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RIP Common Sense

March 31, 2012

What happens when common sense isn’t so common? I realized that today, as I type this, it is nine months before the next presidential election. This is going to be one bad pregnancy.

In my hometown, we just held a special congressional election after our former representative was forced to resign due to allegations that he made unwanted advances to the teenage daughter of his friend and campaign donor. Wow. What a way to say “thank you.” Isn’t it alarming that this sort of news isn’t so shocking anymore in the world of politics? Anyway, newscasters reported a record low turnout for this election as voters were fed up with the mud slinging between the two challengers in this race. I can confirm, it was bad. I couldn’t get through a single game of “Words for Friends” without looking up and seeing a TV advertisement that was so over-the-top negative that I’m surprised I didn’t spell words like “Liar” “Unethical” and “Cheat” during my game. Let me tell you what this means to me when I put on my mother ears: I will be hearing nonstop arguing, finger pointing, the blame game and ” don’t look at me, it’s their fault” for the rest of the year. Mothers out there, you know what I’m talking about. If I wanted to hear that on a continuous loop, I would pull up a chair, pour myself a glass of wine and listen to my children argue which, by the way, has a daily showing at the top of every hour. Honestly, I think I would have more fun pulling my eyelashes out one by one.

So tell me, why on earth do I want to turn on the news and listen to the latest negative soundbites by our candidates for the highest office in the land? And the news pundits arguing back and forth? Anyone who enjoys that likes sorting and folding laundry all day or slaving over a stove to satisfy a picky eater. So to our presidential candidates, campaign managers and spin doctors, anyone who make the big bucks, forget about hiring focus groups and consider this my gift to you: no cheap shots, no tacky “discoveries” like your rival’s great grandfather’s brother’s son once removed was a cross dresser. Big deal, come and sit around my Thanksgiving table and ‘ll show you dysfunctional. Keep the blame game at bay, defend yourself with dignity and focus on issues we care about. You know, silly stuff, like jobs.

Do we really want our candidates spending millions of dollars on negative advertising? Doesn’t it leave you with a bad taste in your mouth? Where are the priorities? Common sense? Are you not disgusted that over one billon dollars will be spent by our presidential candidates for a job that pays $400,000 a year? Yes, yes, yes, I know. It’s the power, prestige and maybe the thrill of jumping up and down on the Lincoln Bed that is appealing to our candidates but I can assure you, that rumble you hear is our forefathers rolling over in their graves. Or maybe it’s the sound of too many empty stomachs of hungry children in our country who could benefit from a few of those dollars.

The Role and Importance of Card Printing in the World of Business

March 30, 2012

Business is marked in the minds of every individual as a very formal way of working and earning money. Although this is the generally held belief, many people no longer wear the traditional suit and tie to work. They would rather wear smart casual clothing, as it is known. Business owners are now accepting a more relaxed way of dressing from their employees. For instance, many dominant and famous companies today display an environment that is filled with fun and positive impressions exhibited by workers with open minds. This is where card printing comes in. It allows the company to remain safe and secure and to easily determine who is an employee, regardless of dress. Here are some of the other things that an ID card printer can do to the world of business.

Good Image for the Business

It is well-known that the generally held image of the company is based on the status of their workers and the way the business operates. It shows the overall standing and condition of the organisation. The image of the company image could make or break their reputation. A positive image enhances the chances of the business to thrive. Consumers trust products that are made by companies with excellent reputations. And when a consumer feels right about a certain product, they buy it. The more the consumers buy their products, the higher the rating of the company. This will therefore result in a very successful company and business.

Unique and colourful logos on cards and lanyards can improve the reputation and image of a business. This can only be done with card printing. Card printers are very easily available today. The software within the card printers can create very unique and stylish designs. Personalised, branded ID cards and lanyards that have wonderful coloured logos of their companies reflect a positive image on those who see them. Employees will enjoy wearing them and see them as a bonus rather than a drab sign of uniform.

Free Advertisement for the Company

Not only do they promote a positive image, but ID cards also promote and advertise the company itself. When branded company ID cards and lanyards are worn at events such as trade shows, other people take notice. They remember the brightest, most colourful logos and become more familiar with this business or company. The more people see the prints, the more famous the company and business becomes.

Opportunity to Personalise

Card printing would also allow companies to personalise their ID cards and lanyards. Whatever design they choose, it will surely affect the office atmosphere, employee relations, and the impression that visitors receive of the business and its workers. For example, employees wearing green and blue ID cards and lanyards can make another person feel more calm and relaxed. Meanwhile, employees wearing brightly coloured cards and lanyards show a sense of fun and the ability to think outside the box. By doing this, enthusiasm in the working environment can also be enhanced. When there is an elevation of enthusiasm at work, employees are more eager to go to work, love their jobs more and are motivated to put in more effort. This would eventually result in higher work rates and higher productivity.

Colour schemes can also be possible with card printing. Teams and groups within the organisation have colour codes. These colour codes are useful in distinguishing the department of each employee or division that they are working in. Aside from that, they can also make an employee easily recognisable. Even if an employee were mixed with other teams, he or she would still be easily distinguished from the other employees. Through this, security would also be enhanced, since each individual can be tracked and identified by the security officials without difficulty.

definitely has plenty of uses. Regardless of the design and colour of the prints used in the lanyards and card holders, the simple fact of having ID cards will surely affect many aspects of the business and company. It can effectively promote the business, change the atmosphere within the work place and push employees to do their best. Businesses should start looking for an ID card printer to enjoy these benefits.

Ten Reasons a 20 Year Old Truck Is More Efficient Than a Prius

March 28, 2012

Have you ever wondered if you should get rid of your old truck for something smaller and more efficient? Chances are you usually only think about this when you are pumping gas into your truck. Here are ten reasons why you are better off than trading it in for a little gas sipper. If you don’t have a truck, then see below what you are missing out on.

1. No car payment.

That fifty miles per gallon comes with a surcharge of 22,000 dollars for a new Prius. Thanks to their cult-like following used vehicles are commanding nearly the same prices. A 20 year old pickup really, really should be paid off by now. A truck getting 15 mpg will cost 4200 dollars in gas a year; chewing tobacco and cowboy hat are optional.

The Prius uses 1400 dollars worth of gas, and makes a typical monthly payment of 400 for 5 years. (22k + tax + interest / 60 months) My math is terrible and I did not calculate APR, but instead just tacked on interest based on initial loan value, but anyway I digress. Four hundred a month plus gas puts the pick-up cleanly ahead to the tune of 166 dollars a month.

2. Maintenance is cheaper.

I know some of you out there might already be getting defensive and saying that my math will never work because at some point the Prius will be paid off. The current economy has changed things slightly but in my experiences as a mechanic, once the car is out of warranty most drivers will run to the dealer to trade in a vehicle before paying costly repairs. But even if the Prius was paid off, the cost of batteries and labor to repair the vehicle is substantially higher than the truck.

The 20 year old parts are plentiful at the local auto parts store, and are typically much cheaper. A new engine: 600 dollars, new transmission: 400 dollars: differential: 300 dollars. Take care of the engine with proper maintenance and get 200k miles. Replace the transmission every 100k or so, sooner if required. The rear end is good for 400k. The rest of the truck consists of parts that cost less than 100 dollars each.

3. Trucks last forever

Toyota likes to claim that its cars last forever. How many mid 70′s Toyotas are running around? How many mid 70′s Hondas? How many mid 70′s pickups are still running around and being used daily?

4. Insurance is cheaper

An old truck is paid off and the driver is not required to pay for full coverage. Full coverage would not matter anyhow, as any claim whatsoever would likely total the vehicle. For full coverage on the Prius I estimate the figure approximately 400 every 6 months. The truck’s cost I will roughly estimate at 280 or less.

5. No deliver fees. Ever.

As a proud owner of a truck you will not need to pay for delivery of furniture, or lumber, or anything really. A truck can tow a boat, help the cute neighbor move, and haul rocks and dirt. The Prius can fold down the back seat. A truck can carry a Prius.

6. Your kid can fix your truck

A degree in engineering is not required to fix it yourself. A 20 year old vehicle was made in simpler times. Fixing a twenty year old truck is much easier than fixing anything on a Prius. You can fit the trucks motor, plus two small four cylinder engines under the cavernous hood to keep your V8 company. Even if you don’t fix your vehicles yourself, repairs are faster, and cheaper. See number two for parts.

7. Trucks look great

I can appreciate that not everyone loves the look of a truck. I usually don’t consider those people normal, but that isn’t relevant at this point. This is America and people can buy whatever they want. But reason number seven is because the truck has a timeless classic design. The Prius has a timeless interrupted design. Does it look pinched off to anyone else?

8. Traffic

Traffic is easier to navigate with a truck. Sure in the city the Prius will find parking spots easier, and is more maneuverable around tight spots. But the age old rule of bigger is better definitely works with a truck. The added benefit of an old truck is that 20 years worth of rust and dents lend a “I do not have insurance” appearance to the vehicle, thereby causing the smaller vehicles to yield.

9. No Depreciation

A 20 year old truck will never be upside down. It will not depreciate. A 1975 Chevrolet bought today for 2000 dollars will be worth 2000 dollars when you sell it. A Prius also has good resale value due to the cult-like following, but a Prius will still suffer depreciation at some point.

10. Camping

Camping is not only possible in a truck, but there is an entire industry built around the notion. Load up the truck with firewood, beer chest, lawn chairs, spare change of clothes, and some food and meet your buddy at the lake. The same buddy that drove alone in his Prius without wood, lawn chairs, or food, or beer.

*Bonus*

In case of the end of the world all drivers, while fleeing from nuclear radiation, zombies, foreign armies, or cross-Canadian bird-pig flu, will inevitably flock to the highways. A truck can take the median, the field, the curb, or the sidewalk. A truck can drive out of situations where it is completely buried in dirt, drive through molten lava without issue, and drive down mountain sides without roads (source: Lone Wolf McQuade, Dante’s Peak, and Commando.)

As you can see a 20 year old truck is clearly superior to a Prius in every way. Not only will you have much more utility with the truck, but it is cheaper to own as well. So I only ask that the next time a Prius blazes down the highway at ludicrous speed, firm in the belief that they are saving the world, take a moment and truly think how much more awesome and efficient your truck is.

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