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The Art Of Love: Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War In Romantic Endeavour

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Military historians have often speculated that Napoleon Bonaparte may have utilized Sun Tzu’s timeless treatise The Art of War in his victorious campaigns, losing only when he failed to follow its rules. Certainly, his often stunning mobility would indicate that perhaps he did. One thing is certain; The Art of War, written over two and a half centuries ago, had been translated into French in 1782 by the Jesuit, Father Amiot and was available to the Emperor. But if he did read and apply it, he wisely kept it to himself. Mao Tse-tung however made no secret that Sun Tzu formed the source of his copious works on military strategy, tactics and guerilla warfare and his writings follow the master almost word for word. And, clearly, the fingerprints of Sun Tzu are indelible when one examines the military defeat of France at Dien Bien Phu ending their role in Indo China, and, in what may be his shining hour, the defeat of the United States of America in Vietnam. The Art of War is probably the finest treatise on the conduct of warfare ever written. But what about its application in other fields, other endeavours?

In recent years we’ve seen a spate of books applying Sun Tzu’s rules of war to business strategy which includes most notably Mark McNeilly’s Sun Tzu and the Art of Business, David H. Li’s Art of Leadership by SunTzu and The Art of War for Executives by Donald G. Krause. And by all accounts they work very effectively. But this should be no surprise. By any measure, The Art of War can be applied and lead to victory in many battlefronts, international relations, politics, business and in our personal struggle for survival in the socio-economic conflicts we daily face. But what about love? What about the sexual battleground?

My father was a British professional soldier. He caught the tail end of the Second World War serving in the Burma campaign at Imphal and Kohema. He returned to South East Asia in 1948 for the Malayan Emergency, Britain’s victorious 12 year battle to defeat communist insurgency in what is now Malaysia. And it was there that my father came into contact with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, an encounter that altered the course of his life.

The final years of my father’s military career were spent in what he called the “backwater” of NATO, a military organism he learned to despise as an expensive tax free social club for well connected civilian and military elites. He referred to it as “America’s Foreign Legion. His experiences there led him to firmly believe that in a confrontation with the armies of the Warsaw Pact, NATO would have been swept aside like a flimsy cobweb.

Throughout his career, my father made no secret of his belief that Sun Tzu should be on the curriculums of all military colleges and even schools and universities and that military promotion should be contingent on a high passing grade in knowledge of Sun Tzu. Unfortunately, as Sun Tzu was obligatory in the political and military organisms in the Soviet Union and of course China, it was considered part of the philosophy of the Warsaw Pact, I believe my father’s open advocacy of him cost him dearly in terms of promotion.

When he retired with the rank of Colonel, he moved back to England and took up his love of fly fishing. But military history was his real passion. And he enjoyed re-visiting historic battles and applying Sun Tzu’s rules of engagement to the great battles of the past.

Visiting dad was, for me, always a pleasure in itself. But it was especially enhanced by the many delightful and lovely ladies who shared his life. My mother died when I was young, a schoolboy, and my father never re-married. Yet he had an endless coterie of lovely girlfriends. I was always puzzled since my father, while a charming and intelligent man, was no film star. Nor was he, strictly speaking, a ladies man. But he was a very successful lover. And his greatest conquest was Tam.

Tam was Eurasian, born in Saigon to a Vietnamese schoolteacher mother and a Danish diplomat father. A lawyer, Tam specialized in international law and worked in SHAPE, the headquarters of NATO’s Allied Command Operations in the Belgian town of Mons. She was employed in the civilian section of NATO and it was there that my father, working in military intelligence, met her. A woman of great beauty, very well educated and of independent means, she was also a linguist in fluent command of Danish, Vietnamese, French, German and English. When I first met her in Brussels she was working on Flemish (Dutch). At 35, she was closer to my age than my father’s and for a while I was jealous. I wondered how he was able to woo such a lovely, young woman, a speculation that was only answered after his death.

After he passed away, as his only offspring, I took on the responsibility of winding up his estate. I had known since childhood that he kept daily journals, but only after his death did I come to know how copious a diarist he had been. Fascinated, I steeped myself in the volumes of neat handwritten records that filled his library shelves. And it became clear that, for my father The Art of War was more than just a military text. For him it was about an overall life strategy for overcoming obstacles, a tool to attain specific goals. Consequently he applied it to most aspects of his life. And this included matters of the heart.

In his diaries my father wrote frankly on the methods used to win the ladies who attracted him. He was not always successful as sometimes the ladies were simply not interested, and not even Sun Tzu could overcome that. But in the cases where he had a glimmer of a chance, but where the conditions were difficult or unfavorable, the application of the Sun Tzu’s Rules won the day. This was especially true in the case of Tam.

As they moved in very different circles and worked in different areas, he saw her rarely and then usually in dry, stuffy meetings in the company of others. She had a luxurious home in Brussels in the exclusive suburb of Uccle, while dad rented a simple Mons flat. But whenever he encountered her alone as he occasionally did, such as in the office cafeteria, she offered a ready smile and he made a point of joining her. Sensing he had a chance, he moved quickly. Above all else, he needed to know everything about her. And so he used spies.

He hired an expensive, high quality and very discreet private detective agency and set them to task. And they were more than thorough. Apart from their normal surveillance they penetrated Tam’s citadel by replacing her cleaning lady for a single visit and that was enough. They handed my father everything he needed. He now knew her tastes in music, literature and art as well as her favorite foods and sports: she was an accomplished and keen sailor and sea kayaker. An accomplished pianist herself, she loved classical music and was an especially fond of Elgar as well as being a jazz buff and a Stan Getz fan. He knew where she shopped for clothes and even the brand name of her underwear. She had been married once to a Danish business man, was now divorced, and had a teenage son in school in Denmark. With photocopies of her diary in his hands, dad had her social itinerary for several months ahead. He also now knew something about the men in her life: his adversaries and how formidable they were. She had many men friends and, it appeared, four serious suitors: an American Major-General in NATO, a senior French Diplomat with the French Embassy in Brussels, a successful Belgian artist, a painter of impressive quality, some of whose works hung in her apartment. The fourth was a rich Swiss socialite. My father’s next step was to know more about them, specifically about their foibles, weak points and vulnerable areas. He was well aware of his own, particularly with reference to the ground where the contest would unfold. Sun Tzu said: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” My father would often quote the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz who said: “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you.” As Sun Tzu said: “All warfare is based on deception.” And so it was with father’s winning of Tam. He began laying plans.

He steeped himself and became erudite in her interests. He developed a taste for jazz and the Big Bands of the ‘forties; he learned to appreciate Miles Davis and enjoy Stan Getz. He attended a sea kayaking symposium in England and took courses in the sport. And having knowledge of Tam’s social itinerary, he was able to surprise her and appear when he was not expected; such as at music concerts. Often he would bring another lady, but just as often he would appear alone

It was at one such “surprise” encounter, a Mozart event, that he hit her for a date and she accepted for dinner and an evening of jazz in a Brussels club the following week. His foot was in the door. He was in her network. He had joined her club.

My father was entirely objective and quite pitiless in the handling of his adversaries. The French Diplomat was a handsome, charming, smooth tongued roguish character. My father found him, very likable. He was also a roué with a secret vice: a penchant for occasional sex with low class underage hookers in a rough Brussels immigrant quarter whorehouse. A police raid found him with two of them one well under age. Faced with arrest he tried bribery: it failed forcing him to use diplomatic immunity. This worked, but resulted in publicity, embarrassment and his fast recall to Paris. And, of course, the news did not pass Tam by and he was out of her life.

Shortly after the demise of the Frenchman, Tam celebrated her thirty sixth birthday. Dad gifted her a boxed set of CD’s, Stan Getz: The Bosa Nova Years – and a nice bound copy of Sun Tzu. She threw a party in the garden behind her home. According to my father it was an impressive event which included an excellent jazz trio, a great buffet prepared by Tam and superb wines. And, according to dad’s diary entry, it was there he began his campaign to dismantle and discredit the American General in Tam’s eyes. Dad engaged him on the American’s hobby horse – Vietnam. Influenced by drink the General became unpleasant and offensive to dad. Tam diplomatically suggested he apologize which he did, and he then left the party early.

My father learned that despite his high tax free salary, the General had a gambling problem and considerable debts, in consequence of which he had engaged in serious black market dealings with a Belgian group based in Liege. A Financial Police raid on a warehouse revealed the General’s connection. To save face, not to mention his pension, and because of his profile, he was allowed to resign his NATO post ahead of his time and quietly moved back to America.

It turned out the Belgian painter was no threat at all, dad discovered; he was never more than a good friend of Tam’s. My father met him, liked him and bought a small painting from him. But the Swiss playboy was another matter.

Tam and he were old lovers and dad could see why. In his early forties, Hans had everything: a friendly outgoing personality and an infectious smile, good looks, a great athletic physique – and money to burn. He’d never worked or had employment of any kind. He played fine tennis and often coached Tam with her game. But his big passion was motor racing and he drove well and with panache, winning many races. He’d wanted to be a world class professional, but lacked the required discipline and commitment. And it was at a race meeting at Spa Franco-Champs that my father met him. Tam took my father to watch Hans race a Porsche in a sports car event. Unfortunately he crashed out of the race at the complex and infamous Eau Rouge corner while in contention for the lead and ended up in hospital with broken bones and concussion.

My father had no wish to share his women and Tam was no exception. He liked Hans and wished him no ill but he needed to move him from all proximity to Tam’s bed. He was working on that when fate took a hand. Hans suddenly announced from Zurich that he was going to be married for the first time. The lady was a lovely young French fashion model of 21 years. He sent out invites to all his friends including Tam and my father. Tam declined. Instead, she sent him a card signed by her and dad.

Tam remained with my father for many years. I last saw her after his death when she came over to England for his wake. No longer young, but still impressively beautiful, she had retired to live in Denmark. She invited me to visit, but I never took the offer up. She remains to this day one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. I was given my first copy of the Art of War on my sixteenth birthday, a gift from my father. I didn’t read it then and it lay neglected on my bookshelf. Dad would often quote Sun Tzu, reminding me of such wisdom as: “If you know the enemy and know yourself you will not fear the result of a hundred battles.” He would also often quote the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz who said: “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you.” Father would ask me questions could not answer. This disappointed him, so to keep the peace I got down to it and studied Sun Tzu. And I’m glad I did; what a wonderful it is. It certainly helped me in life.

Did The Art of War work for me in romantic endeavor? Well, yes it did. Following my father’s lead, and being already well aware of its potency in overcoming conflict and achieving victory, using The Art of War as a tool in developing romantic relationships came natural to me. Using the 13 Rules of Engagement to win on the sexual battlefront was remarkably easy. I have also come to believe it has been used this way by many other people. And not just by men. I believe that the great diva, Pamela Harriman, probably the 20th century’s most prominent courtesan used Sun Tzu in her many conquests. I once read an article on her and the writer mentioned seeing The Art of War on her book shelf. And reading of her exploits suggests she applied deception in her strategic and tactical drive to get the men she wanted. But if she did use him, like most people who utilize SunTzu, she took the secret to her grave.

There is no question that the Art of War provides us with powerful tools that can be applied to deal with conflict and difficulties in business or personal objectives. In sexual relationships, for men and women both, it excels no less.

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Your App Is Failing to Convert? 5 Tricks to Raise Conversions

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Mobile apps are playing the role of a marketer for businesses overtaking all other methods of promotions and advertising. However, not all apps prove to be a great tool in marketing a business’s products or services. Apps that are just good to look at or have great features may not be successful at converting users because of complex UI or navigation. So, the prime focus of a mobile app development must be on conversions rather than just making it beautiful and innovative.

There are many ways to raise the app’s user acquisition rate and ensure its conversions. Here are discussed some of the most effective ones for you.

Make onboarding experience smoother

User experience (UX) determines the fate of an app, especially at the onboarding. It is the first point of interaction with the users and hence can leave an everlasting impression on their mind. Thus, make it as simple as possible by providing lesser users actions. Make registration/login quick and hassle-free, sparing users from putting too much personal information. Use graphical illustrations and gestures instead of long, boring textual to instruct them on the use of the app’s features.

Optimise the app’s loading speed

Users mostly stay away from apps that take more time to load, causing a delay in what they want to achieve. Work towards optimising the speed of your app while it undergoes development. If you can conquer the users’ interests in the first instance with its speed, there are big chances of optimising conversions.

Push notifications with personalised offers

After analysing your users’ behaviour on the app in their first few active sessions, strategise to send push notifications to them. Push notifications are effective at converting users when they are relevant to their interests or preferences. It gives a clue to the users that you’ve got something just for them. Personal offerings make them feel cared and so can convince them better to make a purchase or avail your service.

Encourage users with bonus or rewards points

Users like appreciation! Give them little surprises as they complete a task or check out an order with bonus points or rewards. Encourage them to accumulate more of such points or rewards which will bag a big offer later. While it’s a great way to encourage user engagement consistently, user abandonment will decrease significantly. Users will always have a reason to come back and make some purchase/order request.

Include social media integrations

Popular social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter have a mass user base and so integrating your app with them can get you a lot of users through referrals. The trick here is to utilise the eWOM (electronic word of mouth). Your need to persuade the current users with referral rewards to spread the word about your app’s benefits using their social media accounts. Customers are your biggest advertisers and so any positive feedback will surely convince others to use your app and realise its benefits.

Get users influenced enough so that they not only stay but actively go through the conversion funnel, i.e. reach the final checkout out or interaction point in the app. The aforementioned tips explain altogether how to make your app’s journey smooth from the start, persuade users with personalised features or offers, and keep them absorbed throughout. If you have an app idea in mind and want it to experience maximum conversions, get these tricks in mind and ask your developers accordingly.

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Innovative Business Shares Tips

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Many of our loyal readers out there are already aware that Dave and I relish celebrating conscious and proactive entrepreneurs who are working to make a difference in the world while providing their services. Today I am thrilled to highlight a local Kootenay-based business with this wonderful discussion below.

We first met Narae Kang, owner of Kimchi Kitchen, when we spotted a post on social media where she was offering a fantastic opportunity for other local businesses – a free (10×6) vinyl decal displayed on their mobile kitchen unit. A little something for their customers to browse while waiting for their meal.

Coming from a marketer’s angle – I saw their selfless, non-promotional post as a great way to reach out to the community. Dave and I, for instance had heard of the truck but had not been customers yet – once we purchased a meal there however, we are definitely customers now. So are dozens of others who saw the post, they were so impressed that they responded saying they were coming down to purchase from the truck soon and calling out to others to support such a selfless business. So while Kimchi Kitchen’s intent wasn’t coming from a marketing angle at all… the result was that they gained popularity, attained increased exposure to a highly targeted market and they created a very strong networking system with dozens of other local businesses, including ourselves.

When Dave dropped off our ad decals, he also ordered the Sweet Chilli Chicken (see the image), which was delicious and so generous of a helping that Dave and I were fed for 3 separate meals – each! As you can see in the images, this dish came with these large, yellow pickled vegetables that had Dave and I guessing what they were. I was thinking perhaps Kholrabi or chestnut, using a tumeric based pickling brine. Dave guessed correctly – it was “… a Korean pickled Daikon (radish)”, Narae explained. “I use gardenia powder to make it yellow”.

I asked Narae to tell us a little about herself and this is what she had to say: “I was born in South Korea, moved to Canada after getting married to this amazing man in Calgary. It was our goal to move to Kootenay Region (BC, Canada) ever since we got married. Thanks to my husband’s carpentry skill and my enthusiasm for Korean food, we opened Kimchi Kitchen in May 2019.”

As an eco-conscious customer, I noticed the compostable take-out packaging right away and I became curious as to its composition. Narae explained that the entire food truck and street food industry is changing: “The clamshell containers are made out of sugarcane. Yes, they are expensive. But what’s amazing is, I am not the only one who uses these types of containers. Most of the food trucks that I know of also choose environment friendly packaging”.

As it turns out, there is a very practical reason for choosing these options. “Initially, my main goal was to go to the festivals and events in the Kootenay Region – like the Kaslo Jazz Festival or Starbelly Jam. Most festivals have zero waste policy, and I admire their efforts to save our environment. I wanted to join their movement. Although all those major events are cancelled due to COVID – I use wood forks and chopsticks instead of plastic ones.”

The couple’s dedication to the environment is admirable. “I have fully electric car; traded it with my truck last year. I am 1000% satisfied with my choice, and encourage people to go electric. It has tons of benefits. I also have 16 hens and a rooster. They take care of our kitchen scraps and give me gorgeous, healthy eggs in return. The rest goes to my compost bin. The chicken manure is given to neighbours who have a garden and they share some vegetables with me.”

This couple had many reasons for choosing the hard life of being an entrepreneur. “Two main reasons” she explains, “One was the child I support. When I just moved here I couldn’t find a full time job. Everything available at the time was seasonal, minimum wage or the work was too far. I support a child in Honduras through World Vision. Maria – a girl’s name I wanted to give if I ever had a daughter. I tried but I couldn’t support her anymore without an income in the winter. That’s when I decided to open a food truck. The first year, my goal was to support her year around. The second year, my goal is to send her chickens as a Christmas gift (and I am working on it). Second reason is the movie ‘The Chef’ – based on the true story of a ‘Kogi’ food truck in California. Roy Choi is now a famous Korean-American chef, who became my role model.”

Being an entrepreneur in such times (when events are limited and constrained budgets keep customers at home) Kimchi Kitchen has learned to adapt, finding alternative ways to overcoming a variety of challenges. “The first year I opened, surprisingly people had quite a good knowledge about Korean food. Living in a town where it has very little Korean population, that was something to think about. Why don’t we have a good Korean restaurant here? I introduced those classic dishes that people are well aware of – Korean chicken, Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Kimchi, etc, which was a hit. Since I introduced those foods in town however, other pubs and restaurants started a similar menu with the same name. So I had to come up with something else. To stand out I introduced trendy Korean street food – like the vegetarian dumplings with gochujang sauce. Leaving one signature item: the Sweet Chilli Chicken… Constantly changing up the menu catches people’s attention; the special changes every week. Like the Galbi burger from last year – People keep hounding me to make that again… My original goal was to go to the festivals and events mainly. Since these events are not happening right now, I parked my food trailer at one location and open to serve either lunch or dinner Wednesday – Sunday. As I have to travel 2h (round trip) from my home to Creston, I can’t serve both lunch and dinner while looking after a bunch of animals in my house.”

Kimchi Kitchen mainly uses social media for sharing the truck’s schedule, expected location for particular dates and any special menu changes. Since over 90% of their customers are locals they find that word-of-mouth has been their best promotional tool yet. According to Narae, “I move around along the Kootenay area – find me through Facebook or Instagram – @kimchikitchenbc… People ask me to come to certain places”, she goes on to say. “Last year we have been to Kuskonook Harbour, Crawford Bay, Creston and Boswell along the lake. Some restaurant owners didn’t welcome us. Some were very kind. Regardless, at all of these places we had great fun… But it is also very tiring to move around frequently. Now I am staying in one spot as long as possible. Before their grand opening this year, Wildnorth Brewery wanted us to be there for the celebrations. As of July 1st, we will be parked there”.

Time management is always a challenge for the self-employed and I asked Narae to share some tips they have learned along the way. “We’ve learned to simplify the process; use similar ingredients, but differentiate just a few key ingredients for menu items. You learn to prioritize what has to be done first… You face a hundred different situations everyday. It can be that the generator fails or something to do with customer service… or you get injured from hot oil. Hot weather is one of the biggest challenges, as well as cooking under pressure when there are 10 people watching me to make their food quick. There are too many to mention here… But I can definitely tell you that racism isn’t part of challenge. As an Asian woman, never once have I faced racism running my business. Rather, people have my back and tell me all the kind words in the world. They worry about me when they don’t even have to. The great support I get in Creston and the Kootenay area is something I really want to shout out! And you know, that made me want to pay-it-forward in gratitude for the great support I have received. That is why I put up the post on social media re: the free advertising decal on my food truck.”

Networking is a huge part of running a business and so I asked Narae her opinion on this. “When people come for my food I try to make conversation to get to know them better, especially for regular customers. I ask their name and remember it.” She responded. “Remembering small details of their needs (some like more pickle, some want more spiciness, etc). Getting to know other business owners is also a big plus. I’ve had lots of inquiries from curious customers. Some asked if I want to sell my business, some asked questions about running a food truck. Many people are interested in opening a food truck of their own. I try my best to give them valuable advice with the understanding that we are all trying to survive, supporting our family and paying bills. I will always continue to offer good food and support other local businesses.”

You can’t miss this bright yellow food truck – with an every-changing menu that will never feel redundant or boring. Customers will also notice that the staff is not only friendly but they really get the food out quickly too. Even though you won’t have to wait long for your meal, do take the time to browse the many decals soon to decorate the exterior of this bright yellow vehicle – celebrating other local entrepreneurs. For more info visit their Facebook page @: https://www.facebook.com/kimchikitchenbc

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6 Tips to Help You Hire a Criminal Lawyer

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Criminal charges are a serious matter for everyone. If you are an accused, make sure you hire the services of a good criminal lawyer for your legal representation. In this article, we have shared a few tips that will make the hiring process easier for you. Read on to find out more.

1. Experience

There are different types of lawyers, and each one specializes in their own field of interest. Therefore, you should look for a professional that specializes in the field of criminal law. This is an important thing to consider when looking for the best legal counsel.

These attorneys are familiar with laws related to different types of crimes. So, they can defend you much better.

2. Success Rate

Make sure that the lawyer enjoys a high rate of success. This is important as a high success rate is representative of the competitiveness of the professional. After all, you want them to drop the charges that were filed against you.

If they lost most of their cases, we suggest that you look for a better professional. After all, you want to get out of trouble as soon as possible.

3. Availability

Make sure the lawyer is not too busy to take your case. If they are not available, they may recommend another good lawyer to you since they have several colleagues. Keep in mind that you don’t have to follow their recommendation.

If they are not available, make sure you do your research to ensure that the recommended lawyer is capable enough to handle your case.

4. Confidence

During your first consultation, consider the demeanor of the lawyer. They should be confident enough to compete against the other party. This is reflective of the knowledge and commitment of the lawyer.

Good professionals are not arrogant. They listen to their clients without interrupting them. Plus, they answer all your questions until you are convinced.

5. Communication Skills

Communication between you and the criminal lawyer matters a lot. The goal is to make sure that you and the professional are on the same page. Good communicators listen to others and give honest and straightforward replies.

Besides, they use different means of communication, such as phone and email. This way you can exchange important messages related to the case.

6. Fee Structure

Of course, the criminal lawyers charge for their legal services. Typically, they charge a retainer fee upfront. You should ask if they require monthly payments. If you ask these questions before hiring them, it will help you set a budget accordingly.

In short, these are just some of the simple tips that may want to follow if you are going to hire a criminal lawyer.

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House Insurance Offers: Tips on Getting Better Quotes and Discounts

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It might take some time for you to do some research, but you really do want to be careful when evaluating house insurance offers. How do you know which company is right for you? What about the policy? Does it include everything you need? Is it right for your home and property? What about the contents of your home? All of these questions must be answered before you sign any contracts.

Always check the financial stability of any company you are considering and consult consumer sites to read reviews and ratings. Also, keep in mind that you might not necessarily need the traditional insurance type. There are newer, modern solutions such as “peer to peer models”. This is an ideal system for those who have trouble getting affordable insurance the traditional way.

Regardless of which type of system you go for, it is essential that you know the value of your property and contents. If the current market value of your home really isn’t very much, how much would it take to make repairs if it’s damaged in a fire or flood? How much would it be to completely build a new home? Like any other type of insurance, you should consider premiums VS deductibles when it comes to house insurance offers.

One way to get a discount and save money on your payments is to make your home as disaster-resistant as possible. For instance, you might be able to save on premiums by purchasing stronger roofing materials, reinforcing your roof, adding storm shutters, investing in sprinklers, modernizing your plumbing and heating, etc.

Item List for House Insurance Offers

Make a list of the personal, valuable items you want to insure. Don’t automatically assume that they will be included under general coverage. Personal property hat people tend to want coverage for in insurance policies include expensive collections, jewelry, art, furs, electronics, and so forth. Even if personal property is included in the homeowners insurance rate, it might not be enough, and there might be exceptions. Some people choose to buy extra protection for specific items of high-value.

If you already have home insurance and are thinking about looking for something more affordable, one thing you’ll want to do is review your current dwelling coverage to ensure that it is not below 80% of the full replacement cost of the home. If it is, then your current company might reduce the amount that it will pay you should you file a claim. Keep this in mind when you are looking for a new, better deal, or take the steps necessary to improve the value of the dwelling.

Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of home / property insurance and how house insurance offers work, it’s time to start doing research. One company that is currently becoming very popular is Lemonade. It offers a unique peer-to-peer type of solution and pays out claims VERY quickly. See if it is available in your state, and if so, see if you qualify for a Lemonade Insurance discount.

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9 Foolproof Tips to Help You Watch Hentai Safely

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If you are interested in watching anime hentai, you need to take the right steps in order to make sure you don’t get caught red-handed. As a matter of fact, watching hentai is much more than an espionage mission. But it won’t be a problem for you if you live alone in your own apartment. However, if you live with your family members and you do want to get caught watching this type of content, we have some tips for you. If you follow these foolproof tips, you will be able to enjoy the anime in a safe manner. Read on to find out.

1. Choose a Safe Time

Before you do this type of stuff, make sure you choose a safe time. In other words, you don’t want to watch this series when your parents or family members are around. For example, you can watch the staff when your parents are away. This is important if you want to be on the safe side.

2. Place the File in a Safe Location on your Hard Drive

If you use a computer, you can save these files in a safe location. For example, you can move these files from your main hard drive to the hard drive where you installed the Windows operating system. As an additional security measure, you can also protect the file with a password, which can be done using compression software such as WinZip.

You can also hide the folder if you want to, which is optional. Hidden files are difficult to locate, especially for basic computer uses.

3. Leave no Traces Behind

It is better that you don’t leave any traces after you have played or watched your favorite anime hentai. In other words, in Windows, the “recently opened” section may blow your cover. Besides, you may also delete your browsing history if you want to.

4. Headphones are a Must

Wearing headphones is an ideal decision if you want to enjoy a great experience. Besides, these devices can help you achieve a higher level of security. Don’t forget to turn down the volume of your headphones.

This is important if you want to be aware of your surroundings. After all, you don’t want your parents to enter your room while you are doing this type of stuff.

5. Face the Door

If the door of your room is behind you, this is not a good position. Ideally, you may want to face the door to be on the safe side.

6. Use the “Alt-Tab”

In case of an emergency, you need to close the front window instantly. In this case, the use of “alt-tab” is a great choice. This will help you avoid any suspicion.

7. If possible, Lock the Door

If possible, you may want to lock the door before opening your secret folder. However, if you are in your living room, you don’t need to lock your room door.

8. Turn on the Lights if you want

If you watch your favorite movies with the lights turned on, it will help avoid any suspicion.

9. Control Yourself

You may be tempted to turn your internal urges into reality while watching your favorite anime hentai. But it’s not recommended. You can only do so when it is totally safe.

In short, if you want to watch your favorite anime hentai without getting caught, we suggest that you follow the tips given in this article.

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5 Interior Design Tips for Beginners

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Interior designing requires you to focus on space and architecture planning. This is important if you want to create an aesthetically impressive design for your home or business interiors. Besides, professional interior designers are trained to make the best choices for their interior design projects. If you are ready to go on an adventure in the world of coffee tables and living rooms, we suggest that you follow this simple guide to work on your next interior design project. By following these tips, it will be easier for you to work on your home interior design.

1. Spend Carefully

If you are a beginner in the world of interior design, make sure you take it slow and decide on the items that you really need. First of all, you need to think about the furniture you need, such as beds and couches.

The beauty of these furniture items is that they are heavy and attract the attention of your guests. Therefore, make sure that they look nice. As soon as you have found the best furniture, you can work on your do-it-yourself home decor.

2. Consider the Lighting

Don’t forget about lighting. If you don’t have proper lighting in your rooms, you may end up spoiling the beauty of your well-designed room. Therefore, you may want to consider lighting when it comes to setting your budget.

If you want to open up a small and dark space, you can try a lot of methods, such as light coloured walls, accent lighting, overhead lights, floor lamps, and windows.

3. Use Accent Pieces

We suggest that you get the most out of the accent pieces. One way is to focus on big items, such as tables, dressers, rugs, and couches and ignore the small ones. If you want to make your room visually appealing and personalised, you can use accent pieces. Therefore, you may want to watch out for items, such as books and bowls.

4. Place your Furniture Away from the Walls

Your furniture requires some space to breathe. Therefore, you may not want to push your furniture against the wall as this can make your room appear flat and stiff. What you need to do is have at least a couple of inches of space between your furniture and walls.

5. Your Home is not a Showcase

If you are working on a do-it-yourself home decor project, you don’t have to make it just like the photos you see online in magazines. Actually, the purpose of these photos is to show the furniture and design principles.

What you need to do is have some sentimental and eclectic pieces. The idea is to make sure your home is the best combination of liveability and gorgeous design.

Long story short, we suggest that you follow these 5 interior design tips. These tips will help you make the interior of your house more appealing. But if you have no idea how to go about it, we suggest that you hire the services of a professional interior designer. They will help make this job easier for you.

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6 Tips to Organize Your Thoughts

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Anything can be organized, even your thoughts. We say that we can’t help the way we think, but we can! There may be things in life that we have no control over, but our thoughts are not one of them.

When a thought comes to mind, you make the choice to accept or reject that thought. Your choice may be conscious or subconscious, but either way it’s your choice.

Our brains function basically like computers. They are constantly processing information; incoming thoughts and outgoing actions. At times, so many thoughts are floating around in our heads that we can’t keep them all straight. If we don’t purge the excess in some way, we become overwhelmed, and process this information in a much slower, less efficient way than we would like.

The list below provides 6 tips to help organize your thoughts. My hope is that these tips will provide some relief for the barrage of thoughts that come from our fast-paced lives. Clutter is clutter, whether it comes in the form of things in our homes, or the thoughts in our brains. We need to purge clutter from our brains, just like we purge clutter from our homes.

  • Document your thoughts – This seems like a simple idea and it is. There are times when we have ideas, or thoughts about a multitude of things. If you don’t get those things out of your head and documented in some way, you’re in danger of forgetting them, or becoming overwhelmed. Use the medium that works best for you such as – pen & paper, text message, voice message, phone app, etc.
  • Sort your thoughts – After you document all your thoughts, tasks, concerns, ideas, questions, etc., sort them into their respective categories.
  • Prioritize your thoughts – Due dates and deadlines are priorities based on importance and urgency. Many times, due dates and deadlines determine our priorities. Other times, our troubles cause us to worry, and those thoughts become our priority. Taking an action on those worrisome thoughts, however small it may be, can possibly reduce the stress, so you can purposefully re-prioritize the thought for another time.
  • Reframing a thought – Reframing refers to changing the way a thought, concept or idea is considered. This can be helpful when you are problem solving. Looking at an issue in a different way may provide a viable solution.
  • No multitasking – It’s been determined that multi-tasking is counter-productive. When you try to perform more than one task at a time, your brain spends more time trying to switch between tasks, or thoughts. Focus on one thought at a time for optimal productivity.
  • Mental clarity – Sometimes we need a break. Thinking can be exhausting. In order to organize our thoughts, we need mental clarity. There are many ways to achieve mental clarity and it’s different for all of us. Taking a walk in the fresh air does it for me. Meditation works for some, while exercise does it for others. Find something that works for you and practice it regularly.
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5 Tips for Effective Exaggeration

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At the heart of successful animation lie 12 principles. One of these is exaggeration, which refers to the act of taking certain elements and stretching them beyond the realm of normal. All animation requires some sort of exaggeration, even animation that strives to be realistic, because it is exaggeration that makes animation come alive, appeal to audiences, and add comedic relief to otherwise intense scenes. Poorly executed exaggeration, however, can detract rather than add to the appeal and impact of an animated work. As a result, effective exaggeration requires careful work by the traditional animation studio. Following are a few tips for successfully using exaggeration in any animated production.

Exaggerate The Most Important Elements.

The first step in creating effective exaggeration is to choose which elements to exaggerate. The key when making this decision is to remember that exaggerated elements will get the most attention from viewers. Therefore, the element you choose will change the way the viewer understands the scene. As a result, you need to choose the elements that are most important for understanding the scene.

For instance, if you are animating a scene in which a character is sailing, you may decide that the waves’ movements are most important and exaggerate those. On the other hand, you may decide that the character’s reaction is most vital, and, therefore, focus on their facial features. In the first instance, the viewer learns about the environment in which the character is sailing, while in the latter, the viewer learns about the personality of the character. Making the right choice will allow you to create exaggeration that contributes to rather than detracts from your work.

Know What Your Goals Are.

Once you decide which elements to exaggerate, you will need to decide how much exaggeration to use. In order to make this decision, you must have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve with the exaggeration. Exaggeration can be used in a number of different ways. For instance, you can use it to add fluid motions that make the animation look more realistic. On the other hand, you can use it to create caricatured movements that add comedy, or that add personality and appeal.

Each of these goals, however, requires a slightly different use of exaggeration. Take, for instance, the sailor discussed above. If you desire a realistic look, you may choose to slightly exaggerate his facial expressions. However, if you wish to interject humor, you may use extreme exaggeration to give him comedic facial expressions. The right choice will be the one that best contributes to your overall goals for the scene.

Retain The Essence of The Exaggerated Elements.

As soon as you decide to exaggerate an element, you are no longer bound by the strict parameters of reality. However, in order for your exaggeration to retain its appeal, it must still have some connection to reality. If it does not, the object or character being exaggerated will become confusing to viewers, who will no longer be able to mesh what they see on the screen with the basic rules of reality to which they are accustomed.

For instance, say you choose to exaggerate the facial features of the character sailing on the boat. If you remove all identifying elements from the face in order to twist it into a complete caricature of fear or surprise, or delight, you will lose the essence of the character design. The viewer will no longer be able to identify or connect with them. As a result, when exaggerating any animated element, a good rule of thumb is to take what is already there as far as expressions, physical features, or emotions, and exaggerate those elements. By doing so, you increase the appeal of the scene for viewers instead of detracting from it.

Create Balance.

Even though viewers of animation expect to see exaggeration and fantasy, they also want to keep one foot in reality. As a result, another key to effective exaggeration is to create balance within the scene. You can do so by only selecting a few elements in each scene to exaggerate. The rest of the elements must remain more natural and realistic. Doing so will avoid an absurd or disturbing look that will leave viewers confused or dismayed with your work.

For instance, if you exaggerate your sailing character’s facial features, you should refrain from exaggerating their other physical features. If you choose to exaggerate the movement of the waves, you may need to refrain from exaggerating the character’s facial features too. With a balanced scene, you draw the viewer’s attention to the elements they need to see, and keep them grounded enough in reality to enjoy the exaggerated elements.

Keep Your Project Appealing.

Finally, when using exaggeration in your animated production, you will need to maintain appeal. Appeal is a fairly subjective, yet crucial, element to animation. It is what makes even a villain a character the viewers will enjoy watching. Making mistakes in the steps discussed above can result in a loss of appeal. For instance, if you use too much exaggeration, viewers will be less likely to enjoy the animated production.

As a result, the last question you must ask yourself is how the exaggeration contributes to the scene’s overall appeal. It may fit all the criteria above, yet detract from the overall entertainment value. On the other hand, you may find that pushing the boundaries a bit yields a bolder look and greater appeal. As a result, exaggeration, as with any element of animation, requires careful crafting in order to achieve the most powerful and appealing work of art possible.

Exaggeration is an effective way to bring your animation to life, whether you are doing video game animation, advertising animation, or a feature length film. By exaggerating the most important elements, knowing what you want to achieve, retaining the essence of the exaggerated elements, creating balance, and keeping your project appealing can help you to create truly effective exaggeration in your animated art.

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Teaching and Training Sun Conures – 5 Tips on Training Sun Conures to Talk

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If you’ve ever had the privilege of owning a sun conure parrot, then you already know the joy these beautiful little birds can bring to the household. They overwhelm us with their warm and friendly behavior while mesmerizing us with their naturally beautiful colors. What more could we ask out of these cuddly little friends?

Well, for starters, you have to remember sun conures belong to the parrot family and if you have ever wondered how difficult teaching and training sun conures could be, always remember that the same rules for training parrots apply to training sun conures.

There is a little degree of difficulty being that sun conure parrots are not as talkative as an amazon parrot, but nonetheless, teaching and training sun conures is definitely worth our time and effort. I have discovered 5 tips on teaching and training sun conures to talk that will sure make your lives easier.

First Tip:

Using a primitive microphone on your computer, record yourself repeating simple cute phrases such as; hello, pretty bird, how are you, goodbye, etc. and burn the audio track onto a CD. Leave the CD playing in your home stereo system in repeat mode during the day while you are at work so that your sun conure bird can listen to the repeated words throughout the entire day. In about a week, he will be speaking those phrases to you.

Second Tip:

If the first tip works like a charm (and it has never failed in my dedicated years of teaching and training sun conures), make sure to praise your sun conure parrot by giving him a small treat such as a pumpkin seed or piece of fruit every time he successfully repeats a phrase.

Third Tip:

Train your conure to talk in small 5 minute sessions throughout the week. Sun conures are delicate birds and you do not want to frustrate them or stress them out. Just take 5 minutes of your day and repeat some phrases to your sun conure, each time he repeats it on cue, praise him with a treat and happy cheer.

Fourth Tip:

Never ever hit your sun conure parrot or spray him with water if he is not learning as quickly as expected. Teaching and training sun conures to talk requires patience. If your sun conure parrot does not cooperate, do not hit him or punish him. Instead, end the training session and try it again later in the day or the following day.

Fifth Tip:

Try to have them relate a certain phrase with an action. If you feed your sun conure at a certain time of the day everyday, and you happen to say the words lunch time each and every time you are feeding them, they will associate this phrase with their hunger and will consciously speak those words when it’s time for lunch.

If you are truly dedicated to teaching and training sun conures, you will find that these 5 tips will help you get your pet sun conure parrot to speak in no time. I suggest starting out by having a short 5 minute training session with your sun conure parrot today using an easy word such as hello or its name.

Follow the rest of the tips for about 2 weeks and if practiced correctly, you will see a huge improvement in your sun conure’s speech vocabulary.

Folks did you know that 75% of sun conure parrot owners have never heard them speak a single word or phrase? Studies show that most sun conure parrot owners aren’t even aware that their conures could be trained to speak or perform tricks. Find out how you can do both!

Learn the secrets to teaching and training sun conures here.

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5 Cyber Security Tips To Help You Stay Safe At Work

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If it’s not your job to take care of the cyber security matters, then why should you care? You must do because you still need to play your part in this system. If something goes wrong and you were found at fault, you will be held responsible.

If you want to stay secure, below are a few tips for cyber security tips at work.

Avoid writing password on paper

No matter how much work you have to do at work, make sure you keep your passwords secure. It won’t be a good idea to write down your passwords on a piece of paper like a sticky note and then put it somewhere where everyone can see it. This approach will compromise your personal data quickly than you can imagine. Try a password manager instead.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Irrespective of the type of industry you are in, probably you have to do some work when you are away from your office in the market. Today, everyone needs to stay connected to the Internet through WiFi at all times, but public WiFi can’t be a safe choice here.

If you are going to use a public WiFi, make sure you use the VPN offered by your company before making an important financial transaction.

Avoid Using Unknown USB drives

People drop things, especially things that are small in size. You may have come across something lying on the ground, such as a USB drive. What would you do to it? Like most people, you will be tempted to make use of it.

Unfortunately, according to research studies, most people who come across USB drivers connect them to their computers to see what’s on them, which is a big mistake. You don’t know what is stored on them. It could be a virus or malware that may damage your office computer or steal your sensitive data. Therefore, it’s better to avoid using such devices.

Avoid phishing traps

Often criminals access corporate networks through a phishing trap. It’s important to keep in mind that no company whether small or large is immune to these frauds. It can happen to any of us.

You may think you are safe, but know that your data may be stolen. Criminals are always on the lookout of an opportunity to achieve their purpose. They may steal your data and sell it on the dark web.

So, the question is, how can you avoid a phishing fraud? It’s simple. You shouldn’t click on just any link that looks quite similar to the website you frequently visit.

Back up Your data

Make sure you back up your data. Ranswomware have caused billions of dollars of loss to people, especially businesses. When people are unable to access their important files, they agree to pay the ransom amount demanded by the cyber attackers. Often, they target companies because they can pay huge amounts in ransom to save their data.

So, what is the way out? You just need to backup your data, which will keep you safe when you refuse to pay the ransom and the hacker deletes your data.

So, these are a few cyber security tips that you may want to follow to stay safe at work.

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