Making the Most of Your Military Training

So now your time in the service is winding down and you're probably looking forward to greener pastures (or fair winds and following seas). Regardless of how much planning you are putting into your upcoming separation or retirement, there is probably just that slight nagging sensation in the back of your head that pops up with the thought:

"What am I going to do for a job?"

Indeed, it is a pretty hefty concern. After all, a few years of intense training, long hours and hard work and you've gotten pretty good at your job. What if you can't find a similar job that pays around the same when you come home? Worse yet, what if there is no employment for a person with your training outside of the military? Fear not, you are treading where thousands of fellow veterans have trod over the centuries. Many problems can be avoided simply by realizing what exactly you have in terms of marketable skills.

Licenses, Permits, Certifications

So you were a Paramedic in the service with 6 years of experience. You could probably keep up with an Emergency Room physician if put to the test. However, be aware that military paramedic training does not necessarily carry over to the civilian world. You'll need to check with your state as to specific requirements for certification of EMT's and Paramedics to see if any of your training does, in fact, carry over. Otherwise, you may need to enroll in a civilian training program to be eligible to obtain a necessary license.

Always check into requirements in your state before you assume that you have a "guaranteed" job back home. The fact is, hospitals and ambulance companies may be dying to hire the person I just described because of his/her experience and qualifications, but without that license, they are out of luck.

But everyone else is OK, right? Only the former Medics and Corpsmen have to worry about licenses? Sorry, friend. This will also become an issue if you held a position like Barber, Electrician, Plumber or Military Police in the military. Check with your state's appropriate licensing boards.

My Military Training Doesn't Count!

So you've checked with your state and they don't accept your military training for the purposes of obtaining a license. Here you have a few options as you move forward.

  1. Find another career. If you are getting out at age 22 or 23 and intend to go back to college, this isn't the greatest tragedy. Likewise, if you really didn't care for your career and always wanted to be something else (Butcher, Baker, Candlestick maker etc.) now is the perfect opportunity to go back to school and transition into a completely new career field. Aside from college and Vocational Technical Programs, consider union apprenticeships as well.
  2. Suck it up and swallow your pride. So you were a Master Electrician in the Navy, a purveyor of plumbing expertise in the Army or the best darn medic in the whole Air Force. Now that you are home your state says you have to go to a school approved by them before you can even consider getting a job in the field you have excelled in. While this requires a great deal of humility, keep in mind that this might also be a blessing in disguise. Things went differently in the military, and now you are bound by state and local regulations which you may be completely unaware of. Additional training could help you hone your skills and become even more proficient in your trade.

Other Professions

So the medic gets out and becomes a paramedic, the dental hygienist gets out and becomes a dental hygienist, where does that leave the Deck Seaman, the Infantryman or the Combat Engineer? Welcome to a crossroads in your life. You will find now that there is no direct career path if you worked in a combat arms position or simply held a job that was very much service specific (in the case of the deck seaman). First, one must consider what skills they have acquired.

Management and Supervisory Positions

The Military called you an E-4 Supply Clerk who was responsible for ordering new materials. Put that on your resume and you can assure yourself more time collecting unemployment. Translated into civilian jargon, you were a Purchasing Agent.

As a recently appointed E-5, you supervised five forklift operators and a few inventory specialists in an ammo depot. Unless you are applying for a Government Service job at an ammo depot, you'd be wise to sell yourself to prospective employers as a Warehouse Supervisor.

Generally those in paygrades E-4 and above at least have a fair claim for management and supervisory positions provided they actually supervised people. Remember, however, that you no longer carry the authority of an NCO or Petty Officer. Employees are not bound by federal law to listen to what you have to say, and now cursing at employees is a great way to find yourself unemployed again.

Non-Traditional Options

So, the Army sent you to HALO (High Altitude-Low Opening) Freefall school. Ever consider becoming a skydiving instructor?

The Navy had you work in the Criminal Investigative Division. Ever think about a career as a Private Investigator?

You spent years working in the Personnel Office. You'd probably be a real asset to a Staffing Agency.

So you were a Master Diver? Consider donning the scuba gear once more, on the outside, people pay big money for that stuff.

In Conclusion..

No one is guaranteed a high paying job with an expense account. There are jobs out there, however, and you are just as qualified (if not more) than your civilian counterparts. Don't bore prospective employers with sea stories filled with jargon and curse words. Show employers that you have a lot to offer their company but are also willing to learn. Best of luck in the job search.

How to Save Money by Using Coupons, Without the Beginners Mistakes

Well first things first, before you can use coupons you have to find coupons. There are many ways to get coupons; coupons can be found on food packages, most Sunday newspapers, Wal-Mart's "All You magazine" (sold only at Wal-Mart), and coupon clipping websites. As you begin to collect your coupons keep in mind that you won't just walk out of the store with a cart load of free items on your first shopping trip. There is a system to getting the most out of your coupons, and it also takes time.

Beginner Mistake #1Print any and all coupons you can find online. In my experience this was a huge mistake, you most likely are not going to use all of these coupons. And when you are ready to use them they will be expired. 90% of online printed coupons expire within two weeks of printing; so this will be a problem when you looking to use that great coupon with a killer store sale.

Beginner Mistake #2- Use a coupon as soon as you get it. This is fine if you are just looking to save a few dollars here and there; after all don't we want to use coupons to help us save? That is true however, if your goal is to save as much as possible hold onto your coupons. Example: you have a $1.00 off coupon for glade air freshener, but glade this week is not on sale and is priced at $2.99. Let me start by saying most coupons from the Sunday papers expire about 3-12 weeks and on some occasions if the discount is a really high value coupon for maybe $5.00 or $10.00 it may expire in a week. Now with that being said you may say okay $1.99 is not a bad price, but many times these items go on sale for about $1.00 so this could be a free item!

Beginner Mistake #3- Wait for the store flyer to learn what is on sale. With the internet things are now more advanced, so now you could just type CVS scan with the upcoming week or whatever store you like. This makes it a little easier when you are trying to decide should I use that coupon this week, or is it priced better next week. Most time you can even see the weekly sales ads two weeks in advance.

You can get started on your coupon collection by purchasing Sunday papers that have coupons. (When I first started couponing the advice I was given was to purchase one paper per person in your household). You can also print coupons from your home; and best of all there are websites that clip coupons and mail them to you for a small clipping fee, or they will send you the whole inserts. A few sites that I use and like are,, and

Now that you have your coupons, you will need to check sale papers for your local stores. Pair those sale items with coupons that you have, this is how you will get your items free or at a very low price. If you don't have time to search all of you coupons, there are site that will do this for you for free. You can find these sites by typing in the search box CVS matchups 5/20/2012 whatever store you like. Some stores will allow you to use overage from higher priced coupons to be applied towards things that you won't normally have coupons for. These could be things like meat, produce, and so on. Some stores like ShopRite and Pathmark offer a coupon for a certain dollar amount off of your next shopping order, when you buy certain items. So it is good to keep eye out for these types of deals.

I know that all of this sounds simple because it somewhat is; but it takes time to organize your coupons, compare store sale prices, and make a detailed list. But the most important thing that you must do is find out the coupon policy for each store that you shop at. This is usually available on the stores website, or you can send an email from the websites contact us tab and request the policy to be sent to you. This is important because some stores only allow you to use a certain amount of the same coupons per order, some will not double coupons, etc. It is also very important in to check to see if the store has changed their coupon policy, because they will not give you notice that their coupon policy has changed. Unfortunately this is something they won't tell you until you are trying to use coupons according to the stores old coupon policy.

Another thing to watch out for is stores that are now changing their coupon policies after a popular show, extreme couponing aired. Coupon manufacturers are also cracking down on how coupons can be used, and in what quantities. Many stores are no longer offering overage on coupons. Example: if a product goes on sale for three dollars and you have a coupon for five dollars off that same item, many stores will no longer give you the two dollars change. Nor will they allow you to use the overage for you to apply to other items that you do not have coupons for. What they will do is adjust the coupon amount down to the price of the item, and you will still be responsible for taxes on that item.

However there are some ways around these coupon changes. The most important thing is, as I mentioned before, know your stores current coupon policy and check for updates often. Another thing to consider is possibly changing where you normally shop; going to different stores may be the way to get the best possible deals. It also helps to be open to new brands, products, ideas. Because usually as new products come out, coupons for these products are often put out to promote them.

I hope that the tips that I have shared are a help to you, and help you get started on the road to successful couponing and great savings. As always happy couponing.

Banned Books and Ersatz Englishmen

Banned Books and Ersatz Englishmen

When I was nine years old, I was taken to see the brand new movie version of “West Side Story” — and was wowed. Not since Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” had I come home so full of the story and music of a film. (I had driven my cousins, Frankie and Paulie, whose house backed ours, crazy by endlessly singing “I… know… you… I walked with you once… upon… a dream….”) Naturally I asked my parents for the book, and naturally they bought it for me.

It was a book of the screenplay — something not commonly seen in the early ’60s. I read it the way I usually read books back then in the days when my eyes were young: I devoured it and then I devoured it again. I don’t remember which reading I was on when Paulie, the older cousin, wandered in and saw me so engaged.

“Your mom lets you read that?” he asked, not impertinently; he truly wondered whether a child should be reading what he considered adult material. (I think he was 12 at the time; that was practically a grownup.)

I was flabbergasted by his question. It wasn’t that I felt my reading ability or maturity were being challenged; I simply never had heard of someone’s not being ALLOWED to read something! The very concept was mind-boggling to me then, and it still is, today.

What did not boggle but merely tickled my mind about having Frankie and Paulie as neighbors as well as cousins was Paulie’s rather peculiar habit of passing away on a regular basis. My sister and I would pad across the two yards to visit Frankie and Paulie, only to discover Frankie in mourning. Paulie, it seems, had contracted some nameless but swiftly deadly disease and had hula-hooped off this mortal coil. By amazing coincidence, Paulie’s distant twin brother had arrived from England to take his place.

I can’t speak for my sister but although these devilish cousinfolk didn’t fool me for an instant, Frankie-as-mourner was so convincing, and Paulie-as-English-brother was so charming and his accent so exotic, that I just had to go along with the game in order to enjoy the entertainment.

In defiance of all medical convention, not to mention the laws of physics, cousin Paulie himself always managed to resurrect himself some time later that same day, and by some miracle all extra siblings had been exorcised.

I still have my class photo from the fifth grade and I am the only child in it; everyone else looks exactly as I remember them, and since they were (and are) my peers, they look like people-my-age, which is 47 at the moment. They don’t look 47, but they look my age. (Don’t try to figure it out mathematically; that’s not the way it makes sense.) I, in the photo, am nine years old. Since I am no longer nine years old, I, in the photo, am a child. Those other nine-year-olds in the photo are MY age.

I don’t have any photos of Frankie and Paulie (or the English twin). Never having seen them as grownups, I remember them as being MY age, so they are, in my memory, adults.

See what comes of reading grownup stuff too early? You start thinking you ARE one.

Major League Baseball Records for Allowing Home Runs

There are several Hall of Fame Major League Baseball players that have achieved some notoriety for all the wrong reasons, such as surrendering home runs. Of the top ten pitchers at allowing home runs to fly out of the ballpark all time, half a dozen are enshrined in Cooperstown. Robin Roberts, the career leader in allowing the long ball, served up over five hundred homers in his almost twenty years in baseball, while the single season leader, Bert Blyleven, while not a Hall of Famer, managed to eclipse Roberts' single campaign standard of 46 when he turned and saw an even fifty balls leave the grounds after he threw a pitch in 1986.

Roberts stands alone on the career homers allowed roster, with a 21 dinger cushion on the number two hurler, the long time Cubbie, Ferguson Jenkins. Roberts toiled mostly for the Phillies of the Fifties and early Sixties, leaving baseball after the 1966 campaign. He was a power pitcher with great control, with a 2.61 strikeout to walk ratio, leading the senior circuit in this statistic five times. Roberts also led the National League in giving up the long ball five times, with his 46 in 1956 the gold standard until Blyleven came along and threw his 50 in 1986, a span of thirty years. Roberts entered the Hall of Fame in 1976, a six-time twenty game winner with 286 lifetime wins.

Third behind Jenkins, who pitched for a number of squads for 19 seasons and led his leagues seven times in home runs allowed, is the knuckleballer Phil Niekro, who fell just a pair of homers short of Fergie with 482. Niekro four times was the culprit when it came to giving up the highest homer totals in a season. Fourth all time is Don Sutton, who in 23 campaigns never once was a league leader in this category, despite watching 472 men circle the bases after clobbering one of his offerings. Lefty Frank Tanana is the first southpaw on this list, as the man with the 240-236 career won-loss record allowed 448 homers in 21 seasons.

Sixth all time at this not-so-wonderful endeavor is Jamie Moyer of the Phillies, who is the current leader among active players. Moyer depends on his pinpoint control, and when he is off just a little the result can be very bad, as in 439 men hitting the ball a long way. Moyer is a handful of homers in front of Warren Spahn, with Blyleven in eighth place all time with 430 given up, but not for a lack of trying.

Bert's prominence in this department was odd, given that prior to 1986 the most home runs he had allowed in one year were the two dozen he threw in 1975. Then came the record-shattering season, a year in which Blyleven, at the age of 35, actually went 17-14 for the Twins, even though he permitted homers at an alarming rate. Even more remarkable is that he gave up almost ten less base hits than innings pitched that year, 271 innings to 262 hits. The same was true but even more so in 1987, when he was reached for 249 hits in 267 innings, with 46 of them being home runs. Blyleven would be one-two, tied with Roberts for that second big homer campaign, if not for Jose Lima, who came along and was bombed for 48 home runs in his 7-16 2000 season for the Houston Astros. Moyer's 44 given up in 2004 rounds out the top five.

Among active hurlers, Moyer has a safe margin over rotund David Wells, as Jamie has seen 439 home runs show up in the box scores and credited to his name after his games while David has allowed 402. Arizona's Randy Johnson's recent back surgery now may make it possible for him to be caught by the Yankees' Roger Clemens, as the "Rocket" is just five behind Johnson's 363 homers allowed. After those two certain future Hall of Famers comes Mike Mussina of the Yankees with 359, Curt Schilling of Boston at 344, and the Mets' Tom Glavine with 340. The youngest pitcher in the top fifty active home run tossers is the White Sox's Jon Garland, who at age 27 has given up 181. To reach Roberts record, Jon would have to be good enough to stick around for ten more seasons and bad enough to give up 33 home runs each of those years, not likely since he has only once allowed more than 28 in his eight seasons in the bigs.

Where You Can Find English Bookshops in Madrid

Maybe you're just passing through or maybe you're around for a while. Whatever the circumstances, you suddenly find yourself with an urgent need: books in English, stat. But you're in Madrid! What's a person supposed to do?

Fear not! There are several places in Madrid where you can buy English-language books.

J & J Books and Coffee

This combination bar/used bookstore is a staple for the English-speaking community. Have a mocha or a glass of wine in the cozy café on ground level (the bartenders all speak English!), then head downstairs to browse the stacks. There's a large section of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) textbooks, as well as novels, non fiction, and children's literature. You can even trade in your old books for store credit.

More info : Calle de Espiritu Santo 47. Metro stop: Noviciado. Visit their website.

Petra's International Bookshop

This bookstore is tucked in a side street but it's worth the effort of tracking it down. It's crammed full of used books in English, as well as French, German, and other languages. Most employees speak English. Closed on Sundays.

More info: Calle de Campomanes 13. Metro stop: Santo Domingo or Ópera. Visit their website.

Pasajes Libreria Internacional

If it's new books you want, head for Pasajes Libreria Internacional. They have an interesting selection of recent releases in English and many other languages. Closed on Sundays.

More info: Calle de Genóva 3. Metro stop: Alonso Martínez. Visit their website.

El Corte Inglés

This upscale department store chain has stores all over Madrid. Head for the libros (books). Usually there's a small selection of English-language literature, although it varies from store to store.

More info : Visit their website. (In Spanish)


Again, it's a chain, this time specializing in media and entertainment. Like El Corte Inglés, the range of English-language books is hit and miss, but there's usually something.

More info: Visit their website. (In Spanish)

Happy reading!

Annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off in Blue Ridge, Georgia

A special performance commemorating the holiday weekend by the Blue Ridge Community Theater, enactments of presidential historian moments in time complete with a motor car parade. Chili Contestants from across Georgia this year registered. Battling for their chance of cash prize awards for 1st , 2nd and 3rd place convince festival goers that theirs is the best and to vote for them; there is a People’s Choice award also.

Among the rows of colorful banners of entrants are tents and fire pits to keep warm in. Chili, wine and beer to choose from in a relaxed beautiful North Eastern Georgia Mountain town is the perfect setting. You quickly forget the cold temperatures, strolling over to hear the music on the main stage in the city park.

Walking past the specialty shops and restaurants just before the stage is the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway train depot; visitors, when it is in season, can take a ride through the mountains to the Tennessee state line with a two-hour layover for shopping. The most popular season is in autumn when the tree leaves are in their splendor, riding the train through the mountainside is an experience to be remembered in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ice Sculpture on displays is seen along the pathway to the city park where the stage is located, taking pictures of the amazing talent in each for memorable keepsakes. These sculptures are entrants for best show. Who will be the crowned the Ice King and Fire Queen at the end of the day?

Admission to the Chili Cook Off, live music and Presidential Entertainment was free. Food tickets cost only $5 for 5 tickets, beer and wine Tickets for $5 each. Tasting cards for $10 to sample all competitors and vote for People’s Choice Award, what a deal!

For art enthusiasts the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association located across from the city park is open for viewing of their exhibits and galleries. Winter fun in Blue Ridge, Georgia is not to be missed. Hope to see you there!

Take a Cruise on an Alaska Marine Highway Ferry

The Alaska Marine Highway offers an informal, "do your own thing" type of vacation. Take your vehicle with you and cruise the inside passage to Alaska. The AMHS ferry system is operated by the Alaska Department of Highways. Ferries leave Bellingham, Washington, and stop at ports along the way. We traveled on the ferry in 2007 from Bellingham to Haines, Alaska.

Log onto their websites: or for information on ferry schedules, reservations and payment. The website has been updated and is user friendly. Reservations should be made as soon as possible in January.

Vehicles: Vehicles are charged by length. Check the website for charges for motorcycles, bicycles, or kayaks. Travelers need to arrive three hours ahead of the scheduled departure.

Cabins or "staterooms" are 2 or 4 berths, inside or outside, with or without bath facilities. They're comfortable, even though small. Don't expect a luxury liner, but the bunks are comfortable. You won't spend much time there anyway; it's nicer on the lounge decks with a 180 degree view of the coastline. There is no daily room service, but the beds were made up when we started and fresh linens are available on request. Towels and soap are provided. We didn't know what to expect, but had everything we needed.

Some travelers brought tents, pitched them on the deck and taped them down with duct tape. Tenters can weather it out inside if it rains. Travelers can also sleep on lounge chairs or on the deck with sleeping bags. Cabins are optional. There are public showers and also coin-operated lockers if you don't have a room.

There were only two times when the ferry was in open water, with no coast on the west (port) side. There was some pitching then. If you are susceptible to sea sickness bring Dramamine or just lay down for a couple hours.

Pets: Pets can stay in your vehicle or in an animal carrier, but must remain on the car deck. At least three times a day passengers can visit and exercise their pets. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pet and supplies are available for that. There is a small charge per animal, but no charge for service animals.

Meals: On the Malaspina hot meals, snacks, and beverages were served cafeteria style. Some vessels have full-service dining rooms. There are vending machines for food and beverages. The cafeteria food was tasty and cooked to order. Salmon, fish and chips, salads, hamburgers, and soups were all good and attractively served. Make arrangements ahead of time for special dietary needs. A microwave is available in the dining room if you want to bring your own food. The types of food to bring are limited because there is no available refrigeration for passengers. The staff in the dining area was very helpful to passengers with walkers or other needs. I was impressed with their courteous manner. A prominent sign declared "No tipping allowed."

Alcohol is served on some ferries, but can only be consumed in the dining area or in private rooms. Announcements were made that any liquor found outside the accepted areas would be put off at the next port . . . along with the passenger. The ferry personnel were serious about this and our vessel turned around in a narrow channel with great difficulty to put off a passenger who was drunk and rude.

Smoking is allowed on the outside deck. The outside deck was also popular for walking. Watch for orca whales. If the captain spotted an orca, he would announce over the loudspeaker: "There's an orca breaching on the port side." Also look for porpoises and seals.

Entertainment: The ferry system doesn't provide very much entertainment, but a Forest Service ranger traveled with us to answer questions and hand out information about local animals and plants. A large map showed our progress through the inside passage. Ranger Brett gave talks throughout the day about the areas we were passing through, especially the Tongass National Forest. A small movie room (maybe 30 people capacity) showed documentary movies about Alaska and two movies: Wild Hogs and Little Miss Sunshine. Take things to do such as books, magazines, and crafts. The Malaspina had a small toddler play area, a video game arcade, computer room, gift shop and movies for children. Wireless is available.

The AMHS is dedicated to providing services to persons with disabilities. There were some wheelchair accessible rooms, an elevator, and helpful ferry personnel. In Sitka the ferry had a van with a wheelchair lift to help passengers out for an optional bus tour.

We had a longer stop in Ketchikan. Take the bus out to Totem Bight and then back to town. The buses run often and we had plenty of time to get back to the ferry. There are taxis, but the bus is cheaper and easy to use.

Passports: The AMHS only travels between US ports, so proof of birth place is all that is needed. You will need a passport if you are leaving the ferry and planning to travel through Canada. Refer to the AMHS website for the latest information. It is updated regularly on passport information, schedules and details of what is available on each ferry.

Baseball Gems: Five of the Greatest First Round Draft Selections by the Atlanta Braves

Baseball Gems: Five of the Greatest First Round Draft Selections by the Atlanta Braves


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The Atlanta Braves have been one of the most successful Major League Baseball franchises of the past 25 years. Here is a look at five of the most fruitful first round draft selections in the history of the Atlanta organization.

Dale Murphy (1974 – 5th selection – Woodrow Wilson High School – Portland, Oregon)

Making his major league debut in 1976, Dale Murphy is one of the most beloved sports figures in Atlanta history. Winning back-to-back MVP honors in 1982 and 1983, Murphy was a seven-time All-Star as well as the recipient of five Gold Glove awards. Departing from the game in 1993, Murphy had his number (3) retired by the Braves in 1994. Six years later, Murphy was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame.

Bob Horner (1978 – 1st selection – Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona)

Making his MLB debut the same year he was drafted, Bob Horner was always a fan favorite in Atlanta. Playing both first and third base, Horner earned 1978 Rookie of the Year honors, edging out one of the greatest shortstops in history, Ozzie Smith. Voted to the All-Star game in 1982, Horner is one of only 16 MLB players to hit four home runs in a single game.

Chipper Jones (1990 – 1st selection – Bolles School – Jacksonville, Florida)

Arguably the greatest player in the history of the Atlanta baseball franchise, along with Henry Aaron, Chipper Jones is an iconic sports figure. Initially signed as a shortstop before moving to third base prior to his rookie season in 1995, Jones is regarded, statistically, as one of the most prolific switch-hitters in the history of professional baseball. Earning National League MVP honors in 1999, as well as the National League batting crown in 2008, Jones, an eight-time All-Star, finished his career with a .303 batting average. Honored with the retirement of his number (10) by the Atlanta organization, as well as induction into the Braves Hall of Fame, Jones, per many experts, will likely be a first ballot MLB Hall of Fame inductee.

Adam Wainwright (2000 – 29th selection – Glynn Academy – Brunswick, Georgia)

The Atlanta Braves drafted Adam Wainwright, thus making him eligible for this list. What the Atlanta organization did next, many Braves fans would likely choose to forget. After spending roughly three years in Atlanta’s minor league system, the Braves traded Wainwright to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003. To the dismay of the Braves, Wainwright has gone on to become one of the most consistent pitchers in all of baseball.

Jason Heyward (2007 – 14th selection – Henry County High School – McDonough, Georgia)

Making his MLB debut in 2010, Jason Heyward hit a three-run home run during his first major league at-bat. The rest, as they say…is history. Considered an offensive and defensive stalwart in the Atlanta lineup, Heyward has proven his worth as a solid professional player. Named the 2010 Rookie of the Year by both the Sporting News and Baseball America, Heyward was a 2010 All-Star selection as well as a 2012 Gold Glove recipient.

Best Places on the Web to Purchase Roland Digital Keyboards

Many people are looking for something to do in their spare time. For those looking for simple hobbies, many people look to music lessons, specifically piano or keyboards. There is a wide variety of keyboards available on the market. However, Roland is a brand synonymous with professional keyboardists. Here is a list of online retailers that offer a variety of Roland digital keyboards.

Keyboards USA

The selection of keyboards at this online retailer includes ten different models of Roland digital keyboards. The prices are reasonable. The most expensive of the models offered is the Roland Fantom G8 Workstation, which they sell for $3,495. The least expensive model is the Roland Juno-D 64-Voice Synthesizer at $495.

Andy's Music Online

Andy's Music Online is just as it says an online retailer of music products based in Mobile, Alabama. They offer 11 different Roland digital keyboards. The most expensive mode that they sell is the Roland Work Station Fantom X8, which sells for $2,895 and there is presently a $400 rebate offered. The least expensive model is the Roland Juno D Synthesizer at $495.

This online retailer has a vast variety of Roland digital keyboards in stock. The have 20 various kinds available. The most expensive being the Roland Fantom-G8 88-Key Sampling Workstation. This keyboard sells for $3,495. The least expensive is the Roland Juno-D 61-Key Synthesizer Keyboard, for $495. This retailer also offers installment payment plans. You are able to make four even payments of the total amount. Therefore, if the keyboard is $1,995, you can make four payments of $498.75 each. However, you must call them to take advantage at 1.866.996.8637 and mention priority code ARFSDZ.

Musician's Friend

Musician's Friend carries 11 different Roland digital keyboards. The most expensive is the Roland Fantom-G8 Workstation. This has a list price of $3,995, but they sell it for $3,495. The least expensive is the Roland GW-7 Keyboard Synthesizer Workstation, which ships free and sells for $695. They currently are offering free shipping on all purchases over $99, including heavy items.

American Musical Supply

This online retailer offers the largest selection of all those found. They sell 16 different models. The most expensive is the Roland Fantom G8 Sampling Workstation Keyboard, which sells for $3,495, and is available for $494 down payment, and five payments of $699 per month. The least expensive is the Roland E09 Interactive Arranger Keyboard, which sells for $439.95, or three payments of $183. All items come with free shipping and a free extra year added onto the warranty.

Same Day Music

Same Day Music has a unique offer. They will ship the keyboard the same day or they will give you $100 cash. That along with a great deal you cannot beat. This retailer stocks 14 different models of Roland digital keyboards. The most expensive is the every popular Roland Fantom – G8 Sampling Workstation, which sells for $3,495. The least expensive is the Roland Juno-D Synthesizer Keyboard, which sells for $495. This retailer also offers free shipping.

American Military University

American Military University

When soldiers are faced with deployment, many think they will not have time for online courses but they will see that they are wrong when faced with a lot of down time.

While in Kuwait, I was lured to the education office where counselors set up my Tuition Assistance. Considering the college I was accepted to do not have many online options, I settled with American Military University. Even though I was new to online schooling, AMU had a course where they taught me all about the system and where to find resources for future courses. Many of the courses that I took were very flexible and majority of them had assignments due on Sundays. That gives students a whole week to complete their work without having to worry about being late.

Many soldiers will see that some days overseas may be busy than others. However, it is easy to organize a certain time of day to complete assignments. My military occupational specialty (MOS) allowed me to bring my assignments during duty hours so I had plenty of time to complete them. Even though the deadlines for the assignments are Sundays, students are allowed to turn in assignments early. Some courses will have discussion assignments due on Wednesdays, so soldiers would have to work hard to get those done in time.

All courses come with a syllabus that outlines all the assignments and the due dates. Therefore, it is easy to get ahead when military students feel they may be busy with work for a couple days. However, some instructors only allow a couple assignments to be turned in at one time. Turning assignments in early is great for military students in movement so they will not have to be forced to drop a course due to their military commitments.

Dropping and withdrawing courses is a simple process. However, students are only given a week after the course starts to drop without any penalties. AMU also allows students to take one course at a time so there is no pressure on keeping up with credits to stay in good status. AMU also works great with the 100% Tuition Assistance so military students are not obligated to pay a dime. This is why it is very important for those deployed to find an education office so the process will be simpler.

AMU is an accredited school so the courses a student takes may roll over to other colleges. Plus, the credits can also go towards promotion points for soldiers. AMU also offers certifications along with Bachelor and Associate Degrees. There are many different options that suit everyone. Some of the degrees can also be more helpful towards a military career rather than a civilian career. The instructors are also flexible as they know many of their students are deployed. My experience with American Military University was very positive and I recommend it for all, especially for soldiers who would like to continue their education while deployed.