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Thomas Skiffington,  CRS, GRI, CRB, ABR, ePro, CLHMS, SRES, RECS, CDPE, ECOBROKER
Thomas Skiffington, CRS, GRI, CRB, ABR, ePro, CLHMS, SRES, RECS, CDPE, ECOBROKER
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Perkasie, PA 18944
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Tom's Blog

This Halloween, Avoid Frightening Injuries and Keep Kiddies Safe

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

The ghosts and goblins may be coming out this Halloween, but your skeleton shouldn't!  As millions of Americans prepare for the traditions of Halloween - pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and home decorating - the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) urge celebrants of all ages to put safety first.

"The most common Halloween injuries we see are severe hand injuries from pumpkin carving and leg and extremity injuries due to falls from long costumes and/or costumes that impair vision," sayz orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Kevin G. Shea, MD. "It's a scary thing when individuals are ill equipped with safety rules such as wearing dark costumes without reflectors, or using the wrong tools to carve a pumpkin. By familiarizing yourself with safety tips, you decrease your chances for injuries."

A study published in the 2010 journal Pediatrics found that Halloween is the holiday with the fourth highest number of emergency room visits. Other results from the nine-year study on injuries between 1997 and 2006 included:

  • Finger/hand injuries accounted for the greatest proportion of injuries on Halloween (17.6 percent)
  • Of the finger/hand injuries sustained on Halloween, 33.3 percent were lacerations and 20.1 percent were fractures
  • Children, ages 10-14, sustained the greatest proportion of injuries (30.3 percent)

To help reduce the risk for injury on Halloween, the AAOS and POSNA offer the following safety tips:

Trick-or-treat

  • Walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. Obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. The child's vision should be unobstructed by masks, face paint or hats. Costumes that are too long may cause kids to trip and fall, so trim or hem them as necessary.
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating. Remember that these pets can pose a threat when you approach their home.
  • Avoid candles in Halloween decorations.  Instead, use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights.
  • Carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.

Pumpkin carving

  • Use a pumpkin carving kit, or knives specifically designed for carving. These are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin. 
  • Children should not carve pumpkins unless supervised closely by an adult. Some Halloween carving devices, designed especially for children, may be safe for use with parental supervision.  Younger children can use paint, markers or other non-carving decoration kits. Always carve pumpkins in a clean, dry and well-lit area, and make sure there is no moisture on the carving tools or your hands.
  • Beware of sharp carving tools!  If you are cut, apply pressure with a clean cloth and elevate the area above the heart. If bleeding does not stop within 10-15 minutes or if the cut is deep, evaluation by a physician might be needed.  Make sure cuts are cleaned and dressed with clean bandages.

Source: ANationInMotion.org

 

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Word of the Day

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

Loan servicing. Task of collecting monthly payments, handling insurance and tax impounds, delinquencies, early payoffs, and mortgage releases.

 

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Q: Will I be able to buy again after losing a home to foreclosure?

September 19, 2013 5:21 pm

A: It can happen.  But a lot will depend on your circumstances and the mortgage interest rate you are willing to pay.  Generally, most lenders will consider your request for a home loan two to four years after your foreclosure.  Predatory lenders will issue a home mortgage in less time.  But beware – they routinely charge high mortgage interest rates, fees, and penalties for this privilege.

A quality lender will expect you to show that you have cleaned up your credit.  Providing a reasonable explanation about the circumstances that led to the foreclosure – such as exuberant medical expenses – is also helpful.

 

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5 Common Ways to Lose a Personal Injury Lawsuit

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

There are a variety of ways to shoot yourself in the foot (literally and figuratively) and lose a personal injury lawsuit.

From contributing to the accident to failing to take important legal steps, there are certain factors that can destroy your personal injury claim in court.

Here are five common ways to lose a personal injury lawsuit:

  1. No experts. Parties must often rely on expert witness testimony to prove negligence. For example, a father in New Jersey who sued a mall after his daughter was injured by an escalator ended up losing the case, partly because of his failure to provide an expert opinion to explain the exact cause of the accident, according to The Star-Ledger.
  2. Assumption of risk/contributory negligence. If you were negligent and contributed to your own injuries, or you assumed the risk of an obviously dangerous activity (and went ahead and engaged in the activity anyway), then your lawsuit may not be a winner.
  3. No proof. Winning a personal injury lawsuit becomes exponentially more challenging when there is a dearth of evidence to make your case. After suffering an injury, it's crucial to gather proof: Take pictures, write down descriptions, file a police report, seek medical treatment, and get witnesses' contact information.
  4. Lack of credibility. Your character can be an important element of the case. Any information you provide related to your personal injury should be honest and accurate. One easy way to destroy your credibility (and in turn, your case) is misrepresenting your injuries to your doctor. Remember, any discrepancy with the police report or other critical evidentiary record can harm your case. Don't lie to insurance companies, either. Instead, keep mum and let your attorney do the talking.
  5. No lawyer. While it may not be entirely necessary, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney may be the easiest way to handle your personal injury matter. A lawyer may be able to identify legal issues you hadn't considered, and can give you useful guidance that is tailor-made to your unique situation.

Source: Findlaw.com

 

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Planning Ahead is Key to Throwing a Memorable Party

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

BPT—There's nothing more chic than entertaining with ease and seamlessly bringing family and friends together over a great meal at a fashionable table. If you want to be known as an unforgettable host, follow these tips for entertaining in style to impress guests at your next event:

Select a theme: No matter the occasion, select a theme and color palette to set the tone and inspire everything from the tablescape to the menu.

Make your menu: Create a simple and delicious menu using fresh ingredients.

  • Set the table: To save time, design and set your table the night before. The key to creating fresh new tablescapes is versatile, white dinnerware paired with interchangeable, bold linens.
  • Prep and pop: Prep dishes in advance and store them in the fridge before baking and serving. When it's time to bake, pop them in the oven. CorningWare bakeware can go from the fridge to the oven, oven to table, table to fridge or freezer - no need to change dishes for baking, serving and storing. This time-saver will allow you to greet guests as they arrive and avoid last-minute meal prep.
  • All in the details: Just before guests arrive, add vibrant floral arrangements and light candles to set the mood. Enjoy the company of your guests while demonstrating how to entertain fashionably and effortlessly.

Source: www.worldkitchen.com

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Seven Strange Ways to Burn More Calories

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

It goes without saying that exercising is a sure way to burn more calories. Just walking at a moderate pace several times a week will burn enough calories to result in weight loss.

But if you seem to be stuck at a weight loss plateau, fitness gurus at ThePostGame.com suggest seven ways you might never have thought of to help burn more calories and kick-start the next phase of your weight loss:

Drink green tea – It’s full of antioxidants, which is good for you in several ways, but studies show that green tea – with lemon added, but no sugar – also helps burn calories.

Eat hot peppers – Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which causes the body to expend more energy as heat, therefore, burning more calories. Add a few chili peppers (or cayenne pepper) to your meal occasionally to get the desired effect.

Eat more protein – Protein-rich foods also cause the body to increase calorie burn. For every 100 calories of lean meat, fish or poultry you eat, you’ll net only about 75.

Add some carbs – Because carbohydrate intake is closely linked to thyroid gland function, eating a very low-carb diet for an extended period of time results in a sluggish metabolism. Adding a few more healthy carbs to your diet – such as whole grain bread or rice – should help get your calorie burn going.

Get enough sleep – Those who don’t enough sleep each night are at risk of low metabolism. Getting at least seven hours of sleep nightly will help increase glucose tolerance, which helps the body to handle carbs more efficiently.

Read more – Watching TV is one of the lowest calorie-burning activities. Reading increases brain activity, which burns glucose. So instead of watching late-night TV, pick up a good book and read.

Take a diet break – Being on a low-calorie diet for an extended period also significantly decreases total daily calorie burn. To help overcome this so that you can burn calories faster, take a diet break every four-six weeks. Two days of higher-calorie eating will immediately help reverse the sluggish metabolism and help you burn more calories total.

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Word of the Day

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

Appreciation. Increase in property value or worth due to economic or related factors; the opposite of depreciation.

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Q: Can the seller also include contingencies in a contract?

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

A: Yes. For example, if you decide to sell your existing home first before buying another one, you can make the sale of your home contingent on finding a replacement home.  Some sellers opt for this contingency to avoid a double move, such as moving to a hotel or rental until a new home is found and made available.

However, there is one problem with this type of contingency: it can inconvenience the buyer, particularly if his own home is in escrow.  He may not be willing to wait for you to move.  

This strategy has a better chance of working when the market is relatively strong, your home is a rare find, the price and terms of the transaction are very favorable for the buyer, or the buyer is in no hurry to move.

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Soft Skills Will Help you Land That Next Job

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

BPT—You've polished your resume, updated your references and picked up your best outfit from the dry cleaners. You're ready for that big interview. But while your experience and qualifications may match the position perfectly, have you given any thought to your soft skills?

Soft skills include a person's attitude, workplace behavior, values and ethics. Increasingly, employers are looking at soft skills as the deciding factor when choosing between two applicants.

Harry Weimann, director of education at WyoTech Blairsville and a business owner since 1986, says he wishes he would have learned to look for the appropriate skills long ago.

"As a business owner for many years, I've hired several employees," Weimann says. "Some were talented workers, but I never could pinpoint why I rarely got the person I was looking for. Working for WyoTech opened my eyes to what I was missing - soft skills."

Weimann says employers view an employee who shows up on time, performs the job correctly and respects others as being more valuable in many cases than an employee who is technically competent but shows up late, is sloppily dressed and has a poor attitude. Because of this, employers are looking harder at soft skills when hiring in the current market.

"For some reason, organizations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job or have the right soft skills," says Weimann. "The assumption is that everyone knows the importance of being on time, being accountable, having integrity and being a team player, but is that fair to expect without communicating that during the interview process?"

When you head to that big interview, you should expect to face some soft skill questions. These may include:

  • What is your definition of integrity?
  • What does it mean to be accountable?
  • What is your definition of common sense?
  • What is your definition of customer service?
  • What are your feelings regarding deadlines?
  • How do you handle high-pressure situations?
  • Tell me an example of how you've resolved a conflict in the past.

Make sure you are able to answer each of these questions with the same accuracy and confidence you would apply to any question about your resume. As employers continue to search for candidates with the right professional and soft skills, it is up to you to prove that you are qualified in both.

 

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Six Simple Ways to Optimize Your Mornings

September 14, 2013 12:54 am

Family Features—Even the most chipper of morning people can sometimes wake up groggy and tired. And if their children wake up feeling the exact same way, mornings can definitely drag. There are, however, little things you can do -- from scheduling exercise at optimal times, to packing protein into breakfast, to planning daily goals -- that will make a big difference.

The following tips will help put that zing in your family's step.

Wake up and work out: Do you start your morning with a healthy dose of exercise? The time you begin your workout matters more than you may think. A study shows that those who work out before eating in the morning burned approximately 20 percent more than those who wait until after breakfast.

Rev up your metabolism: Allow a little extra time in your morning to rev up your metabolism. A short, 20-minute weight lifting session can get your blood pumping and help you burn calories throughout the day. Of course, if you're busy managing the kids in the morning, you can still increase your metabolism just by adding more protein to your morning meal while making sure it's low in calories and carbs.

Make time for breakfast: Never skip breakfast -- not only will that deplete your energy, but it can also negatively impact your health. In fact, recent studies show that those who opt out of breakfast time are at a 27 percent higher risk of having a heart attack. The same study also finds that those who eat breakfast are likely to be healthier eaters overall. This is especially important for children as they develop habits over time. So, help them establish a healthy breakfast habit early. If time is an issue, make breakfast a priority (and a convenience) by filling your pantry with quick, healthy. low-fat options.

Create a checklist: Think of your entire day as a series of small goals and write them down in the morning or the night before. Then cross out tasks as you complete them. Not only will you reduce stress from having a better visual of your family's day, you will feel more productive as you progress through your list.

Shake up the morning: Get out that blender and toss in healthy foods. Breakfast smoothies and shakes are a fast way to get the essential nutrients to jumpstart your day. Plus, they're easy to pour, and they're mobile -- throw in a straw and sip while you walk. Recruit your children to help, and let them have fun mixing up their own tasty creation with fresh fruit like pineapple, banana and blueberries.

Pause: Before you leave the house, take one minute to breathe. Feel good you ate breakfast and warmed up your body with exercise. And don't forget to take your to-do list with you. You never know what opportunities the day will inspire. 

Source: www.ViCrunch.com.

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