Factors that Affects the Selection Process

Introduction

Recently on some of the forums we discussed some of the factors that affect the Selection Process. People don’t want to accept that factors like mode of your master’s or specialized areas; the type of industry that you are working in; and the salary that you are drawing in your present job can affect your candidature and can tilt the balance against you. Instead they think that the companies are biased; industries are not giving equal opportunities to all and somewhere, knowingly or unknowingly they are making a desperate appeal that…”Give me a chance” or “Kindly experiment with me”. Irony is that they are not willing to accept that they need to change their perception; that they need to do their “Homework” before looking out for a change.

The steps that we are going to discuss here are applicable in all functions and industries, across the globe. It is not possible to discuss all the available positions, in all the industries, across the world. So, for the purpose of this write-up, we will be concentrating on all the positions above the level of Assistant Managers (People with at least three years of work Experience) and will concentrate on HR related openings in India.

Crucial Factors in SELECTION PROCESS

1. Relevant Experience is important and not the total experience

2. Industry type (The extent to which your present industry is related to the industry of your prospective employer)

3. Relocation (Are you willing to relocate?)

4. Your education and mode of your education

5. Salary Budget

Rare and General Domains

Just to help the HR people and let them know the various domains where they can explore opportunities, I have classified all available jobs in two domains – General and Rare. Rare domain is the area, where companies need specialized people and the competition is less…as there are not many people who have expertise in these domains.

General Domain

1. HR Generalist (HR Operations)

2. Recruitments

3. Employee Relations

4. Training and Development

5. HRIS Specialist

6. Labor Law Experts or Industrial Relations Experts

Rare Domain

1. PCMM Consultants

2. Six Sigma Experts

3. Compensation and Benefits Specialist (In some companies they might need two different person…one each for Compensation and Benefits)

4. Organization Development

5. Salary Tax Specialist or Employee-Investment Planner/Expert

6. Human Behavior or Workplace Behavior Expert

Let’s discuss

Relocation

Whenever there is an open position in any company, they prefer to source the candidate from the local market. This is done for the simple reason that the person who is already settled at the place will not face any difficulty in joining the company. On the contrary, if the company is planning to source a person from different city, they might have to arrange for his accommodation; the person might face difficulties in adjusting with the environment and making adjustments etc. So, hiring a person from local market will surely save the time and money of the company. But, we are in Global Market and in the competitive market, where quality is a perquisite; it might not be possible to look for a prospective employee in the local market. Hence these days’ companies are open to search for a relevant talent in an open Talent Market. However the order of preference is as follows:

1) Local Market (within the city or state of operation)

2) Regional Market (within 500 Kilometers of the area of operations)

3) National Market (within the nation)

4) International Market

Based on the above mentioned factors, a company in Bangalore will look for talent in following cities (In Order of Preference):

1. Bangalore

2. Chennai

3. Hyderabad

4. Mumbai

5. Pune

6. Delhi-NCR

Not only the companies, even the candidates are not willing to relocate and they have different reasons. Some of the reasons are: Family, Infrastructure, and Future Growth Prospects. Most of the females show their unwillingness to relocate to another place or city because of their families. However, males consider the following options before relocating to the city of prospective employer:

1. Salary

2. Infrastructure of the City

3. Future Growth Prospects

4. Safety

Based on the above mentioned, in India, a person might show his willingness to move from Delhi to Bangalore or Mumbai but not from Delhi to Jaipur or Ludhiana or Dehradoon. I don’t know why but most of the people have this mentality that they should get a job in their city of Birth; in a good company; at a good salary and with good salary. It is a well known fact that those who have moved out of their home town (Comfort Zone) have done really well in their career, profession and life. This world is full of such examples.

Relevant Experience

You think that you are master’s in Human Resource Management and Development and can handle all the domains of HR with ease, right? No, it is not that way. Let me explain. Company XYZ is having an opening for HR – Manager (Generalist) and they are looking for someone with at least 5 years of experience in same. You have 6 years of experience. Three years in Training and Development, before your MBA and another three years in Recruitments, after the completion of your MBA. You are not even eligible for the open position of HR Manager (Generalist). That is the importance of relevant experience.

There is little doubt that you might not be able to handle the HR Operations but no one likes to take the risk or play gamble for such a senior position. It will be the wastage of time and money, both for you as well as the company. They like to play safe and will hire a person with relevant and desired experience.

You may argue that in such scenario you will get type-cast and will not be able to grow. Once a recruiter, you will always a recruiter. That is not the case. Expand your horizon. Diversify you experience, with in a company and then look out for desired profile. It will help.

Mode of Education

These days, the competition is so high that you will not be able to grow, if you are not Post Graduate or Master’s. Recently we had one debate on the Importance of Your Mode or Education.

Many people are of the view that Candidates with Distance Mode of Education are not getting similar weightage as their counterparts with regular MBA.

People also argued that those who have done their MBA through regular mode of education are less experienced and knowledgeable then their counterparts with Distance Mode of Education. People with distance mode of education are feeling ignored and neglected and their argument is that they are not getting fair treatment from the employers.

So, first thing first, in this fast paced world and cut throat competition, no company like to take any chance or experiment with the talent. The order of preference that is followed in many companies at the type of screening is as follows:

1) Full Time MBA’s from Good Institutes…with good CGPA and relevant experience.

2) Full Time MBA’s from not so good institute but with good percentage and slightly more experience.

3) Correspondence MBA…from Good Institutes (Like Executive MBA’s from top institutes)…with good experience.

4) Then comes…Correspondence MBA…from other institutes.

Secondly, here I am making an attempt to clarify as why regular MBA’s get more weightage then those with distance mode of education? So, doing MBA is not about knowledge. It is about Grooming. It is about

1. Building Leadership Skills;

2. Strategizing the goals and vision

3. Building Entrepreneurship

4. Planning Business Models

5. Planning Strategies

6. Planning Profits

7. Risk Taking

8. Time Management

9. Handling Finances and other related things

10. How to handle Success?

11. How to hanlde criticism and Failures

12. How to fight back from Adversity

These are the things that one cannot learn on his own and need proper grooming from the experts.

Other factors that are in favor of regular MBA’s are:

1. Entrance Exam

2. Cost and

3. Other little sacrifices

Most of the people, if they want to get an admission into a good Management Institute, need to face an entrance such as CAT; XAT; GRE; TOFEL etc. Such entrance exams are followed by Group Discussions, Presentations and personal interviews. That shows the competitiveness in those people. Not many institutes, offering MBA through Correspondence or Distance Mode of Education have such an exhaustive mode of selection.

Two Years, regular full-Time MBA Courses are much costlier than correspondence or Distance MBA.

Lastly, those people who do their MBA in a regular mode make more personal sacrifices than those with correspondence or Distance MBA.

I have made an attempt to explain why people with regular MBA get preference over those with correspondence or Distance MBA. Let me take an example from day-to-day life. When you like to eat out, where you like to go? Don’t you get advices from your elders in the family to eat at a decent place and Hygienic place?? Will you take your food or lunch at a road-side shops or unclean restaurants?

It is not that all 5-star hotels cook good food, they also make errors but chances are less. It is not that all small hotels are unhygienic or cook unhealthy food but chances are more.

It is not that those small hotels or restaurants are not doing any business. They are earning well. There are chances that one day some good and rich person will come to one of those hotels and will eat there. He might like the food and might get so impressed to do business with that hotel guy. He and might sponsor him to change his shop to a nice place by financing him. Until then, he needs to wait.

Selection process of a “Human Capital” in this competitive era of Business Environment is very much similar to selecting a Greeting Card from the Gift Shop. You don’t need to go and see all the cards. Do you? Go to the section where you can find your type of cards; Look at the cost or range; Then you consider as for whom you want to buy the card therefore look and appearance of the card is important; then comes the content of the card. The other cards…that you didn’t even saw…don’t feel neglected, because they know that if they are in the Gift Shop then one day someone will surely come and pick them

Same way, those with distance education or correspondence MBA… need to wait for the right time and right opportunity. They don’t need to get frustrated or be impatience. Have patience. Wait for the right opportunity. Don’t try to jump…immediately after the completion of your Correspondence MBA but continues with the same company…grow within. It will help.

Relevant Industry Experience (Moving from One Industry to another)

Recently we also had another debate on the necessity of having experience in relevant industry. People argued that as the work of HR Professional is more or less same, it doesn’t matter from which industry he or she is coming from. I am of the opinion that the pace of the work, culture, type of people, expectations of the people and time of work (your office hours) differ from industry to industry. There is a huge difference in the Industries of Old Economy and Industries of New Economy and that difference very vast. It is like managing illiterate workforce and knowledgeable or intelligent workforce.

Yes, you are an expert in HR functions but that doesn’t mean that you can work and adjust with any industry and adopt any culture with ease. It is like asking a normal car driver to drive a Formula-One Car. Just because you know driving doesn’t mean that you can drive any vehicle. Does it?

It is not that people cannot move more one industry to another but the preference is given to the one with similar industry experience. Just like a cook who is cooking in a small restaurant, though he know cooking and can cook in a 5-Star hotel as well but if there is an opening in a 5-Star Hotel the preference will be given to the one with experience in a 5-Star Hotel.

Similarly, though a HR-person with a non-IT experience can handle HR activities in an IT company…but preference is given to the one with an experience in IT Company. The major issue or challenge that one face while moving from one industry to another is “Cultural Shock”. So, you can move from one industry to another but first you have to compete with those people who are from the same industry and need to prove to the interview panel why they should take you, when they are getting people who are more likely to adept with the company or industry culture.

Salary Budget (Cost to the company)

Have you ever thought…have you ever wondered that at times when you appear for an interview, they reject you because of your present salary? Because if they will hire you that might disturb the Internal Equity of the company.

Example: Suppose I want to hire a HR Manager, and my budget is 12-15 Lakhs. Don’t you think that to get that package and to get into that range…your present salary package should be a minimum of 7-9 lakhs. If you are below that range and even if all other things are as per the requirement of the company they might not hire you. Your relocation and other factors will be taken care of.

As per the practices…all over the globe…in a normal case…companies offer 20-25% hike on your last salary. If you are extremely good and best of the best…you can expect 50-75% hike. Not many companies offer 100 or 200% hike (Until and unless you know some senior person in the company), because that disturbs the balance in the system…better known as internal equity.

Argument: You may argue that the companies should feel happy that they are saving the money by hiring someone with low salary, but that is not the case. It will disturb the balance. It will affect the internal and external equity of the company. Tomorrow, you only will come and say that the other person…having similar experience (even lesser experience), from similar institute is getting more salary. If you fall in the category of rare domains or skill sets…then there are chances that the companies might offer you 100 or 150% hike but not otherwise.

Miscellaneous factors

If all the above mentioned things are positive and in your favor but still there are some miscellaneous factors that affect the selection process. These factors are your presentation skills, your leadership skills and your knowledge. In short, it all depends on your skills to “Sell Yourself”. The following factors will be of great help to you to impress the interview panel:

1. If you come prepared;

2. If you have studied the business model of the company;

3. If you are aware of the growth pattern of the company;

4. If you know the competitors of the company;

5. And knowing all this…if you are able to tell them that how you can help the company in achieving its goals.

If you have done your home-work, I am sure…they will give you the salary that you will ask for…without even asking your present salary. As I have mentioned earlier…you should be able the impress the interview panel in such a manner that if you have applied for the post of HR-Manager…the panel should be convinced that you are worth for the post of VP-HR. In such scenario…the company and employers won’t mind to offer you a salary…more than 100% of your present CTC.

You need to prove your potential…your worth. If you are just an average candidate and the company is in need…they will just give you 20-25% hike.

There is an old saying…which says, “Deserve, before you ask for”.

Conclusion

This article is an attempt to figure out the factors that affect the selection process. This is to give a bigger picture to the readers. Exceptions are everywhere but most of the time, the above mentioned are the factors that plays an important role in rejecting or selecting a person.

Looking forward to your views and comments

Regards,

Sophisticated Marketing Techniques

Business is forcing people to take extra steps while dealing with all the marketing strategies. Traditional mode of marketing is not any more paving road to success when it comes to the launching of new products and services. People are almost used to all sorts of marketing techniques commonly used by the business professionals. In order to attract the public towards new products and services, you should definitely bring about a total change in the form of marketing. Building offers and discounts apart from the supply of trial products are among the latest technique adopted by the people now days. A professional touch is very important while deciding on the marketing methods to be adopted by the company.

There are many companies or firms functioning around the world who intent to help all the other business to help them to promote their products and services. After gathering all the required details on the business of the clients including the details about their products and services, these firms will bring about a very large plan on marketing the products through proper channels in order to reach the correct customer base. There is no use in marketing your products just like that. These firms will first identify the value of the product among the public, the type of the class in the society who is using such products and also collect details about their competitors. Based on all the collected data a proper evaluation process is done in order to make sure about the mode of marketing. These firms are specialized in B2B marketing techniques through lead generation. They are having sufficient number of employees talented in carrying out different tasks in order to gain success for the company. The main task is to establish a long term relationship with the client so that they will be able to gear on full power and do step by step process in a timely manner without causing any lags or delays.

There are many such firms in the market and most of them are functioning with the aim of bringing success to the clients. They will also conduct a different type of telemarketing business thereby helps the clients in fixing appointments. This type of marketing is totally different from the usual call centers functioning around. These sophisticated marketing technologies are very important in the present world in order to withstand among the tough competitors.

My Favorite Cave, Pettyjohn Cave

I could write many stories about Pettyjohn Cave, however I would like to explain here why this great cave is my favorite. For a Horizontal caver like myself, Pettyjohn has plenty to offer. Good climbs, challenging passages, waterfalls, formations, intriguing passages, extreme hard to reach places most of which I have not seen, possibilities for new discoveries and good mud.

Good Climbs

For some looking for climbing challenges, the entrance room has plenty to offer. This long room over 500 feet long and averaging 50 feet wide and 30 feet high ceilings, has two easy climbs just to reach the back. Near the entrance there is a good climb up into an upper formation room that connects to the main entrance room at the ceiling level. Most visitors rush pass this area to get to the back of the room or to head off to the main waterfall.

To reach the stream levels there are challenging climbs if you avoid the ropes left there by previous cavers. Some of these ropes have been in place for a long time and should not be used. One especially challenging climb is getting up into the Racoon Room, this large room in the mid level of the cave gives access to most of the middle levels of the cave. Pettyjohn Cave is divided up into three levels, the entrance room which is high and mostly dry, the middle levels which are dry passages making up about 1/3 of the known cave and reaching under the mountain to the north. A difficult climb from this northern section is up into the Echo Room, the largest room in the cave. A 100 by 200 foot room with high ceilings. And the lower stream passages which make up the largest portions of the cave.

The waterfall climb leads to a second waterfall that is much easer to climb and an up stream passage called Schreiber’s Extension that is yet to be completely explored.

Challenging Passages

From the main entrance room there are many ways to go deeper into the cave and at the start of each of these passages you will have a challenge. The Pancake squeeze on the way to the waterfall, some tight squeezes or hard climbs, depending on which route you choose, to get to the Volcano Room. Each route from the Main room is like a cave of its own. If you like maze’s try The Labyrinth in the southeast lower level of Pettyjohn. If you are looking for real adventure, explore the extreme northwest section called The Outer Limits. And for a good technical climb, explore the rooms above the Double Echo Domes.

Waterfalls

If you like underground waterfalls, you will love Pettyjohn Cave. There are two good size waterfalls on the way to Schreiber’s Extension. A loud waterfall about 4 feet high just beyond the Chute and on the way to the Outer Limits. And another one that you have to climb over to enter the Labyrinth.

Formations

Formations are scattered through the cave. The Entrance Room contains the largest in the cave. The Signature Room and the passage to it are well worth seeing for the formations. And there is a beautiful formation room just before you get to the Volcano Room. Other nice formations will surprise you along the routes to the many sections of the cave.

Intriguing Passages

The Worm Tube is a long 150 feet crawl that is very tight and leads to the Echo Room and beyond. The Z-Bends is an interesting alternative to the Pancake Squeeze when going to the waterfall or the Racoon Room. There is a down sloping squeeze that is a real challenge to climb back up when you visit the East Stream passage and Crowell Domes. The small hole leading from the Bridge Room to the Mason-Dixon Passage is neat. And the stream canyon passage on the way to the waterfall is fun.

Extreme Places

The extreme places are for the hard core cavers that like fourteen hour trips and want to be pushed to their limits. Pettyjohn Cave offers four such areas. The Labyrinth, which I have only visited the start of.

The Discovery Room above the Emerald Pool that you have to use the old existing rope or do a hard technical climb. An extension pole was first used to reach this area. And I understand that there is much to be discovered beyond the Emerald Pool.

The Outer Limits which I am not even sure at what level you reach. I have explored the stream passage to tight muddy squeezes that finally turned me back and high dry passages that could also be the way. These were ten hour trips and I still had not found the Outer Limits. I meet Richard Schreiber once when I was leaving the cave and he was excited about getting back under the mountain and I believe that he was referring to the Outer Limits. I have a copy of most of his survey notes but I think that I am missing one that describes how to get there.

Schreiber’s Extension is a long stream passage with many leads and places to climb up into along the way. The end is a low stream passage which has been dug out and pushed to a second low room blocked by another low stream crawl. This passage continues around the edge of the mountain and takes in water from along the mountain side. The cave is still lower than the valley but under the edge of the mountain.

Possibilities for New Discoveries

The most promising area that I feel could be developed is to the East. There are many sink holes along the mountain east of the entrance and Crowell Domes is the most eastern portion of the cave with the exception of the Labyrinth and Screech Owl Cave. There is a possible lead from the Echo Room that I would like to push some day, but it would require some rock removal. There is also a large sink on the top of the mountain east of Pettyjohn that the water has I believe been traced to the sump below the Entrance Room in Pettyjohn. Pettyjohn provides drainage for most of this side of Pigeon Mountain until you get to Ellison Cave which drains the north end of the mountain. Recent discoveries have been made in Schreiber’s Extension, Discovery Room, and the Anamatosis Room. I have 36,117 feet of level survey plotted, almost seven miles (6.935 Miles) and a total survey length of 7.127 Miles.

Good Mud

Pettyjohn Cave is known for its mud. There are some places that you will loose your shoes in the sticky stuff. Crawl ways that you just slide through in the mud with two slots for your knees from all the traffic. I have seen the lower level flood with the water backing up from the stream canyon passage which is narrow and can restrict the water flow. Always check out the weather forecast before going to the main waterfall. You can read about cavers getting lost in the waterfall area for days and explore parts of the cave by clicking on pictures within the cave by visiting my web page. I also have other links to stories about Pettyjohn on the main page.

Top Qualities That a Metal Fabrication Company Should Have

The services offered by metal fabrication companies vary from one company to another. Some provide bulk production runs at a relatively lower cost, whereas others cater to smaller businesses that offer more customization options. Some offer a wide range of services, while others only specialize in some types of services. Most companies, however, try to build lasting relationships with their clients.

Before you decide on the best metal fabrication company to partner with, look at the options from different angles. Here are 4 aspects to consider in choosing the right metal fabrication:

Capabilities

When it comes to metal fabrication capabilities, you could take a look at the area itself. Check if it is spacious enough to meet your business requirements with no risk of production issues. Also, look at the services offered. Here are some of the common questions on capabilities you can ask any metal fabrication company you are planning to work with.

What materials does the company use?

This is a good question to ask, since manufacturers work with different products. For instance, you want to make sure that the metal fabrication company has the tools to work on the size and thickness you need. Similarly, you want one that is capable of working with your particular type of metal.

What production services in particular does the company offer?

You may have a project that requires a simple service, or one that needs a multitude of production capabilities. Some of the major capabilities are assembly, cutting and forming, fastening, installation, metal finishing (like blasting or painting), single/large production runs and welding.

Experience

Experience matters a lot when it comes to industries such as manufacturing. You must make sure that all employees of the metal fabrication company have lots of experience in the industry to steer clear of costly mistakes.

Find out if the metal fabrication company you are considering is familiar with the industry regulations and codes. Let them describe the way they have polished up operations over the years to be exceptionally efficient and safe. Inquire about similar projects accomplished. Seek references from previous customers – surely, a reliable metal fabrication company will have a lot.

Prioritizing Customer Service

Long-term relationships with metal fabrication companies or any business for that matter are built on great customer service. After all, no one wants to work with a company that does not prioritize your unique business needs or does not budge on your important details.

Price as Compared to Other Companies and What You Pay For

Try to ask for price quotes from each, but don’t just compare them based on their price. There is a reason for the differences in prices, which could work to your advantage. For instance, one company might be using more accurate cutting tools or higher quality metal to avoid costly mistakes in the long run. Some have a higher price because their small shops offer customized services. Though buying in bulk is cheaper, it might not be what your specific project requires. A company’s location could also go against the cheaper price it offers.

Climbing Mount Everest

There are people who seek great challenges in life to test themselves both mentally and physically. One of the greatest challenges, if not the greatest, is to climb Mount Everest. Rising 8,848 meters above sea level, it is the highest peek on our planet. Its breathtaking scenerys have been a source of attraction for many people for decades.

Mount Everest was first summited by Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. It has been summited by 2,700 people since and has claimed the lives of 210 others. Everest, though not the most technically demanding mountain to climb, is one of the hardest due to its extreme altitude. Every year expeditions encounter cases of high altitude sickness, high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and in worst cases, high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). HAPE is caused by lack of oxygen causing fluids to fill the lungs. HACE, on the other hand, is a swelling of the brain. Cerebral edema strikes very quickly and unless immediate descent from the climber, the person will likely die.

The toughest part of reaching the summit of Everest is without a doubt the Death zone. The Death zone is once the climbers reach the altitude of 8,000 meters. At this point, only 1/3 of the oxygen at sea level can be found, making any physical motion extremely fatiguing. The lack of oxygen has many other important effects on the human body. To make up for the lack of oxygen, the body shuts down non-vital functions such as the digestive system. Less oxygen reaches the brain, making simple tasks feel very complicated; some people have difficulty just zipping on their coat. More worrying is how the lack of oxygen can cloud the judgment of expert climbers, leading them into making bad decisions which has cost the lives of many. The human body is not meant to live above that altitude and so people can only remain there for 2 days or so. Too long of a stay will cause the body to completely deteriorate.

There are 2 main routes used to ascend the summit of Mount Everest. The most popular being the South East route. The base camp for this route lies on the Nepal side of the mountain; climbers must then ascend the Khumbu ice fall, which is considered by many as the most dangerous part of the climb. They must then walk though the Western Cmw which leads to the Lhotse face, a massive steep slope where a mistake will more often than not cost you your life. Climbers now approach the death zone and make their way on to the SE ridge, once past the 8,000 meter mark, they must overcome the famous Hillary step which is a huge rock wall that is dreadfully exposed. All that remains is the summit ridge which is relatively easy and then lays the summit of Everest, the roof of the world.

A debate that has been raging on for many years on Everest is whether climbers should be aloud to use bottled oxygen or not. 9 out of 10 climbers will use oxygen to reach the summit of Everest, very few have attempted to climb to Everest without it, and even fewer have reached the summit. The use of supplemental oxygen has opened the door to less experienced climbers to get on the slopes of Everest that would normally not attempt the climb, which has been the cause of the ever growing crowds on the mountain. Too many people on the mountain at the same time cause bottlenecks near the summit where there is less room for people to ascend. Ultimately, this causes people to fall behind schedule on their summit push, which has been the cause of death for many climbers in the past, as they found themselves on the summit too late and were unable to make it back to the lower camp. Many climbers would like to see bottled oxygen get banned unless for emergencies. This would greatly reduce the amount of climbers that swarm the mountain every year.

There are many great books that can allow you to learn allot on Everest and take you on a journey like none you have ever been on before. Personally, my favorite book on Everest is “Into thin air”, written by Jon Krakauer, who took part in an expedition in 1996 when the biggest disaster on Everest occurred. Many teams were caught in the death zone by a freak storm that came in without warning on the same day that they summited. Eight people died on that day and 7 more would lose their lives on the mountain that season, making it the deadliest season in Everest history. Jon’s book lets you relive the trip that he and his teammates experienced, and giving you his personal account of the tragedy that happened high on the mountain.

3 Best Superhero Costumes You Can Wear As An Adult

We adore superheroes on our televisions but it’s rare for adults to wear their costumes-the costumes are often worn by kids. If you were fond of the costumes as a child, it doesn’t mean that you can’t wear the outfits now as an adult. There are plenty of superhero outfits that you can still wear as an adult. These outfits include:

Classic Wonder Woman

While the other Wonder Woman costumes have changed over the years, this one has remained constant. The outfit features shorts colored in different shades of blue with white stars. The costume also has a red top and boots with a white trim. There is also a tiara to complete the look. The shorts come in different sizes ranging from knee long to a thong. It all depends on your preferences. When it comes to the top, it comes in different sizes that shows different amount of skin. Just like the shorts, it depends on your preferences. As rule of thumb, you should choose one that matches your personality.

Thor costume

Thor is the crown prince of Asgard with superhuman strength. You can achieve the Thor look starting from your head. You should wear the wig, mask, and then the costume. When wearing the outfit don’t forget the most crucial part-the hammer.

Catwoman costume

This costume gives you a strong, sexy and beautiful look. You should get a PVC jumpsuit that zips up the front. The outfit should have a high neckline and long sleeves. You should then wear a headpiece that you can wear just the way it looks when you buy it from the store or customize it to your liking. To achieve the Catwoman talons you should get yourself elbow-length black gloves. Any material will give the look but you are better off with a shiny material.

Guide to wearing adult costumes

When wearing the outfits be cautious and ensure that the ones you wear are of high quality and can’t easily get torn. It’s such a shame for the outfit to tear in front of people-your children especially. You should also ensure that the outfit isn’t made from flammable materials that put you at the risk of catching fire.

For comfort, ensure that the outfit is easy fitting. You don’t want an outfit that is too big or too small thus making you too uncomfortable. Safety is of great importance; therefore, when wearing the mask, ensure that you can easily breathe. This is to avoid suffocating.

What Are Giclee Art Prints and How Do They Differ From Regular Art Prints and Posters?

What Are “Giclee” Art Prints?

“Giclee” art prints are high quality pieces of fine art that are often found in museums. Artists and gallery owners use the term “giclee” to refer to this type of artwork, which is richer and more eye-appealing than regular art prints or posters.

The term “Giclee” [pronounced zhee-clay] comes from a French word meaning “to squirt”, which is exactly what an ink jet printer does when it creates an image onto paper. High resolution images on photographic paper created by an ink jet printer is called a digital pigment print.

To simplify this technical jargon and distinguish these high end reproductions from regular prints and posters, the term “Giclee” was coined to describe them. Since giclee prints are found in many museums of art, the terms “giclee art prints” and “museum art prints” are often used interchangeably.

What Is The Difference Between Giclee and Regular Prints and Posters?

Giclee prints are created on top quality archival or photographic paper using a high-end premium ink jet printer. They are produced one at a time producing a rich, refined image of museum quality that lasts for 100 years under glass.

Regular prints and posters that you see online and in some retail stores use much cheaper paper and are produced in mass quantities. They are “stamped out”, usually in quantities of 10,000 or more pieces per run. Many of these prints are made in China and last for about 5 years, after which they start to turn yellow and their colors fade away.

As you get into larger sizes of 16″ x 20″ or greater, you can really see the difference in quality between giclee and regular prints and posters. At a distance, our eyes compensate for this, however, when you move closer and compare them side by side, you can instantly see the magnificent superiority of a giclee. In fact, when you look closely at a regular print or poster, you will see that the image is blurred and detail is lost. Whereas a giclee print reveals a captivating level of detail, similar to that of a high resolution photograph.

Why Do Giclee Prints Cost More Than Regular Prints and Posters?

Giclee prints cost more than regular prints and posters because of the way they are made. Giclee prints are produced one at a time by hand, using the finest ink jet printers and quality high resolution photographic paper. Regular art prints and posters are mass produced using machines that stamp out image after image on cheap paper that begins to deteriorate in 5 years or less.

Who Are Giclee Prints For?

Giclee prints are for people with a discerning eye who value fine art and museum quality craftsmanship. They offer vibrance and enchantment for a lifetime, whether placed in your beautiful home or professional office. Those who own giclee art prints revel in their exquisite beauty and rich detail.

While Giclee art prints offer uncompromising quality, their prices remain affordable. A beautiful custom 16″ x 20″ giclee art print costs only between $100-$150, unframed and may be purchased online by a trustworthy company like Art Prints America.

His Most Famous Painting (The Parasol) – Francisco Goya

Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes of Spain was a very famous painter and printmaker of the eighteenth century. His immense popularity is attributed to his European style of painting, fetching the appreciation of the European kings and queens. Goya’s “The Parasol” or “the Quitasol,” painted in 1777, is by far his most successful painting. Most of his paintings were centered on women, including this one. Goya created “The Parasol” when the Prince and the Princess of Asturias called him to Madrid to paint cartoons for their dining room tapestry in the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid. A copy of “The Parasol” was woven into wool for hanging in the palace.

This oil on linen painting, measuring 104 cm x 152 cm, is known for its brilliant color scheme and brightness. “The Parasol” or “The Quitasol” depicts a pretty, young woman sitting on a hillock with a folded fan in her right hand. Dressed in the then French style, she is wearing a bright yellow skirt with a blue blouse lined with fur, and a dark brown shawl. A red scarf adorns her head. On her lap, rests a little black and white puppy. Next to her, stands a young man dressed in Majo or Maja style. He is wearing a brown coat with a light red waistcoat. He holds a bright green ‘parasol’ (umbrella) right above the woman’s countenance. The left arm of the man is folded to rest on his waist. The folded fan, the ‘parasol,’ and the puppy suggest that the woman follows French fashion and belongs to a royal family, which creates an air of vanity about her. In the background, the leafy branches of a tall tree, bending opposite to the two human figures, depict windy weather. Towards the right side of the damsel is a high stonewall. Therefore, Goya has purposely placed all the bright colors, such as green, blue, red, and yellow in the center of the picture to create a cheerful effect, which was exactly compliant to the desires of the royal family. The flirtatious smile of the protagonist along with her direct gaze adds to the vivaciousness of the painting and gives a classic touch to it.

Francisco’s pictures were always appreciated for their light and shadow effect. His creation of light on canvas was magnificent and this helped him capture a warm and cozy environment in his paintings. In “The Parasol” or “The Quitasol,” too he has used lead white paint to create brightness and shadow lines. The elegance and the beauty of this painting, dipped in ‘Classicism,’ always had people flocking to admire it at the Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) in Madrid, where it is currently displayed.

Color Code for Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring is something that requires foresight, planning, and a certain degree of know-how. Going into electrical wiring without these tools at your disposal can potentially have some pretty frightening consequences! Electricity isn’t something to be toyed with haphazardly. – Having said that, it’s not something that you should necessarily be afraid of either.

There are various codes and rules in place to make electrical wiring as easy and as safe as possible – both for professionals and beginners. Aside from various electrical wiring handbooks, the first and primary tool at your disposal is the color code that has been established to aid in differentiating the various wires. These colors will often vary depending on region, so you’ll have to find out what it is for your area.

There are some fundamental differences between the color code in Europe and that of the western hemisphere, such as Canada and the US. These regions are not the only places that variations exist, but I’ll assume the majority of those reading this article are from these areas. Please confirm all color codes with a second local professional source before commencing construction.

Standard Electrical Color Code in most of Europe (IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission)

  • Ground or Earth: green-yellow.
  • Neutral: blue.
  • Hot: brown, black, and grey for 3-phase. Single phase is brown.

Standard Electrical Color Code in the US and Canada

  • Ground or Earth: bare, green, or green-yellow.
  • Neutral: white.
  • Hot: black, red, and blue, for 3-phase. Single phase is black, and red if there’s a second active.

Once the power has reached your breaker, it is then typically divided throughout your home to your various wall sockets, lights, and appliances. This is where you will probably benefit from knowing the color code as you’ll know which is hot, which is neutral and so forth. As you can see from the above data, the “color trend” for electrical wiring seems to be black or brown for hot, and white or blue for the neutral.

Again, you should get confirmation for your particular country and region for good measure! Another way to find this out is to go to your breaker and examine where the individual wires come out. If there are any labels telling what is hot and what is neutral, this will serve as proof. And yet another way is to pull a light switch out of the wall (temporarily) and see which color wire is being “switched”.

If your home has been wired correctly, the hot wire should be running through the switch, with the neutral bypassing the switch and going straight to the light fixture. If any of these double-checks result in conflicting patterns, you should probably contact a local certified electrician explaining the situation and request advice. There’s a possibility that the prior landowner did some tamperin’ of his own.

5 Ways to Involve Your Kids in Yard Work

There are few people, and even fewer kids, who enjoy working and laboring in the yard. Many parents find it is easier to find ways kids can help in the home than out in the yard. If this is true for you, here are five ways to get your kids involved with outdoor chores:

1. Bring Out the Rakes

Kids love raking up the leaves. This is a great activity for kids. Even your toddler can help rake! Allow them to rake up the leaves and jump in them for a while. Then make it a game to see how fast they can gather the leaves and dump them in a bag for disposal. For younger children you can purchase child sized rakes and buckets for them to use that will make the task easier for their little bodies and hands.

2. Plant a Garden

Planting a garden is an activity that will get your whole family involved. This outdoor chore gives you the opportunity to teach your children the benefits of yard work as you work together to create a tasty harvest.

Before planting the garden let the children help you decide what produce to plant. This can help increase their excitement. While planting or taking care of your garden, keep a small area free from vegetation and let your little ones play in the dirt with shovels. Young children can also help water the garden throughout the year. When the produce is ripe the kids will be able to see and taste all the benefits of maintaining a garden. So don’t forget to get the family involved when it is time to harvest!

3. Water Helpers

Kids of all ages love to play with water, which makes watering plants a perfect outdoor chore for children. Let them fill buckets of water and water your garden, potted plants, trees, and other greenery around the yard. You can also let them help you wash and rinse your car. Watering is a chore that will most likely keep their attention for a while so you can conquer the tougher outdoor chores without much interruption.

4. Teach Them to Mow

Have you considered giving up the mowing responsibilities to your children? Older children can learn to properly and safely mow the lawn. This will save you time, hassle, and energy in the long run. The age at which you let your child mow will depend on how confident you feel in their abilities to mow safely. Younger children can help clear hoses, yard toys, and other items from the lawn before mowing begins.

Don’t have older children to help you mow? You can begin teaching them while they are young. Talk to your younger children about how the lawn mower works, how to add gas, and how to start the mower. You can provide a toy mower for younger children to keep them busy while you mow the grass. Chances are they will mimic what you do and begin to have an understanding for how the process works.

5. Sweeping & Wiping

Children can sweep grass clippings off walkways and the driveway so it doesn’t get tracked indoors. They can also sweep off the patio deck to remove dirt, grass, leaves, and other debris. Another way to get children involved with yard chores is to let them spray down patio furniture and play equipment with a hose or spray bottle and wipe them clean and dry.

There are numerous ways to introduce outdoor chores to your children in fun ways that will leave them eager to help out in the yard. It might take a little time for them to become as efficient at the chores as you, but give them time and help them along the journey and they will get there soon enough.

Overcoming the Limitations of Being Wheelchair-Bound

If you’ve never been a wheelchair or mobility scooter user, you’ve probably taken very little time to think about the challenges that disabled or elderly persons face when they want to go out and about. In a wheelchair, everything is that little bit more difficult. Being lower down than a standing person, every day scenarios are more complicated; work surfaces are too high, it’s hard to reach the faucets in the bathroom or kitchen, and products on the shelves in a store are out of reach. In addition to the height problem, doors may not be wide enough to allow your wheelchair to pass through, you might have to hire a special disabled access cab or wait for space on a public bus, and you find yourself relying on other people to help you with small tasks that able-bodies persons take for granted.

Fortunately for most people, the Americans with Disabilities Act has helped enormously by specifying that public premises and amenities must not discriminate against the disabled by physically excluding them from having the same rights of access and enjoyment that non-disabled people have. Still, if you’re involved in the development of new premises, or if you’ve not yet caught up with the ADA, there are many things to think about when considering how to make your space accessible to wheelchair users.

The greatest problem facing wheelchair users by far is the problem of steps. They’re everywhere; in our houses, in stores, on the street. They needn’t even be too high to cause a problem for wheelchair and mobility scooter users – even the threshold of a door that is an inch high can cause difficulties.

There are two practical solutions to maintaining wheelchair accessibility as far as steps are concerned; ramps and lifts. Arguably, ramps are the simplest of these two solutions, but given the wide range of ramp varieties available, it is important to consider which type of ramp is right for your company or development. A temporary ramp may suffice if your access point does not get much traffic, but as a non-permanent structure these can look unsightly. If you expect more than very light traffic then a more substantial, permanent ramp style might be better, for example a solid ramp or a modular ramp, with which several ramp units slot together to form a structured, optimally angled walkway.

Another way of providing adequate wheelchair access is to install a vertical platform lift. These are a more expensive investment, but are ideal for places where a ramp would be unsuitable, such as narrow corridors or to take a user to a level that would require an impracticably long ramp. They also look much more professional than a permanent ramp, and show your visitors that disabled access was not a mere afterthought. Vertical platform lifts can be used to lift a wheelchair user, or indeed a mobility scooter user, to a height of just a few inches up to several meters. They are easily self-operated and are able to carry a reasonable amount of weight too.

Whichever method of wheelchair accessibility you choose, make sure that you seek professional advice from an occupational specialist as to the individual requirements and specifications of equipment you need.

What Is Was Like to Be Stationed on a Submarine Tender in the United States Navy

What is was like to have sea duty aboard a submarine tender.

The first thing I learned about being in the Navy, is that if your duty station is a ship, and it’s moving across the ocean, sometimes it takes you, a long time, to catch up to it, to get on it. That was the deal with this ship, and the destroyer I was on also. It took me almost a month to catch up to the destroyer I was stationed on. It did not take me as long, to catch up to the ship. The ship was on its way to Subic Bay, in the Philippines. And I was going to meet it at the pier, when I got there finally.

After arriving in Manila, me and some other guys that were headed to the ship, stayed the night in Manila, for the first night. That was the first night I had spent in another country, ever, in my life. There were several of us, that flew into Manila that same day, and we needed to take a taxi about 2 hours south, to meet the ship.

We got a nice hotel room in Manila, it was overlooking the streets below, where all kinds of vendors, and jeep like taxis were everywhere, honking their horns non stop. We did not know what to do, so we stayed in the lounge of the hotel. That first night, we all drank right there in the lounge, and just stayed there. We had been traveling for awhile, and we were told not to go out and party, but we did party a little bit, but just in the hotel lounge.

The next morning, a white little van, with air conditioning, came and picked us all up. It drove us to the town where the ship was waiting. Along the way, you could see many different types of taxis, and tons of fields, that we all guessed, were rice fields.

The taxi drivers seemed to drive more crazy than in the United States. They swerved at stuff, hardly slowed down to let anyone cross the street, had tons of decorations glued all over the hoods, and it was all of them, that decorated their taxis heavily. They would honk their horns constantly, and sometimes if you are watching the driver, he is just honking the horn, to honk the horn. There were 3 wheeled motorcycle taxis that they called trikes, all over the place. They were the cheapest way to get around.

I consider myself to be a good motorcycle rider, since I grew up with dirt bikes and motorcycles all the time. One day, I asked one of the trike drivers, if I could drive his 3 wheeled taxi motorcycle. He said I would have a hard time, since I never did it before. I told him I rode motorcycles all my life, I can ride his thing. He bet me 50 pesos, which is about $1, that I could not ride it from one spot, to another. Boy, I drove it just a little bit, and I could not get it to turn around for me, so he was right, you have to practice riding on of those things, to figure it out.

I was the “fresh meat” guy, again, on the ship. This was finally going to be, the real Navy. A ship with over 1,300 people on it. Our office was almost at the very top of the ship. All the admin offices, legal, public affairs, recreation, the CO, XO, and Command Master Chief offices were connected together. The offices are connected together, so we can all use some of the same spaces. You had to do the standard duties anyone aboard a ship would have to do. Fire fighter training, drills, man overboard, abandon ship, nuclear spill, and other type of drills.

Everyone does special training, and you learn other things about the ship. One of my first duties besides being a yeoman, was you had to stand a watch, or serve on a flight crew, or salvage crew, or something like that. Even thou you are working in an office, at any moment, and even at 3:00 am, they might decide to do a drill, or the real thing.

One of my jobs as a seaman in the Navy, and working in the admin department, was during special sea procedures. We might be getting supplies from another ship, that is traveling threw the water, at say for example, 20 knots, and we are traveling threw the water, at the same speed also. We can transfer, fuel, supplies, food, mail, people, you name it.

They might use a helicopter to bring supplies over, from one ship to another, and during all this time, the Captain is up on the bridge, standing out on the wings, directing the ship at what speed it should be at, what course it should be on, and during all this time, he always has a young naval officer, at his side, since he is always training officers, at any given time.

The captain, who I must of saw train 50 different officers with the same thing, over and over again. Here we are, traveling at high speeds, two ships not more than 100 feet from each other. There will be a young ensign, or lieutenant junior grade, standing out on the bridge wings, trying to give the speed, and course, to the quartermaster and helmsman. Also, at the same time, he has the captain right behind him, putting a little pressure on him, telling him what to do, and asking him lots of test questions, and always testing them, and training them.

My job was to keep track of what speed and what course we were on at all times. The young officers would get confused, and could not remember what course, or what speed we were on. You usually just have to fine tune your course and speed, every so often, back and forth, just a little bit, but always back and forth, and the ships will be fine.

It looks really impressive, awesome, and powerful, to be out to sea, thousands of guys working, bright sunshine, crystal blue waters, and your cruising across the ocean, at pretty fast speeds, and you can see cargo, and other items being transferred from ship to ship, and you just think, wow, how cool looking is this.

One day, the captain was up on the bridge, and he was a pretty nice guy, he said, “Petty Officer Stead,” even though I was still only a seaman at the time, he always like to call people by a bigger rank. He said, “You must of heard me say these things over, and over again, a thousand times by now, I bet you could drive this ship better than these officers.”

I always knew when it was time to change course, I could of did what those officers were trying to learn, only because I was up there each time with the captain, when he was always training someone. It was never just the captain doing anything by himself, it was always either a drill, or an exercise, or a supply mission, he was always training junior officers, on everything he did.

One of my jobs was being the CO’s phone talker during emergencies and drills. During battle scenarios, and other things we do, each department would have one person that was a phone talker, like the repair department, the medical department, the damage department, and all the other people connected.

The captain would bark out orders, and I would bark out orders to the other departments, it was kinda like I was barking out the orders, and it was kinda fun, because everyone took it so seriously, and from wherever the captain was at, there was always a good view.

On this ship, the captain had his own kitchen and cook. The cook was part of our department, as the Supply Department, and Executive Department, shared the same berthing space together. So we always shared our berthing with the cooks, and the supply guys.

The cook to the CO, was selected as sailor of the year, for the ship, and he was a good guy. His dream was to work at the white house, and he applied, but was rejected for the job. The captain had his own regular house size stove, refrigerator, and all the things one would have at home, in a kitchen. The cook, would ask the CO, what he would like to eat for each meal, and then make it for him. The skipper might reply, I want a light salad, steak, and whatever else he desired.

Everyone that is brand new to the ship, and is just starting out in the Navy, must perform 90 days duty, somewhere in the cooking section. Either as a cook, helper, cleaner, or whatever. My job ended up being in charge of about 3 frozen food lockers. Now on the ship, there must of been, at least 12 storage lockers, for milk, food, bread, hamburgers, you name it.

We had an elevator at each entrance, and at the top of the ship, we had our own crane. Before we would go out to sea, some semi tractor trailer trucks would come, and we would load the ship up with fresh food, and lots of it. On the ship, you usually get to have 4 meals a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one at midnight again, called mid rats, for people that are still hungry, or people going on watch, or getting off watch. When you have 1,300 people it takes a lot of food.

Working in the food storage department for 90 days was fun, the guy in charge of us was pretty cool. We were always allowed to have the day off, as soon as you got your work done. That meant all of our work, so if someone was done, we would help the next guy get his work done, until all the things were done, and a lot of days, we were done working by noon, and we would be off for the rest of the day. Not too bad a job really.

How to Differentiate a Pure Honey From an Impure One

As a consumer, you pay for a pure honey and not an impure one. In the market, impure and adulterated honey are rampant nowadays. You may accidentally buy an impure one from the market. To avoid buying impure honey, you must know some methods of testing.

The following are tests that you may perform to check the purity of honey:-

i. Hexagon shape test

Put a drop of honey on a flat plate. Put a drop of water on top of it just enough to cover the honey. Shake the plate horizontally in circular direction. A pure honey will show hexagon shape like that of honeycomb after a while.

ii. Rubbing hand test

Pour honey on your fingers. Try to use a piece of dry cloth to clean it. If it is pure, your finger can be cleaned totally. Your fingers will remain sticky if it is impure.

iii. Water dissolving test

Drop a teaspoon of honey into a glass of water. Observe how it sinks into the bottom of the water. If it is pure, it will not dissolve and will go all the way down to the bottom of the glass. It needs some time to dissolve in the water. If it is impure, it will dissolve once it enters the water.

iv. Flame test

Dip a cotton bud with honey. Try to burn the cotton bud using a lighter. If it burns, then it is an impure honey; otherwise it is pure. Real honey does not burn.

Or you dip the active tip of a match into honey. Try to scratch the active tip of the match to light it up. If it is a pure one, it can be lit up. It cannot be lit up if it is impure. The impure one will wet the active tip of the match thus making it not burn.

v. Appearance

If honey crystallizes, it is a pure honey. Unfortunately, there is common misconception that crystallization is a proof of adulteration of sugar. The fact is the other way round.

vi. Absorption test

Put a drop of honey on a piece of paper. Observe overleaf of the paper. If it shows sign of absorption, the honey is not pure.

vii. Writing test

Dip the point of a pen in honey and try to write on a piece of paper. If you can write, then it is pure; otherwise it is adulterated with artificial sugars.

viii. Sand test

Drop a small drip of honey on sand. If the honey scatters, it is not a pure one. A pure one will remain intact and hold together.

Beside the above home tests, you may send your honey for scientific laboratory tests. The following are two common laboratory tests:-

a. Spectroscopy

It uses principle of interaction between light and matter to differentiate substances in honey like sucrose and fructose.

b. Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis

This test is used to determine whether a certain sugar is added.

When you purchase honey, it is important and imperative that you check its container label whether additives and other substances are present. “Pure honey” may mean the container contains pure honey plus other substances. The wise way is to go for reliable brands or suppliers. Buying honey in honeycombs is one way to make sure you get a pure one.

The One Recipe You Should Never Make With Your KitchenAid Mixer

A few weeks ago I was researching the KitchenAid stand mixer and I came across a blog post by someone that I thought was not the best advice. The blog post was all about making pancakes with your mixer (or any stand mixer really). Now the recipe was probably pretty good but the process is what was flawed in my opinion.

For me pancakes are all about being soft and light and fluffy. They should not be dense or chewy or gummy in any way. If I wanted that, I could make a trip to one of those all night breakfast joints and get a stack of hockey puck flap jacks.

No, for me pancakes need to be handled with care and attention. The reason is gluten. Now for a bit of food science. Gluten is a protein, actually it is a composition of 2 proteins named gliadin and glutenin. When water is added to wheat flour and then mechanically mixed, gluten forms. And it is this wonderful gluten that gives bread dough and pasta their chewy and elastic characteristics. But since the gluten content is increased by mechanical mixing or kneading, it is not something we ever want to do if we desire to have light and fluffy pancakes.

So, the next time you want to enjoy some pan fried goodness for breakfast, leave your mixer tucked neatly away. Instead, follow this basic cooking process.

You can use any basic pancake recipe that you like. The key to a great result is in the mixing. What you want to do is mix all the dry ingredients first in a bowl that is large enough for your batter. Next, mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Now, before you add the wet to the dry, get prepared. An electric griddle is probably the best appliance for cooking pancakes at home but if you have to use a frying pan, that will also work. There are 2 differences. An electric griddle has a built-in thermostat which means the heat will remain more constant than with a pan on the stove. Second, the griddle means you can cook a lot more pancakes at the same time. I use a pan on the stove myself but I never cook more than one pancake at a time and I keep them warm in the oven till ready to serve. It’s not the best but I have no more room to store a griddle so I chose not to buy one. Using my stove, I heat the pan for 2 minutes at level 5. Then I turn down the heat to 4 when cooking. If I notice that things are taking too long, I increase the heat for about another minute and then lower to 4 again.

Now that you have a hot cooking appliance ready, it is time to mix the batter. You want to achieve the mixing as fast as possible without activating too much gluten. So, take the wet ingredients and literally dump them into the dry. Then take a spatula and fold in the wet ingredients for 10 to 15 seconds. That is it. Some of the dry may not be perfectly mixed but that is all right. I have never had a lumpy pancake using this method.

Next, place some batter on the griddle or in the frying pan and wait. You want to see the bubbles forming all around the outside of the pancake. That is the sign of a flapjack that is ready to be flipped. If the heat is high enough the bottom will be nice and brown. If it is too low it will be pale in color and conversely if it is too hot the bottom will be very dark. So as gently as possible flip the flapjack and continue cooking the opposite side. Normally the second side will cook in half the time as the first.

When serving the pancake always have real maple syrup on hand. It can make all the difference in the world and the taste is like no other. Since you put all this care and attention into making the best pancakes you could, you deserve to have them sweetened perfectly with a little maple syrup.

There you have it. Next time you get a craving for some flapjacks, keep the KitchenAid mixer covered and instead use the dump and fold method for the lightest and fluffiest pancakes you can make at home.

Haflinger Slippers – No Sweaty Feet With These Boiled Wool Slippers

Think about relaxing with your favorite set of slippers on your feet and you need to take them off because your feet are sweating! With many of the today’s man made synthetic slippers, people complain about sweating feet. Solve the sweaty feet problem by wearing boiled wool slippers.

Haflinger slippers, specifically boiled wool slippers, will keep your feet warm and dry. Because of the way boiled wool is made, it is a natural source of insulation for your foot, and it also wicks away moisture. These wool slippers also work well in warm weather climates, as the wool’s natural abilities keep the moisture away and the foot stays cool.

Gone are the days of scratchy heavy wool. How can scratchy, itchy wool end up so soft and appealing? After going through a heating, boiling, and shrinking process, the wool becomes felted. The fibers are locked together during the shrinking process and that helps the wool retain its size and shape. It is also stretchable, so those boiled wool slippers can stretch and mold to the feet.

The Haflinger slippers come in a variety of styles and colors. The indoor slippers have a molded arch support to help provide an appropriate fit. The indoor/outdoor slippers are handy for the person that likes to walk outside to take out the garbage, walk the dog or get the paper without having to change their footwear. The rubber outsole is waterproof, which is nice for those needing to walk in a little snow or rain.