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Tip of the Week

Six Things You Need toDo to Avoid Buying a "Lemon"
By Norman Taylor

Buying a car is a biginvestment - whether it's brand new or a used car. It can also be anexciting time and thinking about possible defects in the vehicle maynot be top of the list of features you're looking for. However, the recent recalls have opened our eyes to the possibilitythat even a brand new car from a manufacturer previously consideredsafe could have a defect and turn out to be a 'lemon.'

What should you do to protect your investment and make the purchase ofyour next car a pleasant and rewarding experience?

1.Know the Car Manufacturers' StatisticsRegarding Lemon Law Cases
Once you find a car you like,check on their lemon record. Statistics are available that givethe percentage of lemon law cases by vehicle manufacturer. What to lookfor? The higher the percentage of lemon law cases compared to thenumber of vehicles sold is an indication that something is wrong. Check for recalls or recent safety issues.

2. Do your homework.
If you are buying a pre-ownedvehicle, check its history. Have you ever heard the phrase 'launderedlemon ? When a car has a defect the dealer or manufacturer couldbe forced to buy it back. These cars have been known to findtheir way back onto the lot and get sold again, without the requireddisclosures.

One way to check if the car youwant to buy has a 'hidden past' is to do a title search through theNational Motor Vehicle Title Information System at Many states,including California, require 'lemon buyback to be included in thetitle of a vehicle.

Go the extra mile with yourresearch: Find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and research thevehicle's history. For a small fee you can get a title history fromCARFAX Vehicle History Reports, AutoCheck, Consumer Guide andothers. It's wise to check a number of sources; just because onereport is clean another might not be.

3. Buy from a reputable dealer.
Whether you're looking to buy anew car or a used car, it's best to go to a well-known dealer. They keep only the best trade-ins and they are usually easier to dealwith if you do happen to get a lemon.

4. Check out the Warranty
What are the terms of the warrantyfor a new car? What exactly does it cover? And if it ispre-owned, dealers must include the FTC Buyer's Guide. Sometimes a usedvehicle is sold with a warranty and sometimes it is sold 'as is' or'with all faults'. A service contract does not confer the same rightsas a warranty so be sure to clarify exactly what you're getting. Get any form of warranty offered in writing. The conditionsshould be clearly stated, such as what percentage of labor and partsthe dealer will cover, for exactly which systems within the vehicle,and for what duration.

5. Always Take A Test Drive
Always take a test drive and makea note of any unusual squeaks or rattles. Note if the car pullsto one side.

6. Have the Vehicle Inspected
If everything else checks out,before you sign on the dotted line, take the car to an independentmechanic and have the vehicle thoroughly inspected.

If you do your homework your new car should be a reliable and enjoyableasset for many years to come. Should you have the misfortune torun into difficulties with defects, remember that every state has somekind of lemon law to protect its citizens from the nightmare of adefective vehicle. You can find all the information you need inthe Lemon Law Guide.

Author Bio:
Norman Taylor has worked as aconsumer advocate specializing in California Lemon Law for morethan twenty years. Over this time his firm has handled over 8,000cases that resulted in refunds in excess of $100,000,000.00 paid toconsumers for defective vehicles.
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The Lemon Law is NotJust for Cars
By Norman Taylor

Although the Lemons Law is mostoften associated with defective vehicles, it applies to all consumerproducts purchased for personal use. What exactly is a "consumerproduct for personal use"? That would be virtually anything anindividual buys for their own or household use, except clothingand consumables. It could be an electric toothbrush or a kitchenappliance. There have been several calls for creating a computer lemonlaw, but the law already covers computers bought for personaluse. It also covers musical instruments and even medical devicessuch as wheel chairs and hearing aids. The only requirement is that theproduct is bought primarily for personal or family use.

Consumers don't expect manufacturers to produce defective products, butthis consumer protection law takes the opposite view-the more expensiveand complicated a product is, the more possibility there is thatsomething can go wrong. Both consumer and manufacturer have rights andduties under this law: the consumer has the duty to present the productto the manufacturer or its representative dealer so that they candiagnose the defect and repair it. Along with the duty, the consumerhas a right to expect that the product will be repaired honestly andexpeditiously.

Manufacturers have the right to expect that the consumer will presenttheir defective vehicle at an authorized dealer for repair in a timelymanner, nothing more. They cannot expect that the consumer perfectlydescribe the defect or any other limiting requirement. The Lemon Lawmakes allowances for the manufacturer to repair the product, or if thatfails, to refund the money or give the purchaser a replacement.

Lemon Law Tips

  • Your best defense against anuncooperative manufacturer is a thorough, specific and accurateservice-record paper trail. Document everything. Obtain copies of allwarranty repair orders from the dealer and keep notes of your reportedproblems and all conversations you have with service people, includingthe date, time and participants in these conversations.

  • Determine whether yourprevious efforts to repair the problem satisfy the requirements of yourstate's lemon law. Most state laws allow the manufacturer three or fourchances to repair the defect or defects.

  • Put your complaint inwriting. Send a letter to the manufacturer and ask for either a refundor replacement.

  • If you still don't getsatisfaction consider hiring an experienced and effective lemon lawattorney
Author Bio:
Norman Taylor has worked as aconsumer advocate specializing in California Lemon Law for more thantwenty years. Over this time his firm has handled over 8,000cases that resulted in refunds in excess of $100,000,000.00 paid toconsumers for defective vehicles.
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Tags: Family/Relationships - Family, Morals, Ethics, Values, Relationships, Relatives

In Praise Of B.S. -It's Not All Bad For 'Ya
By Cliff Ennico

As a longtime fan of comedianGeorge Carlin, I was recently delighted to find in my local video storea DVD of an HBO special performance Carlin gave in Los Angeles only afew months before his death in June 2008.
The special, entitled "It's Bad for 'Ya", was the usual blend ofCarlin's spot-on social and political satire.

My only problem with his routine came in the title skit - a long rantagainst certain ritual and other symbolic behaviors we perform ineveryday life (for example, placing your hand on a Bible or othersacred text when swearing an oath). After describing each ritualand showing how meaningless it is, Carlin added the tag line "it'sB.S., and it's bad for 'ya." At one memorable point in hismonologue, Carlin wonders out loud "how many millions of dead soldiersin military cemeteries around the Globe marched off to war because theyfelt they were fighting for something that was nothing more than B.S.?"

A veteran of the social and political upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s,Carlin believed, as did many of his generation (listen closely to thelyrics of John Lennon's song "Imagine"), that a world without B.S. is aworld of perfect beauty, peace and freedom, in which there is nothingto kill or die for, and we can finally achieve "a brotherhood of man".

With all respect for an artist who can no longer defend himself, and(full disclosure) as a member of that generation myself, I would saythat I agree with Carlin . . . but only halfway.

It's hard to argue that most ritual behavior is B.S., in the sense thatit has no extrinsic meaning. Quite a few social rituals that usedto have real meaning no longer do - in the 1500s, shaking someone'shand in greeting was a way of saying you had no intention to draw yoursword on that person.

But that is just the point: ritual behavior is not meant to havereal meaning. It is symbolic, a shorthand way of communicatingsomething that cannot be put in words or is too complex for the humanmind to grasp in full. Putting your hand on a sacred text whenswearing an oath is a way for society to signal that "what you areabout to say is extremely important, just as important as the words inthis text you're holding, and we as a society intend to hold youaccountable for every word."

Ritual behavior lies at the heart of every human organization, be it afamily, a company (we commonly speak of "corporate culture"), a tribe,a religion, a political party, or a nation. Participating inritual is a way for people to say "yes, we are all different as humanbeings, but we are willing to sacrifice some of our individuality, ourpersonality, our disagreements and our uniqueness to be members of acertain community that identifies itself by these rituals."

The rituals themselves are B.S., and easily ridiculed. But - andhere is where I part company with Carlin - not all B.S. is bad for'ya.

Would you really want to live in a world without B.S.? A world inwhich each individual is truly unique, different and perfect inhimself, without any shorthand or symbols to show his fellow humanitywith others? Frankly, I think it would be boring as Hell - inmuch the same way that guys with shaved heads and goatees (er, excuseme, "soul patches") look exactly the same.

Whenever you make any sort of general statement about something, it isB.S. because it is too simplistic. Whenever you tell a story toillustrate a moral, it is B.S. because it is fiction. Wheneveryou create a theory or model to explain to someone how something in theworld works, it is B.S. because every rule has exceptions, and theworld is too complicated for any theory to explain perfectly. Whenever you accept something as an article of faith, you use B.S. todeal with questions that cannot be answered by rational or scientificanalysis (for example, what happens to us after we die, why bad thingshappen to good people). According to some 20th century Europeanphilosophers, even language itself is B.S. because words are meresymbols that cannot communicate the "thing in itself" - we love poetrybecause by listening closely to the words we hear, and sometimes feel,an image of what is being spoken about.

In many ways, B.S. is the lubricant that makes learning, communication,understanding and all other aspects of human society possible. B.S. is what gets us emotionally and psychologically through life,gives us our sense of personal identity, and what gives us hope thatmaybe there is something in the Universe that is bigger than we are andof which we are a part.

Cynicism can be a good thing, if taken in moderation. But someonewho spends too much time removing B.S. from his life, and pointing outto others why B.S. isn't real, sooner or later ends up not believing inanything. George Carlin had a successful career, achieving wealthand fame making millions laugh at the B.S. in their lives, but Isometimes wonder if he died happy. He didn't look happy in thatHBO special. Of course, he probably knew he had only a few monthsto live.

People should be free to choose which B.S. they believe in, of course -B.S. should never be forced on anyone. People should also beeducated enough not to confuse B.S. with reality. But give upB.S. altogether? If anything, the more we learn about the cold,hostile, unforgiving world around us, the more B.S. we need to keepfrom going crazy. And yes, some B.S. is worth fighting and dyingfor.

As you engage in your holiday rituals, customs and traditions, whateverthey may be, try not to think too hard about them. Studysomething too closely, and you kill the beauty, the magic and themystery.

Cliff Ennico ( a syndicated columnist, author and former host of the PBS televisionseries "Money Hunt." This column is no substitute for legal, tax orfinancial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualifiedprofessional licensed in your state. To find out more about CliffEnnico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit ourWeb page at COPYRIGHT2009 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM. Permissiongranted foruse

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Tags: Adult Child-Parent, Family/Relationships - Adult Child/Parent, Family/Relationships - Family, Parenting, Relationships, Relatives

Luck Won't Make YourMarriage a Success:
Four Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling

By Sharon M. Rivkin, M.A., M.F.T.

We seem to prepare foreverything in our life - jobs, exams, etc. Why then don't weprepare for a successful marriage? Maybe it's because of thefairy tales that have brainwashed us into thinking that we'll all livehappily ever after? In reality, it doesn't work that way, as you mayhave noticed by now. 50 percent of marriages end in divorce#133;andonly half of those that endure are truly happy in the long run.

According to Patricia and Gregory Kuhlman of Marriage Success Training,"research shows that there is a window of opportunity during the yearbefore the wedding and the six months or so after when couples get theoptimum benefit from marriage preparation. Later, under stress,negative habits and relationship patterns may become established and bemuch harder to resolve. If you just wing it and count on yourluck and romantic attachment to make your marriage a success, your oddsare only one in four."

How do you beat the odds and give your marriage a better chance ofsurvival? Through pre-marital counseling and education. According to research, pre-marital counseling can reduce the risk ofdivorce by up to 30% and lead to a happier and healthiermarriage. And the healthiest marriages are those where the couplecan negotiate their differences. Why wait until you're marriedand have your first marital fight to see if you can negotiate? Why not prepare ahead of time with tools and skills?

Most couples naively think they don't need preparation. Maybe theyhaven't experienced relationship hardships and don't believe there willever be problems. And if problems do pop up, they believe theywill magically turn out okay. Remember the fantasy? Marriagesdon't work that way. They take a lot of hard work, thought, andskill. Love alone will not guarantee a successful marriage. Instead, discuss and resolve important issues before the big date tohave a better chance for a healthy marriage, such as:
  1. What are your expectationsfor a good marriage?
  2. How compatible are you onday-to-day issues?
  3. What personality-type areeach of you and what are your families of origin like?
  4. What are your communicationskills? Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  5. Do you have tools forconflict management? Can you negotiate? What do you do whenconflict arises?
  6. Do you have similar sexdrives? What type of sex do you prefer?
  7. Do you share long-term goalsand similar values?
Then, get pre-marital counselingto learn the following tools:
  1. Fair fighting. How to taketime outs, call a truce, stop the shaming and blaming, and developingground rules for fighting.
  2. Keep your partner frombecoming your enemy. When arguments build up, you cease giving yourpartner the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, resolve conflictsimmediately so you can continue to love your partner and see them in apositive light.
  3. Stay current. Addressarguments as soon as they come up. Don't sweep issues under therug. They won't go away. Resentment and anger build momentumwhenever an issue isn't dealt with and resolved.
Don't count on luck to beat thedivorce odds#133;and drop the fantasy. By discussing important issues andlearning skills through pre-marital counseling, you'll be forming asolid foundation for a successful marriage.

"What's the big deal? All I said was. . ." Sound familiar? Argument/Affairs Expert and TherapistSharon Rivkin helps couples fix their relationships by understandingwhy they fight. Sharon says, "If you don't get rid of the ghosts thathaunt your arguments, you'll never stop fighting!" Read her new book,Breaking the Argument Cycle: How to Stop Fighting Without Therapy, tolearn the tools of therapy to break the cycle of destructive fighting.Sharon makes regular radio appearances nationwide and has been featuredin O: The Oprah Magazine, Reader'sDigest,, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and For more information,visit foruse

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Facebook Safety: Wakingup with a Social Media Hangover
By John Sileo

Facebook safety has a directcorrelation to your business's bottom line. Facebook, and social mediasites in general, are in an awkward stage between infancy and adulthood- mature in some ways, helpless in others. On the darker side of siteslike Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, scammers and identity thieves aredrooling at the sight of this unchecked data playground. In contrast,most social networkers are myopically intoxicated with all thefriendships they are creating and renewing.

There is no denying that Facebook and other social media sites have avery luring appeal. You can sit in the comfort of your own homeand suddenly have a thriving social life. You can look up oldfriends, make new ones, build business relationships and create aprofile for yourself that highlights only your talents and adventureswhile conveniently leaving out all your flaws and troubles. It iseasy to see why Facebook has acquired over 200 million users worldwidein just over five years. Which is why Facebook safety is still soimmature: Facebook's interface and functionality has grown faster thansecurity can keep up.

Unfortunately, most people dive head first into this world of socialconnectedness without thinking through the ramifications of all thepersonal information that is now traveling at warp speed throughcyberspace. It's like being served a delicious new drink at aparty, one that you can't possibly resist because it is so fun andtempting and EVERYONE is having one. The downside? Nobody isthinking about the information hangover that comes fromover-indulgence: what you put on theInternet STAYS on the internet, forever. And sometimes it showsup on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, in the hands of aprospective employer or your boss's inbox. All of the personalinformation that is being posted on profiles -- names, birthdates,kids' names, photographs, pet's names (and other password reminders),addresses, opinions on your company, your friends and your enemies, allof it serves as a one-stop shop for identity thieves. It's allright there in one neat little package and all a scammer has to do toaccess it is become your 'friend .

Recently my friend, who was an avid Facebook user, gave it up. Hehad acquired 2,000 friends and he just couldn't manage itanymore. Of course, I'm thinking, "Two thousand friends?" How do you come to personally know two thousand people over the courseof 40 years on earth? The answer is easy: he didn't knowthem all. People accept "friend" invitations all the time frompeople they don't actually know. Who doesn't like people seekingout their friendship? But consider this: there is an increasinglikelihood that the "friends" you don't know might also be con artistswho are simply trying to access your information. Every time you allowa stranger into your profile, picture yourself with a morning-afterhangover. Follow the Five Facebook Safety Tips and save yourselfthe trouble.

5 Facebook Safety Tips

1.If they're not your friend, don'tpretend. Don't accept friend requests unless you absolutely knowwho they are and that you would associate with them in person, justlike real friends.

2. Post only what you want made public.Be cautious about the personal information that you post on any socialmedia site, as there is every chance in the world that it willpropagate. It may be fun to think that an old flame can contactyou, but now scammers and thieves are clambering to access thatpersonal information as well.

3. Manage your privacy settings. Sixty percent of social networkers are unaware of their default privacysettings (how Facebook sets them for you). The simple task of settingthem to your standards can reduce your risk of identity theftdramatically. Take a few minutes and lock down your profiles byvisiting the privacy tab of your account settings. Understand what partof your profile is visible to friends and non-friends alike.

4. Keep Google Out. Unless you want allof your personal information indexed by Google and other searchengines, restrict your profile so that it is not visible to thesedata-mining experts.

5. Don't respond to Friends in Distress.If you receive a post requesting money to help a friend out, do thesmart thing and call them in person. Friend in Distress schemes arewhen a thief takes over someone else's account and then makes a pleafor financial help to all of yourfriends (who think that the post is coming from you).

Following these 5 Facebook Safety tips is a great way to prevent aninformation-sharing hangover.

About the author: John Sileobecame America's leading Identity Theft Speaker amp;Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 toidentity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department ofDefense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To further bulletproof yourself and yourbusiness, visit John's blog at To book John atyour next event, visit Permissiongranted foruse

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Landscaping Tips forWinter
By John Irwin

The colder weather is coming and that often means freezing temperaturesand frost. There is no need to panic however, when it comes toprotecting your plants. Below are six strategies to help your plantssurvive the winter.

Cold temperatures
Plunging temperatures make every homeowner worry about the safety oftheir plants. Choosing plants properly that can withstand the cold isthe first and most important step. Place plants more vulnerable to thecold in protected areas. If you have plants that don't like the coldtemperatures, then take extra steps to protect them, such as layingdown extra mulch, or covering plants with sheets or cloth.

A 4-inch layer of winter mulch placed after the ground freezes twoinches deep will protect your more vulnerable plants. Mulch root areaof larger plants. Cover or wrap plants and shrubs with cloth toinsulate them. Don't use plastic as it suffocates the plants and willraise and lower their temperatures too quickly.

Salt Damage
Salt damage occurs when salt is used to melt ice and snow on drivewaysand walkways. It is also caused when salt is used on your streets, andthen tossed onto plants by snowplows. To prevent damage from salt, usealternatives such as sand, kitty litter or an environmentally friendlysalt mixture to de-ice walkways and driveways. Place only extra hardyplants in your snowplow zone, and avoid those varieties that are highlysusceptible to salts.

Strong winds can cause plants to lose moisture in the winter. To avoidmoisture loss, mulch around roots and cover or wrap plants with cloth.You should still water plants occasionally to prevent moisture loss.

Winter Pests
The biggest issue during the winter attends to be animals nibbling ontrees and shrubs. There are a number of ways to prevent damage frompests, such as using environmentally safe products that repel pests,wrapping tree trunks with protective materials and placing fencingaround valuable plants. You can also try leaving out food for theanimals so they won't be tempted to eat your plants.

If you have perennials in containers or pots, you should move them intothe garage or a shed during the winter. If the plants are not move, thesoil can freeze and kill the plants. If you don't have a garage, add alayer of mulch around and over containers to protect plants, or movethem indoors when temperatures are severe.

Winter is not generally a problem for roses if you have the rightvariety#151;especially if they were grown from their own roots. Manyantique and climbing roses are very hardy and don't require specialattention. However in some climates with severe winters, roses need tobe buried in a trench to survive the winter. Tree roses are verysusceptible to cold, so they may need to be covered or buried. When in doubt, it is best to consult your local horticulturist orgarden center to know what is best for protecting plants in yourclimate.

John Irwin is a professional landscaper in the Sacramento area and hasbeen in business for more than 18 years. For more tips and strategieson creating the yard of your dreams visit Permission granted for use

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Tags: Adult Child-Parent, Family/Relationships - Adult Child/Parent, Marriage, Relationships

The Key to SuccessfulRelationships:
Put Yourself First
By Winn Claybaugh
Author of Be Nice (Or Else!)

Before you can have successful relationships with others, you mustmaster your relationship with yourself. Here's a radical challenge:Make it a goal to fall back in love with yourself. When I say that to aroomful of people in my seminars, I usually hear lots of nervousgiggles. Even the thought of 'falling in love with me seems extreme,and many people reject the idea. But before you can offer others thegifts of happiness, joy, purpose, and fulfillment, you have to own themyourself.

I once had the honor of knowing a wonderful woman named Noel DeCaprio.A successful spa owner, Noel was heralded as a mentor and leader withinher industry. She'd been featured and interviewed in magazines and ontelevision for her wisdom, and many people looked to her for coaching,business ideas, and her 'you can do it approach.

Noel experienced a 14-year battle with breast cancer, which eventuallytook her life in December 1998. Six months before her passing, Iinterviewed Noel for an audiotape to raise money for breast cancerresearch. In that interview, she said that after her double mastectomyand months of chemotherapy, she looked in the mirror and hated herself.Noel was wise enough to know she had to find a way to fall back in lovewith herself, and she did it by making bathing a ritual. Every day,she'd spend hours in the ritual of bathing. She focused on the bathsalts, candles, oils, creams, and aromas. She spent time visitinglittle boutiques that sold such items, having them gift wrapped eventhough she was buying them for herself. She put so much time intosomething she'd never had time for before#151;something that seemed soselfish and narcissistic#151;that eventually she realized she was back inlove with herself. And when that happened, Noel told her family,friends, and staff, 'Tell everyone I have cancer! I'm out of thecloset, and I want everyone to know so I can help as many people as Ican.

How Noel went on to raise money and awareness for cancer wasunbelievable. But let me ask you: Could she have accomplished so much,and benefited so many people, had she not fallen back in love withherself?

Once you solidify your relationship with yourself, you're ready to moveon to your relationships with others. People often think relationshipsmean that 'one and only person in their life, but every person youcontact is a relationship that requires your commitment. If you drivein traffic, you have a relationship with everyone on the freeway. Ifyou drive down the freeway screaming, 'Get out of my way! it's goingto be very difficult for you to walk into work and say, 'Hi, happy toserve you. If you verbally abuse waiters, waitresses, or bank tellers,it's going to be very difficult for you to have a successful, intimaterelationship with a spouse or partner.

Remember that every relationship offers you the opportunity to grow andlearn. If you assume that everyone is doing their best#151;just as youare#151;and choose to give people a break, you'll find yourself developingthe warm, wonderful, nice relationships you desire.

Winn Claybaugh is the author of Be Nice (Or Else!) and 'one of thebest motivational speakers in the country, according to CNN's LarryKing. A business owner for over 25 years with over 8,000 people in hisorganization, Winn is the co-owner of hair care giant Paul Mitchell'sschool division. Winn has helped thousands of businesses build theirbrands and create successful working cultures. His clients includeSouthwest Airlines, the Irvine Company, Vidal Sassoon, EntertainmentTonight, Mattel, For Rentmagazine, Structure/Limited/Express, and others. Winn is a frequentguest on national radio and a regular contributor to onlinepublications. Visit to sign up for his free monthly Be Nice (Or Else!) newsletter.. Permission granted for use on

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Analyzing Dreams - ToFind The Truth
By Amitt Parikh

Every night we go to sleep andwitness many dreams. We almost spend our one-third life in sleeping.Whether you are able to remember your dreams or not, everybody dreamsand it's a fact.

I have been conscious of my dreams since past few years and wonderedtheir complex stories and how they would perfectly reflect my state ofbeliefs, desires, fears, and aspirations working as a perfect mirror ofmy waking consciousness.

Lately I began to see them more closely and many a times, becameconscious of dreaming inside the dreams and altered the output of thedream or course of the dream. Sometimes, I rewind and experience thealtered sequence. Often I would analyze dreams while dreaming.

Once I got up from a very complex dream and woke up. I was amazed at asudden thought of my mind working as a projector, projecting such acomplex script as a dream sequence involving so many characters, hugelandscapes, twists and turns like that of a movie story and weavingeverything together as one coherent dream sequence without any'editing' or 'revisions' needed!

One day, I was hearing an audio recording of Deepak Chopra's interviewwho views this whole thing with little different perception andimmediately it struck me. I used to think of my mind projecting thisstory, but I did not see my mind as 'me'. So now I have me myself, inmy dream as not only the character which is 'me' in the dream but allother characters, the plot, the locations... everything as 'me'!

So if you are witnessing a dream of you playing volleyball on a beachwith your friends, then essentially you are the 'you' who is playingalong with 'yourself' as your friends, you as the sea, you as the sandof the beach, you as the net, you as the ball as well you are thesounds you hear, you are the sunlight you see, you are ALL THAT IS inthat dream including the OBSERVER observing and experiencing that dream!

The REALITY as we know is no different than a DREAM, only it is awaking state dream. I am my physical body, I am my mind, I am the PC onwhich I am reading this, I am the article, I am the reader and I am thewriter and I am the one who is observing and understanding this andsaying 'hmm'!

Think of what happens when you 'wake up'. You suddenly realize all thathappened in dreams was only an illusion and so it never actuallyhappened. What if we 'wake up' again from our so-called wakingconsciousness just to find that this reality is also an illusion? Andnothing actually happened?

As we know the 'I' in our dreams never existed, it was just aprojection of 'myself' (which is 'higher self' for the 'I' within thedream state). So isn't this 'I' of waking state also an illusion - aprojection? Is this 'I' also our limited perception of the omnipresentOne Higher Self?

Well it seems dreams do tell us a lot about 'reality' if we analyze them moredeeply.

copy; Amitt Parikh, all rights reserved.

Amitt Parikh is the author of Conversations with The Mysterious One.He is a mystic and a professional trainer conducting revolutionary SelfDevelopment Courses, seminars and workshops for Everyday EvolutionaryLiving and Your Spiritual Revolution. He is the Executive Editor of YourSpiritual Revolution eMagazine and the Founder of Spiritual Scienceamp; Research Foundation, India.
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Deleting Your FacebookAccount 101
By John Sileo

How do I delete my Facebook account?I get asked this question every day. At my speeches, by my clients, bymy friends and family. It used to be that people no longer wanted themundane information overload that Facebook promotes. But now they are looking at it from aprivacy perspective - they no longer want their thoughts, pictures, andvideos shared indiscriminately with people they don't know.

The defections have been sparked by Facebook's continuing march to sellyour private information (with only your implied consent, i.e., simplyby using Facebook, you agree to their terms) with an ever wideningcircle of people who are NOT YOUR FRIENDS (advertisers, data miners,and unfortunately, identity thieves). Many of the corporations I speakfor have me include a component on safe social networking because theinformation their employees are posting (personally or professionally)are damaging their corporate brand and profits either through dataleakage or as a beach-head for social engineering and other types offraud.

In past posts, I have pointed to the tools at your disposal to tightendown your Facebook security settings. But suddenly, that is nolonger complete enough for people, as Facebook continues to erode whatlittle privacy you can control. Just look at the privacy relatedFacebook news in the past few weeks:
  • CNNArticle about Facebook defection because of privacy concerns
  • Facebook announces OpenGraph, which shares your data with websites outside of Facebook toallow for more targeted advertising
  • Securityhole: Live chat messages and pending friend requests brieflyavailable to ALL contacts forced Facebook to disable chat
So for those who actually want totake themselves off of Facebook (whether they want to delete theirFacebook profile or simply deactivate it), let me give you the basics.

First of all, you need to know the difference between Deactivating and Deleting your Facebook account (Iwill walk you through the steps to do either). When you "deactivate" your account, Facebookmerely suspends your account but retains all of your data in case youwant to restore it at a later date (and in case they still want to sellit even though you are no longer active). When you "delete" your account, yourinformation is permanently removed from Facebook (eventually) and cannot be restored if you changeyour mind. In other words, before you delete your account, make surethat you have original copies of any of the photos, videos, posts andcontact lists in your profile. Once they are gone, they're gone.

How To Deactivate Your Facebook Account:

Here are step-by-step instruction on how you can easily deactivate youraccount. Remember the difference between deactivation and deletion:deactivation is temporary so that you can reactivate your account ifyou wish to return to Facebook.

1. Log into your account and on the top right side click Account and thenAccount Settings.When this screen pops up, click the last option: Deactivate Account.

2. Once you click on Deactivate Account,it will bring you to this page:

Even after your account is "deactivated", you can still be tagged inphotos, invited to events, etc. Once again, you are still an activepart of the social networking site, it's just that you don't get to useany of the tools available to active accounts (thought Facebookcontinues to use your information). For a little additional privacy, besure to "opt out" of emails at the bottom of the page if you don't wantto receive any communications.

3. The site will ask you to confirm your password as well as a"captcha" security word to confirm that you are a living, breathing defector and nota computer.

Remember, you can reactivate at any time by logging in with your emailand password, although you must have access to your current login emailaddress.

4. Following all of these steps, Facebook will send you an emailconfirmation entitled "You have deactivated your Facebook account". Ofcourse, the email gives you a way to reactivate your account Facebookreally wants you to stick around, as your information is what supportstheir bottom line.

If this doesn't go far enough toward protecting your privacy#133;

How To Delete Your Facebook Account:

If you are certain that you won't use Facebook again (at least withyour current settings, posts, photos, videos, groups and pages) andwould like your account deleted, please keep in mindthat you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any ofthe content or information you have added. If you would likeyour account permanently deleted with no option for recovery, followthese steps:

1. Log in to your account and then click here to PermanentlyDelete Your Facebook Account (and regain some sense of privacy).You should see this page:

2. Click submit to continue, enter your password, complete the securitycheck and click OK to make sure that you want to continue withDeletion. It should look something like this:

3. You will then be taken to one final page to confirm permanentdeletion of your Facebook account:

Pay close attention to the second sentence. If you log into youraccount again (even automatically on your iPhone or in your browser orthrough an affiliated site like Twitter or LinkedIn) your profile will be reactivated.

4. After completing this process you should receive an email with asubject similar to: "Account Scheduled for Deletion". At this point,you still have the option to cancel the request. I have heardthat Facebook might guilt you into staying (e.g., they may say that JoeFriend (one of your contacts) will really miss you).

Deleting your Facebook account is a very personal decision, but it isyour right to have these tools for controlling privacy at yourfingertips.

About the author: To furtherbulletproof yourself and your business, visit John's blog at To book John at your next event,visit Sileo became America's leading Identity Theft Speaker amp;Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 toidentity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department ofDefense, Pfizer and the FDIC.Permissiongranted for use

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Tags: Family/Relationships - Family, Health, Relationships, Relatives, Women's Point of View

Passion for Pomegranates
By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Pomegranates are quite unique. Slightly sweet. Slightly tart. Inside the crimson-colored fruit you'll find exactly 840 Arils. These are seeds surrounded by a sac of sweet-tart juice. The arils are held together in layers resembling honeycomb. Simply peel off the arils and pop them in your mouth for a burst of pomegranate goodness.

Pomegranates are fun to eat, but do require a little work. For those of us looking for great flavor with "open and enjoy" convenience there several brands of pomegranate juice on the market to quench your thirst and deliver an antioxidant punch.

At the market: Pomegranates are available fresh from October through January. Pomegranates are picked when ripe, so when you see them in stores they are ready to eat. When selecting a pomegranate, consider that the heavier the fruit is, the juicier it will be.

Pomegranate juice is sold under several brand names. You'll find pomegranate juice in the produce or juice sections of the supermarket. Check the label to ensure you are purchasing 100% pomegranate juice.

Storage: Whole fruits can be stored for a month in a cool, dry area or refrigerated up to two months. When frozen, the arils or juice will keep for several months in air-tight containers.

The Art of Eating a Pomegranate: At first glance, the pomegranate appears a bit intimidating. Here's the quickest way to harvest the arils from the skin:
  • Cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into sections.
  • Place a section in a bowl of water. Using your fingers, gently separate the red arils from the skin. The arils will sink and the white skin will float to the top.
  • Discard the skin - it is not edible. Drain the water by pouring the arils through a colander or strainer.
Note: Pomegranate juice stains fingers, clothes and carpeting. Sitting at the kitchen table or outside is the best place to enjoy pomegranates.

Here are some creative and simple ideas to include pomegranates into your family meals:

Dressings and marinades: Pomegranate juice has an acidic, citrus-y flavor. It's a great substitute for citrus in marinades and salad dressings. Simply substitute the same quantity of pomegranate juice in a recipe that calls for orange, lemon or grapefruit juice. Pomegranate flavor is a great complement to lamb. Here is a simple marinade that is perfect for making lamb kabobs.

Pomegranate Marinated Lamb Kabobs

1/2 cup pomegranate juice 1/4 cup olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper 1 tsp dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes/li>In a large bowl, whisk together pomegranate juice, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. Add lamb cubes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Thread lamb equally onto bamboo or metal skewers. Place skewers on medium hot BBQ or a lightly greased Grill Pan on medium heat. Cook, turning often until meat is well browned outside, but pink in the center, about 10-15 minutes. Serves 6.

Enjoy a pomegranate soda: Start with tall glass filled with a few ice cubes. Pour sparkling water to 1/2 full. Then fill to the top with 100% pomegranate juice. Garnish with sprig of fresh mint or a lemon twist.

Return of a classic: Many years ago, Grenadine was made from pomegranates. Sadly, bottled versions today are made with artificial flavor and food coloring - no pomegranates at all. To put the pomegranate back into grenadine, make your own at home. It's easy.

In a small saucepan, simmer 2 cups of pomegranate juice over medium heat and cook until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and add 1 cup sugar, stirring constantly until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Store in a tightly closed jar or container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Along with making a great Tequila Sunrise or Shirley Temple, this pomegranate syrup, is a tasty treat. Here are some great ways to use this syrup:
  • Drizzle over pancakes, waffles or French toast
  • Stir into plain yogurt, smoothies or oatmeal
  • Pour over frozen yogurt, ice cream or pound cake
Great garnish: Pomegranate arils add a dash of color, flavor and texture to many dishes.

Try sprinkling or tossing arils in:

Guacamole or salsa
Creamed spinach
Fried rice
Salads - green, spinach or fruit
Brown rice, couscous or quinoa
Alfredo pasta

Pomegranate-infused BBQ Chicken: Put some zip into store-bought BBQ sauce by combining a frac12; cup of pomegranate juice and frac12; cup of BBQ sauce in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Baste the sauce over a chicken while it's baking or slather over chicken in the final minutes of grilling.

About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children and founders of Fresh Baby ( ). They are the creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit and Good Clean Fun Placemats, available at many fine specialty stores and national chains including Target and Whole Foods Markets. Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Dating, Marriage, Relationships, Women's Point of View