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Credit Default Swaps: Misconceived Insurance

Credit default swaps (CDS) became a highly talked about topic when the mortgage market went bust a couple of years ago. The CDS gained a lot of negative publicity and acted as a catalyst for the demise of multiple brokerage shops and investment banks. The fact of the matter is that the CDS is not necessarily a risky investment and the only problem is lack of market transparency.

People often think of credit default swaps as an individual “security” like a stock, bond, or option, but in reality, the CDS is simply a bilateral contract or agreement between a buyer and seller. It’s very similar to buying some form of personal insurance such as auto or health. While the CDS is a derivative and often claimed to be “complex,” it’s an easy concept to understand. Moreover, there is a specialist insurance company that is willing to provide you insurance as you get a mortgage. This will secure you financially and you can plan your credit with a sense of security. 

There are two parties involved, a buyer and a seller. In this example, we’ll say that the buyer owns $25 million in General Electric (GE) bonds. As you would purchase health insurance to protect yourself from losing all your savings in the event of a medical emergency, the holder of the GE bonds simply wants to protect himself from GE defaulting. The buyer goes to the market and finds another company that will sell him insurance on the bonds he owns. The buyer pays a premium to the seller in order to receive protection on his bonds. The buyer wins by having peace of mind that in the event of default, the seller will cover the loss. The seller wins by receiving premium payments on a periodic basis just like that of an insurance company. In the GE example above, if GE defaults, the seller must deliver the par value of the bonds.

The primary problem with credit default swaps is the lack of market transparency. If buyers enter into CDS contracts involving the delivery of more bonds than are actually available, collecting funds after default can be very difficult. With stocks and bonds, the outstanding amounts can be easily accessed, but asset availability is not always known with credit default swaps. Investment banks tend to offer protection against default on more bonds than are actually available. If the bonds default, investment banks are competing against each other to deliver the par value of the bonds. As bankers buy the bonds, the price rises, therefore a bond with an initial price of $100 may increase astronomically to $500, $1,000, or even higher. The International Swaps Derivatives Association (ISDA) alongside the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) are working to resolve the issue of market transparency and while it may take a few years, investors will eventually see the benefits of credit default swaps.

Fabulous Diy Spa Party Invitations

Spa party invitations should put guests in the mood for your luxurious and relaxing spa party. There is no better way to do this than personalizing your spa party invitations by making them yourself. When it comes to the location for your spa party, Welcome to myethosspa Med Spa is a really good option that you can try. Along with your hand made party invitations you can make your party a hit among your friends.

Follow these DIY invitation ideas for a spa party to create inviting and original spa party invitations.

Free Printables Supplies:

  • Internet connection
  • Paper or card stock
  • Color printer
  • Glue
  • The glitter and other embellishments
  • Ruler
  • Envelopes

For the easiest DIY spa party invitations, use free printable invitation sites. One such online site, that has spa party invitation templates, is HoverWebDesign.com.

Using a color printer, print the spa party invitations off on computer paper or card stock. Both can be purchased at an office supply store. Card stock will hold up better if you are planning to embellish your spa party invitations.

After printing your spa party invitations, fold it in half. Use a ruler to get a straight fold. Run your hand over the fold, until the card will stay closed on its own.

Purchase glitter and other embellishments from a dollar store. Walmart has self-adhesive stickers that look like rhinestones, that can be purchased for around $2 a sheet. Glue your embellishment to your spa party invitations, to give them extra personalization and style.

Take a finished invitation with you when shopping for an envelope. This will ensure that you purchase the right size envelope for your spa party invitations.

Scrapbook Style Supplies:

  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Scrapbook Stickers
  • Markers
  • Ruler
  • Envelopes

The key to these fun and interesting spa party invitations is to purchase supplies in coordinating colors. This will give your spa party invitations a more professional and cohesive look. Scrapbook stickers can be purchased at scrapbooking stores, dollar stores or Walmart. Scrapbook stickers you will need to purchase for this invitation are lettering and beauty inspired stickers.

Fold your card stock in half, using a ruler.

On the inside of the invitations, write the specifics of your spa party. Include party time and location. Include any items that your guests might need to bring to the spa party, such as robes or beauty products.

On the face of your spa party invitations, arrange your scrapbooking stickers to form your wording. This can say something as simple as “Spa Party,” “Time to Relax,” or an original phrase. Glue stickers to the card stock, to ensure that they will stay on.

Judiciously glue your picture stickers on the invitation. The idea is to embellish upon the spa party theme, not clutter or overwhelm the invitation. Use scissors to trim the stickers, if necessary.

Take the final invitation with you to an office supply or greeting card store, to get the perfect fit.

These spa party invitations will be ready-made for your guests to place in their scrapbooks. Encourage them to take pictures at the spa party, so they have memorable images to fill the page.

Beauty Products Supplies:

  • Beauty product
  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Ribbon
  • Marker

For these spa party invitations, shop for spa-inspired beauty products at dollar item stores, such as Dollar Tree. Example of these spa party beauty masks is clay face masks, eye masks or lotion. You will only need to purchase one item per invitation.

Purchase 8×11 colored paper at a craft or office supply store. Cut the longest edge of the paper into three strips. Fold these strips in half, to form your spa party invitations. Use a marker to write your spa party specifics on the inside of the card.

Using a hole punch, make a hole in the upper left corner of the card. This should be the upper corner closest to the fold.

Cut ribbon, purchased from a craft store, into six-inch sections. Cut one ribbon section for each one of your spa party invitations. String the ribbon through the hole in your invitation card. Fit the ribbon securely around your beauty product. Tie it off in a tight knot, to ensure it remains around your beauty product. Play with leaving the ribbon ends loose or tying them in a cute bow. Go with whichever looks best on you completed spa party invitations.

This invitation idea for a spa party is a thoughtful gift, that will delight your guests. It is sure to put them in the mood for a fun and relaxing spa party.

Salt Lake City: Safetysuit Didn’t Stop at Awesome

Safetysuit –

I had the amazing opportunity and honor to visit yet another show from this amazing band. And my heart still beats with excitement!

If a Safetysuit show is anywhere near you I say: ” Ladies forget the coffee shops, get your ladies friends, mothers invite your teenage daughters, Guys find a buddy or your girlfriend and just go to visit this hard working band. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

I met Safetysuit back in June when they opened for Daughtry. It didn’t take me long to realize that this Band is not an opening act. They out rocked the Idol Star big time. Doug Brown, the vocalist from Safetysuit worked so hard that he dislocated his shoulder.

Yesterday, September 25, 2012 they were the showstopper at “The Complex” in Salt Lake City. In an almost sold out venue with an occupancy of 800 people, they brought down the house and I am not kidding.

All ages were welcome.

Parents don’t hesitate to bring your kid to a Safetysuit concert near you. You will not hear f-bombs, you won’t see sexual charged dance moves, and there won’t be mosh pits. Better yet you and your child will be treated to a concert of high energized underground raw rock mixed with encouraging lyrics for you and your kid. Teens don’t be afraid to go because your parents approve. You won’t be the only one being swayed by their coolness. Douglas Brown, Dave Garofalo, Jeremy Henshaw and Tate Cunningham are hot! Guys,I am telling you don’t let that fool you. The underground factor of this band, mixed with the heavy beats of the roaring guitar will allow you to see beyond the bands magnetic abilities on young females. Safetysuit got to be the most underrated band I have ever seen or heard.

With a mix of emotion of plain enviousness, melancholy, excitement I leaned against the wall near the stage and soaked the heavy beats in. The voice of Doug Brown cuts deep into my spirit. At times I closed my eyes and hummed along. At other times I watched in amazement how every song was turned into an expression of this bands member’s heart. I could see pain on Dougs Face when it fits the lyrics. The energy went up when they sang about anger and helplessness but I also saw the playfulness when they charmed the audience. Several Times Doug just left the stage and walked into the audience, singing to a girl. At Another time Safetysuit “Never Stop” was part of a marriage proposal from a fan to a fan. It was perfect. Doug must have known it. He walked over to the side of the stage, where a couple was kuddling. He sang the song to them. As soon as she hugged him with tears in her eyes. He said: “Congratulations” and went back center stage..

In a world where Sex and “Beauty” trumps the charts Safetysuit encourages women to be who they are, by defining Beauty as a smile, like in their song “Annie”. In a world where people struggle and have a hard time getting by, Safetysuit made a promise that those times will pass in the song “These Times”. They mentioned that September is Cancer Months and thanked fans for giving to the cause. Other songs were Stay, Let Go, and Hallelujah

It’s hard to pick a favorite performance from yesterday’s concert. Each and every song was performed by all members on stage with freshness and conciseness, one barely sees at concert. Every song appeared like it was the first song of the night and the first time they sang it. And every sentence was believable.

I felt inspired to work hard every minute at my life, to do well and to enjoy what I am doing just like they did with each and every song on stage last night.

It seems that Safetysuit definitely enjoyed performing for us yesterday and I can’t wait to see them again.

Safetysuit had great opening acts with Better Life Band (BLB) and Go Radio but there is simply no comparison to them or with any band for that matter.

A picture from me and my daughter was posted on Partyutah.com. Please also check the other photos out!The photographer did a terrific job capturing the movements of Safetysuit last night.

I am such a huge fan of rock concerts that I am willing to pick up a fight with the ticket management system in case they are out of tickets and I did resort to it on one occasion, something which I feel ashamed of recalling as that served as living proof of my hot headedness.

Extreme Couponing: What Not to Do If You Want To Save Money At The Grocery Store

If you’ve seen “Extreme Couponing” on TLC, you know why the word “extreme” succinctly describes the program.

‘Extreme Couponing’ aired in December after Christmas and featured four people who are passionate about using grocery store coupons. No, they’re not the person in front of you who hands a few crumpled coupons to the cashier. These people are serious about couponing and getting items free or for next to nothing.

Nathan Engels of Kentucky, who appeared on the show, planned for his big shopping trip for almost a year, buying extra Sunday newspapers to get the coupons. He compared his shopping strategy to playing chess. “You’re trying to beat the opponent, which is the store,” said Engels, who bought $5743 worth of groceries for $241. His take included 1100 boxes of cereal, the majority of which was donated to a food bank, 60 bottles of handsoap and 300 toothbrushes.

Amanda Ostrowski keeps a stockpile of grocery items in her Ohio home, including 3000 rolls of toilet paper. Even though she works full-time and has a family, she spends 70 hours per week on couponing, relying on Internet coupons and a clipping service to increase her stockpile of goods. Ostrowski paid $51.67 for nearly $1200 worth of groceries, including 150 candy bars and endless boxes of pasta. She ran into a snag, though, when the cash register crashed after reaching its limit of 1000 items. Everything had to be divided between several registers and rescanned.

Now, here is the snag I ran into, which clearly marks me as an amateur couponer. I found a coupon in the newspaper for $5 off of Maalox, and even though I’ve never used the product, I picked a bottle up for $5.99, which means I paid less than a dollar for it. When I got home, though, I couldn’t find it. I checked my receipt to make sure I’d actually bought it. I had and the $5 had been dutifully deducted.

Nothing else was missing-oh, wait, where’s that toilet paper I bought? That was missing too. I could see how a bagger might put Maalox and toilet paper in the same bag, and as much as it pained me, I called the store to see if I had indeed left a bag of said items behind. Besides a recording, I never got an answer, though, which turned out to be a good thing. I found the toilet paper in the hall closet, where my daughter had put it.

But, still no Maalox. I began to suspect my daughter put it in the wrong cabinet-after all I have found peanut butter under the sink with the dog food and cleaning agents when she helped before. As of this writing, the red and white bottle of Maalox has not been found, which means I’m out 99 cents. This, of course, defeats the whole purpose of using the coupon in the first place, and it’s making me sick. Hope to find that Maalox soon.

Eight Alternative Uses for Postcards

Once upon a time, the postcard’s primary purpose was to let your friends or family know what you were seeing and to let them know you were thinking of them – or possibly thinking about how jealous they would be if they knew how much fun you were having. But postcards are good for so many more things, here are just a few.

Travel Journal: have you ever thought that it would be great to remember some of the little details of your trip? One way of doing this is to make notes on the postcards from the places you visit. Then, when you get home, you can either bind them together to make a small book, or incorporate them into a scrapbook of your trip. And, the benefit of keeping your notes on postcards is that you can mail them home and then they will be there waiting for you when you get back.

Art prints: postcards from your favorite places can make great art for your walls. Rather than purchasing a framed photograph, why not purchase a postcard and have it matted and framed when you get home after your trip? That way, you can choose a color that looks great with your home décor, and showcases your memories your way.

Day to day communication: why not send postcards to your friends, just as a way of saying hi? No one likes going to pick up the mail and finding only bills, and sending a postcard is as quick as an email – and a far more personal touch.

Journaling: so many people want to keep a journal but feel that they just don’t have the time for it. Similar to keeping a travel journal, you can keep track of your thoughts and memories in short bursts on the backs of postcards. With boxed sets of cards available at bookstores, you can choose a theme that suits your personality and makes writing more fun.

Coasters: everyone wants to preserve their memories. One fantastic way of doing this is to create coasters from your postcards. You can make the choice to keep them in the original size and shape, or cut them down to squares. Then, mount them on a thin piece of cardboard and add a layer of sealing resin to the top to keep them from being damaged by the moisture of the glass.

Inspiration: if you scrapbook or paint, a scenic postcard can give you countless ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Perhaps you can try to create a similar scene with pastels or acrylics, or you can use the postcard as a focal point on a scrapbook page. Other possibilities include using the colors on the card to give you ideas for color combinations that you might otherwise not have tried.

Reminders: is there somewhere you have always wanted to visit? It’s possible to get postcards from those places and to form a collage based on monuments you want to see or beaches that you hope to lounge on. And, keeping a visual guide to them handy, you will be more motivated to make sure that you get there someday – maybe even sooner than you otherwise would.

8. Relaxation: keep postcards from your most relaxing vacations handy so that, in times of stress, you can look back on them, remember the experience and be soothed by it.

Hopefully, these eight suggestions have inspired you to think of ways to keep your memories fresh using postcards. But by keeping your memories alive with this inexpensive tool, you’ll have found a more entertaining ways to share your memories with friends.

E-Commerce Merchants Welcome EBay to “On Location Event” at Hyatt Regency in Dallas

E-Commerce Merchants will be flocking to Dallas to attend the eBay On Location event on Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. After the eBay registration and reception concludes on Friday, May 7, an after party event hosted by eCommerce Merchants/PeSA begins at 8 p.m. The event will take place in the Hyatt Regency Tower Ballroom on the 49th floor.

eCommerce Merchants and PeSA have hosted many memorable and successful after parties over the years with major sponsors. The eBay on Location Dallas Reception event is sponsored by eBay ProStores, eBay AdCommerce, Kabbage, Outright, and Stamps.com. These sponsors are vital to taking your ecommerce business to the next level. ProStores has everything you need to open your own web store, complete with shopping cart and web payments. Kabbage.com find working capital for eBay Sellers to grow their business. eBay AdCommerce finds buyers, not browsers. Stamps.com is a complete shipping solution for multi-channel sellers. And Outright is your free online bookkeeping solution. These sponsors help sellers take their online business to the next level.

“As a committed supporter of ecommerce entrepreneurs, ProStores is proud to be a sponsor of the launch of the ECMTA’s Los Angeles chapter,” said Lin Shearer, ProStores Head of Marketing. “The ECMTA and its growing network of local chapters – led by dedicated, experienced merchants like Melinda Jackson – are a great opportunity for anyone interested in taking their online business to the next level to learn from fellow merchants and industry experts,” he added.

The Dallas event is a unique opportunity to introduce or remind online merchants of your brand and service in a way that is fun and exciting for everyone. We have a limited opportunity in Dallas to celebrate with eCommerce Merchants that will be attending the eBay On Location and looking for fun after the On Location event ends for the day. All members of E-Bay are invited to join the celebration.

Photos from past eCommerce Merchants/PeSA after-hour parties:

Audience: Highly targeted eBay/eCommerce Multi-Channel merchants

Size: eBay On-Location will attract 300-500 attendees. With no competing event, we anticipate a large audience for our After-Hours event.

Venue: Upscale Hyatt Regency Tower, Wolfgang Puck Ballroom
Hyatt Regency Hotel
300 Reunion Boulevard
@ Wolfgang Puck Banquet Hall
Dallas, TX 75207

Event: This will be following the eBay On Location Dallas Registration Event on Day 1 (ends at 7:00 PM)

Date: Friday, May 7th, 2010

Time: Approx 8:00 PM – midnight

Host: eCommerce Merchants, PeSA amp; Galleria Gifts amp; RRB Radio

Confirmed Guests:

Griff (Jim Griffith), Host of eBay Radio, Dean of eBay Education

John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing)

Richard Brewer Hay (eBay Ink Blog)

Lynn Dralle, Queen of Auctions

Cindy Shebley, WebSellerCircle

Melinda Jackson, President, eCommerce Merchants Dallas Ft. Worth Chapter

Lin Shearer, ProStores

This event will be FREE to attend for merchants who register and will include a free drinks for the first 100 people. Meet and greet with all the “rock stars”. The event will be HEAVLY promoted with streaming video, live interviews, a charged atmosphere for fun and networking.

Melinda Jackson ~ Galleria Gifts
Education Specialist trained by eBay
Cell (214) 535-1515 call anytime

Register for ECMTA eBay On Location Dallas Reception at http://ebayOLdallas.eventbrite.com

President, eCommerce Merchants Dallas Ft. Worth Chapter
@ECMTADallas on Twitter
http://eCommerceMerchantsDallas.com

Host of The River the Ranch and the Bay ~ http://RRBradio.com @RRBradio on Twitter

Co-host of eBay amp; Beyond: Basics to Business w/Dave White ~ http://basicstobusiness.com

http://stores.ebay.com/Galleria-Gifts?refid=store
http://www.new.facebook.com/MelindaJackson
http://twitter.com/galleriagifts @GalleriaGifts

Dentists in Billings, Montana

If you are visiting Billings, Montana and find that you are in need of a dentist, then you are in luck. There are many quality dentists that are able to handle emergency dental situations for out-of-town patients. If you are a resident of this town, then these dentists can also offer you regular cleanings and check-ups as well as special procedures like denture fittings, or corrective dentistry procedures. This article is intended to highlight a few of the dental offices that are available in Billings, so that out-of-town visitors, as well as Billings residents can find a dentist when they need one. This is not an all-inclusive list of available dentists, but it should get you pointed in the right direction.
Billings Dentist Option Number One:

Wassmer Family Dental
2625 St. Johns Avenue
Billings, Montana
(406) 655-4656 local phone number
http://www.drwassmer.com

Located behind Target on the West Side of town, Wassmer Family Dental offers a wide range of dental services to their patients. They are open Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursdays 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In addition to normal procedures like check-ups, ultrasonic cleaning, root canals, extractions, partial and full dentures, fillings, crowns, implants, and implant dentures, they also offer cosmetic procedures like veneers and white fillings as well as ZOOM! Whitening. Wassmer Family Dental accepts Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Care Credit, as well as EBMS and Delta Premier. If you don’t have a credit care or dental insurance then they also offer no interest payment plans to help make your dental care more affordable. For more information about pricing, insurance, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Wassmer Family Dental directly via one of the contact methods listed above.

Billings Dentist Option Number Two:

Cody W. Haslam, DDS Family Dentistry
3307 Grand Avenue, Suite 105
Billings, Montana
(406) 652-7313 local phone number
info@codyhaslam.com
http://www.codyhaslam.com

Cody W. Haslam, DDS offers general dentistry services like check-ups, cleaning, root canals, extractions, partial and full dentures, crowns, etc. They are open Monday through Thursday form 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Fridays 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. They accept new dental patients, and they are also able to handle emergency appointments. They accept Visa, Master Card, Discover Card, and American Express as well as Delta Dental, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and most other insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance then they also offer flexible no interest financing on approved credit. For more information about pricing, insurance, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Haslam’s office via one of the contact methods listed above.

Billings Dentist Option Number Three:

Elite Dental Center
Dr. Mark Rosebush
2625 St. John’s Avenue
Billings, Montana
(406) 656-5200 local phone number
(800) 627-6998 toll free number
or
239 Main Street
Roundup, Montana
(406) 323-1234 local phone number

Elite Dental Center provides its clients with affordable dental treatments on the usual array of dental services like cleanings, dentures, check-ups, and extractions. They also offer cosmetic dental procedures and they can often provide you with the same day service for dentures and cosmetic procedures. They accept most major credit cards, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Preferred, as well as most other types of dental insurance. For more information about pricing, insurance, or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Elite Dental Center at either their Billings location or their Roundup location via one of the contact methods listed above.

Coumadin Therapy Patients: Home-Test For Your PT/INR Readings

Many people, especially seniors are on Coumadin therapy. These people, who are in special danger of forming blood clots, have atrial fibrillation or may have had phlebitis, heart attacks, strokes or other illnesses where blood clots have been a factor, take daily doses of Coumadin which thins the blood to reduce the likelihood of blood clots. The two tests which measure the clotting ability of the blood are called PT and INR. (Protime and International Normalized Ratio.) The INR reading is normally used. For a better understanding of the testing, you may wish to read this Clotcare.org article. Monthly testing is very important as the clotting ability of the blood must be kept within a very narrow range. Until recently the testing required a trip to a lab, but home testing by the patient has now been approved by Medicare.

Tests May Need to be Made Weekly or Bi-Weekly If the Readings are Not Stable.

If the readings are not stable, the blood may be tested weekly or bi-weekly until the correct Coumadin dosage is determined. If the INR is too low, there is little protection from blood clots. If the INR is too high, the blood is too thin and a person could bleed to death, especially if involved in an accident. The generic name for Coumadin is warfarin, which is a very effective rat poison.

Home Testing is Very Appealing for Patients Who Have Problems Traveling

This testing can be very inconvenient for some people if they live a long distance from a testing lab or lack transportation. Now, home-testing by the patient is available if your doctor approves and writes a prescription. Your doctor needs to know you well and be convinced that you are mentally and physically capable and reliable enough that you can be trusted to responsibly check your own INR, because it is a ‘life and death matter.” A doctor who gave home testing permission to a patient who was incompetent would be in legal jeopardy himself.

Home Testing is Simple to Arrange If Your Doctor Agrees

I use the Alere Home Monitoring System. Their website supplies an information form to be completed by the patient and a prescription form which must be completed by their doctor. It may be more convenient to let your medical personnel handle the transition if they are agreeable.

I had been having my testing performed at the Anti-coagulation Clinic at a local hospital. I asked the nurses in charge of the clinic if I could participate in the home monitoring program. After I filled out the patient application form, they contacted my primary care doctor for a prescription allowing me to enroll in the Alere Home Monitoring Program. I felt gratified that my doctor felt I was qualified. An Alere representative called me and interviewed me for the program. Then they verified that Medicare would approve my participation.

Instruction Can Be Done in Your Home

In a short time, I received a letter from Alere stating that I was accepted in the program and a nurse from my clinic had been assigned to come to my home and train me to perform the test. The nurse did a fine job of explaining the procedure and guided me through the actual test. She made sure all my questions were answered and told me to call her with any later questions. After the test the patient is then expected to transmit the resulting INR reading to Alere by email or by using a push-button phone. Alere then faxes the reading to my clinic so that they can adjust my Coumadin dosage if the reading is out of range.

The Patient is Still Given Full Medical Support

The patient is not abandoned. My clinic still gives me total support in case I have any problems or questions. I still need to travel to the clinic every 3 months for a test to check on the accuracy of my monitor. I do have considerable confidence in the monitoring instrument because it is the same model the clinic uses. I use the “CoaguChek” model. The patient does not own the monitor and must return it to the company if they leave the program.

My only complaint is the design of the disposable test strip, which is like a glucose monitor test strip but is much larger. It is much harder to use than a glucose test strip, which easily siphons the blood into the tip of the test strip. The INR test strip requires a larger blood specimen which must be placed in the center of the strip instead of on the tip. You may waste several test strips while learning to use the monitor but the problem can be overcome with practice. I believe the company expects that you will waste strips because they allow you 52 per year.

Since I have now learned to use the test strip, I am very pleased that I don’t need to travel to the clinic all the time. This would be especially nice if I happen to be traveling when my test is due, so I would not need to find a laboratory to perform the test. I believe home testing is a much more efficient method of providing health care and is much better for the patient in several ways.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health care professional. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not the purpose of this article to give medical advice. I am only relating my opinions and experiences and my opinions could be wrong. Any actions you take or do not take as a result of reading this article, you take at your own risk. Always seek advice from a doctor or health care professional before making any health care decisions.

Computer Repair Fraud Is On The Rise

What do you do when your computer stops working for an unknown reason? If you’re like most people and know how to use a computer but don’t really think about what’s going on inside of it, you probably call someone who is an expert at diagnosing and repairing computer problems. That’s what I did and the following is an abbreviated version of what happened.

As a rule, I’ve always tried to trust the people I meet and do business with until I’m given a reason to feel otherwise. More and more frequently, I don’t have to wait long for someone to show their dishonest nature. This week it was the guy I called on to fix my computer after an electrical problem fried the power supply and mother board. He called himself “The Computer Doctor” and according to his ad in the paper and our brief phone conversation, he could heal my injured PC and make it better than it ever was. It was only after the fact, I learned that instances of computer repair fraud are on the rise in our technology driven society.

The good doctor suggested salvaging the good hardware from my computer and using it to build a new PC with new parts in place of the ones that were damaged. He said he could do that as well as upgrade the mother board and video card, transfer all my software and install a better system of security. He also agreed to my budget of $500.

The machine I left with him had a 2.7 gig processor, a 40 gig and a 250 gig hard drive, a CD-ROM player/burner, DVD player/burner, a 18-month-old video card with dual monitor capabilities, 1 gig of memory, a brand new TV Tuner card, 8 USB ports (2 front, 6 back), Ethernet and fire-wire ports, and mic, headphone and speaker jacks on the front as well as on back of the tower. I bought this computer 3 1/2 years ago and had it built to do what I needed it to do.

What was returned to me the next day consists of what seems to be a collection of spare parts he had lying around his shop. The mother board has a 3 gig processor and the video card is slightly more powerful but only supports one monitor. It has a 250 gig hard drive that sounds as if it has a muffler dragging. As far as I can tell he used my memory, DVD burner, TV tuner and fire-wire card. Missing were the 40 gig hard drive including my operating system and other software, CD burner and front audio ports.

Doctor Frankenstein installed an apparently pirated version of 2003 Windows XP Pro as well as numerous other programs that appear to be pirated on this monster. I suppose he’ll install the XP Home operating system that was installed on my 40 gig hard drive in a computer for his next trusting victim.

When I called the Computer Doctor, a.k.a Benedict Varella to express my concern about the scraping sound coming from this hard drive he immediately went on the defensive and told me I didn’t know anything. He then commenced to obnoxiously berate me for questioning his integrity, which I hadn’t done yet. That’s when my,”I could have had a V-8!” moment hit me.

After a minute or two of his self-righteous tirade, I hung up on Doc and started putting two and two together. No matter how I worked it I didn’t come up with four and realized I had been taken for a ride. He charged me $500 for an inferior computer full of illegal software and then kept all of my legitimate software, as well as much of my good hardware.

Since I paid for his “services” and the damage is done, I can only chalk this up to experience and try to warn others of this type of scam. Oh, I also reported him to the Business Software Alliance, a federal organization whose sole purpose is to pursue and prosecute people and businesses that use pirated software.
Hindsight is 20/20 and you can’t sue a “Computer Doctor” for malpractice, but from what I understand, the BSA will make his life hell and hopefully shut down his shady business.

Because we can’t all be experts on all subjects, we must often place our trust in people and businesses that specialize in a particular field. This is the case with attorneys, doctors, politicians, contractors and even grocers. It’s despicable, unethical, and in many cases illegal, when one of these people intentionally mislead and take advantage of the people that seek their counsel.

Before you trust the machine that contains everything from your bank records to your personal correspondence, take some time to make sure you are dealing with an honest company or individual. I suggest you always get referrals and check the references of anyone that you are going to trust with a significant expense or project. And if you do get the short end of the stick in a business deal, find a way to ensure the perpetrator is held accountable for their actions.

Cancer and Sleep Problems

For someone who has cancer getting a good nights rest can challenging.

There are many different factors for this reason. First the cancer patient has a lot to deal with just in regards to their cancer. According to doctor Josee Savard, PhD, “First, they may worry about what would be the consequences of the diagnosis, will they be treated, what kind of treatments they will receive, what will be the side effects. And then, when the treatments are over, then they tend to worry about the future.” Second the treatments such as the radiation and chemotherapy can make it difficult for someone with cancer to get a good nights rest. Some of the symptoms of a cancer treatment are hot flashes, nausea, insomnia and fatigue. These symptoms can disturb a person’s sleep. Third is the bad habit developed in being in bed the whole day even when it’s not time to sleep. Cancer patients are often tired from all the medication and treatments that they have to go through. Many cancer patients just want to stay in bed. Any activity such as eating, watching television and reading are done in bed. So when it comes time to go to sleep at night it is difficult for the body to do so. There are things a person with cancer can do to help him or herself to get a good nights rest.

A person with cancer can go to bed only when it is time to sleep. Doctor Josee Savard has a wonderful suggestion. He states, “Go to bed only when you feel sleepy, get out of bed after fifteen or twenty minutes if you are awake. Another goal of the behavioral strategies is to re-associate the bed with sleeping. So they are instructed not to do other things in their bed than sleeping and also having sexual activities.” Once this mental connection occurs better sleep patterns can be formed.

A cancer patient needs to avoid taking naps so close to bedtime. It becomes more difficult to fall asleep during bedtime if a person is well rested. Doctor Josee Savard states, “For cancer patients who feel fatigued, we suggest them to day-nap early, early on during the day. So ideally before three in the afternoon.”

Physical activity can be hard for a cancer patient who is frequently feeling tired. However any type of physical activity such as walking can help a cancer patient to get better sleep at night. Simple exercise such as stretches could make a big difference.

The final suggestion is to seek help from a doctor who will most likely prescribe sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can be effective however it is a drug that can be habit forming if used over a long period of time. It is important to talk with the doctor about the length of time used and the side effects of the sleeping pills.

Getting a good nights rest for a cancer patient is important. Sleep helps replenish the body and fight off the cancer. Sleep will also help the body gain energy and strength to handle daily tasks in life. By using these suggestions someone with cancer can get a good nights rest.