Migraine Headaches Don’t Own My Life Anymore

You can feel it coming. The pain starts to grow at the back of your neck or behind your eyes. Lights are becoming too bright to tolerate. Loud sounds are making you nauseous. You want to crawl into a hole and hide. Another migraine headache is here. Was it stress at work? Was it the pollen in the air? Was it something I ate or something I did? I wanted answers to make this all go away.

Like millions of people around the world I suffer from migraine headaches. I lay in bed for hours or sometimes even days sick and in pain. I miss work. I miss social events. I’ve gone to my doctor and gotten prescriptions. But I’ve never been comfortable with taking medications. Although they offer relief, I wondered what toll they were taking on the rest of my body.

I was determined to find a better solution. After researching on the Internet I discovered a resource called “The Migraine Relief Guide” that has changed my life. In it I found the answers to my questions and more. Who would have thought that reading a guide book would solve so many of my problems? It took the years of research from fellow migraine headache sufferers to show me what to do. Here are some of the many things I’ve learned through simple study…

o The most common migraine headache triggers and how to avoid them.

o How to check my environment for allergens that can cause migraine headaches.

o Understanding of the root causes of a migraine headaches.

o The most common food related triggers.

o Understanding the 4 stages of a migraine and how to manage the pain, guilt, nausea and depression.

o How to manage migraines at work and at home.

o Understanding of the benefits of natural treatment.

o How to manage migraine headaches with a controlled diet.

o 6 crucial steps for controlling migraines and how these will minimize their effects.

o How to overcome the pain of migraines with 3 simple but effective techniques to stop the migraine before it stops you.

Today I am almost completely free of the migraine headaches that used to rule my life. I did it not by medications and pills. I achieved it all through the simple study of an amazing resource, “The Migraine Relief Guide.” And you can too.

Benefits of Using LED Light Bulbs

Led light bulbs are gaining momentum in today's markets. There benefits outnumber their drawbacks, if any. These bulbs are proven to be environment friendly and also help you save bucks on Electricity.

Led light bulbs are used by individuals in one form or the other; Either as Christmas lights, in torches or in garden lighting. The LED technology, which is the short form for Light emitting diode, was invented in the 1920s by a Russian scientist, Oleg Vladimirovich Losev, but was not given much importance during the next 30 years. It was only after the recommendation of the American scientists that the lights came into use for consumer-based electronics in 1950s. Gradually, with the development of science and technology, the white Led home lights were developed, which have been used for lighting homes.

The most common colors used in Led light bulbs are yellow, white, blue and red. They come with several benefits. They are long lasting and are environment friendly. They are much more efficient than the regular incandescent light bulbs and have 10 times longer life. Moreover, they consume 80% less energy than the regular bulbs. They are inexpensive to operate though they may cost a little too much. The Led home lights are made of white LED which exhibit light with Sun like intensity and so keeps your house bright and attractive. This also ensures good sleep, improved mood and boosts up body energy levels.

The Led home lights are gaining recognition not just as a fad or trend, but for justifiable reasons too. It is believed to cure people of many ailments and disorders. They are also said to possess high economic value. They may be more expensive than the fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, but you will soon realize that that all the return on investment justifies the cost of the Led light bulbs. The average life of a Led light bulb is about 25000 to 50000 hours, ie, a life between 5.7 years and 22.8 years if the light is used for 12 hours everyday.

The Led light bulbs are obtainable with the standard size base which can be used in any of the home fixtures. The bulbs do not heat up because they do not convert the heat into light. The absence of hair-thin filaments within prevents them from breakage unlike other regular light bulbs. They are used in wireless mouse, TV remotes and many scanners. By making use of Led home lights, you prevent the emission of carbon dioxide, nuclear and sulfur oxide into the atmosphere. Even the use of one Led bulb could have of great help to the environment for reducing the impact of global warming.

Led light bulbs are soon entering into many niche markets. There are also available in the form of flashlights which consume less battery energy, saving sufficient amount to be used the next time there is a power crisis. There are also Led lanterns that can be used when you are out hunting or camping. They last for longer duration as they consume 10 times less energy. Apart from the regular Led home lights, there are also Led fixtures which can be used in and out of your house, helping you save a lot of money on electricity bill. By making use of these lights, you can do your bit of saving energy and safeguarding the environment against pollutants.

LED Retrofit Kits And Their Benefits

Lighting cost is an area many people concentrate on especially when building. Everyone yearns for cheaper, more user friendly and environmentally friendly lighting options. Facility managers and even homeowners who are conscious about costs want modern solutions that still serve their purpose efficiently. LED retrofit kit make a very popular lighting solution for all. This is because the kit is long lasting, efficient and calls for minimal maintenance. The retrofit kits are popular options for both commercial and residential settings because of the following benefits.

1. The kits are energy efficient

Compared to conventional lighting systems such as incandescent bulbs, LED retrofit kits consume lee power with a huge percentage of high light output. The retrofits are therefore not only energy efficient, but also more economical. They make amazing choices for offices and showrooms among many other settings.

2. They are versatile

The LED retrofit kits can be used in a wide range of applications. They come in handy in offices, commercial buildings, garages and even homes. The kits are designed to fit almost any given place with illumination needs.

3. The kits are long lasting

The LED lights do not easily burn out compared to bulbs and fluorescent, they last thousands of hours thereby becoming an inexpensive lighting solution. The need to keep changing them every once in a while is eliminated.

4. The retrofit kits have exceptional dimming capacity

They offer maximum brightness instantly as compared to other lighting systems. In addition, you can easily regulate the brightness according to your demands and what you find most appropriate for the given setting. It means, therefore that you can still enjoy even lower energy use by dimming to the right levels.

5. They are free from UV rays and infrared

LED retrofit lights do not have ultra violet rays as compared to infrared rays and fluorescent tubes. They are free from UV transmission, thereby making the kits suitable for environments that are sensitive, such as museums, art galleries and archaeological sites.

6. They come with less maintenance needs

LED retrofit kit offer flawless lighting for years and there is no need for regular replacement. The kits are functional and do not require much maintenance to keep them functional as they are designed to do.

7. The kits do not flicker or make humming sounds

For this reason, the retrofit kits keep the lit area peaceful and quiet compared to conventional lights that keep flickering and make noise causing eyestrain and headaches because of these characteristics. An LED retrofit kits saves you from these annoying effects. When used in industries, the kits have shown to have positive effects on performance, wakefulness and mood.

LED retrofit kits come in different sizes and designs in that you can choose an option that suits your settings and lighting needs best. It is best that you get your kits from reputable suppliers for quality purposes to enjoy all the benefits they have to offer. There is so much to enjoy besides the energy efficiency.

The Basics of Slate Floor Cleaning

Slate is one type of natural stone flooring which, along with other options such as marble and limestone, has always been a popular choice for flooring. It is chosen as a floor for a variety of reasons – sometimes purely aesthetically as slate offers a limitless range of naturally occurring designs, shades and colors, while it is also often chosen on the basis that it is a highly durable substance that will last for Many years to come.

The good look that comes with the floor is what people wish to maintain for many years and people often mistake 'durability' with 'maintenance free' and this is where problems can occur. Slate, like any other type of flooring will look good only as long as you keep it that way, and without regular maintenance and cleaning – it can soon acquire a dull, uneven and unsatisfactory appearance that can be very difficult to change.

The first steps of cleaning revolve around protection – so assuming the floor has been professionally installed and the grout correctly applied – the first stage is the application of a good quality sealant to offer an additional layer of protection. It is usually a good idea to apply a special grout sealer, but a slate floor cleaning specialist will be able to recommend this for you.

The main damage to floors comes from tiny dirt and grit particles and sand walked in on the soles of shoes which can cause surface scratching and allow a place for grime and bacteria to build up over time. Surface scratching can also be caused by incorrectly moving heavy objects such as furniture – so care should also be taken there. Regular sweeping and vacuuming as well as placing doormats at entrances should reduce this risk.

The cleaning itself can be as simple as using a mop and warm water and thoroughly cleaning the surface to make sure there is no surface build up of grime. Different cleaning products can be used but take care to avoid products with any acidic or bleach content as this can actually mark or discolour the surface of the stone.

If, despite your cleaning efforts, you notice that there are stains or marks on the floor, it is possible that a spot on the floor has not properly cleaned and layer upon layer has built up to form as stain which is difficult to shift . It is equally possible that a section of the sealant (which should be periodically re-applied) has worn off exposing the surface underneath.

Garden Furniture

Dressing one’s garden is a thing that people love to do. The way we dress our garden will always depend on the style of the garden, the ambient weather, whether we seek shade or sun and of course our budget.

The simplest and easiest and most basic of Garden furniture is a set of folding chairs and a table. These can obviously be brought out when the weather is nice and packed away as soon as inclement weather approaches. There are any numbers of designs for these and possible a garden shed is the ideal place to store them.

The beginning of dressing one’s garden is the basic design and layout. How one plans a garden is of course dependent on a lot of factors such as size, slope, position of the house, the driveway and so on.

Most houses will want the driveway to link close to the house. And border the driveway with flowerbeds or a grass lawn. Setting up one’s recreational are next to a driveway is unusual. Normally the recreational, or sitting out area is away from the cars.

Central to the recreational area is probably a grass lawn. So the step up from folding chairs and a table would be more permanent furnishings either made in cast iron or of wooden construction. The cast iron garden furniture is very durable, heavy and is usually located in one place and seldom moved.

With modern day wooden garden furniture being well treated it to is fairly weather proof and durable and will withstand a fair amount of rain but too much exposure to direct sunlight will mean that is will require periodic treatment.

A garden Gazebo is popular as garden furniture as it gives the feeling of being outside while still being given shade. These gazebos are highly fashionable and usually consist of a raised wooden deck and open walls and a roof. Permanent tables and chairs are placed inside the gazebo which makes them a delightful place to sit and relax.

A wooden shed is another almost essential item of garden furniture as there will be many items, such as the lawn mower, the garden hose and the gardening tools to store away. Not too mention the folding chairs and table that are kept in reserve.

Water features are another idyllic feature and these can be purchased as pre-made or one can design them oneself and just purchase the pumps and pipes. The gentle trickle of running water adds a great sense of peace to anyone relaxing nearby.

Shade is of course required, especially if one has a sitting out area next to a swimming pool. Modern day shade parasols have developed so that they are durable and can be made so that they are suspended from the side and thus have no central post to get in the way.

Some other bits of furniture which are available are accessories like the sauna, a pool deck and a covered veranda.

The only limitation of placing garden furniture is imagination and budget. Even with small gardens furniture can be arranged to make it be a pleasant place to enjoy the open air.

Schedule Slippage – Root Causes

“The single most important task of a project: setting realistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations based on inaccurate estimates are the single largest cause of software failure.”- Futrell, Shafer

Introduction

With global and competitive market, it is very important to launch a product or service in the market on time, ahead of competitors. Definitely, timely launch depends on on-time-completion of the product development projects. Project planning has lots of challenges to overcome in order to finish the project on time – right from schedule predictability, envisioning future/possible risks and coming up with mitigation plans.

This article talks about some of the challenges, often faced in the Software Product Development industry that causes the schedule slippage.

Schedule slippage: Delay in the project completion from its initial estimated date of completion.

Each project plan will have a planned completion date (NRA, RA), and a bounding box or upper limit in schedule. Nowadays, it is a common practice to have three dates associated with any project plan:

  • Non-Risk Adjusted (NRA) date: Project completion date assuming no hurdles – Ideal conditions.
  • Risk Adjusted (RA) date: Project completion date assuming some risks will come on the way and will need extra time to attend to them.
  • Bounding Box (BB) or upper limit: The upper limit on the project plan before which the project has to be finished under any circumstances – Generally decided by the top management based on product/services roadmap and launch in the market.

Under ideal circumstances, any project is scheduled to complete by NRA date. Considering some risks that may come on the way and would eat some time off the schedule, the project should be over by RA date. If the risks were not envisioned and hence not planned well, then project may get delayed and would complete after RA date. Project completion crossing the RA or upper limit is neither good nor expected out of a well-planned project.

Root Causes

As we always plan for a project to get over before RA date, seldom is the case it happens as expected. There are multiples reasons for schedule slippage, right from improper planning, lack of resources to unplanned requirements and rework that eat away vital time off the planned schedule.

A typical project development process – Each project will have a team (development, testing and other functions) that will work through a process (requirement analysis, schedule estimation, design, implementation and testing) to deliver a product to the customer/end user. Each entity that participate in the project – directly or indirectly affect the schedule.

From the development process, we can identify the items that can cause delay in the execution of the project – for example, misinterpreted or unclear requirement adds up to completion time, unavailability of development tools or resources can prolong the project duration. Various processes like schedule estimation, detailed design and product development if not executed skillfully, may significantly blow up the project cycle.

For better understanding all these possible causes that may result in schedule slippage are categorized .

Let’s have a detailed look at the root causes of schedule slippage category wise.

1) Schedule Estimation: “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

For a project to be executed on time, it is very important to have it planned very well. Any mistake in project schedule estimation reflects as delay in the project completion from its deadline. There are several factors that contribute to improper schedule estimation:

· Underestimation of technical complexities: At the start of the project, many of the team members may not have thorough knowledge of technical complexities and hence their estimation would be incorrect. Sometimes it may so happen that the person giving estimates for a particular task is having no idea about the technical challenges involved in carrying out that particular task. You might hear, towards the mid/end of the project life cycle when the task is not finished on time – “Oh, I didn’t know that this feature also requires 5 more tasks to be done!” or “I was thinking this task to be so simple, but I under estimated it!”. · Lack of Design/Big picture: It is important to have a bigger picture / overview of the complete project to understand how a particular module/feature would fit in to complete project. Product or system level design helps in understanding the interfaces among other modules and the required coordination for product assembly and hence, a better insight into the work involved. Often, estimates without focus on detailed design tend to deviate more from the actual time taken for finishing the job. · Integration Testing: While making a project plan, testing also needs to be accommodated in the schedule. At times, the unit testing or testing done by individual contributors on their module is taken into account but not the system level testing. Toward the release, when all the individually tested modules are brought together, a system level or integration testing is a must. Having the time for integration testing not accounted in the overall project schedule will cause delay in the project completion.

· Unplanned dependencies: Project planning is not only about breaking the project into minute tasks and managing them. A well-planned project schedule also needs to consider certain unplanned dependencies. Some of these are:

o People: Optimum utilization of human resources calls for same set of people working in multiple projects. A person may not be available to work for currently planned/assigned project due to extended/unplanned work in another parallel project. Another issue related to people could be unplanned/unexpected attrition that will affect the project plan. Time is also lost in mentoring of new member by a senior (more experienced) person which goes unaccounted if not planned.

o Tools & Equipments: Project can be delayed if team is waiting for release of upgrade or procurement of any vital tool (hardware or software being used in the project) or if the equipments required for development and testing are not available. “We had a 3-months project for validating our existing solution on new product platform using customer DUT (device under test). We had to wait for the DUT for nearly 1.5 months as it got stuck in customs. After getting the DUT, we realized that it’s been damaged partially during transportation. As a result we had to ask for another DUT and whole project took more than 5 months to get finished.” – I am sure that such cases will be quite familiar to many organizations. Other reason for timely unavailability of tools / equipments is that they are shared among various projects to reduce the operating cost. Any unplanned dependency on their usage or wrong assumption about availability of these shared resources would cause delay in the program. Team members might have to work on shifts to optimize the usage of shared resources which can cause reduced work hours and/or productivity loss and results to schedule slippage.

“I was waiting for Matlab license to be released by another person in the team but he left the office without doing so and I lost 3 hours figuring out what to do?” – is it something you faced before?

o Other programs: If multiple programs have deliverable dependencies, then delay in one project will have cascaded effect on other projects, which directly or indirectly depend on its deliverable. “We got delayed because we had to wait for a critical UI component from the framework project team” or “We didn’t plan for bug fixes for a component which was supposed to be delivered defect free for our usage” are the common scenarios for delays in program which are dependent on other program deliverables. Parallel programs may affect the schedule of your program in a different way as well – Sometimes, management changes the priority of the programs running in parallel. If your project is considered as a low priority one then there might be lack of resources assigned to your project that may result in schedule slippage.

· Beta releases: How many times we seek feedback on our product during development? And how often we allocate time for it? It’s important to plan beta releases if we desire to have our product validated by expert users or lighthouse customers during development. Getting feedback from beta customers becomes important especially when their requirements echo that of a mass customer base. Process of giving workable releases to customers, collecting their experience, having their feedback analyzed, and then incorporating in the final product version takes significant time.

· Risk mitigation and plan B: Every project will have some or the other risks. These risks can be of varying severity and probabilities. While making project plan, it is important to treat the risk individually based on their severity and probability of occurrence. If high probable risks with higher severity are not planned with their mitigation plan (or plan B), they will have huge impact on schedule deviation from planned one. As in one of the previous examples quoted, getting a DUT on time for validation was a risk. Had there been a mitigate plan (plan B) like – Validate with other DUT or if DUT is not available here, let one developer travel to customer’s place and finish the validation on time, the schedule slippage would have been avoided.

2) People: Ultimately, projects are executed by people who may not be skilled or talented. Hence, looking for perfection in projects involving human beings may not be a feasible thought. Certain unpredictable and hence unavoidable issues under this category are:

· Poor leadership: Before thinking of project execution, it is project planning that actually would set the platform of success. Execution of the project depends on its team while planning is taken care by the project leader. The project leader is expected to have enough technical know-how to understand the project goals and to the details of the tasks involved. Poor leadership and superficial knowledge of assignments often results in invalid effort estimation and ad hoc task delegation causing stress and possible delay in project execution. People leading the team are also responsible for keeping the team spirit and motivation level upbeat. Poor personal commitment due to lack of motivation results in loss of productivity and may cause schedule to slip. Another reason that adds up to delay in projects is inability of leadership team to track the schedule progress and take the correction action.

· Attrition: If the project duration is large and job market is hot, it may be difficult to retain people in the project till its completion. Attrition may further delay the completion especially if the person leaving the job was in critical path. A person leaving the organization would leave a gap in the project that a new person may not fill immediately, which in turn causes sudden reduction in the task force.

· Learning curve: When ever a new person or team member is included in the project, he or she may require some time to understand the project to keep in pace with other members. Learning curve is needed for new team members, joining the team either due to attrition or due to any specific technical competency requirement. · Context switching: In smaller organization or groups where people work on multiple projects simultaneously, it is important to have some buffer for context switching. A person planned to work in project ‘A’ for two hours after a gap of two weeks, would take more than scheduled time to complete that task. Gap of two weeks and the fact that he or she was involved in other project would require some time for the member to get back to the context of current project. · Global development teams: In an era of globalization and outsourcing, it is common these days to have development team distributed over different geographical regions. Project plan needs to account for different time zones and working culture. You might expect an input for your task on Monday morning your time but it may be Sunday late evening for that person and finally when the input arrives, you might be on your way to home after work.

Sometimes schedule estimation might go completely wrong if you have not understood the work culture of the region your teammate belongs to – “In my previous work, I was given a task to be completed with a heads up that its very critical task and needs immediate attention’. When I asked my project lead how many days/hours I have for it, I had been time for 2 weeks for high priority and ‘immediate-attention’ work.” Definition of ‘urgent’, ‘high priority tasks’ changes with culture and region.

· Communication Issues: People communicate differently. If important issues are not brought to the notice of the team members, or are not escalated on time, the entire project may suffer. Often fear of embarrassment stops team members from reporting issues faced during execution leading to more time being spent on that task that can easily be executed additional help.

3) Customer Involvement: These issues are quite serious if customer or end users of the product are involved in the development phase. Understanding customer’s priorities, defining your expectation from their involvement needs to be clear and in agreement with both the parties.

· Expert user testing: In the beginning of the project, expert user testing cycle needs to be planned. Process of giving builds or releases for testing and collecting their feedback, analyzing and incorporating them in your product takes significant time which, if not planned, can delay your program. · Timely feedback: “I got feedback from customers for features, delivered in development milestone-1, after milestone-5 towards the release. These feedbacks are critical but now I am worried how to incorporate them without affecting the schedule.” It sounds like a common problem. Incorporation of feedback from customers needs to be planned well taking a commitment from the customer. · Product requirement specification review: Having a product requirement review planned and executed will keep you on right track throughout the project. Reviewing the requirement specification will avoid requirement related defects fixing which otherwise would have delayed, the project.

4) Ambiguous Project Requirement: For any project to be initiated, the first thing is to have requirements for it. In the product development life cycle, requirement phase acts like a foundation. Clear requirement or vision for the project navigates the team to success. However, requirements may not be clear at the time of estimation and may result in delay in the project completion. Issues related:

· Evolving specs: If you are making a product based on a standard which is not yet matured or still evolving, you are more prone to have this risk. Frequency changes in the specs will change the requirement for the project during different stages of product development and team will continue to work on something that is not yet evolved. This results in rework that would delay the project if time for dealing with these changes is not accommodated in the schedule. “We developed an algorithm and hence measurement that was based on certain industry standard. Towards the release of the product, the specs changed and our measurement was no more valid. We had to redo the algorithm to reflect the changes in the specs. This caused our product release delayed by 2 months.” · New requirements: Sometimes new requirements are added as the project evolves towards completion. Implementation of new requirements is not planned at the beginning of the project and hence is not accounted in schedule. Adding new feature without revising the schedule may result in delay.

· Untold expectation: Requirements from the customers may be of two types – implicit or explicit. It is important to have the requirements well documented. Implicit requirements needs to be better defined and documented to avoid any confusion towards the end of the project. Customers may not describe their requirements related to system performance, memory issues, user interface quality and usability but they are very keen on providing feedback in those aspects once the product is given for expert user testing. If we are not clear about such requirements, out design might not address them. Addressing them towards the end of the project may call for design changes and extra work that would delay the project.

5) Unplanned Tasks / Reworks: Bounding box for the project is set by higher management and often lack buffer for unplanned task(s). Having more of unplanned task that creep up at different phases of project can cause schedule slippage. The unplanned tasks or rework may arise due to:

· Sustaining work: In smaller organizations, some of the project team may also be responsible for sustaining / customer support of existing products. These unplanned tasks, which come on event basis, related to customer support are always of high priority. Excess or prolonged sustaining work may take resource out of the planned project causing a potential threat for schedule slippage. · Defect fixes: Defects are bad as they degrade the product quality and consume extra time/effort to fix them. It is good to have testing of the intermediate releases of the project to find and fix defects sooner in the development life cycle. If the fixing-cycle for such internal-milestone defects is not planned, then either the project is either going to slip or product is going to be of poorer quality. Poor programming skill of the team, not adapting to modern programming practices and having ad hoc development processes may lead to higher number of defects which would take more time to fix then planned and cause slippage.

· Task spillover from previous milestone: Tasks that are not completed in previous milestone, due to whatever reason (inefficiency, vacation of the team member, resource crunch etc), will have to be completed in the next milestone thereby increasing the load on the team. If adequate buffer is not planned, these tasks spilled from previous milestone over to next, can delay the project. · Requirement change / refinement: Requirement changes during the product development will result in rework of what has been previously done with first version of requirement(s). Addressing changes in the requirements needs extra time and effort and may cause schedule slippage. In some cases, the requirement from customer is misunderstood resulting in wrong system design and implementation. Additional, unplanned time is lost in correcting the design/implementation which causes schedule slippage.

Conclusion

On time delivery is the challenge software development companies are facing globally. To have a complete control over estimated schedule, it is very important to identify the elements in the development cycle that cause schedule slippage. This article uncovers and explains the root causes of delay in programs using examples from real world. Having an insight to the root causes will help the program managers to make good decisions to avoid future schedule slippage.

Koi Feeding Basics

Every people who love these beautiful pets would like to own have healthy and colorful ones. You can help your koi if you follow these instructions.

When you choose Koi foods, you should check the quality. It is very important, because the proper nutrition is the basic rule if you would like to have healthy and happy Koi fish. It doesn’t matter how good or expensive the food you are feeding, if it is not fresh, it can cause problems in the long run.

Beside the quality and freshness, the variety is also important. If you feed your fish always with the same food, something will be lacking and your koi can get disease. You should use more manufacturers feed and mix it or feed in a variety.

Sometimes give them fresh greens and fruits, this way your carps can get healthier.

Fish have a pellet size that they are comfortably able to swallow. Koi prefers medium sized pellets to large pellets. Koi fish should be eat several times a day. At least 3 quick meals a day with small portions is proper and minimize waste.

In summer you should give them lower proteins foods, such as wheat germ based foods. If the temperature is high, the protein foods produce much ammonia.

Hand feeding is a very big experience. Koi are none-aggressive fish and do not have teeth. You can try it bravely. The trick is to start slow. Never make any sudden movements, because this will scare your fish. Begin by placing a few pellets in your hand and submerging your hand under water. After you have dropped the food into the pond for a couple of days, begin making the fish remove the food from your hand. Doing this everyday will get them comfortable with you.

Propane Patio Heaters – Are They Safe Or Not?

No question you can expand the use and enjoyment of your patio or deck with an LP patio heater. However, they generate high heat from gas, so are they safe?

It depends on what level of safety you are looking for. If you want guaranteed safety, do not buy an outdoor patio heater. Likewise, do not live in a home equipped with gas or electric heat, get rid of all appliances, and trade your car for a horse.

Guaranteed safety does not exist in anything, outdoor patio heaters and horses included. As with any appliance, machine or device, safety ultimately is determined by the way we use it. Common sense precautions, such as those presented here, will help ensure the safe enjoyment of this product for many years.

Most likely you will connect your LP (propane) heater to a 20lb propane cylinder, what most people use with their gas grill. Rest assured that propane tanks are virtually indestructible. You would have a very hard time blowing up a propane tank even if you tried.

More important for our discussion are the connections between the tank and heater, as well as the flame that is involved. Faulty connections can produce gas leaks, which are very dangerous, as are poorly managed flames from any source. A good idea is not to use a dented or rusted propane tank, or one with a damaged valve, collar or footing.

Should you smell gas, shut off the gas and extinguish the flame. If the odor continues, contact your gas supplier or fire department. They will be able to restore safety and peace of mind.

In addition to smell, there are effective ways to test for leaks, including brushing soapy water on all gas connections (with tank valve open). If this creates bubbles, you have a leak. Manufacturers may provide other testing guidelines, which you should follow.

It is a good bet they will not include using matches or lighters, or smoking and consuming adult beverages while checking for leaks. If unsure why that is, please obtain a restraining order from any gas heater, grill or appliance.

Generally, new patio heaters require some assembly. Although top manufacturers usually check factory connections for leaks, movement during shipping can loosen parts. To be safe, thoroughly check for leaks before firing up the unit and gathering everyone around.

Be sure to complete all assembly steps and not to force parts together. If assembling appliances is not your cup of tea, this would be a good time to offer a cup to someone who has the right skill set.

Outdoor patio heaters should not be used indoors, as every owner’s manual will state. Indoor fireplaces have chimneys for a reason. Burning anything requires proper ventilation, and patio heaters are not equipped with a chimney. Combustion of propane creates carbon monoxide, which, in enclosed areas, can kill you.

The importance of maintaining the manufacturer’s recommended clearance from combustible materials cannot be overstated. Generally, at least 3′ is needed. On patios and decks, this includes overhanging trees and shrubs, siding, children’s toys, paper plates, clothing….

Some materials require much more clearance, such as gasoline, paint and other flammable vapors and liquids.

The dome and burner of an outdoor patio heater are extremely hot during operation. The surface of a heater’s emitter can reach temperatures approaching 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, take special care with children and pets. Alert children and adults to the hazard of high temperature and demand they not touch or get close to the heater. Likewise, you should not try to move a patio heater when in use, and never leave a lit patio heater unattended.

Be sure to place your heater on a hard, level and stable surface and not to use it when winds exceed 10 mph. Although well-made units are equipped with an automatic tilt shut-off switch, it will not prevent injury should the heater land on someone. Also, extra wind may douse the flame and allow gas to escape.

Are propane patio heaters safe? Yes. Higher industry standards and expanded regulations have greatly enhanced the fundamental safety of outdoor patio heaters and propane usage. A better question is whether the person using these products is safety minded, which you are if you have read this far. For you, therefore, propane patio heaters are safe.

Building a Connection With Readers

I’m a big fan of the author, Haruki Murakami. His work excites and inspires me (and many millions of others), draws me back, and keeps me hooked.

But as with any author, writer, painter or photographer, his work doesn’t appeal to everyone. His popularity for those that read him is down to his ability to build a rapport with his readers. To connect with them on some level. It’s what every great artist does.

Writing winning content

When it comes to content writing, accept you won’t be liked by everyone. Don’t worry about being everyone’s best friend. Just work at writing copy that’s meaningful to those you want to attract.

This means understanding your audience – their fears, worries, wishes, anxieties, desires and wants – then connecting with them by writing to:

Solve their problems

Everyone likes somebody that can help. Someone that makes them feel better, reassures them, solves their problems, and provides direction. Just look at the success of self-help guides.

Let’s imagine we sell ‘moisturising soap’. The positive benefit of that soap is it keeps you clean. But the solution it offers to the client’s problem is that this soap prevents and treats dry skin.

For the customer, there’s the promise of radiant skin, rather than the dry, flaky skin that itches all day. You’ve solved their problem, and now they want to comment, share, buy or recommend your product to others.

Satisfy their desires

Most successful brands don’t focus on what we need. They focus on what we want. We may need a laptop, but we want an Apple. We need a new pair of glasses, but want a pair of YSL.

Why do we want this rather than a pair of everyday specs? We want to fit in with our peers. We want to show off our wealth. We want to impress.

Luxury brands play to desires all the time. Think Chanel and the way it helps retain its desire and exclusivity by not selling its handbags online. Think Burberry and the way it uses video to help capture the handcrafted steps involved in creating one of its signature trench coats. Or the words it uses on its website – “bespoke” “art” “heritage” – words designed to fuel our desires.

However you do it, however you play it, remember to solve your customers problems and satisfy their desires through your writing and you’ll be rewarded with comments, shares and plenty of sales.

Remodeling Kitchen Cabinets Is The Way To Go

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the entire home and should be a room that is well thought out before beginning any remodeling project. When it comes to remodeling kitchen cabinets you have some very nice options you can consider, but timing is everything. This article will open your eyes to a few possibilities for remodeling kitchen cabinets.

Before you start remodeling kitchen cabinets you must make some clear plans. The first item on your list should be your goals for the project. There is a major difference in remodeling kitchen cabinets and replacement kitchen cabinets. The main advantage to remodeling your kitchen cabinets is the fact that you can save a ton of money. You can also save allot of head ache and labor.

The two major keys to a successful kitchen cabinet remodeling job will be to determine the following two factors.

1 – Convenience (Usefulness and Storage)

2 – Style (Look and Feel)

Convenience: This is going to entail some interior remodeling and possibly restructuring the inside layout of a cabinet. You may be installing some slide outs in one cabinet to make it easier to get pots and pans out. You may want to add a spice rack or other convenient attachments.

You can find some wonderful ideas at your local home improvement centers. You may be able to find free flyers at Home Depot and Lowes building supply to help with creating solid plans.

Style: A nice style can be obtained by adding some new handles or re-staining your cabinets. The key is timing on this. You may be able to fins incredible deals on close out at major home improvement stores or smaller hardware stores near the end of the year. You may also ask them when the do inventory clearances and find everything up to 75% off.

Remodeling kitchen cabinets can be very economic with the right plans and some discipline to stay within your budget. It really is a great way to go over replacing kitchen cabinets in the long run.

Is It Possible To Negotiate Your Courier’s Shipping Rates?

Negotiation is simply a part of doing business in most industries. The courier industry is one of these, but the truth is that the vast majority of people do not recognize this. They think that the rate which is quoted to them by their Los Angeles courier service is immutable, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many people negotiate the prices that they pay for delivery and courier services. Here are some things to think about to get you closer to getting the savings that you deserve on your shipping.

The first thing that you need to realize is that your courier wants your business. This is similar to any organization or person that you are negotiating with. They want you to buy from them, and so you are actually the person with the power in the situation. There is a good chance that there are many other courier companies in your area for you to choose from, and that freedom gives you the leverage that you need to negotiate a better shipping rate with your courier company.

Doing research is always a good idea before you start any kind of negotiations. You should know what the competitors are charging so that you have a good place to start your negotiations from. For instance, another courier company in town may actually have better rates, but you might enjoy the customer service that you are offered by the company that you currently do business with. Knowing what other rates that are currently offered in the industry are can give you a good place to start negotiating from.

You should also have in mind what you’re aiming for when you start trying to negotiate. You’re not looking to score a discount on a single shipment. That isn’t really going to save you much money in the long run. Instead, what you should be looking for is a preferred rate for your company with the courier. Even a small percentage discount can really add up to a substantial amount of money saved over time if you can get this kind of arrangement set up. If you currently deal with more than one courier company, offering one of them your exclusive business in return for a better overall shipping rate can be a great way to get the prices that you’re looking for. The key to negotiating is that you must initiate the ball rolling, otherwise you’re assured to not save a penny!

WoW PVP Warlock Pets

As Warlocks we see so many players that use their character differently then we do. Different talent trees, different use of gems, stat foods, and most confusing, different use of pets. In a PVP situation we need to know what pet is going to keep us alive longer and help us rack up the honor points.Here are a few observations that I have made as a Warlock and watching other Warlocks in PVP situations concerning pets.

Many Warlocks chose to use an Imp. The Imp is who we are most familiar with, he is by our side almost from the first minute of leveling. He gives us a stamina buff that keeps us alive longer and when certain talent points and glyphs are used he can be quite deadly! Many PVP Warlocks use an Imp but simply put him on passive. They rely on fear and dots to kill enemies and use their Imp only for the stamina buff or have him attack a player when they are clearly losing the fight.

The Voidwalker is a protector. We learn early on in the game that a Voidwalker is there to keep us from getting hurt while we hurl away spells. We also learn that the Voidwalker doesn’t help very much when it comes to dealing damage, he is strickly a wall between you and another player but with a scroll of defense he is as protective as if he were wearing plate armor.

Pesky humanoid on your tail? Pull out the Fel Guard! Complete with leather outfits and whips she will charm an enemy into paralyzation. The lash of pain she can deal to an enemy can do quite the helpful amount of damage. I don’t see many people using the Fel Guard, however because lets face it, she cant seduce everyone!

If you are having trouble going up against players who deal magic damage, take the fel hunter out for a spin! The fel hunter devous magic and spell blocks! A caster is nearly defensless against him. He also deals a respectable amount of damage while he keeps casters off of your back. However, the Fel Hunter needs to watch his back when it comes to melee, he can be sliced and diced in a short amount of time.

The best of the best, in my opinion is the Fel Guard! You see him in many PVP situations. The Fel Guard is the ultimate protector, he can take damage like no other pet and deal it nearly as well. The Fel Guard can stun the enemy, deal damage, and keep him off of your back while you blast him away with spells.

While I have seen a number of pets used with different talent points, glyphs and scrolls, in my opinion there is only one way to go in PVP and that is to take my Fel Guard by my side. With him around I am protected and fearless.

Is Hammock Camping Right for You? Use These Five Tips to Decide

Camping in a traditional tent creates all kinds of problems that are avoided with hammock camping. That said, some people are better off sticking with the more conventional form of shelter. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether you want to try a hammock.

New Campsites Are Possible

Anyone who has set up a tent in the wilderness knows the challenge associated with finding the right patch of ground. Even relatively small rocks and sticks can cause a lot of discomfort for someone in a sleeping bag. Those who use a shelter suspended from trees, however, need not worry about rocky or uneven terrain. The new challenge, of course, is finding two trees an appropriate distance apart. Trees must also be big enough to support your weight.

Not Everyone Can Handle the Swinging

If your shelter is suspended between two points, there tends to be a lot of swaying during the night. When you roll over, or a breeze picks up, the insecurity can be problematic for some people. Just sleeping outdoors makes many people feel very vulnerable, and sleeping with just a thin layer of fabric between yourself and the outside air understandably heightens that concern. It’s a good idea to try napping in a hammock before committing to a camping trip.

There Won’t Be Many Options for Sleeping Positions

Those who can only sleep on their stomachs should probably avoid this approach to enjoying the outdoors. Because an occupant’s weight tends to bow down the middle of a hammock, people inside are most comfortable on their backs. Some models have an asymmetrical shape that allows the legs to project out to one side. If you prefer to sleep on your side, then make sure your choice of brand and model will accommodate that position.

Bug Nets Are Only as Good as Their Seal Around the Edges

Inexperienced adventurers might think it’s possible to get a separate bug net. Unfortunately, this approach isn’t nearly as effective as netting that’s built into your shelter. Some versions will allow you to zip netting all the way around the edge, not unlike the closure on a tent. The most secure option has netting that is permanently attached to the nylon. Since you can’t slide under the netting, you enter this type of hammock through a seam in the bottom. When properly designed, the occupant’s weight can hold the entry seam closed.

Rain Coverage Is Still Vital

Backyard hammocks rarely include rain covers since they aren’t made for extended camping. A tarp can be hung over a rope for strong and functional coverage, though tarps can be too heavy for backpackers who make weight a high priority. Even with the best system, storms with a combination of wind and rain can be troublesome. Even if swinging in the wind doesn’t bother you, the wind will make it more likely that rain makes its way into your sleeping area.

Ultimately, this type of shelter isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great option for fair weather in forested terrain. Happy trails!

Choosing an Electric Generator

In times of emergency, it seems that hind-sight is twenty twenty. Suddenly, you become quite aware of exactly what it is that you actually need and what is extraneous in your current circumstances. Luckily, it's easy to think ahead because choosing an electric generator is much more effective if you do not need it just yet. Beside emergency uses, there's also plenty of every day reasons to keep a home generator on hand.

When you are considering what generator is right for your needs, there are several things to consider. First, you will need to know exactly how you plan on using it. The size and power you need will depend on the load requirement. For example, if you normally plan on using the portable generator in your motor home, a smaller 1000 watt model may suffice and still give you sufficient power to run home lights and basic electricity in an emergency. If you want to provide back up for a larger appliance, consider choosing an electric generator in a larger 2000 watt model. A fully functional back-up for your home or business will probably require a 5000 watt or 6500 watt generator. Of course, more power equals higher prices, so you may want to look into used or reconditioned models to save money.

After determining exactly what your power needs are, let's look at the features of the generator. Most come equipped with 120 volt outputs. If you need to operate many tools at a time, you will want to have numerous outlets and switches available. A generator that will operate large appliances like a dryer will need to be equipped with a 240 volt plug.

Also, when choosing an electric generator, be aware of the cost of fueling it. This will effect your bottom line and make a difference in the overall cost of running the appliance. Common fuels include diesel, gasoline and even a propane generator. There's pros and cons to each. Gasoline generators are often cheaper to run. However, if you are storing for a possible emergency situation, keep in mind that propane is more stable over the long term.

As with all purchases, it's always helpful to check product reviews before making the final purchase. Also, when choosing an electric generator, remember that they can be large appliances. Make sure that you have the room to store them when not in use. It might be helpful to keep an extension cord with the appliance as well, to make sure that you can run it at a convenient distance. Having a generator on hand can be not only a godsend in an emergency situation, but also convenient for recreation and work outside the home.

Residential Solar Panel Energy, Is it the Low Cost Answer to Utility Bills?

When looking to lower your usage of energy, residential solar panel energy can be your solution. Solar Panels are a great way to save money on your utility bills with regards to your electrical needs. Over the long run solar panels have proven to be cost effect solutions in reducing your energy needs from fossil fuels. With the price of traditional fossil fuels climbing every year, it's easy to justify the installation of a residential solar system.

Installation of your system can be completed by a professional company or by yourself. It's really not as hard to install a system yourself as you may think. A little research and planning is the basic elements to a do it yourself project. Solar panels can be built by you or bought pre-made.

In fact the most expensive part of having a system installed by a professional company is the labor cost. Removing the labor cost from the equation will save you a lot of money. Remember, the lower the price of installation, the faster your return on the investment in your system.

To help lower your utility bills, the more alternative energy devices you can employ, the more money you will save. Beside residential solar panel energy, there is also wind power. Both types of systems will generate your energy needs, in your efforts to reducing your utility bills.But, Past research suggest that solar panels will prove the best return on your investment dollars. And in the end, it's all about saving money and helping the environment.