Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

10 Steps to Starting a Small Business

IntroductionIf you are looking for the most effective way of starting a small business without spending a lot of wasted money and time, this article is a great place to start. The advice you get from this article may be a totally new way of approaching your new small business. As I provide each of the following steps, I will give you very good reasons for why this method is the best. I provide business planning services for many new small businesses. In so doing, a business plan is often an essential aspect of getting funding.The Secret To Starting A Successful Small BusinessLet me tell you the one single factor that will assist you in obtaining funding – Customers! If you already have customers before you go to banks, friends, colleagues or relatives for money, I assure you that your efforts in raising money will be greatly reduced. I cannot tell you how many times that I have been really excited about new business ideas that my customers have brought to me. I can tell you this though, that the banks see dozens of new business ideas every day. Dozens… Their excitement level is measure a little differently.How To Get Small Business FundingYou know what the only thing banks get excited about?… Money and only money. The closer your are to making profitable sales when you ask for funding is the only way that you are going to get heads nodding behind walnut desks. Imagine yourself going to a bank dressed in your best business outfit for a loan. Think about how truly confident you would be in asking for this money, when you know that you already have the names of customers that would purchase your product now if you just had funding.How To Get Customers Before You Have A BusinessesSo you may be wondering how will you have customers before you have a business. The answer is that nearly any business that you can conceive of now has informational products that can be purchased on the internet. Whether it is a farm, auto shop, hair salon, or home improvement. These businesses all have audio or video or e-book products that can be sold on the internet that complement these businesses. How about a video product that you sell to women entitled “How to Maintain Your Hair Between Hair Appointments,” or audio podcast program series for farmers to listen to on “Advanced Crop Yield Methods” while they are busy on the tractor. All of these can be created and sold easily on the internet with a simple website. So the idea is to move into the info business first, then formalize the business into its fuller implementation after proof of concept.So let me me summarize the 10 steps to starting a small business:10 Steps To Starting A Small Business1. Market ResearchWhat is market research? Simply stated, market research is knowing that the number of customers you think are out there for your product really exist. To translate your product into customers, it is only essential that you identify the keywords that characterize your customers’ Google searches. You can easily get these numbers free through the use of the internet. Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool (adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal?defaultView=2) is easy to use and after you get a free account, it is awesome in getting quantitative data to know 1) how many people are looking for what you want to sell 2) how many competitors already are out there. Once you have a website done in the next step, you can use the brand new Google Search Based Keyword Tool (google.com/sktool/#) to refine your market research. If you have a website type in your url and your keywords.2. Build WebsiteYou website initially needs to do only two things – 1) let others know that you exist and who you are 2) communicate to them that you know their needs in terms of what are their pains and desires and how you product is absolutely the best solution for them in the world. Your website does not need to cost more than $1,000 and can be put together in a matter of days (not weeks or months). If you want to do it yourself, you can use Word Press or call us.3.Traffic and PromotionUse Google Analytics to track the number of visitors to your website to ensure that you are getting the attention to your message that they deserve. Before you get people to your site, you will need to do some promotion to ensure that this happens. There are a lot of ways to do this, but having the website 1) optimized for on-page manageable factors (meta tags, title, attractive web address (url)) and 2) getting a large number of back links to your website are the most controllable factors.4. Build List of Customers – Email opt-inWhen customers get to your website, this is where you want to get the big prize – the customer list. In order to get a list of customers, you offer them a free written, audio or video product that provides some truly valuable information to them in exchange for the their e-mail address and name. It is important to note that you will only get a sustainable business if you provide something of significant value as a “give away” at this point. I have seen many – free PDF reports, “how to” audios or videos that are really useful. Make sure that your is too. You can use Aweber or Constant Contact as auto-responder services to obtain the e-mail addresses. These are services that provide the website scripts, capture e-mail lists, provide confirmation e-mail and provide information product.5. Sell Affiliate ProductsAfter you create your website, you will go and find products that are already available that you can sell as an affiliate. What is an affiliate? An affiliate is someone (you) that is selling into a niche market that understands the needs of the customers and can sell products created by someone else. Who is the someone else? Many – Amazon, Commission Junction, Clickbank. Nearly every big internet retailer has an affiliate program. Look at the bottom of their home page for the words “affiliate” or “associate.” They provide the whole shopping experience and you get a small commission for doing so. They will give you the tools to list these products attractively on your website with html scripts that are easily implemented.6. Create information productsNow that you have a good idea of who your customers are and what they want, you can easily create your own information products in writing (e-books), audio or video. All it takes is the ability to write, record, film and edit this information in a near professional manner. The content of these products is what is really important. This process sounds very complex, but can be made very simple by someone that does this on a day-to-day basis.7. Sell own informational products and through affiliatesNow that you have your own information products, you can sell your products on your website and also through affiliate programs such as Clickbank and Commission Junction. You will need to augment your website to allow products to be listed, purchased and to accept payment. Since you are now the vendor of these products you will also need to create a purchase, return and shipping policies (if either of these applies). Most customers will want to know about these things before they purchase from you and often will not purchase until they know that you are reliable and that their money is well spent with you.8. Create business planNow that you have proven your business concept on an informational level (and at an affordable level of investment I might add), you are in a much better position to judge for yourself whether this business is investment grade. What is investment grade in this case? The answer to this comes in the form of another self-question: Would you bet that you will get a good return on the money that you are asking others to invest? There are many good business plan templates available for free. All it requires is to get basic questions answered in each section and to formalize into an attractive and readable document.9. Get fundingGet dressed up as appropriate for the money people. If they are bankers, dress in a suit. If they are family or friends, dress as friends or family. If they are colleagues, dress as a colleague. Be professional and honor their time. Make sure that you keep their interest by asking yourself what is in it for them. That is all that matters to them. For family matters, the issue is a little bit different. They will be concerned with family solidarity. In other words, what would happen if you could not pay them back? Would this permanently disrupt your relationship with them? Think about this before you go to them. When you get money there are two questions you will always need to answer for them up front 1) what will you use the money for? 2) from what source will you pay the money back? Know these answers.10. Formalize business organizationThis is the part that most people think about when they think about starting a business. Do you find it strange that this would be the 10th step in this process? Don’t worry, most other people would too. However, doesn’t it make more sense to formalize the business after it is making money first and then to formalize it? When I speak about formalizing the business, I am talking about 1) creating an appropriate legal entity (corporation, limited liability corporation or other) within your state or country 2) create tax status with the tax authorities 3) publicly announce the business formation through public recording or periodical announcements or both 4) get a checking or bank account. Note that I am not advocating subverting tax or legal guidelines…as a matter of fact I am suggesting that you follow the rules, through making your business profitable first.In SummaryThat is all there is to it. What else is there left to business than that? A business is nothing more than delivering answers to problems (pains or desires) of customers and doing so while making profitable sales. Creating new products is just using lateral thinking to create other related products that meet the needs of customers. And what a great life that is….help other people while you make money.Follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/frank_dobner© Copyright – 2008 Frank Dobner

Dry Skin Care – Tips to Improve Your Dry Skin

Like regular basic good skin care, dry skin care must be performed on a daily basis. Proper cleansing, toning, and moisturizing practices should become as natural and routine to your day as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, working and getting plenty of rest.Dry skin results from a low level of skin oil, or sebum.This condition can be inherited but numerous other factors can interfere with the production of sebum. Extreme temperatures, wind, and air-conditioning can exacerbate the condition, causing the skin to feel tight, or to chap or crack. Smoking, cosmetics, chemicals, environmental pollution and high stress compromise dry skin and cause the skin to appear dull and to wrinkle, particularly around the eyes and mouth. All the more reason to practice smart dry skin care.Skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and seborrhea, as well as certain drugs (e.g., antihistamines, antispasmodics, and diuretics) can also cause dry skin. Treating these disorders and avoiding these drugs will help improve your dry skin condition.Avoid that which will make you unhealthy on the inside and reduce your chances of developing unhealthy skin. Can’t imagine getting through a day without a cigarette? Then imagine having dry, wrinkled skin that makes you look 20-30 years older than you are. Is that an incentive to stop smoking and regularly practice dry skin care?We’re not saying change is easy. But change, in the long run, may be the best thing that ever happened to you. Proper good skin care, in general, and dry skin care, in particular, are certainly within the reach of anyone concerned about the health and look of their skin. Think of how you want to look and feel in 6 months, a year, two years. You absolutely can improve how you look and feel within a short period of time. Why not make the decision to help yourself attain better skin.Oh, I almost forgot, one more thing you have to give up, if you want to enjoy healthy skin. This applies not only to people with dry skin, but to anyone who wants to have clear, beautiful skin. Your skin’s number one enemy is the sun. Sun worshippers (me included), accept that as a fact. And the number one rule of dry skin care follows: PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN!As much as many of us love the sun, and love to bake in it, and walk and play in it, and love how it bronzes our skin and makes us feel healthy and limber and sexy and carefree, make no mistake, the sun can kill you, if you let it.This is no knock on the sun, believe me. The sun gives life and provides us essential vitamin D, but the sun can also inflict irreversible damage to our skin, causing it to age prematurely, to dry and wrinkle and sag, and more alarmingly, to develop precancerous moles and sun spots and carcinomas, and cancerous melanomas.So as much as we love the sun, we have to interact with it in a smart way. Click on Good Skin Care: 14 Ways to Improve Your Skin for more information about protecting yourself from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure.Here are a few solid dry skin care tips to heed:In winter, when the air’s humidity is lower, your skin dries out faster. Keep that in mind when you choose a moisturizer. Use a stronger moisturizer in the winter and a lighter moisturizer in the summer, when the humidity is higher.
As we age our skin becomes thinner and drier. As a result our skin is more prone to damage in the form of cuts and cracking. Be especially careful when handling tools and utensils, and when coming into contact with harsh or abrasive surfaces or objects.
Exercise regularly to increase blood circulation, which helps to nourish your skin and cleanse it from within.
Dry skin care no-brainer: drink plenty of clean water to improve skin hydration. At least 2 quarts every day.
Clean your skin carefully. Because dry skin is more easily damaged than oily or normal skin, practice good, safe cleansing to prevent dead skin cells mixing with dirt and grime and leading to infection.
Avoid excessive washing, especially with hot water, which evaporates more rapidly than tepid or lukewarm water. Too much contact with water will remove natural oils and moisture from the skin and encourage further drying. People with dry skin, especially the elderly, should avoid bathing or showering with hot water.
Keep your baths or showers to less than 15 minutes to avoid the loss of natural oils that help retain your skin’s moisture.
Avoid commercial soaps that dry out the skin. Choose a natural moisturizing soap that has a neutral ph value.
Great dry skin care technique: after showering lightly apply virgin coconut oil to your face and massage gently to get your blood circulating and to refresh your face.
Avoid cold cleansing creams, which are made from hydrogenated oils. These oils actually dry out the skin and lead to wrinkles. Try instead patting virgin coconut oil or pure olive oil on your skin to cleanse it. Wash off with tepid or warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth.
Always moisturize your skin – face, neck, body – after your bath or shower. Moisturize your hands after washing them.
Take evening primrose oil supplements to strengthen your skin and increase your skin’s moisture content. * Get plenty of sleep to allow the skin to repair itself at the cellular level.
For some great ways to improve the look and feel of your dry skin using simple, inexpensive products you can purchase at you local food market or grocery store.There is no mystery to proper dry skin care. First, make the decision to practice regular and consistent good skin care. That may mean giving up something (something that is probably bad for you anyway), or taking whatever measures are necessary to promote your overall physical and mental health and the health and appearance of your skin. Once you’ve committed to making your skin look and feel great, use common sense. Keep in mind the guidance and tips provided above for practicing proper dry skin care, and enjoy healthy better skin for the rest of your life!