A new year is almost here and Twist OP would like to thank all of our customers, staff and friends for your continued support. I think Brad Paisley say's it well - “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”
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As gentle as a snowflake, may peace come to your heart. Beautiful words from a Japanese proverb for a beautiful time of the year. We wish you peace and happiness for the holidays and the coming year.
Your friends at Twist OP.
It's that time of the year again... the holidays. First, you do
the shopping and then you do the shipping, particularly if you have a lot of
family that lives out of state. If you're planning on traveling by plane to
visit them, don't check your packages as baggage; instead, ship them well in
advance so they are waiting for you when you arrive.
It is undoubtedly a busy time. In November, UPS estimated that on its peak day, December 20, it
would deliver more than 21 million packages worldwide... the equivalent of
14,400 packages every minute. That number is predicted to be higher this year.
Your package doesn't have to get lost in the mayhem. Follow these steps to make
shipping your packages as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Select the right box
Choose a box that is slightly larger than
the item you are sending, so that you will be able cushion the item with packing
material on all sides. Properly label the package and include a return address.
Also put your return address on the inside of the package. This is helpful if
the shipping label gets torn off or if the writing becomes unreadable. If you
are reusing a box, cover any previous labels or cross out any previous address
information with a heavy black marker.
2. Pack the item
Pack the item with bubble wrap, peanuts, foam or
paper. Close and shake the box to check whether you have enough cushioning. Add
more packing materials if the items shift. Don't forget to include a shipping
label inside the box.
3. Seal the box
Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced
packing tape or paper tape that is at least two inches wide. Avoid using masking
tape, cellophane tape, cord, string or twine. Tape the opening of the box and
reinforce all seams.
4. Ship perishables correctly
If you want that cheese basket or fruitcake to arrive fresh, experts recommend shipping it on a Monday, Tuesday or
Wednesday, ideally via next-day delivery. If you send them on a Thursday or
Friday, make sure the foods can handle extremely hot or cold temperatures for up
to four days. This may require the use of frozen gel packs.
5. Insure valuable gifts
Ship expensive jewelry and other
valuables via next-day delivery in a box no smaller than 7 by 4 by 2 inches.
Look into insuring the item through your insurance company, as most shipping
companies put limits on claim amounts. Don't attach anything to the outside of
the box that would reveal the item's value.
6. Save your receipt and tracking number
Your item should arrive safe and sound, but if it doesn't, be sure you've kept your receipt and the
tracking number. This will be the only way to prove that you actually did ship
the item. It will also help your carrier locate the item if it was delivered to
the wrong address.
7. Ship irregularly shaped items in the right packaging
Use mailing tubes for posters and artwork. They are inexpensive and come in a
variety of sizes to ensure that the poster will not be creased upon arrival at
8. Shop around
To get a sense of how much it will cost to send a
package somewhere, call these numbers and use the automated rate services: U.S.
Postal Service, (800) ASK-USPS (275-8777); FedEx, (800) GO-FEDEX (463-3339);
UPS, (800) PICK-UPS (742-5877); DHL, (800) CALL-DHL (225-5345). You'll need the
zip code of the recipient, the weight of the package and the gift's basic shape
(so you can choose, for example, whether to ship it in a box, envelope or tube).
Note: Be sure and check with your carrier about any specific packing
requirements. Some carriers assess additional handling charges for:
. Any article that is not fully encased in an outside shipping container.
. Any article that is encased in an outside shipping container made of metal or wood.
. Cans or pails that are not fully encased in a shipping container of corrugated cardboard.
. Irregularly shaped or oversized items.
Happy shipping from Twist OP.
Santa has embraced modern communications services and you can stay in touch
with him online. If there are kids in your household, keep this list of fun
websites handy for use during the holiday season. They’re sure to add a little
extra excitement to the pre-Christmas countdown.
CHECK IF YOU’RE ON THE NAUGHTY OR NICE LIST
HAVE SANTA CALL YOUR CHILD FOR FREE
FOLLOW SANTA ON GOOGLE MAP
WATCH NORAD TRACK SANTA
By the way, faster
Internet service will make all your online activities more enjoyable and will go
great with that new laptop or tablet you’re hoping Santa brings.
If you've pumped gas, used a grocery cart, or touched an escalator handrail,
you've come into contact with a few of our most germ-ridden public places. But
what about less public spots, like your office? Turns out that's a hot bed of
bacteria too. Before cold and flu season gets into full swing, let's take a look
at the top 10 "germiest" places at work.
1. Office phone
- According to University of Arizona research, your office phone gets coated
with bacteria from your mouth and hands, harboring about 25,000 germs per square
2. Keyboard and Mouse - Unavoidable and
3. Desktop - Most of us don't wipe
down our desktop before and after eating lunch or a snack, yet food particles
can be a breeding ground. And if you place your purse or briefcase on top your
desk, you've just added to the petri dish.
4. Fax and copier machines - While the toilet seat gets regular cleaning, have you seen
anyone sanitize these recently?
5. Communal kitchen items - The communal coffee pot, refrigerator, and microwave are all
laden with illness-causing germs.
6. Water cooler - The spout rarely gets disinfected and you often see people filling their already
used water bottles or cups with it, sometimes touching the spout directly.
7. Shared pens - You might want to think twice about
letting a co-worker use your pen. On average, surface germs lurk for up to 72
8. Common areas - Conference room armrests,
doorknobs, light switches, and railings, touched by many hands and cleaned only
occasionally, if that.
9. Vending machine - Beware the
innocent vending machine. Fingers, money, and food - a great combination for
harboring potential pathogens. Neither the vendor filling it nor the cleaning
crew wipe down this germy beast.
10. Elevator buttons -
There's a reason you see people using their elbow to press their floor.
Even the cleanest person comes into contact with various bugs and bacteria on a
daily basis. While frequent hand washing remains your best defense, add an extra
layer of protection by using disinfectant wipes on frequently touched items and
keeping a hand sanitizer available. And, just in case the bug bites, be sure to
have a fresh supply of cold and flu medicine on hand. With these tips in mind,
you can stay strong and healthy this season and all year long. At Twist OP, we've got you covered with cleaning supplies, wipes and a large collection of pens (in case you don't want to share).
When it comes to office budgets, 'tis the season to use it or lose it. You know
the drill. Your 2013 budget for office supplies was x, and you've spent a lot
less than x. Guess what? That smaller number is your new 2014 budget... unless
you act fast.
While it's important to be a good steward of your
department finances, especially now, you could actually save your company money
and work more efficiently next year by making the most of your 2013 budget
Stock up and save. At Twist OP, we have tons of products on sale.
Assess your current supplies and poll others in your department to
see what they will need, preferably for several months or longer. Be sure to
consider all the "consumables" you use like ink, toner, paper and pens. Rather
than ordering a few items here and there throughout the year, consolidate your
first quarter's needs into one shopping list. This will make you more efficient
and save on number of trips, gas and delivery expenses.
Organize for year-end. Sure as the seasons change, when December hits, there's always the
need to wrap up the year, finalize files and pack away the documents you need to
save. Color-coded files, binders, tab dividers, and storage boxes are ideal for
things you need to keep, shredders for things you don't.
Plan for the new year. In addition to files and personal planners for the new year, think
about any new projects on the horizon. Do you have the right computer system?
Software? The right filing and desktop tools? Does your audiovisual equipment
meet your changing needs? Take advantage of year end to gear up for the new one.
Twist OP will be happy to help you find ways to stretch your budgeting dollar even further and plan for a successful 2014.
6 Simple Steps Staying Safe and Secure Online
You would think twice before walking down a dark alley at 2AM. But when it comes to online
safety, too many of us do just that. In haste, we don't stop to think about the
seemingly innocent download or double check URLs before making a purchase.
Scammers wait for a weak moment when your guard's down. Every day hackers write
new code and develop new schemes to steal your personal information and money.
But with a little vigilance you can keep yourself and your computer stay safe
and secure using the following tips.
1. Keep your antivirus software up-to-date
Anti-virus software is your best protection against the
worst kind of computer problems ? viruses. While most viruses enter via email or
downloads some can spread through USB disk drives, leading some companies to
disable the port. It's important to keep your anti-virus software current or
enable it to update automatically.
2. Beware of downloading
The fastest, easiest way for hackers to get into your computer is to get you
to install it yourself. It starts out innocent enough. You visit a site to
download a useful new desktop enhancement you've heard about. After poking
around, you determine the site looks legitimate and start your download. What
you don't know is the software you installed also includes a few extra programs
that allow them access to your computer files and passwords or include programs
that watch your activity online. Often hackers will use someone elses software
and add viruses to it, making it hard to tell which software is actually
genuine. If in doubt, conduct more research or ask for professional help before
3. Don't trust email
Email is a way of life, and unfortunately a preferred choice for many increasingly clever scams. Gone are
the days of ungrammatical emails from a Nigerian prince. Todays scams are
well-written and more sophisticated than ever - a friend stranded penniless in a
foreign country, an email for a missed delivery, confirmation of a purchase
never made, work-at-home scams, immediate cash advances, not to mention pleas
from lovelorn ladies. Use common sense. Don't download attachments, click on
links or enter passwords or personal information unless you feel 100 percent
4. Back it up!
Think for a moment about the files you have on your computer: proposals, invoices, spreadsheets, photographs, and years
of work. Now imagine it's all wiped out. It would be impossible to recreate, yet
too many of us do not regularly back up. Whether using external drives or an
automatic online back-up program, it's easy. You may never have to use it, but
if you do, you'll be thankful you did!
5. Different Sites, Different Passwords
Hackers know most of us use the same username and
password for various sites whether they're important sites like your bank or
less important like registration to an online trade publication. After all,
it's a hassle to remember or create a log for all your passwords. Using the same
password, however, significantly weakens your security. If you're not going to
create a different password for every site, at a minimum change it for each site
that has access to your financial data. It can save you a lot of grief down the
6. Log out
Again, it's a hassle, but offers greater protection. When you're done using a site, simply log out. Next time you log in,
you will need to type in your password again, but that can be a good thing
because hackers don't know it. If certain web pages are open, there are specific
types of attacks that can take over and transfer money or wreak havoc on your
system. Fortunately, most browsers can now detect this type of threat, but every
now and then they fail. Logging out gives you that extra layer of protection and
peace of mind.
The internet has become a necessity for conducting
business and everyday life. Unfortunately, the nature of computers and
vulnerability of unsuspecting users make it a prime target for the unscrupulous.
Need advice? Twist OP can help you secure your computer
and your business so you can rest easy. Call or stop by today.