The People's Gallery functions as a platform to look in depth into the work.





Nicole Harvieux is an artist based in Rapid City, South Dakota. Until recently, she worked for the South Dakota Army National Guard as a public-affairs specialist. As part of her job, she regularly photographed training operations, home comings, and other daily activities.



As the masses flock to purchase the latest models of digital cameras in the market, Philadelphia-based photographer Jorge "El Ché" Figueroa says "no, thank you" to modern technology. An avid collector of fully manual 35 mm rangefinder and SLR cameras..



The last time I stepped into a rodeo arena with a camera was in 1984. In 2008, I met Isaac Diaz at a poker table in Deadwood, South Dakota. He was there primarily to ride a bronc at the Days of ’76 Rodeo. His PRCA stats suggest he’s a pretty salty rider.

Creative and

Evaluating Art...

As any art lover will tell you, evaluating different pieces of art will be a unique experience for each person. You may collect feedback from your peers on the same exhibit only to learn that opinions vary widely. This is part of the beauty of art; the fact that the same physical presence can evoke such a magnitude of different emotions, opinions and feelings from us all.



People's Bikes was created to support access to the ever-growing number of galleries and art spaces in the Mission with low cost rentals and a Mission gallery map. We also have maps of historical landmarks in the neighborhood, for those interested in how this amazing community has taken shape. When you come by to rent a bike please just ask the gallerist what is going on that day, for recommendations of shows, places to eat, places to relax. People's Bikes is for everyone, so whether you need to get some groceries, want to take some friends to Ocean Beach.


Latest News.

Where to Find the Best Deals in London for Vintage Clothing

Where to Find the Best Deals in London for Vintage Clothing

Vintage clothing finds in London aren’t generally cheap, but there are certainly deals to be found in this old city if the buyer is willing to do a little pre-planning before visiting.

Two Fabulous London Charity Shops

Take the tube to Oxford Circus and visit the Salvation Army on Princess Street. This store offers two floors of treasures with lots of vintage wear and accessories. Glamorous evening bags can be found for less than $20. It’s a great place to while away an afternoon. They are open from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday.

Another great charity outlet is the Oxfam shop at 514-518 Kingsland Road in Dalston. It’s a huge space, packed with all sorts of vintage goods. Clothing prices are as little as $5 for some items and you’ll find everything from ball gowns to accessories, look at here now.

Vintage Clothing Shops

Vintage Clothing Shops

One of the best London neighborhoods for vintage clothing shopping is Brick Lane. There are numerous vintage clothing shops in the area, so it’s impossible not to find a great deal. And the vintage clothing market is open from Friday to Sunday every week. Buyers claim all sorts of great finds in the market.

Vien is a lovely vintage shop at Crystal Palace on Church Road. The items are merchandised beautifully and the prices are very reasonable. Expect to find numerous one-of-a-kind items from most eras. The shop owner repairs, restores and re-invents some pieces that would otherwise be unwearable.

For other great vintage shopping in the Crystal Palace neighborhood, check out Hayne’s Lane Market off Westow Street. They are open Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm – Saturdays until 6pm.

Also, a visit 295 at 295 Portobello Road is worthwhile. This shop has wonderful vintage clothing from 50s print frocks to accessories. Expect to pay half of what the visitor may pay elsewhere in greater London. Recent examples include a 60s evening coat for as little as $35. Skirts begin at about $15.

Finally, when seeking out vintage clothing shops in London, look for those in areas less traveled by tourists. Buyers will likely find better deals.

Hammersmith Vintage Fairs

The London Vintage Fashion, Textiles & Accessories Fair is well established and takes place approximately every four weeks at the Hammersmith Town Hall. Expect to find treasures from all decades in the 20th century and earlier. The Hammersmith Town Hall is a grand old 30s building located on King Street, London W6.

Jumble Sales

A simple Google search for “London jumble sales” will bring up pages of upcoming sales as well as regular ongoing jumble sales in permanent locations. This is Local London lists numerous upcoming and ever changing jumble sales and car boot sales.

Most jumble sales take place in halls or churches, much like the church basement sales across the pond. Some like the Jumble and Pearls at the Horatia on Holloway Road at Highbury and Islington, hold regular sales, and there is always a deal to be had.

Car Boot Sales

Some of the best deals in vintage clothing are found at car boot sales. These sales are much like yard sales and outdoor flea markets, but sellers simply gather in parking lots in London or fields outside the city, and they sell their items from the back of their cars. Visit early for the best deals, even while the vendors are setting up. One of the most popular regular car boot sales in London is the Holloway Road Car Boot Sale at Bowman’s Place within easy reach of the Holloway Road Tube stop. It’s open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2:30 pm. Pick a weekend when the Jumble and Pearls sale takes place at the Horatia on Holloway Road and make a day of it.

4 Most Common Types of Patio Furniture Cushions

4 Most Common Types of Patio Furniture Cushions

Patio sets come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your preferences there are thousands of different types of patio sets available, each one with its own design element, its own price, and its own ability to complement your backyard décor, available here.

One of the things you will need to consider when you find patio sets is the type of cushion you’d prefer. Generally patio set cushions are designed with four different types of fabrics:

• Acrylic

• Poly/Olefin

• PVC/Vinyl

• Spun Polyester

Choosing between these patio set fabrics is important, because each comes with its own benefits and weaknesses that may affect its potential as an addition to your yard.

Patio Furniture

Acrylic Fabrics

Overall, acrylic fabrics appear to be the best option for patio set cushions. Not only is acrylic the most comfortable type of fabric available, it also one of the most durable and the easiest to clean. It resists mold and manages to keep much of its color against sun bleaching. It is also one of the most expensive patio set cushion fabrics, but those willing to invest will find it to be the best choice.


Poly/Olefin is a synthetic fabric made of polyester and olefin. The fiber is extremely fade resistant and far less costly than acrylic. It is also a little less comfortable, but only slightly so. It can fight mold and mildew well, but doesn’t have the resiliency of acrylic against things like body oils.


PVC/Vinyl is a type of coating that covers standard polyester patio set cushions. The coating makes the cushions feel rougher to the touch, which takes away from their comfort. They are also much harder to clean, but handle rain much better than any of the other fabrics, and are often more competitively priced.

Types of Patio Furniture Cushions

Spun Polyester

From a comfort-only perspective, Spun Polyester may actually be a little bit softer than acrylic. The problem is that the fabric itself is far less sturdy and harder to clean, so that while it begins as a soft fabric, it may easily dry out and stain, becoming something that is less comfortable over time. It also has a tendency to bleach in the sun and far more prone to stains.

Choosing Between Patio Furniture Cushions

Acrylic is easily the best choice for patio set cushions, but may not be the most affordable. The others have their benefits and weaknesses, and should be chosen based on budget and décor. However, remember that some of the fabrics may fade, so keep that in mind as you make your choices. If your patio set cushion’s color is the perfect complement to your backyard, but the fabric is prone to fading, it may not be the right choice.

Stylish Watches

Stylish Watches

Watch Bracelets

Watch bracelets are an excellent way to make a fashion statement. Contemporary and hip, they allow for more individual expression than the more traditional wrist watch, and changed to accommodate different fashion needs. They are the design of the moment, but one that looks like it’s here to stay.

There are myriad options when it comes to selecting a watch bracelet. From futuristic silver bangle watches to antique designs, watch bracelets come in every conceivable shape and size. Similarly, they can be chosen so as to fit all budgets, thereby facilitating their use as fashion accessories.

New Trends in Watch Bracelets

New Trends in Watch Bracelets

These days, a popular choice for watch bracelets is the leather strap. Although a leather bracelet may seem counterintuitive, these watch bracelets are hip, sporty, and fun. The band can be long and narrow so that it wraps several times, or thick enough to function as a single cuff bracelet.

This trend has gained enough momentum that upscale watch makers have started to take notice. Watch bracelets can now be found among lines from Cartier®, Bulova, and Wittnauer, and are a must-have item on every girl’s list. This look is here to stay, so consider investing in a luxury piece.

Wittnauer Diamond Watches

When purchasing timepieces such as Bulova or Wittnauer diamond watches, quality should be a foremost consideration. This applies not only to the diamonds adorning the watch, but to the mechanical workings within. Treat your purchase with the caution and consideration you would give any other major investment, and you are bound to be happier in the long run.

Most people who have purchased jewelry are familiar with how to evaluate a diamond. Color, cut, clarity, and carat, fondly referred to as the four Cs, are the primary determinants of both quality and cost. With any major jewelry purchase, these are the things you will want to take into consideration.

Evaluating Wittnauer Diamond Watches

Evaluating Wittnauer Diamond Watches

Although most people have no trouble with this when it comes to purchasing diamond studs or a solitaire, they seem to forget these evaluating factors when it comes to buying diamond watches. Even though Wittnauer diamond watches and other prestige labels are known for the quality of their products, you will want to inquire about the diamonds that will be on your specific watch.

In addition, make sure you pay attention to the inner workings of your watch. Although it is easy to be seduced by the good looks of Wittnauer diamond watches, you want to know what makes them tick. Between automatic and quartz movement, and a host of other options, you should make sure you end up with the product that suits your lifestyle best.

How Your Smart Phone Can Help You Lose Weight

How Your Smart Phone Can Help You Lose Weight

There are so many apps out there for your smart phone that allow you to track your appointments, keep track of your finances, and even keep up with friends. I love all of these features, but wondered if I could use my phone to lose weight. I decided to try out a bunch of free apps and found success by using three different types of apps, check out here.

Fitness apps

I enjoy running so I searched for an app that would map out runs for me and keep track of my distance. My favorite is “mapmyrun.” You can go online and map out your run which will then transfer to your phone. It will show your elevation gains and total calories burned also. You can also use the app for hiking, biking, walking, or any other exercise. You can create goals for yourself and even compete with your friends. If you want something more along the lines of a gym workout, there are also apps to show you good moves to tone up. I use “daily ab workout” to get my core in shape, but there are also apps for all other parts of the body including total body workouts. There are even personal trainer apps to give you routines to use. This has kept me motivated and prevented boredom.

Calorie counter apps

In order to lose weight, you need to know how many calories you can have in a day and keep track of them. You usually carry your smart phone with you everywhere you go so it is the perfect way to help you keep track of calories. There are many apps that have a calorie counter that shows what your daily intake should be such as “Calorie counter.” You then enter in foods every time you eat and it will deduct those calories from your total. They even have fast food restaurants listed if you are eating out. Some apps like “Mapmyfitness” even add more calories in if you exercise so you can eat more. The trick is to make sure you are burning more calories than you are taking in, so you don’t want to reach your total calories for the day.

Apps for recipes and local healthy restaurants

Apps for recipes and local healthy restaurants

There are a ton of apps for all smart phones out there to help you find healthy recipes to cook at home or places to eat and stay within your budgeted calories. “Recipe search” is a great app that has thousands of different recipes that are quick and healthy. If you don’t like to cook or feel like you don’t have time, there are apps for restaurants also. I use “Foodspotting” or “Locavore” to find local healthy restaurants that I haven’t tried. They give you reviews and show you what type of food they serve.

I have lost 6 pounds in the last month and increased my running by 3 miles. I feel healthier and more motivated to lose more. These apps are easy to use and really help you see what you need to do to get in shape.

Calm Yourself with Diaphragmatic Breathing

Calm Yourself with Diaphragmatic Breathing

Surprisingly, few people know how to take a good, deep, and cleansing breath. Even more surprising is how little people know about how important it is to breathe correctly. Constant stress is part of our daily lives, and unfortunately some of the stressors are out of our control. Luckily, breathing is something very much in our control and it can help our bodies and minds a lot more than one might think. By learning to breathe diaphragmatically, or into your belly, you can reduce stress, help yourself cope in a stressful situation, and over time increase your overall sense of health and wellbeing!

The Difference between Paradoxical and Functional Breathing

The Difference between Paradoxical and Functional Breathing

Many people ‘chest breathe’, or raise and lower their shoulders and chest and suck in their abdomen while inhaling and exhaling. This breathing pattern activates the sympathetic system’s stress response, “fight or flight,” which tells your body to increase the stress hormone cortisol, increase heart rate, and send blood to your extremities and away from your organs. This is also known as “paradoxical breathing.” Constantly being in a stressed state can increase problems with blood pressure, digestion, sleep, mood, and a plethora of other common complaints.

Diaphragmatic breathing, or “functional breathing,” is breathing into your diaphragm and abdomen which makes the belly bulge out and the lower rib cage expand on the inhale and deflate on the exhale. This breathing pattern activates the parasympathetic response, “rest and digest,” which tells your body to relax and sends blood back to the organs so you can digest and function properly.

To find out if you are a paradoxical or functional breather, look in the mirror and place one hand across your belly and one across your chest. Take a deep breath in and notice whether or not your chest hand or belly hand is the one moving more. Paradoxical breathers tend to move their chest and shoulders up and down when they breathe, so you’ll notice your chest hand move up. They also suck in their bellies, so you’ll feel this hand move slightly inward. Functional breathers expand their bellies and lower rib cage, so you’ll notice your belly hand move outward. Your chest hand should move very little.

When and How to use Diaphragmatic Breathing

The most wonderful thing about diaphragmatic breathing is you can do it anywhere and at any time. It is not only one of the simplest ways to relax the body and mind, but many other forms of relaxation, such as yoga and meditation, use functional breathing as their cornerstone.

To practice breathing diaphragmatically, sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Focus your attention on your belly. Breathe in through nose slowly and count to 10, filling and expanding first your belly, then your lungs. Hold the breath for 5 seconds. Release the breath slowly through your mouth as if you were blowing out a candle and let all of the air flow out; about 10 seconds. Then repeat the process as many times as needed to feel a sense of calm. Usually about 5 minutes of deep diaphragmatic breathing twice a day is recommended, but if you can build up to 20 minutes twice a day you’ll definitely notice major changes in your stress levels and coping.

While you’re doing these breathing exercises try adding positive imagery, like thinking of beautiful scenery or a relaxing vacation, read more from here. You can also use mantras. For example on the inhale think to yourself, “calm mind,” and on the exhale, “relaxed body.”

Change your Life with Diaphragmatic Breathing

Long term consistency of diaphragmatic breathing can have very profound physiological and psychological effects. Muscles relax, the heart pumps blood more efficiently, the mind calms, stressful situations are handled more effectively, digestion and sleep can improve, and an overall sense of wellbeing can be achieved. If you are looking to change your life and do something good for yourself try beginning with diaphragmatic breathing for 5 minutes twice a day and see what other changes follow.

Tips for Staying Motivated to Lose Weight When You Just Want to Veg Out

Tips for Staying Motivated to Lose Weight When You Just Want to Veg Out

Staying motivated to keep off weight is key to a healthy lifestyle. Sure I lost weight, and I have some more to go, but that doesn’t mean I can get discouraged and eat anything. That doesn’t mean I can give up. That doesn’t mean I just throw in the towel and keep gorging myself.

After losing about 35-40 lbs, I didn’t do what I normally do and slack off and just watch TV. I go to the gym five days a week and sweat up a storm, releasing feel good chemicals such as endorphin and seratonin.

Tips for Staying Motivated to Lose Weight When You Just Want to Veg Out

I pay attention to what I eat, not eating out of boredom. I pine for a walk although recently I have been getting blisters when I walk. That hasn’t stopped me from working out. I use the elliptical trainer and use weights. I spend about an hour at the gym and people are very nice to me there. I didn’t do it so that I could have a hundred lovers. I am not that big of an Ass. I didn’t do it to become a model. I am not that greedy. I didn’t do it to feel superior to other people. I just did it to feel better about myself. To know more about the Lose Weight, read here: https://icrowdnewswire.com/slimy-liquid-test-helfen-die-tropfen-wirklich-beim-abnehmen.

When I realized most fit people work out, I was like, I gotta keep it up. It helps your mood, and if you eat right, it can lead to weight loss. I remember being so happy at 14 when I ate a lot of protein and was a size 12. And I want to get back to that. I don’t want to be vain and unattainable. I just want to be healthy, mind body and soul. I have Jesus now and the bible calls the body your temple. You need food, exercise, rest and surrounding yourself around positive people.

I was harrassed in my High School after I lost weight. My teacher yelled at me. A boy kept coming on to me. And this model who claimed he loved me kept grabbing at me. Distraught, I turned to medicine after highschool. What I needed was proper nutrition. Malnourished, I gained weight on the medicine and I was afraid to lose weight because of my disasterous High School years where everyone just wanted to get high. I went to college, graduated magna cum laude and floundered afterwards. I did learn about communication though.

I think now that I know myself better, that I am sensitive and a dreamer and need to pay attention better to my health, I have gotten a lot better. I rest now instead of pushing myself too hard. I was in Junior Showmanship in Highschool and didn’t get a good nights sleep. I wanted to be a Christian, but I didn’t know any churches. I didn’t have a day off. I kept going and going and going.

After trying to find myself through spirituality, I realize that I need to honor the body. And that I have so much to be grateful for. For a loving family. For my gift of creativity. That I am beautiful. And that I can change.

While I have a ways to go, it is important to keep it up and not get discouraged. And staying motivated is key. Even when I don’t see results. I have to think I lost 4 inches in my waist and I don’t want them back.

The Ultimate 20 Minute Fat Burning Home Workout

The Ultimate 20 Minute Fat Burning Home Workout

Many people complain that they do not have enough time to workout, and I understand that feeling, but here I am going to describe a routine that I have recently tried that not only makes me feel great, but also helps me to burn unwanted fat. This workout is great because you can do it in the comfort of your own home with out any tools or machines. All you need is a clock and twenty minutes.

Okay, remember to wear some comfortable cloths and have a water bottle handy. You will sweat, and you will be thirsty when you are doing this routine. If you don’t sweat you are not burning fat.

simple exercise

To start this routine you will do jumping jacks for 3 minutes. A jumping jack is a simple exercise that will bring your heart rate up so that you are burning fat. Starting this routine with jumping jacks makes sure that your heart rate will be at its best during the rest of the work out. To do a jumping jack stand with your hands at your sides and jump and spread your legs out while also lifting your arms out in a straight line from your shoulders. After you have done this for 3 minutes relax for 30 seconds. Remember to not relax more than that because your heart rate will relax as well, and we do not want that.

After you have done your jumping jack warm up you will continue by doing a series of 8 exercises for 30 seconds each, look at this site. Move from one exercise to the next without stopping. Here I will describe the exercises:

1. The first exercise is the knee lift. This exercise requires you to lay flat on the ground with your knees bent and your hands at your sides. Now pull your knees up to your chin. Remember to keep your hands on the ground and use your abs to pull you forward.

2. Leg lifts are the second exercise in this routine, and they are similar to the first because you start out in the same position except your legs are flat and you bring them straight up so that they are perpendicular to the floor.

3. Knee touches are next, and again you start out in the same position as the first exercise except you bring your hands, arms, and chest up and toward your knees.

4. Squats are done by standing with your hand on your hips and extending one foot forward and bending it at the knee so that your other knee is bent in a downward position. Alternate forward foots in this exercise.

5. Push ups are done by kneeling on the floor with your hands in front of you. Next push your feet back so that you are comfortable and use your arms to move your body up and down from the ground.

6. To do the hip thrust exercise you must lay on the ground with your knees bent. Now lift one foot up and point the toe at they ceiling. With your hands flat on the ground at your sides use your legs and stomach to thrust your hips upward and away from the ground.

These exercises should be done for 30 seconds each with no break in between. Since there are only 6 exercises listed you should do push ups and squats as your first 2 exercises; after that you can continue with the routine as listed.

hundred exercises per session

Remember to start slow; you do not have to do a hundred exercises per session. When I started I could barely do 10 half push ups. If you do this routine everyday it will get much easier, and you will be able to move onto something harder. If you find that you need to stop in between exercises that is okay, but don’t stop for more than 20 seconds because you want to keep your heart rate up.

I hope these exercises have helped you improve your physical condition and your mental condition, and I hope the next time you are feeling tired you do this workout instead of taking a nap because I guarantee it will wake you up and give you more energy than you would realize.

Review – Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights: Jonathan Vankin Pens a Graphic Novel About Culture Clash in Asia

Review – Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights

Fantastic art by Seth Fisher, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Shawn Martinbrough carries two separate stories about Americans in Asia.

Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights originally appeared as two separate comics in Vertigo Pop! Tokyo and Vertigo Pop! Bangkok, and are only loosely related by the theme of Americans abroad. Jonathan Vankin’s stories are engaging enough, but it’s the visually stunning style of the artists that make Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights worth perusing.

Culture Shock in Japan and Thailand

Culture Shock in Japan and Thailand

The first section of the graphic novel follows Steve, a young American working in Tokyo who encounters Maki and her gangster brother Ryuji. Maki is a wild-spirit teenager obsessed with a pop star. As Steve becomes intrigued and lightly obsessed with her she takes him on a whirlwind adventure that involves rescuing and kidnapping her pop idol while being chased by the Yakuza. This light tale hums along the disorientation of Steve and plays Lost in Translation albeit with a male lead in comic form.

The Tokyo that Vankin presents is the one popularized by the current media. The story is light, and Vankin brings a familiarity with the city. However, he fails to present new insights into Tokyo or the experiences of a young American there. While an entertaining story, it falls into the genre of “one crazy night” in Asia and is unable to move past surface impressions of Japan.

The section on Bangkok is darker, focusing on a couple trying to salvage a failing relationship against the back drop of the sex industry in Thailand. Tuesday, an idealistic American and her boyfriend Marz travel to Thailand to recover from infidelity in their relationship. They encounter a pair of sex tourists who involve them with a pair of sisters, one held in debt bondage at a brothel.

Moral ambiguities, idealism, and resignation turn the story which borders on the sensationalistic at times. Unlike the story on Tokyo, the American characters here exhibit deeper emotions as they change during the story. A dark tone and reprehensible characters show a slice of Bangkok though some representations remain off the mark. The story wishes to be taken seriously, but lacks credibility at times even though it attempts to show the seedy side of Bangkok.

Writing Asian Characters

Writing Asian Characters

Vankin captures the run of emotions experienced by Americans in Asia. However, many of his Asian characters remain caricatures. Vankin fails to capture Asian voices with what little dialogue he provides them. Although Asian landscapes and not characters figure prominently, the Asians featured in these stories lack any nuance and have no place other than as cartoony interlopers, read this post here.

Graphic Novel Art

Seth Fisher, the artist for Tokyo Days, creates a vibrant visual style. Every panel is engaging. His colorful rendition of Japan is stunning and shines life onto the story. A heavy manga influence provides the story a unique energy and is incredibly charismatic. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Shawn Martinbrough pencil and ink Bangkok Nights. The style is reminiscent of anime and their work conveys the emotion of the story. Although their art is not as engaging or distinctive as in Fisher’s Tokyo Days, readers will occasionally find themselves lingering over well drawn panels.

Creating a Bootable USB Stick Using Knoppix Linux

Creating a Bootable USB Stick Using Knoppix Linux

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Knoppix is a variety of Linux designed to be booted from a CD. The images that are distributed by the Knoppix project contain an awesome variety of software. With nothing but the Knoppix disc, you can do anything you would normally do with Windows – burning CDs, playing music, word processing, checking email, or surfing the web. The disadvantage to this is that it still requires you to burn a CD and have the disc physically in the computer. Some bright star realized that they had extra USB ports to spare, and wrote tools take the image that would normally be burned to a CD, reorganize the contents, and create a USB stick that would boot it up.

It sounds complicated, and it probably was. Thankfully, today there are small applications to do the task for you.

Bootable USB Stick Using Knoppix Linux

The first thing you will need is a copy of Knoppix. They come out every few months with a new release. These contain new software and new drivers. There are dozens of mirrors of the files, some are faster than others and some are slower than others. I prefer kernel.org’s mirrors, as they have always been fast whenever I use them. Hop on over: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/01/18/2160154/0/en/xtra-pc-reviews-best-linux-usb-stick-product-review-by-rick-finn.html.

Scroll to the bottom. You’re looking for the release with the highest version number – right now the most recent version is 5.1.1. There are six files there. There are two sets – one end in -DE and one end in -EN. There are German and English files, respectively. If you speak German, you want to downlod the -DE. Most of us probably want the -EN, however. You want the .iso, not the .asc files. It should be almost 700 megabytes exactly. This is, not coincidentally, the capacity of a CD.

Next, you’ll need to get this utility. It actually reorganizes the image file. Download it and extract it to a folder. Next, you’ll have to move the Knoppix .iso into the directory you extracted the utility into. Insert your USB stick and double click fixkp2.bat to begin the process. Open up My Computer and note what drive letter your USB stick is assigned – it’s usually D,E,or F, but it depends on the system.

The utility will now ask you if you want to format the flash drive. Type y unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. One case where you would not want to reformat is if you are updating an older image to a newer one. The utility will format your flash drive and begin copying files to it. It will then ask you to make the image bootable. Do this.

USB Stick Using Knoppix Linux

Finally, you will have to restart your system. The Knoppix splash screen should appear, and you just have to press the Enter key to boot into it. You can now take your USB stick anywhere you go and have a set of tools that you know will work when you need them.

Not that if your system didn’t display the Knoppix splash screen, you might need to set the BIOS to boot from USB drives. This is usually the case with older systems.

Can’t Sell Your Home? Think Twice Before Renting it Out

Can't Sell Your Home

Not long ago, my significant other and I visited a bank to talk about getting pre-qualified for a home loan. Everything went swimmingly until we mentioned having to sell his current home before we could comfortably purchase a new one.

The loan officer asked, “Have you considered renting it out?”

Though we were not interested in becoming landlords, there is good reason to believe that more and more homeowners burdened with properties they cannot sell are turning to “reluctant landlording” as a way to avoid foreclosure or selling at a steep loss.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the insurance company Allstate had noted a 27-percent spike in homeowner-to-landlord policy conversions between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. While 2009’s first-time home buyer tax credit may have moved some hard-to-sell properties, and housing forecasts for 2010 are better than they’ve been over the past few years, forecasts also say that foreclosures will peak this year. The Washington Post recently reported that 5 to 7 million homeowners are currently on the brink of foreclosure.

If you are considering renting out your home rather than facing foreclosure or letting it sell for a fraction of its value, ask yourself the following questions before you yourself join the ranks of “reluctant landlords.”

1. Is Your Home Really Rent-Worthy?

Is Your Home Really Rent-Worthy

You may have lived with a drippy bathroom faucet, an occasionally damp basement or a front door that sticks when the weather turns humid. If you didn’t fix these things before trying to sell your home, you’ll have to do it before trying to rent out your home.

If you were to sell your home, the purchaser would negotiate repairs, negotiate price or simply buy your home as-is. In contrast, a tenant will have a wide-open, constant window in which to request repairs that only closes on the day he or she moves out, perhaps to be replaced by another tenant — in which case the window opens again. And anything that breaks or fails to operate correctly while you have tenants will be your responsibility, too.

Property owners living in their own dwellings will often forego or put off minor repairs and maintenance when the cost outweighs the benefits. But if you try this with a tenant when you’re renting out your home, you could be dealing with lots of phone calls and complaints.

2. Do You Have Plenty of Free Time and Lots of Patience?

You may get lucky and rent your house to a tenant who never bothers you and pays his or her rent on time, every month. This, however, is not extremely likely especially if, as described above, you give your tenant any sort of reason to bother you. It is also not extremely likely if you do not have the time and resources necessary to properly screen your rental applicants.

Tenants will sometimes call at inconvenient times, including dinner or during your favorite TV show or when you’re at work finishing up an important project. This is not always a tenant’s fault. Air conditioners seem to break down, pipes seem to burst and basements seem to flood at the most inopportune times — and all require immediate attention. Can your lifestyle accommodate these types of interruptions?

Do you have time to meet with a tax specialist and your insurance provider, not to mention a lawyer, in order to set yourself up as a landlord and protect your rights? Do you have time to research market rent rates and fair housing laws? Last, do you have the time to show your house to prospective tenants over and over again, for a month or possibly more, before you find the right tenant?

You can hire a property management company to do most of these things for you, but it’ll cost you. The website Manage My Property.com reports that property management professionals will charge anywhere from 4 to 12 percent of your tenant’s monthly rent for day-to-day management, but look to pay in the 10-percent ballpark in most markets. In addition, you may pay extra fees for leasing work and maintenance.

Can You Afford Monthly Negative Cash Flow

3. Can You Afford Monthly Negative Cash Flow?

One of the reasons you may be considering renting out your home is because either you can’t stomach the idea of selling at a loss, or you can’t afford to do so. Unfortunately, many first-time landlords underestimate the costs and overestimate the revenue associated with renting their homes out.

If you are still paying a mortgage on your home, you’ll instinctively want to charge a rent rate that reflects not only your monthly payment but also your property tax, insurance, and any utilities you plan to keep in your name. However, the figure you come up with may not be one that your local rental market can bear, warn the how-to experts at Bob Vila.com, especially if you purchased your home at an inflated price during a housing boom or if you have a high interest rate.

Once you arrive at the monthly rent rate that would meet your mortgage payment plus the costs of your property tax, insurance and utilities, compare that figure to the rent prices on similar homes in your area advertised as For Rent in your local paper and on websites like Craigslist.org. If thee-bedroom homes in your zip code are renting for between $800 and $1000 a month, you’ll never be able to attract a tenant who will pay $1400 to rent your own three-bedroom home. There is no amenity in the world worth $400 a month to a typical tenant.

In this case, you’d be looking at a $400 cash flow shortfall per month — $500 if you pay 10 percent of the rent toward property management. And don’t forget the costs you may incur when you go to advertise the house for rent. The worse news is that the rental income you make will be taxable.

There can be tax advantages to renting out your home, though, such as new business expenses to claim and depreciation on the property. You’ll have to decide if these annual advantages make up for your monthly deficit.

It may turn out, after all, that a decision to sell your home at a loss is financially more sound than becoming a reluctant landlord.

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