5 Most Important Things when Buying a Car for Your Teen

As a parent, there are many ‘firsts’ you look forward to in your child’s life. First word. First steps. First day of school. First car. (Gulp!)

While a first car may be every teenager’s dream, it means sleepless nights for most parents. To help make the process of buying your teen their first car easier, there are several pieces

What’s the best car for teenagers?

of homework to do in advance. Insurance on teen drivers is significantly higher, especially during their first several years of driving, because of the high risk for crashes with young drivers. Now is a good time to evaluate your insurance coverage and make sure you can get discounts if your child makes good grades, takes driver’s education or goes crash free for a period of time. Insurance rates also vary based on the type of car your teen will be driving, so be sure to check whether a class of vehicle will get a lower rate.

Taking your teen to a car lot before you have set expectations and limitations may lead to disappointment and frustrations. To your teen, a car represents freedom and social status.Your concern is safety. So it’s a good idea to evaluate several considerations and discuss them before ever stepping foot out the door. AAA offers valuable information on buying your teen a vehicle through their dedicated teen driver education program, Keys2Drive . Beyond resources on insurance, licensing and shopping tips, the site offers tips and suggestions for keeping teens safe behind the wheel.

5 Things to Consider

There are five categories to consider: vehicle type, safety features, reliability, affordability and familiarity.

  1. Vehicle typeties back in to your insurance classifications – sports car, SUV, sedan, van. While your teen may covet a sports car or SUV, you may be concerned about the temptation to speed or roll-over risks and prefer a sedan.
  2. Safety features are fairly standard on recent model vehicles, but if buying an older model , you’ll want a checklist of the features you find most important: anti-lock brakes, airbags, automatic lights, etc.
  3. Reliability could become a factor when buying used vehicles. Perhaps you want to inquire about optional warranties, roadside assistance programs, check vehicle reports and make sure you get the vehicle privately inspected before purchase.
  4. Affordability is a big factor in most vehicle buying decisions, and in most cases, the cost of insurance, maintenance and gas mileage of that vehicle should also be included.
  5. Familiarity is an important category often overlooked. Is the vehicle you are buying your teen similar to what they learned to drive? If not, they need to learn to drive the new vehicle before being released onto the open road. Experienced drivers know how to adjust to different vehicles in terms of power, size and features, but new drivers do not have those skills yet.

By establishing expectations and guidelines, buying your teenager’s first car will be a shopping experience you both can enjoy. Visit the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles Web site to make sure you know all the rules and limitations on teen driving in the state, so your teen can enjoy their new car within the law. Once your teen has proven themselves, you can begin to enjoy not having to chauffeur them everywhere.

Holiday Pets: Pet Care When Visiting

Many pets, especially young puppies and kittens, seem to be at the center of any holiday disaster. Pulling down the decorations, marking presents under a tree, and nipping the one person who is a afraid of puppies. Even in the movie A Christmas Story, a pack of hounds destroy the Christmas turkey.

If this is your furry friend’s first Christmas with you, your pet may not know how to behave. Since your little friend is relatively new to your home, and maybe to holidays too, you need to be extra careful with his care and safety. Here are simple tips to ensure he survives with his good name intact.

Staying Home for the Holidays

  • Chewing: keep anything dangerous and chewable, such as ornaments, ribbons and wires, out of reach. Furthermore, do not let your pet chew on a real or artificial Christmas tree. Many holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettia are also toxic if eaten by your pet.
  • Well–meaning guests can feed your pet tidbits that will make them sick, so make clear rules at the start of the visit. Chocolate and caffeine are big no-no’s where pets are concerned.  Sharp pieces of bones eaten by your pet may cause an intestinal bleed so it’s best to avoid giving bones.
  • Escape: Doors left open by distracted guests are also a means of escape so make sure your pet has an identification tag and you have a recent photo. Unusual activity in the house can confuse the pet, it may be better to close them in a quiet safe area until the visit is over. The same rule applies for New Year’s fireworks and noisy parades, these stress the pet so it is better to plan ahead ways of keeping them calm and happy.
  • Water should be available for your pet at all times; it is easy for them to get dehydrated. Do not let your pet ingest ice melt or antifreeze as they are potentially lethal. This is especially important when visiting friends and family during the holidays.

Visiting Someone for the Holidays

It’s important to be considerate towards other people and their homes, and remember that not everyone loves pets as much as you do.

  • Do not take the pet along if he might snap or bite at a stranger.
  • Do not let the pet bother other people with physical contact they may not want. Be tactful and let them ask to touch the pet rather than dumping the pet into their lap without being invited.
  • Do not let your pet run around breaking valuable items, or dropping hair on beds and clothes, or you will not be very popular with the host. Eliminating inside the home should not be allowed to happen either. All these behaviors can be avoided with some forethought and a crate suited to your pet.

Leaving Your New Pet Behind

Sometimes it is just not convenient to travel for the holidays with your pet. Someone in the family may be allergic, not have the space, be scared of pets and a variety of  reasons why you may have to leave you pet home. You may decide to leave your pet with a sitter or send them to an appropriate shelter for the period you’ll be away.

Pet Boarding Center

Make sure you visit the place and ask questions. The facility should look clean and welcoming. Do the pets look happy and well-cared for? Are the staff friendly to humans and pets?

Check with your vet. They may also board pets for the holidays.

There’s also some websites that can hook you up with people willing to board your pet in their home. This allows you to choose someone who might only have a couple of pets at a time, which gives your fur-baby more personalized attention.

Pet Sitter

Introduce your pet to the person (who may be an animal-loving friend or a professional sitter) a few times so that they already know each other and feel comfortable. Your sitter will need a list of emergency numbers to call as well as some information about your pet’s diet and exercise.

Lastly, leave your pet with a calm, confident goodbye to avoid upsetting them unduly.

What “Clear Title” Means

Simply put, ‘clear title’ means that ownership of the property (movable and immovable) in question is free from any outstanding legal claims or procedures. In simple terms, the items are yours. Alternative terms for the same meaning are good title, just title, or free and clear.

Another term you may come across in connection with titles is ‘lien.’ This means that the home or car in question has been used as security for a loan, in other words someone has given authority for the item to be taken if payments on the loan are not made. While a lien is in place, the item cannot be sold or transferred to other persons without being satisfied.

Car Title

Having a clear car title means there are no outstanding payments to be made on the car, and ownership is therefore clear and established. Conversely, if you are still paying off a loan for the purchase of your car, you do not fully own that car yet and do not have clear title. A clear title on a car is also known as a ‘pink slip’.

If you are buying a car, check the car’s history at carfax.com. Repossessed cars do not show up on the title, but they do show up on the car’s history. You will need to go to your local DMV to remove any names still holding title over the car.

Property Title

If you are buying a property you need to make sure there are no liens in place. The way to do this is to hire a company to research public documents for you and establish if the seller has clear title and is free to sell. If you pay for a property that was not rightfully the seller’s, then you have wasted your money and own nothing for your trouble.

Not having a clear title on your property may actually mean that you pay less tax and may be advantageous to you. This is because the interest payments you make on a home loan are deductible from your income for tax purposes. Owning your home free and clear will mean you pay higher taxes. If you have finished paying for your home, you could remortgage it for part of the equity value to carry out improvements and raise the value of the property.

4 Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays

Everyone feels the cash crunch at the end of the year. Just as in the lesson of the ant and the grasshopper, the winter months often need a little extra, especially for celebrating the holidays. Here are 4 ways to bring in the green.

1. Get a Job

Many retailers and shipping companies are looking for extra help during Christmas. Mall stores and big box retailers often hire temporary seasonal employees. Merry gentlemen can don the Santa suit, and elves that can get kids to smile for a photo are always in demand. Sometimes these seasonal jobs can lead to permanent employment, but usually the position is eliminated after ReGiftmas has ended.

2. Start a Business

If the weather cooperated, you could shovel snow. Many a seasonal business has started by doing similar work. Some seasonal business ideas include:

  • Hanging Christmas lights
  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts
  • Making and selling gift baskets
  • Sleigh rides or carriage rides
  • Selling yule logs, mistletoe, or Christmas trees

3. Sell Your Stuff in the Classifieds

Take a look in the garage, check all the closets, and clean out the kid’s rooms.  Sell old stuff and buy new gifts with it. Help someone stretch their holiday dollar by selling your used items in the classifieds.

Some people worry about when they can sell the item they are replacing. The answer is sell the old one as soon as possible. Let’s say you are getting a new washer and dryer. Selling your current set won’t “ruin the surprise” or leave unable to do laundry for more than a day or two. The best time to sell will be before the holidays.

4. Spend Time Not Money

Most people can remember a handful of gifts from their childhood. But we can remember all the people we shared those moments with.  Make sure that all the extra time and effort you put into the holidays give your family what they really want — time spent with you.

Is Your Child’s Crib Safe?

When thinking about crib safety, the focus is to prevent accidents and SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, for your baby. Being alert to the possible dangers will help you avert problems before they arise.

6 Ways to Make a Crib Safer

You can make a crib safer by being alert to potential problems.

The basic requirements of crib safety are:

  1. A firm tight-fitting mattress so the baby cannot get trapped between frame and mattress. Most mattresses have adjustable heights which you will need to lower when the baby can stand.
  2. No loose screws or other pieces that the baby can swallow.
  3. The slats should be close enough that the baby cannot slip through.
  4. No corner posts for the baby’s clothing to catch on.
  5. No places that the baby’s head can get trapped in the headboard or footboard.
  6. Keep any cords from nursery mobiles or nearby blinds out of the way.

Has This Crib Been Recalled?

If you want to make sure the crib has been tested for safety and quality, look for Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association certification. To learn if a crib has been recalled, check BabyCenter Product Recall Finder.

Safety Standards Have Changed

From 2011, drop-side cribs have been banned because the drop side can come loose or detach itself, trapping the baby or allowing her to fall out. Be aware of this issue if you are buying an older model crib.

The American Academy of Pediatrics now advises against crib bumpers or sleep positioners. The extra padding could potentially cover a baby’s airway and increase the risk of SIDS.   Continue to stay abreast of new developments and latest advice regarding the safety of your baby.

If buying an old crib, make sure there are none of the following:

  • Sharp edges
  • Peeling paint
  • Lead paint
  • Discontinued features
  • Missing/broken slats

Remove Dangers and Monitor Crib Activity

Make sure bedding fits the mattress properly and cannot come loose as there is a risk of suffocation. Do not overdo the amount of bedding as babies quickly overheat.

Sleepwear should not have ribbons or buttons which can be swallowed. Avoid drawstrings on clothing and toys, or baby gyms, as these present a hazard.

For added safety, do not leave your child unattended in a crib with a feeding bottle. Small pieces of rubber from the teat present a potential choking hazard. Put the baby to sleep on his back and consider getting a baby intercom, which will allow you to monitor your child even while he is asleep or playing in the crib.

Don’t forget a rested mom is an alert mom. Grab a quick nap every time your baby dozes off.

Save Money by Insulating Your Home

When you install good quality insulation for your home, you can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. Insulation can be applied around doors and windows, ceilings and outer walls, and floors. Before starting out, conducting an insulation audit is a good idea. You can hire someone to make a thorough check or decide to do it yourself. Compare the thicknesses of insulation you find against the U.S. Department of Energy’s online fact sheet to determine the quality of the insulation you have.

Insulate as Much as You Can

Properly installed insulation can reduce your electric bill.

There is little risk that you will insulate too much, especially in an older home. Air leaks and drafts should be eliminated with spray foam, caulk or weather stripping. If you are worried about air quality, you can hire a technician to check your combustible appliances for emissions. This means that you can have peace of mind that your appliances are not leaking harmful carbon monoxide into your home.

Insulation types

Various types of insulation are available, each better-suited for application to a particular area. You can find out what should be applied by asking at the home improvement store or getting an installer to do it. The following are some types of insulation:

  • Fiberglass Insulation– Fits between joists in walls and attics.
  • Blown In Insulation– Fills in gaps and voids creating a seamless thermal blanket of protection
  • Rigid Foam Board Insulation– Used in the building of the exterior walls. Also used to insulate garage doors.
  • Spray Foam– This expanding foam fills cracks and gaps around doors, windows and pipes.
  • Reflective Insulation– This foil bubble wrap used to insulate walls, roof, and water heaters.

Understanding R-Value

Insulation is measured using the R-value, which indicates its ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. You can find the R-value printed on the insulation. When calculating the R-value of a multi-layered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers. Keep in mind, the insulation must be properly installed to achieve its maximum R-value.

Different flow values are recommended depending on the climate where you live. You can find detailed online guides for your state.

Attics and ducts merit special attention. About 20% of air circulating in the ducts used for heating or cooling is lost, resulting in higher electricity bills. Where the duct is exposed, seal leaks with sealant and check all the connections at registers and vents. Most duct work is in the attic or under the floorboards. If possible, hire a qualified contractor to do the job for you.

An easy way to improve the insulation in your home is to check the attic. As a guideline, your attic insulation should be above the joists. The recommended level for most attics is R-38 or about 12-15 inches of insulation. R-49 may be recommended for very cold climates.

Classy Camping: What to Know When Buying a Used RV

Ready to buy an RV but you want to save money? Knowing the pros and cons of buying a used RV is the best way to make sure you buy a vehicle that is perfect for your needs.

Pros

  • You save a significant amount of money. Deprecation on an RV is immediate and substantial.
  • Can opt to rebuild, redecorate and restore the RV to your liking. Customization is easier when you start from used.
  • The RV you want might not be made anymore. This is the best way to find it.
  • Insurance will be cheaper for a used RV.

Cons

  • You never know what might be wrong with the RV: It might not be visible, so make sure you take extra precautions.
  • You may not be aware of how depreciated the RV is in value.
  • Often the manufacturer’s warranty has run out.
  • Can spend a considerable amount of money on upgrades.

Ten ways to improve your chances of getting a good used RV:

  1. Check it out. Make sure you do a walk-through before you buy the RV.
  2. Look very carefully for signs of mold. Even if you don’t see any water damage in the usual spots, sometimes there’s mold on the interior which can be signs of leaks or other water problems. Check the corners of ceilings and floors, the walls, and the corners and caulk in the bathroom around the fixtures. Don’t hesitate to check cabinets and closets. If they feel warmer than the rest of the RV, that may be a sign of mold. Bring a flashlight!
  3. Go over every inch of the ceiling. Look for brown spots, whether it’s bowed, or even coming down. Yes, a damaged ceiling can be repaired, but there’s a chance that’s a sign of more substantial problems being hidden.
  4. Do a close inspection of all the floors. The floors should be stable and sturdy. Too much give can indicate rotting.
  5. Look under the exterior trim and check the screws. Visible corrosion or rust could indicate water is getting in. If the screws still look clean and painted, the RV is probably in good shape.
  6. Open up and look inside all the exterior panels. Everything should look clean and dry.
  7. Test the walls. If you push with a fair amount of force and there isn’t too much give, you’re doing fine!
  8. Give the roof a thorough inspection. Look at all of the caulking to make sure everything is sealed. Check around the skylight and vent as well as the entire perimeter. You’re looking for old, blackened, crumbling or moldy caulk.
  9. Check that the roof is stable. Walk around the roof and make sure it feels sturdy and stable beneath your feet. This way, you can tell if there’s rot.
  10. Check the engine. Make sure it doesn’t smell burnt. Even if the oil has been changed, this is a way to tell if it’s been overheated to an extreme degree.

Halloween Stories, Snacks, and the Spooky Origins

Halloween is coming, so now’s the time to have some hauntingly good fun!

This year, we present: The origins of Halloween, a nice little Florida ghost story, and a fun and easy treat to make!

The Origins of Halloween

Before Halloween became the holiday we know, it was an old Celtic festival called Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. This superstition was passed down from generation to generation until the eighth century, when Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as the time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain, and the evening before became known as All Hallow’s Eve…and this eventually turned into Halloween.

Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, and of course, costumes. Oh. And candy. We mustn’t forget the candy! Did you know that one quarter of all the candy sold annually in the United States is bought for Halloween? Naturally, it’s one of a child’s favorite holidays!

And For the “Scary” Story

If you travel to St. Augustine, you might get a chance to meet the ghost that haunts Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill.

The building was constructed somewhere around 1745 and was home to Juana and Fransisco de Porras and their nine children. One of their youngest children was Catalina.

In 1770, when Catalina was about 18, she married Xavier Ponce de Leon. At this point, the house was owned by the British, who had used it as a storage barn. In 1783, the Spanish regained Florida from the British and they returned to St. Augustine. She found the house and she and her husband asked the governor to return it to her. They regained ownership in 1789, but she didn’t get to enjoy the house for long.

In 1785, a mere six years after being back in her childhood home, Catalina passed away. This all was pretty normal, and not much happened until about 1887 when the house was destroyed by a big fire that swept through St. Augustine. Thankfully, there were drawings of the house made in 1840, so a year later, the house was rebuilt on its original foundation to look just the way it had when Catalina had lived there.

There isn’t any particular story of why this house seems haunted, although there are two possible ghosts: Some believe the ghost may be Catalina, but others claim the ghost is a woman named Bridget who appears in a wedding dress. They say it’s a fleeting glimpse: Here and gone in a moment. Most of these sightings happen around the ladies room.

Some people have even caught a scent of the perfume. Of course, sometimes the aroma of the delicious food being cooked at the restaurant do cover that.

And they are not the only ghosts! There’s also supposedly a man in a black suit and hat who has been seen. As two men did die in the building: one in the 1887 fire and the other of illness in 1900.

Breathe easily, though! These ghosts don’t cause harm, and are believed to be friendly. You might get the feeling that someone is watching you, and the lights might flicker…but maybe, just maybe, they just want to enjoy a good meal with you?

Speaking of Food…

Do you like Devilled Eggs? Well…here’s a fun twist…

Devilled Egg Eyeballs!

First, hard-boil eggs and then peel the shells off. Want to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs? Click here to find out how!

Next, cut them in half and scoop out the yolk.

Combine the yolks with pesto, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise and mix until it’s smooth and creamy, then set it aside.

Here’s where the fun comes in: Dip a toothpick into red food dye and draw “veins” on the flat part of the whites.

Fill the holes with the yolk mixture then put a round dab of mayo in the center.

Stick a sliced olive in the middle of the whites, and there you go! A yummy Devilled Egg Eyeball!

Come Visit the BRAND NEW Fort King Archaeological Resource Center!

We will be opening the Fort King Archaeological Resource Center to the public Friday and Saturday (October 2-3) from 12:00pm-5:00pm.

Please stop by and see what staff and the archaeological team have been working on!

The ARC Center will be open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 12-5pm same as the Visitor Center.

We are so excited to have this new addition to Fort King, and look forward to telling the story of Fort King’s archaeology to the public.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

September 22, 2020 Fun Facts

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Deep frying turkeys is becoming increasingly popular. The meat is moist and tender, not greasy. Once the materials are assembled, the method is fast – just 3 minutes per pound, instead of 20 minutes.

Prepackaged turkey frying kits are available or you can assemble your own. Here’s what you will need:

  • 40 or 60 Quart pot (The turkey should fit easily with room on all sides.)
  • A meat hanger to lower and remove the turkey
  • Propane tank and gas burner
  • Meat thermometer
  • 5-6 Bottles of Cooking Oil (Approximately 1 1/2 gallons)
  • Fully thawed turkey(Warning: Frozen turkeys explode!)
  • Dry rub or marinade and syringe

Caution: Cooking oil is flammable, especially over an open flame.

Find a level, grassy or dirt area outside away from buildings and flammable items, like trees or wooden decks. Keep a kitchen rated fire extinguisher close by.

1. Measure and Heat the Oil

Lower your turkey into the pot. Fill with water to two  inches over the turkey.  Remove the turkey and measure the depth. Dump the water. Fill to the same measurement with oil. It will take about 30 minutes to heat to 325°F.  Stay below 350°F.

2. Prepare the Turkey

Unwrap and clean out your turkey and fit the meat hanger through the bird. Rub your spices all over the turkey. Do not stuff.  Lower the turkey slowly into the now boiling oil.

3. Cook the Turkey

The short wait (about 30 minutes for a 10 lbs bird) will soon be over. So keep a close eye on the time. Raise the turkey to take its temperature. When the internal temperature reaches 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh, remove the turkey and let drip dry. Inject your marinade using a syringe. Always let oil cool before moving or disposal.

What Mechanics Watch For When Buying a Used Car

Most mechanics buy used cars. There’s a reason. Buying a used car saves a lot of money and manufacturer defects have been identified. You can shop around for different models to suit your budget. Asking your mechanic to inspect the car before you make your decision is a good idea to prevent costly mistakes. Here are some things the mechanic will look at if he were buying a used car for himself:

External body

Look for what a mechanic does when buying a used car or truck.

The mechanic will look for signs of rust/corrosion on the body or signs that the car has been in an accident. He will check if the car has an inspection sticker displayed if the state requires it. He will look up the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) report. This report will say if the car has ever had an engine change, suffered flood damage or a rolled-back odometer etc.

He will also look at scratches, dents, cracks and uniformity of color of the paint. Differences in shade will show that a part has been replaced. The edges of the body should be straight without ripples or lines. The gaps between the body panels should be equal down the whole length. Hinges should not have excessive free play and the body can be checked with a magnet, which will indicate if any rust has been replaced with filler.

Fluids

Another area your mechanic will look at is if the car has any leaks from the radiator, oil or fuel tank. He will have a look at the quality of the oil and the clarity of the transmission fluid. He will be able to tell, or may even ask the owner, when the last oil change took place and if the car has been serviced regularly.

Tires

The tire treads should be in reasonable condition and equal on all four tires. They need to be replaced if they are less than 2/32of an inch or 1.5 mm deep. Is the brand of tires well known? There should be no cuts, cracks or bubbles. Also, an irregular wear pattern usually indicates some trouble with the car’s alignment or suspension.

Gauges and Electronics

The mechanic will have a look at the gauges on the dashboard. There should be no persistent warning light pointing to oil, engine, airbag or ABS trouble. He will also try all the locks, alarm, stereo, sun roof, ignition, wipers, lights and power windows. It is well worth checking all these features as they may be expensive to fix or replace. Heater and air conditioning are also looked at. The vehicle manufacturer’s label situated on the driver’s door or door jamb will show if the year of manufacture matches what the seller has claimed and if there has been any tampering.

Engine and Transmission

The engine should run smoothly without strange noises or knocking. The transmission should shift smoothly and without grinding noises. The mechanic will check clutch performance in a manual transmission and will check automatic transmission for delays, jerks or shudders.

3 Easy Upgrades for a Used Computer

Buying a used computer out of the classifieds is smart. Whether its for school, work, or entertainment, you can easily upgrade an older computer to boost its performance.

Odds are, if you are reading this article, you are part of the 71% of the U.S. population with home internet and a computer or quite possibly a home with multiple computers with a family full of users. The personal computer industry has new options and models available on a regular basis that can make a computer of just a few years seem outdated and ‘over the hill’, but instead of rushing out and buying a new PC, there are a few simple upgrades that can extend the life of an older computer model.

Consumer Reports agrees that upgrades are a good possibility for PCs less than four years old. Computers older than four years can lack the technology to support current upgrades and it may not be cost-efficient to put simple updates into them. The simplest recommendations most anyone can handle on their own to turn back the clock on your PC are to add additional memory, increase the hard drive space and update the monitor.

Adding More Memory Is Cost Effective

RAM is the cheapest and easiest upgrade that gives the biggest performance boost.

Adding additional memory can be one of the most affordable and effective ways to improve performance on an older PC, for around $50-$75. The more RAM the PC has, the faster applications can run and be executed, especially if you play video-enhanced games, use the computer for photo editing or have other large-memory applications. If your computer can take more RAM, consider upgrading to at least double whatever the current amount is on your system.

To see how much RAM is in your PC, go to the Start menu, click Settings, and then click Control Panel. Click System and then select the General tab. At the bottom of the page you should see the amount of RAM. Adding additional RAM requires you to open up the computer and insert new RAM modules on the motherboard. The best place to start to determine the maximum amount of RAM your computer can handle is your PC’s owner’s manual. The manual should show you the number of slots (the place where you insert the RAM), how much each slot can take and the maximum amount (MB or GB) your system can use. And there are plenty ofRAM resources on-line to help guide the way.http://www.pcworld.com/article/62183/stepbystep_bulk_up_your_pcs_ram.html

Upgrade the Hard Drive for More Storage

The latest hard drives are faster and less prone to failure.

Increasing the hard drive space can also be accomplished for under $100 and will give your computer longer life by allowing you to continue to store and save files and data. Hard drives do have limited lifetime. Replacing this part which stores the operating system, programs and your files can prevent a critical crash.

Additional internal hard drives can often be installed in desktop PCs, but the easiest option, and typically only option for laptop users, is to buy an external hard drive. These external drives are portable, small and plug into a USB port on any computer, allowing for simple use – no tools required. They make the perfect way to keep backup copies of your documents, photos and videos, or transfer them to another computer.

Improve the Display by Upgrading the Monitor

If your computer is a few years old and is running great, why not help it hide its age with a LCD flat panel monitor. The resolution is bright and crystal-clear. Your PC, and your eyes, will thank you. Models to avoid are the older CRT and flat screen models, which are bulky and power hogs.

A new monitor will start at about $100 for a 15” and go up from there with size. A used monitor is often half the retail price. Monitors require no software installation, but you may need a DVI to 15pin adapter to connect the latest models to some video outputs. A new LCD monitor for your PC is a great birthday gift for your computer – and for yourself.

Celebrity Classic Cars!

Jay Leno

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud

Jay Leno owns about 80 classic cars in his collection. Besides steam-powered and electric cars, he also owns:

  • McLaren F1
  • Dodge Viper GTS
  • Audi R8
  • Lamborghini Miura
  • Ariel Atom

Interestingly, Jay also owns several motorbikes and a fire engine. Jay has three full-time employees just to take care of all these babies!

Jerry Seinfeld

The comedian is a self-confessed addict to Porsches and he owns several specimens from the 1960sto prove it. His collection counts 47 Porsches. One famous incident involving Jerry is that he was not allowed to drive a Porsche he was importing because the company had only made 200 and was not about to provide 4 for crash testing purposes!

Rowan Atkinson

Mr.Bean, known in real life as Mr. Atkinson, also owns several cars. Two cars in his collection are the McLaren F1 and also a Bentley Mulsanne.

David Beckham

World famous footballer and husband of Victoria “Posh Spice’ Beckham owns several collectible vehicles and even turned down a free Ferrari from the Montezemolo family because he already had one, thank you very much! Among his collection he has:

  • Bentley Arnage T
  • Ferrari 360 Spider, Ferrari F430, Ferrari F550
  • Lamborghini Gallardo
  • Aston Martin V8 and Aston Martin DB7, Aston Martin One-77
  • Hummer H2
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • BMW X5
  • Range Rover Sport

Elton John

Elton John has auctioned off or sold several of the cars in his collection due to lack of time to drive them, among which:

  • Aston Martin
  • Bentley
  • Jaguar
  • Rolls Royce
  • 3 Ferraris
  • Maserati Quattroporte

Steve McQueen

Late actor Steve McQueen starred in many movies involving car chases. He himself loved cars and motorbikes and could not fail to have his own interesting collection.

  • 1957 Chevrolet Convertible
  • 1956 Jaguar Roadster XKSS
  • 1969 Porsche 911 Coupe
  • 1948 MG Roadster

His cars can now be seen at museums and exhibitions, keeping his legend alive.

Four Ways to Sell More!

In times like these, you can’t afford not to advertise. But in times like these, you can’t afford to waste a single advertising dollar. At USA4SALE Networks, we can help you grow and defend your local business through targeted local advertising in our network of community classified sites. Here are four ways we can benefit your business:

1.) Catch More Fish by Fishing in the Right Pond

While traditional media outlets have remained stagnant or declined in recent years, people are spending more time online. Our network of classified sites draws visitors throughout central Florida for one primary activity – buying and selling. Our unique layout makes browsing easy – and it’s designed to put your message in front of the right audience at just the right time. We call it contextual targeting. And it gets results.

2.) Rescue Your Customers from the Clutches of the Competition

Truth is, we’ve been spending a lot of time with your customers lately. And they’ve been spending time with your competitors, too. Our doors are open 24 hours a day and we attract visitors late at night as well as during office hours. Your customers often come to our website in the buying mood.Our display advertisers are just one click away from the sale . . . or the beginning of a new relationship.

But you don’t have to stay up late yourself to keep your customers in the fold. We’ll do that for you. And while you may have difficulty reaching people at their desk at work, we reach into thousands of workplaces and cubicles every day.

3.) Generate More Qualified Prospects with Improved Lead Generation

You can fill your fishbowl with business cards by giving away popcorn at your trade show booth. But you know that what matters most are qualified prospects. The Internet is an information-driven medium that puts the consumer in the driver’s seat. By giving them the information they’re seeking (and requesting information in return), you can qualify prospects more efficiently — giving you more time to focus on the best leads.

4.) Skip to the Head of the Line (We’ll Show You How)

Are you new to local internet marketing? We’re not. USA4SALE Networks has been a leader in local online advertising for more than a decade. Rather than re-invent the wheel, let us put our experience to work for your business and save you the time, trouble and expense of learning by trial and error. One of our executives will be happy to give you a free consultation.

Cutest Puppy Designer Breeds

Designer breeds are a newer breed of dog which resulted from the accidental or intentional mating of two pedigree dogs. They are not to be confused with mixed breed dogs. Here’s a full list of recognized hybrid  breeds. Read on for our cutest picks:

Labradoodle

As the name suggests, this dog is the product of a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. He carries the color of the Lab but has the curly coat of a poodle. Like both sides of parent, they Labradoodle is great with families with children and seem to like water, a trait common in Labradors. As with other designer breeds, this dog is not recognized by the AKC.

The Labradoodle first appeared in Australia in 1988 and was bred as a dog suitable for people allergic to pet dander and fur. It is now often used as a working dog in therapy, guiding and assistance roles.

Morkies

Morkie puppies or Yorktese appeared in the 1990s and are a mix between the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier breeds. They are small, intelligent and very cute! They are often found in 3 color varieties: black and tan, butterscotch or tri-colored. They are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs, though they do need some grooming. Fully grown, the Morkie will weigh between 5 and 9 pounds.

Cavachon

The Cavachon is a small breed of dog that likes to join in family fun and does not like to be left alone. They are more suitable for older children but get along fine with other pets in the home. Also suitable for allergy sufferers they are great dogs for apartment dwellers.

The Cavachon was created from a King Charles Cavalier and a Bichon Frise. It has the long floppy ears and silky coat of the Cavalier and can come in a variety if colors such as red and white, sable and white, black and white, apricot and white or a combination of three colors. The breed is said to have come about by accident in1996. The dogs need regular maintenance for teeth, hair and nails and they may be prone to some diseases such as ear infections, skin problems, heart problems and hip dysplasia.

Shopping for Puppies in the Classifieds

By shopping locally, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know the breeder personally. Check out some of the puppies for sale in Lake City or our Gainesville puppies page for local puppy breeders.

When shopping for puppies in the classifieds, always be sure you see the breeding facility and meet the breeder personally. In addition, Florida law requires that all puppies come with a health certificate, that no puppy can be sold who is less than 8 weeks old. It is also illegal to advertise a puppy and ask for a deposit to hold.

4 Home Improvement Projects In One Weekend

Refresh Your Bedroom

Giving a fresh look to the bedroom can be done quite quickly by giving the walls a new look and updating the soft furnishings.

Not every home improvement project has to be a complete renovation.

 

A new headboard for the bed can be created out of a variety of items, even reclaimed doors or windows. Remove the glass and cover the backs with foam board or fiber board. Dress up the pieces with any fabric or leftover wallpaper you have lying around.

Another idea to try is a symmetrical arrangement of mirrors on the wall, in the same way you would hang pictures. The mirror effect can brighten up a bedroom and make it seem larger.

Cover the walls with oversize pattern wallpaper or a fresh coat of paint for a sophisticated look.

If someone in the family is handy with a sewing machine, update your curtains and soft furnishings with some interesting matching fabrics. Bedding can also receive an upgrade with a new quilt cover or bed sheets.

Add some modern lighting for a contemporary look and voila!

Update the Kitchen Cabinets

Old and tired kitchen cabinets can be upgraded with fresh paint and modern handles or knobs. Some cabinet doors can be removed or given a new look by adding glass. Following are some ideas for the kitchen:

  • White cabinets look great against a color background wall.
  • Consider putting up some open shelving for added interest.
  • Chalkboard paint can be applied to one or more cabinets to use as a board for reminders and shopping lists.
  • Glass –fronted cabinets set against a blue wall in the background give a striking result.
  • The distressed paintwork look coupled with a granite countertop and brick walls/slate floors gives a nice vintage look.
  • Tidy the inside of your cabinets with modern storage ideas or slide-out shelving.
  • Removing a few existing cabinet doors can also make the kitchen look larger.

Add or Upgrade Molding

Molding projects can change the look of a room, dress it up, and add elegance.

Molding materials come in three varieties:

  • Stain grade molding
  • Paint-grade lumber
  • Engineered profiles

Besides the more common use around the ceiling and floor, molding can be creatively used to accentuate features such as windows, a fireplace, a bookcase, or around a door. Doors can also be given a new look with paneling made out of molding strips that are nailed or glued on.

Another idea is to create a recessed panel in the room using molding, which works great with some contrasting paint color. Another extra feature to add is medallions made out of polyurethane foam or polystyrene to add decoration where a light fixture is to be mounted.

Create a Home Office

An easy way to create a home office is to design and build your own workspace. You will need to design a desk, shelves, drawers and storage, and maybe a bulletin board.  Several designs can be found online to suit any level of DIY experience.

An innovative idea is to use metal brackets and an old piece of floorboard or other recycled wood to make the shelves.

Finally, buy a comfortable ergonomic chair, your back will thank you for it.

Is Your Child’s Car Seat Installed Correctly?

By law it is mandatory for child passengers in a car to be properly secured in an infant seat, car seat or booster seat. Making sure your car seat is secured properly could save your child’s life in the event of an accident.

Get the Seat that Matches Your Child

The car seat is one item you can’t spend too much on.

There are various seats available on the market, depending on your child’s age and height. Checking out a good guide will give you a good idea of what to look for and what to expect. Since your child will grow quickly, but will need a seat until they are about twelve years old, you may want to buy seats which convert and grow with your child.

There will be some difference in installation depending on your chosen car seat, so for up to date information always refer to the manual that comes with the seat (or search online for manufacturer’s instructions), as well as your car manual.

The first and most important factor is to make sure you have the right seat for your child’s age, weight and height. Remember that infants should sit in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 1 year old; preferably 2 years old according to latest national guidelines.

There Are Two Manufactures Recommendations – Car Seat and Vehicle

Next, check if your seat has a LATCH system. Cars and seats manufactured after 2002 have a LATCH system, or Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.

Then, place the child seat on the appropriate seat in your car, always referring to the brand guide as indicated. If your seat has a detachable base, it is best to secure the base without the seat attached, as it is easier to handle and to check that you are installing it correctly.

If the seat does not use LATCH, thread the car seat belt through the indicated route and fasten the belt. Pay attention to the seat belt path you are using, since a seat which can be used as rear and forward facing will have two seat belt paths. Tighten the belt until you have the snuggest fit possible. Weighing down the seat with your own weight as you kneel on it will help to give the right setting.

A locking clip can be used for added safety with shoulder belts that do not lock automatically. Finally, make sure the belt clip is lower than the seat belt path and tighten the top tether securely.

Stay Away from Air Bags

The safest place for an older child’s seat is right in the middle of the back seat, and never in the front passenger seat facing an airbag. Also, make sure the seat for a very young baby is at a 45-degree angle, so that the head does not tilt forward and obstruct the airway.

Most importantly, if correctly installed your car seat should not move more than an inch from side to side. If in doubt, your local fire department can assist you.

How to Design a Patio Sanctuary for Your Backyard

Redesigning your patio can be as simple as adding a few pieces of outdoor furniture to your backyard. Or it can be as elaborate as installing an adjoining concrete slab with an outdoor kitchen and dining area.

Visualize the Design with a Quick Mock-up

A bench and a potted plant transform this bare patch.

As you begin a design project for a backyard patio, always check whether you need permits to make your ideas a reality. Once that is done, you can actually start the project. You may have chosen a designer to do it for you, or more probably you have decided to do it yourself to save money and because you generally like home improvement projects.

Decide where your patio is best situated. Most patios lead off from a living area or kitchen to make entertaining guests easier. Check the space you have available and size your patio accordingly. Lay out a rope or garden hose to visualize the footprint of your patio. Set a few chairs in the space to ensure it is not to small.

Decide before your build whether you want a charcoal grill or gas barbecue on your patio, or if you want to build a stone fixture. (See Choosing the Right Grill for your Backyard BBQ.) Opportunities are unlimited and you can include or leave out any of the following: a fridge, a sink, cabinets and aesthetic features such as fireplace, waterfall or hot tub.

Select a Building Material for Patio

Consider these choices when it comes to choosing the material for your patio:

  • Real stone
  • Stone Veneer
  • Brick
  • Pavers
  • Concrete

Your choice should be made on the basis of the look you want to achieve and the budget you have. Some versions of material may be easier to work with and install, while others may be harder-wearing. Keep in mind the color and tone (light or dark) that you want to achieve. Use can use websites to help you in your design or get handy with paper and artists’ colors.

Canopies Provide Shade

A patio can add a whole extension to your home.

Many patios also sport overhead cover to protect against the sun or possibly a light drizzle. You have a wide choice of coverings. Many of these now come in kits that you can assemble yourself. Options include:

  • Awnings
  • Umbrellas
  • Gazebos
  • Aluminum
  • Pergolas
  • Corrugated metal
  • Trees
  • Trellis
  • Arbors

Choose Comfy Furniture

Finally, choose only furniture for your patio that is comfortable for you and your guests. Look for sturdy items that aren’t too difficult to rearrange. It could be metal, aluminum, wood or plastic; you have many choices of material and designs. Chairs, tables, lounge chairs, benches and swings are all popular pieces of furniture for a relaxing atmosphere. You need not spend a fortune straight away, you can add pieces over time. To round it up, add cushions and some atmospheric lighting to set off your work.

World’s Most Expensive Golf Carts

What are the world’s most expensive golf carts?

Golf carts used to be little vehicles that served a simple purpose — getting you around the golf course comfortably. With the advent of these new luxurious models, you are no longer confined to the course and can make a lasting impression everywhere you go!

Garia LSV – $62,000

This most expensive of golf carts is actually allowed on the street and comes equipped with seat belts, mirrors, hydraulic brakes and speeds up to 25mph. You can also install a stereo, digital instruments and a dashboard refrigerator as well as other extras. The Garia LSV is customizable with over 100 colors for the body, roof and dashboard; 3 different colors of upholstery and 10” and 12” aluminum wheels.

Garia Edition Soleil de Minuit Golf Car- $52,000

This cute little cart comes from the Porsche factory in Finland. Looking more like a golf cart than the Hummer model available for $19,999, it is a limited edition version of the standard Garia golf car. It comes with standard Garia features such as two golf bag carriers, a painted utility box, scratch-resistant side skirts, a pen holder and scorecard on the steering wheel. There’s also an optional dashboard refrigerator.

The special price for the limited edition can buy you custom paint, two-colored hand-stitched seats and a carbon roof lined with alcantara. World-renowned manufacturers of the Ducati, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Volvo brands were all involved in creating this little gem.

Rolls Royce Phantom-style cart – $30,560

If your budget is too modest for the Garia, you could opt to give your golf cart a makeover to look like a Rolls Royce Phanto. It comes with leather seats, chrome wheels, and a dual tone exterior trim.

Hummer H2 Golf Cart – $19,999

Last but not least, this cool little number will set you back a more reasonable 20 Grand. It is inspired by the Hummer vehicle used by the military. Similar to a small road vehicle, it can reach speeds of 20mph and includes brake and turning lights as well as headlights and fog lights. The dashboard is available in carbon fiber or wood grain to suit the owner’s choice. Other small luxuries include a cooler under the hood, more storage under the seat, tinted windshield and drink holders.

No-Hassle School Supply Shopping

School supply shopping is an experience for you and your youngster, but on the other hand it can be quite a chore. New is fun—fresh starts, new teachers, new friends, new clothes, new shoes, new school supplies, new lunch boxes, and new backpacks.

Be that as it may, it can be overwhelming. (Your child is growing up way too fast—and is presently sulking in aisle two.)

Don’t panic! Here’s a guide to what you will need to get.

Before starting, you should check with your school to see if they provide a supply list. Compare it to what we have here to see what else you might want to get. Your child’s backpack might be worn out from last year, for example.

Some schools have the teacher buy the majority of the school supplies to guarantee every kid has similar things—and to make sure they have exactly what is needed. In these cases, a donation to the teacher is never a bad idea, to help cover the cost of these supplies. There might also be organizations that help obtain supplies for your student.

Kids grow like weeds, so now is the time to update your child’s wardrobe. This might mean new school uniforms, or just new clothes that your child can feel comfortable in.

Clothes and clothing accessories:

  • Three to five pairs of jeans
  • Four to six short-sleeved tops
  • Two to four long-sleeved tops
  • Two to four hoodies
  • Two to four sweaters
  • Two to four pairs of pants, shorts, and/or skirts
  • Five to seven pairs of socks and/or leggings/tights
  • Seven or more pairs of underwear
  • Five bras(for teenage girls)
  • Two sports bras(for teenage girls)
  • Sneakers
  • Casual/dress shoes
  • Flip-flops/sandals/slip-on shoes
  • Backpack
  • Belt
  • Ponytail holders and/or hair clips

School Supplies:

  • Two to five spiral notebooks
  • Two to five folders
  • Three-ring binder (these often come with a shoulder strap)
  • Five to 10 pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Five to 10 pens
  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue sticks
  • Tape
  • Highlighters
  • Pencil box or pouch
  • Calculator (usually just for middle school on up)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Face Masks
  • Facial Tissues
  • Wet Wipes

Lunch Items:

  • Lunchbox or lunch bag
  • Juice boxes
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sandwich ingredients
  • Snack items (like applesauce, pretzels, and string cheese)
  • Convenient fruits/vegetables (like raisins, other dried fruit, clementines, and baby carrots)
  • Yogurt
  • Freezer packs to keep food cold

Electronics:

Some schools are using cell phones, tablets, or laptops for their studies. It’s not usually required for students to bring their own, and oftentimes their use is limited or completely prohibited. Check with your school to see what the rules are on electronics for your student.

It is highly recommended you have a laptop or computer and internet for students as more frequently these are used for studies: for homework that might be turned in electronically, for research, or for typing up those book reports or term papers.

When involved with distance learning, computers and a reliable WiFi are necessary, so contact your school district administration, as sometimes they can help provide them for your student.