The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

Home Winterization Tips for the High Desert! From Goodwill Plumbing

No doubt about it, as much as I love fall it is one of our shortest seasons here in Central Oregon. I can’t remember more than one Halloween where my daughter’s costume wasn’t buried under a parka. (At least the fairy wings fit outside one year!) So, before it get’s too cold to care, here are a few things to do to winterize your home in the High Desert.

If you have gutters, clean out any debris and clear the downspouts.Where necessary seal corner joints to prevent unnecessary damage to the fascia board and trim. In this climate clogged gutters can lead to ice buildup and eventually ice damns if we get enough snow. Not only is this bad for the roof it’s not so hot for the inside of your home when the ice starts to thaw!
Blow out your in-ground sprinkler lines and insulate the valve box. This is a cheap fix with most landscaping companies charging $35-40 to do this for you.
Remove hoses attached from outdoor spigots. The Frost Free Feature does not work if there is a hose attached! Insulate spigots that are not frost free!
Clean and seal deck surfaces. Pressure wash or clean the surface with a good deck cleaner andseal with a reliable product. (Ask your local hardware guy what he recommends.) A little effort here goes a long way in preventing costly refurbishing later!
Caulk exposed joint corners and openings at exterior beams and windows; when re-touching these areas with paint don’t forget to touch up any other areas that may have missing paint or exposed wood. Cracks at joints and seams as well as exposed wood eventually can allow moisture to accumulate under the surface leading to an eventual breakdown of the product through dry rot or mold. Also, if moisture does get trapped in these openings and freezes it can cause expansion which is usually not good.

Have a licensed professional service your heating system to be sure it is running optimally, and don’t forget to change the filter. With energy costs on the rise this is one place where an ounce of prevention is well worth it!
Close foundation vents when it gets cold. Keep the wind and damp out from under your home and decrease energy costs by closing the ventilation to your foundation.
If you have perennials, now is a good time to add an extra dose of winter fertilizer and mulch. This should protect the roots from freezing and give them an added boost of nutrients for the winter.
This is the “short list” and I’m sure there is more that I’ve left out! Please feel free to add your comments and to-do lists here and I’ll update the list!Need help locating a contractor? Call your local Realtor, they’re happy to help and generally have a list of icensed professionals in their community!

October 15, 2010 Posted by | antelope valley plumbing, california, lancaster, palmdale, winterize | , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to V&F Patio Notions

V&F Patio Notions is your number one resource for luxurious Patio Cushions and Furniture at value prices for the Antelope Valley. We exclusively carry our own Brand, for years we have been outfitting the hotel, hospitality, commercial, and residential vertical markets with elegant patio cushions and furniture for years, we are Southern California’s unique one stop resource to creating a new look for your patio area.

We specialize in residential homes with designs that reflect our clients’ personality and California lifestyle. At V&F Patio Notions – Cushions & Furniture, we ensure the job is completed from beginning to end with the quality and craftsmanship throughout every product we sell.

We also specialize in custom made cushions, whether you have old or new patio furniture we can make custom cushions for it. If you’re not satisfied with the current look or feel of your cushions we can also redesign cushions specially made to your furniture, just give Maria a call right now for more information at 661.266.3160.

Only the finest materials are used in the construction of our cushions. In addition, our items are upholstered in your choice of outdoor fabrics. This combination creates the ultimate in quality and durability for many years of enjoyment. We stand behind every piece of cushion and furniture we sell with a warranty that is unmatched in the entire industry. Our goal is to provide you with the finest outdoor furnishings on time and under budget.

October 15, 2010 Posted by | av best patio furniture, custom cushions, finest materials, outdoor furniture, quality | , , , , | 2 Comments

5 Reasons the Cloud Should be in Your Office


Guest post by Jennifer Williams

Businesses operate differently from one another when it comes to their practices and operational standards, but a trend you’ll see lately is that many are jumping into using the Cloud as their main organizational and communication system. Businesses that have the Cloud have been found to be more successful when it comes to dealing with clients and prospective clients due to collaboration abilities and having everything kept in one main place for easy access.

It also makes it easier for the company to train new and veteran employees when new software systems are implemented. One of those operational standards that should be used, especially by small businesses, is the Cloud. The Cloud helps protect all of your documents over the Internet, instead of your computer’s hard drive or an external hard drive.

There are five main reasons for running your business in the Cloud. They include the following:

1. Security

Believe it or not, security is the name of the game when it comes to operating your business in the Cloud. Some people think that having your documents in the Cloud on the internet is unsafe because others can see them or you have less access to them. However, that could not be further from the truth. The companies that built Clouds invested a lot of their time and money in security features, backup, and data protection for their customers. So, in the end, your documents are safer in the Cloud than on your computer’s hard drive.

2. Mobility

The second benefit of having your business in the Cloud is an obvious one, and could be first on the list; it is mobility. Mobility is so obvious, because if all of your data is being stored on a Cloud on the internet, you will be able to access every piece of data anywhere you can acquire an internet connection. This includes coffee shops, libraries, schools, home, work and other people’s houses.

3. Costs

The costs for using the Cloud on the internet these days is unremarkable. An external hard drive with a terabyte of space will cost roughly $100 to purchase. On the other hand, the Cloud will cost you around $50 per year for unlimited space. That means you will never run out of space, and this is important for businesses that produce a lot of content, documents, and data on a daily basis. You will need to either remove items from your external hard drive or buy a second or third one to store all of that data.

4. Environmental Friendly

Using the Cloud means that your business will be friendlier to the environment. How So? The longer and more in depth you use the Cloud, the longer your computers and other business hardware will last, meaning you do not have to dispose of equipment as often.

5. Subscription Service

The Cloud is a subscription service for your data storage. This means that you can tailor your storage needs from month to month, since you will more than likely be paying a monthly fee. If you need to end the subscription for some reason, you can at any point in time.

So what’s out there?

There’s many different types of cloud services that are out there, so once you figure out the extent of your needs, you can successfully pick a Cloud platform you can be happy with.

  • NetSuite– a full CRM that offers all facets of business from document collaboration to accounting software
  • Google Docs– Cloud collaboration on documents, spreadsheets, drawing, charts etc. The ability to customize and share folders within a team. There are also privacy options for all documents.
  • Zoho– 20 business and productivity applications.

Running a business in the Cloud protects your data, documents, and company information from hackers and computer crashes, and is a tried-and-true method for many successful businesses.

This is a guest post by Jennifer Williams who is a writer, turned traveler, turned blogger, who is slowly slinking her way into the social media and blogging landscape. You can follow her new Twitter account: @JKWilliams82. You can also guest blog on TechPP and share your tips with the rest!

October 15, 2010 Posted by | business communication, cloud computing, mobility, security, succesfull | , , , , | Leave a comment

1940s Family Day at the Western Hotel Museum

1940s Family Day at the Western Hotel Museum
Date: 10/16/2010 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Cost: Free
Location: Western Hotel Museum
557 West Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, California 93534

1940s Family Day at the Western Hotel Museum
Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 1 pm
Remember the American home front during World War II with special art activities and educational projects for children aged 5-11.

Families looking for an afternoon of fun can visit the Western Hotel Museum for Family Day on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 1 pm. Although all are welcome to participate, families with children ages 5-11 are especially encouraged to attend and will discover a variety of hands-on crafts and educational projects for children related to the American home front during World War II. Admission to the event is free. The event coincides with the Lancaster Museum/Art Gallery’s “This is Your War: The American Home Front during World War II” exhibition currently on display through November 14, 2010. The exhibition examines the ways in which the war overseas affected and shaped life in the United States during the early 1940s. Families are encouraged to visit the exhibition at LMAG either before or after participating in Family Day at the Western Hotel Museum.

Museum Family Days occur several times a year offering visitors a chance to explore their creative sides, engage their imaginations, and discover together during themed activities that highlight the Museum’s collections and special exhibitions. Family Days are designed to allow families to interact with one another through art-making, music, interactive and educational activities, and demonstrations the whole family can enjoy. For additional information, please contact the Lancaster Museum/Art Gallery at 661-723-6250 or

About the Western Hotel Museum
The Western Hotel Museum was built around 1888 and is downtown Lancaster’s oldest surviving structure. As a hotel, it has gone through several names, including the Antelope Valley Hotel, the Gillwyn Hotel, and lastly, the Western Hotel (c. 1895). Preserved and saved by the Western Hotel Historical Society, the Western Hotel has been a City of Lancaster museum since 1989. Exhibitions on view include: Antelope Valley Mining, the California Missions, Fashions from the Past, Antelope Valley Native Americans, and many early Antelope Valley photographs and historical artifacts from the Lancaster Museum/Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

General Information- The Western Hotel Museum is located in Lancaster, CA at 557 W. Lancaster Blvd. For more information about the WHM and its programming, please call (661) 723-6250 or log on to

Museum Hours and Admission- The Western Hotel Museum is open the 2nd and 4th Friday and Saturday of each month. Admission is free, except to specially ticketed events.

October 15, 2010 Posted by | educational, family day, Uncategorized, Western Hotel Museum | , , , , | Leave a comment