A day off in Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden is famous for its "curative waters" and its civic history dates to the Romans who built elaborate bath houses here. We visited one of the two large bath houses where there are a variety of large pools ranging in temperature from 90 to 100 degrees, plus some sauna rooms that felt like we were surfing on the surface of the sun. The back and leg massage that completed the process was outstanding and left me nearly comatose. If you are looking for the Best Bath Toys For 1 Year Old the professionals from infantcore they have the reviews of the best models of toys. Breakfast was in the hotel (see pic below), and then we walked up and down Lichtentaler Allee, which is a path next to a stream running through the side of town. We even visited a museum about the history of Baden-Baden. There is a famous casino here, but it requires a level of formal attire that we didn't have. We ate dinner at Oster Stromboli via a recommendation from Trip Advisor and it was excellent. Minestrone soup, salad, pizza and pasta plus some Sicilian wine. Today we are riding through the Black Forest to St. Georgen. We were going to go to Strasbourg, but decided to skip it and save 20 miles. Today begins our climbing and tomorrow we'll be in Switzerland as we make our way through the Alps with the big crossing on Tuesday over St. Gotthard's pass.

Breakfast buffet

We skipped the open bar at breakfast...

Our hotel - the open windows are our room

You can just see my cycling jersey drying in the window. Yes, we are very classy!

One of the bath houses

The streets in Baden Baden are pedestrian only are lined with cafes and other places tempting you with delicious treats.

Lichtentaler Allee. The stream bed is lined with large cut stones.

Proseco with lunch

The Theater House

Museum of Baden-Baden's history

An old roulette wheel with races horses


Paul has been kind of hard on his bike during this trip.

We see these signs everywhere and haven't figured out what the top and bottom ones mean.

Amsterdam is 450 km away! SF is even farther.

We'll be in Zurich in 2 days and Rome in awhile after that...

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The importance of business cards

Business cards are incredibly important for any form of person-to-person networking, and no matter who you are or where you are, a physical card can take the place of a boring, non-personal Facebook or LinkedIn profile, find out more about printing your business cards here. This post is an outline of how I've created this project, so you can skip straight to creating your own physical card. This project is not about creating a new physical card, but rather a new way of communicating with people. What's the difference between using the same format for social media and a physical card? Let's start by explaining what an email is. An email is a way of communicating information, with the sender agreeing to receive updates from you via email. When I get a question about your project I like to use an email, as it's less intimidating. However, I also have a bunch of business cards that I could send through email, and since they're just text (which is kind of lame) I've decided to write up a quick blog post on how to create a deck of business cards. The reason why I'm going to do this now is because you need to understand the process before you can go through with it. If you can, feel free to follow along. If not, then read on! Now that you know what an email is, and you understand the basic ideas behind business cards, you'll see why I'm going to start with business cards. After you learn how to create business cards (even a quick tutorial on how to create business cards can save you a lot of time!) The cost will be very important. When setting prices, make sure you don't just be in it for the sake of selling your card, but are willing to pay for it and want it to come out of your pocket. If you're just in it for the money, then you'll have your cards as soon as they come out. 2. Finding a business contact. After you have created your business cards, the next thing you need to do is find a contact to send them out to. This is usually your ideal contact, because they can help you determine exactly what they want out of your business cards. If you are sending out cards to yourself, then you will probably want to reach out to some friends and family. Otherwise, your ideal contact is a close family member, friend, colleague or other relevant business person. 3. Planning your card. You need to know your business cards, what they will contain, and who is going to receive them. If you have a general idea of how you're going to do the card, that should do you fine. Just make sure the information you send out is perfect. The best option is to print off a copy of your business card so that it's easy to go back to in case of a question. 4. Ordering cards. Now you're ready to send out cards. If you have a regular business card printer on hand, then it's likely a great idea to purchase some cards.
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Added photos for Fluelen to Bellinzona

Photos have been added for yesterday. We're in Bellagio now... Link to yesterday's page.
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Added photos to the Linz am Rhine to Bingen am Rhine page

Photos have been added!
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Added photos to the Düsseldorf to Linz am Rhine page

We just got into Heidelberg about an hour ago and I loaded up the pictures from Tuesday. I'll do yesterday's sometime later. Guess what? It rained today - big surprise!!
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Getting ready to go… I will have to take oxycodone

It seems like I have been planning this trip forever, but this summer has also flown by and I can't really believe it's all about to happen very soon! Still getting the bike packed up, making last minute decisions on what to leave or take, and trying to get everything at home straightened out before leaving Friday morning.


I'm excited about the trip, of course, but I'll also be sad to be away from Jill and Riley for so long. Luckily, they have some adventures of their own planned for while I'm away, so that will give me some peace of mind.


I'm going to be a lot more careful than I was last time. For those that may not have read that post, I took a pretty nasty fall and I just know it was mostly because I wasn't paying enough attention to the treacherous terrain. I had to buy oxycodone cod and take it for a while as I recovered. This time I might focus more on where I'm stepping.


For the days with lots of climbing, I added some estimates of the climbing categories (courtesy of MapMyRide.com) - those of you who ride or watch bike races like the Tour de France will be familiar with ratings. Thank goodness, there are no "Hors Categorie" climbs, but there is a rather long category 1 climb on the day we ride over St. Gotthard's Pass - Fluelen to Bellinoza.

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Do you Like Facebook?

Social media marketing on Facebook is on the rise. Despite pretty much being the birthplace of social media marketing, Facebook has retained its spot as a top contender, with more daily visitors than any other social media platform. With over two billion active users, every type of audience is present on Facebook. And any business owner would be foolish not to take advantage of the great marketing opportunities the platform provides. Are you ready to dominate in 2019? Keep reading for five tips to kill it with social media marketing on Facebook next year!social media infographic

1. Match your marketing strategy to your overarching business goals

The possibilities are endless when it comes to social media marketing on Facebook. It can be easy to get lost or overwhelmed. So the best way to start when forming your social media marketing strategy is to align it with your business goals. It’s best to keep your goals as specific as possible. Here are a couple of examples on how to effectively match your business goals with Facebook marketing strategies:
  • If you have a new business and your goal is to increase brand awareness, consider growing your Facebook followers through page like ads. You should also engage with your audience through the use of frequent, high quality posts. You can boost posts to encourage more engagement and measure results using specific benchmarks. It may be something like a goal of 300 new followers per month or a minimum of ten likes per post.
  • If your goal is to promote attendance at a specific event, consider boosting a Facebook event page. Maintain a specific goal for how many attendees you would like and how much you are willing to pay in advertising for each new attendee.
  • If your goal is simply to increase profit for your ecommerce store, a conversion campaign on Facebook Ads Manager would be best for you. Be sure to track your cost per conversion and ROI.
Facebook ROI If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you want a short term or long term strategy?
  • How can you improve your business from where it was last year?
  • What can you do to make your business more attractive than your competitors?
The answers to these questions can help you determine your call to action and form relevant goals for social media marketing on Facebook.

2. Invest wisely

Anyone with a Facebook business page has probably noticed the steady decline in organic reach over the past couple of years. Currently, posts from Facebook business pages are often only seen by 1-2% of their followers unless they are boosted. There’s no point in putting all your hard work into killer Facebook posts if no one will even see them. As Facebook becomes increasingly more of a “pay to play” platform, it is becoming more and more necessary to invest your money wisely if you want your business to succeed. An advertising budget is a necessity to succeed with social media marketing on Facebook. But you could be wasting a lot of money if you’re not careful about how you use your Facebook budget. For example, there is no sense in spending $10 to boost every post you make to an audience of 100 followers. It is wise to grow your followers through the use of page like ads and posts boosted to external audiences before you begin putting money behind posts boosted towards your followers. Generating followers with page like ads and engagement with boosted posts can be done with a relatively low budget. However, ads geared towards generating sales and leads tend to require more money to be effective, especially in highly competitive industries. When it comes to conversion ads, you have to be willing to spend money to make money. Of course the end goal is to ensure the profits outweigh the costs to get a positive return on ad spend. But sometimes new campaigns have to start off in the red during the initial stages of the optimization process. Then work towards the break even point, and ultimately, profit. Don’t worry if positive ROI does not happen immediately in the Facebook advertising process. Sometimes it takes months of A/B split testing to find the right message and the right audience! But once your campaign has been fully optimized, Facebook can be an amazing resource for generating sales at a relatively low cost! If your Facebook ads are not performing as well as you would like them to, it may be time to call in an expert. Our experienced advertising specialists have the knowledge and skill it takes to execute an effective, results-driven Facebook advertising plan. social media advertising costs   3. Use analytics and learn from them It can be easy to get lost when it comes to social media marketing on Facebook. The good news is, there are a lot of built-in road maps to help you succeed! There are a lot of generic statistics out there making broad claims like Wednesday and Thursday being the best days to post on Facebook. These stats can be a great starting place. But every business is different, and falling for generic rules of thumb can be detrimental. Using social analytics to your favor can ensure that you optimize your social media marketing strategy based on what is best for your particular business. For example, it’s commonly known that the best times of day to post for maximize engagement are:
  1. Mornings when people first wake up
  2. Afternoons when people take their lunch breaks
  3. Evenings when people get off work
That being said, that rule does not work for all businesses. What if you are located in the U.S. but the majority of your followers and customers are in Asia? You would have to adapt your posting strategy to account for the times when your specific target audience is most likely to be active online. Similarly, if your target audience is retail workers or security guards, they might have a totally different workday from the average office worker. By testing out many different posting times and days and analyzing which posts receive the most engagement, you can get a better idea of what posting schedule works best for your business. social media marketing on Facebook This goes for more than just days and times to post. You should also pay attention to the types of posts your followers interact with the most. Do they respond well to posts that ask open-ended questions? What about article shares or giveaways? Pay attention to every detail of the posts that receive the most engagement and see how you can adapt future posts accordingly. For example, if posts with images of people in them outperform posts with landscapes, focus on more lifestyle photos with people. Likewise, if you notice article shares from certain websites get a lot of likes and comments, consider sharing more content from the same source in the future. According to this customer focus marketing article https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2019/06/customer-focus.html Facebook ads should also be optimized based on analytics. Facebook Ads Manager makes it easy to track data and adjust your ads accordingly. Some important metrics to look at include cost per conversion, relevancy scores, and cost per click. You should also pay close attention to the difference between an ad’s reach and number of impressions. If the impressions become over three times the reach, it may be time to refresh your ads or expand your audience. Facebook ads manager also offers much more in-depth analytics to help you optimize your Facebook ads based on the demographics most of your results come from. These demographics include everything from age groups and genders to the devices and operating systems people who engage with your ads are clicking from.  
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Graduating with student loan debt

When you graduate with student loan debt, you'll find several different repayment options to choose from, all from different websites like SoFi. For more information on the different loan repayment options, including the student loan payoff plan (PLP), the income-based repayment plan (IBR) and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, read the article, What are the different repayment plans? Student Loan Repayment Calculator The following calculator can be used to calculate your student loan debt repayment: Student Loan Debt Payment Calculator When you create an account on Zillow, we will ask you to enter your monthly income in the Monthly Income fields. Your income will be compared to the poverty guideline for your family size and your total monthly expenses will be used to calculate your student loan debt amount. Here are the calculations you'll need to make: Monthly Income: The amount of money you will spend to cover your monthly living expenses over a 12-month period The amount of money you will spend to cover your monthly living expenses over a 12-month period Monthly Expenses: The total of all of your bills that you can afford to pay each month. This includes taxes, cable and phone, and utility payments. The total of all of your bills that you can afford to pay each month. This includes taxes, cable and phone, and utility payments. Total Expenses: The total of all of your monthly bills, excluding utilities. The total of all of your monthly bills, excluding utilities. The Student Loan Calculator's Income Estimates: Learn about your monthly spending so you can make sure you are paying all of your bills and have enough money in savings for emergency or long-term expenses. Monthly Income: Income in the last 30 days that you reported on your tax return. Monthly Expenses: The amount of money you spent on all of your expenses in the last 30 days. The total of your expenses in the last 30 days. Your total monthly income. Your total expenses. Your debt-to-income ratio (credit card debt divided by your total monthly income) should be no higher than 43% - 52%, and no lower than 27% (using the data in the table above). Credit Card Balance: Calculate your credit card balance in both current and outstanding balances. When you're using your card, make sure your balance is at least $2,500, and that the total amount of credit card debt is no more than $4,000. Your credit card balance: Calculate your credit card balance in both current and outstanding balances. When you're using your card, make sure your balance is at least $2,500, and that the total amount of credit card debt is no more than $4,000. Balance: Calculate your current credit card balance. Enter your number for the outstanding balance. Note: If you have a variable rate credit card and your credit limit is increased, the new credit limit will automatically update your balance and decrease your outstanding balance, but only up to a certain amount. We're assuming your credit limit is currently at $2,500. Note: If you have an introductory offer and your credit limit is increased, you must pay your balance off in full before the end of your introductory offer, even though your credit limit is increased. Use the "Remaining Balance" box to calculate your remaining balance. Calculate your new credit limit. Enter your new credit limit and the remaining balance in the remaining balance box
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At long last, the breathless wait regarding my gearing choices is over.  Check out all the scintillating details here!
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