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Archive for April, 2007

Applying for Merchant Services Account the Easy Way

Posted in Merchant Services on April 30th, 2007

Before applying for a merchant services account, it’s important to research the various merchant account providers to avoid paying too much or signing with an unscrupulous company.

In applying for a merchant account service, consider prices, integrity and customer service.

• Merchant account rates and fees

Be sure you understand all of the rates and fees charged by a merchant account provider. The usual charges include monthly fees, discount rates, transaction fees, application fee, equipment and installation fee.

Monthly fees are usually around $25, though that may vary according on whether you meet your minimum monthly transactions. Discount rates are a percentage taken from a sale that the merchant pays to cover the transaction costs and the risk involved. The usual discount rate is 1.5% to 3.5%.

The transaction fee is a flat fee charged for each transaction, generally anywhere from 20 cents to $1.00. The application fee, if there is one (some merchant account providers don’t charge them), is the fee to open the merchant account.

The equipment and installation fee covers the cost of software installation. It can be free, or it could cost as much as $1,200 or more, depending on whether the processing is batch or real-time. The cost for POS terminals depends on the model you purchase but can range from $500 to $1,500.

• Choose only reputable merchant account services

You should consider the reputation of the merchant account service.

What to look for when searching for a merchant account:

• Beware of merchant service providers who have misleading ads offering things like “free merchant accounts” or “lowest prices guaranteed.” Read the fine print on the website to find out what they really offer.

• It’s a bad sign when every call you make to the company is answered by a machine.

• Beware of merchant account services that make use of free domain or free web hosting services. If they can’t afford a domain name, how are they in business?

• Be careful of providers who can’t answer your questions.

• Avoid merchant account sites that don’t post rates and fees on their web site.

• Use the Internet to find reviews of merchant account companies and take note of all unsatisfactory remarks

• Make absolutely sure that your chosen merchant account service provides reliable customer service.

Different Types of Contemporary Chandeliers

Posted in Contemporary Chandeliers on April 30th, 2007

It wasn’t long ago that the mere mention of the word “chandelier” would conjure up images of lavish glass and crystal objects hanging in every room of some 18th century mansion. All right, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the general impression people have regarding chandeliers is that they are too bold, too fancy, and most of all too expensive. While this may be true of some higher end chandelier designs, there are many different types of contemporary chandeliers that can add originality and style to your home at a very reasonable cost. What’s more, these chandeliers can offer a whole new way of looking at the rooms you may be taking for granted. Let’s examine some of the different types of contemporary chandeliers that may be a perfect fit in your life.

The main purpose that a contemporary chandelier serves is to give your home’s modern décor an additional focal point, without being over-the-top. While a crystal chandelier is certainly a beautiful piece in the proper setting (such as a spacious dining area or a Victorian style bedroom), many of us live in more laid-back settings. Different types of contemporary chandeliers represent perfect complements to nearly any modern interior living space.

What are some different types of contemporary chandeliers? For starters, contemporary chandeliers can be made of many different metal finishes, such as bronze, brass, nickel, chrome, and silver. They can also be designed with glass, which tends to be more expensive than chandeliers made of metal. What really sets contemporary chandeliers apart from fancier counterparts is the attention to shape, design, and function. In fact, most contemporary chandeliers implement various color schemes and patterns, which help to add a distinct and warm glow to any room. Contemporary chandeliers also feature unique patterns of not only shades and holders, but also of the lights themselves. The features on most contemporary chandelier shades are what make them so distinctive, and in most cases the only limit to these designs is your own imagination. As for the lights, very few contemporary chandeliers use candles, but instead offer porcelain lighting for a subtle ambience. How many lights are used in most contemporary chandeliers? This is again dependant upon your personal taste of style; these chandeliers can feature as few or as many as you desire. The options truly are limitless with these different types of contemporary chandeliers!

The days of classifying chandeliers as pricey or garish are certainly behind us. With so many different types of contemporary chandeliers available, we now have the ability to turn our own homes into something of an art gallery. These intimate pieces are sure to give the rooms in your home a different personality, and they are sure to become a topic of conversation (and admiration) among your family and friends. Whether you decide on a contemporary chandelier that is simple and understated, or one that is bold and colorful, you can’t go wrong with adding any one of the many different types of chandeliers to your home’s interior.

Tax Deductions on Car Donation Explained

Posted in Car Donations on April 30th, 2007

Any donation you make to help out a worthy cause can also help you with your taxes. If you have an old car parked in your garage and you don’t know what to do with it, car donation is a wonderful way to help a charity. Although the car donation laws have changed, this is still a good way to help yourself and others too.

In 2005, the laws changed regarding tax deductions on boats, vehicles or airplanes that are valued over $500. Now, the charity must provide written documentation or acknowledgement within the 30 days of processing your donation. If the charity gives an exaggerated or false statement, they can be fined or penalized.

Under the January 2005 rules, your tax break is based on how the charity uses the donated vehicle. If the car is sold, the gross sale price can be deducted. If the charity uses the donated car following the new law for “significant” charity work that is tax approved, you’ll be able to deduct the market value of the vehicle. However, some stiff penalties will be charged for falsified documents. The law is watching carefully those charities not following the rules and regulations involved with car donation.

Even though the old laws had some problems, many charities are skeptical about the new car donation laws. A lot of organizations are concerned about what might happen when the responsibility of tax deduction is put under the authority of the charity rather than the donor. Some of them have actually sent a letter to the Treasury Secretary that suggests that people may be discouraged from donating cars if they aren’t aware of the deduction amount that will be allowed. This, they fear will mean that some donors will be lost. Charities feel that donors must be able to weigh the cost of benefit in order to know if it is enough for them.

If you do decide to pursue car donation, you will find out that the process is easy. You can contact most charities by phone or online. It is important to ask the charity you wish to get involved with for some specific and important information. This is necessary in order to avoid complications and also be sure you understand the process. It’s not hard, but does require you to fill out some important information and get the car ready.

Steps on Applying for a Medical Transcription Job

Posted in Medical Transcription on April 30th, 2007

Medical transcription the industry that renders doctors dictated reports, procedures and notes into an electronic or paper format in order to create files representing the treatment history of patients. Usually health practitioners dictate what they have done after performing procedures on patients.

Nature of the work

A medical transcriptionist listens to recordings made by doctors and other health care professionals and transcribes them into reports, letters and other administrative material. They usually listen to recordings through headphones, using both hands to type while pausing the recording as necessary with a foot pedal. The recordings will cover a variety of medical areas, including patient histories, exam reports, consultations, autopsies and discharges. After the information is transcribed, the documents are sent back to the physician or other health professional who dictated them for review, signature and corrections. The transcribed documents are then part of the patient’s permanent record.

A medical transcriptionist must know medical terminology relating to anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacology and treatment assessments. They should also know what medical jargon and abbreviations mean. To help with this, there are standard medical reference materials in either printed and electronic forms that transcriptionists use to identify medical terms; some of these reference materials may be found online.

Earnings

The compensation methods for medical transcriptionists vary depending on the company. Some are paid based on the number of hours they work or on the number of lines they transcribe, while others receive a base pay per hour with incentives for extra production. Employees of transcription services, as well as independent contractors, usually receive production-based pay. Independent contractors earn more than the employed transcriptionists, but independent contractors incur higher expenses, receive no benefits, and have a greater chance of being terminated. While medical transcriptionists employed by others receive lower compensation, they do receive medical benefits and are protected by labor laws, providing them with more job security.

There are two ways to search for medical transcription jobs – online or through a subcontracted transcription services. If you apply online, you become an independent contractor, while through a subcontracted transcription services you become an employee – either way, your job will be entirely the same.

Here are some steps to applying online:

1. Read the form and instructions carefully before filling it out.

2. Make sure that you understand all the questions.

3. Take note of the company’s layout preference – like the order in which the ask for names and dates.

4. Print a copy of the form and file it for future reference.

5. Never leave blank boxes – your application may be rejected if it looks incomplete.

6. If there are sections that do not apply to you, insert N/A in the box.

7. Refrain from including any information that’s not specifically requested.

8. You may be required to submit an online curriculum vitae via email. This should be a condensed version of the CV you have designed.

In designing your online CV you have to remember some things:

• Include your CV in the body of the text as it is similar to an email.

• Keep it short and concise.

• Make sure that you use a clear, readable font since it will be read on screen.

• Your email address should appear first, then your home address, which should be placed at the bottom of your details section.

• Don’t forget to add your skills, qualifications and experiences.

• Always fill in the subject line clearly. Example: Vacancy: (position desired)

The steps for applying for jobs in transcription services is similar to applying for any type of job. The only difference is that you’re required to have good typing listening skills. There are tests given when applying for transcription positions to test your listening and typing skills.

How to Use Your LCD TV as a Video Monitor

Posted in LCD TV Video Monitor on April 28th, 2007

Unlike a plasma television that offers the danger of burn-in, you can learn how to use you LCD TV as a video monitor. It makes for a clear and crisp picture to go with yoru computer or video games. The versatility of an LCD TV is perhaps what makes it most attractive to many buyers. A few tips on how to use your LCD TV as a video monitor will help you see just how great an LCD television can be in your home.

LCD screens actually have their roots in computer monitors. The wild success of LCD computer screens has led to the development of larger screens to use as television sets. Many of the characteristics are the same, but in order to compete with plasma, the televisions have actually developed higher quality pictures in the last couple of years.

A word of advice, though: if you are planning to use your LCD just as a computer screen, consider actually buying an LCD monitor. If you do not, you will end up paying for a tuner, AV inputs, and other television features that you don’t need. On the other hand, if you are gaming on your LCD screen, a big 30 inch screen can be impressive when you show it off to your gaming buddies.

The first step in learning how to use your LCD TV as a video monitor is making sure you have the right television. In order to make the switch from TV viewing to monitor for your computer or games, your television needs to have a VGA or other options for connection to a PC or gaming system. If it does not, then you are going to be very disappointed.

Make sure your computer is near your LCD television. You do not want to have to run cables and wires all over the house to accommodate your computer usage. Additionally, it needs to be close enough that your view of the monitor will actually be reasonable when using the computer. You would be surprised at how many people say they want to use the LCD screen for their computer monitor, but forget to put the computer near the television.

Next, in learning how to use your LCD TV as a video monitor, you need to make sure you have all wires and cables run that you need so you can switch easily. Run cables through the walls or conduit to both your computer and the cable input for your home. That way when you decide to switch your LCD screen between television and computer use it will be smooth. If you are really savvy, you can also set it up so that a switch or channel change will move you from computer or video monitor to television screen without a lot of work.

Learning how to use your LCD TV as a video monitor is valuable. Since the picture is so clear and well contrasted, you will reduce eye fatigue and squinting headaches brought about by traditional monitors. Just make sure you have the right television and are prepared. Then, you will be all set for dual use of your LCD TV.

Getting Free Polyphonic Ringtones

Posted in Polyphonic Ringtones on April 28th, 2007

Looking to get the free polyphonic ringtone you’ve always wanted – for free?

By just following a few simple steps, you can download free ringtones off of the Internet. Many websites offer entire libraries of tones, and all can be easily downloaded into your mobile phone. Amazing, isn’t it?

One such site, Polyphonicfree.co.uk, has teamed up with other sites to offer not just free ringtones but free graphics, Java applications, pictures, games, wallpapers and more. Another, At FreeMobileFun.com, you can download free phone tones plus screensavers, operator logos and other phone accessories. Some sites even give away freebies like phones as part of special promotions. Visiting sites like these will help you get the most from your cell phone.

If you’re having a hard time finding that one special tone you want, you can use more specific search terms. Let’s say you’re looking for a song in polyphonic format. Simply type the the title of the song into a search engine plus the file type – for example, “.mid” for midi. Make sure you also include the word “free” in your search.

It’s a simple process to play these tones on your mobile phone. First make sure that your phone is WAP enabled and that the phone you’re using is compatible with the type of tone you want. If it’s polyphonic, then your cell phone should support and play midi tones.

Your web search will yield thousands of ringtones – make sure, though, that the ones you’re choosing to download are actually free. Including the words “free ringtone” in your web search will help you isolate those that won’t cost anything, but you should still double-check before downloading from a website that there is no charge.

Also, make sure and take note of the unit and model of phones any of these free ringtones, Java applications and screensavers require. Some tones only support a certain brand of mobile phone. The data cable you purchase to transfer the tones to your cell phone will also need to be compatible with your particular make and model of cellphone.

So what are you waiting for? Go get that free polyphonic ringtone now.

Unique Candle Chandeliers for Your Home

Posted in Candle Chandeliers on April 28th, 2007

There’s nothing quite like a candle chandelier to set the perfect backdrop to any occasion. Whether you are entertaining guests, curling up with a good book, or spending time with that special someone, a candle chandelier exudes romantic charm and provides an intimate atmosphere that is impossible to ignore. A candle chandelier truly represents the perfect compromise between form and function, and more people are being introduced to these marvels of interior design everyday. If you’ve ever considered unique candle chandeliers for your home, the following article should give you a better understanding of these decadent decorations, as well as provide you with the tips you need to make a smart buying decision.

While most of us have surely seen similar candle chandeliers featured in movies and print (the large fancy type with what seem to be hundreds of candles flickering in unison), the modern candle chandelier has many different faces. In fact, many unique candle chandeliers for your home do not contain candles at all! These candle chandeliers actually contain “faux” candles (designs similar to a candle, but with a bulb providing the light source). But make no mistake: these chandeliers still work to turn any room in your home into a comfortable and inviting space. In addition, these chandeliers can be made using a variety of metals that cost a fraction of true candle holder designs.

If you think you might prefer a real candle chandelier (and who could blame you?), you will face a wide selection of outstanding designs to suit any taste. Arguably the most beautiful of all candle chandeliers are those made of glass or crystal. However, these require a great deal of maintenance and attention to ensure that the candles do not tarnish the beauty of the piece. (It should be noted here that candle wax should be cleaned from any holder, regardless of type). Another consideration of these elegant chandeliers is that they tend to be more expensive than those made of metals (bronze, wrought iron, etc.), but they certainly add an amazing effect to any room in your home.

There are also other things to consider when searching for unique candle chandeliers for your home. For instance, candle chandeliers come in a variety of shapes and styles, ranging from elegant to contemporary. The overall look and feel of your home will probably be your best guide when picking out a candle chandelier. You will also need to think about how many arms you want in a candle chandelier, and just how decorative you want them to be. Naturally, chandeliers with a large number of arms, and those with more detailed designs will tend to fetch higher prices.

As you can see, there are several options available when considering unique candle chandeliers for your home. Regardless of the candle chandelier you finally decide on, the piece is sure to grace any room in the home with a touch of elegance and class that you probably never even realized was missing.

Pool Tables Fun for All the Family

Posted in Pool Tables on April 28th, 2007

Having your own pool table at home can be a very rewarding step for any homeowner. The pool table, along with your favorite pool accessories, will not only help you unwind, but it will also provide quality entertainment for your guests. Instead of going to a local bar or pub you can invite people at home for drinks and a game of pools. For your home use you can pick any table you like, even an antique Brunswick pool table which you will rarely see in a bar. And of course you can always use your own pool table to perfect your pool skills.

The first step to enjoying your own pool table would begin with creating a specific room for pools where you can create the perfect ambience for the game. If you don’t have the space for a separate room to house your pool table, you can place the table in the dining room or even in a basement. A little-used shed or garage can also make the perfect pool room, and with a proper lighting and décor you can create a pool room for little money.

Pool tables vary in size and design, which allows choosing the right table to suit your lifestyle and the style of your home. The most famous pool table maker, Brunswick, has several collections of pool tables, such as Casual, Classic, European, Antique, or Contemporary. Brunswick pool tables can also be custom-made in a variety of finishes.

Many people today opt for antique Brunswick pool tables, which add a stunning retro accent to any home. Brunswick has manufactured pool tables for over a hundred years, and many of their pool tables now reside in homes, museums and collections all over the world. Over 130 different Brunswick pool table models have been handed down through generations with only slight changes in wood, finish, inlay and detailing.

The value of antique Brunswick pool tables varies greatly, since every antique pool table, especially if it is made of exquisite wood and features elaborate decorative details, depends greatly on the market. Many auction houses sell antique pool tables, like any antique painting, piece of furniture, collectible automobiles or any other collectable item.

In addition to the pool table made by a reliable manufacturer, you can equip your pool room with stylish pool-related furniture and accessories such as cue racks, cues, lights, bar stools, antique-looking posters, signs and chalkboards – anything you have seen in the pub or bar around the pool table.

To keep your table in mint condition you should take good care of it. Pool balls should be regularly cleansed with a soft dry cloth. The cloth can be cleaned with dry fabric cleaner in a spray or powder form.

In a modern fast-paced world it can be hard to find time for family activities. Properly decorated, a pool room with a beautiful new or antique pool table will soon become a social center and an entertainment room for everyone in your family no matter what the weather outside is doing. You can spend more quality time with your family and friends, since playing Pools is a great way for your guests to mingle and relax. Pools’ is a classic game and a stylish and well-coordinated pool room will enhance the value of your property.

Log Cabin Fever

Posted in Log Cabins on April 28th, 2007

Homesteaders settling in the territories of the American West traditionally built log cabins; durable, rainproof, and inexpensive. Today, eco-friendly and rustically charming, log cabins with their distinctive handcrafted appearance seem to be making a comeback, with luxurious features such as whirlpools, skylight windows and heated patios.

Swedish colonists built the first log cabins in North America at the beginning of the 18th century. The design of the log cabins was influenced by typical North European farm-houses until the introduction of the Homestead Act. According to which, new colonists had to build their homes of a specific size with at least one window. These old log cabins had just one room, a spacious porch, and an elevated area for sleeping.

Building the frontier style log cabin was quite easy and required only a few days. First of all, the builder settled a solid foundation to keep logs above the damp soil. Most often, rock or stone were used for the log cabin foundation. Then the builder would square off each log and make round cuts on the top and bottom of each end. Then he assembled the logs so that round cuts would fit together. The logs were secured together with wood sticks. The remaining spaces were filled with insulation materials such as clay or mud. The windows and doors were simply cut out, and a fireplace was built afterwards.

Thanks to new construction technologies and an increased attention to all things eco-wise and natural, log cabins are gaining in their popularity. Well-constructed, weather-proof log cabins today can be built and styled similar to conventional houses. Among the advantages of log cabins and homes, experts list remarkable weather-proofing qualities with little insulation and low building costs. In addition to that log cabins require little maintenance.

A hundred years ago a log builder lived in almost all rural neighborhoods, so learning to build a log cabin was easy – people simply followed the way he built. Today, log cabin enthusiasts have access to hundreds of log cabin building manuals and resources from all over the world.

Log cabin factory kits are a practical solution for the log cabin devotee. Log packages with complete instructions can be found online from as low as $5,000, but the complete cost of the building can go twice as high. To the price of the log cabin kit you should add the costs of the assembly and the installation of plumbing, electricity, heating and other “luxuries”. The happy owner of the log cabin can actually decrease the costs by participating in the construction, even though most log building companies can provide a team of contractors to raise the log cabin. In any case, the modern log cabin can be built from scratch in less than two weeks.

Once a popular vacation dwelling located in the scenic outback, log cabins are becoming popular residence choices for many families. More than 90 per cent of all log homes are currently used as a primary residence, and many of these log homes are built in metropolitan areas. Often, when people build the log cabin for vacation getaways places, they eventually move into their log homes because of their casual rugged charm and convenience.

What Are The Common Signs Symptoms Gout Causes?

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 27th, 2007

Though the crystallization of uric acid in the joints is the cause of gout, it is not something that will be obvious right away. The signs and symptoms may or may not show up for years before pain is felt. There are some signs symptoms gout sufferers might experience that might not be thought of as part of this condition right away, and are often related to a painful flare up.

Gout may not be diagnosed until flare up occurs. Many times they will show up and be confused with something else before more telling signs show, and a doctor then might know to look for gout.

When a gout flare up is about to occur, a person might have a wide range of symptoms. These are common to may different conditions, and someone with these might think they are getting the flu or are just feeling under the weather.

Some people have similar feelings after eating or drinking too much of the wrong things, and they may just think the feelings are a result of that. They may experience dehydration and may have had an injury in a joint area. Surgery or stress can bring about a flare up, so if someone has just experienced either, they should look for the secondary signs.

Right before the flare up occurs, a patient will notice something is going on up to twenty-four hours before the pain sets in. Having a fever is very common, and this might also come with having the chills. The chills are often a direct result of fever, as the body is too hot and the air feels cooler on the skin. The problem with this is that those symptoms can mean almost anything, and they might not be attributed to a gout flare up until a person knows that they do indeed have gout.

When someone goes to see a doctor about gout, there are specific things they will look for. Some of these things might be evident to the patient as well, but they may not know what they mean. A doctor will test for high levels of uric acid and the crystals that they form. This is a blood test. These crystals might then be located in the joints, and this is most common in the big toe. There will be tenderness around any joints that are involved, and there may be skin problems. Movement of involved joints may very well be painful.

A patient will know they are having a gout attack when they feel pain in the affected joints. This might be very severe pain that is accompanied by stiffness. The joint might feel hot to the touch and extremely tender.

When the signs symptoms gout produces appear, and it is obvious a flare up is occurring, a person should lie down and rest as much as possible. It is important to keep weight off of the joint. Ice or heat might help with the pain, and something like ibuprofen can be taken for inflammation. Once someone is sure they are experiencing a bout of gout, they should call their doctor for advice and the possibility of a prescription if needed.

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