OK, I’ll admit it, my tire light was on all winter long. So, when I drove past Discount Tire on Ray Road in Gilbert, AZ today and saw the sign that said free tire pressure check I turned the car around and had my tire pressure checked and air added to each tire for free!!! My tire light is now off, I’ll get better gas milage and extend the life of my tires. My service rep suggested having the tire pressure checked once a month and they’ll always do it for free at Discount Tires I’m told.
ISR Certified, Senior Master Instructor
Click here to watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGFgMWlAaTU
Source: successexpressmagazine.com – by Maralyn D. Hill, Co-Author ‘$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book’Maralyn is a Gilbert, AZ resident.
Editing is a must when you write. Even the best writers and editors need someone else to edit their work. It is very easy when you are typing quickly to misspell or use the wrong spelling of a word. How do I know? I’ve done it!
Even though it is best to have someone else proofread your material, when that is not possible, be sure to proof it yourself. The best way is to read it out loud. That goes for email too.
One column cannot begin to cover editing. I think many of us are guilty of using spell check and grammar check on the computer and thus fail to read our article or email through, let alone out loud. It tends to be more effective to write first and then edit and best to let someone else do the final edit. It is very easy to miss what you have written yourself, as you know the material. It is difficult to keep up with the latest trends and rules of grammar, as rules change all the time.
This next tip is one Brenda Hill and I got from Cork Millner. I’m going to paraphrase it. “Take a pen to almost every and, but, yet, so, however, and too that do not add meaning to your story. Circle those words and your work will probably resemble a bunch of Cheerios. Brenda and I call the circles lifesavers. Remove the lifesavers and your story will sing.”
Here is the tip that Brenda, Norm, and I follow consistently. We read our work aloud to a friend, each other, or at least ourselves.
Lou Willet Stanek, Ph.D., author of So You Want to Write a Novel, taught us this editing truth over a decade ago. “The Ear Can Hear What the Eye Cannot See.”
Between the lifesaver trick and reading aloud, you will find yourself following George Orwell’s advice, “When you can cut a word, cut it. Also, when you are editing, it is a good time to look for words or phrases than can be replaced by more effective ones.”
Reading aloud helps to hear sound, rhythm, tone, and your authentic voice. The three of us have learned to write tighter by rewriting and reading aloud as many times as it takes. I would encourage everyone who wants to write to get a copy of the Associated Press Style Book. It is updated every year or two, so be sure you get the latest edition. You want to be consistent.
About Maralyn D. Hill – If you want to learn about book marketing, you may want to consider $uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book by Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill. Maralyn does marketing consulting and coaching that provide services which emphasize a return on investment. She says, “Our ideas make a difference” and “Together we can make it happen.” Maralyn is part of the ‘Books by Hills’ Team – visit www.TheEpicureanExplorer.com
Important How-To Tutorials for Every Small Business Owner
By Alyssa Gregory, About.com Guide
Starting a small business typically involves a lot of moving parts. In fact, time management can quickly become a challenge for entrepreneurs who are digging into the business start-up process for the first time.
I compiled a list of 10 of the most important steps involved in starting a business, and broke them down into easy-to-follow tutorials. Use this guide to make sure you’re focusing your attention on the most important stages of starting a business, and find out what you need to know so you can streamline your work for each of those steps.
Let’s start at the very beginning. This guide walks you through all of the necessary steps involved in starting a business. Once you complete each step outlined in the article, you will be ready to announce your new small business to the world. Read the article4.
More on starting a business:
Your business may not be going anywhere if you don’t take time to set goals before you get started. This guide to small business goal setting has everything you need to make sure you know what you want to accomplish with your business. Read the article11.
More on small business goal setting:
Choosing a business name is an important, and often underestimated, part of starting a business. These articles will walk you through the process of how to name a business, share a few important things to consider, and provide tools to help you overcome your business-naming challenges. Read the article18.
More on naming your business:
All business owners need a plan that will help them achieve their goals. The goods news is that creating a business plan for your small business may be much easier than you think. This simplified tutorial walks you through the process. Read the article25.
More on business planning:
There are several different business structures you can choose for your small business, and one of the hardest decisions to make is whether or not to incorporate. If you have determined that a corporation is the right structure for your business, follow these seven steps to become incorporated. Read the article32.
More on incorporating your small business:
This marketing plan tutorial is broken down into 10 key questions you need to answer. Once you have completed each step by answering each question, you will have a marketing plan that you are ready to use as a blueprint for your marketing activities in your small business. Read the article38.
More on small business marketing:
A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement that succinctly outlines how your business is different from the competition. This four-step exercise will help you write a unique selling proposition for your new business. Read the article45.
More on small business sales:
An elevator pitch is a short overview of your business, products or services, and is typically used in business settings such as face-to-face networking. Here is a step-by-step process for creating an effective and powerful elevator pitch. Read the article52.
More on small business networking:
Most small business owners are no longer tethered to their desks in order to do their work. Many of us can work from anywhere, provided we have access to the right technology. If you are ready to take your business on the road, follow this guide to create an operational mobile office that allows you to work from anywhere. Read the article59.
More on small business offices and technology:
Delegation is one of the most important parts of growing a business; it can also be very difficult to learn. This article walks you through the process of learning how to delegate and let go so your small business can thrive. Read the article66.
More on small business delegation and growth:
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©2012 About.com, Inc., a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.
Learn What Bait-And-Switch Advertising Means to You and Your Customers
Image courtesy of Theodore Scott
Here then, to avoid any further confusion from either the consumer or the advertiser, is a guide to bait-and-switch advertising.
What is a Bait-And-Switch offer?
Technically, bait-and-switch schemes draw the customer in with an incredible offer (the bait3 ) and then swap it out for either an inferior product, a more expensive product, or a product that doesn’t come with all of the items one would usually expect (the switch).
The practice is most commonly used on electronic items like TVs, Blu-Ray players, audio equipment and computers, plus high-end digital cameras, lenses and accessories.
How Does the Bait-And-Switch Scam Work?
It’s quite simple, but very effective.
The advertiser will produce an ad that offers something for a price well below the current market value; for instance, a new 10″ Android4 tablet for $50, when the usual price is $350. It’s almost too good to be true, but this bait catches many people.
The customer will then go to the store to buy the $50 tablet5 and be confronted with several options:
1: The tablet in question is no longer available, but there is another one they can buy for $100. This is a smaller tablet, inferior in every way from the one advertised and is twice the price. Having made the trip to the store, many people will fall victim to the bait-and-switch scam6 and simply buy the inferior product rather than leave empty handed.
2: The tablet is available, but it’s actually much more expense than the ad stated. The consumer will then be told that it’s a slightly different model than the one advertised, or that the one advertised was available only to the first 2 customers. Either way, it’s now in the hands of the consumer to buy the same tablet for two or three times the price advertised. Some slick salesmanship can easily close the deal.
3: The tablet is available, but it is not actually the advertised tablet. Rather, it’s an inferior product, perhaps a cheap copy or fake, or one that is refurbished or stripped down to the very bare essentials. This happens a lot with digital cameras, when advertisers will offer a new camera for half the retail price, but will then sell something from the “grey” market.7 This is a camera that is not meant to be sold in the US, and will not come with anything other than the body. It will also not have a warranty. While it is not illegal to sell grey market cameras, it is against the law to advertise them as the real deal and sell them without informing the consumer.
What is NOT a Bait-And-Switch offer?
Now, we come to clearing the muddy waters of the term. The following are situations that consumers claim to be bait-and-switch, but are actually just cases of bad luck, errors, or slick (but legal) advertising practices.
1: A Pricing Error
This is by far the most common complaint, especially with the surge in online deal forums. The advertiser will list a product for a price unheard of – say $50 for a brand new 60-inch LCD TV. This is simply a pricing error,8 it’s clearly too good to be true and the retail store would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars honoring the offer. However, the online store will accept the price and let you check out with the insane price. Later, you will get an email stating that the order has been cancelled, and your money refunded. People cry “bait-and-switch!” but it’s not the case. It’s just an error.
2: Limited Quantities Available
Another one that catches consumers unawares is the limited quantity deals. The retail store will advertise something for 90% off, but make it applicable to the first 10 customers only. After that, everyone else pays the usual price. This is not bait-and-switch, unless the advertiser fails to disclose the offer details. This scenario is most often brought into question on Black Friday,9 but it’s not bait-and-switch. It’s more like a loss leader,10 which brings people to the store for incredible savings in the hope that they will buy more.
3: Slick Wording
This is borderline shady, but if done correctly it’s just a case of not truly understanding the way the ad was written. For instance, if an advertiser says ‘All Blu-Ray Players UP TO 90% OFF!!!” then you jump to the conclusion that all Blu-Ray players are going to be massively discounted. Not so. If one Blu-Ray player11 in the store is actually sold at 90% off, the advertiser has met the requirements of the ad. Every other player can be 5% off. And the one that was so drastically reduced could have been broken, a display model, old, repackaged or missing components. Another way to use tricky language is to say “offer not valid in all stores” or “online pricing only, individual store prices will vary.” Again, not nice, but not bait-and-switch.
Bait-And-Switch advertising is nasty, underhanded and the refuge of the trashy retail store. Please, don’t ever use it. And if you’re a consumer, don’t shout it out every time you miss a deal, the advertiser is not always trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
26th Annual Poinsettia Festival Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11 from 10am-5pm daily with free admission and parking.
Sharon Pederson and her husband Jim are the owners of Gardener’s World and long time Gilbert Residents.
Gardener’s World has been a part of the Phoenix community since 1972, supplying the desert with premium quality Arizona grown plant material, fertilizers and amendments. This year we will celebrate our 26th Annual Poinsettia Festival Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11 from 10am-5pm daily with free admission and parking. We are also known for special Iris displays in the spring. We are experts in landscape design, landscape installation, yard care, and gardening tips year round.
Sharon is pictured in this year’s official Poinsettia hat that was donated by Michael’s Garden holding the Dolce Rosa poinsettia, which is also new this year, in a sea of red.
These whimsical wreaths were made by Michael’s Garden, an organization with the purpose of providing adults with functional disabilities an opportunity to gain value. They will be available for purchase at the Festival.
Gardener’s Eden: 602-437-2233
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7AM-5PM – Sat. 8AM-5PM – Sun. 10AM-3PM
Closed on most major holidays.
by Connie Midey – Jul. 3, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
The people who call her Jina, who remember her as the Gilbert farm girl with untamed hair and eyebrows and with boots muddied by before-school calf feedings, wouldn’t have predicted she’d grow up to become Miss USA and a TV news anchor for network affiliates in Phoenix.
The people who call her Jineane, who know her as the beauty queen and TV personality, fit and on-the-go and much sought after, wouldn’t have predicted she’d ever need to wage war with her weight and the attendant insecurities.
Jineane Ford Ross has a way of surprising people and at the same time confirming what they think they know about her.
Down-to-earth farm girl? Still true, even though her two horses have taken up residence with neighbors near the Ross family home in Pinetop-Lakeside while she commutes between it and a second home in Mesa.
Glamorous? Still true, but she would throw back her head and laugh if you said that to her face. She only reluctantly shops for clothes and gets her hair done.
“Truthfully,” she says one morning at her Mesa home, “the beauty queen is not me. I am a jeans and flannel shirt and cowboy boots person.”
A phone call interrupts. It’s a friend confirming details about a charity ball for which Jineane, 51, has agreed to be mistress of ceremony, and he jokingly warns her not to show up in sweats or jeans.
Obviously, he knows her well. She’s dressed at that moment in a red and black flannel shirt, black pants and tennis shoes, comfy garb for unpacking items that she, her husband and two sons moved to their Mesa house from the one in the White Mountains.
Husband Kerry Ross is a captain for the Lakeside Fire Department. Cody, 16, and Austin, 15, sons from her first marriage, attend Desert Ridge High School in Mesa.
As it did elsewhere, the recession hurt business in Pinetop-Lakeside, where Jineane operates Mama Bear’s Restaurant and Honey Bear Antiques and Lodge.
“It got a little quiet for me,” says Jineane, describing herself as “a person who likes to do 40 things at once.”
So she tends to the boys and handles her businesses from Mesa, drives to Lakeside regularly, more often when Kerry can’t get to the Valley, and pursues work in the Phoenix area. She serves as a spokeswoman for the doctor who performed her weight-loss surgery.
This is another development that would have surprised friends and neighbors from her school days.
Slender and brimming with energy, Jineane was too wrapped up in rodeo barrel racing and gymkhana events, Future Farmers of America and the calves she raised from the time they were 2 days old – as many as 45 of them at once – to think about her looks. Nor did she need to.
Besides, other issues claimed her attention. Struggling with dyslexia and a slight stutter, she nonetheless spoke in public for FFA. She was interested in veterinary medicine and history and joined the science club at Gilbert High School. There, she passed a course to become a registered meat cutter, this in the days when working as a meat cutter included skinning the animal.
“I was not cool,” she says. “I was not beautiful. My eyebrows grew together as a unibrow, and I had a big head of frizzy hair.”
Pratfall, then crown
To her puzzlement, Jineane was recruited to enter beauty contests, first for Fiesta Bowl Queen 1978-79, while she was a student at Mesa Community College, then for Miss Arizona USA 1980. To her family’s puzzlement, she agreed to try – and won both titles.
In the Miss USA contest, she was named first runner-up, despite tripping in the borrowed bridesmaid’s dress she wore for the evening-gown competition and landing on the floor in view of host Bob Barker. The memory brings giggles today. She’s still the girl who does uncool things, picks herself up and carries on.
When pageant winner Shawn Weatherly was crowned Miss Universe, Jineane became Miss USA 1980, the first Arizonan to hold the national title. The two were roommates in New York City, their base for contest-related duties for a year.
Although she shared her family’s reservations about the potential shallowness of beauty pageants, “I loved traveling and meeting people,” Jineane says.
In the early 1980s, she exchanged her Miss USA tiara for a white apron to put her meat-cutter certification to the test, supporting herself as a Vons supermarket butcher in Southern California and pursuing acting jobs.
She landed a number of roles, including “the Blonde” in an episode of the Pierce Brosnan series “Remington Steele” and Honey in “More Than Murder,” a Mickey Spillane TV movie starring Stacy Keach. And director-choreographer Bob Fosse called her back after an initial audition to discuss playing Dorothy Stratten in the biographical 1983 movie “Star 80.”
Because their reigns coincided, Jineane had met the Playboy Playmate of the Year during a handful of media interviews, months before Stratten was murdered by her husband. The Gilbert farm girl took herself out of the running for the role when she learned nude scenes were required.
Before long, missing her family and her horses, Jineane decided acting was not for her.
The decision brought her back to the Valley and sparked a career of more than two decades in TV news. Except for a few years each at Channel 3 (KTVK), when the Phoenix station was an ABC affiliate, and at a station in Tampa, that time was spent with NBC affiliate KPNX (Channel 12), also in Phoenix.
From 1991 until 2007, when she resigned to move to Pinetop-Lakeside with her husband and sons, Channel 12 viewers came to know her as the not-always-perfectly-turned-out but unfailingly warm-hearted co-anchor and host for morning, midday and evening news shows, and for her work on “Suns Jam Session.”
Her involvement in the latter show inspired speculation about a romance between the then-divorced Jineane and Phoenix Suns guard Dan Majerle. There was not a single date, she says.
Viewers who watched her exclaim on the air, “Oh, dear Lord!” when she saw the first images of the 9/11 attacks, who shed tears over her stories about ordinary people overcoming adversity, who heard her snort as she tried to hold back laughter during on-the-air mishaps – they felt that they knew her well.
Some seemed to believe that gave them permission to criticize her when she began to struggle publicly with her weight.
“TV is not much of a business for large-scale people,” she says. “I’m 5-foot-9. I’ve never been an itty-bitty person.”
But when she started in TV, she was a Size 6. Then came her 30s and, at age 34, the birth of her first son. Son No. 2 arrived about a year later. Adding to the challenge, her metabolism began to slow.
Viewers weren’t the only ones to notice and comment on the changes in her appearance. A colleague, no longer at the station, said he didn’t understand why she couldn’t lose weight, making her wonder whether her research and storytelling skills mattered at all.
It didn’t help that Jineane, a Size 14 at her largest and about 50 pounds overweight, worked for a while beside the always-supportive-but-Size-2 Lin Sue Cooney, still a weeknight anchor for 12 News. Big shoulder pads in women’s clothing were popular at the time, and a diplomatic viewer decided to blame the fad.
“If you got rid of the shoulder pads,” Jineane remembers the woman telling her, “you and Lin Sue would look more like the same size.”
The graciously offered suggestion was not the answer, of course. As Jineane’s weight increased, her energy lagged. She was taking three medicines for high blood pressure, and her knees ached. But it was not for lack of trying that the pounds and related health concerns proved impossible to shake.
As part of her job, she learned about the latest diets and exercise regimens.
“I would try anything new that came along,” she says. Hundreds, it seemed, so many she can’t remember the names of all the food and workout programs she attempted. “They were temporary fixes. I wasted so much time and felt so much guilt thinking about diet and exercise. Which diet should I try? Should I start tomorrow? What should I do now that it’s not helping me?”
Four years ago, she turned to physician Terry Simpson of Phoenix, who performed laparoscopic gastric banding surgery to help her lose weight. The Lap-Band, creating a small pouch at the upper part of the stomach, makes people feel full with smaller amounts of food.
Before the surgery, Jineane could down two Big Macs in a sitting. Now she eats one-fourth of one – or four bites of good-quality steak and a salad of dark greens – and feels as if she has eaten a Thanksgiving dinner.
Over time, she dropped about 50 pounds, a loss she maintains. Even going on a cruise with her husband didn’t take her far off course.
The procedure is just a tool, though, Jineane warns prospective patients. They can “beat” the Lap-Band unless they do their part, and that includes staying away from puddings and high-calorie coffee drinks.
“Liquid calories just pass right through the Lap-Band,” allowing the pounds to return, she says.
Other than sugary, fat-laden liquids, though, she doesn’t deprive herself, taking just a couple of bites of whatever she’s craving. She still enjoys cooking. Keeping up with her businesses and family – including husband Kerry’s four daughters and four lively grandkids – helps her stay physically fit, too.
Blood-pressure medicine is a thing of the past. So are the achy knees. She rides horses when she’s in Pinetop-Lakeside and cleans the pool in Mesa.
When people recognize Jineane these days, they once again see the healthy young beauty queen turned TV news anchor. And to those who know her as Jina, she’s still the healthy farm girl, American flag in hand and hair flying as she rides a horse at top speed around the arena to open the Gilbert rodeo.
by Linda King, edited by Jackie Mitchard
A poor, weak, down-trodden soul?
Someone raggedy and not very clean?
A person who’s not bright, who cowers in the corner?
Domestic abuse victims are doctors and lawyers and movie actors. They may be beautiful and have wonderful educations. They have only a few things in common – their fear and shame and their futile hope for change. You know them. They are your neighbors. They are the people you see on your walk. They may be you. They may be your child.
One of them was my child.
Lisa died September 1, 2001. Yes, its more than nine years ago, but I can touch that pain as though my heart were a hot stove that still burns.
She was 28 years old, lovely, accomplished and caring, funny and giving and graceful.
She had been abused by the man who was supposed to love her for nine years prior to her death.
Why did she stay? Was she stupid? People always wonder. Why do those women STAY? They don’t realize that months and years of abuse force the belief that a woman is worthless deep inside her, until she believes it herself. She forgets that love is not supposed to hurt. She believes every day it will get better if SHE can be better, if SHE can do more. Abusers like it that way. It gives them power. Hundreds of thousands of woman are like my Lisa. The humiliation, degradation and pain that results from emotional, verbal and physical changes them. They can’t believe that the woman in the mirror is the proud, confident, happy woman they once were. They only want to hide, from relatives, from friends – from the very people who could help them. They don’t want those people to be ashamed of them. It’s a cycle that suits the abuser very, very well. Not only can the abuser strike out, he can do so in secret.
Lisa graduated from college in 1992 and came home to Florida to begin fulfilling her life goals. She hoped to secure a good job, spend time with family and friends, date – maybe find a worthy mate and have a family. She was brimming with dreams. But all of them crashed when she met and began dating her abuser.
In Lisa’s case, as in most instances, the abuse didn’t start with a hit, a push or a shove: It began when he isolated her, subtly and slowly at first, from her family and friends. Someone who truly loves you wants to know your family and hopes your friends will accept and care for him. Abusers want just the opposite. So they start with guilt. After all, if Lisa loved him, she would spend all her time with him, caring for him, loving him alone, meeting his needs As their relationship progressed, he became more and more controlling and manipulative. If she protested even a little, she was punished.
Things changed overnight. The name calling and accusations escalated to a pinch that wasn’t playful. Next came a push or a shove, then a punch – and then suddenly, a black eye and broken ribs. How could she admit to me what she was enduring? I had to see for myself. I will never forget one morning when I went by her apartment. Lisa opened the door and stood there with a black eye and tears streaming down her cheeks. She confided the truth and I begged her to do what was essential. Eventually, Lisa filed for and obtained a protective order. But her abuser was clever.
Soon, Lisa took steps to drop the charges: He told her how sorry he was and that it would never happen again. Why? How? She wanted to believe that she was loveable; and if she was loveable, of course, he would love her. Her affidavit on the protective order read, this way: “He sat on me for an hour and threatened to tie me up with duct tape if I tried to leave. He banged my head on the floor. He blackened my eye and broke my finger. He told me if I try to leave he will kill me and burn my parent’s home and I know he will do what he has threatened to do.”
As a mother, I wish I had had the knowledge then that I do now. I would have realized that my Lisa was under a power stronger than her own. I would have done some things differently. I cannot be sure that the outcome would not be the same, but at least I would have had the tools to intercede in a more appropriate way. Let me give you the most important ones.
Over the past nine years I have come to understand and empathize with women who are caught up in this cycle of violence. Through this understanding and education and awareness we can be better prepared to first stop and then fix the hurt.
First and foremost, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to your sisters, friends, relatives, and co-workers. Do NOT tell them it will BE OKAY, because it won’t, not without help. This doesn’t “get better with time.”
Each time I speak to a group, I am approached by five, six or ten people who want to talk to me about someone they know is a victim. Maybe they are talking about themselves. Maybe they are talking about their children.
Talking is the first step toward breaking the cycle. There are many other steps and many resources. In our Fix the Hurt website, you will find a section labeled “What You Can Do To Help.” Be supportive, educate yourself and listen, listen, listen. And no matter how charming the abuser may seem, when you listen, believe.
. . .one hundred and twenty five years ago, a doctor and lawmakers teamed up to make it a crime for a man to abuse his wife. One hundred and twenty five years later, Domestic Violence is still increasing.
For years we have been fighting the Domestic Violence battle. Tale, after tale, after tale are told by those who work to end domestic violence. We tell people the stories, they are appalled, they are impressed, and they go home and forget. This normal human tendency has caused continuous frustration for people working to save victims and bring awareness about this important issue.
Linda King and her husband, John King, launched Fix The Hurt as a platform for creating impactful educational and training programs and artistic performances that engage audiences so they do not return home to forget what they have seen but instead are empowered to help in preventing and reducing domestic and dating violence.