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Trees: What you don’t know can hurt you… and your tree

 

A lot of people out there have no clue what being a tree owner really entails.

Take me, for instance, I love trees. It’s just always been that way…but when I married my wife, I realized there was so much to trees that I really had no clue about.

For instance… Did you know that evergreens are not all pine trees?

That’s one of the biggest pet peeves among arborist that I know. They want you to know that Evergreens can be spruces (no… these are not pines), pines and larches.

All of them are unique and different. Actually… larches are not evergreen so see?  I still get it wrong!  They look like pine trees to me but they actually drop their needles every year just like any other deciduous tree.

So let’s get to the nitty gritty. What kind of things do you think you know about trees and how can that knowledge help or harm you?

Let’s start with tree identification.

One of the main reasons you need to know what type of tree you are dealing with is so that you know how to take care of it.

Many types of trees take many different approaches if you want to be a successful tree owner (or just someone who lives around trees).

The number one most shocking thing you should know?

TREES CAN KILL YOU.

Yup, you read that right. Like you, I thought trees were just innocent plants doing much of nothing, but NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Those big organisms can take you out in no time and here’s how:

  1. Large Trees have large branches.  If not properly trimmed and pruned, their old branches can fall on you, your house, your car and that’s it. Trust me. I know about this one. I’m not dead, but I did pay well over $13,000 to get my crushed car fixed. I could have just found an affordable tree removal service and had it taken down for less than 2 grand. Needless to say, I learned my lesson about this type of deadly tree. Saving money is not always the best option when dealing with older and larger trees.
  2. Small Trees Can Slap You.  I know this one sounds strange, but I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve actually been slapped by a small branch or tree. If you are driving an SUV or a Quad around and you run over one of these spry little trees, they can ricochet up and slap you or your friends right in the face. Think of all the times you might have taken a walk or hiked in the woods and someone held a branch back for you. Tension is a pretty strong force and if you take a whole tree down, you are talking some serious tension, unless the tree snaps which rarely happens with green trees.
  3. Roots Can Take Down Houses.  This one is not as well-known but after reading this you will get it. Planting a tree too close to home not only poses a danger to the future with large branches that can fall but also poses a threat to the foundation of the home it is planted near. Most people don’t realize that the amount of limbs and leaves you see above ground is equaled by the same number of roots below ground. There is a HUGE mass of organism growing and thriving in the Earth and water travels along these roots like small trickling rivers. If the roots are close enough to the home, they can damage the foundation with the pressure they put on the concrete walls of your foundation, uplift the slab and even deteriorate the walls with the water that travels alongside the root during really rainy events.So how does this kill you? Really? You need to ask?If the foundation busts, what happens to your home?  That’s right….It all falls down. Ring around the Rosy, Pocket full of….well…it’s a pocket full of roots!
  4.  Trees can cause respiratory problems. This is often a common misunderstood problem. Most people don’t think of trees as the “killas” they actually are. If you have sensitive lungs or suffer from allergies (yes…allergies can kill) then you may have already been attacked by this vicious tree secret. While most people think of goldenrod and ragweed as the main reasons they suffer from pollen allergies, they often forget that the largest green organisms on this Earth, the trees, are also spewing out all sorts of pollen (tree sperm) all over the place.One of the worst culprits?Pine Trees and Cottonwood.Pine Trees are generally responsible for 99% of that yellow dust you see on your car when you know the pollen is bad.  You know what I’m talking about?  That really dusty time of the year in the spring (or sometimes fall) when you see a bunch of dust on your car and you have no idea how it got there?Next time you see it, take your finger and scoop up a swipe of the dust and then check it out on white paper. You’ll find thousands of yellow grains that go into your lungs and infiltrate your respiratory system causing an alert response (for some severe) to your body. The cottonwood looks like those little white fairies floating around. A lot of people mistake cottonwood seeds for Dandelion Seeds and nothing is further from the truth. Cottonwood furries are way more prevalent and a lot more people are allergic to them. I never had allergies that I knew of until one day I was caught in a snow storm in the middle of summer.I’m not kidding. It was insane.You could not see anything because on that particular day the cottonwood trees (a member of the poplar family) decided to release their seeds at the same time. I’ve never been more miserable in my life. I suffered breathing issues, watering eyes so bad that I couldn’t see (literally), and a very itchy tongue.  NOTHING is worse than an itchy tongue. I do not recommend trying it out.

So the next time you’re out and about in nature and you’re considering buying one of these killer trees, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Trees can break easy if they are made of soft woods or they can wreak havoc on your respiratory system if they spread a pollen that affects you.

If you’ve been suffering around trees all or your life or even if you are deciding on what trees to buy for your back yard, it’s best to consult a professional tree consultant to help you make the best decisions for your needs so that you are not surprised in the future of the care and uptake it actually takes to be a tree owner or to even live near trees.

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The South Beach Diet

 

It’s not new. It’s been around for a while and it can work if you do it right.

So what is the South Beach Diet?

The South Beach Diet was made by a guy named Arthur Agatston who wrote a book about losing weight in 2003.

Guess what the book was called?

You got it!

The South Beach Diet!

It came around the same time that the Atkin’s Diet was making a roundabout and offered similar eating techniques to lose weight.

The basics of the South Beach Diet are that you eat a lot of low-glycemic items, unsaturated fats, high fiber and very lean protein. Where the Atkins emphasizes proteins, the south beach diet promotes eating a little more of the biological macromolecules available in this world.

It’s a fad. A fad diet. Some people like it, it was sensible for the most part but it wasn’t backed by scientific data. Just like most fad diets, it made claims to being healthy and helping thousands.

So what is the diet?

The diet is made up of three main steps which slowly increase carbohydrate consumption and decreases the proteins and fats.

Suggesting leans meats and veggies is it’s staple while not focusing on caloric intake. It suggests an exercise program and stresses three meals plus 2 snacks a day.

The Actual Diet:

Stage 1: Goal of rapid weight loss, which is about 13 pounds in 2 weeks.

It’s been said that this is not necessarily the healthiest way to approach losing weight however, experts can argue this again and again.

The South Beach Diet is attempting to quickly show results and break bad habits in order to impact more lives quickly.

In this phase the dieter is allowed to eat normal meals of different lean meats, lots of veggies, cheese and salads. They want you to eat until you are satisfied.

Stage 2: After losing 8 to 13 pounds, the focus here is that you will be able to better understand your body signals and bad habits will be a thing of the past.

This phase if different for each person and depends on the dieter themselves. It is the losing weight stage that lasts as long as it takes for you to reach your goal weight.

This stage focuses on lowering the foods you eat that cause cravings and allows you to add some foods back in your diet. You’re allowed to have cake here but they stress controlled treat eating.

The weight loss during this phase isn’t as big but it is considered to be consistent and you will lose a more healthy weight of 1 to 2 pounds a week.

STAGE 3: This is when your Target is met!

Stage 3 is the maintenance phase of the diet that you start after you’ve reached your goal weight. You are now able to be more liberal in what you eat and go back to “normal” eating with wise choices.

The ideas is that you will eat healthy for the rest of your days so the need to diet is unnecessary because the diet has changed you so much.

If you start packing on the pounds in this stage, you just modify your foods and get back on track.

The South Beach diet stresses healthy eating for life, not just for a fad diet.

How is the South Beach Diet different from the other low carb fad diets out there?

The main competing diet for the South Beach Diet is the Atkins Diet. Both diets restrict the use of carbohydrates, but the South Beach Diet tends to be a little more sensible in what it allows during the first phase of the diet.

The South Beach prohibits foods that are rich in simple carbs like white bread, potatoes and white rice. Atkins pretty much nixes them altogether.

Another nice difference is South Beach Diet does not require the dieter to measure their foods but rather work on the precedence that your body knows best.

The SB Diet focuses on the low glycemic index of the foods and how they affect your blood sugar.

Vegetables are encourages in the South Beach Diet along with lean meats, whereas the Atkins suggests meats that have fats of all types and prohibits any carbs that make sense at all during the first phase.

The right fats and the right carbs are the South Beach Diet goals which is does quite well in the 2nd and 3rd phase and primarily one of the reasons I would guess that the Mayo clinic uses this as one of their recommended diets.

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Can you really build an MLM on the Web?

 

Traditional Multi-Level Marketing has been around for a long time.

One of the biggest things about MLM (Multi-level Marketing) is how people think of it.

It has gotten a bad rap because of the online MLM’s that have gone out and really taken advantage of the people who are looking for ways to make money from home.

MLM can help you make money at home offering parties or online. It just depends on what type of MLM you decide to go with.

Some of the common MLM business out there are Beach Body, IPAS2 and Empower Network type things.

Generally with an MLM you buy into a program and are usually offered a product at a premium rate. For that cost, you are then given “rights” to resell the product at extraordinary prices and you make money off of the product you sell.

In addition to selling an overly priced product, like a protein shake for $136.00, you also get a % of the sales of whoever comes in underneath you to the MLM group. To come in as a “sales” associate you pay an additional fee for the privilege to sell the item.

For example, with Beach Body, if you join as a coach, you pay a monthly premium. When you bring in other coaches, you get a % of their sale and a % of yours. As more and more people join, you continue to benefit from the growth of bringing people into the program.

Online Marketing is used in MLM but it is quite different.

Generally Online Marketing focuses on selling products, not getting people to come in under you that you get a % of their sales from.

The bulk of your money for online marketing is a direct result of your efforts and not the efforts of others in a downline below you. There is some interesting MLM training that I’ve come across online that seems to be legit as well.

MLM’s can be considered scuzzy, but they don’t have to be. MLM’s like beach body have changed thousands of lives and helped improve fitness awareness and that’s a good thing. That being said, there are a lot of people out there who are not in line with the original intentions of a MLM (which is usually to improve your life or enhance it somehow) and are just in it to get the money.

Online marketing utilizes the power of marketing to local businesses or online businesses and many people work in online marking do something called “Affiliate Marketing”.

Affiliates of well-known products make a small percentage off of reasonably priced products (for the most part) and when they make $ off of someone who buys from them, the buyer actually get s a tangible product.

In order to utilize the power of online marketing, marketers will take lessons in online marketing, learn the power of persuasion and learn things like attraction marketing. MLM companies generally throw you into the brunt of things and watch you spin around until you either succeed or you are spit out.

With online marketing, you are in more control. Your work efforts directly affect your results and you don’t have to worry about a downline to sustain your monthly income as the rate of returns on online marketing is much lower than that with MLM.

In addition, people who strive to be true online marketers and who work to sell valuable products online are able to walk away with skills that will benefit them for life. Some MLM companies will give you lessons on how to sell and how to make money with affiliates online but this is not their focus and you rarely get a coach with MLM that actually understand the difference between online marketing and MLM marketing.

MLM is generally more about writing blog posts and linking to a sales funnel page that someone else has made and where someone else benefits.

Online marketing takes time and studying your local niches and competition are crucial. Good online marketing opportunities NEVER ask you to pay a premium to sell their product. Online marketing uses sales funnels but they are created by experienced and creative online marketing professionals that want to maintain a professional image of the product they sell.

Online companies are strenuous in choosing who they allow to sell their products and generally keep tabs on the quality of content and types of blogs that are allowed to sell their goods. MLM lets you fly by the seat of your pants and whatever works…works. MLM doesn’t seem to care about anything but bringing in the money…but that’s not always true.

You can make a really good living from both, but remember who you are at the end of the day and if you can peacefully put your head to rest knowing that you are selling other people who are selling overpriced items or if you are helping legitimate product producers that help make people’s lives better by offering them better products and services like Gymboree or Mattel.

The only time you should be paying money to learn about online marketing is when you area actually obtaining valuable information on how to sustain your OWN business and not how to bring more people into a downline to sell over priced items….like a $3000 dvd.

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Blogging – Where did it come from and how did we get here today?

 

Blogging on the world wide web started somewhere around the early 2000’s. Originally used as online diaries, people would type their daily lives and talk about whatever you generally talk about in a personal journal and what not.

Back then they were called journalists and not bloggers. Many were actually members of an online journalism community where they shared their posts, ideas and poems.

It was basically a writers society and not many people knew they had access (nor did they know it existed) to the online blogging world.

One of earliest bloggers, Jerry Pournelle, started at college right when the internet and emailing was becoming big which was in 1994.

I recall learning how to email on a horribly ugly screen in 1996 so I can’t imagine 1994 being much better. There were not images or videos or anything impressive like that to begin with. Just words.

Ironically, in 1994 was when the video stuff just barely began to emerge.

So… the actual first independent blog, by Ian Ring, was created in 1997 as an “e-journal” and utilized the most proper of writing techniques. It was nothing like our bloggers today that write as they think and type as they speak. Ian Ring claims to be the inventor of the “blog” as it is today.

Blogs used for businesses were generally started under the title of things like: “What’s New” or “New Happenings”. These daily or weekly entries were blog like entry’s that were meant to bring in attention to the company and slowly became popular and an important addition to a successful online business.

As more and more software became more prominent as the 21st century approached, bloggers became more and more prevalent.

Some people talked about the news, while others focused on personal adventures and business events.

Eventually bloggers were able to hyperlink in and out of pages to help move people along in their own blog or check out others and allowed blogger to make threads that would allow them to join similar interests.

Eventually, as expected, politics got involved.

Political campaigns evolved in 2001 and intruded the WWW with propaganda for each of the candidates that utilized a blog. Blogging was slowly becoming a campaign tactic to propel the candidate’s life, goals and missions out to the world at a quick pace.

Bloggers began to take political stands with their writing and the common internet visitor now had more influence and contact to “loudest” candidate. After all, think about it. If you have more real estate on line, you must be some sort of authority.

Political blogs can help or hurt a campaign in a matter of seconds.

Blogging began gaining interest and often offered alternative perspectives to news in the mainstream media.

Accessing the emotion and reality of situation online was done through blogging. Covering such items as news stories, wars and political agendas, blogging became a powerful tool in the early 2000’s.

Aside from adding to news stories and events, blogging was also responsible for opening up the world to GLOBAL stories that tear at the heart and raise a cause and desire for change.

Bloggers across the world are now able to give us up to date news on events that may or may not be televised.

Today blogs are used in all sorts of media and are frequently used as topics on the world and local news.

Providing anything from important information about a town to entertaining accounts of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, blogs are a force to be reckoned with.

Bloggers influence out world, our web and our lives.

Blogging is big time money now. If you reach the right audience, you get the right support and people trust you as an authority.

This is a powerful notion and should not be taken lightly.

Some people are using blogs to gather supporters for causes for charities while others use them for finding candidates to join ISIS (a community of people who want to destroy America is the best way I can put it).

Blogs, like humans, have their own personalities and can really make a difference in this world by leaving a positive impact or a detrimental hole in the life we live.

As a blogger myself, I like to think the small foot print I leave on this Earth will be a positive blob of energy that will live on in my blog forever for eons to come.

My words will live forever and I hope my influence does too!

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