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Landlords, Beware of Dogs!

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Read Time:2 Minute, 37 Second

I own a townhouse condo that is half renovated and half “vintage”. I have been renting this unit for about three years, and I have just finished a lease renting to my first dog owner. I am not generalizing to say that “this is what you can expect” from dog owners. However, this is my experience, and I want to share it, simply to put it out there to caution new landlords who are considering allowing tenants with dogs.

Prior to renting out my condo, I upgraded the main level flooring with laminate as well as the entire bathroom. The 300 sq. ft. of carpets I did not replace. The carpet ran the stairs, hallways and in two bedrooms on the second level. The carpet was in great shape and was even in style, but it did need to be re-stretched in many places. It also had the odd coffee stain from me dribbling a full coffee cup from the kitchen into my office.

I decided to rent to pet owners, because I did not want to upgrade the carpet, and people with pets were more forgiving of my carpet with the odd coffee stain. I am a responsible owner of two cats, and know that not all animals are problematic. I also know it is hard to find a unit that allows pets, and my condo complex is pet friendly, so it seemed like the perfect solution at the time.

This last tenant had a bulldog, and when she moved out, I had to replace all the carpet. There was not a stair that this dog missed. Even the inside of the linen closet was soiled. The condo itself smelled like an outhouse from all of the damage to the carpet. The damage seeped all the way to the subfloor, and removing the carpet and underlay was not nearly enough. The subfloor needed to be scraped and then treated with Kilz to deal with the damage and the odor.

Further, on my patio, was a very large box full of dog feces that had been freezing and thawing throughout the winter. It took four and a half hours to remove the waste from my deck. After removal, the deck still stunk and required more work.

The good news is this previous tenant is working with me to pay all expenses. However, what I was completely unaware of (naively) was how much damage one cute, little bulldog could do. I am sure more experienced landlords are shaking their heads at the fact I did not know. However, as a new landlord and animal owner (and lover), I have to honestly say that I did not see it coming. I did plenty of due diligence on this tenant prior to allowing her, or her pet to live in my premises. I even interviewed her last landlord. However, it apparently was not enough work on my part to prevent this from happening.

If you are a landlord that is considering allowing dogs on your property, I strongly encourage you to do as many reference checks on your pet-loving tenant as possible to protect your asset.

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Lady Gaga and Her Mesmerizing Hit Song “Poker Face”

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Read Time:2 Minute, 12 Second

Lady Gaga is on fire. Literally. At the MuchMusic Video Awards on June 21, she wore a bra that shot out sparks as she danced around the stage. Yes, it was about more than just the song. Lady Gaga is an artist by nature and it certainly shows in every performance.

She was recently quoted in Channel News Asia as saying, “I’ve always been a fashionista and I’ve always loved to wear fun clothes…I became very well known for my stage performances and my clothes.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Lady Gaga has captured the imagination of millions with her outlandish shows and irresistible throbbing pop songs like “Poker Face” and “Just Dance.”

An analysis of the lyrics of one of her biggest hits, “Poker Face,” shows a complicated artist who is about to take the world by storm. Much like Madonna, Lady Gaga knows how to give a scintillating, tantalizing performance that leaves you wanting more.

“Poker Face” is a song about a poker face, of course, but that is just the beginning, Poker faces are the key to hiding one’s feelings, according to Forbes.com, and to have a poker face implies strength and assertiveness because nobody can read your intentions.

Lady Gaga’s song begins with the goal of wanting to be in the game of poker, not necessarily the card game but the intimate interaction between girl and boy where one is being pursued by the other. It is a game, yes, but the stakes are the hearts of each other.

The chorus is simple yet broad-stroked as Lady Gaga croons about how “he can’t read my poker face” and this is crucial to the art of the seductive dance where the girl wants to be pursued but doesn’t want to make it easy for the boy.

The song moves along with a little note about how love isn’t fun unless it’s rough. Then a line about how she “won’t tell you that I love you, kiss or hug you.” These are classic examples of wanting intense passion without clear, boring reciprocated professions of feelings and commitments.

Lady Gaga doesn’t want to feel obligated to anyone for anything in the song “Poker Face.” Over and over we hear how “she’s got to love nobody.” She wants fiery passion, of course, and she’s going to get it. But the love part is optional.

Lady Gaga is surely and decidedly the new princess of pop as Rolling Stone announced with her on the cover of its Hot List issue. She has enough firepower, both literally and figuratively, to dynamite us to smithereens for years to come.

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How To Pick The Best Shows For Your Child To Watch

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Read Time:3 Minute, 14 Second

With digital cable becoming the norm in most households, channel choices are becoming harder and harder to choose. When it is time for the children to settle down, which show and channel do you pick? There are many options from Toon Disney to Nickelodeon, and instead of playing channel roulette with the remote, here is a list of ways to pick the best show for your child.

1. Popularity

Certain children’s shows are popular for a reason, they are just plain good. Right now some of the most popular children’s shows are Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, The Backyardigans, Bear in the Big Blue House, Mickey’s Clubhouse and Blue’s Clues. Most of these shows will be brought up again in this article because of their popularity and more detailed examples of why they are popular.

2. Entertaining for the whole family

Some of the times you will be watching television with your children, and instead of being bored out of your mind with a simple show that the kids find entertainment in, it is nice to watch a show that the whole family can get into and enjoy. For this, Spongebob Squarepants is the best choice. The silly antics of Spongebob and Patrick are sure to make you kids laugh, but there are many jokes that will go over their head and make you laugh. Different meanings for certain things and storylines so rediculous that you cannot help but laugh. Jimmy Nuetron: Boy Genius also has jokes and hidden gags for the adult crowd. There are a lot of movie references throughout the show, like Pulp Fiction, Jurassic Park and others that you can catch if you keep a close eye on them.

3. Catchphrases and Songs

Ever heard your kid run around shouting “I’m Ready! I’m Ready! I’m Ready!” or “Here’s the mail!”? Those are phrases from shows Spongebob Squarepants and Blue’s Clues. Catchphrases that are repeated in numerous episodes help the child’s memory and keep them entertained with the show. Interactiveness in Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer makes watching television more of an activity than just sitting on the couch. Kids are jumping on their feet helping Steve solve Blue’s Clues and singing and dancing to one of the many songs featured in each episode. In Dora the Explorer, Dora even pauses to give children time to answer and feel like they are part of the adventure. Dora also features many catchy songs for the kids to learn.

4. Sending a Message

An important aspect of children programming is sending a message to viewer. Episodes of Blue Clues help teach counting, colors, teamwork, and variety of other things, but your kids won’t even feel like they are in the school atmosphere. As crazy as the plots are in Spongebob Squarepants, there are even messages there, like being nice, and learning not to steal.

Some shows out there cover all of these aspects in picking a great children’s show, but some also show none. PBS’s Telletubbies, does not feature any of the aspects above, and is more of a show for your child to zone out to. There are no catchphrases on this show, because there are no words on this show. Even if your child cannot speak it, it is important for him/her to be adapted to speaking and hearing the language and Telletubbies does not provide this.

Even with all of these aspects into play, it is really up to an individual child to choose a show to his/her liking. Do not try to force your child to watch a show they show interest in, they will eventually find a show that has these qualitys, and if they do not, try renting or buying older shows like Barney or Rugrats that the kids can enjoy. Though they are old, they still feature all of the aspects above and are great entertainment.

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Using Social Media For Business In Sense Of Creating High PR And Great Sales!

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Read Time:2 Minute, 58 Second

Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have already become juggernauts of the internet world. Even better, their services are free as long as you don’t mind putting up with the occasional advertising that goes along with such websites. Instead of networking like businesses normally do, there is a new and vastly more efficient way to get the contacts you need. Here are five creative ways your business can utilize a free social networking site to get more business and sales.

Press Releases

Press releases are snippets of important information that can be released to the public for free that gets whatever information you want to disseminated quickly throughout the internet. Twitter is great for press releases from famous people. A great example of word-of-mouth advertising is Frank Marshall, leDoctor on Twitter.

Marshall is a movie producer who is working on The Last Airbender, a huge movie release this summer. His tweets informed the world when new photos and trailers would be airing for the hotly anticipated movie. Anyone who subscribed to his page instantly knew about the movie and when commercials for it would air.

Employee Pages

Imagine getting to know the CEO of a company through Facebook. He or she could list hobbies, how to contact, and even leave messages on his or her own Facebook account. Make your own circle of company employees on a company’s official Twitter page that can even add to contacts that your sales force could have.

Employee pages are also great for getting feedback and information posted that needs to be expedited. If you only want your “friends” to see something on Facebook you can set your privacy settings and release any information you need to through them.

General Motors is a great example. On their Facebook page you can get exclusive content and news including stock numbers.

Video Reports

Publicly traded companies must file with the SEC every quarter. Many times, their conference calls and paper reports can be cumbersome to read and interpret. Enter the video summary. If a company wants to communicate in a brief way with its large number of employees and shareholders, having the CEO in front of the cameras giving a brief interpretation of the results of the previous quarter is a great way to do some free PR work through YouTube.

LivePerson is a good website that has their CEO, Robert LoCascio, on their YouTube channel giving brief ten minute summaries. Ericsson is also a great example of a large company utilizing free services to give out information in video format.

Gimmicks and Contests

Let’s face it. Coupons and exclusive content off of websites are all about trying to get consumers to visit your website. Offer only Facebook friends a coupon or discount for visiting. This is fantastic whether you are selling mass-produced cleaning products or if you’re a small corner bistro trying to sell more steak.

Have more clients subscribe to your social networking account to offer them exclusive specials once a week. I say weekly because that will keep clientele interested on a regular basis. If your restaurant has daily specials, then use the site for those. Instead of coupons, a “phrase” or “keyword” that is only posted to your Twitter page could also be useful for discounts. If you want to more know about these practices then you can look up to socialized.me, regarding your concerns. Mention the word “space shuttle” for ten percent off your meal. Whatever works to get your product sold that’s what you need to accomplish.

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