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Your Baby Can Read

Dr. Titzer says the current practice of starting to teach reading skills in school is too late and children benefit greatly from getting a much earlier start since a child basically has only one natural window for learning language.  Read more!
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Free $250 Baby Store Gift Card

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The Dukes Of Hazzard (DVD) Review

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, television viewers fell in love with The Dukes of Hazzard, a weekly foray into the fictional setting of Hazzard County, Georgia. Cousins Bo and Luke Duke (John Schneider and Tom Wopat) spent each episode trying to do good, while the loveable “Boss” Hogg (Sorrell Booke) concocted various schemes for making money and having the Duke boys, who always foiled his plans, thrown in jail for violating their probation (the result of a deal with the federal government to end the centuries-old Duke family tradition of bootlegging).

Joining Bo and Luke are their Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle), a grandfatherly figure who owns the family farm, and Cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach), whose skimpy shorts coined the cultural term “daisy dukes”. Along with “Crazy” Cooter (Ben Jones), the local mechanic, they create a formidable threat to the money-making shenanigans of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best) and the owner of seemingly every business entity in Hazzard County, J.D. “Boss” Hogg. But critics will argue that the true star of the show was the General Lee, Bo and Luke’s bright orange Dodge race car with the Confederate flag pasted on its roof…

The Dukes of Hazzard DVD offers a number of famous episodes, including the series premiere “One-Armed Bandits,” source of the video clips that would appear in the opening sequence of the show for much of its duration. Other notable episodes include “High Octane” in which Jesse Duke outsmarts Boss and Roscoe in his quest to win the government’s alternative fuel contest, and “Route 7-11” in which Bo and Luke unwittingly become part of an illegal gambling ring until Jesse comes to save the day. Also included on the first season Dukes of Hazzard DVD are The 20th Anniversary Hazzard County Barbecue documentary including John Schneider and Catherine Bach, Dukes Driving 101: A High-Octane Salute including interviews with professional racecar drivers, and The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee video game preview…

Below is a list of episodes included on The Dukes Of Hazzard (Season 1) DVD:

Episode 1 (One-Armed Bandits) Air Date: 01-26-1979

Episode 2 (Daisy’s Song) Air Date: 02-02-1979

Episode 3 (Mary Kaye’s Baby) Air Date: 02-09-1979

Episode 4 (Repo Men) Air Date: 02-16-1979

Episode 5 (High-Octane) Air Date: 02-23-1979

Episode 6 (Swamp Molly) Air Date: 03-09-1979

Episode 7 (Luke’s Love Story) Air Date: 03-16-1979

Episode 8 (The Big Heist) Air Date: 03-30-1979

Episode 9 (Limo One Is Missing) Air Date: 04-06-1979

Episode 10 (Deputy Dukes) Air Date: 04-13-1979

Episode 11 (Money To Burn) Air Date: 04-20-1979

Episode 12 (Route 7-11) Air Date: 05-04-1979

Episode 13 (Double Sting) Air Date: 05-11-1979

Britt Gillette is author of The DVD Report, a blog where you can find more reviews like this one of The Dukes Of Hazzard (DVD).

Dawson’s Creek (DVD) Review

Nominated for 12 Teen Choice Awards in its five-year (six season) run, including Best Drama Series, Dawson’s Creek quickly built an extensive cult following. A surprise smash hit for the enterprising WB network, the show initiated a successful string of numerous original series for WB such as Angel (1999), Gilmore Girls (2000), and Smallville (2001). Set in the fictional township of Capeside, Massachusetts, the series was nonetheless filmed almost entirely on location in Wilmington, North Carolina (although the opening theme song, “I Don’t Want To Wait,” is written and performed by Massachusetts native Paula Cole). Creator Kevin Williamson (writer for the blockbuster movie Scream) is said to have modeled the characters on Dawson’s Creek after various aspects of his own self from his adolescent years…

Dawson’s Creek follows the lives of several teenagers, some of whom grew up together, as they struggle through the tempestuous and volatile years of pre-adulthood. The title character is Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), an introspective and intelligent dreamer who lives nearby lifelong best friend Josephine “Joey” Potter (Katie Holmes), a tomboy unaware of how truly beautiful she is. Mutual friend Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) is part of their clique, as are newcomers Jennifer “Jen” Lindley (Michelle Williams), Andrea “Andie” McPhee (Meredith Monroe), and Jack McPhee (Kerr Smith). Together, the friends form the basis of a teen soap opera, complete with high drama, curiosity, and bits of comic relief. Know for its intelligent subject matter, clever dialogue, and no-holds-barred tackling of issues, Dawson’s Creek made most of its cast overnight celebrities…

The Dawson’s Creek DVD (Season 1) features a number of dramatic episodes including the series premiere in which longtime friends Dawson, Joey, Pacey, and new friend Jen attend their first day of tenth grade. Meanwhile, Dawson notices that Joey is growing jealous of his attraction to the new girl in town, and Pacey develops a crush on an unknown woman who just happens to be a teacher at Capeside High… Other notable episodes from Season 1 include “Discovery” in which Dawson discovers his mother’s affair, Joey’s knowledge of it, and some personal information about Jen, and “The Scare” in which Dawson and company scare themselves for real when a serial killer heads toward Capeside during their Friday the 13th séance…

Below is a list of episodes included on the Dawson’s Creek (Season 1) DVD:

Episode 1 (Pilot) Air Date: 01-20-1998

Episode 2 (Dance) Air Date: 01-27-1998

Episode 3 (Kiss) Air Date: 02-03-1998

Episode 4 (Discovery) Air Date: 02-10-1998

Episode 5 (Hurricane) Air Date: 02-17-1998

Episode 6 (Baby) Air Date: 02-24-1998

Episode 7 (Detention) Air Date: 03-03-1998

Episode 8 (Boyfriend) Air Date: 03-10-1998

Episode 9 (Road Trip) Air Date: 03-17-1998

Episode 10 (Double Date) Air Date: 04-28-1998

Episode 11 (The Scare) Air Date: 05-05-1998

Episode 12 (Beauty Contest) Air Date: 05-12-1998

Episode 13 (Decisions) Air Date: 05-19-1998

Britt Gillette is author of The DVD Report, a blog where you can find more reviews like this one of the Dawson’s Creek (DVD).

“The Escape production crew interviewed me the afternoon of Friday June 8 at the Bay Club and shot some “B-roll” footage of me training clients. The actual race was on Sunday June 10 with an approximate start time of 8 am. I finished by 12 noon.

*SUSAN’S NOTE: “B-roll” means background shots to be used when the story is edited to illustrate the commentary and give “backstory” to bring the audience quickly up to speed to the present on-screen story.*

1. Make Sure Your Story Has “Human Interest”

To my shock and surprise, there were only two “human interest” stories, thus I had a better chance of getting more air time. Contrary to prior broadcasts, they followed me through the whole course with interview questions!!! (This is after spending 3 hours with them on Friday before the race).

*SUSAN’S NOTE: Any kind of dramatic visible change is ripe for TV coverage. Change that can be seen instantly (in this instance going from fat to fit) is easily understood visually. And it’s a success story anyone who has battled even a few pounds is interested in).*

2. Bring Or Wear Your Props

Also, at the finish line they took an extreme close-up of the wording I had plastered all over my T-Shirt. I then said: ‘Let me explain what this website is all about,’ and told the signature story of my own weight loss.

*SUSAN’S NOTE: Very smart move. Wearing a curiosity provoking prop gives a natural segue to talking about the points you want to cover.*

3. Always Video And Audio Tape Your TV Appearances And Speaking Engagements

The day after the race, I got an urgent call from the New York TV producers. I had mentioned that I do motivational speaking during the interview. Did I have anything on tape? I did a 40 minute keynote pep talk to a rookie triathlon group the night before the Friday interviews and taped it anticipating such a request. However I did not feel it was my best effort as I was stressed and tired from all of the race/media/baby walking duties. I told the producer this and the exact reply was: ‘Don’t worry Mark, we will only make you look great!’

*SUSAN’S NOTE: Other producers want to see how you and your stories translate on TV. They are looking for raw talent, not someone slick and polished. In fact, they want someone just the opposite–someone who has verve and speaks spontaneously in a way that anyone can understand.

By the way, one of the complaints about the last group of contestants on the hit show “Survivor,” was that they were “too media savvy” which really meant too careful and guarded. That is not to say you shouldn’t practice your soundbites and know your message, it means that you need to preserve your own honest emotions and expressions. Be genuine.

An Aside: Another reason to tape all your appearances and speaking engagements is if your audio/video tapes are good enough you can later sell them as products on your website, and at your next speaking engagement.*

4. Act In A Heartfelt Way And You Will Be Automatically Compelling

As for the race itself, I got very sick throughout the course and struggled. This added to the drama: Will Mark be able to finish? I did finish strong and did a Lance Armstrong (The cyclist who recovered from cancer and competed in the 2000 Tour de France). When I was being interviewed by NBC at the finish line I ran over and kissed and hugged my wife and took Sterling (my daughter) and held her up and kissed her and said: ‘This is my real reward’ and ‘My dad was an Ironman for me and now I hope to be an Ironman for my daughter.’ Of course, I was operating on heartfelt emotion throughout the interviews. I would have done what I did camera or no camera. However, it made for a great scene and soundbite and I got to close out the show.

*SUSAN’S NOTE: Adversity creates tension and drama. In addition, the audience connected to Mark because they all understand what it’s like to do something for a loved one — especially a small child. A heartfelt message with strong emotion increases your chance of extra media coverage.*

5. Embrace The Opportunities That Present Themselves

A woman from Los Angeles who saw me on NBC is flying herself and her sister up to San Francisco to train with me. These sessions will pay for a good portion of the website. Other people from around the country are contacting me about e-training (which I may or may not do). A guy from a video production company saw me and we are talking about a video.

*SUSAN’S NOTE: All kinds of things can happen that you could never predict when you begin to do publicity. That’s part of the richness that makes PR so exciting E-training for working out? Who would have thought?*

6. Prepare To Make The Most Of The Results Of Publicity

Before the show I rushed to get a website up that offers a subscribe/unsubscribe to my “Weekly Enlightenment” e-zine and archives. I plan on using this to market my book and provide media information. My project manager tells me that 22% of visitors to my site opt to subscribe. A high benchmark “opt in” subscribe rate is 4%. No one has unsubscribed. As a matter of fact my e-zine encourages people to forward the e-zine and subscribe others. The word of mouth and the speed of the Internet will spread my message faster than the sound of a mouse-click. The best part is this site will be ready for when I do Hawaii Ironman, Oprah and Cristina (the Spanish language equivalent of Oprah. I am very fluent in Spanish and my Univision contact is working on this, after I provided the idea!).

*SUSAN’S NOTE: Make sure you’ve tested everything on your site thoroughly so it can handle a rush of visitors without crashing. You don’t want to lose all the connections you can make from your publicity because of some technical snafu.*

7. Do Anything You Can To Help The Producers Do A Great Show

All told, I ended up with a few seconds shy of 4 minutes of NBC national airtime, more than anybody on the show including the winners of the race and NFL quarterback Doug ‘I can’t swim’ Flutie (the media people told me he wasn’t being as cooperative as they would like; I probably looked like a saint compared to him and I am sure that helped). More people will continue to see the broadcast through videotape. And I now have a professionally produced, very compelling story about me that I can send to many other PR outlets. I have already contacted NBC about permission to use the video on my website.

*SUSAN’S NOTE: It goes without saying that you will be gracious and accommodating. Volunteer to do anything extra you can to help out and you will be remembered. Then send out that video tape ASAP to the shows you want to be on next — and remember to present a new and different angle. Every producer wants his show to be the first of its kind, not a copycat of a competitor’s.*

8. Work All The Angles

I am already anticipating my next steps: getting sponsors, leveraging the tape to get into Hawaii Ironman (even bigger TV audience) and of course Oprah. By that time I will have a book ready.

I am very confident this will all happen! It has taken me 5 years but all of the Toastmasters training (I co-founded a Bay Club chapter with Patricia Fripp), the classes such as yours, and the never say die attitude are paying off. It is like striking oil…long time drilling and then suddenly a gusher!

*SUSAN’S NOTE: I couldn’t have said it better myself. Wishing you all a Yosemite sized gusher.*

*Thank you to Mark C. Davis, xBigman.com, for sharing his story that illustrates the use of my tips.*

Copyright (c) 2006 by Susan Harrow. All rights reserved.

Susan Harrow, PRSecrets.com, is a media coach, marketing strategist, author of *Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul.* Clients include CEOs, authors, entrepreneurs who have appeared on/in Oprah, 60 Minutes, TIME, USA Today, NY Times.

Dating Predators And How To Recognise Them

Todays Dating Predators comes in all shapes, sizes and disguises. Here is a tongue in cheek look at the types of macho male (and not so macho) dating predators out there, and is designed to give you some understanding and recognise the many camaflague techniques available to them in there quest to get layed.

There is a “saying” I like to use when explaining to women how to understand the mentality of men: “think like a mug”. Now remember that this article is not only ment to help women to understand these hunters of female flesh, but to also point out to dating predators just how obviouse they are to a well trained female eye. So tone it down a bit boys, the secret is to seduce your women with genuine effection and interest.

These hardcore professional casanovas are never satisfied with any one woman because they cant find satisfaction within.

How do you spot one of these toxic types?. Well, it pays to do your research. Firstly, know thine enemy. Its important that you understand the male psyche and its biological imperatives when trying to deal with dating predators. Have you ever wondered what makes men act like sleazes in the first place.? Its there sperm. Honestly. Sperm is what takes anotherwise sane man and turns him into a wild eyed, pole humping sex freak on the turn of a coin. There little tadpole like givers are relentless. So don’t ever let a man tell you he doesn’t think about sex 100 per cent of the time. Anything else is a bald faced lie. An how can you tell if a man is lying.? Simple. His lips are moving.

The second piece of advice is to know thine strategy. Serial dating predators are social psychopaths: calm, calculating and patient. They are willing to put in a lot of groundwork in the hope that it will come to fruition in time. They never ever just get lucky, not in his eyes. The way they see it, every victory – no matter how small – is due to the pull of there sexual gravity. Remember, they are narcissist.

But its no use going forth fresh with your research and new set of mindskills if you dont know how to spot one of these toxic bachelors. No two dating predators are the same but they do have there stereotypical habits. Here are some of the creatures you may encounter. Its not pretty: dont say you weren’t warned…

The Patient Predator

Cool and composed, the Patent Predator is the original social pschopath. He’d like to believe he’s the Alpha male of your dreams, but insecurities, such as a small dick, hold him back

Habitat : Most likely to be seen in trendy bars and clubs. Keep an eye out for excess enthusiasm when he greets the doorman and bar staff – anything to give him the edge.
Modus Operandi : Happy to put in the long term groundwork with as many different women as possible for more options. Will wait for an opportunity before pouncing. Known to stalk.
Weaknesses : Few. Husbands and boyfriends are irrelevant to the Patent Predator. Its all part of the challenge. Deals with rejection hard.
Hunts : Sometimes in tamdan with another pseudo-Alpha Male but will hunt alone once his prey is cornered.
Favourite Conversation : Its all about you baby. This guy is so emotionally intune with your needs. or so it would seem.
Props : Doesn’t need them. He’s looking for your heart – so he can break it.
Drink Of Choice : Are you serious? This guy’s so serious he’ll only drink what your drinking. As in: “Let me get you a drink. What are you having? No way! That’s my drink. Wow! This is uncanny!”
Pick-up Line : “You know, I think the writer, Arthur Miller, was right when he said, ‘Today the emphasis is on sex, and very little on the beauty of the sexual relationship. Contemporary books portray it like a contest, which is absurd’. Dont you agree?”

The Gigolo

Up-front and for some lovin’, the gigolo’s goal is a one night stand, pure and simple. or possibly future part time romps.

Habitat : Anywhere, any time, and any place. The gigolo never rests.
Modus Operandi : Like the Patient Predator, the gigolo is happy to spend time doing major groundwork, but only if a pot of gold at the end of the evening is pretty much guaranteed. Keep an eye out for the gigolo restlessly hunting the pub crowd for strays a half an hour before closing time.
Weaknesses : Intellectual conversation.
Hunts : Alone. He flies solo, this man doesn’t want any competition.
Favourite Conversation : His prowness in the sack. How hot your looking.
Props : His abs.
Drink Of Choice : Vodka, lime and soda. He doesn’t want a beer gut.
Pick-up Line : “Fancy a threesome”.

The Older Gentleman

The Older gentleman wants what he could never get as a young man – hot women for guilt free sex. He cunningly stands by his motto: age and treachery will always beat youth and beauty.

Habitat : Same as the Patient Predator; anywhere he can flaunt his assets – financial ones that is.
Modus Operandi : The Older Gentleman knows through experience that women get turned on mentally, as opposed to mans fascination with the physical.Knowing this, the Older Gentleman uses every wily trick in the book, quoting Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Anais Nin at length.
Weaknesses : Alcohol. Gramps cant handle the piss as much as his younger prey. Is also known to spit when he speaks – bad if he is a close talker.
Hunts : In small to medium groups of four to six men. In other words just enough to show you he’s popular but without too much sausage scaring off the ladies.
Favourite Conversation : See props below. Who said money cant buy love?.
Props : The Older gentleman is the original props department, chasing his ever depleting youth by buying expensive and elaborate toys. He’s got it all and he hopes you want it too. The Older gentleman knows that this is his edge – financial freedom – and will use it as a crutch in conversation. He knows his target market are young, ambitious girls with limited intelligence. He closes in on these types.
Drink Of Choice : Anything top shelf.
Pick-up Line : “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were trying to seduce me. What do you say we drive we drive the Bently up to the beach cottage this weekend and take the boat out for a cruise.?”

The Nothing To Lose Loser

As the title suggests, this guys got nothing going for him and he knows it. The way he sees it, he’s got a one in a million chance of picking a girl up, so why not have a go?. What harm is there?. If he strikes out, so what?. Nothing changes in his life. But if this scattergun seduction technique actually hits something, oh, sweet success…

Habitat : Ocker pubs and beer gardens. Nightclubs when they let him in.
Modus Operandi : Whether it’s the look of sheer desperation or his face or the fact that his tongue drags on the ground when women are about. The Nothing To Lose Loser is never invited into a conversation with a women. Aware of this, he will look for the quick one liner chay-up, the one in a million stab in the dark. Unfortunately for our global gene pool, he usually gets palmed.
Weaknesses : He stares a lot. It’s vile.
Hunts : The runt of his male social group. the Nothing To Lose Loser goes for a dash and grab approach with the ladies. Prefers hunting in large groups.
Favourite Conversation : Footy, beer, his car, foot, beer, his car, footy, beer and his car.Just listen to him crash and burn.
Props : Owns a T-shirt with ‘Nice tits, mind if I feel them’ emblazoned across the front.
Drink Of Choice : Beer, beer, beer or Jim Beam.
Pick-up Line : “Your place or mine? Tell ya what – I’ll flip a coin. Heads at my place, tails at yours”.

Toxic Bachelor Alert : How To Foil One

Be on your guard. Give as good as you get. Learn to spot them a mile off and steer clear. Or get ready with some classic, rejection one liners.

No toxic bachelor likes to be made a fool of in front of his mates. Anything you do to dating predators that makes them look silly puts them on the back foot and hopefully on the run. Be alert and don’t fall for there schmoozing!

For more exiting dating tips and advice visit… http://www.adult-datingsites.com

For the older woman to overcome all that has been limiting her from having a child, changing her thoughts becomes a must.

Having spent so much time listening to misleading talks and learning how difficult it is for an older woman to have a child she has now developed this mental attitude in her mind that it is hard or it will be difficult for her to conceive.

All the physical and medical facts facing her have become like a mountain of problem in her life.
Now she will have to train herself to change her thought pattern.

My pastor once shared the story of the great magician Hudini who could open locks with the power of his mind. A day came when he went into a contest and he thought he was locked up when actually the door was unlocked.

As usual he spent all day trying to break the lock and open the door without realizing that the door was not locked.

After attempting all day to open the door he was finally let out only for him to discover that the door was not locked in the first place. In his mind he had a vision of a locked door even though in reality the door was not locked.

This is the situation that many older women find themselves in. The battle wages on in their mind when physically everything is perfect.
For the older woman to overcome her limitation, changing her thoughts and focus becomes a must.
These Scripture Teach Us About The Power Of Our Thoughts

These scriptures are what you are to meditate upon to bring victory in your life.

The Bible says that, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7. So whatever you allow to occupy your thought pattern is what you will become.

One of the most powerful books in the world today that has changed many lives is a book written by James Allen called, As a man thinketh,the title of that book was taken from the bible. See Proverbs 23:7.

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. The principles of that book was also taken from the bible.
I want you to carefully look at this scripture and see what kind of thoughts the Bible recommends that we think.

Whatever is true

Whatever is noble

Whatever is right

Whatever is pure

What ever is lovely

Whatever is admirable

Whatever is excellent

Whatever is praise worthy

Think about such things. Philippians 4:8. If what you are thinking about does not come under this selection, you are sinning against yourself and polluting the storehouse of your life, which is your heart.

God Himself gave you these promises. I know the plans and thoughts I have towards you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

In God you have a future, you have hope of attaining all your dreams and desires, including having a baby at your age.

Change your thought patterns and start thinking the victory you desire from God.

Also remember that our God is able to do immeasurable, more than all we can ask or imagine or think.
So giving you a child is no big deal to God no matter how bad the medical report you have received.

My God can turn the situation around for you. He says he can do more than you can ask, why not give him a chance today? But you must add trust and faith to your asking.

Prayer
Sister say this prayer out now:

Lord Jesus, I believe your word. I thank you that you love and care for me so much. Lord I believe your word today. Let every man and symptom and circumstance be a liar and let only your word be true in my life.

From today I declare in Jesus name that I shall still bear fruit in old age.

I shall remain fresh and flourishing. I open my mouth and declare that, that the Lord is upright, You are my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in you. I love you Lord. Amen.

Please always open your mouth and speak
out your prayers in faith. The Word of God creates as
we speak it out of our mouth.

So speak it out. The creative power is in the spoken Word.

God Bless and I LOVE you.

Veronica Anusionwu

Veronica Anusionwu brings you solutions from the bible to help you overcome infertility. Her books Woman You Are Not Infertile and Who Said You Are Too Old To Conceive, has helped many women overcome infertility. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.beautifulandpregnant.com

Entering the Twilight Zone

“If you are not pissing someone off, you are probably not doing your job.”

– Bryce’s Law

INTRODUCTION


This essay represents my 100th in a series of weekly bulletins I have written over the last two years. During this time I have written on a variety of management related issues as well as technical topics pertaining to Information Technology, e.g., systems design, data base design, software engineering, etc. My intent was to show the vast scope of Information Resource Management (IRM) and try to get people to expand their horizons and think beyond their immediate scope of responsibilities. I have received a lot of feedback from these essays, some negative, but most have been very positive and supportive. I have always tried to be honest and forthright in my editorials, a “straight shooter” some say. Nonetheless. my comments are either welcomed with enthusiasm or disdain, there is little middle ground. Thank God I am not in the business of running a popularity contest. Regardless of what you think of my comments and observations, you know where I stand on an issue. Its not important whether you agree with me or not, but if I can get you to stop and think about something, then I have accomplished my goal.


I like to believe I have seen a lot over the last 30 years; customers trying to conquer massive system problems, luminaries who have impacted the I.T. industry by introducing new ideas, and charlatans selling the latest snake oil. But I have also found the discourse with the people in both the trenches and the boardroom to be the most stimulating. From their comments and experiences I have witnessed not only changes in technology but in management as well, some for better, some for worse. I have listened to both their frustrations as well as their accomplishments; their successes and their failures. The passing parade over the years has introduced a multitude of changes, from large to small. So much so, the corporate landscape is nothing like when I began in the mid-1970’s. Interestingly, I am now at that awkward age where I am considered a radical by my elders and “out of touch” by my youngers (I like to call this the “Twilight Zone” period of my life).

SOME OBSERVATIONS


Between my consulting practice and the feedback resulting from these bulletins, I have observed some interesting changes in the corporate workplace. Below are some of the more pronounced observations, some will be rather obvious, some not so. Nonetheless, here they are, warts and all:

1. We now live in a Disposable Society.


Information Technology departments feel they are under incredible pressure to produce more with less. This is caused by executive managers who do not have a true appreciation of the mechanics of development. Executives falsely equate computer hardware with development and, as such, spend an inordinate amount of money on hardware and software, and little on the management infrastructure needed to create industrial strength systems (a kind of “penny-wise, pound-foolish” behavior). They may understand the value of computer hardware, but they do not have a clue as to the value of information as it applies to their companies. Nonetheless, because of the amount of money invested in tools, executives expect miracles from the I.T. staff. Since executives expect short turnarounds, the I.T. department is only able to produce a fraction of what is needed to adequately support the company. Programs are written with little, if any, thought of interfacing with other programs or to share and reuse data. Consequently, redundant data and software resources run rampant in most corporate shops. It has gotten so pervasive that I.T. shops have resigned themselves to writing disposable software whereby they openly recognize it will become obsolete in a short amount of time.


Let me give you an example, a couple of years ago I met the product manager of one of the more popular PC office suites. We got around to talking about his company’s approach to development. He confided in me that they get requests for so many changes that they literally rewrite their product, from scratch, year after year. I was astonished by this admission as I had always had the utmost respect for this firm and thought they were smarter than this.


This disposable mentality has become so pervasive that I.T. departments are no longer interested in doing what is right, but what is expeditious instead. This is why such things as “Agile” development is in vogue today. We no longer care about building things to last; instead, we do just enough to pacify the moment. In other words, the days of true enterprise-wide systems are a thing of the past. I.T. departments simply do not have the time or inclination to build such systems. Even if they had the desire to do so, I no longer believe they have the knowledge or wherewithal to build major systems anymore.

2. Our sense of professionalism has changed.


With the passing of each decade I have noticed changes in our sense of professionalism, some subtle, some not so subtle. How the “Greatest Generation” perceived professionalism is different than the “Baby Boomers” and Generations X, Y, and Z. Remarkably, all consider themselves to be talented professionals, probably more so than the other generations. I am not here to pass judgment, only to observe the changes:

Scope – the scope of project assignments addressed by each generation has changed over the years, from larger to smaller. Whereas companies in the 1960’s and 1970’s tackled major systems, today they tend to shy away from such undertakings because they have failed more than they have been succeeded and because of our “disposable” mentality just mentioned. This has led to a “bottom-up” approach to systems development today.

Discipline – there has been a gradual erosion in discipline over the years. To conquer the major systems projects of the past, people realized it was necessary to cooperate and work in a concerted manner. This meant people had to perform in a more uniform and predictable manner in order to attain the desired results. But as the scope of development projects diminished, individual initiative was rewarded over teamwork. Today, discipline has been sacrificed for results. In other words, because of the “disposable” mentality, there is less emphasis today on uniformity, integration and reusability. Interestingly, developers in all of the generations possess a pride in workmanship, but it is a difference in scale. Whereas, developers of yesteryear sweated over the details of an entire system, today’s developers sweat over the details of a single program or perhaps just a module within it.

Organization – Again, because of the scope of projects years ago, there was a greater appreciation for the need for organization in order to conquer problems on a team basis. But with the trend towards smaller projects and cheaper computers, developers were given more tools, and fewer rules, to get the job done. This led to the deterioration of teamwork and gave rise to rugged individualism. Now, instead of conforming to organization, developers are permitted to operate as they see fit. To me, the unbridled cockiness of today’s developers is both good and bad; good in that they are not afraid of a challenge, but bad in that they are marching to their own drummer.

Accountability – Whereas years ago people had no problem being held accountable for their actions, today they tend to avoid responsibility and prefer to be told what to do. I find this to be a strange paradox, particularly in lieu of my earlier comments regarding the unbridled cockiness of today’s workers. Regardless of their enthusiasm, they are reluctant to seek and accept responsibility. Instead, they prefer to take orders thereby deflecting responsibility to someone else (who takes the blame in the event of a problem). I find it remarkable that the younger workers today prefer to be told what to do.

Management Style – since the 1960’s we have seen a transition from a Theory Y form of management (bottom-up worker empowerment), to some Theory Z (consensus), to Theory X (top-down dictatorial). Today, “micromanagement” is the norm as opposed to the exception.


Its interesting, we all claim to want to do the right thing, yet we have different interpretations as to what exactly is right. I attribute this to the different perspectives and values of the different generations; they are most definitely not the same and can be attributed to changing socioeconomic conditions. Not surprising, what is perceived as “professional” by the “Greatest Generation” is not the same as what is perceived by Generation Z. As I have discussed in the past, there is a serious generation gap. Which generation possesses the correct interpretation of “professionalism”? That depends on who you talk to. As I said, I am not here to pass judgment but, rather, to observe the phenomenon. Ultimately, our sense of professionalism is based on our sense of quality, resourcefulness, our determination to see a job through to completion, our ethics, and how we deport ourselves in executing a job.

3. There is no sense of history.


One thing that distinguishes the younger generations from its predecessors is its sense of history, or the lack thereof. Very few have an appreciation for developments in the I.T. industry. Consequently, there is a tendency to reinvent the wheel every few years in terms of systems and software theory. Many of today’s younger I.T. developers genuinely believe the problems they are experiencing today are unique. For example, they believe:


– There is no consistent approach for specifying requirements.

– Users do not know what they want.

– Systems lack integration and proper documentation.

– Data redundancy is a problem between systems.

– Systems are difficult to maintain and modify.

– Projects never come in on time or within budget.


In reality, these problems are as old as systems development. To illustrate, not long ago I got into an argument with some younger developers over how we program today versus how I learned it back in the 1970’s. They contended it had changed radically. I contended, the tools and techniques may have changed, but the underlying philosophy of programming has not.


Today, “programming” is considered passé since it is being outsourced overseas. Instead, developers want to call themselves “Solution Providers,” “Business Analysts” or “Enterprise Architects,” anything to differentiate themselves from programmers. Regardless, unless they are truly doing something different, they’re still thinking and acting like programmers.

Bottom-line: there is nothing new in development; and our problems are still the same.

4. Workers are becoming socially dysfunctional.


While the use of technology in our personal and professional lives proliferate, people’s interpersonal relations/communications skills are deteriorating at a rapid rate. Simple things like writing a business letter, conducting a meeting, or greeting and networking with others is becoming difficult. I am finding more and more people who prefer to tune into technology and tune out mankind. Consequently, common courtesy, etiquette, and effective communications is being sacrificed, all of which is having an adverse effect on the corporate culture and how we conduct business. This concerns me greatly.

5. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.


This has been a favorite expression of mine for a number of years and is indicative of the problems people have in establishing priorities. Technology, not management, is leading the country today. To me, this is the tail wagging the dog. Technology will always have a place in business, but we should not be driven by it. Because of our faith in technology there is now a tendency to leap into costly projects before we look. As such, I believe we need more people who truly understand the business and its market as opposed to more technologists. Always remember, an elegant solution to the wrong problem solves nothing.

CONCLUSION


I am often asked by younger people as to the direction of the I.T. industry and what they should be thinking about. I tell them three things; first, this is an illogical industry devoid of commonsense. What was logical in my day will not be the same in theirs. Second, I tell them if they are going to stay in the I.T. industry, they should find a solid niche and immerse themselves in it. And third, be prepared to change and evolve.


My father-in-law always had an interesting expression that I believe is still true; he said, “We have 30 years to learn, 30 years to earn, and 30 years to burn (the money).” The most interesting and creative years in our professional lives are in our 20’s when we are still learning and have great enthusiasm. In our 30’s we establish our niche and concentrate on it. In our 40’s we bustle with confidence and establish our stride. Then in our 50’s, as I mentioned early on, we begin to go through that awkward stage where we are being questioned by our elders and pushed out by our youngers. After this Twilight Zone period, I’ll let you know how the 60’s go.


This will be the last of my essays for awhile as I begin working on other opportunities. I’ll still be producing my weekly “Management Visions” broadcast, but I have to ease up on my writing assignments to focus my energies elsewhere. Not to worry, I will be back from time to time to comment on other management and I.T. related developments. Until then…

Keep the faith.

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida, a management consulting firm specializing in Information Resource Management (IRM). Mr. Bryce has over 30 years of experience in the field. He is available for lecturing, training and consulting on an international basis. His corporate web page is at:

http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/


He can be contacted at: timb001@phmainstreet.com


Copyright © 2006 MBA. All rights reserved.

Online events have become more popular in the last 2 years mainly because of the following:

1. Convenience – Attending online events do not require you to leave your home. Thus, you do not have to worry about gas, traffic, parking, accommodations and if your children are 5 year old and over you may not even need a baby sitter. You do not even need to get dressed and made up to attend an online event.

2. Time – Another benefit of having an online event is the TIME FACTOR. It is great that people do not have to worry about being at a certain location at a certain time since the event is online. As long as they have a computer and Internet connection, and that they are able to connect during the times that the event is on, then, they are all set.

3. Technology – With today’s technology, attending online events can be as inter-active as attending physical conferences or expos. People are able to network via chat rooms. They can network using text chat or even voice chat. People can make a connection with others and possibly even joint venture on projects. They can exchange personal and business information in a flash.

4. Cost – Online events do not cost as much as physical events. This is great for the online event host and for the participants as well. Hosting an online event can yield similar results to hosting a physical event with out the extra cost and work.

5. Fun – Online events can be lot of fun. Some of the things that can make an online event successful and memorable are contests, giveaways, networking opportunities, audios and presentations.

Like any other event, whether online or offline, one thing to remember is that promotion is the key to getting lots of traffic and participants for your online event.

Would you like to learn more about hosting your very own online event? Marie Ynami has been hosting successful interactive online events since 2004. Learn the secrets to successful online events by visiting http://www.hostaneventonline.com .

A Virginia Beach Vacation

If you have even a passing interest in the topic of Virginia Beach vacationing, then you should take a look at the following information. This enlightening article presents some aspects on Virginia Beach vacationing.

For folks living in the Northeastern part of the United States, a vacation in Virginia Beach may fit every need.

Many residents of Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland and Pennsylvania find that getting there is a fairly easy drive, ranging from 4 to 7 hours. New Englanders also visit Virginia Beach, apparently feeling that a 12 hour drive is worth it. (Should flying be preferred, the Norfolk airport shuttle serves the tourist area in a convenient and efficient manner.)

The reason that Virginia Beach is so popular is because it offers something for everyone, and any type of vacation:

With the slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers”, it is a favorite place for couples looking for a getaway. Should they wish a quiet and relaxing escape, numerous hotels offer private oceanfront balconies, in-room jacuzzis, room service and intimate dining. Single pals traveling together will find that dance clubs, bars and karaoke nights offer fun opportunities to meet new friends. For those who enjoy the challenge of water sports, activities such as parasailing, jet-skiing, windsurfing and boogie boarding easily fill up the day; all are available for rent (as are beach chairs and umbrellas). Sunbathers will find this beach to be the cleanest on the eastern seaboard; in fact, one of the newer trends is to go onto the sand after the machines have swept the beach at sunrise and write large messages in the sand for friends and families whose rooms overlook the beach! Those with younger families can easily find hotels and motels that have separate wading or baby pools, within walking distance of fast food and pizza shops. For this younger crowd, evenings can be filled with visits to an amusement park, miniature golf courses, arcades and, in the summer, entertainment by jugglers and magicians. Older children and teens enjoy outdoor music, the fishing pier, and private offerings such as the Va. Beach Ghostwalk and Pirate Adventure cruise, while older adults may prefer a dinner cruise. Men may especially enjoy deep sea fishing charters and professional quality golf courses, and shoppers of all ages will be in heaven visiting the countless shops which offer everything from inexpensive trinkets to fine jewelry.

The resort area is, primarily, a 2 mile stretch whose blocks are easily numbered from 1 to 32. There are many accommodations and restaurants off this beaten path, utilized by those who wish to keep a distance from the crowds, but it’s in this section that the majority of hotels and facilities are located. Along the eastern side are the Atlantic Ocean, the beach, and a strip of cement between the beach and the hotel lawns. This is what is known as the “Boardwalk”, and although there are no boards, it’s where the millions who visitor Virginia Beach walk, especially at night. It actually consists of two paths, providing one for bicyclists and surrey drivers, and one for walkers, scooters, and skateboarders, separated by lovely landscaping. (The wisdom behind this becomes evident when a child tries to maneuver a bike around a 6 person surrey!)

In comparison with most resorts, there are no commercial facilities on the “Boardwalk”. This means that all of the hundreds of thousands of oceanfront rooms have a completely unobstructed view of the ocean. With every one having its own balcony, each sunrise finds hundreds on their patio, aiming their lenses at the horizon. Another special treat is to see some of the soldiers from nearby Naval Station Norfolk doing their early morning calisthenics on the beach or jogging the length of the boardwalk.

If you don’t have details regarding Virginia Beach vacationing, then you might make a bad choice on planning your trip. Don’t let that happen: keep reading.

The oceanfront hotels are actually on Atlantic Avenue. On the opposite side of Atlantic Avenue are shops, restaurants, and activities. Since this is a flat city, walking for even 10 blocks is quite easy. During the summer season, there are old-fashioned guest trolleys that travel the length of this resort area for a reasonable fare, and for further travel, taxis are available.

If one has their car, however, it is simple to navigate the roads around the resort area to visit other restaurants or facilities. The road one block west of Atlantic is Pacific, and there a guest will find additional, less expensive lodging and additional eateries. About 5 minutes west, a visitor will discover shopping centers with chain stores, groceries and gas stations-appearing like any typical suburb.

In every hotel, and on almost every corner, are free visitor magazines which list maps, places of interest, religious worship, local rules, emergency numbers, and coupons. The locals’ southern hospitality and approachability should put one’s mind at rest that guests are indeed welcomed and respected-and not only during the summer season.

There are events planned during every month of the year, and two of the more exciting ones are the Neptune Festival in September and the Nautical Christmas Light Display over the holidays. Sand sculpting contests, music festivals, parades, arts and craft shows-there is always something happening in Virginia Beach, either on the beach or at the convention center.

Oceanfront hotels during the summer season usually start around $200 per night, US. The rate is discounted after Labor Day, and some facilities offer deeper discounts during mid-winter. Hotels on the other side of Atlantic Ave. are less costly. There are many smaller motels that offer inexpensive prices even during the high season, but they are usually several streets back from the beach, and may be rather inconvenient if traveling with children and related beach paraphernalia.

Although quite hot in summer, Virginia Beach does not enjoy those temperatures all year, although it usually is about 10 degrees warmer than the Northeastern U.S. Attire is beach casual, and although some folks do change into sporty casual at night, it’s not the place where one feels the need to “dress to impress”.

Everything a person may need, or have any desire to do, can be done in Virginia Beach in a clean, safe, fun and pleasant atmosphere. Sea, sun, shells-it’s all there, along with so much more!

Knowing enough about Virginia Beach vacationing to make better plans cuts down on the fear factor. If you apply what you’ve just learned, you should have nothing to worry about.

This article on Virginia Beach Vacationing was brought to you by daily travel air.

Mean and real fight clubs are no joke. Some may even say it’s just a myth but it’s really there and yes, some of them are dominated by fierce female fighters. In fact there are many real fight club pictures of female fighters in the internet as well as in DVD’s, mostly underground ones which are sought with so much of enthusiasm by fans.

In fact fierce pictures of female fighters contesting without any protection gear, kicking and bashing each other vigorously are becoming quite a craze especially after the movies like the Million Dollar Baby. Audience really crave for real fights that takes place almost anywhere, outside residential homes, backyards, garages, underground sites, anyplace where they can fight their hearts out. Well do not doubt all these, many are not simply staged fights, but real, ugly ones and female fighters are not just pulling each other’s hair and rolling around on padded rings. No, female fighters like those of the Extreme Chickfights: Kickin’ Ass and Taking Names are real ones, some of the fights even seem to put the fight clubs of men into shame. Check out these female fighter’s pictures; most have cut lips, well toned bodies, mean looking, swollen black eyes(which are not make up effects, but outcome of real fights).

The pictures of female fighters really characterize blood, beauty and lots of booty. In the internet, you will find an enormous array of female fighters bashing each other like crazy. These real female fight club pictures that one gets are usually from the world of underground fight clubs, and its one place where all sorts of fighters assemble. Starting from the office executives to bored housewives, everyday street fighters, teenagers and so on.

These entire females search out where the next event’s goanna take place and when their turn comes for the fight, give everything they got into it. Mean trash talking and fierce competition and domination is aplenty in the pictures. All these are caught clearly live on videos.

One can get all of these real female fights through the Demolition Pictures, an all-girl production company and also the only one distributing real Extreme Chick Fights. So if you want to get a glimpse of the fierce world of female fighters club, get hold of their pictures. They are indeed quite raw and yep, the content is definitely 100% real.

All these footages of female fight clubs are at times very graphic too, not to be viewed by the faint hearted. Their fights are in such a way that the fighter’s themselves don’t know whom they will be fighting with. In fact there are pictures of even a mother and her daughter giving each other the beat down and sisters kicking each other like mad. Gruesome! These are all run by women and rules set by women. It clearly portrays the female’s world where men cannot dictate them at all. Leaving everything aside, they become a different being altogether in the ring, fighting with so much of passion that really strikes the audience.

FightClubNews.com brings you the 4-1-1 on insider fight club news. Come by today and grab our free guide “The 411 On Fight Clubs”! Check out our latest information page on real fight club pictures.

Carribean Travel Magazine Information

The Caribbean. Ask anyone and youll find that the word is nearly synonymous with fun and relaxation. Thats pretty obvious. When you want to travel, those are the only things you want to experience. And what better way to have the ultimate experience on fun and relaxation than to know more about the place you’re visiting? This is where Caribbean travel magazines come in.


From the mundane to the spectacular, from the humdrum to out-of-this-world spectacles: these are what Caribbean travel magazines have in store for you. For all the necessary information and minor details about how life is like in the Caribbean and some travel tips and vacation ideas, pick one of these babies from any newsstand and magazine store at the airport and learn about your ultimate vacation destination.


Below is a list of our top picks of Caribbean travel magazines. Take time to browse through these Caribbean travel magazines and when you’re done, see if you can’t be as knowledgeable about the famous islands as any local tour guide.


Port Hole Cruise Magazine

If your Caribbean travel is all about cruisin and cruises, then the Port Hole Cruise Magazine might just serve as your ultimate resource guide. Whether you are a first-time cruiser or a veteran sailor of the high seas, you will certainly want a copy of this Caribbean travel magazine for tips on who, what, when, where, and how to go on a dream Caribbean cruise.


Entice your senses. Trigger the explorer in you. Let the pages of this magazine answer all your cruising questions. The Magazine comes out twice a month, setting a non-stop course to become the cruise vacation source.


Caribbean Travel & Life

For the beach bum at heart, the Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine presents the perfect opportunity on how to bum it all out in the islands. This Caribbean travel magazine offers hotel and resort reservations, travel specials, free travel info, marketplace (rental property listing and classified ads), and contests everything you could ever want.


Simply visit this Caribbean travel magazine’s site at and fill up the form provided to get a free complimentary issue. Every issue of this magazine is devoted to exploring the Caribbean islands, one of the most fascinating regions on the planet.


Caribbean World

As the first Award Winning quarterly Lifestyle & Caribbean Travel Magazine in the World, the Caribbean World features its best section yet, called the Island Focus where the ingenious writers of magazine focus on one out of many enchanting islands in the Caribbean and tell you all about its nitty little details from local legends to fabulous attractions. Other sections of this Caribbean travel magazine are hot gossip, fashion, food, sports, and weddings.

The Guide Resource is an informative website that looks into all aspects of travel guides from great histories, to memorial moments of that holiday place your looking for.
To find out more visit Tour Guides

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