Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A good personal injury lawyer is worth his weight in gold

I’ve admitted it once and I’ll admit it again. I, The Hawg, was once an attorney. I gave that up years ago but still remember how valuable personal injury cases were to my small office.

I also remember how valuable those auto accident cases were to other firms in town and how poorly some clients were represented. Here was the deal on each and every one of those cases – if they could be settled easily and for a good amount, then just about any attorney could represent the client well.

If, however, things got tough and an attorney found himself up against a stubborn insurance company then someone who was the victim of an auto accident really needed an attorney who had the ability and the will negotiate well and be more than ready to go to court to get a client what was due. Here’s the thing – some insurance companies are easy to deal with while some are not. When a personal injury case gets tough, a lawyer must be tough enough to make sure the client gets what is owed.

If you are in the Dallas area and need a personal injury lawyer with a good track record and the willingness to tough it out through a hard case if necessary, click one of the links near the top of this post. That’s a good place to start, kids.

Summer and swimming pools – great, but protect your skin

I grew up in the South and I learned something at a very early age – it’s hot down here, folks. It’s far too hot far too often, in fact. Yes, we typically have about six months of summer in these parts and a half year of “not summer” every year, so one learns to keep cool when the temperature gauge starts creeping up over 85 degrees or so (when the heat hits triple digits, keeping cool becomes more of an obsession than a hobby).

A fast and affordable way to stay cool is to get a swimming pool above ground. Few things are more refreshing than hopping in a soothing pool on a hot day and it’s no surprise that those things are popular in these parts.

Melanoma_Diameter_2_1 Ah, but there a danger involved – skin cancer. Lying around in the sun – whether you happen to be in or near a pool or not – can result in skin cancer and the results of that could be tragic. By the way, if you’ve worried that you might have skin cancer you might do well to click the aforementioned link to see a handy molemap that sheds some light on whether you’ve formed a mole that is indicative of melanoma.

Here’s something else to keep in mind. Let’s say you’ve contracted skin cancer through no fault of your own – someone or something else was responsible. Rather dealing with the financial hardships involved with treating your condition, you might find some help by getting in touch with Pukekohe Family Lawyers. If you’re owed compensation, that bunch may be able to help you secure it.

So, there are a few things to keep in mind this summer. Stay cool, stay safe and enjoy yourself. That’s what summer is for, isn’t it?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Music Monday–The Dead Milkmen

There’s nothing quite like hearing Rodney Anonymous go off on a weird, story-like, fake rant is there? Enjoy!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.   PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Investing in gold?


Here’s something that a lot of us know instinctively – the economy is still a mess. The unemployment rate remains too high, the U.S. is in debt and consumers have still got to pay down a lot of money they borrowed on credit.

Now, it’s not all bad news. Things do seem to be improving and there are still some very safe investments out there. One of those great investments is gold. Gold prices have gone up extremely well over the past few years and there’s no reason to suspect anything will change soon along those lines.

The thing about gold, of course, is that prices fluctuate constantly. Where can the wily investor go to find Live Gold Prices so he or she can see how the market is changing at any given moment? I just gave the answer away – find it lurking behind the aforementioned link.

Yep. You’ll find the source for the going prices on all manner of coins and that information will, hopefully, help you invest in something that you know will increase in value at a time when far too many markets are simply risky.

Again, if you’re thinking about investing in gold, do some research, have a look at some Live Gold Prices and be smart with your money. In this day and age, you just can’t have too much investment information, can you?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Because protecting against fraud and identity theft is important

Like it or not, a good credit score is very important in this day and age. Unless you’ve got piles of cash lying around, a solid credit rating is the one thing that will give you access to capital should you need to purchase a home, a car or handle an emergency.

By the way, the notion that you’ve got to be wealthy to have a good credit report is simply false – anyone can establish a good rating, provided they exercise caution when it comes to dealing with debts.

Here’s a very uncomfortable reality – there are a lot of people in this world who will seize on a solid credit rating and exploit it. We’re talking about identity theft here – a nasty little practice in which people pretend to be someone they are not and use that identity to finance all manner of things.

Identity thieves are attracted to great credit scores for obvious reasons – someone with good credit has a lot more access to capital than someone who does not. Once an identity thief is done, that great credit score will turn into a dreadful one and the victim is left with the terrible task of trying to clean up a mess.

The best way to defend against an identity thief is to be on guard against one – to make sure someone who knows that they are doing is monitoring your credit report and protecting it from fraudsters. Want to find that knowledgeable someone to protect you and your credit rating? Just click one of the links in this post, pilgrim, and you’re on your way.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Things that annoy the hell out of me (part 1)

There was a time, not all that long ago, when this here blog was updated on a daily basis. There were, indeed, times when I updated this blog several times a day. Why? Because writing whatever the hell I wanted and when I wanted amused me. I never had a huge following, but there were enough people keeping up with what was going on over here to make everything worthwhile.

So, what happened? I tapped into my print journalist roots and decided to put up a serious site over at That site is still going strong and the traffic count over there is healthy. What’s more, the format allows me to write some honest-to-goodness news about stuff I like and that’s dandy fun. However, I do miss the freedom of an informal blog such as this one.

Specifically, I miss the ability to gripe about things just because I feel like it. It’s time to indulge my petulant complaining once again, so I’m starting a new series here at The Natural State Hawg“Things that Annoy the Hell out of Me.” This series will be in several parts and I’m not sure how many there will be yet because, well, it turns out that a lot of stuff annoys the hell out of me.

So, here we go with Part 1.

political-symbols-democrat-republican-o1. Politics. Let me make two things perfectly clear. First of all, I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in political science and started to suspect when I was in college that politics was mostly absolute crap. Second, I’m a Republican simply because I hate them slightly less than Democrats. Neither party, frankly, is worth a damn.

What annoys me most about politics is that we Americans have a tendency to identify ourselves by which political party we like. In fact, we tend to take politics personally – anyone who agrees with us is smart and worthwhile, whereas anyone who doesn’t is stupid and, perhaps, evil. The tendency to base the value of an individual solely on which worthless politicians they supported in the last election is a tragedy.

Here’s why – neither party gives a damn about the majority of us. Want proof? Influence-peddling and vote-buying was bad enough before the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, thus reinforcing what a lot of us have long suspected – it’s groovy for moneyed interests to have the unfettered ability to purchase votes at will.

If you want to know the disgusting details of Citizens United, just click the link above and get ready to be furious. Here’s why that case is such a slap in the face to us insignificant voters – groups and corporations are allowed to raise, essentially, as much money as they want and fling it at candidates. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), for example, passed a $40 dues increase in 2011 in response to Citizens United and that move means that the trade organization has $40 million more to spend on candidates (add that to the $11.47 million spent by the NAR federally in the 2010 election cycle and you’re talking about some serious money).

And, let’s not just pick on the NAR here. Trade organizations, corporations and other groups were flinging money at politicians before Citizens United and now they can throw even more cash at the government. So, who do you think our elected officials are listening to – the lobbyist backed by millions of dollars or you and your pitiful little vote? Under that system, who benefits – the voters and society or the selfish interests of an organized few?

Getting too wrapped up in politics is pointless and the notion that we should dislike people for sticking with their piece of trash politicians instead of our ineffective politicians borders on insanity. We’ve gone from a representative republic to a government that’s up for grabs like an eBay auction, and being overly loyal to either major party in such a system is a waste of time. In a perfect world, lobbying would be a felony punishable by something truly terrible (an Orwellian “Room 101” scenario comes to mind).

2. The overly sensitive. Have a look at this story from Martinsville, Va. You may have heard about that one – a city councilwoman made a 16-year-old girl cry because the alleged adult was offended by a stick figure on a quilt that was the result of a project taken on by students at Piedmont Governor’s School in that city. Hit the link for details – the whole account is disturbing.

Sadly, groups and individuals getting offended and ruining a good time for the rest of us has become par for the course. Over the years, I’ve seen fist-fights break out on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol over flag burning (a practice I find abhorrent, by the way), churches blocking MTV in the 1980s in some cities in this state (I can block programming I don’t like on my own, thank you), atheists throwing hissy fits about Nativity Scenes at on the Capitol grounds and a law professor who circulated a list of words we students weren’t allowed to use in the school during the early 1990s.

I’d wager we’d all get along a lot better if we didn’t go out of our way to find reasons to be offended. If you live in a free and open society, the chances are good you’re going to be bothered by something, Grow up and learn to deal with it.

3. Arkansas’ damned state lottery. Not long ago, I was standing in line in a convenience store and was there for some time as a lady bought about $400 worth of lottery scratchers. She made her purchase then the woman behind her had to waste a couple of hundred bucks on those things.

“What on earth is going on?” I asked when I got to the register.

“It’s Tuesday,” the clerk said.

“Yes, it is Tuesday. So what?”

“That’s when the new lottery tickets come out. They’re released every Tuesday because that’s when people get their support checks.”

“So, people are taking the cash the government is giving them to live on until they find jobs and blowing it on lottery tickets?”


That’s just great. So, we’ve got people taking money meant to pay bills, buy food and those little conveniences and buying lottery tickets instead. The worse part of that scenario is that the state of Arkansas is in on it. Good grief.

I voted against the statewide lottery when it was put on a ballot and now I think it’s even a worse idea. Yes, Arkansas kids can get scholarships through the cash the lottery raises for the state, but colleges here have responded by raising tuitions in line with those scholarships. It’s looking more and more like we’ve gained nothing from the lottery and that should surprise no one.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

(Some of) The Best Album Titles Ever (maybe)

Throughout the years, I’ve run across some albums that were just so brilliantly titled that I had to buy them. There were times when the music turned out to be disappointing, of course, but a snazzy title will grab my attention every single time.

So, what are the best titles of all time? Well, that’s a highly subjective thing and my criteria on judging titles is pretty basic. First of all, it’s got to be a hoot. Rock and roll bands have generally taken themselves too seriously and have generally tried to come across with heavy, philosophical album titles (or, at least, ones that they thought were cool). It’s refreshing to run across a band that slaps a title on an album that causes all who see it to come to one conclusion – these guys have a sense of humor. I’m a sucker for a sense of humor.

Here’s what I mean. My brother and I once formed a fictional band called Hate Magnet. We figured we’d jump right into the fray by releasing a couple of overblown concept albums to kick off our careers. The first one was to be called “I, Pimp,” whereas the second was to be called “The Pimp and I” so as to offer a different perspective. Funny, huh? Well, we thought so.

Second, in order for an album to make my “top titles” list, I must have actually heard of it. That means we’re going to be looking at albums that came out primarily in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ready? Here’s the list.


1. Elvis Hitler, Disgraceland (1988). Elvis Hitler never exactly hit the big time, but the thrashy-punky Detroit rockers have to be given credit for a gem of an album title. As if pairing Elvis and Adolph Hitler weren’t enough, the band had to just bring the point home by mangling the name of Elvis Preley’s house.


2. The Residents, The Third Reich ‘N Roll (1976). The title is a hoot and the cover is even better (Dick Clark dressed in a German military uniform while holding a carrot?) There are only two songs on this album – both meander on for about 20 minutes as the Residents simply mangle classic hit after classic hit in the time-honored medley format. It’s an odd listen, but what else would one expect from The Residents?


3. The Angry Samoans, The 90s Suck & So Do You (1999). “Metal” Mike Saunders, a proud Little Rock, Ark., boy, had his finger on the pulse of an entire decade with this particular title. The 90s did suck, indeed, and we’d be wise to never forget it. By the way, this old Arkansas boy can’t help but love the illustration of Saunders on the cover – a Razorback shirt, a guitar boldly proclaiming that the SEC Rules and the “Hog Man” scrawl are all awesome in my book. The music isn’t bad, either, although the once hardcore Angry Samoans sound more like a pop-punk band that’s been influenced by Screeching Weasel than one of the most prolific members of the West Coast hardcore punk movement in the 1980s.


4. The Meatmen, We’re the Meatmen… And You Suck!! (1983). Here’s a title that pegs the music on the album perfectly. You’ve got a loud, sloppy guitar, thudding drums, a bass that breaks through the murk every now and again and Tesco Vee offending everyone in earshot. This album is mostly live and it’s obvious that Vee both loves to taunt the audience and doesn’t take things too seriously. It’s all pretty much what you’d expect from a band that was responsible for the suck trilogy – Crippled Children Such, French People Suck and Camel Jockeys Suck. The music isn’t that great, but the packaging is pure gold.


5. Screeching Weasel, How to Make Enemies and Irritate People (1994). Here’s the perfect album title from Ben Weasel and his gang of snot-nosed, Ramones-loving punks. The fun doesn’t stop with the album title – with songs like “I Hate Your Guts on Sunday” and “Nobody Likes You,” you pretty well know that to expect with this one.

New Duncan Imperials - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vegas - 1997

6. The New Duncan Imperials, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vegas (1997). What a title! What an album! The lads – Pigtail Dick, Skipper Zwakinov and Mr. Goodtime Dammit – were at the top of their game here. By the way, if you haven’t heard the all-over-the-map stylings of the New Duncan Imperials, you are missing out on a band that was one of the must unique acts going the 1990s. Guitarist Pigtail Dick professed a great love of Foghat and that explains everything.

Dead Milkmen - Beelzebubba

7. The Dead Milkmen, Beelzebubba (1988). The Dead Milkmen ran out of ideas after a time, but the band was at the top of its game here. Listening to these punks mock one thing after another was great fun. Sadly, the party was over after this one – it was all downhill from here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Custom made products from an American company? Yep.


With the economy still languishing, it’s probably a great idea to support our American-owned businesses, isn’t it?

After all, American companies provide jobs throughout the nation. If there are no American businesses, there are no jobs. If there are no jobs, there’s no economy to speak up and that’s no good at all, is it?

Now, a lot of people hold off sprucing up their homes until the spring and with good reason – winter is no time to be outside and increasing the curb appeal of your house. What’s an effective way to quickly boost the appearance of your home? How about adding personalized doormats, personalized address plaques or residential mailboxes?

You can find all those and more – including Whitehall Mailboxes – at Mailbox and Beyond. That’s an American, family owned company and you can see what items it has to offer by clicking one of the aforementioned links.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Got Linux?

That's right, Linux fans – a new version of Ubuntu is due out today (April 25).

If you already have Ubuntu, your system should tell you when the update is available. If not, launch the update manager in Ubuntu and it will search for the new operating system for you.

If you simply want to switch to Ubuntu, head over to, hit the download tab and follow the directions. Bear in mind that you can have Ubuntu running alongside your current operating system or you can put it on a USB drive or DVD so you can test drive it instead of installing it on your system.

Bear in mind that 13.04 isn’t a radical update – the primary focus appears to be on making the OS run faster. Also, the ever evolving Unity GUI will receive some enhancements, too.

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Turn Internet leads into paying customers


It’s always baffling to me when I see a pitch on the Internet, fill in a response form and then wait hours – or days – for someone to get back to me.

That never made sense to me. I thought the whole purpose of pitching sales and service on the Internet was to generate leads. When people research products and services they’d like to buy, they want a quick response when a site interests them enough to compel them to ask for more information. The thing about the Internet is that we have come to expect a response to a request for information as quickly as possible. If we don’t get a response in a hurry, we tend to move on to another site.

Let’s say I want to buy a new Ford Mustang. I take a look at the sites of two local dealerships that both have cars in inventory that interest me. I fill out response forms to Dealership A and Dealership B. Within five minutes, Dealership B has responded with the information I wanted. At that point, do you think I care whether I hear from Dealership A? Absolutely not. In that scenario, then, Dealership A lost a customer to a competitor simply because it failed to get back to me quickly.

Intuitively, that makes a lot of sense. In fact, there’s a Kellogg study proving that the odds of connecting with a lead increases 100 times if contact is made within five minutes rather than within 30 minutes. Here’s something else – leads contacted within five minutes are 21times more likely to become customers than leads contacted within 30 minutes.

In other words, you can spend a lot of time an effort putting together Internet sites that make visitors notice and take an interest in your business, but it’s all meaningless if you can’t turn leads into customers.

It’s probably a good idea, then, to concentrate as much on turning leads into customers as it is to make a site appealing enough to get people to take the next step by clicking a call to action button. If you need some help in that area, you’re in luck – there’s a company called Speak2Leads that specializes into helping you turn those leads into paying customers.

That’s why your company started an Internet site to begin with, isn’t it? The whole point of putting your company on the Web is to find people interested enough to pay you money. If your company isn’t responding quickly enough to inquiries from potential customers, then what’s the point of its Internet site?

Ever thought about hiring a virtual assistant?


Think about this for a second – when you started your own business, did you ever fantasize about fun-filled days of keeping your books, scheduling appointments, doing customer service and all those other minor tasks that are essential but none too enjoyable?

Probably not. If you’re a lawyer, you probably fantasized more about suing people and righting wrongs than you did about paying your offices’ bills. If you’re a real estate agent, wouldn’t you rather be out showing houses and negotiating prices than entering listings into an MLS. If you’re a doctor … well, you get the idea.

What can free you from those mundane tasks so you can concentrate on the big stuff? Virtual assistant services. That’s right – an assistant to take care of those necessary tasks you don’t like doing so you can enjoy the tasks that led you to your career in the first place.

A virtual assistant, in a nutshell, is someone on contract that will free you up to do the things that make your business profitable. Furthermore, they cost less than full-time employees and you can scale your workforce as you need it – hire more assistants when you need them and fewer when you don’t. There’s no hiring, firing dealing with benefits or all of the other things that come with “regular” employees.

The notion of a virtual assistant isn’t exactly a new idea. Instead, your talking about a labor force that’s been used effectively for years. Think about doctors, for a minute. Do you think they sit around filing insurance claims so they can get paid? Nope – they either hire staff for that or, in many cases, ship that task over to an independent contractor who takes care of that task.

Of course, there’s always a problem with virtual assistants – how do you know you’re getting quality people that will clearly benefit your office? Hit the aforementioned link and you’ll have access to virtual assistants – many of whom hold college degrees – that work for an American company. In other words, you’ll have access to educated people who simply want to work at home and – get this – you’ll be charged some of the lowest rates in the industry to hire those employees.

Of course, you’ll have to make your own coffee but that’s a small price to pay for an efficient, beneficial workforce that will help you do your job better. Hiring a virtual assistant makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Remember the ‘A Hard Days Night’ poster?


Click here for more Wordless Wednesday entries.

Gentle dentistry? Sign me up!


My, but I wish my parents would have had access to the Internet when they were searching for a dentist for me when I was a kid. Unfortunately, a typewriter was about the closest thing to a computer that anyone owned back in the mid-1970s so people relied on word-of-mouth referrals and phone book ads when selecting a dentist.

Ah, but that’s all changed with the Internet, hasn’t it? We can research all day long and find some professionals who will give us the care we deserve in exchanging for forking over our hard-earned money for their services. Still, even that can be a bit dicey at times.

Let’s say you’re in Las Vegas area and you’re looking for a “gentle” dentist. You can bang terms such as  “dentist Las Vegas” or “root canal Las Vegas” into a search engine. What will you get? More often than not, you’ll get a bunch of listings that may or may not get you to the dentist you want.

Well, folks, I’m about to save you the trouble of all that searching – click one of the aforementioned links and you’ll be taken directly to Haymore Endontics. That offices promises gentle procedures and has both user testimonials and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau to back up those claims. Furthermore, you can make an appointment in seconds online and can even find out a thing or two about the practice.

What we’re getting to here is the concept of customer service – something that is critical in this day and age where money is tight and people want the level of service they expect when they hand over a lot of money to a professional. The testimonials at that site confirm that the office does take care of its patients and, frankly, navigating through the site is a joy when one considers how rotten a lot of professional sites are – the one over there is clean, simple loads quickly and provides plenty of information.

Why am I going on so much about an Internet site? Frankly, one has to think that an office that will donate that much time and trouble to a somewhat minor thing as an Internet site will probably bend over backwards to help out patients and provide them the level of service they deserve.

Check out the site to see what I mean. That site comes across as professional all the way and it seems more than a bit above-board. That particular dentist may be just the guy you need to help you through an emergency, and display a lot of kindness and professionalism, to boot.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An underwater iPod? Yep!

OK, raise your hand if you remember when the Sony Walkman made its debut back in the 1980s. Well, you don’t have to raise your hand – that’s more than a bit ridiculous.
Anyway, when the Sony Walkman appeared, it was revolutionary. For the first time, individuals could take their music with them and listen to it through headphones that often produced better fidelity than the huge, loud speakers that were standard equipment on top-end stereos. The Walkman was cheap, portable and reproduced music with amazing clarity. The most striking thing, of course, is that people weren’t stuck in their homes or cars when wanting to listen to their music – an Walkman owner couldn’t simply pop in a cassette and take their favorite music just about anywhere.
Flash forward to 2001 when Apple released the first iPod. It was another revolutionary device in that it offered flawless, digital reproduction of music and allowed people to store entire libraries of music on one device thanks to plenty of storage and compressed audio formats such as MP3 or Apple’s proprietary AAC. That device, too, was revolutionary – it was small, easy to use and could be easily managed with a computer. The good old iPod still sells very well for a good reason – it’s still a great device.
However, the iPod didn’t exactly expand the “range” of where people could listen to their music – you could take it anywhere a Walkman could go but faced the same limitation of the Sony device in that you could listen to it on the bus or in your office, but you couldn’t take it swimming.
Well, that “underwater” barrier has been broken – you can pick up a waterproof iPod for as little as $165. We’re not talking about some off-brand junk, either – we’re talking about an honest-to-goodness iPod Shuffle that has been waterproofed and comes complete with waterproof headphones.
What do you get for your money? How about an iPod Shuffle that’s waterproof up to 200 feet and carries with it a one-year warranty. That’s right – if the device fails underwater, you can get your money back. How’s that for peace of mind? Oh, and don’t think you’re going to get stuck with one of the plain Jane iPod Shuffles, either – you’ve got a full array of colors from which to choose.
Revolutionary? You’d better believe it – imagine listening to your favorite music as you swim. Who knows? Being entertained by the music pouring out of that waterproof iPod may be just the thing to inspire you to work out longer and achieve your fitness goals earlier.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Want that Nook HD to live up to its full potential?

I got a Nook HD+ back in December (partially because I’m a cheapskate and partially because I hate everything Apple makes) and love the thing. It’s a light, fast tablet with a big, sharp screen.

The only drawback to the tablet is that the Barnes & Noble apps store is severely limited. The tablet was built so that you’re locked into that store, but here’s something that Nook HD owners need to know – you can defeat Barnes & Noble’s attempts to control that hardware you bought pretty easily. Yes, the process is called “rooting” and allows you to run the full, Google Android market on your tablet. The Nook HD is built on Android, so why not take some time and force it to behave like a full-blown Android tablet?

Want to learn how? Just click here for an article I wrote about it.

By the way, as for my hatred of Apple, don’t judge until you’ve used a piece of trash iPhone 4S for about a year. That pile of garbage will make you detest Apple and that’s a promise.

Barking Mad or downright entertaining?


There’s something great about a company that run by people that have retained a sense of humor.

Barking Mad – a New Zealand company – is one of those. The company sells greeting cards, resin image panels, image blocks and prints. The site is a hoot and you can see for yourself by heading over there and having a look at, say, Art Prints. While you’re at it, why not check out some thank you cards, too? Go ahead – pop on over and look around for a bit. Fun stuff, huh?

By the way, if you’d like to have a look at a well-designed site that covers more serious topics, click here for some information about Business Planning.

That’s one cool thing about the Internet – you can be informed, entertained or both and well designed sites that prove themselves useful by providing what the visitor is in the mood for are to be appreciated.

A real estate site built right


Let’s just admit it – there are some truly rotten real estate sites out there.

Think about this – when you visit a real estate site, what do you really want? I’d wager you’re more interested in looking at homes that interest you rather than digging through the history of the office that owns the site, big pictures of agents that load slowly and etc., etc., etc.

Most real estate sites, it seems, are more interested in promoting offices and agents rather than giving visitors a simple, effective way to actually search for homes to purchase. Furthermore, those sites that do offer searches tend to utilize overly-complex, overly-detailed search input forms that may or may not help you find the listings for which you are searching. The forms themselves tend to be confusing, the results are often convoluted and not helpful and it is far to easy to run a search and find hundreds of homes that don’t match your criteria whether than just a few that you want.

Here’s some good news for people looking to buy homes in Calgary, Canada – there’s a very good site that is geared for people looking for information about homes for sale (click this link and see for yourself). What makes the site unique? Once you hit the home page, you are presented with a very easy to use search form that will have you searching for homes in a hurry. We’re talking about area MLS listings – a ton of information that’s easy to sift through and is presented in an understandable format to visitors.

To make things even easier, the site allows you to search for homes buy simply drawing areas on a map.

Yes, you can find out all about the office and it’s locations, but those pages are secondary to the main goal of the site – to get people to simply show up and start searching. That’s what visitors typically want, anyway, so why not make it easy for them.

If you’re wanting to search houses for sale in Calgary, give the site a chance. You’ll find it more informative than frustrating due to its easy of use and clean, attractive design.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Screw you, Apple


You know, I haven’t updated this blog in some time. Why not? I haven’t been irritated enough to rant about anything lately.

Now, I’m not talking about the decidedly heavy social issues of the day, our rotten federal government or the general mess that our nation has been drudging through since the dawn of the 21st century. No, it’s more fun to rant about trivial things that annoy the living hell out of me.

The iPhone 4S is the gift that keeps on giving in that regard. I hate this phone more than I thought it was possible to hate an inanimate object, but the iPhone 4S is so obnoxious that it feels more like a prank than a device that’s supposed to be convenient. It has proven to be a consistently awful phone and one has to question a lot of moves it made after Steve Jobs died. Remember what Apple was like without Jobs in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s? The company went from one of the world’s leading technology companies to one that churned out junk. Folks, they’re heading back down that path again. Jobs was Apple and the company isn’t worth two damns without him.

Let me explain. Back in August 2010, I got an iPhone 4. That thing was a brick. It was reliable as all get out in spite of the fact that I’m hard on cell phones and tend to tear them up fairly quickly.

In February 2012, I moved on to the iPhone 4S and that was a mistake. By September, the 4S was having problems connecting to either WiFi or cellular networks. No, the phone had to be completely reset several times a day in order to restore connectivity (and that’s annoying). I took it to the local Apple Store in Little Rock and those folks did a clean reinstall of the OS. That didn’t fix the problem and the Apple Store decided to replace the 4S with a new one in December.

Problem solved, right? Nope. Within a couple of months, my new 4S developed a new problem – the sound likes to cut out from time to time. Yes, it’s silent for a few minutes then starts working again for one unknown reason or another.

If my original 4S was garbage and its replacement is garbage, it’s not too hard to conclude that Apple has some serious quality control issues with its phones. Is the new, Jobs-free Apple utilizing cheaper Chinese slave labor to build these things? It’s hard to tell, really.

The point here is this. Apple has gone, once again, from an international technology innovator to one that is cranking out substandard garbage. Without Jobs, the company is one that is simply resting on its laurels.

I’m curious about whether the iPhone 5 is as much of a disaster as the 4S, but it’s hard to get a straight answer on that. People tend to be zealots about Apple products and zealots are rarely objective.

I’m due a new phone in a couple of months, so it seems my time in the Apple camp is rapidly coming to an end. My tablet is Android, so it makes sense to grab an Android-powered phone, too.

Ever wanted to visit London?

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Let me ask you a couple of questions. Have you ever visited London? If you were to visit London, would you want relevant information about the sites and attractions in the city?

Here’s the thing about visiting anywhere with which you are not familiar – it can be frustrating to figure out where to go, what to see and what do do, right?

That’s where Robert and Polly Arnold come in. They are Londoners and have lived there all of their lives. They specialize in not only finding London Apartments for visitors, but also use their knowledge of central London to help visitors figure out what to see and what to do while there.

That’s right – they can find you a London Apartment that is located near where you want to be and have the knowledge to help make your stay there something special. Give them a shot, folks.