Friday, December 26, 2008

A New You in the New Year in 5 Easy Steps

A New You in the New Year in 5 Easy Steps
By Mike Marinaro

Every year about this time people make ridiculous New Year's resolutions that they never end up sticking to. Don't be one of those people. Here are some resolutions that are easy to obtain and will make you feel good about yourself!

The most important thing is that you do not worry so much about the resolutions; there is no sense in getting yourself all stressed out about trying to stick to them. Just do what you can to make little improvements in your lifestyle and enjoy yourself.

Matthew 6: 25-27 (New International Version)

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

1. Every day do something just for you

We all get busy doing whatever it is that we do on a dailybasis and more often than not we have very little time forourselves. So this year make sure that you set aside a littlebit of time each and every day, just for you! It can besomething as simple as taking a walk, working in your garden, reading a book, writing in your journal, or drinking a cup of your favorite tea. Just make sure it is something out of your ordinary routine…something that you do just for you to make yourself feel good!

2. Learn something new each month

Change is a good thing! It is too easy to fall into the sameold boring routine and before you know it you find yourself in a big rut! Set a goal to learn something new each month this year. It could be a foreign language, or maybe taking a class in pottery or a dance lesson, maybe learning to play the guitar. By doing new things you will feel much better about yourself.

3. Pat yourself on the back

You deserve it…if no else tells you what a great job you have done; then give yourself a big pat on the back! Youraccomplishments are important so make sure you recognize them and treat yourself to something nice when you reach a goal or achieve something you have been trying to do for a long time.

4. Stay healthy in the New Year

Fitness is important, and it will make you feel better if youare healthy. Make a little time each week to exercise and try to eat healthier in the New Year. There are thousands of different diets out there and they all stink! If you are anything like me it's very difficult to stick to a regimented diet and exercise program; however, I have found that just by recognizing that I need to eat healthier and exercise regularly, it helps. Here are a few tips: •Be aware of what you eat and how much you eat•Avoid the fast food joints•Cut out the late night snacks •Park far away from the store not real close; the walk will do you good•If you are watching TV, do a few sit-ups or crunches instead ofjust sitting there eating popcorn

5. Set goals that are obtainable

Goal setting is important, but make sure you set goals that are obtainable. Instead of saying that you are going to lose twenty pounds this year; how about just saying that you will work on eating healthier and exercising more so you can lose some weight. Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for sticking to your exercise schedule and eating plan. Before you know you will have lost a few pounds! It's much easier and a whole lot less frustrating to set goals that you can actually reach! Good luck with your resolutions and Happy New Year!

About the Author: Mike Marinaro is a web master and published author.
Visit or for more articles.


Please leave your comments.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Finally...24 is Coming Back

Finally...24 is Coming Back

I can't wait to see Jack back in action again for season 7 of 24, the best show on TV! Here's a trailer...enjoy. 24 was originally supposed to start season 7 a whole year ago but was delayed due to Writer's Guild of America strike! I am so looking forward to January 11th, 2009!!!

The first two hours will air on Jan. 11th and the second two hours on Jan. 12th. JACK IS BACK!!!

Please leave your comments.

Monday, December 22, 2008

When One Door is Closed...Another is Opened

When One Door is Closed...Another is Opened

1 Corinthians 10:13 (New International Version)"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Sometimes what appears to be a disaster can actually be a blessing in disguise! I am a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason and when one door is closed, another will be opened.

August 31st, 2008 was not a very good day for me. I was laid off from my job of eight years and then when I got home there was a letter in my mailbox from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles telling me I had to surrender my driver's license due to my vision problems!

Now I had no job, no way to go on interviews for a new job and no more health insurance coverage!

Two weeks later my wife was also laid off from her job; now we were really in serious trouble!

Luckily a neighbor knew of a job opening where she works and my wife was able to get a job within a couple of weeks. I decided that since I had no way to get to a job I would find a way to make money from home. I have been designing websites for about ten years and had a handful of clients so I contacted them for referrals. That got me a few new clients and now that I had the time to devote to my web design I started to pick up more clients.

One of the guys in our church heard I was out of work and offered me a telemarketing job with his company which I could do from my home. So now I at least have a little bit of income between the web design and telemarketing.

Of course, neither one of these is a full time job with benefits so I am still struggling to make ends meet.I was in the Navy so I am using the Veterans Administration for my health insurance and that is a blessing.

Since I have not been working 40 hours per week and commuting 10 hours per week I seem to be a lot less stressed. My diabetes is under better control and my blood pressure has improved. I now have time to walk every day and exercise more. If I hadn't been laid off I would not have had the time to expand my web design business, so actually a new door has been opened for me!

The bottom line here is don't despair when things get tough. These are hard times and the economy is in pretty bad shape. Many people have been laid off from work or are in danger of losing their jobs and their homes. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going! Look deep inside yourself and you will find that you have some special talents. All you have to do is figure out what it is you like to do and then find a way to make some money doing it!

Here is an example: I have enjoyed playing the guitar for 46 years, so I am going to offer beginner guitar lessons from my home starting in January. This is a way to share my talents with others, while at the same time earn a little money doing something that I love to do!

Visit or for more articles. Mike Marinaro is a web site designer and published author.

Your comments are welcome.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Facebook or Myspace?

Facebook or Myspace?

I switched from Myspace to Facebook and I am curious to know what your feelings are about these two social networking sites. Which do you prefer, Myspace or Facebook?

I have tried advertising on Facebook recently and was very pleased with the results. Although I did not make any sales from the ad I placed, there were 116,232 impressions which drove lots of traffic to my website. The best part was the ad was FREE because I had a coupon from one of my favorite blogs, Shoemoney.

The only complaint I have about Facebook is the generic look. If there is a way to change the theme of your page I am not aware of it. If someone knows how to change the look, please let me know.

Your comments are welcome.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

OH NO...There goes my harddrive!!!

OH NO...There goes my harddrive!!!

I hate it when that happens! The last month or so my harddrive has been making a grinding noise; I got that sinking feeling in my stomach because I knew the harddrive was about to fail!

I have a second harddrive in my computer so I backed up most of my files but did not manage to get them all done before it crashed. This is very upsetting to me because I make a living from my computer and without it, I am out of work! So you think I would have a better system for automatically backing up my files...duh! Don't let this happen to you, make sure you back up your files frequently!

This has happened to me before, I believe this is the 3rd harddrive in the last five years. Does anyone have suggestions as to why I keep losing my harddrive? Please leave a comment and let me know. This is very frustrating, not to mention expensive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Lost Phone

The Lost Phone

My wife and I have a tendency to misplace our cordless phone and seem to spend quite a bit of time in search it. The good news is there is a little pager button on the base section of the phone that we can push and it will send a signal that causes the handset to beep enabling us to locate our lost phone!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have such a device for people? We try to be good Christians, but day to day life tends to get in the way. Often, we get lost just like the cordless phone. If only someone could just push a button and send a signal so we could be found again when we get lost.
In “The Parable of the Lost Sheep” we see that God is like a shepherd and will look for us when we stray and He rejoices when we return!

Luke 15: 4-6“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

We can take comfort in knowing that there is a way to be found when we get lost. It is much better than a paging device on a cordless phone. Like the sheep we have a Good Shepherd watching over us.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Lost Season 5 - Coming in January 2009

Lost Season 5 - Coming in January 2009.

Finally...Lost is back. Coming Wednesday, January, 21, 2009 to ABC. I can't wait, it's been such a long time coming! This is just one of those addicting shows that you can't miss. One of the best mysteries I have ever seen. Please leave your comments and tell me who your favorite lost character is. I'm gonna have to go with Kate...she is just HOT!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A New Meaning for Thanksgiving

A New Meaning for Thanksgiving

In these times of economic crisis, we should consider the meaning of Thanksgiving. Most of us will be spending the upcoming holidays with family and friends as we relax and take time off from work. However, this is not the case for everyone.

There are many people who have lost their jobs and do not have the means to celebrate the holidays by buying gifts or perhaps they are not even able to provide food and shelter for their loved ones!

As we give thanks for the things that we have let us also take a moment to remember those less fortunate and maybe find a way to spread some happiness to them and give them something to be thankful for this holiday season.

It may be something as simple as a smile or a handshake that will put a smile on their face. Perhaps you can bring a meal to someone in need or invite a family into your home for Thanksgiving dinner. An act of kindness goes a long way.

I experienced just such an act of kindness yesterday as I looked out the window and saw my neighbor mowing my lawn. I hadn't asked for any help, but out of the goodness of his heart he took the time to do this. I am very thankful to have such good neighbors!

So as we are thankful this holiday, lets remember to go that extra step and show some kindness to someone else who could use something to be thankful for.

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.

Please leave your comments.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday Traditions

Holiday Traditions

Every family has their own holiday traditions. Here are a couple of ours, please leave a comment and share your own.


As we sit around the dinner table we take turns sharing what it is we are most thankful for this year. Even when it has been a tough year like we have had here since both my wife and I were laid off and I lost my driver's license due to vision problems. I am thankful for the one half-way decent eye that I do have and the Internet which allows me to earn money by working from home!

Day After Thanksgiving

Count me out of this's a girls only tradition! All the women have a sleepover and get up before the crack of dawn to hit the malls for a full day of shopping.

Christmas Eve

Family and friends gather at our house for dinner. After dinner we go to church then we come back home and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and celebrate with a birthday cake. Then it's time to open the presents! This is great for the kids because they get to open presents twice...once on Christmas Eve at our house, then again on Christmas morning in their own home!

Please share some of your traditions by leaving a comment.

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow Vets out there! I hope everyone remembers to hug a veteran today! Today is a day to remember all who have served or are now serving in our military.

November 11th is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I. The treaty was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The original name for his holiday was Armistice Day but in 1954 it was changed to Veterans Day to include all Veterans, not just the World War I Vets.

So please...take the time today to say thank you to a Veteran.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Update on Working from Home

Working from Home Update

Here is an update on what's been happening since my layoff on Aug. 31st. I really would like to hear from others who have been laid off and how they are coping with it. I am also open for any great work-from-home ideas.

I really don't know how I had time to do anything for myself while I was working full time. It's simply amazing how much I can accomplish now that I don't have a job to go to every day! Granted, there is quite a bit of worry over how I am going to pay the mortgage and other bills, but we seem to be surviving okay for now.

I recently went to the doctor for a check up and my blood pressure and diabetes is under much better control now. I think the stress from working and commuting 10 hours a week,just to get back and forth to work, was not good for my health! Plus now I time to exercise and walk (actually I am forced to walk since I can't drive anymore).

As far as working from home...I now have much more time to concentrate on my web design business and have picked up several new clients. I am also doing telemarketing from my home for a local company. The deal I had with another local guy where I was handling all his EBay auctions worked well for about a month, but we both decided that a long term relationship just wasn't beneficial for either one of us, so we parted company this week but left the door open for future projects.

I am experimenting right now with placing ads on Facebook and I have been seeing an incredible amount of impressions. Not a whole lot of click throughs yet but there were a few. I will keep you posted and let you know if any business comes out of Facebook ads.

Of course I use Google Adsense on most of my websites and I have been consistantly getting checks from Google. Nothing like Shoemoney but every little bit helps. (By the way if you haven't been to Shoemoney's site you are missing out.) I also have several affiliate programs going on with places like Commision Junction, Linkshare, and Amazon. These also bring me small checks every now and then. I need to work on fine tuning these. Commission Junction has been the best source so far for affiliates.

The bottom line is I am struggling to make ends meet but I do realize that it is possible to make a living working from home. I can see that it will take a real concentrated effort on my part to drum up new business and stay motivated. Since I have no other options available I am sure that this will all work out!

Please leave your comments and suggestions for work-from-home ideas.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Beatles

Last night my wife and I went to the see a Beatles Concert...what an awesome show!

You probably are asking yourself, "How can you see a Beatles Concert when John and George are dead and there is no more Beatles?"

My answer is The Beatles are the greatest band there ever was and they will live on forever! Actually it was a concert by "Rain", but you would think you were watching the real Beatles. They looked like The Beatles and all of the music was live and sounded exactly like the real deal! A great show, I highly recommend seeing this when it comes to your area.

Here is the official Rain website. Check it out.

Imagine video:

Blackbird video:

Please leave your comments.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Working from Home

Working From Home

Here's an update on a previous post. I was laid off from work on August 31st and also had my driver's license taken away due to vision problems. I had to get creative and find a way to make money without having to leave the house!

Since then I have been trying to earn a living by working from home. I already had a couple of dozen clients that I had designed websites for so I started there by asking for referrals. I got a few new clients from that process which helps a little.

I also answered an ad on Craig's List from a guy who sells a high volume of merchandise on EBay. I worked out a deal with him where I get paid for doing the listings for him so he can devote his time to other aspects of his business. I get so much per listing and a commission when the item sells.

I am also trying to negotiate a telemarketing deal with a local company. That hasn't come to fruition yet, but it looks promising. There are tons of ads out there for work from home opportunities but to weed through them all and find the legitimate ones is a cumbersome job.

I also am using Google Adsense which I have been using for a few years now and get regular checks from that (not enough to pay the mortgage, but every little bit helps). In addition to that I use Commission Junction as an affiliate program and just started using the Amazon affiliate program.

All of these things by themselves are not enough income to live on; however, when they are combined together it starts to add up. The moral of this story is: if you want to make money working from home you can do it! It's not a get rich quick scheme, but it can be done. Just take one baby step at a time.

The most important thing to remember when you are just starting is that you need to be disciplined. It is just like a job. I get up early every day and jump right into it. Hopefully, as things start to pick up, I will spend less time working and make more money.

I am open to suggestions...please leave your comments.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Business Cards - Your Best Friend

Business Cards - Your Best Friend

In this day of modern technology and online advertising there is still one advertising tool that is often overlooked. It may seem like something out of the stone ages; however, your business card can still be your number one marketing tool.

Marketing study after marketing study has proven that Personal Referrals / Word-Of-Mouth advertising is THE...UNDISPUTED, HANDS DOWN best way to attract new business! The tool that goes hand-in-hand with this method of advertising is your business card.

Let me give you an example of how my business card recently landed me a new client. Just last week I was talking to a lady in my church and I mentioned that since I was laid off from work I was focusing my full attention on designing web sites. I handed her my business card and asked her to keep me in mind if she ran into anyone who had a need for an affordable web site.

The very next morning I received a phone call from someone who was looking for a web site and was referred to me by the lady in my church. This person needed a web site right away for a time sensative campaign and I was able to get the job done and her web site launched within 48-hours.

A couple of days later I was at a wedding shower and much to my surprise this new client just happened to be the MC at the shower and I was able to meet her face to face for the first time. She was excited about the great service I had done for her by getting her web site online so quickly and was spreading the word about me to all of her friends.

Do business cards still work? You bet they do! I never go anywhere without a stack of business cards in my pocket. If you need a business card made I would suggest using Vista Print, you can do it all online and they have a FREE BUSINESS CARD OFFER you can take advantage of. They have many pre-designed card styles or you can design your own.

250 Free Business Cards at VistaPrint!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

McCain Pulls a Rabbit Out of the Hat - Her Name is Sarah Palin

McCain Pulls a Rabbit Out of the Hat - Her Name is Sarah Palin

Sometimes when things are looking down, you just need to reach into your bag of magic tricks and pull a rabbit out of the hat. That's exactly what John McCain did when he selected Sarah as his running mate!

Now I'm not usually one to talk about politics, in fact I would go as far as to say that I hate politics! However, I must put in my two-cents worth about this year's Presidential race.

Things were looking pretty good for Obama and he had quite a lead in all the polls over McCain until The Repulican Convention when Sarah Palin was announced! What a great move that was by the Republicans. It seemed like McCain had been keeping under the radar while Obama did all the talking and then BAM! Now Palin has helped to push McCain up in the polls and has won over the hearts of the American women voters! Things are starting to get interesting now.

I have always liked McCain, since I am a Vietnam Veteran, and I'm sure you are familiar with McCain's POW story. Now since his latest move I like him even more. I watched Sarah Palin on TV the night she gave her acceptance speech and I was really impressed with her.

She has been active in Alaska, first as a City Council member from 1992-1996 and then as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1996-2002. She went on to be the Chairperson of The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commision from 2003-2004 and then the Governor of Alaska in 2006!
Palin was the first female to hold the Governor's office in Alaska and she is the first woman to run on the Repuplican Party presidential ticket. If she is elected, she will be the first female Vice President of the United States.

Please leave your comments, I would love to hear what everyone thinks about the McCain/Palin team.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kick me when I'm down! you think you had a really bad day? How about this?

The company I have worked at for the past eight years had a nationwide cutback last week and I was one of the people who got layed off! So now I have no job, no paycheck, no medical insurance, no life insurance, etc. etc. etc.

I took the news pretty calmly as I was escorted out of the building with my little box of personal belongings in my hand. As I made the 45 minute drive home, I thought about what I was going to do now that I was unemployed. It's not very easy finding a job these days, especially if you are 58 years old!

When I got home I checked the mailbox and found a letter there from the NC Department of Motor Vehicles. Thinking this cannot be good news I sat down to read the letter. Because I am diabetic and have had several eye surgeries my vision is really poor. In fact, I can really only see out of one eye as the other is nothing but a big blur. I also have no peripheral vision at all in either eye, so I can't see up or down or sideways, just straight ahead.

Now in addition to having no job I no longer have a driver's license! That ought to make it really hard to find a new job now since I can't drive anymore. I live in a small town where there is no public transportation and not very many places to work within walking distance, so I am really in a mess now!

I am trying to look on the bright side of all of this and find the silver lining...but it's extremely difficult. I always wanted to work from home anyway, so maybe this is my big chance!

I am open to any suggestions. If you know of a legitimate work from home opportunity please let me know. I have excellent computer skills. I already have a small web design business with a couple of dozen clients, but that doesn't make enough money to pay the mortgage. I will try to expand upon that business but meanwhile I need a regular income. So I am all ears...please leave a comment with your suggestions or email me at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Praise Band Questions

I play in our Praise Band at church and have a few questions which I hope I can get some answers to here.

We play your standard hymns and a little contemporary Christian music as well as some original songs. I play the guitar, mountain dulcimer and harmonica. We have two other guitar players and a few vocalists. Our problem is coming up with new songs to do each week.

Where do we find Praise Band music? We are not really crazy about the contemporary Christian music that is out there and we can only play so many old standard hymns over and over again!

We have taken some old rock and roll songs and changed the lyrics around to fit the church crowd and that seems to have worked well. Everyone likes the songs we do with the dulcimer, but it's hard to find mountain dulcimer music.

We play every week and we keep recycling the same songs over and over. Where can we find good praise songs?

Anyone out there with suggestions? Please leave your comments here.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Where's Jack? I got the 24 blues!

Where's Jack? I got the 24 blues!

Here it is January and I should be watching the new season of 24; however, due to the writers strike there is no new season! Bummer!
It's ironic that all the terrorists and bad guys couldn't stop Jack Bauer but a writer's strike stopped him cold!

I heard they could have ran some of the new episodes but decided to wait until they had the whole season, I guess that's a good decision. I'm just really bummed out because I have been a 24 addict ever since season one!
Here it is January

Anyone else feeling blue and having Jack withdrawals?

Please leave a comment!