A yummy Devilled Egg Eyeball!

Come Visit the BRAND NEW Fort King Archaeological Resource Center!

We will be opening the Fort King Archaeological Resource Center to the public Friday and Saturday (October 2-3) from 12:00pm-5:00pm.

Please stop by and see what staff and the archaeological team have been working on!

The ARC Center will be open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 12-5pm same as the Visitor Center.

We are so excited to have this new addition to Fort King, and look forward to telling the story of Fort King’s archaeology to the public.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

September 22, 2020 Fun Facts

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Deep frying turkeys is becoming increasingly popular. The meat is moist and tender, not greasy. Once the materials are assembled, the method is fast – just 3 minutes per pound, instead of 20 minutes.

Prepackaged turkey frying kits are available or you can assemble your own. Here’s what you will need:

  • 40 or 60 Quart pot (The turkey should fit easily with room on all sides.)
  • A meat hanger to lower and remove the turkey
  • Propane tank and gas burner
  • Meat thermometer
  • 5-6 Bottles of Cooking Oil (Approximately 1 1/2 gallons)
  • Fully thawed turkey(Warning: Frozen turkeys explode!)
  • Dry rub or marinade and syringe

Caution: Cooking oil is flammable, especially over an open flame.

Find a level, grassy or dirt area outside away from buildings and flammable items, like trees or wooden decks. Keep a kitchen rated fire extinguisher close by.

1. Measure and Heat the Oil

Lower your turkey into the pot. Fill with water to two  inches over the turkey.  Remove the turkey and measure the depth. Dump the water. Fill to the same measurement with oil. It will take about 30 minutes to heat to 325°F.  Stay below 350°F.

2. Prepare the Turkey

Unwrap and clean out your turkey and fit the meat hanger through the bird. Rub your spices all over the turkey. Do not stuff.  Lower the turkey slowly into the now boiling oil.

3. Cook the Turkey

The short wait (about 30 minutes for a 10 lbs bird) will soon be over. So keep a close eye on the time. Raise the turkey to take its temperature. When the internal temperature reaches 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh, remove the turkey and let drip dry. Inject your marinade using a syringe. Always let oil cool before moving or disposal.

What Mechanics Watch For When Buying a Used Car

Most mechanics buy used cars. There’s a reason. Buying a used car saves a lot of money and manufacturer defects have been identified. You can shop around for different models to suit your budget. Asking your mechanic to inspect the car before you make your decision is a good idea to prevent costly mistakes. Here are some things the mechanic will look at if he were buying a used car for himself:

External body

Look for what a mechanic does when buying a used car or truck.

The mechanic will look for signs of rust/corrosion on the body or signs that the car has been in an accident. He will check if the car has an inspection sticker displayed if the state requires it. He will look up the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) report. This report will say if the car has ever had an engine change, suffered flood damage or a rolled-back odometer etc.

He will also look at scratches, dents, cracks and uniformity of color of the paint. Differences in shade will show that a part has been replaced. The edges of the body should be straight without ripples or lines. The gaps between the body panels should be equal down the whole length. Hinges should not have excessive free play and the body can be checked with a magnet, which will indicate if any rust has been replaced with filler.

Fluids

Another area your mechanic will look at is if the car has any leaks from the radiator, oil or fuel tank. He will have a look at the quality of the oil and the clarity of the transmission fluid. He will be able to tell, or may even ask the owner, when the last oil change took place and if the car has been serviced regularly.

Tires

The tire treads should be in reasonable condition and equal on all four tires. They need to be replaced if they are less than 2/32of an inch or 1.5 mm deep. Is the brand of tires well known? There should be no cuts, cracks or bubbles. Also, an irregular wear pattern usually indicates some trouble with the car’s alignment or suspension.

Gauges and Electronics

The mechanic will have a look at the gauges on the dashboard. There should be no persistent warning light pointing to oil, engine, airbag or ABS trouble. He will also try all the locks, alarm, stereo, sun roof, ignition, wipers, lights and power windows. It is well worth checking all these features as they may be expensive to fix or replace. Heater and air conditioning are also looked at. The vehicle manufacturer’s label situated on the driver’s door or door jamb will show if the year of manufacture matches what the seller has claimed and if there has been any tampering.

Engine and Transmission

The engine should run smoothly without strange noises or knocking. The transmission should shift smoothly and without grinding noises. The mechanic will check clutch performance in a manual transmission and will check automatic transmission for delays, jerks or shudders.

Celebrity Classic Cars!

Jay Leno

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud

Jay Leno owns about 80 classic cars in his collection. Besides steam-powered and electric cars, he also owns:

  • McLaren F1
  • Dodge Viper GTS
  • Audi R8
  • Lamborghini Miura
  • Ariel Atom

Interestingly, Jay also owns several motorbikes and a fire engine. Jay has three full-time employees just to take care of all these babies!

Jerry Seinfeld

The comedian is a self-confessed addict to Porsches and he owns several specimens from the 1960sto prove it. His collection counts 47 Porsches. One famous incident involving Jerry is that he was not allowed to drive a Porsche he was importing because the company had only made 200 and was not about to provide 4 for crash testing purposes!

Rowan Atkinson

Mr.Bean, known in real life as Mr. Atkinson, also owns several cars. Two cars in his collection are the McLaren F1 and also a Bentley Mulsanne.

David Beckham

World famous footballer and husband of Victoria “Posh Spice’ Beckham owns several collectible vehicles and even turned down a free Ferrari from the Montezemolo family because he already had one, thank you very much! Among his collection he has:

  • Bentley Arnage T
  • Ferrari 360 Spider, Ferrari F430, Ferrari F550
  • Lamborghini Gallardo
  • Aston Martin V8 and Aston Martin DB7, Aston Martin One-77
  • Hummer H2
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • BMW X5
  • Range Rover Sport

Elton John

Elton John has auctioned off or sold several of the cars in his collection due to lack of time to drive them, among which:

  • Aston Martin
  • Bentley
  • Jaguar
  • Rolls Royce
  • 3 Ferraris
  • Maserati Quattroporte

Steve McQueen

Late actor Steve McQueen starred in many movies involving car chases. He himself loved cars and motorbikes and could not fail to have his own interesting collection.

  • 1957 Chevrolet Convertible
  • 1956 Jaguar Roadster XKSS
  • 1969 Porsche 911 Coupe
  • 1948 MG Roadster

His cars can now be seen at museums and exhibitions, keeping his legend alive.

Four Ways to Sell Better!

In times like these, you can’t afford not to advertise. But in times like these, you can’t afford to waste a single advertising dollar. At USA4SALE Networks, we can help you grow and defend your local business through targeted local advertising in our network of community classified sites. Here are four ways we can benefit your business:

1.) Catch More Fish by Fishing in the Right Pond

While traditional media outlets have remained stagnant or declined in recent years, people are spending more time online. Our network of classified sites draws visitors throughout central Florida for one primary activity – buying and selling. Our unique layout makes browsing easy – and it’s designed to put your message in front of the right audience at just the right time. We call it contextual targeting. And it gets results.

2.) Rescue Your Customers from the Clutches of the Competition

Truth is, we’ve been spending a lot of time with your customers lately. And they’ve been spending time with your competitors, too. Our doors are open 24 hours a day and we attract visitors late at night as well as during office hours. Your customers often come to our website in the buying mood.Our display advertisers are just one click away from the sale . . . or the beginning of a new relationship.

But you don’t have to stay up late yourself to keep your customers in the fold. We’ll do that for you. And while you may have difficulty reaching people at their desk at work, we reach into thousands of workplaces and cubicles every day.

3.) Generate More Qualified Prospects with Improved Lead Generation

You can fill your fishbowl with business cards by giving away popcorn at your trade show booth. But you know that what matters most are qualified prospects. The Internet is an information-driven medium that puts the consumer in the driver’s seat. By giving them the information they’re seeking (and requesting information in return), you can qualify prospects more efficiently — giving you more time to focus on the best leads.

4.) Skip to the Head of the Line (We’ll Show You How)

Are you new to local internet marketing? We’re not. USA4SALE Networks has been a leader in local online advertising for more than a decade. Rather than re-invent the wheel, let us put our experience to work for your business and save you the time, trouble and expense of learning by trial and error. One of our executives will be happy to give you a free consultation.

Cutest Puppy Designer Breeds

Designer breeds are a newer breed of dog which resulted from the accidental or intentional mating of two pedigree dogs. They are not to be confused with mixed breed dogs. Here’s a full list of recognized hybrid  breeds. Read on for our cutest picks:

Labradoodle

As the name suggests, this dog is the product of a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. He carries the color of the Lab but has the curly coat of a poodle. Like both sides of parent, they Labradoodle is great with families with children and seem to like water, a trait common in Labradors. As with other designer breeds, this dog is not recognized by the AKC.

The Labradoodle first appeared in Australia in 1988 and was bred as a dog suitable for people allergic to pet dander and fur. It is now often used as a working dog in therapy, guiding and assistance roles.

Morkies

Morkie puppies or Yorktese appeared in the 1990s and are a mix between the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier breeds. They are small, intelligent and very cute! They are often found in 3 color varieties: black and tan, butterscotch or tri-colored. They are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs, though they do need some grooming. Fully grown, the Morkie will weigh between 5 and 9 pounds.

Cavachon

The Cavachon is a small breed of dog that likes to join in family fun and does not like to be left alone. They are more suitable for older children but get along fine with other pets in the home. Also suitable for allergy sufferers they are great dogs for apartment dwellers.

The Cavachon was created from a King Charles Cavalier and a Bichon Frise. It has the long floppy ears and silky coat of the Cavalier and can come in a variety if colors such as red and white, sable and white, black and white, apricot and white or a combination of three colors. The breed is said to have come about by accident in1996. The dogs need regular maintenance for teeth, hair and nails and they may be prone to some diseases such as ear infections, skin problems, heart problems and hip dysplasia.

Shopping for Puppies in the Classifieds

By shopping locally, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know the breeder personally. Check out some of the puppies for sale in Lake City or our Gainesville puppies page for local puppy breeders.

When shopping for puppies in the classifieds, always be sure you see the breeding facility and meet the breeder personally. In addition, Florida law requires that all puppies come with a health certificate, that no puppy can be sold who is less than 8 weeks old. It is also illegal to advertise a puppy and ask for a deposit to hold.

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