The Importance of Cooling Systems for Electronics

As electronic equipment has advanced, so has the need for effective cooling systems in order to keep processes running optimally. With devices generating high levels of both heat and sound, products such as the fan tray assembly and anti vibration mounts have become even more advanced, with a number of different products on the market to meet all kinds of customer needs.

The problem of overheating can be common when it comes to PCs and laptops, yet the situation can become a lot worse in the case of electronics that are operating in cabinets or other enclosed spaces, with the reduced airflow dramatically raising temperature. The installation of an adequate cooling fan or fan tray assembly is therefore essential for keeping temperatures at reasonable levels.

So, just why is overheating so bad and why are cooling systems so useful? There are numerous reasons why installing a fan system is a good idea, some of which will be explored below.

Firstly, if electronic equipment heats up too much, it can simply cut out in order to cool down. This is not only a major inconvenience, but can actually cause serious damage to the equipment components too. It should also be noted that overheated equipment can be a serious fire hazard, which is not good in either the home or the workplace.

Overheating can also cause electronics to function more slowly, even if they do not stop working completely. This is because in-built fans may be working exceptionally hard at keeping temperatures down due to elevated levels of heat. A solution would be to add a fan tray assembly or other cooling fan system in order to provide adequate levels of cooling.

Fans that are working too hard to lower high temperatures can also cause a great deal of noise. This can be at best distracting, and at worst unbearable, especially in the workplace where there is a large amount of electronic equipment. Again, adequate cooling systems such as a fan tray assembly can stop fans striving to keep temperatures down and keep noise at an acceptable level.

Another factor touched on above is that critical components of electronic equipment may be damaged if exposed to elevated temperatures. As all electronic components have maximum temperature ratings, overheating caused by insufficient cooling can cause serious damage to essential and costly equipment.

There are many ways to avoid all the negative effects of overheating – and the main one is prevention. The easiest way to do this is by keeping electronics in a cool environment that is well-ventilated so that temperatures do not rise to a dangerous level, running the risk of the problems listed above.

Installing a cooling fan system or fan tray assembly is one way to keep areas well ventilated and air circulating sufficiently in order to keep electronics from overheating. Heat produced by these devices will dissipate a lot faster if the surrounding air is cooler, meaning temperatures are kept in an acceptable range.

In addition to installing the right equipment it is important to keep it well-maintained. Cleaning the cooling fan system regularly will help the fan operate optimally, ensuring that in turn your electronics are kept at a reasonable temperature for efficient functioning. Regular cleaning will clear out all dust and fluff that will impair fan functioning and pose a potential fire hazard.

For personalised advice on which cooling fan systems or fan tray assembly products are appropriate for your electronics and their particular installation and use, it is always best to consult with a specialist designer and manufacturer of these products.

With their expert knowledge, you will be able to create an environment that ensures optimal functioning of your electronic equipment and minimises risk and potentially costly damage.

Wood Blinds – How to Order Your Valance With Returns For Your Inside Mount Blind

You want inside mount 2 inch wood blinds but your window opening isn’t very deep. Your blind will stick out a little but your okay with that. So you measure, place your order, and install yourself and save a lot of money. So far so good, your 2 inch wood blinds look great just like you imagined, but when you look at the blind from the side, the bracket is exposed at the top. Looks unfinished. So what can you do about this? In this article, I will tell you how to get a nice, clean, finished look, so your valance wraps around at the ends.

The problem is, when you order a inside mount 2 inch wood blind or any other wood blind, the valance will have a straight cut at both ends. This allows the blind and valance to be completely recessed in your opening. But if you don’t have enough depth, it sticks out a little leaving the hardware exposed.

Here’s what you can do to fix it. You can pay for a decorator or and installer to figure out a return size or save your money and keep reading. Okay what we need to do is order a outside mount valance for your inside mount 2 inch wood blind. There is a little bit of figuring involved. I’ll walk you through the Steps.

Step 1.Need to figure the depth or your bracket. 99% of all wood blind brackets I have installed are 2 3/4. That is pretty standard.

Step 2.Know the thickness of your valance clip is going to be about 1/2 thick. Pretty standard as well.

Step 3.Add Step one and two together, 2 3/4 + 1/2 = 3 1/4.

Step 4.Measure the depth of your window opening, for example say it is 1 1/2.

Step 5.Subtract line four from line 3, 3 1/4 – 1 1/2 = 1 3/4.

Step 6.Your return size is 1 3/4.

Step 7.Since we are ordering a outside mount valance with an inside mount blind, you have to specify the valance width. Just add 1 inch to the width of your blind. For example, if your ordering your blind at 35 inches wide. Then order your valance at 36 inches wide.

Step 8.If ordering your blind online (save money) you would entered this information under special instructions, usually found as one of the last Steps before submitting your order. Here is what it should look like. Please send outside mount valance 36 inches wide with 1 1/2 inch returns.

Follow these Steps and your valance on your 2 inch wood blinds, or any other wood blind and you will have returns on the ends. Now you have a professional finished look. Good Luck!

How to Replace T-111 Siding and Trim on a Chimney

If you have ever lived in a home with T-111 siding, you have probably experienced wood rot. There are two leading causes of wood rot on T-111. The first is the paint drying out and absorbing moisture. The second is water finding an entrance due to a caulk joint failure. This occurs around windows, doors and at the seams. The steps listed below are what to look for and how to repair it. This article is specific to a chimney repair but can be applied to other areas. In this specific repair, we will be replacing the T-111 with a Hardie type panel and trim.

1. First, inspect the chimney. More than likely the bottom of the T-111, where the panel meets the roof deck, will be suspect. Poke around the perimeter with a screw driver to determine the extent of any damage. At this stage, you can only find what you can see on the surface.

2. Remove the nails on the metal chimney cap with a flat pry bar. Try not to damage the chimney cap as we will be reinstalling it later.

3. Remove the screws from the chimney cap flame arrestor. Remove the arrestor and set aside.

4. Remove the chimney cap and set aside.

5. With your pry bar and hammer, remove the trim boards and discard.

6. Remove the nails in the T-111 with your hammer and nail puller.

7. Remove the T-111 and discard.

At this point you should be looking at the wood framing and the chimney vent pipe. Now you can inspect the framing and a portion of the roof decking for additional damage. If you have wood framing, roof sheeting, or metal flashing that has been damaged due to water intrusion, now is the time to replace these items.

If you do not see damage you can start the rebuild process.

8. About an inch and a half up from the roof deck, apply a bead of roofing sealant to the metal flashing.

9. Wrap the chimney framing with a quality house wrap. Make sure the bottom edge is pressed firmly onto the bead of roofing cement. Secure the house wrap to the wood frame with button cap nails or staples. Make sure all the seams are sealed with tape designed for house wrap.

10.You are now ready to cut your siding and trim. Once you have made your panel cuts, you are ready to secure it to the frame. Put a thick bead of roofing cement approximately one inch up from the bottom of the panel. This will form a water tight seal. Paint all cut edges with primer or exterior paint.

11. Install the panels to the manufacturer’s specifications.

12. Paint the panels before you secure the trim.

13. Paint the trim boards prior to cutting them. This makes the finished product look much nicer.

14. After the paint has dried, cut the trim boards to fit. Paint all cut edges to seal them.

15. Install the trim boards to the manufacturer’s specifications.

16. Caulk all seams and nail holes with an exterior sealant.

17. Re-install the chimney cap and arrestor. Apply sealant to the nail heads.

18. Touch up the paint and you are done!

Office Interior Design

Office interior design is just as important regardless of whether the office is situated at home or in a corporate building. In both cases, a lot of forethought and proper planning will produce the best results. The ideal office should be comfortable and safe, functional and attractive, with everything in its optimum place for maximum productivity and ease of use.

Of course, one style of office will not suit every type of business so there are no set rules regarding what constitutes the best office style. Imagine the office of your local garage and compare it with the office of a high-tech creative or artistic director – do they look the same when you visualise them in your mind? Probably not, these professionals have different tasks to carry out and the style of office design will reflect that because the ideal office of any business will reflect the business itself.

So, the purpose of the office and who is using it will influence the office design. For example, an office that requires one work station for one part time manual worker will not have the same practical or design issues as an office that employs hundreds of people to carry out sophisticated administrative tasks.

A modern interior design would naturally be a popular choice for high-tech and dynamic businesses at the forefront of technology simply because it suits the image of a company that is progressing and at the cutting edge of their field. Similarly, a more classic design might suit the offices of traditional type businesses that have been established for many years and of course a more informal and casual design would possibly be more appropriate for the local garage or manual trade professions. However, there are no hard and fast rules as it is simply a matter of personal preference and available budget.

Some important factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding on any styles, fixtures or fittings for any office interior designs include:

o The type of work or business to be done in the office

o The amount of floor space available and what equipment it needs to hold

o The number and type of people likely to be using the office

o If any clients need to visit the office

o The budget

Once this is established then it becomes easier to think of a suitable style. There are other practical considerations to think of like the type of lighting that is needed and the position of electrical and telephone sockets, the kind of furniture required and where it will be placed. The office is a reflection of the business concerned and as such it is vital that it gives the right impression whilst at the same time providing a comfortable place to work. Above all, the health and safety of everyone who works in or visits the office should be a top priority.

The ideal office should be clean and uncluttered with subtle colour schemes that don’t distract from the work that has to be achieved there. As many people spend a lot of hours in the office, it helps if it is a pleasant and comfortable place to work. Proper seating is vital to encourage good posture and to prevent back pain. An excellent office interior designer will be able to design an office that is not only functional, safe and professional, but which also beautifully reflects the image and fits the purpose of the particular business taking place in that office.

Interior Design for the home office

Advances in technology and flexible working policies have enabled more people than ever before to work from home and the “home office” has now become a popular feature in many a home. Regardless of whether you have a separate room dedicated as an office or simply a space at the corner of your living room, the same factors have to be considered as for any other office interior design in order for your office to function effectively.

If your business means you need to take clients into your home office then it is important that the design of your office reflects an air of professionalism as it not only represents your business, it also gives an impression of who you are and how capable you might be of getting the work done. If, for example, your office is messy and cluttered with papers piled high because you have nowhere to put them and cables running across the floor because the socket is in the wrong place then it is possible that your clients may think you’re not up to the job. Get it right by planning your office interior design first.

Most importantly, the ideal home office will not interfere with the day to day routines and functions of the rest of the house, it will be thoughtfully designed, fully functional, and will integrate harmoniously with the rest of the home.

His Most Famous Painting (The Butterfly-Summer Icon) – Jack Shadbolt

Jack Leonard Shadbolt or Jack Shadbolt (February 4, 1909-November 22, 1998) was an inspirational, motivating, and innovative England born Canadian painter and teacher. Jack’s landscape paintings propel a change in artistic vision and make you think about the metamorphosis of life. Jack Shadbolt’s ‘Primitivism’ flavored ‘Aboriginal Art’ style was compounded by that of Spanish painters, Pablo Picasso & Joan Miró and English painter Graham Sutherland. Jack Shadbolt adopted their modes and started depicting his subjects in multiple facets, thereby imparting a certain edge and mystery to his paintings. As mentioned above, Shadbolt would mostly portray nature and personal experiences through his paintings, as is evident in his masterpiece titled “The Butterfly-Summer Icon” (1977).

An ink, latex, and acrylic on board triptych, “The Butterfly-Summer Icon” measures 60″ x 120″ (152.4 cm x 304.8 cm). Here, Jack depicts the changing phases of life through a muted transformation of a butterfly from a small larva to a full-grown butterfly. The viewer feels a strange sensitivity as well as a dark side attached to this painting, since some of the butterflies look fizzled off. This represents a person’s emotional and personal battle on two expressional extremes. Shadbolt tried demonstrating various human feelings through butterflies, such as eroticism, pain, celebration, and freedom. He painted some of the butterflies in bright summer sunlight to celebrate nature, while some butterflies are dark, portraying an apocalyptic presence of life. Shadbolt painted the butterflies in different shapes and sizes, sometimes minuscule and sometimes immensely huge. This gives the viewer a chance to scrutinize the various transformations of a butterfly’s life.

“The Butterfly-Summer Icon” is a ‘Surrealist’ work, ‘Symbolizing’ the subconscious conflicts and struggle initially, evolving finally into renewal and wisdom. The changing phases of “The Butterfly-Summer Icon” therefore, are a manifestation of our changing ideals and goals with time, and their blending with the outer world. The artwork was first exhibited at Bau-Xi Gallery, Toronto, in 1977 and is now a part of private collection at Toronto. Jack Shadbolt, with his ability to beautifully portray the subconscious, inspires young artists. He would blend memories and creative or fabricated imagination in his works. He gained immediate critical acclaim and laurels for “The Butterfly-Summer Icon.” He quoted once, “I saw the butterfly as a powerful symbol of the natural and spiritual will to survive through change and transformation-a symbol all the more potent in contrast with the fragile and ephemeral beauty of its subject.”

The Importance of a Generator During a Power Outage

Power outages can happen unexpectedly for a variety of different reasons. It is always best to be prepared for a blackout, especially if you live in a place that is prone to losing electricity easily or during a stormy season. One of the best ways to be prepared for a power outage is by purchasing a generator. A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy and can restore just enough electricity to your home to live normally while experiencing an outage.

Energy failures normally occur when there is some sort of inclement weather. Power can be lost if there is lightning and thunder, extremely windy conditions, some sort of snow or ice storm, or a downpour of rain. These types of severe weather can cause electrical lines to fall down, tree limbs to fall of power lines, circuits to overload, and electric equipment to fail. There are also some cases where electrical power can be disrupted because of some sort of repair being done on electrical systems. When these outages take place teams of electrical professionals are usually on the scene of the problem as soon as they are available. The electric companies know how precious electricity is to citizens so they will do their best to restore the power and fix the problem in an efficient and effective manner.

When you own a generator and have it installed it will already be connected to your household electrical system so that it is able to activate itself as soon as the power goes out. Most of the time the generator will have something called a transfer switch that it is connected to that will disconnect the utility power of your home when the generator is being used. The generator is then able to bond with your electrical system to supply electricity to your home during a blackout.

A generator can give power to a great deal of the amenities that you are used to having on a daily basis. The lights and electricity in your home will be powered by the generator, as well as your heat and water. This means that hot water is able to be used for showers, or whatever may be necessary, during a blackout. This machine will also keep your freezer and refrigerator running, ensuring that your food does not go bad and that you will be able to feed your family. Generators can also give you access to your home phone, television, or computer. When using the generator during an outage you will want to make sure that you are using it only for the necessities. Making sure that the electric load that you are placing on the device is not exceeding the rating n the generator is also a good idea.

Generators can keep you and your family safe during a electrical outage, making sure that you have access to a comfortable indoor climate that is safe from the storm. Investing in one of these machines is not only a convenience, but a safety precaution.

Accept What Can’t Be Changed and Change What Can Be

“Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.” — Robert Bennett, U.S. Senator

Accepting responsibility for choices starts with understanding where our choices lie. This idea is wonderfully framed by the timeless wisdom of the ancient Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Each line represents an important step in growing our leadership. Consider the first – an invocation to “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

There is a long list of things we as leaders can’t control, but may have a major impact on our organizations. These include economic and political trends, technological changes, shifts in consumer preferences and market trends, as well as catastrophes wrought by human beings (war, terrorism) and so-called “Acts of God,” such as hurricanes or tornadoes. The poet Longfellow offers great leadership counsel about how to handle these non-controllables when he says, “the best thing one can do when it is raining is to let it rain.” Pretty solid advice!

The fact is that stuff happens. Life isn’t fair. Whatever hits the fan certainly won’t be evenly distributed. The best approach to dealing with things that cannot be changed is to accept them. The worst thing we can do is to succumb to the Victimitis Virus and “awfulize” the situation by throwing pity parties in Pity City. When the doo-doo starts to pile deep, a leader doesn’t just sit there and complain (usually about “them”); he or she grabs a shovel. We may not choose what happens to us, but we do choose how to respond – or not.

The second line of the Serenity Prayer asks for “the courage to change the things I can.” This is the gulp-and-swallow part. Choosing to make changes is hard. It’s so much easier to blame everyone else for my problems and to use this as an excuse for doing nothing. But leaders don’t give away their power to choose. In his bestseller, The Road Less Traveled, Scott Peck writes, “Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity, be it ‘fate’ or ‘society’ or the government or the corporation or our boss. It is for this reason that Erich Fromm so aptly titled his study of Nazism and authoritarianism, Escape from Freedom. In attempting to avoid the pain of responsibility, millions and even billions daily attempt to escape from freedom.”

It takes real courage to accept full responsibility for our choices – especially for our attitude and outlook. This is the beginning and ultimately most difficult act of leadership.

The concluding line of the Serenity Prayer – “and the wisdom to know the difference” – is perhaps the toughest part of all. In our workshops with management teams we often get into lively debates about those things over which the group has the power to act. We attempt to classify them as belonging to three categories: No Control; Direct Control; and Influence. It’s rarely black and white. For example, we often underestimate the influence we might have in our organizations – or in the world at large. But as Robert Kennedy once put it, “Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

We’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no neutral ground. Strong leaders make the choice to be part of the solution and get on with it – no matter how small their ripples of change may be.

10 Facts About Hang Gliding You Didn’t Know

As the name implies, you hang while you glide. It is almost too descriptive of the entire activity. It is when you are soaring high in the air that you discover there is more than just hanging and gliding in this sport. The wind component combines with the hang glider to make your own interesting flying adventure. Here are some hang gliding facts to tickle your mind.

1. Hang gliding dates back to the olden times when man became fascinated with flying thus the birth of aviation history. Otto Lilienthal built the first controllable gliders in the year 1890, he used wood and fabric. He tested his invention by leaping off a spring board.

2. Thermals, ridge lifts, mountain waves and convergence. Thermals are bubbles or columns of heated air. Thermal lifts are utilized by hang gliders especially during launching. Thermal lifts take place when the air is heated by the sun which makes it rise. Ridge lifts happen when the air hits a mountain a hill or a cliff. The air is redirected upwards causing lift. This kind of flying is also called slope soaring, because lift is given when the wind hits a vertical slope. Mountain waves is the vertical displacement of the wind. There are cloud indicators for this kind of conditions called wave clouds. Convergence is another form of lift utilized by hang gliders. It is a convergence of air masses.

3. Morning Glory a rare lift phenomenon that is utilized by Aussie hang gliders.

4. Gaggle. This is the term used for a group of pilots who fly together.

5. The Variometer. This is an electronic gadget that helps pilots perceive acceleration forces when they catch thermals, and have a hard time estimating invariable motion. This gadget helps pilots determine the climb and sink rates with a series of beeps.

6. Manfred Ruhmer holds the current world record for open distance hang gliding. He flew700km en route from Zapata to Lamesa in TX, USA.

7. Hang gliding has four lessons that mainly involve the act of launching a person to get some wind under his wing. These are, hill training which involves foot launch, aerotow in which the participant is towed by an ultralight aircraft, scooter tow in which a scooter is used to winch the participant aloft, and tandem flight where the instructor and student glide using one wing.

8. Altimeter is an instrument that depicts the riders’ altitude. This instrument is essential especially for cross country and long distance hang gliding.

9. The first foot launch of a hang glider in Australia was in 1972.

10. Francis Melvin Rogallo invented the Rogallo wing in 1948 which served as a blue print of the more modern hang gliders today.

So now you are in the know of 10 facts about hang gliding and as you get into the sport, be ready for more factoids that will surely be beneficial to your feat of flight.

Druids and Sex – What Can We Learn From Them?

If you think the druids can’t teach you much about enhancing your sex life – Think again!

Although Druids are considered pagan by the Christian Church, many of their customs have been introduced into our society today.

The druids contribution to sex and free love is under estimated and this is what this article is all about.

The entire Christian calendar is full of Druidic holidays and this is an ideal place to start in our pursuit of druid sexuality.

There were two times of the year that specifically apply to this essay. The first is Samhuinn, from October 31st to November 2nd, and the second is Beltane on May the 1st.

Sexual Activity of druids

Samhuinn was a time where for three days, all order was allowed to break down, and there was as you would expect, uninhibited sexual activity.

For the Beltane festival, it was a time for the mating of animals and the fertility of young women.

The evenings were lit up by bonfires, wild music played, drink flowed and free-flowing spirits danced with gay abandon.

The dance and drink made the desire for sexual union between couples almost irresistible.

To discover what was actually practiced, we must look what the early Church fathers were forbidding.

In the prohibitions we discover the practices that took place.

For the first missionaries, who were for the most part, still Jewish, there was (and still is for all Orthodox Jews) one sexual position; the “missionary”.

The two positions you will find below, were strictly forbidden, but in truth, normal in every way and are practiced by many couples today.

During the Samhuinn there was no time for orderly and relaxed sexual encounters.

Sexual encounters proceeded quickly amongst the revellers, fueled by drink and the mood of sexual liberation.

Here are some examples of favoured druid sexual positions:

“As Does the Deer”

This was the basic and favorite Druid position for sex.

The woman would bend over and hold on to some object to support her during the man’s thrusting. She would spread her legs wide apart, and the man would remove the clothing only to the side of the genital area.

With his own feet slightly spread apart (for balance,hard after a few drinks!)he would then enter her from the rear, and begin thrusting.

He would further bend over himself, across and on top of the woman’s back, and have his hands free to fondle her breast and/or clitoris.

The quick thrusting would last about 10 to 12 minutes, and the man would finish quickly.

Time was at a premium, and this is perhaps the original “quickie” position.

This is an exciting and effective position, and useful in cramped spaces, today many people use it in such places as an elevator or restroom, or even out in the open,which was practiced by the Druids at this time of “un-rule” or anarchy.

“Sacrifice at the Altar”

It seems the Church fathers especially found this position offensive. Perhaps the nature of it, or the name.

However, when examined from a serological and physiological point of view, it is quite effective. It is very stimulating for the clitoral area, the G-spot and AFE Zone.

The woman is placed on her back on a table or some structure that allows the man to stand in front of her, in position. The woman’s legs are raised half way to her chest, no more, and the man can hold on to her calfs, or under her knees.

The man then penetrates her, and she raises her buttocks slightly to accommodate him for maximum penetration.

Thrusting should be slow and rhythmical, and it will soon become obvious of the woman’s pleasure with this sexual position.

The man also will find he can delay his climax with this position, and the average time for copulation can be over 20 minutes, and perhaps longer.

The man has a wonderful and explicit view of the woman’s genital area, and she, if raising her neck slightly (and is so interested) can also see her partners actions.

This may be performed at home on a high bed, or table, if some padding (a blanket perhaps) is used for the woman’s comfort.

It has been reported that some models of automobiles afford the possibility as well, using the hood (engine cover) in place of a table, rock or boulder.

The druids were an extremely sexual people, with few inhibitions and the positions above (if you have not tried them) are sure to enhance your sex life and that of your partner.

Different Types of Name Boards and Plates

Name boards and plates are becoming increasingly popular these days as most of the businessmen opt for personalized boards to improve their business prospects. As a result, companies manufacturing name plates and boards have flourished extensively in the past few decades. Different types of boards and plates are manufactured by a large number of companies to meet the growing demands of the customers.

Various Types of Boards

Several types of name boards are manufactured these days and sold through online portals at attractive price rates. Names plates of factories, shops, buildings, homes and so forth are made available in different types of materials which include acrylic, steel and wood in different attractive designs.

Designer plates and boards are also available quite easily these days from online stores. Decorative boards in various sizes and shapes are also manufactured by some of the leading companies at realistic price rates.

Weather proof name boards are also created by some of the most reputed firms in the country to meet the customized requirements of the clients. Various types of sign boards are manufactured for business purposes. Today there is huge demand for all types of boards and plates.

Name boards with special glow feature are another attractive variety of product manufactured exclusively for business purpose by leading companies. Computerized glow signs are also made available through leading online portals at various price rates.

Today most of the businessmen prefer brass plates and boards as it has the capacity to withstand different weather conditions. It is also durable and tensile. These boards tend to offer a higher level of resistance unlike the ordinary wooden or aluminum boards.

Apart from personal use, these products are also chosen as personalized gift items. Today most of the people choose unique decorative plates and boards as gift items. It can also be chosen as a corporate gift item during festive seasons.

Name boards have a unique significance in any business as it exemplifies the credibility and image of the company. It is therefore quite important to choose the right type of product from online stores. Most companies prefer to choose stylish and dynamic boards as it reflects the credibility and sophistication of the company. Moreover, since there are many companies manufacturing customized boards, it is quite easy to find the right type of product.

Glass plates and boards are also sold in most of the online stores these days. Acrylic is another common material used for the production of these plates. Reflective and non-reflective boards are also made available through online stores quite easily. Colored and customized indoor and outdoor signages can also be bought from online stores at attractive prices. Illuminated and non illuminated plates are another variety of products sold through online portals.

The business of manufacturing and creating name boards have flourished to such a large extent that it is quite easy to find products of all sizes and colors to suit individual requisites. Different styles, patterns and colors are amalgamated to produce unique products that attract millions of customers.

The Benefits of a Tea Kettle

Kettles have come a long way from the copper or iron kettles that were often used during the 19th century. They had to be handled with care because they were often heated over open flames. Today, kettles are, usually, heated on electric or gas stoves or they can be plugged right into the wall.

One of the many benefits of the tea kettle is that you can easily pour boiling water into a bowl, sink or cup quickly and efficiently. If you boil water in a pot, you could find yourself pouring water into your cup or bowl and all over your counter. The steam from a kettle, usually, doesn’t come anywhere near your face or hands. With a pot, steam can rise up and burn your face. If you’re stirring as you pour, the steam from a pot could burn your hand.

Electric tea kettles are especially great because they boil water in about half the time of the stove top varieties and they are just as portable. Electric tea kettles can either sit on your counter, or if you have limited space, they can be stored inside a cabinet or deep drawer. Another benefit to the electric tea kettle is the fact that you can take it to work. If you want to enjoy a hot cup of tea at any time during the day, you can boil water in your electric tea pot and have a cup of tea right at your desk. Some varieties of electric tea pot are small enough to use comfortably in a cubicle.

If you don’t have one already, consider buying a tea kettle. The next time you want to enjoy a nice cup of tea or instant coffee or have a bowl of instant hot cereal, your tea kettle will come in handy. You will be able to pour your water quickly and cleanly. If you work in an office and crave the convenience of being able to drink a cup of tea or instant coffee at your desk, then an electric tea kettle could become your new favorite piece of office equipment.

Ways to Cure the "Grass Is Greener" Syndrome

Back in my early twenties one of my first jobs was in sales. But I didn’t just sell, I was taught to be a “one sit close,” slicker than a used car salesman, vulture-esque, closing machine. No remorse for people’s situations. No concern for their wallets. Sell them, and sell them at the highest price to get myself the highest commission possible. oh yes, the glamorous life of a home improvement salesman. At the time I had two roommates and all three of us worked for the same company. We sold sunrooms, grossly overpriced windows, and siding. And we lived the bachelor lifestyle to the max. We worked maybe 25 hours/week, went out 4 nights per week+, rarely woke up before 11am, and made great money for fresh out of college young twenty something bachelors. When we would talk to our friends, they would always ask about it. They wanted to know what we did, why we made so much money, and why it seemed like we never worked. And of course, how we got the job. They would always envy our lifestyles as they were humping it 9-5 everyday in their cubicles for pay that could barely cover the cost of their rent and college loans. So what do you think happened to these poor souls? Well, many actually attempted to work the job. Enter the thorn on our seemingly perfect job rose.

I honestly hated my job and my life at the time. It was miserable. For starters, it was a 100% commission job. When you started with the company you got what was known as a “draw.” You received a small weekly paycheck to allow you to survive. Awesome right!? Too bad you had to pay it back. So if you didn’t come out of the gate guns blazing then you were up a creek without a paddle. Fortunately for me I was damn good at the job, but many of our friends who attempted it, did not fair quite as well. The appointments with customers, or “leads” as we called them in salesman speak, often times resembled trips to satan’s doorstep more than a friendly, neighborly visit to discuss how we could help people improve their homes. Hell, a friend of mine actually had to go to a lead in a bonafide crack shack. The worst part about leads is that there was so much pressure on us to pitch every lead that when walking into the crack shack, he actually pitched the crack heads! And if you were lucky enough to close a sale (a 20% closing rate meant you were an all star), you would turn in the paperwork and sit at the altar for the next three days praying for the deal “to go good.” There was a three day right of rescission law in which customers could cancel the contract and more times than we cared to admit, that’s precisely what they did. Following the three day right of rescission then our contractors had to go out and make sure they could do the project. Guess what, we couldn’t always pull off the building of a sunroom on a pool deck with rotting support beams. So combine the 100% commission with difficult customers and the constant threat of deals falling through and you’ve got yourself a good old fashion stress filled pressure cooker. Is there any wonder why we felt the need to go out drinking 5 nights/week? We were just trying to forget the fact that we had to go do our job the next day.

We all know this crazy condition of male jealousy. Our perception tells us that our yard is starting to brown like a Texas plains cotton field while our neighbors is growing a crisp green that would make the superintendent of Augusta National blush. So why do we feel this way? Why can’t we just be happy with what we have? How can we change this inevitable evil of human nature? The answer lies in our unending constantly competing human needs. Two of which compete with one another to cause us to question often whether or not what we are currently doing is good enough.

1) Stability and Comfort

2) Instability and Variety

So wait…We want stability and comfort. That makes sense. A roof over our head. A constant stream of income at a job we know how to do. A supportive girlfriend who is always there for us. But we also want variety. So we want to live in different places? Work new and exciting jobs? And experience many different women? Doesn’t quite make sense does it? Or does it? This brings us to one of my favorite words; Balance. And with the two needs of stability and instability we are always looking for a balance. Too much stability and we wind up in a place of boredom. Too much instability and we become unnerved with anxiety, fear, and stress.

What are some strategies to combat the stability vs. instability paradigm?

In Our Health

1) This is for sure the easiest to correct. If your workout is stale, then change it up. Maybe you’re hitting the weights by yourself four days/week. Join a weight lifting team, start taking classes, or find a lifting partner. Check out meetup.com. There are groups for everything there. And if there isn’t, you can start your own.

2) If you are someone new to working out, the single biggest factor keeping us from continuing with our new found pledge to physical fitness is that we find it too painful. The gains(weight loss) are not happening fast enough to justify the pain of working out. For those of us who can’t seem to quite find our swagger, we just have to keep trying different ways of getting our sweat on until we find something that we like doing. Trust me when I say this. If you can find a sport or class, etc that you become totally engrossed in the activity, you will soon forget the pain.

In Our Jobs

1) Know that growth is going to be crucial in this area of our lives. We often make the mistake of getting way too comfortable at our jobs and then we turn around and realize how unfulfilled and lazy we have become. I’m not telling you to quit and go start a business here, but start looking for new challenges at your current job or if they are not available start looking at other job options.

2) If you have chosen the path of entrepreneur, actor, musician, etc know that you are on a long term road here and nothing happens overnight. This is a path of a lot of variety and a lot of ups and downs. Find a supplemental job to give your life some much needed comfort. Your wallet and your stress levels will thank you.

In Our Relationships

1) This can be a tough one. For this balance to work, this requires a few key things. First that both people in the relationship grow individually at an equitable pace. An entrepreneur dating a teacher is probably going to present more challenges than an entrepreneur dating an actress. There is more variety in being an entrepreneur than in being a teacher and more comfort and stability in being a teacher than an entrepreneur. Secondly there needs to be support and stability offered by both people while at the same time offering variety in relationship experience. Often relationships grow boring over time because we fall into very predictable relationship patterns. If your occasional Netflix night turns into a Netflix weekend, then you know things need to be spiced up.

2) The need to spread the seed. This is a very real thing for men. After all, it’s a built in mechanism to ensure the continuation of our species. I’m not going to go into detail here. If you want more info please refer to my blogs on Utopialifeonline.com

A Call to Ban Copper Sulfate (an Algaecide) For Use in America’s Waters

Protecting National Water Resources

The purpose of this paper is to recommend a prohibition of the use of copper sulfate, a toxic and bioaccumulative chemical, in America’s waters.

Background

Copper sulfate, a naturally occurring inorganic salt, is an algaecide, herbicide, germicide, and fungicide and is commonly used to maintain the aesthetic appearance of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. Being a trace element, its poisonous effects can be detected at levels as low as .33ppm, and its toxic potency is inversely related to the alkalinity and pH of water. The compound is typically applied on a bi-weekly schedule, and what does not flow out of a water body into a receiving stream ends up binding to the underlying sediment. Here, this heavy metal accumulates indefinitely, serving as a reservoir of toxicity until the sediment is disturbed and conditions favor its release into the environment.

Because of its highly caustic nature, copper sulfate has been classified by the EPA as being in toxicity class I – highly toxic – and requires the signal words “DANGER – POISON” on its container. Having the direct potential to disrupt photosynthesis, and because of its toxicity to downstream endangered species, its use requires a permit in certain jurisdictions and applications.

Copper sulfate’s toxicity and propensity for accumulation is leading to a burgeoning problem at sites located throughout the US and the world. Copper pollution is beginning to affect many coastal regions where river and storm water systems discharge; sites experiencing hazardously elevated levels of copper include: Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Naples Bay, North Miami, and Lake Pontchartrain. In some cases, “[copper sulfate]…is the largest contributor to copper contamination.”

As the effects of copper compounds and their persistence in coastal areas become better understood, some municipalities have included in their water resource management plans measures to reduce copper levels in stormwater discharge. The application of copper sulfate as an algaecide has also been questioned in New York City, where authorities identified it as the primary cause of excessive copper levels in the City’s wastewaters and harbor. However, in some cases, the specific regulatory approaches adopted have been criticized for their inefficiency. San Francisco’s initiative to control copper contamination is estimated to have an end cost in excess of one billion dollars, primarily because of its inclusion of metallic copper, as well as all copper compounds, whatever their toxicity or fate. Recent initiatives are taking a new direction, which is to improve upon water resources by targeting only volatile forms of copper, including copper sulfate.

Detrimental to National Waters

Damaging Natural Habitats

The deleterious effects of this compound on natural habitats have been widely documented. Long-term case studies have shown that, while algae is temporarily killed as intended, its decaying matter contributes heavily to dissolved oxygen depletion, fish kills, and the accelerated recycling of phosphorus which promotes algal blooms. Eventually, the natural balance of the water body is upset: phytoplankton, the base of the food chain, are greatly reduced and no longer support small aquatic life; sediment-dwelling insects are killed by the accumulating poison; and plants, serving as both fish food and habitat, are killed by copper sulfate’s photosynthesis disruption. After a local pond’s ecosystem has been become debilitated, the highly water-soluble residual algaecide is flushed downstream during a rain event, becoming a hazard for downstream organisms.

Catfish, one of the Fox River’s prime game fish, are visibly stressed by concentrations as low as 1.7ppm. Enzyme activity in other fish increases due to stress at 2ppm, and the negative effects suffered were still observable after two weeks in clean water. Furthermore, even at suggested application rates, the algaecide has been found to be lethal to salmonoids (e.g. salmon, trout, etc.).

Animals that ingest copper sulfate by drinking from contaminated water bodies are also at risk as chronic exposures have lead to problems at levels as low as 20ppm per day-commonly leading to malfunction of the endocrine gland and testes. After consumed, copper sulfate is strongly bioaccumulated, primarily in the heart, liver, brain, kidneys, and muscles of animals.

Detrimental to Water Quality

As a treatment strategy, the use of copper sulfate as an algaecide addresses only the symptoms of the water body’s degraded condition, not the causes. The underlying cause of the algal blooms is the urban runoff of fertilizers, detergents, and other phosphates. The use of copper sulfate does nothing to minimize or manage these nutrients. In fact, as a germicide, it destroys the beneficial bacteria that would naturally break down nutrients and, as an herbicide, kills plant life that would absorb them.

When this water is released into receiving streams, it brings with it the burden of excess nutrients and very low dissolved oxygen. Considering that nutrient overabundance is already problematic for many U.S. rivers and streams, any effort to lessen the problem should be taken. This is especially important to downstream communities that already assume additional treatment costs to make water safe and potable for their residents.

Contributing to Pollution

Pollutants are defined as chemical constituents present at toxic levels and in bioavailable forms for a sufficient period that they adversely affect the beneficial uses of a water body. Copper and its compounds are designated as pollutants, however it is the free form of the copper II ion that is biologically available and the most toxic form of this substance. It is therefore important in creating a control approach to differentiate between sources such as metallic copper from brake pads and liners, and a wide array of ionic forms of copper of varying degrees of potential toxicity, the most problematic of which is copper sulfate. Thus, environmental scientists continue to emphasize the importance of focusing “pollutant control on those chemical constituents that are significantly impairing…waterbody(s) within and downstream of the watershed.”

Residents add copper sulfate to water bodies to satisfy an aesthetic desire, often without considering its potentially harmful effects. This is especially true for storm detention ponds, which are increasingly seen as amenities and not as serving a specific, environmental function. No longer should copper sulfate be permitted at the detriment of the local and downstream environments. An opportunity to remove an unnecessary, biologically available toxin from your local water bodies presents itself without significant drawbacks-and because of this, use of the copper sulfate pollutant should be forbidden.

On the Environmental Frontier

In considering a ban on copper sulfate, your community would not be unprecedented. A number of jurisdictions are, or have, considered a ban on the use of copper sulfate. Based on data revealing that copper “hot spots” coincide with storm water discharge points in the bay, the Naples City Council will consider a resolution in November 2008 that would prohibit the use of copper sulfate as an algaecide. In early 2008, the City amended its budget, approving the installation of aerators in its stormwater retention ponds and lakes, in place of algaecide use to control algal blooms.

Across the ocean from Naples, the European Union had scheduled a complete ban on all copper based algaecides because of the “effects of its use on the aquatic environment, impact on aquatic organisms, and soil accumulation.” Reviewers found copper sulfate “not compatible with sustainable ecosystems and recommended against its use,” expressing concern about the impact it has when flushed into natural water bodies. For these reasons, the review panel concluded that copper sulfate “should never be considered as a routine and convenient treatment to handle [algal] problems.”

A Call to Action

As copper pollution becomes more widely recognized, more jurisdictions will move toward legislative and regulatory prohibitions targeting copper and its compounds. Your local community has the opportunity to protect its ecosystems and preserve its vital water resources by preventing the intentional application of copper sulfate, a toxin and pollutant, to its waters.

By limiting this ban to copper sulfate as an algaecide, rather than more broadly to other copper species, smaller municipalities will be able to apply limited resources in the most beneficial and cost-effective manner.

Contact Municipal boards and present to them this information; inform pondowners and Homeowners Associations of the dangers of copper sulfate use; lobby your local governing body to institute a city or county wide ban on this toxic chemical– for it is only through education, understanding, and action that we can protect our Nation’s waters.

Buying a Gazebo – How to Install a Gazebo on Grass

Building a gazebo in your garden or backyard is a really great idea, but what if you are worried about installing that gazebo properly? Is it difficult to build a gazebo on a grass surface so that it is safe and secure? If this thought is worrying you, and perhaps stopping you from taking the plunge and getting a summer house, then read on.

Installing a gazebo on grass is easy, straightforward and really not difficult – anybody can do it. Although it helps to know how, to have a little patience and to plan ahead.

Planning Comes First

Before starting any installation of this kind it is wise to check that it will not need planning or building permits from your local Building Department. Gazebos are usually permitted without any formal permits but it is better to check first rather than be sorry afterwards. If you do need to apply for a permit then you will need to prepare a simple drawing of the proposed structure.

Now to the planning stage. Buying a gazebo, either fully assembled or in kit form, requires some preparation of the site. The delivery truck will need access, of course, and it might pay to let your neighbors know what you are going to do. Check that there are no electricity or water lines close to where you will install the gazebo, because you are going to dig down two or three feet for the support footings. And clear away bushes, stones and any other obstacles that might get in the way during the installation.

Building A Gazebo On Grass

The principle of installing a gazebo on grass is little different to any other surface. The structure will be supported on a number of solid footings, normally made from concrete, sunk into the ground to a suitable depth. You can accommodate a reasonably bumpy surface, if necessary, by making the supports high enough for the gazebo floor to clear the ground. In fact a gazebo is a great way of using a grass area that is not really suitable for making into a lawn.

Footings

The number of footings is determined by the number of sides of the summer house. One of the most popular gazebo designs is a hexagonal structure, for which you will need 6 main footings (one at each corner). If the gazebo is more than about 5 feet across you should also install a central footing. In any case your gazebo or kit should come with instructions about the number of supports needed.

Your gazebo will probably have posts at each corner which will need to rest on, and be attached to, these footings. Attachment systems vary but the normal way is to embed a post anchor into the top of each footing at the time you pour the concrete. The gazebo corner posts will be bolted to these anchors once the concrete has set. About 5 days is usually sufficient.

Each footing needs to be deep enough to start below the frost line in your garden, unless you are lucky enough to live in a permanently warm area! This could be as little as two feet or as much as four. If unsure about this just ask your Building Department – they will be happy to oblige with any information you might need. I have always found these people to be very helpful if you involve them early enough in any building project, by the way.

Marking Out

First stage in the installation is the marking out of the footing positions. Do this with wooden markers or pegs at each position, at the exact center of the eventual footing. Your gazebo plans that come with the kit should show you quite clearly where the footings should be positioned.

Making The Supports

These footings – or piers, as they are sometimes called – should be made of concrete, which you can buy in ready-mixed form from your local DIY store. You just have to add the water. And you might be surprised by the quantity (and weight!) of concrete required – but don’t forget that this is what is going to support quite a heavy structure.

You will mold the concrete to the correct shape and depth in the hole by using a former. If you decide on footings with a square cross-section then simply line each hole with four planks (any scrap timber will do) to the correct depth and with widths equal to the width of the footing sides. Once the concrete has set just tap the planks lightly to separate them from the concrete and then lift them out. Then fill any gaps around the footing with earth and stamp it down thoroughly.

If you prefer to have footings with a round cross-section then you can buy tubular formers made from a degradable fiber. Home Depot sells these if you want to check them out. I have also known people to use cardboard tubes that they have obtained from their local carpet supply shop.

Dig the hole to the required depth, line it with the former then prepare the concrete mix – usually just by adding water and mixing thoroughly. Pour the concrete into the former, adding the post anchor at the top. When all the footings have been poured check that the post anchors are all level with each other and in the correct positions.

Final Adjustments

It is worth taking plenty of time and care to get this bit right, because the gazebo floor needs to be absolutely level and properly supported. Once the concrete has set it will be too late to make any adjustments…

And that’s all there is to it. The job is actually much simpler to do than to describe!

How to Plan a Barn Dance

Barn dances have become very popular for all kinds of events from wedding receptions through to corporate events, birthday parties and village fetes – even prom nights!. I believe their popularity is due to the fact that people of all ages enjoy these events equally. Here is my guide to planning and running a successful event.

The Venue

Barn dances rarely take place in barns, so there is no overpowering need to go and find a friendly farmer and get him to lend you his barn. In fact barns can make very poor venues (unless specifically prepared or designed for such events) as there are often no amenities such as toilets etc. They can also have a tenancy to get a little cold and they can be quite dusty when the dancers start to kick up the dust from the floor unless the barn has been meticulously swept and cleaned beforehand. It is sometimes better to pick a venue such as a village hall, school hall or a large hotel. If the barn dance is for a wedding then a room in the hotel where the wedding reception is being held is usually the norm. The band will also need room to set up their equipment. Ask them how much equipment they have and how much room they will need. You wouldn’t be able to get say a five piece band with a drum-kit onto a stage that is only designed for a duo. Always make sure that there is ample room for the dancers to dance. A barn dance will need a bigger dance floor than a disco. Ask the venue how large the dancing area is.

Choosing a band

Most barn dance bands have a website these days where you can hear snippets of their music or see videos of their live performances. Choose your band to suit the occasion and the likely taste of your guests. Remember that a barn dance band also has to be listened to as well as danced to.

Barn dance bands come in an array of different forms from the traditional accordion, guitar and fiddle arrangement to the more rock and roll type electric barn dance bands. Most bands will sing a song between the dances so that there is always some entertainment throughout the dance. The more rock and roll end of the bands will usually have a few rock and roll numbers for the end of the night and be able to “mix things up” a little to suit everyone.

When choosing a band it is true to say that you get what you pay for. Do not choose on cost alone. It may be better to pay more than you expected to get an evening that everyone remembers for all the right reasons and not the wrong ones. Nearly all barn dance bands come complete with a caller, but always remember to ask if this is the case. Make sure your bands equipment is PAT tested and the band has Public Liability Insurance. This is becoming obligatory in many venues and all barn dance bands should carry such insurance.

Catering

Most dances have some form of food for the guests. It can be a simple buffet, a hotpot or even a hog-roast at a larger event. The food break is usually planned to be about halfway in the proceedings. So if the dance started at 8pm then the buffet would start to be served around 9.30pm. Some venues insist you use their own caterers. Check on this beforehand.

You will also need a bar at your event. There are exceptions such as church socials etc where this is deemed inappropriate. Ask if the venue has a bar or whether you will have to bring one in to cover your event.

What happens during a barn dance?

The band will arrive in ample time to set up their equipment for the barn dance and do a preliminary sound check to make sure all is well. Although the dance may have been designated to commence at a certain time a band cannot perform if not enough people are there on time. This is something that always needs to be taken into consideration.

Before the evenings entertainment commences, the Caller will contact the organiser to do a final check on the start time, and the timing of any breaks etc. It is usual for the band to perform two separate period with a break in the middle.

During the dance your guests will be requiring a few rests between the dances.Most bands entertain with songs between the dance numbers to ensure that there are never any awkward silences. During the interval, between their first time of performance and the next, the band usually provides background music on their sound system. If not, then the venue can usually provide this for you.

If a buffet or hot food is to be served during the night, the interval is usually the best time for the refreshments. This is also often the time organisers to make any speeches or give any gifts or prizes.

Make sure your bands equipment is PAT tested and the band has Public Liability Insurance. This is becoming obligatory in many venues and all barn dance bands should carry such insurance.

When the performance commences, the Caller will invite the guests on to the dance floor and will “walk through” all the barn dance moves before the actual dance begins. Following commencement of the dance, the Caller will continue to call out the moves throughout the dance (so no one needs to have a good memory). And remember, mistakes only add to the fun and jollity!

Barn dances can be great fun for all ages. Enjoy planning your event!