Book Review: Boy on the Beach

Book Description:

Andrew Foster, a real estate developer in San Diego, is a man suddenly haunted by his past. Memories, like specters from his former life of sex, drugs and rock and roll have come crashing into his current world of business in this sunny coastal city. The ominous, repeated appearance of a black SUV at the beach where he meets his sister each week, has triggered fears that it’s payback time for a bad choice he made years ago.

To add to his frustrations, his hopes of a big breakthrough in the San Diego real estate market haven’t come to pass. He’s starting to wonder if his visions of success will ever come true when an investor offers to finance his dream project. Soon things start to fall into place for Andrew in business, life, and even love. He starts dating the beautiful and business-savvy Nicole but even with her at his side he can’t seem to shake the ghosts of his past. As the relationship with Nicole deepens, Andrew opens up to her about the many loves and adventures that have taken him from the crazy days of living in Big Sur and Joshua Tree to business success in San Diego. Her wise insights help him face the character flaws that have caused him to fail in his past relationships.

Rounding out his social life is his once-a-week task of assisting his sister with her nanny job watching a young boy named Chandler. They build sand castles on the beach and enjoy the beauty of nature together. But the now ominous weekly appearance of a strange car at the beach has awakened Andrew’s fears. Is the boy in danger? Or worse, has an enemy from Andrew’s past come seeking revenge and now Chandler’s caught in the middle?

A strange twist of events threatens to destroy Andrew’s dreams, but as he searches for answers, a sudden revelation offers hope of a future he never imagined.

To follow the tour and read reviews, please visit R.D. Maddux’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Book Review:

From the very first chapter Boy on the Beach captured my attention and left me eager to read more. As readers we are introduced to Andrew, the main character of the novel, in the midst of a chase. Andrew revs his engine around steep cliffs, with little more than a woman and a bag of money on the back of his motorcycle. Where are they going? Where did the money come from? Who are they attempting to run from and what type of bloody scene did they witness earlier that day?

The story is told primarily from Andrew’s point of view and it winds back and forth between incidents that occurred thirty-seven years ago and those that are occurring right now, in present day.

The main character is a troubled man with recurrent nightmares of his past. At night the ominous events of his life unfold before him in terrifying ways. Andrew believes that the actions of his former life reign over him. He believes his current misfortunes are a result of his previous choices.

At times he wonders if a curse may have been cast on him. Other times he thinks happiness is simply unattainable as karma is forcing him to pay for prior indiscretions and betrayals.

The author weaves a tapestry of events that mesh the past together with those occurring in present day. While the book begins with that risky motorcycle chase it isn’t until one of the last few chapters that we find out just what Andrew and the girl on the back of the bike were running from.

Between the pages of this novel readers learn a lot about Andrew. I was intrigued by my own desire to learn about a character that is not endearing. If you are like me you won’t cheer for Andrew, but nonetheless you want to find out what happened to him in the past and what will happen from this point forward.

Best of all this book concludes with a surprise ending that wraps up the story in a neat little bow.

Watch the book trailer:
Meet the Author:

R.D. Maddux has story telling in his blood. Since he was young he’s always loved a good tale. He’s been writing seriously since he was in high school and college. His novels range from Mystery and Intrigue to Sci-fi/fantasy. With Boy On The Beach he’s set the story in modern America, to be exact, on the West Coast of California. He’s a native of the golden state and has been a resident of San Diego since 1987. Before that he grew up in northern California and lived in the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area with sojourns in some of the beautiful parts of our state.Living in California for over 60 years he couldn’t help but watch the way things have changed in our culture and the impact this coast makes on the rest of America and the world. So even though Boy On The Beach is fiction, like most serious novels, it is not without a context and comment on issues we all face in our changing world. It takes place in real locations that are very familiar to him and its characters, which are fictional, no doubt have their counterparts in the real world. Boy On The Beach is a story of intrigue, suspense, revenge, love and redemption with flashbacks to the era when sex, drugs and rock and roll set our culture on it’s inevitable journey to our present day. This idea has been rattling around in his heart and mind for a decade and it’s finally coming to the page.Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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August 17, 2018 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

Online Marketing Tips for Cleaning Companies

   

Image source; http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/typewriter/o/online-marketing.html

You have built a great cleaning business, invested in the most advanced equipment and hired the most qualified team of cleaners available. Your only concern is the slow business and lack of growth in revenue. Like every other business, you need to advertise and market your business. In a world where almost half the population uses the internet in one way or the other, most businesses are starting to take online marketing seriously to grow their business and so should you.

In 2017, the internet influenced retails sales of up to $2.8 trillion and the figure will keep going higher. This goes to show just how much impact a well-crafted online marketing strategy can have on your cleaning business. Here are a few tips that will point you in the right direction and help you catch up with the competition.

Optimize your website

Image source; http://www.webseoanalytics.com/blog/60-seo-tips-online-marketing-techniques-for-ecommerce-websites/

Before you even start running your online marketing campaign, you need to be sure that your clients can find your cleaning company. One of the most reliable and effective ways to do this is by having a thorough, simple and straightforward website.

When a client is looking for a cleaning service, you want to them to choose you and your website should make it easy for the client to make that decision. Here are a few factors any good cleaning business website should have;

  • Information on the exact services that you offer (consider the type of cleaning; home or corporate, and frequency; once off or regular)
  • Discuss the packages in depth. You can cover more about each package in the subpages.
  • Make sure all the information on the website is accurate
  • Use images to show your clients what you can do for them
  • Let them know that all their transactions are safe and secure

Once you have optimized your website, you can now go full throttle on your online marketing campaign knowing that your clients will find all the information they need to hire you once they get to the website.

Make use of Social Media

Image source; https://twitter.com/statetechmo/status/946141158715133953

Your greatest online marketing tool should be social media. There are over 3 billion social media users and the number keeps growing. Platforms like Facebook understand their value and have different features that your business could take advantage of to get noticed more easily. One such feature is the Facebook Business Page. In most cases, business owners say they’re not sure what they would post on social media platforms. Here are some great ideas that will give you some traction and help improve engagement among your followers.

  • Photos – get great photos of your staff, before and after photos of places you recently cleaned (with the permission of the client of course), and even photos of your premises. Photos are a major tool for communication online and easily get a lot of attention. It is always a nice idea to make sure that you have an image in most of your posts.
  • Ask questions – question-style posts are a great way to encourage users to interact with your page by responding to questions. The questions should be easy and quick to answer and not take much of your reader’s time.
  • Respond to comments – the only thing social media users love more than interacting with great content is knowing that you care about them. You can show this by responding to comments. Even better, make sure you respond to the comments in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Tips – You could also share some great tips on cleaning. You don’t need to share your trade secrets but little tips that could make the life of your readers easier. You can even do better by creating demo videos on different cleaning hacks.

When setting up your social media accounts, you should have a few things in mind;

  • Use a wide range of social media platforms
  • Include vital information like contact information and services offered
  • Expect some negative feedback and have an approach for unsatisfied customers

Once you have the business pages up and running, you can start by asking family, friends, and colleagues to like the page before you ask clients.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Image source; http://dontpunchaclock.blogspot.com/

This might be a little more complicated than running a Facebook business page but, it is worth your time and effort. Other than social media, the other avenue that potential clients can use to find your business online is by searching for it on Google.

To make the most of Google searches, a good commercial cleaning company website needs to be as close to the top of the rankings as possible. Statistics show that more than 90% of people searching on Google never advance to the page two. To get your website on the first page will take dedication and some investment but, you need to focus your efforts on the following;

  • Optimize your website – start by optimizing your website for SEO. Start by making sure the website is responsive and can be used on different devices. You also need to improve the site loading speed and use quality images. When building content, make sure it is quality content that your readers would love to read and find it useful.
  • Keywords – you need to rank for some of the most commonly search terms related to cleaning businesses. While the search terms are many, you need to focus your energy on ranking for those that are mostly searched. There are different tools you can use like the Google Keyword Planner to help you get the most accurate information.
  • Paid ads – compared to organic listings, paid ads like Google Adwords don’t get as many clicks. However, they are a great funnel for your clients as you work on your organic listings which might take some time to take full effect.

It is practically impossible to discuss more on SEO and Google ranking without getting overly technical. However, understanding these two aspects and improving them can greatly improve your ranking and visibility online.

Get Online Reviews

Image source; https://pixabay.com/p-1977986/?no_redirect

Even when marketing your business online, you need to build trust which will make it easier to land more clients. The best way to do this is to ask for reviews from your clients. It might feel uncomfortable to ask for the reviews but most clients leave a review when requested especially when you’re friendly and they are happy with the service.

Sometimes you might get negative reviews but you can easily bounce back by responding quickly and apologizing and effectively addressing the concern. You could even earn a few more clients by how you handle negative reviews.

The immense penetration of the internet has made it easier for cleaning businesses to reach out to their target audience and grow their revenue. However, with so many options, it is easy to get confused and jump on one too many marking options which might consequently lead to your downfall. With these tips, you’re guaranteed of having improved online interaction with your clients and funnel to your website where clients can directly hire you.

August 11, 2018 at 12:09 PM Leave a comment

A Woman’s Guide to Getting a Quote for Your Car Insurance

If you’re a woman who’s getting car insurance for the first time, it’s understandable if you think that this industry is somehow prejudiced against women. But a quick look at North Carolina car insurance quotes and quotes from other states seem to indicate the exact opposite. In North Carolina, car insurance companies are banned from considering gender as a factor when determining car insurance costs.

Factors Considered

Of course, gender isn’t the only factor that’s considered by car insurance companies. They take into account the particular car (year, make, model) you are driving. They check your driving record to see if you have a history of committing driving offenses.

They also check your credit history as it’s been shown that if you’re responsibly paying your credit card charges, you’re also a responsible driver. Your age is considered as well, since it’s well-known that young drivers need to accumulate experience, and the youth are more prone to irresponsible or even reckless behavior.

Why Women are Better Drivers

So what if there are more male driving champions than female champions? On the average roads, women as a group are safer drivers. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Women tend to go for family cars and safe rides. More men are prone to admire sports cars with powerful engines and great speed, which makes them more dangerous on the road. Women are less likely to buy a car that’s more expensive to insure.
  2. Men generally get involved in more accidents than women, while women are less likely to get into a car accident.
  3. Men get more DUIs.
  4. Men drive more miles, as women tend to engage in “joy riding” activities.
  5. Men accounted for 71% of all car accident-related deaths in 2012.
  6. In 2012, 23% of male drivers who got into fatal accidents were also speeding at the time of the accident. But only 14% of women who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time.
  7. A larger percentage of women use their seatbelts, with 88% for women and 84% for men.
  8. In 2012, it was found that 38% of the fatally injured male drivers had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.8%. The percentage was just 20% for women.
  9. Many insurance companies have already figured out that men are more likely to commit moving violations.
  10. Men are more likely to cause deaths in car accidents.

It is true that young adult men are considered a dangerous demographic of them all. Once men go past 25 years of age, insurance companies begin to see them as more settled and mature, so they’re safer on the road. Still, at any age men are considered statistically more likely to practice unsafe or aggressive driving habits, and that’s why many insurance companies tend to charge more for male drivers.

Insurance is all about statistics and playing the odds, and it’s plain mathematics.

Conclusion

In many places, the fact that you’re a woman is a good thing if you’re looking for car insurance. While some states such as North Carolina, Hawaii, and Massachusetts don’t allow gender as a factor for auto insurance quotes, perhaps the time may come that it will be. If you’re a woman, it’s only fair!

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Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with major marketing. He writes for several sites online such as Semrush.com, Socialnomics.net, Chamberofcommerce.com. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary and Cryptoext. You can connect with him at  Twitter, Linkedin.

August 7, 2018 at 9:10 AM Leave a comment

Moving to Edmonton? Here are 5 Neighborhoods to Consider

Unless you already know where you want to live, one of the most challenging parts of house-hunting is in deciding which neighborhoodx to pick. This is especially true when you’re browsing real estate listings in Edmonton as there are just too many great options available.

What makes things worse is that almost every real estate website will tell you a different thing. A quick search online will show you that every real estate authority will have a different list of the best neighborhoods. While this shouldn’t be too surprising since everyone has their own preferences, it can still be a bit annoying for a lot of home buyers as they can confuse you all the more.

So to help simplify your search, we’ve compared several lists and came up with five neighbourhoods that they all agree to be great places to live in. As every expert list has its own priorities and preferences, the fact that these places showed up in multiple lists means that they can offer a lot of great things.

Central McDougall

Located just north of the downtown core, this residential neighborhood offers proximity to a lot of things which makes it a very excellent choice for a neighborhood. It’s near libraries, public transportation, schools, and even hospitals. Practically everything is within reach, so it will be a convenient place to live in.

Real estate properties are also relatively low-priced in the area. This makes it an attractive option for young buyers and those who are on a tight budget but aren’t willing to live too far from the downtown area.

Woodcroft

Sitting in the northwest portion of Edmonton is the neighbourhood of Woodcroft. It’s home to the Coronation Park, Westmount Centre, the Telus World of Science, and a branch of the Edmonton Public Library. It’s also unique as it’s composed of a combination of residential and light industrial properties.

This neighborhood has the essential amenities you’ll need to live comfortably. It has schools, recreational facilities, jobs, and other necessities that will make it a convenient place to live in. House prices are very friendly, too, so it can definitely be a great choice for a permanent neighborhood.

Oliver

Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Edmonton, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Oliver is also one of the most populated as well. It’s one of the most developed areas in the locale which gives it an interesting history and charm. It sits just west of the downtown core, so it’s also near everything.

However, a lot of Oliver’s residents are quite mobile. This means that if you want to know everyone near you, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a hard time doing so in this neighbourhood as they tend to move a lot.

Queen Mary Park

Originally a part of the Hudson Bay Company reserve, the Queen Mary Park is a residential neighborhood that is found just outside the downtown core. It’s made up of a primarily young community aged 29 to 40 which shouldn’t be too surprising as the area is also mostly occupied by renters.

Most properties in the area, however, are constructed in the 1950s. They’re quite affordable, so they’re still very attractive options to a lot of homebuyers.

Westmount

As its name suggests, this neighborhood is found just west of the downtown core. Development started in 1910, and it catered primarily to young professionals of the era. Because of this, you can also find a lot of historical homes in the area, a lot of which are charming FourSquare or Craftsman style homes.

Hailed as one of the friendliest neighborhoods in Edmonton, it’s also home to a few charming shops and the beautiful Westmount Park.

These are just a few of the neighborhoods that experts recommend as the best neighborhoods in Edmonton. Check their listings out for yourself and you might just find an excellent property that you’d love to call home.

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Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with major marketing. He writes for several sites online such as Semrush.com, Socialnomics.net, Chamberofcommerce.com. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary and Cryptoext. You can connect with him at  Twitter, Linkedin.

August 7, 2018 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

Life in Digits: Human Life Value Calculated in 6 Easy Steps

Your human life value refers to your economic worth, which is based on multiple factors. Knowing your human life value can help you determine that after you pass, how much your family would take a loss. This value can also help you to determine what your needs are in choosing life insurance to ensure your family is well taken care of.

Here’s how you can calculate your human life value:

  1. Keep in mind your current age

This first step is easy: simply knowing your current age. Your current age will be important in calculating your human life value because this can help determine how much longer you may be working before retirement.

  1. Estimate your retirement age

Knowing your potential retirement age is important as this will help you estimate the amount of income you would potentially be bringing in from now until you officially retire. Usually, the retirement age is 60 to 65; however, some may retire sooner or later. Just think of a general retirement age. It doesn’t have to be exact and can be tentative.

As you may have expected, your current age would be subtracted from your retirement age to give you the number of years you expect to still be working until you retire.

  1. Know your current annual income

The next step in calculating your human life value is determining what your current net annual income is. This would be your gross (total) income minus any deductions or taxes. In other words, this would be your take home pay or what you make.

  1. List your liabilities

Apart from what you make, it is equally as important to calculate the debts you have via different liabilities, also known as obligations.

Keep in mind the following types of liabilities along with the value of each:

  • Home loan
  • Education loan
  • Car loan
  1. Remember the types of assets you currently have

Next, it is important to calculate the amount of assets you own. Your number of assets is your equity plus your liabilities.

Keep in mind the following types of assets along with the value of each:

  • Savings A/c
  • Mutual funds
  • Jewellery
  • Life insurance
  • Bonds/Shares
  • Fixed deposits
  1. Use an online calculator to determine what your human life value is

After you have all the above information, a quick, accurate, and convenient way to retrieve your human life value is to use a human life value calculator online. In just seconds, your value will be determined after selecting or typing in the above information.

However, because assets, liabilities, expected retirement age, and the like may change, it is important that you adjust your life insurance plan and the rest of your estate plan to yours and your family’s wants and needs as well as what your current assets and any recent major events that have taken place.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1 in 5 adults with life insurance feel that they don’t have enough. But calculating your human life value can assist you in getting the most relevant plan for you in the moment being.

Conclusion

Calculating your human life value is important, as we discussed, but fortunately is not as difficult to calculate as it may sound. Best of all, there are plenty of resources online to assist you in determining what your value is. Once you have your human life value determined, this will make it clearer what type of life insurance you will require.

About AEGON Life

Launched in July 2008 with pan-India operations, AEGON Life Insurance Company Limited has a vision to be the most recommended new age life insurance company. As a joint venture between AEGON – world’s leading financial services and Bennett, Coleman & Company – India’s leading media house, AEGON Life Insurance adopts the power of global expertise to facilitate a direct to customer approach, leveraging digital platforms to bring transparent solutions, and to prioritize customer’s needs. Our product portfolio includes term life insurance plan, pension plans, unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs), health insurance plans, child education plans, and more.

 

August 3, 2018 at 2:32 PM Leave a comment

Earn Free Gift Cards during the Back to School Team Challenge

It’s that time of the year again! Swagbucks is holding a Back to School Team Challenge to help you earn free gift cards! For those of you who don’t know what Swagbucks is, it’s a website where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online like shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos. You can even earn for searching the web!

If you’ve never tried Swagbucks before because you didn’t know where to begin, their Team Challenges are a great way to learn the ropes and earn points towards free gift cards and PayPal cash! The challenge runs from Monday, August 6th to Friday, August 10th. 

Here’s how you can join the challenge and the site:

1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team.

2. In addition to earning SB, you’ll contribute to your team’s total as you complete different activities on Swagbucks.

3. Check back on the page often to see the scores and what you’ve contribute so far.

All members who participate and contribute at least 600 points to their team’s total will receive a SB bonus in the form of a SB Swag Up Shop Bonus on their next gift card!

Not only that, but if you sign up under me this month and earn 300 SB before September 1st, you’ll get a 300 SB bonus!

Members of the 1st place team will receive a 100 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 2nd place team will receive a 50 SB Swag Up Rebate!

August 2, 2018 at 2:56 PM Leave a comment

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in August

All throughout August you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash.


When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before September 1st, 2018. You’ll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

3. That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself. I typically earn $25, which is deposited directly into PayPal each month!

August 2, 2018 at 2:53 PM Leave a comment

Helping Your Child Pick the Right Instrument

It is always a good idea to motivate your child to play an instrument. Children are very curious by nature. They say that the brain of a child is like a sponge and it can absorb information faster than an adult. Learning to play an instrument will be a piece of a key with a little motivation and guidance from you.

There are a lot of long-term benefits of playing an instrument, especially from an early age. Research has shown that music and playing instruments can improve people’s learning skills that might handy during college or high school. It also helps the child develop a lot of physical and social skills. When you’re thinking about giving your child an instrument, have in mind the child’s say in that as well. Your child has to want to play that instrument.

Here is what you need to take into consideration when you’re thinking of getting your child an instrument.

  1. Practicality

Your child’s age has a big say in this as well. If your child is above 6 years old, there are a lot of choices. If your child is younger than 6, then you are not left with a lot of choices. That is because the child needs to physically capable to handle the instrument. The piano or violin is the perfect and most reasonable choice for children under 6 years old.

There are a lot of additional benefits for your child playing the piano. Playing the piano gives a lot of foundational skills. That is because the child understands music better because it gives the visual representation of music as well.

Guitar is a fantastic option for children. You should consider buying an electric guitar for beginners.

Another great choice is the violin. Violins come in lots of shapes and sizes, from small to large. That’s why violins are a great choice for small children. Another great thing about the violin is the possibility of teaching your child how to tune, which is crucial for any beginner.

  1. Take into consideration your child’s body type.

Taking your child’s body type is essential because that will help them be more prone to a specific instrument.

First, height is a big deciding factor in choosing the right instrument for your child. Taller children will be more capable of handling bigger instruments, whereas shorter children can handle smaller instruments.

If your child chooses instruments that are played with the mouth, then you have to consider your child’s mouth size. Children with smaller lip sizes can work better with smaller instruments like the trumpet or the French horn. But, if your child has bigger lips, he or she will struggle.

Fingers are crucial when it comes to instruments. If your child chooses to play the piano, they will handle the piano better with longer and slender type of fingers.

  1. Choose the appropriate instrument for a child with braces.

A big majority of children wear braces, that’s why it’s important to find the right instrument. Braces can come in the way of a lot of things including playing an instrument.

If your child wants to play the clarinet or saxophone, braces won’t come in the way that much. It may be uncomfortable at first, but in the end, your child will get used to it. Instruments like oboe or bassoon is a great choice if your child has braces.

  1. Manage your child’s time

You have to keep in mind your child’s time and schedule as well. To have your child successfully master an instrument, they have to dedicate at least half an hour for practicing. That’s why it would be a good choice to give your child an instrument that it can be played in the comfort of your own home.

If you choose to give your child drums, for example, they won’t be able to play it at home. That’s would be the case if you don’t have a lot of space in your house. Also, if you live in a quiet neighborhood, loud noises will be a problem.

That’s why it would be better if your child goes outside the house to play the instrument that she or he chooses. Not only, it would a better learning experience, it will help your child socialize more.

Check out this sweet dozmia music blog for more info!

  1. Child’s Personality

Another essential factor in assigning your child an instrument is your child’s personality. If your child is more outgoing and social, they would love to be the center of attention. They would be prone to choosing an instrument that would attract more attention. Instruments like flutes, saxophones or trumpets will be a great choice for outgoing children.

Before you start helping your child choose the right instrument, take your child’s wish and passion into account. In the end, they will the ones spending time learning to play that instrument. If they are unhappy, what would be the point? That’s why it’s very important to help your child choose for itself because music is something that has to come from within to be r

July 30, 2018 at 12:52 AM Leave a comment

Gym Themed Party for Kids

My son was recently invited to a birthday party at a local gym. He’s been invited to Pump-It-Up parties, soccer parties, Chuck-E-Cheese parties, theme based parties and really simple parties held at his friend’s homes. He’s attended super laid-back parties with very few parent-designed activities. If the kids sing Happy Birthday and eat cake than the parents consider it a successful soiree. On the flip side he’s been to parties where parents have spent days contemplating and planning a plethora of activities complete with dress up clothes and theme oriented party favors. As soon as you walk in the door of those events you can just tell that every detail has been examined and architected to ensure the guests have a good time.

The truth is you just never know what to expect at a kid’s birthday party. While every parent wants their child and his or her friends to have a good time it’s impossible to know how it will all unfold. When you throw a whole bunch of four, five and six year olds together in a room chaos can quickly ensue.

It turns out that a gym is the perfect place for a birthday party. After all, if things are going to get rowdy what better place to host a party then a giant room filled with equipment that kids can swing and flip over. What better way to release that excess energy and let it all melt away? Within seconds of walking in the door my son was racing off to the tallest gymnastics equipment. He was walking on balance beams, swinging on bars and leaping from mat to mat like a frog trying to reach his next lily pad. Midway through the party a staff member rolled out an inflatable track that all of the excited party goers could tumble on. The kids’ eyes lit up as they awaited the inflation process and watched the mat expand before their very eyes.

Once fully inflated the children began running, skipping and tumbling and could barely wait the required minute or two until their next turn. When I mentioned how much fun the kids were having a staff member recommended buying an air tumble track for home.

Curiosity got the better of me and I immediately wanted to look up the cost and dimension of these products. There are cheap air tracks and extremely expensive ones, but most homeowners won’t want anything too large. If you want to keep the size manageable a small air track will most likely suit your needs. And if you buy one of these your child’s next gym party might take place in your own backyard!

July 25, 2018 at 9:57 PM Leave a comment

Should You Change Your Current Cell Phone Plan?

It makes little sense to give away your hard-earned money to a carrier that fails to provide you with the best of service. If you are looking to switch carriers to benefit from various deals that are currently being offered, you should choose a service provider after making some key checks and preparations.

We recommend you to sign up for a new carrier service and port your number four days prior to the end of your billing cycle with the company you are dropping. Typically, it takes up just a few minutes to transfer a number. However, it is better to give yourself a few days.

Evaluate Coverage Plans

A carrier may have the best of packages, customer support or handsets but all this won’t matter if it fails to offer you the kind of coverage you need to stay connected at all times.

Make sure you assess the official coverage map before making a switch to maximize your chances of getting 4G LTE data. Don’t assume that all maps are accurate. Even the most popular and trusted carriers have confessed to a mediocre signal strength in places such as your basement. However, a coverage map gives you a fair idea of how well your particular area is covered.

Make sure you check the location of your weekend getaway or your parents’ house to guarantee a strong signal without any interference. Check for factors such as data and voice coverage while comparing the speeds of different services. That’s why people turn to independent companies such as RootMetrics which routinely checks network strength across the U.S.

Seek Advice

Another way to get good advice on deals, prices and coverage quality of a carrier service is to ask a friend or previous customers. You can ask a family member or a friend who has been on the same network that you are considering switching to. This way you can get first-hand advice to know about how the process works when switching to a particular carrier service.

Discussing a service with someone is the same as checking product reviews of a gadget or product on Amazon. Not only you get feedback from real-time users but also get to know whether a new service will be the best fit for your needs. Ask for relevant information such as international roaming, etc.

Compare Offers

One of the biggest steps when it comes to switching carriers is comparing different cell phone plan offers with a tool like CompareMyRates to evaluate the best one for your needs. Service provides lure you into subscribing one of their packages by throwing in plenty of sweeteners. For instance, Verizon re-introduced unlimited plans to beat its rivals and captured a large segment of customers.

But what the company won’t tell you is that it can limit the speeds users get once they hit the 22GB mark in a month on the same unlimited plan. Don’t just get fooled by an enticing price. Check for additional perks such as any discounts you can get on regular packages.

Issues surrounding mobile tethering should also be checked while switching to another carrier. This feature goes a long way to reward users, especially those who need to travel frequently. If you are looking forward to stream YouTube on your next road trip, make sure your chosen carrier service gives you all the features to give you an inclusive coverage.

Get to Know the Process

From unlocking your SIM to moving all your data to another phone, the entire switching process may involve quite a few steps. This experience can be overwhelming and more complicated than most users realize. It helps to keep your old plan intact and make it run until your new one is up and running.

Users must port their existing cell number over to their new carrier; however, it might be suspended for a couple of hours. Hence, the best time to switch to a new network is when you don’t have to fly around the town.

In case your new carrier suggests that your old handset is incompatible (For instance, AT&T phones and T-Mobiles use the GSM network), you may get a new one. This is probably the biggest perk of switching to a new carrier.

Calculate the Cost

When jumping to a new carrier, you must pay off your old phone. Make sure to check with your current wireless provider in case you are unsure. The best part is your new carrier also offers you some prepaid credit to help you manage the cost.

If a user does not contact his current carrier to inquire about the cost of leaving, your current service provider might offer you a few special deals to let you re-consider your decision. You might want to re-evaluate all offers and costs to know what makes more sense.

Luckily, networks no longer offer two-year contracts; however, if a user hasn’t finished his old one, this could another charge to consider. Technically referred to as ETF or Early Termination Fee, you might need a calculator at hand to deal with this issue.

Family or Individual Plan

Make sure you know whether a family plan would best suit your interest since it splits a monthly bucket of data among multiple phone lines. Naturally, this plan is cost-effective and cheaper than going solo. However, you would be unsure of how many GB’s everyone else had been using.

Established services such as Spring, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile offer the best shared plans while resellers like Republic Wireless need more math on your part to calculate.

Bottom Line

Changing your current cell phone plan to switch to a new carrier is not as bad as it seems. Once, you get to know what you should look for in a service and decide the best time to make a switch; the process becomes fairly simple and convenient. Switching cell phone plans may need some research and homework but the effort is worth it. Who knows if you are going to score a better and cheaper deal that also gives you more coverage.

July 25, 2018 at 2:14 PM Leave a comment

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