How to Play Mahjong – The American Mahjong Card

For today's baby boomer generation learning how to play Mahjong (American Mahjong) is a must. This incredibly addictive game is a great social unifier. It is a great way to meet new people, make new friends and have loads of stimulating fun. Although the 'house rules' differ in some ways from the official rules, the basic American Mahjong rules are more or less the same. At first learning how to play Mahjong may be intimidating but it is well worth the effort. Its Chinese origins give the game an air of mystique.

The aim of the game is to complete a winning hand. The American Mahjongg League produces a card showing the winning hands. The card is changed annually ensuring the game remains fresh and exciting. Some hands are more challenging than others. Part and parcel of the 'learning how to play Mahjongg' process is gaining an understanding of the winning hands presented on the card.

It takes great skill and strategy deciding which hand to play. It often happens based on the tiles you have been dealt that there are a number of hands that could be played. Often the best thing to do in these situations is to keep all possibilities open for as long as possible. However, beginner players would be well advised to pick a winning hand to work towards as early as possible.

There is nothing like the thrill of declaring "Mahjong". Upon declaring 'Mahjong' you will need to reveal your entire hand to the other players so that they can verify that you do in fact have a valid hand. After that, it is time to play again! Rotation in Mahjong occurs counter clockwise, so the player on the south end would move to the east and become the dealer, and so on around the table.

The game is growing in popularity on a daily basis and more and more baby boomers are interested in learning how to play Mahjong. Mind you, people in their twenties and thirties are learning the Mahjong Rules and are also becoming Mahjong addicts. I highly recommend learning how to play Mahjong today.

Martin Bormann – A New Body of Evidence

When anyone mentions the name Martin Bormann most baby-boomers will know who he was, they will also be quick to tell you that even though there was a wild goose chase across the globe to find him, he certainly died in 1945, proved they say , by the finding of his bones in Berlin in 1972. Martin Bormann Hitler's right hand man and chancellor, the man that controlled all of the vast Nazi loot was tried in absentia in October 1946 at the Nuremberg trials. Found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death by hanging, Bormann evaded the noose due to his mysterious disappearance.

Two Nazi witnesses at the Nuremberg trials testified to the fact that they had seen Bormann and fellow Nazi, Dr Ludwig Stumpfegger dead, only hours after fleeing the bunker where Hitler had supposedly put a bullet through his brain. One going as far as to say that he had even seen Bormann's dead '' moonlit face ''.

From 1945 the hunt for Martin Bormann was on. During the confusion of those early post war years, the West German government kept the heat up, but UKUSA's 'hunt' was only, If anything, luke-warm. A concentrated search effort had been made in 1945 around the site of the supposed 'moonlit' scenario of Bormann and Stumpfegger, with who he was last seen alive. With the advantage of hordes of allied troops on the ground to co-ordinate a thorough search, no stone was left unturned. The same was done independently by a Russian recon group, after Lieutenant General Konstantin Telegin, of the Soviet 5th Shock Army was delivered of a diary said to be of Bormann's, found near the same site.

In those early post war years, it was not yet a 'cold case', with memories still fresh and the ground still soft. Any such corpses although decomposed, would have certainly been on, or near the surface and easily identifiable with the minimum of forensics; but not as much as a scrap of flesh was found of either man. At least they had some disputable charred remains of Hitler, but the bodies of Bormann and Stumpfegger had literally vanished into thin air, along with the Nazi loot.

But after construction workers came across human remains near the Lehrter station in Berlin in 1972, the world's press gathered to hear if this was indeed Bormann. Bormann's Nazi dentist Dr Hugo Blaschke was called and he recalled from memory his former patient's dental physiology and gave testimony that they were one and the same, the case was closed. It was not until 1998 that due to modern science the remains were subjected to a DNA forensic study by the West German prosecutor. The reason for this new 1998 investigation was that in 1996 Christopher Creighton, aka John Ainsworth-Davis a former British Naval Intelligence agent and member of the covert British group COPP (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties) had published a book, OPJB (Operation James Bond) . In the book, Creighton using a pseudonym claims that along with Ian Fleming, he was instructed by Winston Churchill and Desmond Morton the head of Secret British intelligence section V to rescue Martin Bormann from a burning Berlin in May 1945. The book, passed off as a novel to protect Creighton from serious breach consequences of the Official Secrets Act unsettled the German government so much that a thorough forensics and DNA investigation was carried out on the remains. The forensic results came back after the legal medical team matched blood from a Bormann relative, the match was positive.

A confirmation of the remains being those of Bormann was released to the world's press, along with the statement that Martin Bormann had certainly died in 1945 at the site his remains were found.

Due to the 1998 DNA confirmation of the Skeleton, Modern historians teach their students that stories of Bormann escaping to South America are false, nothing more than the rantings of conspiracy theorists and madmen. Investigative journalists and even former intelligence agents have been continually slandered after they have released information to the contrary, that there has been a cover up by the western allies, that not only did Bormann escape, but his escape was orchestrated by the British intelligence services with the support of the United States government.

Anyone that dares to raise any questions as to the true dynamics of Bormann's disappearance and death, are discredited based only on the DNA match which confirm the remains as being Bormann. But why are there such conflicting stories between the official version and the version by those that have seriously investigated this strange case for decades? Bormann's remains were found in 1972, but did he really die in 1945? And what exactly is at stake if the facts were proved that he died much later than we are led to believe? Even though his remains were found in 1972 in Berlin, it does not mean that his body had lain there since 1945 and there is no evidence to suggest such. In fact, there is more evidence to suggest foul play by the British and American intelligence services, that Bormann did escape and after his death in the late 1960's his remains were carefully reburied in the place history likes to believe he fell.

On the publication of the 1998 Bormann DNA report, London's Daily Express called it a 'whitewash'. Later the author of the article, Stewart Steven a very experienced foreign editor of the Daily Express, who was hands on involved with a thorough Bormann investigation was sacked 6 days later after he was accused of publishing a 'hoax'.

If we now suspect, contrary to the official version that Kennedy was certainly not shot by a lone gunman, why is it so hard to swallow that Bormann escaped with the help of British intelligence. After all, numerous Nazi officers who were participant in the brutal slavery of concentration camp prisoners were snapped up by the USA after the war, many of whom were made post WWII heroes in the American scientific community. Notorious Nazi Klaus Barbie known as the 'Butcher of Lyon' was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to death in absentia. Yet it is documented that Barbie was protected and formally employed in 1947 by the US Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) and later by the CIA to set up the Western Intelligence Network to keep tabs on communist threat. This was a major and shocking betrayal by the USA as to the allied Nuremberg trial sentencing of Barbie. When the French government discovered that the USA were protecting Barbie, they requested he be immediately handed over for execution under international law. The USA flatly refused and consequently gave Barbie a new identity and shipped him off to Bolivia. If the USA could blatantly fly in the face of the International Nuremberg trials death sentence which they were actively participant in by protecting a psychopathic killer such as Barbie, why is it so unacceptable to believe that the allies would rescue Martin Bormann, the man with access to the hidden Nazi funds?

Between 1945 and 1965 there were numerous sightings of Bormann. Bormann's former personal chauffeur, Jakob Glas, said that he had seen Bormann in Munich months after May 1945 as did many others.

Paul Manning, author, intelligence expert and former war correspondent claimed along with others that Bormann escaped. When Manning tried to publish his extensively researched 1981 book 'Martin Bormann Nazi in exile', he was menacingly threatened. After finally getting a renegade publisher to agree to publish his work, within two weeks the publisher had his legs broken in a vicious and anonymous attack and shortly after Manning's son was mysteriously murdered. In fact Manning's story is very much in line with the former British Intel officer and author of OPJB. Christopher Creighton states that Bormann escaped, as does Former WWII British army General and war crimes investigator, Ian Bell. Bell can be seen on YouTube telling us that he saw Bormann being taken to a ship in Genoa and when he radioed back to his HQ command, he was told to follow but '' do not apprehend ''.

Contrary to the survival story being told by those considered '' crazy conspiracy theorists '', there are many highly qualified and well versed investigators and former intelligence agents that tell us the story we teach our children at school is just that, a story.

Hugh Thomas, surgeon, international forensic expert and author of the 1995 book Doppelgängers wrote extensively about the Bormann forensics investigation that suggest Bormann died later than 1945. According to Jonathan Glancey of The Guardian, Thomas's '' scalpel-sharp eye for detail '' and second investigative work Hess: A Tale of Two Murders, '' precipitated a six-month Scotland Yard inquiry that saw its report immediately suppressed. "Thomas confirms that the original Bormann medical reports in 1972 released only some and not all the information found under the microscope. While it is true the dentistry of the skull found was identified as Bormann, the official report failed to reveal to the public that there was dentistry performed in the skull, which could only have been done in the 1950's due to the technology used. A man that died in 1945 is certainly not going to go to the dentist in 1950. Also, the skull '' found '' in Berlin was encased in a 'red clay' type earth, exotic to Germany but local to a place in Paraguay , the very place that many investigators have traced Bormann to in his last years. Those last year's being as late as 1969. Reinhardt Gehlen former senior Nazi, Cold war spymaster and head of the West German intelligence network, also claimed that Bormann escaped to South America and died in Paraguay.

But probably some of the most disturbing work comes from Ladislas Farago. In 1974, Farago a brilliant military historian , WWII war correspondent and former civilian naval intelligence officer, published 'Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich.' Farago, after a long and painstaking investigation on the ground in South America, much of which was spent accessing classified Argentine intelligence documents, presented his evidence including copies of said documents in his book. Not only did Farago examine and get the classified documents he accessed authenticated, he called in a team to join him on the ground in Buenos Aires to witness and document the authentication of such. The formidable 1972 Buenos Aires team with Farago included former intelligence operative and practicing new York attorney Joel Weinberg, Stewart Steven the Foreign Editor of the London Daily Express and four top Argentine attorneys; Dr. Guillermo Macia Ray, Dr. Jaime Joaquin Rodriguez, Dr. Silvio Frondizi the brother of the former President of Argentina and Horacio A. Perillo, the former legal aid to the Argentine President Frondizi. Farago and his teams conclusion were that Martin Bormann certainly escaped Europe in 1945 with the help of the allies and went on to South America where he survived for many years, many of which in Argentina. Even though Farago and his team were highly qualified to make an intelligent and thorough analysis and investigation on the documents made available to them, Farago's publication was ignored and serious attempts were made to discredit him and the other members of the team. Precedence had been set, when it came to stating or even suggesting Bormann had survived, even experts like Farago, who was also the world's leading expert on propaganda and clandestine psychological forms of espionage at the time, was not safe from character assassination, ridicule and criticism. It is blatant there were those that were determined to keep the 1945 Bormann death myth in force and such suppression of evidence continues to this day.

But not everyone ignored Farago's book. The content and evidence produced by Farrago was so compelling that it attracted the attention of Dr. Robert MW Kempner, a former Nuremberg trial attorney who decided to reopen the Bormann investigation, based on Farago's documentary evidence of survival.

Farago, Manning, Thomas and Kempner, are sadly long gone, but the Bormann investigation is far from a cold case, as a new generation of investigative journalists have reopened the dusty Bormann files and have enthusiastically picked up from where their predecessors departed. Recent research reveals that the Federal police archives in Argentina show that the FBI were sending agents to Argentina to follow the Bormann case and his financial trails well into the 1980's. New elderly witnesses, who till recently refused to talk have also come forward in the past 3 years and startling new evidence has come to light that can not be ignored and may very well lead to the undisputable discovery that Bormann did escape and lived for many years in South America with the protection of the allies.

One important witness is a former military ADC to Argentine General Juan Peron. This high ranking internationally decorated military officer had been the ADC to 7 Argentine presidents, a close personal friend of Chilean President Pinochet and was the sub chief of the tough Argentine Federal secret police and prominently involved in the dismantling of the Argentine narcotics traffic in the 1990's . His taped testimony given in 2010 on the premise that it could only be revealed after his death to protect his family is that he met Martin Bormann frequently in Buenos Aires in late 1952 and till the end of 1953. He also testifies that on the instructions of Peron, he organised the personal security for Bormann and escorted him to various meetings in Argentina. This highly credible witness also tells us that Bormann had been installed in a famous luxury hotel in Buenos Aires throughout 1953 which was owned by Germans. The ADC also testifies that he was sent on a weekly basis to collect the Bormann bill from the hotel concierge which he was instructed to take directly to Peron, who paid the bill from his personal bank accounts. This man asked for nothing in exchange for his testimony, all he requested was that the truth be finally known after his death. The official died in 2012 and his testimony is now ready for publication.

Another recent elderly witness with ties to the FBI and CIA, is a former Naval Captain who was in charge of the security for the port of Buenos Aires. He tells us that not only was it common knowledge, but it is documented in the classified Federal police archives that Bormann was certainly living in Argentina in the 50's and that the CIA were in Argentina keeping close tabs on Bormann's South American movements as late as 1967 .

The most controversy surrounds the author of the 1996 book OPJB. Christopher Creighton writes that he was instructed by Lord Louis Mountbatten and Winston Churchill to reveal the truth of all the ops in which he was participant, 25 years after the death of both. According to Creighton, OPJB is not only the title of the book, but the operational code name given to the plan to rescue Bormann from Berlin. Documents have been seen and recently photographed which were written to Creighton from Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1976 which prove Creighton was not only certainly working for British Naval intelligence at the very highest level, but that Creighton was Desmond Morton's Godson. This new evidence puts in grave doubt spy writer Nigel West's claims that Christopher Creighton is a '' charlatan ''. There are also letters from James Bond author Ian Fleming to Creighton which testify to OPJB, the highly covert operation as being fact and that he based his James Bond Character on Creighton's covert naval operations. How did Fleming know? Because according to verified letters from Fleming to Creighton, Fleming was not only part of the operation while he was a Royal Naval commander under the command of Desmond Morton for the British secret service, but he was the commander in charge of the rescue. A British factual film company, Christopher Robin Media Ltd, have in their possession an as yet unpublished 2013 interview of Creighton recorded only weeks before his death. The startling interview gives never before revealed details of various highly covert British Naval intelligence operations, including the assassination of French Admiral Francois Darlan and the operation to remove Martin Bormann from Berlin.

In 2007 a lady whose name can not be revealed at this time, came forward to investigators with a story that she had been born in a German clinic in Brazil. This five foot two, blonde, green eyed lady was found to be a well balanced, well educated and discreet and trustworthy member of her community, a far cry from a publicity seeking delusional self promoter. Her adoptive father was a senior naval officer for the Santa Dominican republican dictator Trujillo. She claims her adoptive father was entrusted with her in 1953 the year of her birth, after he was in Brazil negotiating arms deals between the Santa Dominican Republic government and the German arms factories in the Brazilian jungle. In 1984 she contacted the Simon Wiesenthal centre after her adoptive father revealed on his death bed that she was the daughter of '' one of Germany's three greatest men ''. Extremely distressed at this death bed revelation and wondering who it could possibly be, she with her attorney approached the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for help. Within weeks her attorney was anonymously threatened with his life and he immediately dropped her representation after the SWC aggressively told him that they were not able to help and would not investigate due to '' lack of funds ''. An unusual response from a wealthy organisation that's main objective has been to track down Nazi war criminals. Even Simon Wiesenthal himself believed till his death in 2005, a full 7 years after the 1998 DNA analysis that Bormann escaped and was frequently outspoken against the official version. It is shocking and detrimental to Wiesenthal's memory, that those that now head the very organisation founded in his name have obstructed investigations and ridicule others that believe what Wiesenthal believed, Bormann escaped.

Those currently investigating the story feel that if Bormann did escape, then the adopted woman may very well be the daughter of Martin Bormann, not only because of the mysterious dynamics surrounding her birth, but photos of her, the officials involved, the timing of her birth and the fact investigators believe Bormann was in Brazil with Dr Joseph Mengele in the 1952. Recent photos of her son show an uncanny similarity of her son with Martin Bormann's eldest son Adolf. Access to the true DNA of Bormann is now vital to make a comparison.

The British investigator of this case contacted the SWC in 2010 to request access to the file held by them on Martin Bormann. The investigator was stalled and the SWC refused to help by giving her access to the files. Rather like the famous Anna Anderson and Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia case, all efforts to access information on official files to see if this adopted woman has Bormann DNA have failed. Even if one did access the DNA in the Files held by the various agencies, who is to know whether the DNA profiles held in the official files are indeed those of Martin Bormann? If Bormann did indeed escape, those that covered it up are going to go to enormous lengths to hide any incriminating evidence. Bonafide DNA profiles of Bormann would be the last thing they would leave hanging around. The investigator leading this case is are now seeking genuine close Martin Bormann blood relatives to come forward, to not only cross match with the woman, but also to cross match with the DNA profiles supposedly used to identify Bormann in 1998 and those held in official and public files. Of course if this woman does have Bormann DNA and being born in a German clinic in Brazil in 1953, it will once and for all put to bed the mystery and will vindicate all those that have sacrificed much to reveal what they believed to be the truth . Could that truth be that Martin Bormann escaped and went on to manage the vast funds accumulated by Nazi Germany with the help of Britain and the USA? And according to recent research, those vast funds were probably laundered through and invested into over 750 international companies with or without Bormann.

Since 1972, 'official' historians and academics have spun their tales and told the world that Bormann certainly died near the Lehrter station in the early hours of May 2 1945. This oral history is based on no more than unreliable witnesses, two of which were nazi's and a DNA match to a skeleton found in 1972. DNA may prove that the remains are those of Bormann, but there is more evidence to prove that he was alive for at least 25 years after 1945. 25 years, in which he could have managed the vast Nazi wealth, including cash, gold, stocks, bonds, shares and priceless works of art. After all, with all the modern banking forensics available to date, not one single intelligence agency or government claims that the vast, fat, booty has been found! Or has it? Yet it has been officially written, printed, signed sealed and delivered, even into our children's history lessons. Martin Bormann died in 1945 de-facto, the loot disappeared and anyone that tells you different is a deluded 'conspiracy theorist'.

Proving once and for all with new testimony, documentation and forensic science that Hitler's handler, Martin Bormann survived, will redeem many damaged reputations and will certainly bury the myth and cause many a red face in the high end academic '' history '' community. But more importantly, it will open a very nasty can of worms and raise many more complicated and embarrassing questions to those agencies and governments that will have knowingly perpetrated the Bormann death myth for the past 70 years.


The Pros and Cons of Retiring to Arizona Compared to Florida

The pros and cons of Arizona retirement, center on the Arizona weather and the choices of housing options.

The client is wonderful, by any standards for 9 to 10 months of the year…the months of July and August… Along with parts of June and September… Are the exceptions.

You have probably heard the term it is a dry heat… That is true but the temperature regularly gets to 110° to 115°…in those 2 to 3 months.

Although I am a full-time Arizona resident… I do try to get away at least for three weeks in August…

When I am here in July and August, I still play golf three times a week in the afternoons, the heat of the day. Sunscreen, wet towels, and lots of water are mandatory to combat the effects of the heat…but it is certainly doable.

No state income tax in Florida, which can be a factor for high-income retirees.

That is about the extent of the cons of retiring to Arizona compared to Florida.

Now for the pluses of choosing Arizona to retire…especially when compared to Florida or other southern states.

There is more sunshine in Arizona… Well over 300 days a year…

There is less rain than there is in Florida…

There is much less humidity in Arizona…

There are no hurricanes to worry about in Arizona…

There are no bugs, especially mosquitoes, to bother you and carry disease in Arizona…

If outdoor living is your thing, Arizona should be high on your list of retirement choices… With the help of a ceiling fan on the patio dining at 100° is very comfortable in Arizona.

How can I be so sure about the above statements?

For 21 years, our home was in the Houston Texas area… Very similar climate to Florida.

To reinforce our decision to choose Arizona over Florida… we RVed extensively before making our decision to retire in Arizona… Which we did in 2004 and have not regretted our decision since.

Making Arizona even more attractive is the low-cost of housing…I am talking primarily about the many Park model communities that are available to retirees in Arizona.

Park model home prices start at $10,000 and some older models are less, which makes Arizona affordable to anyone on any budget.

These Park model communities often remind one of a stationary cruise ship due to the tremendous amount of activities that are available to the residents.

You can do just as much or just as little as you want… The choice is yours.

So there you have it… The pros and cons of retiring to Arizona when compared to Florida… We are very glad that we have made the choice to retire in Arizona and you should give it strong consideration too.

See you in the desert.

Marketing to Senior Citizens – Health and Fitness, the Growing Trend Amongst Seniors

Today seniors can’t afford not to get moving! With all the hype around nutrition and exercise the aging population is well aware of the benefit of an active lifestyle.

Most seniors of the 55 plus group are keen to reap the rewards of healthy aging through a variety of activities. They are not newcomers to the gym so to speak. Most have kept active with some form of physical activity throughout their lives, whether it is hardcore workouts in the gym or a congenial round of golf on a summer’s afternoon. Women of this age group have also managed years of multi-tasking, most having juggled full time careers, while raising families and still found time to fit in some form of exercise. These women became well acquainted with aerobics, step classes, strength training and power walking. Also, stress relievers such as yoga and pilates were embraced to combat tension and fatigue. In many cases these activities were their salvation of an overly busy lifestyle.

It is only natural then, that these baby boomers are looking to continue their active lifestyle into retirement. Quite possibly, with the time constraints lifted at this stage in life, it leaves them to focus more sharply on their health and wellness.

A huge opportunity exists for gyms and programming facilities to cater to this senior market. The number of seniors is set to skyrocket in the next five to ten years and if gym operators are to jump ahead of this curve, they should set their marketing sights on appealing to and attracting this demographic.

How to go about this? What are seniors looking for when it comes to staying fit? Firstly it is important to see a visual image that they can relate to. Marketing success is all about seeing yourself in the picture, being that person who is strong, fit and beaming with energy. If a beautiful twenty something image is smiling back, then age becomes a handicap in the mind of the senior, derailing their good intentions, making them feel like they can’t compete. The perfect image that will empower the market they are trying to impress is an attractive fit senior pursuing the exercise of his or her choice. An ad such as this will pop with the 55 plus market, creating a role model with whom they can immediately identify and connect. Seniors like everyone else need to be able to put themselves into that ad campaign and honestly believe that it could be them looking out. This puts the wheels in motion for a positive mindset and a “can-do” attitude.

Seniors are only as old as they feel. Once again we come back to the mind-set, which is a very powerful tool. Boomers today are constantly fighting the aging stereotype that has depicted seniors in the past. Seniors in their sixties often look, act and feel ten to fifteen years younger than their actual age. Advertising should play up to this pretense which promotes this healthy reversal known as “turning back the clock”.

Another means of promoting fitness is to educate the senior who wants to get moving and who wants information as to how this will benefit them and enhance their life. They need to know the positives, what they can expect, and can look forward to as a result of embarking on the fitness journey that the marketer proposes. The campaign needs to encompass every aspect of their life, proving that properly presented, seniors will understand that an opportunity to change is being offered which will impact and alter their lifestyle. It’s within their reach, all that remains to be done, is to get out there, set realistic goals with realistic time frames and make it happen.

This brings us to another point. Marketers should focus on the enhancement of senior life overall, as a result of engaging in exercise and activities, rather than the promise that, if you join up you will achieve this enviable body or snag that hot date. The quality of life and the heightened enjoyment of everyday activities which seniors can have as a result of exercise need to be highlighted.

Marketing programs should also contain testimonials and feedback from actual seniors delighted with their progress and accomplishments, similar to that of “before and after stories of weight loss”. Seniors want to hear how it has enhanced and changed other people, who are just like themselves. They want to hear the successes, for example, how exercise lowered blood pressure, how strength training enabled other seniors to do more, how medication was reduced, how endurance was stretched. It all gives the feeling that anything is possible, if they can do it, then I can as well. It sends a message and an incentive to become a joiner.

Seniors often prefer to sample a program on a trial basis to see if it’s going to be the right fit for them. Offering special programs geared to this group is smart when limiting them to one or two classes. Fitness activities can be offered at many different types of senior living facilities. Places such as retirement communities and nursing homes already recognize the need and benefits of fitness and nutritional programs. Approaching these senior residences is an effective strategy of marketing to large groups of seniors. There are also many senior assisted living residences that do not have organized fitness classes or programs in place yet, but they will soon. Visit these places and offer a free class or program, if these programs are successful you will know that this appeals to seniors and if the need is strong enough to continue. This will help to target the senior market, zeroing in on what works and what doesn’t.

Marketers of fitness need to alter their sales approach to seniors. This age group is not impulsive and will appreciate a thorough, softer sell approach. Seniors need and want information and prefer patience. This in turn builds trust, instilling confidence in the senior contemplating buying a membership. It basically reaffirms that they are doing the right thing in taking this first step to join.

Seniors as consumers hold certain expectations that need to be met for fulfillment. As part of the packaging of the programming, seniors also need and crave socialization and to be part of the group. They need leadership, to have an instructor to safely guide them through the program, with an eye to protecting them from injury and awareness of ailments like arthritis and osteoporosis in the participants. They look for convenience, with minimal stairs and easy entry, or even better brought to their home. Lastly they want value and attention, to feel like they are progressing and that their state of well being is something that is noted.

As with any market, the sales approach needs to be geared to their age defined needs and preferences. In the year 2010 and in the coming years the greying of the boomers market will keep growing by leaps and bounds. There will be an even greater emphasis on slowing the effects of aging and possibly the reversal through movement and exercise. This, the marketers realize is what it’s all about at any age. Seniors, like everyone else, want to maintain a high quality of life and that definitely includes exercise to make it happen.

Alzheimer’s Disease Signs and Symptoms Help Identify Alzheimer’s Disease Early

There are a number Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for which can help diagnose this disease. The most prominent which is memory loss? What seems to be a simple mistake in memory may be the start of Alzheimer’s. Anyone can suffer short periods of forgetfulness. Alzheimer’s is much more than that; it actually attacks your short-term memory first. Then slowly keeps progressing.

Since 1906 when the German born psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer first discovered Alzheimer’s disease in a patient, until this very day. Alzheimer’s remains a fatal ailment that has both absolutely no cause as well as no known cure.

There are however medications to help slow this disease from developing into its final stages. In addition there are drugs already available that can assist the sufferer and manage the side effects of depression, hallucinations and delusions.

As Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms progress the patient will start to forget familiar things and will begin to lose well-known skills. The patient will begin to start forgetting people’s names. Then they will actually become unable to identify their friends and family.

It wouldn’t be fair to blame all memory loss on Alzheimer’s disease. There are two basic reasons for memory loss. Naturally the patient’s age is a factor.One of Ten people 65 years of age and older will be experiencing some form of Alzheimer’s. And 50% of people 85 years of age and older will also experience some form, Alzheimer’s.

Presently here in United States as of 2011 there are over 5 million sufferers. As the baby boomer generation begins to reach their golden years, this monster of a disease will be waiting for them. The first early sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease will first attack the frontal lobe where the short-term memory is stored, and in many cases not affect the patient’s long-term memory. But as the disease progresses the patient will lose more and more of their skills. It will affect the way an individual thinks their ability to speak, and their behavior.

The patient will become indecisive and can start having trouble within decision-making processes. These lapses of memory as well as cognitive functions are based on the frontal as well as temporal lobes of the brain.

The patient may experience mood swings and may become violent or even excessive passivity. The later on stages will be more terrible. Alzheimer’s patients will begin to loss control of their body functions and muscle control as well as mobility.

Alzheimer’s generally develops and become deadly within approximately 5 to 20 years.

Since Dr. Alzheimer identified the disease in 1903, there have been medical breakthroughs and research studies that have been discovered to be beneficial in preventing or even delaying Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers believe that physical exercise and eating properly can reduce the chance of contracting this disease.people with high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol, and low levels of vitamin b appeared to be at higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Flexible and Expandable House Plans – How to Achieve Affordable Homeownership

For many future homeowners, today’s economic environment can present a significant hurdle when it comes to the cost of home building. Be it a newly wed couple or downsizing baby boomers, the reality of what they need and what they can afford are at odds. Young couples can’t afford to build the size house they will need for their growing family. Retiring empty-nesters are faced with the dilemma of rising construction costs that have outpaced the value of their current homes from which they need to downsize. Even young singles with good jobs and promising careers don’t have the cash for a decent down-payment on a new home and are forced to rent.

Build in Stages

For people who can’t afford the entire home that they will ultimately need, starting out small, building in stages, one phase at a time may be just the right solution to set them on the path to affordable homeownership. This has proven to be quite a popular choice with our firm, especially for many young families. With the expectations of a growing family, starting out small and adding on later as the need arises and the budget allows, not only solves a limited budget problem but also avoids a potential hassle later on of selling and relocating to a larger home. And with the right kind of pre-planned expandable home design, the disruption of future building can be kept to a minimum, avoiding the loss of use and having to seek temporary living quarters.

Expandable house plans start with the basic essential rooms to be built during the first phase of construction. The construction plans provide, in advance, the specific structural details and specifications needed to easily accommodate subsequent additions with the least amount of disruption to daily family activities and limited retrofitting of the existing building. Future framed openings, wall pocket studs and plumbing/HVAC access are all anticipated in the layout and arrangement of the expandable home design. Complete, detailed construction plans are provided for all future additions showing the exact location with respect to the existing first phase, as well as the exterior elevations of what the entire final project will look like.

Expandable and Flexible House Plans

Expandable, build-in-stages house plans aren’t just for young families seeking a starter home. We have seen a growing request at our design firm for future retirement/semi-retirement combo-vacation homes. People planning for the future by building in stages with multi-use expandable home designs are starting out small with either vacation cottages or small rental homes.

One expandable house plan in particular we designed for a client was for a build-in-stages combination vacation and retirement home in a small village where their young daughter just accepted a new job. Noted for its ideal retirement qualities, this mountain and lake region provided a welcomed vacation retreat from their city lives and daily work, as well as a place for their daughter to live until she could afford a down payment on a home of her own. Starting with the garage apartment for the daughter and semi-attached vacation cottage, their property would be maintained and watched until they moved down full-time at a later date.

With expectations of semi-retiring to this home, the construction plans called for a future home office to be built at the connection between the cottage and garage apartment and additional bedrooms in a wing off the other end of the cottage. Once the daughter left, the garage apartment could then serve either as rental property, guest quarters or in-law apartment. Since the cottage house plan was designed as an age-in-place home (a barrier-free design allowing them to live independently as they age) the garage apartment could also serve as care-giver quarters sometime down the road.

This type of expandable, build-in-stages house plan is very flexible and versatile, providing many incremental options as the budget allows and life style situations change, all without sacrificing the simple pleasures that a home can offer.

With a little innovation and reorganization of priorities, young families or downsizing baby boomers will stand a better chance of achieving their goal of economical home construction. Implementing the build-in-stages method offered by expandable house plans can provide a convenient affordable alternative for cost-effective homeownership.

Home Inventory Service – A Growing Industry

The personal property inventory service industry is growing at an amazing rate. In 2004, there were only about 20 service providers in the United States. There are now over 500!

I believe the main reason for this growth is due to the increasing number of disasters. This has created more common knowledge of the need to have an inventory of the contents in homes and businesses.

Another reason for this industry growth is that people just don’t want to do the inventories themselves. For the same reason they hire a lawn service, painter or cleaning service, to name a few, people prefer spending time with family members and friends or on other interests. Many also know they won’t keep their inventory up to date, so having a professional service provider keep track of this information is worth the investment.

The baby boomer generation is also a factor in the increasing number inventory services. This group of the population is focusing on estate planning. First, many are either assisting their parents with estate planning, or are executors of their parents’ estates. Either way, they are learning that it is best to have the inventory documented prior to one’s death. Secondly, many boomers are completing their own estate planning. Having an inventory is beneficial to them for the already stated reasons, but also in case they experience a disaster. The inventory will help secure their financial future by enabling them to recover properly from their insurance policy. This eliminates the need to pull funds out of their investments to recover the damaged or destroyed items that weren’t replaced by their insurance.

There are a variety of business models for the home inventory service industry. Some have chosen to work their business on a part-time basis while others have chosen to develop theirs as full-time. You’ll find some who are a one-person operation, while others work as a team of two. Most are home-based.

The types of service are just as varied. Some providers serve only the residential market while others offer their asset documentation to commercial clients as well. Others extend their inventory services into the retail market.

Documentation processes are also different. Video cameras are preferred by some, while others take digital still photos. Written reports are on spreadsheets, special software or sometimes in a dialog format. There is no right or wrong process; only one’s preference.

Though natural disasters, thefts and fires continue to steal, destroy and damage our personal property, everyone can at least take responsibility to recover properly. Hiring an inventory service to compile that information is a great way to be proactive.

GM, UAW – Nothing New

In the early 1970’s, Japanese cars had a reputation of getting good mileage, but very little else. They were small, tinny and not very attractive. General Motors was the monolithic corporate giant that dominated the auto industry. Now, of course, Japanese automakers dominate the auto industry, and General Motors is a corporate dinosaur on the verge of extinction. What happened over the past 40 years can be viewed from many perspectives, and fingers can be pointed in many directions, but one of those directions is toward the United Auto Workers.

The evolution of Toyota and Nissan is very American – underdogs taking on an industry leader, using great ideas and new technologies. It seemed to all start in 1970, with the introduction of the Datsun 240Z This was a great little sports car that young Americans wanted to drive. It didn’t matter that it was made by a Japanese company. It was reasonably priced, well-made, fast and cool, and it began a run that continues to this day.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, American automakers slowly gave away the trust they had earned from American consumers. They seem to have traded in on their name and brands, producing planned-obsolescent, tinny versions of once great cars. And despite this, they continued to make huge profits from a generation that still saw the Japanese as somewhat of an enemy, and buying American as a form of patriotism.

It seemed that the good times would always roll, and so the UAW sought to share the wealth with its members. Unions have a history of balancing the scale of corporate profits and workers wages, but the UAW wanted more than that – they wanted long-term job security bolted to the status quo, and benefits packages second to none. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, college graduates were entering the workforce in large numbers – a tide of Baby Boomers armed with new ideas looking for ways to change the world. But the auto industry wasn’t the place for them. The combination of strong market share and union benefits had turned a dream job of ideas and innovations into an assembly line of mediocrity.

The lure of General Motors had become its UAW inspired benefits package, and the security of knowing that it was nearly impossible to lose your union-protected job. And while Japanese automakers improved efficiency, incorporated new technologies, designed new innovations and made cool cars, the US auto industry was anchored to the past, and is now sinking from the weight of that short-sighted greed.

So, here we are, in September of 2007. General Motors is in deep financial trouble, having lost its market leadership, reputation, and consumer loyalty, while each of their new cars costs $1500 more, just to pay retired worker’s benefits – the so called legacy costs. Toyota and other Japanese and Korean automakers are winning the game our way. And what of the UAW – now itself a far less powerful force because the Americans working in Japanese auto plants don’t want to join the union – they called a strike because they don’t want to assume more responsibility for health care costs.

It seems that General Motors is an aging wood ship – off course, and in stormy seas, while the union wants to take boards from its hull to improve the rooms of its workers. General Motors, as it’s been, will sink – simply because they cannot compete in the marketplace they helped create. But they only need to look at what the Japanese did to overthrow them, and remember that the Japanese took a page from what they used to be.

George R. Lovelock, Writer/Producer, New York

What is the Difference Between a Medial and Lateral Unloader Knee Brace?

Degenerative Joint Disease affects millions of Americans and with an aging baby boomer population will most certainly become more of an issue as we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and battle against the affects of our youth. The knee joint is one of the most effected areas in the body regarding the “wear and tear” effects of osteoarthritis. More patients and doctors are looking for alternatives to medication and surgery to improve patient mobility, reduce pain and swelling, and prevent the inevitable and dreaded “knee replacement”.

“Unloader” knee braces, or “arthritis” knee braces, are designed to literally bend the knee into a position that reduces the stress and weight on the affected joint, thereby reducing pain and swelling. There are two compartments in the knee, referred to as medial or inner and lateral or outer compartments. The vast majority of patients suffer from medial compartment osteoarthritis (unicarpartmental oseoarthritis). When this occurs, the joint cartilage, synovial fluid are reduced or absent and the result is a “collapse” of the medial compartment.

The knee joint becomes misaligned and what was normally a joint that bears equal pressure to support the body, turns into a painful angular joint, with excessive wear and pressure on the inner compartment, with pain, swelling and in advanced stages, limitation of movement. The angular change caused by this medial compartment arthritis is referred to as a varus deformity. This term refers to an inward angulation of the lower leg in relation to the thigh. If you have ever seen a newborn and looked at their legs, you will understand what a varus or bow leg is. This is a varus deformity.

Likewise, the angular change caused by a lateral compartment arthritis is referred to as a valgus deformity. This term refers to an outwards deviation of the lower leg in relation to the thigh. Many people are familiar with the term “knock knee”. In the old days, you would see movies, where the teenage girl sits with her knees and thighs together, and her feet spread out. This is a valgus deformity.

An “unloader” knee brace corrects the varus or valgus relationship of the leg to the thigh, making the entire leg straighter and aligning the joint back to its level position. By bending the knee joint back into a more aligned position, the brace opens up a gap or space between the leg and thigh bone, so the two bones do not rub up against each other. This reduces the pain or swelling that occurs when two rough arthritis bones come in contact with each other.

When purchasing an “unloader” knee brace, it is important to know if you have a medial or lateral osteoarthritis. This can be confirmed with x-rays, noting the collapse of the knee joint, and the angular changes that are occurring. It is also important to consult with your treating doctor prior to purchasing such a device. Wearing a lateral unloader knee brace with a medial compartment arthritis may result in increased pain, swelling and accelerated joint damage. There are many choices to be made when deciding which arthritis or “unloader” knee brace to purchase. Please check with your doctor and do your research before you choose.

Rich Dad’s Prophecy, by Robert Kiyosaki – Review

If You Could Know the Future, Would You Invest Differently?

Rich Dad’s Prophecy is the book by Robert Kiyosaki that is subtitled:

Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Is Still Coming…

and How You Can Prepare Yourself and Profit from It!

This book was written (with Kiyosaki’s co-author and partner, Sharon Lechter, C.P.A.) in 2002. All of the predictions made in this book are right on track – if not ahead of schedule.

The primary “prophecy” is that a MAJOR stock market upheaval is coming in 2016. This is the year when an estimated 2,282,887 “baby boomers” turn 70 – and are required BY LAW to make mandatory withdrawals from their 401 (k) accounts. In 2017, the number of people turning 70 jumps by 700,000 to 2,928,818, and keeps increasing every year thereafter.

What does this mean? Since the creation of the pre-tax retirement funds, Americans have been given incentives to place/spend their savings on stocks and mutual funds. Markets move up ONLY when more people are buying than selling. 2016 is the year when an astronomical bubble of retirees are forced to make withdrawals. This is stipulated in the law that created 401(k) accounts specifically so that taxes would be due and payable to the Federal government NOT LATER than beginning at age 70.

Kiyosaki tells the story of his “Rich Dad’s Prophecy” based on the enactment of “ERISA” (The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.) What his “rich dad” foresaw were the problems of passing control of retirement funding to individuals. These problems include:

1. Most people don’t save anything, or way less than needed for retirement and medical expenses – which continue to increase.

2. Those who created 401 (k) accounts were forced to become “investors”, an activity previously reserved for wealthy (and educated) speculators. In the process, the stock market was flooded with funds.

This is exactly what happened:

– Most people without corporate pensions – replaced by optional 401 (k) plans – went right on spending their money on material goods and saving little or nothing (in fact, racking up record amounts of consumer debt.)

– The minority of workers who created investment accounts (still numbering in the millions) injected billions into stocks and mutual funds. The stock market surged to record levels with the inflow of cash.

Note: it is no coincidence that the passage of ERISA in 1974 is the bottom of the market, following a crash in 1973-1974 to less than 600 Dow Jones Industrial Average. 1974 was also the center of a recession brought on by the Mideast “oil embargo” and the “Nixon Shock” following the removal of the dollar from the gold standard.

As Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad predicted, “Always watch for changes in the law. Every time a law changes, the future changes.”

All this background sets the stage for the predicted crash in 2016. With more than 2 million retirees forced to sell stocks (and pay taxes on any gains) the market MUST contract – or implode!

Kiyosaki wrote this book that foresees the impending crash in 2002. This is BEFORE the financial collapse of 2007-2008 (which is continuing today.) During this crash, the market lost 50% of its value from a high of 14,000. (It has since regained 85% back to 12,000.)

Americans continue to have pitiful savings rates. In addition, record unemployment brought on by the current recession has forced many who DID save and invest to drain their retirement accounts. The number of new wage earners will not offset the number of people retiring. After years of recession, there are actually fewer people employed, they are making less and investing less.

Combine theses problems and you have a market in an irreversible decline. As millions of other workers watch the value of their investments and retirement accounts decline and they will also start selling – trying to salvage what value remains even if they have to pay penalties.

The process continues, and the market spirals downward at an accelerated pace! In the process, the retirement savings and investment accounts of millions will be wiped out.

Bottom Line: the prediction of a 2016 crash is likely optimistic! It may be here sooner since retirees can withdraw funds earlier – they will only delay withdrawals until age 70 if they don’t need the cash earlier!

Kiyosaki balances the dire prophecy with optimistic advice, specifically how to build your “financial ark”. He writes, “Sometimes your greatest opportunities come at the greatest times of crisis. And for those that have positioned themselves well, it’s not about surviving disaster but rather achieving financial independence and wealth.”

He continues, “But this is not something to fear. Rich Dad’s Prophecy reveals not only the best ways to safeguard wealth but how to actually prosper from the events to come. The fears, dreams and actions of the baby boomers will control our economic future. You should consider building your own personal financial ark to stay afloat in the turbulent waters ahead. In Rich Dad’s Prophecy, you’ll discover how to prepare to prosper from the coming financial disaster. It’s a must-read for those who want to maintain and grow their wealth in the coming years.”

Rich Dad’s Prophecy will do more than educate you about the predicted stock market crash. You will learn how to build your own personal “financial ark” that will assure that you not only survive the storm, but profit from the coming turbulence. To learn more about Rich Dad’s Prophecy – as well as Kiyosaki’s other books, resources and seminars – please visit the Rich Dad website at