Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Top 3 Water Ski Destinations

Cliff Davis thoroughly enjoys water sports and world travel. These two hobbies combined make for some amazing vacations. There is no shortage of awesome water ski vacation spots around the world. Here, we will examine three of the top water ski destinations in the world.

Acapulco, Mexico: Gordon Rathbun's Ski Paradise
This is an all-inclusive resort offering professional ski instruction. Rathburn is a well-known skier and runs the operation. In addition to great skiing, this location has wonderful facilities, including a pool, Jacuzzi, and tennis courts.
Sri Lanka: Kumudu Valley Ski Resort
Located near Negombo village in Sri Lanka, this resort is positioned on a man-made channel. The trees lining the channel absorb waves, giving the water a nice smooth surface. It is a great spot for slalom or barefoot water skiing. They also provide lessons in kitesurfing and other water sports. The resort consists of 20 waterfront bungalows.

Lake Chelon
Located in Washington State, this lake is known for having crystal clear water. While it is not a resort like the others on this list, it is widely known as one of the best water ski destinations in the united states.

If you enjoy water sports, consider visiting one of these exciting destinations on your next vacation.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Exercise to Reduce Stress

Cliff Davis is a firm believer in the power of exercise. Not only can it improve your physical health, but it can have a significant impact on your mental health as well. Stress management, in particular, is a great benefit to having a regular exercise routine.
Excessive stress is damaging in many ways. It causes the release of cortisol, which increases belly fat. It puts strain on several areas of the brain and body. Stress is a leading cause of a number of chronic diseases. Some stress is necessary of course, to help keep us safe. We must be able to recognize danger and respond appropriately. However, a lot of people live under enormous amounts of stress, which is unnecessary and unhealthy.
Common methods for reducing stress involve calming the mind. You might meditate or take a hot bath to relax. These tactics have their place and work to an extent. Even so, you cannot always think yourself calm. Stress is a physical reaction, located in the body. In order to reduce ongoing, long-term stress, you may need to take a more aggressive approach, a more concrete method. This is where exercise becomes useful.
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain. This additional blood brings with it higher levels of oxygen for the brain. The oxygen boosts the brain's resilience and resistance to stress. Consistency is the key. In order to experience these benefits, you must exercise regularly over time. If you become sedentary, you will lose the brain boost provided from exercise. Exercise creates a sort of buffer between you and stress. It does not eliminate stress entirely, as that would not be healthy either. It simply allows you some time and distance from the stress.

Exercise is well-known to have numerous benefits. Stress management is just one of the primary advantages of having a regular exercise regimen. If stress has become an overwhelming factor in your life, consider exercising to help decrease the problem.   

Saturday, June 25, 2016

How Will Brexit Impact the US Real Estate Industry?

The UK has recently voted to leave the European Union. This referendum is being called “Brexit.” It has many economists in the United States wondering what the impact will be on the US economy. Those in the real estate industry are concerned about the possible effects it will have on the US real estate market, especially in the commercial arena. Of course, no one knows for sure how things will play out. However, there are a few different theories on what could happen.

The UK comprises 20% of cumulative foreign investments in the US. Therefore, uncertainty in the market could negatively affect the US. Britain’s exit from the EU is a huge transition and will likely createa lot of confusion. The basic theory here is that Brexit could be very bad for all US investors, including the real estate market. If the cost of capital increases and foreign direct investments decrease, it would be a problem.

Others believe Brexit will have little impact on the US economy. The move will likely produce some issues for the UK and the EU. Some US sectors will be affected like export businesses, including agriculture and technology. Port related industrial properties and the financial industry may also be influenced. However, the real estate industry is not likely to feel a significant impact.

Only time will tell what sort of effects Brexit will have on the US and the global economy. There are several distinct opinions about the topic. The foremost thing to do as a real estate professional is to stay informed about the issue. This way, you can make educated decisions about what is best for you and your business.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Unique Roofing Challenges in Summer

Summer is here and with it comes some unique roofing challenges. One primary concern in the warm months is ponding water on flat roofs. Ponding water is defined as any water that stands for more than 48 hours. Standing water on a roof can be dangerous and damaging. It is important to understand the consequences of ponding water in the summer, what causes it, and how to fix it. Here, we will examine all these points.
  • Mosquitoes - Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes in the summer months. In fact, new york health codes prohibitponding water from April 1 to October 31. Mosquitoes carry a variety of diseases, including the west Nile virus. Because of this,ponding water on flat roofs is a health hazard first and foremost.
  • Algae and vegetation - Plant life thrives in warm moist environments. Stagnant water on a roof in the hot summer sun is a perfect place for plant life to grow. Algae and vegetation growth is accelerated during the summer months. This is not just unattractive; it can often cause significant damage to a roof.
  • Leaks - Ponding water on a roof can create devastating leaks. Even a small leak can create enormous problems. If a leak goes undetected for a long period of time, it may cause the roof to lose its structural integrity. Water damage can also spread to other areas of a home or building causing further injury.
  • Reduces lifespan - Ponding water significantly decreases the performance and lifespan of a roof. In fact, many roof manufacturers void their warranty in the circumstance of ponding water. This is because the flat roof membrane is especially vulnerable to standing water.
There are a number of factors that lead to stagnant water to pool on a flat roof.
Insufficient drainage
This is the most common reason for a roof to hold water. It is generally not difficult to fix inadequate or obstructed drainage. Scheduled maintenance can help to avoid this situation. However, when it does occur, a thorough cleaning of the gutters and drains will typically correct the problem.
Sometimes pooling water is caused by a design flaw in the roof. This is a more complex problem to solve.These design flaws include poor deflection, sag in the roof structure, incorrectly sized roof, and improperly placed drainage.
Compressed or saturated insulation is another common cause of stagnant water on flat roofs. Compression usually occurs when roofing materials are too heavy or during construction when hefty equipment is placed on top of it. Saturation generally occurs because of a leak. Insulation is often very sensitive to water and quickly deteriorates when it becomes wet. The compression or saturation of insulation causes an indentation in the roof where water can pool.
Correcting the problem
The key to correcting a stagnant water problem on a flat roof is to act quickly. You will need to diagnose the problem in order to determine the optimal solution. Some of the most common corrections include:
  • Adding roof drains
  • Using tapered insulation
  • Selecting the best membrane
Standing water on a flat roof can cause significant damage. In summer, it becomes especially important due to increased health risks and rapid growing algae and vegetation. Allowing ponding water to go unchecked in the summer is a serious health hazard and can create enough damage to compromise the structural integrity of the roof. Stagnant water should not be taken lightly and should be dealt with immediately, especially during the warm months of the year.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tips for Learning to Barefoot Water Ski

Cliff Davis, pictured here, is an avid water skier. Growing up on the lakes of Tennessee and then enjoying the Florida waters as an adult, skiing has always been a big part of his life. Barefoot skiing in particular, is one of the ways Cliff enjoys his time on the water. Learning to barefoot water ski is not easy and requires significant time and practice. Here are some tips to help you learn how to barefoot water ski.

Using a barefoot boom is the quickest and easiest way to learn how to barefoot ski. It is not required, but it will make the learning process go more quickly and smoothly. Cliff used a boom to learn how to barefoot and found it extremely helpful.

Get on your feet
There are multiple ways to get up onto your feet without a boom. Some people use a deep water start method, and others start on a kneeboard or wakeboard.

Body position
Your body position is crucial in barefoot skiing. Do not plow your feet. They should glide across the water. If there is a lot of spray coming from your feet, then you are likely pushing too hard. This causes strain on your arms and back. When your spray is light, you know you are in the correct body position.

There are a number of training tools available and gear specifically designed for barefoot skiing. One of the most important items you will need is a barefoot wetsuit. The wetsuit used for barefoot skiing has special design features. For example, it is thicker in certain areas like the seat. It should also fit extremely well, so not to allow water inside. For this reason, your barefoot wetsuit should not be shared with others. It should fit your body and frame perfectly.

Barefoot water skiing is a fun and exciting hobby. It is not something to rush into. Take your time, practice and learn how to do it properly so you can fully enjoy the sport.  

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Sleep is vital for maintaining optimal health. Many entrepreneurs and busy professionals suffer from sleep deprivation. There is a misconception in our society that sleeping less makes a person more productive. The idea is that less sleep means more time to get things done. In reality, we are actually less productive if we are tired and are not getting sufficient sleep.

Why is sleep important?
Sleep is crucial for physical and mental health. It allows your body time to recuperate and regenerate. Your mind also needs to shut down and process information. People who go long periods of time without sleep will often become delusional and even hallucinate. Sleep deprivation on a smaller scale, like only getting four hours of sleep [er moght for a week straight, still has negative effects on your physical and mental state. You are more likely to react slowly and have poor judgment without proper sleep.

How much sleep do you need?
This really depends on the individual. Many researchers still believe that the average amount of sleep needed is eight hours. Others believe 6 to 7 hours is sufficient. Because everyone is different, it is helpful to evaluate your own sleep patterns and determine how much sleep you actually need in order to function at your best. Most experts would agree that anything less than six hours is detrimental. However, there are a few rare cases where people claim to need only four hours of sleep per night.

Below is an interesting video where Arianna Huffington discusses the issue of sleep.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

5 Excellent Non-Meat Sources of Protein

Protein is crucial for the human body. While meat, eggs, and dairy are known to be rich in protein, they are also high in cholesterol and saturated fats. Luckily, there are many other great sources of protein. Here are some of the best protein-rich foods that are not animal products.
Green peas - These make a marvelous side dish or can be a nice addition to a salad.

Tofu - This soy-based product is virtually tasteless. It can be added to nearly any dish. Soft tofu works well in dishes such as mashed potatoes or lasagna. Firm tofu is am ideal meat replacement for tacos, burgers, and other entrées. Seasoning is the key with this food.

Nuts - A perfect snack or supplement to trail mix and salads. Nuts are a versatile food and are easily integrated into meals and snacks. Many people sprinkle a few nuts on their morning cereal. This is an easy way to boost your protein intake.

Beans - Another versatile food that easily stands alone as a side dish or can be added into other dishes.

Edamame - Some people are confused about this food and unsure how to go about preparing and eating it. Generally, the outer shell is not eaten. One way to make a superb snack is to sprinkle a little salt on it and suck the beans out of the casing.

Just because meat and dairy products are highest in protein does not mean they are your only options. The above listed are just a few of the many protein-rich foods available. This is great for vegans and vegetarians or for those who simply want to decrease their consumption of animal products. Consider integrating these foods into your regular diet to sustain increase your protein intake.   

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Top 25 Local Directories to Get Your Business Listed on Today

Getting your business listed in local business directories is crucial. Regional directories frequently appear in search results for local information. Localized searches are often the final step before a customer takes action. It is simply the best way for your business to befound online. Here are the top 25 local directories to get your business listed on mow.
  1. Google Local Places - This is one of the top directories. If people are using Google search, maps, or Google+, they are highly likely to find your business if you are listed with Google places.
  2. Yelp - Yelp is unique in that customers can write reviews, and business owners can respond. It is free to submit your business, but they do offer advertising options to help boost your traffic.
  3. Bing business portal - Some people underestimate the power of Bing. All you need in order to get your business listed is a Hotmail account and you must accept their guidelines.
  4. Merchant Circle - This site provides your business with a page in the database which allows you to promote your business. You can add videos, widgets, links, and advertisements to your page.
  5. - This directory has over 16 million listings. They sometimes automatically list businesses, so you should check to see if your organization is already listed and ensure the information is correct. Sign up is quick and easy for this site.
  6. Express Update - Build your business profile and this directory will submit it to all the top search engines.
  7. Yext and MapQuest - They work together offering business owners the opportunity to claim their listing by providing basic information about their enterprise. You also need to include a short description of your business.
  8. Insiderpages - This is a new directory and is quickly gaining popularity. Along with the listing features, it provides reviews and recommendations.
  9. Foursquare - This application connects over 50 million users. It is a great way to connect with your customers.
  10. Yahoo Local - You can get a basic listing here for free or choose a paid advertising option.
  11. BizJournals - This directory provides free and premium listing options. The site is especially helpful for B2B companies.
  12. Citysearch - This site provides an express update service which allows business owners to update listing information quickly. However, it may take a few months for the information to appear on the site.
  13. Discover Our Town - This site has been around for years. It offers comprehensive city guides. The guides include travel information, area attractions, and restaurants.
  14. eLocal - This directory includes all major consumer-oriented businesses. You can submit your listing for free, and advertising is available.
  15. Kudzu - It provides a platform for consumers to seek service providers in their area. Basic free profiles include contact information, your web address, and areas of service or specialty.
  16. EZlocal - Getting your business listed in this directory is a simple three-step process.
  17. Judy’s Book - This is a rating and review site. In order to be listed, you must pay a monthly fee, starting at $29.99.
  18. Magic Yellow - This site is a unique type of “Yellow Pages.” It helps people find local business information.
  19. Manta - This website is one of the largest resources for small businesses. It contains a database of individual companies, industry segments, and geographic-specific listings.
  20. Mojopages - This site uses social information to assist consumers in finding local businesses.
  21. My Huckleberry - Primarily used by service-oriented companies.
  22. Pushlocal - Businesses can send real-time information with this platform.
  23. Superpages - A well-known established directory.
  24. Twibs - Finds businesses who have a presence on Twitter.
  25. Yellow Pages - This is no longer just a physical book. Get your business listed in the online database as well as the tangible copy.
These are just 25 of the most popular local business directories. There are literally hundreds of options and many are valuable. You can submit your business yourself or hire someone to handle the process. Entrepreneurs and business owners are busy people and often seek assistance from other professionals to submit information to local business directories.