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Thank you for your Support During Hurricane Harvey

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Thank you for your patience while our staff in Sugar Land dealt with the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Our office remained dry, and of course the servers in Dallas, were well out of harms way.

The aftermath of Harvey is blatant in many areas in and around Houston. Everyone knows someone or has a family member that was directly impacted by the torrential downpours or tornadoes. People have started tearing out sheet-rock and attempting to rebuild. Our owner, Jon Klubnik helped a community police officer, who recently had a baby, with demolishing and clearing out the parts of his house that were affected. Many hearts are broken, but everyone is trying to put their best foot forward.

Now Irma is hurtling towards Florida and Puerto Rico. Our thoughts are with everyone in the area, and we will help in any way we can, just as many Floridians came to the rescue of Houston.

A huge thank you to all of our clients that checked in on us, donated to Hurricane Relief, and kept us in their prayers, you made a horrible situation that much better. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, from everyone at Tandem CloudTop.

8 Ways to Manage Stress - There's Always Sheetcaking

Brianna Loftin - Friday, August 18, 2017

Whether you are stressed out from your personal life, business or outside factors, stressors can have a dire affect on your health. Here are 8 ways to manage your stress: 

Excercise - Hate running on a treadmill? Don't! Simply take your dog on a walk, go hiking in the woods, ride a bike, go rock climbing, jumping jacks, burpees, swim, play sports; including ping pong, or make up your own game that suits your situation (there is always trash can basketball), and dont forget planking. Whatever you choose, keep it fun and interesting.

Make a Checklist - You will be surprised how many things you actually get done every day, when you can finally check them off of a list. Lists hardly take any time to write, and they can clear your head for other thoughts (like a bubbling brook). Remember your Alexa can even help you with lists, if you don't have time to grab a pen and paper.

Use your Vacation Days - Many Americans don't utilize their vacation days. Remember, you will actually be more productive, when your body has had time to recuperate. You dont have to actually plan a vacation to take a day off. When you finally take the time off, check some stuff off of your to do list, and then find a way to relax in your own way.

Meditate - If this isn't your kind of thing, remember meditation is solely about focusing on where you are in the present moment. You don't have to sit in full lotus, or chant. Instead, try fishing, doing the dishes, walking, etc. but don't think about anything else, solely what you are currently doing. You dont even have to set aside time to practice, just do it wherever you are, and when you find your mind wandering, kindly bring it back to your present state.

Play Music - I used to play melancholy music when I was feeling a little blue, but then a good song would come on, and I would be rocking out before I even remembered that I was supposed to be sad.

A Fermented Beverage - I do not condone the use of drugs, but once in a while, a glass of whine or beer can certainly elevate your mood. Don't overdo it or you will have the opposite effect.

Keep A Sense of Humor - a friend of mine was having a difficult time balancing her life between her spouse and children. They found that pantsing each other (at home) brought comedy back into their relationship and elevated everyones mood. Consider the other person's feelings before implementing, as this could have a negative impact on many people. In certain situations anotther approach may be more desireable.

Sheetcaking - When all else fail, remember there is always sheetcaking

No matter where you are or what you have achieved, you still have to eat, sleep and pay taxes, so you might as well enjoy yourself in every situation.

Hurricane Season is Here - How to Prepare

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Here are some things to remember during hurricane season, or if you receive a Hurricane Watch or Warning:

  • Fill up your gas tank, everyone has  seen people trying to get out of town, only to run out of gas in traffic.
  • Charge any devices that you may need to use, especially cell phones and computers. 
  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to the lowest setting before the storm hits and make sure not to open it frequently so that your food stays cool and doesn't spoil. Consider putting a thermometer in your refrigerator to make sure that food is at an acceptable temperature. Temperatures about 40 degrees F rapidly grow bacteria.
  • Ready your disaster supply kit, including; first aid, batteries and flashlights.
  • Make sure you have enough food and other essential supplies in case you are flooded in or lose power.
  • If there is a hurrican warning, defintely board up your windows and remove or secure any items that could blow over and cause damage in strong winds.
  • Remember to stay safe and don't go into flooded waters, there can be hidden dangers in the water, and electrical currents from downed power lines.

 

BP MS 150

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, May 02, 2017

I participated in the BP MS 150 this past weekend, from Houston to Austin.  I will admit, that my reasons for joining the group, were selfish, and not solely for supporting the research of MS, of course it is a much added bonus. I have always wanted to participate in a group race of some sort, and when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join BP's group, I was all in. I wanted an excuse to get back in shape after having my second baby, and I thought the fear of an impending two day bike ride would whip me into shape. My husband didn't initially want me to participate, because he didn't want me to leave our two girls alone with him for extended bike rides, but his push-back strengthened my resolve even more. Initially the excitement of the looming date, did the trick, however; as time went on, my drive to train waned a little, and I mostly did shorter rides lugging my girls in a trailer. This turned out to be great practice for climbing hills, since as the wind blows, it acts more like a kite than a vehicle. 

Training definitely helps you prepare, but what i wasn't prepared for was the severe leg cramping, and soreness in my hands and feet from holding the handlebars and shoes rubbing against my feet. Surprisingly my muscles were hardly sore or stiff the next day, but it felt more like my body was going to fall apart, as if it had aged 40 years in one night. I chickened out on the second day, because of the rainstorm and subsequent relentless frigid wind trying to blow everyone off course. I did however enjoy a lovely day at Zilker Park in Austin, TX. It was not a great day to ride a bike, however it was a great one for flying a kite. Everyone's question after the ride is, would you do it again?  The answer? Hell Yes!,  because you cant beat the beautiful Texas hill country from the vantage of a bicycle, and supporting such a worthy cause as the National MS Society, is definitely worth it. 

Daylight Saving Time Fact and Myth - Why do we do this Again?

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Our office is re-enacting the annual, "so why do we have daylight saving time again?" story-line.  

I jokingly stated that, whoever came up with the idea of DST, obviously didn't have kids. My boss retorted that it was instated to keep kids from having to take the bus in the dark. Of course I added the common misconception, that it was the farmers that wanted DST so that they could increase their hours of working in the fields, way before buses were even imagined. Apparently I was wrong, and farmers were actually deeply opposed to the time change.  

Another fallacy about the origin of DST is that it was brought about by Benjamin Franklin. He was an incredible man and inventor, but also witty, which was his intent when writing his satirical essay about changing sleep schedules so that Parisians could save money by waking at dawn and utilizing sunshine, rather than staying up late burning through candles.  

Like much of our ingenuity, DST was actually brought about to conserve electricity because of wartime measures during WWI. We have continued to implement the time change so that children do not have to go to school in the dark, and of course walk uphill both ways.  

So it turns out that we all had pieces of the story correct, but not the whole picture. Unfortunately this is ubiquitous for much of history, and society needs to do a much better job of remembering, so that we don't repeat past mistakes, even if it is just not repeating the same discussion you had before. 

My Sources



Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo - Links to Your Favorite Events

Brianna Loftin - Friday, March 03, 2017

There is a buzzing and delicious smell in the air, you know what that means for Houston, TX,  The largest Rodeo in the world is here and in full swing!  

I am not sure that I can choose between my favorite aspects, the delicious Barbecue which is definitely a front runner, I can just taste the smoked sausage, brisket and delicious grilled corn. 

Muttin Bustin'  is probably my favorite Rodeo attraction.  The Livestock Show has pretty much something for everyone,and they have my the best petting zoo. There is a wide variety of animals (not just goats), that are all well taken care of, and not obese from over feeding. 

Definitely grab your tickets for your favorite, artist or just the carnival, we welcome all y'all to come visit and enjoy the show!  



Top 5 Reasons to Perform Maintenance of Your Act! Database

Brianna Loftin - Monday, February 20, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Perform Maintenance:

1. Ensure that backups are being performed

2. Minimizes “Break/Fix” cost surprises

3. Optimizes database performance

4. Identifies potential issues before they occur

5. Keeps you informed on what’s going on in your database

Tandem CloudTop will help you perform these items:

  • Scheduled Maintenance is Performed
  • Act! Certified Consultants Review Your Database
  • Issues Addressed Before they Become Major Problems.
  • Professional Communication with IT and Management Keep Parties “In the Know”
  • Keep You Focused on Business, Not Maintenance
  • Hosting on Tandem Servers is also Available

Call for more information about Act! Support and Hosting (866)710-4228 or send us an email.



Millennial Working for a Baby Boomer - Is there a Generational Gap?

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

My boss is a baby Boomer that was born at the very end of his generation, and I am a millennial born near the beginning of mine.  It has become custom office policy to rag on Millennials for being lazy. The only problem with this is that the jokes were funny at first, but now they have lost their punch and just sound like unfounded complaints. So now as a millennial I get to tease the baby boomer for being out of fresh jokes. Of course he is the boss, so I probably shouldn't poke too hard, and show some respect, nah what am I thinking, I'm a millennial - I have no morals!

I have heard of training seminars on "How to Work with Millennials " This seems like a scheme to prey on headlines about the newly tagged generation. You don't need to be trained how to deal with us, just get to know us by talking like you would to any other human being.  I promise we wont bite, but you should be nice because you may be live streamed in the act, if you aren't. 

Every generation is different from their predecessors. Sometimes the changes seem alarming, but we are all humans, inherent with flaws, but mostly want the best for our society. I recall hearing the Greatest Generation being appalled by the Baby Boomers, shaking their hips like the heathen, Elvis Presley.  In today's environment this seems like a silly thought, and they were just dancing to great music. Currently the senior generations are worried about today's dance moves being too provocative and sexual. 

No matter what generation you were born, your successors will undoubtedly perform some acts that you find disgraceful. Many people do not like change, but the younger generations always try to assert their independence, but they always turn out okay. I promise, the world will not end when inherited by the Millennial Generation... although these Post Millennials will undoubtedly bring about utter chaos.
 


Swiftpage Act! - The Difference Between Act! Subscription and Perpetual License

Brianna Loftin - Monday, January 30, 2017

Swiftpage has recently moved to a new pricing and sales platform for Act! CRM. While this may seem confusing at first, you will quickly realize the simplicity generated and the benefits added to only maintaining one version.

    • The Subscription is what you are used to elsewhere (ie: MS Office 365, Netflix, Adobe, etc.) with a monthly option or an annual option at a discount (two months free). Should you let the license lapse, you relinquish access to Act! and it turns off.
    • Perpetual licensing allows you to “buy” the license. Should you decide not to renew after a year, then you keep the rights to the license at the version most current at the end of your term. When you renew, you will have the choice to either subscribe or pass.
    • All licenses, Subscription and Perpetual, have the same functional features.  Includes Act! technical support at the level formerly known as Silver. The new Gold is a premium support plan you can add on to your purchase for $5.00 per user per month, flat, regardless of the number of users. Support is included for Tandem Hosting Customers, which is superior in quality. Training is also available from Tandem.
    • Auto-update. Built into the new release is the option to be notified when an update is available, with a link to the download. By default this option is active, but notifications can be modified in Tools>Preferences for administrators.
    • Pricing. You will notice that the price, relative to years passed, is about the same. Most models are no more than 9% higher, some are less, including support. Swiftpage has added 90 positions, while also improving the quality of the techs and anticipating the requirements of users joining the subscription model.
    • We are recommending that you continue to renew your subscription so that you don't lose access to your information or have to pay for the license again in the future.
Call (866)710-4228 or Send an Email for more information.


Happy Thanksgiving - 10 Interesting Facts about Thanksgiving

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is loved by historians because it is a holiday that we celebrate that is actually celebrated in nearly the same way that it began.  Here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving to get you started off on the right foot: 

1. The first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony in 1621, but it wasn't until more than 200 years later, that President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day became an official national holiday in 1941.

2. In 1939 President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third week in November, hoping it would boost the shopping season during the Depression. It never caught on and was changed back two years later.

3. The first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives — but no forks! Forks weren't even introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later and weren't a popular utensil until the 18th century.

4. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle.  (He was a brilliant man, but I'm glad we didn't take his advise on this one)

5. Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas 10 million years ago.

6. A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.

7. The Guinness World Records for the largest pumpkin pie, weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. Baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust. :O 

8. Female turkeys (hens) do not gobble. Only male turkeys gobble.

9. Originally known as Macy’s Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy’s employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.

10. Thanksgiving was almost a fast — not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which is what they planned on doing to celebrate their first harvest, until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and turned their fast into a three-day feast! That is definitely something to give thanks for!

Send us an email for information about Cloud Hosting.  Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!



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