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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Staging a home for sale, Will staging a home help it sell faster?

26 Jun

We are trying to sell a home.  It is vacant.  We did most of the repairs it needed, we updated it to include many things that bring it into 2014 time vs. 1990’s when it was build (ie. got rid of chrome light fixtures, updated the flooring, etc.)  It was on the market for 2 weeks with comments like “really nice work but didn’t like the floor plan or rooms seemed too small.”  I read  a lot on staging and know that staging shows a buyer how furniture fits in the house and gives it a very different feel, especially when going from a vacant home.  We decided to stage.  If you are wondering about cost, I guess it depends on the area but to give an idea – it was about $1600 upfront for the first 2 months, after the third month it will be about $250 per month.  We did stage every room but we did the main rooms including living room, eat in kitchen, dining room, master bedroom, masterbath and a little with front porch and hall bath.

I will show before and after photos and keep you in the loop on comments and offers.

Here is what the rooms like empty:

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Added Bench to front porch

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Staged living room

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Staged master bath

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Staged living room

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Staged eat in kitchen area

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Staged master bedroom

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Staged Dining room

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So, I will keep you posted on what happens, hopefully it will pay off and staging will bring us a sale in the next week!

 

 
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Shame on you Dr. Phil, how Dr. Phil is not fair to his guests

09 May

I like the topics on many of the Dr. Phil shows but it drives me crazy when Dr. Phil uses the same unfair techniques over and over.  Some of his guests call him out on it on the show and then he just belittles them more.  Dr. Phil has resources and provides help to many people and family who need it and I respect that but here are some things to watch that he does often:

  • “Nobody has said anything about what is in the best interest of the child”  He steers the conversation by asking questions to his guests; he leads the dialogue and shows the events as they unfold.  During that time, there hasn’t really been an appropriate place for anyone to suddenly say, “well, in the best interest of the child…” because the conversation has gotten there yet, but Dr. Phil slams his guests for not just getting to that at whatever moment he decides it should have been mentioned.
  • “You’re a right-fighter and want to be right.”  Again, Dr. Phil has asked them questions and they have answered.  Most aren’t insisting they are right, they are just telling their story from their perspective but Dr. Phil has to get the “Right-fighter” line in to slam his guests as often as he can.
  • “You know I have been in the business for a long time, I was trained in forensic psychology…” and gives disapproving body language when guests interrupt, despite the fact that the production staff TOLD the guests to do this.  On today’s show, one guest called him out on that as she appropriately apologized for interrupting saying how the staff told her that was what she was supposed to do.  Dr. Phil ignored it and went to, “You’re a RIGHT-FIGHTER.”  LOL, she just gave up and knew there wasn’t much she could do.
  • When guests try to agree with Dr. Phil – don’t ever do that on the show!  You will be deemed a “right-fighter” for sure!  I can’t tell you how many times, people on the show said, “you know what, you are right,” after listening to something he said and he SLAMS them as a right-fighter or as patronizing.  No, they were sincere and you should appreciate that something you said sunk in.
  • It is always the parents!!  Yeah, no one parents perfectly and some are way off and need lots of help – but Dr. Phil blames the parents for every troubled kid.  Would he blame him and Robyn if one his boys had hit a troubled patch or does he believe that just can’t happen?  You know it can!  Parents can be good, do there best, make good choices, provide good care, and a kid can still get caught in the wrong crowd and get out of control.  However, if that happens to me, I will be paying my own way for one of those Teen Ranch places rather than letting Dr. Phil slam me on TV.

 

So, watch the show and add the comments what other ways you see Dr. Phil abuse his guests, maybe he will read this and learn to respect them some more.  The show doesn’t have to be Maury Povich style to grab our attention.  He has good insight and does good things, just do it fairly and nicely.

 

From – Dr. Lynne (a fellow Ph.D.)

 
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How to teach math so students learn.

05 May

Day 1:  students take a pretest on subject to dertmine placement.

Student scores 90 or above, student gets option to move ahead and skipn lesson 1.

Student scores below 90, student watches video lesson for homework.

DAY 2: Students work problems relating to lesson.  Teacher is there to facilitate, other students might be chosen to help, students might work in groups or alone, teacher can answe questions to individuals or small groups.

Homework,  students watch next lesson

Day 3, same as day 2.  Depending on unit length, it might be 2,3,4, or even 5 days of lessons and practice.

Day 4. Practice Quiz, correct and grade, fix and discuss mistakes

Day 5. Real Quiz.  Students grade, if 90 or better, student moves on to next unit.  If not, student rewatches needed video, gets more help and when ready again, will do practice quiz first, followed by real quiz.  Partial credit may be awarded if student is close to getting 90.

Day 6.  Student may choose to take pretest if they know the subject, otherwise, they start with their video lessons.  Same process until take and pass quiz.

Day 12.  Students have done 3 quizzes on the topics and they are ready for a test on the unit.  For homework,  they watch a review vdeo.  In class, they do a review sheet.  After they try a practice test, correct, grade, and discuss.  Once they get a 90, they can take the real test.  After passing, they move to unit 2.  If they take the test 3 times and score at least an 80, they may move on, kids that cannotvget to the goal will be moved into a modified class with less diffucult topics.

 

 

 
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Help! My dog swallowed a Squeaker from a dog toy!

02 Mar

Well, that was me a few weeks ago.  My Golden pulled apart a dog toy with squeakers in it and my Border Collie loves the feel of squeakers in his mouth so he started chewing on it.  I thought he was just going to “play with it” but when I went to get it from him, GULP! It was gone.  So, I googled around to see if it was a concern.  I found lots of different stories about dogs swallowing toys, squeakers, and other things.  Now, I think the size of your dog and the size of the toy matters.  My dog is 40 pounds and it was a decent size squeaker.  About half the people I read about said they rushed their dogs to the vets.  About half of those people, spent hundreds while the vets took x-rays, scheduled more x-rays and appointments, etc.  The other half were told to just keep an eye out for signs of discomfort and see if the squeaker passes.  One said to give the dog a laxative (I don’t think it was vet advice, just the guys advice and what HE did.)  My dog had eaten pieces of cloth from toys he shredded before and they had come out fine but they weren’t plastic things with a point on the end.  I also didn’t even know if clear plastic would show up in an x-ray and besides, I knew where it was… it was in his stomach!  I didn’t need an xray to tell me.  No one suggested to induce vomiting.  So, if it isn’t coming up through the mouth, there is only two other ways to come out… surgery or poop!  So, the most obvious plan was to go with the poop plan as plan A and of course, if he showed any signs of concern, I knew we could take a trip to the vet.  So, we waited.  Now I love my dogs but I did not follow him out after each poop.  So, I really have no idea how many days it took to come out.  I figured either he would have trouble or the next time I cleaned the yard (which I do less frequently in the winter), I would see it.  Sure enough, today, – there it was among a poop, a nice healthy squeaker!  So, it came out no problem.  He never showed any signs, symptoms, or problems.  I am not telling anyone else what to do with their dog but my dog weathered the swallowed squeaker issue just fine without much worry or concern on my part.

 
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College Financial Aid: When you don’t qualify, paying for college

21 Feb

Have you googled, “How to pay for college?”  Well, I have.  I am told about the “savings vehicles” such as 529’s and other college savings funds.  I am told to apply for financial aid but I know the answer, we won’t qualify.  Many sites discuss how many people “think” they won’t get any aid but actually would qualify and that is probably true but some people, just KNOW they will not qualify.  We didn’t do things “right” in the eyes of financial aid.  What is “right?”  Well, when you save for retirement by just using 401Ks and IRA’s – colleges won’t count that against you but if you choose an alternative route, like owning rental homes, well you are expected to sell those homes you are planning your retirement income from to put your kid through college.  We didn’t space our kids close enough, you can have 12 kids to put through college but if none are in college at the same time, it doesn’t matter, you get to pay 12 tuition bills but someone else with the same income situation who might have 12 kids in college all at the same time (I know this isn’t possibly biologically but it could happen with adopted children and hey, it’s my example here…) might not get any money for kid one, some money for kid 2, but will get kids 3-12 at 100% or so.  Well, hopefully you understand my point.  I didn’t do it right!  My kids are spaced.  One lady said with triplets it great, she pays for the first but the second and third are free!  We also didn’t make much at all when we were young having kids so we couldn’t save at all when they were little.  We lived paycheck to paycheck back then, heck, I was living on college loans to get my degree while having babies.  So, we didn’t have 18 years to save, but we did work hard and now that we finally have a strong, healthy income – well, you guessed it, bad for financial aid.  We should have been “rich” first then “poor,” it would have given us financial aid!

So, for those of you like me who either didn’t do it right or just make too much… or even if you get a little but the majority of the bill is on you and you have little to no savings and a bunch of kids – we have 4 – you wonder, how are we expected to do this?  If you do the math… at at “cheap” school, say $25K per year – let’s see how much we owe out of pocket to get our kids through school.  Before we do the math, let me add one more thing.  Kids can no longer graduate in four years.  College is now 5 years in 80% of the schools!  WHAT?!  Kids can’t get the classes they need and the schools don’t adjust for it, they don’t advise students to make sure they get what they need, kids transfer, kids don’t decide on their major in their fall of freshman year, kids drop classes that seem to hard or they are failing, etc.  So, when we add up school, we need to consider 5 years per kid.  Here is my math:  4 kids X 5 years X 25,000 (or mostly likely more) = $500,000!  Yes for my four kids, I need to find a half million dollars.

Some will say, college is a privilege.  I guess that means, we just don’t send them.  Others will say that we can just let them go to a community college.  Sure, we can ask our children to graduate high school and then still live at home at take community college classes even when they are smart, ready for that social and academic experience that college brings but I went to college and my husband went to college (we met at college) and it was one of the best 4 years of our lives.  It is the only time when you are surrounded by young people all doing the same thing and having that same new life experience you are.  It is not something we want our kids to miss out on.  Even if they go to community college, you are still paying for their expenses, a lower tuition, and then they have to head off to a four year college afterwards and probably stay for another 3+ years anyway.

Kids can work while going to school and help out.  Yes, but how much can they really earn to contribute?  If they can cover their gas, insurance, car expenses (if any), some of their food budget, and their social outings well that is pretty good but it still leaves you with upwards of $22,000 per year.  However, we slice it, it comes back to us.

So – what can we do?  Well, here are a few things to trim the budget a little but I will warn you that it won’t work for all and it only trims off some of the cost.  My son was lucky enough to do dual enrollment classes in his junior and senior year of high school.  He also took some AP tests (you don’t even have to take the class to take the test, just self-study).  He also was able to graduate in December so he could take a couple of community college classes before starting college in the Fall.  In all, he went to his first semester with 29 credit hours.  We also help him make his schedule each semester and do our own “advising” for him so that we don’t get caught in a five year program.  With any luck, he will finish in 3 years.  This just saved me $35,000-$40,000.

We are also applying to (even though there are only a few slots but it can’t hurt to try) the early college high schools for two of our other children.  If they were to go to an early college high school, they would get 2 years worth of college credit.  If they don’t get in, we will look at opportunities to do dual enrollment as much as we can for them as well and AP classes.  It is unfortunate that many colleges are not taking AP credits now but they will take the community college credits.  Yet, schools won’t let you sign up for dual enrollment community college classes when they offer the same class as an AP class, so it is frustrating because the college class guarantees the credit (and is often more focused and less work).

So, the only answer I have is to try to get your child “ahead” of the game as much as you, encourage them to make good choices from the start as transferring schools is a huge waste of money, and try to declare a major freshman year.

 

 
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Retirement with Rental Properties

14 Feb

Are you thinking about retirement?  What are your retirement plans?  Have you considered how much money you will need to live on and do the things you want to do in retirement?  It creeps up on you faster than you realize.  Research shows that many people have not saved much for retirement.  Although I don’t believe social security will go away, I do believe that we might get less than we all originally thought, especially since at the current rate, it is predicted that the government will only have enough money to cover 75% of the social security needs by 2035.  Saving for retirement is difficult, it means doing with less now when for some they are dealing with the high costs of living and possibly putting children through college.

So, one way to meet retirement needs to purchase rental property that can be paid off by the time you retire.  If you can manage this then you will have a steady stream of income in addition to social security and IRA/401K distributions.  Buying rental property isn’t easy.  Many people write about their success and how they made themselves millionaires as if it is easy as pie.  Reality is different.  First, there is a lot to learn about buying rental property, there is the down payment, and most importantly finding the right property.  You want to find a piece of property that can cash flow enough to cover its expenses, ideally those expenses would include property management (so you can be hands off), reserve funds for repairs, turns, and vacancy, and the mortgage.  This will allow you full independence to really gain the full benefits of rental investments.  However, finding such properties is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be.  You first need to know what area you want to own the property.  Is it an area with very low vacancy?  You don’t want a place to sit empty for long periods of time.  Second, what are the full costs that are involved?  Third, do you have the money needed for the down payment?  Fourth, can you find a good property management company?

Let’s first look at costs.  Your costs will include the following:

  • Mortgage payment
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Property Management – usually one months rent to place a tenant plus 8-10% of monthly rent for management
  • Reserve funding for repairs – I usually plan on at least $100 per month per property and build a reserve
  • Possibly extra money for property turns – when a tenant moves out, it can be costly to get the place back into a reasonable condition, however, using one color flat paint can make paint touch ups easiest so that you don’t have to repaint the entire house each time, also having laminate flooring throughout the home rather than carpet will save a lot on floor replacement, those are the two biggest costs for turns so using the flat single color paint and laminate can really reduce your costs.
  • Vacancy considerations – your reserve money may be enough to cover vacancy if you are in a low vacancy area (which you should be because you should only buy in such an area) but you never know how long a home can sit ideal and you need to be prepared for costs of mortgage and utilities when vacant.
  • Down payment and closing costs for purchase.  Rentals usually require 20% down payment and have a higher interest rate than a primary residence.

Can you be a landlord?  You can certainly choose to forgo the property management.  We did for the first 7 years but landlording is a lot of work, stressful, time consuming, and not much fun.  Ideally, you want to get to a point where your invest can be self-sufficient and can cover the cost of property management.

Finding the right property is by far the most difficult part of the process.  You want to try to find a property that is somewhat discounted.  It may take some time but try to find someone who really wants to get out and therefore will sell it at a discount or a place that needs some work and you can fix it up and gain some equity that way.  You also want to find a WOW factor to the home.  There are lots of rentals on the market, find something in your home that stands out and makes your house more desirable to tenants such as a big yard or a great room.  Run the numbers before you buy to make sure you cash flow with all the above considerations.  It isn’t worthwhile to have a home that you have to pay for each month.  If it cash flows, you can also pay extra towards the principle and therefore pay it off early.

Ideally, you want to buy rentals 30 years before your retirement so they are fully paid by the time you retire.  Remember that your tenants will be paying down your mortgage for you!  If you don’t have 30 years but you can get cash flow, you can put extra towards principle and pay it off early.  Also as rent rises, you will get additional cash flow over the years from this so you can factor this in as another way to pay down principle early.  Once your rentals are paid for, you will have a nice “pension” of income that you can let someone else manage throughout your retirement years and at any point if you start to run out of money, you can sell and get a lump sum.

Balancing buying rentals with regular 401K/IRA is important though.  You should still continue to contribute to your retirement fund through work and max it out if you can.  If you can have a few rentals, a million or two in your 401K/IRA and social security, you should be in a nice comfortable place for retirement.

 
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Preparing for Common Core Math 2 High School Final Exam / Integrated Math 2

10 Jan

Preparing for Common Core Math 2 High School Final / Integrated Math 2.

The new common core brings on many challenges that I have been writing about.  Some of the problems with the new curriculum are:

1.  It now moves too fast and some students are not able to keep up with the pace but there is no help provided for these kids who cannot keep the pace.  Most courses are taught with block scheduling so a student learns a whole course in just 4 months.

2.  Many kids were moved forward who did not grasp the prerequisite course and this just breeds failure.  If you can’t solve simple algebra equations, you can’t suddenly be expected to be solving complex ones.  Too many teachers are under pressure to give students D’s and let them pass on to the next class when their understanding is at a failing level.

3.  The content is much more choppy now and is presented in units that aren’t always linked together, this creates greater disconnect for students.  Integrated Math 2 has Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculs, and Probability topics.  It made much more sense to teach Algebra 1 together, Algebra 2 together, and Geometry together.

So…. you or your child is getting ready to take a final exam in Common Core Math 2 in North Carolina (or another state).  How well does your child’s teacher prepare them for the exam?  Our teachers do not prepare students well.  They give them a packet of mixed problems, some include problems they were supposed to teach and never got to.  This is it, students do problems, teachers tell students the answers.

So…. how should you study?  I am going to tell you.

First, you need a list of all the units and topics that were covered in the course.  I might not have everything but here are the topics that I know about:

1.  Transformational Geometry – reflections, translations, and rotations

2.  Triangle Similarity

3.  Triangle Congruence

4.  Graphing Quadratic equations – finding vertex, x intercepts, y intercepts, axis of symmetry

5.  Telling number and type of roots from a quadratic

6.  Knowing how to solve quadratics by factoring, completing the square, quadratic formula

7.  Solving Square root equations

8.  Solving Exponential Equations

9.  Understanding using logs and ln

10.  Understanding and computing interest / growth and decay formulas/ solving for t in formula

11.  Compounded interest

12.  Half life and other y=ab^x formulas

13.  Trigonmetry

14.  Law of sines and cosines

15.  Drawing sine and cosine graph

16.  Doing phase shifts on all types of graphs

17.  Graphing cubic, logarithmic, exponential, and square root graphs

18.  Graphing greatest integer function and absolute value

19.  Solving rational equations

20.  Finding asymptotes

21.  Solving angle of elevation and angle of depression problems

22.  Solving basic probability questions

23.  Using permutations and combinations

24.  Understanding conditional probability and independence

25.  Understanding mutually exclusive

26.  Being able to draw Venn Diagrams for probability

27.  Finding the inverse of a function and on a graph

28.  Applying direct and indirect variation

29.  Answering questions about domain and range

30.  Solving equations with rational exponents

31.  Converting between rational exponents and square roots

32.  Simplifying radicals including rationalizing the denominator

33.  Understanding theoretical vs. experimental probability

34.  Solving equations using logs

35.  Expanding and condensing logs

If there are any topics that I missed, leave me a comment and I will add them.  Now that you have a list of all topics covered (even if your topics differ slightly), your next step is to write down some general notes and formulas about each topic.  The main ideas and things to remember.

An example:  When expanding and condensing logs:  + goes to x and – goes to / and what is in the exponent position gets brought down in front of the word log.  Example:  log x^2 y^3/ z^2 = 2 log x + 3 log y -2 log z.  Since the x and y term where multiplied, they became added when I expanded, since the z was divided, it changed to subtraction and in all cases the exponents are brought down in front of the word log.

So for each topic, you want some major notes and an example or two that you understand.  Write it all out, neat and organized.  Just making it all and rewriting all the information is studying in itself.  Be sure to include an example worked out (that you know is right) for each type.  You can always go to Kutasoftware online to find worksheets with answers if you are looking for problems.

After you have made all your notes with examples in an organized fashion.  Find problems from each section that you have the answer to and make yourself a mini-test.  Write out questions.  Study your notes and then without looking at your notes, take your own test.  Correct the test and see how you did.  If you get any problems wrong, you need to review those notes more and do more problems like that.

Many kids do not know how to study math.  The key to studying math is to re-write summary notes with examples and then do practice problems like those you have been asked to do (preferably ones you don’t remember the answers to) until you are getting everything correct, then you know you are ready for the exam.

Good luck and study hard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Fighting Low Back Pain / SIJD with Massage Chairs

26 Dec

I have been dealing with severe low back pain and SI joint pain for years.  I had a fusion of L5/S1 and my muscles seem to often over fire.  One leg will end up shorter than the other because my alignment is not straight, this further exaggerates the muscles having to compensate for each other.  My thigh muscles and my glute (muscles in the buttocks area) muscles are very tight.  I get the most relief when these muscles can be relieved.

Massages are not covered by my insurance (anymore – once upon a time, I could get part of it covered) and the cost of $60-$95 for a massage is too much, especially when I need one weekly.  So I wondered about the investment of a massage chair.

I bought a cheaper model about 6 years ago.  It cost about $1500.00.  It actually turned out to be a very good chair.  It had a lot of programming options (more than most other chairs).  It still works but the faux leather started peeling off years ago so it is hidden away as it looks terrible now.  It doesn’t give arm massages and it doesn’t reach the very low back area (which is where my pain is).

After a lot of research (and funds I got from an insurance settlement about my back) I decided to get a newer model.  Price was not a factor for me as I wanted the BEST chair for the problem areas that I had.  Most chairs do not have long enough rollers to get to the low back area and almost none have any that go under your butt to massage the glutes.  I found the IYASHI by Infinity.  It had the longest track of all chairs and goes under your buttocks area.  It also has side air bags that push on your thighs.  Other nice features include blue tooth for listening to music, zero gravity position, and the arm massagers.  Lastly, it fits better in the house because it slides itself out before leaning backwards (no other chair does this, I believe.)

So, because of these features, I chose the Infinity IYASHI chair.  Now that I have it (at the cost of $5200), how do I feel about it?  Well, it looks very futuristic, which may be a plus for some but it is a little out of place in a common living room.  I would have liked something that looked more like a normal chair.  However, the white plastic exterior hard shell (seems like a pod that you are blasting off to space in) shouldn’t peel away like the faux leather did on the other chair.  The long track is great!  It goes where I want it to but I will admit it is a little rough.  I generally like a hard massage but I have an area that is very tender on my back because of the fusion and at times, the chair is too rough on this one spot and even sometimes other spots.  I wish you could adjust it better, in fact that is my BIGGEST complaint.  It lacks good adjustments.  My $1500 chair was much more adjustable than this chair.

I do love the space saving feature and the zero gravity.  The blue tooth was easy to connect to even though the directions that came with the chair were lousy!  The air bags overall are great, EXCEPT the feet airbags are too intense and when you adjust the force, it seems to do nothing to make it less!  It really hurts my feet, I might try it with shoes but it defeats the purpose of the chair.  I am really disappointed with the feet airbags and how tight they are.  The chair has an extend feature that I like as it stretches your body, but to do that it needs to activate the feet airbags, which right now, I cannot tolerate.  All the other airbags are fine and there are lots of them, at the shoulders, hips, and arms.  The auto programs are nice (except that they include the feet airbag problem).    You can also adjust single points and areas but much less than I could with my $1500 chair.  You don’t get too much around your neck area so if you are looking for that, it isn’t worth it.

Overall, I am a little disappointed since it is too rough and the feet air bags hurt.  I am trying to find settings I can use and will try shoes with the feet air bags.  I don’t think it is worth the cost of a return at this point but I am taking it day by day since a massage chair shouldn’t hurt!

 
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A Review of Google Glass

04 Oct

Google GlassI got to try Google Glass today.  My first thought was how this was going to the way of the future and in 10 years this will probably look crude.  For now, I think it is interesting.  I like the design and the fit.  It is meant not to be intrusive so that you can see and talk with people without having a projector in your face.  It is made in fun colors like orange and blue and slick colors like black and silver.  The first impression was that in putting it on, everyone seems to line it up wrong and you have to get used to getting the nose pads lined up with your face.  Next you see a small (very small – which is good and bad) square image that you can look at that is mostly out of the way that projects the screen of the device.  It says, “Ok Glass.”  The choice to make it small was that it was not intrusive, however, it makes its usefulness somewhat limited.  My personal opinion would be a design that I could size the window.  Now keep in mind that points I make, could perhaps be things Glass can do since all I got was a demo and not the full set of features but our demo person did not ever mention sizing the screen which I feel would add a huge benefit to the product.  To navigate within Glass, you have two choices, either some hand gestures on the touch pad on the side of the glasses along your temples – these include taps, holds, forward swipes and backward swipes or verbal commands.  The touch pad was very sensitive so what I thought was a tap, it saw as a hold but I believe it would be easy to get used to.  Now for practicality, one is either tapping, touching, swiping, or they are talking out loud in order to get anything done.  This could be intrusive in one’s life.  Speaking out loud could be a problem unless you are alone and the swiping requires you to go through pages and find things.  It was less practical than I had hoped.  My feeling was that it was a fun toy that I would love to have and I could certainly find uses for but when it came to actually using it for the “average” person, I am not sure that it would be something (as it currently stands) that one would find a useful product in their lives.  If it had the ability to resize the screen and access pages / uses in an easier fashion, then I think it could be more helpful for that average person.  It does take pictures and video, which is cool that one can have video taken from a true “eyes on the world” perspective without a cumbersome phone or camera.  You can pair it to your phone and search restaurants and make calls from it, which seems useful as you wouldn’t have to find your phone for the search but then again you are reading the options off this tiny screen.  Our demo guy did not seem to use it for phone calls or have it paired with his personal phone.  You can use it for scheduling which could be helpful but I go back to the same complaint, viewing your calendar as a “big picture” which I do – by the month or week, looking for open appointments to schedule clients seems like it could be a challenge on the limited screen.  It has the ability to do navigation and can speak to you just as your phone would to tell you where to go.  Is it more of a risk to look at the screen within the glasses during a drive vs. a quick glance to a GPS or phone, I am not sure.  On first try, I would find sometimes that it was hard to make out things on the screen so it would take “concentration” from me to make out what I was seeing because of its location and size and when using a GPS or phone, that isn’t the case.  I am sure you would get used to it, however, and your brain would process it faster after you use it for a while and get used to it.  Summarizing my final review points – here we go:

  • It looks cool.
  • It requires a small learning curve.
  • The viewing screen is very small which creates many limitations (I understand the reasoning behind it BUT I would like the choice)
  • Navigating through it seems cumbersome (at least during the demo).
  • Did I mention, it looks cool?  It is fun!
  • Price tag – last I knew was $1500, not worth it at this point.  Which I am disappointed because the product idea has promise and is probably the way of the future at some level.
 
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How to get Guardianship in North Carolina (Wake County)

27 Sep

When it came time for me to apply for guardianship for my disabled son, I felt like I was going down a road no one had gone down before!  It was hard to find information on what was involved and what steps were needed to obtain guardianship.  We just completed the process today and in an effort to make things easier for others, I would like to write out how to get  Guardianship for your loved one!  This is a case for Wake County, North Carolina.  I am assuming it is true for all of North Carolina but can’t be sure, however, I would assume it would be very similar within the state if not the same.

 

Step 1:  Fill out the paperwork at the North Carolina Wake County Clerk of Courts Website for Guardianship.  (Click on the word paperwork to see the forms you need to fill out.)

Step 2:  Take filled out paperwork to Wake County Court house in downtown Raleigh and go to the 12th floor, go through the Clerk of Courts doors and look for the sign for Special Proceedings.

Step 3:  Give the paperwork to the people at the desk at Special Proceedings.  They will have an additional form for you to fill out.  Plan on being there for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4:  After you fill out the rest of the paperwork, they will make copies and schedule a court date (as soon as 2 weeks out possibly).  They will also give you the name of an attorney for the disabled person.

Step 5:  You will be given copies of the forms to deliver to all next of kin to make them aware of the hearing and give you a form that says that you have to sign (notarized or bring back to court) to prove you gave out all the copies to next of kin.  This includes siblings older than 18 years of age.

Step 6:  The sheriff will be given another copy of the notice that he has to serve in person to the disabled person prior to the hearing.

Step 7:  Once home, you wait for the sheriff to serve notice (if he hasn’t come before the court date, that could be a problem so call and check with them if you are a day or two out and the disabled person hasn’t been served yet).

Step 8:  You also need to wait until you get a call from the court appointed lawyer.  He will call and schedule an appointment with the proposed guardian and disabled person.

Step 9:  At the meeting with the lawyer, he will want to explain to the disabled person what their rights are, discuss the guardianship, types of guardianship, limitations of the disabled person, and make sure the guardian is fit to serve as guardian.  If all is well, the meeting will be short and he will prepare a report for the court.  There is no cost for any of this.

Step 10:  You arrive with your notice that says you served everyone, any proof showing disability (if needed, we didn’t need it but we did bring my son with us) and will meet with the lawyer and the clerk of court in a small room at the 12th floor on the day of your hearing.

Step 11:  The clerk of court will discuss with you the types of guardianship, ask about the limitations of the person needing guardianship, and make recommendations.  She will then share those with you, you all agree and you are sent to another room for the oath and letters.

Step 12:  Some other folks enter information into a computer, have you agree to an oath of office (sounds like you are taking oath for president of the United States), and they give you 5 stamped letters for you to provided anyone who needs proof that you are guardian.  You sign a couple forms and you are done.

 

You can apply for guardianship as soon as your disabled child is 17 1/2.  You don’t need to wait until they are 18.  This way there is no gap.  I hope this helps!