Author - Scotty P

A windy day

It’s windy today…. One of the trees up the hill from us fell over. It’s been dead and diseased for two years now… but in a hard spot to get to due to the slope. Since it is a bit remote from the house, it seemed simpler and safer to leave it stand until it falls over in a storm. Cutting a decayed tree is very risky, and in this instance is made so much worse by the difficulty of the terrain.  There’s no buildings nearby.. so now that it has fallen down I’ll be able to drag it downhill to a flat spot and cut it up safely. I was outside watching the storm and the winds when I heard the crack of the tree as it broke… I looked up just as it was hitting the ground.

Fallen monterey pine

Fallen monterey pine

So it seems like a time to read quotes about wind…

“It was the noise Of ancient trees falling while all was still Before the storm, in the long interval Between the gathering clouds and that light breeze Which Germans call the Wind’s bride.” ~Charles Godfrey Leland

“It’s a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds’ cries; I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes. For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills, And April’s in the West wind, and daffodils.” ~John Masefield

“If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” ~Kahlil Gibran

“It’s not far back to sanity, At least it’s not for me, And when the wind is right you can sail away, And find serenity”  ~Christopher Cross

“I close my eyes and bath in the beauty of poetry / When I speak/My lips feel cold –  The autumn wind.” Basho

 ”Lo! The poor Indian, whose untutored mind sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.” ~Alexander Pope

“It can be seen that a great inflexible army will fall under it’s own weight, just as a stiff unyielding tree will break in the wind” ~Lao Tzu

“If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favorable to him.” ~Seneca

“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” ~Arthur Gorden

“Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.” ~John Willard Marriott

Country Wisdom: “If wind comes before rain, it doesn’t mean much. But if rain comes before wind, tighten your tarps”

“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.” ~Geronimo

Country Wisdom: “The fellow who pays attention to the wind never sows his seeds; the one who watches the clouds never harvests his crop”

“In the bleak midwinter, Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, Long ago.” ~ Christina Rossetti

“If there is no wind, row”- Latin proverb

“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.” ~Lewis Mumford

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My 9 Social media don’ts

 

  • When dealing with social media, you may have to leave your political or moral beliefs behind. For some reason, a high percentage of users at the most popular social media outlets are of a liberal or libertarian persuasion and they tend to join groups and vote on stories accordingly.
  • In general, people are a lot more wary about social spam now than they were three years ago. Even legitimate yet misguided marketing efforts can be taken as spam by users.
  • The widespread adoption of the nofollow tag, which tells search engines not to put any value in tagged links, means that marketers need to appeal to communities as a whole instead of simply taking advantage of sites’ domain strength.
  • Buying votes to gain popularity for submissions on social media websites is even more frowned upon than is buying links in order to rank well in search engines. However, search marketers and webmasters ask their friends, acquaintances and business associates for links all the time. They ask total strangers for links via link submission forms and unsolicited emails. Asking for votes in social media is fine – people have the right to decide your content is not to their liking and not to vote for it. However, when someone has bought a link or a vote, there is no social discretion. Money should never change hands in the social media world.
  • Every community is different, even if the same people use a number of different communities. People do not behave the same way at LinkedIn as they do at MySpace; neither do they look for the same content at Del.icio.us as they do whilst browsing on StumbleUpon. Every social media effort has to take the intended audience into account.
  • Even if you have the most compelling content on the Internet, an ugly website, boring Blogspot layout or even a questionable color-scheme can hinder your success with social media. Search engines mightn’t be able to see an ugly background or a slow-loading image, but people can, and they take into account factors like these when deciding whether or not you get their vote.
  • People can be very mean. Social media is a popularity contest of sorts and people love to bring down things that are popular. When your content receives a lot of attention on a prominent website, there will be those who add nasty comments. Consider those comments as part of your success, because rarely do users bother commenting on content that is receiving no attention.
  • Timing can be important. When submitting content to sites like Reddit and Digg, it is not a good idea to do so when it is the middle of the night in the United States. The U.S. is the main source of traffic for sites like this and you will generally notice the best results if your content is gaining votes during the United States’ work day and Europe’s evening.

 

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What I’ve learned from being refused a loan

First of all, don’t take it personally. No-one has a ‘right’ to credit, and every lender has it in their power to decline applications which they do not wish to accept. Just as you have every right to say ‘Sorry, No’ to a friend who wants to borrow money from you.

Every lender has different criteria and business motives in offering credit. For some companies it is the way they make their money (eg credit card firms), for others it is a way of obtaining sales from people who otherwise wouldn’t buy from them that day (eg interest free offers on furniture or televisions). Because of this, and because of the commercial conditions and goals different companies work to, they all make their decisions in different ways and for different reasons. This means that just because one company turned you down does not mean others will.

First things first

The first thing to do is find out why you were declined. The good practice codes by which most bad credit lending companies promise to operate require them to give you a general reason for the decline. They don’t have to go into detail, and mostly will say something like ‘you did not meet our credit score’, or ‘there was information detrimental to your application discovered when conducting a credit search’.

If information obtained from a credit reference agency was influential to their decision to decline your application (and you were applying for credit of up to £25,000), the lenders are obliged by law to give you the name and address of the agency they used. Typically this will be printed on the letter declining your application, but if it is not you have a statutory right for 28 days to obtain the information from them.

Don’t hesitate just act!

Write to the lender stating that you are requiring the name and address of the credit reference agency to be sent to you within seven days, as is your right under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, Section 157. If no search was made, they do not have to reply to your letter, though they normally will anyway.

Once you have the name of the reference agency used by the lender, apply to them to see your file. You can then set about correcting any erroneous information appearing on the file which may have influenced the decision to decline your application.

If you have any information which supports your application which you have not already shown to the lender (for example a bank statement showing your address and income, in case they haven’t been able to verify the information from other sources), you can write to the Chief Lending Office of the company, enclosing the additional information or proofs, and asking that your application be reviewed.

Unfortunately, should your application remain declined despite an appeal, there is little more you can do. Try and find a lender who is more sympathetic to your requests – as we said at the beginning, they all make decisions on different bases, and just because one turned you down doesn’t mean they all will.

A word of warning. Applying for too many credit lines within a short period of time will temporarily damage your credit file, so proceed with caution.

How do bad credit loans work

Each lender has different scoring procedures, and are cagey about revealing the criteria they use so as not to encourage or facilitate fraudulent applications. In the main, the highest scores are given to applicants who:

  • Are homeowners with no mortgage (eg paid off mortgage or inherited property)
  • Have two dependent children
  • Are on the Electoral Roll at their current address
  • Have had a clean address for three years or more
  • Have been with their current employer and bank (in good standing) for at least three years
  • Have existing credit cards, cheque card and a well-conducted loan/HP agreement

The quickest and easiest way to improve your credit score is to obtain one or more store cards. Cards issued by GE Capital Bank tend to be the easiest to obtain, requiring only a clean address and either a cheque or credit card in the applicant’s name. GE issue cards on behalf of Debenhams, Burtons, Evans, Adams, Dorothy Perkins, Top Shop and other High St stores. You can apply in store with the minimum of fuss, no proof of address, etc. It does not matter if you are not on the Electoral Roll. Holding any of these cards will assist you with applications for further credit facilities.

It used to be that the Electoral Roll was only updated and published once a year. If you did not get on the Roll by October/November 2016 for example, you wouldn’t show up on the roll from a credit perspective until February 2017! However, with Rolling Registration this is no longer an issue, and you can join the Roll at any time. You should make sure you are on the Roll as soon as possible, and the entry will normally appear on your credit file within six weeks.

Confirm your identity!

It also assists applications for credit if the applicant has a cheque guarantee card, though because of the Data Protection Act, lenders cannot actually confirm with your bank that you do hold a card. However, if your bank account details do not correspond with a type of account that issues guarantee cards, you must state that the guarantee card is actually issued on another account. Otherwise, lenders will assume you are lying, and decline the application. They may ask for the details of the card-issuing account.

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