Aug 15

You Are What You Read

You are what you read

You Are What You Read

The books on my shelves feel like old friends. I remember what my life was like, the people I cared about and what was happening in the world as I read each one. The associations, once vivid, develop a soft patina as I grow older.

Centennial spent a week with me on a private beach in Florida. Moby Dick and I visited the Taft Art Gallery in Cincinnati to see the Turner display, and I imagined what it might be like to live and swim in all those beautiful blue and green hues. My father was very ill during my time with Papillion, and the Watergate Hearings were underway. To Kill a Mockingbird was with me just before we learned of my mother’s breast cancer. We spent precious time in her garden that summer.

Perhaps more importantly, each book planted some seed deep within me and contributed to who I have become. Each one left me with a greater sense of self-assuredness, a stronger curiosity, a little more compassion.

Today I write—about anything and everything–but mostly about what my editors tell me they can sell. It runs the gamut from arranging china cabinets, so your teapots appear float in mid-air, to how the deregulation of banks contributed to the Great Recession.

I don’t know if you will find anything in the pages of The Yates Factor worthy of contributing to who you become, but I can dream.



Oct 09

How to Make Napkin Rings

Napkin RingBy embracing a few simple techniques you can learn how to make napkin rings for almost any occasion. Go ahead and indulge your creative side. Learn how.

Oct 09

How to Write a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Understanding expectations is at the core of a good service level agreement (SLA). The document defines the scope of each project and Handshakeestablishes the relationship between a service providers and clients. Once a project gets underway, pacing quickens, tensions rise and priorities shift. That is when it is helpful to be able to reach back to a touchstone. If your service agreement is well written, you will always be clear about your responsibilities and about what constitutes a job well done. Clients will also have confidence the targeted work is being performed.

Define the SLA Players

Begin by naming the legally responsible parties involved. This should include the name of the service provider and the name of the client. Either may be an individual or a company. A tax identification number, for companies, or a Social Security number, for individuals, must be included for each party to the agreement. A full physical address for each party should also be included.

Describe the Service Level Agreement Terms

Write an overview of the services to be provided. This is where contracts may vary broadly. Whether your service is housecleaning, plumbing or building a database with 300 fields, capable of housing 70 gigabytes of data, outline what you are going to do. These are absolute promises you are making to your client.

Write a time-line listing all the key milestones of the project. Include whether and how many revisions are covered in your fee and when each step is to be completed. Your service agreement should also include any incentives for meeting or exceeding deadlines as well as penalties for missing them. Be sure to require a sign-off at the completion of each milestone. This helps to avoid any future compensation conflicts.

Define where your services are to be performed and whether they may be outsourced. In some cases, the service provider has the discretion to determine where and what time of day or night he works. In other cases, services must be confined to a secure environment, a corporate headquarters or standard business hours. Also document the level of travel involved and how travel expenses will be paid.

Clarify the Compensation Plan

State your fees clearly. Include how much you are to be paid, when you are to be paid and who is responsible for taxes. Also define how payment(s) will be made. Options include cash, check, credit card, deposit to a PayPal account or an upload to a debit card. Document whether the work is being paid hourly or by the job. Include the amount of any deposit to be made or whether a retainer account is to be established. Define any penalties for late payment. Also define any non-monetary compensation, such as stock.

Look for the Unforeseen

Include any additional salient points pertaining to your service agreement. Force Majeure, for example, releases a service provider from performing his obligations in case of unforeseen circumstances, rendering him unable to complete agreement. Examples include a hurricane, fire or flood. Articulate any confidentiality requirements. Include a limit of liability and any required insurance.

Boilerplate language is available for a range of circumstances.

Oct 09

Learn How to Clean Wood Floors in 3 Easy Steps

Hardwood FloorMake your home a more welcoming place by learning how to clean wood floors. Getting your parquet or hardwood floors into peak condition requires serious buffing, but it is oh so worth it. Once your floors are cleaned and shined, regular maintenance will be a breeze. Read more.

Oct 09

Eliminate Bad Breath in Dogs

Does bad breath in dogs threaten to undermine your relationships with your best furry friends? In most cases, the foul odor begins and ends in the Doggy Breathmouth and is easily treatable. Learn what you can do to protect your dogs’ oral health–and keep your own eyes from watering. Read more.

Oct 09

Do You Know How to Get a Free Credit Report?

Credit ReportingDo you know how to get a free credit report? Hint: It’s easy, available online, and does not involve responding to a television commercial. Learn how to monitor your credit history, correct mistaken information, and save big bucks on everything from mortgage rates to auto insurance. Read more.

Jan 15

Write a Rental Agreement

Conflicts often arise when unanswered questions exist between tenants and landlords, and the best solution is to write a rental agreement that is Rental Apartmentsstraightforward and concise. This agreement lays the groundwork for a cordial relationship between landlords and tenants and spells out what each party can expect from the other. Knowing the rules reduces tensions for everyone.

Read How to Write a Rental Lease for details.

Dec 20

Order Checks for Chase Bank Accounts

Ordering checks for your Chase Bank accounts may be done in one of two ways. Customers signed up for online banking may order checks Chase Bank Checkingthrough the Chase Bank website. Customers not signed up for online banking may still order checks online, but the process is a little different.  Read the full article.

Dec 10

VoIP Business Services

VoIP business services is an idea whose time has come. Converting telephone service to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is proving to be a

VoIP business services

VoIP Business Services

highly cost-effective option for small businesses across the country. VoIP converts a telephone voice signal into a digital signal, which can then travel over the Internet. Basically, this turns your high-speed computer connection into your “telephone line.”

Read more


Dec 05

Changing a Double Edged Razor Blade

Double edged razor bladeAll four sides of a double-edged razor blade are sharp, and two sides are extremely sharp, making them a challenge to change. Still, changing the blade can be done safely, and many are returning to non-disposable razors for ecological purposes.

Nov 22

Create an Email Flier

Create email flierAre you looking for a way to promote your business effectively, but don’t have the deep pockets necessary for a direct mail campaign? Create an email flier. Email marketing can be amazingly effective and typically costs less than a penny per message.

One caveat though–Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guidelines for compliance with the  CAN SPAM Act.

>>Full Article

Nov 19

Develop a Nutrient Management Plan

Developing a simple nutrient management plan may be the safest, healthiest route to balanced eating, good health and successful weight

nutrient management program

Delicious Nutrient Management

management. The “gold standard” for nutrient management programs is the Pyramid Program, developed by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This plan is based on decades of empirical, duplicated research.

Numerous other nutrition and diet programs flood the market. Many of those plans, are developed by experts and offer sound guidelines. Others may include hypothesis or information derived from limited or unduplicated research.

History of Nutrient Management

During World War II foods were rationed, and Americans no longer had access to the volume or array of foods to which they were accustomed. Military personnel and civilians needed a set of guidelines to ensure optimal nutrition during these restrictive times. The United.States National Academy of Sciences was formed to investigate how nutrition might “affect national defense.” This committee produced the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of Essential Nutrients, published in 1941. The RDA has since been reviewed and revised every five to ten years. In 1997 the RDA expanded to Canada and were renamed the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI).

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

A calorie is the unit of energy contained in food. Calories are the fuels that allow the human body to function. Without calories breathing would cease, hearts would no longer beat and body temperature would plummet.

The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the basic caloric level needed to maintain current body weight.

For women the formula is 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years ).

For men the formula is 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year ).

Physical Activity

Moving your body is essential to optimal health. According to Mehmet Oz, M.D., thirty to sixty minutes of physical activity is required daily for optimal health. That activity might we taking a walk, hitting a bucket of golf balls, taking a bike ride or going for a swim. The important thing is to move your body every day. The number of calories expended in these activities should be added to the number of calories consumed.

The Pyramid

The Pyramid is a nutrient management plan, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and based on the RDA. The Pyramid’s recommendations include the basic food groups, grains, vegetables, fruits, oils, dairy products and proteins.
There are two types of grains, whole and refined. Whole grains include the entire grain kernel, while refined grains have had the bran and germ removed. At least 50 percent of grains should be whole.

Vegetables are divided into five groups based on their nutrient content. They include dark green leafy, orange, starchy, dried peas and beans. Most Americans do not eat enough dried peas and beans, dark leafy or yellow vegetables.

A variety of fruits, whether fresh, frozen or dried, is encouraged. Fruit juice is also a good source, but should be drunk in moderation because of its high glycemic levels.

Healthy sources of oils include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, avocados and some fish. Trans-fats should be avoided almost entirely.

Recommended dairy products are those which retain their calcium, including milk, cheese and yogurt. Low-fat or non-fat varieties of these foods are preferable.

Lean meats and fish are excellent sources of protein, as are dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds. The recommended number of servings within each food group varies, based on sex, age and activity level.

Another way to think about RDA is category ratios. All foods fall into at least one of three primary categories, fat, carbohydrate or protein. The recommended ranges for fat calories are 20 to 35 percent of total calories, carbohydrate calories, 45 to 65 percent, and protein calories, 10 to 35 percent.

The USDA revises the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years, and a new edition is expected in 2010.

Food Journals

The simple act of writing down what we eat is a powerful tool in staying on track with a nutrient management plan. There are several ways to keep a food journal. The most simple is to write everything eaten in a notebook. Many publish their food journals in an on-line blog, in an attempt to remain accountable. Others prefer nutrition software programs. Not only do they keep a record of foods eaten, but assess the nutrient values of foods, letting the user know where he is in relation to the RDAs. They also track calories expended through various physical activities and progress toward caloric and weight goals.


Nov 16

How Many Meals You Should You Eat in a Day

how many mealsUntil the 1980’s the norm for how many meals you should eat in a day was three. Since then the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been recommending three smaller meals and two snacks. But not everyone is in agreement.

>>Full article

Nov 12

Insert a Hyperlink into an Auto-Responder

Inserting a hyperlink into an autoresponder can be an excellent marketing tool to drive traffic to your website.

Autoresponder hyperlink

Autoresponder Message

Most email accounts come equipped with autoresponders. People typically use use them to let emailers know they are away from the office and won’t be checking email. What most people don’t know is that this nifty little feature has a secondary use.

You may insert a hyperlink into your autoresponder that will link every person who emails you directly to your website.

>>Learn how

Nov 12

Calculate Email Conversion Rates

Calculate email conversion rates

Calculate Email Conversions

Learn to calculate email conversion rates in two ways. Use the simple conversion rate for an isolated email marketing campaign and the incremental, or net conversion rate, when multiple marketing campaigns are underway. These simple calculations will help you guage the effectiveness of email marketing.

>>Learn more

Nov 12

How are Cats Checked for Thyroid Problems?

Feline hyperthyroidism is a silent killer among middle-aged cats, and checking this small butterfly shaped gland

Protect our cat

Protect Your Cat

could save your cat’s life.So how are cats checked for thyroid problems? There are three methods:

  • Touch test
  • Blood test
  • Nuclear scan

Learn more about each method and the symptoms of common cat thyroid problems.

  • Cat Thyroid []
  • Vet Med []
  • Native Remedies, LLC []

Nov 12

Definition of Client Services

Client services

Client Services

The definition of client services can only be inferred from its usage. Even though the terms yields over 67 million results in Google, it does not appear in Webster’s Dictionary. Common usages for client services are broad and include: inbound call centers, medical providers, strategic managers and software applications.

>>Learn more

Nov 12

Create a Marketing Plan for a Telephone Company

To create a marketing plan for a telephone company is one of the first keys to building a successful telecom  Create a marketing plan for a telephone companybusiness. A good plan will help you to define your goals, target your market, choose your products and services, and develop your sales strategy. It will also help you to gain an understanding of your competitors and hone your competitive edge. Last but not least, a strong marketing plan can help you close the deal on obtaining those all-important funding dollars.

>>Learn more

Nov 12

Design a Direct Mail Piece

Direct mailLearn to design a direct mail piece for your business. The United States Postal Service (USPS) reports delivery of over 80 billion pieces of direct mail annually. Each piece of mail represents the cumulative efforts of designers, writers, printers, postal workers and even recycling plants. Direct mail is big business. Good direct mail designers know that step one is writing a strong, concise and creative brief.

>>See full article

Nov 12

Defining Vocational Studies

What exactly are vocational studies? They may just be the pathway to some of the most lucrative and accessible jobs in America, according to the Federal Bureau of vocational studiesLabor Statistics. With an average annual salary of $45,000 and growth rates projected at well over ten percent, the hands on training provided in vocational schools is becoming a realistic alternative to a four year college degree for many.

>>Full article

Nov 12

Mortgage Banker Dob Description

mortgage bankerThe job description of a mortgage banker differs from that of a mortgage broker in one key area. A mortgage banker works with the products of one organization–his employer–whereas a broker may shop any number of organizations for the optimal loan. Both have their pros and cons.

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