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Thursday, 18 November 2010
It Wasn't In The Cards

Got up that morning at 8am and after consuming our comped breakfast buffet we had already decided to visit the Suncoast Casino since we had read so many good things about it on all these message boards. It's a good little ways out off of Charleston Blvd. and it is a beautiful place but we didn't win anything there in our 3 hour visit but we got signed up for the slot club and received great service from the cocktail waitresses. Suncoast is a coinless slots casino and it was a little weird not hearing any coins dropping into hoppers. From there we decided it was time to make our trek over to Stratosphere where wifey picked up where she left off the previous night and won about 300 on the backjack tables.

Naturally it wasn't in the cards for me to win anything there either so after several hours there we were getting a little hungry and it was approaching 4pm so we headed over to Sam's Town where we had a comp to eat at Billy Bob's. I can only decribe our meal there as nothing short of great. I had the best steak I've ever eaten and again my wife went for the surf and turf (crab legs and filet) and try as she might she wasn't able to finish all the crab legs that were delivered to her. This was one of the best meals we have ever had in Vegas and since it was comped it made it all the better. We gambled a few hours at Sam's Town mostly hit and miss.

Mostly miss on my part then headed back downtown to the Fremont where it was another instant replay of the previous night. Wifey won and I lost. I was getting a little frustrated at this point (it was only to get worse for me) but at least she was winning back basically what I was losing. We got our comp voucher for the next's days breakfast buffet and headed off to bed again at about 3:30 am knowing we would be heading for the Strip the next day to cash in our two comp dinner buffets at Bellagio compliments of WagerWorks. I'll post the results of the remainder of our trip later since this is already fairly long. We are already in the planning stage of another trip out in September. By the way I know I'm probably making this sound like we are real big high rollers with the comps and such when we really aren't. We simply have taken advantage of slot club offers and always always use our cards when gambling. Will post the results of the remainder of the trip soon. online betting

Posted by loraboggs at 11:03 PM EST
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Just Got Back From Nevada
We just returned from our 1st Vegas trip and it was AWESOME! I want to thank everyone for great tips - especially LA Bartender on the advice on Excalibur. We took our 2 kids, ages 14 and 8, and we all had a great time!

The 1st leg of the trip was 3 nights at the Hard Rock. The 14-yr old is a muscian and didn't want to go on vacation, not wanting to leave his friends and band. The minute we arrived at the Hard Rock we all felt at home. It is the coolest place on earth. If you have a musician in the family, GO THERE! The memorobilia collections are fantastic - much better than the Hard Rock here in Orlando. The 8 yr old loved the pool. We all liked eating at Mr. Lucky's 24/7 (guitar shaped waffles for the little ones). Ate at the Pink Taco one night and it was delicious, although a little pricey for the 4 of us. We only played the slots and didn't win much of anything.

I didn't believe it, but it's true that the city never sleeps. Upon arriving the 1st night, took my son to a concert at The Joint, and by the time we hit the sack we had been up over 24 hrs. I'm too old for that!

One note about the heat - What's the big deal? Being from Florida where it's humid and in the 90's, Vegas' dry heat felt great! We had wonderful clear blue skies with a nice breeze every day. Perfect!

The second day we relaxed by the pool, drove over to the MGM to see the lions, and saw the Blue Man Group that night. This is when the most incredible thing happened that "made" the trip for the 14yr old and myself. His favorite band, Pantera, was in town for a concert. A security guard at Luxor was a big Pantera fan and told us the band always stayed at the Luxor, and they had sighted Vinnie Paul, the drummer, that morning by a certain inclinator. We also found out that Vinnie Paul's favorite show is the Blue Man Group, and he may be there.

After the show my husband and daughter went back to the hotel, and my son and I walked around about 2 hrs hoping to get a glimpse of Vinnie. Finally we gave up and went back to the Hard Rock, figuring our chances were 1 in a million of actually meeting him. Just like a scene from a movie, as we were walking past the casino about 1 AM, in comes Vinnie Paul and his two body guards through the front doors. He sees my son's Pantera shirt, stops, says, "Hey man, how you doing?" We talked, his body guard took our picture with him, and he signed my son's tee shirt. My son's a drummer, and the last thing Vinnie said to him was, "Good luck with the drums, man!" INCREDIBLE!!! Once in a lifetime opportunity that MADE the trip.

3rd day enjoyed the great pool again. Visited the Hoover Dam - very hot, kids not impressed, but it was worth the trip. Visited friends staying at Ceasar's Palace. It's a beautiful hotel, but I found the atmosphere a little too stuffy. I like the HR much better. Visited the hotels in that area, the volcano, pirates, et cetera. One thing, there were plenty of families at the HR. We never felt out of place. We were there on weekdays though. I'm sure the atmosphere changes on weekends.

The next day we drove to the Grand Canyon and stayed in the park. Total change of pace from Vegas - nice and cool, and breathtakingly beautiful. Did a Sunset tour, a half day tour the next day, and then drove to Flagstaff that afternoon. Arrived in Flagstaff and visited the visitors center. A great town with friendly people, wonderful weather, and a terrific downtown area with shops and restaurants. Stayed at the Econolodge at I40, and would highly recommend it. Very homey, welcoming, and well maintained.

The next day visited Walnut Canyon to see the cliff dwellings, (what a hike!) and then on to Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona that afternoon. Beautiful - but about 20 degrees hotter than Flagstaff. Kids weren't impressed with Sedona - husband and I would have liked to spend more time there. We all liked Walnut Canyon.

The next morning checked out of hotel, visited the Arizona Snowbowl, took the ski lift to the top. It felt like wintertime. What a good feeling to be wearing a jacket in the middle of July. Great views, wonderful mountain air, hot chocolate, then back to Vegas for 3 more nights.

We stayed at Excalibur, and taking LA Bartender's advice, we called ahead and got express check-in, asking for a room in Tower II (to be near the pool) and near an elevator. Total time from pulling in to arriving in the room with bags delivered was 10 minutes! We got the room we wanted, too.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by Excalibur. Some of the things I read made me expect a small, aging room, with a tiny little bathroom, crowded everything and lousy service. It was totally opposite. Spotlessly clean, good-sized room with plenty of storage space, large bathroom with large shower, and great service. When we needed extra pillows or towels, they were delivered immediately.

The whole theme of the hotel was fun and magical. Kids loved the arcade and the entertainment. Never tried the buffet - line too long and we don't like fighting for the food. We ate at the Italian eatery the 1st night - I liked it, husband not too crazy about it. Most of the other time ate at the food court or the Sherwood Forest Cafe, which fit the bill perfectly.

The pool was nice, not too crowded, although not as good as the HR. The 8 yr old was happy with the slide. We took in the Tournament of Kings the 2nd night. A fun night of entertainment for the family. It's similar to Medieval Times here in Orlando, so we knew not to expect gourmet dining or a romantic evening. Horses were amazing to watch! I'd recommend it for families. Even the cynical 14 yr old enjoyed it.

My husband gambled at the slots and played a little poker online for the 1st time. Lost $100, then made back $140. The atmosphere and dealers at Excalibur were friendly. Next time we'll probably gamble more - this time there was just too much to see and do. Played Keno while dining, and the 14 yr old had a good time pretending to play just to see how he'd do. Didn't come out ahead on Keno at all.

Drove down the strip to visit the theme park at Circus Circus and see that end of the strip, and visit the white tigers at the Mirage.

One note about driving in Vegas - People drive crazy, traffic is terrible, and it's a pain in the neck! Next time we'll use trolleys and buses more often. Using valet parking was a life saver though, and the only way to go if you're driving. One other note - It's true that it's COLD in the casinos. Bring a jacket, even in the summer.

Our last day we visited the bird show at Tropicana. It's worth seeing if you're in that area, and free. Won a free ticket to Rick Thomas on the free spin machine and bought 3 other tickets using $5 off coupons. We got seats right by the stage and all loved it, especially the tigers. Also visited NY NY, rode the coaster. Very bumpy & pricey at $21 for 2. Neat hotel though.

My daughter and I spent an incredible morning just exploring the area while husband gambled & son slept - Rainforest shop in MGM, lion cubs, magic shop in NY NY, M & M store, Coke store, free 3-D movie at M & M store, all kind of shops, Elvis impersonator at MGM (actually good, not tacky at all), showgirls and music at Tropicana, entertainment in Excalibur. Gameworks for the 14 yr old. Rented a movie for both kids the last night, left the 14 yr old to babysit, and gambled with my husband for about an hour and a half at Excalibur. Got some of the free drinks you hear about, and found a friendly slot machine.

Checkout and bell service was a breeze, and flights both to LV and out of LV were pleasant and on time with America West Airlines. Rental car pickup and return was similarly problem-free with Dollar.

We had a huge variety of experiences and saw a diverse array of countryside in 9 short days, that all added up to a great vacation for everyone. Vegas is definitely for families. There were tons of families around and we always had something to do. We'd love to go back - even the 14 yr old. Hope this wasn't too long or boring, but I just wanted to share our good experiences. Maybe it will be helpful to someone. poker games

Posted by loraboggs at 2:07 AM EST
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Living In Apartments

I've lived in amsterdam apartments for 15 years now, and only recently have I started to have serious noise problems. 2 years ago I moved into a second-floor apartment with neighbors above and below. Right now the worst noise is from the downstairs neighbors, so believe me moving to the top floor won't always solve the problem.

Out of four sets of neighbors above and below in the current building, all have been somewhat noisy with stereos & TV's. Don't hear much stomping, just a little squeaking of the boards. Right now the young neighbors below me are starting to party between midnight & 5 am on work days.

They usually leave the stereo on medium loud for "only" an hour or two, but for some reason at other times during the night they play a song loud for 30 seconds or a minute (just long enough to wake me up) then turn it down or even off. A week ago they moved their stereo from bedroom to living room, which improves things significantly, but not enough.

I don't think they're really trying to be rude, it's just that sound carries because the apartments are built so poorly. With the windows closed I can listen to people's conversations in other apartments & hear bed springs squeaking. I've developed a habit over the years of leaving an air cleaner running whenever the windows are closed to provide background noise to prevent people from hearing me, and so that

I don't hear and get disturbed by every little noise my neighbors make. In fact sometimes I think the reason others crank the stereos during the day is to cover their conversations. So far I avoided confrontation because things can always get worse, and up until a few weeks ago my neighbors were loud only occasionally. The time may come where the noise happens more and more, and then I'll have to try some of the things suggested here (talking to them, landlord, cranking my stereo...).

Based on what everyone else has said most of those things usually don't work anyway, and may make things worse. The real solution is to get out, as everyone has said. Unfortunately I just re-leased so I've got 13 months to go. It was almost sadly humerous because when I came back to my apartment after signing the lease both neighbors were jamming their stereos!

Even without the noise, I'm sick of the lack of privacy. I'm tired of having to be quiet as a library in order to avoid disturbing people and avoid them hear my conversations and every step I take. I thank everyone for sharing their stories. Although I'm sad you are facing noise, it feels good to know I'm not alone. amsterdam lease

Posted by loraboggs at 12:55 AM EST
Monday, 15 November 2010
Expanding Shared Hosting Services

Recently, Telus signed a letter of intent to purchase the Canadian operations of PSINet. On completion of the deal, Telus will obtain approximately 50 points-of-presence, or Internet connection facilities that serve most major markets in the country.

These facilities will include a state-of-the-art Internet data center in Toronto that the company will leverage to reify its position as a leading hosting position. "This transaction will strengthen Telus' position as one of the leading shared hosting providers in Canada by combining PSINet's Internet hosting business and data center with our existing hosting business and newly constructed, national Internet data centers," says Jim Peters, an executive vice-president at Telus. "If we can acquire PSINet's Canadian operations at a price that is cost-effective for us, we will accelerate our plans for national business Internet services."

Included in this plan is the rollout of an additional data center in Western Canada within under a month. Telus has also acquired the Canadian subsidiary of Williams Communications and most recently has forged partnerships with noted IT consultancies to enhance it hosting service provision.

All these developments indicate that Telus will be at the forefront of hosting in Canada and the rationale behind this prediction is three-fold. Firstly, the firm is an incumbent local and long distance exchange carrier in Western Canada.

Since the firm has a dominant position as a monopoly telecom service provider, it has access to a huge financial war chest. According to John Seliga, vice-president of hosting solutions for Telus, the firm intends to spend nearly $10 million in Canadian funds to rollout its integrated hosting vision.

Secondly, Telus can leverage Canada's cheaper and centralized infrastructure. With more inexpensive bandwidth available in Canada and with its own extensive network, Telus will be able to offer consumers more value by way of investment in value-added services rather than in expensive bandwidth.

Thirdly, the firm can offer its customers extremely competitive service. With Canada's currency hovering at the 60-cent range at U.S. exchange rate, Telus has the opportunity to offer its services competitive not only to a domestic but international market.

For these reasons, expect Telus to emerge as a dominant player in complex hosting, not only in Canada but also internationally. Further, expect the company's investment to spawn more competition from the likes of the Canadian subsidiaries of WorldCom and Sprint in the near future. website hosting

Posted by loraboggs at 10:14 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 16 November 2010 11:08 AM EST
Copyright and its effects on web hosting

"Copyright," as defined by the U.S. Copyright Office, provides legal protections to "the authors of 'original works of authorship,' including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other 'intellectual works.'" It gives the creators of such works - which include Web site designs and Web site content - the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute and display those works. So what is protected by copyright and what isn't?

Here are several web site hosting industry examples to illustrate how copyright does - or doesn't - apply: Situation one You design a new hosting company Web site and, before you go live, a former employee starts a rival business with a nearly identical Web site using the same layout, logo and content.

Copyright protects original works whether they're published or not, whether you use the copyright symbol or not, whether you register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office or not. So the fact that your rival put up his site before you did means nothing: you own the copyright to your original site design and content. Situation two You launch a new hosting division focused exclusively on Web sites for work-at-home moms.

Two days after you launch, someone else rolls out a service for the exact same audience. Sorry, but your competitor is on solid legal ground: ideas can't be copyrighted. Nor can names, titles or phrases, so even if your new rival names his company something similar to yours, you're out of luck.

Situation three A competing host is using, word for word, your own descriptions of shared and dedicated hosting. You're protected: your original descriptions of more than a few words can't be used by others without your permission. What if you do encounter a blatant violation of your copyright?

This is where things become a little more difficult, because there are no copyright police you can call to have the offender ticketed or arrested. Your best bet is often to contact the offender directly, inform him in a calm and professional manner of the copyright violation, and ask him to correct the situation.

If that doesn't work, taking your complaint public to hosting forums might shame your competitor into making the changes. Taking an infringement suit to court requires you to first register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office (if you're in the U.S.).

If you registered before the infringement occurs, you might be able to collect both statutory damages and attorney's fees. Otherwise, you'll only be eligible - assuming victory - for actual damages and profits. Copyright is a valuable right that's often misunderstood and even more frequently abused.

A Web host should clearly understand the rights of both him/herself and others to maintain a professional and trustworthy reputation. web host review

Posted by loraboggs at 9:32 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 15 November 2010 12:14 PM EST
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Burning Calories

I get my lunch from a salad bar every day and my co-worker told me that it’s a hefty lunch, calorie-wise. Is this true? How can a salad possibly be high in calories? Should I be taking diet pills to burn off some of the calories? It’s difficult to fathom that a salad can be high in calories. Actually, it’s not. Rabbit food such as lettuce, carrots, leafy greens, cabbage and other fresh veggies, at an average of 25 calories and zero grams of fat per cup, are not what is weighing you down at the salad bar.

The caloric problems start when you freely pile on people-food, such as tons of cheese (1/4 cup cheddar = 120 calories) and mayo or oil-based salads (1/2 cup potato salad = 179 calories), and then drown all that in regular salad dressing (2 tablespoons French dressing = 138 calories). If you want to see how fast the numbers pile up, click here for a trip to the virtual salad bar.

Here are some tips when building a salad:

* Load up on the greens. Cover that takeout plate with piles of low-calorie leafy greens, which are light as a feather but fill you up.

* Add some lean protein -- turkey, tuna flakes, hard-cooked egg whites, chickpeas or other legumes -- for a lunch with some protein power.

* Ease up on the cheese. A sprinkling of stronger types such as Parmesan or feta can give you that cheesy flavor for fewer calories and less fat, as compared to cheddar or provolone.

* Make oil- or mayo-based mixed salads serve double-duty as a dressing. If your salads need more moistness, add additional vinegar or a tad of light salad dressing.

* Don’t forget the whole grains to round out the meal. If whole wheat pita is not available, buy a small package and file it in your desk for use at each weekday lunch. weight loss

Posted by loraboggs at 10:24 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 10 November 2010 10:59 PM EST
Saturday, 30 October 2010
My Vegas Vacation

So now it's Thursday morning and the weather is gorgeous again so we head out for breakfast. We stopped and played some quarter slots briefly and had the breakfast of champions (tequila mary's)just to warm up. Have to do the Bellagio buffet just once so about 11:30 (now it's the lunch buffet) we get ready for the feast! WOW! $14.00 and they didn't know what was comin'.

I attacked that shrimp bowl like there was no tomorrow - hee hee. Then there was the lox and the lamb and the baby scallops and the rolls and the desserts - OH MY GOSH - the desserts! I think we tried one of everything. So then we waddled out and headed north towards the Mirage and TI. We had a little luck on the nickle slots before breakfast which paid for the buffet so we're feelin' lucky. Somebody didn't tell the luck god again. We decided to skip the Secret Garden (there's always next trip, right?)and went across the street to the Venetian.

We saw the same bride that had just gotten married that another poster on the board saw right around the same time. If I had only known ya! We watched the moving statue (the guy NEVER blinks) and just did some more window shopping. They've got a 64 carat diamond with a price tag of 2.4 million dollars in the window of one jewelry store. YIKES! Latte time and then a $40 win on a poker game for me. Then we went to TI and watched the first pirate battle of the evening.

We go in and TC wanted to play some VP so we warmed a couple of seats for awhile. She gets to talking to a farmer from Pennsylvania in the next chair about milking bulls and getting pineapples from palm trees or something with the Hawaiian bartender and this all gets a little boring for me so I tell her I'm going over to the Flamingo for some more slots. I play for another hour or so on the blazing 7's and loose another $100 and go to the room to meet her - or so I thought - for dinner. She must have been having too much fun cuz she never showed so my option was either to spend the last night in the hotel room with the tv or head out on my own. I walked over to Harrah's and caught their free shuttle (waaaayyy in the back) to the Rio.

I got there just in time to catch the last Masquerade in the Sky show. Quite entertaining. Lots of glitz and music and dancing. Two Elvises hanging from cables from the ceiling and lots of beads flying thru the air. I went to the Voodoo Cafe (50th floor) for dinner and when I told the hostess that I had been ditched she gave me a great seat right by the window.

There is a $5.00 cover for women and $10.00 for men to go up but if you eat dinner, they take it off your bill. I had their seared ahi which is to die for and a great glass of wine. Took the second glass up to the Voodoo lounge with me and it was VERY crowded and the band wasn't that good. So I went out on the balcony and stood chatting with a guy from Pittsburgh who was hoping to win enough money to buy his wife a rolex. I sure hope he did.

It was a beautiful clear night and we just absorbed the view of the whole strip for about an hour. I hopped back on the shuttle and went back to the Flamingo, played BJ ($10 table) for about 20 minutes. The table was really cold, I lost $45.00, everybody was getting creamed so I left back to the room and found TC in the tub. She had spent the whole time at TI with this guy playing VP on $20 for about 4 hours. She sure knows how to milk a machine! Lights out. poker

Posted by loraboggs at 8:43 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 30 October 2010 8:44 PM EDT
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Why Some Diets Don't Work
Our bodies may very well be our temples, but we busy moms sometimes treat them more like theme park rides.yo-yo Pressed for time, we roll along, inhaling all the snack foods our kids like us to keep around. Then we soothe our stress, fatigue and overwork with—you've got it—additional fats and sugars. When we're ready to notice that we seem to have picked up a few extra pounds, we're horrified. So, we catch the latest diet wave—Atkins, Sugar Busters, The Zone, meridia diet pills, whatever—and hop the down track to slimness by eating cabbage soup or bunless burgers. When all is said and done and we resume our usual habits, we balloon back to our original weight—plus a few extra pounds for good measure.

Why, after working so hard to trim the fat, does it always come back and with such a vengeance?

Three words: Diets Don't Work.

"People get tired of the restriction that so many diets employ, so that after a while they go back to eating the foods they like," explains Keith Ayoob, Ed.D, director of nutrition at the Rose F. Kennedy Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "If they had given a nod to moderation instead of deprivation they would have been much better off."

Fad diets, he says, are particularly insidious because most of them are low-nutrient, "quick fix" type scams, which encourage their followers to radically restrict their food intake—which will actually only help them to lose water weight, as opposed to fat. Water, unfortunately, is gained right back once the dieting period ends, giving dieters that frustrating yo-yo feeling. And any diet that drastically alters eating habits without teaching new ones, Ayoob says, won't give lasting results.

"When their diet is over, people go back to square one, because their attitudes about food are the same as when they were heavier. They haven't learned a new way to eat." diet pills

Posted by loraboggs at 9:45 PM EDT
The Silent Epidemic of Suicide
Every 17 minutes, someone dies from a silent epidemic that is sweeping college campuses. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among students, behind car accidents. It kills more teenagers and young adults than cancer, heart disease, AIDS, pneumonia, influenza, birth defects and stroke combined.

Of course, suicide, just like many other things, can be preventable if you know what to look for. According to Dr. Dolores Cimini, director of the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program at the University at Albany, almost everyone exhibits at least some warning behaviors before attempting suicide. And while more males commit suicide than females, females attempt suicide much more frequently than men do. Cimini says there are around 10 danger signals that someone might be suicidal:

1). Many, but not all, people who commit suicide are suffering from depression. Some signs that a person might be depressed are a general absence of mood or a significantly depressed mood. They may have an inability to experience pleasure, or lack interest in daily life. They may have inexplicable crying spells, sadness, irritability, or constant insomnia or hypersomnia. There may be a substantial change in appetite, eating patterns, or weight. Some people suffering from depression have fatigue and tend to rely on drugs like Modafinil to function during the day. Finally, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and a lack of sexual desire may be a signal of depression.

2). Depression as a warning signal. If someone you know has exhibited signs of depression and is going through a particularly stressful situation, such as a recent loss, or is having difficulty maintaining a meaningful relationship, that could be a warning sign.

3). Another danger signal is when someone consistently fails at meeting preset goals, or even experiences stress at having failed an important test--watch for signs of a crisis

4). Many people convey their intentions directly with statements such as "I feel like killing myself," or "I don't know how much longer I can take this."

5). Others may hint at a detailed suicide plan with statements such as "I've been saving up my pills in case things get really bad" or "lately, I've been driving my car like I really don't care what happens."

6). In general, statements that describe feelings of helplessness, extreme loneliness, may be made. These are extremely important to pay attention to--they are what's known as the "cry for help." These individuals are desperately seeking someone to communicate with.

7). Look for outward changes in behavior. For instance, they may prepare for death by giving away prized possessions, making a will, or putting their affairs in order.

8). People considering suicide often withdraw from those close to them, or lose interest in prior activities or relationships.

9). A sudden, intense lift in spirits may also be a danger signal as it may indicate the person already feels a sense of relief knowing their problems will soon be over.
"Almost everyone exhibits at least some warning behaviors before attempting suicide."

10). Finding a note is perhaps the most obvious sign that someone may be thinking about suicide. According to Dr. Cimini, all signs of suicide should be taken very seriously. Whether a statement is as direct as "I want to die", or passive as "I wish I could just go to sleep and not ever wake up," the meaning is still the same. The most important thing you can do, as a friend, is to get help--for yourself and for the suicidal person. No matter how good your intentions, unless you're a certified counselor, you should never try to handle the situation by yourself.

However, if you are in a situation where someone comes to you for help, remain calm. In most instances, there is no rush (however, don't be afraid to just dial 911 of it is an urgent situation). Don't forget to deal directly with the topic of suicide. The myth that talking about suicide will "give someone the idea" is just that--a myth. Encourage problem solving and positive actions. If you feel the issue is urgent, make a contract with the person not to harm himself or herself for a set period of time, for instance, until they are able to talk to a professional.

Reinforce the idea that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Whatever the current crisis is, it will pass. Nearly every community, college, or city has a suicide hotline for emergencies. Don't be afraid to use it if you know someone who is suicidal, or for more information on suicide. buy provigil

Posted by loraboggs at 12:59 PM EDT
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
What to Do About Declining Interest Rates
It's your worst nightmare. You find a deal you're happy with, file your application, lock in your rate and then watch in horror as interest rates continue to sink. If that kind of scenario keeps you awake at night, you may have been tempted by the "float down" option. This program seems like a great deal: For a price, usually an increase in your interest rate of 1/8 of a percentage point, you buy yourself the right to lock into a lower interest rate if there's a drop while your online cash advance is being processed. Don't fall for it. Because you're adding a permanent increase to your rate, "you're defeating the purpose of a float down," says Nagy Henein, president of Greater Mortgage in New City, N.Y.

The fact is, although interest rates may fluctuate some, they aren't really expected to change much in the near term. HSH projects rates between 7.05% and 7.35% over the next few months. Looking ahead to the rest of 1998, Fannie Mae expects rates to range between 6.9% and 7.4%. More important, even if rates do change, it's much more likely they'll go up than down. "Right now, all the risk is on the upside," says Bill Anderson, president of Bank Rate Monitor, noting that mortgage securities are near 30-year lows. Taking out insurance to protect you in case rates fall just doesn't make sense in the current climate.

Rather than worrying over whether rates will drop another eighth of a percentage point, find a rate you're comfortable with and then lock it for 60 days to allow for any delay, says Norwest's Robertson. "Don't be greedy. There's really no point hanging out there waiting for it to drop." (In case you're wondering how much cash advance rates would have to drop to make this safeguard worth paying for, think of it this way: You'd need to see a drop of at least 1/4 of a percentage point; if rates slide only 1/8, you're getting the same rate you'd get without the float down. What's the chance of that happening? Pretty slim in this interest-rate environment. HSH Associates compared rates for the first week of the month with rates for the last week over the past 13 months. During that time period, rates dropped more than a quarter of a percentage point just three times.)

Posted by loraboggs at 12:01 AM EDT

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