Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

———— Starting #ExitSeats Training ——————————–

“… 300 series plane, so no flight attendant will help you
with emergency exit doors.” Points to Emergency folder…

“Your resposibilities are found in here. Any questions?”

————— End of Emergency Exit Door training. ——————–

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a ...

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a passenger airplane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what did I just agree to do?

Well for those of you that have agreed to this position of power, note that there are certain written responsibilities that come with the extra leg room. And if you do have any relatives flying on the plane with you then you should not be sitting in the exit row. These are serious federal laws.

Or you can use my line, “I don’t like those relatives, so I will be showing them anything but favoritism.”

Written on the Airplane’s Exit Door Emergency Folder:

If you are seared in a row of seats having direct access to an
overwing exit, you are in an emergency seat and may be called upon to
open the exit window and help other passengers leave the aircraft if a
crew member is not available to assist.

Each person seated in an exit seat must be willing and able to perform 
the following functions:

- Locate The emergency exit.
– Recognize the emergency exit opening mechanism.
– Comprehend the instructions for operating the emergency exit.
– Operate the emergency exit. Assess whether opening the emergency exit will
increase the hazards to which passengers may be exposed.
– Follow oral directions and hand signals given by a Crew Member.
– Stow or secure the emergency exit window so that it will not impede use of exit.
– Pass expeditiously through the emergency exit
– Asses, select, and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit.

A passenger seated in exit seat must have sufficient mobility strength & 
dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to:

- Reach upward, sideways, and downward to the location of the emergency exit.
– Grasp and push, pull, turn, or otherwise manipulate mechanisms.
– Push, Shove, Pull, or otherwise open the exit.
– Lift out, hold, deposit on nearby seats, maneuver over the seatbacks
to next row or out the opening objects/obstructions the size and
weight of overwing window exits.
– Maintain balance while removing obstructions
– Reach the emergency exit and exit the aircraft expeditiously.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must:

- Be 15 years of age
– Have the capacity to perform the applicable functions without the
assistance of an adult companion, parent, or other relative
– Have the ability to read and understand instructions related to
emergency evacuation provided by Southwest Airlines in printed or
graphic form.
– Have the ability to understand  oral Crew commands.
– Have sufficient visual capacity to perform applicable functions
without the assistance of visual aids beyond contact lenses or
eyeglasses.
– Have sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions
shouted by Crew Members without assistance beyond a hearing aid.
– Have the ability to adequately impart information orally in English
to other passengers.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must not:
-use potable O2 concentrator.
– Have preboarded the aircraft. Required a seatbelt extension to
fasten his seat belt.
– Have a condition or responsibility such as caring for small children
or pets, that might prevent him  from performing the applicable functions.
– Have a condition that might cause the person harm if he performs one
or more of applicable functions.

Federal Regulations  Require that you identify yourself for reseating 
if you:
– Cannot meet the selection criteria
– Have a condition that will prevent you from performing the
applicable functions
– may suffer bodily harm as a result of performing any of the
applicable functions.
– do not wish to perform

Window door approx 50 pounds

_______end of folder training________

 

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happy-valentine-day-ballantyne

So it’s Valentine’s Day! Yeah!! ..or Nay? For those that suffer through Valentine’s day, I understand. I feel the sentiment behind a friend’s words in saying, “it should be renamed ‘Singles Awareness Day’.”

But hey, being so closely named to this day, I have decided to embrace it and all the cheesiness that comes with it.

And as a pest control guy, this mean double “Love Bug” trouble.

bug-treat-recipeYes… that’s my crafty work.  I spent some time making these cute little love bugs. You can get your Love Bug Recipe here: http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/bug-treats

And beyond that, I played the romance killer in this short feature:

So there you have it…

Hope you have a Wonderful Happy Valentine’s Day!

oh.. and if you want to win a free year of pest control service in this year’s Valentine Video Contest, then might want to check out this link:

http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/contest-rules

 

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Google is constantly testing and refining their search. This also applies to their ad section. Google cares about conversion optimization. Click here to see previous changes to sponsored section. Despite their “Do no Evil” slogan, they are still in the game to make money. Here is the latest testing of their ad section.

Google-Ads-Section-testing

Compared to current “Ad section”:

Google-Search-PPC-Section

my first reaction…

google-ads

What is that Big Yellow Tag doing there?

I am actually a bit skeptical on if this is going to help click through rates. It does grab one’s attention which could help CTR. The main advantage I see is that the shading has disappeared. I think most people have grown cold toward the shaded “sponsored” area and simply skip over it out of habit. I assume that Google isn’t going to do anything that will hurt revenues.  Only time will tell if this test goes live in all the searches and how much it helps Google’s bottom line. But you can take this away, “Always be testing. Always.”

Peek at Returning Review Stars to Google

Posted: July 18, 2013 by Thos003 in Uncategorized

Google announced earlier this year that the GOLD STARS for Local Search would be returning, now powered by Google Plus. Well here is a sneak peek:

GooglePlusReviewStars

(Thank you Mike of Carpet Cleaning Chico for sharing this image.)

This is in Beta right now and few users can see these. Further, the final roll out may look a little different. But overall, the Gold Stars are there in living color. And I like the added score in front of the stars to clarify the actual average. It’s a nice touch. But still, more importantly, the stars. The stars are coming back!

Gold Star History

It was one year ago that Google removed the review stars from the local search pack. They instead went with a Zagat rating. A red box number from 1 to 30. This number was virtually worthless to users. Most didn’t understand it. 5 simple gold stars was easy to see, to read, to understand. And the disappearance of those stars made a difference. A HUGE difference. Taking away those stars cost Bulwark Exterminating big money. July of 2012 was my first down month in 6 years. Oddly, all other vital signs to my website look the same. Same traffic, same time on site, same bounce rate. But sales were down. After fixing this problem with a little schema markup, and then becoming the only organic with stars we had record breaking months. In fact, September of 2012 was our best pest control month ever, which is notable considering September is the tail end of our busy season.

Are Gold Stars REALLY that Impactful?

Further evidence of the importance of the 5 gold stars is found in Adwords Express (formerly Google Boost) and PPC Seller Ratings. Both of these add stars to google’s paid ads. Neither of these were removed over the past year. Since the Adwords team is in the game to make money, I doubt that leaving those gold stars in PPC ads was an accident. In fact, I know several local companies that opted to use Adwords Express for the sole purpose of restoring the “Gold Review Stars”. The results of for those that went that route varied. The lack of control in Adwords express deterred me from going that route.  I’m not a fan of paying $10 a click for keywords I don’t get a say in. (You can find my full Pros and Pests to Adwords Express on Avalaunch’s blog) And Google doesn’t offer the review star ad extension for local businesses outside of adwords express. But others have reported that they like adwords express. So with all marketing, test it.

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Wow, Independace Day!

Posted: July 4, 2013 by Thos003 in Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day!! God bless America!

So it’s been awhile since I’ve written here. It’s the darn FREEDOM that has kept me from writing.

“FREEDOM you say?? Freedom keeps you from writing?”

I know it sounds a bit bizarre, rationally, if I were free then I’d have the time to write. I do like to write, but there are things that I value more than writing, and those things have consumed my time and so I am not FREE to write. Let me explain further, FREEDOM allows me to opportunity to write, but opportunity cost has taken that freedom to write by spending the precious commodity of time else where.

I heard a great musician once speak and say, “How many of you want to be master pianists?”

I raised my hand.

“You LIE.” he replied. “Wanting is doing. If you really wanted it then you would put in the time and energy to do it.”

He was right. I didn’t really want to be a master pianist.

Freedom makes great good and great evil possible.

I am grateful for the great nation we live in. I am so very happy with the freedoms I enjoy. But I must recognize that these freedoms also afford the opportunity for abuse of time. It allows great evils. Our Nation stands divided now often between those that defend good and those that promote evil. Our nation allows men with evil designs the freedom to choose evil. This balance is itself an opportunity cost. It must be that those who will use freedom to build great things, to advance humanity, to revolutionize the world, are permitted to do so unrestrained. And in loosening those reins, beings that will corrupt, tear down, and oppose the progress of mankind, are equally free to actuate their desires. Freedom is simply a conduit for men and women to reach their potentials for better or worse. A hammer is a tool. The use of the hammer to build or tear down is no fault of the hammer.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We are free to choose this day whom we will serve. Laws aside, the good or evil we do is a right given to each of us. Freedom has made America thrive. Perhaps freedom isn’t always efficient. But freedom is effective. American freedom has advanced the world. Railroads, gas, telephone, electricity, and TV, all American. Even to this wondrous internet that allows me to work for Bulwark and blog to you right now, is American. Freedom rings the American advancement bell. It despite the corruption that follows some of these advances, and despite any individual’s view of the damages that America has done to world, America has and will always better the world as a whole.

Pursue your life and liberty as you will. Ultimately despite the possible decay and corruption found in America today, good may still prevail. It is our unalienable right to help ourselves, our homes, our families, and our communities in that pursuit of Happiness. But when our help is not welcomed by others, leave it be. For each of us may only ultimately determine the happiness of one person. The pursuit of happiness is yours and yours alone. While you may not be the author of happiness, you can find it. Happiness is there. It does exist. The Truth is that your Freedom is your own, to spend as you will.

YOU ARE FREE TO CHOOSE HAPPINESS.

This is the pest control guy, wishing you a happy Fourth of July.

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Income Tax 100th Anniversary, Did you miss it?

Posted: April 23, 2013 by Thos003 in Uncategorized

Someone turned 100 a week ago, and somehow I don’t think you celebrated it.

“People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.” 

Vintage Pin, Repeal Income Tax

According to last year’s presidential election exit polls, most voters want lower taxes. For a government run by the voters, this does not seem to be going with the popular vote. Even Senator John Kerry runs from taxes by docking his 7 million dollar yacht outside of the state’s reach, saving himself near half a million.

How did this pass if so many people hate taxes?

Well when the income tax was introduced it would only tax 1% of the population. So the majority got together and said, “Let’s take money from that 1%”.

How has the income tax aged?

For starters, the original tax code was 400 pages long. At 100 years old, it has 73,954 pages. ….Who has read all of that?

Highest Income Tax rate in 1913, 7 percent. The 2013 tax rate high, 39.6 percent. But it has seen much worse.

Did you know that the Original income tax was repealed?

During war times, Lincoln instituted revenue taxes to help fund the war. 10 years later, in 1872, the tax was repealed based on the violation to the constitution. The 16th Amendment was added in 1913, the year our current income tax was born.

“Income taxes punish the very things we want more of: productive work, risk-taking and success. We can’t say this enough: A tax on income is the price you pay for working; a tax on profits, the price you pay for success; and a tax on capital gains, the price you pay for taking risks that work out.” – Steve Forbes

Denmark holds the highest income tax rate at 60%.

Perhaps that it make you feel a little better about your current tax rate to know that 18 other nations have a higher income tax than the US.

The average American contributes $5 for ever Billion that the Government spends. This, of course, varies by your income as the bulk of the money come from our graduated income tax. And yet we still are not paying enough to cover the Governments spending habits. Perhaps we are not too far off from meeting that Denmark high tax.

Over 90% will e-file taxes in 2013

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Perhaps one of the most innovative moves in recent years with regards to the income tax is e-filing. But don’t be too impressed with the government, as “The IRS has partnered with various private industry companies” to make e-filing a reality.

So are you wishing the income-tax a Happy 100th Birthday?

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As the New Year begins many will spend time reflecting upon the year prior and setting New Year’s Resolutions for the year to come. Why?

“If its measured it will improve.” – Adam Seever

Sun Dial

Sun Dial (Photo credit: Khirol Amir)

The New Year is a measurement of Time. As such, the act of measuring the passing of time causes us to reflect on how our time is spent. We evaluate what we did or did not do in the year past. We then look to the new year ahead of us and vow to do better. We set goals based on our reflection of where we are and where we want to be. In science, the Observer Effect states that the act of observing something changes it. While this is debated within certain sciences by the likes of Heisenberg and Einstein, the business world and human nature make the Observer Effect very real. Making employees aware of business measurement will cause the employees to act differently. Emphasizing the importance of those measurements by tying it to pay multiplies the effect. When it comes to human nature and observing consistent measurements, with few exceptions, “if it is measured it will improve.”

Life Improves

Measuring a year means consistently measuring time. Time is Life. Therefore, the New Year brings with it the measurement of Life, of our life. We then make adjustments to improve that life. Measuring each New Year leads us to improving life.

Improvement is relative to each observer. Some may look back and determine the goal they achieved was not worth the work and that they would be happier not trying so hard. Or they may opt to simply not set goals, because a goal is another form of measurement and they fear failure. Others look at themselves in the mirror and decided that their life would be better if they were healthier. Hence, the first 2 weeks of each New Year are the busiest weeks any given gym will see. Improvement is aligned to each individual’s ideals.

In the end, each goal we set requires time. If we choose to set no goals the time will pass and we will once again be reminded of our time spent a year from now. Each New Year measures our time. Time is limited by life. I implore you to consider this as you set your New Year’s resolutions. Each moment is life and death. We gain another moment of life as we approach an ever pending death. Choose what is worth living for. Know what is worth dying for. Invest time in both, for you are doing so each moment. A year from now you will once again observe your standing in life. Choose to make each year as a whole better than the last.

Happy New Year to all.

The new year is almost here. Now about setting my Broken Alarm clock.

800am

Modified image of http://www.flickr.com/photos/30271205@N02/2862719142

If you check out the search terms that are being used to find your WordPress blog you may come across this phrase “encrypted_search_terms”. Why? Has your site been hacked? Or are you a sneaky SEO that has been hiding something and you’ve been caught by Google. If you are worried about this term showing up in your wordpress dashboard read on.

WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

Encrypted_Search_Terms is now my all time biggest traffic term!

It is nice to know what people are finding your site for, so I keep track using wordpresses traffic tools. “Christmas Lights Ditto” has been one of my best search terms ever, but it and others were just passed by “encrypted_search_terms”. But it’s not that I rank for “encrypted_search_terms”, it’s because the search terms the googler searched are actually being encrypted. If you use Google Analytics you will find these terms labeled, “Not Provided”. Per Google it is only going to effect about 10% of your traffic. That was the stat they gave when they first launched this encryption, “to protect the user.” But there are many that report this impact is far greater than 10% and that it is only expected to grow.

Should I be worried about “encrypted_search_terms” showing up on my dashboard?

The term showing up does not indicate anything about your site. You are most likely not being found for that term. This term is now showing up for everyone using WordPress’s site tracking. If you care about knowing how you are being found, then yes you should be a little more than worried about this. Google is taking away search data. If you have been trying to watch your search terms trends then this will be a problem. Your data from year to year will now be flawed, especially if the percentages continue to change.

Here are a few more sources for you to really dive into this discussion:

Can I get this data back?

No. Sorry, but there is no real solution for you to get the data back. You can run analysis on which pages are being seen most frequently and make inferences as to what terms brought them to those pages. You can pay for pay-per-clicks to find terms that may become hidden. You can ask users to share the data. But there will be no going back to the days that Google shared openly with the webmaster this information.
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__________________________________________________________
SEP 04, 2012 | 02:33PM PDT
Hi Thomas,We’re writing to let you know that we’ve removed your headline “Pest Control Guy… taking care of the little things.”Our Support team has determined that it violates our Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines), specifically as it relates to business owner reviews. Please note that you shouldn’t be using your user account for promotional purposes.That said, we think it’s important for businesses to be part of the conversation, and have created a suite of free tools to help business owners get the most out of Yelp. By unlocking your listing and creating a Business Owners Account, you can:
– Communicate with your customers via private message or public comment
– Track the User Views on your business page
– Add photos and a detailed description of your business
– Convert Yelp users into customers by posting a Yelp Deal to your listingTo join the conversation, click here: http://www.yelp.com/business/unlockingRegards,
Holly
Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California

____________________________________________________________________
Dear Yelp,
Thanks for the laugh. This pest control control guy could use it on occasion. I have decided to not fight the system and am willing to change my title to “<TITLE VIOLATION> Guy… Taking Care of the little things.
…If I could just figure out how to login…

Really… Your captcha is “Conformity”? No. Really.

:)

Oh and thanks Greg for the “Pest Control Guy” in your Yelp Compliment. THAT WAS AWESOME. And to be completely clear, I am not asking my friends to add compliments with the title “pest control guy” in their comments.

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