Friday, August 17, 2018

How to Deal with Potentially Rude People-Engage, Reject or Confront

We live in a world where there are plenty of very good people dotted with a number of rude people that project their perceptions on others. They unfortunately have no problem with violating a sense of peace that is needed in society for social cohesion. You can use three strategies that can be used at work or in your personal life. They include engage, reject or confront.

First understand that while rude behavior has been sensationalized in popular media as a sign of confidence it is actually a character flaw. It is the exact opposite of what it portrays. People who are rude are either deeply wounded or lack the ability to accept social rules and therefore are unable to fully comprehend their behavior.

Engage: Engage with the person by saying "hi" or "how can I help you?" which often puts them on notice that you understand their behavior. It also shows that you do not shy from conflict and is often the best way to diffuse bad behavior.

Reject: Of course there are some people that don't respond well at all to engagement, friendliness, or anything else. They are jerks and should be avoided. This means don't acknowledge their comments, don't communicate with them, and generally give him/her the cold shoulder.

Confront: There are some people who are persistent in their rudeness and this may occur if you share social networks. If you can't engage, or avoid, and they continue to be rude then feel free to confront and let them know this behavior will not be tolderated.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Skill of Sculling-Learn Quickly

Sculling, or the use of small thin boats, to row and race is a pretty cool skill to have. It takes a little practice. Its not easy to balance and there are all types of tips and tricks to getting onto them. Without the ores it is likely you will simple tip and fall into the water. So there are a few things you should do before you take off into deep water.

For one you will need to learn how to get onto the boat without falling over as well as how to feather your blades for stability. Trust me I almost tipped the first time I got on.

After this you can learn to stop, turn, and go back in the other direction. Having some level of mobility is important for staying away from obstacles.

It is also beneficial to learn to get on the boat if you fall off. That can be tricky as you will need to sort of hop up and balance on the center of the boat as you swing your legs over. It doesn't work well if your ores are not in the right direction.

There is also the need to learn how to actually row. Easier said than done. You have to use your legs much more than your arms and back. Without some practice you will have less power and will wear out quickly.

If you do well then you will likely lose weight and get into fitness as it does take a lot of endurance and cardio effort.

Dr. Murad Abel has a yoga and fitness trainer certificates. You can contact at

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Price, Quality and Service as Fundamentals to Competing Online

Companies that sell online have a limited array of ways they can differentiate themselves and draw in customers. While relationships might work well in neighborhoods the customers sees price, quality and service as paradigms that are important to them. Each can be used as one method of competing online and creating a name for your brand.

Price: The ability to stay in the lower quarter quadrant of prices. Online consumers often buy at the cheapest price no matter what. Being the lowest helps you to get the "buy box" and stand out compared to the competitors. This is not possible with all products so seek to stay in the bottom quarter of all prices.

Quality: Quality is a consideration for some people who don't want things to break quickly or who plan on using materials multiple times. There is a subset of the population who wants to buy a product like a hammer to last a lifetime while others think of it as disposable.

Service: Excellent services, information, returns and repair are others ways of competing. When people are buying products they do weight return ability for cheaper items and repair/return/service for more expensive products. The more technical or mechanical the product, the more likely they will need help.

Monday, July 30, 2018

How Driverless Cars Will Affect Your Budget

Aerial Photo of Buildings and Roads
It seems like every other day there’s a new article listing all the ways driverless cars are set to change our lives; the excitement in certain industries can feel almost palpable. However, a recent AAA study found that 63% of U.S. drivers are still nervous about riding in a completely autonomous vehicle. While that is a drop from numbers in early 2017, there is still a large part of the population that feels unsure about the emerging technology.

Most customers will care more about the practical implications of these advancements. They want to know how this technology will affect their daily lives, rather than which big companies are fighting to bring it to the market first.

Most importantly, will these cars even be accessible to the average consumer? Here are some of the ways driverless cars are slated to affect your wallet.

The First Models Will Be Expensive

With luxury auto brands like Tesla, Audi, and more having the capital to research and test driverless tech, these high-end car makers will likely be the first to introduce autonomous cars to the market. Unfortunately for the average consumer, this could mean adding an additional $10,000 to the existing, average cost of a vehicle.

The number is expected to come down as the technology becomes more widely accessible, but could stop driverless cars in their tracks.

Fewer Accidents, Lower Insurance Rates

On the bright side, driverless cars are expected to lower the number of road accidents. Drunk driving will hypothetically be a thing of the past, allowing the auto accident injuries injuries to decline alongside them.

Thanks to fewer accidents, car insurance costs will plummet, as any collision that does occur will be due to mechanical – not human – error. Liability will shift to auto manufacturers, saving you hundreds of dollars each year.

Saving Money on the Little Things

If you have multiple drivers in your household, complicated carpool systems could be a thing of the past. Your single driverless car could drop one person off at work, return home, take someone else in, run the kids to school, and even cover pick-up duty.

Not only could your household save money on the cost of buying and maintaining an additional vehicle, an autonomous vehicles ability to return home on its own could save you large sums of money. In 2017, INRIX research found that in the U.S. alone, drivers spend an average of 17 hours a year looking for an open space, which wastes upwards of $345 worth of gas. Remove the need to find a parking spot, and watch your savings increase.

Driverless cars are not yet ready for mass adoption, but if all goes smoothly these vehicles can be a big help with savings. Not only will the roads become safer, but also drivers will be able to save on the seemingly minor details that tend to add up.

By Rae Steinbach, freelance editor at The Rothenberg Law Firm, LLP

Monday, July 23, 2018

Poem: Hours Before Day Break

Hours before day break the darkest hours creep,
The critters of shadows near their sleep.

Walking under a canopy of trees,
The morning light begs to break free.

My boots dig into the wet dirt.
To a new path they flirt.

Heavy on the soles I say,
If you keep walking this way.

Till the end we must trudge,
fate will fight to not budge.

Nature is our resting place,
Into the forest we seek some space.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2 lbs Handmade Goats Milk

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Escanaba and Gladstone-Balance Between Chain and Local Stores-Which Creates More Opportunities?

Escanaba and Gladstone Michigan are nestled along the shoreline in the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Because of their remote locations the towns still have a presence of locally owned stores yet these are becoming increasingly under pressure by large retailers like Wal-Mart and Meijer. Following suit, other retailers are also interested in setting up shop; Aldi being an example of just one. We must ask if this is the wisest choice for a small rural city and if there are alternatives to the standard developmental of path. Before we answer this question we should think of economic impact, wages, and culture.

Economic Impact:

First, it is important to say that large retailers are not the enemy and provide a lot of value for the local community in terms of cheaper prices, convenience and breadth of consumer products. They fit well with the needs of the local population who must shop daily for their households. This convenience comes with a cost!

If there are too many large retailers in one area the smaller stores can't compete without change. We are finding this to be true in the world of Amazon where large manufacturers and cheaper products from China flood the market thereby killing small producers with instant price comparisons. Few will pay $12.99 versus $7.99 for relatively the same product just because it is produced in the U.S.

Smaller stores often die out because they can't compete with such economies of scale leaving city governments more reliant on these large retailers to patch budget shortfalls. Having a large anchor store is helpful but having a number of them can become harmful. Stores should follow the laws, needs, and wants of the community to ensure they are serving local people over investors. Remember that this isn't their purpose!

We can see how the Escanaba mall has declined off over the past few decades and most of the store fronts are now vacant. It has been said that rent prices are high and the traffic flow is minimal because there isn't a lot going on there. One by one they disappear, close their doors and move to other communities. This can't be blamed only on large retailers but is part of the trend of increasing online purchases and large retailers that have saturated markets.


Chain retailers offer wages, in many cases good wages, but certainly not living wages. They also employ a lot of people at once creating a quick economic boost. Such companies employ many more people than most of the smaller stores would be able to muster combined! However, as small stores flounder there are less of them around which means that family-owned businesses are often being supplanted by lower wages. Family workers are not typically accounted fully in our economic models because they don't have a formal payroll.


We should also consider culture and its value on the market. Escanaba and Gladstone should not try to be like every other community in the country. To create a culture that attracts tourism, retains families, encourages people to immigrate here, and develop thriving small businesses we should look toward places that have successfully created their own "destination locations".

These are the places that have thriving downtown areas with unique shops, art stores, small manufactures, community events, parks and waterfront. Escanaba and Gladstone have most of these characteristics but haven't fully exploited them for improved growth. Developmental plans will need greater emphasis and improvement in attracting outside consumers to the area while still serving the needs of local residents.

Communities that attract an influx of money, investment, and market interest are unique. They are not the cookie cutter communities that have a Walmart and a movie theater. They are the type that retain their history and integrate their downtown communities with the needs of the modern century. They make local shopping fun by providing a variety of unique products that are hard to find anywhere else. Large retailers don't compete well in the craft and niche markets.

The Complexity of Economic Projection:

An analysis of economic benefits and detractors large retailers have on local communities is very in-depth and complex. Projected tax revenue, employment, and location are most commonly included. Many small communities don't do well in calculating the soft costs that are hidden when making these types of plans. Large retailers are all too willing to come in and provide overwhelmingly positive expectations that "wow" community leaders.

Soft costs can include family income, transference of capital in/out of the local community, reduction or increase in tax revenue, transference of money throughout the community, how many other businesses may decide TO or NOT open in the area, brand image, and the economic risks if a large retailer leave the community. We don't know because these types of analysis take time and require high levels of theoretical training and research. This type of knowledge isn't often available locally unless there is a large university in the area.

Sum it Up!

There is a point when too many large retailers may be drawing capital away from the community and transferring it to investors residing in other places. Each product bought has a cost; of which labor is only one. Whatever profit is earned is transferred back to shareholders who do not spend money buying from local stores. Large retailers do create convenience and value for local shoppers up to a point but then can start to kill off small businesses and the possibility of future growth that comes through the unique culture and attractions of the area.

It is important to think of input and output of capital in the cities. Input occurs when products are produced and sold here. Output occurs when product are produced elsewhere and profits leave to corporate headquarters located somewhere else. Local shopping, tourism, and industry create new capital while large retailers usually have net loss to capital in the area. Increasing input means capitalizing on our strengths!

Where Should We Go?

Escanaba and Gladstone have an over abundance of large retailers and chains for the time being until the population rises. It doesn't seem like it will rise soon without major transformation. Thus, administrators should focus more on eco-tourism, lifestyle, marketing, and the downtown district to draw local interest and encourage tourism to the unique coastline, outdoor activities and culture of the area.

Conducting a market analysis of what types of businesses will thrive in the area and encouraging entrepreneurs to start small businesses in the number of vacant storefronts on Ludington Street would be helpful. Of course there will need to be incentives and active recruitment involved. That could include low interest loans, cheap rent, student loan forgiveness, new business outreach to navigate local regulations, and other incentives for those start ups that fill the city's needs.

It would also be helpful to encourage Escanaba and Gladstone to fund a higher marketing budget; even with a little more cost to existing businesses. Developing a brand image and selling the amenities of the area as a place to vacation, shop, and live. Some of this marketing may target larger cities like Chicago and Detroit that can travel here on vacation and/or in outdoor enthusiast magazines that seem to draw the right kind of people who are generally educated and have money to spend. A larger Internet presence is definitely needed where people spend their time looking for vacation and living places.

More events downtown that attract people within 50 miles might also be helpful in courage improved retail sales. Additional work is needed in beautifying the downtown to make it attractive and a place that can host different kinds of activities. Much of this should be based in, not only improve immediate sales, but also the long term interest in the livability, shopping, and events of the future.

None of this ignores the need to diversify industry in the area and encourage industries that use similar skills and abilities to settle locally. Thriving retail also means creating thriving industries. Small manufacturers have a great impact when they employ 50 or a 100 people at a time. A few hundred well paying jobs feeds much larger families who purchase from local stores.

The Escanaba Planning Commission and their meetings are available online for comments, praise, questions or concerns.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Photography of Pictured Rock Caves

Friday, July 13, 2018

Did you know that horses Snort when Happy?

Your riding and pushing your horse a little and a huge "snort" comes out. You think Whoooo this horse is getting upset. Maybe its riding or maybe its pushing flys away. None of that is true! Research from the University of Rennes in France seems to indicate that snorting is a sound when horses like what is going on around them.

What makes them Snort?

1. Socializing with people and other horses.

2. Ability to graze pastures.

3. Big open spaces.

Those were not the only signs. Ears pointed forward or to the side meant happy while those pointed to the back were discomfort.

Because horses are emotional by nature they work on friend and threat based on those emotional systems. If they saw an angry picture of someone they may treat that person more as a threat when they met them in real life.

The study was published in PLOS Journal.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Portable Solar Light and Bug Zapper for Your Picnic Table and Home

You know those times when you are sitting on a picnic table, camping, or your deck and the mosquitoes attack you. It can be very uncomfortable and can ruin your good time. People want to relax and talk but run inside cutting your good times short. A portable solar bug zapper with a light would work great at those moments.

The light is strong enough to give you a solid glow over your table. No need for batteries because the sun will charge it if left out or you can plug it in to get the power. Most of the time it can just sit there and will continue to work night after night.

Better yet, it kills the bugs in a quiet and non toxic way. If your in a tent or RV this works fantastic. You can even use it next to the door of your house or out in the yard. Bugs are drawn to light and when they get in there they are "poof" gone.

For the price this product is offered for there are lots of great uses. It is handy and can have multiple functions which helps make it more versatile and raise its value when compared to cost. You may even consider that it doesn't use batteries that damage the environment.