Modern Planters: Transforming an Old Structure Into a Modern Abode

Large outdoor planters are considered as apple of the eye in most of the commercial establishments and homes. Aside from enhancing the value of the old building, their decorative designs can sharpen the angle of barren nooks and can disguise the harsh edges of decks or patios. Just simply add some outdoor artificial plants in the container and you will be astounded of the ambiance they could bring in your abode.

An old, bland building can be transformed into a glorious, modern establishment if there are fiberglass planters or commercial planters uniformly arranged on the pavement. Employees will not get bored of doing their own duties if their workplace is surrounded with exquisite decorations and modern planters, and they will not be pressured for doing their daily tasks and thinking of busy schedules. In fact, they will get more inspired and consequentially, more relaxed while working if they get near with the nature.

In some hotel lobbies, restaurants, caf├ęs and in pool swimming pools, designers are very keen in choosing the best modern planters to be displayed. Despite the economic crisis that we are facing nowdays, businesspeople are still positive and determined that they can increase their profit. Since their very purpose is to enthrall the visual interests of the customers, they are utilizing the large outdoor planters to create a melodramatic environment everyone is dreaming of. They know that people will choose the place where they can enjoy and at the same time keep their privacy far from their busted life in the city. That is why albeit they find it difficult to live up with the expectations of the many, businessmen are still doing everything that they can just to provide complete convenience to the customers.

At home, you can display the large outdoor planters herded with artificial azaleas, artificial geraniums and artificial gardenias in your doors, entrances and gates. Choose the apt colors that will complement to the theme of your house. There are some outdoor planters made of fiberglass or wood that can be placed indoors. Ask your manufacturers about the sizes, shapes and textures that you desire for your abode so that they can exclusively design it for you.

There are some prestigious companies that are trying to use the fiberglass planters or commercial planters for their restaurants or hotels instead of utilizing expensive structural components because they want to see if they are really effective in company's success. You can also check online the various types of outdoor planters that will best work for your home and business.

Will Cell Towers Become Obsolete?

What does the future of cell towers hold for landlords and land owners?

That’s the burning question for about 250,000 cell site lease holders who are trying to figure out if they can count on getting that monthly rental check from Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, U.S. Cellular, Sprint, T-Mobile, Cricket or Metro PCS here in the United States. Every year some wing-nut telecom nerd writing for one of the savvy technology blogs or websites writes a feel-good article on how the ugly cellular towers polluting the sky will soon become obsolete and replaced by some pocket-sized cube that does not cause global warming or kill the Hudson River Red Tailed Pigeon, or by a network of tiny satellites, or by hot air balloons, by some advance in nanotechnology or possibly by bridge trolls.

Sure, the carriers have built out DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) in places where usually no other coverage solutions existed. But these DAS systems are extremely expensive and will never replace cell phone towers in our lifetime.

Will cell towers become obsolete?

Cell towers will become obsolete only when Chevy Suburban’s and Ford F-150’s can drive down the Interstate at 70 MPH fully powered by solar panels made in the USA. The demand for bandwidth is growing faster than the carriers can sell smart phones. Even if they came up with some amazing technology that could replace cell towers, it would easily take 10 years or more to implement. Think about it, how many of you reading this currently have mediocre to poor wireless coverage now as compared to 5 years ago before every 12 year-old started getting data text messages on their cell phones? Do you regularly drop calls? How many times did you call the customer service line to complain? Wonder why they couldn’t fix it? They need more cell towers, not fewer cell sites, and telecom scientists have not yet invented the all-purpose cell tower bandwidth nano-widget to replace that big hunk of steel in the air protruding skyward in your neighborhood.

How many places have little or no coverage now? I feel bad for the 55 million rural folks once again left without coverage. It’s time spread the capacity, so everyone has coverage, and take all the cell sites from Wall Street, decommission them and relocate them to rural Vermont. LOL.

Will some new technology replace cell sites?

Rumor has it that the current administration is looking at converting all of the Chevy Volt’s ever produced into roaming telecommunication base stations in the San Francisco Bay Area to replace all existing cell sites. We will keep you posted on the progress of this green initiative.

What’s going to happen to my cellular site lease revenue?

Inevitably some wireless landlords will agree to have carriers reduce their cell tower rents and have their cell site leases optimized to appease the cost cutting carriers so they can continue providing so-so coverage to their beloved subscribers. At the conclusion of every five-year term, landlords who agree to a rent reduction can expect to have the carriers re-optimize their previously optimized cell tower leases until eventually either cell towers will become obsolete or the carriers will be renting space on their fully optimized leased property for free.

We have answered many critical questions here, and after reading our in-depth analysis into the inner eye of the cell tower infrastructure and leasing industry, you are likely scratching your head, and wondering how it is possible that there is only one truly independent carrier neutral cell tower consulting firm in the United States which is loved by landlords and despised by the establishment.

How are you going to affect lasting bandwidth change? Occupy your cell phone tower.

USB and Wireless Desktop Speakers

Most of the computers these days come with low budget desktop speakers which produce a very low audio quality, which is why people buy themselves better pc sound for higher quality sound to replace the cheap ones.

There are a lot of different pc sound nowadays, so I am going to tell you the difference between USB speakers and wireless speakers.

USB desktop ssouns: USB sound are one of the top sellers when it comes to USB speakers. The USB are powered by the USB port giving 5 volts at 200 milliamps and the power goes through the USB cable.

These USB desktop speakers have a lot of different features here are a few of them; the power and sound can be used while it uses the audio output jack for something else, Can connect to a CD player, Can be used on laptops, MP3 players and for desktop speakers.

The USB speakers have a lot of advantages; The speakers do not require a big AC adapter or outlet, they are well structured, portable, self powered and is very easy to install, if you buy top brand names you will get a quality audio out of it, their frequency response time are faster and can go to greater volumes.

There are also a few disadvantages; The USB speakers are going to use up more resources because it processes the data through the USB cable and if you have a CD player make sure it supports digital audio playback.

Wireless speakers: wireless desktop speakers are a great invention because it is easy to use wire free plus it works on laptops and computers, it is also very popular in comparison to the USB speakers.

Here is a few advantages; you can stream wireless audio directly from the net, enjoy the multimedia entertainment, you can play all the songs on your computer and place the speakers at another location in your home, you can add these Wireless speakers to your already owned stereo system, no router is required and there is no need to even buy a Hi-Fi the Wireless desktop speakers will more than satisfy you.

With these wireless desktop speakers you can even download you own MP3, midi’s, iTunes and listen to it in any location in your home, all you need is a computer with windows media player to play the songs and enjoy The Wireless desktop speakers come with a transmitter and a receiver, the transmitter is plugged in a USB slot and it sends the signals to the receiver which is in the speakers.

Whether you want USB speakers or wireless speakers the choice is all yours, both the USB speakers and the wireless speakers are a good choice and not either one of them will let you down, it now only depends on you to find the right desktop speakers for your own entertainment and the entertainment of your friends or family.

Robotic Nurse Assistant (RoNA) System: Advantages & Healthcare Industry Report

Over the last few decades, the advancement in technology has surged at a rapid rate and spread across the globe. The accessibility and affordability of technology has pointed out several benefits, including improved quality of life, better scientific research and a higher average life expectancy in several countries. Since many parts of daily life are mechanized, people can focus on their interests and careers. Currently, in many technologically progressive societies, the population is not only living longer, but is also offering fewer children. Since many people are living up to old age and not many children are born to cover up the difference, there are lesser and lesser resources to take care of older groups.

The concept of the Robotic Nurse Assistant System was introduced to take care of elderly people and is running successful in countries like Japan where 30% of the population is over the age of 65. Currently, these systems are actively used in medical facilities & centers to lift patients safely without the involvement of humans.

Development of Robotic Nurse Assistants

• In 2009, healthcare research company Hstar Technologies started a research project designed to report the numerous clinical and technological challenges faced by different healthcare practitioners. It focused on developing a human-safe and heavy-lifting robotic system which can function in any clinical environment.

• The efforts of the research and development team resulted in the creation of the RoNA Robotic Patient Lifting System-a self-directed robotic nursing assistant designed to help healthcare providers operate and lift patients weighing close to 500 pounds.

Advantages of RoNA

In strong competition with ceiling-mounted lift systems, patient lift teams and mobile sling systems; RoNA provides some distinctive advantages such as:

• RoNA is an omnidirectional and mobile system with mecanum wheels to move in any direction. It can work in confined spaces, and explore areas where several portable lifting systems cannot travel. It is far better than mobility and maneuverability ceiling systems which are fixed.

• Telepresence support RoNA can function alongside a trained nurse, or can be supervised by a tenuously located nurse while operating with a less expertized attendant.

• Patient Safety RoNA is a smart, learning system, which is capable to sense center of gravity during the lifting process as well as automatically adjust its position. (This is primarily possible due to a unique stability system). It results is making the patient feel more protected during the lift as compared to a physical transfer involving human hands.

• RoNA works to reduce employee injury and premature retirements in facilities which have not yet organized lifting devices. This system will deliver the full benefit of a secure lifting program, decreasing workman’s compensation along with injury-related costs by almost 40%. In centers where safe patient handling programs are implemented, RoNA will enhance compliance, further decreasing injury-related costs.

Robotics Nurse Assistant System Market

• According to the healthcare industry report, the market for robotic nurse assistant system is quite flourishing in Japan. These robotic nurses are also utilized in the United States where they were thoughtful developed.

• It is predicted that in the near future nurse assistant robots may be fully prepared to help take care of the elderly population. In Japan more than a third of the population would be senior citizens by the year 2025, 12% higher from the statistics of 1990. According to reports, Japan required two million professionals in 2010 to offer care for the elderly, but lacked by a count of 700,000. If analytical trends continue, the deficiency will double by 2025 to reach 1.4 million.

• Presently, Japan is developing robot nurse assistants to help with mechanical tasks, empowering nurses to give their patients extra quality time. Currently, the only robot fulfilling safety standards in Japan is known to be the Cyberdyne (8C4 Frankfurt) Exoskeleton. Each of these robots cost $1,780, which is quite less as compared to the annual average salary of $25,000 for a nurse in Japan. This cost-benefit analysis is quite convincing.

• If robot helpers, like the Cyberdyne Exoskeleton, are compared to half of a nurse, then around 2.8 million robots will be needed to complete the shortage, developing a $5 billion market involving personal health care robots at current prices in Japan alone. It was revealed that, the sale of medical robots on a global scale valued $1.5 billion in 2013. Although not used for surgery, these personal care robots in the hospital environment would significantly surge the market for nursing robots. By satisfying nurse scarcities with nurse assistant robots, human nurses can grow more productive, adding fineness to the patient experience while dropping costs at the same time; making it a win-win situation for the healthcare system.

Bike Touring – How to Plan a Route

Determining where to travel on your amazing bicycle touring adventure and planning the journey is an enjoyable piece of the experience. Maybe there's a part of the country or world that you've always been to explore, and completing it on a bike might just be a unique pleasure.

But … how do you appreciate the roads are like? … Is the region safe? … What about auto traffic? …

There are a couple reputable starting points for route planning.

The adventure Cycling Association puts out terrific maps citing approximately 41,000 miles of cycling routes which have been tested and refined during the past four decades. All contain outlining concern what things to be aware of and ways to plan. Additionally promoted tours, a Cyclist's Yellow pages, and a print magazine that invariably seems to have terrific valuable articles.

Google Maps can be one additional fine reference. Simply mouse click on any area around the world and you can now check out the topography, together with elevations included, and even a satellite view, or the straight up map view. This amazing tool even makes it possible for a person to take a look at an image from virtually any spot along the length of many roads, by merely dragging an icon, locating it along the highlighted road and dropping it. Very, very cool. In Google Earth you can "fly" over the route.

The next tip is to try using routes outlined by organizations which are experts in leading supported trips. These kinds of routes are normally researched intensively and an individual might discover more details on camping or alternative routes to lodge, the best places to dine, topography, vehicle traffic, and so forth.

Crazyguyonabike.com can be another great source of information. This is a free, independent website for hosting bike traveling journals, discussion boards and information. This content is contributed by regular people from throughout the world. You will find previously (the year 2010) close to 5000 online journals and more than m million photographs contributed by individuals engaging in their personal cycling trips. A number of these are kept up to date on a daily basis by people during the tour, which means you can follow them on a daily basis!

As you're designing the route, factor in how much time you have, your own level of fitness, the level of fitness of your touring companion (s) if any, and probable factors for instance, local weather and elevation changes. Take into account where you hope to be able to finish up each day. With these things in mind block out your daily distance, keeping in mind that, if you are self supported, you will be carrying additional weight. So, even if you are in great shape and regularly do 80 to 90 or more mile training rides, those are not realistic numbers for touring. Some days 40 miles might feel like an epic ride. Other days 100 miles will be doable. Allow plenty of time to complete your route … more than you think you need … will give you time to stop at points of interest, or even just (gasp) relax! Remember, this is supposed to be fun.

Crinolines – How to Fold, Fluff and Store Net Petticoat Crinolines

What is a crinoline and how do you take care of them? A crinoline, also called a net slip or petticoat, is a woman’s undergarment meant to fluff out a skirt, and give more of a bell shape. It can be made from fabric or net ruffles and is closely associated with the popular 1950’s full circle skirt style. Whether it’s new or vintage these crinolines require some special help to keep them looking bouncy and bright.

Here are some ideas for how to properly fluff and shape your net crinoline, and how to remove wrinkles. Wrinkles will sometimes come out by themselves if you hang the crinoline up for a day or two. This is the first thing you should do with a crinoline. It is especially helpful to fluff and separate the net layers and gently pull the net into shape. Give it a few shakes as well. Note: It’s okay to hang it up for a day or two just to shape it, but crinolines should be stored rolled up in a bag, or else they will lose their puff from being pulled down by their own weight. You can also steam stubborn wrinkles with the steamer setting on your hand iron. Do this by first laying your crinoline over the ironing board so that only one layer of netting is exposed. Lay a pressing cloth over the crinoline. Set your iron on the “delicate” setting, and press the crinoline over the pressing cloth, so the netting does not get scorched. Any remaining wrinkles can be fluffed out by hanging the crinoline up, and gently blasting it with steam from the steamer function on your iron. Just remember — that steam is really hot! Do not to touch the iron to the crinoline, or you will burn the netting. If you are lucky enough to have a real clothing steamer, then hang up the crinoline, and steam the crinoline from the inside, facing out. The netting will instantly puff out. Don’t have access to an iron or steamer? Hang the crinoline in your bathroom. Turn the hot water on in the shower all the way. Close the door to the bathroom and let it steam. Go in every few minutes and smooth the netting out. Or, put it in the dryer on fluff cycle and run it for a few minutes, then hang it up and separate the layers gently, shaping the crinoline as you go.

Hanging crinolines in a closet is handy but it’s only good for temporary storage. Store your crinoline rolled up in a plastic, or travel/duffel bag. Actual “crinoline bags” can also be bought from square dancing costumes and supplies stores. You can roll up your crinoline without creating new wrinkles like this: Stand holding the crinoline in front of you with the waistband at chin height and the crinoline hanging down. Tuck the waistband under your chin and use your arms to gently fold the crinoline from the sides into the center so that you end up with a long, vertical tube. Gently press the air out as you do this. Now start rolling from the bottom up, again gently press air out. Once you’ve rolled to the top you’ll have the waistband section to make a neat wrap around for the net. When you need it again you’ll have the waistband to hold onto as you unroll the crinoline. Don’t let your pet find its way to your precious crinoline and turn it into its personal throne! Pets love nesting in crinolines, and not only is getting their hair out tough, but they will flatten your crinoline as well.

Tired of the color? Crinolines can be dyed. Here’s how to brighten or change the color of a crinoline. Make sure you use a dye that works for nylon fabric. A crinoline needs two packages. Most people use “Rit” dye. Rit dye and clothing dye in general can be found at your local crafts store, or chain variety store. Fill the washing machine with hot water then mix in the dye according to the package’s instructions. Just make sure to make the washer go through an extra cycle after you are finished dying the crinoline. This will ensure that no extra dye is left in your washer! Yellowed crinolines can be whitened. Just soak a cup of dishwashing powder in enough hot water to cover the crinoline. Soak it for 30 minutes, rinse, and hang to dry. To easily “freshen up” your crinoline, just pop it in a dryer on the fluff cycle a few minutes before wearing.

Crinolines give bounce to your circle skirt. They’re great fun when you’re dancing and can add a flash of color and sass. A good one will last with proper care and storage to give you years of flouncy fashion.

Fun Fact: Did you know that in the 1950’s they used to get their crinolines to stay stiff by immersing them in a sugar water bath? This is called “Sugar Starching.” Here’s how they used to do it. Mix a couple of cups of sugar in a big bucket of warm water. Once the sugar is dissolved, immerse the crinoline and let it soak for a couple of minutes. Take the crinoline out, let it drip and then look for a place to prop up the crinoline so it can dry in the right shape. Some women would drape wet crinolines over a big bush in the yard so they would be full and fluffy.

Fixing YLOD on Your PS3 Discover How to Do It

Fixing any problem yourself can be a rewarding experience; the sense of self satisfaction is huge. So imagine if were able to fix something as complicated as a games console. The PS3 YLOD error is a problem you can fix as long as you know how, here is the information you will need to do it.

Firstly if your console is showing the yellow light of death turn it off and unplug from the wall socket. A power surge can cause the error. While the machine is off check all the cables, make sure they are firmly connected in place at both ends. Also look for any signs of damage, if there is it is advisable to replace them.

If that did not work touch your console is it hot, overheating is a major cause of the yellow light of death. Have a look at the vents on your Playstation 3, are they blocked with dust or something else? After cleaning the vent check where you store your console is there enough space for the PS3 to get good air circulation? Some people keep their console in an entertainment which keeps the heat in. If you do it is a good idea to leave the doors open during playing.

If you are still seeing the yellow light of death then we need to remove the hard drive. This is a simple procedure and there are many great video tutorials online explaining how to do it. Once removed simply reinsert it. You may need to do this a couple of times.

If this has not fixed YLOD then it is possible that there is an issue with the console's motherboard. We can still fix this as we still have two more options to try.

The next option may sound obvious send your console back to Sony for repair, if your machine is in warranty it will not cost you anything, however if not then you can expect to pay upwards of $ 150. Also you will be without your PS3 for about 6 weeks, your hard drive will more than likely be wiped and you may not get your console back but a reconditioned one.

If you do not like the sound of that way you could try to fix the problem yourself. It is really easy, I do suggest using a playstation 3 repair guide though. Let someone who is experienced at playstation repair take you step by step through the process. With the aid of videos and simple instructions Rob Sheffield, the writer of one such guide, takes you effortlessly through procedures you need to finally fix the PS3 YLOD.

Benefits of Becoming a Video Game Tester

Becoming a video game tester has lots of great advantages. It is a growing industry that appears to be here to stay. Because of its high demand people are now able to enjoy some of the great rewards of becoming a video game tester! Like most jobs if you can call it that lol it has its ups and downs but the majority of it is all ups. There are some positives in becoming a video game tester.

One of the great benefits of becoming a video game tester is that you can get to stay at home and earn a great income without dealing with the hassles of daily life and commuting to a dead end job.

Another great benefit about being a video game tester is that you can save lots of money on gas and bus or train fair because you will now be earning a part or full time living from your sofa.

Anther great benefit of becoming a video game tester is that you will be able to spend time with your children. While doing something as fun as playing video games with your child that can be something that they never forget. Lots of people can go to a movie or take their kid out to eat but playing a video game is something out of this world lol.

Another great advantage is that video games help with health allot. They are wonderful stress relievers and they can help wonders for imagination .

I love video games and if you would like a chance to play video games from the comfort of your own home then visit the link below start making a fun and nearly effortless income.

How to Borrow Your Way to Wealth

Why does one real estate investor go on to become a millionaire and another stay broke and in debt? Why does one investor always have the money to do the deals and another seemingly always treads on water? Why does one steadily move on up while another just moves on, or worse – just quits?

Without a doubt, some investors have tapped into the best-kept secret that will help you acquire the unlimited success and wealth you’ve always deserved. It’s the secret that helped Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, and Ross Perot build their real estate empires.

What is this secret?

Your wealth is limited only by your ability to borrow money. Yes – your ability to get into debt determines your ability to achieve wealth.

But debt is a complex concept. Not all of it is good — a fact a surprising number of people fail to realize until they’re in the hole — and yet not all debt is bad. When used intelligently, the right type of debt can be of tremendous assistance in building your wealth.

The smart investors know the difference between good debt (investment debt) and bad debt (consumer debt). When you buy something that goes down in value immediately, that’s bad debt. Buying a car on debt seems to be an inescapable part of life, but the car has no potential to increase in value and that’s bad consumer debt.

Conversely, good debt is investment debt that creates value. For example, you find a good property that needs to be fixed up so you can resell it for a profit. You obtain a short-term loan from a Private Lender to buy the ugly house and fix it up quickly. This is definitely good debt.

Why?

Several months later, you sell the house, pay off the loan from the Private Lender, and you leave the title company with a five-figure check that represents your profit. No doubt, the best type of debt is debt that builds wealth over the long run, and the No. 1 example is debt for the purchase of real estate.

Imagine selling just two houses each and every month. And every time, you sell the house, your loan from your Private Lender is immediately paid off, and you walk away with a generous check.

This may sound like the stuff of fantasy to you, but successful real estate investors use investment debt to routinely achieve their financial goals. These same investors usually buy their properties with no money down. No money down does not mean that no money is involved in the transaction. The goal is to use none of your own cash and that’s precisely what seasoned investors accomplish with short-term investment debt.

Most new investors believe that their lack of money is what stops them from doing a deal. Although this is not true, it does keep some investors from launching their business and realizing their goals.

Do not let your lack of money, bad credit, or no credit keep you from building your fortune in real estate. Sure, it takes more than money. Succeeding as an investor also requires time and effort. But you must supply the time and effort when you’re just getting started. But what about the money to do the deals? Well, it doesn’t have to be your own.

I have purchased over 200 properties in 4 years. Not only did I borrow the money from Private Lenders to buy the properties, I also borrowed the money to rehab the houses. My consistent use of short-term investment debt has helped me to get out of long-term financial bondage.

So how you find the Private Lenders?

You start by reviewing your current relationships. Do you know any real estate agents? Some realtors that specialize in foreclosures can be excellent sources regarding Private Lenders. How about someone that works at a title company? If you have previously bought a home, you can contact the escrow officer that helped you with the closing on your home. Here are some more possibilities.

■ Attorneys

■ CPAs

■ Insurance Agents

■ Local Real Estate Investors Association

Once you get a referral from one of your valued connections, you’ll meet with the Private Lender for a discussion about your real estate investing plan. Repeat the process with multiple Private Lenders and your investing business will seem to be on steroids. You will quickly be on your way to wealth.

Real estate investors cannot achieve real wealth without going into debt. And despite what you may have learned growing up or in school about never getting into debt, the more short-term investment debt you incur buying real estate, the more value you will create – and the more rapidly you will create wealth.

You can actually borrow your way to wealth.

The Basics of Home Canning

Let me tell you, home canning takes a lot of work. However, the rewards that come with it make all the work well worth the effort. For me, I like to experiment with unusual recipes. When I started cannning it was not entirely for the standard jams and jellies you can find just about anywhere. When I discovered recipes that incorporated hot and spicy elements I figured I had found the right niche to work with. I was not disappointed.

But before I started to do any home canning I had to decide what canning method to use. There's just two common ways to preserve foods – pressure cannning or water bath canning. I chose the latter as I've had experience with both but found a hot water bath far easier for the canning recipes I had chosen. Beside, the recipes I chose were not the kind that required a pressure canner.

Water Bath Canning In a Nutshell

In a word, for me, canning with a boiling water bath is easy. Even if I did not have an actual canner I could use a large stock pot with a rack on the bottom to place jars. The only specialized equipment I would need is jars, lids and screw tops. The science involved is all about boiling water and the length of time the water is boiling.

Also, acidic foods, which I reserve, are safe to process in a bath of boiling water. This includes fruit, pickles, sugar preserves and tomato-based salsas because the acid content of these items – along with the heat produced by the boiling water bath – preserves the contents safely.

Here is my home canning routine. I have my canner filled with boiling water to first sterilize my jars. In a different pot I have the jam, jelly or salsa cooking. In yet another pot of boiling water I have the sealing lids. I remove a sterilized jar from the pot, fill it with hot contents leaving some head space, and then put a sterilized sealer lid on top. I add a screw top (only finger tight). I then completely immersed the warm, filled jar in the hot water bath for processing. Once time is reached (time varies with recipes and elevation) I removed the processed jar and put it on a countertop to cool.

Pressure Canning In a Nutshell

Quite honestly, I can not bring myself to use a pressure canner. I'm sure I'm not the only person with a childhood canning story that starts with the sentence, "One day when my mom was using a pressure cooker …" and recounts an incident where there was an explosion of some kind. My story on that subject ends with the sentence, "… and it covered the ceiling." Stories involving pressure canners in home canning accidents spooked me away from even considering that as a canning option. The thing to note here is that is my experience.

Canning under pressure is the only way to preserve many items – usually non-acidic foods. The reason for this is that the heat created by the steam in the pressure canner will be much higher in temperature than boiling water and that safely processes these foods. Typically vegetables canned in water or a salt water mixture and animal products (fish, for example) should be press managed.

Why Home Canning Requires Heat

When canning is done correctly, there is nothing to worry about. When it is not a lot of bad things can happen. For me, the worse thing I've encountered is jams or jellies that did not set properly. As far as I'm concerned, those batches are failures. The more serious consequences from improper canning are the potential of bacteria growth, particularly botulism.

Boiling water kills botulism bacteria but spores can tolerate that heat. There are two ways to eliminate them in cannning. By using temperatures higher than boiling water (as in pressure canning) or by creating a high pH level with sweet preserves or pickled foods with a high vinegar content (as can be processed with water bath canning).

The Only Sound I Want to Hear

I find it quite satisfying to complete a mini batch or several batches of product for sale and am careful to follow the directions carefully with each recipe. The only variations I will make are to maybe change one ingredient to another similar one. I never change anything related to processing as no two recipes I use are the same. What works for my Hellish Relish may not work for my Vegetable Salsa so I am a stickler for not messing around with the details. There really is no shortcut to safely canning products at home.

Home canning is fun and a great way to preserve your harvest or favorite recipes to share in the off-season. I buy the majority of my produce ingredients fresh and use many that are locally-grown in the region where we live. In a way it allows me to celebrate the great growers and the crops they produce for us. It's also turned into a profitable hobby for me. I love the sound of freshly processed jars of product popping in my kitchen telling me they have properly sealed. In fact, nothing says home canning to me more than the sound of a popping jar late at night.

Guitars – Yamaha

In the world of guitars, Yamaha isn’t exactly the first company that you think of. Known more for keyboards, digital pianos and synthesizers, Yamaha still makes some decent guitars which are more than reasonably priced. We’re going to go over some of the guitars that this 40 year old company makes.

Yamaha started in 1966 long before the first synthesizer came out. But by the mid 80s they were making some of the best synthesizers on the market, including the classic Dx-7. But in spite of their reputation as a keyboard giant, the land of guitars was not very far away.

Yamaha guitars are not the fanciest looking models around but they do have a decent sound. The AES series includes the AES 420 through 920 series numbers, with the exception of the 820 which doesn’t exist. No explanation is given for the missing number.

The Pacifica series, which has a somewhat sleeker look than the AES series, includes the PAC 012 through 812, again missing a couple of series numbers including, again, the 8 series. They must have something against that number. Yamaha was always very unoriginal when it came to naming instrument models, whether they were keyboards or guitars.

The Gigmaker series is one of Yamaha’s newest additions. The look is very similar to the Pacifica series but that’s where the similarities end. The Gigmaker series features 20-watt, 2-channel drive guitar amp, protective gig bag, Qwik Tune Digital chromatic tuner, guitar cable, instructional DVD, guitar strap, extra strings and guitar picks. It may not sound like a big deal for those who have purchased the bigger name brands but for the price, this isn’t a bad guitar. The best part about this series is that it comes with a lifetime warranty. Even if you drop it off of a building, they’ll replace it free of charge.

One of the smaller series of guitars as far as how many are made, is the E series, which consists of only three models, the 112, 103 and 121. The guitars are actually very well made and come with not two, but three pickups. Two single coil and one humbucking pickup. Plus, they come with a vintage vibrato system and tremolo bar. And they don’t cost a fortune.

Another small series of guitars is the RGX series. Consisting of the 320, 520 and XA2, these guitars feature two Yamaha humbucker pickups and the original Yamaha AES series bridge. The three position pickup switch is a nice touch.

The Archtop series of guitars, which have some really fat looking bodies include not one but seven different models. They come with three single bar coil pickups, duel three way selector switches and a chrome Bigsby tremolo. These are some nice sounding guitars.

Rounding out their line of electric guitars is the Eterna. This guitar also comes with three pickups, two single coil and one humbucking.

No, you won’t find Yamaha guitars being played by your bigger rock and roll bands, but that’s not to say that they don’t make a decent instrument, especially for somebody who doesn’t have $2500 to spend.

Multi-Tasking – Is it An Effective Time Management Strategy?

As you browse job postings in the newspaper or on the web, it is very evident that multi-tasking is a key time management competency required in today’s work environment. It is implicitly or explicitly spelled out in job postings with phrases such as “Ability to prioritize workload, manage time efficiently and meet set deadlines”, “highly organized, innovative, problem-solver”, or “Strong organizational skills with ability to multitask”. But is multi-tasking really an effective time management skill?

Multi-tasking as we know it today requires people to work on many things all at the same time. But there is a handful of people, myself included, who believe the demands of multi-tasking put undue and arguably unnecessary pressure on employees. This creates stressful work environments and will usually have a negative impact on performance. I believe that the problem with multi-tasking likes in the way it is defined and subsequently the way we attempt to execute it. MSN Encarta’s online dictionary defines multi-tasking as “doing several things at once: to perform more than one task at the same time.” But is that really humanly possible? As it turns out, there have been many research studies conducted by institutions such as Stanford University, University of Michigan, UCLA and many others into the human brain and its capability of handling multiple simultaneous assignments. The findings of these studies have astounded even the researchers, revealing that the human brain does not function optimally when taxed with multiple demands that must be addressed simultaneously. Allow me to clarify here – this does not mean that employees are incapable of managing multiple responsibilities. What the results of the studies suggest is that the brain prefers to focus on one thing at a time in a designated time period.

The 21st century workplace depends heavily on technology as the primary mode of communication. Everyone owns a company blackberry and it seems that the new expectations for productivity require employees to be connected around the clock. Additionally, social media networking is increasingly gaining popularity as a viable marketing tool for organizations. Employees in the modern workplace find themselves juggling emails, text messages, tweets and Facebook updates with traditional business activities like attending meetings, reviewing reports, balancing budgets and managing projects. Lots of reasons to warrant multi-tasking you say? Well let’s take a closer look.

International leadership coach and author David Rock wrote the book “Your Brain at Work” and tells his story through the very busy and demanding lives of Paul and Emily. Now I will not pretend to be a neurobiologist and begin discussing the composition and complexity of the human brain. But in order to understand and appreciate the brain’s limitations, it is necessary to understand some basic facts about its composition and how it operates. Activities which require problem-solving and decision making skills activate a section of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This is the section of the brain behind your forehead and it controls all of your conscious behaviors and interactions with your environment. According to David Rock’s book, there are five key functions that make up the majority of our conscious thoughts: understanding, deciding, recalling, memorizing and inhibiting. Performing tasks such as problem-solving, communicating, reviewing reports, managing projects and others like these require the use of various combinations of these functions.

These activities rely exclusively on the prefrontal cortex and require a lot of energy for execution. Not surprisingly, through his analysis, he was able to point out what experts have known for a long time and research has corroborated – the human brain – even the smartest of them – is not wired neurologically to process more than one ‘conscious’ activity at the same time. The two points of focus here are conscious activity and at the same time. While we can manage several adjacent projects, the problems arise when we try to work on more than one project concurrently. Through storytelling he was able to show the effect of trying to do too many things at the same time and how quickly accuracy, competence and credibility begin to suffer. Studies into the phenomenon of ‘dual -task interference’ have consistently shown that for best performance and accuracy people should focus on one project or task at time. When they add a task that is considered ‘imbedded’ ‘or auto-pilot’ performance is somewhat impacted with a slight drop in accuracy. But when they try to juggle more than one high concentration task there is a significant drop in performance and accuracy. Yet despite these consistent finding, most organizations still require employees to engage in ‘continuous partial attention’ where one’s attention is always split between high level tasks resulting in constant mental exhaustion, which, yep you guessed it, impacts the quality and accuracy of our work. Furthermore, these studies also revealed that when juggling more than one high intensity task, people end up taking more time to get it all done, so there is no time saving realized. Yet the facts about how our brains are wired to work remain constant:

– We can focus on only one conscious task at a time

– Switching between tasks uses energy; when we do this a lot we are prone to making mistakes

– Doing multiple conscious tasks at the same time will lead to decreased accuracy and/or performance

– The only way to do two mental tasks quickly and maintain a high accuracy level is to do them one at a time

And so, given the biological limitations of how much the brain can handle at one time, it is important that managers consider the impact on performance and therefore develop realistic expectations for themselves and their employees when it comes to multi-tasking. If we must multi-task there is wisdom in being selective about which activities will be paired together. While it is an expectation that employees are able to ‘maximize their time’ by working on more than one thing at a time, employees should be careful to pair their top level responsibilities with activities which they essentially can perform while on ‘auto-pilot’. These tasks will be less demanding on our energy resources and they rely on a different part of the brain – leaving the prefrontal cortex free to better focus on the more complex task.

And so to better utilize our brain power it might be prudent for us to consider some of the ideas I’m presenting below:

1. Let’s properly define multi-tasking for the workplace. From my perspective, multi-tasking in the workplace is much more complex than simply doing several things at the same time. It is a time management competency that requires the ability to prioritize in order to effectively handle the multiple projects on your plate. Multi-tasking is the ability to work smarter by determining when it is appropriate to focus on more than one task at a time. For example, you do not want to be responding to email requests while you are trying to balance your department’s budget. But, you may be able to check those emails during your project update conference call as long as you’re not a key presenter or even the note taker. Always exercise wisdom when pairing tasks, ensuring that you do not pair two high concentration tasks together. We will not be able to escape the responsibility of multiple projects, but we must exercise full control of our time in order be effective with the specific task at hand. See, the ultimate goal of multi-tasking should not be what volume of stuff can be completed in a short period of time. Instead it should be about efficiency in managing your time to do a good job fulfilling all of your responsibilities.

2. Put away the blackberry when you’re in a meeting! This particular issue is a pet peeve of mine, and you may or may not agree with it. I always remember the way I was brought up and constantly hear my mother’s voice saying “Stop doing ‘that’ and look at me when I’m talking to you!” Because ‘everyone is doing it’, it appears that distracted attendees are an expectation for meetings today. If that is the case, why have the meeting at all? Why not just send a summary of the points you want to address via email since everyone is always checking their emails anyway? Think about it. How many times have you called a meeting because you want to make sure everyone gets the same information at the same time, but the people who you really want to be engaged are only giving you a part of their attention? Then an hour after the meeting they send you an email asking you for information that was addressed and discussed at length during the meeting? See the truth is, while they thought they were doing a good job multi-tasking, they were really more focused on the other stuff they were doing, so they missed the good discussions. The bottom line for me is I don’t want to be rude. Therefore just as much as we expect meeting leaders to come prepared to lead their meetings, by the same token we should be prepared to fully participate through listen and when appropriate contributing and giving feedback.

3. This next point is a weakness for me. It is the tendency to work through lunch. I am definitely guilty of this. Remember, the prefrontal cortex where all of our understanding, deciding, recalling, memorizing and inhibiting is done, uses a lot of energy. It’s a good idea to take a break in the action and physically remove yourself from your work to concentrate on your meal. Mealtime is refueling time. Think about it. When you take your car to the gas station for a refill you don’t leave the engine running while you fill up do you? There’s good reason for that. I’m no car mechanic, but it’s reasonable to assume that turning the engine off allows the car to be more receptive to fuel being injected and reduces the risk of major mishaps such as sparks from the engine connecting with fuel and causing an explosion! Likewise when refueling your body (and your brain), turn your engines off. Get your energy level back up so that you can function more effectively.

4. Lastly, learn to appreciate the use of the word NO. I’ve said this before and I really believe this. And so does David Rock. Studies have shown that the average employee spends about 2.5 hours each day dealing with distractions. And once distracted it takes about 25 minutes before you can refocus on your project. But the distraction isn’t always external – such as your cube-neighbor’s phone constantly ringing and he’s not there to answer it, or from your good friend stopping by to say hello just as you were getting your flow with your work. The vast majority of distractions are internal – like thinking about hanging out with your buddies later and how much fun you will have, or what will you do for dinner tonight, or you’re still tired from all the partying you did this past weekend. Learning to say NO to distractions, both internal and external, is a skill that can be learned but it requires an ability to focus. For internal distractions, David Rock describes the ability of putting on the breaks and nipping internal turmoil in the bud before the ideas have a chance to take root. Be forewarned though, you have about 0.2 seconds to make that happen! For external distractions be OK with pressing “send calls to voicemail” on your neighbor’s phone; or ask your buddy to connect during lunch instead so you can stay focused. Additionally, sometimes for high performers the distraction comes in the form of additional projects and responsibilities. If your docket is full, don’t be embarrassed to admit it. Taking on a new project when you’re already stretched to your limits is not wise. If saying no is not an option, consider discussing expectations and priorities with your manager. What are the expectations and how realistic are they? What is most important to the business at this time? And what are the consequences if things begin falling through the cracks because you have too much to handle?

The reality is, if we are honest, we have to admit that multi-tasking as we have come to know it does not always benefit our business. We don’t get more done in less time. It actually takes us longer to get things done right if the quality and accuracy of our work is important to us. Whenever we are rushed or pressured to get more things done faster there is a high likelihood that the quality and accuracy will be compromised. So the question we should be asking ourselves (and our managers) is: what’s most important at this time – is it the amount of work we can get done in a finite amount of time, or is it the quality of our output? There is ample research that supports the fact that as quantity of work increases, quality of work decreases. We should therefore decide which one is most important to our businesses and to us – quantity or quality. Pick one ’cause it can’t be both.

The Basics of Home Canning

Let me tell you, home canning takes a lot of work. However, the rewards that come with it make all the work well worth the effort. For me, I like to experiment with unusual recipes. When I started cannning it was not entirely for the standard jams and jellies you can find just about anywhere. When I discovered recipes that incorporated hot and spicy elements I figured I had found the right niche to work with. I was not disappointed.

But before I started to do any home canning I had to decide what canning method to use. There's just two common ways to preserve foods – pressure cannning or water bath canning. I chose the latter as I've had experience with both but found a hot water bath far easier for the canning recipes I had chosen. Beside, the recipes I chose were not the kind that required a pressure canner.

Water Bath Canning In a Nutshell

In a word, for me, canning with a boiling water bath is easy. Even if I did not have an actual canner I could use a large stock pot with a rack on the bottom to place jars. The only specialized equipment I would need is jars, lids and screw tops. The science involved is all about boiling water and the length of time the water is boiling.

Also, acidic foods, which I reserve, are safe to process in a bath of boiling water. This includes fruit, pickles, sugar preserves and tomato-based salsas because the acid content of these items – along with the heat produced by the boiling water bath – preserves the contents safely.

Here is my home canning routine. I have my canner filled with boiling water to first sterilize my jars. In a different pot I have the jam, jelly or salsa cooking. In yet another pot of boiling water I have the sealing lids. I remove a sterilized jar from the pot, fill it with hot contents leaving some head space, and then put a sterilized sealer lid on top. I add a screw top (only finger tight). I then completely immersed the warm, filled jar in the hot water bath for processing. Once time is reached (time varies with recipes and elevation) I removed the processed jar and put it on a countertop to cool.

Pressure Canning In a Nutshell

Quite honestly, I can not bring myself to use a pressure canner. I'm sure I'm not the only person with a childhood canning story that starts with the sentence, "One day when my mom was using a pressure cooker …" and recounts an incident where there was an explosion of some kind. My story on that subject ends with the sentence, "… and it covered the ceiling." Stories involving pressure canners in home canning accidents spooked me away from even considering that as a canning option. The thing to note here is that is my experience.

Canning under pressure is the only way to preserve many items – usually non-acidic foods. The reason for this is that the heat created by the steam in the pressure canner will be much higher in temperature than boiling water and that safely processes these foods. Typically vegetables canned in water or a salt water mixture and animal products (fish, for example) should be press managed.

Why Home Canning Requires Heat

When canning is done correctly, there is nothing to worry about. When it is not a lot of bad things can happen. For me, the worse thing I've encountered is jams or jellies that did not set properly. As far as I'm concerned, those batches are failures. The more serious consequences from improper canning are the potential of bacteria growth, particularly botulism.

Boiling water kills botulism bacteria but spores can tolerate that heat. There are two ways to eliminate them in cannning. By using temperatures higher than boiling water (as in pressure canning) or by creating a high pH level with sweet preserves or pickled foods with a high vinegar content (as can be processed with water bath canning).

The Only Sound I Want to Hear

I find it quite satisfying to complete a mini batch or several batches of product for sale and am careful to follow the directions carefully with each recipe. The only variations I will make are to maybe change one ingredient to another similar one. I never change anything related to processing as no two recipes I use are the same. What works for my Hellish Relish may not work for my Vegetable Salsa so I am a stickler for not messing around with the details. There really is no shortcut to safely canning products at home.

Home canning is fun and a great way to preserve your harvest or favorite recipes to share in the off-season. I buy the majority of my produce ingredients fresh and use many that are locally-grown in the region where we live. In a way it allows me to celebrate the great growers and the crops they produce for us. It's also turned into a profitable hobby for me. I love the sound of freshly processed jars of product popping in my kitchen telling me they have properly sealed. In fact, nothing says home canning to me more than the sound of a popping jar late at night.

California's Orange County Cosmetic Surgery

California is home to some of the most beautiful people because they can afford to have cosmetic surgery performed. Yes some are just born beautiful, but others seek a professional to fix the little imperfections that they have such as an unbalanced face, a little too much fat around the thighs and whatever else an individual may find wrong. Cosmetic surgery has evolved from its first concept of helping those that needed it to making it a popular thing to do. The trouble with cosmetic surgery is that you do have to keep going back, as as individuals age and sometimes not gracefully. Orange County cosmetic surgery is home to some of the greatest professionals in the industry because this is where most people go to have work done, including some of the actors and actresses of Hollywood.

* Orange Country cosmetic surgery has advanced since the original conception of the work.

* This means that there are new and innovative ways to perform procedures.

* You may decide just one area needs to be touched up or you may want a whole body procedure from legs, face, and stomach.

* Of course the procedures in cosmetic surgery are extremely expensive so be prepared for the thousands of dollars you may spend to become perfect. Each procedure will cost something different so a simple eyelift may not cost as much as the chin lift or it could be the other way around.

* Popularity in cosmetic surgery specifically Orange County cosmetic surgery keeps evolution. There are so many new people heading for the procedures.

* This new popularity has made an increase in demand for the best and most qualified cosmetic surgeons available.

* There are risks and complications of cosmetic surgery. The best thing to note in this area is that the surgeons in Orange County are proven to be some of these best, which means the risks and complications are kept to a minimum.

When you head in for cosmetic surgery [http://www.knowcosmeticsurgery.com/Cosmetic_And_Plastic_Surgery/] you need to know the risks and complications that may arise. Some of these can be nerve damage, infection, or pigmentation problems. Pigmentation problems usually result when a person has laser cosmetic surgery performed and the laser was left on an area too long. This means only the area can no longer exude the proper pigmentation so the area tends to be a little whiter. The nerve damage often comes from facelifts, chin lifts, or eye lifts because the surgeon is removing the skin from the muscle and nerves. Even the best cosmetic surgeons have had problems during a procedure though they are an extremely small small when you compare the number of individuals that seek cosmetic surgery every year.

To Lose More Weight – Stop Doing Cardio!

Yes. You read that title right. I told you to "stop doing cardio!" if you want to lose fat. I can hear it now, "What? Nia, you do not know what you're talking about. All of the top bodybuilders spend hours a week doing long, slow cardio workouts. And that's what they say to do in the magazines so it must be right! " Yeah. . . sure.

Look, I'm going to tell you the absolutely quickest, no fail way to lose fat in the least amount of time possible . No, I'm not going to sell you the latest "Square Dance Abs-Line Dance Your Way to Sexy" DVD's. (Do they have those yet? If not, keep your eye on the Saturday morning infomercials!)

This is for men and women, so pay attention. The quickest way to fat loss is through proper nutrition. That is number one. Do not let anyone BS you. There is no magic pill that will allow you to eat whatever you want and lose fat. Second is strength training. The third and final component is intervals or bodyweight circuits (Note: I prefer bodyweight circuits).

There you have it. No frills. No fillers. No dance shoes required. And best yet, absolutely no BS!

If you have limited time but want maximum results, I would suggest that you perform 3 total body weight training sessions per week. Oh, and do not even think about doing sets of 20 or more reps. The goal here is to maintain or even increase lean muscle mass. That means keeping reps predominately in the 5-12 rep range. Doing sets of 20 reps will not "cut" or "tone" your muscles. You can not change the shape or length of a muscle. You can only make it bigger and / or stronger. If you want to get cut, ripped, or toned , you just need to focus on losing the fat that covers your muscles. Low body body fat = muscle definition.

Here's a sample daily workout. Perform it in a circuit if you can. That simply means that you perform 1 set of each exercise before you repeat the first exercise again.

Sets: 4 Reps: 8 Rest: 60 seconds between exercises
1a) Front Squat
1b) Chin-up (use a band or partner for assistance if you can not perform them on your own)
1c) Incline DB Bench Press After you perform 4 sets for each exercise, you can then do bodyweight circuits to increase your fat burning. Once again, perform in a circuit. Sets: 3-5 Rest: 1-2 minutes after you complete the entire circuit Jumping Jacks x30-50 Squats x20 Pushups x20 Reverse Lunges x10 each leg Plank x30-45 seconds Squat Thrusts x15

This is a great example of a fat burning workout. As I said, perform 3 total body strength training workouts a week on non-consecutive days. Here are some great set and rep guidelines (Day 1: 4 sets of 8, Day 2: 6 sets of 5, Day 3: 4 sets of 12). Finish off with interviews on the bike or bodyweight circuits.

If you really wish to engage in more physical activity and increase your fat loss, I would suggest taking brisk walks that are about 20-35 minutes in duration, preferred outside. Take the walks on your off days. This program will get you more results than the vast majority of the workouts you find in "Muscle and Fiction". Give it a try!