How to Detect If Someone Put a GPS Tracking Device on My Car?


If you’re like many people, you may be wondering how to detect if someone has placed a GPS tracking device on your vehicle. GPS Tracking devices have gotten so small, they are commonly the size of a pack of cigarettes, and some are even as small as a quarter! With devices that small, they can be hard to detect, especially if you’ve got a large vehicle.

The first thing you need to know is that there are two different types GPS tracking devices:

GPS “Loggers”

A GPS Logger is a passive device, meaning that it doesn’t actively transmit your GPS location. This means whoever put a GPS logger on your car will have to place it on your car, and then retrieve it later in order to view the driving data, which is stored on the device. A popular example of this is the Sleuthgear iTrail GPS Logger, which is only 1.5″X1.5″ big.

GPS “Trackers”

A GPS Tracker is an active device, meaning that it actively transmits your location “live”, usually to a secure website, where the person who placed it there can view your location and driving information via a web browser or special program. Once they put it on there, they do not have to retrieve it, they can just view the information online. They will likely come back later though, because the battery life on active tracker is usually less than 30 days.

Here’s where knowing the difference between the two types of tracking devices is important. A GPS Logger (like the iTrail GPS) can only be detected manually – meaning you’ll have to physically search for it. The reason for this is because since they don’t actively transmit a signal (they just store data to the device), then a bug detector or bug sweeper won’t be able to pick up any kind of transmission or signal. If you suspect that you might have a GPS logger on your vehicle, the first place to look for it is UNDER THE VEHICLE. This is the most popular place to hide a GPS tracking device, and is accomplished by placing the device inside a magnetic case, which securely attaches to the metal on the underside of your vehicle. Other places to look are in the glove box, center console, and the truck (including under the spare tire).

If you suspect that you might have an active GPS Tracker on your car, a manual search is always the first step. Look under the vehicle, in the glove box, and in the trunk. These type of units are usually bigger than GPS Loggers because they need a bigger battery in order to actively transmit a signal. If you don’t have time to do a manual search, you’re in luck, because active GPS Trackers can be easily detected by a GPS Detector.

A GPS Detector is a handheld device that is usually battery powered that allows you to “sweep” your vehicle (or wherever else you want to locate a GPS Tracker) and will alert you when it detects a transmitting GPS signal that is sending out your location. There is an adjustable sensitivity knob that allows you to hone in on the exact location of the tracker, so you can remove it from your vehicle.

A GPS detection device will also detect cell phone signals, because cell phones are commonly used as makeshift GPS tracking devices, since owners of cell phones can often use a “locate” feature of their phone to find out where it is at.

So if you want to find out if someone has placed a GPS tracking device on your car, first conduct a manual search, and for a quicker and easier search, use a GPS Detector.


Take 5 With TheStreet’s Noah Kass


He’s talented, he’s charming, and he’s dedicated his life to helping those in need. He’s Noah Kass, Clinical Director of The Realization Center and author of hit column “Ask Noah” on His style is a strong blend of empathy and understanding with a dash of no nonsense. But what really grabs readers is his sense of purpose and desire to exact positive change through open discussions about difficult subjects like love, trust, personal power, and financial insecurity.

Noah recently left his imprint on MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show,” discussing how to talk honestly about money in relationships. He firmly understands that life is full of the unexpected and uses this theme in his column to provide comfort to readers that have been hit hard by the economic crisis. And it resonates now more than ever.

We often partner up with the “idea of a person” rather then the “reality of the situation.” ~Noah Kass

He’s a busy guy and rising star, so it was an honor and a pleasure to catch up with Noah Kass this week for a quick discussion about his column, the rising tide of financial anxiety, and creative ways to assist readers in making their lives happier and healthier.

Andrew Nyquist: I’m sure I am not the first to tell you that I really enjoy your “Ask Noah” column. I find it both educational and actionable. How has the feedback been and is it as rewarding for you as it seems to be for readers?

Noah Kass: What is more egotistical then writing an advice column? I cannot think of anything. Already, I am behind the eight ball! “Ask Noah” is centered around the macro social and economic problems we are currently facing and its affect on our personal and spiritual lives. Not an easy sell for a readership whose focus is receiving investment tips, and charting the ebbs and flows of a trading day!

Feedback has been mostly positive. The investment world rarely publicly discusses subjects such as the effect money has on relationships, balancing your personal and professional life, living in the moment, how to handle abusive bosses’, and not letting your job define you. I do it in a digestible manner. The goal is to motivate smart people into making smart choices about their personal and professional lives.

I love writing the column because it allows me to re-evaluate how I view a given subject or theme, and also to make the necessary changes that are needed in my own life — it is a parallel process.

Andrew: In your recent column “7 Ways to Deal with a Financially Insecure Partner,” I liked how you spoke about unconditional support and hand holding to boost a partner’s confidence. Is this the “for better or worse” part of the equation? And what makes offering that support so difficult?

Noah: Why do we search for a partner to spend our life with? We want a teammate who helps bring joy and meaning to our life. We also want someone who won’t bounce when things get tough. If your partner is financially successful, it is easy to feel support. What happens when they lose their job? Are your feelings going to change? Is your love conditional on his/her net worth? We often partner up with the idea of a person rather then the reality of the situation.

It is difficult to share a life with someone. It is hard to give up power and control, to accept that every decision will not be yours alone. To admit that you are part of a team, and to sacrifice some of your own immediate needs and desires, for the team’s good is a learned skill. It takes practice. It goes back to grade school – It is just hard to share!

Andrew: What advice do you have for readers struggling with anxiety and high stress levels due to the economy and personal finances?

Noah: I would tell people struggling to find financial security and process economic hardship to lean on those they love, practice skill based relaxation methods, participate in activities they enjoy, and to not be intimidated by the media’s negativity!

Anxiety can be regulated by challenging our often irrational belief system. Skills such as controlled breathing, exercising, yoga, and journaling can give us an outlet to express negative feelings. We are constantly told that our economy is collapsing, and yet America seems to always recover. Always remember, this too shall pass.

Andrew: Name a few things people can do today to make them better, healthier people tomorrow.

Noah: Seven things.

1. Identify ways you can relax and detach from the negativity of the day.

2. Enjoy moments of quiet, and relish time alone.

3. Appreciate the little things in life.

4. Understand and reiterate to yourself that financial success and emotional pain is relative.

5. Keep your evolving mind and physical body in shape.

6. Experience all of life, and not just in the small universe we often inhabit.

7. Love those that love you.

Andrew: Lastly, hit me up with one cool motto on life?

Noah: “Life is a long lesson in humility” by James M Barrie.

A very special thank you to Noah Kass for taking the time to share his thoughts and talents with See It Market. Have a great week everyone.

Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of his employer or any other person or entity.


Discipline, Stubborn Children & Temper Tantrums


There are so many behavior programs available in the market today. Most of them are very similar and work on reward and punishment principles. But what happens when you have a child that “marches to a different drummer?” What about the child that says they don’t care when everything is taken from them? This type of child operates on different principles than most other children and usually, will not do well with reward & punishment techniques.

One program that I have found extremely useful is “Smart Parenting” by Larry Koenig. The program is based on the child being in control of their own actions by using a simple chart with either a daily program or a weekly program. I recommend the weekly program for children over 10 years old and the daily program for the younger children and for those with Attention Deficit Disorder. The daily chart has nine boxes on it. The first three boxes are left blank and then the remaining boxes are filled with something that can be taken away from the child. This “something” must be something that will be able to follow through with.

You begin the program by identifying 3-5 rules you want your child to follow. Write these down in basic understandable words and post on the refrigerator. Review these rules with your child and explain to them that each time they break one of these rules, a “X” will be placed on their chart. There are three “free” boxes before the child has a consequence so there is ample warning for them. When the child breaks one of the rules, put an X on their chart in the first available box and tell them that they have just earned one X on their chart. Do the same with #2 and #3. Initially, your child will test you to see if you will follow through. Some children have been known to go through the entire chart losing all their privileges in one day. Persevere because you are sending a message that when you break the rules there is a consequence. Only work on 3-5 rules initially because you will be more successful but make sure that these are rules that you can be consistent with. The privileges that are lost are available the next day and the entire process is repeated. Be sure to rotate the privileges into different boxes each day so that different things will be lost each day. This process is similar with the weekly chart but has 7-10 boxes with privileges in them and these are lost until the beginning of the following week. The weekly plan also has three free boxes and there should be 5-10 rules that are clear, easily observed and ones that you can be consistent with.

This is an incredibly easy program. The most important things to remember are:

* Be consistent, be consistent, be consistent!
* Write clear, easily understandable & observable rules for behavior
* Use privileges that mean something to the child
* Don’t get discouraged if your child reacts to losing a privilege with “So, I don’t care about that anyway!” This is just a tactic and they really do care but are not going to let you know that.
* I recommend that you put all the children in the house on this program for consistency, even if you don’t think they need it. In the long run, it will be easier for you and those that don’t need it will succeed anyway.
* Privileges do not have to be something physical…they can be a trip to the park that you were going to take and it was something you didn’t really want to do anyway, a play date, etc.
* Be careful about using privileges that affect other members in the household such as television time. Don’t use tv on your child’s chart unless you can enforce it completely!

The effects of this program on you and your child can be tremendous. You become empowered and the emotion is taken out of disciplining your child. In addition, your child is in complete control of keeping their privileges or losing them. Try this behavior program and then let me know how you are doing!


Dynamometer History – A Timeline of Innovation


Dynamometers have been a part of performance measurement since the days when the presence of horsepower was usually accompanied by four hooves and a tail. This versatile tool is applied around the world, as companies like Taylor Dynamometer build on past innovations with new breakthroughs in data gathering and system control technology.

  • 1828 Gaspard de Prony invented the de Prony Brake, one of the earliest dynamometers
  • 1838 Charles Babbage, known to historians as the Father of the Computer, introduces a dynamometer car to measure the pulling power of English railroad locomotives
  • 1877 William Froude of Great Britain invents the first hydraulic dynamometer, with the first commercial models produced in 1881
  • 1921 Professor E.V. Collins of Iowa State College develops a draft horse dynamometer, used to measure a horse’s capability to pull the era’s heavy metal farm implements
  • 1930 Using designs pioneered through a collaboration with Rudolph Diesel, John Taylor forms the Taylor Dynamometer and Machine Company to produce engine dynamometers
  • 1931 Martin and Anthony Winther introduce the first eddy current dynamometer

Throughout the past seven decades of continued dynamometer development, Taylor has maintained its status as a leader in advancing power measurement technology. Contact us to learn about the latest developments in dynamometers and engine diagnostics, or to inquire about a specific dyno product or application.

How Dynamometers Work

All dynamometers perform the same essential function, measuring the torque, rotational speed and power output of a combustion engine, electric motor or other power source. While the outcome is the same, many technologies are used to achieve the desired result.

Two Main Types

Most dynamometers can be placed within two distinct categories. Engine dynamometers are designed for coupling directly to the driveshaft of an engine under test, and chassis dynamometers measure the power output of a drive train by using rollers turned by the tires of a vehicle under test. In addition to the two traditional types, Taylor offers a line of portable dynamometers that attach directly to the flywheel of an engine. This allows accurate measurement of engine output without removal of an engine from its drive train.

A Variety of Designs

The work of handling and measuring input power is performed by instruments with a variety of different designs:

o Eddy current dynamometers present a measurable resistant force to engines under test by harnessing the magnetic flux between fixed and rotating electromagnets spun by the engine under test.

o A variant of the eddy current design, powder dynamometers create flux through the application of a fine magnetic powder between the rotor and coil

o Electric motor/generator types are a variation on the adjustable speed drive, using solid state components rather than the physical relationship between electromagnets to create measurable power transfer

o Fan, hydraulic and water brakes use air, water or hydraulic fluid to deliver physical resistance to the power applied by an engine or motor under test. The amount of resulting force absorbed by the fluid is measured to provide an indication of the power applied to the system

The best resource for details on dynamometer function and application is a Taylor Dynamometer application specialist. Contact us for full details on putting the latest in dynamometer technology to work in your application.

Eddy Current Dynamometer History

The story of the eddy current dynamometer is a tale of two Danish boys from Wisconsin, growing up in a time when innovations required an inquiring mind and a machine shop rather than a supercomputer and a doctoral degree. Martin Phillip Winther arrived at Ellis Island, New York in 1892 from his native Denmark. The family ultimately settled in Kenosha Wisconsin, where Martin and his American-born brother Anthony began their working lives as laborers at the Jeffry Company, makers of the Rambler automobile. At Jeffry, the brothers were involved in the engineering of a four-wheel-drive truck, which led them to break away and found the Winther Motor and Truck Company in 1917. While Winther Motor and Truck made several types of motor vehicles (including light trucks, fire engines and a sporty automobile) the firm’s chief product was innovation. Beginning around 1920, Martin and Anthony Winther were granted patents for almost 300 mechanical devices. These included the first successful air conditioning system for Pullman railroad cars, a four-wheel-drive post hole digger for AT&T, the first induction coupling, a magnetic clutch, a cycle-car, variable-speed transmission gears, as well as a giant press drive, brakes and couplings for the oil field industry.

Although prolific, only one of the Winther brothers’ inventions proved to have lasting impact. They are chiefly known for the invention of the eddy current dynamometer, a type of high speed, high power dynamometer capable of far surpassing the products then available in terms of power handling capability. The eddy current dyno was able to turn fast enough to test the turbine engines used in aircraft, wind tunnels and high speed automobiles of the day. The eddy current dynamometer was the chief product of the Dynamatic Corporation, founded by the Winthers in 1932. The firm was successful for many years both before and after the brothers sold their interest to Eaton Corporation in 1946. Variations on the eddy current design still serve as the basis for dynamometers today. The designs continued use is a testament to the ingenuity of two men who never rose above the eighth grade in formal education, yet parlayed their considerable on-the-job insight into a lasting legacy of technical achievement.


Tips to Make a Move Easy


Tips for making the big move:

Clean Up

Go see your landlord or apartment complex office and get a replica of your move-in inspection. If you did not do an inspection when you first moved in, request for a copy of the move-out inspection papers your apartment utilizes to evaluate damage. Review the papers and see if you’ve caused extra damages after your move-in. Inspect your apartment again with the manager or landlord to establish what has to be repaired or cleaned and have him/her sign a confirmation that the damages you have to fix are the only ones you’re accountable for.

Your next step is to make sure that you repair damages on your walls (for instance, take off any staples or nails and fill out holes you’ve incurred). Clean your kitchen-this may involve cleaning the over, refrigerator, cabinets, sink, lighting fixtures, flooring, and other surfaces. You may then move to your bathrooms and clean them, focusing on the tub, sink, shower and toilet first. Clean your bedrooms, living room, windows, doors, and so on.

Have A Checklist

Your checklist needs to indicate that belongings be packed up and moved out in due time. All trash and dirt should be taken away from the apartment or home. Your apartment or home should have already been in its original condition when you moved in, and all keys have been returned. You must make sure that you follow this basic checklist so that you won’t have to deal with additional check out charges and other billing.

Almost There

Search for a reputable moving company in your area. Ask recommendations from experienced people who have already tried moving out of their old home in the past. Gather a list of your top moving companies and contact each of them. You must meet up with the agents in person and obtain quotes in writing.

When the big day is fast approaching, begin by organizing all your things-throw away those things you absolutely do not need anymore. You don’t need to bring EVERYTHING with you, as additional items may make you burst your budget. Gather some moving boxes (or, if within your budget, rent professional grade boxes from your moving company) and materials such as tape, labels, cutters, and marker. You should be very organized with your packages-make sure you categorize your items (i.e. kitchen utensils, plates, furniture parts, breakables, office materials, etc.) and mark your boxes accordingly. It’s best to list down all items inside each box so that you can easily check if any of them are missing at the point of arrival in your new location. It could take 4 to 5 hours to pack up personal items so you may want to invite some friends to help you out.


Otaku Nation: Anime’s Effect on American Pop Culture


The modern age of Anime arrive in Japan in the 1960s, and over the course of the next decade or so boomed into the giant robot, space battle genre bender that we would soon recognize as the anime of today.

Evolving over the next 30 years or so, it reached a peak where it could begin to overtake and become an integral part of other cultures, much like the Hollywood of the 1930s quickly grew to encompass the rest of the world and inform their pop culture. In the same manner, American pop culture becomes increasingly informed by the trends and cult response to anime.

Anime first appeared in the US market in the 60s with shows like Kimba the White Lion and Astroboy. However, the national consciousness as to where these shows came from as well as the poor marketing of the shows made them forgettable and rather than a jumping in point, they act as a nostalgic reminder.

When Speed Racer arrived, the beginnings of a true consciousness that Japan was creating something new and exciting began to set in. The popularity of Speed Racer was never that of its American contemporaries, but it created in a set fanbase the willingness to devour newer offerings later on in Starblazers and Robotech (a convoluted perversion of multiple animes, but still a relative success in the states). Still, the affect was mostly underground.

In the 1980s, the introduction of Beta and VHS made it possible to join together with friends and watch more varying forms of anime. Truly it was the technological revolutions of the coming years that would make it truly possible for anime to perforate the American entertainment bubble. When Akira arrived in 1989, the effect was palpable. Receiving only a limited American screen release, few saw it in initial release, but the copying of VHS tapes and word of mouth made it something of a cult sensation. Those that knew of Akira were fans for life, eagerly awaiting their chance to partake more and more of the growing trends out of Japan.

For Japan’s part, this era was a period of major expansion, a veritable boom in the business. The 1980s saw the success of shows like Gundam and Dragon Ball overgrow the national consciousness and become runaway sensations. The explosion of the manga industry before hand, with serializations of works by Akira Toriyama and Katsuhiro Otomo in the early 80s simmered in the youth of Japan and finally seeing the commercial possibilities of these works, creating in the process a major conglomerate of companies in the Akira Committee to bring the massive budget of Akira to fruition.

By the 90s anime was the mainstream in Japan, and the result was the ramping up of production and increased output of shows. In part because of the simple, streamlined art style, multiple artist were able to work on a single project and create on episode a week for years at a time, resulting in monumental runs such as the case of Dragonball (156 episodes) and Dragonball Z (276 episodes). The ability to serialize and turn a story into something that millions of youths would tune into each and every week made companies billions (of yen) and secured the kinds of commercial sponsorships and funding necessary to undertake incredible projects that would require vast sums of money to complete.

Back in America, a few executives were beginning to see the effect these shows were having in Japan. Slowly and very carefully they began taking the most popular, Dragonball Z and Sailormoon for example and finding timeslots very early in the day, before the daily retinue of American cartoons, testing the waters of marketability. In 1995, the trickle of anime into the states was just that, a relative trickle. Sailormoon aired every morning in syndication, but chopped up and missing key seasons to relate the endings of important storylines. Dragonball Z ran an equally mild run early on Saturdays in syndication that was abruptly cut when the rights to the show were lost by the initial company and purchased by Funimation.

All the while, works from Japanese masters like Hayao Miyazaki were being overlooked, passing unnoticed through limited release in the states, while making him a God of his craft in Japan. All the while companies like Manga, Funimation, and Viz were buying up licenses and releasing little known, untraceable shows that no one knew the origin of. The shows were treated poorly, often dubbed and cut up to match American audiences. Viz even launched the first Anime magazine in 1993 with Animerica, primarily reviewing their own products but still giving a view of the culture that no one knew anything about.

But, in 1995, the release of the shows in America along with the premiere and rave reviews of Neon Genesis Evangelion in Japan, Otaku interest abroad began to spike. Otaku is a bid of a misnomer as it’s a bit of an insult in Japan, a mean spirited way to call someone a nerd. Here though, it generally means a purveyor of Japanese pop-culture and with the Otaku so in style right now it’s less of an insult than a clique. The import and fan subbing of shows began in earnest via VHS editing software that few if anyone had access to. The early 90s was a time of massive growth of interest in the little known import of Anime though, and the American marketplace wasn’t slow to react.

In 1997, television networks made broad sweeping moves to bring shows to the mainstream. The Sci-Fi channel had always had a small niche in its latenight line up for cult classics like Vampire Hunter D, but Warner Bros finally brought the genre to primetime. Funimation finally got their licensing figured out and Dragonball Z saw its triumphant return to the Cartoon Network, with new episodes to follow a year and a half later. And in 1998, a little known video game for the Game Boy exploded in the American market, bringing along with it its entire arsenal of marketing ploys, including the overwhelmingly childish, but enormously popular Pokemon anime. Finally, children across the nation were gluing themselves to the television set as earnestly as their Japanese counterparts had for nearly a decade before hand.

Miyazaki’s new film played to better reception, receiving a proper release via Miramax. Princess Mononoke was a success in the terms of the time, even receiving the coveted two thumbs up (let alone a review at all) from Siskel and Ebert. Films began to arrive in America more liberally, still finding limited release, but release at least. And the shows began to pour in. At the time, the fansub scene was more or less the only way to get access to some of the more obscure titles being released in Japan. But as the market boomed, so did the licensing by major companies, and it actually started to become illegal to fansub certain shows because they might be released by a company eventually.

Thus began the final and full assimilation of Japanese pop culture into American. The DVD format sped up the process, as more episodes of a show could be packed into a disc than a VHS and production costs plummeted, removing a lot of the financial risk of an untested foreign product in the American marketplace. Cartoon Network debuted its Toonami afternoon cartoon slot, in which they featured anime that had been around for a little while, but managed to appeal to a much larger demographic and spread the word about these great story driven cartoons from across the ocean. An entire generation grew into the growing popularity and became entranced by the epic storylines, amazing storytelling and ability to show in a cartoon what many considered adult themes and much more mature perspectives on things like competition and personal success. The Japanese ability to cross genre and the extremely high production values that started to go into shows made in the late 90s and beyond meant amazing shows that appealed not just to children but to adults and beyond.

What started as a crossover, slowly began to actually change the way in which American’s marketed their television to children. Shows with more adult content appeared, and in some cases emulated the Japanese format. The writers at Pixar crafted brilliant, more maturely themed cartoons without the silly musicals of Disney past, and Disney even dissolved their tried format in favor of more mature, complete stories. The devolution of American quality in cartoons though as they attempted to match the output meant even more Japanese entries in the market. Now, if you turn on Fox kids in the morning you’ll find over half of the shows on are animes. And Cartoon Network still presents multiple entries themselves, with more mature offerings in their Adult Swim block late at night. Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animation in 2003 and South Park, the quintessential American barometer of cultural trends at first knocked the trend with their Chinpokemon episode, later to embrace it (while still mocking it) via changing their own art style in the Weapons episode just a couple years ago.

Nowadays, you’ll find anime oriented t-shirts everywhere, an entire aisle devoted to DVD releases in Best Buy (compared to the one row only seven years ago) and the success of the Anime Network, a channel solely devoted to Anime programming. Magazines like Newtype, a Japanese trade magazine for the Anime industry is now translated and released in America every month with previews of new shows, and American directors like James Cameron are looking to direct live action versions of manga like Battle Angel Alita.

Now, we see new releases from Japan within six months, and the fansub community has to scramble to keep up with what’s legal and what’s not legal to offer via their online services. The internet itself has made it a huge community, where a show can be recorded on Japanese television, ripped and subbed, then uploaded within a couple hours for the world to view. There’s no lay over, and new shows are immediately available. And it’s evident in the universities too. Japanese is one of the most sought after languages, filling up immediately with a yard long waiting list every year, and more sections being added every year.

Japanese pop culture managed to tap a certain perspective that American counterparts were unable to do themselves and in so doing, cornered and grew in a market that few thought existed in America.


How to Choose a Wedding Venue


If you have always wanted a big church wedding in your home church, choosing a venue for your wedding ceremony is not difficult. For the rest of us, picking the place to exchange our vows is more difficult.

Brides and Grooms who are not members of a particular church but who want a church wedding need to start early to find an available sanctuary that meets their needs. There are many things to consider when selecting a church.

The first thing to do is get started right away. Churches give priority to their members, so if you want to secure a spot, reserve early.

Next, you will want to find a church that has a sanctuary or chapel that will comfortably host your prospective number of guests without leaving a lot of pews empty.

When you have found one or more churches that meet your space requirements, find out what their policy on decoration is. Believe it or not, there are churches that will not let you decorate at all while others allow only limited enhancement to the church. Also check out what the general church décor is to make sure that the forest green pews won’t clash with your turquoise and purple color scheme.

Next, you’ll want to discover who officiates at the weddings. You may want a pastor at the church to officiate or you may want to bring in someone you know to do the honors. Central Christian Church in San Antonio, TX is happy to rent their facilities to area couples needing a venue for their wedding, but they require that a pastor on their church staff officiate.

Which brings up another prerequisite some church venues have – premarital counseling. The aforementioned Central Christian Church requires that all couples who get married in their facility go through premarital classes at the church. They see offering their location as a venue for non members as an outreach ministry.

Those who want a venue other than a church have many options.

You may be considering an outdoor wedding such as one held at a park or on the beach. If it is a public space, you’ll want to contact the city, county, or state commission that oversees the space for reservation options. If it’s private land, you’ll have to contact the owner. Keep in mind that you should have a back up option in case of inclimate weather.

If you have friends or relatives with a big home or garden, a private wedding for a small number of guests can be quite nice. You won’t have to worry about finishing before the next bridal party comes in. Keep in mind though, that someone is residing there before the wedding and they’ll have to live with any mess your guests make afterwards. Don’t let your wedding be the basis of any hard feelings.

Private wedding chapels are also an alternative. Often these chapels look like churches, but they’re owned by individuals not religious organizations.

Beautiful hotels can also be a great choice for people planning to get married. One of the benefits is that the ceremony and the reception can be held at the same place which eliminates travel for the guests. Out of town guests can even be put up at the same hotel, sometimes at a discount package price.

Where ever you hold your wedding, you want it to be a beautiful event. You’ll be happy you gave careful consideration to your decision when choosing a venue.


The Best Five Bands of the 1960s



No surprises here. I look upon people who don’t understand the greatness of The Beatles with disdain. Ignorance is not bliss, it is just ignorance. And not understanding the greatness and the importance of The Beatles music is certainly ignorance.

Where to start? 1968’s self titled double album (known as The White Album) is the ultimate Beatles album in my view. 30 tracks covering almost every style of music imaginable. That being said, it may not be the best album to start with if you are new to the band. Perhaps 1969’s Abbey Road (the final album they recorded) would be a better entry point as it’s more fluid and it has the most “modern” sound of any of their albums.

Regardless of where you start with the greatest band of all time, the important thing is that you attain the following albums: A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be. You should also make sure you get Past Masters Vol. 2 as it includes a lot of The Beatles best singles that were never included on any album. If that’s not enough for you, get the rest of their stuff too. In some ways it’s all great, even the stuff that isn’t that great (like 1964’s Beatles for Sale for example which includes very cool songs like “I’ll Follow the Sun” that you can’t really get anywhere else.)


Not a lot of surprise here either although I had a much harder time making this selection as a lot of The Stones best work is actually in the ’70s and there’s a lot of great competition. Albums like Let It Bleed still stand up today as among the best rock n roll albums of all time.


Much like the Stones, a lot of their best work actually came in the 1970s but that being said I believe they form the “holy trinity” of great British rock bands of the 1960s along with The Beatles and The Stones thus they must be included at #3. Tommy is sometimes maligned these days but it really is quite an album. And many of The Who’s singles are extremely good. Also, I don’t think any band topped them as far as live performances go.


Pet Sounds alone is probably enough to get them this position but they also recorded a lot of extremely memorable songs not included on that album, the best of them being the incredible “Good Vibrations.”


They recorded only three albums but each of them were excellent. I most recommend their final album: 1968’s double album Electric Ladyland which is a real psychedelic masterpiece.


Symbolism In Snow White


Snow White is actually an ancient fairy tale, which was documented by the Grimm Brothers in 1812. It has variations in other cultures, but the most well-known version today is likely to be the Disney version.

Many fairy tales seem to be a simple children’s story on the surface, but there are messages, morals and symbolism contained within the story. A closer look a Snow White will reveal some messages that you may not have noticed before. Much of the symbolism is Christian based and there are several parallels to stories in the Bible. Other aspects of symbolism are tied to common story lines in traditional fairy tales.

The colors White, Red and Black:

The colors presented at the beginning of the story (skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, hair as black as ebony) provide a direct indication that Snow White is a “coming of age” story. White represents innocence (birth), red represents life and passion, while black represents death. The story of Snow White starts out with Snow White being a young girl in the original versions, and a rather naive young woman in the Disney version (the white phase). She undergoes maturity through the movie (the red phase), and experiences death (in her sleep-like state, the black phase).

No mother:

The absence of the birth mother makes it possible for storytellers to introduce the role of the evil stepmother. The evil stepmother is a common element of many fairy tales: Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel. The lack of a mother at all is also common, because if a mother were present, the series of events would not unfold as they do in stories where there is no maternal influence. People have often accused Walt Disney as being a proponent of stories without mothers (it is true that many Disney movies do not have mothers) but Disney re-created classic stories where the mother being dead was already a part of the story development. This element of story telling aims to engage the readers sympathy and it does that very well.

The poison apple:

This would seem to point all the way back to the biblical reference of the apple which was offered to Eve by the serpent (evil/Satan). The evil queen offers Snow White the apple in much the same way. Snow White knows she should not be speaking to strangers, but she does it anyway and she pays for that mistake by falling under the spell.

The significance of seven:

The number seven was used many times in the Bible for signifying perfection. The book of Revelation contains numerous groups of sevens such as angels, churches, trumpets, crowns, mountains, stars, and kings. It is one of the most significant numbers in Christianity in the sense that “God created the world in seven days”, or rather he created the world in six days and on the seventh he rested.

The names of the dwarfs:

Some people have thought to correlate the seven dwarfs with the seven deadly sins, but that correlation doesn’t hold water. In the Grimm version of Snow White, the seven dwarfs do not have names. In Disney’s version of Snow White, the dwarfs do have names but those names were chosen out of sixty or so possible names and they do not correspond to the seven deadly sins. The names of the seven dwarfs are: Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy and Sleepy. These names are more aptly “the seven moods of man” rather than sins.

The Seven Deadly Sins:

The Seven Deadly Sins are represented in the story of Snow White, but not in the form of the seven dwarfs.

Pride/Vanity: Clearly the vanity of the Evil Queen. The mirror is clearly a direct reference to vanity.

Lust/Extravagance: Again, the Queen as royalty is extravagant

Gluttony: The seven dwarfs eating (maybe a stretch). Or in the original tale, the Queen actually eats the heart of Snow White.

Greed: The Queen again

Sloth: Originally meant sadness, melancholy,apathy, depression, and joylessness which would distract from attention to god. This applies to the dwarfs after Snow White dies and sloth in the form of sloppiness certainly applies to the seven dwarfs in their manner of housekeeping.

Wrath: The wrath of the seven dwarfs upon the witch after they discover Snow White dead.

Envy: The Queen (again)

The seven deadly sins have opposites in the seven holy virtues: Humility, Chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patiences, kindness. All of these are characteristics of Snow White.


Snow White “dies” and comes back to life. This certainly parallels the death and resurrection of Jesus from the Bible.

The hand washing:

The part of the story where Snow White demands that the dwarfs wash could be related to the cleansing of baptism. After the dwarfs have washed, they become people that seem to have a new purpose in life, except for Grumpy who protests the most. Grumpy does undergo a transformation throughout the movie though, from a skeptical dwarf into one that is very devoted to Snow White.

The Work Ethic:

Snow White cleans the little house without prompting and cooks without being asked. The seven dwarfs also are hard at work in the mines (Hey Ho…).

These are a few of the symbols that are the most visible in the story of Snow White, and there are probably some more!


Elements of Measure (DMAIC) & Prioritization Matrix


One of the major benefits of Lean Six Sigma is its demand for a fact-based and data-driven analytical approach. Most other improvement methodologies, including Lean, tend to attempt process improvement without sufficient data to understand the underlying causes of the problem.

The result is typically many quick-hit projects with short-lived or disappointing results. Combining data with knowledge and experience is what separates true improvement from mere process tinkering.

One of the goals of the Measure phase is to pin-point the location or source of a problem as precisely as possible by building a factual understanding of existing process conditions. That knowledge helps you narrow the range of potential causes requiring investigation in the Analyze phase. An important part of Measure is to establish a baseline capability level.

The tools most commonly used in the Measure phase are:

– Prioritization Matrix

– Process Cycle Efficiency

– Time Value Analysis

– Pareto charts

– Control charts

– Run Charts

– Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

The Prioritization Matrix provides a way of sorting a diverse set of items into an order of importance.

It also enables their relative importance to be identified by deriving a numerical value of the importance of each item. Thus an item with a score of 223 is clearly far more important than one with a score of 23, but is not much more important than one with a score of 219. Items are compared, scored against a set of key criteria, and the scores for each item are then summed.