30.4.15

6 Ways To Save Money On Groceries

1. Buy in bulk. Bulk items almost always have better prices. Freeze the extra stuff when you can.

2. Use coupons. They will save you money, but only buy the stuff you were going to buy anyway.

3. Look for cheap cuts of meat. Use these for soups and slow cookers. You get the same protein for better prices and still retain a bit of flavor.

4. Be picky about expiration dates. Look around on the shelf for something that doesn’t expire so soon. The longer you have to consume it, the less likely you are to waste it.

5. Avoid the ends of aisles. The stuff on display is the stuff they want to get rid of. Tread with caution.

6. Shop at more than one store. Some places have good prices on bulk items. Some places have good prices on produce. Look around for the best deals.

by Johnny Webber

27.4.15

Instructions for Life

These are from a book called "Life's Little Instruction Book", by Jackson Brown and H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Memorize your favorite poem.
  3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, I love you, mean it.
  5. When you say, I'm sorry, look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged for at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slow but think quick.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, Why do you want to know?
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Call your family.
  16. Say, Bless you, when someone sneezes.
  17. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  18. Remember the three R's: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
  19. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  20. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, his/her conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  23. Spend some time alone.
  24. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  26. Read more books and watch less TV.
  27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
  28. A loving atmosphere in your home is important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
  29. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  30. Read between the lines.
  31. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  32. Be gentle with the earth.
  33. Never interrupt when you're being flattered.
  34. Mind your own business.
  35. Don't trust a lover who doesn't close their eyes when you kiss them.
  36. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  37. If you make a lot of money, put it to use while you are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.
  38. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
  39. Learn the rules, then break some.
  40. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
  41. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  42. Remember that your character is your destiny.
  43. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

25.4.15

This Dog Kept Wandering Into Her Yard........

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into her yard; she could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.

He calmly came over to her, she gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed her into her house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and she let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted her in her yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious she pinned a note to his collar: ‘I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.’

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: ‘He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 he’s trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?’


source: Did You See This?

24.4.15

Facebook News Feed Update Will Likely Hurt Pages



Facebook is tinkering around with its News Feed algorithm, and rarely is that a good sign for Facebook Pages and organic reach. I’m afraid this announcement doesn’t sound particularly great for them either.

There are three updates. We’ll get right to the one that will have Page owners worried first.

With this particular update, Facebook is basically going to show some people more content from their friends and less from Pages. The good news is that this won’t be the case for all users. Facebook is taking into account the behavior of each user, and deciding which way to turn the dial based on that. If John Doe interacts with friends’ content much more than Page content, he’s going to get more friend content and less Page content. If Jane Doe interacts more with Pages and less with friends, she’ll continue to get roughly the same amount of Page content.

As Facebook explains, the “update tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or links, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it. If you like to read news or interact with posts from pages you care about, you will still see that content in News Feed. This update tries to make the balance of content the right one for each individual person.”

“The goal of News Feed is to show you the content that matters to you,” it says. “This means we need to give you the right mix of updates from friends and public figures, publishers, businesses and local organizations you are connected to. This balance is different for everyone depending on what people are most interested in learning about every day. As more people and pages are sharing more content, we need to keep improving News Feed to get this balance right.”

One of the other updates will make it so that people who don’t have a lot of content available to see may start seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row. The third one demotes posts that show when a friend has liked or commented on someone else’s post.

Facebook says the impact of the changes on Pages’ distribution will vary “considerably” depending on any given Page’s audience.

“In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline,” It says. “Overall, pages should continue to post things that people find meaningful.”

It also points to a document for best practices for driving referral traffic. It’s definitely a good time to take a closer look at that.
What Facebook says to do to drive referrals to your site

Facebook gives you 12 “best practices” to drive referrals to your site.

First off, “post frequently” to your Facebook Page. A while back, we looked at research Facebook shared that found that publishers increasing post volume by an average of 45% over a week resulted in a 76% increase in outbound clicks, 10% increase in likes per post, and 47% increase in fans. Facebook points to this research in its document.

Facebook also considers posting a variety of content to be an important way to drive referrals. This means using different formats including links, photos, videos, and other content. It says to use text prompts and calls-to-action in your posts to inspire engagement.

As you may know, video has absolutely exploded on Facebook over the past year. We’re just talking about native Facebook video though. Facebook says to upload videos to Facebook with a call to action to get Facebook users to go to your site.

Another idea is to create content with social context in mind. Again, that’s straight from Facebook.

“What would make someone more likely to share your content? Think about identity and emotion — key drivers of sharing — when writing headlines and choosing images,” it says.

You should be tagging other pages in your Facebook posts when applicable. this makes your posts eligible to appear in the News Feed of people who are fans of those pages, which Facebook explicitly says can potentially increase your distribution.

Facebook lists hosting a Q&A on your page as a best practice. While this can certainly be great for engagement and possibly News Feed reach, I’m not sure it will directly be great for referrals, but either way, it can’t hurt.

Another interesting best practice Facebook suggests is to “build around your stars” referring to the most well-known people associated with your brand.

It recommends using the Trending section to find popular topics and post about them.

It says to embed Facebook or Instagram posts in your website, which seems better for driving referrals to Facebook, but whatever.

It says to add the like and share buttons to your site and mobile apps (obviously), to add Open Graph and App links tags, and finally, to add Facebook Comments to your site.

Last month, Facebook launched a new version of its Comments plugin, which comes with some new benefits.

As far as the News Feed update goes, we’ll see if Pages notice a dramatic effect from the changes. Either way, it’s not what a lot of businesses want to hear right while they’re already dealing with a major Google algorithm update.

source:  Chris Crum

22.4.15

One More Try



It all began when, in 1989, an American truck driver dumped me near the Mexican border.

And there I was, trying to figure out which way the wind blew. I had about a thousand dollars in cash, my rucksack, a German army surplus sleeping bag, and one pair of shoes. But they were good.  

And I decided to go and have a look - the rest is history.

The first Mexican I met was a surly Mexican border guard. I had gotten off the train to stretch my legs, and he barked at me: "What's your profession?"

I was an unskilled laborer at the time, but I thought that if I tell him that, he might take me for an illegal immigrant who wanted to work the fields. So I told him I was a baker.

Wind forward two years.

By now I speak Spanish and have worked for several language schools giving German and English classes in Mexico-City. And I have decided to go 'big-time', to set up my own school.

I went to a tailor and had myself a couple of suits made, and my shoes were always polished. The day my company was incorporated somebody asked my by coincidence what I was doing. I told him that I was the General Director of a language school. He didn't need to know that I was the only director, the accountant, message boy and the sole teacher. Why, in my head I had it all figured out!

I started to visit the human resources departments of Mexican and multinational companies, presenting our program for teaching their staff that one indispensable skill - that second language. Since I didn't have any money, I traveled Mexico-City in it's public transport system, squeezing myself into the subway and doubling myself up so that I could fit into their mini-buses.

After working the streets for about a year, and nothing really happening (yes, a couple of companies hired us, but the volume was really nothing to write home about) I was getting exhausted. However, I was undaunted.

It was a Friday afternoon, around 6:00, and I was actually on my way home. I was perched with other commuters into a small public transport vehicle, and it drove past an insurance company.

I said to myself "One more effort for today", and got off. I didn't know at the time that this particular insurance company had recently been bought by the American company Aetna.

I paid a visit to the human resources department and left my business card.

To make a long story short, they hired us to teach all their staff, and I had to start hiring teachers immediately.

What's more, the wife of the person in charge of training was in charge of training in a major Mexican bank. I paid her a visit, too.

Within a couple of month my school exploded. I had to constantly hire and train new language teachers and had by then a full-time administrative staff. And my own car.

21.4.15

When you feel like giving up........



As you might know, I'm a Social Media Manager, and, without wanting to gloat, I'm doing fine.

But it was a long and hard way before I finally got there. I invested literally years in the project, and in the meantime I didn't have anything to show for it. Yes, maybe a client here, a client there, but nothing to write home about.

And it was tough. I was the only one who believed in me and my dreams, but sometimes I just began to wonder......... Had I lost my mind?

At other times it was brute stubbornness that kept me going. At those times I even forgot my goals, I just gritted my teeth and did my thing.

In 2013 I was just about to throw in the towel. I desperately talked to one of my sons about persistence, while I was at the point of losing it. I remember telling him that there was a very fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot........ (I remember him  laughing his head off at this).

But I got there, right after I decided to give it  just another couple of month.

So my advice to you is a quote by Zara Lockwood: When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.

19.4.15

They Urgently Needed A New Paradigm

The universe we live in has certain fixed values, as well called the Planck constants. Without those seven constants life on our planet, and anywhere else in the universe, would be impossible.

In other words, if only one of those constants would be only slightly different, I wouldn't be sitting here at my computer writing this blog post. In fact, I wouldn't exist, and neither would you. Earth would probably be just a barren planet, with no flora and fauna at all.

So logical thinking would reason that there must be a design behind it all. The probability of these constants coming into effect exactly as they are by chance is so minute that it can be practically ignored.

That was a tough nut for science to crack. The constants can be proven, but scientists couldn't just live with the idea of a creator/designer behind it all - it's just not scientific.

So they racked their brains, did a couple of brainstorms, wrote papers, discussed the issue. There had to be a way out of it, there had to be an explanation how this universe came to pass without God being behind it.

And bingo - born was the new theory of parallel universes. Because if you accept the idea that there are simultaneously millions of universes, what's happening then in our universe is simply a random configuration of values.

We were just lucky!



18.4.15

Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you into trouble.

To listen to another person is a skill that, in my humble opinion, should be taught at school, beginning right at primary school level.

It’s such an essential exercise. Just imagine for a second the world’s politicians ‘really’ listening to each other. That would imply the effort of actually trying to understand what the other one says. And that not only on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level as well.

It’s an inherently risky business, because the better I understand my ‘opponent’, the greater the risk that I actually would have to agree with him/her, at least partially.

Imagine the prime ministers of India and Pakistan doing just that. Or, in the United States, a Democrat and a member of the Tea-Party movement.

Imagine for a second that both sides would have to repeat, in their own words, what their ‘opponent’ said. And not only that, but they would have to explain it even better than the ‘other’ was able to express it.

World Peace would be at hand!

17.4.15

One Thing You Can Do To Defend Yourself Against Negativity

Negativity can be very persuasive  - and it doesn't just show itself in Doomsday Theories. We find it in our daily lives, on the one hand by just watching TV (and news in particular), and, on the other and more importantly, through pessimistic people that we have to put up with at our jobs and in our families.

And make no mistake, it can be contagious. Misery is easy, it's happiness you have to work at. The way towards a pessimistic outlook on life is always the one with the least resistance.

It is emotionally challenging to be around a negative person , somebody whose glass is always half-empty, a person that doesn't accept that there are shades between black and white. So protect yourself.

There are limits on the protection you can give yourself in your family and in your workplace. There are people you just have to spend time with, like it or not.  

Not so with your friends, so choose them wisely. Other people will always rub off on your personality, the kind of person you are. So surround yourself with positive people.

Befriend people who are optimistic, who view life more as a series of challenges to be overcome and to grow with, instead of those who only see problems ahead.

Look for those with a sense of humor, somebody you can have a good laugh with. Laughter is, after all, the last defense against the universe.

Find those who accept that life is difficult, but who know that life is MEANT to be difficult. They are those who overcome obstacles, instead of just moaning that there is yet another one.

16.4.15

Problems After Problems – Yuck!

“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year.”

I don’t know who said that originally, but it does sound a chord, doesn’t it? I mean, the way I see it life is meant to be difficult, is meant to be a series of problems which have to be solved.

Take a problem, any problem. We only recognize it as a problem because it’s just a touch outside the field of our capacity to solve it. In order to solve the situation, we have to expand. In other words, we have to learn and grow, acquire new skills in order to solve that particular problem.

Once we have acquired those skills, we solve the problem. And henceforth, when a similar situation arises, we don’t define it as a problem, don’t ‘see’ it as a problem anymore, since we have the skill set to work through the situation and go on with our lives.

But then a funny thing happens. A new problem arises, just a touch outside our field of our capacity to solve it and we ……… 

I guess you get the picture.

I’m convinced that the powers that be never present us with a problem which we are not, at least potentially, able to solve.

15.4.15

Nature doesn't care whether we are happy

A lot has been said and written about the fact that we hardly ever live in the present - in fact, whole religions have been based on in. Most of us tend to either regret things from the past, or worry about the future. Now if that sounds too negative to you, let's reword it: Most of us either indulge in happy memories or are eagerly anticipating the future.

Take your pick. Either way, it's the present moment that mostly eludes us, and I for one am at a stage in my life where I find the situation outright absurd. Why does the future take up so much of my time and (mental) energy, when I know by now through experience that most of my projections will never come true? Mark Twain once said that he had been through some terrible things in his life, some of which actually happened!

And the whole subject seems to be interwoven with questions of spirituality - live the 'here and now', that's all there is to it. That's how you are going to experience God.......

Lately I`ve come to understand something fundamental about the whole subject. It's all connected with a simple trick evolution played on the human race in order for it to survive.

See, cavemen started to remember unpleasant events. They remembered another member of their tribe who went into certain parts of the woods, and never came back since the wolves feasted on him. They remembered their sister-in-law who suddenly fell ill and died. She had eaten that funny  looking meat.

And they went beyond what animals did. They started to think about how to get to the wolves first, before they got to them. They started to scheme, to imagine, to project the future. And that's how homo sapiens survived.

So there is a pretty straightforward, natural reason, based on evolution, why we are how we are, why we keep missing that precious 'now', why Nirvana keeps eluding us.

And nature doesn't care whether we are happy. For nature, as long as the human race persists, it has done its job.

I guess the rest is up to each of us........

14.4.15

Just Do It Gently, Please

We’re all sinners, in my humble opinion. I don’t mean it necessarily in a religious way. I believe that my great hero, the carpenter from Palestine, just summed up what humanity was by then ready to hear (or not). It’s not always easy to hear the truth. 

That’s why they killed Him, I guess.

To sin is not exclusively to outright lie, steal or seduce your neighbour's spouse. Those sins are easy to recognize. 


More than anything it means to rarely hit the mark, to give our best only on a limited number of occasions, knowing that with just a little more effort we could do better.

And we know it, at least if we are willing to listen to that nagging voice inside us.

That implies that we need correction, and that correction comes usually in the form of criticism by our fellow men or women.

Nothing new there, that’s how the ball rolls.

However, it’s not so much the criticism that stings. I believe that all of us deep inside know that we are imperfect, and that criticism is usually justified.

However, there are people who do it with brutal honesty. My hallucination is that they get more a kick out of the ‘brutal’ than the ‘honesty’.

People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. 

13.4.15

The Addiction to Emotion

Science has found out that we are physically addicted to our emotions. This is one of the main reasons we always seem to be in the same emotional states.

People have a lot of different temperaments. There is this lady who is always moody, brooding about this, that and the other. You meet this gentleman who always greets you with a smile. There is this aggressive kid on the block, and you fear his violence. There is this boss of yours, and you just can’t please him, no matter how hard you try.

Most people tend to behave in a predictable pattern. It is said that you’re born with your temperament, and that your character is formed over the years. And once character has been formed most people don’t change that much. They basically do the same, say the same, and react in the same manner to a given circumstance. And that’s just fine by us, since we like to know who we are dealing with. We don’t like surprises.

The same applies to us. We don’t change that much, the way we act is pretty predictable to those around us. That’s how we get on with the world and the people in it.

The way we act, the things we do are always determined not by what we think, but by what we feel. No matter from which angle you look at it, the most basic motivating factor for us when deciding to embark on a course of action (or not) is the question on how that will make us feel. Is it going to give us pleasure or is it going to cause us pain. We like to think of us as rational human beings, but most of our so-called rational actions are based on our emotions, whether that happens consciously or unconsciously.

We are not so much thinking creatures but feeling creatures. It’s our emotions that tell us whether we are happy or sad, feel successful or a total failure. And we become, literally and physically, addicted to the emotions we feel most often.

There are parts in our brain that discharge so-called peptides into our bloodstream. These are miniscule chemicals that make us feel the way we feel. There is a peptide for anger, a peptide for love, one for frustration, another one for feeling successful, sad, dejected, on top of the world- you name any emotion, and soon there will even be a name for the specific peptide that runs through your body when we feel it.

And here comes the really dramatic part. Whatever peptide is discharged into our bloodstream, if it is discharged on a continuous, habitual basis, your body, and with it you, will become physically addicted to it.

So somebody who for years has been feeling irritated about everything, even a butterfly flying accidentally into his house, is addicted to the specific peptide that, on a bio-chemical level, causes him to feel that irritation. What happens if this person just can’t find a reason for feeling irritated? There are two ways. One is remembering and focusing on situations in the past that gave him/her cause for irritation. By just conjuring up these images in his/her imagination he/she sends a signal to his brain that it’s time for his fix.

Or she might physically move around the house until he stumbles over a pair of shoes his daughter left standing in the hallway – and that’s enough to fire him up.

A ‘Why does this always happen to me?’ person will unconsciously bump into a waiter in a restaurant so that he spills the drink on her dress.

In that sense, we are all junkies.

And it’s one of the main reasons why we are so predictable. Since we are always trying to feel in a way that pleases our body cells by administering the right peptides to them, we usually act in a manner that ensures those provisions.

12.4.15

eBook: Make Twitter Work For You



Let me teach you how to get 70k to 100k NEW Followers to your Twitter account within the year


But not only that. In this 124 pages  .pdf file eBook I will show you how to exercise massive influence with your followers and turn them into friends, associates and clients that are eager to listen to what you have to say.

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I have 302,034 very active followers on Twitter. 

I'm glad to say that I have found most of my students and clients on Twitter. And that is because I approached the growing of my Twitter account, after some initial bewilderment, as a skill that can be learned.

I had to do it by trial and error, and there were a lot of errors, believe me! But now I am in a position to help you avoid those mistakes and apply the most effective strategies right from the start.

What I will teach you in my eBook are time-proven strategies, strategies that I have tested and developed over the years myself.

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Twitter is the perfect tool for meeting new people around the globe, whatever your niche or agenda. 

It's practically the only Social Network out there where you can grow your influence on a massive scale without having to invest a dime.

With some effort on your part, and equipped with the knowledge on how to work effectively on Twitter, you will soon see results that will blow your mind. Results that will translate into new clients, readers of your new novel, the sale of your photographs, donations to the charity you are supporting, you name it.

Here is what you will learn in this course:

* How to be competent on Twitter right from the start.

* The three main ingredients to exercising massive and lasting influence on Twitter: Entertain - Inform - Pursue Your Agenda

* I will reveal to you how to find new followers that are eager to listen to what you have to say,   people who are looking forward to your next tweet.

* How to break through the Twitter wall, those awkward follow limits that Twitter imposes particularly on new account.

* You will learn, in depth, how to engage with your followers, and in the process turn the time they spend on Twitter into a pleasant experience - and they are going to love you for it!

* Which pitfalls to avoid and the things you should not do on Twitter.

* You will learn some technical stuff: what are #hashtags and apps?

* And, last but not least, you will learn how to protect your account from phishing and how to keep hackers away.

  (Everything I will teach you will be within Twitter rules and TOS, there will be absolutely no shortcuts.)

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I have included a special bonus:

Particularly new users are sometimes at a loss when it comes to posting content on their timeline.

I have prepared a list of hundreds of tailor-made tweets that I make available to you in this book.

Those are updates that have proven over time to be effective and to elicit massive, positive response from your followers - and THAT'S what you are after!

They are all 140 characters or less, and they are ready to go! 

The price tag is U$ 19.95, payable via Paypal. If you are interested, drop me a line at xalapa88@gmail.com, please. 

The document file is downloadable in PDF format.  You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the file.