Surround Panoramic Night Vision is Possible

Modern night vision equipment is state of the art for infantry and Special Forces. After the most recent assault on the International Terrorists and insurgents in Falluja, Iraq the United States Military and the US Trained Iraqi Security Forces put to good use the methods of Urban Combat. Much of the specialized equipment such as the night vision equipment was put to good use in the door-to-door search and destroy mission to round up the bad guys. Navy Seals, Swat Teams, Special Forces all deploy such modern night vision equipment which is used in conjunction with long range binoculars, these units can see thousands of yards in the pitch black of night, they work so well in fact that they are quite addicting. War fighters have been known to keep them on even while in closer quarters where lighting is sufficient without them.

We see the new GPS Night Vision Equipment with all the bells and whistles incredibly useful in the BattleSpace, yet we believe now with the smaller processors and micro sensors that we can in fact improve greatly upon the current designs without adding weight. Actually it seems that now with modern almost off the shelf electronics from AMD and Intel that these night vision goggles, binoculars and specialty equipment could even shave a pound and a half off their current weight. Surround Panoramic Night Vision is Possible and it is also need as per the Air Force Report to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, subcommittee on; “Emerging Threats for Fiscal-Year 2002” see page 11. In aviation you constantly need to check six so you do not get shot out of the sky. Imagine in the Vietnam War if our LRP -Long Range Patrols had surround nigh vision equipment? They could sneak around at night, all night and see everything all around them in better than daytime visibility and further than the Bionic Man.

Currently the most well respected and sought after military night vision equipment have extended fields of vision. Some specially designed units have 210-degree vision. This is absolutely great, however we need 360 vision. This is possible using small antenna like tubes with tiny cameras in the ends. The tubes will bend like the sun glasses pilots wear to fit comfortably over the ears. These tubes will follow the edge of the skull and over the ear then jut out one inch and turn back parallel to the skull again and point directly back on both sides of the soldiers head. These tubes can be incorporated with other equipment such as helmets, goggle straps, earpieces or speaker booms, which are commonly worn for inter team communication. The vision tubes will have static cling surface on the bottom, which will stick to the other hardware worn by the team member.

The projection of the rear view will be displayed above the frontal view similar to the video back up monitors above the center of front windshield of a motor home to assist in backing up. If the night vision is equipped with heat sensors and color change to show such body heat, the rear view will not incorporate this, the rear view to save weight will only be the normal green tint color.

The entire scene both front and rear will be video taped and stored in the goggles and can be saved using a USB port and a downloadable cartridge will be water proof and stored in one of the pockets of the uniform. This video footage will be brought back for training at USMC, DHS, FBI, SWAT, Ranger, Seal facilities. In these new high tech simulators the lights will be turned off, a ten screen surround system including 10 foot ceiling and ceiling screen as well; will play the footage in normal speed with sound. A system similar to the NASA Control Tower Training will be used as a virtual reality environment, like that of the CAVE Project.

This way the trainees will have been to virtual battle hundreds and hundreds of times with thousands hours under their belt before risking life and limb in the theatre. The lives we save in the field will more than pay for the additional training virtual reality simulators. We believe these new systems once integrated will save lives and increase productivity in the arenas of urban warfare, SWAT hostage situations, DEA drug busts, Border Patrols chases, FBI stings, DHS efforts, Coast Guard ship boardings, etc.

We should order 15 such simulators and put them strategically around the country for training, day and night, 24-hour, 7 days a week. It is well worth the money and with the current battles going on now we can we will have plenty of action packed footage for all of these agencies and military needs for training. Once we have a video library of the most dangerous and challenging footage we will be well on our way.

In aviation simulators and NASA Space Shuttle simulators they give you multiple emergencies and the most gruesome combinations of hair raising, gut wrenching, adrenaline engaging issues and they give them to you all at once. It is times like that which try men’s souls. These simulators test to see if the pilots have the right stuff. We need that for all of our teams. By using electronic video from the combat soldiers point of view, urban warfare takes on a whole different view. From these electronic video sessions modifications can be made using the latest motion picture therefore change and manipulate the combat situation into a new reality. Is it real or is it Memorex? Am I in Iran or North Korea or am I in the; Code Name: “Matrix IV” at the USMC base at Camp Pendleton? Look, here it is; Kids playing video games on their computers are becoming quite good at quick thinking, fast acting gaming, this training taken to much higher or ultimate in current technology level will be more than productive. Such a regiment of training is smart, non-linear and reality based. Politicians role play for debates, salesmen envision the sale during the process, athletes use psycho-cybernetics and place themselves in tomorrows race winning, pilots and astronauts use simulators and like the old adage says; practice makes perfect. It pays to practice now before they are firing real bullets.

By adding these technologies and abilities to the night vision equipment in the field and deploying our elite forces with them, we can use those experiences to train our next wave of future fighters.

When Your Child Says, "I Don’t Fit In"

Every child feels like they don’t fit in at some point. Even adults feel that way occasionally: we all experience being “alone in a room full of people.” With kids, the need to be part of a group is instinctual; it’s survival. They want to fit in and be like everyone else because it gives them a sense of safety and security. So when your child tells you they don’t fit in, they’re also saying, “I don’t feel safe.” The anxiety comes from thoughts of, “I’m different; I’m vulnerable.” And sadly, other children tend to focus on kids who are different and can be very cruel.

When your child is getting picked on for being different, know that it’s excruciatingly painful for him or her. But you also need to realize as a parent that you can’t fix it; there’s nothing that you can say or do that’s going to take that pain away-so stop looking for the magic answer. Instead, start working with your child to give them the skills they need to solve the problem they’re facing right now.

“But What If My Child Really Doesn’t Fit in?” Kids with Learning or Behavioral Disabilities

When your child doesn’t fit in with his peer group for some emotional, behavioral or physical reason, I think you have to find an organized way as a parent to work with them step by step, to show them how to manage their daily lives.

One thing to consider is that many learning disabilities often don’t manifest themselves until your child starts school, although the issues have been there since birth. So when a child gets to kindergarten or first grade, you might see that he has trouble reading, doing math or processing social situations. In reality, that disability has been there all along-it’s just surfacing in a different, more concrete way. By the time that child has been diagnosed, he’s probably already developed a very cautious way of looking at the world; he already feels different and is working hard to hide it. The learning disability might not be discovered until years later, but it has always affected that child.

Look at it this way: if you have a learning disability that causes you to get letters or numbers backwards, what do you think it’s going to do to your understanding of relationships, friendships, trust or responsibility? Do you think you’re going to get all those things straight, and it’s just the numbers that are backwards? This is a much more complex problem than people think.

So if you tell a child with special needs who feels like he doesn’t fit in, “C’mon, you’re just like the other kids. Don’t let it bother you,” that’s not really a helpful answer. Instead, it’s a message to your child that they have control over whether or not they have a disability, or the power to decide how it affects them. He’s going to walk away feeling like there’s something wrong with him, and he’s going to say to himself, “Nobody understands me, I really am different.” While kids may often learn how to manage the effects their learning disabilities have upon them, it usually takes a lot of work and effort on everybody’s part-parents, teachers and the kids themselves-to make that happen.

Personally, I felt different as kid. I was adopted, I had learning and behavioral disabilities, I felt like I didn’t fit in, and kids teased me. But I learned over time how to be comfortable inside my own skin. It was more difficult back then because parents did not have the skills and education they have today. They didn’t understand the importance of teaching kids how to solve problems and they didn’t know how to coach their kids to build on their skill base. Simply put, in those days, parents didn’t have the resources to teach their children not be victims, regardless of their vulnerabilities.

Your Job When Your Child is Feeling Different: Use the Teaching, Coaching and Limit-Setting Roles

So what is your role as a parent in this situation? One job is to balance reassurance with coaching. When talking to your child, remind them that a lot of other kids have gone through the same thing and made it through okay. Give them some perspective on the issue, the knowledge that this is not the end of the world. Also, in your own mind, don’t let it be the end of the world.

This is the time to be a coach and teacher to your child. Coaches reinforce and remind kids of skills that have already been acquired. Teachers help kids identify and develop the skills they need to solve an individual problem. I think being a teacher is one of the most precious things we are to kids. It’s a powerful thing to be able to help your child identify and solve his or her problems, because you’re giving them a tool that will aid them the rest of their lives.

You also need to continue setting limits even if your child is feeling bad or down. Let them know you still expect them to carry out their responsibilities and complete their tasks. If they’re upset after school, just say, “Well, take a few minutes and then let’s get started with homework.” They can feel bad for a certain amount of time, but then they have to start their homework or clean their room. The key is, don’t let them be crippled by feeling bad, and don’t treat them like they’re a cripple.

Another valuable lesson is to function appropriately no matter how you feel. Yes, it’s important to feel the feelings, but it’s also important to do something positive about them. Here’s the truth: we all have to do what we have to do no matter how we feel.

The limit-setting function of a parent is very important during these times. You can be loving and concerned, but it’s up to you to keep this problem in perspective. Your child is going to make the problem huge, so you have to be the one to say, “Yeah, that’s tough,” and then bring it down to its right size. And its right size is, “It really hurts when this happens, but it happens. And even when we’re feeling this way, we still have to do our homework. We still have to talk nicely to our little brother. We still have to clean our room, we still have to eat dinner.” That way, your child is still being responsible and still keeping up with the tasks in his or her life.

7 Tips to Help Your Child

1. Try Not to Overreact When Your Child Comes to You

When your child goes to school and gets picked on, you feel powerless as a parent. It frightens you, it makes you angry, but really, it’s a sense of powerlessness that you’re experiencing. You do everything you can to protect yourself in life, but when your child goes to school and gets hurt, you’re vulnerable too. The feeling of powerlessness is a personal feeling and it’s a devastating one. Many parents lose their objectivity when their child tells them they’re being excluded, picked on or bullied. The technique for the parent here is to go take five minutes and calm down, talk it through with others if you can, work it out, but don’t overreact in front of your child.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s very normal for parents to feel powerless and it’s very difficult for them not to overreact to that feeling. But understand this: when you feel powerless, your first response is not always the best response. In fact, there are generally two kinds of reactions when people feel powerless: one is stick their head in the sand, and the other is to strike out. Know that neither one is helpful to a kid.

2. Let Your Child Talk about it and Give Reassurance

When their child tries to talk to them about not fitting in or being picked on, parents may unconsciously become less warm or receptive. Or they may give other signals, verbal or non-verbal, that say they’re uncomfortable talking about it. They may try to minimize the problem, and make it seem like it’s “not that big of a deal.”

But the danger here is that your child gets the message, “They don’t want to talk about it anymore.” Try to remain open to hearing what they have to say, and be calm and soothing in your response. Let your child talk it out-don’t try to make the problem seem like it’s not important, because in the child’s life, it’s huge. Yes, all kids go through this. But maybe all kids don’t go through what your kid is going through.

Remember that when a child tells you something, that’s his way of asking for help. So parents really have to work on being comforting and accepting. They have to give their child the tools he needs to learn social skills, to learn how to read social situations. You can start by saying, “What you’re going through happens to kids sometimes, and I can get you some help with that.” Both are important for your child to know. Telling them that many children have experienced this feeling or situation “right sizes” the problem, and letting them know that you can help them offers them some tangible hope. It may come from the school, as a result of your discussions with teachers or administrators, or from counseling or workbooks your child can do. Regardless, let your child know that help is out there, and that they don’t have to go it alone.

If you freak out and start to panic about your child not fitting in, he’s going to think you think he’s a freak, too. So, it’s very important when kids share their feelings of being different for you to remain calm. Often it’s very comforting for kids to hear things like, “That happened to me when I was a kid, and I know how much it hurts.” They feel comforted when you identify with their problem and empathize with them. Another way of doing that is to say, “That must feel awful for you.” That’s framing it for them and empathizing with them at the same time.

3. Affirm What You’ve Heard

Affirm what’s going on in your child’s life and acknowledge that it’s hard for them. You can say things like, “It must be really tough to feel like you don’t fit in.” And then you can move to the offer of help: “I’m going to get us some help with that. I bet you’re not the only kid that doesn’t feel like he fits in. I bet there are books out there and stuff we can find online that will help us.” You’re showing positive regard to your child, being comforting and being helpful.

4. “Try to Find One Friend First.”

It’s a lot easier to start a relationship with one person than trying to fit into the group. When you talk with your child, tell them to deal with other kids one at a time. You can say, “How about if you start with trying to find one friend first? Is there anyone at school who you might like to hang out with?” Suggest people they might not have thought about before. “What about the kid sitting next to you? Or the kid sitting on the other side of you? Try talking to one of them, maybe you’ll get a better response.” In addition, see if your child can find friends outside of school, in other circles, or places where they might meet other kids with the same interests. Your child can join things like the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts, where the uniform basically levels the playing field: everybody in the room has the same shirt on, so kids stand out less in that crowd.

5. Teach Them How to Read Social Situations

Another skill to teach kids is how to read social situations. So if there’s a group of kids that doesn’t like your child or picks on them, your child needs to learn how to stay away from them and find other kids who they get along with: maybe there are some shy kids they can befriend or other kids having a hard time. For some children, reading social situations is more difficult than for others. But there are tools that can help parents work with their kids that will teach them how to read expressions and pick up on social cues.

6 The Power of Positive Self-talk

Positive self-talk doesn’t mean that you’re saying, “I’m wonderful and everything’s all right, lah, lah, lah.” That’s not positive self-talk. Positive self-talk is reasoning, soothing self-talk that helps you stay calm and keep your perspective.

Kids get anxious when they’re feeling left out or being picked on. Their adrenaline starts to pump, they think less clearly, and they panic. Positive, soothing self-talk is meant to bring them back down. In other words, it calms down their internal physical system, and accordingly, their thoughts.

Here’s how it breaks down. First, help your child identify what’s going on. Perhaps another kid at school is picking on your daughter because she doesn’t like the way she dresses. You can say, “It’s not your problem that Ashley doesn’t like your clothes. It’s her problem. It makes you feel bad, but you’re okay. In fact, you’re great just the way you are, and I love you.” Try that kind of soothing, calming talk as a parent. And then suggest to your child, “How about saying that to yourself next time it happens? Can you do that? ‘This is not my problem, it’s her problem.'” Or, “I’m doing the best I can. If they don’t like me, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not the only kid being teased around here.” You can also role play that conversation with younger kids to help coach them through it.

7. Let Them Know It’s OK to Ask for Help

Another skill parents can teach kids is how to ask for help. Here’s a scenario: your child comes home upset because some kids were laughing at him again in homeroom. So you say, “Well, maybe you could ask your teacher to move you.” And if the next day your child says, “I did ask her, and she wouldn’t.” Say, “All right then, you did exactly the right thing. Now, let me talk to the teacher, I’ll see if I can be helpful.” Remember, one of the best things you can ever ask your child is, “What would be helpful for you right now?” And then respect their need for space. Above all, let them know that it’s always okay to ask for help.

If Your Child is Being Bullied, Work with the School Aggressively

A word about bullying: if your child is being bullied, you need to be very proactive with teachers and the school. Have the school explain what they will do to protect your child from being a target of bullying. Physical and emotional safety is the school’s responsibility while that child is in their care. If your child is being excluded, let the teacher know you want them pulled into activities.

When parents came to my office with this problem, I’d say, “If your child is being bullied, call the teacher first. If they don’t cooperate with you, then call the principal. If they’re not responsive, call the superintendent. And let the superintendent tell the principal there’s a problem. Because once the principal hears it from the superintendent, he’s more likely to take action to solve the problem in an appropriate way. The principal might feel vulnerable that he didn’t know about it, and that will prompt him to further action.”

“Don’t Compare Your Insides to Other People’s Outsides”

There’s a saying I really like: “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” One of the big, big mistakes we make in assessing ourselves is that we constantly compare our insides to other people’s outsides. Inside we may be feeling frantic, or worried, or any number of things. And on the outside, other people look like they’ve got it all together. The end result is that when you compare your insides to other people’s outsides, you come up short-and that’s especially true if you’re a kid. Children and teens compare how they feel to the way other people look all the time. So if your child is feeling anxious and afraid and all the other kids look like they’re having a good time, your child is going to feel out of place and different. And meanwhile, all those other kids feel anxious and uptight, too, and when they look at your child, they think he looks like he’s okay. So the key is to teach your child not to compare himself to others, but to really to do what he’s comfortable with inside.

These 7 Golf Tips Will Boost Your Game To The Next Level

The secret to breaking 80 may not be found only at the range.

Nor may it be found only in golf tips, golf books, or golf lessons.

The secret to breaking 80 may also be found in recent performance research.

This research does not tell you how to drive a ball, sink a putt, or hit hit iron. Nor does it tell you how to play a course.

Instead, it tells you how to learn a motor skill. Knowing how you learn a motor skill can help you squeeze the most out of practice. More important, it speeds learning.

And speeding up learning can boost your game to the next level quickly.

Below are 7 practice tips based on performance research. Build them into your practice routines and boost your game to new heights.

Tip 1: Set specific goals

Setting specific goals, like eating par or winning the club championship, speeds learning. It also increases skill retention.

For best results, choose moderately challenging and long-term goals. Coupling them with even low levels of practice can boost learning as much as 400 percent.

Tip 2: Choose the right swing thoughts

Swings thoughts are valuable tools. But you need to use the right thoughts. The key is to use external swing thoughts, not internal ones.

Savvy golfers, use swing thoughts that refer to the club, not the body-thoughts like "Lean the shaft forward at impact" and not "Get my hands ahead of the club at impact."

Tip 3: Learn from a pro

When you learn from a pro, you play like one. So take golf lessons from a pro whenever you can. Highly effective, it's the best way to learn and the best way to achieve consistency.

A pro can see your errors. You can. A pro also will not let you ingrain errors. She'll correct them and teach you how to do things right, speeding learning.

Tip 4: Practice like you play

If you leave your best swings at practice, it's because you're not practicing to transfer skills from the range to the course. Transfer practice encourages specificity of learning. The process is called practicing like you play.

In other words, instead of hitting 25 drivers in a row, hit driver, then 7-iron, then PW-just like you'd do during a round.

Or hit wedges from a grassy area, not off a mat. Try to create actual playing conditions when practicing.

Tip 5: Work on one change

When you practice working on several changes at the same time you short-circuit the brain-literally. Repeating a movement changes your brain, increasing its efficiency in processing information and controlling movement.

But that's only if you're working on one change at a time.

Also, use training aids. Why-because the brain can not tell when you're doing something right or wrong. Training aids teach you to perform the skill correctly, ingraining the fundamentals the right way.

Tip 6: Practice, practice, practice

There's no escaping it. You have to practice to improve. Research shows it takes 10,000 hours of work to ingrain a motor skill. It also shows that you need to do something for 10 years to master it.

So it you're serious about shrinking your golf handicap, practice. No one's ever learned to play golf well without practice.

Tip 7: Buy Videos

Forget verbal training aids. Instead, use a video or a photo. We learn faster using our eyes, not our ears. So find a golfer that's good at a skill, like chipping, and watch her perform it.

This process is called "modeling." Modeling gives you a "blueprint" to guide your motions. So if you want to improve, buy videos.

The 10 Top Ways To Play It Safe This Holiday Season

Every year, the holiday season seems to approach us before we’re ready for it. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 67,800 home fires occur in a typical year, caused from faulty home wiring and electrical appliances. More home fires happen in December than any other month of the year.

The holidays are a busy time for all of us, and safety planning may take a back seat to the list of things to do such as shopping, party organization, family get-togethers, volunteer missions, gift wrapping, and decorating, to name a few. Let’s all work together to make sure our loved ones don’t show up as a statistic on the evening news.

Here are the 10 top ways to play it safe this holiday season:

Overall home wiring system integrity is crucial. Grounded circuits are safer than ungrounded circuits. Have your panel inspected regularly. This could uncover potential problems before they become unsafe.

  • Space Heaters can be very dangerous! When using them, do not overload the circuit they’re plugged in to. Only use space heaters that have an emergency shut-off if they tip over. Make sure the heater itself is not damaged or compromised in any way. Keep children away from space heaters. Keep space heaters away from all combustible materials such as curtains, rugs, furniture, toys, etc. Never leave then unattended, and particularly when your home is unoccupied. Never use them with extension cords. If you believe the heater is even slightly damaged or compromised, throw it away.
  • Your homes’ heating system should be checked yearly by your heating and cooling company. This could uncover potential problems before they become unsafe.
  • Extension cords are for temporary use. Many fires are started by extension cords because they are used improperly, tied in knots, overloaded, stowed under rugs and carpet, used for circuit wiring, frayed or cracked or otherwise compromised. The temporary use rule also holds true for devices used to plug multiple appliances into a receptacle. These are sometimes called ‘triple taps’. These devices encourage overloading. A safer alternative is the circuit breaker protected outlet strip, or a surge protector strip.
  • Smoke detectors are not negotiable! New codes call for one in every bedroom, and one at every elevation change. It isn’t uncommon to find 10-15 smoke detectors in new homes. Regardless of how many you have, make sure you test them regularly (minimum once a month) to confirm they work. They save lives. Ideally, they should be electric with battery back-up, and interconnected. This way when one is triggered, they all sound the alarm. If you’re unsure about your smoke alarm system, have your electrician evaluate.
  • Additional lighting and appliances can overload your home wiring circuits. Follow the rules above for extension cords and triple taps, and apply common sense to your electrical needs overall. If you have repeated fuses blowing or breakers tripping, there could be an overload issue. Be aware of unusual noises such as crackling or popping, and turn all electrical loads off before plugging in or unplugging. This will eliminate arcing.
  • GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection is designed to protect human beings from electrocution. Today’s code requires them near swimming pools and hot tubs, in bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors, in garages, unfinished basements and crawl spaces, wet bars, boathouses, rooftop receptacles, fountains, and construction sites. If you don’t have them in these places, speak with your electrician about installing them. During the holiday season of Christmas lights and outdoor electric displays and decorations, to help prevent electric shock it is essential you use GFCI protection for all of your outdoor electrical needs. You can plug into a GFCI receptacle, a circuit with a GFCI breaker, or a GFCI whip (inline GFCI protection).
  • Receptacle safety plugs are a great idea (all year round) when kids are present in your home. They should fit snugly and require some effort to remove, because they could also become a choking hazard. These will prevent children from inserting anything into the receptacle; thereby reducing the chances of electrocution. I also recommend teaching your children from an early age about the rules of electrical safety.
  • Proper outdoor lighting improves security. Motion lighting and floodlighting can provide safer pathways, and aid in home security against prowlers or would-be burglars. It’s a good idea to leave on a light indoors when the home is unoccupied. Timers are useful for cycling lamps and other lighting throughout your home.
  • Ladders are often used to install Christmas lights on homes and trees. Never exceed the load capacity of your ladder. Extension ladders should be placed so that the distance at the bottom is about ¼ the length of the ladder. Keep all areas at the top and bottom of your ladder clear of debris, ice and snow, toys, etc. Keep your ladders free of all slip hazards and materials. Never overextend your reach. Always use fiberglass ladders when working around electrical lines. Never use a ladder for a purpose for which it is not intended.
  • Many folks are do-it-yourselfers. When working with home wiring, remember to ALWAYS turn power off before performing your project. Respect your skill set limitations, and don’t allow distractions. If you feel unsure of your ability in any area of home repair or improvement, hire a professional. Don’t risk your safety, your family or your life to save a few dollars.

There are many topics we can discuss that contribute to the safety of your family and home. Common sense and good judgment in the areas listed above will drastically increase your safety, and improve your odds for an enjoyable, accident-free holiday season.

Beginning Website Design With HTML (Part 1)

I am beginning a series of tutorials on HTML, the language that makes websites possible. This is the first part of my series. Enjoy, and leave any questions in the comments!

What does HTML stand for? Hyper Text Markup Language

Ok, now we’ve got that out of the way. The first thing you need to know is how to make an HTML file. Easy!

If you are on Windows, go to Start > Accessories > Notepad. Open Notepad, then click File > Save As… and type a name to save it as (e.g website). At the end of the name include the extension.html so the name looks like website.html. Now, click the Save As Type dropdown menu and select “All files”. Then save.

If you are on a Mac, use TextEdit. Open it by either searching it in Spotlight, or going to Finder > Applications > TextEdit. Open it, go to Preferences and make it Plain Text instead of Rich Text. Go to File > Save As…, type a name, and select Web Page (.html) from the File Format dropdown.

That’s all there is to it! Your file is now ready to be made into a website! To view it in the browser (although there is currently nothing to view), just right-click the file, open with your favorite browser.

Ok, now onto the coding! First off: In HTML, everything is made up of tags. Tags consist of and everything in between. For example, the opening tag for an HTML file is. The closing tag is the same, except it has a forward slash in front of the word:. You always begin and end HTML documents with the opening and closing tags. Now, between those tags, put in the head tag. It’s the same as the html tag, except with the word “head” instead of “html”:

The head of your website is where you will put your websites title, and any files your website requires to run. We will get into most of that later; for now, let’s just put in the title. Insert the title tag (I hope you’ve figured out how to do this by now) and close it.

Now, between the title tags, add a title for your website e.g: My First Website

Now for the content. Beneath the closing head tag, make the body tag, opening and closing:. The body of your site is where all of the content that people see goes (the title only appears in the title-bar of browsers).

If you want to insert text into the body, use the paragraph tag with your text between the opening and closing tag.

Save your work, and view the site the way I mentioned above.

To add text beneath that paragraph, simply add the paragraph tags again, along with the text inside.

That’s all for today’s tutorial. By now you should know how to: Create an HTML file, add the site title, and add simple text-content. Come back to see our next tutorials!

Reuse Works For the Workshop

The workshop is a great place for reusing items formally destined for the landfill. Even if you do not have a shop or craft area you can always donate the items mentioned in the following paragraphs to friends, schools, shops, youth centers … The concept of reusing is as limitless as your imagination.

Screws, bolts, picture hooks, plant hangers, curtain hooks, and hinges are common hardware items used in most homes. Although not overly costly when purchased a few pieces at a time, they can add up over the years. Salvage any reusable hardware and parts from old cabinets, furniture or mechanical items before discarding. These can easily be organized and stored in plastic containers of different sizes. Shop with this in mind and purchase items like peanut butter or mayonnaise in clear plastic containers.

These are our favorite as they are recyclable, sturdy and you can easily determine the jar's contents at a glance. When buying screws and bolts avoid the small plastic packages and try to find a store that sells these items out of bulk bins. You save money and packaging too.

Strong plastic jugs from juice, milk, or detergents make excellent storage containers for tools, rags or parts in the workshop. At a section near the top of the jug remove all but a flap of plastic to attach it to a wall or post. Any rough spots can be filed off or covered with tape. Drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage and use in the same way outside in the garden and for storing clothespins.

Any clothing or towels too ragged to donate to a thrift store still have value. Cut the material into squares of different sizes to use as cleanup rags. Many garages, cabinet shops and backyard mechanisms will gratefully accept excess rags. Sewing groups would gladly accept the buttons and zippers gleaned from the clothing. Children's programs and daycare centers also use buttons for crafts.

Small household appliances that are no longer working can be salvaged for parts. If you are not familiar with this type of operation do not attempt it – you can always donate them to handymen types that you may know, or appliance repair classes in your community. Handles from pots and pans can come in handy for fashioning custom tools, or they can be used to make a storage box easy to carry. Old utensils can be bent and made into various picks and scrapers.

The workshop can become a veritable stew pot of reuse ideas. As it is not a place commonly viewed by guests or neighbors it will not matter so much if the look is compromised by the reused items. Of course, the most important thing is the fact that you are reducing your landfill contribution by taking the matter into your own hands and making a difference!

Try This for Perfecting Past Tense Pronunciation Practice

When I needed some fresh material for working in the past tense with my EFL, English as a Foreign Language, students in Barcelona, ​​Spain I opted to create a short story. This three-paragraph narrative I wrote using only the past tense of regular verbs served not only for reading, but for grammar practice, spelling and pronunciation practice as well. For even more diversity and mileage, I later added comprehension questions and a verb chart for added practice activities.

It has worked well for me. To adjust for shorter practice time or other lesson planning constants use only one paragraph for your activities and practice. It was significantly more difficult than I I imagined to write such a highly-focused, structured piece but it consistently serves to aid students even in its "artificial" language form. Writing it also flexed my creative writing muscles. Here's the narrative text:


It happened to our anniversary when we traveled to Barcelona, ​​so my wife Doris and I planned a special evening out. I purchased a beautiful bouquet of red roses that smelled wonderful and a black pearl necklace that sparkled in the moonlight. I beamed as I presented them to Doris. She pinned a rose to her sequined lapel. Her auburn hair shimmered in the sunset's bronzed glow. I called a checkered taxi and we passed many highlighted sights before we arrived in front of the restaurant. The waiter listed us as soon as we walked into the neon-signed restaurant. I noticed a secluded table. (22 verbs)

We positioned ourselves near an opened window and prepared to eat. My wife Doris looked at the selections listed on the menu and decided to have an appetizer. I picked the mushroom soup. A few minutes later the waiter returned. "What would you like to have?", He asked. Doris ordered some steamed shrimp and broiled trout. I asked a tossed Cesar salad with a grilled steak and a baked potato. While we dined, we chatted and sipped a glass of white wine. Doris wolfed down her food but I savored the meal and chewed my steak slowly. When she finished, she munched on some pretzels. She soon gotbbled up all the pretzels in the small bowl placed on the table. Later, we nibbled on a slice of decorated cheesecake as we talked. I wanted some coffee with my dessert. Doris preferred to drink iced tea. After the salted pretzels, Doris needed to drink some water. The waiter finally handed me the bill and I offered him a tip. We tipped him 15% of the total charges. He thanked us and smoked as we exited the restaurant. (40 verbs)

Outside the now closed restaurant, we strolled along the cobble-stoned street, stopped and laughed when we spotted a trained puppy that jumped and played with its owner. We then relaxed and watched the sunset from a padded park bench as the boats in the harbor rocked, pitched and bobbed on the water. Next, we watched a romantic movie at a new cinema that interested us. The aged couple in the movie argued and chased each other as they sailed down an unnamed river that tumbled and surged through rapids which boiled around jagged rocks. Frequently they were trapped and scared. When the colorized movie ended the two discovered that they really loved each other. Finally, at the disco, we danced, walked to the music and hugged each other often. Whenever I kissed Doris she blushed and giggled. Both of us enjoyed our enchanted evening out together. We hope you liked our story. (41 verbs)

Try using this narrative, past-tense-of-regular-verbs-only text, wholly or in part to help your EFL or ESL, English as a Second Language, students with this all important grammaticical context. You can bold face or underline the targeted verb forms or remove them to create a "fill-in-the-blanks exercise. Add addition reading, writing or pronunciation-based activities for getting even more usefulness form this narrative. Better than mine.

If you have not read "Six Quick Tricks for Learning a Language", or another to the point piece entitled "Learning a Language: 6 Effective Ways to Use the Internet", drop me an e-mail request at: lynchlarrym @ gmail. Com and I'll send you a copy by return e-mail.

Select Materials and Surfaces For Your Home Kitchen

The kitchen has evolved from the builder grade cabinets and plastic laminate countertops to a modern showplace with commercial grade appliances and exotic stone countertops. The days of the extreme 'over-the-top' kitchen remodel may be gone, but that still does not change the fact that the kitchen is one of the hardest working rooms in the home. Choosing durable yet attractive finishes is still important, but it should not break the bank. Here are some tips on choosing materials for your kitchen, including how to get a high end look without spending a ton of money.

Selecting Countertop Materials

There are many countertop materials to choose from, many people simply just do not know where to start. There is also a huge price range even within one material (such as stone). For an affordable option consider plastic laminate. There are some sophisticated patterns and colors available now that when paired with a tile backsplash and designer paint colors can look very good together. There are also new edge details that eliminate seams that can get damaged.

For middle-of-the road barriers look into solid surface materials such as Corian. These materials have evolved well beyond the basic white, and are now available in patterns that look more like stone. A big benefit of solid surface countertops is the ability to integrate a sink into the countertop. So wiping water into the sink and cleaning up is easier.

Another newer countertop option is Quartz. Quartz countertops turn quartz into slabs that appear almost stone like. One of the many benefits of these countertops is that they do not absorb liquids spilled on the surface.

Natural stone counters are also a popular choice and a visit to your local stone yard will show you that there are literally hundreds of choices. To help you find a suitable stone faster, ask for help looking for stone only within a certain price range and / or color range. When you find a stone you like try to take a sample home and see how it holds up to spilled wine, ketchup, mustard and oils. Beware of stones with a lot of fillers. Fillers are a sign of lower quality stone and can get damaged more easily and even fall out.

Other new choices are countertops made with concrete, glass and paper. Many of these are fine for kitchen use, but some will not be durable enough over time. If you are using a material that is not time tested inspect an installation that has been in use for some time ..

Selecting Cabinet Materials

One tip when choosing cabinets is to look at the interior door style in your house (the doors to each room, such as a bedroom). Many times choosing a coordinating cabinet door style to match the interior doors within the house is an easy and safe way to ensure that the new kitchen design looks good. Do not make the mistake of selecting an extremely fancy door style without your house warrants it. You do not want your friends to come into your kitchen and say, "wow, look at your fancy cabinets!" You want them to say, "wow, look at your amazing kitchen!" You want them to notice everything. If you have kids and pets, consider a stained wood cabinet rather than a painted cabinet. Usually they will end up looking better for a longer period of time, and they are easier to touch up when they get nicked. If you are considering a faux or decorative finish, keep in mind that when you are looking at a sample painted on one door, you'll generally want it to look less distracted than you think it should look rather than over bothered. When you install all the kitchen doors, it can look very 'over done' if you go too heavy handed on faux or decorative finishes.

Selecting Flooring

Often the first thing I consider when choosing flooring is matching an adjacent flooring material in another room or space. If there are wood floors in adjacent rooms, a good solution can be to extend the wood into the kitchen. This is especially true in a smaller space, where continuing the same flooring material will usually make a space look larger. If you do not want wood floors in the kitchen, then consider a tile that is a similar color value to the adjacent wood floor, so the transition is not harsh and it does not separate the space. A resilient material like cork can be an excellent choice for the kitchen as it is slightly soft underfoot and is more forgiving if you drop a dish on it. Natural materials like Marmoleum are also great and a good 'green' choice.

How to Select Backsplash Materials

For some reason the backsplash is often the most difficult material choice for people to make. But the backsplash is one area that can have a amazing visual impact and help tie the design together. If you're having trouble choosing a material, look to the other surfaces in the kitchen for inspiration. In a more modern kitchen, choosing a stainless steel backsplash that matches your stainless steel appliances can be a wise decision. For a less expensive choice, look at plastic laminates that look like stainless steel that can even be installed by yourself (but resist the temptation to use these on countertops as many are not rated for horizontal surface use). Glass tile can be another good choice to tie together different color materials. There are so many choices in glass tiles available today it can be challenging to pick one. A safe place to start is by choosing a glass tile that pulls colors from your countertop. Other material you may consider are sheets of glass, plastic laminate, stone tile, ceramic tile, or even wood (painted or sealed, of course).

While choosing materials for the kitchen can be challenging, just take it one step at a time and you'll get there. Start with the countertop and cabinet finish. Once you have those chosen, select a flooring material. Then choose your backsplash and paint colors. This process will help you get everything changed more quickly, so you can get through the construction a little sooner, and then to enjoy your new kitchen.

Ten Tips For Acting

You can improve your acting, dramatically on your own, or with a friend, by doing some simple, easy-to-do-things, and they won’t cost you a thing. First and most importantly:

* Consonants – Learn to speak clearly. Practise your consonants. That is the single most important and dramatic way to improve your acting ability. Enunciating clearly does not just reflect the language of newscasters and aristocrats. it allows a person to transcend their local unintelligible dialects. Dropping consonants is a casualty of daily interaction, lazy shorthand with friends, family and colleagues. Consonants give shape to the emotional resonance of vowel sounds. Vowel sounds coming from the actor suggests the feeling inside and consonants let the audience know what that feeling is. Consonants are like the frame of the house. They give it shape. Learn to exaggerate those consonants.

It may sound highly unnatural at first, but after a while, it will become more natural, and will become a ready-to-use and important tool in landing roles. You should practise hitting the consonants in the middle and ends of words. Playing spaces can vary in kindness to the ear. For instance, the sound in the theater might not travel. It might reverberate. It might be perfect. Film, and television can have varying qualities in the sound equipment and sound mix. With certain films at a key point, I’ve had to play that moment over and over again to make out what the actor said. Be kind to the aging and hearing impaired. Speak clearly. Practice it everyday. Don’t think that by dropping consonants you are being real or true to your art. Instead, you are being hard to hire.

* Imagination – Get your imagination in fighting shape. Look at a play and use your imagination to get inside the character’s head, inside their heart, inside their soul. Your imagination is a powerful tool we all share. We might be different physically, in looks and talent but we can all harness that power of imagination. If a writer is portraying life on the streets, then use your imagination to find that character within you. If the character is the president of the United States then use your imagination to pick up the ticks and tricks of the trade. Imagination is the single most important tool you have to get inside the head of another character. It is the single most important tool you have to inhabit the world of the play. Having all the talent and the tools in the world will not mean anything if you lack imagination.

Your imagination can only be fed by learning as much as you can about the world around you. Read novels, history, and see films and plays, listen to music and play games. Imagination can take you places where technique and talent can’t. It allows you to walk with kings and queens across moonlit desert sands. It allows you to close a drug deal in a back alley. Imagination allows you to breathe life into words on a page and translate them into a living world for the audience to see. Flex the muscles of your imagination, spread your wings and soar above the earth like Oberon and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

* Projection – You need to be heard. While not so important in film and television, it is important in the theater, and theater is an easily accessible way to get into acting, to acquire the skills needed to succeed in other mediums. Theater is the best way to make connections that can help further your career, so learn to be heard. Don’t be shy. It is your right to be heard. Go in a big room, open your mouth and aim your voice at the back wall. Focus on that back wall and your voice will travel there, even in a large room. Use your diaphragm, the muscle under your ribs to push the air and the voice out. Most people speak with shallow breaths. They talk so not to be heard. Talk to be heard. Check out books by Patsy Rodenburg. Her books are goldmines of technique for improving your acting ability with regards to speaking.

* Nouns and Verbs – Nouns are the subject of the sentence. The noun is the thing, the person, or the place that you are talking about in a sentence. The audience needs to know who that person is, where that place is, or what that thing is that you are talking about. Learn to track down the primary nouns and secondary nouns in a sentence.

Say the lines out loud with an emphasis on the nouns. Play with the relative importance of the nouns and pronouns (he, she, him, her, they, you, and so on) Get different meanings out of a line by switching the importance of various nouns and pro nouns. The verb is the active word driving the line to its conclusion. It is essential for an audience to hear what actions are happening in a line. Don’t fall in love with pretty descriptions so much that you give adjectives and adverbs precedence over nouns and verbs. Adjectives and Adverbs describe the nouns and verbs. They are less important. Don’t make them more so. Let the audience in by letting them know what you are talking about. Nouns and verbs are essential to that communication between performer and audience. If you ignore that, you are going to find it that much tougher to get roles.

* Upward Inflections – This is another important tool for the actor. Many inexperienced actors throw their energy into the beginning of a line, but as they run out of air, the ends of their lines are dropped vocally, which is completely at odds with natural speech. In natural speech, the speaker organizes his thoughts to say that he or she is going to do this, or to go there. What are you going to do? Where are you going to go? These are questions that the last word or two in a line answers. If you pump all your energy, adrenalin and breath into the beginning of your line, then you have nothing left for the end of the line, nothing left with which to answer those questions.

A rush of energy at the beginning of a line, while perhaps exciting for the actor becomes monotonous to the audience. It becomes a predictable succession of vocal peaks and valleys, where the beginning is loud and the end of the line quiet. Do that for too long and the audience will be checking their watches. They won’t have a clue what you are saying. Learn where to breathe in your lines, and pay attention to punctuation breaks. Find ways to keep the energy up at the end of a line. Don’t plan to leave tired-endings for the other actors to pick up. If you end a line with a word supported by breath, it transfers energy to the next line. It keeps the energy of the play crackling.

* Monologues – A monologue for the purposes of an audition can be a soliloquy, a private speech between actor and audience, or it can be part of a conversation with another character. It should be about two minutes long and be uninterrupted by other characters. Find some monologues that you can use for audition pieces. Look in real plays for these monologues. There are many free monologues on the internet, but many of them are not going to help you land parts. It will probably be useful to have two classical pieces, one comedic and the other dramatic. Shakespeare is usually a good choice because you can find recordings or movies that have those monologues in them. Then you should search for a modern dramatic and comedic monologue. Search for these monologues in highly regarded plays, plays that have been on Broadway for instance or those that have been turned into movies. The reason for that is that you will have better luck researching them and finding recordings for them.

However, before you listen to any recordings, or watch any filmed versions, you should do your own work, your own investigation into who the character is and what he is doing, what he is feeling, and what he is thinking, where he has come from and where is he going. The monologue has to travel from the beginning to the end, and you should map whatever change in emotions there might be, when the tempo picks up or slows down. Does the monologue grow in rage? Does it trail off in despair? Find the drama, the irony, the comedy and it’s timing. Find the humanity in the piece. You should learn the character inside and out. Learn these monologues so well that you can do them spontaneously. Don’t give yourself an excuse for not getting a part with a poorly-prepared audition piece. Blend your thoughts, your emotions into the character’s thoughts, emotions and words. Read as much as you can about the character and then listen to a recording or watch a filmed version. You will now understand the character and so hearing or viewing this monologue will give you additional ideas and insight.

* Study other people – Be a student of people. Be a student of people from all walks of life, the rich, the poor, the young and the old. Study their physicality. Watch people walk and listen to them talk. Listen to the rhythms of their speech. Watch people when they sit, when they stand, when they are passionately trying to communicate something or when they seem disinterested, when people are happy, or sad or angry or sleepy. What body language do they use? Imagine what goes on in people’s heads. Find two similar looking people and look for clues to their personalities by their posture, by how they move, look for physical clues that might suggest why one ended up one way and one another. How much does nature and nurture have an influence on human beings? Watch what people are doing when they are listening to each other. What do they do with their hands? What do they do with their hands when they speak? Be a student of body language. Shakespeare said that the actor must hold a mirror up to nature. To act, you must reflect what real human beings do. As an actor you are interpreting the human condition, the poetry and music of human emotions, thoughts, actions and communication.

* Read – Read plays, read books about acting, read about famous actors, read acting biographies, read anything. A well-rounded knowledge is essential for an actor. Not only is it important to know about acting, but it is important to know history, religion, psychology, geography, science, so read, read, read. Reading gives you your own credible insight into lines written by playwrights and screenwriters. People who write, read a lot, and to gain insight into these characters, you must read a lot. One casualty of theatre schools is the ability to understand the world. There is not enough contextual knowledge provided in these schools devoted only to acting. Know the world and you will know how to act.

* Get in shape – Treat your body as a temple. Eat right and exercise. Plays and films can be demanding physically. The more you can ask your body to do, the better physically you can fit into a part. If you have a certain physical trait that your character needs, you need to be able to achieve that. Physical activities, like dance, or karate, or running, or yoga, or sports of various kinds can help you prepare physically for demanding roles. There could be dancing, sword-fighting, and other acts of physical exertion needed, while all the while being able to deliver lines supported by breath. Your mind and your body, voice and movement, are the tools of the actors trade. Take care of them.

* The Internet – There is a lot of free information on the Internet. There are many acting tips that are available for free. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. There are a lot of really helpful suggestions for actors out there. Most of the free information is really geared for beginning actors and many of them don’t identify technique or different methods in more than a superficial method. But more advanced information can be found in things such as Google Books. The more research you do, the more information you can unlock on the Internet.

Obviously, there are scams out there. There are scams everywhere, and would-be actors are targeted in the real world as well as on the Internet. The more homework you do, the better, and as long as you realize that if you have drive, and are willing to work for what you want, that there are no short-cuts, then you have a good chance for success. But anything you read can only be reinforced by working with others. You cannot act in a vacuum. So to truly succeed you need to be working with other like-minded individuals.

Protein Foods to Energize Your Day

When you’re looking for a good source of energy for the day, protein should be your choice. While carbohydrates and sugars will give you an energy high but that is a temporary feeling. You will just as quickly get a sugar crash and will feel even worse. The unfortunate side effect of eating a high amount of carbohydrates or sugars is that your body will simply crave more of the same, creating a vicious cycle of highs and lows.

Eating protein foods will help to break this cycle. First off, protein helps you to feel full and satiated much longer than carbs and sugars will. Your hunger pangs are staved off for a longer period of time. Second, you will be able to break the cycle of craving more and more carbs and going through the subsequent highs and lows. Your body simply does not crave the carbs and sugars when you are feeding it protein. And finally, you will find yourself more energized for the day as you add small frequent portions of protein foods throughout your day. Here are some good protein foods that will energize your day.

Yogurt – Yogurt is an excellent protein food that you can enjoy throughout the day. Try to stay away from the sugar added flavored yogurts as much as possible. A great tasting and satisfying yogurt is Greek yogurt. It is full of flavor and is a bit thicker than traditional yogurt. Make a yogurt parfait for breakfast by layering Greek yogurt with fresh berries and top with a small portion of granola. Use Greek yogurt as the basis of a smoothie. Greek yogurt also makes a good end-of-the-day treat, especially when mixed with a crunchy granola.

Eggs – Eggs are protein foods that can be used in a variety of ways to give you energy throughout the day. You can start your day with an omelet filled with cheese (another protein food) and a variety of vegetables. You’ve heard it many times before, but a good breakfast will give the right start for the rest of the day. Having energy early in the morning will help keep you focused and motivated. You can also hard boil a half dozen or so eggs at the beginning of the week and eat them throughout the day as a snack. Don’t forget to add chopped or sliced eggs to your salads for a protein food punch (especially when you add some of the other protein foods listed below). For dinner, try an egg quiche occasionally.

Soy Nuts – Soy nuts are small in size but pack a powerful protein foods punch. They come roasted and even in a variety of seasoned flavors. Keep a baggie of soy nuts in your purse, in your car or in your desk at work, and take them out when you are drooping in energy levels. You can also add them to that protein packed salad.

Hummus – Hummus is an excellent protein food made from chick peas. It is great as a dip for a mid-day snack. You can dip any number of fresh vegetables in hummus such as broccoli, sugar snap peas and jicama. Triangles of pita bread are also great dipped in hummus. Try spreading a thin layer of hummus as a condiment in a sandwich wrap for a new flavorful taste.

Tuna/Salmon – Tuna a wonderful protein food that can be added to your day for added energy. Canned or pouched tuna makes a great filling for a pita pocket. You can also add it to that ever increasing protein packed salad. While most people think of canned tuna when they think of tuna, fresh tuna is wonderful. You can grill it as a tuna steak. If you’ve never tried sushi, tuna is a fantastic ingredient in rolls or as a sashimi. Salmon is another great sushi item. Salmon can also be added to your breakfast. Try smoked salmon with a thin layer of cream cheese and some capers for a very satisfying breakfast.

Cheese – Protein foods are best when they come in a variety, and there is a huge variety in cheeses! Try checking out your local grocery store that has a cheese bar to try some new varieties. When you find a few new ones you like, stock up and use them for energy throughout the day. You can add cheese to your eggs in the morning. Have a wedge of a newly found cheese with an apple for a snack. Or have some with a variety of nuts for an even higher protein energy snack. And don’t forget our protein packed salad: Add some grated cheese on top.

Lean meats – When you think protein foods, meats usually come to mind. It’s important to choose lean meats when you are looking to add energy to your day. Fatty meats will only add sluggishness with all the extra unnecessary fat. There is nothing wrong with adding a lean meat to your breakfast, lunch or dinner. You don’t have to add a bunch of carbs to a lean hamburger or buffalo burger. Try going “protein style” and wrap your burger in lettuce instead of a bun. You’ll feel much more energized!

Protein supplements – Protein supplements are another great way to add protein foods to your day. Sometimes you just need something quick and easy. Whether it’s a ready-made shake or a protein powder that you make in to a smoothie, protein supplements can be a convenient way to energize you day for breakfast, lunch or a protein packed snack. In addition, you can also try a ready-to-drink protein shot from Protica. This protein shot is known as Profect and is available in several delicious, fruity flavors. It provides you with the protein your body needs and has hardly any calories.

Patio Cushions – Making Your Patio a Beautiful Place

Yes, patio cushions are just patio cushions. However, many people decorate their own patio with colorful color-coordinated patio cushions. When you view your patio as a whole, your eye is first drawn to the seating area, then the foliage around the area, and then your eyes are naturally drawn to the patio cushions on your furniture.

By decorating your patio using a set choice of colors from the huge palette of colors offered today, you'll soon realize that patio cushions are much more than just patio cushions. In actuality they form the entire leading act of a very colorful play on your patio.

Using color is probably the most important element you can use when decorating your patio, as you probably know from decorating the inside of your home. You want the colors chosen to "work with" the color of the sky, the water, the trees, grass and other foliage. However, you do not want to choose colors that make the area appear to be drab and unexciting. Instead, establish a "look" that is not only exciting but incredibly eye pleasing by choosing the right colors of patio cushions.

In choosing patio cushion colors you will always be safe to steer toward analogous colors. Analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel, such as yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. Usually one of the three colors predominates. On the other hand, complementary colors can really bring your patio to life. Complementary colors are any two colors which are directly opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green and red-purple and yellow-green. In nature, there are many examples of complementary colors. For example, the of yellow-green in leaves along side multiple variations of red-purple in an orchid. These opposition colors create maximum contrast and maximum stability.

That means that the patio cushions you choose can be anything you like! The coloring may be in variegated patterns of analogous colors or modern and exciting mixes of complementary colors. It's your choice. Just keep in mind the palate that nature has provided and you can not go wrong. Once you have decorated your patio with colors you love, you'll have a beautiful place to relax and entertain!

Everything You Should Know Before Buying A Mobility Scooter

During my many years in the mobility business I have acquired a vast knowledge of what to look for when purchasing a mobility scooter or power chair. Never rush into making your purchase as buying the wrong product can be very costly indeed. I have been monitoring many on-line auctions recently and as yet I have not managed to find anything that stood out to me as being a real bargain. Many of the products I have seen for sale are inferior quality and do not appear to be a recognized make. Please note that there are lots of companies in China and other countries where labour is cheap are manufacturing mobility products. These mobility products are being imported to the UK and have very little backup if things go wrong. These products are popular for many people because of the reduced costs of buying them. Unfortunately the reduced price is reflected in the build quality and many of them break down within the first 24 months.

My first tip must be do not buy a Scooter unless it has a recognised brand name such as:

Pride Mobility Products Roma Medical (Shop rider) Days Medical (Strider) Sunrise Medical (Sterling)

The above is not a complete list of recognized Brand names but in my opinion it is a good list to stick by. All these companies have head offices in the UK and dealers throughout the country all who offer a full back up service including spare parts.

Spare parts for scooters can be very expensive and it is very easy to buy a second hand scooter that requires immediate attention.

Time to be aware

I have found that people usually sell their scooter after they have not used it for a while and realised it is of no further use to them. When a scooter has been stood for a while the batteries tend to sulphate very quickly leaving irreparable damage to the battery. Depending on the size of batteries needed the cost can be between £80 and £400 per pair. Mobility scooters and power chairs are all battery powered so if you do buy a second hand one make sure the batteries have been charged regularly (every time the scooter has been used )or at least once a week if the scooter has been out of use.

Electronic Mag Brakes

The breaking system on all scooters and power chairs are controlled by an electronic controller and the common fault that goes wrong with them if the machine has not been stored or used correctly. The brake can seize up due to the damp air that can be found in many sheds and garages in the UK.

The average price of a mag break is £100 and that is before someone has diagnosed the fault and charged you for the fitting of it. The main controllers are full of components that are similar to the types of components you would find in a television. So the question you must ask yourself here is If you left your TV set in a shed for 6 Months do you think it would work properly if you plugged in back in? A main controller for an average scooter can cost from £200 up to £400.

Scooters come in all shapes and sizes and it is very important that you choose the right one.

Some scooters are allowed on the road and some are not.

A Class 3 scooter must be capable of a top speed of 8 mph and must have a speed control switch that allows the speed to be halved instantly when being driven on the pavements. The Scooter must also have Lights (front and rear), traffic signal indicators, hazard warning lights and an audible horn. If the vehicle is to be driven on or across a dual carriageway it must also be fitted with a flashing beacon that stands 6 foot in height. Rear view mirrors are also essential.

A class 2 scooter will only be allowed to drive on the pavements and cross minor roads where traffic control is in operation. Many Class 2 machines now have lights and indicators fitted to them as standard and it is important that you do not get confused between the two classes of machine.

Recently it has been very popular to buy fold up scooters. I have seen many portable scooters advertised for sale lately, both new and second hand. I must admit that I am shocked at what some people will do to sell these portable scooters. Do not get me wrong here. I am not against these products; on the contrary I really think they are a valuable addition to the mobility business. I just want people to be aware that they are not designed to travel very far even when new.

I have recently seen advertisements boasting that some of them have a range of 25 or miles. This is massively over exaggerated. If a scooter is fitted with 12 amp/hour batteries as so many are and they are carrying a person of average weight in average conditions. It is likely that from new they will only have a range of 6 to 8 miles. As they get older you will be lucky to get to the end of your street without having problems. Portable scooters are ideal for shopping centres and parks but if you want to go any further I suggest you invest in a class 2 or 3 scooters by one of the previously mentioned brands.

Another thing about portable scooters is they nearly all have solid tyres, plastic seats and no suspension which can prove quite un-comfy after a period of time. Some of these scooters also boast a 21 stone capacity. I am 10 stone 4 pounds and they struggle to pull me up a slight incline when they are brand new.

Should I buy a 3 or 4 wheeled scooter?

There is something at this point I think I need to make very clear. No scooters are designed for indoor and outdoor use. If you want something that will be effective for both uses you should be looking at a powerchair / Electric wheelchair. 3 wheeled scooters are far more manoeuvrable than 4 wheeled ones. 3 wheeled scooters are also very handy if you have long legs or large feet as they have much more leg room. Always try and match your size and weight before you buy.A scooter can be a very useful machine if you get the right one but if you do not it can be very costly.

The main advantage of a 4 wheeled scooter is purely psychological. I find that all scooters made by reputable companies are very stable due to strict guidelines that are enforced upon them but I must mention that there are some machines on the market that I would not recommend to anyone so please are careful. In the fairness of business I will not say which products I will not recommend as it is just my opinion. I am, however always willing to recommend any quality products for your needs.

Weights, distances and speed.

This can be difficult as each scooter can vary depending on how it is made. There have been full sized 8mph scooters with 2×50 amp hour batteries as standard that have a maximum load weight of only 18 Stone and on the other had there have been some lightweight scooters on the market with 2×12 amp hour batteries that are supposed to do 4 mph and carry a max load of 21 stone. For more information on the performance of each scooter it is best to ask the seller or manufacturer directly.

If you need further advice my company website is The advice I give is offered to you in good faith and under no circumstances will I get involved in problems that have arisen from people buying inferior products from door to door salesmen, internet sales or mail order products.

My aim is offer advice that will save you time and trouble and money when purchasing a mobility scooter.

Brand Love, Part 2

Last issue, I talked about increasing your Brand Love– meaning to increase the affection that prospects and customers feel toward your business.


Because increasing “affection” will build relationships. Those relationships, if made strong enough by increased Brand Love, build a bridge for prospects to become customers. To some, that bridge might be made of rope, swaying in the breeze, complete with wooden planks. To others, it will be a mighty stone structure. It all depends on how well you connect with each prospect.

It also means putting more cement on the bond with the customers you already have. Locking customers in, tighter and tighter with every brand experience is a critical aspect to profitability and growth. The reason here is twofold: It costs less to maintain current customers than to gain new ones, and the best advertising is word of mouth. Sounds like a cliché (’cause they are), but… it’s true, folks.

So, the big question is: How to do it and do it better than your competition.

Previously, I mentioned getting honest and forthright feedback from customers. Having one-on-one conversations can help. You will also get valued honesty from questionnaire cards that have a few quick answers AND some space to write in other thoughts. Actually, that could be the most important aspect of the card. Getting this kind of feedback can provide huge rewards.

First, this type of “silent” feedback lets the writer give a more honest opinion, rather than talking face-to-face. They don’t have to sign their name. Also, the feedback given can open up trains of thought that may not have occurred to you before. You may get insight into improving your core business. The insight may turn into a realization that leads to big discovery, such as a different product, service, or an entire market.

Another way to increase Brand Love is the proper training of your employees. Nothing is more of downer (except perhaps bad merchandise) to a customer than an incompetent employee. Service

should be a big part of your marketing plan, and that means involving time and expense to train your employees properly. We’ve all heard our economy is becoming more service-based, but we’ve all suffered from bad service- more often than not. Being on hold five minutes or more. Being ignored when you walk in the door. Given incorrect information, being overcharged, or having something delivered late. All bad news for customers.

I once called a local outlet of a national home center chain, and I was on hold for 30 minutes! I stayed on as long as I could, just to see actually how many minutes it took for someone to answer. It was so long, I could hum their jingle in my sleep! And they never answered. Now, I go strictly to their competition. Alarmingly, it’s to the point where mediocre service is so noticeably different, it gets applauded. Keeping your employees trained and caring starts at the top. So if this hasn’t been a priority for you, make it one, and you’ll see your referrals go up.

This leads into my next point – becoming the Preferred Employer. In the marketing triangle, there are three elements: Business, Customers, and Employees. With the Business at the apex of the triangle, it cannot exist without the other two. You’re not just marketing to customers. You are marketing to your employees too, because they are investing their time to work for you.

When you create an excellent work atmosphere and employees find working for you rewarding, you get great performance from them AND you attract top talent. Those are two things that are priceless and almost insure success. Conversely, when you don’t care about your employees, their training, or make work an unpleasant experience, count on poor to mediocre help without much care or effort. I cannot think of a faster way to drive good help and customers away.

Being the Preferred Employer doesn’t mean doesn’t mean there are no rules in place or you pay obscenely high wages for comparable work. It simply means your employees are respected, taught to do their job well, given proper feedback when needed, and are made to feel valued.

Take a good objective look around your business. Get honest feedback from your customers AND your employees. Great businesses become that way because they are constantly searching for ways to become better. Those two groups should be your most important and most depended-on allies in that never- ending search. ~

Republishing part of or entire article, in all forms, is welcomed, as long as author bio info is printed and proper authorship credit is given. As a courtesy, please send author a complimentary copy.

Control: What Does It Give You? What Do You Lose? Where Is the Real Control?

Recently I recorded while a coaching client pitched his solution precisely when he could have facilitated his prospect through the contingent issues she had to handle before she could buy anything.

SDM: Why did you pitch when you pitched?

CL: It gave me control over the conversation, andave her the data she needed to understand why she should buy.

SDM: So what sort of control did you achieve?

CL: Now she knows how our solution will meet her needs.

SDM: Do you know if she heard you? Did your pitch convince her? How do you know she knows she needs your solution? Has she assembled the appropriate individuals to begin discussing problems or change? Have they already tried a workaround that proved impractical and now must consider a purchase? Have they resolved any implementation / user issues that a new solution would cause? Have they reached consensus? Or if they're individual buyers, have they addressed their own internal change issues?

You're assuming a need before the buyer gets her ducks in a row: she can not understand her needs until she's handled her contingent change issues; She can not hear about possible solutions – your pitch – until she knows what to listen for. Just because she fits your buyer profile does not mean she's a prospect.

A prospect is someone who will buy, not someone who should buy. You spend too much time chasing folks who fit a profile but will never buy; You can not recognize a real buyer because you're only listening for 'need' and forgetting the work they must do to prepare for, decide upon, and get consensus for, a purchase. And that stops you from finding / creating those who can buy but may have not completed their buying decision process. This prospect can not do anything with your information – unless you got lucky, and found one of the few who have completed their groundwork at the moment you connect with them.

CL: I know what they need.

SDM: That's not possible. She does not know what she needs yet. You do not know her buyer readiness or if she's representing everyone else else or where / if the team is stuck somewhere along Buying Decision Path. You do not live with them; Only they can amalgamate all of the voices, givens, change issues, or future considerations and come up with the full fact pattern of a 'need.' People sincerely want to resolve a problem, not make a purchase. Buying anything is the very last thing that they'll do, regardless of the need or the efficiency of your solution.

CL: But our solution is a perfect match for her needs.

SDM: Having needs is different from being ready, willing, or able to buy. She's got a lot of work to do before she's ready. Instead of first focusing on selling, start as an unbiased coach. Facilitate her route through consensus and change so you're there at the right time with real prospects and never waste time on those who can not buy. You could even speed up the decision path and enable / facilitate those who would have bought later.

CL: I have no idea where she is along her Decision Path. Is not that just price, vendor or solution type?

SDM: Buying is the last thing she'll do. She must first assemble everyone to design a solution that fits everyone's needs and avoids major disruption. Folks would much rather maintain their status quo if the price of change is too high – and you can make it easy for her to manage her change so she's ready to buy if possible. If it's not possible for her to get consensus, you'll know about 10 minutes she's not a buyer, so long as you stay away from discussing your solution. She has to do this stuff anyway.

Giving her data too early does not help: no matter how good or relevant your data is it's useless until they've carefully determined that they can not fix their problem without some outside help. This is the length of the sales cycle. Be involved early as a Purchasing Facilitator and have real control. Or keep closing the same 5% that show up as the low hanging fruit.


As sellers or influencers, here's what we've got control over: pitch, solution data, content, questions, listening biases, assumptions. Focusing on understanding and bias material towards Marketing Mary's 'needs' is specious: we're outsiders and can never understand the unique composition of anyone else's culture that has created, and understands, the 'need' and would have to change to bring in something New.

Here's what we can not control: The prospect's internal ill-defined decision-making process; The assembly of the people, problems, vendor issues, interdepartmental politics, relations, balance sheets, corporate / team rules; Their history; What criteria a solution must meet; Consensus and change issues. Until buyers make sense of this they can not responsibly buy. Even individuals of small items go through this process in a simple way.

No matter how good our content, presentation, pitch, or marketing is, it will only be heard by those ready for it and then you're playing a numbers game. By trying to control the elements You think should be involved, or offering information / content where you believe it's needed, you're restricting successful results to your bias of what you want to achieve, and will sell to only those who match your restricted criteria .

You can only have an outsider's wonderful understanding. Folks who need your solution but have not completed their change work will be turned off, not hear you, not understand how you can help, regardless of whether they need you or not. Even offering a price reduction will only attract those who have done their Pre-Sales change work first. The cost of change is higher than your price reduction.

You have no control over others; Stating your solution details does not give you control over the Buying Decision Path.

You can, however, have real control by facilitating prospects down their Decision Path to design their own change process that includes you as the natural provider – or eliminate them quickly if it becomes obvious they can not ever buy. You can either wait for those who've completed their Decision Path to show up, call / chase enough people to find those who are ready, or become a facilitator and help the real buyers through their path quickly and shorten the sales cycle.

They must do this with you or without you. Use your need for control to facilitate them in discovering their own best solution, not manipulate them into using yours. Where they are the same, you'll make an easy sale.

Why Do You Need Bankruptcy Attorneys?

If you also find yourself in such a case of mounting debts and torturing creditors then either you should take the first appointment you get with a bankruptcy attorney. For bankruptcy lawyers it is their business and they know about everything that goes around in it so they will be able to sketch out a viable alternative for you which maybe not even think can be worked out. So give in an expert and let them help you.

Along with repaying your debts and the bankruptcy attorney can also guide you to sell off your property in order to repay the creditors. And if selling off your property is not exactly your idea of ​​getting rid of all your debts the bankruptcy lawyers can also assist you in making an arrangement with your creditors approved by the court to repay them in a pre-determined frame of time. Again, if you hire a bankruptcy attorney they are updated with every last bit of information regarding the United States Bankruptcy code. Bankruptcy is not an easy gliding procedure it can really confuse nonprofessional so a bankruptcy lawyer really can make things easy and facilitate them for you. The most common procedures in bankruptcy proceedings are Chapter 7 wherein you follow the debt liquidation or reorganization. The other one is arranging for repaying the indebted money under the Chapter 9, 11, 12, or 13 bankruptcies.

If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, a bankruptcy attorney is recommended. The rules of bankruptcy have changed and new norms have been introduced which a nonprofessional can not be expected to know about. Again, the new rules have made it only difficult to file for bankruptcies all the more reason you will need bankruptcy lawyers to make your experience more pleasant after everything that you are already going through. They will be able to suggest you ways to get rid of your debt mountains, deal with your property and assets in a way that will benefit you and give you more time at hand. Bankruptcy Attorneys also work with the creditors and give them the assurance that their funds will also get recovered back. So a bankruptcy attorney is obviously a person you are going to thank once you see the benefits of hiring them.