How to Start Homesteading

A homestead is an isolated house on secluded acreage, which typically has other outbuildings on the property. For many preppers and survival enthusiasts alike, homesteads provide a feeling of peace and self-sufficiency. Decipher if homesteading is right for you by weighing the pros and cons. Continue reading further to learn more.

If you have a family, it’s important to think about how a homestead will affect them. Initially, it might be helpful to sit down and converse with your loved ones to discuss the future. Before committing, make sure you do adequate research and figure out what you’ll need. Read books, magazines, or watch videos to get an in-depth idea of what to expect. Homesteads require hard work and plenty of sacrifices. Crops and livestock are incredibly time-consuming and a huge responsibility. Ensure your family is willing to leap before you jump.

After you’ve decided that homesteading is for you, it is good to write down some goals or answer questions about what you should expect or how to prepare. Some questions might include whether you want to grow your own food, live off the grid, live “green,” raise a family, homeschool, etc.

Once you’ve analyzed your goals, it’s time to determine where you’d like to live. Climate, cost, land quality, state laws, water accessibility, community outreach, school engagement, and more are all critical factors. Your budget should also be a high factor for this step, as your career might shift during the transition. Keep in mind renovation costs, utilities, taxes, etc., and verify whether you can afford it.

Part of homesteading might be giving up some of those urban lifestyle choices you might have incurred through the years. Luxuries like a gym membership, wardrobe, takeout meals, or a vehicle can all easily take a back seat once homesteading is in full force. Your spending habits might be altered while more important rural necessities take priority over urban amenities.

Lastly, start small. Homesteading can be intimidating, especially when it comes to raising livestock, teaching children, or growing and harvesting crops. One step at a time is all it takes to achieve success. If you raise a few chickens, for example, those might be easier to manage than an entire flock all at once. Learning how to properly care for them by providing shelter from predators, tending to their eggs, de-worming, and feeding them a balanced diet can be overwhelming if you have too many animals. Minor experiences and lifestyle changes will make a massive difference in the end.

To stock up on food and other items for your homestead, visit Wolf Survival Gear today.

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for all your prepping and survival needs. We are a trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later. Visit our website or e-mail us today for more information.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

The Importance of Tire Rotation

One of the most crucial yet overlooked aspects of vehicle health is the tires. Tire rotation helps diminish tread wear (grinding and rubbing that occurs while driving) by rotating each tire to a different position on the axles. Most vehicle manufacturers suggest getting the tires rotated every 7,500 miles or six months. Check your owners’ manual for specific recommendations based on your car.

Tire rotation ensures the tread wear is level, creating a steady ride by improving handling, decreasing noise and vibration, increasing tire life, and safeguarding the warranty. Tire life can be significantly extended by rotation.

Without frequent rotations, treads on tires can wear down unevenly, creating a rough and unlevel driving experience. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report showed deficient tread depth to be responsible for over 25 percent of all tire-related car accidents.

Some dangerous situations that can result from inadequate tire tread depth include:

Heat Buildup
While in motion, the friction created between a vehicle’s tires and the road produces heat. Treads provide space for cooling airflow to permeate and allow the tires to withstand the heat. When tire treads are reduced and can no longer allow airflow, temperatures can rise to unsafe levels. Blowouts and tread separation can cause major tire failure.

Hydroplaning
Tire treads also help control water in wet conditions to ensure the vehicle maintains a solid grip on the surface. Without enough tread depth, tires can slip across water on roads, causing a dangerous situation and rendering the driver unable to steer, control, or handle the vehicle.

Poor Traction
Snow tires are essential for colder weather conditions, as they have deep, wide, and more irregular treads than standard tires. Traction is greatly improved with the ability to grip into packed snow. The risk of spinning out or sliding on ice is vastly higher if poor traction is the culprit.

Punctures
Tires can encounter disproportionate pressure in certain areas. If left unrotated, those spots can eventually wear thin. Generally tough and able to withstand rough objects, weakened areas in tires quickly become susceptible to glass, nails, or sharp rocks. Tire rotation ensures these points are evenly spread out and do not create sensitivity points.

Do you need your tires rotated? The benefits of tire rotation far outweigh the risks of driving on vulnerable tires!

Team CAMC is your Complete Auto Maintenance Center. For over 30 years, we have followed a single guiding principle: we never push or sell services a vehicle doesn’t need.  Our team of trained technicians welcomes you like family and discusses all types of oil and fluid changes offered. Critical points are reviewed through a 13-point inspection to ensure your vehicle is ready for the next adventure on the road ahead. Contact us today to schedule the professional service you deserve from a team you trust.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

New T&T Property Maintenance Website Goes Live!

T&T Property has a fresh, new look! Our website just got a makeover – take a peek! On our new site, you’ll find information about our services and bi-weekly updates on our blog.

We are proud to be in business for over 20 years. We pride ourselves on supporting large and small companies by taking care of their property maintenance needs. We’re licensed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture; you can trust us with your property maintenance care.

Here are some of the services we offer:

  • Lawn & Landscape Maintenance
  • Fertilization
  • Weed & Insect Management
  • Commercial Snow Plowing
  • Tree Trimming & Stump Grinding
  • Grub & Mole Control
  • Seasonal Cleanup Services

Our services can be a la carte or bundled into yearly or seasonal packages. We know property maintenance better than anyone else; you can count on us to achieve what you’re looking for and more!

To learn more or schedule a consultation to brighten up your property, contact us today.

T&T Property Maintenance has been visualizing, creating, and maintaining commercial properties since 1997. We offer a vast number of services for our clients, including lawn and landscape maintenance, irrigation set up and repair, fertilization, weed and pest control, snow plowing and salting, and tree trimming and stump grinding. We are licensed with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, so you can rest assured we will do the job right – every time. We work with commercial businesses of any size and offer our services in seasonal or yearly packages, and a la carte. For over 20 years, we believe a satisfied customer is the only kind of customer. Check out our website, call, or e-mail us today to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Novel EV Charging Network Plan Agreed Upon by Midwest Governors

A novel Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network is in the works for the Midwest region. Five Midwest governors (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) comprise the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition (REV Midwest), which is set to build charging stations across the five states.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by the five governors, expediting economic development for the Midwest region. Medium and heavy-duty electric trucks will be able to charge along with these stations as well.

To coordinate the efforts across state lines, a task force will be established. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan for wireless charging in Michigan along with a statewide, state-funded EV charging network. In addition to creating jobs and improving public health, these Midwest states will also be more eligible for federal funding or private investment.

Despite being the hub of the United States auto industry, Michigan’s reputation has widely been slower on charging and supporting EVs. Michigan franchise law prevents Tesla from selling vehicles directly in the state. Daniel Crane, a law professor at the University of Michigan, called the bill “Corrupt politics at its worst. A real travesty.” Backed by GM, the law states that vehicles must only be sold through independently owned or franchised dealers.

REV Midwest follows the West Coast initiative by ten years.

Governor Whitmer said, “Today’s REV Midwest partnership is a bipartisan effort to build the future of mobility and electrification and connect our communities. Our partnership will enable the Midwest to lead on electric vehicle adoption, reduce carbon emissions, spur innovation, and create good-paying jobs.”

To schedule an installation for your EV charger, contact State Electric Company today.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Research Proves LASIK Adverse Events are Rare

Ophthalmology is a scientific field that is continuously performing research and studies based on the human eye. LASIK eye surgery is an imperative aspect of ophthalmology that presents patients with more benefits than risks.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology outlined researchers’ data analysis from roughly 37,000 laser vision correction patients who underwent either LASIK (31,921) or PRK (5,016) between July 2014 and June 2016. Data analyzed included eye examinations prior to the surgery, procedure reports, and follow-up exams.

Data on adverse events were also recorded, such as those that negatively impacted patients’ visual outcomes. Out of 37,000 patients, 34 experienced adverse side effects; 70 percent were characterized as severe. With less than one percent of patients experiencing a significant unfavorable result, each procedure showed:

  • LASIK (31,921 patients): 0.4 percent of patients experienced unfavorable results
  • PRK (5,016 patients): 0.7 percent of patients experienced unfavorable results

Of those with serious adverse effects, roughly 80 percent still achieved 20/20 (or higher) vision without glasses or contacts.

With over 20 million procedures performed throughout the United States over 20 years, research papers number greater than 7,000. Experts study vision correction effects in-depth to ensure they are safe and effective for patients. Based on the large number of patients country-wide, LASIK and PRK are excellent, viable options to improve vision for suitable candidates. 

To improve your vision through LASIK, contact the ophthalmology experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

GE Announces New CT System

Revolution Ascend, GE Healthcare’s newest workflow, has officially been released. The technology extends clinicians a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) meant to automate and simplify otherwise time-consuming tasks. The goal is to deliver more individualized care to patients by freeing up physicians’ time.

The new, wider system can accommodate higher Body Mass Index (BMI) or trauma patients who would otherwise be too challenging to manipulate in a small gantry. 

Timothy P. Szczykutowicz, Ph. D., director of clinical operations and the CT Protocol Project at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said, “The most time-consuming part of the CT experience isn’t the scan itself, but the steps that fall outside the scan. Within a typical 10 – 30 minute CT exam, the scan itself only takes a few minutes, and the remainder of the time is dedicated to patient prep – including positioning the patient and identifying the correct protocols and settings, plus image reconstruction and report time. Historically, these have been manual processes, putting them at risk of human error; however, AI offers new opportunities to automate workflows and expedite exams with the same or better results.”

The first step in the Revolution Ascend workflow is for the technologist to use an attached bar code reader to scan the patient’s chart. Once scanned, the patient’s information is automatically displayed on-screen, with applicable protocols recommended. Then, the CT technician initiates Auto Positioning, which creates a 3D model of the patient’s body using real-time depth-sensing technology. Auto Positioning also establishes the proper table elevation and cradle movements to ensure the center is in range with the bore’s isocenter. The new Clarity Operator Environment then suggests optimal scan range settings, dosage, and image quality personalized to each person.

Gladys Farias, Imaging Services Manager at Baptist Health in Miami, Florida, said, “Having Revolution Ascend is like having an extra set of hands – which are much needed in today’s healthcare environment. Not only do the system’s intelligent solutions help us expedite exams, but they also enable us to deliver a more comfortable and personalized experience for each patient. Technologists love it for its simplicity. Clinicians love it for its results. And patients love it for its fast exams and comfort.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Pool Cover Options

If you have a pool, you’ll need to cover it for winter, but how do you choose between options? Solid covers are slightly more expensive than their mesh counterparts since they are more secure. Solar covers or water bag covers are also viable options. Read on to learn more about the differences between pool covers.

Solid Covers
Almost completely airtight, these hefty covers will prevent debris, dirt, water, and sunlight from getting into the pool. Algae and other tiny microorganisms can thrive in pools during the fall and winter months. Solid covers prevent sunlight from entering; therefore, these organisms cannot grow. Cover pumps are required in this case, which will remove excess water (and melted snow) from the surface. Moreover, these covers inhibit pets, wildlife, or children from entering the pool. Solid covers can also be automatic, activating them by a flip of a switch. Low-profile aluminum covers can be mounted on the side of your pool with an inconspicuous lid above it.

Mesh Covers
These covers are best for heavy winter snowfall, as they are permeable. Melting snow, ice, and rain can percolate through the cover, preventing water accumulation on the surface. Smaller debris can still seep through the cover but can be removed with a pool vacuum in the spring. These covers are less expensive and lightweight, which makes installation a breeze.

Water Covers
If you’re undecided between a solid or mesh cover, a water cover might be a decent alternative. Filled with long water tubes or small bubbles, these covers are placed around the pool’s edge to ensure the water is kept in place. They are available in either mesh or solid material.

No matter which pool cover you choose, ensure you maintain it during the off-season by draining when necessary, checking the tension, and adjusting the fit.

Leaf nets can be used in either case to catch larger debris (leaves) before it collects on the cover. Especially in areas with a large number of trees, leaf nets are essential to ensure an easy cleaning process in the spring. Leaves are not terribly heavy, so these nets are straightforward and require minimal effort to remove.

Winter covers can save pool owners money in the spring. Choose carefully before deciding what will best meet your needs.

Pound Pool Plastering offers free estimates and complete pool renovations. Dale Pound, owner, personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, Marcite, Pebble finishes, Bead Crete, tile choices, coping stones, etc. We are pool renovation experts – contact us today at 248-476-4544 or poundpool@sbcglobal.net.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Surge Protection 101

For many people, technology is the center of their attention span. Between televisions, computers, smartphones, ovens, dryers, tablets, security systems, dishwashers, etc., many aspects of our lives are assisted by an electronic device. As people expand the number of devices they own, power protection should increase as well. When they suddenly stop working, it can sometimes seem catastrophic.

Power surges are abrupt yet short-lived spikes in voltage that result in strong disruptive effects on the entire electrical system. Thousands of dollars worth of damaged electronics can result from these swift power surges. Typically caused by lightning strikes, power surges can also occur in small instances that damage equipment over time.

Read on for some tips to protect your devices from power surges.

Protect electronics: Ensure power lines, phone lines, and television lines are protected, as well as outdoor items such as pool equipment, air conditioners, and landscape lighting.

Indoor surge protection: Beyond the outside surge protection, it’s imperative to safeguard the plugs as well. Surge protector strips can be used to protect electronics inside the building.

To protect your devices, lightning surge protectors installed by electricians can redirect surplus voltage and current into a grounding wire. While the 120 voltage runs through circuits, electronics are protected and won’t lose power through a surge.

Professional surge protection includes the following:

  • Facility Guards: highest level of protection – can handle surges up to 400,000 amps
  • Transient Limiters: commercial/industrial – can handle surges up to 100,000 amps
  • DC Surge Protectors: transient or significant surges – can handle surges up to 10,000 amps
  • Data Line Protectors: control/telephone lines
  • Hybrid Surge Protectors: specialized protection for process control or computers

For surge protection equipment, contact the electrical contractor supply specialists at J&P today.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Early October is the Perfect Time for Homebuyers

If you have been eyeing a new home or thinking about buying, now is the time. Headlines skim past buyers as the seller’s market has been steaming hot. Bidding wars have been on the rise due to low mortgage rates and price appreciation. Thankfully, there are clear signs that buyer opportunities are increasing during autumn.

According to Realtor.com, the best time to buy a home in 2021, is the beginning of October. In a recent study, housing market trends were analyzed by experts. The past several years of data were looked at and applied to the current market.

Are you looking to cash in on the upcoming golden opportunity? Here’s what to expect:

Expanded housing supply: Total amount of homes for sale should increase. New listings typically come to market the week of October 3rd. A rough estimate stated that 17.6 percent more homes will be available than at the start of the year.

Less bidding wars: As more homes are available, the number of bidding wars will decrease. More options equal less competition and a better chance of securing the property.

Adjusted prices: As winter approaches, prices are tweaked and often reduced. While home prices are still appreciating, some houses will spike lower as owners are eager to sell. Owners might act with more motivation to achieve a sale prior to year-end.

If you are looking to buy a home, now is the ideal time. Your patience will pay off, and the home of your dreams is right around the corner.

Do you need a pre-approval to snag that fab new house? Contact the mortgage experts at

EB Mortgage today!

EB Mortgage is a locally-owned mortgage company with experts in new home purchase, refinancing, and commercial loans. Our wholesale rates can’t be beaten. We offer more products, more options, and more solutions. Our “3C” Process is simple: complete our pre-approval request, consider options based on your requirements, and choose the offer that suits your needs best. Call us at 866-246-0516 or e-mail contact@ebwmtg.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Protecting, Hiding E-Mail Addresses on the Rise

Apple launched a feature called “Sign In With Apple” in 2019, which aimed to allow users the ability to sign up for servers or accounts privately in order to protect their e-mail addresses. Now, the service has been enhanced with a new feature called “Hide My Email.” This new feature is designed to protect users from phishing attacks or marketing spam.

E-mail clients now include automatic spam filters that put these messages in specific folders, but they aren’t necessarily perfect. Spam e-mails can still reach inboxes, and oftentimes, important messages from previously unknown senders can get sent to spam accidentally.

Not to mention, capturing and selling e-mails is a huge business. Phishing e-mails hook many people who unknowingly provide personal information to fraudulent requests. During the global Coronavirus pandemic, phishing jumped 220 percent, according to F5 Labs.

Apple even fell under attack, as several phishing e-mails were sent posing as officials from the technology giant. Now, Apple is fighting back.

Apple users can now create single-use e-mail addresses to use in certain websites thanks to the “Hide My Email” program. New e-mails are automatically made available in the user’s primary e-mail inbox. They can also convert them to a single-use e-mail address to curtail spam messages.

Other platforms are joining the fight against spam as well. 1Password is collaborating with Fastmail to introduce a feature called “Masked Email,” which produces unique e-mail addresses for logins. Users can control all of the different addresses they create by enabling or disabling them. If users suspect their e-mail address is shared, sold, or sent spam, they can simply disable the e-mail altogether.

Cloudfare is another company dedicated to ending e-mail spam and tightening security. The “Cloudfare Email Routing and Email Security DNS Wizard” is  designed to safely and securely protect users from phishing. Cloudfare is free and integrates with Gmail, Office 365, Exchange, Yahoo, and AOL.

Since these mega companies have introduced novel features to protect users from identity theft, phishing, and spam, other businesses will surely follow their lead. Look forward to Internet Service Providers, e-mail services, and platform providers doing the same.

Concerned about phishing or spam e-mails? We can help! Contact our office today to learn more.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.