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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Footsteps of War, a travel blog site with a difference

Footsteps of War.
Image provided and used with permission.


Footsteps of War is my kind of site. Before you go all up in arms at me (see what I did there?) it is a site for the webmaster, Steve, to share his visits to historic battle locations.

He specialises in modern warfare locations from the last century: the world wars, Vietnam and Korea. Steve blogs about his personal visits to the places where iconic battles were fought, or vast numbers of people were interned, and offers a travel planning service for others who would like to follow in his footsteps.

I’m something of a Battle of Britain buff, with an interest in the military aircraft of that era, while my parents have visited many locations in the Somme since they retired. My husband and I also pay homage at any known memorial or concentration camp sites when we travel. He feels an affinity with the Polish death camps such as Sobibor, although he doesn’t really know why. So I think it may be fair to say we have skin in this game.

Steve has a set of matchstick models of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, about which I am insanely jealous, as the Lancaster is one of my favourite aircraft. He has also paid his respects at Auschwitz, which I’m not sure I would be able to manage. Buchenwald in Germany was more than enough for me.

Footsteps of War also has information and photographs from Korea and Vietnam, plus the chance for travellers to craft their own unique visit to important locations in those former theatres of war. Because not everyone has parents or friends ideally located to show them around.

The photographs show a flavour of each location, with elephants at the Bridge on the River Kwai (the Thai national animal is the elephant, after all), many pictures on the River Kwai itself and photos of the memorial to the fallen, donated by the Thai people.

The Vietnam page shows photographs of locations where the Vietnam War was fought as well as museums commemorating the events.

The Schindler visit photos showcase Krakow and Schindler’s Factory, while the Vietnam and Auschwitz photos tell both the stories historians know as well as those they left behind. When I visited Buchenwald camp in Germany, I saw the solitary confinement cell where a Catholic priest had spent his last months. Pastor Paul Schneider’s tale is indicative of the resistance the Nazis had to their regime, where he refused to show allegiance to them, and as a result was sent to the gas chamber. His parishioners’ descendants still send flowers to the camp; these are displayed in his cell for as long as possible after receipt.

Footsteps of War blog is run by a UK Forces veteran, and is a fairly new idea. Drawing on his own travel and military experiences, he is in the process of producing a detailed resource for those who have an interest in visiting military sites and paying homage to the events which unfolded there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Niugini Tribal Heritage: Yakkan Mali 2019

Yakkan Mali 2019
Image of website homepage

Papua New Guinea (often abbreviated to PNG) has long drawn the adventurous and the inquisitive. Tales of the unexplored interior, uncontacted tribes and undiscovered flora and fauna are too much for some people to resist.

However, for those who are not as adventurous as Benedict Allen, who famously went missing while on an expedition to PNG in 2017, there is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the culture. The Yakkan Mali (pronounced Yak-an Mahll) concert, being held in July 2019 in Lenki Village of Enga Province, is a chance for the elders to host strictly limited numbers of interested paying guests, and invite the best dancers, singers and cultural representatives to bring their work to the notice of an international audience.

PNG is a vibrant culture

The Niugini (pronounced exactly the same as New Guinea) tribal heritage is a strong and ever-present force in the country and the locals are fiercely proud of it. PNG is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Papua New Guinea is also a passionate rugby league playing nation, an influence its people no doubt picked up from decades of Australian administration. The state, which has the motto ‘Unity in Diversity’ has over 850 local indigenous languages, although English is the official language of Government and education. Tok Pisin is the daily lingua franca, and also used for parliamentary debates and advertisements. Hiri Motu is the third official language, mainly spoken in the southern regions.

Subscribe to the website to learn more

In Enga province, everyone in the five districts speaks the same language, which helps build cohesiveness and understanding. Generally, the Niugini tribal heritage is strong, colorful and vibrant. Its members are passionate about keeping their heritage alive, and the Yakkan Mali organiser offers subscriptions to the website for those who want to know more.

Free access offers
  • The opportunity to sign up for newsletters
  • Access to free event trailers and watermarked images
  • The chance to purchase traditional artifacts.

A monthly Gold Membership subscription of $197 brings
  • A magazine subscription
  • Unlimited access to HD videos and images
  • The chance to see raw footage before it is edited into videos
  • Traditional artifacts available at a discount.

A full subscription of $5,000 buys
  • A return trip to Lenki Village, Enga Province and 3 nights’ accommodation during the Yakkan Mali festival
  • VIP access to cultural sites and activities during the event.

Warriors and other tribal heritage

Yakkan Mali showcases the most feared Niugini tribal warriors. The participants will show off their ceremonial dress, dances and challenges. There will be traditional food, drink and artifacts for sale as well as the chance to learn about PNG culture and heritage first hand from the tribespeople.

A unique opportunity

For anyone who is interested in Pacific native cultures, the Yakkan Mali is a great way to learn more about the native tribal heritage of Papua New Guinea. The Yakkan Mali is only open to subscribers, however, so signing up to membership is essential for anyone wishing to attend the event. The money raised will go towards preserving traditional tribal heritage and customs, which are under threat from modern life. The place to start should be to sign up for the newsletters. This is free and also offers access to event trailer videos and the chance to purchase cultural artifacts.

Support, subscribe, visit the Yakkan Mali

Those who wish to support the event but cannot attend can opt for a Gold Membership, while those who are definitely going to be there can look forward to a really special few days. This unique opportunity to witness the energetic ceremonies and exciting culture of Papua New Guinea would be ideal as part of a once in a lifetime trip. It could maybe form part of a round the world journey, a long-awaited holiday to Indonesia, PNG and Australia or even a honeymoon to remember. The landscape is lush and tropical while the welcome from the Chiefs of the Enga is sure to be as warm as the sun. The Yakkan Mali festival offers the exclusive chance to hear traditional Enga music as well as to see their architecture and rituals.

Niugini Tribal Heritage

The Niugini tribal heritage, like many traditional cultures worldwide, is under threat from modern life. Tribal members such as the Yakkan Mali organiser are trying to ensure at least some of their traditions are preserved. This does require donations, subscriptions and interest from others, as the revenue raised can be used towards helping the Enga and other Niugini tribes to pass on their heritage through teaching and outreach.

The Niugini Tribal Heritage website explains more and offers details on how to support the tribespeople or donate to their cause. Anyone with an interest in preserving centuries-old tradition will be made welcome as a free or paid subscriber.

2019 Yakkan Mali: The Niugini people welcome you.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Irena Orlov Art. Discover the Art Difference.

Irena Orlov Art. Discover the Art Difference.
Image provided and used with permission.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of a statement art piece for their living room or bedroom, Irena Orlov Art may have the answer.

Animals, abstract, nature, these canvases are large. They are huge. Discover the art difference with Irena Orlov Art and any location will instantly be a step above all those with cookie-cutter identi-kit prints from big box stores or stationery outlets. These are not just fine art prints, but mixed media, paintings in watercolor or oil and photographs.

Irena Orlov makes use of iconic shapes such as perfume bottles, vintage cars, logos, stiletto shoes, animals, the human form, even maps of the world, to create unusual and striking work which is sure to be the talking point of any room where it is hung. Some of the art is painted or printed on canvas, other pieces are made on wood.

And when I say large, I mean LARGE. Those 50” TVs which are so common these days? They’re raw beginners compared to Irena Orlov’s abstract art. A piece of 72” or 80” is not unusual for her. Admittedly the larger pieces are designed to be hung in a corporate environment rather than a private home, but they are still going to draw the eye and start viewers thinking. The abstract pieces have vibrant colors that almost look like they could be computer generated while the geometric prints resemble puzzles, multiscreen pictures or paint swatches by turn. For those of us who prefer artwork without people, these would be a go-to range to fill a large bare wall in a suitable space.

Alternatively, Irena Orlov’s New Media range may be of interest. These are lush, graduated color prints up to 120” in width, showing a family of colors in each print. Green and blue in one, grey and orange in another. In the Invisible World series, sometimes a shape is outlined, a flower or a wave, but more often, the shape is an abstract swirl of rainbow color and black lines. The Breeze series have fine lines of graduated color creating a gentle rainbow effect while the Storm of Creation series features bright and neon colors.

Irena Orlov’s animal paintings range from stags, bears and big cats to birds, butterflies and abstract animal representation. There is a series of feather paintings and prints for those who prefer a more abstract take on the animal theme.

Irena Orlov’s website contains 150 pages of paintings, prints and mixed media works, just about anything to suit any taste. She is a compulsive creator of unusual, colorful and striking wall art which will add a distinctive touch to any space in which it is hung. Prices are very reasonable for such distinctive pieces, and these artworks may well increase in value with age, so could be considered an investment for tomorrow by the buyer today.

The savvy art buyer could look much further and see much worse than an original painting or canvas art print by Irena Orlov.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Younglanes Amazon Appeal Services: appeal an account suspension

Younglanes Amazon Appeal Services
Image provided and used with permission

Recently there has been some coverage of the drive to remove sellers who are not paying correct UK tax from big seller sites such as Amazon, ebay, etsy and Asos. (BBC Business, January 11, 2018).

That’s fair enough. To quote from the BBC article ‘Non-UK business selling goods in the UK to UK consumers via online marketplaces are required to register for VAT in the UK, charge VAT of 20% on sales, and account for that VAT to HMRC.

Worry, fear, uncertainty

But what happens to those regular sellers with good feedback who still have their accounts suspended? Amazon and ebay are big enough that they’ll suspend a seller first and then ask questions later. Often, once suspended, a seller is unable to return easily to the platform and is subject to restrictions if they do. It can be a lengthy process for an individual to appeal their case, and every day they are not selling results in lost income. If Amazon is a large part of a seller’s online presence, a suspension is a major inconvenience. Some suspended sellers have reported having to wait 60 days or more for reinstatement. The worry, fear and anger which an account suspension causes can impact on an individual’s health and financial security. But it is essential to take stock and get to the bottom of the issues which have caused the suspension. Big marketplaces may seem dispassionate but account suspensions are always linked to a particular reason. It could be something as simple as delayed dispatch times, or something potentially more serious, such as a rights infringement or trademark issue.

What can an excluded Amazon Seller do?

For any of the thousands of Amazon sellers who are excluded every day, help is at hand. Of course it is always possible to handle the appeal personally, providing all the requested information together with a detailed plan of action and list of changes to be made to prevent the issue happening again. However, with the help of a specialist appeals company, the chances of reinstatement may well be higher, because the staff know how to employ the recommended strategies. They will know the correct phrases to use and the points to emphasize. Of course, this comes at a price, but it could be a price worth paying as long as the seller makes changes and learns from the process.

Work with the specialists

Younglanes Amazon Appeal Services offers assistance to owners of all levels of Amazon Seller account. It doesn't matter whether they have fallen foul of the small print in Amazon’s terms and conditions or whether it’s a simpler issue. For a price, Younglanes will appeal the suspension. Depending on the type of package, the company offers everything from a negative feedback removal service to guaranteed Amazon Seller reinstatement, account investigation and plan of action within 24 business hours.

Big companies can be impersonal

The main problem with these big firms (Amazon, ebay and others) is that they are so big. A seller with a problem is lucky to manage to speak to anyone, never mind finding that magic someone who can fix their issue. Amazon Seller is particularly difficult to navigate for the uninitiated, and any challenge from an individual is likely to be met by an automated response, which often does not fully explain the issue.

Using contacts is important

A company such as Younglanes Amazon Appeal Services aims to navigate those pitfalls on behalf of their clients. The firm has contacts within Amazon who help to identify the individual reasons for suspension of an account. They liaise with the necessary departments, and will use Amazon-recommended strategies to have sellers reinstated. All the information they locate is drafted into a plan of action aimed at reinstating the account as soon as possible. This is likely to cover areas including quality of goods, descriptions, dispatch times and feedback.

Money-back guarantee

If, for whatever reason, account reinstatement is not an option from Amazon’s point of view, then Younglanes Amazon Appeal Services are backed by a full money-back guarantee. If even these specialists’ best efforts do not result in account reinstatement, the client will receive a full refund.

Suspended? Join the club

Being suspended from Amazon is such a common occurrence that there is even a Facebook group, the Amazon Suspension Group, for those who have been suspended. It’s a place to find help, sympathy, advice, tips and tricks to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Members can share their individual experiences and maybe help others to tweak their business model to improve their own chances of staying out of trouble in the future.

After all, Younglanes Amazon Appeal Services can help a client once, but if the client then ignores their advice and is suspended again, their chances of achieving a second reinstatement are slim. Better to learn from previous mistakes, as improvement can only be good for business.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Let HailCo handle your hail damage repairs in Denver, Colorado

A paintless dent repair tech at work
Image provided by HailCo, Denver, Colorado. Used with permission

No one likes seeing a damaged car, whether it’s had a fender bender moment or is dented as a result of a storm. Repairs can be expensive and for many, being without their car is highly inconvenient. Alternative transport options may be difficult to connect with, time-consuming to use or simply not available. Weather damaged vehicles are more usually seen on TV, after floods, landslides, tree falls or other natural events. In some areas of the United States, it is the weather which is the biggest cause of damage to vehicles. Tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes and hailstorms all affect various places, and both residents and visitors alike have to live with the consequences. In Hail Alley, it it the destructive power of large hailstones which causes the most disruption. From broken windows and roof panels to foliage damage, dangerous driving conditions and damage to vehicles of all sizes, a hailstorm leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. People can sustain cuts, bruises and even broken bones from a hail strike. For the residents of Denver, Colorado, picking themselves up after a hailstorm is a regular occurrence and the infrastructure to help them is always at hand.

For owners of hail damaged vehicles, the priority is to have them repaired and road safe again as soon as possible. Locally owned company HailCo specialize in repairing hail damage to cars and other vehicles. They use the technique called paintless dent repair, or pdr, which requires specialist tools and a steady hand. Highly trained experts work on the dents, creases and dings to make sure that the panel is fully straight again once they have completed the repair. Paintless dent repair is exactly that - no respraying required. The professionals use an array of tools to return the bodywork to as good as new. Under bright strip lighting, they can easily see their progress. Some of their tools are about the size of their thumb, others considerably larger.

HailCo are Denver’s leading auto hail repair body shop and paintless dent removal specialists. As well as handling the repairs to a vehicle, they also deal with all the major insurance companies, hosting the assessors to agree a quotation and filling out the necessary paperwork. Auto insurance deductibles up to $500 are routinely covered, which helps reduce the stress levels still further for drivers concerned about their vehicle and the cost of repairs. On top of that, if the insurance doesn’t cover it, HailCo offer free car rental during the time that the vehicle is under repair.

From start to finish, HailCo’s friendly expert repair techs work with vehicle owners to ensure smooth service and a thorough inspection and paintless dent repair of the damaged vehicle. They will be happy to help out next time a hailstorm strikes.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Sales Bot: Building complete income streams at the touch of a button

Money tower coins by KSchneider2991 on Pixabay
Image CC0 Creative Commons. Free for commercial use.

Everyone dreams of having a successful website with high traffic. Whether promoting a service, skill, trade, profession or product, sales can only come from customers. Persuading customers to click to buy is a precise skill. Achieving the holy grail of unlimited free traffic and sales doesn’t come quickly, however, and is often only gained with reputation or experience.

The Sales Bot software aims to help websites gain traffic. It is quick and easy to set up and allows users to make money from their website while they’re away doing other things. Passive income is another holy grail for many people, and is often the reason for YouTube accounts, e-commerce shops and monetizing blogs, among other things. For those on a low or uncertain income, a side hustle with passive income can make a huge difference. Using big name affiliate programs such as Clickbank, Warrior Plus and Jvzoo, it is possible to achieve passive income selling many things. Even for those with an established business, knowing where the next sale is coming from is a bonus.

The Sales Bot software promises to draw real traffic from all the major social media networks, and the site suggests that it takes the work out of building an online business for many people. It eliminates web hosting companies and their fees for starters. The Sales Bot software can be set up in three simple steps; the end result is a website which works to maximize sales.

For anyone who loves traveling, leads a busy family-forward lifestyle, wants freedom to follow their dreams or needs an extra income stream to help out without working extra hours, The Sales Bot can help. Many people working exclusively online are those whose circumstances or lifestyle choices mean they prefer not to have regular work hours. Perhaps they may be people with young families, caring responsibilities, or a wish to see the world and still earn money. Affiliate marketing and its sister, network marketing, appeal to many who are time poor and prefer to have the sales come to them. The advantage of running an online business with a website is the international reach of the internet. Whereas with catalog sales, reps were limited by where they could physically drop catalogs or host a party to sell their range, these days the internet can exponentially increase their reach. A sale can be made at any hour, in any timezone. With remote fulfillment, such as downloads, the seller often has to do no more than provide the content for others to download.

The Sales Bot is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, so users can continue to earn while traveling, or maybe preoccupied at home with caring responsibilities. Of course, these things rarely come without a cost. The Sales Bot is currently offering a package including the software, access to the customer support team, an agency license worth nearly $500 and lots of bonuses at a discount price. For the price of a meal out, or a basket of groceries for several days, The Sales Bot offers the opportunity to raise and increase a passive income and create websites for others via the agency license. That’s a passive income in itself right there, regardless of what it does for an existing user’s website and sales.

Anyone who is serious about growing their online influence this year should try this. It could be the difference between another year of uncertainty and the year of making a difference.