How to Change Your Car’s Motor Oil


First, let’s answer the question; Why should you change your own oil? Because you can save time and money. You don’t have to wait in line at the service garage or quick oil change shop. For ten bucks you can get the best oil and a brand new oil filter. And, it’s so easy to do that you could train a monkey to do it.

Changing your cars motor oil is a very simple three-step process: 1. Drain the old oil. 2. Replace the oil filter. 3. Add the new oil. But before we go through the steps, lets answer a few basic questions.

When should I change my oil?

Look in your cars owners manual. Most auto manufacturers recommend changing the motor oil every 6,000 miles for normal service, or every 3,000 miles for severe service. I change my oil every 6,000 miles, and my engines run like new when I trade my vehicles in with well over 100,000 miles on them. One thing that I do is change a new cars oil after the first 300 mile break-in period. Then, after that, I change the oil every 6,000 miles.

What kind of oil should I use?

You are not going to save money by using an off-brand oil because your engine will wear out sooner. Use oil that meets the American Pertroleum Institute (API) classification SL. I use Valvoline, Quaker State, Pennzoil, or Havoline brand oil. These quality oils contain additives that make them work better and longer.

If you are changing your oil just before winter, use SAE 10W30 weight oil. This number means the oil will have a thin 10 weight viscosity when the engine is cold, helping the engine to start easier, and then the oil will thicken to 30 weight viscosity when the engine warms up, protecting the engine better. If you are changing oil just before summer, use SAE 10W40 weight oil. The extra 40 weight viscosity will protect your engine better when it’s hot.

What’s the First Step?

First let your engine cool off. Modern engines run at close to 300 degrees (F) and hot oil will definitely give you a severe burn. You shouldn’t have to jack your car up unless you have some kind of ground hugging sports car or low rider. Almost all cars have enough space underneath to reach under and change the engine oil.

Step 1: Drain the old oil.

Locate the oil drain plug and place a pan under it to catch the oil. With a box wrench, remove the oil plug.

Note for newbies: To remove the drain plug, turn it counter-clockwise.

– If you have a GM dual-overhead-cam EcoTec engine you may have a difficult time locating the drain plug on all that aluminum.

When the oil stops draining, reinstall the drain plug.

Note for newbies: To replace the drain plug turn it clockwise. Start the plug with your fingers. If it seems even slightly hard to turn, back it out! You are crossing the threads.

Step 2. Replace the oil filter.

Move your oil catch pan under the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench to get it started, remove the oil filter. (newbies: counter-clockwise, and you will get some oil on your hand.)

– A strap type oil filter wrench is the best kind to use. A socket type oil filter tool is used with a ratchet just like a regular socket. The problem with the socket type is that it tends to get stuck on the filter. Use the socket type tool if you don’t have enough clearance around the oil filter to use the strap type.

With your finger put a thin coat of oil on the new filter’s gasket to make it seal better.

*! Now pay attention – here’s were you can screw up royal!

With your hand, install the new oil filter. If it seems even slightly hard to turn, back it out! You are crossing the threads. Most filters have an instruction printed on them to give the filter one more turn after the gasket has made contact.

Here’s what I recommend: screw the filter on until its “hand tight”. Then use the oil filter wrench to snug it up another 1/8 to 1/4 turn. This is critical!

When the vehicle is running, the oil pump puts the oil under pressure. If you don’t install the oil filter tight enough, the oil will come gushing out. If that happens shut down the engine immediately! Without oil, an engine will lock up within seconds.

The first time I changed my oil, I used the filter wrench to tighten the filter as tight as I could get it. Wrong! The next time I went to change my oil, I couldn’t get the filter off. Luckily I had plenty of room around the filer, so I hammered a screw driver through the body of the filter and used the handle of the screw driver to turn the filter off.

Warning! Don’t over-tighten the filter. Follow the instructions above carefully!

– The GM dual-overhead-cam EcoTec engine has an unusual oil filter located on top of the engine. Remove the engine air intake hose. That’s the oil filter canister just to the right of, and below, the end of the open air intake tube. Use a proper size wrench to remove the canister lid. This engine uses a special filter cartridge.

Step 3. Add the new oil.

Locate the oil filler cap on the valve cover. I’ve seen newbies pour motor oil in everything from the master brake cylinder to the radiator cap. Make sure you have located the the oil filler cap. Remove the oil filler cap.

When pouring the oil, you would be wise to use a funnel between the oil can and the valve cover oil filler hole.

How much oil should you add? Look in your cars owner manual. Most engines have a capacity of four or five quarts. Don’t overfill the crank case. When you run the engine the extra oil will be blown out through the PCV value, possibly stalling your engine.

Tip: If you don’t know the oil capacity of the engine, add four quarts, then check the oil level, if it’s a quart low add another quart.

Replace the oil filler cap.

Step 4. Start the Engine.

Yes, I know, I said there where only three steps. You’re finished, this is not really a “step”.

Start the engine and make sure the oil warning light goes off. Look under the vehicle to make sure oil is not leaking out. Turn off the engine and let it set for a minute to let the oil drain down to the crank case. Then use the dip stick to check the oil level.

How to check the oil level: Remove the dip stick, wipe it clean with a rag, reinstall the dip stick. Make sure the dip stick is in all the way or you will get a false reading. After a few seconds remove the dip stick and examine how far up the stick is covered with oil. Most dip sticks have a “full” mark printed on them.

Note: I find the best way to dispose of the old oil is to use a funnel to pore it from the collection pan into the bottles from which the new oil came. When I get a big pile of used oil bottles I bring them to the oil recycling center. Be sure to mark the used oil bottles so you don’t accidentally think they are new oil.

Copyright(C)2004 Bucaro TecHelp.

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Using ISO 27001 Consultants For Information Security Audit

In today’s technological development and fast paced innovations, threats to information and data compiled in systems are quite common. IT companies, application developers, web based systems, mobile software developers, and many other sectors have loads of information present in their database. Whenever, so much of data is stocked, getting these breached can be a common phenomenon, if protection is not adequate. To test the adequacy of protection, implemented by companies, the information security audit is to be done from time to time, by companies. This kind of audit helps in exposing the vulnerabilities faced by companies, which they are not aware of, until such auditing is done.

ISO 27001 consultants are experts who have extensive knowledge of ISO 27001 certification. This is a specification for information security, applicable to almost all kinds of commerce activities and not confined only to electronic systems. Every form of information and data storage is possible to be audited by ISO 27001consultants. When this particular certification is obtained, companies can develop the trust in their customers, trading partners, stakeholders and even in their own employees. In the market, the credibility and trust of the company is increased because now people know that the information shared with these companies, is in safe hands. Going for the information security audit by such certification consultants will ensure that information security measures are strictly being adhered to at all levels of the organisation.

From time to time, ISO 27001 consultants can be asked to carry out an external audit of Information Technology company for maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. The process of auditing will involve defining objectives, organisation security, communication and operations management, access control, and compliance with the most recent standards in application security.

Under the system of information security audit, a number of processes are involved, which only experts in the ISO 27001 standardisation can be able to carry out. Starting from documentation to the pointing out of lacunas in the system, everything is looked at by ISO 27001 consultants. Applicability of recommendations by internal audit is also checked. After the policies and guidelines are laid down according to the most recent standards, companies need to implement these policies at the earliest. When, at a later date, there is an onside external information security audit, everything should be in place, so that ISO 27001 certification is granted.

A penetration test is basically an ethical means of breaching the security system in place, for an IT related company or developer. By undertaking penetration testing, application security controls are highlighted, particularly those, that can be exploited. In such a scenario, IT companies ask security companies to understand the vulnerabilities by this particular modality of testing, which is a manual method. As a result of penetration testing, complete details are derived related to security issues, exploitation results, tactical and strategic recommendations.

A lot of companies are nowadays having specified ISO 27001 consultants to carry out internal and external audits for their clients. For the best business and information security practises, such standards have been defined, which, if a company is adhering, then there will be a lot of advantages at its end.

More Money in Your Life


Financial worries are at the top of the list for most people in our present times. Many of you have lost a huge amount of money and assets due to the downward spiral of our economy, and if you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on in our world, it doesn’t seem to be getting better; it seems to be getting worse. A lot of fear surrounds many of you as you look to the future, wondering what it will be like for not only yourself, but for your children and grandchildren. So stress has increased by leaps and bounds for many, even when there is an understanding of the law of attraction and we all can live in abundance.

Perhaps you have or are changing careers, by desire or forced to, or at the very least have thought about or begun something new along with any job you may presently have. College and trade school enrollment has increased for adults of all ages because they knew they needed to learn additional skills for different jobs for their future. Change is in the air as we all know, so flowing with the changes becomes a necessity or we create more stress for ourselves.

Regardless of whether you remained in your same job or have obtained a new one, or even are in the process of learning new skills so you can get a different job, money has to be coming in for you and your family to survive. It’s a commodity required for life on this earth, and most people would welcome more into their life.

You probably know that money is energy. Energy flows wherever you send it and brings back to you the same type of energy through life experiences. This means that if your mind continually sees lack and not enough, you will continually create experiences in your life to substantiate that energy. It cannot be any other way because likes create likes in the flow of energy. Your financial situation is a direct reflection of what is going on inside of you. So if your finances are not where you want them to be, you have unconscious blocks that are preventing you from bringing the flow of abundance and money into your life.

Money flow is an inside job and has nothing to do with what is going on in your environment, so blaming the economy, although a significant factor today, is not the true cause of any lack in your life. Granted, you may be experiencing challenges in the world of money due to circumstances beyond your control, but these circumstances you are experiencing are always due to what is believed on the inside, and more than likely is a lesson for you to grow beyond and above your circumstances.

Did you know that most people have deeply rooted financial and unconscious beliefs that they don’t even know about? Some could be quite traumatic, but any of these negative programs will be an unconscious block in your money flow.

What stories float around in your mind about money? Everyone has them. What were you taught about money as a child? Were you taught things like “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” or Money is the root of all evil,” or “Being wealthy makes you bad,” “You have to work hard to make any money?” These are a just a few of the possible “stories” you’ve had conditioned into your memory bank that keep replaying over and over so that you do not attract the money you want and deserve to have. As long as they remain imbedded in your mind’s computer, they will block the flow of money into your life.

So what it boils down to is that your mind is the controller of where you send your energy, and you know that wherever your energy goes, there is you power. If your finances are not where you want them to be, somewhere deep inside is the root of lack or some other obstacle that is keeping money from you.

Maybe you used to have a good amount of money, but now it is very reduced due to a job loss, lowered income, or a variety of other possibilities. You still have the capability of creating more money again since whatever helped you before is still within you. Perhaps you feel like a failure in some way or shamed, or maybe a massive amount of anger and self-criticism still hangs around your neck. All of those feelings are negative, fear-based, and can never bring you what you want – more money. So it is paramount that you dig deep inside to discover what stories lie hidden within you so you can release those negative feelings and replace them with positive, loving ones.

Okay, so this all sounds good, and you are willing to work on this, but you are not sure how to go about it. Begin by asking yourself what stories keep playing around inside your head. Then pay attention to what emotions are present like anger, shame, guilt, failure, self-criticism. Do you have a hidden fear of being successful? Do you feel inferior on some level – just not good enough for the dream you wish to create? Many people do have these negative programs so look deeply to see what really circulates in your personal computer.

Once you’ve recognized the old stories that you don’t want to hang onto, you have to release them. It sounds simple, but you will probably discover it isn’t as easy as it sounds. After all, these stories have been part of your life for many years and old habits/stories die hard. I remember attempting to let go of old stories multiple times, but it took repeated effort every day to replace those old stories and create a new script. And it’s a continual process for the rest of your life and my life. As a result, I kept looking for ways to allow a faster transition from the old story to a new one, and I found many suggested processes for clearing the old stories and replacing with a new way of thinking. There were suggestions like placing intentions, reciting affirmations, participating in various healing modalities, burning old beliefs that you’ve written down on paper, meditating and clearing, and many more. Last year however, I discovered an easier and faster way to do this. It is called EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique.

EFT is a tapping routine in which specific problems are addressed in a specific order so that the old story can be released and a new one created. I tried it here and there for some time but didn’t incorporate it into my daily routine until a few months ago, and wow, has it ever brought good changes into my life! You may think this is rather bizarre or maybe even kooky, but I promise it is very effective in bringing changes into your life. The tapping involves touching acupressure points that hold energy in your body, so if you are tapping away old stories and tapping on what you want to create, you can manifest the outcome you desire much more rapidly. The tapping helps to release the blocks in your energy that occur when fear-based thinking and beliefs take hold of you.

EFT involves stating a set-up phrase about the problem and repeating it 3 times as you tap on the karate chop point on the side of your hand below your pinkie finger. Then you tap on 8 points on your face and head, stating your issue and the emotions that go with it. The rounds are repeated with either the same words on every point or using different words, then once the negative things have been addressed, rounds with positive statements are spoken. Since we are talking about bringing more money into your life, you can definitely use this technique to change your story of lack into one of abundance. I’ve been using this for some weeks now and here’s what I’ve noticed.

1. I feel different internally – feel quite positive and joyful.

2. Money has come to me in some unusual ways, kind of out of the blue.

3. I don’t worry about money coming to me anymore.

4. I feel peaceful and abundant.

Now it doesn’t mean that everything has changed immediately or that all I desire has magically appeared, but I can feel a shift inside that now allows the abundance to flow to me. Of course this process is much more than just money, but money is something we all want so we can live a comfortable and prosperous life. Even though the present economy has allowed for multiple unfavorable circumstances to appear for many of you, abundance surrounds us and can be tapped into if you sincerely wish to change your way of thinking and behaving. It is also important to focus on serving others since service is what we are here to do. Doing good for others naturally opens the gateway of abundance for you in multiple ways, because service is always from love.

As you are working through this process of releasing old stories, think about your beliefs around money and spiritual work. Remember, you must recognize the old stories you’ve been programmed with before you can release them and create a new story, so ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I believe I might be corrupted if I become prosperous?

2. Would I remain a person who wants to serve others if I made a lot of money?

3. If I do spiritual work, should I be paid for it? Is that ethical?

4. Is it fair to earn a lot of money when helping people?

5. Will making a lot of money change my friendships or how others view me?


Voice Changer Vivifies Role Playing Games


Since early 1990’s, Online game has become a spectacularly booming industry in the world. International Data Corporation’s 2004 statistic showed global Online game’s income was $ 8.2 billion and an estimated of $22.7 billion in 2009. In China, the biggest online game market, those numbers were $300 million and $1.3 billion respectively.

What is the source of all this?

The newborn Online game has dislodged PC game and Console game from their firm positions as Online game is always available for updating, creating new functions and expanding game world’s map. If life cycle of a PC game or Console game is: Introduction – Growth – Upgrade – Decline, it is quite different with Online game: Introduction – Growth – Outdating – Upgrade – Outdating – Upgrade…Thus, even pro game players who know all secrets of Final Fantasy, Fallout, etc. cannot boast “I am an expertise of The Sims or Warcraft”.

Furthermore, Online game is actually a huge community of old and new members as once upgraded, every player has to grope for a brand new adventure with unlimited exciting and thrilling stage. The phrase “MMORPG” (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) becomes more popular than ever and no longer do players have to face monotonous individual games but they can now interact with hundreds or thousands of other players from all over the world.

It can be said without exaggeration that the players can live a real life in virtual world of Online game. They gather in one side and undertake the adventure of a lifetime together, such as fighting and protecting Human or Ak’kan clan in Risk Your Life II, or borrow money, or trade weapons. All real emotions are shown when playing Online games: glad when winning, satisfied when trading a valued weapon, or disappointed when being defeated. A current research of Avnex Ltd.

( found that many game geeks also use Voice changer software (VCS) together with some chat application such as Ventrilo, Teamspeak to make the virtual games become vivid. VCS can change their voice to multi-characters they are playing role in, regardless age and sex. Imagine that how much more interesting a sonorous voice of a knight, a charming voice of a heroic will make the game is. One game player shared in the research interview: “That was a female character, and I did hear her sweet and sexy voice asking for my weapon. Of course I was falling into her flirtation. After a couple of days, it turned out that my weapon was in a class mate’s property. He used AV VCS”.


Money Management


Money Management deals with the question of how much risk a decision maker should take in situations where uncertainty is present. More precisely the percentage or the part of the decision maker’s wealth should be put into risk in order to maximize the decision maker’s utility function.

Money management also evaluates the reward of a trade and resolves the most functional use of investment money. It declares the number of shares to purchase and how much money to place at risk. It is the distinction between an outstanding trading performance and pitiful performance. It will make the difference between making money and going broke.

Money management gives practical advice among others for gambling–wagering money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money or material goods and for stock trading–buying or selling stock shares.

Money management is also associated with risk management. It is considered definitely crucial to successful trading on an ongoing basis. Many traders look at it as the single most vital element of trading. Indeed, deficient money management is one major cause of bankruptcy among unseasoned traders. There is little doubt that adopting proper money management will lead to more traders being able to attain success, or to avoid devastating failures.

Some traders wrongly perceive that they are managing their money by having money management stops. These stops enable the trader to get out of an event where they lost an inevitable amount of money. However, such kind of stop does not announce the quantity, so it really has nothing to do with money management.

Controlling risk by proclaiming the amount of loss if you are stopped out is not identical to directing risk through a money management model that determines the extent of your problem.

There are many money management strategies that are available. Some are probably more suited to your style of trading than others.

Having said that, there exist two basic systems for money management that we need to be take interest in. These systems were derived from the gambling theory.

The first trading system is the Antimartingale System. It denotes an increase in risk every time one wins and marks a decrease in risk when losing. This system is found to be functional and is often used as basis for most of the money management systems.

The second is the Martingale System. This strategy aggrandizes money at risk during a losing streak. Following a loss, the value of money increments on the next trade. The assumption indicates that one eventually wins after a series of losses.

One of the focuses and main ideas behind money management is to safeguard and maintain a healthy capital so as to enable a person to live to trade another day. Before ever undertaking a trade, the first thing you should consider is the amount of money being risked. The next pondering would involve the extent of loss that one is able to accept and correct. One of the most common mistakes new day traders make is that of putting all of their capital on one or two stocks.

Copyright 2007 Ismael D. Tabije


Change Management and Goal Setting For Effective Teams


Let’s Talk Change

With the economy on its downward swing, I find that more of the companies I am working with are looking at very drastic alternatives to save money, downsize and implement cost effective procedures and policies to meet this challenge. The need for change is apparent, what the change should be is more vague. Investors and other stakeholders look at bottom lines skeptically and the immediate response to a down-turn is “where can we cut to survive?” While implementing some of these drastic changes will save money in the short term, and may even shore up a shaky standing for stakeholders, the long-term effects in terms of our customers and the loyalty of our staff will ultimately suffer greatly.

Before attempting any change management within your company it is very important that you take a hard look at excesses and whether the results of the change is what you are looking for or if they are just a stop-gap measure to get the company over a hump.

Team Support and Team Building

I have found in working with a diverse group of staff that, for the most part, they are a very forgiving bunch. If the vision changes mid-stream, many of your staff will, at the very least, attempt to adjust their efforts to meet your vision. The key to successful support and building a vibrant team though involves a bit more effort and fortitude than most leadership teams are willing to put forth.Changing goals, visions, policies, procedures, etc., on a regular basis serves to disrupt the flow of a team. It also tends to confuse your employees and make them leery about implementing changes because they know that a new change is just around the corner.

Change Management Strategy

It is important that a change management strategy be completely and thoroughly thought out before even the blueprint of a draft is distributed among stakeholders. In creating your change management strategy you will want to address the following areas:

  • Cost – If your change management strategy is going to involve a change in the dynamic of your team. Or, is going to require more staff, consultants, etc., to get off the ground, you will need to win over your stakeholders and investors in addition to your staff. This is going to require that you do a bit more homework than you would have to do in a better economic climate. You will need to show, not only the return on investment (ROI) from the change, but also the long-term cost savings to your stakeholders. You will also need to be able to show your teams the benefit of their investment (BOI). While lay-offs are the most popular trend of a down market, we all know that this is more costly in the long-term because when business picks up you will either have to hire back laid off individuals for more money, or you will need to hire new and less experienced people who, while enthusiastic, will have a long learning curve that will have to be worked around for several months.
  • ROI – Stakeholders and Investors are generally interested in the bottom line. You will need to create a prospectus for your change plan just as you did when you created your company. You will need to anticipate and answer those questions that will come up. In many cases, stakeholders and investors are even more leery of change management implementation than staff since the bottom line is not always clearly visible. It is important that you get buy-in from all stakeholders before moving your change management proposal to it’s next step.
  • BOI – Once you have a clear vision and goal to support your change management proposal, it is important that you begin with team building around the change. Don’t wait to let staff know that change management is being implemented. Allow staff the same courtesy as you do your other stakeholders and present the benefits of the change management proposal to staff in team building sessions. Include the adjusted vision and goals. Be sure that they understand the reasons and necessity of the change and allow staff to make a personal investment in the change management proposal.
  • Review – Make sure that you have created tools that will track progress of your change management implementation. Your tracking tool should contain dates for target goals to be met. When setting targets be sure that you have a low target, on-target, and above-target goal for each date. Your low target should be the lowest achievable goal that can be met to succeed and the high target should be at least two and a half times what the on-target goal is. In other words, aim for the moon and if you end up in the stars you are still ahead. Be very thoughtful when choosing your targets as once you have set them, until the last milestone is reached, they must remain the same. If your goals are too low you will lose momentum before the end date, if too high, your staff and teams will not be motivated to reach their optimum.
  • Motivating the Team – Teams are motivated by two things, competition and success. Be sure that your change management implementation goals are among teams of staff. Even two teams of two people each is effective. When tracking, make sure that you show the success of each team, side by side so that they can see where the challenges and opportunities lie for success. This is a highly motivating tool to reach goals and will prove one of your best techniques for overall success of implementation. It is important that each team be empowered to brainstorm and create solutions to problems that arise proactively. As a leader you are a coach, you are not on either side, and if you must make each decision it will negate the effects of your change management efforts.
  • Reward – For each milestone achievement there should be a reward. Plan your rewards before you begin the change process. In this way you will be setting yourself and your teams up for success rather than failure. If you and the teams know what the reward is and that it is waiting, then both you and your teams will “expect” success. As a team, your group will be much more likely to resolve small issues and bring you, the leader, the larger issues before they become burdensome to the success of the goal you have chosen.

Final Thoughts

The economy today is either a cup half full, or a cup half empty. I prefer the cup half full. This is the perfect time for you to reassess your company’s goals and vision. To create a unique niche in your field, to implement change management techniques that will carry you through. Yes, you must be more cost conscious and most creative, but this is the perfect time to bring in someone with fresh eyes who can assist you with creating the dynamic team and vibrant company that you have worked so hard to build. By following the simple steps above, you will be well on your way to a great new beginning instead of just making it through the current economic crisis.


ISO 27001 Security Management: What Can It Do For Your Business?

ISO 27001 security management is an example of best practice in information security for any business, whatever its size, and can lead to significant cost savings.

The international standard ISO 27001 covers the planning, implementation, monitoring and improvement of an information security management system. It is cast in general terms, applicable to any size of organisation, and is dependent on human expertise for its application in a specific case. Its sister standard, ISO 27002, is a code of practice for information security, often used together with it.

Since its publication, there has been a growing need for ISO 27001 security management on the part of companies, especially those that are subject to regulation in this area.

There is a wide range of ISO 27001 security strategies, and the details will vary from one organisation to the next. Not every firm will require all possible information security countermeasures. Small firms, especially, may require only a minimum of procedures and technology in order to be compliant with the standard. This makes it all the more important that a firm’s information security management should be carried out by someone with expertise and experience of both the ISO 27001 standard and the field of information security in general, since the standard itself (intentionally) gives very little guidance as to how to apply it to specific situations.

So the question then becomes one of either developing an in-house ISO 27001 function, or hiring specialist expertise from a security firm. Many factors determine which is the best solution for your business, such as: the size of your business, the skill-sets of existing employees, the complexity of your computers and networks, what regulations the business is subject to, and (of course) the available budget.

For larger organisations, it can be more cost-effective to develop their own in-house function for undertaking ISO 27001 security management, which can then become a resource for all other sections of the company. This applies even if the company is multinational, since the ISO 27001 standard is an international one.

In the case of smaller companies, however, it might be difficult to justify committing significant resource to a function which is not a core business process. It may be more cost-effective to outsource their ISO 27001 security management to a specialist information security firm, especially if information security requirements are fairly straightforward. This type of management solution will avoid the need to hire a full-time dedicated employee at a professional-level salary, and will also minimise the need to buy specialised software.

Whichever the type of solution, appropriate ISO 27001 security management can lead to cost savings:

It is clear that ISO 27001 security management is a major aspect of information security for any business, whatever its size, and deserves to be taken seriously – not least because it can lead to significant cost savings.

Your First Trip to Cebu, Philippines Travel Tips


If you’re coming here on vacation no doubt most of your planning was already done via the company you booked your flight with such as the hotel. Also be aware most major resorts will offer a shuttle service and often at little or no cost. That is something that will instantly save you money when arriving as the taxi drivers are generally looking to make two or even three times the normal amount which is why its strongly advised to always ask for the meter to be put on when entering a taxi and leave if they refuse. Also a good tip is to go across the road at Mactan airport and up the ramp as you will come out at the departure area and the taxis are less likely to give you problems purely because they are looking for rides back to the City. If its late at night you may tip the driver but generally I only tip if they don’t ask for extra.

If your not pre-booked into accommodation and looking for something a bit more long term but know people like myself in the area we can help find you a better deal as often the rents will be hiked on the knowledge of you being a foreigner. Prime example is the rent I pay which is P3,000 per month for a 1 bedroom apartment where someone else is likely to be charged around P7,000 upwards for a similar type and size building as well as bills. The other advantage of asking people like myself is that we can often locate areas which are more suitable for Expats as they are generally areas with an existing Expat population.

What areas are best to stop in for a trip to Cebu? Personally if its a vacation I would look to get accommodation on Mactan island due to its number of hotels and resorts as well as facilities catering for the tourism market such as diving, island hopping and generally good quality beaches. Cebu city itself is less than twenty minutes ride away giving you quick access to the large malls in Cebu or Colon market which is famous for its bargains and an ideal place to pickup souviners a lot cheaper than you will find elsewhere. Colon street also offers several guitar stores for hand made guitars who also produce ornate mirrors.

Touring the island is often something many don’t do but would recommend at least a couple of days of a trip here to travel to the more beautiful parts of the island as the further you head out the greener and cleaner the countryside becomes. It also gives opportunity to experience diving, waterfalls, beaches and local life. Getting around doesn’t have to be so expensive and I can help organise vehicles for such trips which are generally fixed prices for the day and the hire of a vehicle with driver. This allows you to travel around without the worry of being lost or trying to deal with the hectic traffic that exists all over the Philippines.

One of the most important factors many people over look though is “money” you don’t need to change it abroad it is actually a lot cheaper to do it within the Philippines. As well as the fact Western money has a larger currency value so larger bills in a home currency means less money mass and only needing to change money as and when you need it. There are   money   changers  pretty much everywhere, avoid the ones at the airport and use the ones in good locations such as the malls but please check rates as they can vary considerably. If you get a new sim for your phone and let your regular  changer  know they will often update you by text or call you on a land line with the latest prices.

Do not carry too much jewelery or expensive items as currently we are experiencing a higher than usual number of snatches. Believe it or not someone will grab a chain from your neck and disappear into the crowd quicker than you can look at them. Also carrying personal items that may make you stand out will make you a more obvious risk of robbery. Generally I find Cebu a safe place but like most things you do not want to invite risk if it can be avoided. The general population are friendly and glad to help but like any society there are always some bad elements.


Quick Money Ideas – Money Psychology


Quick money is just as good as slow money. Slow money I consider anything connected to being a wage slave. Working for a pittance an hour is not my idea of quick money. Should you feel guilty if you make quick money rather than slow laborious money? Should you feel that you should sweat and toil for your money because money is so valuable? In actual fact money is important but life is for living, so lets look at some quick money ideas for you now.

If you change your mindset you will change your reality. Is that simple statement true or false? Really think about it now. If you truly change the way you perceive things, will you quickly and easily change your life and how you experience and perceive life. If you think life is hard, life is difficult and complicated, how will your life be in reality? Do you think it will actually be easy and simple or actually just reflect what your beliefs are.

The fact is changing your attitude can do amazing things for people and changing your perceptions and core beliefs about money will make you rich fast. Money psychology is an interesting field and it all comes down to the tapes playing in your head. These subtle back ground communications are there all day long as you experience every waking moment your past experience and beliefs are constantly there telling you things in response to your opinion of what your eyes and ears and even nose and taste tell you is happening in reality.

Change those tapes by being present and aware for just 3 weeks or 21 days and you will change your beliefs significantly for the better. change your mindset and change your life. If you want quick money, begin by examining these tapes and challenge yourself at every step to change those ideas and make sure they stick.


"Right of Offset" – Protect Your Money and Assets


What is the “Right of Offset”?

The “Right of Offset” gives a lending institution (i.e. Bank or Credit Union) a legal right to seize funds that a debtor may have in a deposit or asset account at that particular banking or financial institution, to cover a loan in default. It is also known as the “Right of Set-Off”.

What are the dangers of the “Right of Offset”?

If an individual, couple, or other entity has a checking, savings, or other form of deposit account at the same financial institution where they have a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, other debt account, that individual or entity has what can be considered a “banking conflict”. In other words, anytime an asset account is kept at the same banking institution as a liability account, a potential “banking conflict” occurs due to that banking institutions “Right of Offset”. What this means is, if an individual for whatever reason fails to make payments on a liability account, the financial institution has the legal right to not only freeze that individuals asset/deposit account, but to also seize any funds available to offset the debt due to that financial institution.

What types of liability accounts or debts does the “Right to Offset” pertain too?

A financial institutions freedom to utilize the “Right of Offset” is determined primarily by how they are chartered.

State chartered and regulated credit unions and banks, along with federal credit unions chartered and regulated by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) have the freedom and authority to exercise their “Right of Offset” on both secured accounts or asset backed (i.e. mortgage loan, auto loan), and unsecured accounts (not backed by collateral) or open-ended revolving accounts (i.e. certain credit cards and credit extensions).

Federally chartered and regulated banks (i.e. Bank of America, Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo) have the freedom and authority to exercise their “Right of Offset” on secured, but not unsecured accounts. A bank/financial institutions rights and authority as it pertains to its use of “Right to Offset” may vary between institutions. To find the specifics of a particular institution research the following areas:

  • The institutions regulatory authority.
  • The institutions member agreement received when establishing an account.
  • The institutions loan/debt documents or agreements received when establishing a loan.

Who regulates state chartered and federally chartered banks and/or financial institutions?

State chartered banks and financial institutions are regulated by the particular state Department of Banking, Department of Financial Institutions, or Department of Finance from which the bank or financial institution conducts business.

Federal credit unions are regulated by The National Credit Union Association (NCUA).

Federally chartered National banks are regulated by The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

How can I protect my assets?

Never assume that it will not happen to you. The present difficulties present in the current economy have created unexpected lay-offs and job losses. Expensive medical emergencies happen every day. Take the following steps to protect yourself:

1) Separate your accounts. Keep your asset and deposit accounts with institutions that are in no way related or affiliated with financial institutions in which you have loans or debt obligations.

2) Monitor who owns your mortgage note. Mortgage notes are bought and sold everyday on the secondary market. Make sure a financial institution in which you keep your asset or deposit accounts does not purchase your mortgage note. If this does happen, move your assets immediately to another institution.

3) Do not keep your investment account at institutions where you have debt. A bank or financial institution will attempt to collect their money by any means possible. They have teams of attorneys on retainer that constantly look for new ways to collect. As with any regulation there are always “loop holes”. Do not put yourself in a position to be the example.

In closing, do your best to pay your bills on time. The “Right and Righteous” folks out there that will say that you just need to honor your debts and pay your bills on time. These are the same folks who scream the loudest when they find themselves in an unexpected financial hardship, and find that a financial institution has “offset” their account leaving them no money for food or gas. There are no absolutes in life, so plan accordingly. A few proactive adjustments in how you handle your banking now can save you a lot of possible future hardship.