Brand Conscious

The ultimate recognition when Bill Dedman said -Brand names are well known to business school professors, but only one professor is a brand name herself. Call her Professor Oprah. There can be no greater appreciation when one’s own name becomes a brand in itself and it is accepted globally. Even our fictitious “Gabbar Singh” is a brand representing a certain quality of person, albeit stereotypical.

Some brands come out to be very powerful as Sara Blakely puts it, It’s the power of the brand. We’ve never formally advertised. I don’t know if you are familiar with this snippet, Half a circle, full a circle, half a circle A. Half a circle, full a circle, right angle A. We, as kids in the late 60s used this as a brainteaser to confuse our friends, the answer to which was. This is the power of the brand when it becomes a part of everyday life.

Look at the truth behind the following:

*How many of us use the term “photocopy”? We mostly use “Xerox”.

*Do we say “search the Net”? No. we say “Google it”.

*Seldom do we say “petroleum jelly”. We always say “Vaseline” which is a trademark of Unilever.

*”Walkman” is a Sony brand. The generic name is “Personal stereo”.

*We say “Ziploc” and not “Zipper storage bag”.

There are numerous such examples, many of which would surprise you such as, Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), Bikini (two-piece swimwear), Cellophane (transparent regenerated cellulose sheets), Dry ice (solid form of carbon dioxide), Escalator (moving staircase), Kerosene (combustible hydrocarbon liquid) and Thermos (vacuum flask).

What is a brand? As defined in Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value. Legal name for a brand is trademark and, when it identifies or represents a firm, it is called a brand name.In other words, a brand goes beyond a mere name or a logo or icon. It is a promise to your customers of a certain kind of product or service. A brand combines several elements which include logo, words, type font, design, colors, personality, price, service, etc. You should also look at the attributes of your product/service and incorporate them into your brand. When you think of SONY you immediately get the picture of top quality consumer electronics and BENZ reminds you of best in class German engineering in automobiles.

*Your brand is your public identity, what you’re trusted for. And for your brand to endure, it has to be tested, redefined, managed, and expanded as markets evolve. Brands either learn or disappear. Lisa Gansky

Why do you need a brand? Every company needs a brand including startups. With the short attention span of customers in today’s environment, standard advertisements do not register. When you watch TV how many commercials do you view or remember? Maybe, only the radically unconventional ones or those related to well known brands and there too you may not remember the actual advertisement.

What goes into the making of a brand? The creation of a brand is a complex and time consuming but extremely crucial activity. Here, let me show you some of the elements and their impact:

*Name: This is not just a word or a set of words. “Apple” or “Idea” is not just a word; they provide a feeling, a promise. In the case of Apple the promise is of quality and exclusivity. In the case of Idea it is technology reaching out to the common masses.

*Logo: This is the visual representation that identifies the brand. The LIC logo of a pair of hands holding a lamp symbolizes to secure/protect the light of life.

*Signature phrase: A very important component for any brand. We all know “The Taste of India” is associated with AMUL (Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd).

*Graphics: The graphical design (shape, color, font, etc.) of the entire brand including the logo. Air India has mascot in the “Maharaja” as well as a logo.The Centaur that has now been replaced by a red colored flying swan with the “Konark Chakra” in orange, placed inside it. The design and color combination on each aircraft also contribute to the brand.

*Shapes: The distinctive radiator grill of the Rolls Royce automobile is never changed across its numerous models.

*Sounds: Tunes and musical notes add to the experience. The chimes of Microsoft Windows, Mozart’s 25th Symphony used for Titan watches.

There are other elements such as scent and taste that can also go into making of your brand. Companies have even used the services of linguists to help create their brands.

“People need patience. It takes time to build a brand.” Carmen Busquets

Achieving a level where your brand becomes a part of daily jargon can take years and may or may not signify something good for you. For some of these brands the owner companies have completely dominated the market and they continue to reap the benefits. For most, however, the owner company has faded into oblivion while the brand lives on.

Nurturing Nature’s Best at DDA’s Biodiversity Parks

Owned and developed by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in collaboration with Center for environment management of degraded ecosystems (CEMDE), Yamuna and Aravali biodiversity parks are first of its kind in India harboring natural reserves including hundreds of vanishing species of native flora and fauna which used to exist 100 years ago and has become extinct locally. Delhi Development Authority is playing a key role in developing the green spaces in the form of regional parks, district parks, green belts and the neighborhood greens which falls into the its jurisdiction. Works of developing the biodiversity parks, rejuvenation of water bodies, revival of lakes are into process with the aim of reviving the lost natural heritage of life systems of Delhi.

Exploring Biodiversity

Yamuna Biodiversity Park

Yamuna Biodiversity Park is spread over a sprawling 457 acres of land, dedicated to protect the natural environment along Yamuna. This park has become home for biologically rich wetlands, wide variety of fruit yielding species, grassland communities and abundance of medicinal herbs. The two major features of the park are the visitor’s zone and the nature reserve zone. “Welcome Rock facet” located right to the entry of the park represents the origin of the Ganga and Yamuna and their convergence at Allahabad. The trails which lead to Bambusetum, the Nature interpretation Centre, Butterfly Park, and ayurvedic hut are the prominent places of visit. The classical building of the nature interpretation centre is beautiful and elegant floored with red carpet, attractive interiors, touch screens, visual aids and the panels depicting various biodiversity levels provide an insight into several concepts of biodiversity. Landscaping left of the park is two shallow valleys that represent rangelands with 10 mounds depicting different ecosystems present from foothills of the Himalayas (siwaliks) through Yamuna basin till the confluence of Yamuna and Ganga. While passing through loop trail of the park you will come across bouncing hares and even get to watch red-wattled lapwings and other exotic birds. At the exit of butterfly conservatory located the west side of the park you will enjoy the view of resident ducks wetlands and huge variety of fishes. Yamuna Biodiversity Park is emerging as Delhi’s most visited public place and a prominent center of learning and understanding of nature’s rich heritage. This park can easily be approached from: – I) East Delhi through Bhajanpura, ii) South and central Delhi through ISBT, iii) North Delhi through Burari.

This Biodiversity park is 15 kms from north-east of Connaught Place and 4 kms north of ISBT.

Aravalli Biodiversity Park

Spread over an area of 692 acres Aravalli Biodiversity Park is located near Vasant Vihar. The undulating landscape of Aravalli biodiversity with gentle slopes, shallow valleys and elevated ridges dotted with numerous morrum and clay mined pits of varying contours, shapes and sizes will amaze you to the core. The two major zones of the park are the visitor’s zone and the nature reserve zone. once you enter the park the first community you will encounter at the poorvi marg gate is the young plantation of the moist decidious forest community that have some of the most unique species of trees such as Madhuca longifolia (Mahua), Diospyros melanoxylon (Tendu) etc. you will truly be amazed to see the fully developed top canopy of the native forest which attains the height of 40-50 feet. While passing by you will come across uncommon birds like the black-breasted redstart, ashy prinia and the red whiskered bulbul. The unique features developed at the visitor’s zone are arboreta, rangeland, Lake Ecosystem, wetland with riparian vegetation. The conservatory of orchid species and ferns and allies are the high points of the park. The conservatories of butterflies, tuberous and bulbous plants consists some of the most exotic species of the park. The undulating water body supports native ducks and aquatic vegetation. The trail adjacent to the office complex passes from the conservatory shallow valley, herbal plants and through stairway commonly known as amphitheatre. The conservatory of the butterflies adjacent to the stairway is a saucer shaped depression harboring native bush vegetation is home to thousands of butterflies belonging to 30-40 species.

Aravali Biodiversity Park is situated on the south central ridge is bounded clock wise by JNU (Nelson Mandela Marg) the Mehrauli – Mahipalpur road, NH-8 and the Palam road and the southern boundary of Vasant Vihar. You can approach this Biodiversity Park, either from Vasant Vihar- Poorvi Marg gate located at about: 4 km south west of Moti Bagh, and 2 km west of Jawahar Lal Nehru University (Munirka) or from the Vasant Kunj Institutional gate which is about 3.5 km north of Mahipalpur and one km west of Vasant Kunj Malls.

Reasons to visit Biodiversity Parks

Biodiversity parks are one of its kind harbouring natural resources of the biotic communities and ecosystems.

1. The interesting riverside walk proves too scintillating to miss.

2. The theme gardens of the biodiversity parks are unique facilitating people of all age groups to enjoy nature in its purest form.

3. The biodiversity parks provide opportunities for ecological education, leading to awareness and participation in campaign sites, seminars, workshops, and exhibitions based on various themes in the open area of park.

4. Vast range of flora and fauna species will enhance knowledge level of the visitors to a great extent.

5. These parks promote eco-tourism, social activity and educational value among people of all age groups.

Paint Jobs – How Much Does it Cost to Paint? Estimating Paint Jobs

Nobody wants to work for nothing, but many painting businesses do when they don’t charge for all the things that are part of each job. If you intend to do a complete job, and your customer is asking for a complete job, then you should be charging for a complete job. Leave something off of the estimate and you are working for nothing. Doing a complete and thorough estimate involves everything that takes time whether it be screwing that switch plate cover back on or painting the altar in that church. Many painters brag about what they describe as an almost mystical experience, like walking into a room and a price comes into their head. I never liked that because it is inaccurate, lazy and likely to end up poorly, at best you will just miss something and work for nothing on that part of the job. Another reason why this lump sum magic is bad is that someone is always surprised when the customer finds something that wasn’t done and they thought it was part of the job. And they tell you do it or don’t get paid. I talk about this when I discuss the Proposal itself.

Setup – Whether it be driving 100 miles to the job or 2 days setting up scaffolding or 20 minutes unloading drops, ladders and paint, it is part of every job. And because it is part of the job it is included in the cost of the job and needs to be estimated. Some thought should be given to special circumstances as mentioned above, or keep a percentage to use as a formula for each job. For example: if you are scaffolding out that church steeple to scrape and paint, then you need to figure everything involved with this stage including take down. This type of setup is likely to be much more costly than the actual paint job. Whereas painting the interior of your average customers home can be done room by room as a percentage of the total hours. For example: if you are dropping out a room, removing switch plates, moving furniture, etc. Then an easy way to do it is to take the total hours painting and multiply by.1 or.2 or whatever you think is an average time. Estimating setup, prep, and cleanup as a percentage on average jobs saves time when estimating.

Preparation – Lots of times this costs way more than the paint job. For example: we did a paint job on a big 1840’s wood clapboard monster of a house. 15 weeks removing paint before one drop of paint went on the house, the painting itself was about 3 weeks. Not only time but lots of sanding disks, respirators, disposable coveralls, cleanup daily, and removal of all dust and chips was all a big deal because of the size of the job and because of the old lead paint. The opposite is the average home interior that can be estimated like the setup example above using a percentage. Most of the time interior prep is just small surface repairs, and some caulking, the stuff that is the same from job to job. Special repairs or problems should be itemized.

Painting – What amount of time does it take to paint 5 wood casement windows on ground level without a ladder? How much time does it take to paint those same 5 windows at 40 feet on a hill when each window is 8 feet apart? Probably more than 2 times what it takes to paint the ones on ground level, each time moving and setting up the ladder on uneven ground most likely involving 2 people to move and setup the ladder for each window. So an easy formula to use on heights above 25 feet would be 2 times or 2.2 times or whatever the time it takes to paint the same window without ladder. Most of the time estimating painting costs can be done with a formula that works pretty well from job to job.

Cleanup – This part of the painting job is likely to be glossed over or ignored from an estimating position. This is a big mistake because it can take more time that the actual painting, depending on the job. If this part of the job is not done well the client may view the entire job as poorly done. And if done really well it may just put the crowning touch on the job. Estimating the time to properly cleanup after each job is critical to your estimate. If you short this part of the estimate, by not allowing enough time, then something has to give and the outcome is likely an unhappy customer. Average jobs can use a factor to estimate time. Example, an 8 hour interior job can be cleaned up in 8 hours x.1 =.8 hours.

When I watch some of these “home remodeling” shows blow through the painting as if it is nothing, I laugh but then I think how much ignorance they create. When Norm does his woodworking magic it is an event to behold; but, when Carlos spends 3 hours vacuuming, dusting and cleaning windows after a paint job, it is nothing, it is not even mentioned. Some many home owners tackle paint jobs and are totally clueless as to what is really involved. Like the time when we were called in to touch up walls in this multi-million dollar mcMansion following a $25,000 audio system wiring job where the technician cut holes in 11 different rooms. Each room had a different color, so we cleaned rollers, brushes, cut buckets etc. after each color. The owner gave me a big argument about charging her for the time to clean our tools. If it is part of the job and you wouldn’t be doing it except for their job, then they should be paying you for it.

3 Types Of Laminating Machines And How They Work

Are you looking to buy a laminating machine? There are many types of these machines that you can go for. Here are some of the most common:

Pouch laminator

This is a unit that heats the laminate and seals both sides. The unique feature of this unit is that the laminate isn’t attached to the machine. To laminate your document you need to place the document that you want to laminate inside the laminate pouch and turn the machine on in order to heat up.

Once ready, place the pouch in the machine and the machine rollers will pull the pouch through the heat. The two layers of the laminate consist of polyester-based layer and adhesive resin. When the two touch and are heated, the resin melts creating a hard surface and bonds with the polyester layer.

Large laminator

There are two types of this unit: large film and pouch type. The pouch type is explained above. The large film laminator is designed to laminate big items or many items at the same time. To use the machine you need to turn it on and place the items that you want to laminate at the bottom sheet of clear laminate.

When you turn on the machine, the rollers pull the bottom layer as the top layer rolls out simultaneously. When the two laminating layers touch each other, they seal thus sealing the item inside.

Cold machine

This is a unique laminating machine that is designed for documents that are resistant to heat. These include carbon copies and those with ink jet print. This machine works by activating the laminate through pressure instead of heat. The document to be laminated is sent through the machine that rolls the two document layers together and presses them in place.

Tips of using laminating machines

For the machine to give you ideal results you need to give it time to heat. The time you give depends on the model of your machine. You can tell if the machine is ready by looking at the indicator light. Once the machine is ready, the light flashes on and off.

When laminating the documents, be cautious of the speed that you use. As rule of thumb laminate thick items such as poster boards at slower speeds. Use faster speeds on thin items such as notebook papers.


This is what you need to know about laminating machines. When buying them ensure that you buy from a reputable store.

How to Restore Antique or Old Furniture

You can easily transform a piece of furniture cheaply by stripping off the old paint and refinishing the wood as to its original state. By stripping old furniture down to the natural wood you can ensure a smooth surface – free of bumps and blemishes – which can be polished, varnished or even stenciled for a completely new look. Make sure first that you know what finish you are stripping because, paint, polish, lacquer or varnish all require different treatments.

Equipment: By hand, you need paint stripper, liquid or jelly form, methylated spirits, and turpentine. A pair of rubber gloves, old paint brush 25 – 50 mm wide, a scraper, course wire wool and sand paper fine to medium grade.

Paint Stripping: if you are professional for difficult work it can be removed by immersing the article in a caustic bath. A safer suggestion I would recommend by hand, using a chemical paint stripper; this gives great results as it adds an extra luster to the bare wood.

Method: Firstly make sure that your work area is well ventilated as paint stripper gives off unpleasant fumes. Remove all fittings handles, key guides etc, then start brushing the stripper on to the painted areas, work the stripper into all cracks/crevices. When you have covered a workable area, leave the stripper to act for several minutes. When it starts to bubble, remove the paint layer with your stripping knife or scraper, (put the paint shreds into an old paint tin as being caustic they are dangerous) repeat the process until you reach the wood. When all the paint has been stripped, next step is to wash the wood down with the manufactures recommendation on what neutralizer to use this will remove any remaining debris at the same time neutralizes the stripper. If the suggested neutralizer is say turpentine then soak a ball of wire wool and thoroughly rub down the stripped surface. When dry sandpaper down to a smooth finish. Important; always rub in the direction of the grain.

Stripping polish: before you can remove successfully, you must know firstly the type of polish. If it is French polish this can be removed quite easily with methylated spirits, wipe it on generously, leave for a few minutes. When the polish has softened, scrape it off with a scraper then with fine wire wool (soaked in Methylated spirits) when the wood is dry you can sandpaper down to a nice smooth finish. If it is a Wax polish (oily surface) this you can remove with fine steel wool soaked with turpentine. Repeat until you are at the bare wood, dry off with an absorbent cloth.

Varnished and Lacquered finishes: if the article being 50 years or more old it probably is an oil based varnish of which was made from resins dissolved in oils and solvents. The cleanest/easiest way is with a scraper; tilt the scraper away from you working along the grain (never across the grain). Polyurethane varnishes use a paint stripper. Cellulose-based varnishes can be removed by paint stripper, acetone, cellulose thinners, ammonia caustic soda, or turpentine. Suggest test a small area first to see which works best. Repairs, now you are able to see the various faults. Your repairs are necessary before the new finish can be applied, perhaps the draws require re-nailing or weak joints to be glued, cracks and holes must be filled. Minor cracks and holes you use a plastic wood or non-shrinking stopper all available in various natural wood colors. Large holes should be Plugged with a similar wood, cut to shape making sure the grain of the pug runs the same way as the rest of the surface, and then glue it in. Fine sandpaper all your repairs down to a smooth finish for the next stage.

Finishing with polyurethane: this gives bare wood a lustrous, hard wearing finish of which is easy to clean and maintain. Polyurethane can withstand heat without marking although intense heat will damage the wood. There is a variety of natural wood colors available as well as clear all matt or gloss finish. It is important to let Polyurethane set; some brands can take up to two weeks to achieve maximum hardness. Apply the varnish directly to the sanded wood with a brush as the varnish must be applied in coats. It is a good idea with the first coat to dilute with spirit so that it soaks in and seals the wood. After each subsequent coat (when dry) lightly rub down with a fine sand paper. If you are using one of the colored varieties it would pay you to apply the first coat with a clear, this will save any likelihood of a patchy finish. If you want a matt finish after using colored varnish make the final coat with a clear matt.

Finishing with Wax Polish: Wax polish can be used either by itself or in conjunction with polyurethane as an alternate finish. Although wax gives a wonderful warm mellow look to the wood it is not very practical, because it has very little resistance to heat, it marks quite easily therefore it is advisable that it be used on more decorative pieces. For the wax finish all you need is pure beeswax, turpentine, cheese grater and a glass jar. Grate the wax with the cheese grater into a jar cover with turpentine – stand the jar in a pan of very hot water and stir until the mixture melts and forms a thick paste. Dip a clean rag in the wax and rub into the clean wood surface, taking care to spread the wax evenly. Apply enough wax to soak into the grain avoid leaving excess on the surface. When the wax has hardened (approximately an hour or so) buff up the surface with a fine cloth. With Polyurethane, use a proprietary white wax polish. After the final coat of varnish has dried rub it over lightly with a very fine “0000” grade of wire wool. Brush away the dust; now rub in the polish with a course piece of fabric giving you an even matt sheen. Finally buff the surface with a fine cloth. Successive layers of polish, built up at a rate of one every two days, will deepen and harden the surface finish. Not bad for a small amount of effort! Cheers Darryl.

Home Renovations That Are Illegal to Do on Your Own

It doesn’t matter how handy or knowledgeable you are, there are some home renovations that are against the law to do yourself. There are many reasons why these projects are illegal to “DIY“, but it is mostly due to the fact that they involve complicated codes and procedures, which require specialized licensing, training, and equipment. Examples include water heater replacement, plumbing work, lead paint removal, framework construction, and more. Aside from being legally prohibited, performing these types of projects on your own can also void warranties, jeopardize insurance claims, lower property value, and even hinder resales. Continue reading to review some illegal DIY home improvement projects, so you can better protect yourself, your home, and all that’s in it, from trouble.

DO NOT Do This at Home

There are many home improvement projects that are not permitted to do on your own, and for good reason. These include electrical work, light fixture installation, fuel conversions, large tree removal, mold remediation, animal removal, HVAC repair, asbestos removal, and more. For instance, if you want to replace your electric stove with a gas stove, you would need to convert your home’s fuel-type. This involves installing gas lines, doing electric work, and much more, not to mention strict safety codes to prevent chemical explosions. For this reason, this is a job for a team of licensed professionals with formal training and experience. Here are some additional home improvement projects that are require a licensed professional:

Lead Paint Removal – Old homes and structures built before 1980 are likely to be painted with lead-based paint. In order to remove lead-based paint safely, you must have the proper knowledge, training, tools, and of course, licensing. That is because lead is deadly, and requires specialized methods of removal to ensure safety.

Water Heater Replacement – Hot water heaters can be dangerous appliances if handled improperly. If you need to replace or install a water heater, you’ll need to have it done by a licensed professional. It requires strict code obedience, sensitive electrical work, and fuel line management.

Garage Door Spring Replacement – This may sound like an easy job, but one wrong move can be severely injurious or even fatal. Over time, garage door springs lose tension and require replacement, and part of the process of removing the old and installing the new is to release and return the tension. A single slip of the hand can cause the spring to fly at your body, resulting in serious injury.

Wall Removal – If you are dreaming of an open-floor concept, don’t just grab your sledgehammer and start demolition. Some walls are strictly structural, so taking one down can be extremely dangerous. For that reason, it requires official building permits. It is necessary to hire a general contractor is you wish to remodel or convert a space.

Septic System Pumping – Although it is considered an undesirable chore, many homeowners look into doing it themselves to save a buck or two. But this is not a good idea. Not only does septic pumping require specialized equipment in order for it to be safe and effective, it requires official city permits for authorized waste disposal.

My Attic Sheathing Has Black Mold – Should I Replace the Roof Or Not? The Truth Revealed at Last

“Do I really need to tear off my roof?” is a question that I am asked frequently, by homeowners who have discovered they are the victims of a black mold infestation in their attic.

Many of them have been told by someone that it is the only way to truly fix the mold problem that they have in their attic. Many roofers especially are quick to recommend this remedy as the “only right way to use” if you have attic mold.

Don’t get stuck on the color of the mold either. The media has hyped “Black Mold” way out of proportion. What makes black mold black is the same chemical that gives your skin a suntan, namely melanin. Melanin is not poisonous or dangerous. This gives homeowners a false sense of security if the mold in their home happens to be white, green, yellow or some other color than black, believing incorrectly that it is harmless.

The truth is there are Toxic Molds that are white, green, gray, brown, red and black.

In fact even non-toxic molds can become opportunistic pathogens that are capable of feeding on you and living in or on your own body! It all depends on the kind of mold and the state of your own immune system.

The fact is, it doesn’t matter what kind of mold it is or even if its poisonous… if it is feeding on the boards of your attic, it needs to be treated right away. The reason is simple it can make your family sick and it is destroying the boards of the roof. That’s right mold releases powerful enzymes that are proven to rot and destroy wood! These enzymes are so powerful they are actually the workhorses inside of the gut of wood boring beetles and termites. That’s right scientists have discovered that termites and wood boring beetles actually have a symbiotic relationship and mold living inside of their guts is what allows them to digest the strong lignen binders inside of wood, allowing them to eat their way through the toughest wood.

Now, back to whether you need to replace the roof or not.

In most cases, the answer is a resounding NO!

As long as the boards are not rotted replacing the roof will do one thing only – Empty your wallet! What’s worse is that I have known many, many homeowners that decided to forego mold remediation because they took the advice of a roofer that really did not understand mold . That’s what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Green. On the advice of a roofing contractor they decided not to have the mold in their attic treated but rather to replace the whole roof including the plywood sheathing. Problem solved? Unfortunately not. You see they called me after only one winter with the new roof and to their dismay the new attic boards were covered in as much growth in one year as they had been after twenty years on the older plywood. Why you ask? There are two primary reasons for this. First When you see a board that is covered in mold you are not really looking at the body of the organism itself; instead what you are actually seeing is the fruit-body, like an apple is to an apple tree or a mushroom to a mushroom plant. I’m sure you eaten a mushroom right? Well have you ever seen a mushroom plant??? Its white and fuzzy and it looks like mold, but it remains unseen because it is growing beneath the surface of the soil. The mushrooms we eat contain the seeds so they are the fruit.

The fruit bodies or spores are like the mold’s seeds, its what allows them to reproduce. In fact in one square inch of flowering mold there can be upwards of one to five Million spores! In a square foot there can be billions. When you have hundreds of square feet of flowering mold it is hard for the human mind to comprehend the sheer numbers! And each and every one of those spores can reproduce into up to 12 million in just 12 hours! Ugh! And when mold senses it is being attacked, it has a defense mechanism called bursting or sporulation which causes it to release its spores into the air in a cloud. The act of just spraying mold with a chemical will cause this reaction.

When the roofer rips the boards off of the rafters during a re-sheathing process these spores are literally spread everywhere, all over the attic. In the insulation on the rafters, everywhere! This is like planting a new mold crop all over the attic which is just waiting for the slightest moisture to occur, as an excuse to go right back into full bloom!

The second reason that it is not a good idea to replace the roof boards is that the plywood for sale today is much softer than the older plywood and roofing boards of yesteryear. The reasons is that the new plywood today is made from wood that comes from planted forests. Planted forest wood is much softer than the wood grown in a natural forest. Put simply, in a planted forest there is no dense canopy of leaves overhead, so the trees never have to fight for light. This results in a heavy pith ring from summer growth and a narrow cambium ring, resulting in a much softer wood. And with a mold problem, the softer the wood is the easier it is to be colonized or attacked by mold. That’s why the Greens’ attic grew more mold in one winter than it had in the last twenty years, the new softer plywood was an easy target for the mold that had been spread all over, by the roofer, when he was ripping off the boards; and he inadvertently planted the new mold crop in the attic!

Finally, it is flat out like throwing your hard earned money right out the window! Why waste money to replace shingles and boards that are structurally sound???

It is possible for the mold to be safely treated and for the mold job to last permanently, the key is in both destroying the spores and destroying the mold roots. The home owner must be very careful however in selecting a knowledgeable contractor with a thorough, safe and not-toxic process. It can be a challenge, which is why we train contractors all over the world in safe effective mold treatments. Remember if you have a mold problem in the attic don’t buy a new roof and throw away your money, hire a safe mold professional and treat the heart of the problem the mold…. Not the roof! 

OLTP vs DSS systems

Information systems are classified into two major categories, according to international developments: A. On-line transactional processing systems (also called operational systems)

B. Decision support systems (DSS)

Α. On-line transactional processing systems OLTPs are systems which serve transactions with suppliers, partners and customers, as well as internal business transactions. They support operations throughout the value chain of the Organization:

  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Production support (e.g. MRP, Advanced Planning & Scheduling)
  • Customer interface management (e.g. sales, order management and billing) (CRM)
  • Finance and Accounting (ERP)
  • Sales force automation
  • Web channel operations (eCRM)
  • Internal workflow support systems

Β. Decision support systems DSS provide management at all levels of the Organisation, with information which supports understanding of the current Business position and taking informed decisions (fact based management). OLTP vs DSS systems Even though OLTP (on-line transactional processing) and DSS (decision support systems) functionalities may overlap (e.g. an OLTP system may provide some operational reporting functionality used for decision support), it is clear that the purpose of the 2 categories differs, given that they serve different functions and different User groups in the Business. Therefore the development philosophy of the two categories differs radically. Specifically, differences are identified on the following criteria (1 for OLTP, 2 for DSS): System functional requirements:

  1. Clearly specified given that the system serves specific functional needs – the predetermined transactions
  2. the determination of a complete requirement set is a challenge, given that there are dynamically changing informational requirements.

Capture of current and historical information:

  1. Current state information is captured (some historical data may exist only to serve potential future transactions)
  2. Recent and historical information is captured (current may not be captured, given that data from the OLTP are retrieved at regular intervals)

Data models used:

  1. Complex, focused on business entities (in terms of relational databases it is called normalized data structure (e.g. 3NF))
  2. Different approaches exist. The simplified denormalised dimensional structure gains momentum, since it allows easier understanding by business users and optimized execution of complex queries.

Information level of detail:

  1. Detailed data per transaction are kept
  2. Detailed data are kept in a different structure and are enriched by ‘dimensional’ information which allows analytical processing. Moreover, aggregated data like KPIs (key performance indicators), are calculated and stored in persistent storage.

Volume of data:

  1. The volume of data is relevant to the size of the Business and the penetration of IT in it.
  2. The data volume handled by a DSS, is multiple of that of the OLTP systems on which it is based, given that it maintains multiple historical snapshots

Copyright 2006 – Kostis Panayotakis

Body Painting – 7 Tips For Cleaning Up Safely and Easily

If you are just getting started in body painting or face painting, one thing you may not have considered is how you are going to get all that paint off again!

While your client may like being a zombie or a tiger at a party, they may not want to go to work looking like one. In any case, they will want to get cleaned up before going to bed or doing pretty much anything else, and you will be expected to know how to remove the paint you put on them safely and painlessly.

Here are 7 quick tips for removing body paint from the skin, and also for staying clean and neat while you are working.

1. Check your paints and packaging.

Always use safe paints that have been made specifically for face painting and body painting. They should explicitly say that is what they are for. Read what they say, either on the label, or on the website, about how to clean them up. Some body paints are made to be cleaned with water; others may use a special kind of remover that you will have to buy. Be sure you are cleaning them off skin using the methods the packaging says to use.

2. Use warm water, sponges, and cloths.

If your body painting or face painting supplies say to use only water, or mild soap and water, then follow those instructions. Use warm water if possible to make cleanup nicer for your clients, and easier paint removal. Sponges (the same kind you use to apply body paints) and soft cloths are the best tools; you can use paper towels, but why not save the environment a bit and use something re-useable? And using the same types of sponges you use to put paint on will give you the best kinds of shapes for removing it as well.

3. Use non-allergenic, natural, safe skin soaps.

If you’ve chosen your face and body paints correctly, you have made sure they are meant for face painting and body painted and are almost guaranteed not to cause an allergic reaction. Be sure your clean up soaps follow the same standards. Natural bases like glycerin and castille are good; try to avoid perfumes, artificial colors, and chemicals. If it says ‘natural’ or ‘hypo-allergenic’ on the label, you may still want to check the ingredients, they may still include scents or high amounts of alcohol-stearates, which can cause sensitive skin to react.

4. Be careful around the eyes.

Watch cleaning around the eyes especially – of course ask your client to close their eyes, and go slowly. Some makeup suppliers (Mehron, for example) carry special cleaners especially made for cleaning around eyes; you may want to try one of those. You could also look at makeup suppliers for smaller tools meant for cleaning around eyes. The skin around the eyes (and of course the eye itself) is more sensitive than the rest of the skin, so what works on the rest of the skin may not equally well around the eyes.

One good trick is to clean the other areas entirely first, and leave the eyes for very last – that way you will not be getting more paint near the eyes once they are clean, and will only have to clean them once. That way you can avoid repetitive cleaning (and irritation) of the eye area – as well as extra work on your part.

5. Baby Wipes are great, but use the right ones.

Baby wipes are great to have on hand, but remember they were formulated for wiping a very different area of the body than the face. This means they have probably not been tested for facial safety and irritation. I would recommend getting baby wipes that are ‘natural,’ but again, check the ingredients on the back. You want no fragrances if possible, and no dyes. Sometimes you can get them especially for ‘sensitive skin,’ again, read the labels. Then try them on your face to see how they work before using them on others.

6. Protect clothing while painting – and washing up.

Paints made for face painting and body painting should never stain the face, but the same can’t be said for clothing. Even water based body paints can still stain clothing. Keep clothing away from the paint as it is being applied, of course – but you will want to watch it when you are cleaning up as well. Soaking paints with water and washing them off can be a drippy process, and colors are even more likely to get on clothes then than when painting. Consider using covering cloths while you are cleaning, even if you didn’t when painting.

7. And Last But Not Least: Don’t Scrub!

Don’t scrub the skin, even if the paints are not coming off properly. Scrubbing can cause bad reactions even if everything else is safe for skin. If your paint is not coming off quickly, be patient, let it soak a bit and try again, gently. Try using something else to clean such as baby wipes or a cloth with a little soap squirted directly on it. You may also want to take a look at the paint’s instructions on cleaning up again – maybe you missed something on cleaning up. In any case, don’t get frustrated and scrub! Your client will appreciate it.

So that’s it – 7 best tips for cleaning up safely and easily after face painting or body painting. You may want to print these out as a reminder sheet to include in your painting supplies, that way if you have a cleaning problem, you can consult them quickly!

Starting a Heavy Crane Hire Business

Construction is a perennial business that is always in need of heavy machinery and equipments. Not all construction businesses can afford to have their own machines. Therefore they look for companies that offer heavy equipments like cranes for hire. A heavy crane hire business can be a lucrative one if started with proper planning and adequate marketing strategies. However there are certain tips that must be followed in order to make the heavy crane hire business a successful one. These tips are as follows:

Since heavy cranes are costly and need huge initial investment, it must be ascertained whether you have the required potential to buy them. If you are looking to get the purchase financed through a bank loan, you must take into consideration the interest on that loan and how much time will it take to repay the loan with the interest.

Before starting a crane hire business, you must also ascertain the earning potential of the cranes that you intend to purchase. For this you have to scour the neighborhood to find out the construction companies and from whom they lease their cranes. It is very necessary to find the breakeven point for your investment.

Effective marketing strategies can be a way to successful business. Applying this to your business could always keep you in business. So initially you can approach the construction companies and offer them discounts on leasing cranes from you. With good business relations you can make your crane hiring business successful.

Advertise your products in the local newspapers and other forms of media. You can also advertise on the internet as well.

With these tips you can easily start your heavy crane hire business. The business has good earning potential if you go about it in the proper way. Therefore do proper research and study the market before committing yourself to the business.

Sample Contract Agreements Make Creating an Iron Clad Contract Simple

Anytime you set out to hire a contractor or a subcontractor you will need to make sure that you have a written contract in place. This document represents an agreement between both parties as to what is expected and the compensation that will be paid once the job has been completed. It is a legally binding contract according to the law once it has been signed and should be very specific in nature so as to avoid any confusion or chance of misinterpretation on either party’s behalf. To make sure that the contract you fill out is formatted properly you can look through various contract agreement samples to find one that best represents your need.

This form should be broken down into several sections to make sure that all aspects of the contract are covered and there is no room for error. It should start with a section that describes who is doing the hiring and who is being hired. This section can also be used to describe in detail the job that the person or company is being hired to perform. It may also cover any parts or materials that are to be used and any specialized equipment that will be needed. For example John Smith is hiring Fred Blogs to use his backhoe to dig a trench for utilities that is 3 feet wide by 6 feet deep and 200 yards long.

The next section of the contract agreement should cover compensation, meaning how much the person or company will be paid for the work they have been hired to do. This is followed by an assurance of services which is the contractor agreeing to provide the listed services for the agreed upon amount and that all information gained during the job will be kept in the strictest confidence where deemed necessary by the employer. Finally the contract agreement should include information that covers when the contract is to begin and when it to end.

For those who have never had to complete this type of contract you can look online where you will find many different sample contract agreements that cover every imaginable type of job. You will most likely find several that relate directly to the job you have in mind and should make sure that the one you choose is legal in the state where you are headquartered. Since this is a legally binding contract it is your job to make sure you cover all the bases and leave no room for the independent contractor you hire to create a problem at any point during the duration of the contract.

Get Her Back – Drama Free Plan to Get Her Back

All you want to do is get her back. Are you sick of all the drama and all the advice from well meaning friends and family? Are you tired of worrying about if you’re going to get her back or if you can get her back? Are you just tired of thinking about all of it and you just want to get back to living your life? All you want to know is what works and how you can get your ex back.

You may have received a lot of advice from friends who do want the best for you. Their plans to help you get your girlfriend back might range from the simple to some sort of tactic that sounds like wiley coyote dreamed it up complete with a kit that you should order from the Acme Get Your Girl Back mail order company.

The Jealousy Plan – There is no doubt that trying to make your girlfriend jealous might bring about the desired outcome and she actually might wind up wanting to get back together with you. Of course, making her jealous might backfire on you and you might wind up killing your chances of getting her back in your attempt to make her jealous.

This really shouldn’t be your initial method of trying to get your girlfriend back. Reserve this as a last ditch effort or even move on and start dating and see if your ex is still interested in you. But trying to make your ex jealous on purpose is very difficult to pull off since most people aren’t that great at acting and your ex might see right through your plan to get her back.

Waiting Her Out – Yes, if things have been very heated and your breakup was filled with a lot of drama you should take a little time to wait for the smoke to clear. But waiting months before trying to open the lines of communication might just cause you to miss out on your best opportunity to win her back. Have you ever heard that you should strike when the iron is still hot? Waiting months and months to see if she comes back all on her own might allow another guy the opportunity to move in on your girlfriend and then where will you be?

Of course, pestering your girlfriend and begging and pleading for her to come back to you or talk out your differences will only cause her to pull away from you further. But there are ways to resolve this conflict without digging up all the garbage from the past and causing your and your ex even more pain. There are ways of defusing the situation and talking with your ex that will leave her wondering what the two of you ever fought about anyhow. The trick is to be non-threatening and to lead her so she comes to the conclusion all on her own that she actually was the cause of many of the problems in your relationship.

It is absolutely possible to get your girlfriend back without having to execute some elaborate plan or scheme and without having to wait a month or more before talking with her. Couples get back together all the time, every day without having to work through the painful minutia of their relationship and they actually wind up happier and more in love than they were before the breakup. The trick is knowing what to say and how to say it while taking the lead in your relationship. Do it not only for you but for the woman you love.

IFRS Accounting for Revenue Recognition and Long Term Contracts

The general concepts and principles used for revenue recognition are similar between GAAP and IFRS. They differ in the details. GAAP provides specific guidelines for revenue recognition for many different industries whereas IFRS does not. The International Accounting Standards Board illustrates revenue as including both gains and revenues. When working under GAAP, revenues and gains have completely separate definitions.

Generally, the International Financial Reporting Standards principal for revenue recognition is based primarily on the probability that the economically achievable benefits associated with the transaction will flow through to the company that is selling the goods etc. The costs and revenues must be capable of being reliably measured. The concepts used by GAAP such as realized, realizable, and earned are a basis for revenue recognition.

The International Financial Reporting Standards has only one basic standard on revenue recognition. It is titles IAS 18. On the other hand, GAAP has many standards that are related to revenue recognition. Accounting for revenue provides a most fitting contrast of International Financial Reporting Standards principal based and GAAP rules based approach. There are differences on both sides, however the International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board have identified areas for improvement.

Revenue is recognized at the fair value of consideration received or receivable under the International Financial Reporting Standards. GAAP measures revenue by whichever is more evident out of the fair value of goods and services given up or the fair value of goods and services received. Generally, the point of sales accounting is similar between both GAAP and the International Financial Reporting Standards. Detailed guidelines are provided by GAAP. An example is the accounting for the right of return and multiple deliverable arrangements. The use of completed contract accounting method for long term contracts is prohibited by the International Financial Reporting Standards. Under IFRS, companies should use the percentage of completion method to account for long term contracts. If costs and revenues are difficult to estimate, then the companies should recognize revenue to the extent of the costs incurred only. This means taking a cost recovery approach.

When working under the International Financial Reporting Standards, the percentage of completion method and the cost recovery method of accounting for long term contracts are recognized.

With the percentage of completion method, companies recognize GP and revenues each period based simply of the construction progress or in other words, the percentage of completion of the project. Construction costs are accumulated and gross profit earned to date is added in an inventory account. It also accumulates progress billings in a contra inventory account. This method is the same for IFRS and GAAP.

When working with the cost recovery method, contra revenue is sometimes recognized only to the extent of the costs incurred that are expected to be recoverable. Profit is recognized once all costs are recognized. The construction costs in this case are accumulated in the Construction in Progress inventory account and progress billings are accumulated in the Billings on Construction in Progress contra inventory account. The reason that the percentage of completion method of accounting for long term contracts is used is that under most contracts, the buyer and seller both have enforceable rights. The buyer’s right is that he can legally require specific performance on the contract. And the seller legally has the right to require progress payments which provide evidence of his ownership. The result of this is that a continuous sale occurs as the work progresses.

Companies MUST use the percentage of completion method of accounting when the estimates of progress towards completion, revenues, and costs can be reliably estimated and ALL of the following conditions exist:

• The contract revenue can be reliably measureable,

• It is probable that the economic benefit associated with the contract will flow to the company,

• The contract costs to complete the contract and the stage of contract completion at the end of the reporting period can both be reliably measured,

• And the contract costs attributable to the contract can be clearly identified and measured so the actual contract cost incurred can be compared with the prior estimates.

Companies should use the cost recovery method when ONE of the following conditions applies:

• When the conditions for using percentage of completion cannot be met,

• And when there are inherent hazards in the contract beyond normal business risks.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Container Vegetable Gardens

Not everybody is lucky to have a yard at the back or a big garden. But it is heartening to know that with the help of container vegetable gardens, garden enthusiasts have the option of growing vegetables at their own sweet will. The box vegetable garden is a gift for all who have a passion for gardens but do not have the required space.

The indoor garden for vegetables is not only a secondary option to the yard but it is a positive choice for a variety of reasons. Firstly these containers or urns are easily found in the kitchen making the whole show environment friendly and safer for the little ones in the family. Apart from being productive these box vegetable gardens serve two other purposes – they add to the décor of the home and also makes it look stylish The small garden pots can be arranged around the porch giving it a verdant look to the dull urban image.

Understandably there are some restrictions to the expectations from a pot vegetable garden – the first one being the size of the plant that will grow in it. The best choices are radish, carrots, lettuce and the like. Small crop plants can also be grown in an indoor garden. For instance tomato and pepper do not require much space. A plus point is that one container about 24″ to 30″ can grow at the same time plants like tomato, parsley and cucumber without requiring extra sunlight or moisture. The urn thus doubles up as a veritable fresh live salad bowl.

No extra arrangement is required for these urn vegetable gardens. The containers can be anything – a jug, pail, basket, wooden box or the typical flower pot. Discarded bushels, washing tubs, big food cans, window plants as well as nursery flats can also suffice to build up the indoor vegetable garden.

Following the same principles of a indoor gardens, water plants too can be grown. The prime purpose however of the indoor green patch is decorative. Depending on the size of the pot, sweet or yellow flag iris combined with a giant arrowhead of calla lily can be planted. Unlike the vegetable gardens there are no fixed specifications for water gardens. Both of these – water gardens and container vegetable gardens are fairly easy to grow and are definitely worth giving a try for those who have a passion for gardening.

Optimize Your Air Conditioner’s Cooling Power

The summer of 2010 is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record all across the United States. This unusual phenomenon means that air conditioners are being asked to perform harder and longer– often humming away off and on during an entire 24-hour period! Your cooling system represents a significant investment and even if you own a high-efficiency model you are probably feeling the pinch in your monthly bills: here are some ways to optimize your AC’s cooling power and save money too.

–Change your filter: Extremely hot temperatures bring with them a larger amount of airborne particulates. Kids are tromping more dust and dirt indoors, and pets are shedding more to stay comfortable in the heat. All of these particulates inevitably end up in your vents, ducts, and eventually your furnace filter. To help your AC run with less effort, change your filter every month instead of every three months.

–Check your vents: Air is constantly circulating through your house; it goes in one set of vents and goes to the air conditioner, where it is cooled and redistributed via another set of vents. Be sure that there are no drapes, boxes, furniture, or toys blocking these essential passageways. It’s especially important if you have an upstairs area that requires extra summer cooling for maximum comfort. If your upstairs rooms are especially hot, close some of the downstairs vents to force more cool air upwards.

–Seal your house against air leaks: You may be letting in more hot air from the outdoors than you think! Add weather stripping around exterior doors if feel heat in these areas and be sure to caulk around windows too. If you can’t tell where the leaks are, have a professional HVAC contractor come out and help: he will have the right tools and techniques necessary to make an accurate determination.

–Replace your AC if necessary: If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time to get a new energy-efficient model. An Energy Star-rated appliance will cut your monthly bills significantly and keep your home cooler with much less power usage.

Your best partner in optimizing your system’s cooling partner is your trusted Utah heating contractor or similar professional where you live. He can either tune your existing unit for better performance or help you select a new air conditioner that will keep your family comfortably cool while saving you some cold, hard cash.