Melanie Mitchell from Portland State University will be talking about Artificial Intelligence at Lord Fairfax Community College on Wednesday, 1:00p in Room 300, Fairfax Hall, Middletown Campus. Her presentation will be distance to the Fauquier Campus Paris room also.
This presentation is open to the public, but registration is required at https://sites.google.com/email.vccs.edu/techbytes.
The impact of target marketing in small business
Target marketing, according to Inc., is collecting information to determine your ideal customers among those who also need and will pay for your product or service.
For these purposes, you need their age, gender, family size, education level, and occupation. To find out where they are, you need their zip codes, size of the area, its population, and climate.
How does your ideal customer decide to make a purchase? The answer helps you determine why they buy what you’re selling, how much of it they need, and how often they must buy it.
Most social media profiles for your business provide a free demographic breakdown of customers like yours. Zip Codes can furnish vast amounts of info from the U.S. Census Bureau.
If you’re currently in business, your sales data clearly show what your customers are buying, when, and their purchase prices, among other data. For the essential feedback, talk to them in person or on the phone, conduct a few customer surveys. You don’t need a ton of responses to acquire a pretty good sense of your customer base.
In addition to the basic demographics, these should be among the takeaways from your target customers:
Is the distance to your location a problem? Parking? Public Transportation? Do, or can you, deliver?
How do they make a living? Knowing what your primary customers do can help you adjust your hours to fit their needs or devise special offers. Having an idea of the money they can or are willing to spend can help with your pricing. With this kind of information, you can confirm some of your assumptions regarding your customers and dismiss others.
Practical target marketing is almost always beneficial. And genuine interaction with your patrons — plus giving them what they want — is almost always a pathway to loyalty and future growth.
The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: Mistral and the magic blanket
Mistral the penguin is very excited when he arrives at the North Pole Animal Day Care. He quickly says hello to his teacher, Rudolpha the reindeer, and then runs to see his friends, holding a bag.
“I found the magic blanket!” he announces, jumping up and down.
The other children look confused. They’ve never heard of a magic blanket before.
“The one from the legend?” asks Rudolpha.
Mistral is amazed. “You know penguin legends?”
“What’s the legend?” asks Storm the fox impatiently.
Rudolpha invites the children to gather in a circle around her and tells them the tale.
“Many years ago, the Enchanted Penguin wove a magic blanket for his wife who was very sick. This special blanket had the power to keep the wearer perfectly comfortable; not too hot and not too cold, no matter the weather.
“After his wife got better, the other penguins tried to claim the blanket for themselves and conflict overtook the community. So, to put an end to the matter, the Enchanted Penguin hid the blanket somewhere in the North Pole. No one knows where he hid it and it hasn’t been seen for many years”
“But I found it,” declares Mistral, “and I’m going to give it to my Grandpa Gale for Christmas. He’s old and can’t flap his wings and walk in place to stay warm anymore, so he can never take me fishing, even when I lend him my warmest hat.”
“Where was it?” asks Frost, the snowy owl.
“In Floe Creek?” guesses Storm.
“No,” says Mistral.
“On the Windy Plains?” proposes Bianca the rabbit.
“I know!” declares Frost, “on Mystery Beach!”
Mistral shakes his head. “I went to the source of One Thousand Waterfalls with my cousin Pampero and we searched for hours. We turned over huge boulders, swam in the pools of each waterfall —”
“Of all 1,000 waterfalls?” interrupts Snowflake, incredulous.
“You know, there aren’t actually that many waterfalls, the area is just called that because there are many small falls in the area,” explains Rudolpha.
“Anyway, it took us forever,” continues Mistral, “but finally, behind the highest waterfall, we discovered a cave. The blanket was there, inside a chest.” He pulled out his treasure from his backpack.
“Wow,” intone his friends as they gaze at the shimmering blanket.
“Your grandpa is going to love his gift, Mistral. You should be very proud of yourself,” Rudolpha tells him.
The little penguin smiles, thinking about how happy Grandpa Gale will be when he opens his gift on Christmas morning—and about the next time they go fishing at Floe Creek.
Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas
I just adopted a dog, now what?
Adopting a dog is a life changing event. Here are some steps to take when you bring your new canine companion home.
• Take them to the vet. Your dog should be examined to ensure that they don’t have a disease or other issue that requires attention. In most cases, they’ll also make a recommendation for when the dog should be spayed or neutered.
• Schedule their vaccinations. Many animal shelters vaccinate dogs before they’re adopted. Nevertheless, you’ll need to make sure your pup’s up to date with their shots. Vaccines should be administered annually for the rest of their life.
• Get identification. If your municipality requires it, get your dog licensed right away. Also, make sure they can be identified, either with a tag on their collar or a microchip embedded under their skin.
• Start training. It’s a good idea to train your dog to come when you call and follow basic commands like sit, stay and down. Not only are these commands useful, but training sessions serve as a great way for you and your pet to bond.
If your new pet seems shy or nervous around you at first, don’t get frustrated. A period of adjustment is to be expected. With consistent love and attention, they’ll quickly become more comfortable around you.
10 gifts outdoorsy types will love
Are you looking for a gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life? If so, here are some ideas.
For their next adventure
1. A portable water filtration bottle or straw
3. A kit to turn the flashlight on their phone into a lamp
4. A military grade compass
5. A down jacket or rain coat
6. A wireless charger for their electronics — one that’s solar powered is ideal
7. A portable camping stove and mess kit
To inspire them
8. A wilderness survival book
9. Novels and memoirs about outdoor adventures
10. A birdfeeder to bring wildlife to their backyard
To really spoil your outdoor enthusiast, consider buying them a pass that will grant them access to the country’s national parks for a year. No doubt, they’ll love exploring the American wilderness.
5 ‘wild’ books for wilderness buffs
1. Into the Wild
By Jon Krakauer
2. Wild: From Lost to Found on The Pacific Crest Trail
By Cheryl Strayed
3. The Call of the Wild
By Jack London
4. One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
By Sam Keith
5. Lost on the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods
By Cary J. Griffith
A history of roads in Virginia: The 1990s – new technologies and funding infusions
The 1990s brought no slowdown in the increasing needs of Virginians for mobility. Surging volumes of traffic — combined with aging highways, accelerating technological progress, and landmark legislation — brought a dynamic set of challenges to transportation in the century’s last decade. Public demands for more transportation capacity were met with dramatic increases in transportation funding and burgeoning highway construction programs. In that context, VDOT sought and implemented continuous innovation in its management and engineering programs.
From 1980 to 1990, vehicle registrations jumped from 4 million to 5 million. Miles traveled daily in Virginia leaped from 105 million to 165 million. Despite the demand for more roads and bridges, voters indicated in 1990 that they were unwilling to give up completely the “pay-as-you-go” philosophy of funding for transportation. In a referendum, they turned down a proposal to sell pledge bonds to finance highway improvements.
At the same time, the commonwealth was moving toward a more modern transportation infrastructure. In 1990 the General Assembly, at Gov. Douglas Wilder’s request, created separate secretariats for transportation and public safety, functional areas that had been combined in the past. The legislation also provided that the secretary of transportation would serve as chairman of the CTB, and the commissioner of the Department of Transportation would become vice-chairman.
Within a few months, however, the department experienced the effects of a weakening economy. The resulting loss of revenue caused VDOT to scale back maintenance, mowing, and snow plowing; and the value of construction contracts awarded for highway improvements fell 28 percent from 1990 to 1991.
By 1992 more than 100 highway projects had been delayed. In addition, maintaining and rebuilding roads — especially aging interstate highways — was becoming a special challenge. Help was on the way, however, in a new federal aid package.
Produced by the
Virginia Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
1401 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Boy Scout Troop 52 continues tradition of selling Christmas Trees at Royal Plaza Center
Boy Scout Troop 52 has been selling Christmas trees for 51 years; it is the main fundraiser for the troop. It is estimated they have sold over 15,000 trees over the years; many Scouts have learned the basics of salesmanship, marketing, and commercial forestry through the Troop’s Christmas tree sales program.
Christmas tree sales were first introduced to the troop by the efforts of Ken Fortune, Assistant Scoutmaster and Ken Bovard, Scoutmaster in December of 1968. The troop purchased trees from a farm in Bentonville that first year and shortly after that we branched out and purchased some of our trees from the Rudacille farm.
During the first 20 years the troop bought the Christmas trees from various tree farms in Virginia and as far away as Pennsylvania. In 1979 Dr. Craig Zunka, a long time member and Eagle Scout from the troop, agreed that the Troop could plant trees on his farm in Browntown.
Depending on the variety of the tree it takes from 6 to as much as 12 years from the time a scout plants a Christmas tree and it is ready for sale.
The Scouts learned how to plant the seedlings, how to properly trim the different variety of trees and the need to keep the weeds from growing around the bases.
The first tree sales were held on the “Weaver lot” across from the old Front Royal Volunteer fire station that was beside what was then town hall. Peyton Street now runs through where the Troop had its first tree sales lot.
It was just after the 1969 tree sales that Bill Ollinger, manager of the Safeway store in the Royal Plaza shopping center invited the troop to set-up the 1970 tree sales next to his grocery store and they have been selling trees somewhere on the property of the Royal Plaza shopping center ever since. The Troop has enjoyed and appreciated the support from the merchants in the shopping center that we have received for all these years!
All of the profits from our tree sales goes into the Troops operating account to pay for advancement awards and activities of the troop. They also pay for the Scouts cost towards summer camp.
The Royal Examiner stopped by the lot and spoke to Ronald “Hoss” Feldhauser: