Sunday, December 15, 2019

Home Buying Considerations in the Virginia Area

Home Buying Considerations in the Virginia Area

  • Inspect yearly
    • Wear
      • Roofs can wear away in 10 or more years. The wear may contribute to increase cooling/heating bills, water leaks into the home and or create opportunities for structural issues to the home
    • Critters
      • Look for attempts for animals like squirrels and birds tearing away at your home to make shelter
    • Damage
      • Check for damage resulting from storms, natural falling debris, as well as man-made debris
  • Gutters
    • Keep them clean; a heavy gutter begins to separate from your home over time. This diminishes the utility of the gutter as well as contribute to other forms of damage
    • Do-it-yourselfers can find gutter protection material via Amazon. However, you may want to have a professional look at your home to gain insight into what types of products may truly work for your situation
Drainage around the home
  • Keep water away from the foundation
    • Ensure water does not pool around the foundation of the home during rainy periods. If there are pools, you need to consider installing drainage lines to lure the water away from the home. Consult YouTube or a professional for more information. You can also visit to view different drainage products use to direct water away from your home.
    • Cracks in your foundation resulting from water damage can lead to many expensive and destructive issues to your home, if ignored.
  • General – this can be an expensive, messy and inconvenient nightmare for you if ignored.  If there’s anything you want inspected, it is plumbing.  Plumbing impacts your ability to survive, as well as your quality of life.
  • Well Water
    • Acidity
      • WARNING – if you see blue water, you need to ask the owner if they have copper pipes.  You want to know the source of the blue coloration, or any coloration for that matter. Plumbers tell me when you see blue in the water in a home with copper pipes, it indicates roughly 50% of the pipes are worn and a leak will be on the way.  If the piping from the well entering the home to the water neutralizer is copper, you might want to have everything before the water neutralizer replaced, or you may deal with massive leaks as I experienced.  I had CPVC installed by Robinson Plumbing of Fredericksburg-
    • Piping
      • Different types of piping are used for home water systems. Some common forms of piping are CPVC, copper, brass, cast iron and PEX.  You need to know what pipes you have. You need to know if they are maintained, and how they are maintained.  If they are not maintained, you have to identify what risks and expenses you are willing to incur until you have the pipe fixed and/or replaced.
    • Pressure tank – Water from the well is piped into your home leading to the pressure tank before the water is distributed to the water neutralizer and the rest of your home.  The life span on pressure tanks vary; I’ve been told 8-12 years.  These can be messy if you have a leak and you are not home. There are solutions to mitigate such concerns, ask a plumber.
    • Water softener – should sit next to your water neutralizer. This system makes the water customized you’re your level of comfort for bathing, cleaning clothes, etc.
  • Septic System
    • Pumping – should be cleaned every two to five years, or as directed by our local laws.  Call your local septic service.  I use Marshall’s septic service -
    • Drain field and Distribution Box – want to ensure water is flowing. You should have this inspected before purchasing the home; this can be very expensive if ignored.  Hydro jetting may be needed to clean out the lines so the system does not shut down and contribute to major problems later
  • Conventional water system – contact your local water provider and ask what concerns exist for home owners with conventional water systems. Also ask what concerns should you consider such as pipe replacement damage, liability and costs.
  • Water heater
    • Lifespans vary, as do their costs. Like pressure tanks, plumbers told me lifespans can range from 8-12 years.  Costs can vary from electric water heaters versus more expensive gas water heaters.
  • You can find some guides on plumbing via Amazon, or take the information from Amazon and go to your local library to find the books.
Air Conditioning - I have both gas and electric. You need to be on an annual maintenance plan to ensure your systems are covered by manufacturer warranties, as well as some home warranty companies.
  • Ensure  you change your air filters often. I change mine monthly.  Filters need not be expensive, talk to your local service provider for recommendations. I use I.C.E. -
  • Also talk to your service provider about how to clean your outside systems from dirt, grime, pet urine, etc that often shortens the lifespan on your systems. If taken care of properly, your systems can live a long time. Example, I maintain my systems via I.C.E and still have part of the original system installed in 1994 … now 2019.
  • Have an inspector look at your wiring by testing your systems. It’s one thing if light turn off and on; it’s another thing if you have dirty bathroom vents that may not be working properly and can contribute to a potential fire later.  
Home Warranty
  • Debates exist, but I purchased one when I purchased the home and maintained it for over 14 years… provided me much peace of mind and has come to good use for many heating/cooling system issues, plumbing and mechanical issues. Service may not always be timely, but your concerns are often well-addressed at an affordable price.  Emergencies tend to happen on weekends, holidays and/or when money is tight… that’s when warranties help provide some piece of mind.
Termite/pest control
  • You don’t have a problem, until you have a problem. And, when you do, this can be very expensive. I use Colony Pest Control -

Posted: 15Dec19

Saturday, March 23, 2019

How the GS System Fails Federal Workers and Everyone Else - Management Matters - Management -

"A core problem is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics no longer conducts surveys designed to report the prevailing market pay for specific jobs. At one time BLS did conduct a so-called benchmark survey, reporting market rates nationally and in each locality area, but it was terminated in the mid-1990s.  

That's when the problems started. No president has ever agreed to close the "pay gap" and there is no reason to believe that is going to change. Current BLS surveys were not planned for this purpose, and after trying for two decades, there is no reason to think complex statistical models will produce credible answers."

Cheers, and have an outstanding day

How to Attract and Retain the Best Public Employees | Editorials |

"The Virginia General Assembly, addressing the problem of low starting pay for state troopers, approved increasing their starting pay by nearly $8,100 as of July 1, 2017. Before, these young men and women answering the call to serve as members of the Virginia State Police had starting pay of only $36,207; the legislature's actions increased that to $44,290. It's still a pitifully low starting salary for a job where there's a danger each day you might be killed or injured in the line of duty, but it's certainly an improvement."

And the best paid feds live where?

"So where do feds get the relatively big relatively bucks? Many would guess Washington, D.C., and its metro area which is headquarters for all but a handful of federal agencies and departments. While D.C. has the most high-grade employees of any locality, where does it stand in the salary pecking order? If you want to get more pay for doing the same job at the same grade level, where would you go? New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Houston, Dallas, or Huntsville, Alabama?"

General registrars will get higher salaries, but will have to wait on a new pay scale - Virginia Mercury

Registrars in Virginia are promised a base pay that ranges from $46,468 a year up to $90,525 a year in localities with more than 200,000 people. That cutoff means only about a dozen localities in the state qualify to pay their registrars the highest state salary.

In localities with 150,000 to 200,000 people, the salary for registrars drops to $68,491 a year.

How much you really need to live comfortably in all 50 states | Fox Business

"For the study, the personal finance website used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the 50/30/20 budgeting rule -- which allocates 50 percent of your income to necessities, 30 percent to discretionary expenses and 20 percent to savings -- to find out what the average "living wage" is in each state."

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

One Person's Way to Losing Fat - Intermittent Fasting, Low Carb, Apple Cider Vinegar

Losing and managing weight is hard for some; myself included.  The following is an approach I'm currently using.  

  • Try to eat only between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., or a time of your choosing within a similar window of time
  • Try to eat 20-30​ grams of protein as a first meal to attack/mitigate hunger 

  • Eat only: 
    • protein-rich foods e.g. fish, chicken turkey, etc
      • eat your proteins slowly
    • fats in the form of avocado, nuts, real butter
    • carbohydrates/complex carbohydrates in the form of kale, cruciferous vegetables, beans

  • Drink: 
    • Water and unsweetened teas
    • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - ensure the label states it contains MOTHER
      • Mix 1-2 teaspoons of ACV with about 8 ounces of water (do this before each meal 1-3 times daily) 
        • protect your tooth enamel by using a straw

  • Avoid: 
    • all simple carbohydrates and sugars as much as possible
    • do not drink calories


*Liability comment: This posting is for informational purposes only.

Resources: The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

Updated: 27Aug18

Thursday, January 17, 2019

21st Century Career Managing Tip - The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Job Market

Monitoring the job market and preparing for career changes never ends, this includes having awareness of the future job environment. 

As technology grows, the impacts on society and our ability to survive on our own terms can bring stress and uncertainty in an already uncertain period. Here are a couple of observations I share for your consideration and further research.

13Jan19; CBS 60 Minutes ran a story about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications on society and the job market. The interview was with Kai-Fu Lee, an AI expert and venture capitalist.

Lee stated in the 60 Minute’s interview he expects approximately 40% of todays jobs become irrelevant within the next 15-20 years. Those jobs tend to involve processes that can be automated such as vehicle drivers, bookkeepers, store clerks, etc.

11Jan19 and 14Jan19; Time and CNBC ran articles where Lee identified jobs most likely safe from AI. Those jobs are ones involving creativity, negotiation/emotional intelligence/social intelligence skills, strategic thinking, certain types of analysis as well as unknown jobs that will develop as a result of AI. 

The point - where crisis surfaces, so do opportunities. Take the time to pay attention to the world around you so you can identify how to shape your future, rather the future shape you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

SNOW BULLY–Better than a Shovel, Easy to Use, Energy Efficient, Cost Effective and Made in the USA

Are you ready for the snow season?

I don't know about you, I have a long driveway I hate just pushing snow out with the shovel. I don't have a truck where I can add a snow plow blade to push away the snow. However, I did find something that may be of interest to you… It's called the SNOW BULLY.

I just purchased a SNOW BULLY a little over a month ago. It’s made of heavy steel, but very easy to maneuver. I cannot wait to use it. Shoveling can be backbreaking work, it can also be dangerous because of the amount of stress it can put on your heart.

The SNOW BULLY is easy to maneuver and push your way through snow.
The SNOW BULLY is cost effective; you do not have to hire someone to clear your driveway. Its energy efficient, you do not need gas or fuel, you just push…its totally green in terms of clean energy use. The SNOW Bully does not stress the muscles in your back like shoveling.

To learn more about the SNOW Bully, you can watch the video below and visit the website at

NIEVE BULLY - Mejor que una pala , fácil de usar , la energía eficiente, rentable y Hecho en los EE.UU.
¿Estás listo para la temporada de nieve ?
Yo no sé ustedes , tengo un largo camino de entrada Odio simplemente empujando la nieve con la pala. Yo no tengo un camión en el que puedo agregar una hoja quitanieves de alejar la nieve. Sin embargo , encontré algo que puede ser de interés para usted ... Se llama la NIEVE BULLY .
Acabo de comprar un NIEVE BULLY hace poco más de un mes . Está hecho de acero pesado , pero muy fácil de maniobrar. No puedo esperar para usarlo. Palear puede de trabajar duro , sino que también puede ser peligroso debido a la cantidad de estrés que puede poner en su corazón.
El BULLY NIEVE es fácil de maniobrar y empujar su camino a través de la nieve.
El BULLY nieve es rentable , usted no tiene que contratar a alguien para limpiar su camino de entrada. Su eficiente de la energía , no necesita gas o combustible , que acaba de empujar ... es totalmente verde en términos de uso de energía limpia. El NIEVE Bully no hace hincapié en los músculos de la espalda , como palear .
Para aprender más acerca de la NIEVE Bully , se puede ver el vídeo de arriba y visitar el sitio web en
СНЕГ BULLY - Лучше, чем лопата , прост в использовании , энергосберегающий, экономичный и Сделано в США
Готовы ли вы на снежный сезон ?
Я не знаю, как вы , у меня есть длинная дорога Мне не нравится просто нажав снег с лопатой . Я не есть грузовик , где я могу добавить снегоуборочной лезвие, чтобы оттолкнуть снег . Тем не менее, я нашел то, что может представлять интерес для вас ... Она называется СНЕГ BULLY .
Я только что купил снегу хулиган чуть более месяца назад . Она сделана из тяжелой стали , но очень легко маневрировать . Я не могу ждать, чтобы использовать его . Shoveling можно непосильного труда , она также может быть опасно, потому что от суммы стресса он может положить на вашем сердце.
СНЕГ BULLY легко маневрировать и нажмите ваш путь через снег.
СНЕГ BULLY является экономически эффективным , вы не должны нанять кого-то , чтобы очистить Вашу дорогу . Его энергоэффективными, вам не нужно газ или топливо , вы просто нажать ... его полностью зеленый с точки зрения использования экологически чистой энергии . СНЕГ Bully не подчеркнуть мышцы вашей спины , как лопатой .
Чтобы узнать больше о снегу Bully , вы можете смотреть видео выше, и на веб-сайте
SNOW bắt nạt - tốt hơn so với một Shovel, dễ sử dụng, tiết kiệm năng lượng , chi phí hiệu quả và Sản xuất tại Mỹ
Bạn đã sẵn sàng cho mùa tuyết ?
Tôi không biết về bạn , tôi có một đường lái xe lâu tôi ghét chỉ cần đẩy tuyết với cái xẻng . Tôi không có một chiếc xe tải , nơi tôi có thể thêm một tuyết cày lưỡi để đẩy đi những tuyết . Tuy nhiên, tôi đã tìm thấy một cái gì đó mà bạn có thể quan tâm đến bạn ... Nó được gọi là SNOW bắt nạt .
Tôi vừa mua một SNOW bắt nạt một ít hơn một tháng trước đây . Nó được làm bằng thép nặng , nhưng rất dễ dàng để cơ động. Tôi không thể chờ đợi để sử dụng nó. Xúc có thể được backbreaking làm việc , nó cũng có thể nguy hiểm vì số lượng căng thẳng nó có thể đặt trên trái tim của bạn .
Kẻ bắt nạt SNOW là dễ dàng cơ động và đẩy theo cách của bạn thông qua tuyết .
Kẻ bắt nạt SNOW là chi phí hiệu quả , bạn không cần phải thuê một ai đó để xóa đường lái xe của bạn. Năng lượng hiệu quả , bạn không cần xăng hoặc nhiên liệu , bạn chỉ cần đẩy ... nó hoàn toàn màu xanh lá cây trong điều khoản sử dụng năng lượng sạch. Các SNOW Bully không nhấn mạnh các cơ bắp ở lưng như xúc .
Để tìm hiểu thêm về SNOW Bully , bạn có thể xem đoạn video trên và truy cập vào trang web tại

Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Making a Living in the Future - What You Should Know

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Making a Living in the Future - What You Should Know 

Notes from: CBS 60 Minutes Interview: Facial and emotional recognition; how one man is advancing artificial intelligence
AI Expert Kai-Fu Lee
  • Image Source:

Video key points:
  • Machines run by AI are learning at a rate of speed that is unpredictable.
  • Kai-Fu Lee assessed 40% of today’s blue-collar and white-collar jobs -in the world- will be replaced by AI in approximately 15 years
    • Jobs mentioned: drivers, chefs, waiters, bookkeeping; anything where systematic processes are employed, and creativity is not a dominant element of the job.
  • Kai-Fu Lee stated “I believe it’s going to change the world more then anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity.”
  • AI is rapidly developing visual and emotional recognition capabilities the can be used to help people, or to be exploited by restrictive governments.
    • AI still lacks the ability to assess personal intentions
  • AI is being driven by speedy computer chips, access to all world data, and the ability to develop a capacity for "deep learning", without manual programming. 
    • “Deep Learning” can only be achieved when engineers help the machines make recognition adjustments to correct observation gaps or mistakes. Machines are constantly exposed to endless streams of data that it eventually learns what black pants means; what a happy person looks like, or when someone expresses intentions to carry out an act. Once the engineers correct the machine learning gaps; the machine does not forget. The fast-operating chips speed the process of constant exposure.
  • Lee stated the more data collected, the better the AI.
  • People having trouble adapting to revolutionary technical changes need to learn new skills be make a living
  • Technology may outpace a countries ability to create a new workforce that can earn living wages
  • AI monitoring children’s emotions in classrooms and identify students who require assistance
  • Distance learning can become more interactive
Some Initial Considerations:
  • What jobs can you perform that cannot be replaced by AI?
  • What education, skills and abilities should you develop to be competitive in the future job market?
  • What kind of pay can you expect to acquire and how will that allow you to achieve and maintain your personal standard of living?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Veteran Jobs, Benefits, Opportunity and Training

Veterans Assistance URL Site Name Comment Transition Assistance Program - VA Benefits Briefings Ebenefits Veteran Employment Transition, Employment, and Economic Impact Transition Planning DFAS Pay/Retirement Networking For Veterans: A Guidebook for a Successful Military Transition into the Civilian Workforce  Networking Signs of a Great Résumé: Veterans Edition: How to Write a Résumé that Speaks for Itself  Resume Writing The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded  Making an Impact Veteran Mentor Network - LINKEDIN ABOUT THIS GROUP
The mission of the Veteran Mentor Network is to help Military Members, Military Spouses, and Veterans establish and achieve job search, career and life goals. USA Jobs Intern Opportunities for students starting in high school to post military service USA Jobs and Military Veterans USA Jobs and those with Disabilities USA Jobs and Military Spouses

Considerations for Protecting Brain Functions Through Food and Exercise

Considerations for Protecting Brain Functions Through Food and Exercise
Notes from: Power Foods for the Brain | Neal Barnard | TEDxBismarck
Video key points:
  • Diet and exercise have a significant impact on reducing cognitive impairment and/or Alzheimer’s as we age
  • Genes for Alzheimer’s are not destiny
    1. A 40-minute brisk walk three times a week impacts the size of the hippocampus and can reverse brain shrinkage
    2. Vitamin E mitigates Alzheimer’s.
      • found in avocados, almonds, walnuts, spinach and other foods. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant. 
      • Vitamin E is best taken from food, NOT supplements. 
      • Eat colorful foods e.g. blue berries and grapes, purple etc
  • Mild cognitive impairment starts on average age at age 50
    1. Alzheimer’s risks are higher in people who eat more than 21.6 grams of fat daily
    2. Dairy products is the number one source of saturated fat
    3. Oxidized iron and copper in your body acts as sparks. This material comes from copper pipes or iron pans.
    4. Metals in food and water combined with too much fat increases chances of cognitive impairment as we age

Monday, January 14, 2019

How and Why to Manage Carbohydrate Intake

Source:  Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines | Sarah Hallberg | TEDxPurdueU
Video key points identified by 'Obesity Doctor' - Dr. Sarah Hallberg:
·       Medical science is biased; hence why diets are confusing and information is contradicting
·       Discusses insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes and heart disease
·       Carbohydrate is the largest contributing factor to insulin resistance and diabetes leading to a need for medication
·       Carbohydrate is not a nutrient
·       Protein is a nutrient
·       Fat does not cause insulin spikes; carbs does…keep blood sugar low
·       Recommendation? Minimize the amount of carb intake, but increase protein and fat intake
·       Hallberg provides viewers a vignette of how her clinic had a diabetes patient come off insulin by using the low-carb approach
·       Her recommended rules for a low-carb diet are:
1.     Don't eat 'fat-free' or 'low-fat' foods; they are loaded with chemicals and carbs
2.     Eat real food; not boxed food… if you cannot tell it's real food- it's not
3.     Eat foods you like
4.     Eat only when you are hungry…not on a planned schedule
5.     "NO GPS – No grains, potatoes, or sugar"; most alleged whole grains ARE PROCESSED whole grains… not the same
·       Two big reasons why low-carb is not well-promoted
1.     Carbs are a hard habit to break
2.     Competing business agendas and slanted health reporting
Some References

Family Security Resource: The Art of Invisibility - Kevin Mitnick

The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick

Here is the book link:

Worth Reading?

Absolutely. Kevin Mitnick (author) provides novice and sophisticated computer users numerous tips to enhance personal on-line / cyber security.  I've been in the security business for almost 30 years, and this is one of the best books I've seen that provides at home users deep, but applicable, insights to home on-line security.

Worth Owning?

Yes. The book gives readers the mental insights and perspective one must have to best maintain personal privacy.

Is there such a thing as right of privacy?

In theory yes. However Mitnick proves how computer/phone users relinquish that privacy through vanity purchases. The government does not need to monitor your information; you give your data away to companies who SELL your private information to big data services supporting businesses using big data to target your wallet; determine whether an employee should hire you; your credit information; your security "secret answers" to "secret questions". 

Can you be invisible on the web?

No. You always leave a trace. You can only delay being found. You delay being found by creating a seperate identity. You must push equipment (computer, modems, printers, etc) and services only associated with that identity. You cannot use that equipment at home because of risk of contaminaton with your real identity. Your ability to hide will last only for so long, because you will eventually make a mistake.

Everything you do can be monitored at work, home or play. At work, whatever you print resides on the queue at work for the network monitors. Whatever you try to print can be used to assess your printing habits, and whether they are tied to work. Computer owned electronic equipment (phones, computers, cars) can be tracked an monitored to assess your level of work performance, as well as personal habits.

What benefit is the book? 

Mitnick provides readers a wealth of at-home easy-to-apply fundamentals and concepts you can employ to secure your daily personal and business dealings.

Here is the book link:

If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a… — ProPublica

If You're Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won't be Yours

A new data analysis by ProPublica and the Urban Institute shows more than half of older U.S. workers are pushed out of longtime jobs before they choose to retire, suffering financial damage that is often irreversible.


You are over 50 years old and you are pushed out of your job. 

  • What options do you have to find another job? 

  • Will you be sure you will get at least the same amount of pay?

  • What is your bump plan if you cannot find another job?

  • What skills are you developing now to prepare for a potential job loss?

Age Discrimination — ProPublica

Career planning requires more than:

  1. researching the job market
  2. developing a pathway to promotions
  3. training for new skills and knowledge
  4. developing personal relationships
Career planning also requires recognizing how you will survive as you age. Some options to consider are:
  1. Having hobbies that can turn into self-employment opportunities
  2. Strategic investing strategies; not only of money, but also the use of time and other resources that you can scale to mitigate potential challenges beyond your control



For a half century, it has been the law of the land that with few exceptions older workers can't be treated 
differently than younger ones. But the protections against age bias aren't working like they used to.

10 Facts About Age Discrimination in the Workplace

10 Age Discrimination Facts

While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) makes it illegal to discriminate against workers age 40 and up, the exact rules, and how they are interpreted, aren't always so clear to workers. Here are 10 important facts you should know about age discrimination:
Read more here:

Wake Your ASS UP!!! - Countering Backpain Glute Via Activation

Countering Backpain via Glute Activation When you walk do you have problems walking standing up? Are your hips tight? Do you find your thi...