Archive for July, 2010

Problem Solving

Every problem has a solution and all you need to do is equip yourself with a fine-tuned ability to think creatively. Creative problem solving requires a little more imagination than your standard rational problem solving methods. It requires you to see a problem in a completely different light.

Here’s a good exercise that you can practice with your troops:

Pose a possible problem.

Everyone take a piece of paper and write the first word that comes to their mind. Write that word at the center of the paper. Focus on that word for about two to three seconds and then write down the two words that first pop out the top of your head after focusing on the first word. Continue the exercise until you are able to build a tree of connected words.

After warming up, you can then focus on solving the problem you have at hand. Here are some pointers to get you in the frame of mind to solve problems creatively.

Forget about assumptions you’ve made. Remove all preconceived notions you have or the assumptions you’ve made about the problem in order to open up your mind to new ideas. You do not have to throw away everything you know (in fact its best you keep a list of the things you know), but for a few minutes you can allow yourself to think outside the box.

When you have freed up your mind you can allow yourself to get to know your problem once again, ideally in a different light, and pay close attention to the minutest details involved—the who’s, what’s, why’s and when’s. You can break down the problem into different parts and dissect each part. This way, you will be more capable of seeing loopholes in the most unlikely areas of the problem. You can address these loopholes and perhaps the problem in the long run.

Take notes. Make notes of the assumptions you have made about the problem and review them accordingly. As you progress in your creative problem solving, you might find inconsistent assumptions. Scratch invalid ones to make decision making and finding a solution easier and more precise.

Listen to other people’s ideas. Two heads are better than one. Be receptive of other people’s ideas because the answer could be just a few improvements from other people’s ideas.

Lastly, be patient and persevering. Always remember that enlightenment does not always come as swiftly as we want it too and that Thomas Edison failed at least 100 times before he came up with the most important inventions of our time like the light bulb.

With these pointers, you should be ready to take on any problems. Get creative now!

What Is The Durable Power Of Attorney For?

During deployments, Legal Offices on post usually always provide services for general and special POAs but what is a durable POA? A Power of attorney is legal and it gives a person the authority to act as an agent dealing in all matters of the principal. The power of attorney which is durable means that the contract has to state the validity of the document if the principal falls sick or dies.
This is useful in cases when the principal seriously falls ill or disabled and also if the property does not need funds to set up. This legal document is also used in the case of couples who are married who have a joined account. Every legal document is different from another so the laws for creating them are also different. South Carolina prepares the power of attorney in the same way as they prepare a will. California has a different system so before you make this document you should have sufficient knowledge about legal matters. One problem remains with the durable document; the principal might not want his agent to take liberations on few things. Therefore it should be stated in the contract that which decisions the agent can take and which ones he cannot and also state that the legal contract will be valid if the principal becomes disabled.

Many responsibilities and decisions could be covered by the power of attorney. These include:

• Gifts which play a huge role in tax planning
• Access the deposit boxes which were used as safes.
• Signing the tax returns, the IRS documents, also settling disputes over tax.
• Pursue matters which are legal or proceedings on the principal’s behalf.
• Collect the principal’s benefits from insurances such as health.
• Amending or setting trust funds.
• To ask the agent to withdraw.

The laws are very different in every case. In cases such as divorce, once the couple is separated, the agent is also terminated. The contract can be termed as invalid if the principal is found ineffective while signing the document.

The contract can become invalid if the agent becomes ineffective,dies or is unavailable.

To keep away from such difficulties, most legal offices either offer Special POAs, or General, or offer help with your will packet.

You have many options from where you can shop online. We list quite a few on the “APO/FPO Shipping Stores” page. Being in an OCONUS location, you don’t have the luxury of visiting the traditional stores have stores of the US where you can shop conveniently. Shopping for clothes online is famous especially among those who do not have enough time or money to shop in stores on the economy.

When you shop online, you will undoubtedly deal with items which do not fit you properly. If you normally shop in popular stores in the US, then you may be in luck. Many of the traditional stores stateside have their online stores as well for example Banana Republic, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, JCPenny, Macy’s and much more. You will find a large variety of items online as compared to that found in the traditional stores and are able to select the best size for yourself. When you purchase online, you have to be a little cautious. Unless you previously shopped there on several occasions, you are not aware how a piece of clothing will fit you when you are not even trying it on. You may not know the exact colour and texture of the clothing you select. It is important that you read the full description of the clothing that you select carefully before you purchase it. The pictures displayed online are not exact, so you should read the description carefully to know the exact type of cut on the clothing.

Shipping times will vary. Even when you pay expedited charges. Generally using overnight shipping is a waste of money. You usually want ti go with priority shipping. I’ve seen packages arrive in less than a week to my APO box.

There are many times that you have to return a certain item because it did not fit you right. Before doing so read the return or exchange policies before you make a purchase. Most online stores require you to contact them first for an RMA number which authorizes you to send the item back. But some online stores allow you to return or exchange your item by completing a form included in your order. But it is best that you read the policy so that you are on the safer side.

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Aposhoppers Promotes Magic Jack For Military Members In OCONUS locations

Military members and their families live on the go. Many times they are sent places that require them to be without normal services like phones. While cell phones are widely available while in OCONUS locations, the ability to save money would be an even bigger asset when dialing back to the states. That is why the Magic Jack is so innovative to military members and their families. We can use it for only $19.95 a year. That is really efficient. It is secure as well.

There are other reasons why the Magic Jack is wonderful choice. The Magic Jack is a device that allows you to make calls using your Internet connection. It can be considered VOIP service. It is perfect because you can use it anywhere you have a computer. The portability factor is what makes it amazing. That means that anybody, even your child, can take this device and plug it into a computer with an Internet connection, and using a regular phone that is connected to the Magic Jack, make a call. That allows what previously was a limited situation, to become a very normal life. That can really help with the stresses of daily life in the military. Especially when a loved one is deployed and and their family is back in the states.

The sound quality on the Magic Jack is good. It sounds as good as any land line. The better the Internet connection is, the better the sound quality is as well. Be aware that it is dependent on that fact. If you internet is slow, you can experience some delays in conversation. Family members can be reached easier and at less cost then ever before. All thanks to this handy little device.

Some prices are varied by the location that you buy yours, but there are offers that allow you to get the device for a bit less than $19.95. Keep in mind that you buy the Magic Jack separately from the service. The Magic Jack purchase is a one time fee. It can be purchased for a similar price. (Between $19 and $30.) When you consider that most people pay $29. a month for local phone service, it is a huge annual savings. Lets say $30 for the Magic Jack and $20 dollars a year for the service versus $20 a month for regular phone or voip service. That goes a long way in the Military. Money is normally tight and savings have to be real.

The Magic Jack is widely available to anyone that wants to get this device. You might want to get one for each member of the family. When you compare it to a phone contract, the savings are obvious. Even month to month no contract plans can’t beat the Magic Jack price. It really adds up at the end of the year. Do the math for your land line or cell phone.

This handy device can be used anywhere in the world as well. Military families can obviously benefit from it, but really anyone can use this while traveling. Since you don’t need anything more than a phone and a computer with an Internet connection, you can call anywhere and at any time. You could even get the Magic Jack specifically for an overseas trip. If you have a cell phone company that is trying to charge you huge fees for traveling overseas, just toss the cell phone and get this little gadget. Tell the cell phone companies what they can do with their annual increases. Set yourself and your family free from high costs for communication.

In the end you really can’t go wrong with the Magic Jack. Your family can use it to stay in touch at a fraction of the cost that traditional phone service costs. Military members and their families get savings that can’t be beat. Take advantage of this savings for your family and stay in touch at very little cost.

Go To PT With The Best Running Shoes

Okay, we’ve all been to the Post Exchange to stand in front of a wall with those funny looking red, white, and blue signs with the pictures of feet on them. Sometimes you don’t need a sign to figure it out. Looking at ugly, bulky shoes? You’re standing in front of the “Flat Feet” wall. Staring at shoes that look decent or normal but there is never a normal size in stock? That’s the “Normal Arch” wall. By process of elimination, if you’re standing in front of some stylish overpriced running shoes, you’re standing in front of the “High Arch” wall.
If we were in an ideal world, I’m sure that most of us prefer to stroll to PT formation with no footwear. However, this would make us more prone to injuries. Shoes serve as protection and at the same time, contribute to running performance. To get your hands on the best running shoes, the next time you drag your feet through the Military Exchange Store or any athletic shoe store, think of these pointers:

1. Determine the form of your foot by taking a look at your foot print. The forms may be: a) neutral-arched, a curve along the sides of the foot connects to the heel and toe. b) mid-ached foot or flat foot, the prints reveal a minimal curvature along the outside of the foot. c) High-arched foot characterized by a thin band between the heel and the toe. I’m sure most services told you about your arch when you first joined the military. If not, do the paper bag test.
2. Select the shoes that would suit your foot type. Stability shoes are good for the neutral-arched foot. It provides support to the middle part of the foot. Motion-control shoes, those heavy, with dense midsoles fits best for the flat foot. And cushioned shoes, with soft midsole and curved shape are good for high-arched foot.
3. Stick on your own size. Determine if your shoes are tight or not before running. At least there would be half-inch allowance in your shoes to allow proper circulation the moment your feet swell. Be sure, the heel does not slide up or down when running or walking. Check for those ridiculous seems on the inside of your shoe. They sometimes contribute to blood under the toe nail.

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4. When buying, test it well. To have a good preference, use the socks you often times use in running. Also, both feet don’t exactly measures the same, go by the size of the larger foot. And try to fit some shoes during the afternoon, when feet usually get swollen.
5. Unfortunately for us flat footed people, as far as running shoes, go for the function, not for the fashion.