Friday, March 13, 2009

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

We recognize that your privacy is important. This document outlines the types of personal information we receive and collect when you use Billco's Outdoors, as well as some of the steps we take to safeguard information. We hope this will help you make an informed decision about sharing personal information with us.

Billco's Outdoors strives to maintain the highest standards of decency, fairness and integrity in all our operations. Likewise, we are dedicated to protecting our customers', consumers' and online visitors' privacy on our website.

Personal Information

Billco's Outdoors collects personally identifiable information from the visitors to our website only on a voluntary basis. Personal information collected on a voluntary basis may include name, postal address, email address, company name and telephone number.

This information is collected if you request information from us, participate in a contest or sweepstakes, and sign up to join our email list or request some other service or information from us. The information collected is internally reviewed, used to improve the content of our website, notify our visitors of updates, and respond to visitor inquiries.

Once information is reviewed, it is discarded or stored in our files. If we make material changes in the collection of personally identifiable information we will inform you by placing a notice on our site. Personal information received from any visitor will be used only for internal purposes and will not be sold or provided to third parties.

Use of Cookies and Web Beacons

We may use cookies to help you personalize your online experience. Cookies are identifiers that are transferred to your computer's hard drive through your Web browser to enable our systems to recognize your browser. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the Web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize the sites pages, or register with any of our site's services, a cookie enables Billco's Outdoors to recall your specific information on subsequent visits.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying your Web browser; however, if you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the site.

A web beacon is a transparent image file used to monitor your journey around a single website or collection of sites. They are also referred to as web bugs and are commonly used by sites that hire third-party services to monitor traffic. They may be used in association with cookies to understand how visitors interact with the pages and content on the pages of a web site. Browsers can be set to accept or reject cookies or notify you when a cookie is being sent. Privacy software can be used to override web beacons. Taking either of these actions shouldn't cause a problem with our site, should you so choose.

We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you.

In addition, Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads to our site. Google's use of the Dart cookie enables it to serve ads to visitors based on visits to our site and other sites on the internet. Visitors may opt out of the Dart cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

Google may use interest based advertising where they recognize the types of webpages users visit across the Adsense network.This helps advertisers reach users on the basis of their interests.

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

This website is directed to adults; it is not directed to children under the age of 13. We operate our site in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, and will not knowingly collect or use personal information from anyone under 13 years of age.

Non-Personal Information

In some cases, we may collect information about you that is not personally identifiable. We use this information, which does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, to administer the site, to track users' movements around the site and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. The information collected is used solely for internal review and not shared with other organizations for commercial purposes.

Release of Information

If Billco's Outdoors is sold, the information we have obtained from you through your voluntary participation in our site may transfer to the new owner as a part of the sale in order that the service being provided to you may continue. In that event, you will receive notice through our website of that change in control and practices, and we will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the purchaser honors any opt-out requests you might make of us.

How You Can Correct or Remove Information

We provide this privacy policy as a statement to you of our commitment to protect your personal information. If you have submitted personal information through our website and would like that information deleted from our records or would like to update or correct that information, please use our Contact Us page.

Updates and Effective Date

Billco's Outdoors reserves the right to make changes in this policy. We encourage you to periodically review this policy so that you will know what information we collect and how we use it.

Agreeing to Terms

If you do not agree to Billco's Outdoors Privacy Policy as posted here on this website, please do not use this site or any services offered by this site.

Your use of this site indicates acceptance of this privacy policy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Digging for Shells - Orange Beach, Alabama

Kathy and I spent the weekend at Orange Beach, Alabama in my parents condo. My mother is a master shell hunter. She has found tens of thousands of beautiful shells over the years. She spends hours walking the beaches picking up shells, coral, sand dollars and anything else that washes up on the beach. She even gathers abandoned T-shirts and beach towels. No relaxing with a good book for her. When she hits the beach it's all work.

She finds most of her shells by digging. Most beach tourists would love to take home just a few good shells like she finds, but very think to dig. Unless you pay a little attention to detail, digging is not likely to produce much. Find a good spot, and you can take home a bag full.

The majority of the good shells that are found digging at the Alabama Gulf Coast get deposited there by dredging. The hurricanes and tropical storms of the last few years took away most of the sand and leveled the dunes. The State of Alabama has spent millions of dollars putting the sand back, most of it by dredging the sea. Tons of sand has been deposited on the beach, and along with it all of the stuff small enough to get sucked up the dredging pipes.

Occasionally a good spot for digging can be found just by looking for spots where somebody else has dug. Most people are good about filling in their holes, but unless it has recently been smooved over by beach maintenance workers, you will still be able to spot depressions in the sand. Try first at the edges that haven't been dug and work your way back away from the depression. Lots of small broken shells on the surface indicates that there are probably better, unbroken shells underneath.

Don't dig near the shore line in the space that high tide covers. Move back aways. Don't dig in the dunes. That's not good for the beach and will get you in trouble.

You don't need big garden tools to dig in soft sand. Small tools work fine and are less likely to damage shells.

It's permissable to dig small holes on the Alabama beaches. It's not a lot different than building sand castles, Whether you're digging for holes, or building sand castles, fill in your holes when you're done. Holes on the beach can be dangerous.