Welcome to ADVISOR.com -- expert advice and know-how on money, health, lifestyle, family, travel, technology, innovative products, smart practices, tips-tricks-traps, and more.
  • Tips to make your Garage Band a success

    Whether you have been in a garage band for several years or just a few days, it's a group effort, which isn't always easy. In years of playing, I've learned tips and tricks that all members of the Band should adopt to make it work and get along.

    Here are some recommendations for garage band harmony:

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  • Warrior 05

    Progress has been made in War On Cancer, but we face many challenges

    We seem to be waging war on many fronts: drugs, crime, illegal immigration, drunk driving, Afghanistan, Iraq, terrorists in general, terrorism on airplanes in particular. But our most serious war -- the one most likely to affect all of us -- is one we are still losing: The War on Cancer.

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  • Plan now for an Advanced Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney, before you and loved ones need to use it.

    Several times a month, a call comes into Elder Law and Advocacy's office in San Diego that goes something like this: "Hello, my wife (husband, or parent) has advanced Alzheimer's disease and her doctor told me I need to get power of attorney. Can you help me?"

    Misconceptions about creating and using a power of attorney for health care or finances creates problems for many families. Here's what you need to know.

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  • Rent the room or keep the light on?

    Q: I'm a mom of three boys and my youngest son graduated from college last year. I'd finally gotten the "empty-nest" syndrome out of my system when my son moved back in after having his first career crisis in the real world. Can you give me some tips for coping?
    -- Sammi W., Dana Point, California

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  • Here's how to get your dog to walk with you calmly and safely.

    Pulling on the leash is a common dog misbehavior. Puppies and adult dogs alike can often be seen taking their owners for walks, instead of the other way around. Pulling on the leash can be much more than an annoying habit. Leash pulling can lead to escape in the case of a break in the collar or leash, and an out of control, off-leash dog can be both destructive and dangerous to itself and to others.

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  • Sound the way you like it!

    J. River Media Center and a compressor plugin provide the music sound you've always wanted.

    It's obvious that music played on the radio sounds different than when you play the same music from a CD or download. Radio station music is stronger, fuller, more consistent, more powerful. And it flows smoothly (segues) from song to song. The affect can be magical. After first getting to know a song on the radio, it's often disappointing to hear it directly from CD or download; the music feels weak, lethargic, empty.

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  • Gravesite RIP

    When famous people (and even fictional characters) die, how do you respond?

    When singer Whitney Houston died in February 2012, the immediate response was expressions of grief on Facebook, Twitter, and many forums. Similar results occurred with the 2012 deaths of Amy Winehouse, Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys), Dick Clark, and others.

    The odd thing is, the widespread shared expressions of mourning were for people most of the mourners had never met. The common responses to celebrity deaths demonstrate important realities about how people build relationships with the media they consume.

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  • Flying is often unpleasant and frequently inefficient. Can traveling -- and working -- in a motor home be better?

    To begin at the end, I now have an RV, a motor home that gives me an office on wheels, a meeting place for customers, a way to avoid the hassles of flying and dirty hotel rooms. And yes, it's a home on wheels. (In fact, it's my second motor home / mobile office.)
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  • Don't put off preserving your own family's unique history for generations to come.

    My nephew, Connor was working on a project for school and needed to interview my dad about his time in the Army during World War II. As it turns out, my father had a lot to say (but only with much prodding) because he was a young private, 18 years old in 1943, who was shipped off to fight in Italy, wounded in both legs by sniper fire, and back to the United States before he turned 19. And that was only one of his many interesting lives!

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  • People covered by Medicare have different options each year.

    Choices range from Original Medicare to a variety of Medicare supplemental plans. The right choice next time might not be the same as last time. It's an important decision about a complex matter, so make sure you know how it works.

    NOTE: This article was written before Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014. ACA does not focus on Medicare, but it may affect some of the information in this article. As always, you should consult insurance experts to determine what is right for you.

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  • Washing hands

    It seems smart to wash your hands and body with soap that claims to be antibacterial. Kills the bad bugs, right?

    Maybe not.

    Rather than cleansing you of germs, such products might be harming your body. That is the concern of U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which says that the health claims of antibacterial soaps are not supported by current scientific data.

    FDA cites two problems with antibacterial soaps:

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  • People covered by Medicare have different options each year.

    Choices range from Original Medicare to a variety of Medicare supplemental plans. The right choice next time might not be the same as last time. It's an important decision about a complex matter, so make sure you know how it works.

    NOTE: This article was written before Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014. ACA does not focus on Medicare, but it may affect some of the information in this article. As always, you should consult insurance experts to determine what is right for you.

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  • Senior driver, police motorcycle

    Are you worried about an older family member who's still driving?

    When you see an older person behind the wheel, what is your reaction? Are you happy they can still get around? Or concerned for them and everyone else on the road? It’s a big question. For example, there are more than 5.5 million drivers over the age of 55 in California, and more than 2.5 million are 70 or older.

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  • ADVISOR ANSWERS

    Q: My mom is insured through a Medicare HMO; however, the hospital closest to her home is not in her HMO's network. What do we do if there's an emergency? I don't know if we would instruct the ambulance to go to a different hospital -- is that even possible or advisable? She doesn't want to get hit with a big hospital bill because she isn't covered.
    -- Willa M., Rainbow, California

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  • The 39 Steps - title shot of classic movie

    New films feel new, old films feel old. But why? There's a scientific explanation.

    It's more than black-and-white vs. color, standard screen vs. widescreen, classical music vs. rock soundtrack. There's something else that makes films of yesteryear feel very different than modern films -- something about the rhythm and texture. But what?

    New research suggests that modern movies are more engrossing — we get "lost" in them more readily — because the universe’s natural rhythm is driving the mind. Really.

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  • Head x-ray

    Use your head to learn the risks, take precautions, and avoid a horrible outcome.

    We sometimes joke about our heads: Knock your head against the wall ... Head bashing ... Dropped on your head ... and more. Funny -- except it's no laughing matter.

    Even a head injuriy that appears to be mild can have serious, long-term effects, especially when there are repeated injuries.

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  • Marilee Driscoll

    Long-term care insurance determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can't take care of yourself.

    Long-term care insurance is potentially one of the most important purchases you'll ever make. It likely determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can no longer care for yourself.

    There are lots of decisions to make -- and they need to be informed decisions. Tempting as it is to think you'll never be in the position to need long-term care, you risk literally everything if you hide from this issue.

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  • Young Voters For The President pin

    How I spent a week immersed in politics -- and rock 'n' roll.

    How did a young San Francisco radio station DJ go to Washington, sit in the President's chair in the White House Oval Office, then play rock 'n' roll piano with a dozen legendary performers?

    It all happened to ME -- one October week in 1972, and especially one amazing night. Here's my Boomer Years experience.

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  • Drive smarter with guidance from PC-based software.

    I take many road trips, often on routes I haven't traveled, to places I haven't been, and often in a large motor home. Many trips are for business, so I need to get to the right place at the right time. I rely on a computer to plan the trip, then drive the trip. Little GPS receivers are cute, cheap, helpful -- but limited. But fortunately, my vehicle has plenty of space for a laptop that is visible to the driver. So I drive with computer-based, GPS-controlled map/navigation software running on a big computer screen.

    There are two major software products in this category, Microsoft Streets and Trips, and DeLorme Street Atlas USA, and I think one strongly out-classes the other. Here's what and why...

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  • Your medical results

    When your colonoscopy discovers polyps, what should you do?

    You know it's important to have a colonoscopy periodically. You hope the doctor finds nothing -- but what if the doctor finds "something"? 

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  • Doctor Visit

    How to be prepared for your doctor appointment

    Your time is tight, and so is your doctor's. But medical care is too important to cut short. To get the most out of every doctor office visit, use these tips from Dr. Hannah Chow, Loyola University Health System pediatrician. These smart suggestions apply to everyone, and include extra tips when the patient is a child.

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