Bio on Kes Phelps, Freelance Web Designer

In 1996 Kes Phelps asked himself what are his natural abilities were and what he enjoyed. He had always been creative with a passion for art and design, and also technically minded. The Internet boom had just exploded and so he made the decision to carve a career in Web Design.At the time there were no Web Design higher level education courses in his home town of Norwich in the UK, to which he was committed due to family reasons. The most suitable and highest profile course was the Applied Computing degree at the University of East Anglia which, although was predominately a software engineering degree, did have some modules related to web design and the programming and database skills would stand him in good stead for developing web based applications.Kes successfully completed the prerequisite Access Course in Engineering and Technology at the Norwich City College and was offered a place on his chosen degree which he went on to complete, with honours, in 2000.His first position after graduation was at British Telecom working as a call centre operative. Then after six months, a secondment within BT Retail arose, building an Intranet site for a team of project managers. He put himself forward and his application was accepted.This short term contract was invaluable in his personal and skill development. Here he taught himself ASP building a small scale, web based application. He was also given the opportunity to develop his project management skills gained at university.From there he had a brief spell as a freelance web designer but due to lack of experience, struggled to make a comfortable living. It was clear he needed to get back into the workplace to gain more experience and after six months as a freelancer he managed to find work with mProvision, then known as mGenie.mGenie was an internet marketing company owned by Fox Tucker. Fox was well known within the affiliate marketing arena and helped create the DGM’s affiliate marketing network.This wasn’t just an excellent opportunity for Kes to hone his web design and development skills, but also to learn about the entrepreneurial aspects of online business from his mentor, Fox. After one year he was appointed Head of Technical Development, designing, developing and project managing internet solutions that delivered Mobile Phone Media. It was here that he became fascinated by his now specialist area of Internet development, search engine optimisation.After three years at mProvision he went on to join WhichPoker.com, a highly successful online poker portal, as Head of Mobile Content. When the company realised his search engine optimisation expertise he became involved with their online marketing. After ten months however he was made redundant due to role change.By this time, however, his skills and experience were sufficient to go into business as a freelance web designer, developer and SEO. This had always been a dream and something continuing very much in the background but now there was an opportunity to take it to another level. He redesigned and optimised his site, which you can get to via the link in the footnote of this article, and slowly watched it climb the search engine rankings.As it climbed the enquires began to come and now Kes Phelps has a steady flow of work, specialising in designing, developing and optimising internet solutions for small and medium sized businesses.

2012 – New Year, New Driving Laws

Driving safety continues to be an important issue being examined by legislators and citizens alike. The 2012 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws shows the many gaps in traffic safety laws across the country. This report used a group of laws to evaluate states, most of which encompassed motorcycle helmet, booster seat, and seat belt measures, as well as limitations and requirements for young drivers, texting bans and stricter impaired driving laws.Many states passed new driver laws for the new year that relate to these areas.Cell Phone Use30 states have already banned or restricted drivers’ cell phone use in some way, with more continuing to do so.

Effective January 1st, 2012, texting while driving is declared illegal in North Dakota and Nevada.
Oregon closed a loophole in a law that enabled drivers to use hand-held devices in work-related situations. Cell phone use is now completely banned.
Safety Measures

Children under the age of eight in California are now required to use booster seats. The previous age ceiling was six. This law came into effect with increased protection as the driving force – booster seats increase the chance of surviving a crash by 45 percent for children in this age range.
Illinois passed legislation that now requires adult passengers in the backseat to wear a safety belt. Previously, adults in the front seat and children in the front or back were required to. Fines will be given to those not wearing a seatbelt in the backseat.
Drunk DrivingDrunk driving costs the U.S. over $132 billion per year. Related laws continue to be adopted by more and more states.

Tougher drunk driving laws have been enacted in Nebraska. Those convicted must have their licensed revoked or have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
With most states already having some drinking and driving legislation, many are now working to enact tougher legislation and close loopholes in existing laws.Teen Driving

In North Carolina, stricter laws have been enacted that require teen drivers to turn in a record of their driving time in order to obtain their learner’s permits. After this point, they must produce 60 hours of supervised driving documentation. From there, they are able to get a limited license. They then must complete 12 more hours over the following six months to obtain their full license. These types of measures are similar to what many states have instituted, called the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL).
Additional Laws

Another Illinois law that came into effect January 1stallows motorcyclists to proceed through red lights after waiting two minutes and checking to make sure they can cross safely. This was created due to motorcycles’ weight not activating traffic lights that use ground sensors. Also in Illinois, trackers are now prohibited from using their cell phones without hands-free headsets.
Motor vehicle crashes cost society $230 billion annually. Many of the causes of these crashes are preventable. By being aware of the laws and legislation, as well as safety suggestions and precautions, we can all help reduce the number of accidents.

Preparing For Your Summer Vacation – 7 Tips For Packing Essentials

Excited about your vacation destination, but in a turmoil of what to pack? We all know that feeling and if you are like me, it is usually at the last minute. There are so many things to consider these days as there are more and more rules for airline travel, in particular. Here are seven (7) tips to think about to help you decide what to take.1. Climate has to be taken into consideration. Whether you are holidaying at the beach or in a ski resort, a bathing suit is a must as no matter the destination there is always access to a pool, spa or sauna.2. Shorts, t-shirts and tank tops are common attire around cruise ships, beaches, amusement parks and cruise ships during the day, but do not forget to pack something for evening. Often bars, restaurants and casinos have strict rules regarding attire to be permitted to enter, especially footwear. If you are on a cruise and plan to dine in the dining room at night, you will need to have evening dress.3. Raincoats, parkas or umbrellas are a great addition to your vacation clothing list. Most amusement parks are on huge acreage with a lot of walking between the different rides and shows. On a cruise you will want to leave the ship for sight-seeing at the various stopovers therefore a light parka or fold-up umbrella is ideal to carry with you. An umbrella or jacket with hood is a must when camping, especially when you have to use the kitchen, bathroom and washing facilities which can be some distance from your campsite.4. Sunscreen is a must as a bad dose of sunburn can ruin your holiday and essential y on a beach or cruise ship vacation and when you are walking around an amusement park. Read the labels and make sure the SPF rating is high enough for your skin tone and do not use last year’s bottle. Sunscreen has, or should, have an expiry date on it as they do not last. Do not be fooled by a cloudy day – slap it on and you will not be sorry.5. When on a cruise check what stops are planned along the way. A passport is required on international waters and when traveling to a foreign country. If you are traveling overseas, check whether your passport is accepted without a visa at your destinations. It would be a big disappointment to get turned down at the border!6. Camping requires a lot of preparation, but once you have outlayed the expense for a camping holiday, you can have plenty more. Camping is one of the most down-to-earth, rewarding family experiences you can have. Before you leave, it is a good idea to erect your tent in the backyard to make sure all the pieces are accounted for. Many campgrounds are in secluded areas, so a good stock of supplies is essential.7. A good pair of sports shoes is a must. Whatever the holiday, you never know when you will be invited to play tennis, hike up to the top of a hill to enjoy the view, or do a 24 hour tour of a city.If you forget to bring along certain supplies or essentials you can purchase them. However, the downside to purchasing items at your destination is price. Many popular vacation destinations have inflated prices.Take your time with preparation and if you are restricted with the amount of luggage you can take, here is a tip to make more room – roll your clothes up instead of lying flat. You will be surprised at how much more you can fit into your bag.