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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Introducing Bus Simulator Racing on Google Play

Do you like driving simulator games? Here's one that has a unique twist by letting you drive a double-decker bus. Bus Simulator Racing is a new game out from Universal Games. It's a free download for Android.

It has fun graphics, starting with the bus itself. You drive a bright red bus designed to look like a classic British bus. There's also cool scenery that reminds me of the countryside.

The object of the game is to drive bus passengers safely to school, which involves navigating a bridge between the mainland bus station and the island where the school is located. The bridge is narrow and difficult to navigate, so the game tests your skills in regard to timing, as well as your skills navigating the bus as you tilt your device or turn the steering wheel to drive.

You can compete against players from around the world as you collect stars while you drive. The game includes bus engine sound effects as well as background music. Many users have described the scenery of the game as relaxing. Plus, the game is optimized for use on tablets as well as phones.

I've posted before about the free games available from Universal Games. They've created a variety of fun, colorful games that are perfect for when you have time to spare and want to do something relaxing but also challenging enough to make you want to keep playing. You can see a list of all of their games on Google Play.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Meet Ziv Shalev, Musician

Ziv Shalev is a guitarist, composer, producer, and educator from Israel who has lived in New York City for the past 10 years. He has been working for the music production company, Studio Pros, and he has also shared the stage with a variety of top artists from America and Israel. You can learn more about him and hear samples of his work at http://www.zivshalev.com.

1. When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career as a musician?

When I was ten years old, my older brother started a band, and I was watching them rehearsing. I was fascinated by the sound and looks of the guitar. It all started then.

2. You are skilled in playing diverse genres of music. Do you have a favorite genre?

My true passion is rock. Playing with a national act--Spread Eagle--while touring across the country was a dream come true.

3. How do you find inspiration as a composer?

The inspiration to write music comes to me, and I just let it be. Love is very inspiring.

4. For young musicians who are looking to build a career as a full-time musician, what's your advice based on your own experience?

Building a good foundation is the most important thing. It's all about persistence and elbow grease. While it may seem like nothing is moving along, when you work hard every day, every day is a step toward success.

Thanks, Ziv!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Meet Mark Pagaduan-Iha, Writer

Mark Pagaduan-Iha is a pet health and longevity blogger. He currently writes articles that offer tips and suggestions on ways that pet parents can not only keep their dogs healthy, but also increase both their healthspan and lifespan. Mark is currently at work on a book about dogs. Check out his website at http://dogadvertiser.com/.

1. How did your own experience as someone who loves pets inspire you to start your website?

I've always been a pet lover and especially fond of dogs, but I don't think I realized how much they really meant to me until my own pup became afflicted with heart disease. The whole ordeal was difficult to process, and even presently I find myself getting quite emotional about it.

My husband and I found very little answers from our primary vet and cardiologist regarding our fur baby's heart disease. Essentially, we were told that we would have to take a "wait and see" approach. Which I understood completely because they were trained in a certain school of thought, but at the same time it infuriated me. I've never been someone who doesn't take action. Listen, we're talking about my baby here, and I wanted to do anything and everything to help him.

After reaching out to other professionals, reading scientific studies, and scouring the internet for answers, I realized that there are other pet parents in the same exact predicament. They were either not given concrete answers regarding their pets' health or they were just given some medication and told to go on their merry way. In either case, their dogs weren't being helped. These pet parents, like myself, wanted more holistic or natural alternatives to help with the ailments that our fur children were facing. But many of us didn't know where to turn.

So a light bulb sort of went off in my head that maybe I should start a website dishing out my findings on natural and holistic methods to other pet parents. Here's something I learned as well: all pet parents want their fur kids to live as long as healthily possible. That in itself is powerful stuff.

2. What is the significance of the site's name, The Dog Advertiser?

To be honest when I first started the site, I wanted to be very inclusive of "all things dog." I felt the name The Dog Advertiser was very cute but also conveyed the feeling of a general dog news publication. However, I quickly realized two things. The first is that you can't be all things to all people; the task became overwhelming when trying to source every type of interesting story that came up. The second thing I realized is that my true passion is dealing with the health, wellness, and longevity of our pets.

So I decided to shift the focus of the site, but still retained the name. Plus, our two kids are in the logo, so how could we ever change it? ;-)

3. How do you decide what content to feature on your site?

I wish I could say that there's a real process behind it, but there really isn't. Well, I take that back. I keep track of pet health news, and if there's something I feel people should know, I'll post it. So for example if there is a new drug that might be coming out, I'll research it and write something regarding it. Something like that came up recently with a drug called Sileo, which is supposed to keep dogs calm and quell anxiety. It came out right before the 4th of July holiday, and the drug company was doing some press and media for it. I took issue with the fact that no one had written about the adverse effects of Sileo, so I went to task and wrote a piece about it, cited my resources, and outlined all the nasty things that could happen if your pup took it.

However, most of the time the posts come from identifying what's really going on within the pet community and what's going on in our own lives. Health in general is very broad, but we are writing about things that can help heal your pet and also little tips and tricks that you can use to help increase their longevity. Also, when it comes to longevity, the content regarding it is endless. Especially because our dogs' chemistry is so similar to ours.

4. Would you tell us a little bit about the book you're currently writing?

Which one? Haha. Actually, I have several books that I'm in the process of writing. But the one you're referring to is actually somewhat of a general guide to help pet parents navigate through the basics, such as diet, choosing a vet, a run down of some of the major pet ailments and of course various holistic/natural remedies that they can utilize. There will be much more inside of it, but that's the overall theme. The book is getting so big that some are referring to it as a "bible for natural pet health." I needed to cut a lot out, because I didn't want people to refer to it as that.

The book really is a starting off point to help people navigate through the sometimes complex world of pet health. The problem I often see (and I'm guilty of doing this in my posts sometimes) is that experts talk in their own complicated language. It's too hard for many newbies to understand and frequently intimidating. So much so that a lot of pet parents call it quits and just defer to their conventional vet. They end up back at square one. It's quite a big turn off, so I'm trying to take the opposite approach and lay the foundation, speaking in simple terms all the while giving them a ton of information that they can easily understand and implement.

5. What else would you like readers to know about you and your work?

I would like your readers and really everyone to know that I'm in the trenches with them. They are not alone in this. I have a pup who has had severe skin/coat allergies and was diagnosed with heart disease. He wasn't feeling well for a long time. But along the way I learned some natural and healthy ways to manage it. As a result, he's not only feeling better, but our primary vet and cardiologist are very surprised and pleased with how he's doing. In addition, his skin issues have been completely resolved. After nearly 9 years of trying everything under the sun to cure his skin allergies with conventional medicine, he finally responded to a more natural approach.

So essentially, I know how they are feeling, what they might be going through, and the daily struggle that goes along when caring for a pet that might not have ideal or optimum health.

But beyond that I would like to convey that traditional medicine doesn't always have the answers. While I do believe it's important to consider both conventional and holistic treatments and therapies, it's crucial that pet parents see that there is hope with alternative medicine and remedies. Primarily, yes, I will often seek out the advice of my holistic vet, but I will also consult my primary one as well. It's important to get BOTH sides of the story and BOTH views.

That's what The Dog Advertiser is about. We want to help you with the health, wellness, and longevity of your pet using alternative and natural methods. But we also do our best to lay out both sides of the coin. It doesn't behoove anyone if you are one-sided, and at the end of the day it's not about us; it's about our beloved fur babies. It's our job to protect them, love them, and most importantly give them the best chance at having a fulfilling and healthy life.

Thank you so much for this interview; I appreciate it and hope to see you and your readers on The Dog Advertiser soon! :-)

Thanks, Mark!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Meet Caleb Laieski, Activist

Caleb Laieski is an advocate for the environment as well as civil rights. As a teenager who experienced bullying, he became involved in meeting with many members of Congress as well as other legislators regarding anti-bullying legislation. At age 17, Caleb was the Youth and Diversity Liaison in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Today, he continues to advocate for LGBT rights, public safety, and the environment.

Learn more about Caleb by visiting his website.

1. How did your experiences growing up inspire you to become involved in political advocacy?

After receiving death threats and being severely bullied for being openly gay in high school, I ended up dropping out of school. Believe it or not, that was my only birthday wish, and fortunately it came true. About a month later, I quickly obtained my GED and went into advocacy work to make sure other young people wouldn't have to experience what I had to.

2. What projects are you currently working on?

I just joined the effort to challenge Tennessee's recently passed law that allows counselors' and therapists' religious beliefs to be an excuse for terminating care or referring clients because of moral objections to how the client identifies. In summary, this allows mental health professionals to put their own beliefs above and before the needs of their clients.

3. What is the hardest part about your work?

That's a tough question... I would certainly say that sometimes it's hard to stay energized 24/7, and advocacy can be extremely tiring. However, seeing the impact of my work and hearing that I have made a difference in someone's life is what gives me that continuous spark of energy and enthusiasm.

4. Do you think that the national conversation on LGBTQ rights has changed at all, in the wake of Orlando?

Absolutely. This shooting was the most tragic in not only LGBT history, but in U.S. history. It reminds the members of the LGBT community that hate still exists, and we must always be aware of what is going on around us. This hate crime also highlights the importance of passing legislation to ensure basic background checks are performed and make sure that guns stay out of the wrong people's hands.

5. What are your plans for the future?

I have had the honor to get involved in many amazing gigs with activism and worked as a 911 Dispatcher for several years. I am now looking to become a police officer and continue serving my community in that capacity.

Thanks, Caleb!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Meet Northwest Movers, an Oregon Moving Company

Based in Portland, Northwest Movers is the highest-rated moving company in the state of Oregon. This fast-growing small business was founded in 2011 and can help with all aspects of the moving process, from wrapping and unpacking to transporting to unloading. Check out their Yelp reviews, and visit them online at http://northwest-movers.com.

1. How did you get to be the highest rating moving company in Oregon?

It's been a fast rise in a matter of a few years. If you think about it, there are other local companies in the area that have 8-10 years on us, in terms of when they were founded. Yet, we rank the highest. Pretty simple. Northwest Movers was founded solely to give the moving industry a new image. Clean cut, young individuals, who go above and beyond with their work, and customer service. Our focal point has been to take care of each and every customer. As a moving service provider, it's near impossible to be perfect. Small errors happen from time to time. We work to come to a solution as fast as we can in order to leave no customers unsatisfied. Some companies in the area will turn a blind eye to small occurrences, such as dings, or scratches. Northwest Movers does the opposite, which is what sets us apart from the rest.

2. What are the benefits of hiring a mover compared to taking the DIY approach to moving?

Well, the obvious one is saving your back, as well as your friends/relatives. Moving is no easy task. It's one of life's most stressful events. There's a lot going on during the moving process. Packing, closing dates, donating, realtors, etc. A professional moving company is able to take away some of that stress associated with moving. Most individuals would agree that hiring a professional moving company is money well spent.

3. What made you decide to start a moving company in Portland?

It might sounds like the old cliché. I worked for another moving company while in college. I knew there could be a better service provided, and that's what I set out to do. I spent about 8-9 months with that company learning the ins and outs of the business. With my business degree in process at Portland State University, it made perfect sense to start a business that is always in high demand, especially for the expanding Portland area. People are always moving, and that's never going to change.

It was definitely a slow start, especially while I was still in school. I couldn't focus my sole attention on the business. At one point I was just doing just enough jobs to pay the bills and get through school. I was a bit behind heading into my final year or so in college. I was eager to put 100% of my attention towards the business. I embarked on a five-term adventure of 20 credits per term (summers classes included) in order to finish as fast as I could. The next two years were spent building the foundation/reputation of northwest movers.

4. Do you have some advice for ways that people can save themselves time and money when they are moving?

This is actually a question that comes up daily from our clients. There are several things one can do to save time and money while moving. Consider packing your own belongings yourself, such as the kitchen, clothing, books, etc. Disassembling the beds before the crew arrives also saves time, especially if the bed happens to be IKEA. Some of those take a decent amount of time to dissemble/reassemble. Putting all of the boxes on the bottom floor can also save time. If you're on a strict budget, consider having the company come in and only move the larger items. If there are items you can move on your own time, consider doing that to save on expenses. Also, if it can be in a box, it should be in a box. Minimizing the amount of miscellaneous items makes the process much faster.

5. What else would you like people to know about your company?

It's important to know that Northwest Movers isn't your typical moving company. I believe our online presence can confirm that. We do our best to answer every call that comes in. However, if we happen to miss your call, please leave a voicemail, and we guarantee a return call. Please do not call over and over again, as we receive a great deal of spam/telemarketing phone calls. Also, email is still an excellent way to reach out to us. We can be reached at www.northwest-movers.com.

Thanks!