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Writing Samples

A Man's Thermos

IT Support Company

Direct mail ad

 

Technology keeps you competitive.  Why not partner with an IT firm that will keep you in the game?

 

Alternates:

Is your IT support a game changer, or a time-out?

Does your IT support change your game, or are they simply playing games?

Are you wondering if it’s time to change your IT support?

Are you getting the most from your computer and IT support company?

 

Signs it may be time to take a hard look at your current IT provider:

  • You consistently experience IT glitches, problems, downtime, lost productivity.

  • There always seem to be extra charges each month.

  • Service technicians seem rude, condescending, aloof, and know nothing about how you actually use the systems they service.

 

Competent

  • (Credentials, certifications, years’ experience)

  • Complete support from iPad to WiFi to the latest cloud computing.

  • Networks, web design, backups, VOIP, Social Media

  • Problems get solved.  We make solutions, not excuses. Guaranteed.

 

We know what it means to run a business

  • Payroll, spreadsheets, email, invoicing, accounting, project management

  • The IT tools you use to build and keep your customer base, manage your staff and inventory.

 

We’re friendly and polite

  • Need we say more?  Who couldn’t use a few more friendly, polite people to cross their paths now and again?

 

Cost Conscious

  • Let us show you how to reduce your IT costs 25% - 35%.

A man's thermos; black, rugged, scarred from years of faithful service.  Comfortable in the back of the pickup, bungied to your ATV or tucked in your fishing bag. While the exterior says "experienced" the interior still gleams like new.  Who knows how many times thirst was slaked, hunger banished or cold chills calmed by this trusted friend.  Don't let the story end; help write the next chapter of this vintage thermos bottle. Basement starting price with no reserve and reasonable shipping.

Ugly Shower Makeover

Let’s face it, no matter how utilitarian you are, at some point you will want to escape to your shower not simply to get cleaner.  When you’re greeted by tired shower fixtures covered in lime that don’t deliver invigorating warm jets of rejuvenation, it’s time to seriously consider a change in your shower hardware.

As time has taken its toll on your shower hardware, the gleam has long since departed.  Mineral deposits are beginning to make your shower look cave-like, and critical functions such as water direction, flow and temperature have been severely compromised.  And if you have to warn users of imminent toilet flushes, then it is definitely time to upgrade.

Upgrade advice

Once you’ve decided to bring your shower back to life, be prepared; working with aged plumbing fixtures can sometimes turn the simplest tasks into major rebuilds.  Water deposits can form a concrete-like adhesion to valves and threaded fixtures.  Leave yourself plenty of time to have the project completed, and it would be good to have a backup plan in case your shower is out of commission for a couple days.

Annual Reports

Annual Report

An annual report gives you the opportunity to showcase your department.  If an annual report is part of your organization’s standard operating procedure, you need to make the most of it.  If an annual report is not typically on the agenda, you should do what you can to get on the agenda, at least once a year.  Even if things are not running the smoothest, your department can benefit from a well prepared annual report.

Goal

First, you need to determine the goals for your report.  Sometimes, the goals are given to you.  Perhaps you are required to prepare a budget analysis, or report on ongoing projects.  Even if you have items that are required, you would do well to step back and analyze your message.  What are your department’s goals and objectives?  How do they tie into the mission of the entire organization?  What is the overall impression you want the audience to have?  What is the overall theme you want to convey?

Who is the audience? 

Take time to analyze the audience.  Are there any hot issues that need to be addressed?  Is there a very full agenda for the entire meeting?  How does your presentation fit into the rest of the meeting?  How familiar is the audience with your department?  Knowing who will be listening will help you craft the message to fit their needs.  Try to put yourself in their shoes; what questions would they be asking about your department?  You eat, breathe and sleep your job, but often those in the audience only have a passing familiarity with the details that make up your day.  What salient details do you need to bring to the forefront to get your message across?

What's your story?

One of the most effective reports I witnessed was an annual budget appropriation report.  After a couple years of robust capital improvements, this year was somewhat plain and unexciting.  The story: rebuilding.  As staff handled the past year’s growth, it was time to huddle, assess the existing infrastructure and focus on taking care of their core assets.  As the details of the proposed budget unfolded, the audience could feel the theme and follow the story.  What is your story?  What is the opening scene?  What are the challenges you faced, and how were the victories achieved?  A good story has interesting characters and a logical progression.  Every part of the story connects to the whole; nothing is superfluous.

Keep it positive

This is key.  Your annual report needs to have the glass half full.  It’s easy to report on the successful events of the year.  But how do you handle the negatives?  You need to report honestly and with integrity.  Own up to mistakes, but don’t stop there.  What has happened since the error?  What was learned from the issue?  What positive outcomes resulted?  You should critique your report for any hint of negativity and look for ways to make the lemon into lemonade.

Energy

This doesn’t mean you must be standing on the table to give your report.  But we’ve all been held hostage by presentations that are nauseatingly lukewarm.  Take some time to watch any popular television show, or commercial.  Count the number of seconds between shots; you may be surprised at how quickly the visual images change.  This constant movement helps infuse energy into the message.  No one wants to stare at one power point slide for minutes on end.  Break up the information into bite-size portions.  Any use of a visual aid should be just that: visual and an aid.  If the image does not help the message in some way or even possibly makes things more confusing, don’t use it.  The visuals need to propel the message, not drag it down.  Your interest in the subject matter is one of the best ways to communicate energy.  Observe how someone talks about a favorite hobby, or a grandchild.  Your audience might not care too much about the details of your message, but they will know if you care by how you project yourself. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

This is vital.  Go through the presentation multiple times.  Check to make sure your timing is on.  Practice using any audio-visual equipment you plan on having at the presentation so that it becomes familiar.  The act of rehearsing your presentation will make the delivery smoother and more relaxed.  The more you practice, the better you will be able to handle any diversions, interruptions or other unforeseen issues.

Make your annual report a positive, engaging event that reinforces your department’s value to the organization.

Military Picture Frames

Your soldier has taken a pledge to serve and defend the freedom of this great nation.  What better way to honor their image than with a hand-crafted wood frame.  Now the timeless photographs of your loved one serving in our armed forces can be accented by custom wood frames. Take the opportunity to memorialize the special snapshots from faraway places or the formal dress uniform portraits in a truly unique way.  These crafted wood frames are designed to tastefully display your photograph and communicate the honor and pride of each branch of our armed forces.  While attractive enough to stand on their own, these solid wood frames reflect the honor, respect and appreciation you have for your soldier.  And remember, each frame can be personally customized.  By including a name, significant date, or even a personal message, your frame becomes a unique and personal message of love and respect.  Honor your distinguished service member with a frame that lets everyone know their branch of service.

Army Picture Frames

They’ve taken an oath to defend your freedom.  Surround their images with a quality wood Army picture frames that let everyone know of your high esteem of their distinguished service in the oldest branch serving the United States.

Marine Picture Frames

Semper Fidelis:  Always Faithful.  Right away your friends will know your soldier’s a Marine.  Our special Marine frames are designed to accentuate your décor while tastefully and boldly drawing attention to the picture.  Put the face of your Marine in a custom wood frame that says more than a plain picture frame could ever communicate.

Navy Picture Frames

“Honor, Courage, Commitment” - a fitting motto for the greatest navy on Earth.  That kind of service deserves a special kind of display.  Give the image of your soldier serving in our Navy a place of prominence.  And remember, frames can be personally customized to reflect the individual’s character.  Make your frame even more memorable; transform a snapshot into a distinct and memorable gift by including a personal message or symbol. 

Shop at Cabela's

Shopping at Cabela’s is not your average sporting goods shopping experience.  This Mecca of outdoor goods procurement has brought the Great Outdoors indoors for you to browse, fleece by fleece, waterproof breathable garment by waterproof breathable garment.  A life-like sculpture of white-tailed deer frozen in bronze leads you to ancient timber columns framing the entrance.  Dark green metal panel roofing and rough-hewn log siding gives the impression of a north woods lodge.  Inside you’re greeted by smiling attendants with uniforms reminiscent of the National Park Service.  When you read the sign informing you about properly handling firearms inside the store, you realize this is not just any retailer; this is the big leagues with real guns and real ammo.  Your gaze is drawn to a slice of the Rocky Mountains, seemingly carved out of Wyoming and relocated just inside the lobby.  It’s filled with trees, streams, and more taxidermy than anywhere outside of Chicago’s Field Museum.  Bears, lynx, fox, deer and innumerable others pose lifelike on the mountainside.  An outfitter’s single engine plane tilts overhead and you can almost hear the drone of the engine as it takes you deep into the shopping wilderness.  You stand rooted at this spot, taking it all in.  You can’t ignore the beckoning call of the World’s Foremost Outfitter.

Durable Attractive Kitchen Backsplash

Most kitchen counters come with a standard four inch countertop backsplash that serves well for containing most of your kitchen activities.  But what about the space between the counter and the bottom of your cabinets?  This critical splash zone requires a durable easy to clean yet attractive surface.  One the various options available, kitchen tile backsplashes offer the ultimate in durability and feature unlimited creativity. 

Today’s tiles come in an unbelievable array of colors and styles, and installation is well within the skill set of the motivated do-it-yourselfer.  From traditional to modern, country to cosmopolitan, kitchen tile backsplashes add a depth and richness unsurpassed by other materials.  There’s even recycled glass tile for the earth-conscious designer.  Special accent tiles can be added to give kitchen backsplashes a personal feel, and even entire murals can be created to transform the backsplash into an artistic focal piece.

In addition to unparalleled looks, tile provides an incredibly durable surface that will continue to look good for years.  Porcelain, glass or even stainless steel tiles provide a highly cleanable surface that resists stains.

If you’re remodeling or just looking for a way to upgrade your kitchen, a tile backsplash can make a sensible and stylish addition.

Workplace Housekeeping - Basic Guide

Definition

  • A regular component of each task and each day, not a special project.

  • keeping work areas clean, neat and orderly

    • Clean: no buildup of dust, dirt, oils, droppings, films.

    • Neat: hoses, cords, ropes coiled. Containers in straight rows and stacks.

    • Orderly: no mixtures of tools and supplies in one spot. Similar tools and supplies kept together.

  • Maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards  

  • Removal of waste materials from work areas.


Benefits

  • fewer tripping and slipping accidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas

  • decreased fire hazards

  • lower worker exposures to hazardous substances (e.g. dusts, vapors)

  • better control of tools and materials

  • more efficient equipment cleanup and maintenance

  • more effective use of space

  • reduced property damage

  • less janitorial work

  • improved morale

  • improved productivity

  • improved image


Plan a good housekeeping program

Cleaning and organization must be done regularly, not just at the end of the shift. Integrating housekeeping into jobs can help ensure this is done. A good housekeeping program identifies and assigns responsibilities for the following:

  • clean up during the shift

  • daily cleaning

  • waste disposal

  • removal of unused materials

  • inspection


Elements of an effective housekeeping program

Work and Walking Surfaces

  • No accumulation of dust, dirt, chips, shavings, debris.  Spills cleaned or covered immediately.

Aisles and Stairways

  • Clear

Tools and Equipment

  • Clean

  • Labeled

  • Stored on proper hanger, bin, hook, shelf

  • Flammable, combustible, toxic and other hazardous materials should be stored in approved containers in designated areas.

Supplies

  • In original containers or properly marked for contents and hazards.

  • Neat, orderly, labeled.

  • Regularly inventoried and reconciled.

  • Containers not leaking; leakage cleaned up immediately.

  • No bats, balls, Frisbees, hockey sticks or other toys.

Waste Disposal

  • Containers emptied regularly.

Home Roasted Coffee (excerpt)

How would you like to enjoy the freshest most aromatic coffee for a fraction of the cost of your popular coffee house brew?  What if I told you for only about 32 cents you could be sipping 16 ounces of stunningly flavored coffee?  Sound too good to be true?  Well, this is one story that lives up to the hype.  The key is simple:  home roasting.

Coffee is an exceptionally complex beverage.  Flavor profiles exhibited from coffee are far more complex than wine.  Not surprisingly, these flavors vary from region to region, from year to year as the plants grow and produce in the varying climates, soils and harvesting processes.

But regardless where the beans come from the greatest difference between good coffee and a cup that says, "drink me forever" is created in your own home with simple, inexpensive equipment.  Compare a loaf of bread from the supermarket shelf and one from the bakery.  Smell the difference?  How about one coming from your own oven?  One smells like bread, the other fills your senses.  You are physically overcome with the aroma.

To effect this analogy with coffee, you first need green unroasted beans.  This is not something your local grocer is likely to have on hand, but in our wide-web-world, it is simple to procure (a couple web sites to try are listed at the end).  Alternatively, locate a local coffee roaster.  While they don’t often have bags of green coffee for sale, you should be able to talk them out of a batch or two.  When they hear what you’re up to, they will likely raise an eyebrow and nod approvingly.  For these folks, roasting is an artisan skill.  They know if you’re doing this at home you’re serious about your coffee and they will respect your getting your feet wet in the world of coffee roasting.

While there are a number of ways you can roast at home, using the hot air popcorn popper method provides great results at a very low cost.  For very little investment, you can find out if home roasting is something you want to seriously pursue.  Used poppers are fairly common at resale shops and can be typically purchased from $4 to $8.  When you look down the barrel of this machine, you should see vents cut into the sides.  If you look down inside the heating chamber and see something at the bottom that looks like a window screen, you don't want this machine.  You will also need a metal colander, a one-half measuring cup, and some heavy gloves.  That’s it.  Simple, inexpensive.