4/22/2020 8:00 AM | 0 Comments

Are you sitting comfortably? No, really comfortably? Maybe not, if you're among the many thousands of Angelinos who suddenly find themselves working from home. While protecting yourself and others from the perils of the Coronavirus outbreak, you could be risking your health in another way.  Your usual workplace may have been set up by experts to ensure comfort, safety and efficiency -- better known collectively as ergonomics. But you probably can’t say the same about your home workstation. However, a few simple steps and precautions should solve most of the potential issues. Ergonomic Tips While Working from Home Good working ergonomics are about having the right equipment in the right position and taking care of your body while you work. You should already be using many of the best ergonomic practices at your office and it's a case of translating them into your home office. Your Workstation Don't be tempted to sit on the couch or sprawl on the bed with your laptop. It may s ... [...]
4/1/2020 7:00 AM | 0 Comments

Seeing the funny side of life has suddenly become more important than ever. Social media networks like Facebook are bursting with humorous stories and photos intended to brighten up our isolation and bring a smile to our faces amid the global coronavirus scare. We've learnt that even though many of us are confined to our homes, that's no reason not to make the most of any opportunities for fun. And with April Fools' Day coming up, there are still plenty of home-based pranks you can play both with families and online friends. We've gathered together a collection of ideas below. But before that, a couple of words of warning. First, don’t even consider inventing alarming stories about the coronavirus. It's just too serious to be funny. And second, when planning your pranks, take account of your intended victims. Are they nervous types? Would your tricks cause panic or danger? Or do they just plain dislike practical jokes -- as 17% of respondents in a recent survey said? We can’t take responsibili ... [...]
2/27/2020 11:35 AM | 0 Comments

Are you looking to make savings on your insurance premium? Of course, you are. And here at Aldrich Taylor we do that every day for our clients. One of the most common questions people ask is whether they should raise their deductible to cut their policy costs. The question is not as simple to answer as you might think. But we can help you make your decision. What is a Deductible? Nearly all auto and home insurance policies (and some others) have a built-in clause that says how much you have to pay out of your own pocket when you make a claim, before the insurance company kicks in. That's a deductible. So, say your policy has a deductible of $200 and you're claiming for damage that will cost $500 to put right, you'll pay the first $200 and then the insurer will pay the remaining $300. But if, say, the damage will only cost $250 to put right, you'll still have to pay your $200, while the insurer gets away with a $50 contribution. In that case, you may think it's not worth claiming, especially if th ... [...]
2/13/2020 5:00 AM | 0 Comments

Has anyone, a stranger perhaps, ever done something nice for you? Something you didn’t ask for or expect? Something that lifted your faith in humanity? Or maybe you've done something nice for someone without reason. Just because. And it gave you a bit of a kick, didn't it? This is what people mean when they talk about "random acts of kindness". It's just a lovely thing isn't it? And we'd all like a bit more of that! As it happens, February is a special month for random acts of kindness. Valentine's Day on the 14th gives us an opportunity to show our feelings to the people we love. Now Random Acts of Kindness Day follows three days later, on February 17th, offering us the chance to show care and concern to others. And the week in which it falls is also being called Random Acts of Kindness Week. At a time when many of us are preoccupied with our own concerns, this is a day to show how much goodness there still is in our culture, our country and our community. The idea was born in New Zealand (where i ... [...]
1/30/2020 8:00 AM | 0 Comments

Unless you're into the subject of acetic acid in a big way, you probably never heard of the National Vinegar Institute. But it turns out we have them to thank for declaring January to be National Clean Up Your Computer Month. Obviously, they were thinking of the cleansing properties of watered-down vinegar when they dreamed this up but the notion caught on, not so much as an inducement to buy gallons of the stuff to scrub up our PCs and keyboards, but to encourage us to clean the digital parts we can't see. That's the stuff that comprises the data, apps and programs that constitute the business of computing and that somehow contrive to run slower and slower as the year progresses. But, still, a bit of a vinegar rub-down is probably also in order as well. So if you want your PC to sparkle inside and out, read on. How to Get Your Computer in Clean Running Condition Yes, it happens to everyone. You buy a new computer that flies like a supersonic jet. Then you install and ... [...]
1/16/2020 8:00 AM | 0 Comments

Did you decide to finally work on getting yourself in shape for the new year? You're not alone. In fact, because it's also a new decade it's likely that more people than usual made the same vow. Unfortunately, research show that less than one in 10 of us manage to stick to our resolutions.  Maybe that's because the others don’t know the big secret to success when changing your ways. It has a ring of commonsense but still most people overlook or dismiss it: Do What You Like. That doesn't mean "do what you feel like" -- that'd be a recipe for disaster. It means pursuing diet and fitness programs you can enjoy. In other words, don’t take up jogging if you hate running, and don't take up a diet that won't allow you to eat potatoes if that's your favorite veggie. That said, below is a routine to follow to give yourself your best chance of success with your fitness aspirations this year. ( Before we start, note that you shouldn't make major changes to your die ... [...]
11/29/2019 8:00 AM | 0 Comments

There's no chance for many of us to put up our feet and relax after Thanksgiving Day. It's Black Friday! And then, it's Cyber Monday. Black Friday -- so-called because, supposedly, it's the day retailers get back into the black, after trading in the red for much of the year -- is a fantastic opportunity to score bargains. Cyber Monday chiefly focuses on consumer electronics. It's a great day to buy a computer or TV.  Although more and more of us do our Black Friday shopping online from the comfort of home, some of the best bargains are still to be found in brick-and-mortar stores.  Got to Get There But first, you have to get there. And that poses some special risks for drivers, both on the road and in parking lots. The early-bird start means that bargain-hunters will be out driving in the dark, which may be an unfamiliar experience for some. Roads and freeways around malls will be exceptionally busy from an early hour. In addition, there will be extra ... [...]
11/21/2019 5:00 AM | 0 Comments

We call in Turkey Day but here's a secret you might not know: Here in Southern California some of us prefer… fish! Yes, that's right. According to the Food Network TV channel who did some research earlier this month, Californians have a Thanksgiving taste for an oven-baked salmon filet, ideally topped with roasted almonds. Salmon dishes are uniquely popular in California at this time of year, says the network, who dug into favorite Thanksgiving recipes in each state.  But whatever you eat, planning ahead for this special Holiday will make it easier -- whether you're the host, the guest, or you just want to get out and enjoy yourself. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to make this Thanksgiving as stress-free as possible, and memorable -- for the right reasons. When You're the Thanksgiving Cook Whether you're cooking for just yourself, your family, or a whole retinue of guests, planning the event as far ahead as possible will cut out some of the pressures of ... [...]
9/12/2019 5:00 AM | 0 Comments

When it comes to home maintenance, routine is a good thing. That's why we have spring cleaning and so on. If you schedule key tasks for particular times, you won't overlook jobs. And the better you maintain your home, the less money it will cost you in the long term and the more you're likely to enhance its value. For example, a heating system service will cost you around $200 to $300, while a furnace replacement will easy cost you 10 or 16 times that amount.  One good way of ensuring you get everything done is to divide the tasks across different times of the year by creating a seasonal home maintenance calendar. Spreading them out avoids the overall task becoming overwhelming, making it easier to manage, Even though our fall and winter here in Southern California are not usually as dramatic as in many other parts of the country, there are still chores that work well according to seasonal changes. Since we are now heading towards fall, let's take a close up look at the sorts o ... [...]
8/30/2019 9:00 AM | 0 Comments

"Kindness" is not a word that easily comes to mind in these troubled days. Yet it is all around us. Every day, beyond the glare of publicity and the antics of hungry attention seekers, ordinary folk are helping others in thousands of different acts of kindness. Their deeds may be small in stature but each one of them makes life better for someone else. Sometimes, though, we pass by an opportunity to help another, not out of  meanness or lack of concern. We're just too busy, in too much of a hurry, to notice or think about it. But this month, as in every August for the past 31 years, there's a chance to put that right and to focus our minds on helping others. Be Kind to Humankind Week, which runs from August 25 to 31, encourages us all to think about what we can do for someone else without thought of reward of recognition. It was founded in 1988 by New Jerseyan Lorraine Jara after a boating accident in which a young man lost his life when passersby refused to help. Since then, ... [...]
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