Fondly Remembering the Past

I had my first poem published in this magazine when I was in fifth grade. I just wish I had gotten to see it in print. 😦 It was a writing contest that my teacher, Mrs. Tucker, submitted my work into, but she moved away before getting my copy of the issue to me.

Nicholas Thompson

Delighted that we were just named AdWeek’s Hottest Thought Leader. https://lnkd.in/ddgQ27x

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It Pays to Fight Back

rewardThis is my last update regarding the recent content theft situation. As of today, iWrite which is one of the organizations that this individual sold my work too has banned this individual from working with them or their affiliates in any capacity.

I have also notified Upwork that this individual is posting job ads on their site under multiple aliases requesting that writers work outside of their site for him, which is an immediate ban situation. Since I am unaware of what other companies besides Upwork and iWrite this individual is working through, all I can do is spread the word within the industry at this point.

In addition, I was able to locate the customer who ended up buying my work for 5 or 6 of the articles and have as such issued Cease and Desist orders to them. Two of these customers have contacted me back and we are working out arrangements. One will be removing the article if he does not choose to accept my offer to keep it up under my byline with a link to my website; and the second has already changed the byline as well as added the link. I felt it only fair to offer them this option since they were also victims in this situation and would apparently not be receiving refunds from the companies in question. Plus, the extra exposure of my byline increases my Google ratings.

In the end, this was a lot of work for a little reward, but knowing that I areward-2m stronger than I thought I was and the feeling of vindication knowing that this person has been outed, banned from some sites, and is unable to pass plagiarism scans with my work now, has made it all worth the effort. I know I have not stopped him, but I have made his life more
difficult and brought awareness to the problem.

Hopefully this will inspire any other writers out there to stand up for themselves and not feel helpless in this situation. These types of criminals count on their targets to to just accept that there is nothing they can do about the situation and move on. It is my hope that my fighting this individual, and documenting it for other writers and end users to see will increase the number of people who fight back, and decrease the number of these kinds of individuals within the industry; or at least make it much harder for them to pull their scams.

Written for Scam Artist #13

Thought I would include a brief update with this last of the stolen article posts. Through copious amounts of research I have located 6 of the stolen articles online and sent out cease and desist orders, providing them with either the option to remove the articles from their sites, or change the byline to my name with a link to my site. I’ve received one response, and was able to locate the company that the person bought their article from through our communications. That company is now researching the situation and will ban the individual who stole my and who knows how many other writer’s work, as soon as they are able to confirm our documentation. I recommend running any work that you buy or have bought from iWrite through plagiarism screening software such as Copyscape, since this company does not intent to notify the customers who bought the fraudulent materials at this time. Now, on with the article.

How to find the Best Steak Restaurantsteak

There’s nothing like the flavor and texture of a perfectly cooked quality cut of steak. With that being said, how does someone locate a steakhouse that will provide them with the best steak eating experience possible? Here are a few tips to on how to find the best steak restaurant.

Ask Around

Whether you are in your own home town or traveling, the best way to get an honest review of someplace is to ask people who are familiar with the area and its cuisine. When you are in your own area you should reach out to neighbors and friends who you know frequent the type of location you are looking for and ask them their opinion or for suggestions. This not only instills a sense of camaraderie and friendship, but it gives you a first-hand review of the restaurant.

When on the road skip asking the concierge as quite often they receive a bonus from the places they recommend for sending people to the establishment and are not going off of personal experience. Instead ask the front desk staff, maids, and hotel workers where they eat and what they like best. These are the people who will give you an honest answer and will have the inside scoop to local hole in the wall places that will have the best food for steak-2the best prices. You don’t have to be on the road for this tip to work either; just take a quick trip to one of the local hotels and ask around.

Use Online Resources with some Caution

Google and many other travel review sites are commonly used to locate anything and everything these days. Unfortunately they may not be accurate since there are those companies who actually pay people to write positive reviews for their site whether the person writing the review has been there or not. The best way to use the internet for sourcing a quality steak restaurant is to look at the reviews that are linked directly to the restaurant’s or steakhouse’s website you are curious about versus using travel sites. These are the people that have actually visited the restaurant and taken the time to go online and write a review.  Additionally look at both the good and bad reviews; no one is perfect all the time and if there are no negative reviews listed, that is a sign that these may not be legitimate write-ups.

Explore your Neighborhood

All too often we get used to our routine and miss entire areas of our surroundings. Spend a day driving around areas of town that you have not really explored before, if you live in a big city take a walk keeping safety in mind of course, and soak in the area’s atmosphere and notice which businesses are nearby. This also works if you simply want to take a day trip to another local area that you may have been interested in.

Look for Where the People are

Look for establishments that have a lot of people since those will be the places that have the best food and probably the best prices. Those are the restaurants and steakhouses who have built their business on return customers and since people will only return if they like what they experience this is a good indicator of the quality of the establishment. Also, take note of what you see being ordered the most. These will be the local favorites and probably your best options.

Ask your Butcher

steak-3Your local butcher knows meat better than anyone making them the perfect resource, so get to know them well and ask them where they go when they want to eat out. Meat cutters love to talk to people about meat and flex their expertise so you may get a lot more information than you bargained for, but it will be worth your time to listen.

It doesn’t matter whether you like your meat well done or blood rare. What matters is the quality of the cut and the way it is handled. Any steakhouse worth their salt will know this and provide you with the mouthwatering meal you are looking for; it just takes a little observation and research.

Written for Scam Artist #12

Boost the Power of your Workout with these 3 Tips

workoutAny fitness buff knows all too well how frustrating and discouraging it is to hit a performance plateau. But, how can you get past these brick walls without causing injury or spending hours upon hours in the gym? Actually adding more time in the gym could increase the longevity of your performance plateau. So to help you move past these inevitable pauses in momentum we have compiled a list of three tips to modify your training in order to get you back on track to building stronger, leaner, more defined muscle mass. Once you try these three methods you will want to use them forever.

Weight Lifting Pyramids

Pyramids are a method of performing a rotation of weight lifting that includes several different weight levels in either increasing or decreasing increments. The basic formula for doing Pyramids whether you are doing them going up in weight or going down in weight is to use the 10% rule; meaning that each weight change is modified by 10% from the current weight being used.

For Ascending Pyramids Figure out what your goal lifting amount is and then decrease that amount by 10%, then decrease that amount by another 10%. Do this calculation six times to figure out your starting weight for your workout. Start with the smallest calculation for your first set doing fifteen reps, and then move up to the next higher weight in your calculations for the second set; continue this process until you reach the sixth set and yourworkout-2 goal weight.

Use the same calculation process for Descending Pyramids, and instead of stating your first set with the lowest weight, start with the heaviest weight. These types of weight lifting modifications help to accommodate muscle fatigue while building muscle.

10 X 10 Reps Lifting Method

This strategy is also called the German Volume Training method of weight lifting. The idea is to figure out what the maximum weight that you can lift for ten sets of ten reps each is, and then using that amount of weight do ten sets of ten repetitions. This process works with muscle memory and training the mind and body to push its limits when doing this movement. 10 x 10’s are best done with the bench press, squats, or dead lifting in order to maintain control of the weights and movements.

Cluster Sets

workout-3To do a cluster set, you are basically adding 20 second or less rest periods into each set. So if you are doing a set of twelve lifts, you will do four lifts, and then take a short 20 second rest followed by another four lifts and a 20 second rest to be followed by the last four lifts for your set of twelve. Doing this provides the muscle tissue with several short recovery periods during your workout without allowing them to cool off and increases the amount of energy expended in the process. These are best used for workouts where you are lifting approximately three times per week.

Adding variation to your workout along with modifying your current routine not only wakes up the mind and body connection without throwing it into shock, but also triggers the body to send needed nutrition and energy to those muscle groups being worked so that you can get the most from your workout and avoid long plateau periods.

Written for Scam Artist #11

Three Ways to Remove Blackheads

Blackheads are one of those pesky little facts of life that stare you in the face every time you look in the mirror, especially those that make a home on your nose. You can evict these unwanted blemishes though with these three easy to do at home remedies creating a blemish free illuminated complexion that will be all the envy of friends and family.

Orange Peel Face Scrub

Orange peel contains Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium. These nutrients act as a barrier to free radicals, antioxidant for skin, hydrate, and renew damaged or worn-out cells to prevent dry, flaky, itchy skin.blackheads

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons Powdered Orange Peel (Make by allowing organic orange peels that have had the white removed to dry and then blend in a blender until it is powder.)

1 teaspoon Oatmeal

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Water

Directions:

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then gradually add in just enough water to create a thick paste. Once the paste has been mixed spread a thick layer of the mixture to your face using clean finger tips in a soft circular massage motion. Let dry for fifteen minutes and then rinse off completely using cold water.

Crushed Almond Face Mask

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E which is known for its rejuvenating and nourishing benefits to the skin whether you are eating them or using them in a scrub or mask. They also make a great gentle exfoliating agent when used in masks and scrubs. Combining almonds and honey to use as a face mask cleans skin from impurities and leaves it with a naturally healthy glow.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Finely Ground Almonds

Water

Directions:

Warm honey until it melts in a small bowl set inside of another small bowl filled with very hot water. Once the honey has melted mix the ground almonds into the honey gradually, and if needed just enough water to create a thick, but spreadable paste. Apply the almond honey mask to a clean face immediately so that the honey does not begin to re-thicken too soon. Let the mask dry for ten to fifteen minutes and then rinse off completely using warm water.

blackheads-2Fenugreek

Fenugreek has been used in Indian cuisine and beauty regimens for hundreds of years. Its excellent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants make it a great ingredient for face masks.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Ground Fenugreek (You can also grind your own using Fenugreek Seeds)

Distilled Water, or Whole Milk, or Plain Yogurt

Directions:

Mix the ground fenugreek with your choice of liquid from the selection above. You want to use just enough liquid to create an applesauce consistency paste. Apply the mixture to those areas of the face that are prone to blackheads and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes, rinse completely with warm water and then finish with a splash of cold water for a tingly refreshing effect.

Blackheads don’t have to be a problem, nor do you have to spend a fortune on store bought creams to achieve clear vibrant skin. All you have to do is use a few ingredients that you probably already have at home to create your own face masks to have a healthy glow year round.