Short sale in Minnesota: Tash Casso 612.615.9183

Tash Casso MN licensed realtor call 612.615.9183. Do you owe more on your mortgage than it’s worth? Short sales in Minnesota require knowledge and precision. Home owners go through a lot of changes when their income can no longer support their lifestyle.

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Being under water on a mortgage can create stress—bringing homeowners to the crossroads of life changing decisions. Often more questions arise at this stage of the game. This is why it is so important to connect with the right realtor who can represent your best interest.

Are you interested in getting your life back on track? When considering a short sale call Tash Casso MN licensed realtor at 612.615.9183

Six easy ways to stay in touch with your network

We all know the importance of building a strong social network with colleagues and mentors inside and outside of our industry. But once you have identified those contacts with whom you feel there can be a mutually beneficial relationship, how do you strengthen and maintain your bond with them over time?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is reaching out only when you need something. You need to maintain a genuine connection rather than an exploitive one if you plan to build and benefit from those relationships over the long haul. Jess Siegal, Managing Director of Execu|Search has six steps that will help you create a strong social network for when you need it most: (hi bio

Here’s how:

Step One: Connect on LinkedIn. When you meet someone you’d like to network with, your first step should be to add them to LinkedIn (or invite them to join if they haven’t yet) with a personalized message. When you do so, LinkedIn will send you email updates about your new connection, including anniversaries, career changes, promotions, etc. Many people view these notifications as a nuisance in their mailbox. Some even block the emails. I say enable them so you get these emails and don’t miss an important update which translates into an opportunity to reconnect with your contact.

Step Two: Take advantage of birthdays, holidays, and special milestones. Once you receive these updates, be sure to use them to their full potential. If your contact receives a promotion, for example, send a congratulations their way! This also applies to holidays, birthdays, and other events and milestones. Sending an email or calling to say congrats can go a long way and spark some conversation. Follow you networks’ career and never dismiss a contact who makes a move that doesn’t seem relevant to you anymore.

Step Three: Send your connection(s) relevant articles. When you come across something interesting that you think a particular connection would enjoy reading or benefit from in some way, send it over. This is one of the easiest ways to start conversing and, as a bonus, it shows you have them and their best interest in mind. Also look for ways you may be able to help your contacts – and be proactive about letting them know. If you and a new account that could require someone’s expertise, reach out. Or if you can make a recommendation to someone else for them, do it.

Step Four: Keep in touch regarding industry news. There is no better reason to reach out than to discuss the latest advances in your industry and what they mean for your careers. Even an email to ask if your contact has heard of the latest industry news can be a great conversation starter.

Step Five: Invite a contact or two to professional events. Going to a networking event? Bring one—or several—of your current contacts! They may notice something or someone you don’t, and if they make a great connection as a result of your invite, they’ll be sure to keep you in mind for the future as well.

Step Six: Just ask to catch up! If it’s been a while since you’ve spoken to a contact, don’t let the distance grow until you need something. Reach out and simply say that you haven’t spoken in a while and you’d like to reconnect. In most cases, your contacts should be receptive to this and appreciate the honesty. Remember, there are plenty of means for staying in touch, but meeting in person—even for just a quick coffee—is still the best way to network.

If you have a large LinkedIn network that you have not been following these steps with – it’s not too late! Go through your contact list and reach out one by one. Say it’s been a long time and you just want to catch up. And then you are on your way to rebuilding your social capital!

The Best Veterinarian In Las Vegas? Is Google The Judge?

From the aspect of the internet being a source of exposure for a business, and a way for a company to attract new business and customers, a question will usually arise as far as the quality of the actual services or products provided vs. the level of presentation that is received on search engines. Lets face it, Google is the starting point for most information today. If you just had a pipe burst in your house and there is water everywhere, while you are trying to stop the flow you are probably telling someone to find a plumber as quickly as possible. With no frame of reference to make a decision, most people put on this task will go to Google and pick from the first few results presented. This bears the question, how did Google go about deciding which of those businesses it put in front of you in the ordered list it returned? Are those the best plumbers, or are they placed in those positions for some other reason?

One of the most competitive businesses in our area is the veterinary care business. There are literally hundreds of veterinarians in Las Vegas, and the majority of them have a website of some sort that is giving them a presentation on the internet. However, when you Google “Las Vegas veterinarian” or “best veterinarian in Las Vegas” how is Google deciding which of this multitude of businesses who are all providing nearly identical services gets to be in the first ten results it presents on the first page? Is the list actually showing you who the “best veterinarian in Las Vegas” is, or is the list based on something else? Just to clear a few questions up, Google is not a vetting process, and employs no mechanism to judge the quality of one business or product over another, it only is judging the website and the spaces online that are discussing that particular business. These spaces include other websites and social media sites, review and testimonial sites, chat boards, answer websites and blogs. Google looks at the website of the business itself and combines that information with other information regarding the business that is owner controlled, like the Google + page that is verified by the physical location of the business and the phone number. Google looks over addresses that are listing to see if they match, phone numbers and other technical information, then it looks over the type of information listed on the website and compares it with the type of information presented on Google + in the areas beyond business specifics. Google + functions as a combination local listing service and social media space. The owner (or manager) or a business can go into their Google + page and do far more than just put photos and update business addresses and phone numbers. They can use Google + like they would use Facebook, to share information, pictures, stories, conversations, etc. It is a social experience that Google is analyzing and comparing to the information on the business website, and they are using that information to decide where the website will rank in the results.

For our example of a Las Vegas veterinarian, where in these results is the analysis of the quality of services that are provided by the veterinarian, and how is Google factoring the general public feeling about the services? The answer is literally almost nowhere. When it comes to searches that provide the list of 10 or so results that are “map-like” which are controlled almost exclusively through the development of your Google + page and reviews of the business that are done on Google +, there is almost no vetting that is happening in a real-world sense. Instead, Google is looking at the information that is on the website to provide a ranking. This comes in the form of content that is housed on the site, information about services, and how well the information on the site can answer questions that searchers would have. What this means is that if a person searches on Google for “best veterinarian in Las Vegas” they are going to find that Google returns a list of websites that answer the question “who is the best veterinarian in Las Vegas?” To further elaborate, what this means is that Google is looking to the content on the website to answer that particular question, and if it can find what it believes to be an answer to that question inside the content on the site, then that site will rank higher than another that does not answer the question. This does not mean that simply putting into the content on your website “Who is the best veterinarian in Las Vegas? We are!” is going to get you rankings for that particular question. However, addressing the aspects of content that is on a website that proves that you are better at being a veterinarian than the next competitor will provide better rankings. What are the things that would prove you are a better veterinarian than another one in the same city? This boils down to information about your subject. You can provide information about animal treatment and sickness, information about the veterinary practice and the biographies of individual veterinarians. You can provide local information to prove you are important to the local are of Las Vegas, as in pet friendly hotels or dog parks. This type of approach to the website is how Google is deciding who is better and who is the best.

What can be learned from this information is that Google is not NECESSARILY providing the best veterinarian in Las Vegas in the results that are listed for that particular search. It is providing what it believes to be a good list of veterinarians that provide the best information on the subject of “being a veterinarian” and what information it believes you are looking for. Should you trust that the top result on Google for this search is the best one in your area? The answer is absolutely not. Google is not a human being with an opinion, it is a machine that analyzes words on a website, and takes into consideration words that people say about the website. The best way to choose your next veterinarian is to look through the results and get a sense of the professionalism of the clinic…..then visit in person! Ask people at the local dog parks. Read reviews of the services. Google is just a mechanism to provide a list….it cannot make a good decision for you.

How to Trade an Ascending Triangle Chart Pattern

An ascending triangle is a chart pattern that can be used to determine how high a stock will go upon a successful break out of the triangle. It is usually formed after a stock has experienced a substantial price increase. The stock price trades sideways for a period of time to consolidate the recent gains, and this typically takes the form of a triangle. If traded properly, this can be a very profitable set up for a trader.

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1) Attempt to identify the ascending triangle pattern as early as possible. The triangle is characterized by a high price that consistently acts as resistance followed by a series of higher lows. On the accompanying chart of PHOT, the $.40 level acts as resistance to form the upper bound of the triangle while higher lows form the other rising trend line.

2) Calculate the target price level of the triangle pattern. This is somewhat subjective, but to be on the safe side only use the real candlestick bodies to determine the target price. Determine the height of the triangle by subtracting the lowest low of the triangle from the upper bound. On the accompanying chart, the breakout would increase the stock price by $.08. This is found by subtracting $.32 from $.40. The height of the triangle is then added to the upper bound to determine the target price level. On the chart, the target price level would be $.48 which is found by adding $.08 to $.40.

3) Wait patiently for the stock price to trade higher than the horizontal upper bound of the triangle. This is typically accompanied with heavier volume than what was seen during the formation of the triangle. Upon a successful breakout, place a buy order just above the breakout level. Prices tend to move quickly on a successful breakout so it is key to be ready to execute the trade.

4) Enter a stop loss in case of a false breakout. Protecting capital is first and foremost and a stop loss should always be entered. Place a stop just below the horizontal upper bound of the triangle. In this case, a stop at the $.39 level would protect against bigger losses and also confirm that the breakout was unsuccessful.

5) Enter a limit order to sell the trade at the target price level. In this case, a limit order would be entered at the $.48 level. Momentum may cause the stock price to continue higher, but it is best to stick to the original plan and sell at the predetermined target price level.

Follow these 5 steps every time without exception to successfully trade an ascending triangle pattern. It sounds so simple and can be as long as these steps are followed each and every time. In this case, a trader could have made a nearly 20% gain while risking 2.5% – 5% if the pattern failed and the stop loss was triggered.

Jim Sinclair: Russia is one move away from collapsing U.S. economy

On March 17, commodities adviser Jim Sinclair spoke in an interview with Greg Hunter of USA Watchdog on gold, the markets, and ongoing events taking place between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine. During the 30 minute interview, Sinclair laid out a chilling scenario where Russia has positioned themselves to be one move away from collapsing the U.S. economy, and that one wrong move by President Obama could set the entire scenario in motion.

Jim Sinclair: To sanction Russia is to forget that Russia supplies Europe with its gas supplies. I honestly believe sanctioning Russia is the same as shooting yourself in the foot.

Greg Hunter: So Russia could not only say hey, we want gold for our payment (oil), but they could say, hey… we want you to pay us in rubles.

JS: Or pay us in anything. Also, it makes energy cheaper. Why would anyone want to pay in dollars if they can pay in their own currency?

GH: Once Russia started doing that, would there be any coming back from it? (For the dollar) Wouldn’t that be the beginning of the end for the Petro-Dollar?

JS: Russia has the capacity, the inclination of course, to do just one single thing… accept payment for energy in any currency you wish to give. – USA Watchdog
Since the U.S. tied the dollar to oil, the future of America’s monetary system and economy was reliant upon all global oil producers following the Petro-Dollar agreement, which from 1974 to the present has been backed by our economic and military power. But as Russia rose from the ashes of the former Soviet Union, and grew into becoming the world’s largest oil producing nation, the U.S. could no longer enforce the Petro-Dollar through economic and military threats since Russia is their equal when you consider their alliances with China and other BRICs nations.

It is said that stock markets are forward thinking and project what will happen six months into the future. And if you look at what has taken place for the dollar since Ukraine’s uprising started and Russia moved into the Crimea, the dollar itself by falling below 80 on the dollar index, is telling the world that it not only recognizes the potential of becoming irrelevant should Russia bypass the SWIFT system and begin selling oil in any other currency or asset class, but that the U.S. could potentially trigger its own demise by imposing sanctions using the SWIFT system as a weapon, and force Russia to enact their nuclear economic option.

In a global environment where perceptions are reversed, and the United States is now being seen by the world as the ‘Evil Empire’, Russia is using America’s own Petro-Dollar system against them to grow in power and bring the U.S. to the brink of economic collapse. And whether it is Russia or the U.S. itself that pulls the trigger, the future is inevitably rushing towards an end of dollar hegemony. The only question that remains is whether the U.S. has another plan ready to fill the gap, just as they did when they left the gold standard and replaced it with the oil standard forty plus years ago.

Lehigh University students get new housing service

Lehigh University is partnering with, a service that specializes in dealing with all aspects of off-campus student housing. The service includes many features that can be used by both the students and their potential landlords.

The university desired to have an off-campus housing solution for students that would link them with property owners and managers, while maintaining an organized database of properties available for listing. replaces the university’s previous housing service and features a website that gives both the students, landlords, and property managers 24-7 access. The property managers can post pictures, maps, and links to their offerings. While students can perform rental searches, post sublet info, and view roommate profile listings.

In addition, students can filter searches based on personal preferences and price range, seek the newest rentals available, and also search for roommates or post a listing looking for one..

Pirates not welcomed in Sonoma?

I hate to continue to harp on this, and I certainly do not want to seem like a parrot repeating the same old words, but it never ceases to amaze me how crazy government acts when it comes to restaurants and those who invest countless hours of money, time, sweat and passion into a community.

Fact – Food and government do not go hand in hand. I thought former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg was a tremendous businessman and Mayor. But banning Big Gulp? Taking on Coca-Cola, all in the shadows of helping people become healthy is a bit of an infringement in that constitutional right, choice.

Let me explain.

Having followed municipal government is my newspaper career, and having dealt with those who sit in those hallowed city halls during my restaurant career, I can attest the combination is definitely based on love-hate, oil-water, good-guy-bad-guy. Full disclosure- I think anyone who throws their hat into the political ring deserves a medal and a mental examination.

Now before the feathers begin to fly, I must state I do not dislike elected officials. I dislike what happens to many of them once they step behind the inaugural curtain, drink the Kool-Aid and change their colors once the oath of office is taken.

For unexplained reasons, health departments, planning commissions, building inspectors and even citizens with an ax to wield look at restaurants as fair game for citations, warning letters and unsuspecting visits at inopportune times to inflict the power of the people.

Take the recent controversy over Burgers and Vine in Sonoma, California. After a historic building was renovated, remodeled, retro-fitted and reopened after being on the rental market off and on for seven years, were the new owners awarded a key to the city? No.

The owners were cited because someone complained the Pirate’s Flag – flying high – two feet – above the building, was not representative of what Sonoma stands for. We wouldn’t want anyone to think a group of Pirates, currently big in Somalia, had taken over the historic creamery.

Has the world gone mad? A controversy in wine country about a Pirates Flag, really.

Last week the ice cream parlor in Sonoma came under scrutiny because the door was too pink. Tell Pink that. She’d love it.

This week it’s the Pirates Flag? Where’s Clint Eastwood when we need him. Or Johnny Depp?

Once, in Deephaven, Minnesota, I had a visit from the Mayor at the time, because someone complained my business, The Cottagewood General Store, did not carry French’s Mustard. To the chagrin of my wife and partner, Karen, I ordered a five year supply of French’s Mustard – 15 cases – and did a pyramid stack in the window, explaining the reasoning behind the display. The complaining individual asked if I could take the display down as he was getting heat from the neighbors who supported the store. I accommodated, gladly.

Few complaints after that.

Now, I am not suggesting that Burgers and Vine’s owner’s ignore the municipal mandate and leave their flag up. Hell no. Take that down.

If the government doesn’t want anyone to eat their burgers or drink their brews under a Pirate’s Flag, I completely understand. Well, not really, but I have a solution.

I think in light of the Pirate’s Flag and in celebration of there being light in the corner again, everyone should wear a Pirate’s Eye Patch into Burgers and Vine to support the new owners.

Please leave the parrots outside. We wouldn’t want the health department to get annoyed.

Denominators relevant to establishing domain and brand value

Without actually designing products myself, I’ve long come to a mutual conclusion that products and I don’t quite agree on clear definitions of ‘value’. Same goes with vehicles, services that I’m foreign to and even prostitution (although I’ve not personally attempted valuation of the latter). One area where I’ve become quite masterful is domain value in relation to branding, the never-ending perpetual cyber façade which pits 30 definitions of domain brevity against each other. Whereas I wouldn’t personally pay $3M for some domain name I’ll only use for several decades, others have. And continually will.

When learning how to brand your business, one question that endlessly fazes my daily activities: what denominators are actually relevant in establishing something as widely misunderstood as domain valuation and brand worthiness? Let’s dissect:

How Badly Do You Want It?

Much like lining up outside some powerful drug dealer’s home waiting for crack, sellers know that buyers will eventually line up, begging for their domain property for reasons unbeknownst to them: perhaps all the seller knows is the buyer wants it. And are willing to pay dearly just to own it – even for just months. Hands down, without even starting the clock, this perhaps defines domain value better than any metrics conceivable. We call this, in sales nomenclature, ‘bring your own Vaseline’ since someone is about to get reamed without the benefit of lubrication in this seller-friendly situation.

Buyers automatically increase premium domain name’s worthiness tenfold simply by specifying their unwavering devotion towards purchasing said name. Properties sitting inside idle parking accounts that, for all intents and purposes, have ‘high net worth’ to owners are simply expensive pixels to viewers since ownership necessitation has never been clearly specified by anyone. For example, those who are branding in the print industry may wish to find Vista Print Coupons for the benefit of branding their own business merch.

How ‘Trendy’ Is The Name?

Arm & Hammer isn’t pretty. It barely smells good, if at all, to boot. However, it was the hottest thing since Prohibition whiskey when it first came out. Today, social media, Edward Snowden and scores of oddities I cannot keep up with rule mainstream media and fill online shopping carts. Popularity, your second most important telltale sign of developmental potential, rules the domain value world with unruly power. Sellers usually capitalize on what’s growing, going and blowing with the commerce winds to make hefty profits off your thirst for quick results.

Should your name have old school appeal which attracts youthful and adult audiences equally, expect your value to increase since many older topics tend to hold long-term mainstream popularity, too.

How Easily Could I Establish Awareness?

Orkut isn’t what you’d call ‘cute or funny. However, it does sound interesting when slurring it after drinking twenty beers – and the name found its way through search engines rather quickly. Of course, Linked In sounds more indicative to services it provides; so what’s our point? Getting great adult videos from is more indicative of someone that likes sensuality, thereby meriting a different kind of crowd.

The third value hiker in domain and brand valuation is relative to how quickly, easily and profitably one can develop said business – with or without domain attached – without spending hefty marketing dollars; by rule, you could easily dump $.15 cents off each dollar for marketing preparation and campaign launching difficulty. One could clearly restore that loss if premium names containing single words, household phrases or anything else brand-worthy is being sold if the previous two environments are favorable.


Domain sellers have long established valuation based off what other names sold for, strange analytical data configurations and whatever else is deemed appropriate. Personally, whether it’s’s or premium keyword loaded names means little if nobody wants it – yet when they do, expect something else to take control of the buyer’s final decision and, inevitably, drive prices to a more mutually respectable level.

Aggression against the Ukraine means no Russian vodka at Bob’s Package Store

Bob Gilbertson, owner of Bob’s Package Store, recently made news across all of Tennessee when he pulled all Russian vodka from the shelves of his West Knoxville alcoholic beverage store. Bob is troubled by the recent Russian aggression in the Ukraine.
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Bob is not Ukrainian and there is not a huge population of Ukrainians in Knoxville. This was more a point of honor for the mild mannered Bob. To show that he is serious, Bob has a sign outside the store announcing the boycott and one inside the store that features a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin, shirtless and riding a horse, above it.

When asked if there had been any reaction to the boycott, Bob stated that there are some die hard Stolichnaya Russian Vodka fans.

Knoxvillians need not despair of the Ukrainian crisis depriving them of vodka. Bob’s carries Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Deep Eddy Vodka, both of which are United States brands. According to the distributor, Bob’s sells more Deep Eddy Vodka than any other store in Tennessee.

Of course, Bob’s also carries vodka brands from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and France. In solidarity with the Ukraine, West Knoxville will make do with fine brands of vodka.

Can you use percentages to help gauge finances?

Do you know what percentage of your net income your debt and living expenses should fall under? Most people do not. Financial experts recommend that you find out. Are your budget categories worked out according to the percentages? Setting amounts higher than what is recommended will place a toll on those unplanned or emergency expenses. With these costs an involuntary variable, how much control will you have in the end?

Budgets need to balance. If you have one category too high and another one lower then it will all work out. Too many heavy sided categories will deflate any attempts to manage money.

There is no exact science behind these percentages. The numbers will vary depending on what part of the county you live. It is best to use them as a guide according to your financial situation.

Housing expenses – A mortgage should not consume more than 25% of the monthly household income. Another 10% of the income will be eaten by insurances, property tax, maintenance and repairs. Pay attention to the added expense when purchasing a new home. Make sure you can afford the neighborhood.

Consumer debt – 10% of the household income should contain credit card debt, student loans and medical debt. This is a crucial piece of the budget. Most often, it is this piece of the budget that creates the most trouble. Have you ever added your total credit card debt? Have you taken every necessary step to make student loans more affordable? Government loans offer many relief opportunities, especially those with income-based payments. Any consumers using payday loan help to support a budget is too often a result of this category being off the percentage target.

Utilities – This category should fall under 15% of your monthly net income. Electricity, gas, water, oil and trash disposal should all fit; even on the most expensive months.

Transportation – This 15% includes vehicle payments, insurances, gas, parts and repairs. It also includes any rental or public transportation needs.

Savings – 10%…just do it!

The remaining 25% will go to everything else. It includes your food and clothing, medical co-pays, health insurance and prescriptions. Entertainment, gifts, school supplies and children’s activities will fall into this group. This percentage seems big until you try to fit it all in, including everything unmentioned. When credit cards are used to balance out this category, it tilts its own category. You have to keep it balanced so you don’t go into default, charged late or overdraft fees, or fall into the path of payday loan help.

Use these numbers as your guide. It is important to figure in all costs so there is no room for error. Take the time to plan for larger purchases rather than charging and paying more in the end.